Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1954–1999

1954–1959 / 1960–1969 / 1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999


MAYNARD ANDERSON is president of the Arcadia Institute Inc. in Arlington, Va. He serves as chairman on the board of directors for Leave No Veteran Behind, on the board of directors for the National Security Institute Inc., and as chairman on the board of directors for Anderlen Partners Inc. He is also a member of the Luther College Alumni Council.

Professor emeritus of health and physical education KENT FINANGER of Mankato, Minn., was inducted into Wauwatosa (Wis.) East High School’s first class of their Athletic Hall of Fame last May. Twenty-two coaches and 42 athletes were inducted in the ceremony. Finanger won the Wauwatosa High School Athlete of the Year award for the 1949–50 school year; was a multiple letter winner in football, basketball, and track; and was honored as a first team selection of the Suburban Conference All-Conference team while a student athlete at Wauwatosa East.


ARDIS FISKERBECK CHRISTEN is an English/speech teacher and librarian for the Rochester (Minn.) Public Schools.


BILL BAILEY of Burlington, Iowa, was inducted into the Minnewaska Laker Athletic Hall of Fame last October. Bailey was the head football coach at Starbuck, Minn., for 20 seasons. His teams had an overall record of 124 wins and 64 losses. In addition to being successful in the Pheasant Conference, the Bucks played in four state tournaments in a span of five seasons, including a run to the state championship game in 1981, the same year Bailey was inducted into Luther’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Bailey recently retired and returned to his hometown of Burlington, Iowa. He is a member of the board of directors for the Purple and Gray Foundation, which is spearheading a multimillion-dollar project to renovate Bracewell Stadium. The foundation aims to support the Burlington Community School District’s athletics program.


BILL DAVIS III of Winona, Minn., is retired.


SANDY (BILDEN) HOEG of Decorah was honored as a “superhero” volunteer for the Winneshiek Medical Center at the 2015 volunteer appreciation event.

ANDREA (COWLES) NELSON and her husband, Jerry, lived in Hamar, Norway, for a year, 1997–98. During that year Andrea wrote articles biweekly for several newspapers in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Norwegian American recently posted an excerpt from one of her columns, in which she describes Christmas in Norway and the preparation days leading up to Christmas. Read it at


DENNIS MELIN is a member and manager of Professional Education Institute LLC in Tucson, Ariz.


DAVID ROSHEIM of Maquoketa, Iowa, is the author of The Four Sisters: A Narrative and Documentary History of Iowa’s State Psychiatric Hospitals.


MARIANNE CHRISTIANSON of St. Paul, Minn., returned to visit Cardiff, Wales, 50 years after she helped paint the Norwegian Church’s interior while on a summer trip with students from Luther. The church used to be the place of worship for Cardiff’s Norwegian community.

MICHAELE PETERS BENN is the interim high school principal for Bridge Creek Public Schools in Blanchard, Okla.


BRENT HERAMB is an attorney with Brent A. Heramb PC in San Diego.

KATHRYN HOLLEQUE is professor emerita of education at Valley City (N.D.) State University.

GEORGE KUH received the Distinguished Career Award from the Association for the Study of Higher Education. He is the coprincipal investigator at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind. He also serves on Luther’s Board of Regents.

DONALD MACINNIS of Tacoma, Wash., is retired.


MARY (LEISTIKOW) CASTERTON of Decorah was honored as a “superhero” volunteer for the Winneshiek Medical Center at the 2015 volunteer appreciation event.

REBECCA SKAAR ’02, JOHN SMEDSTAD ’00 (director), and MYRNA PETERSEN-KONAJESKI ’69, are choir members at Old St. Paul’s Church, Baltimore.

DALE HOUCK traveled to Gneleka Lutheran Church in Africa last summer, where he was guest preacher and lecturer and was made an honorary chief of the village. While there he also preached to his congregation at Grace Lutheran Church in Camp Hill, Pa., via Skype.

STAN RAGNES of Plymouth, Minn., is retired and runs a piano tuning and repair business.


NANCY (OSTERBUR) HINRICHS works in wellness for Quest Diagnostics in Moline, Ill.

NANCY (ROEWERT) HOKANSON of Petaluma, Calif., is retired.

TANNA (TWEET) MACKENZIE is the president of Lutheran Women of Australia and the office manager of Immanuel Woden Valley Lutheran Church in Lyons, Australia.

JAY YOUNG of Florence, Ky., is retired.


PENNY ENGRAV-HOFFLAND of Eau Claire, Wis., released her first album, Notes Of Love: Recordings from the Home of Penny Lynn. Information about the CD is available at


BARB (DONALDSON) CHAPIN is an accountant for Incarnation Lutheran Church in Shoreview, Minn.

