Meet The Airport Foundation Staff

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

Travelers Assistance Director

Laura oversees the Travelers Assistance Program of Airport Foundation MSP, including its more than 400 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 the 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. 

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.

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.

 

John Anderson

Marketing Director

John joined Airport Foundation MSP in August, 2017. Previously, John held marketing and public relations roles at several of the Twin Cities largest marketing and public relations firms, including Weber Shandwick, Colle+McVoy, Martin/Williams and Padilla. During his 12-year tenure at Padilla, John served as a Senior Director and worked closely with the Metropolitan Airports Commission, one of his primary clients.

Elizabeth Beck

Travelers Assistance Program Coordinator

Elizabeth provides overall administrative support to the Travelers Assistance (TA) Director and department. She also assists with projects and events for the Foundation.

 

Julie Jergens

Volunteer Manager

Julie is responsible for recruiting and managing volunteers for Airport Foundation MSP. She also manages MSP’s popular Animal Ambassador program, which brings trained therapy dogs to the airport for the enjoyment of travelers.

Prior to joining Airport Foundation MSP, Julie managed more than 800 volunteers for Family Pathways, a non-profit organization that provides hunger relief efforts, domestic abuse programs, shelter/aging services, youth programs and teen centers. In 2016, Julie led a recruitment effort that increased the total number of volunteers by 16%.

Tessa Wegenke

Arts and Culture Program Coordinator

Tessa is the Arts and Culture Program Coordinator for the Airport Foundation MSP. Her position focuses on supporting the airport’s arts initiatives. Tessa is also a trained, professional musician, private voice teacher, and arts advocate in the Twin Cities area.

Frank Gray

IT Specialist/Support

Frank coordinates Travelers Assistance (TA) program activities at the MSP International Airport on assigned shifts. He has helped to develop Go Guides training material and conducts Go Guides classes to ensure assistance provided by volunteers meets customer service standards.
Frank draws upon his solid IT background to bring the latest technologies to the Foundation, also interacting with MAC’s IT department on special projects.

Catherine Peterson

Shift Supervisor

Catherine has been on the Travelers Assistance Staff since 2003.  In addition to maintaining daily operations at Terminal 1, she is also responsible for coordinating operations at Terminal 2.  Catherine is also responsible for writing and maintaining procedures for the newly installed volunteer management software, Volgistics. Catherine is part of the team that ensures assistance provided by volunteers meets customer service standards.

Jane Zaspel

Shift Supervisor

Jane coordinates Travelers Assistance (TA) program activities at the MSP International Airport on assigned shifts. She also manages the tourism brochure program and is the liaison supervisor for the Navigator program. Jane is part of the team that ensures assistance provided by volunteers meets customer service standards.

Jeff Prauer

Shift Supervisor

Jeff coordinates Travelers Assistance (TA) program activities at the MSP International Airport on assigned shifts to ensure assistance provided by volunteers meets customer service standards.

John Hewitt

Shift Supervisor

John coordinates Travelers Assistance (TA) program activities at the MSP International Airport on assigned shifts to ensure assistance provided by volunteers meets customer service standards.

Harish Saihgal

Lottery Vending Manager

Lottery Staff

Lottery Sales

Pictured, left to right:

Chet Whitmore, Karen Landmark, Harish Saihgal, Robert Shevchuk, Lisa Anderson, Peggy Dolphay and Kirk Vogland