Meet the Directors

Meet the Board of Directors

Did you know that Great River Rescue is governed and preserved by an awesome group of volunteer directors?  This page gives you a chance to learn more about them.  If you are interested in joining our awesome team, go to our Board of Directors page, where you can learn about the requirements of Board membership and apply.

Board Chairperson
Geri Hickerson

When did you join the Board of Directors?

I’m not sure! I think 2002, 03 or 04!

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

I am the director of Habitat for Humanity in Bemidji.  I love spending time with my family, 3 doxies, my 12 grandchildren, camping, reading, fishing, baking and volunteering in our community.

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

I enjoy the challenge of providing the best care to the animals that are lost or abandoned in our community.  I have a passion for animals and the best part of this volunteer experience is hearing the “happy tails” when a family finds their companion animal.

Why do you serve?

Giving back is part of my nature.  Giving a little results in getting tenfold plus back.

What pets do you have at home?

3 dachshunds

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

This is a strong, growing organization.  The culture of this board is such that opinions matter, decisions are made for the best interest of the animals and not personal agendas.  I love that!

 

Board Vice-Chairperson
Angie Fournier

When did you join the Board of Directors?

March of 2016

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

I work at BSU as a professor of psychology.  I also spend time with my family, and do plenty of reading and writing.

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

Helping to make decisions and changes to help the animals, and helping educate the community about animal welfare issues.

Why do you serve?

I love animals.  As a psychologist, I see many of our animal problems are due to human behavior.  We work to prevent and improve those issues.

What pets do you have at home?

We have a dog – Ruby, a snake – Ginger, and a cat – Simon who was adopted from GRR.

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

Please join because you want to take an active role in helping GRR care for the animals.  Think about which strengths and talents you can bring to the team.

Board Treasurer
Laura Nord

When did you join the Board of Directors?

2014

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

Working full time at Security Bank as Administrative Director / Marketing / HR.

Full-time momma of a beautiful little boy.

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

The best part of being a GRR Board Member is feeling that we are truly make a difference in the lives of the animals.

Why do you serve?

THE ANIMALS! They deserve the best care possible, and GRR strives to provide that. My goal is to spread the good word about our organization to as many community members as possible. GRR can’t function without our community’s support.

What pets do you have at home?

Yes. Lulu is my beloved dog, adopted from GRR in 2008. Domino is my very large cat, adopted from a friend in 2012.

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

Being a board member is a big responsibility. It’s a time and heart commitment, but the benefits are worth it! Seeing animals thriving in the shelter, and then being adopted into loving homes is awesome and rewarding.

Board Secretary
Sue Feeney

When did you join the Board of Directors?

 

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

 

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

 

Why do you serve?

 

What pets do you have at home?

 

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

 

 

Board Member
Eric Sundem

When did you join the Board of Directors?

I joined the Board in 2018

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

When I am not helping GRR I enjoy the outdoors and woodworking. I take yearly Boundary waters and North shore camping trips along with several other weekend trips. Currently I am building a 20ft cedar strip canoe along with all the paddles and seats.

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

My favorite part of being on the board is helping more animals that I can actually own. I wish I could keep everyone but that is just not possible and this way more animals can benefit from my help.

Why do you serve?

I serve GRR because of the animals that need our voice. Any neglected pet deserves a chance to find a forever home where it can be loved and trust their owner.

What pets do you have at home?

At home I have a German shepherd a pit bull/ lab mix and a Black cat.

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

Helping a cause that is greater than yourself is very rewarding and fulfilling. GRR can always use more volunteers to reach our goal of helping animals.

Board Member
Jackie Ryder

When did you join the Board of Directors?

 

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

 

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

 

Why do you serve?

 

What pets do you have at home?

 

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

 

Board Member

Jeanne Edevold Larson

When did you join the Board of Directors?

Summer 2018

What do you do when you are not volunteering at Great River Rescue?

I am the director at another area nonprofit organization: Northern Dental Access Center. My personal time is spent caring for my family and enjoying my two furry friends at home—Tessa and Tommy

What is the best part of being a Board Member?

I feel I can finally contribute something to a cause I’ve been passionate about my whole life. I’m not the best at walking dogs or selling raffle tickets, but I do have a background in board governance, organizational development and grant writing.  If I can help with some of those activities to keep GRR strong and sustainable—I will have served animals in the best way I know how.

Why do you serve?

Bemidji is my hometown and where I raise my family. I want this to be a community where the most vulnerable of our citizens are treated with respect and dignity…I firmly believe that animals fall into that category. I believe that collaboration is key to maintaining a quality of life that we can all enjoy and I hope to be a part of a community-wide conversation about how we can work together to be a healthy place to live and raise our families and where we can be proud of how we treat each other and the animals that share our space.

What pets do you have at home?

Two shelter cats—Tessa and Tommy; we adopted them in 2004.

What advice do you have to someone considering applying for our Board of Directors?

Even though I’m still learning, I can only say “Just do it!” Nonprofit board service is a great way to meet others who share your desire to make this a better place to live.  GRR is facing a bright future with a talented staff and dedicated fellow board members…