Genesys Works – Twin Cities Announces New Executive Director

June 8, 2015


Twin Cities

The Genesys Works Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Karen Marben as the new Executive Director of Genesys Works – Twin Cities. The Board’s decision comes with the fullest confidence that Marben will continue the existing caliber of leadership, serving as an excellent steward of the Genesys Works mission and an influential advocate for low-income high school students seeking college and career success. The Board recognizes Marben as a leader who will add significant value to Genesys Works through her deep domain knowledge of career and technical education and true passion for the Genesys Works mission.

Since its inception in 2008, Genesys Works – Twin Cities has helped change the trajectory of life for over 800 low-income high school students who successfully completed its skills training program and were placed into year-long paid corporate internships.  96% of the students that completed the Genesys Works program went on to enroll in college, with 80% of these students still enrolled or having earned a post-secondary credential.

Founding Executive Director, Jeff Tollefson, will continue to serve Genesys Works through his new role as a member of the Board of Directors of Genesys Works National. Tollefson says of this leadership transition, “I took on the challenge of starting the Genesys Works program in the Twin Cities seven years ago with a simple goal of taking it from start-up to sustainability.  With the help of so many, we’ve achieved this objective and so much more.  I now look forward to passing the leadership baton to Karen, someone I’m confident can lead our program to its next level of growth and community impact.”

Marben’s professional career has successfully mixed business and education over the past three decades.  Starting as a public high school teacher in North Branch, Minnesota, Marben went on to join Jostens, Inc., where she led marketing teams developing new yearbook concepts for school and consumer markets.  She then spent twelve years at Lifetouch Publishing, rising to the position of Vice President, Marketing, responsible for strategies to increase sales of yearbooks and related memory preservation products.  From 2008 to 2015, Marben served as Vice President, Sales, at Pearson Education where she developed the sales strategy and distribution model for a new CTE (Career and Technical Education) product line for the K-12 market.

Marben says of her new position at Genesys Works, “I am honored to join the Genesys Works team and continue the vision and important work that Jeff started in 2008. I will work hard to strengthen the partnerships with our local IT and education officials, as well as other community and business leaders, in order to provide relevant work experience and opportunities to students who will become tomorrow’s business leaders!”



Genesys Works is a 501(c)(3) social enterprise that changes the trajectory of life for low- income students from one destined to a lifetime of low-wage occupations to one where they will fully participate in the economic mainstream as professionals.


Joe Cudzilo, Marketing & Communications Manager

Work: 651-789-0088, Cell: 605-360-4274

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