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Ace In The City

Reclaiming hope and rebuilding community through authentic relationships.

Hope is contagious. You just have to be willing to share it! Ace in the City is passionate in our pursuit to bring God’s message of reconciliation to the city, to restore communities and transform lives. But this begins with relationships. Founded in 2008 as a basketball mentorship organization, Ace in the City has now emerged as a Christian community development organization. We are a faith-based 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization with a vision to see the city renewed and reclaimed for Christ.

Ace in the City is looking to expand our team. Check out our current team openings!

Our History

Some knew him as “Dubs” or Andy, but most simply called him “Ace.” Like his name implied, he excelled at all he pursued. He was a 17-time letter winner in high school athletics and played college basketball at Southwest Minnesota State University. While at SMSU, he received the “Mustang Award” for outstanding student-athletes, earned a degree in math, was voted Homecoming King, and elected as president of Campus Crusade for Christ. These were just a few among Ace’s many achievements—all of which were concealed in humility.

When Andy was called to glory in July 2008, he left a legacy that went far beyond personal accolades. His deep care for others was genuinely inspired by his love for Christ. That love touched the lives of thousands in Minnesota and around the world. Andy was a son, a brother, a friend and a confidant. As a student athlete and youth pastor, Ace was simply an all-around great guy with a trophy rack of accomplishments, awards and recognitions—but it was his faith in Christ and the lives he touched that stood out. Ace will be remembered for how his faith transformed as love for others and it was his radical Christian living that inspired this organization. Now, we seek to use the gifts we’ve been given to invest in the lives of youth in the Twin Cities and around the globe.

As Ace did.

“I may not be the oldest, and I'm certainly not the wisest person around, but one thing I know for certain is that if the Lord leads, it's best you follow.”

Our Leaders

Tim Anderson

Tim Anderson

Executive Director

tim.anderson@aceinthecity.org

Founder of Ace in the City, Tim’s passion playing and coaching basketball emerged as the center of a dream—one which evolved into the realization that it’s God’s desire for us to use the gifts God’s given us, and, in doing so, be used to bring Him glory. That’s the model he brings to Ace in the City. Nothing flashy, but unmistakably effective! Tim is married to his bride, Emily and is kept busy with the shenanigans of his four sons.

Bekah Simpson

Bekah Simpson

Youth & Family Advocate

bekah.simpson@aceinthecity.org

Bekah Simpson is our Director of Programs. Passionate about community development and the Latino community in South Minneapolis, Bekah has a fervor to love, laugh, and live alongside our Ace families. Bekah’s adventurous, adaptable, and warm-hearted attitude is serving Ace in the City well as we continue to grow in the future!

Christina Freeman

Christina Freeman

Literacy Coordinator

christina.freeman@aceinthecity.org

Christina Freeman enthusiastically joined Ace in the City in the fall of 2013. Her twenty years of experience in education, with a Masters in Literacy and Reading Specialist License, and her love for serving, makes her a perfect fit for developing and leading the literacy program for Ace. Using these God given gifts allows her to love on kids, build their confidence, and empower them to be strong readers and leaders.

Brittany Jamison

Brittany Jamison

Director of Operations

brittany.jamison@aceinthecity.org

A longtime member of the Ace in the City community, Brittany brings her skills of organization, event coordination, bilingualism and a deep passion for nutrition education within our South Minneapolis community into her role as the Director of Operations. In addition to coordinating one of our community events or fundraisers, she can often be found in search of something delicious, in the kitchen, one of the city’s fabulous restaurants, or wandering the St. Paul Farmers’ Market!

Eme Bonkoski

Eme Bonkoski

Director of Communications

eme.bonkoski@aceinthecity.org

Loyal supporter of Ace in the City, Eme Bonkoski has stepped into the role of Director of Communications. She has a passion for Christ and serving youth, which combines perfectly with her ability to create, organize, and implement everything communications. Eme is thrilled to be able to serve by capturing and sharing the stories of Ace in the City. During off hours, you can find Eme taking “silly face” self-portraits with her husband, Jon, and two kids.

Graciela Torres Valle

Graciela Torres Valle

Intern

graciela@aceinthecity.org

Graciela Torres Valle joins Ace in the City as our first student intern, working closely alongside our kids and families in South Minneapolis. Graciela has grown up with Ace, joining our programming five years ago as a middle school student. Graduating this past May from Cristo Rey High School, Graciela is now a student at Minnesota Community Technical College where she is currently studying criminal justice, with hopes of eventually enrolling in the police academy.

Sarah Radden

Sarah Radden

Teen Director

sarah.radden@aceinthecity.org

Sarah has a passion for serving God, connecting with students and building relationships! She loves getting involved with students and sharing in their interests, whether that be through a pickup game of basketball, creating tie-dye, or over a cup of coffee. She is thrilled to join the Ace staff and to immerse herself in the community of South Minneapolis!

Jill Erickson

Jill Erickson

Director of Development

jill.Erickson@aceinthecity.org

Jill, our Director of Development, is committed to grow our relationships with churches, universities, and corporations. Her background in elementary education, music, and biblical studies has enabled her to work within churches and schools for over 20 years, igniting across generational lines a passion for Jesus and His Kingdom. Jill’s ability to foster an environment in which love for God catapults into loving & advocating for all people serves Ace well in living out our vision and mission.

“Straining toward what is ahead, pressing
on to win the prize for which Christ Jesus
has called us heavenward.”