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

Joining PDA in 2011, Melissa contributes to the leadership of the evaluation division by managing projects and teams and supporting our business development efforts. Melissa is responsible for planning and implementing several large scale, multi-component projects.

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."

Kelly Laurel

Kelly Laurel

Director of Operations and Human Resources

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."

Andy Raddatz

Andy Raddatz

Director of Software Development

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."

Emily Subialka Nowariak

Emily Subialka Nowariak

Associate Director of Evaluation

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."

Steve Strand

Steve Strand

Chief Software Architect

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."

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."

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."

Angie Ficek

Angie Ficek

Senior Evaluator II

Data Viz Whiz

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."

Jen Pelletier

Jen Pelletier

Senior Evaluator II

Big picture thinker who isn’t afraid of the details

Jen evaluates state and local health promotion initiatives with a focus on active transportation, healthy food access, and chronic disease prevention. She helps clients clarify their goals and ask the right questions to better understand their impact.

Jen holds a doctorate in social and behavioral epidemiology and a master of public health in community health promotion, both from the University of Minnesota.

"I make oven and stovetop schedules for large holiday meals so everything is ready to serve at the same time. Family and friends may laugh, but I know deep down they appreciate it."

Kate LaVelle

Kate LaVelle

Senior Evaluator II

Connector of ideas and research design devotee

Kate contributes to multiple statewide public health initiatives at PDA. She strives to build evaluation capacity within organizations by working with stakeholders to create meaningful questions and help them use evaluation processes and findings. She enjoys developing research designs to effectively address stakeholders’ questions.

Kate holds doctorate in applied developmental psychology with an emphasis in program evaluation from Claremont Graduate University.

“Every weekend, I look forward to having a quiet moment in the morning when I can sit by the window with a cup of tea and read my New Yorker and Atlantic magazines.”

Belle Federman

Belle Federman

Senior Evaluator II

Detail-oriented thinker and data advocate

Belle contributes to the design and implementation of multiple statewide evaluation initiatives in tobacco and chronic disease. With a background in public health research and practice, she is passionate about finding ways to make evaluation data and findings usable for stakeholders.

Belle holds a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health with an emphasis in psychiatric and substance use epidemiology and a bachelor's degree in psychology and English literature from Swarthmore College.

"I love competitive Boggle games with my family and planning trips (managing logistics, finding bargains, and researching off the beaten path gems)."

Anne Schwalbe

Anne Schwalbe

Senior Evaluator I

Purveyor of nuanced data stories

Anne manages and supports multiple evaluation and strategic planning projects for state and national public health initiatives. She strives to balance inclusivity and consensus with efficiency and action through thoughtful stakeholder engagement and intentional use of data to move projects forward.

Anne holds a master degree in program evaluation from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor degree in English and German literature from the University of Richmond. Anne is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

"I love lifting heavy things: kettlebells, Crossfit, powerlifting, anything with weights! I was the first-ever Scott County Fair Strongman Women’s Champion in 2015."

Mindy Krakow

Mindy Krakow

Senior Health Communications Researcher I

Media maven, advocate for effective communication campaigns

Mindy evaluates public health communication campaigns and researches strategies for reaching audiences across a complex media landscape.

Mindy earned her master of arts in radio and television at San Francisco State University, a doctorate in communication at the University of Utah (with an emphasis in health communication and quantitative research), and a master of public health at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

"I’m always on the lookout for my next fun arts and crafts obsession! Most recent: modern calligraphy, concrete pottery, macrame, and 3D printing. "

Heather Zook

Heather Zook

Senior Evaluator I

Advocate for equity and data viz

Since joining PDA in 2015, Heather has supported multiple evaluations of statewide public health programs. She has experience in tobacco cessation, chronic disease prevention and management, systems change, behavioral health, and social services, with a special interest in programs that promote equity.

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.

"My latest hobby is houseplants - researching, propagating, and slowly turning my home into a jungle. In my free time, you can find me at a greenhouse or garden center."

