Announcing New Jeremiah Program President and CEO

Chastity Lord takes the helm in mid-September.

Today, Jeremiah Program announced Chastity Lord as its next President and CEO. Lord is a dynamic leader who has dedicated her career to disrupting systems of inequity through a social justice lens. Currently Chief Operating Officer at Color Of Change, a national social justice organization, Lord brings a unique blend of practitioner and national leadership experience to her new role. Her official start is mid-September, and Lord has already begun working with the board transition committee to outline key strategic priorities. She will replace Gloria Perez, who has successfully led the organization for two decades.

“We are energized by this forward movement,” said John Potter, Jeremiah Program Governing Board Chair. “After nearly a year of sustained progress on our strategic plan and an engaged search effort, we are excited that Chastity Lord will join us bringing the experience and attributes of a transformational leader that we were seeking.”

Lord has extensive experience and success in nonprofit leadership, including her role as Regional Vice President at The Posse Foundation where she played a critical role in Posse doubling its national footprint and oversaw the program codification and fundraising of sites in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and DC.

The timing of this transition compliments Lord’s deep experience scaling organizations similar to Jeremiah Program, which began with a Minneapolis residential campus in 1998 and has expanded to seven sites in five states including nonresidential models.

As a leader in two-generation programming aimed at disrupting generational poverty for single mothers and their children, Jeremiah allows Lord to continue dedicating her career to disrupting systems of inequity through a social justice lens.

“Jeremiah resonated with me on a deeply personal level, as a first-generation college graduate who grew up poor with a single mom and a lot of housing instability,” said Lord. “Education was the lever that disrupted my own family’s cycle of generational poverty.”

“Because of its successful model, Jeremiah is in a unique position to frame a national conversation about the investments required to disrupt cycles of generational poverty, while simultaneously illuminating what systems and structures lead to it,” said Lord.

One immediate goal is to increase Jeremiah’s visibility and voice.

“One of my key priorities is to ensure that anyone who is committed to disrupting cycles of poverty and dismantling the systems and structures that lead to it, know the work of Jeremiah Program,” Lord said. “I want them to know who we are, what we are about, and about our twenty plus years of impact. We will have to broaden our tent of supporters and champions as Jeremiah Program seeks to demonstrate transformative impact at a larger scale.”

Moving 2Gen Strategy Forward Across the Country

Jeremiah Program President and CEO, Gloria Perez, was invited to Maryland to mentor leaders interested in starting or expanding a 2Gen strategy for helping families succeed.

The two-day peer-learning site visit takes place at Garrett County Community Action Committee in Oakland, MA. Garrett County Community Action has become an all-in 2Gen organization, putting families in the center of its work. Along with learning from Garrett County, practitioners will work with mentors to create action plans to start or improve their 2Gen programs.

Perez’ first day working with her group highlighted coaching 2Gen families in crisis.

“My premise was that part of what happens in a crisis is that people disconnect from their own power; they begin to feel like victims,” Perez said. “It is our job as coaching professionals to help individuals change their mindset and reconnect to their core value- they are important, valuable, capable human beings. We can help people in a crisis reconnect to their personal power which will give them insight into how to solve their own problems. De-escalation and reframing are key steps when dealing with people in crisis.”

This 2GenACT site visit is being coordinated by the Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group, in collaboration with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

Celebrating First Anniversary

Nearly 80 people toured the Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead campus on Wednesday, February 13 to celebrate its first anniversary. Watch the coverage from KVRR TV.

It was a kickoff for Jeremiah’s Giving Hearts Day  (Feb 14) fundraising goal of raising $100,000 in 24 hours. The ambitious goal is fuelled by $40,000 in matching gifts.

Special thanks to Matching Partners: Bell Bank’s Pay It Forward, Blackridge Bank, City of Fargo, Eastern Star, Fargo Air Show, Justin & Renee Forde, Matt & Ashley Halvorson, The Halvorson Company, Knights of Columbus/Casselton, Paul & Sharon Madson, Metro Plains Management, Jeff & Lonnie Pederson, Marilyn Pribula, Short Printer, David & Candace Shultz, State Farm Insurance, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Amy & Jonathan Warrey.

Caryn Sullivan Interviews CEO Gloria Perez

Pioneer Press columnist, inspirational speaker and author Caryn Sullivan recently wrote about her conversation with Jeremiah Program CEO Gloria Perez. Here is an excerpt:

For Perez it’s gratifying to watch women rise above their insecurities, recognize they have a choice, and shape a different kind of future for themselves and their children.

