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FEatured FEWs

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  • June 01, 2021 6:02 PM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    JUNE FEATURED FEW

    Name: Tonya Inselman

    Organization/Title: Director of Human Resources at Rice Companies

    Length of time as a FEW Member: Brand new - 2021

    Hometown: Paynesville, Minn.

    Family: Married with two daughters (11, 14)

    What do you actually do at work? Cheerleader, creator, mediator, therapist, problem solver

    What was your first job? I was 14. Opening envelopes and sorting coupons!

    Is your desk/office messy or organized? Depends on the day.

    Favorite vacation spot? Northern Minnesota in fall

    If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Sushi

    What are three words that best describe you? Positive, ambitious, authentic

    What did you want to be when you were a kid? An actress

    What is your favorite way to waste time? Binge Netflix

  • May 01, 2021 9:00 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    MAY FEATURED FEW

    Name: Rebecca Cluever

    Organization/Title: Mental Health Therapist/Owner of Creative Connections Counseling

    Length of time as a FEW Member: 1 month

    Hometown: Sauk Rapids, Minn.

    Family: Significant other and three children

    What do you actually do at work? I have two very different roles. I first have the amazing opportunity to be with others through their triumphs and pitfalls by offering outpatient mental health (“THERAPY”). Secondly, I spend an enormous amount of time on hold with insurance companies, documenting my every move in forms that no one will look at, and completing little administrative tasks.

    Is your desk/office messy or organized? Organized. I am a firm believer of going paperless whenever possible. The toys and books in my office are in their place but in no specific order.

    Are you a task-oriented person or a people-oriented person? People-oriented. I prefer to spend time with my patients, customers, colleagues, community members, family and friends.

    Biggest indulgence/guilty pleasure? Donuts. I have to take detours to my office to avoid the fabulous bakeries in Central Minnesota.

    What is your favorite way to waste time? Puzzles of all kinds. I love brain teasers, online puzzles and cardboard puzzles. I can’t stop until I finish the puzzle. Secondly, I love bad dad jokes and watch videos with bad dad jokes. My husband has requested that I stop sending him videos with bad jokes.

    What is your biggest pet peeve? Shaky legs. I can’t stand someone sitting next to me shaking their leg. I have been blessed to be part of a family that has several shaky leg shakers.

    Favorite vacation spot? I love to travel all over the U.S.A. and Canada. We take several road trips each year to new spots. My recent favorite was the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. My next wish list location is a hot air balloon ride in New Mexico.

    What are three words that best describe you? Genuine, assertive, kind and collaborative

  • April 01, 2021 12:25 PM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    APRIL FEATURED FEW

    Name: Kimberly Magnuson

    Organization/Title: Business Banker at Bremer Bank

    Length of time as FEW Member: 3 years

    Hometown: Buffalo, Minn.

    Family: Husband, Chris; four children: three sons and a daughter, ages 10 to 17

    What do you actually do at work? I share my financial skills, industry knowledge and expertise with business owners and nonprofit leaders to help them successfully realize the financial goals of their operations, so that together we can create prosperous businesses and thriving communities. I accomplish this by facilitating business loan, deposit and financial services through my role as a business banker at Bremer Bank. 

    What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere by the ocean. I love the sight, sound and smell of the water. Watching the sun set over the ocean is top 10. 

    What do you do for fun? Love boating and water sports with my family and friends on a warm, sunny day in northern Minnesota. Love hiking in the Duluth area or any of our state parks. Love outdoor live music, adult beverages and good conversation on a summer evening.

    If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Salad! Love the variety in salad; meat/no meat, veggies, different lettuces, variety in dressings. All good!

    What is your biggest pet peeve? Being asked a question but not having my response listened to, as evidenced by a lack of thoughtful follow up comments or questions, or worst of all, a comment or question that is directly something I already said or answered!

    What are three words that best describe you? Passionate, dedicated, loyal 

    If you opened a business, what type of business would it be? I’d love to own/operate a Dairy Queen. Who isn’t happy coming to get ice cream?

    What is something you are obsessed with? My morning coffee, brewed at home, with collagen powder and Coconut Creamer. The thought of that in the morning really helps me get through my workout and start the day!

