A Message from

Our Founders:

Chuck and Cindy Hill, The Founders

“While developing a successful basketball program, we realized that to play at the next level, the student-athlete must maintain satisfactory grades and test scores.  As a result, we created the Minnesota CHILL Foundation – and shifted our program from being strictly athletics-driven (basketball) to one that has an education focus to ensure academic success.

 

Unfortunately, the Twin Cities has experienced a steady decline and a widening of the education gap for children of color. Cindy and I want to continue our contribution to the community, both financially and with our time, towards the elimination of the achievement gap.

 

We believe it is our civic duty to make sure that those who participate in our programs will benefit doubly; they will receive quality fitness/athletic development while pursuing academic excellence. ” – Chuck & Cindy Hill, C0-Founders

Our Mission is to provide academic and athletic programming for the purpose of educating student scholars for future success.

Our Objectives:

  • Improve the lives of individuals in our community by providing high quality academic, athletic and health and wellness programming.

  • Address the educational, health and wellness disparities that plague the Greater Twin Cities Community and primarily impacting the African-American community.

 

  • Provide synergy between the academic, athletic and health and wellness programming to ensure participation by clients in complementary programs.

  • Develop or obtain a facility to deliver programming in a safe and inviting environment for youth and families.

 

 

  • Provide college readiness programs and services to influence academic behaviors and potentially to obtain academic or athletic scholarships.

Our programming offerings include:

Minnesota CHILL Academy

 

This new Academy is designed to take Youth participants through a 9-month afterschool program.  It is committed to creating a physically, mentally, emotionally, socially safe learning and development environment for ALL participants. Our focus is to empower Youth (referred to as “scholars”) in areas of math, reading, money management, social/emotional and life skills.

 

Minnesota CHILL Basketball

 

In addition to providing scholars with opportunities to hone their basketball skills, this program will also prepare them to be good students, strong leaders, and productive citizens in our community.  The program is also structured to prepare scholars to compete at the highest basketball level (locally and nationally) – and to promote a long-term objective of obtaining a college scholarship to support their academic/athletic goals.

Minnesota CHILL Fitness for Kids

 

Through a myriad of techniques, activities, and exercises, scholars in grades K-12, learn the benefits of staying active and encouraged to maintain a physically fit lifestyle both now and in to adulthood. Scholars will also gain an increased awareness that by practicing these healthy habits, they can significantly reduce the chances of becoming obese or developing other obesity-related illnesses.

Minnesota Chill Foundation is happy to announce our partnership with the Amazon Smile Foundation. We are honored to join them and appreciate the recognition from the community that believes in our organization’s mission. You can make a difference for us, just shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon Smile Foundation donates to the Minnesota Chill Foundation.

Executive Leadership

Chuck Hill,

Co-Founder

Chairman of MN Chill Foundation

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Cindy Hill,

Co-Founder

Secretary/Treasurer

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William “Chuckie” Hill

Director of Education

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Marcus

Hill

Director of Chill Fitness/Basketball

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Rev. Dr. Darcel Hill

Educational Consultant

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Valeda

Huff

HR Consultant

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Christian Johnson

PR/Marketing Consultant

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Board Membership

Alexia Kjos

Member at Large

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Alexia Kjos has been in the technology industry for over 15 years. She has become a voice in the business analysis community with her webinars held through the Minnesota Chapter of IIBA (International Institute of Business Analysts). Currently, Alexia is a Strategic Business Analyst focusing on software development with the State of Minnesota. For the past three years, she has been responsible for improving the analysis maturity, consistency, and effectiveness of over 150 business analysts by collaborating, advocating to leadership, identifying and initiating projects, initiatives and holding self and team accountable for results.

During her career, Alexia has worked as a leader, mentor, consultant, trainer, software, and database designer. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin -River Falls with a double major in Speech Communications and Marketing Communications.

Throughout her lifetime, she has been an avid volunteer through various non-profit organizations and is excited to bring her knowledge and skills to Minnesota CHILL Foundation.