As she will at a Team Women luncheon on Wednesday, Perez shares her philosophy about mentoring with Jeremiah mothers. Its value, she says, lies in the accountability an objective partner can offer. A mentor can help the mentee to walk through fear, engage in reflection, and accelerate goals.

Perez prides herself on establishing a bridge between donors and beneficiaries by offering insight and perspective. She helps the women to shift their belief system, explaining that their lot in life isn’t attributed to worth or luck and that, with support and effort, it can change.

Read the entire interview here at the Pioneer Press

Jeremiah Program Search for Chief Executive Officer

Jeremiah Program is seeking a visionary national leader as their next Chief Executive Officer. This is an incredible leadership opportunity to leverage this innovative and proven two-generation model and drive national growth. This high-profile Chief Executive Officer, working collaboratively with the National Governing Board of Directors, has overall responsibility for leadership and management of Jeremiah Program, a thriving 501c3 based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The CEO ensures the programming, operations, fundraising, marketing, human resources, technology, and fiscal activities are effectively implemented across the organization and consistent with the mission of Jeremiah Program. As the visible spokesperson for this growing national organization, the CEO is responsible for interpreting the vision, mission and programs to the National and Community Boards, staff, strategic partners and the greater public.

The ideal CEO will be an inspirational and visionary leader who will actively lead Jeremiah Program through continued expansion and change management. As the primary external face of the organization, the CEO will lead with passion and authenticity to promote the vision of Jeremiah Program in order to build trust with key external stakeholders and donors. The successful candidate will have the ability to motivate and inspire others. The new CEO will be highly relational, with proven ability to lead a complex, multi-site national organization or related.

For more information or to submit your credentials, email

All inquiries will remain confidential.

Please find the Position Profile CEO Jeremiah.

Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead Receives Otto Bremer Trust Grant

Fargo, ND – December 27, 2018 – Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead is pleased to announce it’s been awarded $50,000 for general operating expenses from the Otto Bremer Trust to increase social and economic mobility among single-mother families living in poverty in Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Otto Bremer Trust for its support of programming at Jeremiah Program’s newest campus,” said Lonnie Pederson, executive director of Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead. “This generous gift will enable us to enhance the family services, coaching and outreach necessary to serve our single mothers and their children.”

“Jeremiah Program continues to build on the success of its services and programming aimed at helping low-income mothers and their children to move beyond poverty and into a life of economic independence,” said Daniel C. Reardon, co-CEO and trustee, Otto Bremer Trust. “This is a model worth emulating and we’re pleased to be investing in the work they are doing in the region.”

About the Otto Bremer Trust  
The Otto Bremer Trust (OBT), based in St. Paul, MN, is a private charitable trust established in 1944 by founder Otto Bremer, a successful banker and community business leader. OBT owns 92 percent of Bremer Bank and also manages a diversified investment portfolio. The mission of OBT is to invest in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Since its inception, OBT has invested more than $650 million in organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin. Visit

About Jeremiah Program  
Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time with limited government aid. Two-Generational – or 2Gen – programs uniquely focus on the whole family and achieve long-term, sustainable results. The approach has been proven to achieve significant educational, health and economic benefits for parents, children and communities.
Jeremiah Program operates nationally in both residential programs with integrated housing and early childhood services and non-residential programs where housing and early childhood education are provided through community partnerships. The organization is on a consistent growth path with its newest programs in Rochester, MN and Brooklyn, NY. Jeremiah Program also has a presence in Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN; Austin, TX; Boston, MA; and Fargo, ND-Moorhead, MN.

About Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead 
Jeremiah Program’s Fargo-Moorhead campus opened in January 2018. It features 20 furnished apartments designed to support single mothers, who are required to work part time or volunteer, attend college full time, and work toward a career-track education while participating Jeremiah Program’s weekly coaching and life skills classes. The ground floor of the campus also features a licensed early Child Development Center that can serve up to 52 children ages six weeks until starting kindergarten.

Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead Welcomes New Executive Director Lonnie Pederson


FARGO, ND – Lonnie Pederson has joined Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead as the organization’s new executive director. Pederson joins Jeremiah Program after developing a Master of Arts in Leadership Program at the University of Jamestown, where she served as director of this program as well as an assistant professor. In addition to leadership and program growth, Pederson comes to Jeremiah Program with significant experience in fundraising and business development. Prior roles included serving as vice president at Sanford Health and holding several development roles at Concordia College, including director of the annual fund and external relations, director of annual giving and development associate. 