  • March 01, 2021 1:24 PM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    MARCH FEATURED FEW

    Name: Ashley Nations

    Organization/Title: Accounting Manager at Mahowald

    Length of time as a FEW member: On my third year

    Hometown: Sartell, Minn.

    Family: Daughter, Payton (11); Son, Sawyer (6); Pooch, Dex

    What do you actually do at work? Financial Reporting, budgeting, pay employees and bills, make sure we are getting paid. Bottom line…I am known as the money and numbers lady! 

    What was your first job? The apparel section at Shopko. I’m great at folding shirts.

    Is your desk/office messy or organized? Organized.

    Do you have or are you a mentor? I have a professional mentor, and I highly suggest one.

    Last book read? “Didn’t See That Coming” by Rachel Hollis

    If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Probably anything Mexican

    Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become? My father who has and is continuously pushing me to be the best version of me!

    Biggest indulgence/guilty pleasure? Cheesecake...I could eat it every day!

    What do you do for fun? I love to curl up with a good book and mug of tea (or adult beverage in the summer). I also love to camp and kayak. Hot yoga is my favorite way to de-stress!

    What is your biggest pet peeve? People chewing with their mouth open.

    What did you want to be when you were a kid? A nurse. Turns out, I’m terrified of needles.

  • February 01, 2021 9:41 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    FEBRUARY FEATURED FEW

    Name: Gail Rucks

    Organization/Title: General Manager at Woodcrest of Country Manor

    Length of time as a FEW member: Just starting third year as a FEW member. Great organization and members, dearly miss our monthly luncheons.

    Hometown: Sauk Rapids, Minn.

    Family: Both of my parents; a son with a granddaughter and two great-grandkids (yes I’m great! :); a daughter, son-in-law and two grandkids; Sadie, my cockapoo; and a new “friend” from the South who is teaching me to have fun and laugh again. He makes me happy!

    What do you actually do at work? Oversee the day-to-day operations of 60 senior apartments with assisted living services and 24 memory care apartments. I have a GREAT team of managers and staff. 

    What was your first job? First job was as a receptionist at Country Manor in Sartell.

    How do you help others succeed? I like to present an idea/concept to an individual and allow them to create a plan and an outcome, thus taking the ownership, making sure the individual has the necessary tools available to be successful.

    What is your biggest accomplishment? Working and experiencing many growth opportunities for the same company for almost 48 years; thus, earning the trust to have responsibility for a brand new project.

    Is your desk/office messy or organized? Desk was very messy until I read this question. As of this moment, my desk has never looked so organized. So...let’s see if it can last.  

    Are you a task-oriented person or a people-oriented person? Very much people oriented. However, I have never missed a deadline.

    Do you have or are you a mentor? I have an excellent mentor, my boss. He has taught and coached me “Servant Leadership” for which I am truly grateful.

    Who is your oldest friend and where did you meet them? My best friend, who also ironically has the name Gail, is like a soulmate. We met when we were both members and officers of the Eagles Auxiliary in St. Cloud. Started traveling together and we always have a lot of fun and laughter. 

  • January 01, 2021 9:35 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    JANUARY FEATURED FEW

    Name: Sarah Engdahl

    Organization/Title: AVP, Controller at Stearns Bank

    Length of time as a FEW Member: 4 years

    Hometown: St. Cloud, Minn.

    Family: Husband, Ryan; Kids, Ava and Bennett; Dog, Chase

    What do you actually do at work? Financial reporting and analysis, budgeting, strategic planning, and all tasks that help us accomplish these things.

    What was your first job? Babysitting for neighborhood kids and cashier at Scheels during high school

    What is your biggest accomplishment? Having a successful career while also being an involved mom

    Is your desk/office messy or organized? Organized (mostly)

    Do you have or are you a mentor? I am very fortunate to have had many wonderful mentors. I continuously aspire to be a great mentor and help others achieve their goals.

    Last book read? The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

    If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? It would definitely include chocolate!

