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St. Anthony Main
219 Main Street SE, Suite 302
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414

612.623.9110
(f) 612.623.8807


Staff

Harlan Luxenberg, M.A. – President & CEO

Harlan Luxenberg, M.A. – President & CEO

Harlan brings an extensive background in evaluation, survey methodology, technology, and utilizing data to help clients understand and improve their programs. His expertise includes project management, evaluation planning, survey design, data and e-referral processing systems, automated reporting dashboards, information technology, and strategic planning. Harlan is dedicated to providing tailored solutions that meet each client’s unique needs.

Harlan joined PDA in 2005 as a statistical programmer using SPSS and later become an expert in Crystal Reports, Asp.NET, SQL Server, HTML, and many other technologies. He later began working on evaluations and conducting statistical analyses, mostly in tobacco control. Harlan is nationally recognized for co-authoring three whitepapers on bullying prevention that were published by the Hazelden Foundation. These papers were based on the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program data that PDA has collected and reported on since 2007.

Harlan received his Master’s degree in Evaluation Studies with a focus on Quantitative Methods from the University of Minnesota and his Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Policy and Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Harlan is treasurer for the Minnesota Evaluation Association (MNEA), an organization dedicated to serving, teaching, and connecting Minnesota’s many evaluators. He also is a board member of Neighborhood Roots, a non-profit that manages the Kingfield, Fulton, and Nokomis farmers markets in southwest Minneapolis. Relaxing with family and friends at the Fulton Farmers Market on Saturday mornings is one of his favorite things to do. Harlan loves cooking with organic and local foods and supporting his local community. He also spearheads PDA’s green initiative and is proud that PDA is a carbon-neutral company that uses exclusively 100% post-consumer recycled paper.

Julie Rainey, B.A. – Vice President

Julie Rainey, B.A. – Vice President

Julie is an expert in many aspects of program evaluation, including data collection, interpretation, and the clear communication of evaluation results to stakeholders. She is proficient in understanding and trouble-shooting participant databases to ensure their reliability and validity for analysis. Julie is first and foremost mindful of the needs of her clients as she plans a new project and is meticulous in her preparation and research. Through her evaluation reports Julie has assisted clients to streamline program delivery, improve efficiency, and demonstrate programs’ effectiveness.

Julie has conducted and managed evaluations of programs in a variety of fields, but her area of expertise is evaluation of tobacco cessation programs. She has evaluated several types of cessation support including quitlines, counseling groups, nicotine replacement therapies, and text messaging programs and has presented evaluation results at the National Conference on Tobacco or Health and at the annual meetings of the North American Quitline Consortium and the Society for Nicotine and Tobacco Research. In addition to her work in tobacco control, Julie evaluates chronic disease prevention programs which address obesity, nutrition and physical activity.

Julie has been with PDA since 1992. She serves as PDA’s HIPAA compliance officer and is experienced in handling data privacy issues. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Philosophy from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. In her free time Julie enjoys making art quilts, attending concerts, and buzzing around the city on her scooter.

Becky Lien, MPH – Senior Analyst

Becky Lien, MPH – Senior Analyst

Becky has spent the past ten years conducting research and evaluation in public health. She enjoys many aspects of her work at PDA, but especially loves collaborating with her colleagues to find creative, effective, and efficient solutions for PDA’s clients.

Becky joined PDA in 2008. She currently manages the statistical and analyses work at PDA. She conducts analysis ranging from simple to complex, examples include: logistic regression, survey sampling and weighting, propensity score matching, and Bayesian methods. She also coordinates with the other four statisticians/analysts at PDA to constantly improve the company’s methods. A frequent conference presenter, Becky has also co-authored five articles in peer reviewed journals. She is a current member of the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers (AAPOR) and North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC).

Prior to her transition to public health, Becky was a software development consultant; she worked for a decade developing databases and analyzing data for clients – often in the medical and healthcare industries.

She received her Master’s Degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and her Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Carleton College. Outside of work, Becky enjoys curling, golf, and spending time with her family.

Melissa Chapman, Ph.D. – Senior Evaluator

Melissa Chapman, Ph.D. – Senior Evaluator

Melissa has been passionate about conducting program evaluation for a variety of organizations and in a diverse array of content areas since she took her first program evaluation course in 2002 at The University of Iowa. She thrives on bridging evaluation theory and practice, and the challenge of ensuring that both work together to produce high-quality, actionable, and useful evaluation results for our clients. Melissa is a conscientious and intuitive individual and evaluator and she appreciates the collaborative nature of PDA and of our clients.

