Kristi Kane, Executive Director
Kristijoined the ElderCircle team as Executive Director on January 1, 2010. Kristi was born and raised in North Dakota and is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a Bachelors of Arts in English, an Emphasis in Creative Writing and a German Minor. Her first experience in the Human Services field was as an intern writing training manuals and program guides for a company that provided services to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness. In 1994, Kristi and her husband Pat moved to the Grand Rapids area and purchased Lefty’s Tent and Party Rental. Working together to grow this business gave Kristi the opportunity to hone her management and human resource skills, as well as an opportunity to instill a hands-on work ethic in their two children, Kyla and Dallas. Kristi has served on several boards and committees during her professional career and is an alumni of 1000 Grand Leaders (2001) and the Blandin Community Leadership Program (2009) and most recently the Non-Profit Performance Management Leadership Institute (2011). Kristi is committed to growing the depth and breadth of senior services in Itasca County and the Arrowhead Region through community partnerships and outreach. When not at work, Kristi spends time with her family, traveling, reading, gardening, and volunteering in the community.
Kara Sagedahl, Program Director
Kara joined ElderCircle as the Program Director in 2011. She coordinates several programs which link seniors, their caregivers and families to services and resources in the community. Prior to working at ElderCircle, she was a caseworker at the Salvation Army, where she provided emergency assistance services to those in need. Kara graduated from St. Cloud State University in May 2011 with a B.S. degree in social work. In her free time, Kara coaches figure skating and enjoys skating, running, volunteering and spending time with friends and family.
Cole Perry, SCSEP Project Director and Good Neighbor Program Coordinator
Cole joined ElderCircle in the spring of 2012. SCSEP (Senior Community Service Employment Program) is a job training and placement program that assists low-income adults 55+ in returning to the workforce. The Good Neighbor program assists seniors in remaining independent by providing non-medical in-home services for seniors through the coordination of area volunteers. Cole comes to the ElderCircle organization after working as a journalist and community organizer in both South and Central America. Born and raised on the Iron Range, he looks forward to working with area elders whose vital presence in the community has played a central role in his research and advocacy. He has been a McKnight Foundation and Arrowhead Regional Arts Board Fellow and has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He currently mentors for the PEN Center's Prison Writing Program. When not working, Cole enjoys spending time with his family.
Mindy Nuhring, Community Development Coordinator
Mindy joined the ElderCircle team in March 2011 as the Community Development Coordinator. This was a newly added position at ElderCircle and developed with the idea of seeking to engage and educate the community, and furthering the mission of ElderCircle. Mindy was born and raised in Grand Rapids and moved back to Grand Rapids twelve years ago. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a Masters of Communication degree from Bethel University. Mindy has also taught, and continues to teach communication classes at Itasca Community College. She has served many years on local nonprofit boards, including the District 318 Endowment Board. Mindy states that, “I am thoroughly enjoying all of the people I work with at ElderCircle, all of the seniors that are so committed to volunteering and getting things done, and the people in the community who have supported and continue to support ElderCircle.” When she’s not at work, Mindy enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters, friends, reading, live music, and working out at the Itasca County Family YMCA.
Valerie Jensen Cromell, RSVP Program Director
Valerie was hired as Project Director of RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program)in February of 2003. She is responsible for the operation and management of the RSVP 55+ volunteer program, which serves the communities of Itasca and Koochiching Counties in northern Minnesota. Valerie has 24 years of work experience in the nonprofit sector including her employment with ElderCircle. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Technical Illustration and Commercial Design with concentrated studies in Graphic Arts and Mass Communications from Bemidji State University. Valerie is a member of the National Senior Corps Association, the Minnesota Senior Corps Association and the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administrators, and earned her VLTS (Volunteer Leadership Training Series) certifications in 2007. “I thoroughly enjoy working with volunteers and the nonprofit partner agencies in which we place them to help meet community needs”, states Valerie. “Through my work with the RSVP program, I have a new and refreshing viewpoint about aging and life after retirement. I greatly respect the RSVP members of Itasca and Koochiching Counties; I admire their amazing talents and skills, their commitment and compassion for others, and their healthy outlook on life. I see firsthand the impact they make in our local communities and the wealth of knowledge and experience they bring to their volunteer activities. It is very gratifying to observe RSVP members who are doing what they love, and loving what they do!” In her free time, Valerie enjoys visiting her friends and family in the Deer Lake area near Effie where she grew up. Other favorite pastimes include fishing, canoeing, hiking, 4-wheeling and working on the family property with her husband Bill and son Skylar.
