Meg Rauth VanWagner


Director of Strategic Initiatives & Growth, HandsOn Twin Cities

Meg is a leader in driving strategy, program design, scalability, and capacity-building for social change organizations. She is currently the Director of Strategic Initiatives & Growth at HandsOn Twin Cities where she is designs, implements, and scales pro bono programming. Additionally, she launched her own consultancy in which she has worked with nonprofits, mission-driven startups, and social entrepreneurs across the country. Local clients include Hack the Gap, Beta.MN/Twin Cities Startup Week, and HandsOn Twin Cities. Apart from consulting, she designs cross-sector convenings and workshops between nonprofits and professionals to accelerate the organization's impact and provide opportunities for skills-based volunteering. Meg serves as the Board Chair for a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, Everyday Miracles, which provides evidence-based care to under-resourced pregnant women and moms. Prior to her current work, she brought her pro bono expertise to the west coast employee engagement team at after six years at the Taproot Foundation in San Francisco, most recently as the National Director of Program Delivery and Design where she scaled and led the national program team across the Bay Area, Chicago, LA, NYC, and DC, and spearheaded the redesign of the flagship program to drive better outcomes for nonprofit clients, pro bono consultants, and national funders. Prior to Taproot, Meg has worked at several direct-service nonprofits as well as in healthcare, hospitality, and legal support services in Omaha, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Amsterdam, NL. When she's not changing the world, she's changing diapers at her most effortful yet most rewarding job as Mom. 


Tracy Nielsen

Executive Director, HandsOn Twin Cities

Tracy currently serves as the Executive Director for HandsOn Twin Cities. She received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University and her Masters in Business Administration from Alverno College in Milwaukee, WI.

Prior to her current role, Tracy worked with United Ways for twelve years serving in roles as Chief Executive Officer for United Way of Kenosha County, Communications Director and VP – Marketing and Resource Development for both United Way of Racine County and United Way of the Wine Country in Northern California. Tracy has held other roles in the nonprofit sector. Roles included, Regional Program Coordinator for a ten‐state AmeriCorps Program focused on the retention of low-income and first generation college students throughout the Midwest, as well as AmeriCorps*VISTA member focused on addressing the issues of homelessness in Racine, WI.

Tracy is devoted to helping all people achieve their potential and believes that every person can play a role in the betterment of their community – especially through the power of volunteerism.


Ava Kuhlen


Ava blends curiosity with creativity to develop innovation solutions that help organizations adapt, thrive, and grow. For over a decade, she’s worked to connect resources - capital, ideas, products, and talent - across the corporate and nonprofit sectors to drive social change. Through philanthropic advising, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit capacity building, and social innovation, she’s worked with foundations, nonprofits, and companies to clarify their vision for change, create the roadmap to get there, and achieve their goals. Her most recent role was Director of External Relations at Taproot Foundation in which she designed and managed multi-stakeholder engagements, strategic partnerships, and cross-sector collaborations that increased food access, cultivated leadership, and drove technology adoption and use in the social sector. Her work is driven by by two questions: “who cares?” and “why does this matter?” When not throwing fire bombs of social change, she can be found playing outside, planting succulents, or jamming (with pectin, not guitars).