Get ready to vote for the newest members of our board of directors by meeting the candidates! Check out their photos and bios below.
Elections will take place at this year’s Annual Meeting on November 6th. West Siders age 16 and above are eligible to vote.
It’s not too late to run! You can run for our board of directors from the floor as a write-in candidate during the election. Reach out to us at [email protected] and come to the annual meeting to introduce yourself to voters!
GillEtte Kinnon-Williams (she, her, hers)
My name is GillEtte Kinnon-Williams. I am a Black Woman who has been a resident of Minnesota for 26 years. I am the mother of two talented adult children. Family security and Community has been my mission and focused passion.
I have had the privilege to be a part of many communities within the Twin Cities. This has allowed me to gain a wealth of knowledge and insight with the diverse BIPOC communities I've encountered during my journey. I have worked in Low income multi-housing as a Social Services Director for 9 years that served Liberian and Multicultural families developing programming, and sat on a number of Boards in the Hennepin County Northwest Suburbs. Being a part of the Community Action for Suburban Hennepin Board and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Board in the early 2000's and working 14 years in Education with PCYC Alternative High school Hmong and Black students (now PYC Arts and Tech) and Harvest Prep/Best Academy on the north side Minneapolis with our Somali students has motivated me to support community from the lens of housing support, to job security and through education.
I know I can take this knowledge and experience and support the values and mission of WSCO. It would be an honor to serve on this Board and serve the West Side Community.
Dell Paulsen (he/him, they/them, she/her)
I am a 34 year old nonprofit professional that dreams about a world where jobs and bosses don't exist and our work is for one another's benefit and want to help build that world. I love music, community, and having a good time. I hope to be able to serve the West Side to help uplift the needs of those in our community most impacted by the ongoing violence of white supremacy, systemic racism, and extractive capitalism by collectively organizing our neighbors in community for everyone's health and wellbeing. My partner and I have lived in Saint Paul for 4.5 years and on the West Side for 2.5 years.
Sharri M. Keller (she, her, hers)
It fills my heart to be of service to co-create a better world, of which I understand starts with aligning and healing self, family as well as community. I would love to see the West Side filled with connection to each other and the land, in good health and good spirits. My family is Lebanese and grew up on the West Side as I have spent a lot of time at my grandmas. I currently live in W. St. Paul near Annapolis and am fully invested in seeing this whole area thrive as I want my kids to grow up in a more enriching environment.
Bill Johnson (he, him, his)
My goal is to help where I can and be a valuable member of this beautiful community. I moved to Minnesota in 1986, I received my degree in Community Development and Organization from Metro State, I’m a small business owner, and I want to build the next generation of small BIPOC business leaders. What drives me? My wife (best friend). My grandkids and daughter. Giving back and sharing my knowledge and skills when I can. At heart, I’m still a farm kid from Tennessee that came to the big city.
My background is in business. My goals as a small business owner are integrity, honesty, and dignity for all. My personal choices and beliefs are based on these core ideals. Being on this board or any position is an honor and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Hopefully, I can bring humility and honesty to the board. Not growing up in Minnesota has allowed me to see how others are treated. Being the outsider has allowed me freedom not to protect the systems in place and to ask better questions and challenge the status quo.
(she, her, hers)
Hi Neighbors! My name is Leah Porter and I've lived on the West Side for the past 16 years. I absolutely love this neighborhood (Best Side!) and have served on the board of WSCO for the past four years as the Board Treasurer.
I've served on the board because it's one way I can put my own personal values of equity and justice into action, and I'm committed to helping our neighborhood be a place where EVERYONE can thrive, where we fight racism and other forms of oppression with connection, community, and organizing.
During the day, I work as a nonprofit consultant helping other organizations with strategic and financial planning as well as board training and development. I would continue to bring these skills to my role on the WSCO board.
When I'm not working or volunteering with WSCO, I'm spending time with my partner, Gina, and our fur babies (a dog and a cat), and procrastinating housework by hanging out with my neighbors in the backyard. I would be honored to serve another term on the WSCO board. Thank you!
Several of our 2022 Board members will be continuing their terms. Get to know the 2022 board here.