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Denise Cardinal is the Executive Director of Win Minnesota, the fundraising arm of Alliance for a Better Minnesota (ABM), which Denise helped found in 2007. She led that organization through the 2010 election that helped get the first Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Governor elected in Minnesota in decades — one of the few bright spots for progressives that year. She then served as the Executive Director of ProgressNow, a 21-state network of communications-centered advocacy organizations known for their smart messaging and tough tactics. Denise also launched Cardinal Insight, a communications and consulting firm servicing nonprofits, progressive candidates, causes and campaigns.

Before moving back to her home state of Minnesota in 2006 to be communications director for America Votes Minnesota and then start ABM, Denise served for five years as Senior Press Officer for the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. working mainly on the so-called No Child Left Behind Act. She also spent time in our nation's capitol as the Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND). She's worked at newspapers in Nevada, Idaho, Iowa and earned a degree in Journalism from Drake University in 1995. She's the first in her family to attend and graduate from college, and lives in Saint Paul with her two school-aged children, husband and brown dog in a drafty 100-year-old house. She grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota on the St. Croix river across from Wisconsin. And yes, she really does in fact like the cold.