Paul Williams, President and CEO, is deeply rooted in our community. Raised in the heart of Saint Paul, his strong connection to the Twin Cities region, its neighborhoods and its people, fuels his work. PPL’s fourth executive director in its history, he managed all city operations as Deputy Mayor of his native city before joining PPL in April 2014.
Paul has spent his career creating partnerships and building community. While spearheading community development locally and directing operations in 30 cities nationwide for Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), he developed an unparalleled understanding of the opportunities and challenges around affordable housing and community development. With compassion and a sense of what works, Paul has served as a grantmaker for The Minneapolis Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation and the United Way of the St. Paul Area. He has also contributed to the leadership of a wide range of community boards. His spirit of collaboration, connection to our communities and commitment to amplifying PPL’s impact energize our work.
Scott Cordes joined PPL in March 2017. Most recently the Director of Budget & Innovation at the City of Saint Paul, Scott was a leader in the city’s finance function for 12 years, including serving as Mayor Coleman’s Budget Director for 7 years. Under his direction of the Saint Paul Innovation Team, Saint Paul became a nationally-recognized leader in change management and service transformation for government programs. Scott’s significant strategic finance skills are complemented by deep experience in multi-year financial planning, true-cost analysis, capital/facilities planning, and a strong background in information technology and human resources. Scott has a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
Joanne Kosciolek has led teams responsible for the fundraising, communications and volunteer efforts for over 15 years. She has designed diversified development programs resulting in sustainable individual giving. She has also created communications portfolios and marketing strategies to support expansion and future growth. Joanne believes in furthering an organization’s mission through volunteer involvement. She joined PPL in April 2016.
May Xiong has dedicated over 15 years working in the nonprofit sector with the spirit that communities with shared strength will thrive. As the daughter of a Hmong immigrant, May has experienced firsthand how important partnerships and collaborations help families move forward. Prior to joining PPL in 2011, May held various management and director positions in Financial/Asset Building and Employment programs. As Vice President of Employment Readiness, May provides strategic direction and leadership in Employment Training, Financial Literacy and Education. Her work stems across multiple sectors ensuring innovative strategic programs and services. A true believer of continuous learning, May holds dual Masters degrees in Nonprofit Management and Public Administration as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in Management.
With over 12 years experience in teaching, training, design, and project management, Nichole has worked to build organizational capacity through strategic initiatives, and cultivation of collaborative partnerships. She has a background in organizational leadership and Instructional Design and values working with diverse communities. She has leveraged her skills in these areas to help coach teams and design learning and professional development programming.
Nichole now serves as Director of Equity and Engagement at PPL, where she helps to engage, and partner with residents, neighborhood organizations, businesses, and institutions to address community needs, influence policy, and drive racial equity work. Prior to her post at PPL, Nichole served as Director of Program Design at Teach for America - Twin Cities, and taught face-to-face and distance graduate school courses in leadership, talent management, and global diversity at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. She is also co-founder of LNC Strategic Designs, LLC, a consulting company dedicated to helping organizations foster and create dynamic work teams.
Amanda Herbst has worked for PPL for 15 years. During her time at PPL, she has provided direct service, program development, supervision, and management. Her current responsibilities include oversight of organizational impact data and evaluation strategy, including management of PPL's participant database.
Amanda champions PPL's evaluation capacity building efforts by supporting staff to utilize data in effective program management and design. Amanda celebrates learning and encourages others to ask courageous questions. Amanda holds a BA in Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.