Melissa first joined the PDA evaluation team in 2010. She currently works on the following projects at PDA: the CDC- and ACA-funded 1305 and1422 chronic disease initiatives, and evaluations for the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. In the past she has also served as Principal Investigator for the comprehensive evaluation of Ohio’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) projects which included nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco policy components. She was Project Manager for a number of projects in Connecticut, including a nutrition and physical activity project, tobacco prevention programs for youth, a statewide tobacco coalition, and a meta-evaluation of innovative tobacco programs.

Prior to joining PDA, Melissa served as the Associate Director of the Center for Evaluation and Assessment at The University of Iowa and as the Managing Director of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute at the University of Minnesota. Since 2003 she has successfully managed over 40 evaluations, most of them multi-year projects, in the areas of public health, k-12 education, early childhood education, higher education, non-profits, foundations, and the arts. Most of her evaluation experience is in the area of tobacco, obesity prevention programs, and various educational contexts. She has also conducted a number of evaluation capacity building and other training events, including trainings on survey methods, evaluation of coalitions, evaluating grantmaking impact for foundations, and evaluation 101. Finally, she has held a number of adjunct faculty appointments at various institutions, and she has served on a number of doctoral dissertation committees and committees for masters students in evaluation, public health, and public policy.

Melissa obtained her doctorate in Psychological and Quantitative Foundations, with an emphasis in program evaluation, from The University of Iowa. She is an active member of the American Evaluation Association, the Minnesota Evaluation Association, the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, and the American Educational Research Association. She also contributed to the most recent edition of the Program Evaluation Standards, and never tires of discussing the complexities and tensions between feasibility, propriety, accuracy, utility, and accountability. She periodically reviews for the American Journal of Evaluation, as well as other peer reviewed journals.

Outside of work, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, walking or running with her dogs, and exploring the plentiful music events, art museums, farmers markets, and natural beauty of the Twin Cities. Melissa and her family enjoy finding new ways to live sustainably and particularly enjoy gardening and supporting their local food co-op and CSA.

Amy N Kerr, PhD – Senior Evaluator

Amy N Kerr, PhD – Senior Evaluator

Amy brings a mix of methodological and content expertise, project management skills and dedication to developing usable, tailored projects that meet clients’ diverse needs. She is passionate about using research and evaluation as a means to reduce health and social disparities.

Amy joined PDA in 2014. She serves as Primary Investigator for the evaluation of the ClearWay Minnesota tobacco cessation program, the Florida Department of Health’s in-person cessation program, and the Call it Quits referral program. She also works on the Ramsey County Community Corrections project. Amy frequently disseminates evaluation and research findings to community, professional and academic audiences in a variety of venues, including presentations at national conferences and publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to moving to Minnesota, Amy worked on health evaluation and research teams in Denver and Chicago and taught at Loyola University Chicago. She has a diverse set of experiences executing tobacco, mental and behavioral health and criminal justice projects in academic, healthcare, social service, philanthropic and policy sectors. In past projects, she focused on capturing state-level and individual-level changes in health behavior in community and health care settings.

She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Loyola University Chicago and her bachelor’s degree from Hanover College. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association and Minnesota Evaluation Association.

Amy’s dog, Chloe, is a frequent visitor to PDA’s office, where she enjoys attention from PDA employees and visitors. In her free time, Amy likes to take Chloe on hikes, train for half marathons and see live music. As a newcomer to Minneapolis, Amy spends a fair amount of time exploring the Twin Cities.

Andy Raddatz – Senior Developer

Andy Raddatz – Senior Developer

Andy is a full stack developer with primary strengths in .Net MVC applications. Andy enjoys creating software that faithfully serves a purpose while delivering an enjoyable user experience. He has a passion for software architecture, design, and writing clear, readable code.

Andy joined PDA in March of 2015 and is focused on the design and construction of a large software system for the Florida Department of Health. Andy assists in every aspect of the process including visual designs, user experience specifications, front and back end development, end to end testing and optimization.

Prior to joining PDA, Andy worked as a Senior Developer at The Nerdery where he gained invaluable experience as a lead on several different teams and working with varied software platforms. His background includes database administration, network and helpdesk support, and hardware repair and support.

Outside of PDA, Andy has a variety of interests. He enjoys music in many forms including playing the guitar, drums, keyboards or vocals, and is competent when it comes to recording and producing music as well. In the summer, he tries to ride his motorcycle every chance he gets. In the winter, music and gaming are his primary distractions from the cold and lack of sunshine.

