SMSU Foundation Board of Directors


The SMSU Foundation is guided by the work of an dedicated Board of Directors. Elected to three-year terms, the directors are alumni and friends who provide invaluable counsel in fundraising, portfolio management, strategic planning and other matters. With the assistance of many volunteers, the Board of Directors is responsible for enabling the Foundation to meet the long-term needs of the University.

Dave Werpy '79




Dave Werpy is a 1979 alumnus with a degree in accounting. He recently retired from 3M's global internal audit group, staffed in 15 countries around the world. He grew up in Marshall and comes from a family of first generation SMSU graduates: Todd, Pam (Miller), and the late Sue (Bruss). Dave delivered the 2015 SMSU Commencement address...

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Ann Roemen '84


1st Vice President


Ann Roemen is a 1984 SMSU graduate. She has been actively involved in the Sioux Empire United Way for over twelve years, serving on the cabinet, allocations committee, WomenUnite program and table host committees, and chairing WomenUnite in 2017...

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Bruce Saugstad '89

2nd Vice President

Bruce resides in Marshall with his wife, Linda (a 1990 alumna) and their three children: Austin, Morgan, and Lexi. After completing his undergraduate work in math and computer science at SMSU, Bruce started his career at the Schwan Food Company within the IT department...

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Kristi Mukomela '80


Kristi lives in Woodbury, Minnesota. She is a 1980 SMSU alumna earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After graduation, Kristi spent two years as an admissions counselor at SSU. She then relocated to Owatonna, MN where she became President of Owatonna Tool Company Credit Union...

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Jerry Bly '71


Past President

Jerry is a '71 "Charter class" SMSU graduate. He majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. The early years after graduation found Jerry working in retail management, spending the majority of this time in the management program with Shopko Stores Inc...

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Brad Bacon '92

Brad is a 1992 graduate of SMSU and brings forward a great deal of both non-profit and for-profit board experience. He has served as a school board member for six years, with five years acting as president. Brad is the CFO of PleasureLand RV Center where he also serves as an officer and board member...

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Julie Bleyhl '84


Julie is the Legislative Director for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 5 and has been for the past twenty years. She also served eleven years as the Legislative Director for the Minnesota Farmers Union. She is currently...

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Timothy Burns '97


Tim is 1972 SMSU graduate.  He worked for 35 years at Principal Financial Group. He is retired now, leaving his son Tony to take over his clients. He was past President of the Sioux Falls, South Dakota chapter of NAIFA and is still active in the chapter to this date...

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Duane Carrow

Duane has watched the university grow from the time the first bricks were laid through the construction of the football stadium. He is a MARL Class I alumnus and has served as a Board Member for the SMSU Agriculture Advisory Council. Duane was also a Biofuels Technology Instructor at MNWest from 1991-2010....

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Tina Cartwright '97


Tina Cartwright is a Senior Vice President of US Bank and is responsible for Equipment Finance Information Technology Strategies, Security and Project  Management and Professional Development Programs. Throughout her career, she has held a variety of positions within the organization...

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Lee French '72


Lee French was born and raised in Lamberton, Minnesota. He graduated from Southwest Minnesota State College in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Lee received a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1977 in entomology.  In 1976, He married Joann Stepanek ('75). They have two daughters, one graduating from Southwest in 2005...

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Brian Knochenmus '00

Brian lives near Marshall, Minnesota, with his wife Mindy and their seven children. He is an owner and president of Ralco in Marshall. Brian grew up near Balaton, Minnesota, graduated from Tracy Area High School in 1995, and then went on to graduate from Southwest Minnesota State University in 2000 with a degree in business administration...

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Jim Kontz


Jim lives in Marshall with his wife Jill, and their three children, Whitney, Hunter, and Sam. Jim grew up in Marshall and graduated from high school in 1983. He went on to attend college at Mankato State University, graduating in 1988. Jim started with Prudential in June of 1988...

