I have a Bachelor of Arts Cum Laude degree in Biology, Environmental Science, and Secondary Education from Concordia College in Moorhead. I have been with the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission since 1994 and have worked with several program areas including community development, economic development, natural resources, transportation and tourism development.
Appointed as Executive Director in 2008, I continue to work on new initiatives throughout the region as requested by the RDC’s 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.
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.
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!
I work on communications for the RDC – things like the RDC newsletter, website, and annual report – and as a tourism planner, coordinating the Western Minnesota Prairie Waters program and doing marketing for both the Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl and the Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway.
I was born and raised in Southwest Minnesota, have a Bachelor of Science degree in graphic design, and spent over ten years living and working in the Twin Cities as a graphic designer, primarily in corporate communications and freelance art direction and design. I decided to leave the traffic and noise behind and return to rural Minnesota. I enjoy the peace and quiet of being back “in the country” at my home in Appleton.
The most rewarding thing about my job is seeing the passion that so many people have for Western Minnesota. It’s easy to find meaning in our work when we see the camaraderie and collaboration that is abundant in the Upper Minnesota River Valley.
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!
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!
I joined the RDC in June 2012. I have a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Minnesota State University Moorhead and am currently taking classes to obtain a Masters of Accountancy in Governmental Accounting from Rutgers. My responsibilities at the RDC include working with day-to-day fiscal activities, preparation of monthly financial statements, monitoring the financial portion of the revolving loan fund, and administering state and federal grants to ensure proper compliance.
I am tremendously excited to be working in my home area and living back in my hometown of Benson with my son Carson. We are enjoying renovating our new home and playing in the back yard! Seeing the direct impact that this organization has made where I grew up and where I’ll raise my son makes coming to work every day a very enjoyable and rewarding experience.