2021 YWCA Duluth Board of Directors

President: Chelsa Nelson-Preble

“Never separate the life you lead from the words you speak.” -Senator Paul D. Wellstone

Chelsa is a mother to her two kids and wife to her partner Matt. She owns Out of the Clouds; a business that helps others preserve memories by working with client’s photo collections as well as facilitates Circle of Security parenting classes and co-leading a Girl Scout troop. Chelsa is a part of the YWCA Duluth Board of Directors because she believes we need to be proactive in changing our community by eliminating racism and creating equity.

Vice President: Letisha Rice
“This is what you shall do; love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulge toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” -Walt Whitman

Letisha is a parent and dog mom with various creative pursuits; like painting, Polaroid photography, and fabric arts while working as a substance abuse counselor. She joined the Board of Directors because the mission aligns with the ways in which she wants to serve her community: empowering marginalized people, eliminating racism, and promoting justice and peace. Her hope is to make a better world for her children and the population of clients she works with.

Secretary: DyAnna Janet Grondahl

“I’m here to get it right, not to be right.” -Brene Brown

DyAnna is a dedicated and silly aunt to four wonderful littles. She works as the Greater Minnesota Organizer at TakeAction Minnesota – a statewide, multiracial, multigenerational people power organization building progressive, grassroots political power in communities across MN. She serves on two advisory boards for the College of St. Scholastica. She enjoys writing, crafting, and baking. She is involved with the YWCA Duluth board of directors because it speaks to issues she lives by, cares about, and values.

Treasurer: Shaina Wagner

“The epitome of womanhood is to lose one’s self completely. Because a very effective way to control women is to convince women to control themselves.” -Glennon Doyle

Shaina is the Leasing Manager – Real Estate for Maurices. She is proud to be a member of the Board of Directors. She remembers learning of the Young Mothers program while attending the Women of Distinction Luncheon, reminding her how scared she felt at 17 when pregnant, which led to her involvement in the organization. She is happy to be a part of a program that serves young mothers in need. She has a passion for the health of our birthing community while believing that a strong, healthy pregnancy and birth leads to a strong, healthy community.


Sarah Herrick-Smisek

Sarah spends her days trying to keep up with her two children while running operations at DLH Clothing, which she and her husband Mike own, as well as helping support her husband’s business, Sek Design. She can often be found near Lake Superior, on the trails of Duluth, or practicing yoga. She is passionate about connectivity in all areas of life and wants everybody to have access to the connections they need to support their success. Sara believes in the mission of the YWCA and serves the Board of Directors to help cultivate a better community by helping those dealing with inequalities due to race or gender.

Kayla Hertel

Kayla is a wife to her wonderful partner and mother to her son and daughter. She works as a Utility Planner II in Strategy and Planning at Minnesota Power. She joined the board of directors to have a meaningful impact on her community through all the people that YWCA Duluth touches. Her belief is that if girls and women are succeeding that the community as a whole will be better. As a Duluthian she has a love of the water and has even completed the  2-mile Point to La Pointe Swim from Bayfield to Madeline Island.

Laura Jonker, DC

Laura is a parent and partner-in-life with a musician and teacher husband. She works as a chiropractor at Jonker Chiropractic. She has a passion for the health of our birthing community while believing that a strong, healthy pregnancy and birth leads to a strong, healthy community. She loves the outdoors and works on her garden as well as walks, runs, and skis the trails in the area. She serves on the board of directors to be able to work with others in the community who share her commitment to helping others while working to empower women and eliminate racism. 

Emily Lian

“As one person, I cannot change the world, but I can change the world of one person.” -Paul Shane Spear

Emily is a busy mom with a teenage daughter and two young boys. She works as an RN and public health nurse with St. Louis County as a Family Home Visiting nurse. Her work is primarily with first time moms providing pregnancy and parenting education in the home. She felt a personal calling to serve the board to help change the systems that lead to disparities and inequity in our community. She prides herself in living a life of altruism, compassion, and integrity.

Heather Winesett

“The main thing is this – when you get up in the morning you must take your heart in your two hands. You must do this every morning.” -Grace Paley

Heather has four children and works as a pediatrician with St. Luke’s Pediatric Associates. She finds joy in working out, the outdoors, singing and playing music, and reading. She has volunteered to serve on the board of directors as she is passionate about serving young mothers and children in the Twin Ports community. Her hope is to build a better community by connecting people to each other and the resources they need.

Bree Johnson

“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” Dolly Parton

Bree works at National Bank of Commerce as a Commercial Banking Assistant, and studied accounting at Lake Superior College here in Duluth. She is a fearless advocate for LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as all women. Bree joined the YWCA board to have an impact on her own community, better support other young women, and work towards eliminating racism. In her spare time she enjoys drawing and painting, and is dedicated to her yoga practice. She places value on honesty, kindness, and compassion. 

Takeesha Coon

Apply to be a Board Member Today!

The Board of Directors help shape the vision of YWCA Duluth, support the Leadership Council, and help promote the organization within the Twin Ports area. This is a great leadership opportunity for those wanting to strengthen their portfolios, expand their networking opportunities, make a difference within the Twin Ports community, help women and youth, as well as support YWCA Duluth.

If you are interested in serving as a Board of Director for YWCA Duluth please contact us at 218.722.7425 ext. 113. Click here to download an application. 

Make a difference now!