Luther Alumni Magazine

Class Notes, 1970–1999

1970–1979 / 1980–1989 / 1990–1999

1970

Elaine Amundson of Waterloo, Iowa, is a retired secretary.

Karen (Strum) Bear of Marietta, Ga., is a retired program administrator.

Paula (Spoerl) and Leroy Bradway ’71 live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Paula is a library cataloger for the Ely Public Library. Leroy is a library cataloger for the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library.

Karen (Bezoier) DeBuhr of Waukon, Iowa, is a retired preschool teacher.

Linda (Oleson) Haddock of Franklin, Wis., is a retired librarian.

Willa (Blesie) Holger of Peterson, Minn., is a retired music educator.

Kurt Leichtle is interim executive director of the North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting and a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls.

John May of Fond du Lac, Wis., is a retired professor.

Kirsten (Lauridsen) Renehan is a retired art teacher.

Donald Schubring of Manassas, Va., retired as director of property management at Sugar Oak Management Services.

David Snow is a sales associate at Macy’s in Indianapolis.

Sarah Strandjord of Aurora, Colo., is a retired pediatric hematologist-oncologist.

Louise (Spielman) and James Stromberg ’69 live in Houston, Minn. Louise is visitation pastor at Central Lutheran Church in Winona, Minn. James is owner of MC Mini Storage.

Dennis Szymkowiak of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., is a retired reading specialist and English teacher.

Melva Underbakke of Decorah is executive director at the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms in Washington, D.C.

Cheryl (Evansen) White works in sales at Loker’s Shoes in Holland, Mich.

1972

Jim Leix of Roscoe, Ill., retired from teaching health at Harlem Senior High School.

Brian Martens of Forestville, Calif., published his first book, Three Raven Gate: Haiku and Other Poems.

1973

Rebecca (Banken) Brindle is a CPA and wealth advisor with Withum Wealth Management in Bethesda, Md.

1974

Stephanie Hoff, now of Decorah, retired from her position as the Iowa Administrative Code editor.

1976

Jeffrey Gustafson of Edina, Minn., is a retired software developer.

Steven Schick is a percussionist, professor of music at University of California–San Diego, and music director for La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. In January, he was interviewed by the San Diego Union-Tribune about his career dedicated to exploring music.

1977

Brian Rude is vice president of government and community relations for Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse, Wis. He was recently awarded the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award. Rude was cited for his years with the Trane Company, his service in the Wisconsin State Assembly and as Senate president, and his current role with Dairyland. In their words, “Brian has been a dignified voice for western Wisconsin through his Senate years and as a voice for business through his work at Dairyland. A leader is someone people want to follow. Brian is the role model.”

David Stanley of Decorah retired as CEO at Bear Creek Archeology.

1980

Priscilla (Monson) and Mitch Abraham ’81 live in Mooresville, N.C. Priscilla is a retired special education teacher. Mitch is a field manager at Interior Logic Group in Charlotte, N.C.

Fay (Rasmussen) Bohn of Santa Cruz, Calif., is a retired ESL teacher.

Caroline (Knutson) and James Crompton ’79 live in Wilmington, Del. Caroline is an accountant at Union Park Automotive Group. James is retired.

David Devlin of Glendale, Ariz., is a retired biology teacher.

Scott Hanson is president and CEO of Hanson Development in Marion, Iowa.

Russ Morris is a partner at Vail Scientific in Eagan, Minn.

Lisa (Engelhart) O’Brien is a financial planner assistant at Lifetime Wealth Management in Rochester, Minn.

Timothy Overlund is principal data solutions analyst at Liberty Mutual in Seattle.

Tim Welch is musical director at Los Cantantes Del Lago in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.

1981

Donita (Hook) Joens of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is a retired school superintendent.

1982

Rob Serres of Platteville, Wis., was inducted into the Wisconsin High School Track and Field Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Feb. 8, 2020. Rob has coached track and field at Platteville High School for the past 36 seasons, beginning as an assistant in 1984. He became the boys’ head coach in 1986 and has been the PHS girls’ head coach since 2000. The Platteville boys have won an incredible 32 conference titles during Serres’s 34 years as their head coach. They have also won 18 WIAA regional titles and six sectional titles and won the WIAA Division II state title in 1988 and 1989, finishing second in DII at state in 1987 and 1993. The Platteville girls have won 13 conference titles during Serres’s 20 years as their head coach. They have won seven regional titles and one sectional title and finished second at state in Division II in 2012 under Serres’s guidance. Serres has also coached 19 individual state champions. Over the span of his career, the Hillmen have sent 503 male and female athletes to compete at the WIAA state track and field meet, including his three children: Tricia ’16, Allie, and Jace.