GREGORY DAHLBERG retired as senior vice president of strategic enterprise initiatives for Lockheed Martin. He is a private consultant in Washington, D.C.

JULIANNE (ZIEMANN) DAHLEN and her husband, Derick, own Villa Bellezza, a Tuscan-style winery in Pepin, Wis.

DONOVAN FRANK is a U.S. federal district judge for the United States district court in St. Paul, Minn. He recently ruled that Minnesota’s Sex Offender Civil Commitment Program is unconstitutional due to indefinite life sentences and lack of treatment, setting the stage for major changes to the program. Frank is embarking on an initiative to monitor recently released federal offenders dealing with chemical dependency and other issues.

DAVE KARK is a sales manager for Cartridges-Direct in St. Mary’s Point, Minn.


WILLIAM NEUMAN is pastor at Good Hope Lutheran Church in Irmo, S.C. He is also a published author under the name W. M. Neuman. Risk is his first full-length novel and the first book in the Paul Cambridge Chronicles.

BARBARA SCHULTZ is a licensed-to-minister lay pastor for Elim Church in Nantwich, England. She is a volunteer hospital chaplain and also sings in the Nantwich Choral Society.

ANNE TEMTE retired as president of Northland Community and Technical College in Grand Forks, N.D. She works as a consultant in executive search, executive coaching, writing and editing, and organizational dynamics.

PAM (GREGG) TORRESDAL retired as director of counseling at Luther College.


MIKE ADAMS of Lutherville, Md., is a project director for the Department of Defense.

MARILYN JOHNSON is a communications consultant for Wells Fargo Asset Management in Menomonee Falls, Wis.

STEVE MINECK is the manager of flight dispatch charter operations for United Airlines in Chicago.


RAD DECKER is senior director of drug metabolism for Sunovion Pharmaceuticals in Marlborough, Mass.

ALLEN GREEN is the dean of equity and inclusion for Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, N.Y.


GARY EDER is leading training specialist of the 100K Project for the CH2M-Hanford site in Richland, Wash.

MARK and LOIS (DUNLEAVY) FINANGER are retired in Decorah.

ANDREW HOLMAN is the cantor for Os Kyrkjelyd, a church in Os, Norway.

CORA LELAND is a certified public accountant for Messerli and Schadow PLLP in Edina, Minn.

BRAD SCHNEIDER retired from teaching band for Middleton (Wis.) High School.


LAURA BLOBAUM KNOERR is administrative director for DregerLaw in Chicago.

MARILYN (WANGBERG) and HANS BRATTSKAR ’79 live in Nesbru, Norway. Marilyn is the music director and cantor for Holmen Church. Hans serves as state secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. He has served as director general and special envoy for climate change at the Ministry of the Environment, as the first director of the Government of Norway’s Climate and Forest Initiative, ambassador and special adviser for conflict prevention and peace building operations and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and chief negotiator for the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front.

JOHN HANEWALL JR. of Janesville, Wis., is a professional clown and was named the All Around Clown of 2015 by the Midwest Clown Association. He won the award in 2008 and 2011 as well, and his clown character’s name is “Luther.” When he is not clowning around, John is the deputy director of the Rock County Development Disabilities Board.

JAN (BAKKER) KNUTSON was inducted into the Tommy Awards Hall of Fame for her career achievements in musical directing. The Tommy Awards recognize excellence in high school musical theater. Only one individual is inducted into the Hall of Fame each year. Knutson is the choral director and instructional manager of music for the Janesville (Wis.) Community School District.

KEVIN MURPHY is U.S. representative for Lohff & Pfeiffer USA LLC in Bloomington, Ind.

BOB PAULSON JR. is president and CEO of NxThera Inc. in Maple Grove, Minn., a medical device company pioneering the application of its Convective Water Vapor Energy platform technology to treat endourological conditions. He was recently appointed to Sun BioPharma’s board of directors and will chair their corporate governance committee. He also serves on Luther’s Board of Regents.


ANN (WISE) MANSFIELD of Decorah was honored with the 2015 Healthy Iowa Award for her visionary leadership. The Healthy Iowa Award recognizes individuals and organizations that developed and implemented policies and practices resulting in sustainable environmental change and healthier living for Iowans. The Northeast Iowa Food & Fitness Initiative has brought together people in Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek Counties to improve access to healthy, locally grown foods and to provide opportunities for physical activity in places where we live, learn, work, and play.

PAUL MOEN is SVP-chief financial officer for Bridgewater Bank in Bloomington, Minn.

