Meet Woodbury Community Academy Founder

by | Feb 2024

Rabin Bell

Around December 2007, Woodbury Community Foundation’s (WCF) founding member Dixie Ewing with other board members, tapped Alisa Rabin Bell to become its first executive director.

“I was a one-person shop,” Rabin Bell says. “Dixie and I tagged each other for ideas.” She recalls working with the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce for creating the Woodbury Business Expo. An event that connects businesses, families and the community.

Based on Leadership St. Paul, Rabin Bell created the Woodbury Citizens Academy, now known as Woodbury Community Academy. This 10-week program introduces attendees to the different aspects of how Woodbury functions. They meet elected officials, city employees, businesses and nonprofits to gain knowledge about the issues facing the city.

Rabin Bell left the WCF in 2013 but loves the many things the WCF is doing to help the community. “Like the Nonprofit Roundtable that connects other nonprofits in a forum where they can learn from each other,” she says.

She believes that the WCF will be successful if “it builds up its pool of resources, gets a paid executive director and elevates its presence in the community,” she says.

Currently, Rabin Bell serves on the board of the Woodbury Police K9 Fund.

Manali Shah is with the Woodbury Community Foundation and is an active volunteer in Woodbury and Washington County for over 20 years. Find more at


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