Mike Ostermeyer is a partner at Ballard Spahr in Phoenix, Ariz. He focuses on guiding public infrastructure projects; developing commercial, institutional, and industrial real estate; and advising on real estate portfolios.

1984

Toby Olsen is director of privacy and security at Customer Elation in Bloomington, Minn.

1985

Krin Abraham earned the AASA National Superintendent Certification in 2018. She is superintendent for the Houston (Minn.) Public Schools.

Ross Aseron of Chester Springs, Pa., is a self-employed IT consultant.

Vickie (Seeger) Azadian of New Canaan, Conn., retired as chief underwriting officer at General Reinsurance Corporation.

John Brugge is manager of engineering at Benetech in Palo Alto, Calif.

Holly Christianson of Waterford, Wis., retired from teaching at Union Grove High School.

Jennie (Thang) and Jon Ellefson live in Harker Heights, Texas. Jennie is a dentist at Loop Dental Clinic. Jon earned a master of science degree in financial planning and services from the College for Financial Planning and is owner of Ellefson and Associates.

Janis (Weiher) Fox earned a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the school library media coordinator at Thomasville (N.C.) Middle School.

Michael Hahn of Bettendorf, Iowa, is a chiropractor at Crow Valley Chiropractic and also serves as a board member for the Iowa Chiropractic Society and the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Lisa (Heydenburg) Harris is assistant general counsel at Steelcase in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Joanne Hillery is store team manager at American Eagle Outfitters in Dubuque, Iowa.

Sara (Christensen) and William Hollander live in Rochester, Minn. Sara works in the Department of Audiology at Mayo Clinic. William is a business administrator at Mount Olive Lutheran Church.

Linda (Watermann) and Duane Hovick ’84 live in Appleton, Wis. Linda retired as a senior manager at Thrivent Financial. Duane is CFO at Access.

Jane (Johnson) Jacobs is project manager, business reporting and analysis, at Ecolab in St. Paul, Minn.

Sue (Dokkestul) Kohnert is a social worker at Inclusa in Blair, Wis.

Raymond Landherr is AVP of litigation and recovery services at QBE North America in Olathe, Kan.

Stephen Nelson of Big Piney, Wyo., retired after teaching science for 30 years at Big Piney High School.

Jeff Netzeband of Pleasant Hill, Calif., is an electrophysiology sales specialist for Harvard Bioscience.

Charissa (Olson) Reid of Gardiner, Mont., is editor of Yellowstone Science for the National Park Service.

Thad Schriever is senior systems administrator at Core Bank in Omaha, Neb.

Barb (Seltzer) Tako of Hugo, Minn., is a freelance writer for curetoday.com.

Kari (Severson) Toft is vice president for care delivery systems at HealthPartners in Bloomington, Minn.

Cindy (Frieden) Torkelson of Elgin, Iowa, is a retired teacher.

Jerry Wilde is dean of the School of Education at Indiana University East in Richmond.

Bradley Will is a residential substance use disorder therapist at Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City, Mich.

Jo (Heims) Williams is a family practice physician at MercyOne Carlisle Family Medicine in Carlisle, Iowa.

1987

Kris Fadness was featured in the photo essay “True Colors: As Immigration Changes the Face of the City, Packers’ Red-and-White Unites” by reporter Chip Scoggins and photographer Aaron Lavinsky that appeared in the Feb. 23, 2020, edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Fadness has been Austin High School’s highly successful basketball coach since 1997. The Austin community has grown from 1 percent minority population in 1980 to 32 percent today, and the essay points out the positive ways the community supports one another, celebrates its diversity, and rallies around its sports teams and student athletes.

Michael Krull was presented with the Political Science Alumni Achievement Award from Iowa State University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The award honors alumni who have enhanced their communities, impacted the world, and significantly contributed to their professions. Krull earned the MA degree from ISU in 1990. Award recipients were recognized at a ceremony in Oct. coinciding with Iowa State’s homecoming.

1988

Michael Ackerman was featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune for his work researching genetics and causes of sudden death in Amish populations. He is a pediatric cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Michael Johnson earned a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin and is a tech support and applications scientist at Lucigen Corporation in Verona, Wis.

Diane Kirchmann Wood of Minneapolis retired as a print production manager.

Kurt Radke is vice president at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn.

1989

Todd Argall is executive vice president and chief executive officer at Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Idaho in Pocatello.

Michael Kinsel received the 2019 Erwin Small Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. The award is given to a graduate who has excelled in their field and made significant contributions to the profession and/or college. He currently serves on the Morris Animal Foundation Wildlife Scientific Advisory Board and is a contributing author to Pathology of Wildlife and Zoo Animals, a textbook published in 2018.

1990

Vanessa (Grima Baldacchino) Frazier was named permanent representative of Malta to the United Nations in New York City.

