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Board Spotlights

Alie McInerney

Alie has called the Itasca-area home to her family for more than 100 years. With deep roots and a tremendous love for the place she calls home, she always knew she would make it back.  After moving away for school and a short stint in Duluth, she had the opportunity to move back five years ago to work at the Blandin Foundation. She enjoys being surrounded by family and friends that all care deeply about the community. With two, soon to be three, young children, you can often find her and her family hanging out at the library, the Children’s Discovery Museum, or enjoying the beautiful summer days at a park or beach. Continue reading


Luke Francisco, Board Ex-offico  

I grew up in Grand Rapids and after spending 6+ years in the Duluth area, had the opportunity to return to my hometown. Growing up here, I was fortunate to benefit from so many of the opportunities the Northwoods’ is known for. I spent a lot of time playing hockey and baseball, hunting and fishing. It was through some of those things that I recognized what a close community this is. I married my high school sweetheart Anna Johnson in 2012. We have a two-year old son (Otto), a new baby (Milo), and a friendly yellow lab named Nyko. We feel very fortunate to call Itasca County our home. Continue reading


Amanda Kluge, Board President 

I work for Minnesota Power as the Fuels Business Operations Manager at the Boswell Energy Center.  In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, vacationing in the winter, and hanging out at the beach and boating in the summer.  I have a 6-year old son, who is full of energy and lights up my life! Continue reading

Christina Monson, Board Secretary 

I grew up in a small town in the northeast corner of Iowa with wonderful parents who instilled in me a great sense of determination and a top-notch work ethic. Both employed in the education system, I grew up watching their community involvement and was always inspired by their drive to help others. My husband, daughter, and I moved to Grand Rapids in May of 2015 and I’ve found myself back in a small town with a big heart. For fun we like to hike, do art projects, take photographs, and explore the area. As the editor of Lake Time Magazine, I’m fortunate to get to know this community and the surrounding northern Minnesota area on a new level and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! Continue reading


Peter Birkey, Board Ex-offico 

Before moving to Grand Rapids, Peter lived in Boston, serving as an Executive Vice President of Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. and was responsible for all Strategy, Public Markets, Risk Management, Real Estate and Special Situations. Peter is also currently on the Vancouver-based Pretium (NYSE ticker - PVG) Board of Directors, Coe College Board of Trustees, and the ICC Foundation Board.

Some of Peter’s favorite activities include travelling with his 15 and twin 11 year old daughters, and spending time outdoors. Continue reading


 

Suli Furman


Suli Furman, past United Way Agency recipient and 2017 Board Member, was born and raised in Arizona. She is married to Travis Furman and is a mom to five spunky kids. Although she spent most of her life out west, she has lived in Minnesota since 2007 when her and her husband moved here to continue their work with troubled teens. She loves the change of seasons and the pace that this area provides. Continue reading


Patrick Goggin, Board Treasure

Patrick Goggin moved to Grand Rapids in July of 2015 when he accepted his current position as Chief Financial Officer of the Grand Rapids School District. He has four grown children and seven wonderfully spoiled grandchildren. Goggin loves the Itasca area with the many activities and events held here in the community, and he especially loves fishing, taking walks, and reading. Continue reading

 


Kayla Schubert

As of March 2017, Kayla Schubert became a board member of the United Way of 1000 Lakes. Kayla moved to the Grand Rapids area in August of 2016 after accepting the Promise Fellow position at Greenway High School, which works in conjunction to the United Way. Currently, Kayla is the Gallery Director for the MacRostie Art Center and sits on multiple boards in the Itasca Area. She enjoys marathon training, art creation and advocacy, and traveling across the country to learn about history. Continue reading


Dick Sackett

Dick Sackett was born and raised in Grand Rapids. He and his wife Kristi have four children: Nathan (21), Matthew (15), Mitchell (13), and Ava (9). He works at Minnesota Power as a Lead Electrician. In his free time, Dick enjoys spending time on the lakes fishing and boating in the summer, and ice fishing and snowshoeing in the winter. He and his family are also strong supporters of the arts and enjoy participating in music and theatre. Continue reading



John Stemper, Board Vice President

I work for MDI as the Director of Product Development and New Ventures and am married with two adult children. We have enjoyed all aspects of Itasca County and Northern Minnesota including the rich natural resources, friendly people, and the great variety of community activities, restaurants and arts. Continue reading


Jamie Nielsen

A native to the Itasca County area, Jamie Nielsen is lucky enough to call this place 'home'. Her and her husband Joe, along with her four children (Morgan, Brayden, Bryce & Lainey), reside in the Trout Lake area and works for ASV Holdings, Inc in Human Resources. During her off time, you can usually find Jamie at one of her kids sporting events, or spending time with family and friends. Continue reading

 


Madeline Cook

Madeline lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Jeff, and 2 dogs.  A shy Sheltie, Ricky, and a loving chocolate lab mix, Boogaard. Madeline and Jeff both grew up in Eagan, MN, but both wanted to live in Northern Minnesota.  In 2014, Jeff was offered a job in Grand Rapids and have loved living here ever since. In July of 2016, Madeline and Jeff became the new owners of Flowers By Jeannie. When she is not designing at the flower shop, she enjoys spending time with friends outside at the bonfire or at her family’s cabin in Ely, MN. Continue reading

 


Diane Meyer

Diane Meyer is one of our newest board members to join the United Way of 1000 lakes, but was originally introduced as a Campaign Coordinator for MDI 5 years ago. Her position at MDI is an Employment Supports Supervisor for both the Cohasset and Grand Rapids locations, and continues to support our annual campaign in the fall with her work place. Diane enjoys exploring many countries and cultures of the world, but loves especially traveling with her husband around the northern part of Minnesota whether on bicycle, motorcycle, boat, snowmobile or motor home. Diane also was just blessed with her first granddaughter 15 months ago! Continue reading

Brad Zumbaum

I came to the Grand Rapids area in January of 2013 from South Dakota, and opened Itasca Tax & Consulting. He joined the United Way of 1000 Lakes board in March of 2014 and currently serves as the Treasurer. In his spare time, Brad officiates football and lacrosse games for local high schools and community colleges, and enjoys spending time outdoors exploring the north woods with his wife, April. Continue reading



Suli Furman

Suli Furman, past United Way Agency recipient and 2017 Board Member, was born and raised in Arizona. She is married to Travis Furman and is a mom to five spunky kids. Although she spent most of her life out west, she has lived in Minnesota since 2007 when her and her husband moved here to continue their work with troubled teens. She loves the change of seasons and the pace that this area provides. Continue reading