The Birthplace of Apra

Apra-MN Board of Directors

January - December 2024

Adri Viswanatha


Adri Viswanatha is the Associate Director of Donor Research at Macalester College, where she is responsible for research, development strategy and prospect management. She has worked in non-profit fundraising since 2017 and began her fundraising career in Wisconsin where she worked on political campaigns. Adri has been a member of Apra-MN since 2017 and has served on the Membership Committee since 2019 until her current role as President for the 2024-2025 term. 

Lydia Tonoyan


Lydia Tonoyan is the Project Manager, Prospect Management and Planned Giving Services at University of Minnesota Foundation. Previously, she was Prospect Researcher and Project Manager at the Union Gospel Mission Twin Cities. She transitioned to the non-profit world two years ago by ending her corporate career at Best Buy for Business. Lydia has been a member of Apra International and Apra-MN since 2020. She serves as a co-chair of the Membership Committee at Apra International and for Apra-MN for 2023 and is looking forward to serving as Apra-MN's Vice-President. 

Sara Buesing


Sara is Systems Practice Coordinator at BWF, where she provides a wide range of administrative, research, and project management support to the firm's Systems and Operations practice. She previously served as Prospect Development Associate for Catholic Charities of Saint Paul-Minneapolis and has over nine years of experience supporting philanthropy and institutional causes. Sara has been a member of Apra-MN since 2015 and served as a member of the programming committee from 2020-2023 and is currently serving as Secretary. She lives in Saint Paul. 

Alison Hope is the former Director of Prospect Development at Concordia University, St. Paul. She previously worked as a Prospect Research Specialist at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA before moving back up to her home state of Minnesota. She has over 6 years of experience in the prospect development industry, focusing primarily on pipeline development and portfolio management for private colleges. Alison began her career in higher education fundraising in 2016 after graduating from the University of Iowa where she played trumpet in the Hawkeye Marching Band and served as President of Sigma Alpha Iota, a women's international music fraternity. She is currently on the board for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Alumnae chapter of SAI. Alison served as co-director of Marketing and Communications for 2022-2023, and will serve as Treasurer for 2024. She joined the Apra-MN board in January 2022 and her second term will end December 2025.

Don Irwin

Programming Co-Director

Don is the Manager of Prospect Strategy at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. He was previously a database manager and prospect analyst at Fraser. Don earned his BA in History and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota Duluth and MSc in Science and Religion at the University of Edinburgh School of Divinity. He continued in graduate research and teaching History and Philosophy of Science at Arizona State University before moving back to Minnesota to raise his children close to family. Don joined Apra-MN and Apra International in 2018 and earned his CFRE in 2021. He is grateful for the support of the Apra community and enthusiastic about giving back as a board member and co-chair of the programming committee.

Brita Thielen

Programming Co-Director

Brita joined the University of Minnesota Foundation as a Development Researcher in November 2022. Her favorite parts of the role are collaborating with development officers on portfolio management and learning new research techniques from her PD colleagues and other Apra members. Prior to moving into prospect development, Brita spent eight years in higher ed, earning her MA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2016 and her PhD in English from Case Western Reserve University in 2022. She has also worked as Director of Client Support at an ethics and compliance hotline company and as a sixth grade teacher at a bilingual school in Honduras. Brita joined Apra-MN as a member in August 2022 and as a board member in January 2024; she is excited for the opportunity to contribute to such a wonderful community

Grace De Jong

Marketing & 

Communication Co-Director

Grace joined the University of St. Thomas as Assistant Director of Prospect Management in October of 2023. Prior to this she was the Prospect Research Officer at St. Catherine University. She has a BA in Art History from the University of Minnesota and has worked in development since the beginning of 2020. She has found APRA-MN to be an invaluable resource and is excited to be able to contribute. She joined the board in January of 2024 and her first term will end December 2025.

Adam Stenstrom

Marketing & 

Communication Co-Director

Adam is a Sr. Development Officer at Lakeview Hospital.  He was previously the Director of Prospect Development at Briar Cliff University, and before that he was a Senior Prospect Researcher at the University of Minnesota.  He has been working in development and has been a member of Apra-MN since 2015.  Adam is happy to serve the prospect development community through Apra-MN.  He joined the board as webmaster and Marketing and Communications Co-Director in January of 2024. 

Stephanie Foy

Membership & Mentorship Director 

Stephanie Foy has been the Donor Database Research Coordinator at Hennepin Healthcare Foundation since 2019. Before that, she worked as the Database and Annual Fund Manager at Presbyterian Homes Foundation. She stumbled into the non-profit world by happenstance after graduating from UW-River Falls in 2012, and quickly learned this is where she is meant to be. Stephanie has been a member of Apra-MN since 2022 and began serving on the Board and the Membership Committee in 2024. She is excited for this amazing opportunity to learn and grow her skills, and to serve Apra-MN members with a great experience.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software