As we continue to ring in the New Year, The Aliveness Project welcomes several new staff and a new board member to the team. We are excited to see what new accomplishments we will achieve together. Learn more about each person in their bio below.

Riley Cosgrove – Medical Case Manager

Riley (he/him) joins us after a year and a half of employment as a Resident Assistant with Clare Housing. Riley is excited to join the team at Aliveness to do his part to ensure that people impacted by HIV are heard, understood, and cared for. When Riley is not working in this capacity, he sits on the board for the community-based volunteer organization Gay For Good-Twin Cities. Riley enjoys biking, and participating in things such as the Red Ribbon Ride. Aside from these activities, Riley unwinds by being with friends, performing/watching comedy, and going home to Iowa in order to spend time with his nine nieces and nephews and the family golden retriever Calpurnia.  

Contactriley@aliveness.org or (612) 822-7946 ext, 215

Tesha Johnson – Medical Case Manager

Tesha (she/her) was born in St. Paul, but lived in Denver, Colorado for a majority of her life. She moved back to Minnesota in 1996. Since her diagnosis in 2005, she has worked closely with non-profit organizations to End AIDS. Tesha is a HIV instructor, tester, and motivational speaker. Additionally she works at Children’s Hospital as a peer navigator work with women, families, and children living with HIV. Her favorite color is purple and she spends most of her time with her three children, ages 27, 17, and 7. She regularly attends church at Shiloh Missionary Baptist and is always looking to uplift the next person.

Contacttesha@aliveness.org or (612) 822-7946 ext, 218

Dana Lipper – Medical Case Manager

Dana (she/her) is from outside Boston, MA and has been living in Minneapolis for almost four years now. Before coming to The Aliveness Project, she worked at the Annex Teen Clinic and taught Sexual Health Education to middle school and high school students through a non-judgmental, comprehensive, sex positive, and LGBTQ+ inclusive approach. She’s passionate about restorative justice, youth work, authentic community building, and communication. When she’s not working, she loves to cook with her friends, spend time outside, swim, bike, rock climb, and read. She’s very excited to be joining the team at The Aliveness Project!

Contactdana@aliveness.org or (612) 822-7946 ext, 203

Luciano Patino – Board of Directors

Luciano (he/him), an avowed technology and operations geek, is the IT and Data Manager at Propel Nonprofits. He started his career working at NorthstarMLS helping Realtors make the best possible use of the tech tools at their disposal. Since then, he has worked with several nonprofits, all with different business models, to launch new and highly customized Salesforce databases. As a consultant, Luciano leads workshops on cultural competency using the Intercultural Development Inventory and other tools. He is the recipient of the Moxie Award for Community Leadership from PFund Foundation and is a former Humphrey Policy Fellow. In his free time, he can be found coaching at his CrossFit gym or playing video games while curled up with is dog, Leila.

Heather Wilmes – Case Manager Supervisor

Heather (she/her) is a graduate from the Clinical Social Work program at St. Catherine’s University in Saint Paul, MN. She has five years of providing mental health services to clients living with co-occurring conditions. She is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, people experiencing homelessness, and individuals who have experienced sexual exploitation. Heather uses many therapeutic modalities while working with her individual clients. She believes in self-empowerment and identifying the strengths and uniqueness of each individual. She is fluent in Psychodynamic therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, DBT skills, mindfulness, calming techniques, motivational interviewing, and solution-focused care. She believes that all people are capable of change with gentle guidance. Heather enjoys spending time with her family and her cat. She loves reading, watching movies, and road trips.  

Contactheather@aliveness.org or (612) 822-7946 ext, 220