Leadership and Organization

Commissioner

shawntera-hardyDEED is led by Commissioner Shawntera Hardy.

She was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton to serve as Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) on April 14, 2016. Ms. Hardy – who has pledged her strong commitment to building an economy that works for all Minnesotans, everywhere in Minnesota – brings policy expertise, organizational management, and a wealth of public and private sector experience to the Department. As Commissioner of the state’s principal economic development agency, she is focused on creating jobs, promoting business recruitment, expansion, and retention, advancing state workforce training and development, and supporting international trade and community development.

Prior to serving as Commissioner of DEED, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith. In that role, Ms. Hardy worked on a wide range of policy and operational issues. As a member of the Governor’s senior leadership team, she coordinated the Administration’s response to crises impacting the state, including floods, fires, and public health emergencies. Hardy was instrumental in advancing the Administration’s policy initiatives, helping manage Minnesota’s state agencies, and expanding the state’s community outreach efforts. She also helped lead the Governor’s efforts to diversify the ranks of state government, and expand economic opportunity for Minnesotans of color.

Previously, Ms. Hardy worked in senior leadership positions at several Minnesota companies and nonprofits, and owned and operated her own small business. Ms. Hardy has worked as a policy director at Fresh Energy, where she worked on environmental and transportation policy, and as manager of government relations for HealthPartners’ hospital division. Before joining HealthPartners, Hardy served as a city planner for the City of Saint Paul and as a legislative assistant in the Ohio House of Representatives. Additionally, Ms. Hardy is a co-founder and the director of strategic growth for Civic Eagle – a civic technology and data analytics company committed to developing tools that bridge civic engagement and social networking. She is also the founder of PolicyGrounds Consulting, LLC – a policy and planning strategy firm.

Commissioner Hardy is involved in a number of community organizations. Hardy serves as: Board President of the YWCA of Saint Paul; Board member of the Wilder Foundation; co-founder of Power Moves MN; co-founder of the Fatima Kinshasa Memorial Fund at The Ohio State University; and co-founder of the Pioneer Scholars Award. Recently, Ms. Hardy was selected as a Minnesota Business Magazine 2016 (Real) Power 50 Finalist, as a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 2015 “Forty Under Forty” honoree, and as a participant in the 2015 Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School.

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Commissioner Hardy holds a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Affairs from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning – which she attended as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) fellow.

Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners and Aide

The commissioner is assisted by an assistant commissioner and deputies who oversee the functions of key divisions.

Blake Chaffee

Blake Chaffee  
Deputy Commissioner
Chief Operating Officer

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Karen Francois  
Assistant Commissioner
Career and Business Opportunity

Jeremy Hanson Willis 

Jeremy Hanson Willis
Deputy Commissioner
Workforce Development

Kevin McKinnon

Kevin McKinnon
Deputy Commissioner
Economic Development

samantha-shalda

Samantha Shalda
Executive Aide
Commissioner's Office

DEED's Leadership Team

In addition to the commissioner, an assistant commissioner, deputy commissioners, and aide, these are the members of DEED's Leadership Team.

Brian Allie

Brian Allie
Chief Information Officer
MN.IT@DEED

Kim Babine

Kim Babine
Director
Office of Policy

Rick Caligiuri

Rick Caligiuri
Director
Unemployment Insurance

John Edman

John Edman
Director
Tourism

ann-feaman

Ann Feaman
Director
Diversity & Equal Opportunity 

Jeff Freeman

Jeff Freeman
Director
Public Facilities Authority 

Julie Freeman

Julie Freeman
Chief Financial Officer
Administrative & Financial Services

Steve Hine

Steve Hine
Director
Labor Market Information

Connie Ireland

Connie Ireland
Executive Director
Governor's Workforce Development Council

Bob Isaacson

Bob Isaacson
Director
Business Finance

Susan Kehoe-Katula

Susan Kehoe-Katula
Director
Disability Determination Services

Danna MacKenzie

Danna MacKenzie
Executive Director
Broadband Development

Dorcas Michaelson 

Dorcas Michaelson
  Director
Human Resources

Kathleen Motzenbecker

Kathleen Motzenbecker
Director
Minnesota Trade Office

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Madeline O'Phelan
Director
Communications

Carol Pankow

Carol Pankow
Director
State Services for the Blind

Kim Peck

Kim Peck
Director
Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Jeff Rossate 

Jeff Rossate
Director
Business Development

Rick Roy

Rick Roy
Director
Strategic Business Projects

Meredith Udoibok

Meredith Udoibok
Director
Community Finance

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VACANT
Director
Career and Business Opportunity
for Communities of Color

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VACANT
Director
Workforce Development