Meet Our Staff Team

Jana Webster

Executive Director

Jana Webster has served as the Executive Director of the Foundation since 1997, overseeing and expanding operations to meet passenger needs. Prior to her position with the Foundation, Jana served as the director of other Twin Cities nonprofits and held positions in broadcast and print media. She holds degrees in Psychology and Communications from the University of Minnesota.

Patty Lupkowski

Managing Director

As the Managing Director for the Airport Foundation MSP, Patty oversees all administrative functions and operations for the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Patty was employed by Delta Air Lines.

Laura Sartain

Director of Foundation Programs

Laura oversees the Travelers Assistance program, including nearly 600 Foundation volunteers. The position involves serving as liaison to the Foundation Board of Directors, along with multiple managers and directors of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC). Laura also represents the Foundation to departments across MSP Airport, including Airport Police, airline managers, retailers, and concessionaires.

Prior to joining Airport Foundation MSP, Laura worked for 13 years for Girl Scouts River Valleys, most recently as Senior Director of Volunteer Support. In that role, she developed strategic, research-driven plans to support 850 administrative volunteers and 11,000 troop leaders in 49 counties. 

Sara Ernst

Senior Manager of Volunteer Programs

Sara has nearly 20 years of experience in volunteer management, program operations, community partnerships, and stakeholder engagement. As our Senior Manager of Volunteer Programs, Sara is responsible for recruiting and managing Foundation volunteers, as well as overseeing the popular MSP Animal Ambassador program.

Sara comes to the Foundation from the local youth social enterprise, Cookie Cart. Most recently, as associate director, she oversaw Cookie Cart’s youth program, bakery operations, and volunteers at both their Minneapolis and Saint Paul locations.

John Hewitt

Travelers Assistance Operations Manager

John oversees all daily operations of the Travelers Assistance program, including the management of part-time supervisors. John joined the Foundation team in 2013 as a volunteer, and accepted a staff position in 2016. In his role as Operations Manager, John ensures the effectiveness of Travelers Assistance and develops and maintains relationships with key airport stakeholders. 

Catherine Peterson

Travelers Assistance Supervisor

Catherine supports daily activities of the Travelers Assistance program and special services. She also provides supervision, guidance, and training to nearly 600 Foundation volunteers.    

Jane Zaspel

Travelers Assistance Supervisor

Jane supports daily activities of the Travelers Assistance program and special services. She also provides supervision, guidance, and training to nearly 600 Foundation volunteers.    

Jeff Prauer

Travelers Assistance Supervisor

Jeff supports daily activities of the Travelers Assistance program and special services. He also provides supervision, guidance, and training to nearly 600 Foundation volunteers.    

Chuck Salloway

Travelers Assistance Supervisor

Chuck supports daily activities of the Travelers Assistance program and special services. He also provides supervision, guidance, and training to nearly 600 Foundation volunteers.    

Ben Owen

Director, Arts@MSP

Ben leads the arts and culture program at both Terminals 1 and 2 at MSP International Airport. Prior to joining Airport Foundation MSP, Ben was Program Officer for the Minnesota State Arts Board, where he managed the Minnesota Percent for Art in Public Places program, acquiring works of art for communities throughout Minnesota using up to one percent of state-funded capital construction or renovation project budgets.

He has more than a decade of experience in public art management for statewide public art agencies in the United States. Previously, he was based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he served as project coordinator for the Art in Public Places program at New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the state arts agency for the State of New Mexico.

Youa Vang

Performing Arts Coordinator

Prior to joining Arts@MSP, Youa was Events Manager and Office Manager for ArcStone Technologies in Minneapolis. In that role, she booked speakers and musicians, along with organizing, promoting and coordinating events for ArcStone. She also led the social media strategy to promote events across multiple social media platforms. 

For the past eight years, Youa has also served as a contributing writer for City Pages, covering the Twin Cities’ music scene. 

Sam Fuentes

Exhibitions Coordinator

With more than eight years of experience in the visual arts, prior to joining the Arts@MSP team, Sam worked as Art Handler and Transportation Specialist for Crozier Fine Arts in New York City. In that role, he led teams in installing, packing and transporting world-class artwork for NYC’s premier art logistics company. 

Sam also worked as Senior Designer for Chelsea Frames in NYC, creating fine art picture frames and framing-related solutions for a variety of artwork styles and mediums. Sam also worked as an events attendant for the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, managing the setup and take-down of public and private events. 

Christie Schmidt

Gambling / Lottery Director

Christie Schmidt has worked with the Foundation in a financial capacity for many years, and in 2013 she joined the organization as the Gambling/Lottery Director.  She has more than twenty years’ experience in finance and gaming, helping organizations raise money for their respective missions.

 

Harish Saihgal

Lottery Vending Manager