We are thrilled to announce an exciting new chapter in Minnestar’s history! Effective July 13, we have named a new leader for our organization – Sarah Olson. 

“I am excited to have Sarah join us as she has many years of experience working in tech and leading other tech nonprofits and community organizations here in Minnesota. She will be a familiar face to many of you. Because of this, I truly believe she will be well positioned to connect with the technologists that Minnestar is committed to serving,” shares Minnestar board chair Jenna Pederson. Sarah will be the second executive director in Minnestar’s history; she takes over from Maria Ploessl, who departed the role in June after nearly six years of service to act as chief of staff for the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Minnestar for many years, so I am thrilled to be taking over as their next Executive Director. I want to give a huge thank you to Maria for the amazing work she had done building the organization over the last six years, and I look forward to leveraging her foundation to continue growing our community and our offerings,” says Sarah. 

Sarah comes to Minnestar with 25 years of experience in tech, working for local companies like Cargill, Optum, Thomson Reuters, and The Nerdery. For the past 7 years, she was a senior engineer on the Trello mobile apps at Atlassian.

Sarah is a passionate advocate for diversity, inclusion and equity in tech. She spoke at conferences and for local companies about DE&I and volunteered for groups such as Girl Develop It and App Camp for Girls. She started the Twin Cities network of Women Who Code in 2015 and served as director of that chapter for three years. She also co-founded two non-profits focused on diversifying tech, MNclude and Nova Code Collective. 

Please welcome Sarah at our upcoming events – we are so thrilled to have her leadership as part of the Minnestar community!