Alyce Eaton

Alyce Eaton

Senior Evaluator I

Meticulous keeper of the surveys

Alyce manages PDA’s survey instruments and protocol across a variety of projects, as well as contributing to other aspects of several evaluations. She is focused on getting the details exactly right so that overarching themes and evaluation findings can emerge.

Alyce holds a master’s degree in human rights, focused on research and evaluation methods, from the University of Minnesota, as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science and mathematics/statistics from Grinnell College.

"I love exploring the Twin Cities by bus, bike, or on foot! One of my favorite weekend activities is to pack a book and some coffee and wander through a part of town I’m not familiar with."

Ellen Squires

Ellen Squires

Senior Evaluator I

Mixed methods devotee, evaluator of-all-trades

Ellen is involved in evaluating several statewide public health initiatives at PDA. She is especially interested in mixed methods and in leveraging principles of utilization-focused evaluation to provide actionable insights to clients.

Ellen earned her master of public health, specializing in health metrics and evaluation, from The University of Washington and her bachelor of arts in biology and environmental studies from St. Olaf College.

“I am an avid crossword puzzler, and start my mornings early with The New York Times puzzle and a strong cup of coffee.”

Mitch Ellingson

Mitch Ellingson

Software Developer II

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!"

Audrey Hanson

Audrey Hanson

Evaluator I

Skilled listener and synthesizer

Audrey supports multiple evaluation projects at PDA. She enjoys the variety of different projects and helping clients answer their evaluation questions through thoughtful data collection and interpreting findings together in meaningful ways.

Audrey has a master of public health in maternal and child health and a minor in program evaluation from the University of Minnesota. She also 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.)."

Liz Anderson Willey

Liz Anderson Willey

Evaluator I

Wades into complexity and emerges with clarity

Liz is excited to bring her government and nonprofit background to support the impactful and fascinating work of PDA's clients. She is passionate about centering equity, systems-level approaches, creating meaning out of data, and utilization-focused evaluation.

Liz has a master of public administration with an emphasis on policy analysis and evaluation from the University of Washington - Seattle.

"I like to cook a new tasty vegetarian dish every week and give the leftover fresh herbs to my bunny friends, Marvin and Alice."

Calvin Knickerbocker

Calvin Knickerbocker

Business Analyst I

Detail oriented and ensures users have the best experience

Calvin works with our clients and users and communicates their needs with our development team through open lines of dialogue and technical requirement writing.

Calvin graduated from St. Olaf college with a bachelor of arts while double majoring in economics and dance w/ a minor in statistics.

"Everything needs a spreadsheet. From budgeting to trip planning to just playing video games. I need everything organized and planned out in a color-coded spreadsheet."

Ariana Beattie

Ariana Beattie

Associate Evaluator II

Merging data with context

Ariana supports evaluation initiatives for tobacco cessation, active transportation, and nutrition assistance programs around the country. She is passionate about pursuing just and equitable outcomes for immigrants, BIPOC communities, and other historically marginalized populations.

Ariana holds a master of public health in epidemiology with a minor in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor of science in community health from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

"I am a television enthusiast/encyclopedia. To me, TV is high art."

Gabriel Anderson

Gabriel Anderson

Associate Evaluator II

Practical and process-oriented

Gabriel supports statewide evaluation efforts with current roles in tobacco control/cessation-related work.

Gabriel holds a master's degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, as well as a master of fine arts from the University of Iowa.

"I love running outdoors, especially in the wintertime. There’s just something really satisfying with leaving shoeprints in freshly fallen snow."

Cat Jones

Cat Jones

Associate Evaluator II

Passionate about using data to inform decision making

Cat assists with the evaluation of statewide tobacco prevention and cessation projects. She is passionate about using evaluation to identify and address health inequities.