Sara Richter, M.S. - Senior Statistician

Sara Richter, M.S. - Senior Statistician

Sara is a master’s level statistician with years of quantitative and qualitative analytical experience in health care research and quality improvement. She has a broad background in health care research, applying statistical methods, protocol development, and advanced statistical programming skills in SAS and R. She shares PDA’s collaborative approach to problem-solving, can-do attitude and the desire to make sense of data.

Sara came to PDA in September 2015 from Park Nicollet where she served as a Senior Statistician. At Park Nicollet she worked on clinical trials, health services research projects, program evaluations and quality improvement initiatives in the fields of diabetes, eating disorders, oncology, orthopedics and movement disorders, often using mixed methods. She has co-authored 15 research articles in peer-reviewed journals and over 30 oral and poster presentations at professional meetings and internal training seminars. She built a statistical consulting career working closely with principal investigators, other statisticians, study coordinators and project managers on a variety of studies, taking every opportunity to continue learning and improving.

At PDA, Sara analyzes data for tobacco cessation evaluations and the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and handles a variety of statistical consulting requests. She loves having a team of data-driven colleagues and looks forward to opportunities to learn and apply new methods.

Sara received a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Minnesota and holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Mathematics and Economics from St. Olaf College.

Outside of work, Sara enjoys traveling, comic book conventions and expanding her board game collection.

Traci Capesius, MPH – Senior Evaluator

Traci Capesius, MPH – Senior Evaluator

Traci carefully considers ramifications for evaluation actions, is attuned and sensitive to others, and she has a great sense of humor. Her strengths are her patience, tenacity, thoroughness and thoughtfulness throughout the evaluation process.

Traci has been an evaluator at PDA since 2005. Traci has experience conducting formative and summative evaluations within single, multi-site and statewide health promotion and disease prevention initiatives. She has extensive experience evaluating tobacco prevention and cessation initiatives, and is PDA’s resident expert on tobacco-related sustainability and systems change. Traci is currently the lead evaluator for: an Ohio Department of Health chronic disease prevention initiative; a ClearWay MinnesotaSM tobacco health systems change initiative; and a tobacco cessation program evaluation for the North Dakota Department of Health. Traci also works on an evaluation for the North Dakota Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control Policy and contributes to a variety of other PDA evaluation projects.

Traci received her Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Minnesota in 2002. She is a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), the Minnesota Evaluation Association (MNEA), and the American Public Health Association (APHA).

In her spare time, she likes to hang out with her husband, two daughters and her corgi. She also dabbles in nature photography and the tasting of fine wines and craft beer.

Emily Subialka Nowariak, M.A. – Evaluation Specialist

Emily Subialka Nowariak, M.A. – Evaluation Specialist

Emily is an exceptional project manager who conscientiously leads an entire client and staff team to produce high quality, timely evaluations. She values all the details of a project and can identify technical and logistic issues on the horizon far before they surface. While there are few things that get Emily as excited as a spreadsheet, she is well aware that not everyone has the same reaction to data. Therefore, Emily strives to convey complex information in a clear and friendly way so all stakeholders feel comfortable participating in the evaluation process. The findings in her reports are always thoughtfully presented and framed so they are most useful to clients.

Emily has been with PDA since 2007. She currently oversees multiple evaluations with the Hawaii Department of Health including evaluations of the statewide tobacco quitline and an in-person tobacco cessation community grant program. Emily also works on evaluations for the Oklahoma Helpline and ClearWay Minnesota. Emily helps to plan and oversee many of PDA’s web-based data collection and reporting systems.

Emily holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development – Evaluation Studies and a minor in Quantitative Methods in Education from the University of Minnesota. Emily recently served as Treasurer of the Minnesota Evaluation Association. She is also a member of the American Evaluation Association.

Emily is lucky enough to live a half a mile from PDA, affording her beautiful views of the river on her (walking!) commute every day. When she is not at work, you can find Emily exploring the city with her husband and their toddler, trying to find the best parks for building sandcastles.

Angie Ficek, MPH – Program Evaluator

Angie Ficek, MPH – Program Evaluator

Angie enjoys helping public health programs make data-driven decisions, and she is passionate about data visualization. She could discuss chart types, colors, and fonts all day long, and is constantly thinking about how to best present information to ensure accurate interpretation and facilitate use. Angie leads internal “data viz meetups” for PDA staff and has presented on the topic locally. Her compassion, positivity, and sense of humor give her the ability to present evaluation activities and findings in a way that is accessible and unintimidating.

Angie joined PDA in 2011. She currently serves as Project Manager for the evaluation of an in-person tobacco cessation program in Hawaii and contributes to other tobacco control evaluations in Hawaii and Florida. She also worked on the evaluation of a Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative with the Connecticut Department of Public Health.

