“Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” — Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass
Deanna’s key responsibility is managing the day-to-day grantmaking process. She also manages the customer relationship management (CRM) system, striving to improve the Foundation’s overall knowledge management. As “Queen of the Spreadsheets,” she is accountable for monitoring the grants budget and operational budget expenditures.
During her time at the Foundation, she’s gained a deeper understanding of Indigenous communities and the upper Northwest states’ history. She’s grateful to continue learning firsthand, and in-depth, about the many issues Indigenous communities and the region face, and the work being done by the Foundation’s grantees—often behind the scenes—to advance social, racial, and economic justice.
Deanna received her bachelor’s degree in business management from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City and a Mini MBA for nonprofit organizations from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.
She enjoys vegan cooking, photography, and traveling. She especially loves cross-country road trips. Being the planner that she is, she’s very talented at coordinating adventurous family vacations. Deanna is her family’s documentarian and makes a point of connecting with extended family and maintaining written records and images of both sides of her family—Scandinavian and Puerto Rican.
If she could witness any two events in her lifetime, Deanna would like to see Puerto Rico as an independent country with a flourishing economy and self-reliance. And she’d like to see Indigenous people liberate themselves from policies, practices, and beliefs designed to disadvantage them so they can thrive on their own terms.
She and her husband split their time between northeast Minneapolis and Peterson, MN, where they’re working to convert a middle school building into an artist retreat center. They have two sons: Carter and Ian.