Sarah Webster Norton - Executive Director
Sarah Webster Norton has worked in the service industry for nearly 25 years. Having stumbled into activism a few years ago, she has enjoyed a personal transformation that has led her to her life’s work: helping the service industry succeed and thrive. Sarah is most concerned about the lack of benefits available to, and high-stress jobs held by, members of her beloved industry. She started a Facebook group called Service Industry Staff for Change which, to date, has over 8.000 members. Her involvement in politics has been reluctant, yet abundant, with her most notable achievement being a seat on the committee to determine sick time with the city of Minneapolis (Workplace Partnership Group, 2016). She has also started and circulated two petitions, one with 3,500 signatures and the other with over 2,000 signees. Sarah is very excited to be able to partner with the Sand Creek Group to provide much-needed mental health and workplace wellness services to industry workers. When not attempting to change the world, Sarah raises her three children (ages 21,17 and 7) with her husband Jon of 21 years.
Adam Borgen - Chairman of the Board
Adam Borgen started in the hospitality industry when he was 14 as a bus boy at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Willmar, MN. He was a utility player, and by the time he left for college at the U of MN, he was a banquet captain. Since coming to Minneapolis, he has worked the full-spectrum of restaurant life – host, wait assistant, server, barback, bartender, and manager. Adam is a bar manager, real estate agent, and Executive Director for a business association in downtown Minneapolis. He is very passionate about the culture and freedom in the service industry that other employment sectors do not have. He is currently working closely with city and state leaders in preserving and protecting the service industry way of life.
Emily OBrien - Secretary
Emily O’Brien has worked in the service industry for 14 years as both management and team member. She has worked for several restaurant groups within the Twin Cities, big and small, and is excited to embark upon what is needed currently. Emily started off with motivation from her mother who was a chef, inspired to do something really cool in the restaurant world. She feels passionate about leadership, employee satisfaction and overall happiness of all involved in our industry.
Jesse DeGross - Board Member
Jesse DeGross was raised on a dairy farm in a small town in western Wisconsin and has been working hard his entire life. He moved to downtown Minneapolis when he was 21 and had a life-changing event that got him started in the service industry. He worked at high-volume bars in downtown Minneapolis for over a decade before making the move to St. Paul. Jesse has worked in all styles of places, including nightclubs, dives, pubs and fine dining. He truly enjoys the service industry and recently purchased a resort in northern Wisconsin to live and work on with his partner Katie and young son Henry.
Josh Kirk - Board Member
Josh Kirk is a 33 year resident of Minneapolis, having worked in the service industry for the last 22 years. He started out as a teenager washing dishes and has been a lead line cook since 2012. He graduated from MCTC in 2006 with an AAS in culinary arts. Josh has developed a lifelong passion and respect for the industry, as well as a drive to be active in policy amid the shifting political landscape.
Sarah Hernandez - Board Member
Sarah Hernandez started in the service industry as a host in her hometown in Alexandria Minnesota at 15. After working up to bartending she moved to Minneapolis for a new venture. This lead into working as a server at a high volume restaurant and began a career as an event manager. Sarah now spends her time managing the front of house of local St. Paul restaurants and manages events for three places. The service industry has been a part of her life for 10 years and she believes that there are great changes coming up for the industry.
Katie Muggli - Board Member
Katie Muggli started in the service industry at 15, washing dishes at a locally owned bar and restaurant in St. Cloud, MN. She cooked for a bit before moving to the front of house where she worked as a server and bartender. She moved to Minneapolis in 2008 and has been part of the local industry since then. In 2016 she made the jump to the local beer landscape, where she works in sales. Katie is excited to be able to help create conversations that will instigate change and highlight the need for support for those who make up this vibrant industry.
Nathan McDermott – Board Member
Nate McDermott started in the industry when he was 15 at Circus Pizza. He has performed many jobs in many different restaurants since then, but has mainly been behind high-volume bars. His work as a career bartender has helped him learn the value of service, patience and adaptivity. He has extra love for craft beer, flavors and pairings. Through his travels within the industry, he has truly seen it all! Nate sincerely hopes that everyone in the service industry will soon have access to much-needed mental health services, while eliminating the stigma around asking for help. He sees our industry moving in the right direction, but knows there is still more work to do. Keeping everyone happy, safe, and laughing is his priority!
Nikki Soule – Treasurer
Nikki Soule started their journey into the hospitality industry at 15 years old, and took their first management role shortly after. 23 years later Nikki has been in management in various industries and in hospitality for the past 7 years. Recently leaving general management for facilities management, as well as co-running another business, Nikki now has time and energy to put back into our community. Nikki believes in the goal of better resources for our hard working, skilled, and often-overlooked work force. They have a passion for leading by example, bringing out the best in staff, and helping others achieve their goals both at work and beyond.