Meet your Board of Directors
Kathy Megarry, President
Kathy Megarry is the Vice President of HR and LR for the Metropolitan Airports Commission in Mpls., MN. Ms. Megarry has over 30 years of experience, most of it in Labor and Employee Relations in both the public and private sectors. Her prior roles include HR/LR Director for the City of St. Paul, MN; VP of Employee and Labor Relations for Macys Inc., and Chief Labor Relations Officer for Hennepin County. During her two stints in public service, Kathy has been a National and State PELRA member and has been on the Minnesota PELRA Board since 2016 where she has served as Secretary to the Board and is soon to be the Past-President after serving 4 years as the President.
email Kathy at Kathy.Megarry@mspmac.org
Jenn Worthington, 1st Vice-President
Jenn is the Merit System Director at the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Ms. Worthington has over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She has spent most of her career in Human Resources and had extensive experience in labor relations and human resource functions. Prior to her current position, she was the District HR Director at MnDOT, HR Consultant at MN DHS, and Human Resources Business Partner at Kraft Foods. Jenn joined the MPELRA Board of Directors since 2019 and next in line for President in 2024.
email Jenn at email@example.com
Dana Makinen, 2nd Vice-President
Dana Makinen is the Human Resources Manager for the City of Andover. Ms. Makinen has over 30 years of experience in Human Resources in both the private and public sectors. Ms. Makinen has worked for the University of Minnesota, Stremel Manufacturing, Altron Manufacturing, and since 2001 at the City of Andover. Ms. Makinen has a BS Degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a MS Degree in Organization and Management from Capella University. Ms. Makinen was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Phoenix from 2006-2012 teaching both Graduate and Undergraduate students Ethics, Employment Law, and Human Resources Management.
Paula Graff is the Deputy Director of HR and Labor Relations Manager for Washington County in Stillwater, MN. Paula has over 25 years of experience, most of it in public sector HR and Labor Relations in both the public and private sectors. Her prior roles include Labor Relations Consultant for the State of Minnesota, HR Business Partner and Labor Relations Consultant for Essentia Health, and Human Resources Coordinator for the cities of Golden Valley and Rosemount. She has been on the Minnesota PELRA Board since 2020 where she has served as Secretary for the past two years. Paula has a Master’s degree in HR/Industrial Relations from the Carlson School of Management, a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Hamline and is currently a second year law student at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
Holland Atkinson, Director
Holland Atkinson is the Chief Labor Relations Officer for Hennepin County. His LR office is responsible for the administration of negotiation of 17 labor agreements. Prior to this time, he was the Director of Labor Relations for the City of Minneapolis and was also the Manager of Labor Relations for the Northland District in the United States Postal Service. Holland holds a BS in Human Resources Management from Metro State University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. He has been married for over 21 year and has two beautiful daughters. He is proud to serve on the MPELRA Board of Directors to help grow this vital community of Labor Relations professionals.
Sheri Chesness, Director
Sheri Chesness has served as the Deputy Human Resources Director for the City of Blaine for 20+ years where she oversees all areas of human resources. Sheri holds a BA in Public Administration and Political Science with a minor in Economics from St. Cloud State University and a Masters of Public Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has proudly served on the MPELRA Board of Directors since 2022
Alison Kelly, Director
Alison Kelly is currently the Labor Relations Manager for Ramsey County. She’s been employed with Ramsey County since 2007 and served in Labor Relations roles since 2018. Ramsey County employs approximately 4,000 employees and has 21 labor contracts between 6 different unions. Alison manages a team of 5 talented problem solvers that includes both Labor Relations and Compensation functions. Alison has a Master of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy and she is currently finishing a graduate certificate in Organizational Development through the Harvard Extension School. Alison’s post graduate training has focused on Human Organizational Development and the relational aspects of the workplace to facilitate strategic approaches to problem solving and effective leadership. Alison received the MPELRA pacesetter award in February of 2023 and was newly appointed to the MPELRA board in April 2023. She is delighted to serve alongside her public sector employer peers from across the state of Minnesota and continue supporting public employees who help make Minnesota a great place to live and work.
Schawn Johnson, Director in Waiting
Schawn Johnson is the Human Resources Director for Wright County in Buffalo, MN. Schawn has over 20+ years of work experience in public sector HR and Labor Relations. Previously, Schawn has worked for the State of Minnesota, City of New Brighton, City of St. Anthony, City of Arden Hills, City of Columbia Heights, and City of New Hope in a labor relations/administration role. He was recently appointed to the Minnesota PELRA Board as a Director in Waiting. Schawn has a master’s degree in public administration from Hamline University and a BA degree from St. John’s University (MN).
Jason Schmidt, Past-President
Jason Schmidt is the Manager of Labor Relations for the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). Prior to working for MAC, Jason was at the City of Saint Paul working in Labor Relations and also has experience working in private sector Human Resources and overseas in Europe working for the Scottish government doing business development. Jason has served as the MPELRA President and is a NPELRA Certified Labor Relations Professional.