Board of Directors

Meet the current leadership team of the Humanists of Minnesota. These volunteers generously give their time and talent to further the voice of humanist values in our world.

Get in touch with us through our contact form.

ELLIE HAYLUND
President

Ellie serves as president of HumanistsMN as well as the co-chair of the Marketing Team. She has been involved with the organization since 2015. She is passionate about bringing visibility to the concept of humanism and cultivating the next generation of humanists. She enjoys live music, crafting, reading, and video gaming. Ellie lives in Minneapolis with her husband and fellow board member, Nick, along with their two sweet rescue dogs, Wally and Tater Tot.

 MITCH THOMPSON DIRECTOR AT LARGE
MITCH THOMPSON
Vice President

Mitch serves as vice president for HumanistsMN and routinely performs audiovisual-related tasks at the organization’s meetings and events. He says discovering humanism has clarified a personal evolution by giving it a name, and HumanistsMN is an exceptional vehicle to continue to drive that evolution. Mitch believes deeply that if more people knew about and understood humanism, they would equally find a home to clarify their own naturally occurring belief systems. Active in the Twin Cities film and television industry, Mitch is also the drummer and leader of a long-lived Minneapolis band called Umbrella Bed. He has served on many other Twin Cities nonprofit boards including DEMO, AEON, Compassionate Action for Animals, and as president of the Harrison Neighborhood in Minneapolis.

JOHN WALKER
Treasurer

John is the HumanistsMN treasurer and unofficial live-streamer. He was raised Catholic, but ironically, it was the Catholic education at the University of St. Thomas that pushed him away from the church in favor of agnosticism and humanism. His interests in physics, psychology, philosophy, biology, and music inform much of the content in sessions that he hosts at our monthly Secular Saturday events. When he isn’t at such events, you can find him rock climbing, baking, or woodworking.

 DAVID GUELL SECRETARY secretary@humanistsofmn.org
DAVID GUELL
Secretary

David has been a member of HumanistsMN since 2013. He began his membership by spearheading the move of the membership rolls from a manually maintained spreadsheet to an online system, and later to another online system. He was elected to the Board in 2015, first as an at-large member and later as secretary. He also contributes to the Media/Tech Team, helps maintain the online membership system, and advises on technology topics. He has worked in the software industry for 25 years and has degrees in chemical engineering.

 SETH ENGMAN DIRECTOR AT LARGE seth.engman@humanistsofmn.org
SETH ENGMAN
Director At-Large

Seth Engman is a design professional working in the e-learning industry. He is involved with the Marketing and Media/Tech committees, volunteering his skills to help HumanistsMN create digital and print assets. He also facilitates the Secular Grief Group. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and watching movies across all genres. He lives with his wife and their dog in south Minneapolis.

 NICK HAYLUND TREASURER treasurer@humanistsofmn.org
NICK HAYLUND
Director At-Large

Nick has been involved with HumanistsMN since 2015, previously serving as treasurer. He is a member of the Marketing Team. Nick enjoys being a part of an organization that works to foster discussion and actions that can result in a more ethical community. For this upcoming term especially, he will work to make our group more recognizable to the next generation of humanists. Outside of HumanistsMN, Nick enjoys all things “data and analytics” (in and outside of work), music, traveling, comics, golf, and gardening. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and fellow board member, Ellie, along with their two amazing rescue dogs, Wally and Tater Tot.

ABIGAIL JACKSON
Director At-Large

Abigail was originally drawn to HumanistsMN because of her interests in human rights, social justice, and working toward a more just society that makes decisions based on evidence and compassion. Since becoming a member, she has not only become more involved in these issues, but also found a community. She’s grateful for the wide array of programs organized by members, such as Secular Saturdays, Community Gatherings, discussions about current events, mindfulness meetings, and volunteer projects. She appreciates the many opportunities to learn, think critically, get involved, and get to know like-minded people.  When not participating in HumanistsMN events, she teaches psychology, takes her dog on walks around St. Paul, cooks vegan food, and watches entirely too much Netflix.

SUZANNE PERRY
Director At-Large

Suzanne edits our monthly electronic newsletter and helps maintain our website. She spent much of her career as a journalist and was happy when she retired a few years ago to be able to throw off the mantle of “objectivity” and advocate for causes she believed in. One that is dear to her heart: separation of government and religion. Suzanne helps organize HumanistsMN’s activities to commemorate the National Day of Reason, where we remind Minnesota legislators that public policy should be based on secular principles. She loves travel, plays, and movies, and (sadly for her mental health) is a political junkie. She lives in Brooklyn Park with her husband.

Stephanie Schwinn
STEPHANIE SCHWINN
Director At-Large

Although Stephanie is relatively new to HumanistsMN, she’s long been interested in finding ways to develop her character, deepen her self-awareness, and work toward building a better community and planet. The humanist world view resonates with her because it empowers humans to take responsibility for ourselves and the world around us. HumanistsMN is a community of like-minded people dedicated to those same goals. Her education and training as a social worker and previous experience with community organizing has given her the knowledge and experience to serve in a meaningful way with HumanistsMN. Her areas of particular interest are community outreach, membership growth, and separation of religion and government. In her free time she enjoys reading, pursuing health and wellness, going to music and art festivals, and visiting her favorite coffee house.  

 JERRY SMITH DIRECTOR AT LARGE
JERRY SMITH
Director At-Large

A longstanding HumanistsMN member, Jerry has served on its board since 2019, when he retired from his career as a college professor. He hosts or co-hosts a variety of HMN events, including Happy Hours (live and online); Discussion, Debate and Dinner (D-Cubed and D-Squared); the Think! Book Club; and the Humanists Unforgettable Bike Ride Into Stillwater (HUBRIS). Jerry is a serious reader, a semi-serious gardener, an out-of-shape biker, and an occasionally successful fisherman. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, Juliet, and Teemu, their new chocolate lab puppy, surrounded by their five adult children and four grandchildren, all of whom live in the Twin Cities metro area.

Share...