Garrett Copeland

Member at Large

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Garrett Copeland is a Business Architect for the State of Minnesota and has been working in that position for the past four years, translating strategy into execution for The Department of Human Services. He is passionate about the intersection between innovation, value to business areas, and ultimately Minnesota’s people. Previously, Garrett worked as a Business Analyst for the Department of Human Services for over ten years as well as a Child Support Officer for Hennepin County.

Garrett is passionate about improving the lives and communities of Minnesotans.

Jesse Kwakenat

Member at Large

(Special Education/ Business Focus)

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Jesse Kwakenat is a Special Education Teacher, Restorative Practices Advisor, and Cross Country Coach at Saint Paul Central High School.

He has been a teacher at Central for 10 years and with Saint Paul Public Schools for 15.

Lea Hargett

Member at Large

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Lea Hargett is the principal owner and chief strategy consultant of JOG Associates, LLC. She is an accomplished strategist and executive whose innovation and expertise in business performance have driven notable enterprise growth with private and non-profit sector clients. JOG Associates is a Minnesota-based consulting firm.  The firm’s services include business strategy and planning, process optimization, program design and implementation, and transitional leadership.  Lea is also an associate of the Falls Group, a subsidiary of the Falls Agency, which provides strategy, branding/marketing, and public relations targeting the urban cultural market.

Lea is the former President and CEO of the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce.  She is a Leadership Greater Chicago and Leadership St. Paul alumni. Lea is the Anika Foundation board chair and serves on the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and Minnesota Chill Foundation boards.

Leslie Wright

Member at Large

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Leslie Wright is a Mom, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, and Community Advocate that has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 15.5 years.
She attended Howard University and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Currently, she is the Vice President, Development & Alumni Relations at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Before that position, she was Director of External and Community Engagement at Greater Twin Cities United Way, where she led Culturally Powered Communities and represented the community’s voice in the building and United Way’s voice in the community. She initially started her hospitality industry career, where she worked for Marriott International for approximately 25 years and served as the Senior Vice President, Sales, and Service for Meet Minneapolis, the official Convention and Visitors Bureau for the City of Minneapolis.

She is on the Board of World Savvy and The Minnesota Chill Foundation and is an Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated member. She cares about the community and the people in it.

She and her family live in Eden Prairie and are the proud parents of one son, Julian, a sophomore student-athlete at Marquette University.

Lezlie Taylor   

Member at Large

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Lezlie is an innovative business / non-profit executive with extensive background in business development, marketing, and community relations. She has led new business initiatives and growth strategies with a diversity and inclusion lens.  Lezlie has demonstrated expertise in driving organizational performance through innovative products and by building and maintaining key business and community relationships.

She is an avid community champion. She currently serves on the board for the MN Chill Foundation, a human rights commissioner for the City of Bloomington; she is a member of The Minneapolis – St. Paul Chapter Links, Inc., an international African American Women’s organization whose focus is on youth development and leadership, national trends and the arts.  Lezlie has also served on the board of Benilde-St. Margaret’s School for six years; 2 years as chair of the Governance Committee.

Savoy Magazine has recognized Lezlie for her role in Diversity and Inclusion and by Black Enterprise for her outstanding business achievements as a top executive in Corporate Diversity.

Lezlie resides in Bloomington with her husband Louis and their dog Jax.  She is the proud mother of two adult sons, Brandon and Jordan.

Yvette Trotman M.S.

Member at Large

(Dietitian/Nutritionist

/Health Educator)

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My avocation in life is purposeful as a poet, dancer, dress designer, musician, writer, chaplain, and lover of life.

My vocation has had a rich mix of experiences as a Dean of Nursing, Public Health, and Community Services, Special Assistant in Diversity to College President, Instructor in Health and Biology, Dietitian, Job Search Coach, Corporate Trainer, Diversity Professional while working in multiple industries: Higher Education, Corporate America, Hospitals, Prison System, Public Schools System and Nursing Homes.

I hail from the beautiful island of St. Kitts in the Caribbean. I am a longtime member of the Caribbean community in Minnesota as one of the founders of many Caribbean-associated events, including Carifest.

I was educated in Canada, Puerto Rico, Washington D.C. I attended Howard University, the University of Michigan, and the Inter American University of Puerto Rico.