2013-14 Fergus Area College Foundation Board of Directors
Fergus Area College Foundation is proud of its dedicated board of directors. These community professionals volunteer at monthly meetings as well as serve as ambassadors of the Foundation. They tell the Foundation story and work hard to promote the Fergus Falls campus. Their hearts are in their work, and we are grateful for their service.
Pictured to the right are the current Foundation board members:
Front row: Kevin King, Brian Boss, Ryan Retzlaff, Aaron Grove, Greg Wagner and Chad Miller. Back row: Joyce Herbranson, Brooke Barsness, Sara Piekarski, Robert W. Bigwood and Ryan Hanson. Not pictured: Gail E. Childs, Scott Colbeck, Eunice MacFarlane and Brandi Sillerud
Meet our board members:
Brian Boss, a cost accountant for Otter Tail Power Company, earned his Associate of Arts degree from M State in 1993 and went on to earn bachelor's degrees from North Dakota State University (chemistry) and from St. Cloud State University (accounting) and a master's of business administration degree from SCSU. He lives in Underwood, is a member of the Red River Valley chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants and volunteers at area Boy Scout events.
Why Brian serves on the Foundation Board: "M State - Fergus Falls provides the opportunity for affordable, local access to higher education. This institution provides opportunity to high school students seeking advanced educational opportunities, traditional college-age students and non-traditional students seeking a different career or starting a degree. Coming from a family of educators, I appreciate the difference that learning can make in a person's life, and I look forward to helping build upon the success of the foundation and M State - Fergus Falls."
Brandi Sillerud is currently vice president of operations for Lake Region Healthcare. After completing a bachelor's degree at NDSU in 1997, she attended M State in Fergus Falls and earned both a practical nursing certificate and an associate degree in nursing. She completed a master's degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree through the University of Minnesota in nursing practice with a focus in health innovation and leadership. She is also a board member of the Red Horse Riders Saddle Club.
Why Brandi serves on the Foundation board: "M State provides the students of our region with a solid foundation for their education. Our community is blessed to have a college that offers a diverse range of programs. Students can leave these programs and obtain jobs in highly competitive markets. M State not only provides educational opportunities for students, but also provides job opportunities for our region. I am interested in serving on the board of directors because I have a passion for education. I feel that my energy and enthusiasm benefits the Board of Directors. As a past alumna, I see the importance of promoting and supporting the college in our region. The continued support of the college will result in growth of programs and services. I am honored to be an M State alum."
Greg Wagner earned a bachelor's degree in local and urban affairs from Saint Cloud State University in 2000. He recently returned to Fergus Falls, his hometown, where he is employed by West Central Initiative as an economic development planner. He is a member of Forward Fergus Falls and the First Lutheran Church council.
Why Greg serves on the Foundation board: M State - Fergus Falls is a key component to the overall strength of the community. The college has so much to offer to not just the students but the community and the region as a whole. I look forward to serving on the Board and having a part in continuing its great work.
Scott Colbeck, elementary principal for the Fergus Falls School District, earned his Associate of Arts degree from M State in 1989 and went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, Morris and his master's degree in educational leadership from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Why Scott serves on the Foundation Board: "A healthy M State is important to the community of Fergus Falls and the surrounding area. I look forward to supporting the college through involvement with the Fergus Area College Foundation."
Kevin King earned his Associate of Arts degree from M State in 1989 and is currently vice president of Service Food Market in Fergus Falls.
Why Kevin serves on the Foundation Board: "I view the opportunity to serve on the Foundation Board as a chance to give back a small amount to a place that gave me so much. For many years M State has been a large part of my life. Not only did I attend college there, I also was involved in the football program for many years and still enjoy the various events on the college venue. The opportunities that M State offers to Fergus Falls and the surrounding area are very unique and help make Fergus Falls a special place to live. The true value of any endeavor is measured in the quality of the people and that is why M State is ranked so highly when measuring the quality of education."
Sara Piekarski, director of marketing for Discover Lodging Management Inc., earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of North Dakota.
Why Sara serves on the Foundation Board: "Fergus Falls is fortunate to have M State in the community. Many of our local hotels, restaurants and retail stores are here because the college is here. The facility also provides a great location for many area activities, arts and sports events. I look forward to serving on the Fergus Area College Foundation Board of Directors so I may be a part of sustaining this entity and enrich the tie in to the community."
