The Team

"Alone we can do so little;
together we can do so much."

Helen Keller

We work with and through others.

We are a fast-paced organization that works to make the greatest impact possible on health and quality of life for the people in our region. Working with and through people like you, we:

LEAD initiatives to create a region of the healthiest people.
 BUILD the fundraising success of charities.
 INVEST in new ideas that create widespread health improvement.

Together, this is ☞ WHO WE ARE.

Board of Directors

Leading for Exceptional Impact

The board of Dakota Medical Foundation is made up of medical professionals and other community leaders:
  DREAMERS, THINKERS, DOERS and INNOVATORS 

They lead us to address complex challenges facing our community
and push us to achieve the greatest possible societal return from our resources.

They test us to understand and teach us best practices,
and challenge us to continually become better by measuring and evaluating our effectiveness.

Together with our staff, they are our most important human capital.

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Dr. Dave Akkerman, MD

Board Member

Dr. Dave Akkerman is a retired Family Physician at Essentia Health in Fargo, ND. He obtained his medical degree from the University of South Dakota-Vermillion.

In addition to serving as a Dakota Medical Foundation Board Member, he serves on the DMF Executive, Governance, and Finance & Investment Committees.
He enjoys oenology, the science dedicated to the study and knowledge of wines.

Dr. Barbra Brookshire, OD

Board Member

Barbra co-owns Eyecare Associates clinics in Fargo and West Fargo, ND. She attended Illinois College of Optometry and is an adjunct clinical professor at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Barbra serves on the Dakota Medical Foundation Executive Committee. She has served as the Vice Chair for the Lend A Hand Up Board of Directors. Her favorite sport is basketball, and she enjoys playing it with both her kids. 

Julene Brown, RN

Board member

Until her retirement, Julene served as the Chief Compliance Officer of Organizational Integrity and Compliance for Essentia Health. She has extensive experience in nursing, leadership, and management. 

In addition to the DMF Board, Julene serves on the Lend A Hand Up Board of Directors. Julene enjoys staying active with her eight grandkids and traveling to her townhouse in Mesa, Arizona.

John Deutsch, Pharm D

Board member

John is the President and co-owner of InHealth Specialty Pharmacy; a pharmacy specializing in customized prescription medications for humans and pets.

John earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University and proudly serves on Dakota Medical Foundation’s Finance & Investment Committee. In his free time, John enjoys golfing and spending time with his family. 

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Chris Kennelly, JD

Secretary

Chris is the owner of and an attorney at Kennelly Business Law. He practices extensively in real estate and estate planning. He also owns Frontier Title Group, consisting of four title companies in ND.

He leads as the Dakota Medical Foundation Board Secretary, a member of the Executive Committee, and as the Chair of the Governance Committee. In the past, Chris has served on the Lend A Hand Up Board of Directors.

Jessica R. Kuhn, DNP, RN, BSN, CPNP

Jessica R. Kuhn, DNP

Board member

Jessica is a board-certified pediatric nurse practitioner with ima Healthcare in Fargo, ND, and serves as Vice Chair of the Lend a Hand Up Board.

She specializes in ADHD/behavioral health, children with special healthcare needs, neonatal care, and bowel/bladder problems. 

Jessica resides in West Fargo with her husband and four children.

Dr. Rob Lauf, DDS

Board Chair

Rob is a Doctor of Dentistry and owns Goose River Dental Associates, P.C., in Mayville, ND. He serves on the CDCA/WREB/CITA Board of Directors and is a Dental Examiner.

Rob is the President of the North Dakota Dental Foundation and serves on the North Dakota State University Foundation Board of Directors. Rob is DMF’s Board Chair and a proud grandfather to his grandchildren, Ellis and Iris.

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Dr. Susan Mathison, MD

Past Chair

Dr. Susan Mathison is the Founder and CEO of Catalyst Medical Center and Clinical Spa in Fargo, North Dakota. She graduated from Stanford University and UT Southwestern Medical Center.

