NMMA Executive Director
Jill joins North Metro Mayors with an extensive background in strategic communications. She has worked with all levels of government, including a stint as communications director under Gov. Arne Carlson for the MN Department of Human Services, one of the state’s largest agencies.
She has worked in the North Metro for 30 years and has run a public relations consulting business for more than 20 years. Her clients work collaboratively to pursue transportation, environmental and human services initiatives. Jill says the best part of her projects is working with game changers—the folks who are dedicated to strengthening the community. Jill is a volunteer board member for TPC ROSE and Anoka County Community Action Program.
In her spare time, she sings with Kantorei, a semiprofessional choir, and serves as president of Vox Nova, a new choral group in the Twin Cities. She’s a proud mom of three girls and married to Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo.
VP. for Public Affairs
Becca joined Ewald Consulting in 2005 and is the Vice President of Public Affairs, overseeing the company’s lobbying and public affairs functions. She has 14 years of legislative experience as a staff person in the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Wisconsin State Assembly. In the Minnesota House, Becca worked as a communication specialist and committee administrator, and most recently served as the Director of Legislative Services overseeing a department that provides House members with policy and political analysis and research.
Becca graduated with a B.A in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Becca is an alumni member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Government Relations Council. Becca loves a good adventure — she has run seven marathons, traveled around five continents and jumped out of one perfectly good airplane.
Mandy serves the community and business interests of the North Metro with her talent for collaboration, a focus on establishing lasting relationships and a genuine love for people. Mandy brings years of experience in organic networking from the nonprofit and private sectors. She is excited to help build the Community Partner program to develop valuable and customized benefits for all NMMA members.
A creative at heart, Mandy enjoys pursuing the arts of music, dance and writing. She approaches everything and everyone with curiosity and a sincere desire to learn.
President, CRP, Inc.
Bob Benke serves as Director of Research & Advocacy Services for the North Metro Mayors Association. Prior to joining CRP, Inc. in 2000, Bob served at the Minnesota Department of Transportation for 35 years, finishing his tenure as Director of the Office of Research & Strategic Services and as a member of the Commissioner’s Executive Team. He holds Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota and has been a registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota since 1972.
Bob also served seven two-year terms as Mayor of the City of New Brighton after serving eight years as a Council Member. During his Council tenure, he served as President of the League of Minnesota Cities, President of the Minnesota Mayors Association, Co-Chair of the Metro East Development Partnership, Board Member for the North Metro Mayor’s Association and as the founding President of the North Metro I-35W Corridor Coalition. In addition, Bob served two terms as Vice Chair of the National League of Cities’ Transportation and Communications Policy Steering Committee, Chair of the League of Minnesota Cities Community Life Policy Committee and the LMC Products & Services Committee. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Ramsey County Charter Commission.
Government Relations Consultant
Troy joined the team in March 2015 as government relations consultant. Previously, he worked for Public Affairs Company, where in addition to other accounts, he was primarily a state coordinator for Hunting Works For America program promoting the economic benefits of hunting and recreational shooting in Arizona, Utah, Oregon and Colorado. Troy also has 20 years of staff experience at the Minnesota House of Representatives. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Social Science.
Government and Media Relations Assistant
Owen is a Government and Media Relations Assistant for Ewald Consulting, where he has been for the past year. Prior to working at Ewald Consulting, he spent two years as a Committee Legislative Assistant for the Minnesota House of Representatives, working for both the Health and Human Services Policy and the Early Childhood and Youth Development Policy Committees. Owen also had extensive experience in grassroots campaigning serving as a Regional Field Director in the 2014 election cycle, and a Field Organizer during the 2012 cycle.
Owen graduated from Winona State University in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Philosophy. While attending Winona State, Owen worked as an intern for U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.