Sarah O’Brien hired as new executive director of Hamline Midway Coalition


The Hamline Midway Coalition (HMC) Board of Directors is happy to announce that Sarah O’Brien has been hired to be the next executive director of Saint Paul District Council 11.
O’Brien began her role with HMC on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. She joins community project coordinator Alec Armon and neighborhood plan intern Emma Kiley.
Outgoing executive director Kate Mudge has been serving in an interim capacity and will provide support during the organizational transition.
“Sarah has a deep record in fundraising and communications for community organizations and rich experience in staff organization and development,” said Mike Reynolds, HMC copresident with Thom Foss. “In the interviews she demonstrated a robust understanding of the coalition and our work, and spoke with passion and clarity about community organizing and the role of a non-profit like HMC.”
A resident of Saint Paul’s Como neighborhood, O’Brien will take the helm at HMC after 16 years in the nonprofit sector working to increase access to healthy food, education, and better opportunities for all. Her most recent role was on behalf of The Open Door where she led communications and development.
HMC hired O’Brien after a three-month search and interview process by a board committee.
“We are lucky to have been able to hire someone as experienced and passionate about community building, economic vitality, and sustainability as Sarah,” said Foss.
Get to know Sarah a bit better in the following Q&A.

What do you wish everyone would know about Hamline Midway Coalition (or the DC system?)
I wish everyone to know that the Hamline Midway Coalition is the voice of its neighbors. What is important to you is important to HMC. With the engagement of all HMC residents, especially the underrepresented neighbors of our community, and working in harmony with the District Council system (17 district councils make up the city of Saint Paul!), we together make a thriving, vibrant, bustling neighborhood. HMC is here to support neighbor-led interests and initiatives. HMC takes community recommendations on Community Building, Economic Development, Transportation, as well as other improvements, to public agencies and representatives to ensure that the needs of HMC are heard. We all care that Hamline Midway continues to be an amazing place to live, work, and play!

On my day off, you can find me:
On my day off you can find me enjoying some of my favorite Saint Paul haunts by bike and on foot and spending time with my family. Lately, I’ve been trying to come up with clever ways to keep my two kids off their iPads and outside! Some recent successes include bike riding around Lake Como, swimming at the YMCA, foraging for vegetables in our mini-front yard garden (running out of creative ways to utilize kale and sure could use some ideas!), and time spent on a trampoline that takes up the majority of our backyard.

What makes the Hamline Midway neighborhood unique?
The people who live, work, study, and play in Hamline Midway are proud of their community, as they should be! In every corner of Hamline Midway and all pockets in between you will find parks, eclectic restaurants, educational institutions and hubs, clubs and coffee shops all nestled among beautiful neighborhood gardens and engaging artwork. Hamline Midway is also unique in its commitment to improved equity through working to provide equal access to resources for all community residents. I love this neighborhood so much because the people that make up Hamline Midway are passionate about the locally-owned businesses, they care for their fellow neighbors, and are actively engaged in support of a connected community. When I am here in the Hamline Midway neighborhood I feel that vibrant connectivity that makes you want to be a part of it.


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