Jane (Vaaler) Roets is a parent educator and therapist for the Town of Ellington, Conn.

Arndt Schnöring is the general secretary of the Foundation of German Business (Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft) in Berlin, Germany.

1991

Karin Bodensteiner is professor of biology and department chair at the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point.

Kristin Gosselink is associate professor of physiology and pathology at Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces, N.M.

1992

Lora (Maiers) Castleman is a registered nurse at Esse Health in St. Louis.

Wendy (Jaycox) Davidson was listed in CRAIN’S Chicago Business as one of CRAIN’S 2020 Notable Women Executives over 50. Davidson is president of Kellogg Away From Home North America in Elmhurst, Ill.

Allison (Fishwild) Erickson is vice president and director of human resources at Adhesive Label Company in Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Chanda (Asproth) and Lars Olson live in Minneapolis. Chanda is senior director of human capital at Optum. Lars is a salesforce consultant.

Jammie Sabin is president at Aspen Homes of Colorado in Loveland.

Melissa (Frick) Tandy is a project manager at the State of Iowa Department of Education and Iowa AEA in Des Moines.

1993

Erik Beguin of Austin, Texas, is CEO and founder of Austin Capital Bank and serves on the Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC) for the Federal Reserve Board. He is president of the council for 2020.

Catrin (Nilsson) Diamantino is CEO at Bell Educational Services in Cambridge, UK.

Mike Grimm has been the voice of the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the past 14 years. This season has been extra special, as the Gophers were ranked seventh in the country, their highest ranking since 1962, and the team’s 9-0 start was its best start since 1904. Mike was named the 2019 Minnesota Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sports Media Association. This is the fifth year he has earned this honor; he was also recognized in 2013, 2010, 2009, and 1999.

Jackson Ode is divisional vice president at Sammons Financial Group in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Rebecca (Scheibe) and David Ross live in Maple Grove, Minn. Rebecca is operations manager at Pottery Barn. David is an attorney at Carson, Clelland, and Schreder.

Mark Zobel is director of development at Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis.

1994

Kristen (Frank) Herbst is an instructional designer at Citibank in Sioux Falls, S.D. She also sings with the South Dakota Symphony Chorus.

Meg (Titzler) Krekeler of Apple Valley, Minn., is associate vice president and consultant at Aon.

Sarah Pavelka of Cedar Falls, Iowa, earned a PhD degree from Walden University in Minneapolis. She is an academic program director for Walden University.

Kimberly (Zirbel) Victora is clinical research coordinator at Gundersen Medical Foundation in La Crosse, Wis.

1995

Jenni (Amundson) Berger is a community resource coordinator at Inclusa in Neillsville, Wis.

Jennifer (Wendt) and Jay Bjorklund live in Westby, Wis. Jennifer is equity information and reporting specialist at Organic Valley. Jay is an imaging clinical manager at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center.
Erik Columbus is head bus driver at Team WASP in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Christine (Denehy) Enderle is lead studio art teacher at Williams College Children’s Center in Williamstown, Mass.

Becki (Grinstead) Ernst of Memphis, Tenn., is quality assurance coordinator for the state of Tennessee.
Cynthia Farrell is the owner and principal of 110 West Group, a talent and organizational development consulting firm in Broomfield, Colo.

Liz (Bitner) Fitzgerald is program director, grants and services, for the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte, N.C.

Megan (Lind) Fox is a piano instructor at Megan Fox Piano Studio in Omaha, Neb.

Joanna Foy of Wetherford, Texas, retired as associate professor of clinical psychology at Argosy University.
Jennifer (Hayen) Giesking is the McNair Scholars Program coordinator for the University of Wisconsin–Stout in Menomonie, Wis.

Nichole (Schrupp) Greene is choir director at Massapequa (N.Y.) High School and conducts the Lyric Ensemble for the Long Island Children’s Choir.

Lisa (Kuennen) and Scott Hagen live in Oregon, Wis. Lisa is principal, O2C solutions, at Esker. Scott is a technology business partner at Compeer Financial.

Scott Hamman is vice president of human resources at Vista Prairie Communities in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Wendy (Weness) Helm is senior business analyst and project manager at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn.

Ruth (Leet) and Bill Hoekstra ’94 live in Northfield, Minn. Ruth teaches piano and is a substitute teacher. Bill is a clinical psychologist with Allina Health.

Heidi (Waxenberg) Huff is senior director, Red Oval Partnerships, at IGA in Chicago.

Carla Hughes is vice president of wealth management administration, compliance and trust, at First American Bank in Clive, Iowa.

Kurt Jensen earned a doctor of ministry degree from Western Theological Seminary and is lead pastor at Immanuel Lutheran in Story City, Iowa.

