Meet the Staff

Brandon Mustful

Great River Rescue 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.

Contact the director at


Kylie Hudzik

Kennel Coordinator

Meet Kylie Hudzik. Kylie is a former native of Pittsburgh PA. 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, to lambing, halter breaking and showing horses. She spent two years in the animal science program at UMC. Due to finances, she was unable to finish. However, she did not let that hold her back. In 2013, she accepted a position with the Circle of Friends Humane Society. Through those four years, she has either held, or assisted with, every position available. This includes, overseeing the Kennel staff, adoptions, rescues and foster program. She has also been active in the med 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 she loves every minute of it and would not trade it for all the money in the world.

Kylie is very much looking forward to her new career with Great River Rescue in 2018



Jules Richardson

Maintenance and 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 loved animals my whole life; according to my mom my first word was puppy. I grew up with dogs and we currently have two cats, one of which came from GRR. Working with animals at GRR and watching them find their perfect home is one of the best things I’ve done. My hobbies include reading and writing, I love coming up with stories and someday I hope to be a published author.





Mary Wolkerstorfer

Desk Worker

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 cat Thumper. I have always had a passion for animals and to help those less fortunate. I am hoping great river will give me valuable experience in the animal care field and open up many new doors and opportunities for me.

Marissa Pribyl

Kennel Worker

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 Worker

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, drumline 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.