April 14, 2023
Erich Mische’s career has spanned more than 35 years in local, state and national government, politics, public policy and leadership in the non-profit and for-profit sector. Prior to joining Minnesota Alliance With Youth as Executive Director, Mische’s most recent non-profit role was serving as the Executive Director of Spare Key, www.sparekey.org for nearly 11 years.
Spare Key is a Minnesota-based non-profit that serves families with a critically ill or seriously injured family member. Under Mische’s leadership the non-profit expanded its program and mission presence from serving families in a single state to now serving families throughout the United States through its proprietary Help Me Bounce platform, harnessing the power of crowdfunding to connect thousands of families directly to donors.
In addition to his leadership role in the non-profit sector Mische served as a Chief of Staff in the United States Senate, a former White Bear Lake City Councilmember in a variety of other leadership roles supporting organizations and institutions in his capacity as a public servant.
“My life passion has been public service. It has been my honor and privilege to serve others with passion in the public, private and non-profit arena. After 11 years serving as the Executive Director of Spare Key it was time for me to step aside and allow the next generation of leaders to emerge to bring the organization to its next level,” said Mische. “I fundamentally believe that America’s next “Greatest Generation” are young people emerging in leadership roles throughout public and private life today and to be given the opportunity to work alongside young people and the talented team at Minnesota Alliance With Youth is an honor and privilege I am excited to embrace.”
A former Humphrey Fellow, 40 under 40 recipient and a recognized by Minnesota Business as one of the The (Real) Power 50, Mische embarked on a two-month, 1,700 mile, 10-state trip down the Mississippi River in 2020 at the height of the global COVID-19 pandemic on a homemade raft to raise funds and awareness for Spare Key. The trip, “Hope on the River”, renewed his faith in the power of community, the genuine kindness of others, and the optimism that Americans have in their future.
His book, “Hope on the River: An Unlikely Captain’s 1700 Mile Mississippi River Journey On A Leaky Raft To Save His NonProfit” chronicles his travel down the river and highlights the powerful impact of the kindness of strangers at a time of uncertainty, anxiety and fear brought about by a global pandemic.
Mische and his wife, Mary-Helen, live in the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota and are the proud parents of Owen and Maisie and an unruly, smelly dog, Sailor.
Erich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org