Our Team Hero

Our Team

The people behind the data

We’re dedicated. We’re smart. We love our work. 

Get to know us.

We’re dedicated. We’re smart. We love our work. 

Get to know us.

Harlan Luxenberg

Harlan Luxenberg

President & CEO

Problem solver in chief

Harlan leads and contributes to many projects in evaluation and software development. He’ll do whatever it takes to keep his clients and staff happy and prides himself on making the impossible possible.

Harlan received his master’s degree in evaluation studies with a focus on quantitative methods from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in educational policy and educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin.

"I am passionate about supporting local and organic farms, cooking slow food meals, and leading PDA’s green initiatives."

Julie Rainey

Julie Rainey

Vice President

Quitline guru and unofficial PDA historian

Julie oversees PDA’s evaluation division and takes a lead role on tobacco cessation evaluations. She is also PDA’s HIPAA compliance officer and leads data privacy efforts.

Julie holds a bachelor of arts with majors in sociology and philosophy from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota.

"I am a scooter geek. I own three scooters (not mopeds!) and travel each summer to scooter rallies to ride and hang out with my fellow scooter geeks."

Becky Lien

Becky Lien

Director of Statistics and Research

Enthusiastic researcher and motivating manager

Becky leads analyses for evaluation and research clients, providing expertise in quantitative analysis and survey methodology. She manages PDA’s team of analysts and has been on our team since 2008.

Becky has a master of public health degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in physics from Carleton College.

"I revel in the vacation planning process: creating spreadsheets, comparing flight and lodging options, clipping travel articles. SQUEE!"

Melissa Chapman Haynes

Melissa Chapman Haynes

Director of Evaluation

Advocate of evaluation use, with a hint of fun

Melissa designs, implements, and leads multiple evaluation projects. She oversees staff evaluators and manages the broader direction and activities of the evaluation division.

Melissa holds a doctorate in psychological and quantitative foundations with an emphasis in evaluation from the University of Iowa.

"In college I majored in English and psychology, and I still pay close attention to the way literature depicts mental health, especially as compared to how fields like psychology discuss it."

Amy Kerr

Amy Kerr

Director of Evaluation

Thoughtful investigator and data enthusiast

Amy designs, implements, and leads multiple public health evaluation projects. She oversees staff evaluators and manages the broader direction and activities of the evaluation division.

Amy has her doctorate in social psychology with fellowship training in evaluation from Loyola University Chicago.

"I love the Kentucky Derby! Growing up around Louisville made me a devotee of the most exciting two minutes in sports."

Sara Richter

Sara Richter

Senior Statistician II

SAS Wizard

Sara uses her advanced statistical programming skills in SAS to support a wide variety of evaluation and health care research projects through data cleaning, statistical analysis, and manuscript writing.

Sara earned her master’s degree in statistics from the University of Minnesota and her bachelor’s in mathematics and economics from St. Olaf College.

"When I’m not traveling, you can find me preparing my costume for the next comic book convention and expanding my board game collection."

Traci Capesius

Traci Capesius

Senior Evaluator II

Thoughtful planner and relationship builder. Health equity advocate

Since joining the PDA evaluation crew in 2005, Traci has been involved in leading, designing, and implementing evaluations of single, multisite, and statewide health promotion and disease prevention initiatives.

Traci holds a master’s in public health in community health education from the University of Minnesota.

"I love Corgis. More Corgis. Dogs. Cats. Fuzzy animals, in general."

Steve Strand

Steve Strand

Senior Software Developer II

Passionate developer of clean, efficient, and meaningful software

Steve is involved in all aspects of software architecture and development. He’s skilled in effective automated testing, continuous integration, and continuous delivery.

Steve holds a bachelor of arts in information systems/computer science from Calvin College.

"My passions are Mozart and motorcycles. I’ve been actively playing the cello since I was a kid. My motorcycle provides fun in the warmer months."

Emily Subialka Nowariak

Emily Subialka Nowariak

Senior Evaluator II

Adept project manager, information synthesizer, and problem solver

Joining PDA in 2007, Emily leads multiple large-scale evaluation projects. She adeptly manages projects and is a master at conveying complex information in a clear and friendly way. With a passion for accessibility and use, Emily rolls out innovative strategies for data collection, stakeholder engagement, and dissemination of findings.

