Your Board of Directors

The Youth Intervention Programs Association (YIPA) values the quality organizational guidance and effective oversight its Board of Directors provides. We intentionally seek participation from a variety of individuals who share our vision and support the achievement of our mission. We work to maintain a balanced composition, representative of our diverse membership. The guiding principles below ensure the overall strength of our board and its directors.

Expertise We believe that the different skills and expertise each YIPA director brings to the table makes us a stronger, more well-rounded association. Our board includes individuals from within our association’s membership and individuals whose area of expertise is outside the field of youth work.

Inclusion We believe that diversity of race, ethnic group, age, sexual identity, and other factors are essential for ensuring the services we provide best meet the needs of our members.

Dedication Serving on YIPA’s Board of Directors is a commitment to developing one’s self personally and professionally. It represents a commitment to fostering systemic changes that will improve the lives of youth.

Advocacy Individually, and collectively, our board members wholeheartedly support who we are and what we do. Each director actively advocates on behalf of YIPA to raise awareness and influence others to support our mission, too. Directors share their sphere of influence of friends, business relationships, personal associates, and prospective supporters to advance YIPA’s mission.

Meet Your Directors

Ben Hayle

I have a passion for youth and those who work to give our youth a voice. I believe that it is every generation’s responsibility to make sure the next generation succeeds. YIPA’s mission and core values align with my own.

My Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communication and experience as a news producer and anchor for North Metro TV, helps YIPA better serve you and raise awareness about your work. My wife and I are busy raising two young boys and enjoy spending our free time trying out new fun restaurants, travelling or taking in a baseball game at Target Field.

Email me at [email protected] or call me at 612-386-0337.

Louis Ochoa Jr.
Vice President

I have a passion for public service and believe that all youth can be successful and productive citizens if given the opportunities that they need. As your board member, you can count on me to support and advocate for our youth and youth programming.

For 21 years I have worked at the Moorhead Police Department and have a bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. My experience and education help me make the right decisions when it comes to positive Youth Intervention programming. In my free time I enjoy camping, boating, fishing, ice fishing, hunting, golfing, and spending time with my family.

You can reach me by email at [email protected] or call 218-790-4054.

Chris Aldrich

I have a passion for equity and access for young people and I am honored to serve on YIPA’s board. As your board member, I am able to speak directly to the challenges you face and the support you need. Advocacy and raising awareness about Youth Intervention work are my commitment to you.

Having a B.A. in Recreational Leadership, I am currently a Youth Support Program Director with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities where I have served for 12 years. My free time is spent with my wife and son, traveling, and at summer festivals in MN.

Contact me anytime at [email protected] or 603.995.1580.

Barb Case

I’m committed to social justice and equality. Youth are the future and they deserve access to the resources and guidance necessary to get off to a good start to live a happy, productive life.

My degree from the University of Minnesota allowed me to accumulate 38 years of human services experience; eight years ago I retired. As your board member, I will work to ensure you have resources and training so young people excel educationally.

I enjoy reading, the YMCA, spending time with friends and family, and lifetime learning opportunities. I’m also involved in progressive social and political endeavors.

If you would like to contact me, just email me at [email protected] or call me at 763-753-6495

Kasia Heurh

Like you, I believe in the potential of all our young people. I benefited from youth workers and want to ensure future generations receive the same support. I believe the field of youth work is an emerging field and YIPA, along with you, are at the forefront of this work.

I’ve worked with young people for over six years. My heart for youth work is particularly for Hmong youth. I hold a Master’s Degree in Social Work and I’m an avid Green Bay Packers fan. I am married to my high school sweet heart, Susan, and father to our beautiful little girl, Kajnag.

Let me know if I can help you; [email protected] or 651- 495-1500.

Shalin Johnson

“Action taken before a loss is cheaper than action taken after a loss.” I believe that Youth Intervention is practicing personal risk management and I enjoy being an advocate for your work.

My degree is in Risk Management and Insurance. I bring that perspective to YIPA with over 29 years of experience. I’m active on various Brooklyn Park commissions and a Rotarian. In the past, I was active with the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Foundation and served as the treasurer for Bolder Options’ board of directors. My hobbies include attending various sporting events, fishing, golfing, and being outdoors as much as possible.

You can contact me at [email protected] or 612-598-3883.

Ezra Kenyanya

I believe tomorrow’s success is pegged on today’s preparation. Working with youth equips and empowers them, thus building a better tomorrow. As your board member, I’m confident we share many values regarding our young people.

I founded VUNA International and VUNA INC. to help marginalized international and local communities. My experience, coupled with my master’s degree in Community and International Development, frames my approach to working with youth. I’ll work to advance YIPA so you can be successful in your youth work.

In my spare time, I like spending time with my wife Beryl, family and friends, and playing soccer.

You can contact me at [email protected] or call 612-406-4588.

Belinda Lawrence

We share a commitment to working with youth and believe our young people need access to supportive resources to develop their inherent qualities. As your board member, I will advance YIPA’s mission through community leaders.

I bring 25 years of teaching experience to the board. Having a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and two master’s degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, and Reading and Literacy, education is very important to me and our youth need the same chance I had!

In my limited spare time, I enjoy traveling across the United States, reading, music and spending time with family and friends.

Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or 763-656-9388.

Ruth Richardson

I am committed to issues of equity and I believe that every youth should have an opportunity to succeed. I value your work and I’m confident that I make a positive contribution as your board member.

My experience as a Director at MOFAS and my Juris Doctor (JD) degree are leveraged to improve YIPA’s impact. I serve on a variety of councils such as the African American Low Birth Weight Advisory Council and the Minnesota Judicial Branch Committee for Equality and Justice. I am the mother of two and enjoy spending time with family and friends and serve as a volunteer frequently.

If you need to contact me, email me at [email protected] or call 651-917-2370.