She is a Past Board Chair of the Foundation and serves on the Executive, Governance, and DMF Center for Excellence Committees. Dr. Susan also serves on the Impact Foundation Board of Directors.

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Nola McNeally, JD

Vice Chair

Nola is the General Counsel/Advisor at Edgewood REIT. Previously, she worked as an attorney within the firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP for 10 years and as an Officer at the Fredrikson & Byron P.A. law firm. 

Nola serves as Vice Chair and on the Executive Committee and DMF Center for Excellence Committee. She loves to travel with her family, and her favorite destination is Paris, France.

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Kim Meyer

Board Member

Prior to retirement, Kim was the Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Gate City Bank. She has degrees from Minnesota State University Moorhead, the Graduate School of Banking, HR Management School and Stonier Graduate School of Banking. 

Kim serves on the DMF Governance Committee. In her free time, she loves spending time with her Bernedoodle dog, Izzy.

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Eric Monson

Board Member

Eric is the former Director at Sagency in West Fargo, ND. He previously served as a Sr. Vice President at Banner Health and the Chief Executive Officer for Novus, LLC and the Anne Carlsen Center.

He is the Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee and also serves on the Executive, Governance, and DMF Center for Excellence Committees. 

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Amanda Thomas

Immediate Past Chair

Amanda is a Residential Architect and Consultant. She holds a degree in Architecture from North Dakota State University. She is the past Chair of the Board, is the Chair of the DMF Center for Excellence Committee, and serves on the Executive and Governance Committees. 

She is a homeschool parent to twins and loves to read.

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Jennifer Thompson, JD

Board Member

Jennifer is a Managing Partner of H.A. Thompson & Sons. From 2002 to 2013, she worked as the Director of Development for DMF. Jennifer holds a J.D. from the University of North Dakota and serves on the Lend A Hand Up Application Committee and Board of Directors. She also serves on the Fargo Youth Hockey Association Board of Directors.
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J. Patrick Traynor, JD

EXEC DIR, Ex-Officio

Pat is the Executive Director of Dakota Medical Foundation and an ex-officio member of its Committees and Board (non-voting). He is also the Executive Director of the Impact Foundation. 

Until 2000, Pat was the Executive Director and CEO of the North Dakota Workers Compensation Bureau and an attorney in Fargo, ND.

*Not pictured: Vanessa Coulter, ARPN, CNP

Committees

executive committee

Dave Akkerman, MD
Barb Brookshire, OD
Chris Kennelly, JD
Rob Lauf, DDS • Chair
Susan Mathison, MD
Nola McNeally, JD
Eric Monson
Amanda Thomas 
J. Patrick Traynor, JD • Ex-Officio

governance committee

Dave Akkerman, MD
Vanessa Coulter, ARPN, CNP
Dianna Hansen
Chris Kennelly, JD Chair
Rob Lauf, DDS
Susan Mathison, MD
Kim Meyer
Eric Monson
Amanda Thomas
J. Patrick Traynor, JD
Ex-Officio 

Finance & investment committee

Dave Akkerman, MD
John Deutsch, Pharm D
Jay Eisenbeis
Rob Lauf, DDS
Eric Monson Chair 
Susan Mathison, MD
Amanda Thomas
J. Patrick Traynor, JD Ex-Officio 
Richard Vetter, MD

DMF Center for
Excellence Committee

Jay Eisenbeis
Sindy Keller
Jay Krabbenhoft
Rob Lauf, DDS
Susan Mathison, MD
Nola McNeally, JD 
Robert Ross
Amanda Thomas • Chair 
J. Patrick Traynor, JD • Ex-Officio 

lend a hand up
subsidiary board

Stephanie Astrup
Jason Boutwell
Barbra Brookshire, OD
Julene Brown, RN
Brian Haugen  Chair 
Peter Hovey Secretary
Peter Jacobson
Sindy Keller
Jessica Kuhn, NP  Vice Chair 
Diane Miller
Jane Skalsky, RN
Jennifer Thompson, JD Treasurer
J. Patrick Traynor, JD Ex-Officio 

Note: Board and committee members do not accept solicitations for grant funds.

