Our Team

  • Dara Rudick, CAE

  • CEO

As CEO of Management HQ, LLC, Dara Rudick leads a world-class association management firm, whose team of outstanding business professionals and partners drive unprecedented results to clients. Dara is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with more than 17 years’ proven success in serving associations that are determined to thrive.  To date, she has engaged dozens of team members to serve 10,000+ members, implement the vision of 25 boards of directors, manage hundreds of volunteers and deliver nearly one thousand stellar events. Read Dara’s Full Biography.

  • Kevin Ward

  • President

As President of MHQ, Kevin leads MHQ’s team in supporting clients, increasing operational efficiencies, and driving strategic organizational growth.  He brings more than 15-years’ experience in leadership development, strategic growth, and client services. Read Kevin’s Full Biography.




  • Tammy Schoenberg

  • Office and Account Manager

Tammy Schoenberg is a seasoned association professional with more than 15-years’ experience in association leadership and operations. Before joining MHQ, Tammy most recently served as the Executive Director of an international professional association.  Read Tammy’s Full Biography.


  • Lisa Shepherd

  • Director of Marketing and Comunications

Lisa brings more than 15 years of integrated marketing and communications experience to the Management-HQ team, having worked with organizations spanning the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Her expertise includes executing multi-channel public awareness campaigns, program launches, product introductions, media relations, executive visibility, writing, corporate sponsorship and synthesizing complex information quickly. Read Lisa’s Full Biography.


  • Jim Murphy

  • Executive Director

Jim Murphy serves as the executive director for a Management HQ client association, the National Association for Regulatory Administration (NARA), where he was previously president-elect and had served on numerous leadership committees. NARA is an international nonprofit association representing all human care, including adult care, child care, and child welfare services. Read Jim’s full biography.


  • Kathy Choh

  • Membership and Events Coordinator

Kathy is a member service and communications professional. Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, Kathy has a track-record of driving strong business development and successful communications efforts for both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  Kathy is a member of the Midwest Society of Association Executives, the American Society of Association Executives, and the Association Management Company Institute.

  • Kate Cole, CAE

  • Account Coordinator

Kate Cole is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) with nearly two decades of association management experience. Kate served as vice president of a large regional association for 16 years. Having worked both as a full-time association staff member, and as a consultant to associations, Cole possesses the big-picture understanding of successful association management, as well as an astute attention to details. Kate has extensive knowledge of national accreditation programs, and has been heavily engaged in credentialing and certification programs, including serving on a national credentialing advisory panel for four years. Read Kate’s Full Biography.

  • Ashley Driste

  • Events Manager

Having successfully managed over 150 association events, Ashley possesses a solid understanding of the unique opportunities and challenges that membership associations face. She is responsible for MHQ’s overall event leadership, management, and marketing. Her extreme organization, ability to meet tight deadlines, and superior quality delivery ensure that MHQ client events shine. Ashley has earned her Master’s degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations.  Read Ashley’s Full Biography.

  • Rhianna Gawrys

  • Membership and Events Coordinator

Rhianna Gawrys brings a diverse spectrum of events, operations and project management experience to Management HQ, having worked with agencies, corporate and not-for-profit organizations. In her current role as a membership and events coordinator, Rhianna is responsible for supporting Management HQ’s clients with their membership recruitment and retention goals, as well as assisting with on-site event coordination, from set-ups and directing vendors to maintaining constant client contact and keeping attendees happy. Read Rhianna’s Full Biography.

  • Jin Palen

  • Executive Director

Jin (Jinny) Palen was appointed executive director of the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Centers (MACHMHP) in 2016. As the leading professional association for community-based mental health providers, MACMHP exists to ensure this essential safety net remains strong, vibrant and engaged. Read more about Jinny.

Steve Thomas Photo

  • Steve Thomas

  • Interim Executive Director

Steve Thomas joins the MHQ team as an interim executive director for a MHQ client association, the Minnesota Association of Community Mental Health Programs. Steve is a social entrepreneur with 35 years of success in designing, launching, and operating innovative public service ventures in communities across the country. In 2007, he developed and launched Better Futures Minnesota, a social enterprise that offers integrated care and opportunities for single men, mostly Black men, with histories of incarceration and homelessness and little to no work experience. Read Steve’s Full Biography.

  • Kent Fordyce

  • Accountant

Kent Fordyce brings over 30 years of experience working with small business and the non-profit community, providing accounting services to fit their specific needs. He has been a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor since 2005 and recently he has been Certified for QuickBooks Online since 2013. Fordyce’s ability to attend to details compliments his skill for explaining complex financial issues in an easily understandable way.

Photography Credit: Jeff Achen Photography