Meet the Staff

Brandon Mustful – Executive Director

“I have been the director at Great River Rescue since June of 2012. Before that, I worked at the Salvation Army in the Twin Cities, and before that, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Paraguay. I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Salem International University in West Virginia. I also have a Master of Public Policy from the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. I really enjoy leading this organization and doing everything I can to help make it a strong and vibrant community resource. I am grateful to everyone who supports our mission of saving and finding homes for our companion animal friends.”

Kylie Hudzik – Kennel Coordinator

Meet Kylie Hudzik. Kylie is a native of Pittsburgh PA, but she has been laying down her roots in the upper Midwest for the past 22 years. Her background includes working with both large and small animals. She has done everything from sheep shearing and lambing, to halter breaking and showing horses. She spent two years in the animal science program at UMC, but due to finances, was unable to finish. However, Kylie did not let that hold her back, and in 2013, she accepted a position with the Circle of Friends Humane Society. Through those four years of employment, she has either held or assisted with every position available. This includes overseeing the kennel staff, adoptions, rescues, and the foster program. Kylie has also been active in the medical staff as well, assisting with restraining, medical evaluations, blood draws, and exams. She has also completed the dog training basics course from the Karen Pryor Academy. As far as family goes, she has two dogs and a teenage son. Life is hectic, but Kylie loves every minute of it and would not trade it for all the money in the world.

Jules Richardson – Maintenance & Kennel Attendant


“I’m originally from England with a background in IT, but I made a permanent move to the Bemidji area at the end of 2007, and now live in an old farmhouse north of town with my wife, three children, three dogs and two cats. With my maintenance hat on at GRR, I greatly enjoy the diversity that the job brings – it always seems like there’s some new and interesting project to tackle! Outside of the shelter, my main hobbies involve saving and repairing vintage vehicles, mechanical gadgets, and electronics (ancient computers in particular).”

Sheridan Ellis – Kennel Attendant

“I’ve been working at Great River Rescue since December of 2016. I’ve loved working with the animals, helping them with their training, helping them to trust people more, and ultimately, helping them find new homes. I’ve also enjoyed helping potential adopters get to know the cats and dogs and helping them figure out which pet is right for them. I enjoy learning about pet behavior and nutrition, and I hope to continue learning and working in the shelter for a long time.”

Mary Wolkerstorfer – Office Administrator

“Hello my name is Mary and I just moved to Bemidji from the Twin Cities to attend BSU and pursue my dreams of being a veterinarian. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, camping, kayaking, and spending time with our dog Scarlett and our two cats Thumper and Lobelia. I have always had a passion for animals and to help those less fortunate. I am hoping GRR will give me valuable experience in the animal care field and open up many new doors and opportunities for me.”

Marissa Pribyl – Kennel Attendant

“Hello, my name is Marissa and I first acquired an internship at Great River Rescue and got a job at the shelter from there. I’ve always wanted to do more and help in some way especially for animals and that’s why I applied to volunteer at Great River Rescue. I just graduated high school in Bemidji and plan to attend Bemidji State in the fall of 2019. I plan to get my bachelors there in aquatic biology and then move onto marine biology somewhere by the ocean. My hobbies are doing anything outside, spending time with animals, being with friends and family and traveling. I grew up in the country with horses, cows and my two dogs Munich and Gunner. Great River Rescue has taught me so much and I can’t wait to see where the future takes me!”

Aren Steever – Kennel Attendant

“Hi, my name is Aren. I started at Great River Rescue as a volunteer and eventually took a job here. I’ve always had a passion for animals and I love working here. I grew up always having dogs and cats around and my family currently fosters shelter animals. My hobbies include dance, drum line and spending time with my friends. Great River Rescue has taught me a lot and I’m excited to see what kinds of opportunities it provides for me.”

Savannah Marsh – Kennel Attendant

“Hi, my name is Savannah and I’ve lived in the area my whole life. I started working at GRR to gain experience in the animal field. My future goal is to become an exotic Veterinarian. I love animals, and have wanted to be a Vet since I was little. I currently have 3 dogs, and I used to foster ferrets. I’m hoping to gain valuable experience at GRR to help with my future endeavors.”

Tess Skiles – Kennel Attendant

“I grew up in Illinois and moved to northern Minnesota a few years ago with my family because my parents bought a restaurant up here. We had two cats and a dog growing up, and I now have two cats of my own. My hobbies include painting, reading, and spending time with my loved ones and all of our pets. I really love animals and I have a passion for caring for others so I’m happy to be at GRR as it provides me with valuable experience and education towards my goal of becoming a veterinary technician.”


Great River Rescue