Prior to working at PDA, Angie evaluated South Dakota’s Tobacco Quitline and Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. She then came back to Minnesota and worked for the Minnesota Institute of Public Health where her work focused on evaluating a statewide chronic disease prevention program (called the Statewide Health Improvement Program).

She received her Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Education from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Minnesota State University – Moorhead. Angie is a member of the American Evaluation Association and the Minnesota Evaluation Association.

When Angie’s not at work, she is likely being entertained or exasperated by her toddler, or trying to find a veggie recipe that he will like. When she has a few moments of downtime, she enjoys sitting on the porch with her husband, sipping a good beer (usually an IPA).

Katherine Rehorst, B.S. – Analyst

Katherine Rehorst, B.S. – Analyst

Katherine has strong analytical and logical reasoning skills and excels at SPSS and SAS programming. She is always excited to find new and innovative solutions for answering evaluation questions from complex datasets and has keen instincts for uncovering data anomalies. Motivated by the investigation-resolution cycle, Katherine loves to use her experience and all available resources to help our clients make the most of their data. As a self-professed data geek, she is particularly fond of helping non-data inclined clients understand, collect, and interpret their data in meaningful and impactful ways.

Katherine joined PDA in 2009. She oversees data processing, investigations, and analysis. She ensures the integrity of data, manages the secure transfer and storage of data, and conducts survey sampling and analysis. She also assists in the creation of data collection systems for community organizations and provides technical assistance.

She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from Grand Valley State University and is currently enrolled at the University of Minnesota (UMN) School of Public Health. She will receive her Master’s Degree in Public Health (Community Health Promotion) in the spring of 2016 with an emphasis in health disparities and quantitative analysis. Katherine is passionate about decreasing health disparities in Minnesota and has worked with UMN’s Health Disparities Work Group as well as the American Indian Cancer Foundation to support health disparity reduction.

Katherine is a member of the Minnesota Evaluation Association, Minnesota Association of Public Health, and the Keep it Sacred National Native Network. Outside of work, Katherine enjoys the aerial arts, playing viola, and spending time with her incredibly ornery cat and adorable bunny.

Colin Summers, B.S. – Developer

Colin Summers, B.S. – Developer

Colin joined PDA in May of 2016 as a developer. The main project he is working on is the construction and design of a large software system for the Florida Department of Health for tracking an in-person tobacco cessation program. His current technology focuses are .NET MVC, AngularJS and Microsoft SQL Server.

Colin received his Bachelor''s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin - Parkside in 2013. He then moved to the twin cities to work as a Developer at Magenic where he gained experience with a variety of technologies including .NET MVC, Microsoft BizTalk and MongoDB. There he was recognized as Consultant of the Quarter for Q4 2015 for demonstrating excellent professional communication and technical skills and his ability for quickly mastering new technologies.

Outside of work, Colin enjoys spending time with his family and two dogs. He is busy getting ready for the second addition to the family, another son, expected this October. In his free time, he enjoys cruising in his Subaru WRX, fixing up his Fiat Spider, and playing video games.

Heather Zook, M.A. – Associate Evaluator

Heather Zook, M.A. – Associate Evaluator

Heather enjoys working with data and developing user-friendly data management solutions for clients. She also loves writing reports and presenting data in formats that are clear and easy to understand for a variety of audiences.

Heather joined PDA in February 2015. She currently works on evaluating tobacco cessation programs for the Florida Department of Health and chronic disease prevention programs for the Ohio Department of Health. She also assists with other evaluation projects as needed.

Prior to starting at PDA, Heather worked as a Clinical Research Associate at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. In that role, she studied emergency department use by American Indian children and racial disparities in emergency department care through a grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. She presented her research at a number of regional and international conferences and published a paper in the Journal of Emergency Medicine. In addition, she has several years of experience managing data and evaluating programs for multiple non-profit social service agencies.

Heather received her Master of Arts degree in Evaluation Studies from the University of Minnesota in May 2015. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a Spanish minor from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She is a member of the Minnesota Evaluation Association.

In her free time, Heather likes to travel with her husband, discover new local restaurants, and volunteer at her church.

Emma Ramsbottom Wagner, M.A. – Associate Evaluator

Emma Ramsbottom Wagner, M.A. – Associate Evaluator

In May, Emma Ramsbottom Wagner joined the PDA team as an Associate Evaluator. Emma just received her Master of Arts degree in Evaluation Studies from the University of Minnesota. Prior to joining PDA, Emma served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at the Hispanic Committee of Virginia, spent several years coordinating and developing non-profit programs in the Seattle area, and most recently carried out evaluation projects with Planned Parenthood of MN|ND|SD and Hamline University.