Staff

Here are the hands, feet, and voices of Dakota Medical Foundation and its Initiatives.

Helping you do good and improve lives.

Jordan Amberg • DMF Systems Developer

Jordan Amberg

Systems Developer

Dakota Medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Jordan assists with software development, integration, and maintenance of websites and digital applications associated with the Foundation entities.

Jordan holds a Computer Science degree from North Dakota State University. He joined the Dakota Medical Foundation in 2023.

Evan Balko

Multimedia Lead

Dakota Medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Evan leads video production for all DMF and Impact video content. He also directs the annual Giving Hearts Day livestream, Heartcast.

Evan enjoys skiing, cooking, and working on cars in his spare time. He is the recipient of two Addy awards. Evan joined the Foundation in 2020.

Kelly Barbot

Design Lead

Dakota Medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Kelly oversees the branding for the Foundation and leads the creation of digital and print marketing assets for DMF and Impact Learning Co.

Jerad, her husband, proposed to her on top of the Empire State Building in New York City. Kelly joined the Foundation in 2019.

Riley Boese

Digital & Operations Lead

Dakota Medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Riley creates and coordinates digital content for DMF and Impact Learning Co. She also provides creative support for marketing material and assists with Foundation operations.

Riley loves reading, exercising, and all things comedy and music. She joined the Foundation in 2020. 

Tara Bujold, Director of Executive Operations

Tara Bujold

Director of Executive Operations

Dakota Medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Tara supports the Executive Director in internal day-to-day operations. She is instrumental in implementing strategy and goals for DMF initiatives. 

Tara loves dogs, especially her loyal companion, Ole. She resides in Fargo with her husband, Nick. Tara joined the foundation in 2020.

Dianne Connelly

Accountant

Dakota Medical foundation

Dianne is responsible for the accounting functions of the Impact Foundation, Achievements Unlimited Foundation, and the North Dakota Dental Foundation.

Dianne enjoys gardening, bike riding, kayaking, and spending time in downtown Fargo.

Lana Foss

Administrative Specialist

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Lana manages daily operations of the DMF building. She coordinates DMF committee meetings and provides administrative assistance to the accounting team.

Lana has a son, Colby, and a daughter, Dana. She joined the Foundation in 2014. 

Michelle Hogan

Accounting manager

Dakota Medical foundation

Michelle manages the general accounting functions for Dakota Medical Foundation, Dakota Medical Charities, and other contracted affiliates. 

She looks forward to taking up her new hobby of photography. Michelle joined the Foundation in 2012.

Whitney Isaacson

Outreach Coordinator

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Whitney coordinates engagement opportunities for Dakota Medical Foundation initiatives: Health and Wellbeing, Lend A Hand Up, and the Matto Foundation.

Whitney holds a degree in Health Education. She joined the Foundation in 2022.

Emily Jones

Director of Development

Dakota Medical foundation

Emily leads the DMF Donor Funds and membership programs. She also assists with system processes.

Emily loves sandwiches and going to sporting events. She and her husband, Travis, have a Labradoodle, Suzie. Emily joined the Foundation in 2021.

Nate Mickelberg

Director of Communications and Strategic Projects

Dakota Medical foundation

Nate directs strategic projects for Dakota Medical and Impact Foundations.  He assists with the creation of communications content produced by the team and oversees communication strategies for the foundation and each of its programs. 

Nate is an avid golfer and proud dad to two boys. He joined the Foundation in 2018.

Jessica Offerman

Operational Excellence leader

Impact Foundation
Impact Foundation

Jessica leads internal operations, Giving Hearts Day charity experience, and project management for DMF and the Impact Foundation and its partner initiatives. 