JIM SACQUITNE is a physician assistant in emergency medicine for Affinity Health System in Appleton and Oshkosh, Wis. He was honored as the Preceptor of the Year by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Physician Assistant Program.


GREG ANDREWS is an attorney and shareholder for Jackson Lewis P.C. in Chicago.

KRIS (SKOGLUND) and DAN TJORNEHOJ ’79 live in Hudson, Wis. Kris is the department chair of music at University of Wisconsin in River Falls (UWRF) and the conductor of the UWRF Symphony Band and the St. Croix Valley Symphony Orchestra, and she serves on the faculty for the International Traveling Classroom in Edinburgh, London, and Paris. She was the conductor for the 2015 American Spring Festival in Prague as well as the guest conductor for the 2015 Indiana All-State Honors Band and won the 2015–16 Professional Service Award at UWRF. Dan is an attorney and the executive director of the Minnesota Veterinarian Medical Association. He also serves on the Minnesota Agrigrowth Council and the American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives.


LINNY EMRICH is the clerk of court for Clayton County in Elkader, Iowa.

LINDA (HAHN) KENDALL-FIELDS is a clinical assistant professor at University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Jordan Institute for Families.

BONNIE MURRAY of Decorah was honored as a “superhero” volunteer for the Winneshiek Medical Center at the 2015 Volunteer Appreciation event.

CURT TRYGGESTAD was named the 2015 Richard Green Scholar by the Minnesota Association of School Administrators. He is the superintendent of the Eden Prairie (Minn.) School District.

JEANINE VORLAND was awarded the 2015 Minnesota Conservation Partner of the Year Award by Ducks Unlimited (DU). Vorland is the Owatonna area wildlife supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Since 2004, when DU launched its Living Lakes conservation initiative in Minnesota and Iowa, Vorland has been instrumental in leading, in cooperation with DU, the enhancement of eight shallow lakes that improved nearly 6,000 acres of wetland habitat for migrating and breeding waterfowl. Vorland has also partnered with DU to restore several smaller wetlands and acquire public land and has several new shallow lake enhancement projects planned.


MARTIN DORN is an independent scholar in Lübeck, Germany.

KIM GLEASON-HINK and PAUL HINK and their three daughters opened Element Six, a women’s clothing boutique filled with fair trade and ethically made clothing in Wayne, Pa. The couple chose the name Element Six because of the family’s involvement in science (the sixth element is carbon). The entire family is involved with the store through the creation of a website, trips to New York for buying, and research on suppliers/designers. The store donates 10 percent of its profits to charity and is registered as a benefit corporation with the state.

CARRIE (PHIPPS) HARNEY is an independent business owner at Agility Training Solutions in Rochester, Minn. She is also the technology training coordinator for Olmsted County.

BRENT JOHNSON is the chief manager at Pipeline Holdings LLC in Bloomington, Minn.

GAONE MASIRE provides human resource management support for the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

JULIE (KLAUSEN) and DAVE MOE ’81 live in Eagan, Minn. Julie is patient care supervisor for Fairview Clinics. Dave is director of marketing for Braun Intertec.

MARY BETH PETRAK DE AVILA is a performing arts and history instructor for Monte del Sol Charter School in Santa Fe, N.M.

JOY (TURNER) ROYSTON and her husband, Dave, own Sport Impressions sporting goods store and JustAGame Fieldhouse in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. They were inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame class of 2015 as “Friends of the Game.”


KEVIN HARTMAN is the manager of IT operations and application services for Rust Consulting Inc. in Minneapolis.

STEVE HAYDON is chief legal officer for the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

PAM SNELL joined the Luren Singers tour of Norway in June 2015, along with other Luther alumni, faculty, students, and spouses photographed in the fall 2015 issue of the magazine.


JON CHRISTY is the Luther College director of assessment and institutional research and is one of 28 administrators in higher education selected in a nationwide search by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in a yearlong Senior Leadership Academy. Christy will participate in two seminars in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.; undertake a mentoring program; work with experts; participate in webinars; and engage in a series of readings and case studies during the 2015–16 academic year.

DENAE (ERDMAN) and STEVE HARDER live in Des Moines, Iowa, where Steve joined the faculty at Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

MARK KVALE is senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Sparta, Wis.

TODD VANDENBARK is the information literacy and technology librarian for Vogel Library at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.

TRACEY (HOVDEN) WALSH is sales manager for Hovden Oil in Ridgeway, Iowa.


DEREK BERG is an insurance agent for Farm Bureau Financial Services in Rushford, Minn.

