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Our Volunteer Board Members

Root River Current, Inc. is governed by these local people currently serving on the board:

Delia Bell

Delia Bell is committed to establishing herself as a regional artist, apprenticing as a potter under the teaching of Mary Denzer at Seven Bridges Pottery near Houston, MN; she was a recent recipient of an emerging artist grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council. She is also a writer and poet, and works part-time at Lanesboro Arts, Sylvan Brewing, Scandinavian Inn, and is a substitute at the Lanesboro Public Library. She previously lived in Pittsburgh, PA before moving to Lanesboro where she currently resides.

Thomas Brudvig 

Thomas Brudvig moved to southeast Minnesota to be closer to his roots in northeast Iowa. His absence from this area took him to St. Paul, then to the U of M–Morris, and William Mitchell College of Law. Before his recent retirement he served 20+ years as a compliance manager for a Twin Cities group home company; his earlier 20-year career in law primarily consisted of various types of ligation and representation of landowners before various state agencies and municipalities. His community service has included serving as President of two nonprofit townhome associations, driving school bus, coaching Special Olympics, and volunteering with Lanesboro’s Rhubarb Festival, Buffalo Bill Days, and Lanesboro Arts. He and his wife, Pam Engebretson, have lived in Lanesboro since 2021.

John Gaddo 

As a public media manager, John Gaddo has paved the way for producers and journalists to report untold or under-told stories both online and on the radio. An award-winning reporter and audio documentarian, he’s also guided outreach, development, and financial management for public media outlets in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He’s an accomplished producer of nationally distributed programs for public radio and was a Policy Fellow in the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance program at the UM’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He resides in Whalan with his wife, Nancy North, and is a volunteer with various area nonprofits.

Steve Harris (Co-chair)

Steve Harris is a free-lance writer and former Lanesboro business owner. His 40+-year career in nonprofits includes marketing/communications and development positions with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities. He’s also a former teacher, school administrator, and pastor. Community activities have included Lanesboro Arts, Lanesboro Community Theatre, and being part of the area’s literary scene. Steve is author of “Lanesboro, Minnesota”, exploring its history, revival, and life along the Root River Trail. He has also written for the Star-Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, the Fillmore County Journal, and Inspired Magazine

Loni Kemp

Loni Kemp worked for nearly 40 years bringing rural people and organizations together to create change. As a policy analyst, she helped design new federal laws and win funding to promote sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and a healthy environment. From her rural Fillmore County home, near Canton, Loni has led the agriculture program of The Minnesota Project, and later served other national organizations as principal with Kemp Consulting. She’s served on boards including Lanesboro Local, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens Board.

Dick Nethercut (Treasurer)

Dick Nethercut is a lawyer retired from private practice in southeast Minnesota where he represented individual, business, and nonprofit clients for almost 40 years. His community involvement includes having served on several boards for economic development and nonprofit organizations, including 18 years on the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center board and as chair of the Minnesota Client Security Board. Dick and his wife, Loni Kemp, have lived in the woods north of Canton for 40 years.

Nancy North

As a communications strategist and business owner for 30 years, Nancy North contributed to brand development and marketing for clients including Cambria and other top 100 Minnesota businesses, higher education, nonprofit organizations, and rural and urban land and water conservation initiatives. As a writer and communicator, she has built community and positioned organizations with story, helping readers see each other and find common ground. As a community builder, her focus on partnerships has resulted in productive, long-term relationships and outcomes. A resident of Whalan, Nancy currently serves on the Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center board.

Dave Shaffer

Dave Shaffer is a retired Star Tribune reporter and editor. His community interests include serving on the board of the Win-Cres Chapter of Trout Unlimited, being an active trout fisherman, cyclist and hiker. He and his wife, Sheila Frost, split their time between Lanesboro and Tucson, Arizona.

John Torgrimson (Co-chair)

John Torgrimson has spent more than 40 years managing programs and organizations that serve others, ranging from refugee resettlement to poverty alleviation, and from seed saving to environmental education. He served as Executive Director of Oxfam Hong Kong, Seed Savers Exchange, and Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center to name a few. In addition, he was co-owner and publisher of the Fillmore County Journal for 13 years. John has also edited and/or published five books over the course of his career.

Pat Torgrimson (Secretary)

Pat Torgrimson wasn’t born in the Root River valley but has called it home for more than 30 years. She was co-owner of the Fillmore County Journal for 13 years and recently served as a graphic artist for Seed Savers Exchange, designing catalogs, brochures, seed packets, books, and posters. Her hobbies are gardening, gardening, and gardening. She and her husband, John, live in rural Fillmore County.

Renée Bergstrom (Director Emeritus)

Renée Bergstrom devotes her time to art as a photographer, painter, and weaver, and working with nonprofit organizations focused on justice issues. Professionally, she educated both patients and clinicians in the healthcare field, including Mayo Clinic, Winona State University, and the Academy of Communication in Healthcare. She’s held board appointments with Lanesboro Arts, Rochester’s Gagnon Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Advisory Council for Sahiyo, a nonprofit organization striving to end female genital mutilation/cutting. Renée lives in rural Lanesboro; she believes Root River Current will broaden the sharing of insights, creativity, and beauty in the region.

Melissa Wray (Director Emeritus)

After over a decade in the Twin Cities nonprofit arts field, Melissa Wray returned to her hometown of Caledonia in 2019. She enjoys working in community programming with Lanesboro Arts, where she is currently the Program Director. Additionally, she’s the founding director of Mainspring, a Houston County-based community cultural center in Caledonia, and has served as producer of the podcast, “MinnePod”—stories from rural Minnesota communities. Melissa earned a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Leadership from the University of Minnesota in 2018; in 2022 she was selected for a two-year Rural Regenerator Fellowship through Springboard for the Arts.