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Serving the four southeast Minneapolis neighborhoods


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Executive Director


Brandon moved to the Highland neighborhood of Saint Paul from Iowa with his wife in 2012 to begin his Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at St. Kate’s. He began work at the Minnesota Autism Center as an occupational therapist in 2015. Brandon served as an elected At-Large board member of the Highland District Council on their engagement committee and helped found the neighborhood non-profit Sustain Ward 3 (now Sustain Saint Paul).


Prior to serving as NENA’s new Executive Director, he served in the same role with the Union Park District Council. Brandon is also a graduate of Neighborhoods Now!, the grassroots organizing training program through the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.


With a history of proactive leadership and community involvement, we are confident that Brandon will help to further NENA’s goals to promote neighborhood connections and implement our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan.

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Program & Communication Manager

Sarah Friedman

After obtaining her Bachelor’s in English, Sarah moved to Minnesota in 2019 to pursue her Master’s degree in Public Policy with a concentration in nonprofit management at the University of Minnesota.

Sarah has lived on four continents, most notably, she lived in Ukraine for three years while serving with the Peace Corps. Sarah continues to help her friends in Ukraine by working with other returned Peace Corps Volunteers and community members to raise awareness and funds for Ukraine. One of these projects is publishing a Ukrainian cookbook that directly funds grants given to Ukrainians.

In her spare time, Sarah plays with her one-year-old  and is often rock climbing, hiking, running, or hiding behind her massive camera in attempts to take a photo of the same object about one hundred times.

Community Organizer

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NENA Member

NENA is comprised of members, people like you who live, work or own property in the Nokomis East area.

Join our neighborhood association today by signing up below. You may also sign up to join at NENA meetings, events and the Annual Meeting.

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