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Dawn Hegland
Executive Director

320-289-1981 ext. 101

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 Eli. We love to travel, garden, cook and camp.

Jackie Sigdahl
Administrative Assistant

320-289-1981 ext. 100

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.


320-289-1981 ext 111

Kristi Fernholz
Community Development Senior Planner

320-289-1981 ext. 106

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

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
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

I joined the UMVRDC in January 2014 as a Communications Coordinator. I grew up on a farm near Danvers and I am honored to be back working in the region. 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 Communications Coordinator consist of coordinating the Prairie Waters Tourism Program, along with various marketing projects for the UMVRDC. I work on a variety of projects where I’m able to express my creative side while creating newsletters, annual reports, brochures, and managing multiple websites. I also manage the Prairie Waters Regional Tourism/Get Rural Recruitment program. What I enjoy most about this agency is seeing the projects we work on benefit the region.

My husband Ryan and I live in Madison, with our one year old son, Weston!


Matt Moe
Finance Officer

320-289-1981 ext. 114

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.