Grid of headshots of 6 new members joining the Citizens League board.

New members of the Citizens League Board of Directors begin the first year of a three-year term. Clockwise from upper left: Robert Harper, Kate Hensing-Hedrick, Theresa McCormick, Eduardo Suarez, Becky Alery Scherr, Karne Newburn.

We are thrilled to welcome these six civic, business, and community leaders to the Citizens League Board of Directors! Their community insights, experiences, expertise, fundraising support, and strategic thinking will be invaluable to advancing Citizens League’s mission and values.

Read more about our new members below, or click here for our full board of directors.


Robert Harper

Vizient, Inc.

Robert Harper serves as Sr. Program Manager of Community Contracting for Vizient, Inc. where he is focused on connecting diverse businesses with contract opportunities across Minnesota’s healthcare hub. Previously, Robert served as Senior Director of Business Consulting at MEDA where he brought capital, consulting, and contracting opportunities directly to BIPOC entrepreneurs. Robert’s career has been focused on supporting underrepresented communities through policy, advocacy, and economic development. He has consulted hundreds of entrepreneurs on wealth-accumulating strategies and his clients have been awarded $2 Million in capital and more than $500 Million in contracts in the public and private sectors. 

Robert founded R.D.T.H Consulting following the murder of George Floyd, to equip organizations across the country with the tools they need to strategically invest in Black & Brown communities. As a proud alum of our Capitol Pathways program, Robert blends forward-thinking policy expertise with responsible business techniques to drive equitable outcomes. He received his Masters in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and his Bachelors in Sociology from Augsburg University. In his free time, he can be found singing R&B classics or watching Chicago sports with his beloved Grandma.

Kate Hensing-Hedrick


Kate Hensing-Hedrick is Director, External Affairs at Comcast where she focuses on business growth while responding to the rapid and dramatic changes in the regulatory landscape on the federal, state, and local levels. This includes focusing on driving cross-functional integration and strategic program management, as well as leading programs encompassing elements of the External Affairs team and its partners. Kate also serves on Comcast’s Women’s Employee Resource Group. Prior to joining Comcast in 2013, Kate was the Committee Legislative Assistant for both the Redistricting and Education Policy Committee at the Minnesota House of Representatives. Kate attended the University of Iowa for her Master of Arts in Strategic Communication. Kate graduated with a bachelor’s in political science from the University of Iowa. 

Theresa McCormick

The Good Acre

Theresa McCormick is the Executive Director of The Good Acre, the largest nonprofit food hub in Minnesota. The mission of The Good Acre is to unlock economic opportunity for farmers through a unique combination of personalized support and market development, creating pathways to strengthen economic well-being and build generational wealth for small farmers, especially Black, Indigenous and Famers of Color. Under Theresa’s leadership, the organization unlocked more than $2 million in sales for local and emerging farmers in 2023, and the number of individual growers with sales over $15,000 has tripled since 2020. This means not only economic growth for farmers partnering with The Good Acre, but also means increased local food offerings for kids eating school meals, neighbors visiting food shelves, and TGA’s community of 600+ CSA members.

Theresa is a proven leader with experience in nonprofit fundraising, program development, and operations. She sees collaboration and partnerships as the key to creating meaningful and lasting change. In addition to joining the board of the Citizens League, she  serves on the board of the Twin Cities Agriculture Land Trust and is a past president of the Junior League of Minneapolis. She lives with her family in Northeast Minneapolis.

Karne Newburn


Karne Newburn is General Counsel of WSB, a design and consulting firm specializing in engineering, community planning, environmental, and construction services. Karne leads legal, risk management, insurance, and real estate for WSB, ensuring that legal, business, and operational risks are well anticipated, understood, and mitigated in a way to drive financial success and growth.

Prior to WSB, Karne practiced litigation and political law at Winthrop & Weinstine and McDermott Will & Emery and was Associate Counsel of Campaign Finance and Political Law for the National Association of Realtors®. Before law school, Karne served roles as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, with the Host Committee for the 2008 Republican National Convention, and as a paralegal for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Karne received her B.A. in History from Cornell University and her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three children, serves on the Foundation Board of Bethlehem Lutheran Church Twin Cities, and on the Annunciation Catholic School Council.

Becky Alery Scherr

Velocity Public Affairs

Becky Scherr is an Account Director at Velocity Public Affairs where they help clients navigate public affairs challenges and seize public relations opportunities. In her role, Becky helps create content and develop messaging in a variety of issue areas to educate the general public, inform elected officials, and activate grassroots voices for her clients. Prior to joining VPA, Becky spent a decade working in partisan politics and government. Her experience includes serving as Communication Director for Congressman Tom Emmer in Washington D.C., Campaign Manager for Congressman Jason Lewis’ re-election Campaign, and as Executive Director for the Republican Party of Minnesota. In addition to her position at VPA, Becky also serves as a co-host of “The Break Down with Brodkorb & Becky” podcast which takes aim at the returning civil discourse and open conversations to politics. The Podcast focuses on interviews with candidates, elected officials and professionals from all backgrounds and political ideology and bridging the gap of division currently facing our nation. 

Becky currently lives in Fridley with her husband, son and adorable dog.

Eduardo Suarez

Minnesota National Guard

Eduardo Suarez currently serves as the Director of Communications for the Minnesota National Guard where he oversees their DEI program, Government Relations, Public Affairs, and Joint Prevention and Support Services division. He is a 2022-23 Humphrey Policy Fellow. Since completing the program, Eduardo is intrigued by the intersection of military service, community engagement and how that can improve civic engagement.

He has over 35 years of military service and has served in a variety of traditional and non-traditional assignments. In 1996 he graduated with distinction from the University of Minnesota’s ROTC program. He has deployed several times including Bosnia Herzegovina, Iraq, and Kuwait 2011-2012. Some of his military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in architecture, and Masters degrees from Central Michigan University in Administration and the US Army War College in Strategic Studies. He also serves as president for a non-profit that provides funding to organizations that support the military connected community. Eduardo is an alumnus of the 1988 US Olympic Team. He lives near Scandia with his wife Jennifer, two dogs and two cats. They have two children, Antonio, and Maria.

Click here for a full list of current board members.