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UMVRDC Staff

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF


Dawn Hegland Executive Director

Dawn Hegland
Executive Director

320-289-1981 ext. 1
dawn.hegland@umvrdc.org

I have a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude degree in Biology, Environmental Science, and Secondary Education from Concordia College in Moorhead. I haves governing board. I have the pleasure of representing the region on several regional, state, and national committees including the University of MN Morris Center for Small Towns, University of MN Tourism Center Advisory Council, Minnesota Association of Development Organizations, Center for Rural Policy and Development, and the National Association of Development Organizations. The best thing about my job is living and working in my home area. It is rewarding to work on a diverse variety of initiatives that I can relate and connect to personally and professionally.I live along the Minnesota River in beautiful Lac qui Parle County on a family farm with my husband Ed and three children: Grace, Evan and Elias. We love to travel, garden, cook and camp.
Jackie Sigdahl Administrative Assistant

Jackie Sigdahl
Administrative Assistant

320-289-1981 ext. 8
jackie.sigdahl@umvrdc.org

I joined the UMVRDC team in September 2011 and have the pleasure of working with a great group of people. I also have the privilege of providing support to the agency in all different capacities since I get to work with all the staff in their area of expertise. I have lots of variety in my day. When you stop by our office, I am the one responsible for the smooth operations in the front office and help connect people to the information they need. Prior to joining the RDC, I was employed at the Prairie Correctional Facility for 18 years so feel at home working back in the City of Appleton.Together with my husband Gary and our three children; Riley, Trevor and Jessica, we live in Lac qui Parle County on a farm site a few miles outside of Madison. We love the lifestyle that country living has to offer and are happy to be a part of a small, caring community.

PLANNING STAFF


Kristi Fernholz Community Development Senior Planner

Kristi Fernholz
Community Development Senior Planner

320-289-1981 ext. 6
kristi.fernholz@umvrdc.org

I first started at the UMVRDC in 2000. I work on a variety of community development projects including grant writing, comprehensive planning, hazard mitigation planning and tourism planning. Two of the main projects that I coordinate are Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway and the Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl. My passion is to assist our communities with whatever project makes sense for them, whether it is solid waste planning or coordinating regional public art projects.Originally from Milan, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth.I live on a small farm near Appleton with my husband Brad (originally from Madison) and two children. I have been a Meander featured artist since 2004 and you can find me and my photographs in Milan during Meander weekend, which is always the first weekend in October. A perfect work day for me would be to bike to work with a camera on my back, with a yummy lunch made from my garden and to work on a variety of projects with our local units of government!
Lindsey Knutson Community Development Planner

Lindsey Knutson
Community Development Planner

320-289-1981 ext. 7
lindsey.knutson@umvrdc.org

I joined the UMVRDC team in October of 2011 and have had the pleasure of working with fantastic people in the office, and throughout the communities and state agencies. I work on a wide variety of transportation and community development projects including Safe Routes to School Plans, zoning updates, comprehensive plans and grant writing.The most rewarding part of my job is working with communities in the region to connect them to resources that help them achieve their goals.Prior to joining the UMVRDC team, I worked for several municipalities and planning organizations on land use and transportation issues. I have a Bachelor of Science and Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, Humphrey School of Public Affairs. I am a Wisconsin native, but thoroughly enjoy living in Appleton and being a Minnesota transplant…although I have no plans of converting to be a Minnesota sports fan!
Emily Zeug-Robertson Community Development Planner

Emily Zeug-Robertson
Community Development Planner

320-289-1981 ext. 4
emily.zeugrobertson@umvrdc.org

I began my position at the UMVRDC as a Community Development Planner in March 2014. My current projects at the RDC include Safe Routes to School and Hazard Mitigation Planning. Originally from Wisconsin, I earned a Bachelor of Design in Architecture degree and a Housing Studies minor from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Master of City and Regional Planning degree from the Bloustein School at Rutgers University in New Jersey. After spending time on the East Coast, I am excited to be back in the Midwest, living in Appleton, and working with such a wonderful organization.  I look forward to learning more about the area and getting involved in the community.
Melissa Carruth Marketing Coordinator

Melissa Carruth
Marketing Coordinator

 320-289-1981 ext. 5
Melissa.carruth@umvrdc.org

 

I joined the UMVRDC in January 2014 and I am honored to work with such a great group of people. I have a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and Advertising, along with a Business Administration minor from North Dakota State University. Go Bison!My main responsibilities as the Marketing Coordinator consist of coordinating the Prairie Waters program, along with various marketing projects for the UMVRDC. I have a variety of projects that keep me busy such as putting together newsletters, reports, press releases, updating websites, creating ads, and much more!I am extremely excited to be working in my home town area and living on my family farm near Danvers. I am honored to be part of such a successful and rewarding organization!

FINANCIAL STAFF


Arlene Tilbury Financial Director

Arlene Tilbury
Financial Director

320-289-1981 ext. 3
arlene.tilbury@umvrdc.org

I have served as the financial officer for the UMVRDC since April of 1993. I was born, raised and continue to live in rural Marietta with my husband Cleon. In my spare time I enjoy vegetable and flower gardening and attending my grandchildren’s activities.In addition to managing the fiscal needs of the organization, I have assisted several communities by providing fiscal agent grants management services. Over the past several years, UMVRDC staff has administered in excess of 25 million dollars for the local units of government within our region. We work closely with State and Federal agencies (DNR, DEED, HUD, RDA, etc.) to assure compliance with all rules, regulations and reporting requirements. I am proud of the success in our region which is a direct reflection of the work we do in this office!
Randy Larson Loan Officer

Randy Larson
Loan Officer

320-289-1981 ext. 2
randy.larson@umvrdc.org

Prior to being hired here at the UMVRDC in January 2014, I was a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead. In December 2013, I graduated Summa Cum Laude with Bachelor of Science Degrees in Accounting and Finance.As the loan officer at the UMVRDC, I work with financial institutions and gap lenders to enable members of our region to start and expand their businesses. My main roles are to process loan requests and manage the Revolving Loan Fund Program. It is very rewarding to come to work and see what people in our region are doing to further develop our region’s economy. No two projects are ever the same. Besides the RLF program, my hope is to be able to guide and help those who inquire about various other programs. If I don’t know the answer, I will direct you to someone who knows the answer or I will search for the answer.Besides working at the UMVRDC, I’m also the City Clerk of Bellingham, MN. I’m a native to the Bellingham-Odessa area. I enjoy getting involved in the communities that have shaped the person I am today. I enjoy working on the family farm and renovating my house in Bellingham. . .long process nonetheless. . .but enough about me.I look forward to working with you and our region.