Emily has a master’s degree in organizational leadership, policy and development (evaluation studies) with a minor in quantitative methods in education, and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with a management minor, both from the University of Minnesota.

"I am a board game nut. The longer and more complex, the better."

Andy Raddatz

Andy Raddatz

Senior Software Developer II

Creative technologist putting bits and bytes together in the best ways

Andy contributes to the design and implementation of PDA’s software projects through technical leadership, architecture planning, and software craftsmanship. Andy is a full stack developer with primary strengths in .NET MVC applications.

"I love all things music including learning about and discussing the history, theory, composition, engineering, and synthesis of sound."

Vincent Yoong

Vincent Yoong

Senior Business Analyst II

Business technology translator and organizer

Vince works with stakeholders to understand their business needs and writes clear specifications for new features. He guides the software development team in planning and building software updates following his and team-members’ specifications.

Vince holds a bachelor of business administration in management information systems from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

"I’m a jack-of-all-trades and enjoy learning all about different hobbies and skills. My current focuses include woodworking and board games."

Angie Ficek

Angie Ficek

Senior Evaluator I

Information design guru who makes evaluation findings clear, useful, and actionable

Angie’s main role is managing the evaluation of a community grants initiative in Hawai‘i that provides in-person tobacco cessation counseling to priority populations. She also leads our data visualization efforts by inspiring, training, and creating tools for her colleagues.

Angie holds a master’s in public health (community health education) from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s in psychology from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

"Group fitness classes are my jam, my therapy, my LIFE. Boot camp, spin, yoga – you name it, I’ll do it! But only in the morning."

Katherine Rehorst

Katherine Rehorst

Senior Analyst I

The lady behind the numbers

Katherine joined PDA in 2009 and oversees data collection, processing, investigation, and analysis on evaluation projects. She has a passion for public health and working with clients on both analysis and evaluation tasks.

Katherine earned her master of public health in community health promotion with an interdisciplinary focus on health equity from the University of Minnesota. Katherine is certified in public health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners (NBPHE license number 12828). She received her bachelor’s degree in behavioral science from Grand Valley State University.

"Math/stats puns will always make me laugh, no matter how terrible — which raises the question, “Are statisticians normal?”"

Tia Bastian

Tia Bastian

Senior Evaluator I

Asker of questions — lots and lots of questions — that make people think

Tia helps clients answer questions and make decisions that improve public health, working with her PDA teammates to design and conduct evaluations.

Tia holds a master of public health in environmental health from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of arts in biology from Luther College. She is currently a doctoral candidate in epidemiology at the University of Minnesota.

"I carry hand sanitizer everywhere — in my car, purse, backpack, jacket pockets, desk, and anywhere else I can sneak it."

Heather Zook

Heather Zook

Evaluator I

Survey nerd and aspiring data visualizer

Since joining PDA in 2015, Heather has supported multiple evaluations of statewide public health programs. She supports all aspects of the evaluation, but specializes in survey management and presenting data in visually appealing ways.

Heather has a master of arts degree in evaluation studies from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology with a Spanish minor from Taylor University.

"I’m a dedicated dog mom to Rig (see below). She enjoys attending PDA meetings, eating out at restaurants, and teaching her little (human) brother to play fetch."

Mitch Ellingson

Mitch Ellingson

Software Developer I

Solver of complex problems with simple solutions

Mitch helps design and write software that supports our clients’ goals. He is a full stack developer with expertise in Microsoft technologies.

Mitch has a bachelor of science degree in computer science from North Dakota State University

"Music, photography, and the outdoors are my passions. If I have a guitar in my hands or I’m walking through the woods, I’m happy!"

Sam Friedrichsen

Sam Friedrichsen

Analyst I

Tamer of unruly spreadsheets

Sam conducts data processing, sampling, and quantitative analysis for evaluation and research projects at PDA.

Sam earned her master of public health (epidemiology) degree with a minor in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota. Her bachelor’s degree is in Spanish culture and literature with a minor in community health education from the University of St. Thomas.

"I love documentaries and podcasts - food, psychology, environment, politics, animals…you name it."

