MSP Hello Ambassadors

Ask an MSP Hello Ambassador

We know you have specific questions about life in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Fortunately for you we’re eager to answer them. Our radically welcoming team includes fellow newcomers, lifelong residents, and something in between. See where this welcome team is eager to provide advice – and then send a note! They’re here to help.

Erica Hartmann

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: North Loop, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Chicago

About: I am a newcomer to the MSP region and love to connect with other newcomers! I know that making connections with people in a new place is so important and would love to help welcome people who were in my shoes a year ago.

Ask her about: Arts and culture, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Food and drink

Linh Gilles

Works at: University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management

Lives in: Maple Grove, MN

About: Even as a native I am still discovering new gems and experiences that make this region so great. I’m excited to help new (and returning!) residents get to know MSP better so that they can be proud to call this place home.

Ask her about: Professional development, Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Getting around town, Family friendliness, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Dan Linstroth

Works at: Make It. MSP

Lives in: Minneapolis

About: I’ve lived in other cities around the world. Having a friendly local to point me in the right direction when I needed it made all the difference in the world. I’m excited to return the favor here in my hometown.

Ask him about: Professional development, Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Getting around town, Food and drink

Marvin Banks

Works at: University of Minnesota

Lives in: Brooklyn Center
Moved to MSP from: Milwaukee

About: I understand the difficulties in transitioning to a new city. The Twin-Cities area has a lot of offer and it is a hidden gem. If you any questions about the city please feel free to contact me.

Ask him about: Professional development, Getting around town, Food and drink

Matt Lewis

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: North Loop, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Washington, DC

About:

Ask him about: Professional development, Social connection

Caroline Karanja

Works at: 26 Letters

Lives in: Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Madison, Wisconsin

About: Minneapolis St Paul is a great city … once you figure out where to go and what to do. I’m excited to help new residents discover their favorite spots and activities.

Ask her about: Arts and culture, Food and drink

Tiffany Orth

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: Saint Paul

About: I’m excited to continue to build a region that’s more inclusive of people of all backgrounds. Authentically and meaningfully welcoming new residents is a key factor in making that happen.

Ask her about: Professional development, Arts and culture, Getting around town, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Saby Labor

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Los Angeles

About: Moving from warmer climates can be challenging. I’m here to help! Need recommendations on LGBTQ-friendly spaces and organizations? Looking for recommendations regarding arts and culture that center indigenous and people of color perspectives? Connect with me.

Ask her about: Arts and culture, Culturally specific amenities

Astrid Benedetto

Works at: U.S. Bank

Lives in: Golden Valley

About: If only Make It.MSP. was available to me when I was a newcomer, I wouldn’t have felt as lost or disconnected. This effort helps new residents warm up to the Twin Cities faster and ensure that their to journey in a new city will be that much more positive.

Ask her about: Family friendliness, Food and drink

Anne Saxton

Works at: Bartmann Group

Lives in: St. Louis Park
Moved to MSP from: Fairmont and Duluth, MN

About:

Ask her about: Food and drink

Shannon Brown

Works at: Fazendin Realtors

Lives in: Chanhassen, MN

About: The great Twin Cities metro has always been home for me and I love to share all that we have to offer with newcomers and friends and family!

Ask her about: Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Getting around town, Family friendliness

Ra’eesa Motala

Works at: Young Professionals of Minneapolis

Lives in: Minneapolis

About: The hidden gem of the Midwest has always been home for me. I am proud to be part of a community that has so much to offer to newcomers and residents alike. Having lived in other Cities and Countries, I always find myself coming back to Minneapolis.

Ask her about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Social connection, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Michael Hernandez

Works at: Minneapolis Visitor Information

Lives in: Saint Paul
Moved to MSP from: Los Angeles, California

About: I enjoy showcasing our city and our region to visitors from around the world each day at work here at the Minneapolis Visitor Center. Newcomers to the area should also know the many, many things there are to do here!

Ask him about: Neighborhoods, Getting around town, Family friendliness, Culturally specific amenities

Tanya Schmitt

Works at: Ecolab / Minneapolis Hub of Global Shapers

Lives in: Downtown Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Rural MN

About: Minneapolis has been my home for 10+ years and after traveling near and far, still love coming home to this beautiful city. While we have our challenges, I think Minneapolis is a fantastic place to call home and I want to help others feel the same way.

Ask her about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Social connection, Food and drink

Jim Welsch

Works at: Wells Fargo & Company

Lives in: Seward Neighborhood, Minneapolis

About: I’m excited about this because it hits on two of my passions: all of the great things about Minneapolis/St. Paul, and helping newcomers to get connected here and feel comfortable/happy/at home.

Ask him about: Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Getting around town, Family friendliness, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Mariano Garcia

Works at: Break the Bubble

Lives in: Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Milwaukee

About: There are so many things to do and places to eat that don’t make it into the tourist brochures that really make Twin Cities one of the best places to live in the United States. I am still adding things to my To-Do list! I love sharing my “insider” knowledge with others.

Ask him about: Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Social connection, Getting around town, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Julie Cohen

Works at: Pollen Midwest

Lives in: Uptown, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Gulf Breeze, Florida

About: People constantly ask me why I moved from Fl to MN. They have no idea what they’re missing: beautiful parks, lakes, and rivers; arts, music, and culture; enough restaurants to eat out every night of the week; The Great Minnesota Get Together. You name it. After 20 years of living here, I consider it home and have yet to find another city that tops it

Ask her about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Social connection

Dalton Scott

Works at: Young Professionals of Minneapolis

Lives in: Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Wisconsin

About: I always love meeting new people. Everyone has a different experience of life and I learn so much from others’ stories. I enjoy connecting with people and connecting them to people that will help elevate them!

