Staff Directory

Administration
Youth Center
Housing
Mental Health & Wellness
Futures Education & Employment
Safe Harbor

Administration

Maude Dornfeld, Executive Director
(218) 722-7431 x110
maude.dornfeld@life-house.org
Maude joined Life House in 2013 with more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector and market research. She holds an MA in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on domestic violence, sex offenders and juvenile delinquency and a certificate in nonprofit administration from the University of Wisconsin-Superior.

Ryan Irlbeck, Finance Director
(218) 722-7431 x115
ryan.irlbeck@life-house.org
Ryan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Ryan spent 10 years with Minneapolis-based Regis Corporation, most recently as Vice President of Operations. He is a former Certified Public Accountant and has served as the Finance Director for Animal Allies Humane Society and Community Action Duluth.

Erich Lutz, Program Director
(218) 722-7431 x114
erich.lutz@life-house.org
Erich has extensive experience with supportive housing programs and services that assist homeless youth to achieve the skills necessary to obtain and maintain safe and affordable housing. Erich began his career at Life House in 2001 as the Transitional Services Case Manager. In 2009, he worked for the Human Development Center, providing intensive case management services to long-term homeless individuals and families in Duluth. Erich returned to Life House in 2010 as the Housing Lead and was promoted to Program Director in 2014. Erich is considered the area’s expert in housing policy and regulations.

Margie Nelson, Development Associate
(218) 722-7431 x111
margie.nelson@life-house.org
Margie received her B.A. in 2012 from the College of St. Scholastica and Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) in 2014 from the University of Minnesota Duluth concentrating in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy.  In addition to being owned by a cat named Bruno, she actively volunteers in the Duluth community.  She is currently involved with the Homegrown Music Festival, City of Duluth Planning Commission, and Duluth-Superior GLBTAQI Pride.

Amy White, Development Officer
(218) 722-7431 x122
amy.white@life-house.org

Youth Center

Ahna Pelto, MSW, LGSW, Youth Center Manager
(218) 722-7431 x126
ahna.pelto@life-house.org
Ahna graduated from the University of Wisconsin Superior with a B.S. in Social Work in 2010, and from the College of St. Scholastica with a Master’s in Social Work in 2017. She started at Life House in October 2011 as a Youth Center Advocate, and in 2014 she transitioned to her current role of Youth Center Manager. She also completed her clinical internship in the Wellness Program. Prior to working at Life House, Ahna worked with children & young adults in the Duluth community through volunteering projects, interning as an Alcohol and Drug Intervention Specialist with the Duluth Public Schools, and working with individuals who have developmental disabilities.

Cheyenne Alisankus, Youth Specialist/Resource Coordinator
(218) 722-7431 x120
cheyenne.alisankus@life-house.org

Travis Dombrovski, Youth Specialist/Outreach Coordinator
(218) 722-7431 x120
travis.dombrovski@life-house.org  
Travis graduated from UW Stout in 1997 with a BS degree in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. He has worked with youth in a number of capacities. Since moving to Duluth in 2001, he’s worked in housing and case management that specialize in helping mentally ill and the less fortunate. Prior to his work at the Life House, he worked as an advocate in the Duluth Public Schools. Travis enjoys the outdoors and giving youth opportunities for new experiences.

Gabe Mayfield, Youth Specialist/Activities Coordinator
(218) 722-7431 x119
gabe.mayfield@life-house.org
Gabe graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Superior in 2001 and has extensive community involvement—from the Lyric Opera of the North to the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial. He has been a Crew Leader and Program Manager for Duluth Stream Corps, but is passionate about basketball and the arts. He shares those passions here at Life House as the Activities Coordinator, taking youth to the YMCA for basketball or teaching weekly song writing classes.

Renita Syas, Youth Specialist
(218) 722-7431 x120
renita.syas@life-house.org

Housing

Eric Goetz, Housing Program Manager
(218) 722-7431 x113
eric.goetz@life-house.org
Eric earned a B.A. in Social Work from The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota. He joined Life House in 2012 as the Employment Case Manager. Shortly thereafter Eric transitioned over to the Housing Program as a Transitional Housing Case Manager/Intake Specialist. In 2014, Eric was promoted to Housing Program Manager where he’s responsible for the oversight of all the Life House Supportive Housing Programs as well as administering homeless and prevention crisis funding.

Kyle Naalsund, Senior Housing Case Manager
(218) 722-7431 x116
kyle.naalsund@life-house.org
Kyle graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Superior in 1998 with a BS in Secondary Education, Mathematics. He has more than 12 years’ experience working with youth ages 13 – 21, specializing in at-risk and homeless youth.