Kelly Laurel

Kelly Laurel

Operations Manager

Behind the scenes planner, organizer, and doer

Kelly keeps the business humming, using her skills in human resources, operations, and a variety of special projects.

Kelly holds a master’s in business administration and a bachelor of science in business with a major in human resources and industrial relations, both from the University of Minnesota.

"Clean beauty is my jam. I read the ingredients on every cosmetic, lotion, shampoo — you name it — that comes into my house."

Heidi Strater

Heidi Strater

Office Manager

Bookkeeper and go-to person for office operations

Heidi is responsible for all things accounting, from receivables and payables to staff payroll and financial reporting. In addition, Heidi handles benefit administration and ensures the office runs smoothly. We would all be lost without Heidi.

Heidi has an associate’s degree in accounting.

"In my free time I research tax law. I want to understand and utilize every possible advantage."

Polly DuRose

Polly DuRose

Survey Coordinator and Interviewer

Getting all up in your business, but not telling a soul

Polly has managed the day-to-day survey responsibilities for our Florida and Oklahoma projects since joining PDA in August 2012. Additionally, she facilitates work with our Hawai‘i and Florida contractors. Polly has the gift of gab and excels at getting survey respondents to open up to her.

"I’m the grammar police; typos drive me crazy."

Audrey Hanson

Audrey Hanson

Evaluation Intern

Evaluation protégé and avid learner

Audrey assists with multiple evaluation projects and completes telephone surveys for one of our evaluation clients. Audrey is eager to learn and help, diving in on any task that needs to be done.

Audrey is completing her master of public health in maternal and child health at the University of Minnesota with a minor in program evaluation. She holds a bachelor of arts in international studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a minor in global health.

"I love Minnesota and being Minnesotan. I am a Minnesota activity enthusiast (state fair, lake life, winter sports, etc.)."

Saahithi Rao

Saahithi Rao

Analyst Intern

Apprentice to the number crunchers

Saahithi assists the statistics and research team with data cleaning and processing. Although she is still in college, she is already experienced in R, Java, JavaScript, and Python.

Saahithi will be graduating in June 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in statistics and a minor in Spanish from Carleton College.

"I enjoy reading memoirs – I like gaining insight into other people’s perspectives and experiences! "

Allison Wolf

Allison Wolf

Survey Interviewer

Encouraging individuals to open up about their experiences with tobacco

Allison surveys individuals in Florida and Oklahoma, working to reach successful return rates however she can.

Allison earned her master of public health in community health promotion in 2017 and her bachelors of arts in sociology and public health studies in 2015. Additionally, she maintains certifications in public health and health education.

"I follow Minnesota United FC and the Minnesota Timberwolves devoutly, regardless of their end-of-season record and player disputes."

Mary Kim

Mary Kim

Survey Interviewer

Charming enough to complete surveys even after being hung up on the day before!

Mary completes telephone surveys to support evaluation projects in Florida and Oklahoma. She enjoys working directly with the community to improve health and brings a friendly, enthusiastic attitude to PDA.

Mary holds a bachelor of science in kinesiology and health from Iowa State University.

"I love collecting kitchen appliances like a popcorn maker, ice cream maker, SodaStream, panini maker, and more."

Chloe Kerr

Chloe Kerr

Senior Woofer

Human snuggler and food scrounger

Chloe provides stress relief to anyone who wants to pet her. She is known for her extra soft fur and calm demeanor. She is happiest when she's sleeping near her mom's feet.

"I love to pick up socks and gently carry them to my doggy bed. You know I like you when I steal your socks!"

Rig Zook

Rig Zook

Chief Cuteness Officer

High-energy greeting committee

Rig joined PDA as a puppy in 2016. She provides tail wags, licks, and emotional support to the evaluation team.

Rig is a puppy training school dropout (the instructor made mom cry!), but she is self-taught in sit, stay, down, and shake.

"I love food. And people. But mostly food."


Ready to Join Us?

We’re always looking for smart, dedicated people to join our growing team. We enjoy standing desks, co-woofers, and views of the Mississippi River from our office in Northeast Minneapolis. Will you be the next to join our team?

See Open Positions