    What do you do for fun? I love spending time at the lake, recently started mountain biking, and am hoping to spend a lot of time cross-country skiing this winter. I also enjoy watching my kids in their sports and activities.

    What did you want to be when you were a kid? Kindergarten teacher

    What is your favorite way to waste time? Sitting around the campfire with family and friends

    What is something you're obsessed with? Most recently, ice skating (not at all because of my skating skills)I finally convinced my husband we should build a backyard rink and it has been a lot of fun!

  • December 01, 2020 8:23 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    DECEMBER FEATURED FEW

    Name: Jenny Theis

    Organization/Title: Senior Community Engagement Manager at Alzheimer's Association

    Length of time as a FEW Member: I believe since January 2015

    Hometown: I grew up near Saint John's University 

    Family: Four kiddos: Ashley (30), Boulder, CO; Alex (21), McMinnville, OR; Henry (17) and Aubrey (15) at home; Teddy, the dog, and Woody, the cat. I also share my life with Brandon and his daughter, Lana.

    What do you actually do at work? Raise awareness and funds to make this a world without Alzheimer's and all other forms of dementia. 

    What is your biggest accomplishment? Having my daughter my senior year in high school, finishing college in four years and buying my first home at 23.

    Last book read? I just finished Christmas at the Island Hotel. Just a fluffy read that has been perfect for this tumultuous year. I've read 54 books so far this year.

    If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Christine's Thin Mint Cheesecake.

    Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become? My dad. He's an amazing mentor, with solid advice.

    What do you do for fun? Reading, eating great food, going to concerts (pre-COVID), hiking, family history, theater, being in nature, and I started riding a bicycle again this spring with Brandon's encouragement (first time in about 30+ years!) 

    What did you want to be when you were a kid? I wanted to be the first female head coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

    What would other FEW members be surprised to learn about you? That I've been treated for depression and anxiety for 20+ years. I regularly see a therapist and take daily medication. I want to normalize mental health issues.

  • November 01, 2020 10:12 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    NOVEMBER FEATURED FEW

    Name: Kathy Markman

    Organization/Title: Registered Nurse at CentraCare Health System

    Length of time as a FEW Member: 2 years

    Hometown: Pierz, Minn.

    Family: I'm married to Mike (29 years) and have two sons, Matt (24) and Eric (22)

    What do you actually do at work? I work at CentraCare's Ambulatory Surgery Center at the Health Plaza. I admit and prep patients prior to surgery and care for them as they recover after their procedures.

    How do you help others succeed? I love to mentor young nurses starting out in their career finding confidence and gaining critical thinking skills as they navigate a changing world of health care.

    Are you a task-oriented person or a people-oriented person? Honestly both. There's great satisfaction in completing things on the to-do list, but there's something fulfilling about a genuine heart-to-heart talk also.

    Last book read? A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota by Sun Yung Shin

    Favorite vacation spot? Spending time at our cabin on Potato Lake near Park Rapids.

    Biggest indulgence/guilty pleasure? A wonderful dessert with a really good cup of coffee.

    What do you do for fun? Get out in nature. I love to refuel with a good walk, bike ride or kayaking.

    Do you have any silly fears? Well, there's snakes...and mice.

  • October 01, 2020 11:17 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    OCTOBER FEATURED FEW

    Name: Melonie Nathe

    Organization/Title: Documentation Manager at Marco Technologies

    Length of time as a FEW Member: 1 month

    Hometown: Clarissa, Minn.

    Family: Married to Mike (2 years in November); he has 2 sonsJeremy (27) and Justin (25)

    What do you actually do at work? We are in the process of implementing an ECM, creating/editing a ton of internal standard work documents, and we do business process mapping. I am hopeful that my team’s contribution will help Marco become more efficient and allow our employees to excel at their work.           

    What was your first job? Aside from being a farm kid, mine was a summer job at the school as a janitor along with four other students. I did not love babysitting—I was a tomboy with a shortage of nurturing skills outside of the animal kingdombut did it now and again (when mom made me).