Mike Hartley, Housing Case Manager
(218) 722-7431 x130
mike.hartley@life-house.org

Holly Samuelson, Housing Case Manager
(218) 722-7431 x140
holly.samuelson@life-house.org
Holly graduated from The College of St. Scholastica in 2006 with a BA in Social Work. She has a history with Life House, working as the Leasing Program Case Manager and the Futures Employment Case Manager from 2009-2012. We are glad to have her back as a Housing Case Manager.


Mental Health & Wellness

Julie Flint, MSW, LICSW, Mental Health Professional
(218) 722-7431 x129
julie.flint@life-house.org
Julie is a 2007 MSW graduate of University of Minnesota, Duluth. She went on to earn her LICSW in April 2010. As a licensed clinical social worker, Flint has extensive experience counseling at-risk youth. Prior to joining Life House, Flint worked at North Homes Children and Family Services as a Certified Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT).

Sheri Johnson, MSW, Mobile Mental Health Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x124
sheri.johnson@life-house.org
Sheri earned a B.S. degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 1995, and a Master’s degree in Social Work from The College of St. Scholastica in 2016. She has over 10 years of experience working with persons who live with symptoms of mental illness, and believes all people have the potential and should have the opportunity to create personally fulfilling lives. She is also passionate about LGB and Transgender advocacy. Sheri was an intern and volunteer at Life House during graduate school and is very excited to join this dedicated community in the role of Mobile Mental Health Advocate.

Allie McDevitt, Wellness Case Manager
(218) 722-7431 x128
allie.mcdevitt@life-house.org
Allie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a B.A. in Social Work. She is currently attending Fond Du Lac community college to obtain her Alcohol and Drug Counselor certificate. She has worked with Life House for 3 years in the Youth Center serving as the resource specialist before transitioning to wellness case manager specializing in substance abuse. Allie’s greatest passion is working with at-risk youth while uplifting those around her. She believes that each and every youth that walks in the doors of Life House has a purpose, they just may not know it yet.

 

Futures Education & Employment

Luke Morcomb, MSW, Futures Program Manager
(218) 722-7431 x127
luke.morcomb@life-house.org
Morcomb recently completed his MSW at University of Minnesota, Duluth and has many years’ experience working with youth. Most recently he was a Street Outreach Worker at Lutheran Social Service but has also served Mentor Duluth through TrueNorth AmeriCorps and has a long volunteer history. As the Employment Case Manager, he will work to assist youth to find and maintain work through job coaching, skills training, and placement services.

Amber Sadowski, Futures Education Case Manager
(218) 722-7431 x112
amber.sadowski@life-house.org
Amber received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College, Moorhead in English Writing and Environmental Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Minnesota. Prior to Life House Amber spent 6 years educating in school settings before taking time off to stay home with her family. During this time she opened an outdoor education and child centered home day care. Outside of her role at Life House, Amber enjoys various outdoor activities, reading and traveling.

Safe Harbor

Mary Cowen, Safe Harbor Program Manager
(218) 722-7431 x125
mary.cowen@life-house.org

Ashley Luna, Sol House Supervisor
(218) 722-7431 x141
ashley.luna@life-house.org

Kristi Burton, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x141
kristi.burton@life-house.org

Ericka Holtz, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x141
ericka.hotlz@life-house.org
Ericka graduated from University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2015, earning a BS in Social Work. She joined Life House in 2014 as an intern in the Youth Center, working alongside our Youth Center staff to put her classwork into practice. She has a long history of volunteer and service commitments in the Twin Ports community and a deep passion for working with homeless and street youth.

Rebecca Lester, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x141
rebecca.lester@life-house.org
Rebecca (Becca) graduated from University of Minnesota, Duluth with a double major in Women’s Studies and American Indian Studies in 2012. She has been a long-time advocate for social justice and women’s issues, volunteering for a variety of organizations in the Twin Ports (including PAVSA, Seeds of Success, Girl Power!, and others).

Anna Lieffring, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218)722-7431 x141
anna.lieffring@life-house.org

Tarra Lind, Sol House On-Site Youth Advocate
(218) 722-7431 x141
tarra.lind@life-house.org
Tarra is a Native American lesbian who is a descendant of the Fond Du Lac Band of Ojibwe. She brings her own healing from family domestic violence, sexual violence, youth homelessness, and the foster care system experience. She most recently was a Resident Assistant for two years for San Marco, advocating on behalf of the men and women who were chronically alcoholic and residing there, assuring they were safe and secure. This last year Tarra became a Program Assistant through Duluth Regional Care Center (DRCC) working with Developmentally Disabled elderly adults.