Molly Koenen, Brian Westerhaus, and Laura Nelson

Guiding The Expedition

Our Leadership

Our leadership team channels our pioneering spirit, united by our humble, hungry, connected values. With compassion, they lead us toward growth and community impact.

Meet Brian

  • Owner and Partner at Pioneer
  • Proud father of three
  • Moonlights as a cross-fit coach at The Firm
  • Metallica fanatic

He leads with HHC by

Humbly and quietly serving others from the background. From a personal goal to a grounding belief, this idea was the birthplace of HHC culture.

Want to connect with Brian? He can be reached at Brian.Westerhaus@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Molly

  • Owner and Partner at Pioneer
  • Spends her weekend watching her boys wrestle or play baseball
  • Known at Pioneer for her belly laughter
  • Loves her gym, The Firm
  • Reads constantly on almost any topic

She leads with HHC

With small town heart and hustle, which is personally meaningful to her. Molly grew up in Olivia, MN a small town of 2,500 people, who care deeply about each other, their families and community, and the professions they’ve carefully chosen to contribute meaningfully to the world. She believes you can be world-class and kind at the same time.

Want to connect with Molly? She can be reached at Molly.Koenen@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Laura

  • Owner and General Manager, Minneapolis
  • Loves being active outdoors (with the exception of winter!)
  • Can be found cheering on her sons at a hockey rink, baseball field, or football field

She leads with HHC by

Being fiercely committed to the growth and empowerment of our team and clients, as well as to building community in the workplace and beyond. We are encouraged to bring our whole self to work and are hungry to meet new challenges and opportunities that our clients bring forward.

Want to connect with Laura? She can be reached at Laura.Nelson@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Lane

  • Chief Finance Officer at Pioneer
  • An avid outdoorsman who loves backcountry skiing & bird-hunting
  • Doubles as an adventure guide for his children

He leads with HHC by

Working behind the scenes to solve problems and move organizations forward in service to our clients. He also loves having a great time supporting other Pioneers!

Want to connect with Lane? He can be reached at Lane.Elmer@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Sarah

  • Chief People Officer at Pioneer
  • A traveler, she’s always exploring new places and has been to every continent except Antarctica.
  • Loves living in MN and enjoying all four seasons, even when winter gets a little long.

He leads with HHC by

Believing that the best outcomes are achieved when we work together as a team, leveraging each other's strengths, to support our clients and community to realize their goals and aspirations. And, having a little fun while we do it.

Want to connect with Sarah? She can be reached at Sarah.Holum@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Holly

  • Practice Director, Organizational Effectiveness
  • Loves outdoor adventures and anything in or by water
  • Is her son’s #1 fan, cheering him on at the swim deck and the baseball field

She leads with HHC by

Constantly scanning the market for new trends in the change field to inspire innovative solutions and support our clients’ needs. She loves helping a client sustain performance improvement by strengthening organizational culture, developing leadership accountability to drive change, and creating whole systems thinking focused on the employee/customer at the heart of the change.

Want to connect with Holly? She can be reached at Holly.Williams@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Shane

  • Practice Director of Data Analytics
  • Always up for a fishing trip out west or up north
  • Love spending time with his family at their cabin
  • To many people’s surprise, he is colorblind

He leads with HHC by

Believing that HHC is the force that holds Pioneer together and helps deliver for their clients. Our practice synergies work in harmony, but it is our values that help differentiate Pioneer from our peers.

Want to connect with Shane? He can be reached at Shane.Jensen@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Rita

  • Practice Director, Strategy & Execution in Minneapolis.
  • Started playing violin at age 5 – has played in numerous orchestras, small groups, and solo performances
  • Can be found staying active with her family in all seasons – skiing, golfing, hiking, biking

She leads with HHC by

Listening to problems before jumping in, then working to craft the best solution, all while supporting the rest of her team to deliver excellent work for clients.

Want to connect with Rita? She can be reached at Rita.Zinn@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Anne

  • Delivery Director, Organizational Effectiveness
  • Her favorite place to be is at the cabin with her family
  • Loves to run, read, cook, listen to podcasts, and be outdoors; is considering taking up latch hook again

She leads with HHC by

Helping clients and Pioneer’s explore the possibilities, create a compelling solution, and ultimately, equip people with what they need to make meaningful change.