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Daniel Koster '85


Dan is a 1985 graduate of SMSU who majored in agri-business with an emphasis in economics and finance. While at SMSU Dan was a captain of the Mustang football team, he played basketball and he was involved in the Ag Business Club. Dan was an Academic All-American as quarterback for the Mustangs...

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Dorene Kronke-McCourt '73

Dorene is a retired sales and marketing executive with over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and managed care industries, including Merck & Co., Astra Merck (now Astra Zeneca), and MedImpact Health Care Solutions. Dorene currently focuses her efforts in the non-profit sector as Chair...

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Ken Mukomela


Ken is a retired professor of Business and Office Education at SMSU. He joined the faculty in 1968– the second year of the University. He is a North Dakota native, and received his bachelor’s degree from Mayville State University. He earned his master’s and doctorate from the University of North Dakota...

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Chuck Myrbach


Chuck served SMSU for 36 years as Director of Research and Institutional Grants as well as Interim VP of Public Services and Development and Interim VP of Enrollment Management. He was also an Assistant Professor of Psychology...

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Joe Roers '05


Joe Roers received his MBA from SMSU in 2005 and has been the co-chair of the SMSU Farm Seminar for the past five years.  He is currently an account manager at Ralco Nutrition in Marshall, MN.  He and his wife Betty owned and operated Fairview Farm Service for 25 years, along with Shamrock Lawn Care for 10 years...

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Valerie Swanson '76 

Valerie Swanson is a retired Ridgewater instructor and coach, and a native of Sherburn, Minnesota. She graduated from Southwest Minnesota State College in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in Health and Physical Education.  She continued her education and graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1983 with a Master’s of Science in Physical Education...

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Diane Taylor '75


A retired elementary teacher with more than 30 years experience in the Marshall Public School District, Diane received her undergraduate degree in Education at SMSU ('75) and master’s degree in Education from the University of Minnesota ('91). Diane remains involved in education, subbing and supervising student teachers. She is a former member of the Mustang Executive Booster Board and past president of SMSU Foundation Board...

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Cindy Verschaetse


Cindy Verschaetse is President/Market Manager at Bremer Bank Marshall.  Cindy is currently active  in the Marshall community serving on the Marshall Area YMCA Board of Directors, and The Marshall Municipal Utility Commission...

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Neal Wahlman '75

Neal Wahlman graduated from SMSU in 1975 with a degree in Accounting, earned his MBA from the University of St. Thomas and is a Certified Management Accountant. He held corporate financial management positions with Supervalu, Tires Plus, Gage Marketing and last served as CFO, then president, of Snyder’s Drug Stores before his retirement...

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Brad Winkelman '91


Currently the SVP – Director of Lease Operations with U.S. Bank in Marshall, Brad has been with U.S. Bank since 2001. Prior to assuming his current role, Brad held many positions during his 22 year career within the Equipment Finance team.  Those positions included numerous roles of increasing responsibility in not only operations management but also sales and business line leadership...

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Ex-Officio Members


Vicky Brockman '82 - Faculty Representative


Vicky serves as President of the Southwest Minnesota State University Faculty Association, Chair of the Social Science Department, and Professor of Sociology. She is a 1982 alumna of SMSU.  Vicky earned her master’s degree at the University of North Dakota and her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota...

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Linda Baun '85 - Council 5 Representative


Linda Baun was raised on a farm outside of Morton. She graduated from SMSU in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She has worked at SMSU since 1988 in several roles. Her most recent role is as an Academic Administrative Assistant, Senior, for the School of Business and School of Agriculture...

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Jefferson Lee IV '96 '11 - Administrative and Service Faculty Representative


Jefferson Lee IV had served as director in an interim basis since August 2011. In 2012 he was appointed the director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Lee is currently serving as the director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Access Opportunity Success (AOS) programs...

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 Esther Oluborode - Student Association President