2023 Board Members

Jordan Gilgenbach, president
Digital Communications Coordinator
City of Minneapolis
612-673-2148
jordan.gilgenbach@minneapolismn.gov

Term expires December 2023

Jordan Gilgenbach has been the Digital Communications Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis since September 2016, and focuses primarily on web, social and other digital communications strategy and implementation. Jordan has spent his entire career in local government communications, previously having worked for the City of Edina, Minn. as Communications Coordinator.

Ari Lyksett, vice president, northern lights co-chair

City of Chanhassen
952-227-1116
alyksett@ci.chanhassen.mn.us

Term expires December 2023

Ari Lyksett joined the City of Chanhassen in July of 2021 as the Communications Manager, and focuses primarily on managing web, print, video, and digital communications. In addition, Lyksett is responsible for creating internal and external communications, press releases, strategic communication plans, and serves as brand manager.

Lyksett has nearly a decade of experience in communications, serving non-profits and government agencies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She is a trained ToPs Facilitator and serves as the Digital Media Specialist for the Youth in Government Program.



Will Rottler, treasurer  
Communications & Events Specialist
City of Columbia Heights
763-706-3614
wrottler@columbiaheightsmn.gov

Term expires December 2023

Will Rottler joined the City of Columbia Heights as the Communications and Events Specialist in March 2020. Will manages social media accounts, creates content for the newsletter and website, and oversees citywide events.

Prior to joining local government, he worked at his alma mater, Minnesota Morris, and Penn State in the athletic communications field.

Will has a Bachelor of Arts in communications, media, and rhetoric from the University of Minnesota Morris, and a Master of Science in journalism from South Dakota State University.


Kaili Braa, CAPM, secretary
Administrative-Communications Coordinator
Dakota County Community Development Agency
651-675-4432
kbraa@dakotacda.state.mn.us

Term expires December 2023

As part of the administration team at the Dakota County Community Development Agency (CDA), one of Kaili’s many tasks is the coordination of internal and external communications and information, whether on the intranet or agency’s website, or larger initiatives such as events and special projects. In addition, Kaili is the assistant to the executive director and clerk to the CDA Board of Commissioners, and assists with human resources and records management needs.

Kaili has a Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University - Mankato, and two professional certificates from the University of Minnesota: one in communications and one in project management. She also holds a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential through the Project Management Institute (PMI), and has served on the MAGC Fall Conference Committee for two years prior to joining the board.


Ashley Klemer, northern lights co-chair
Communications Specialist
City of Bloomington
952-563-8818
aklemer@bloomingtonmn.gov

Term expires December 2023

Ashley is the City of Bloomington’s main writer and photographer, responsible for producing and editing content for two monthly newsletters, annual reports, press releases and the occasional social media post. She’s passionate about showing the human side of local government and making connections between communities through storytelling.

Ashley has a BA in english literature from the University of Minnesota—Duluth. She is a trained ToPs facilitator. Ashley has also served on the MAGC Northern Lights Committee for four years and the communications committee for three years before joining the board. 


Carolyn Marinan, past president
Chief Public Relations Officer
Hennepin County
612-348-5969
Carolyn.Marinan@hennepin.us

Term expires December 2024

Carolyn Marinan is the chief public relations officer for Hennepin County. She has worked in communications in the county since 1998. Previously Carolyn spent nearly 20 years in television news and promotion at WCCO TV, KSTP TV and KARE 11. She’s done talk radio and produced and hosted a local travel show on TPT. Her numerous awards include a New York Film Festival award, Telly Awards, Best of Gannett and AP. Carolyn serves on the National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO) Board of Directors.

Carolyn graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in speech-communication. She remains involved with mentoring students at the University of Minnesota along with being active in the Hennepin University Partnership. She lends her time as well to other worthwhile causes in need of communications and public relations.

Jenna Bowman, at-large
Communications & Engagement Manager/Interim Communications Director
City of Rochester
507-328-2913
JBowman@rochestermn.gov

Term expires December 2024

Jenna joined the City of Rochester in July of 2018 as City’s first ever Communications & Engagement Manager.  She recently stepped into the role of Strategic Communications & Engagement Director.  Jenna led the organization through a branding process and website redesign. 

The City of Rochester has been focused on growing digital engagement channels and also has added a digital engagement tool.  Jenna serves as the organization’s lead Public Information Officer. 


Brad Phenow, northern lights committee co-chair
City of Faribault
Communications Coordinator
507-384-0516
bphenow@ci.faribault.mn.us

Term expires December 2024

Brad Phenow joined the City of Faribault as the Communications Coordinator in May 2017 and manages the various City social media accounts and City webpage. As the only communications employee within the City, he leads all communications and engagement efforts and often finds himself assisting other departments finding new ways the market the City. Brad is passionate about humanizing government and getting community members involved.

Prior to joining local government, he worked as a reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio before joining the Faribault Daily News as the regional editor.

Brad holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he also played hockey. Brad has served on the MAGC Northern Lights Committee and often leads informational sessions on improving accessibility in local government.


Katie Bengtson, fall conference co-chair  
Communications Coordinator
City of Mendota Heights
651-255-1357
KBengtson@MendotaHeightsMN.gov

Term expires December 2024

Katie joined the City of Mendota Heights as communications coordinator in 2022, having previously served as senior communications coordinator with the City of Eden Prairie for more than 14 years. She has more than 23 years of experience in communications, marketing and public relations, having worked in retail and restaurant marketing prior to joining the government communications field in 2007.

Katie holds a Master’s Degree in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota, a Bachelor’s Degree in education from St. Cloud State University, and she is accredited by the International Association of Business Communicators. Katie served as a Public Information Officer with the Minn. All-Hazards Incident Management Team and volunteers as a family support specialist with Backing the Blue Line: Police Wives of Minnesota.


Ben Hayle, fall conference co-chair  

Communications Manager
City of Blaine
Communications Division
763-785-6181
bhayle@blainemn.gov

Term expires December 2024

Ben Hayle is currently the Communications Manager for the City of Blaine. Ben has been with Blaine since 2018 after spending 14 years in community television as a news anchor and producer.

Ben’s responsibilities in Blaine include overseeing the organization’s internal and external communications strategy and content. Additionally, Ben provides communications related guidance to the Blaine City Council, Blaine Police Department, Blaine emergency management team, and the City’s senior management team.

Ben has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Communications from Bethel University.


Joe Sheeran, fall conference co-chair  
Communications Manager
City of Maplewood
651-368-2951
sheeranjoe@gmail.com

Term expires December 2024

Joe has been in the communications and media relations field for more than two decades. He currently serves as the communications manager for the City of Maplewood. Joe started his career as a reporter in Sioux Falls, SD, with stops in Wichita, KS and Delaware.

He also has experience with nonprofits, as communications director of Minnesota 2020 and the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association. Joe is also a board member of Fusion Learning Partners, a nonprofit that works with governments and nonprofits to advance IT excellence, 


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