About

International Association of Social Work with Groups, Inc. is a worldwide professional network in support of group work, practice, education, research, publication, information exchange, advocacy, and social change. The IASWG Minnesota chapter has a board consisting of six members.

Amirthini Keefe
Chair and International Board Liaison

Amirthini Keefe graduated from the College of St. Catherine and University of St. Thomas School of Social Work in 2006 and is in the process of completing a post graduate certificate program in psychoanalysis through the Institute of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in Minnesota. Amirthini has experience facilitating many types of groups including a psychotherapy group for men, advocacy groups for youth, cooking groups, trauma groups, and psychoeducational groups for newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers. Amirthini has a long history with IASWG that began during her graduate school education.


Kristen Perron
Co-Chair

Kristen Perron, MBA, MSW, LISW, is a Field Coordinator & Teaching Specialist at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Prior to her current role, Kristen was the Community Health Program Manager and Field Instructor at Neighborhood House, the original settlement house in St. Paul. She conducted group supervision for social work students and professionals. Kristen has taught as adjunct field faculty at University of Minnesota, St. Olaf College and St. Catherine University. In addition to this board, she sits on the NASW-MN ethics committee. Kristen knew group work was her passion when she was kicked out of preschool for facilitating group time.


Casie Iwata
Administrative Officer

Casie Iwata, MA, MSW, LICSW graduated from the University of Denver with an MSW and MA in International Human Rights in 2009. Casie currently works as a Social Worker and Mental Health Case Manager at the Center for Victims of Torture. Casie co-facilitates psychoeducational groups for torture survivors and provides training to asylum officers on interviewing survivors of torture. Prior to her current role, Casie facilitated a group for middle school refugee girls in Phoenix and facilitated a group on personal and community safety for asylum seekers in Denver. Casie is excited to be a part of IASWG and continues to be inspired by the creativity in group work.


Elizabeth Dressel
Membership Engagement Officer

Elizabeth holds a B.A. in Social Work from the University of St. Thomas and is a licensed social worker. She is pursuing her masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs with a focus on community development, community engagement, and housing development. Prior to attending graduate school, she worked as a Regional Organizing Director with Minnesotans United for All Families and as the Policy Coordinator and Director of Federal Relations in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton. She has been attending IASWG events since she was a student, and is very excited to work with IASWG members.


John Lukach
Communications Officer

John Lukach, LGSW, RYT-200 holds an MSW from the University of Minnesota. A graduate of the Title IV-E Child Welfare Scholar program, he currently works for Washington County as a Child Foster Care Licensor. He has previous experience as Wendy’s Wonderful Kids adoption recruiter. John also designs and creates trainings for social workers to enhance their professional skills and work satisfaction. In his free time, you can find John practicing yoga or cuddling with cats. John is passionate about group work and hopes to expand the presence of IASWG in Minnesota.

 


Brooks Becker
Financial Officer

Brooks Becker currently works as the accounting manager at the Hennepin Theatre Trust. Brooks is involved in all financial aspects of the organization responsible for the future of the historic theatres on Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Brooks previously worked at Neighborhood House in various roles ranging from Database Coordinator to Accountant to Financial Literacy Educator. Brooks also took a year long teaching sabbatical from Neighborhood House to teach ELL Kindergartners.  Before entering the non-profit world, Brooks worked in corporate finance which he despised. He has a bachelors degree in Political Science from St. Olaf College, an M.B.A. from St Thomas University, and a teaching certificate from Hamline University. Brooks never wants to go to school again.