    Do you have or are you a mentor? My spiritual teacher is my most cherished mentor; however, I believe mentorship comes in unexpected thought-provoking moments rather than in one person labeled a “mentor.” If you’re open to it, anyone can make a comment or perform an act that makes you feel or think profoundly about something. Anyone who has had a deep and meaningful conversation with me has taken a mentorship seat for a moment. Sometimes I take away something meaningful from a simple conversationif it strikes a nerve, or if it makes me feel anxiousor if it makes me tear up in appreciation, e.g. We can all be mentors to each other at any time.

    Who is your hero? My parents are by far my most influential and heroic figures. They are hard-working, resilient, loving, intelligent, introspective, creative and talented...they raised six children while managing a 360-acre dairy farm with Holsteins and a herd of goats; mom wrote a novel, dad was a beekeeperthey made their own maple syrup. Mom worked a full time job at the post office, and we all worked hard on the farm. They faced hardships with dignity and grace. They spend their retirement wood-carving and tending to a massive lawn and gardens. All of their children have a strong work ethic. They have had the strongest impact on the person I have become.

    Do you have any silly fears? I absolutely love and appreciate water, but I’m also convinced that anything that lives under the surface is going to get me. Sometimes I imagine things “getting me” when I’m in a lap pool and can clearly see all the way around me. I don’t really know what “get me” means, but it won’t be ideal (sharks, dead bodies…)!

    Last book read? The Four Agreements. I just read it for the first time within this past year, but it has become one of my all-time favorites, and I reference it often and pass it on to others often. The last book I read “for fun” was Doctor Sleep because I’m a Stephen King junkie.

    What did you want to be when you were a kid? My first memory of wanting to be something was a journalist or a novelist. I also wanted each one of my family members to build a house on our 360 acres so we could always stay close, with the uninhabited parts being an animal shelter/refuge. 

    What would other FEW members be surprised to learn about you? No one knows me currently, but what I would want FEW members to know about me is that I love the outdoors/nature and all creatures, I love the connection and learning opportunities that deep and meaningful conversations bring, I love to travel and experience adventure, and someday I hope to finish a novel that I’ve been working on for over 25 years…it’s never too late!

  • September 01, 2020 7:24 AM | Amanda Hackett (Administrator)

    SEPTEMBER FEATURED FEW

    Meet our September Featured FEW, who is also our new FEW Website Manager!

    Name: Grace Davidson-Thooft

    Organization/Title: Campus Outreach Manager and Box Office Assistant for Fine Arts Programming at CSB/SJU.

    Length of time as a FEW Member? One month!

    Hometown? Goshen, Massachusetts

    Family? Husband of one year, Taylor

    What do you actually do at work? Outreach around arts on campus and the Fine Arts Series, engaging campus students in the arts, social media management and website management, along with managing box office student employees and serving as an assistant manager for our box office.                        

    What was your first job? I worked at the after-school program for our district with K6 students.

    How do you help others succeed? Listening first, finding out what others really want and continually encouraging and lifting them up towards those goals but understanding and validating their struggles and their own realities. Nothing gives me more joy than being the cheerleader for my friends, family and students!

    Is your desk/office messy or organized? My work-from-home office is very organized, cleaned everyday…Now, my work office I haven’t seen since March 18 is a different story…It will be a big surprise to see what state I left it in!

    Favorite vacation spot? My husband and I got engaged in Maui. I daydream about returning when the pandemic settles down!

    Who is your oldest friend and where did you meet them? My oldest friend, Sarah, and I met on the first day of third grade which was also my first day at a new school after we had moved to Massachusetts. I sat next to her and told her we were going to be best friends. Even with our lives looking very different and with my move halfway across the country seven years ago, we still text or call at a minimum every week if not daily.

    Who is your hero? It truly is my mom. She is a fierce businesswoman with incredible work ethic, a big personality and a bigger heart. I’ve seen her work her way up from bottom to the top more times than she should have had to in her career and in life. She also was willing to sacrifice so much when her family needed her. I followed in her footsteps by moving away from home at a young age to find my own place and where I belonged. I don’t know how she balanced it all, or continues to, but I’m grateful for all of her encouragement and the example she set forward for me and my sisters.

    Do you have any silly fears? Recently, crickets are my irrational fear.

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