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Interested in joining RECLAIM's Board of Directors or volunteering with one of our committees? Learn more and express your interest on this page.

Board of Directors

  • Alex Askew, Chair (he/him)
    Alex Askew, Chair (he/him)

    Alex Askew is the Vice President of Philanthropy at The Bakken Museum in Minneapolis. With a career in fundraising development, Alex is interested in the role of Community-Centric Fundraising and the ways that equity work can be woven into our standard practices. Alex has previously served on the boards of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – MN Chapter & Unity Church - Unitarian, and is credentialed as a Certified Fundraising Professional. You can probably find him walking his dog in the Minneapolis neighborhoods or out camping and exploring.

  • Jason Umentum, Chair Emeritus (he/him)
    Jason Umentum, Chair Emeritus (he/him)

    Jason currently works as both a visual artist and an independent business consultant, centering customer experience, data consent and privacy in his work. He has led workplace equity initiatives, including founding Thrivent's Pride Business Network for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. He is committed to building better networks, capacity and intelligence so that LGBTQ+ folks can thrive now and in future generations.

    As a trans person who has been fortunate to access quality therapy, support and community, he knows it's critical to increase access for all queer and trans youth. Jason lives with roommates and three cats in South Minneapolis. In his spare time, he enjoys planting things, hiking, and making art, food, mead and music.

  • CB Baga, Secretary (they/them)
    CB Baga, Secretary (they/them)

    CB Baga is an associate at the law firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath. In 2015, CB founded the free queer/trans Legal Clinic at the Volunteer Lawyers Network to provide a gateway to legal resources to the community. In their billable career, CB works in complex commercial litigation, including insurance, sports and recreation, risk management, and complex contract disputes. In their pro bono work, CB specializes in trans community care, including brief services advice and identity document corrections. CB also volunteers to train courts, legal community, and education community to become more culturally competent with the trans and queer community. In addition to RECLAIM, CB is a board member for Gender Justice. CB joined the RECLAIM Board of Directors as a way to serve and give back to the community that raised them—because RECLAIM supports our community’s healing and can re-allocate access to healing resources despite the inequitable structures of capitalism and volunteer mutual aid. Outside of law and community work, CB is a circus artist-coach-performer and furparent.

  • Mercedes Plendl, Treasurer (she/her)
    Mercedes Plendl, Treasurer (she/her)

    Mercedes (Sadie) Plendl is the Senior Director of Programs at PFund Foundation, working to build equity in LGBTQ+ communities across the Upper Midwest. She recently completed a Master in Public Policy degree at the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota with a focus on nonprofit leadership and management. In her free time she works to empower organizations serving LGBTQ+ youth, and makes local theater with Dangerous Productions.

  • Marcus Waterbury (he/him)
    Marcus Waterbury (he/him)

    Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor at Morgan Stanley

  • Lauren Haahr (she/her)
    Lauren Haahr (she/her)

    Lauren Haahr is currently Associate Counsel at Bridgewater Bank, where she provides legal advice on banking regulations and negotiates various commercial agreements. Lauren previously worked as an associate in the Banking and Financial Services group and Corporate group at Stinson LLP and Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, respectively, focusing on complex commercial real estate lending and aircraft financing. While at Stinson LLP, Lauren enjoyed giving back to her community through her pro bono work representing children in foster care through the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota and reviewing case files for the Midwest Innocence Project. In her free time, Lauren enjoys reading queer fantasy and science fiction books and spoiling her two miniature schnauzers.

  • Catherine Tutor (she/her)
    Catherine Tutor (she/her)

    Dr. Tutor has been in the field of Special Education for over 25+ years. She earned her doctorate in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of MN – Twin Cities. She began her teaching career at a tribal reservation school teaching middle school students with SLD, FAS, ADHD, and EBD. She has taught students with Severe and Profound Disabilities. Her most recent teaching experience was with elementary students with SLD, EBD, ASD, and OHD. She was a Core Faculty member at Capella University sharing her time between facilitating Residencies, chairing Doctoral committees, and the Special Education Teaching program. Currently, she is the Assessment and Licensure Director for LDA of Minnesota.

  • Richard Leyva (he/him)
    Richard Leyva (he/him)

    Richard is a native Californian, and a fairly recent transplant to the Twin Cities. Richard is a licensed Landscape Architect and owner of the firm Leyva & Wilde, Inc. in Southern California. Leyva & Wilde Inc. has specialized in large-scale estate development and renovation of historic properties. Richard has additionally had the opportunity to serve in leadership positions within a number of LGBTQ+ social service and political organizations in Orange County, California including: LGBTQ Center Orange County, Eleanor Roosevelt Democratic Club, AIDS Walk Orange County, Human Rights Campaign, and more. Richard has also volunteered on a number of campaigns for social justice in Minnesota, most notably the campaign for the freedom to marry. In this challenging time in which we are living, Richard believes it is vital to stand up for our queer and trans community, especially our youth, providing services that allow for vibrant lives of self-determination, opportunity, and dignity. Richard lives in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis with his husband, Senator Scott Dibble.

  • Jenny DeBower (she/her)
    Jenny DeBower (she/her)

    Jenny DeBower, LGSW, is a social worker, artist and activist. Jenny has over 20 years of experience working in youth development, including leadership positions at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, the LGBT Community Center, Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, and the Center for Anti-Violence Education. Currently she is a curriculum developer for Wonderplay Brands. In addition, she is working with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, home of the Harvey Milk High School, on a national project to help LGBTQ+ youth heal from disenfranchised and collective grief. In it, participants explore marginalized ancestors who found the power to transform grief into secret societies, rebellions, poetry, music, visual art, and ballroom culture. A PhD student, Jenny is completing a dissertation called Stealthy ninjas and magical girls: Imagination and fantasy as survival strategies documenting how transgender and nonbinary young people imagine, craft, and battle their way into existence in a hostile world. She loves painting, science fiction, miniature dachshunds, indie films, and social justice.

RECLAIM's Board at Celebrate the Love 2024

RECLAIM's Board at Celebrate the Love 2024