Executive Director
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and small business owners and have spent the majority of my life in rural America – I fully understand the need to support business and industry of all shapes and sizes in our communities. With a strong background in nonprofit management, and most recently as a consultant for nonprofits and small businesses in the Twin Cities, I understand the struggle and dedication involved in building a business.

Our youth are the future of our community and country. I’m proud to have worked for a youth development nonprofit in Iowa and all the families we helped through it. Our young people need the opportunity to explore both college and vocational career pathways, partnering with local and regional industry to provide our youth with trade-based career training and opportunities is a win for everyone – our youth, our families, our communities and our rural economy.

I’m excited to be part of the strong group of innovators that make up our team. We’re also very fortunate to have a hard-working Board of Directors comprised of community partners, leaders, and supporters. While we may be uncertain of tomorrow, we can be sure that by working together we are all better.


Director of Operations
Shannan Harris is a member of the Red Wing Ignite team, and previously served as the Program Coordinator. (January 2015-December 2020) Prior to joining RWI, Shannan owned and operated Moments on Main, a local gift and décor store from 2005-2014. Moments was recognized as a Home Accents Today Retail Star in 2010 and also named as a Gifted Retailer the same year by Gifts and Decorative Accessories Magazine. In the shop's 9 years of business, the store created a loyal customer base. The store was known for its product selection, attention to detail, customer service, and public events. When she is not working at Ignite, Shannan does interior design, seasonal décor, and sales for wholesale companies at various trade shows around the country. Shannan has called Red Wing home since 1998 and has served on a variety of boards, commissions, and committees.

Shannan holds a Bachelors of Art degree in Psychology and an Interior Design degree.


Workforce Lead
Burke brings years of experience in organizing and implementing regional economic competitiveness initiatives. Her emphasis has been in building partnerships across systems of the public and private sectors to deliver relevant education, training, and workforce development opportunities. Burke has been working with RWI since 2017, providing strategic support and technical assistance, including grant development and writing to secure the MN Department of Labor and Industry Youth Skills Training grants and the EDA I6 Challenge grant to support SE Minnesota's Regional Innovation Cluster. Burke is the Workforce Lead for this initiative.


E1 Navigator
With partnership development, fundraising, and program implementation experience in small and large nonprofits, higher education, and community-based organizations, James brings expertise and enthusiasm to Red Wing Ignite as E1 Navigator. He works with 16 member organizations across the 11 county southeastern Minnesota region to improve outcomes for small business owners and entrepreneurs by boosting the capacity of the incredible resources in southeastern Minnesota through collaboration and partnership. A graduate of Winona State University and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, James has had the opportunity to work for several Red Wing-based organizations, including serving as Project Director for Water/Ways, a Smithsonian exhibit that was brought to the Goodhue County Historical Society. Through authentic partnership building, he has also secured over $3M in funding through grants and individual philanthropy, including awards from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and the National Science Foundation. James is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve southeastern Minnesota, the place he and his wife call home. Outside of work, James enjoys taking his beagle for long walks, keeping his cat from destroying the furniture, and playing drums in local band Sheep For Wheat.


Outreach & Communication Director
Brooke recently joined Red Wing Ignite as Director of Outreach and Communication. She will be working to connect entrepreneurs with resources to take their businesses to the next level. And as part of our effort to reach more entrepreneurs, she will also oversee our digital marketing. So if you see her with a camera, be sure to smile. Before RWI, she was the Director of Customer Success at SmartMoving SaaS company where she designed and implemented processes for the successful onboarding of clients., and HR content. Before the SaaS company, She spent over 18 years on the leadership team with Wireless World Verizon as a District Sales Manager, where she specialized in teaching sales techniques, she is a graduate of the Dale Carnegie leadership and communication development courses. She enjoys teaching, mentoring and seeing others grow to their highest potential. She is a lover of all things technology, and when she is not working you will find Brooke with her family enjoying just about any outdoor activity, and if the weather isn't cooperating you will find her refinishing furniture.


Project Manager
Randii brings over 23 years of experience leading complex system implementations, driving process improvements, and launching new products to Red Wing Ignite. Her focus has been in supply chain and manufacturing, but she enjoys working across all functions of the business. Randii has made Lunchables, sliced Oscar Mayer cold cuts, ate cereal hot off the assembly line, assembled robots that build fireplaces, helped design board games, and made Red Wing boots. Her super power listening to her customers' needs to design simple solutions that meet them where they are at on their personal journey. Randii is also an entrepreneur! In August, 2019, she launched her first business, SawRise Woodworks & Arts LLC. Randii teaches woodworking classes to adults and youth out of her shop in downtown Red Wing; in addition to selling pieces of wood art out of local stores in the area. The highlight of every year is the annual Summer Woodworking Camp she leads in the Red Wing Makerspace - nothing beats witnessing a young child transforming their terrified tears into pure confidence while using a power tool!In 2022, Randii wanted to do more with her community and started a consulting business that focuses on helping small businesses simplify their daily processes. She is very excited to bring her experiences as an entrepreneur and logistical guru to the Entrepreneurial Specialist role where she will help ensure new businesses get connected to the resources they need.


Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Dr. Christine Beech is a military veteran, entrepreneur, community board leader, and former university professor. After completing her 20 year military career, Christine spent 6 years launching and leading a $21M annual revenue consulting business supporting the Federal Government. She then spent several years as a private consultant teaching and coaching FBI agents before transitioning to higher education where she served as core faculty in the business department at Saint Mary’s University. There she taught and led programs on entrepreneurship and nonprofit business models. In 2020, Christine founded Copiavia, a consulting firm dedicated to strategy and education for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits. Christine also founded the Rochester Women’s Entrepreneur (WE) Forum in 2018, providing monthly programming to help women grow and develop their leadership skills as business owners. An active community leader, Christine serves as Board Chair for the nonprofit organizations Salt & Light Partners and the Jeremiah Program. She also serves as a board member for Collider and Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce. Christine holds a Doctoral degree in business management, and has a research focus on entrepreneurship and nonprofit business models.
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