Genesys Works’ Twin Cities Program Welcomes Three New Board Members

January 19, 2021

Twin Cities

SAINT PAUL, MN (December 15, 2020) — Genesys Works Twin Cities (GWTC), a workforce development program that trains high school students in employability skills and connects them to paid internship opportunities with top Twin Cities companies, announced today that Myra Day-Perkins, Aretha Green-Rupert, and Karen Richard have been elected to its board of directors.

Myra Day-Perkins is a vice president of human resources at Ameriprise Financial, a leading diversified financial services company. In this role she supports Ameriprise’s global technology department, which she has been responsible for since 2014. Most notably, Day-Perkins created an internal development program that engages and retains high caliber technology talent at Ameriprise. She has more than 20 years of experience across a broad range of human capital disciplines including employee relations, recruiting, organization design, and leadership effectiveness. 

As part of Ameriprise’s seven-year partnership with Genesys Works, Day-Perkins has played an active role in helping the company provide more than 100 high school students with meaningful internships in the company’s technology organization.

Aretha Green-Rupert is the program director for the Carlson Family Foundation, where she supports their work to uplift local youth in two key areas: education and mentoring. The foundation has been a multi-year financial supporter of GWTC, and Carlson Companies has proudly provided internship opportunities for our program’s youth through several of its business ventures. Prior to joining the foundation in September 2020, Green-Rupert was the regional director for Otto Bremer Trust, which provides investments in local nonprofits and organizations and serves as the majority owner of Bremer Bank. Bremer has also supported GWTC through philanthropic gifts and internship opportunities. Aretha has more than 15 years of nonprofit and community experience, also working for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Greater Twin Cities United Way, the YWCA of St. Paul, and AchieveMpls. Green-Rupert also currently serves as the vice-chair of the Minnesota Council on Foundations’ board of directors.

Karen Richard serves a variety of roles at Andersen Corporation, a $2.7B privately-held company that employs more than 9,000 individuals in North America and Europe. As their senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Richard is responsible for human resources; diversity, equity, and inclusion; total rewards; talent acquisition; community relations, talent, and organizational talent; HR technology services; and enterprise security. She is also a member of Andersen’s executive committee, president of the Andersen Corporate Foundation, and executive co-sponsor of Andersen’s Inclusion Council. Andersen has provided 13 young professionals with internship experience in their three years of partnership with GWTC. Aside from her extensive involvement at Andersen, Richard is on the board of directors for Greater Twin Cities United Way and represents the Minneapolis-St. Paul region of the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School.

“Myra, Aretha, and Karen have already been crucial advocates of GWTC as we seek to expand the breadth and depth of our support to local youth. Their expertise will continue helping us forge a stronger path to becoming a premier talent pipeline for companies seeking to hire diverse talent and shape a more inclusive, equitable workforce,” said GWTC interim executive director Joel Crandall.

With the addition of Day-Perkins, Green-Rupert, and Richard, the GWTC board is now made up of 15 individuals, representing about 10 industries spanning from financial services to healthcare to education, who are responsible for providing leadership and oversight for carrying out the organization’s mission.

“We’re very excited to have these talented leaders join the Board of GWTC. We are fortunate to be able to work with them in this capacity and utilize their decades of expertise in their respective roles and industries,” said Matt Neale, GWTC board chair. “With the addition of Myra, Aretha, and Karen, we expect to continue unlocking and developing the potential of our young professionals in new ways.”

The newly appointed members will join new Executive Director Allison Barmann who will assume the role on January 11. Barmann, a respected leader in the Twin Cities community, served as a founding member of Genesys Works Twin Cities’ board and brings deep experience championing and supporting many efforts related to education, social business and diversity, equity and inclusion to the role.

Since 2008, Genesys Works has launched the careers of more than 2,400 local Twin Cities high school students in tech and business operations — most of whom are students of color, first-generation American and first-time college goers, helping to bridge the gap between talent and opportunity and creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce. 

About Genesys Works

Genesys Works provides pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Our program consists of 8 weeks of technical and professional skills training, a paid year-long corporate internship, college and career coaching, and alumni support to and through college. Our goal is to move more students out of poverty and into professional careers, creating a more productive and diverse workforce in the process. Since its founding in 2002, Genesys Works has grown to serve more than 4,000 students annually in Houston, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington’s National Capital Region. To learn more, visit genesysworks.org/twin-cities, and follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

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