Board of Directors

Thomas O’Connell, Chairperson of the Board
Emeritus Professor, Metro State University, Social Science, Community Studies
(Master of Advocacy and Political Leadership Program at Metro; co-founder of Minnesota. Farmer Labor Education Committee)

Andy Steiner, Board Member and Secretary of the Board
Journalist, MINNPost

Rose Roach, Board Member and Treasurer of the Board
Executive Director, Minnesota Nurses Association
(St. Paul native; long time leader of California School Employees Association; for past three
years, she has been Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association)

Vicki Beebe, Member of the Board
Community Liaison Director, St. Paul Regional Labor Federation
(responsible for building relationships between the labor movement and communities of
Color, immigrant communities; liaison with the United Way)

Rafael Espinosa, Member of the Board
Labor Representative, American Fed of State, County & Municipal Employees, District 65
(immigrant to US from Mexico, long-time labor union involvement; community activist on
the East Side; former Board Chair, Dayton’s Bluff Community Council)

Gus Froemke, Member of the Board
Communications Director
Teamsters Local 320 (public employees, state of Minnesota)
(responsible for internal union communications with a far flung membership – public school
workers, public safety workers, food service workers, teaching assistants, county workers –
and for crafting the union’s message to the media and the public)

Marlin Heise, Member of the Board
Founder and Director, Hmong Archives
(long-time archivist, Minnesota Historical Society; creator of the most significant collection of
Hmong books, materials, and artifacts in the world. NOTE: The Hmong Archives retains its
Organizational independence as a non-profit, but is a partner with the ESFL.)

Rick MacPherson, Member of the Board
Attorney, Minnesota Disability Law Center
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Society
(an experienced litigator in the fields of civil rights, employment, disability rights, and union-
side labor law; 1976 graduate of the UMN Law School; named an “Attorney of the Year”

Yuichiro Onishi, Member of the Board
Associate Professor, African American and Asian American Studies, University of Minnesota
(author of 2014 book, TRANS-PACIFIC ANTI-RACISM; consulting with Model Cities on the
development of a museum dedicated to African American railroad workers)

Denise Rodriguez, Member of the Board
Past President, St. Paul Federation of Teachers
(lifelong East Sider; taught Spanish in St. Paul middle schools for 36 years; was vice-president
and then president of the St. Paul Federation of Teachers; retired one year ago)

Mary Wingerd, Member of the Board
Professor of History Emerita, St. Cloud State University
(historian of St. Paul – CLAIMING THE CITY – and Minnesota – NORTH COUNTRY: THE
MAKING OF MINNESOTA; has just retired)

Todd Lawrence, Member of the Board
Associate Professor of English
University of St. Thomas
(specializes in African American literature and the practices of critical ethnography/oral
history; has led civil rights history tours for St. Thomas faculty and students)

Brian Vang Tou Xiong, Member of the Board
(Brian recently earned his Doctorate of Education from Minnesota State University-Mankato
and, after teaching in Ethnic Studies there, served as Chief Diversity Officer at Minnesota
State University-Moorhead; has long been a member of the Board of the Hmong Archives)


East Side Freedom Library is proud to be supported by a range of paid and volunteer collaborators who support our staff, board and mission.
They include:
Steve Boland, Next in Nonprofits, Fund development and communications
Creation in Common, Board development
Epimap 247, Evaluation
Bruce Willms, Librarian
Greg Poferl (Jack of all trades, Master of many)
Keith Christensen, Design