Associate Board

The Young Professionals Associate Board supports ACES in a variety of ways, including planning and executing its signature event, the annual Races 4 ACES 5k Fundraiser. If you are interested in learning about how you can be involved with the YPAB, please email ACES Volunteer Coordinator Steve Palmer.

Don Sullivan, Protective
YPAB President

Don is the Director of Consumer Marketing for Protective Life Corp and the Vice President of the ACES Young Professionals Associate Board. He is also an avid runner and Race Director for Races 4 ACES. Don's participation in ACES began in 2004 as an E-Mentor of an ACES student. As he learned more about ACES and the good work the organization does, as reflecting on his personal experiences growing up and knowing the challenges that many urban students face, Don continued to deepen his relationship with ACES, its cause, and its urban students.

Will Hardy, Best Buy
YPAB Vice President

Will Hardy is a Senior Demand Planning Analyst at Best Buy Co., Inc., a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services. Hardy first joined Best Buy as a Digital Technology Specialist for Best Buy stores in April 2009, then joined corporate in his current role upon graduating from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining Best Buy, Hardy was a researcher at the University of Minnesota, where he conducted research on domestic violence. Hardy has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota. He serves as a co-chair of the Best Buy Black Employee Network (BEN) and is also a proud member of Anchor Hilyard Lodge #2 Free & Accepted Masons.

Daniel Lichtblau
YPAB Secretary

Danny Lichtblau graduated with a B.A. in Global Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. He is a passionate traveler, having studied abroad in Australia and Israel, and has visited many other amazing places around the world. Danny is a huge sports fan, supporting all of the professional teams in Minnesota. In his spare time, he loves to travel, play racquetball, walk his dogs, and barbeque.

Kim Desimone, Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Kim Desimone is a California native who moved to Minnesota in August 2013. She learned of ACES through her brother, Robert, who is also a YPAB member. Kim is passionate about helping kids and young adults, and is looking forward to being a part of ACES and its continued success of impacting the community. Kim's previous youth involvement includes working at sports camps and coaching volleyball. In her down time Kim loves to spend time with family and friends, travel, and be outdoors. She is a sports nut who enjoys playing different sports and cheering on her Bay Area teams, along with the Minnesota Wild. She is also having fun exploring and learning about Minnesota. Kim has a degree in recreation, parks, and tourism, with a concentration in sports management, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Robert Desimone, Sears Imported Autos

Robert was connected to ACES in 2013 through his community outreach work with Minnesota United FC - the state's professional soccer club. The California native began his career as Media Relations Apprentice with the Minnesota Wild after graduating from Northern Michigan University with a degree in Communications and Marketing. Following his time with the Wild, Robert spent two years in Texas, working with the Houston Aeros Hockey Club and Academy Sports + Outdoors. Robert returned to Minnesota and worked with various start-ups before joining United and leading the club's public relations and community outreach efforts. He is currently the Business Development Manager for Sears Imported Autos, the Mercedes-Benz dealership located in Minnetonka. Robert also coaches 8th grade boys basketball for Stillwater Junior High and continues his passion of broadcasting through local youth and high school sports. Robert is a sports enthusiast and enjoys playing and watching hockey, basketball, and golf (among many others). He also enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time with his wife, Crystal, and their puppy, Nala.

Elise Henkemeyer, Siteimprove

Elise Henkemeyer was first introduced to ACES while studying at the University of St. Thomas. She was hired as a marketing communications intern, where she wrote material for the ACES website and newsletter. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing from UST, Elise went on to work for the Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Timberwolves as a Community Relations Intern. Elise now works as an Account Specialist at Siteimprove, where she also assists in planning community outreach events for the staff. In her free time she enjoys being outside, traveling, and attending sporting events. 

Maria Jollie, Renown Marketing

Maria Jollie began her YPAB service in 2012 and she serves as an E-Mentor to ACES students. Maria is a freelance writer and researcher for a variety of companies. She also coaches a competitive gymnastics team at Midwest Gymnastics Center. Maria has a Bachelor's degree in marketing and international business from Metropolitan State University and has marketing experience with sports teams worldwide. She enjoys playing sports, traveling, and enjoying delicious food in her free time.

Mikkala Korton, Minnesota United FC

Mikkala joined the Minnesota United FC team in November 2013, as Corporate Sales Representative. Prior to Minnesota United, Mikkala served as Coordinator of Target Field Events for the Minnesota Twins. She was also an Event Operations Assistant for Minnesota State Universtiy, Mankato, where she earned a master's of arts degree in Sports Management. Mikkala received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a minor in Psychology. While on the job, Korton enjoys mentoring students and young staff members who are pursuing careers in sports. In her spare time, Mikkala likes to read, spend time with family and friends, and play golf as her schedule allows.

Rob Mehta, Coldwell Banker Burnet

Jeff Nolan, Spyder Trap Online Marketing

Jeff Nolan is a Sr. Account Executive at Spyder Trap Inc., a digital marketing and technology firm in Minneapolis, MN. Jeff has been working in the online/digital marketing field for the past 4 years and works with clients day to day building digital marketing strategies and customized solutions to help drive business change & growth. Jeff met ACES executive director, Chad Caruthers, several years ago through a networking group that he founded and still runs, Twin Cities Thursday Happy Hours. Twin Cities Thursday Happy Hours (TCTHH) is a newtworking organization for business professionals in Minneapolis/St. Paul, which meets once a month and has held several unique events to bring professionals together in a casual setting, as well as raise money for local non-profit organizations. Jeff has a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of North Dakota, where he majored in marketing and minored in international business. Jeff enjoys playing hockey, golf, softball, touch football, tennis, and traveling, as well as cooking in his free time.

Elle Yorobe, Kare 11

Elle Yorobe is a former college golfer from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She moved back home to the Twin Cities after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Yorobe currently works as a Research Coordinator at KARE 11 and considers herself a TV junkie with many favorite shows. She still enjoys hitting the links in the summer and competes in tournaments when she can. The Vikings are her favorite Minnesota team, but she is a huge fanatic for all sports. She loves working with kids and is excited to be a part of the ACES team.