Catalyst North

Fostering healing-centered organizational cultures and leaders

Meet Suzanne

Suzanne Koepplinger is a seasoned nonprofit and philanthropic professional who brings over 20 years of creative problem-solving to Catalyst North. She is a highly effective network builder and leader of community-based transformational change and is an experienced trainer and public speaker, both at home and abroad.

Before founding Catalyst North, Suzanne co-created and led the Catalyst Initiative, which was launched by the George Family Foundation in 2014 and based at the Minneapolis Foundation from 2018 to 2022. Catalyst’s purpose to honor and foster culturally authentic self-care practices to advance health and well-being was realized through targeted grant-making and shared learning and by fostering bold community leadership. While leading Catalyst Suzanne:

  • Successfully advocated for public investment in non-narcotic pain management and integrative healing therapies as an addiction prevention strategy.
  • Raised and distributed over $4 million to initiatives that build resilience and foster cultural healing.
  • Influenced changes in philanthropy, healthcare, education and government to recognize a whole person approach that better meets community needs.

Suzanne previously served for ten years as the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center where she led the country’s first research on and community response to the sex trafficking of American Indian women and girls. In that role she twice testified before U.S. Senate congressional committees on sexual exploitation and was part of a multi-stakeholder coalition to create Minnesota’s Safe Harbor legislation. She has received numerous awards, including the Sheila Wellstone Award for Community Advocacy and Leadership and the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. She is a certified trainer with the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC) and the Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC).

Suzanne has an M.A. in the Art of Leadership from Augsburg University and B.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Idaho. She lives in Minneapolis and serves on the board for Artspace, where she leads the board’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Task Force. She is happiest when on a remote river or hiking trail.

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