Ryan Retzlaff is a senior energy marketer with Otter Tail Power Co. in Fergus Falls. He attended M State for two years and earned a degree in physics from Carleton College and master's degrees in electrical engineering and business administration from North Dakota State University.
Why Ryan serves on the Foundation Board: "M State has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a young child I watched my father coach in the 'FFCC' gym. Years later, I was able to stand on that same court as a player while gaining an excellent education. I am now excited to serve on the Fergus Area College Foundation board and help M State continue to be a vital piece of the Fergus Falls community."
Brooke Barsness is currently the executive director of Kaddatz Galleries, and previously she served as executive director for several local non-profit organizations. She earned her Associate of Arts degree from M State in 1974 and went on the earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from St. Olaf College in 1976 followed by a Summer Writing Workshop at Goddard College in 1979. In 1998 she completed her education in Public, Health and Human Service Administration from Moorhead State University. In addition to our foundation board, Brooke is also active with the Fergus Falls Human Rights Commission, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, Otter Tail County Historical Society and A Center for the Arts.
Why Brooke serves on the Foundation board: "I want to give back to a campus that has given much to me over the years. I honor the rich history of the Foundation founders and their vision of support for students, faculty and programs. I want to be part of continuing that vision and being responsive to the needs of the Fergus campus."
Aaron Grove is the owner/agent of Underwood Insurance Agency and the manager of Sverdrup Mutual Insurance Company in Underwood. He earned his Associate of Arts degree from M State in 1996 and a bachelor's degree in Business Management from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1999.
Why Aaron serves on the Foundation board: "M State had been a huge part of my life. All seven of my siblings also attended M State, and we all have amazing memories from our time here. We all had a wonderful time participating in athletics as well as gaining an excellent education. I am excited to serve on the Fergus Area College Foundation board as a way to give back to a college that has meant so much to me and my siblings."
Joyce Herbranson is the owner of Custom Window Coverings. She attended Augsburg College - University of Minnesota earning her Bachelor of Science degree in 1977. In addition to being a member of the foundation board, Joyce is the music director and a governing board member of Battle Lake Alliance Church.
Why Joyce serves on the Foundation board: "I am interested in education. Having recently retired from the Battle Lake School Board, getting involved in the Fergus Area College Foundation board appealed as an avenue to connect to the local educational world in a new manner."
Chad Miller is an attorney with Krekelberg, Skonseng & Miller, PLLP. He earned his Associate in Arts degree from M State in 2001 and went on to double major in history and political science, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree from Concordia College in 2003 and completing his Juris Doctorate from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2006. Chad is currently president of Fergus Falls Noon Kiwanis; a member of the Board of Overseers of Crossroads Church, chair of its foundation and Board of Missions, and AWANA game leader; a member of the Advocacy Committee of the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce; and vice president of the Otter Tail County Bar Association.
Why Chad serves on the Foundation board: "I am both an M State alum and a former scholarship recipient, and serving on the Fergus Area College Foundation Board of Directors is one way I can continue that history of commitment and generosity to our students. A donor and the Foundation Board felt I was worth the investment when I was a student, and I want to help make that investment in others."
Robert W. Bigwood, is a lawyer and partner at the Pemberton Law Firm. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and law degrees from the University of Minnesota. In addition to serving as president of our foundation, Rob is also a member of Otter Risers Kiwanis and board member and president of the Fergus Falls Area Community Foundation.
Why Rob serves on the Foundation board: "I serve the Foundation board because it serves the community of Fergus Falls. Supporting M State, its students and faculty and facilities at its Fergus Falls campus makes for a strong college and a strong community."
Gail E. Childs is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. She attended M State - Fergus Falls Campus, completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. Gail is currently the vice president of our foundation, a member of Otter Risers Kiwanis and a board member of Kaddatz Art Galleries.
Why Gail serves on the Foundation board: "Fergus Area College Foundation provides scholarship and opportunity in education for students of all backgrounds wishing to learn. Higher education is a desired ingredient for a society in which people can work and live together peacefully. Our local campus teaches practical skills but also, importantly, gives a liberal arts education that teaches people to think and problem solve beyond one specific area or expertise."
Last modified: March 4th, 2014 at 09:07am