Ask him about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Getting around town, Food and drink

Erica Hartmann

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: North Loop, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Chicago

About: I am a newcomer to the MSP region and love to connect with other newcomers! I know that making connections with people in a new place is so important and would love to help welcome people who were in my shoes a year ago.

Ask her about: Arts and culture, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Food and drink

Linh Gilles

Works at: University of Minnesota – Carlson School of Management

Lives in: Maple Grove, MN

About: Even as a native I am still discovering new gems and experiences that make this region so great. I’m excited to help new (and returning!) residents get to know MSP better so that they can be proud to call this place home.

Ask her about: Professional development, Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Getting around town, Family friendliness, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Dan Linstroth

Works at: Make It. MSP

Lives in: Minneapolis

About: I’ve lived in other cities around the world. Having a friendly local to point me in the right direction when I needed it made all the difference in the world. I’m excited to return the favor here in my hometown.

Ask him about: Professional development, Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Getting around town, Food and drink

Marvin Banks

Works at: University of Minnesota

Lives in: Brooklyn Center
Moved to MSP from: Milwaukee

About: I understand the difficulties in transitioning to a new city. The Twin-Cities area has a lot of offer and it is a hidden gem. If you any questions about the city please feel free to contact me.

Ask him about: Professional development, Getting around town, Food and drink

Matt Lewis

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: North Loop, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Washington, DC

About:

Ask him about: Professional development, Social connection

Caroline Karanja

Works at: 26 Letters

Lives in: Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Madison, Wisconsin

About: Minneapolis St Paul is a great city … once you figure out where to go and what to do. I’m excited to help new residents discover their favorite spots and activities.

Ask her about: Arts and culture, Food and drink

Tiffany Orth

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: Saint Paul

About: I’m excited to continue to build a region that’s more inclusive of people of all backgrounds. Authentically and meaningfully welcoming new residents is a key factor in making that happen.

Ask her about: Professional development, Arts and culture, Getting around town, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Saby Labor

Works at: GREATER MSP

Lives in: Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Los Angeles

About: Moving from warmer climates can be challenging. I’m here to help! Need recommendations on LGBTQ-friendly spaces and organizations? Looking for recommendations regarding arts and culture that center indigenous and people of color perspectives? Connect with me.

Ask her about: Arts and culture, Culturally specific amenities

Astrid Benedetto

Works at: U.S. Bank

Lives in: Golden Valley

About: If only Make It.MSP. was available to me when I was a newcomer, I wouldn’t have felt as lost or disconnected. This effort helps new residents warm up to the Twin Cities faster and ensure that their to journey in a new city will be that much more positive.

Ask her about: Family friendliness, Food and drink

Anne Saxton

Works at: Bartmann Group

Lives in: St. Louis Park
Moved to MSP from: Fairmont and Duluth, MN

About:

Ask her about: Food and drink

Shannon Brown

Works at: Fazendin Realtors

Lives in: Chanhassen, MN

About: The great Twin Cities metro has always been home for me and I love to share all that we have to offer with newcomers and friends and family!

Ask her about: Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Getting around town, Family friendliness

Ra’eesa Motala

Works at: Young Professionals of Minneapolis

Lives in: Minneapolis

About: The hidden gem of the Midwest has always been home for me. I am proud to be part of a community that has so much to offer to newcomers and residents alike. Having lived in other Cities and Countries, I always find myself coming back to Minneapolis.

Ask her about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Social connection, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Michael Hernandez

Works at: Minneapolis Visitor Information

Lives in: Saint Paul
Moved to MSP from: Los Angeles, California

About: I enjoy showcasing our city and our region to visitors from around the world each day at work here at the Minneapolis Visitor Center. Newcomers to the area should also know the many, many things there are to do here!

Ask him about: Neighborhoods, Getting around town, Family friendliness, Culturally specific amenities

Tanya Schmitt

Works at: Ecolab / Minneapolis Hub of Global Shapers

Lives in: Downtown Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Rural MN

About: Minneapolis has been my home for 10+ years and after traveling near and far, still love coming home to this beautiful city. While we have our challenges, I think Minneapolis is a fantastic place to call home and I want to help others feel the same way.

Ask her about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Social connection, Food and drink

Jim Welsch

Works at: Wells Fargo & Company

Lives in: Seward Neighborhood, Minneapolis

About: I’m excited about this because it hits on two of my passions: all of the great things about Minneapolis/St. Paul, and helping newcomers to get connected here and feel comfortable/happy/at home.

Ask him about: Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Getting around town, Family friendliness, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Mariano Garcia

Works at: Break the Bubble

Lives in: Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Milwaukee

About: There are so many things to do and places to eat that don’t make it into the tourist brochures that really make Twin Cities one of the best places to live in the United States. I am still adding things to my To-Do list! I love sharing my “insider” knowledge with others.

Ask him about: Arts and culture, Neighborhoods, Social connection, Getting around town, Culturally specific amenities, Food and drink

Julie Cohen

Works at: Pollen Midwest

Lives in: Uptown, Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Gulf Breeze, Florida

About: People constantly ask me why I moved from Fl to MN. They have no idea what they’re missing: beautiful parks, lakes, and rivers; arts, music, and culture; enough restaurants to eat out every night of the week; The Great Minnesota Get Together. You name it. After 20 years of living here, I consider it home and have yet to find another city that tops it

Ask her about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Social connection

Dalton Scott

Works at: Young Professionals of Minneapolis

Lives in: Minneapolis
Moved to MSP from: Wisconsin

About: I always love meeting new people. Everyone has a different experience of life and I learn so much from others’ stories. I enjoy connecting with people and connecting them to people that will help elevate them!

Ask him about: Professional development, Neighborhoods, Outdoors and recreation, Social connection, Getting around town, Food and drink