Want to connect with Anne? She can be reached at Anne.Tinklenberg@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

Meet Annelise

  • Delivery Director, Organizational Effectiveness
  • Loves creating new cocktails and trying new recipes
  • Spends her free-time learning about new things – anything from brewing kombucha to the function of the vagus nerve

She leads with HHC by

With authenticity and curiosity – she encourages her clients and team to lead with vulnerability and be willing to ask the tough questions. She believes connected and humble leaders build strong cultures that drive the success of organizations.

Want to connect with Annelise? She can be reached at Annelise.Larson@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

MEET SIMBA

  • Delivery Director, Strategy & Execution
  • Travel enthusiast, admirer of new cultures, self-acclaimed Twin Cities foodie
  • Fútbol over Football. Manchester City FC devotee

He leads with HHC by

Providing thought leadership for our clients, pro-actively anticipating and solving their future business needs, and obsessing over the highest quality of delivery from himself and the teams he leads.

Want to connect with Simba? He can be reached at simba.musasa@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn

MEET MINDY

  • Connection Director in Business Operations
  • Loves being outdoors, especially for live music.
  • A foodie who loves trying new restaurants, cocktail bars, and breweries around town.

She leads with HHC by

Being a strategic thinker who loves helping clients solve complex problems by providing thought leadership along with tools and processes. She’s fiercely passionate about building strong, long-term relationships with clients and team members.

Want to connect with Mindy? She can be reached at Mindy.Dempsey@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

JASON TRAYNOR

  • Delivery Director, Data & Analytics in Minneapolis
  • Passionate about engineering solutions to harmonize data
  • Favorite hobby is carpentry and home renovation
  • Loves taking his family to the MN Zoo and Children's Museum

He leads with HHC by

At Pioneer we work with our clients to find the data solutions that best fit their business needs.  We offer expertise in a wide variety of technologies and industries with the goal of delivering products that are robust, cost-effective, and easy to support.

What to connect with Jason? He can be reached at Jason.Traynor@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

MEET GEORGIA

  • Connection Director in Organizational Effectiveness
  • Loves supporting and exploring the local Twin Cities culinary and arts scenes
  • Lived abroad in Spain and is brushing up on Spanish to go with her family again in the coming years

She leads with HHC by

Never missing an opportunity to get to know other Pioneers and her clients. She’s passionate about finding ways to build relationships that surpass the typical and traditional ways of consulting. She believes wholeheartedly when you take time to meet people where they are at, it can only lead to more creative, effective work outcomes.

Want to connect with Georgia? She can be reached at Georgia.May@thepioneerteam.com or via LinkedIn.

MEET SHAYLA

  • Director of Business Development, Minneapolis
  • Ask her about her favorite travel adventures: Volcano boarding in Nicaragua, Canyoning in Ecuador, or Dhow boat sailing in Oman (just to name a few)
  • Can be found on the weekends walking around Minneapolis with her partner, daughter, and two German Shepherds

She leads with HHC by:

Being a connector-of-people. Whether that is prospecting and nurturing client relationships, collaborating with our consulting talent, or building and leading teams, working with diverse individuals is what gives her energy and drive.

MEET CHRISTINA

  • Director, Talent Acquisition
  • Loves great food and trying new restaurants around the Twin Cities
  • Will be found anywhere outdoors with her Golden Retriever, Apollo, when it’s over 60 degrees and sunny!

She leads with HHC by:

Connecting with individuals at all phases throughout their career, partnering with the Pioneer leaders to support our clients’ needs, and leading talent acquisition teams to maximize their potential. She believes in building long-lasting relationships through transparency, empathy, and open communication.

Denver Team

Mike Kemp

Mike Kemp

Delivery Director, Strategy and Execution

Blake Angelo

Blake Angelo

Director, Specialty Industries and Offerings

Advisory Team

Mike Pongon

Mike Pongon

Advisory Team

Are You Ready
for Adventure?
Join Pioneer

From strategy to execution, we scout new horizons together, driven by passion, grit, and connection on our shared mission.

If you crave growth, want to make an impact, and are eager to chart new trails, your next opportunity is here.