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:

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.


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. 

Julene serves on the Dakota Medical Foundation and Lend A Hand Up Boards 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. 


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 Western Regional Examination Board 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 Dakota Medical Foundation’s Board Chair and a proud grandfather to his grandson, Ellis.


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 & Innovation Committees. Dr. Susan also serves on the Impact Foundation Board of Directors.


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 also serves on Dakota Medical Foundation’s Center for Excellence & Innovation Committee. She loves to travel with her family, and her favorite destination is Paris.


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 Executive and Governance Committees. She loves spending time with her Bernedoodle dog, Izzy.


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 CEO for both Novus, LLC and the Anne Carlsen Center.

Eric is the Chair of the Finance & Investment Committee and serves on the DMF Executive and Governance Committees. In lieu of hobbies, Eric keeps himself busy with a variety of projects at any given time.


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 past Chair of the Board, is current Chair of the Center for Excellence & Innovation, serves on the Executive Committee and on the Governance and Finance & Investment Committees. 

Amanda is a homeschool parent of twins and she loves to travel and cook. 


Jennifer Thompson, JD

Board Member

Jennifer is a Managing Partner of H.A. Thompson & Sons. From 2002 until late 2013, she worked as the Director of Development for DMF. 

She holds a J.D. from the University of North Dakota and serves generously on the Lend A Hand Up Board of Directors and Application Committee.

In the community, she serves on the Fargo Youth Hockey Association Board of Directors.


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 DMF Executive Committee and as Vice Chair for the Lend A Hand Up Board of Directors. Her favorite sport is basketball and she enjoys playing it with both of her kids. 


Chris Kennelly, JD


Chris is the owner of and an attorney at Kennelly Business Law. He also owns Frontier Title Group. 

He leads as the DMF Board Secretary, a member of the Executive Committee, and as the Chair of the Governance Committee. Chris is also a Lend A Hand Up board member.


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 DMF Board Member, he serves on the DMF Governance and Finance & Investment Committees.


J. Patrick Traynor, JD

EXEC DIR, Ex-Officio

Pat is the Executive Director of DMF 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 ND Workers Compensation Bureau and an attorney in Fargo, ND.


executive committee

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

governance committee

Dave Akkerman, MD
Dianna Hansen
Chris Kennelly, JD Chair
Susan Mathison, MD
Kim Meyer
Eric Monson
Amanda Thomas
Peter Stenehjem
J. Patrick Traynor, JD

Finance & investment committee

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

DMF Center for Excellence & Innovation Committee

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


lend a hand up
subsidiary board • Est 2019

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

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


Here are the hands, feet, and voices of Dakota Medical Foundation and its Initiatives.
Helping you do good and improve lives.

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.

In his spare time, Evan enjoys skiing, cooking, and working on cars. 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

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


Dakota Medical foundation

Dianne is responsible for 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 during her free time.


Amber DeKrey

Community Relations Officer

Dakota Medical foundation

Amber enables community  engagement with all DMF initiatives.

Amber loves reading, iced coffee, dark chocolate, painting, essential oils, and spending time with family outdoors. She joined the Foundation in 2019.


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 DMF’s  initiatives: Kids Mental Health, Lend A Hand Up, and the Matto Foundation.

She enjoys teaching fitness classes, her golden retrievers, reading, and new restaurants. She joined DMF 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. 


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. He also serves as pastor at Living Hope Baptist Church  Tanner joined the Foundation in 2013. 


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.

She looks forward to watching and learning about birds when she is not working at the Foundation. Still, ever-steady, Kim joined the Dakota Medical Foundation in 2001.


Danielle Paulus

Director of Community Engagement

Dakota Medical foundation

Danielle serves as an external advocate for all Dakota Medical Foundation and Impact Foundation programs. She also leads the engagement team within DMF that helps connect businesses and charities with engagement and volunteerism opportunities that will help provide long lasting relationships. 

She is a mom, wife, and yoga sculpt instructor. Danielle joined the Foundation in 2022.


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. 

Prior to 2008, she served as the Outreach Coordinator for DMF’s Covering Kids & Families initiative. 

Jeana is a talented tap-dancer and 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 various building functions.

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


Amanda Sayre

Giving Hearts Day Director

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 which lead up to this heart-warming giving 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 four children, traveling, and being at the lake. Mike joined the Foundation in 2013. 


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 is an avid hunter and loves spending time with his wife, Jamie, and their three sons. He joined the Foundation in 2000. 

Career Opportunities

Join Our Team

Thank you for your interest in a career at Dakota Medical Foundation.
Currently, we do not have any open career positions.
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