CHARLIE HOVEN is senior event planner for Hearty Boys Catering in Chicago.


MAREE HAMPTON is a self-employed program evaluator in Minneapolis.

DALE KRUSE earned a doctor of musical arts degree in vocal performance from the University of Minnesota. He is the music director for the Minnesota Opera: Project Opera vocal training program and an assistant professor of voice and lyric theatre at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. He was the guest conductor for the 2015 Missouri MENC All-Collegiate Honors Choir.

JIM THOMSEN was named president of Thrivent Holdings for Thrivent Financial in Minneapolis. In his new role, he is responsible for delivering strong performance and continued growth for Thrivent’s existing subsidiaries, affiliates, and sponsored organizations, including Thrivent Federal Credit Union and Thrivent Mutual Funds. In addition, Thomsen and his team lead the development of new products, services, and entities outside of Thrivent’s traditional adviser-based business to give Christians wider access to the organization. Thomsen joined Thrivent in 1986 and most recently served as the organization’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer. He currently serves on the Forrester Research Chief Marketing Officer Leadership Board and on the Luther Board of Regents.


CHRISTINE (STEWART) GEMLO is an administrative assistant for Minnesota State University, Mankato.


CALLISTA (BISEK) GINGRICH is the author of Christmas in America, the fifth volume in her New York Times best-selling children’s series featuring Ellis the Elephant.

LARRY GREAVES is vice president and owner of APT Resources in Apple Valley, Minn.

DAVID WRIGHTSMAN is pastor at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minn.


TODD FOGDALL is president and CEO for the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York, Pa.

DEBRA (LACKMANN) FREEMAN is a self-employed oil/gas assets analyst in Carrollton, Texas.

TIM JACOBSEN won an Emmy Award for American Horror Story: Freak Show as a visual effects producer for outstanding visual effects in a supporting role. Tim is cofounder and executive producer at FuseFX in Burbank, Calif.

NAOMI MAHLER is interim associate pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Willmar, Minn.

YUKARI (PRATT) SAKAMOTO is a food writer in Japan. She was featured on the PBS show What Phil’s Having.

KAREN (COLE) STOCK teaches English at Decorah High School.


VALERIE (WANTOCH) CAMPBELL is a nurse manager at St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

MICHELLE (MALY) and CARTER HANSON ’92 live in Valparaiso, Ind. Michelle is the resident director of the International Study Center for Valparaiso University. Carter is an English professor at the university. They are directing the university’s study-abroad program in Reutlingen, Germany, from 2015 to 2017.

JAN (STYVE) KARRMANN is a research support specialist at the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Research Center in St. Paul, Minn.

GREGG LUTHER of Aurora, Colo., is senior solutions consultant and product manager for Imanage Inc.

ANDREW NESSET is liberal arts dean at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn.

DANIELLE (KITTELSON) PETERSON earned a master’s degree in collaborative education from Fielding Graduate University. She teaches elementary physical education for the Amery (Wis.) School District.


PAUL BLOM is interim CEO of the National Parkinson Foundation in Miami as well as the CEO and owner of Right at Home In-Home Care and Assistance in Bloomington, Minn.

REYNOLDS CRAMER of Ames, Iowa, is chief executive officer of Fareway Stores Inc. He was invited to join the Iowa Business Council, which consists of the top executives of the state’s largest employers, the three regent universities, and the Iowa Bankers Association.

STEPHANIE (DUNN) DEN HARTOG is a psychology instructor for Anoka (Minn.) Technical College.
JOHN FRANK is executive vice president for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services in Eden Prairie, Minn.

BRIAN GARMAN of New York City is cofounder and artistic director of the Berkshire Opera Festival.

AMY (MICHAELSON) IGOU earned a Ph.D. in management information systems from Southern Illinois University. She is assistant professor at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

LAURA JÄNNES is head of administration for the University of the Arts Helsinki Theatre Academy in Finland.

SHERRY (ATIENZA) JOSEPH is a dentist at Joseph & Joseph Dental LLC and a licensed massage therapist and owner of Jade Healing Massage Eastern Therapeutics LLC in Plymouth, Wis.

LAURA (PAULSON) LANDAU is author of The Life Balance Playbook: Seven Steps to the Life You Deserve.

CAROLINE WORRA is an opera singer in New York City and has performed more than 75 roles, including 20 world, American, and regional premieres at more than 30 opera companies. She was added to Onalaska (Wis.) High School’s Wall of Excellence last fall.


