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Current Class & Board Leadership

Current Class of Fellows


Board of Directors

Tina Arsenault

Tina has been involved in politics for nearly a decade. She assisted Senator Sheila Harsdorf and Kitty Rhoades  in Wisconsin before managing MN Representative Kathy Lohmer's winning campaign in 2010. Tina currently produces a local cable show called Voices Of Liberty which is hosted by Kathy Lohmer. Tina is a 2010 graduate of the MEPS Series.

Rachel Bakke

(Bio to come)

Regina Barr

(Bio to come)

Anne Neu Brindley (Vice President) 

Anne has been involved in Republican politics for most of her adult life and is currently the Deputy Minority Leader at the Minnesota House of Representatives. She has been elected and re-elected as the state representative for House District 32B and previously served as the Executive Director of the House Republican Campaign Committee. In 2010 she was the campaign manager for Congressman Chip Cravaack. Anne strategically directed this campaign to one of the most watched victories in the country, with Republicans winning a district they hadn’t held in over sixty years. She has also served as the campaign manager for U.S. Senate Candidate Pete Hegseth, Co-chair of the Minnesota Romney for President Campaign and the Interim Finance Director for U.S. Senate Candidate Mike McFadden. Anne is a 2010 graduate of the MEPS Series.

Kelly Fenton (Past President)

Kelly brings extensive experience to the MEPS Board and was a winning campaign manager for Senator Ted Lillie in 2010.  Fenton has experience as a former Educator and School Administrator for the 4th largest school district in the country.   She served under the leadership of former Secretary of Education, Dr. Rod Paige while he was still the Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District. She was elected as Deputy Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota in 2011 and was re-elected to that same office again in 2013. Kelly is a Past President of the MEPS organization and is a 2009 graduate of the MEPS Series.

Lori Grivna

Lori has political experience at the local, state, and national level with seven years of school board service, twice a candidate for the Minnesota House, and as a Senior Policy Advisor for Governor Pawlenty interacting with state and federal agencies and organizations.  Grivna also served as Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education.  She currently works in public affairs and government relations on a broad range of issues including education, healthcare, bonding, taxes, and commerce. Lori graduated in the inaugural MEPS class of 2008. 


Carinda Horton

(Bio to come)

Mary Igo (Founder/Past President)

Mary brings political leadership and executive skills to the MEPS board. Minnesota received a grant from the RNC and Mary stepped forward to found the Minnesota Series in conjunction with Evie Axdahl, Bev Aplikowski, Lisa Reiter and Mary Kiffmeyer.  Mary has served the Republican Party in many roles over the past 20 years and continues to find ways to promote the Republican Party as the Party of Women. Mary serves on several Boards and is also an active volunteer in numerous community organizations.

Chris Jacobson (Founding Board member)

Chris is an original Board member of the Minnesota Excellence program. She has been active in a leadership role in almost every level within the Party structure from State Vice Chair to Precinct chair. Some of her present involvements includes membership on the Minnesota Multicultural Political Alliance and she is currently President of the Capitol Republican Women, branch of the Minnesota Federation of Republican Women. Chris serves as Chair of the MEPS Fellows Committee.

Diane Johnson (Treasurer)

Diane has been involved in Republican politics since 1998.  She has held several party offices and is currently the Chairman of the Isanti County Republicans and proudly serves as the State Vice-Chair for the 8th Congressional District.  Diane has a B.A. in Accounting from Concordia- Moorhead, an M.B.T. from the University of Minnesota and is a CPA. Much of her volunteer work with candidates is as the Treasurer.  She is thrilled to serve on the MEPS Board and as its treasurer.     

Kelly Johnson (Secretary)

(Bio to come)

Emilie Boehm

Emilie graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2015 with a degree in Communications. She officially became involved in politics in 2017 when she interned for her then-Congressman, Sean Duffy. Shortly after, she found herself working as a Legislative Assistant with the Minnesota House of Representatives. She has worked for 11 GOP State Legislators in her 6 years with the House. Emilie is a 2019 graduate of MEPS and currently serves as the Communication Chair.

Sandy Rutherford

(Bio to come)

Amy Strenge  

Amy graduated Magna Cum Laude from Augustana College (Sioux Falls, SD) where she earned a bachelor of arts degree with majors in History, Religion, and Government & International Affairs. She was also involved in the Augustana College Republicans where she served as Co-Chair. Amy’s professional career has led to her current position for the Minnesota Senate where she serves as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Dave Thompson. Along with her work in the Senate, Amy has served as an intern in the office of Congressman John Kline and volunteer positions for other local, statewide, and national political campaigns.

Amy Walstien

(Bio to come) 

Honorary Board Members:

Beverly Aplikowski (Founding Board member)  

Bev has been a MEPS Governor since 2007 and served as Treasurer for the first five years.  Bev has a long history of grassroots activities, serving on the Arden Hills City Council for 10 years and as Mayor for 4 years.  She is past chair of the 4th District Republicans and has been an officer in the BPOU systems since 1976.  She has also been active in the MN Federation of Republican Women, having served in many officer positions and is currently the Treasurer, and is also a member of the Capital Republican Women.  Bev is a successful business owner and active volunteer in numerous community organizations including serving on the Ramsey County Library Board and the Ramsey County Charter Commission, as well as President of Human Life Alliance.


Evie Axdahl  (Founding Board member)

Evie served Minnesota Republicans for many years as the Republican National Committeewoman and has been a a volunteer and consultant to numerous local, state and federal campaigns.  Evie was instrumental in bringing the idea for the Minnesota Excellence in Public Service (MEPS) Series to this state and assembled a leadership team to launch this valuable training program.

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