At PDA, Emma will primarily work on evaluating ClearWay MN’s community engagement grantee programs and processes and the Hawaii Department of Health’s statewide tobacco quitline and in-person tobacco cessation community grants program.

Emma is drawn to the facilitative aspects of evaluation work and enjoys collaborating with stakeholders to effectively surface, organize, and respond to their evolving ideas and needs. She is also enthusiastic about data visualization, and loves incorporating creative elements into her communications and reports. In her free time, Emma is an increasingly adventurous baker, pop culture nut, and very uncompetitive runner.

Lara Rubinyi , MIPA – Associate Evaluator

Lara joined PDA in 2016 and brings evaluation, public health, and policy experience to PDA. She is working on several projects including evaluations for the Florida Department of Health’s in-person cessation program and the Hawaii Department of Health’s community grant program.

Before joining PDA, Lara worked with [rp] Collective in Kathmandu, Nepal to build healthy, community-focused urban plans. She has experience conducting large-scale research and evaluations on STEM education, child protection, dental services and opioid use, vector-borne disease, climate change, and migration. The common theme of her work has been creating healthier communities through evidence-based practices.

She received both her Master of International Public Affairs and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (analysis and research) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on health and the environment. In her free time, Lara enjoys camping, traveling, learning new instruments, and writing. Her new goal is to visit as many State Parks in Minnesota as possible and maybe write a song about it.

Margaret Merrill, B.S. – Assistant Analyst

Margaret Merrill, B.S. –  Assistant Analyst

Margaret’s interest in drawing out insights from data drew her to PDA. She is excited about using data to make impactful changes related to matters of public health. Margaret has strong writing and quantitative skills, and has experience programming in multiple languages including R, SPSS and SAS.

At PDA Margaret is responsible for data processing and monitoring, data management, and analysis. She collaborates with the Stats Team to develop efficient systems and produce reports for clients.

Margaret joined PDA in 2016 after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Statistics from St. Olaf College. At St. Olaf, Margaret’s favorite classes focused on public health and covered topics ranging from food production and the use of genetically modified organisms to the spread of mosquito borne illnesses.

Outside of work Margaret enjoys playing tennis, reading and spending time with her two Golden Retrievers.

Mary Kim, B.A. – Evaluation and Administrative Assistant

Mary Kim, B.A. – Evaluation and Administrative Assistant

Mary is a fast learner and loves to learn and apply new skills. She is always happy to help PDA staff in any capacity needed. Mary enjoys working directly with the community to improve their health and brings this friendly attitude to PDA through her surveying skills.

Mary joined PDA as an Administrative and Evaluation Assistant in 2012. She supports research and reporting tasks, as well as survey processes. In addition to her part-time work at PDA, Mary works as a health educator at three community-based clinic sites in North and Northeast Minneapolis. As a health educator, Mary works with the “Better Together Hennepin” initiative to provide young people with evidence-based education and support in order to delay parenthood.

Mary is enrolled in the Public Health Core Concepts program at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health program and plans to enroll in the university’s MPH program. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and Health with a focus on Community and Public Health from Iowa State University. Outside of work Mary enjoys bike rides, cooking and staying active in the community.

Allison Wolf, B.A. – Survey Coordinator

Allison Wolf, B.A. – Survey Coordinator

Allison is passionate about health disparity alleviation and health education work, and is experienced in collecting and organizing data, study organization and scheduling, as well as Google Suite products. She joined PDA in 2015, and serves as the study coordinator for PDA’s tobacco cessation follow-up surveys for Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Florida, and additionally works on a variety of Tobacco Free Florida initiatives.

In addition to her part-time position at PDA, Allison is working to obtain her Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Promotion at the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health. She graduated from the University of Minnesota – Morris in 2015 with bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Public Health Studies, and a minor in Communications, Media, and Rhetoric.

Allison has interned with the Twin Cities Medical Society in their Twin Cities Obesity Prevention Coalition program by researching national initiatives for Healthy Eating, Active Living (HEAL) campaigns while advocating for similar work to be translated into the Twin Cities-Metro communities. She also served as an Undergraduate Research Scholar at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ Clinical and Translational Science Institute where she worked in a pilot study to identify the effect that yoga practice has on eating disorder symptomology and treatment, while also coordinating schedules and data collection over the course of the study.

Outside of work, Allison enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes, exploring the Twin Cities’ scenery by bike or really any means of transportation, and spending time with her family.