With a proven track record for developing lasting relationships both internally and externally as well as a long-range tenure in the Fargo-Moorhead community, Pederson is an ideal fit for continuing the growth and development of the Fargo-Moorhead campus. 

“Lonnie’s experience, personality, and track record of servant leadership will help us deliver our mission of transforming lives two generations at a time,” said Jonathan Warrey, chairman of the Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead Board of Trustees. “We are delighted she is joining us and look forward to seeing her leadership and fresh ideas benefit our families.” 

Pederson’s background also includes several advanced degrees including: 

* A Doctorate of Education in Leadership from the University of St. Thomas, 

* A Master of Science in Education and Cognate/Counseling from The University of North Dakota, and 

* A Bachelor of Science in Health and Psychology from Valley City State University. 

“I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to join a team of dedicated individuals, board members, and community members who have literally and figuratively built a strong foundation,” Pederson said. “I look forward to joining Jeremiah Program and building upon the existing partnerships and am committed to furthering the mission to transform families from poverty to prosperity.” 

CEO Gloria Perez named to new Community Advisory Board at the Minneapolis Fed


Photo originally published by Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder – Stan Waldhauser (06/14/2018)

MINNEAPOLIS, April 5, 2018 – The Minneapolis Fed announced the members of the newly formed Community Advisory Board for the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute. This advisory board, made up of 12 local nonprofit, philanthropic, and government leaders, including Jeremiah Program President & CEO Gloria Perez, will serve as an important resource in crafting the Institute’s research agenda on economic opportunity and inclusive growth.

Maximum employment is a primary aim of the Minneapolis Fed and the Federal Reserve System. In pursuit of that goal, Fed policymakers seek to understand the mechanisms behind high unemployment rates for people of color.

“Behind the unemployment rate are the lives of millions of Americans who are affected by job loss and lack of opportunity to work,” said Mark Wright, director of Research at the Minneapolis Fed. “We have to understand the causes of unemployment for everyday Americans, and that means looking at barriers to opportunity and lack of inclusion.”

The Community Advisory Board will provide input into the Institute’s research agenda by helping to uncover gaps in the knowledge base and by identifying and explaining the practical barriers to economic opportunity and inclusive growth in local communities.

Community Advisory Board

· Tawanna Black, Founder and CEO, Center for Economic Inclusion

· Bruce Corrie, Director, St. Paul Planning and Economic Development Department

· Paul Fleissner, Deputy County Administrator for the Health, Housing, and Human Services Division and Director of the Housing at Redevelopment Authority, Olmsted County

· Michael A. Goze, CEO, American Indian Community Development Corporation

· Danielle Grant, President and CEO, AchieveMpls

· Shawntera Hardy, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

· Ezell Jones, Vice President and Relationship Manager, CBIZ Inc.

· Paul Mattessich, Executive Director, Wilder Research

· Gloria Perez, President and CEO, Jeremiah Program

· Gregory P. Russ, Executive Director and CEO, Minnesota Public Housing Authority

· Sondra Samuels, President and CEO, Northside Achievement Zone

· Kate Wolford, President, McKnight Foundation


The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., make up the Federal Reserve System, the nation’s central bank. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is responsible for the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Montana, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous banking organizations, and provides a variety of payments services to financial institutions and the U.S. government.

GIVING HEARTS DAY touched lives.

Thanks to a generous community, nearly $90,000 was raised in support of single mothers and their children. Thank you for extending your kindness to our families. Special thanks also, to our Giving Hearts Day match donors: Matt & Rebekah Tompkins, United Savings Credit Union, The Halvorson Company, Matt & Ashley Halvorson, Dawson Insurance, Justin & Renee Forde, State Farm Insurance and Dora’s Dazzling Dames (a Red Hat Group).


Jeremiah Program CEO Gloria Perez’s Greatest Mentor – Her Mother

Gloria’s mother taught her valuable lessons about education, hard work and diligence. “She had to learn how to be independent and lead; she became the sole breadwinner and spiritual guide for the family. My mom’s deep faith, perseverance and adventurous spirit — she will try anything once — has always inspired me to follow my dreams and live life to the fullest.”  Read the full article in the Star Tribune here.