Minnestar, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating experiences where the passion and potential of the Minnesota technology community come together, has announced the selection of Maria Ploessl as its new Executive Director. Maria will serve as the first Executive Director of the organization, working to promote the overall growth and sustainability of Minnestar.

“Hiring Maria is great news for our local technology community. Maria brings a wealth of tech and nonprofit expertise which will help us successfully execute our mission of growing a vibrant tech community. An Executive Director adds needed capacity to deliver on and grow the organization operationally and strategically,” said Casey Helbling Chairperson of the Minnestar Board of Directors.

Minnestar is known for its signature community events where software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, and investors come together to connect and share ideas. The annual Minnebar conference features sessions completely conceived and run by the community, one of the largest un-conferences in the nation with over 1,000 attendees. And three times a year Minnestar runs Minnedemo where community members, companies and startups share their ideas and projects in short live demos. All of the events are free to the community.

“I look forward to serving and partnering with our technology community in this new capacity,” said Maria. “I am passionate about community engagement and creating programming that is informative and welcoming to all. Minnestar plays a key role in supporting and connecting our region’s vibrant and thriving technology scene, and I look forward to being a part of its continued growth.”

Maria brings over 10 years of program management, administration, and community engagement experience in the nonprofit and education sector. Most recently she served as Campus Director for the Iron Yard, and prior to that served as Program Manager for City Year Boston. She is a former educator with Minneapolis Public Schools, and was selected as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Bragança, Brazil where she developed university-level educational programming and events.

For more information about Minnestar, their upcoming events, and sponsorship opportunities visit www.minnestar.org.