Executive Director: Kate Hersey
Kate brings over 15 years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector to her role as Executive Director of the Minnesota Tool Library. She is influenced by her service as a VISTA, background teaching non-profit management & leadership development, years as a volunteer administrator, and experience capacity building through her private consulting practice. A firm believer in the sharing economy, Kate thinks local organizations like the MN Tool Library have a unique opportunity to educate and empower, to connect neighbors (both literally and figuratively) in building community, and to impact our economic and environmental footprints. Kate resides in the Como neighborhood of St. Paul where she lives in a fixer-upper with her husband and two little tutu-wearing and tool-wielding toddlers. She’s no stranger to home improvement projects, basic carpentry, and crafty Pinterest pursuits.
Co-Founder & Branch Manager: Thomas Ebert
Thomas is a Co-Founder, Board Vice President, and Director of the MTL. He is from Milwaukee, WI and lived in Portland, OR for 13 years. He has worked in the Waste Reduction field for nearly a decade, being employed in the recycling programs at both the Portland State University and the City of Beaverton. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Community Development at Portland State and has several years of community building experience. He moved back to the Midwest in 2013 and settled in NE Minneapolis shortly thereafter. Thomas became interested in developing a tool library as a member of the North Portland Tool Library, witnessing the value in community building and waste reduction. He feels very fortunate to have combined forces with Co-founder, Zach Wefel, and gained the support of many talented and committed community members. In the near-term, he hopes the MTL can serve as a catalyst to further connect the many communities within the NE Minneapolis community. In the long-term, he hopes the tool library can become a “sharing hub” for many different materials and/or services, allowing us to view nearly all that we do through a lens of cooperative support.
Branch Manager: Dennis Walsh
More than at home in the Midwest, growing up in Cincinnati, OH and getting his undergraduate degree from Indiana University,
Dennis is the Branch Manager for the St. Paul Tool Library. After teaching middle school math in rural North Carolina, Dennis moved to the Twin Cities with his wife, who grew up in here. Dennis is passionate about education, community building, and hands-on learning. He was amazed to find a wealth of organizations in the Twin Cities that fulfill all of these passions and has been lucky enough to work for several of them, including the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa, Urban Boatbuilders, and the St. Paul Branch of the Minnesota Tool Library. Dennis first found out about the Tool Library during his first visit to the Minnesota State Fair and kept his eye on the organization as it expanded into St. Paul. He was excited to become part of such a wonderful community and education oriented organization in 2018. Now that he and his wife have bought a 1912 home, they will also be using the Tool Library, as well as keeping it running.