She is the mom to a fellow bookworm, is always caffeinated, and likes running and sports. Jessica has been with Dakota Medical Foundation since 2015. 

Matthew Ohren

Technology Lead

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Matt leads software development and integration, and the Giving Hearts Day development team. He is responsible for the development and maintenance of websites and digital applications associated with the Foundation entities.

Matt loves to ski and skate. He joined the Dakota Medical Foundation in 2019. 

Kim Palm

Development Specialist

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Kim works closely with the Development Director to coordinate the donor management system, membership programs, and charitable giving funds.

Kim has been with Dakota Medical Foundation since 2001 and is one of the longest-serving staff members in the history of Dakota Medical Foundation.

Tanner Olson

Special Projects Coordinator

Impact Foundation
Impact Foundation

Tanner coordinates pilot programs and special projects for DMF and Impact Foundations. He also conducts research and provides resources for Giving Hearts Day.

Tanner and his wife, Jeshanah, have three kids, and he serves as pastor at Living Hope Baptist Church.  Tanner joined the Foundation in 2013. 

Jeana Peinovich

Lend A Hand Up Director

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Jeana is the director of Lend A Hand Up, which has raised more than $20 million for families in need since its launch in 2008. Before 2008, she was the Outreach Coordinator for DMF’s Covering Kids & Families initiative. 

Jeana is a talented tap dancer. She and her husband, Jim, have three daughters and five grandchildren. Jeana joined the Foundation in 2003.

Cheryl Poirier

Events Coordinator

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Cheryl manages the DMF Center for Excellence by scheduling and coordinating building space for nonprofits, employees, and other groups.

She maintains a welcoming environment and assists with other building functions.

Cheryl loves reading, spending time with family, taking long walks, and decorating her home. She joined the Foundation in 2017.

Alexandra Rasmussen

Lend A Hand Up Coordinator

Dakota Medical Foundation
Impact Foundation

Alexandra manages web logistics, media, and administrative processes for the Lend A Hand Up program. She assists program fundraisers with online resources and promotional material.

Alex is a Fargo native and attended Concordia College. Most recently, she taught Kindergarten in Moorhead, Minnesota. She joined the Foundation in 2023.

Amanda Sayre

Chief Programs Officer

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Amanda provides the vision, leadership, and strategy for the annual Giving Hearts Day held each February. She also promotes the training and events each year leading up to Giving Hearts Day.

Amanda also oversees strategy and technical logistics for Giving Hearts Day. 

She is a wife and mother of three. Amanda joined the Foundation in 2015.

Michael Schumacher, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

Dakota medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Mike is responsible for DMF and Impact Foundations’ finance and accounting functions. He works closely with the board of directors to provide financial guidance. 

Mike also oversees the maintenance of the Foundation’s facilities. 

Mike and his wife, Barbara, love spending time with their children and being at the lake. Mike joined DMF in 2013. 

Pat Traynor, Executive Director

J. Patrick Traynor, JD

Executive Director

Dakota Medical foundation
Impact Foundation

Pat is the Executive Director of Dakota Medical and Impact Foundations.  He is an ex-officio nonvoting member of the DMF Committees and  Board of Directors.

Previously, he was the Executive Director of the ND Workers Compensation Bureau and an attorney.

Pat and his wife, Jamie, have three sons. He has been with the Foundation since 2000. 

Career Opportunities

JOIN OUR TEAM
Open Position: Accounting Intern

Thank you for your interest in a career at Dakota Medical Foundation
or its partner foundations.

Currently, we are seeking a temporary, part-time Accounting Intern.

☞ View the job description here.

JOIN OUR TEAM
Open Position: Accounting Intern

Thank you for your interest in a career at Dakota Medical Foundation
or its partner foundations.

Currently, we are seeking a temporary, part-time Accounting Intern.

☞ View the job description here.

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