Board of Directors

The WeMN Board of Directors is comprised of eight members who each serve a two-year term. WeMN board members are volunteers and contribute to the organization in their area of expertise. Members are nominated to serve by other board members or members of the organization. WeMN board members are voted in by the current WeMN Board of Directors.

Anita Nelson - President and CEO

Anita formed IN Food Marketing & Design (formerly Vavricka Juntti & Company) in 1995 after spending several years working on accounts such as Pillsbury Foodservice, 3M and the Minnesota Vikings for a Minneapolis-based ad agency. In addition to account management, Anita's background includes extensive experience in editorial planning, copywriting and editing. She is a 1991 graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism.

Anita is passionate about supporting and mentoring other women. Her work with the Salvation Army’s Project Breakthrough program earned her a Volunteer of the Year award in 2001, and in 2017 she received the Enterprising Woman of the Year Award, which recognizes women that have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities. 

Anita was drawn to WeMN based on their mission to support women entrepreneurs and she is looking forward to contributing to the organization. When not working, you can find Anita on the golf course with her husband, Ken, or curled up with the latest bestseller. 

Contact information:


Twitter: @anitanelson18

Christine Walters - Treasurer and CFO

Kelly Wittman - Marketing Director

Kelly is a multi-passionate entrepreneur who runs two small businesses. The first is a branding and visual design agency for creative entrepreneurs and makers. She loves collaborating with organizations who bring positive impact into their space and want to build connection and community.

She also runs a home and lifestyle blog with her husband. The blog began as a way to keep family and friends in the loop during their home renovation but has since expanded to include mindful living, simple recipes and easy home decor ideas. 

When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two black labs, working out or getting lost in a good book.

Contact information:

Jen Fieldman - Director of Social Media 


Jen is a strategy expert, specializing in audience attitudes and behaviors.

Using quantitative and qualitative research tools – including social-media mining – she has helped numerous clients gain key insights into current and potential customers. Based on those analyses and a keen understanding of the client’s business goals, Jen developed strategies that inspire audiences to action.

After over 18 years working in research, corporate, and agency settings, she left to pursue her passion. Jen now uses her skills to help others transition out of their 9-5 and become their own boss.

Contact information:

Astrid Benedetto - Director of Program and Hospitality 

Astrid is the founder and CEO of Picabash LLC, an online site dedicated to expedite the discovery phase of small businesses in the community that provide service/venue/goods for event. She also works as Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager at U.S. Bank. She is passionate about inclusion and equity for people of color. Astrid is a steering committee member of MSP HELLO, a project of Make It. MSP., the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region's movement to attract, welcome, and retain the workforce of the future.

Astrid obtained her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas with a Master’s degree in International Management and is a Certified Professional Project Manager.

Astrid was drawn to WeMN for the opportunity to network and meet other women entrepreneurs to take her business to the next level and continue to evolve it. When not working or volunteering, Astrid enjoys spending quality time or traveling with her husband and two kids.

Contact information:

Desiree Jacobson - Director of Business Development

Desiree Jacobson has over 12 years in the business consulting world and believes people are important. She is never bored, full of life, a wife and a mother of two small children. She is passionate about helping women succeed and be the best that they can be. She works for  female owned IT consulting company that has been in business 31 years in downtown Minneapolis, The Macro Group, Inc. The Macro Group, Inc. focuses on staff augmentation and government/private sector contract-based IT consulting within the Microsoft world. Within a world of fast paced business, she strives to bring an old school way of business into the world by connecting others in a passionate way. Connect to others, connect to people, help those in need and work hard every day is what drives her.

Contact information:


Sam Heyne - Systems/Process Director

Committed to process improvement and organizational health, Sam is thrilled to join the WeMN board as Systems/Process Director. She has her MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato and a background in organizational development and training. By day, Sam works in Consumer Insights at Polaris, where she builds consumer-facing surveys and conducts research on off-road vehicle consumer demographics. By night, she is an avid reader, yogi, and equestrian.

Sam has been lucky enough to have inspiring women mentors and friends to lean on throughout her career and was drawn to WeMN as a space to foster that same shared support among women business owners. She believes that when women come together to support one another, there’s nothing they can’t do.

Contact information:

Jody Hahn - Secretary

Jody is a Partner and CEO of CampaignBuddy, an online ad campaign management software tool. Prior to CampaignBuddy, she worked in the healthcare industry for 20 years with over 10 years of both executive level leadership and board membership roles.

As a leader and entrepreneur, Jody understands the drive, passion, and commitment it takes to run a successful business. She believes learning is a top priority whether through formal education, professional coaching, networking, or experiences. Every challenge is an opportunity to learn, grow, and change.

To be a good leader, life must be in balance. So, beyond work, Jody enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, boating, walking her dogs, golfing, listening to audiobooks, watching movies, and being with friends.

Contact information:

Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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