Cornerstone’s staff is led by seven directors and managers with over 165 combined years of experience in the anti-violence movement, of which more than 80 years are at Cornerstone. Cornerstone’s leadership team provides strategic direction and oversees the day-to-day operations of Cornerstone.
Meg Schnabel, Executive Director
Meg Schnabel has been working in the field of interpersonal violence for over 25 years; five of those years at Cornerstone. She holds a Master of Social Work Degree from Washington University and has received many awards for her work, including the Hannah B. Solomon Award, which is the National Council of Jewish Women’s highest honor for making important contributions within the community for women and families. She was also honored by the White House in 2011 through the “Champions of Change Award” as being one of eleven selected from around the country for outstanding work in developing innovative services for victims of domestic violence. Currently, Meg serves on the Board of Directors for Violence Free Minnesota and is a member of the Bloomington Rotary Club.
Courtney Poja, Sr. Director of Advancement
Courtney Poja served as Cornerstone’s Development Coordinator from 2006-2013. Prior to rejoining Cornerstone in 2015, Courtney served as an Associate Development Officer at the University of Minnesota Law School. She received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School. Courtney is a member of the Rotary Club of Bloomington’s Board of Directors as Chair of Community Relations as well as a member of the Board of Directors for LegalCORPS.
Jennifer Smith, Sr. Director of Finance and Administration
Jennifer Smith has over 26 years of experience working in the accounting and administrative fields and has been with Cornerstone for 24 years. Jennifer has a BS in Accounting from Metropolitan State University and is currently a member of the Nonprofit Financial Group of Minnesota.
Patricia Ogbeide-Ihama, MHRM, MBA, CLSS, Human Resources Director
Patricia Ogbeide-Ihama holds a Master’s in Business Administration and Master’s in Human Resources Management. She has over 15 years of Human Resources, Training and Business Management experience supporting small to large diverse workforces. Patricia is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and had held numerous positions implementing Best Practices in the Human Resources sector, including education and healthcare. She completed training on SHRM Human Resources Competencies, People, Organization and Workplace modules in December 2018. Patricia is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and Twin Cities Society of Human Resources Management. She is currently the President of her Nigerian high school USA chapter alumni association with a focus on mentoring and empowering the young women. Patricia has been with Cornerstone since 2017.
Colleen Schmitt, Sr. Program Director – Emergency Services and Day One Programs
Colleen Schmitt has worked in the field of interpersonal violence for 36 years, in the areas of shelter services, youth, community advocacy, intervention, deaf awareness training, volunteer and community education and building collaborations. Ms. Schmitt has been a Cornerstone management staff member since 2005, now overseeing Day One, VAP and Emergency Services Programs. Colleen is President of National Day One, LLC, a social enterprise wholly owned by Cornerstone, and serves on the ThinkSelf Board of Directors. In 2014, Ms. Schmitt was recognized for Cornerstone’s Social Justice Opening the Door work by the Bloomington Human Rights Commission and in 2017, received the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women’s Inspire Award. She holds a BS in Social Work with a minor in Women’s Studies from the College of St. Catherine.
Cheryl Kolb-Untinen, MS, Program Director – Prevention, Education and Clinical Services (PECS) Program
Cheryl Kolb-Untinen has over 25 years of experience (15 at Cornerstone) working with survivors of sexual and domestic violence in a multitude of settings including hospital ER’s, emergency and extended stay shelters, criminal and civil court and in the provision of therapy. She has an AA in Police Science, a BA in Applied Behavioral Science and an MS in Counseling. Cheryl carries her Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) credential through the state of Illinois, is a Certified Danger Assessor with Dr. Jacqueline Campbell’s Danger Assessment protocol and a Certified Personal Empowerment facilitator through the Twin Cities RISE! Empowerment Institute. She regularly speaks and provides trainings to diverse audiences on domestic violence, sexual violence and compassion fatigue.
Pamela Maldonado, Program Director – Victim Advocacy Program
For over 25 years, Pamela Maldonado has been working to address family violence, sexual assault and poverty. Due to her various roles as advocate, supervisor and director of local programs and regional collaborations, she has extensive experience with best practices and social change. She was on the planning committee to create Minnesota’s first Victim Assistance Academy and participated with the Minnesota Post Board work group that developed Minnesota’s first model sexual assault investigation policy in 2018. She has been at Cornerstone for five years and currently serves on the Minnesota Alliance on Crime (MAC) Board of Directors and Hennepin County Threat Assessment Team. Pamela holds a B.S. in social work from St. Catherine University.