Board of Directors

Chad Adams

Chad Adams

Chad Adams is the City Manager for the City of Albert Lea.  Chad has been in the City Management profession for 16 years and holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa.

Chad serves as co-chair of the Blue Zones Project an Initiative  to increase community wellbeing through policy, systems and environmental change. He serves as President of First Lutheran Church, board member to the Noon Kiwanis Club and an ex-officio member to several community organizations.

Chad likes to travel, read, spend time with his wife and family, coach youth sports (including several with his three children) and participate in recreational activities such as basketball, biking and triathlons.  

David Albrecht

David received a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a Masters Health Administration degree from the University of Colorado.

David began his career with Allina Health in 2006 and was promoted to his current position, Owatonna Hospital President, in 2009.  Prior to his move to Owatonna, David was the President and CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Huntingburg, Indiana. David currently serves on numerous local community boards and committees.  

David currently resides in Owatonna with his wife Debra.  They have three daughters and one granddaughter.  David is an avid WI sports fan and enjoys spending time with his family and friends at their cabin in Rhinelander Wisconsin. 

Catherine Buboltz

Catherine Buboltz is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Thorne Crest Senior Living Community in Albert Lea.  She has over 18 years of sales and marketing experience and has held management positions with various media companies such as KIMT-TV and the Albert Lea Tribune.  Catherine is fueled by her involvement in community. She is the 2016/2017 board chair of the ALFC Chamber of Commerce, a member and past president of the Albert Lea Daybreakers Kiwanis Club and current board member & volunteer for the Blue Zones Project.

Catherine and her husband, Bruce, live in Albert Lea and enjoy traveling and an array of outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and Nordic walking.

Dan Dorman

Dan Dorman is the Executive Director of the Greater Minnesota Partnership. Prior to joining the Partnership, Dan was the Executive Director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.  Dorman served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1998 until 2006 and was the chair of the Capital Investment or Bonding Committee and vice-chairman of Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee. Dorman was recognized five times by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities for his work on behalf of Greater Minnesota. 

Dan, an Albert Lea native, is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in political science.  He and his wife Mary Jo live in Albert Lea and have two sons.  

John Garry

John Garry is the President/CEO of the Development Corporation of Austin (DCA). DCA is a nonprofit economic development organization serving the Austin area. He’s held the position since 2007. John’s father, Mike, was an instructor at the technical school in printing.

John is married to Sally Garry, a Riverland nursing program graduate. They have two children. John also serves on the board of the YMCA, the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce and coach’s youth sports. 

Ellen Kehr

Ellen Kehr is the Organization Lead for the Blue Zones Project Albert and the Project Manager of the National Vitality Center. She is passionate about education, community wellbeing and public service. Throughout the years she has served on a wide variety of community and non-profit boards. Recently, Ellen served on the Albert Lea City Council from 2009-13 and for 12 years as a commissioner and board member of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency.

Ellen loves reading, sports, travel and spending time with family.  Ellen lives in Albert Lea with her husband Randy and they have 2 children and 3 grandchildren.

Lois Nelson

Lois Nelson retired in 2011 from working at Riverland Community College for over two decades with the majority of that time as a consultant with the Training & Development Team. She find the work of the foundation a way to continue establishing Riverland in this region.  Now, she is an active community member and volunteer currently serving as Medford Mayor.

Lois and Dave have lived in the Medford area for nearly forty years. They have three children nine grandchildren and two great grandsons. These grandchildren mean lots of school and community activities. They also take time to travel and enjoy the lake in northern Minnesota.

Susie Petersen

Susie Petersen is the Executive Director of the Albert Lea Convention & Visitors Bureau. Her responsibilities include promoting Albert Lea, lodging facilities, festivals and events in the community.  Susie is active with the Albert P. Cuppage Foundation, Lakes Foundation of Albert Lea, Southern Minnesota Tourism Association, SMART (Southern Minnesota Association of Regional Trails), National Vitality Center –Blue Zones Board, Statewide Health Improvement Program Board (SHIP), Albert Lea Downtown Association, Blazing Star Trail and is a member of the Golden KII Service Club.

Suzie and her husband Ken live in Albert Lea and have 2 children and 3 Grandchildren.

Kevin Myers

Dr. Kevin Myers

Dr. Kevin Myers is Senior Vice President of Research & Development at Hormel Foods Corporation.  He earned his master's and doctorate degrees in Meat Science and Food Science at Iowa State University.  He oversees product development, packaging, food safety validation, and laboratory services for Hormel Foods.

Julie Rethemeier

Julie grew up in Roseville, Minnesota and graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Business.   She started with Federated Insurance as a Management Services Analyst in 1989 and has since held positions as a manager in Property & Casualty Processing, Human Resources, Life Operations and most recently holds the position of Vice President - Director of Public Affairs. She is responsible for the oversight of the organization’s charitable giving, employee volunteerism, and civic responsibilities.  Julie’s civic involvement includes service on many local boards such as; The Owatonna Foundation, United Way of Steele County, Junior Achievement, Early Edition Rotary Club, and Riverland Community College President’s Advisory Board.  In addition, she is serving as the Past President of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota and is the Chair of the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce. 

Julie and her husband Eric reside in Owatonna.  Her son Nick is a senior at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN and daughter Meghan is a sophomore at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN.

Bonnie Rietz

Bonnie taught French at Riverland Community College and is a former mayor of Austin. In addition to serving on numerous committees in the Austin area Bonnie also serves as Vice-chair of The Hormel Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of the Blandin Foundation Board of Trustees.

She and her husband lived in Madagascar for 4 years where she taught French and English.  They have volunteered in Cameroon, Peru, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Haiti. Bonnie and her husband Tim enjoy traveling, biking, jogging, cross-country skiing and spending time with her 98 year-old mom and 7 grandchildren.

Belita Schindler

Belita Schindler graduated from the University of North Dakota and was the owner of Belita’s Interiors for 25 years. She describes herself as a “Community Junkie" - and is a member of numerous community organizations and St. Augustine's Church, where she has played the organ for 44 years.

She and her husband Dick, who died in 2014, had six exchange students, and dozens of medical students live with them. They have four kids and nine grandchildren. Belita had her private pilot's license for 16 years, made several cross- Minnesota bike trips,  enjoys roller-blading  and casual bike riding, and is a long-time supporter of the Austin Symphony and the Hormel Nature Center.

Dr. Stephen C. Waldoff

Stephen C. Waldhoff graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he earned Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.  He also earned a Doctoral Degree from Central Michigan University.

Since graduate school, he has accumulated forty years of healthcare administration experience, serving in a variety of hospital and clinic senior leadership roles.  Currently, he is the Chief Administrative Officer, Mayo Clinic Health System – Albert Lea and Austin, and the Associate Administrator for the Mayo Clinic Primary Care Service Line, Southeast Minnesota Region. 

Steve is involved with a number of community engagement activities and serves on a variety of non-profit boards.  Family centered activities include sailing, competing in equestrian events and traveling.

Alicia Westendorf

Alicia Westendorf received a Bachelor’s of Business Management from Minnesota State University – Mankato.  Alicia is currently the Training Manager at Viracon in Owatonna, MN.  She manages new employee orientation, Lead Soft Skills, registered apprenticeship program with the State of Minnesota for maintenance mechanics, tuition reimbursement and training development, primarily for the manufacturing processes, for Viracon.

Alicia and her husband, Jeff, reside in Austin, MN.  They enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, attending Minnesota sporting events and taking in the rays on their new fishing boat.