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UMVRDC Staff

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF


Dawn Hegland
Executive Director

320-289-1981 ext. 101
dawn.hegland@umvrdc.org

First hired as transportation planner at the UMVRDC in 1994, I had the opportunity to work in many of the program areas of the agency before becoming Executive Director in 2008. I have a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude degree in Biology, Environmental Science, and Secondary Education from Concordia College in Moorhead. 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

320-289-1981 ext. 100
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


320-289-1981 ext 111

Kristi Fernholz
Community Development Senior Planner

320-289-1981 ext. 106
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!

Kirk Bustrom
Senior Planner

320-289-1981 ext. 111
Kirk@umvrdc.org

I joined the UMVRDC in May, 2017. My background is in accounting/finance and economic development project management with over 15 years of experience in community and economic development.  I have a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Science in Geographic Information Sciences (MSGISc) from the University of Denver.  I truly enjoy planning and development work because of the opportunity to work on diverse projects that positively impact the region you live in.  My wife and I are from the Duluth area and have raised three (3) wonderful children, two (2) sons and a daughter.  We enjoy the north shore area of Lake Superior and spend a lot of time exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Laura Ostlie
Loan Officer

320-289-1981 ext. 102
Laura@umvrdc.org
 
Since graduating from South Dakota State University with my Bachelor degree in Human Development and Family Studies, I have been working in the non-profit sector and loving all of the experiences it has brought me.  Prior to being hired as the Loan Officer for the Revolving Loan Fund with UMVRDC in November of 2015,  I had the opportunity to work both in community action and financial counseling services.  Born, raised, and fortunately back residing near the family farm northeast of Benson with my husband and two children, means the world to me.  As a family, we try to sneak as much time in at the farm as we can, which includes many hours of working with family and friends through 4-H livestock projects.    I am thrilled to be working for an agency that is assisting in the implementation and overall vision of regional development right in my backyard!

Melissa Streich 
Communications Coordinator

 320-289-1981 ext. 105
Melissa@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. My main responsibilities as the Marketing Coordinator consist of coordinating the Prairie Waters Tourism 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!
jason

Jason Brisson  
Planner

 320-289-1981 ext. 107
Jason@umvrdc.org 

I moved from Saint Paul to Benson, MN in 2017 to join the UMVRDC as a transportation planner.   I received a Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities) in 2007 and assumed a variety of sales responsibilities in distribution for 10 years before joining the RDC.  The combination of my background in city planning and 10 years of practical business experience enable me to help the region prosper in a unique way.  I like to spend my free time running, hiking, cooking, and visiting with family.  I am very passionate about transportation and city planning and I look forward to making a difference in the region every day.

            Marcy Prince               Communications Assistant

320-289-1981 ext 104

marcy@umvrdc.org

 

I started as an intern for the UMVRDC in May 2016, and joined the team as the Communications Assistant in 2017. I spend my time at work helping with social media updates and websites, newsletters and reports, press releases, advertisements, and lots more. I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, but attended the University of Minnesota – Morris to earn my Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus in Creative Writing, and a minor in Political Science. While attending school in Morris, I fell in love with the community, strength, and beauty of Western Minnesota, and I am excited every day to be working to help promote and support the region. When I’m not at work, I write poetry and love reading, cooking and eating with friends, enjoying the outdoors, and watching sports.

FINANCIAL STAFF


Matt Moe
Finance Officer

320-289-1981 ext. 114
matt@umvrdc.org

I joined the UMVRDC as the Finance Officer in June 2016.   I have a Bachelor of Science degree in both Accounting and Business Administration from Southwest Minnesota State University.  Prior to being hired as the Finance Officer, I worked in the nonprofit sector for Pioneer Public Television for 10 years and have experience with individual and corporate taxes.   My wife, I and our three children reside in Benson, where our young children keep us very busy.  As a family we enjoy everything about the outdoors, archery, camping, gardening and spending time at the lake.   I am excited to be a part of the UMVRDC and assist in the development of this region.