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Meet the Meet Minneapolis Team

Executive Team


Melvin Tennant, CAE

President & CEO Meet Minneapolis

Melvin oversees the day-to-day operations of Meet Minneapolis, including the professional and support staff. Melvin serves as the voice of Meet Minneapolis through speaking engagements, civic activities and political council meetings. He has served as president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis since November 2007. Melvin also is the executive director of Sports Minneapolis.


Brent Foerster

Senior Vice President of Destination Sales

Brent is the senior vice president of Destination Sales. Joining Meet Minneapolis in May 2014, his focus is on sales and collaborating to drive more convention business to Minneapolis while strengthening relationships with the local hotel community. He oversees the Destination Sales teams at Meet Minneapolis, Sports Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Convention Center.


Madonna Carr, CMP

Vice President of Destination Services

Madonna is the vice president of Destination Services where she oversees the department including facilitating booking conventions by assisting meeting planners with logistical needs, building attendance and delivering quality experiences to attendees. Madonna has been with Meet Minneapolis since 1991. She also oversees Housing Services and Meeting Services Plus.


Bill Deef

Senior Vice President of Public Affairs

Bill and his department oversee the Minneapolis Sister Cities programs and work on other public affairs initiatives. Since 1987, Bill has made significant contributions to the Minnesota tourism industry—such as serving as a chair of the Washburn Academy of Hospitality and Tourism.


Courtney Ries

Senior Vice President Branding & Strategy

As the Senior Vice President of Destination Branding & Strategy, Courtney oversees the marketing, public relations, partnership and visitor information departments. With her team, she is responsible for telling the story of Minneapolis and its offerings to potential visitors, meeting planners, media, locals and other stakeholders.


Sandy Christensen

Vice President Finance & Administration

Sandy joined Meet Minneapolis in May of 2016 as the Vice President of Finance & Administration. In this role, she is responsible for organization support functions including financial planning and accounting, human resources and employee benefits administration, information technology, as well as statutory compliance and reporting. The focus of Finance & Administration is to ensure that the organization has the financial, technological and staffing resources to be successful.

General Information

801 Marquette Avenue South, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Fax: 612-767-8001

Finance & Administration

Sandy Christensen - Vice President, Finance & Human Capital

Debhora Guggisberg - Accounting Associate

Edi Hasan - Accounting Manager

Scott Rahja - Controller

Karel Havle - Director, Human Resources and Office Operations

David Nguyen - Director, Information Technology

Jesse Tran - Support Technician, Information Technology

Destination Sales

Tom Ruzsa - Director of Meeting Sales

Stephanie Grimaldi – Director of Convention Sales

Sue Murray – National Account Executive

Jill Buckley - National Account Executive, East Coast Accounts

Kay Russell – Business Development Manager, Union Specialist

Betty Williams, CMP – National Account Executive

Emily Heggernes - National Account Executive, West Coast Accounts

Madison Rohde - National Account Executive

Maureen (Mo) Allen – Administrative Assistant, Sales

Marlene Bakke – Administrative Assistant, Sales

Anne Kloepper - Administrative Assistant, Sales

Global Tourism

Casey Kluver – Manager, Global Tourism Sales

Minneapolis Convention Center Sales

Katie Smith, CMP – Director of Sales and Marketing – MCC

Savannah Fargen - National Account Executive - MCC

Sheila Tapia – National Account Executive - MCC

Deb Taylor – Associate Director of Sales – MCC

Daniel Rojas - Sales Account Executive - MCC

Kristen Poehlmann - Sales Assistant - MCC

Jessica Klimisch - Marketing Manager - MCC

Sports Minneapolis

Matt Meunier – Director, Sports Minneapolis

Daniel Rojas - Sports Sales Account Executive

Tyler Boike - Sports Operation Manager

Megan Wahman - Manager, Marketing

Anne Kloepper - Administrative Assistant, Sales

Destination Services

Tamara Spude, CMP – Director, Destination Services & Events

Cindi Green – Administrative Assistant, Services

Erica Bergum - Manager, Destination Services

Tyler Boike - Sports Operation Manager

Susan Gosz, CMP – Senior Manager, Housing Services

Destination Branding and Strategy


Kathy McCarthy - Director, Public Relations & Communications

Kristen Montag - Senior Manager, Public Relations & Communications

Kevin Kurtt - Manager, PR & Communications 

Ellen Bedecarre - Social Media Manager


Jill Anderson - Senior Director, Marketing

Megan Wahman - Marketing Manager

Jessica Klimisch - Minneapolis Convention Center, Marketing Manager

Nick Leiferman - Senior Graphic Designer

Melissa Lage - Graphic Designer

Hana Ansari - Digital Content Strategist


Michael Hernandez – Director, Visitor Services

Partnership Marketing

Jenn Schaal - Director, Partnership Marketing

Nicole Oja - Partnership Operations Manager

Public Affairs

Ashley Adams – Market Research Senior Manager

Jennifer Schmid - Program Manager