2016-2017 Board of Directors
Kathleen Bernick joined the Board of Directors of Anna Marie’s Alliance in November, 2015.
She retired in 2009 following a varied career in finance and accounting in the St. Cloud area, with experience in both the non-profit and for profit arenas. She and her husband, Mark, live north of Sartell, and have three sons. Kathleen and Mark own a small business--ConcepTech LLC.
Kathleen is a proud feminist, doing what she can to promote women and girls. Over the years, she has been involved with several organizations, including the Forum of Executive Women (founding member,) Catholic Charities (board member,) United Way (committee member and volunteer,) Women’s Fund (board member and chair of Women’s Fund Presents,) and the Girl Scouts Lakes and Pines Council (former board member.)
In between volunteering, gardening and working, Kathleen and Mark enjoy traveling far and wide. They are happy to share their adventures through Kathleen’s blog: kcbontheroad.com.
Tami is a valuable member of the Board of Directors. She currently works for St. Cloud School System 742. No photo available at this time.
Lori has worked with Anna Marie’s Alliance in various capacitates for about 12 years. She began as a volunteer setting up a computer lab and assisting the women with writing resumes, performing job searches, setting up email, etc. Lori joined the board in 2011 and has served in several capacities including Membership Committee, Personnel Chair, Vice Chair, and Board Chair.
Lori is passionate about empowering and mentoring women. She believes not only in the mission of Anna Marie’s Alliance of serving women in need of a safe place to stay but also in educating the entire community about domestic violence.
Lori is an independent business consultant who lives with her family in Avon. She enjoys watching sunsets and traveling to new and warm places.
2017 will be Sonja Gidlow’s third year on the AMA Board and she serves on the membership committee. Her career has included executive positions held in private business, higher education, and non-profit sectors. A native of Lake Elmo, MN, Sonja has earned a Master’s Degree in counseling psychology and a Doctorate in education. Her current role at the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation is to manage strategic initiatives projects, oversee communication for the corporation, and manage the administration of the governing board. She is also currently serving on the boards of the St. Cloud Downtown Council and Partner for Student Success. Sonja and her husband own a wood manufacturing company, www.WoodMax.net. They have one college-age daughter.
Jen has been on the Anna Marie’s Alliance Board of Directors for two years and is currently serving as secretary. She has worked in ministry for the past 15 years, working with young mothers, children, teens, and most recently young adults. Jen and her family are currently embarking on the adventure of foster care. Jen is passionate about helping and equipping people, and that is what led her to serve on the Anna Marie’s Alliance board.
Jason Larson joined Anna Marie’s Alliance Board of Directors in January 2015 as a law enforcement representative. Prior to and since joining the board, Jason has actively encouraged improved relationships between victims of crime and the police through his regular visits to the daycare center at Anna Marie’s Alliance. These visits are in uniform and give the children an opportunity to interact in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. The children’s favorite part is usually exploring his squad car. Jason also spends time with area children at the Boys and Girls Club locations in St. Cloud.
Jason lives in St Cloud with his wife and two children
Julie Leapaldt grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stout with a BS in Interior Design in 1988. She began her own business, Commercial Furniture Company, in 2005.
Julie is married and has two children. She is a member of the St. Cloud Rotary and is in her 2nd year as the Vocational Director.
Julie currently serves on the Membership Committee for Anna Maries Alliance, and will be Chair in January 2017.
Lisa L. Marvin is the CEO and Partner of Essence Property Management, Inc. She is a licensed Real Estate Broker, Certified Fair Housing Specialist, COM 42 and COS, the 2015 chair for the board of Minnesota Multi-Housing Association, chair of Central Minnesota Multi-Housing Association Chapter, a Qualified Neutral Mediator in Minnesota under Rule T114, a board member for the St. Stephen Planning Commission and Anna Marie’s Alliance, a hearing officer for local HRA, and the Housing Chair for Create CommUNITY.
Lisa is a recognized instructor for the Minnesota Crime Prevention, local governments, and private organizations on the issues of Fair Housing, Diversity, and Racism, Dealing with Conflict, Critical Thinking, Customer Service, the Application Process, Legislative Updates, Unlawful Detainers, Tenant Landlord Law, the Lease, and Personal Safety.