Cat holds a master of public health degree with a concentration in biostatistics from Indiana University. She also holds a bachelor of science degree in psychology with a certificate in clinical psychological science and a minor in criminal justice.

"I spend my free time watching comedy series, reading, and thinking about Garfield."

Lily Dunk

Lily Dunk

Associate Analyst I

Clean code and tidy data fanatic

Lily assists with data cleaning, processing, and analysis for evaluation and statistics projects at PDA.

Lily holds a bachelor of science in psychology and a bachelor of arts in computer science from the University of Minnesota.

"I'm constantly reading, usually at least a book a week. I love a good memoir or novel."

Chris DeFoe

Chris DeFoe

Associate Developer I

Quality and Process Enthusiast

Chris works as a full stack developer helping to create software that fulfills PDA’s clients’ requirements. Chris has a background in automated testing and a focus on delivering quality.

Chris has a bachelor of science in management information systems from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

"Outside of work Chris spends his time tending his bonsai trees, playing guitar, and planning his next opportunity to travel and go scuba diving."

Alison Saxton

Alison Saxton

Associate Business Analyst I

Information magpie extraordinaire

With prior experience in the medical device industry, Alison is involved in the translation of client needs into software development changes. She is skilled in the art of turning complex information into well-formatted and easily understandable documentation.

Alison holds a bachelor of science in professional communication and emerging media from the University of Wisconsin - Stout with an emphasis in technical communication.

"I am an avid cosplayer, specializing in detailed sewing and tailoring projects. I love finding new ways to approach the craft utilizing technological advances."

Mengting Zhao

Mengting Zhao

Assistant Analyst II

Cleaning data and digging SAS

Mengting assists with data cleaning and quantitative analysis for statistical projects at PDA.

Mengting holds dual bachelor of science degrees in actuarial science and statistics from the University of Minnesota. She is currently pursuing a master of science in biostatistics from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

"I enjoy traveling. My goal is to travel the world and my hobby is exploring the restaurants around me."

Poonam Rawat

Poonam Rawat

Assistant Evaluator I

An avid learner who loves to connect different dots

Poonam supports evaluation projects for chronic disease prevention and management with two of our state partners. She is passionate about utilizing program evaluation strategies to improve outcomes for under-resourced communities.

Poonam holds a bachelor's degree in biology and political science from St. Olaf College.

"I love making pros and cons lists anytime I am stuck between choices and that makes decision-making a little less overwhelming for me."

Ronan Murray

Ronan Murray

Assistant Evaluator I

Using data for positive impact

Ronan supports various evaluation projects related to tobacco cessation and substance abuse prevention. He is a strong believer in the power of evaluation to create positive change.

Ronan holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology, with a concentration in race and ethnic studies, from St. Olaf College.

"I love cross stitching and hope to learn how to embroider. There’s something very satisfying about being able to watch yourself turn an empty canvas into an image or fun design!"

Heidi Strater

Heidi Strater

Bookkeeper

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."

Jacob Headley

Jacob Headley

Network Administrator

Keeps everything turned on and running smoothly

Jake supports, monitors, and manages all aspects of PDA’s IT infrastructure.

Jake has an associate's degree from Minnesota State and numerous IT certificates.

"I am an avid board and card gamer. I love figuring out how to best navigate complex systems."

Polly DuRose

Polly DuRose

Senior Interviewer

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

Polly has the gift of gab and excels at getting survey respondents to open up to her. She managed the day-to-day survey responsibilities for our Florida and Oklahoma projects for nearly a decade and now focuses her talents primarily on making survey calls (and caring for her sweet grandbabies!).

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

Antiquita Flint

Antiquita Flint

Administrative Assistant

Doing the admin tasks and so much more

Antiquita supports everyone at PDA by keeping our office in top shape. She tackles any and all tasks with a positive attitude and a smile on her face. Antiquita also supports our evaluation projects by completing survey calls and assisting with the survey process.

"I own my own clothing brand and use fashion as a coping mechanism for stress and free time."

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