Jeff Ketchum of St. Paul, Minn., is an operations analyst at Wells Fargo.

Shawna Kirby-Eckstein is a clinical claim review nurse at Optum in Downers Grove, Ill.

Kimberly (Hall) and Bruce Kolling ’94 live in Birmingham, Ala. Kimberly earned a master’s degree in education from Morningside College and teaches math at Briarwood Christian High School. Bruce earned an MBA from the University of Iowa and is an IT project manager for John Deere.

Jennifer (Johnston) and Kris Kovarik live in Waukon, Iowa. Jennifer is registrar and youth educator at Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. Kris is a probation officer for the state of Iowa.

Kristen Larsen-Schmidt is a chaplain at Hospice of the Red River Valley in Grand Forks, N.D.

Lisa (Cerniglia) Lusk is director of programs and operations at 360 Communities in Burnsville, Minn.

Jennifer McKay is a corporate medical information officer at Avera Health in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Diane (Borneman) and Dan McWilliams ’93 live in Lancaster, Wis. Diane teaches kindergarten in the Lancaster Community Schools. Dan is county director at Crawford County Human Services.

Elisabeth Motlong is a licensed clinical social worker for Motlong Therapy and parent educator at North Seattle College in Seattle.

Angie (Gawron) Nelson is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Wayzata, Minn.

Rashmi (Sharma) and Daniel Nenneman ’92 live in Lakeville, Minn. Rashmi is a research analyst at Health Partners. Daniel is an information technology specialist for the state of Minnesota.

Andrew Olson is senior manager, procurement, at Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, Wis.

Rachael Peterson is the mental health clinician for the Wellness Unit at Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minneapolis. She also serves as a mental health provider for several police and fire departments through her private practice, Peterson Counseling and Consulting.

Karla Rasmussen is an occupational therapy assistant at Humboldt County (Iowa) Memorial Hospital.

Stephanie (Ao-As) Salisbury is principal clinical research specialist at Medtronic in Minneapolis.

Amy (Morse) Sears is senior software quality analyst at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Jennifer (Araujo) Sidenstecker is a franchise owner of the Cleaning Authority in Henderson, Nev.

Stacey (Sokol) and Garrett Struessel ’93 live in Longmont, Colo. Stacey is principal at St. Vrain Valley Schools. Garrett is senior pastor at First Lutheran Church.

Kimberly (Anderson) Thole is an elementary literacy coach for the Onalaska (Wis.) School District.

Amy Vollendorf is dean of students for the Wayzata (Minn.) Public Schools.

Rachel Wangen-Hoch is a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Burlington, Wash. She also volunteers as a financial educator in local schools, congregations, for senior groups, and area nonprofit organizations in the community.

1996

Dee Brown was named NJCAA National Women’s Coach of the Year. His women’s cross country team won its third national title in a row, establishing an NJCAA record of seven team titles. In May, Dee was elected as president of the NJCAA Track and Field Coaches Association.

Beth (Olson) and Dan Haddinger live in Rogers, Ark. Beth teaches ESOL for the Rogers Public Schools. Dan is an event specialist at the Roark Group.

Erin (Blagsvedt) and Kori Jorgensen live in Taylor Ridge, Ill. Erin is director, publishing/managing editor, for the American Rental Association. Kori is a lieutenant with the Rock Island Fire Department.

Luther Koenig is sales and store manager at Bodensteiner Implement Company in Elkader, Iowa.

Cheryl (Hammes) and Scott Runde ’95 live in Zimmerman, Minn. Cheryl is senior oncology sales specialist at Novartis Oncology. Scott is a podiatric surgeon at Fairview Northland Medical Center.

Jenn (Ruud) Strack is owner of Just Juliet in St. Paul, Minn.

1997

Clint Christopher is superintendent at Eastern Carver County School District in Chaska, Minn.

Amanda (Alcock) Freese of Marion, Iowa, received the Parent Award for 2019 from the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association (ITAG) at their annual Parent Day Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, on Oct. 13, 2019. Freese joined ITAG in 2016, is the parent of two boys, and teaches third- and fourth-grade general music in the Marion Independent Schools. Freese is also a master’s degree student in teaching, leadership, and cultural competency at the University of Iowa while completing her endorsement in gifted education. She was cited for founding the I-380 Corridor 2e Parent Network to connect parents with peers and resources in the state to advocate and support the unique needs of students who are gifted and have a learning challenge.

Kirk Severtson is a vocal coach and conductor for the opera program at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in Ann Arbor.

1999

Julie (Broker) Moenck is senior project manager at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is an instructor in nursing for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science and an assistant professor in nursing at Winona State University.

Michael Walters of Maple Grove, Minn., is president and CEO at Payload Group.