STEPHANIE AGRESTA is owner of Stephanie Agresta Consulting in Little Silver, N.J. She created the Bloggers Lounge at SXSW, co-created TechSet, and coauthored Perspectives on Social Media. She was ranked sixth among digital creators, innovators, and strategists in public relations by PRWeek, and Business Insider named her as one of the top 25 advertising executives on Twitter.

GREG IRVING is a student in conservation ecology in Bangkok, Thailand.


CATHY (CHRISTIANS) BONESTROO of George, Iowa, is a project director for Rotary Club of Rock Valley Foundation Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion Programs.

KRISTIN (ZOLNOSKY) HARNEY is assistant professor of music education at Montana State University.

ANJIE SHUTTS is a partner/attorney at Whitfield and Eddy PLC in Des Moines, Iowa. Anjie was recognized by Great Plains Super Lawyers 2015 in family law and was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2016 in family law.


JODI (TOLLEFSON) and MARK BJERKE ’93 live in Edina, Minn. Jodi is a stay-at-home mom, and Mark is the regional sales manager at Bromium and a cofounder of Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. in Decorah.

ROBB GARDNER earned a master of healthcare administration degree from the University of Iowa. He is the CEO of Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

JEFFREY MCKINNEY earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Bergen (Norway). He is the assistant manager of Charles River Canoe and Kayak in Allston, Mass.


BECKI (GRINSTEAD) ERNST of Keizer, Ore., is a compliance specialist for the state of Oregon.

JIM LEE earned a master of public health degree from the University of Minnesota. He is a supervisory public health veterinarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Decorah.

SUZANNE LYNDON is media coordinator in the Media Relations Office at Luther College.

ANGELA (GAWRON) NELSON is a clinical psychologist for West End Consultation Group in St. Louis Park, Minn.

MARK PETERING is associate professor of music at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. He recently wrote an octet for the Washington Island Music Festival in Door County, Wis., celebrating its 25th anniversary season in 2016.

LYNNE (PERRY) POULTON is a professional organizer and owner of Wholly Organized in Stow, Ohio.

TROY ROHNE ’95 is the vice president and director of sales for Amy’s Bread in New York City. Last summer Troy and his wife, Amy Scherber, opened their newest concept, The Pantry by Amy’s Bread (designed by Troy), which features companies based in Brooklyn and various New England locations whose products—such as jam, honey, pâté, smoked salmon, and cheese—pair perfectly with Amy’s Bread. They will also open two kiosks at the New York Public Library’s landmark Stephen A. Schwartzman building on Fifth Avenue and at its Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. 

TYLER STRAUB is the regional vice president of North American sales, partner, and investor with Firescope Inc. in Huntington Beach, Calif.


JAMIE KNIGHT is the manager of consulting services at Nordic Consulting Partners in Madison, Wis.

SCOT REISINGER is the dean of adult programs at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


MICHAEL ELSBERND is the director of worship and music, organist, and choir director for St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, S.D.

SARAH HESSELBACHER is a reading interventionist for Galena (Ill.) Primary School.

CHRISTIAN NILSSON is senior vice president and chief financial officer for Royal DSM in the Netherlands.

GEOFFREY PESANKA is a pharmacist at Walgreens in Phoenix, Ariz.

NICOLE PLYMESSER NELSON is an illustrator, artist, and writer in Lockport, Ill. She runs, a website and blog, as well as an online Etsy business. She also speaks and teaches in the Chicago area and Atlanta. She and writer Leslie Eaton created an online Bible study, Bible Stories from the Heart. Nicole is the illustrator for the study, and plans are in the works to publish a print version of the first six-week program.

ARVIND RAMNANI is senior analyst for Gordon Haskett Research Advisors in New York City.

LEAH WOEHR-GRANDE is a master’s student in divinity at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and a pastoral intern at St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Red Hill, Pa.


JENNA (ZALK) BERENDZEN is a family nurse practitioner at Allen Women’s Health in Waterloo, Iowa.

JESS ELLIS is the primary care sports medicine specialist at Oregon Medical Group in Eugene.

MATT EVANS is a risk management specialist for TrueNorth Companies in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was named the 2015 Community Trustee by Leadership for Five Seasons.

BRIAN JOHNSON is vice president of finance and corporate secretary for Casey’s General Stores Inc. in Ankeny, Iowa.

TREVOR LOES earned a doctor of musical arts degree in choral conducting and pedagogy from the University of Iowa. He is the choir director for Assumption High School in Davenport, Iowa.


MARYA (SCHROTT) LEAICH earned a bachelor’s degree in education/early childhood education from the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. She is an ELL specialist for the Hazelwood (Mo.) School District.

JESSE WINSELL earned a juris doctorate from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., and is a data practices and privacy official for Hennepin County, Minn.