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New Faces at MNCDHH: Alicia Lane-Outlaw Hired as Government Relations Director

Chandra Petersen is appointed to board, Kathryn Rose is reappointed

4/10/2021 10:09:55 AM

The Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) has great news to share.

  • Alicia Lane-Outlaw has been hired for the Government Relations Director position.  
  • Chandra Petersen was appointed to the Southeast Representative seat on the board. Chandra replaces Lloyd Ballinger, who has served to the end of his term.
  • Kathryn Rose has been reappointed and will continue to serve as the Northwest Representative.

Learn more about Alicia, Chandra, and Kathryn, and please join us in welcoming them! 


Alicia Lane-Outlaw hired as Government Relations Director.

As MNCDHH’s government relations director, Alicia will lead the team in developing and implementing strategies for stakeholder, community, and legislative relations. She will also coordinate legislative strategies and priorities to advance the legislative agenda. This includes engaging and influencing legislators, decision-makers, and other stakeholders.

Alicia brings extensive project management experience, public policy knowledge, an understanding of related state and federal laws, and a familiarity with deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing issues.

"Alicia comes with a wealth of experiences and knowledge. I am thrilled to have her as part of our dynamic team. I am looking forward to working with Alicia and bringing our legislative affairs up to the next level," - Dr. Darlene G. Zangara, Executive Director.

Through her previous role as president and chief creative officer at AllOut Marketing, Alicia closely worked 15+ years on contracted projects with MNCDHH and other State of Minnesota agencies. Her overall 23+ years of experience also includes advising executives on communications and legislative strategy at nonprofits with state and federal grants, schools, universities, and businesses.

As a longtime accessibility advocate, Alicia testified before the Minnesota legislature urging the passage of the 2009 law to make the state’s technology accessible to users with disabilities. After its successful passage, she subsequently served on the state's Technology Accessibility IT Developers Workgroup for implementing this new law.

In her six years of service on the board of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Alicia oversaw a national organization focused on legislative and large systems advocacy on the federal level and civic engagement on the state level, with a multimillion-dollar budget. She also provided guidance on government policy development on both federal and state levels.

Alicia is a past president and board member of the Minnesota Association of Deaf Citizens (MADC). Much was accomplished during her term, including partnering with MNCDHH and other community partners to persuade the judiciary to use on-site interpreters instead of inadequate video remote interpreting services, revitalizing the organization's communications, and increasing representation of MADC at state and national levels.


Chandra Petersen appointed as Southeast Representative. End of term: 1/01/2024

Chandra Petersen is a Rehabilitation Counselor with Vocational Rehabilitation Services and serves deaf and hard of hearing individuals in 11 counties across Southeast Minnesota. She lives in Mankato with her husband, two daughters, dog, and two cats. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in Psychology and Deaf Studies from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Wisconsin Stout. Prior to her start with Vocational Rehabilitation in 2015, she worked for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services as an Administrative Assistant for four years. Chandra began serving on the SE Advisory Committee in 2015 and is currently in her second term. 

As a Rehabilitation Counselor, Chandra works to remove barriers and ensure access to jobs and resources for people with hearing loss in Southeast Minnesota and across the state. She works with youth and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing and have a variety of communication methods and needs. She works with students from school districts across the area and Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf. She has experienced barriers in access to interpreters, accessible services, internet and technology, and employment. The needs of people in rural areas of the state are unique and need to be addressed. She looks forward to bringing her perspectives to the board and serving Minnesotans who are Deaf, DeafBlind or Hard of Hearing.

“It is my privilege to serve on the Board and share the perspectives and stories of individuals with hearing loss in rural Minnesota. Their needs are unique and important. I am thrilled to be able to continue being an advocate for access and equality for the people I serve through this platform,” – Chandra Petersen.


Kathryn Rose, Northwest Representative, has been reappointed. End of term: 1/01/2024

Kathryn is currently a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor~Supervisor (LADC-S) for the Community Addictions Recovery Enterprises (C.A.R.E.) for the State of Minnesota in Fergus Falls since October 2018. She previously worked as a LADC counselor for the Minnesota Health Fairview Program Serving Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Individuals. She was there for over 11 years. She graduated from St. Catherine University's Medical and Mental Health interpreter training program. Kathryn has worked as a program coordinator, program manager in adult foster care and supported living along with the clinical coordinator for 15 years. During this time, Kathryn returned to college and received a BA degree in psychology and addiction counseling. Kathryn then obtained licensure for alcohol and drug counseling (LADC). She is also the president of Deaf Can, Inc. She, along with Herman Fuechtmann and Mike Adams, opened the first collaborative sober living program with RS Eden for those in recovery who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing. This was made possible with help from MNCDHH and a grant from the Alcohol and Drug Division of the State of Minnesota. She is also supervising Deaf Can, Inc.'s Peer Recovery Support staff and Deaf Outreach Services (DOS). Peer Recovery support staff provide services to Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing individuals in all steps of recovery. Weekly meetings for FAR group 1:1 for individuals and activities. The DOS program provides ILS/CADI services under 245D licenses for the State of Minnesota. She is also a member of the DHHS Northwest Advisory Committee and a member of the State Equity Committee. On most weekends, Kathryn can be found at her cabin in western Minnesota with family and friends and exploring Northwest Minnesota areas.

"It is important to me to serve on this board because…I believe together we CAN make a difference in our community," ~ Kathryn Rose.



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