MN Board

MN Board


These amazing people have enthusiastically come together to serve the mission of Simon Says Give with their individual passions and talents. Because of them, there are tens of thousands of children that benefit from Simon Says Give. We love our board! Please take time to meet them.


Meet the Minnesota Team



Mandi Simon

Founder and Chief Charity Officer

Mandi Simon, currently a junior at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. While attending college, she will be supporting the organization virtually in any way she can. In the summer of 2024, she will come home to support the 12th Annual High Five for Supplies Drive and work with our non-profit partners to distribute backpacks.



President and Chairman of the Board

Dina not only brings the dedication and passion of her daughter’s vision to the organization but also her business and leadership capabilities. With more than 30 years of sales and leadership experience, she brings her strategic expertise to the organization, striving to break through to the next level of growth. She believes Simon Says Give will help grow the next generation of leaders by providing the opportunity for children to develop essential life skills and a passion for giving back for the greater good.


Lou Abramowski

Vice Chairman

Lou Abramowski, aka hotlou, has spent the last decade creating and supporting companies in the social space. Lou is a MN Cup Winner, former Co-Founder of social commerce startup 8thBridge, Founder & CEO of Evergreen and chief adviser to many emerging and national client companies. He is one of the most passionate entrepreneurs that cares deeply about the bigger picture and contributing to the greater good. He is an honorary “uncle” to Mandi and now official board member working hard to support her vision. Lou sits on our Board as the Vice Chairman.


Bryan Altman


Bryan Altman has worked for the past decade to help parents and children navigate the unique challenges of divorce and co-parenting. Now he’s translating that experience to help Mandi and Simon Says Give serve underprivileged children of all backgrounds. When Dina put the word out that SSG needed a treasurer, a mutual friend thought of Bryan immediately. After one meeting they knew it was a great fit. Bryan is the Chief Operating Officer of where he manages sales, service, product design and user experience. As a leader in a start up, and now striving small company, he understands how to hone a great idea and take it to the next level.


Brittany Lloyd


Brittany is our amazing Secretary for SSG. Since the beginning she and her entire family have been volunteers and have offered huge support to us. In addition to being a volunteer, mom & wife, Brittany is a Director with Huron Consulting Group.  Brittany's team at Huron focuses on transformation in the Higher Education industry with a specific focus on the student experience.   Brittany's past experience includes working for MHealth Fairview helping to transform patient experiences with healthcare through people, process and technology innovation, serving as the Associate CIO at the University of Minnesota, and working for Arthur Andersen. Brittany loves seeing the direct impact of Mandi's vision continue to grow and evolve every year.


Paula Praska


Paula first volunteered with us filling backpacks at a High Five for Supplies in 2014. She has stayed engaged with us ever since. She was a key volunteer at our World’s Largest Birthday Celebration at Mall of America in 2017 and our Guinness World Record event in 2018. 

In addition to her role on our Board of Directors, Paula has been leading our Birthday Celebrations Team handling our Salesforce CRM, logistics and distribution of birthdays to our families as well as overseeing our team at large. Paula is an experienced IT Professional currently serving Dakota County. She has deep experience in ERP solutions and 3rd party application technologies having worked for large organizations including Carlson, GMAC ResCap, Norstan Consulting, and G&K Services. Her communication skills, attention to detail, and behind the scenes efforts are an asset to SSG. She shares Mandi’s vision that every child deserves to celebrate their birthday.


Ben Hanson


We met Ben through our BOLD connections at the ACG MN Chapter. He was so inspired by the work that we were doing, especially around the gift of birthday celebrations that he had to be a part of what we were living-out. As a member of our Board of Directors, he oversees our expansion and growth to other areas of the country. Ben has brings experience in helping organizations drive growth through his background in the development of transformative go-to-market strategies, implementation of enabling technologies, and improvement of sales and marketing effectiveness. He currently works for Medallia as a director within their Account Management function.


Tim Sitzmann


Tim Sitzmann is an associate in the Intellectual Property Group at Winthrop & Weinstine. He was doing pro-bono work through Winthrop & Weinstine when he found us and we couldn’t let him go. That is when we asked him to join our board and in true Tim spirit, he jumped at the opportunity and we couldn’t be happier. With his vast background in the trademark and licensing world he works closely with Simon Says Give ensuring that our Trademarks, Registrations and potential future Simon Says Give locations are moving forward with ease.


Jenni Severson


Jenni began volunteering with us in 2017. She has volunteered in many capacities, including as the Chair of the Development Committee and the Co-Chair of High Five for Supplies. She has a rich background that will help us in many aspects of fundraising and growing our relationships in the community. She uses her passion for connection and networking to bring people together to support the Simon Says Give mission. If you get the chance to meet this dynamic lady, you will know why we are so lucky to have her. Jenni is currently the Vice President of People at Vivacity Tech PBC, a Public Benefit Company providing technology solutions to k-12 schools.


ina macovei


Ina started as a High Five for Supplies volunteer and quickly evolved into a more significant leadership position. She will continue to bring her passion for youth and education as she Co-Chairs High Five for Supplies 2023.

During her day job, she is the Director of Total Rewards and HRIS at Centerspace. In her role she oversees compensation, benefits, payroll, and HR technology.

She is a busy mother to twin boys who are both baseball players. We love her passion, drive, and energy and know that she would love to talk to anyone that wants to get involved with High Five for Supplies!


Milena Holmen

Executive Assistant

Milena is our organizational force and has been a part of our team since 2014 serving in many roles including accounting and general admin.  She has an amazing capacity for giving and is dedicated to Mandi’s vision. You will find her young daughters and husband behind the scenes helping us in a multitude of ways as well!

MN Kid Board



Michele Smith-Cox

Adult Leader of our Kid Advisory Board

Michele became involved with Simon Says Give in 2015, when her daughter, Ainsley, joined the Kid Advisory Board. She is a former preschool/elementary school teacher currently working in the financial industry.

As a mother of three adult children, she has spent many years as a Girl Scout leader, Sunday school teacher and soccer team manager. Michele was also a board member, volunteer coordinator, actor, and costume designer of a local community theatre. She has been involved with numerous Simon Says Give events over the years.

In 2017, she worked as a mentor for the Kid Advisory Board’s Give Awards project. It was during this time Michele knew she wanted to expand her involvement with SSG and working with the Kid Advisory Board was the perfect fit. She is excited to continue to foster the outstanding youth of today!