Board of Directors

Our Heart of Dance Board of Directors includes the following experienced and enthusiastic members:


Dennis Yelkin, Chair
Dennis is a small business owner and performance artist. He is a long-time fundraiser for two non-profit organizations: Park House (an outpatient facility for people living with HIV) and Patrick's Cabaret. His passion for ballroom dance led to his creation of a dance program to enhance the lives of clients of Park House. Dennis has been the Board Chair of Heart of Dance since its founding in 2015 and has also served on the board of Patrick's Cabaret.

Cecily Hines, Vice Chair 
Retired General Counsel; Former President, Minneapolis Parks Foundation; Experienced in Board Governance

Greg Warner, Secretary
Greg retired from Mayo Clinic after 33 years in several administrative positions including Chair of Human Resources and Chief Compliance Officer.  He has served as President of the Rochester Airport Commission, Commissioner on the Metropolitan Airports Commission, founding board member of the Health Care Compliance Association (now Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics), USA Dance Governing Council and President of the Pipe and North Pipe Lakes Protection and Rehabilitation District. Greg and his wife are social and competitive ballroom dancers.

Heather Harden, Treasurer
Heather’s career has included roles as a business journalist, television news anchor, and professional financial advisor. She has served as an elected official on the Bloomington City Council, as a representative to the National League of Cities, and also worked with the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Bloomington Fine Arts Council. Heather has received numerous honors and awards and is a proud recipient of the “11 Who Care” Award which recognized her outstanding contributions in the nonprofit sector.

At Large

Jonathan Brown
Jonathan Brown currently serves in the role of Site Director with Public Allies Twin Cities. He has also served in a number of areas from community organizing to coordinating outreach and financial aid training with the Illinois Student Assistant Commission, and directing Pre-Collegiate initiatives with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and University of Minnesota. Apart from his educational and non-profit experience, Jonathan is an accomplished musician, co-founder FHG Studios, and is currently founder of Praxis Group MN, a business designed to serve new entrepreneurs. Jonathan joined the board of Heart of Dance because he was so impacted by a dynamic experience with founders Ember and Andrea, and believes in the arts as a way to empower youth. 

Nell Collier
Arts Educator, Former Principal

Shane Haggerty
Vice President and Banking Manager, Professional Ballroom Dancer

Dede Ouren
Dede’s 52 year career as a Registered Nurse included work in the Emergency Room/Outpatient Department as well as Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology.  She served as Director of Medical Staff Services at the University of Minnesota-Fairview Hospital and while at Regions Hospital, her Infection Control team was awarded the Health Partners President’s Award for reducing hospital acquired infections. Dede volunteered in Tanzania several times, bringing Infection Prevention to a rural hospital in Ilula.  She currently serves on the Shoulder to Shoulder Board supporting the Ilula Hospital and School of Nursing in Tanzania. Dede is an avid amateur ballroom dancer and has competed locally with both amateur and professional partners. She is the former chair of the HOD Volunteer Engagement Committee and has volunteered as a Classroom Assistant every semester since 2015 when Heart of Dance was founded!

Patti Ross
Patti is a founding partner at MacCallum Ross, a firm that works with not-for-profit organizations to develop and implement strategic plans and identify sustainable growth opportunities. Previously, she was a Research Associate at the University of Minnesota for 14 years. She has decades of research, assessment and data analysis experience at the national, state and local level. One of her passions in life is to help organizations not only respond to the call for evidence of effectiveness but to see that, in the process of developing ways of doing this, the work of the organization itself becomes more effective, efficient and evidence-based.

Jill Smith
Jill served over 30 years on the legal staff of Mayo Clinic, including 7 years as General Counsel.  She has served on several boards including the boards the Rochester Public Library, the Rochester Airport Board,  the Ronald McDonald House, Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Rochester Better Chance and Doane University.  Jill and her husband Greg are social and competitive ballroom dancers.

Almanac, Twin Cities PBS, May 13, 2016 (Photos by C. J. Hurst)
Almanac, Twin Cities PBS, May 13, 2016 (Photos by C. J. Hurst)