Today we complete our board overview and introduce five new board members at the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation..
Meet the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation’s New Board Members for 2018
Community members, who agree to be on the Foundation board, generally serve a three-year term, which can be renewed for a maximum of nine consecutive years.
“These terms are staggered so that the Community Foundation board always has both new and veteran members, allowing for new insight and experience to benefit decision-making,” says Chris Fulton, Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation Executive Director. Usually, three board members transition on and off the board each year. For 2018, five new board members, will comprise one-third of the board.
Congratulations, and welcome to our new board members: Shannon Benolken, Kelly Kabotoff, Isaac Meyer, Kristian Myers and Amy Trast.
Shannon is the Director of Business Development for the Itasca Economic Development Corporation. Originally from Cohasset, she has lived in Itasca County most of her life. Shannon has a BA in Business Management from the College of St. Scholastica and an MBA with concentrations in finance and public administration from Ashford University. She is a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) through NASBITE International; an Economic Development Finance Professional through the National Development Council; certified in Technology Commercialization through the Institute of Technology Commercialization; and she is a certified Profit Mastery facilitator.
Shannon has been active in the community for over 20 years, currently serving on the Board of Trustees of the Grand Rapids Area Library, and the Treasurer of the Itasca Orchestra and Strings Program. She is also an active Rotarian and serves on the Itasca Chapter of the Minnesota Youth Ski League Board of Directors. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, horses, hiking and winter camping.
Kelly Kabotoff is one of the co-founders of Lake + Co. (Lake Time Magazine, Lake Bride Magazine, and The Lake + Co. Shop). She is the manager and buyer for The Lake + Co. Shop, located in Grand Rapids and Crosslake, and is a visionary when it comes to Lake + Co., and all things business. Passionate about growing the north through entrepreneurship and community collaboration, she’s applying her expertise gained from working in merchandising and franchise development over the last 10 years in Denver, CO. Having returned to her roots, she now lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Scott, and their four children (ages 10, 7, 5, and 1).
Isaac Meyer is the Planning and Development Director for KOOTASCA Community Action. In his role, he focuses on community engagement, anti-poverty efforts, and program and housing development. Isaac is a graduate of St. John’s University with a degree in Political Science, and is an alumnus of the Blandin Community Leadership Program and the College of St. Benedict, Marie and Robert Jackson Fellowship.
Isaac first came to Grand Rapids in 2012 to conduct research for the Blandin Foundation on collective impact initiatives during his term as a John Brandl Scholar for the Eugene J. McCarthy Center for Public Policy. Having fallen in love with the community, Isaac returned to the Grand Rapids area in 2013 to lead KOOTASCA’s community engagement efforts and the creation of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway.
Isaac is passionate about rural issues and community life and enjoys working with non-profits on community issues. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids and Greenway, First Call for Help, and the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation. Isaac and his wife, Regan, enjoy spending time in the outdoors in beautiful Northern Minnesota. He also enjoys cooking, gardening, and woodworking.
Kristian owns and operates Woodland Insurance in Remer and Longville. He and his wife, Jill, live near Remer with their two daughters, various pets, and a plethora of wildlife.
He is a graduate of Northland Community Schools, Itasca Community College, Bemidji State University and The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.
Kristian is an Assistant Chief and Relief Association President for the Remer Volunteer Fire Department. He is a member of the Northland Alliance Church, Northland Scholarship Fund committee, coaches boys and girls high school cross country, and serves on advisory committees for Northland Community Schools. Kristian enjoys backpacking, running, deer hunting, home improvement projects, and recreational travel.
Amy Trast is a Financial Advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors in Grand Rapids. She grew up in Rothsay, MN and moved to Grand Rapids in 1996. She has worked in the financial services industry for over 22 years. Amy has been active in many non-profits including Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Itasca Foundation and Uni
ted Way. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Alworth Memorial Fund. Amy believes it is very important to give back to the community through volunteer activities.
Amy graduated from Bemidji State University with a degree in Business Administration-Finance. She and her husband Eric have two children, Emily and Theo. Amy enjoys cooking, fishing and attending all of her children’s activities.