Deb DeMuth, RSVP Program Coordinator
Deb joined ElderCircle as RSVP Program Coordinator in April 2011. Deb relocated to Minnesota from Kalispell, Montana, and brings with her a wide array of skills, talents and professional experience. As a seasoned professional with over 16 years’ experience in the nonprofit arena, including experience as an AmeriCorps Program Manager with refugee populations in Nebraska, Deb has much to offer ElderCircle. Deb is a strong advocate for community service and volunteerism and believes service is a foundational piece of who we are as a nation. Trained as an artist, Deb reflects a creative approach to programming and was most recently able to use those creative juices in a ‘Warm Fuzzies’ event at the Central Square Mall during National Senior Corps Week in September. Deb loves to visit with the RSVP members who venture into the office and hear firsthand their story of service. When she’s not at work, Deb can be found in her Minnesota garden untangling renegade pumpkin vines or wrangling with two German Shepherds, a calico cat and her daughter. Her most recent personal volunteer experience was cheering on cyclists to the finish line at the Tour De Pink, a fundraiser event dedicated to giving support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40.
Christine Marcotte, ElderCircle Guardianship Coordinator
Christine began working with ElderCircle in the spring of 2011, and is now a permanent part-time employee. Chris has a degree in Elementary Education, and has been a licensed social worker since 1990. She has worked as an Assistant Director at the Green Bay YMCA; an Assistant Director at the Itaskin House in Grand Rapids; and as a Social Worker, Foster Care Licensor, Quality Assurance Director and Assistant Director at North Homes, Inc. in Grand Rapids. In her spare time, Chris likes gardening, genealogy, photography, hiking and antiquing.
Linda Barth, ADS Program Co-Coordinator and Certified Caregiver Consultant
Linda has enjoyed her position as Program Coordinator of the ElderCircle Adult Day Service Program since September 2008. Linda has a background in geriatric nursing and has always enjoyed the companionship of seniors and therefore, feels very comfortable in her position. After graduating high school she joined the US Air Force, and after duty in Japan, she came home to raise a family and was blessed to be able to remain at home until her children were raised. She then returned to school to obtain an A.A. degree and Licensed Practical Nursing Certificate. She went on to become licensed in the nursing field, and has worked in this field for the past 25 years. Her faith, love of family, friends and nursing has provided her a happy and full life. She enjoys traveling, new adventures, working on her computer, crafts, being outdoors and being in the water. She doesn’t have enough time to do all the things she would like to do!
Amanda Wheelock, ADS Program Co-Coordinator and Certified Caregiver Consultant
Amanda was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, moved out of the area for a while, but now has come home to stay. Her educational background includes a Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology with emphasis in Family & Community Health, Chemical Dependency, and Gerontology. She has worked with the elderly as a live-in caretaker at an assisted-living home, and has managed senior living apartments. The majority of her work experience is in the long-term care nursing home setting working for Good Samaritan Society as an Activity Director and Volunteer Coordinator for nearly 12 years. She started working for ElderCircle with Adult Day Services of Grand Rapids in mid-July 2011. She enjoys walking and four-wheeling in the woods, gardening, baking and playing with her two young children. Faith and family are very important to Amanda. She feels that family members of Adult Day Service participants are blessed with a very competent and compassionate staff to care for their loved ones. Amanda is impressed with the quality of care provided and is thankful to be a part ElderCircle.
Jan Yessak, Adult Day Services Program Assistant
Jan was raised in the Grand Rapids area and worked as an LPN for twenty years. She worked at the former Itasca Memorial Hospital and spent 17 years at Northland Recovery Center. Jan was retired for eight years and decided she still wanted to do what she loved, so she joined the ElderCircle Adult Day Services Program in 2008. Jan says she loves her job and that caring for and socializing with the ADS participants, and their families, brings a lot of joy to her life.
Maurice Kilmer, Adult Day Services Program Assistant
Maurice is from the Effie/Bigfork area and has been with the ElderCircle Adult Day Services since 2009. Maurice loves her flowers, gardening, fishing and shooting pool. She is so thankful for her job with ElderCircle and the great participants and staff that she works with on a daily basis.