Lisa has a passion for what she does and works hard for the Multi-Housing Industry to continue to be a positive part of every community.
John Meuers has been on the Board of Directors for Anna Marie’s Alliance since 2015. John is an attorney with Rinke Noonan Law Firm where he has practiced family law for 30 years. John currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Central Minnesota Youth Soccer. John has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center, the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange, and the Board of Trustees for the Great River Regional Library System overseeing 32 libraries throughout Central Minnesota.
A native of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, John graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Political Science. He received his law degree from the University of Minnesota. John has three adult daughters and his interests include reading, traveling, hiking, canoeing, and spending time with his family.
Nicole joined the Anna Marie's Alliance board of directors in December 2012.
She currently works in the audit department at BerganKDV, a public accounting firm. Her area of focus is nonprofit organizations. She performs compilations, reviews, audits financial statements, and manages state and IRS reporting requirements.
Nicole grew up in Bemidji, MN, and earned a degree in accounting in 2008 at Bemidji State University. She now lives in Big Lake with her husband (Jeremy), two children (Lilly and Ian), and two silly pugs (Lando and Leia).
Darlene is a valuable member of the Board of Directors. She is retired. No photo available at this time.
Peg Shroyer moved to St. Cloud bringing with her a long history in higher education first as faculty and then as administration. She served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at St. Cloud Technical & Community College for 7 years and President for 6 months prior to her retirement in July 2016. Peg earned a bachelor’s degree from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, a master’s degree from the University of Arizona, and her doctorate in higher education from the University of Minnesota. Peg believes strongly in the power of learning and growing for herself and others and that with a shared vision, passion, and commitment, we can learn and grow together to make a difference in the lives of those we serve.
Barb Strandemo has served on the board of Anna Marie’s Alliance since 2013 and is on the Membership and Connect Committees. She recently retired after a 35-year career as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Health Partners Central Minnesota. As a result of her work in pediatrics, she experienced first hand the essential need for and the exemplary work of Anna Marie’s Alliance. She now wants to contribute to furthering its mission in our community.
She graduated from St. Olaf College and got her masters in nursing from the University of Minnesota. She and her husband raised a family of 2 daughters. Barb enjoys travel, her book groups, and being active in the outdoors.
Tony Toepfer has been a member of the Anna Marie’s Board of Directors since January of 2016. He is a Texan transplant to Minnesota, now in his 8th year of acclimation to the frozen North. Tony is an attorney with the firm Reichert Wenner, P.A., focusing primarily on family matters including (but not limited to) divorce, child custody, and child support. He aims to keep his clients out of the court room as much as possible, and to ensure his clients get through their legal proceedings as efficiently as possible and as emotionally and psychologically whole and healthy as possible.
Tony is an avid believer in education in the arts and humanities. He believes early exposure to a wide variety of music, theater, and other art forms can be especially beneficial in promoting tolerance and acceptance of others. Tony actively volunteers with Great River Educational Arts Theater (GREAT), and is in his 4th year serving on the Board of Directors for the Saint Cloud Singing Saints. He lives in St. Cloud with his wife Karen, his son James, and their two cats – Ninja and Jimothy.
Steve Vincent is a licensed psychologist and served as Director of Behavioral Health Services at St. Cloud Hospital and CentraCare Health until his retirement in 2013. In 2014 he was President of the Minnesota Psychological Association, and prior to his retirement he served on the Governing Council of the American Hospital Association’s Section for Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Services. Since his retirement Steve has focused his efforts on improving the health and resilience of the community by using the information from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) research which first appeared in 1998, and which many regard as the most important public health finding of our time.
The ACE study, and the ever growing body of research and clinical evidence it has spawned, is evidence of the important and powerful work of Anna Marie’s Alliance (AMA). One of the most damaging adverse events a child can experience is exposure to domestic violence. By helping women and children escape domestic violence, AMA is not only saving lives in the immediate moment but is also providing services that impact long term health—reducing a child’s risk for developing heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, depression, substance abuse, and suicide.
Steve is passionate about supporting Anna Marie’s Alliance work to protect women and children and to prevent domestic violence. He is particularly interested in building collaborative efforts between AMA and groups such as the Central Minnesota ACEs Collaborative to reduce adverse childhood experiences such as exposure to domestic violence, child abuse and child neglect.