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Tubman Leadership Staff


Jennifer J. Polzin, CEO

Jennifer J. Polzin became Chief Executive Officer on July 1, 2015. Ms. Polzin first joined Tubman (formerly Family Violence Network) in 1992. Throughout her tenure at the organization, she has served in a variety of capacities working with clients, volunteers, community members and staff—and most recently was Chief of Resource Development and Communications. She has demonstrated leadership expertise in strategic planning, professional collaborations and community engagement initiatives. Ms. Polzin has extensive experience working with individuals and families who have experienced relationship violence, homelessness, addiction, and mental health challenges, and has worked in both shelter and community-based programs.

Ms. Polzin taught in the Department of Human Relations at St. Cloud State University as adjunct faculty for eight years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communications, and earned her Master’s of Arts in Organizational Leadership from St. Catherine University. Her graduate thesis focused on integrating therapeutic humor into nonprofit organizations and direct service work with clients.


Junauld Braddock-Presley, Director of Residential Services

Ms. Braddock-Presley has been employed with Tubman since 1995, and brings a multitude of experiences to her position overseeing the operation of all residential services. She has numerous professional affiliations which offer additional expertise to her position at Tubman, including the National Black Alcoholism and Addiction Council and the Minnesota Community Corrections Association. She holds a Bachelor’s in Individualized Studies in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, with minors in African American Studies, chemical dependency counseling and employee assistance.

Aya Johnson, Director of Legal Services

Ms. Johnson started at Tubman in 2017. As the Director of Legal Services, she is responsible for operational, administrative and programming for Tubman’s legal services. Prior to Tubman, she worked as an associate on the Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Team. In this capacity, she selected applicants to become grantees and managed the team’s relationships with grantees. Ms. Johnson also served as a Community Representative in the United States Congress working on immigration, refugee and foreign policy issues. She is a trained sexual and domestic violence advocate with a passion for expanding prevention methods. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and Spanish literature from the George Washington University.

Birgit Kelly, Director of Clinical Services

Dr. Kelly joined Tubman in 2012 and is responsible for daily operations of our mental health services, including supervision of clinical and contract staff and program development. Dr. Kelly has more than 20 years of experience in the mental health field, including four years as the Program Director and Dialectical Behavior Therapy Inpatient Program Coordinator at Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center, eight years as the Director of Outpatient Services at Touchstone Mental Health, and three years as a Therapist and Clinical Supervisor at Family Life Center. She has a Masters of Social Work from the College of St. Catherine/ University of St. Thomas and a PhD from Union Institute & University. She has received Intensive Trauma Training and Developmental Training from the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute.

Tamara Stark, Director of Youth and Family Services

Ms. Stark joined Tubman in 1998 to oversee all services for youth and families provided throughout the agency by implementing strength-based and trauma-informed approaches to address violence. Ms. Stark holds an M.A. in Professional Counseling with a Marriage and Family Specialty from Argosy University. She oversees curriculum development and programming designed to best support children, youth, parents, and families facing multiple stressors across a variety of settings. Ms. Stark is also involved with multi-level community collaborations that support a broad-based continuum of care for youth and families to enact systems change with regard to positive youth and family development, violence prevention, and homelessness. Ms. Stark supervises staff working in residential, child care, and community settings to provide a span of services to meet needs related to prevention, intervention, outreach, and youth leadership development to support safe communities.


Emily Truscott, Director of Communications

Ms. Truscott joined Tubman in 2016. She is responsible for directing and executing the organization’s communications initiatives. Previously, she was the Communications Director for the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, where she guided the development of communications plans, managed a variety of communications channels, and collaborated with development and public policy staff to achieve organizational goals. For eight years, she was a journalist for a group of newspapers in Missouri and Arkansas and eventually became a general manager and editor of print and digital publications. She also worked as a volunteer advocate for a community domestic violence program, primarily providing hotline crisis intervention and court advocacy services. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Alison Hobson, Director of Development

Ms. Hobson has been with Tubman since 2009, briefly serving as a project manager and then as Community Relations Manager. In that role she led and coordinated all community fundraising events, donation drives, speaking engagements, and volunteer groups from corporate and community partners. Ms. Hobson also managed Tubman’s two signature annual fundraising events, Wing Ding and Starlight Soirée. In 2016 she became Tubman’s Director of Development and now oversees grant writing, sponsorships, events, volunteer services, and individual giving programs. Before joining Tubman, Ms. Hobson served as the founder and owner of a residential living program for women in early stages of substance abuse recovery. She was a partner in a start-up real estate brokerage and has experience in industrial psychology. Ms. Hobson received her B.A. in Communication Arts & Sciences from Michigan State University.

Christine Brinkman, Chief Administrative & Operations Officer

Ms. Brinkman has been with the agency since 1993 and was the Senior Projects Manager for the building of Tubman Center in Minneapolis. As the Administrative & Operations Officer, Ms. Brinkman has helped to create systems for accountability, innovation, best practices, and operating procedures, as well as supervising all administrative, human resource, finance, and facilities staff. Brinkman also oversees the research, application, and reporting of all governmental/earned income grants. Christine’s background in business administration (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota) has helped her to implement administrative best practices across the agency.

Deb Anderson, Director of Finance

Ms. Anderson joined Tubman in 2005. As Director of Finance, she is responsible for accounting and financial reporting for the agency, including accounts payable and payroll, billing, annual audits and budget, and grants. Prior to joining Tubman, she worked for 17 years as an independent auditor for Virchow Krause & Co., which included performing independent audits of Tubman for 10 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and is a Certified Public Accountant. As a contractor specializing in nonprofit organizations, she continues to provide Tubman with up-to-date industry knowledge.

Gail Burke, Director of Human Resources

Ms. Burke is responsible for directing human resource programs and services at Tubman. Her duties include implementing human resources strategies by establishing department accountabilities, talent acquisition, staffing, employment processing, compensation, health and welfare benefits, training and development, records management, safety and health, employee relations and retention, AA/EEO compliance, and labor relations. Previously, she worked with the State of Minnesota for 30 years. Since 1979, she was the Human Resources Manager and Accessibility Coordinator for the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has planned and conducted workshops statewide on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its relevance to organizations.