The Owatonna Foundation Board of Trustees recently held its Annual Meeting at the Steele County History Center. During the Annual Meeting three new Trustees were appointed. They are: Dr. Brian Bunkers, Andy Michaletz, and Dennis Von Ruden.
Dr. Brian Bunkers: Dr. Bunkers is a Family Medicine physician who has been part of the MCHS-Owatonna practice since 1991. He and his wife, Dr. Kari Bunkers, have 3 children: Nathan, Marianna, and Luke. Dr. Bunkers received his undergraduate degree from the St. John’s University, his medical degree from the University of Minnesota and completed his residency training at the University of Wisconsin branch in Appleton Wisconsin. In addition to his practice, Dr. Bunkers has been involved in several leadership duties for Mayo Clinic Health Systems, currently serving as CEO for the Owatonna and Faribault practices. Dr. Bunkers has also been involved in several community activities including Owatonna High School athletics, Habitat for Humanity, the St. Mary’s School Board, United Way, and Transitional Housing.
Andy Michaletz: Andy is a lifelong resident of Owatonna. He attended St. Mary’s School and graduated from Owatonna High School. He earned a degree in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas. Andy owns and operates Poly Plastics Inc, in Owatonna, a plastic recycling and materials company. He also owns and develops commercial real estate. Andy and his wife Rhonda have two sons, Brody and Chase.
Dennis Von Ruden: Dennis Von Ruden is President of General Equipment Company, a 60 year old, second-generation, family-owned manufacturer of specialized light construction products located in Owatonna. He is a graduate of Marian High School and received a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. His engineering career includes a number of design patents and product innovations that are still in use today. He has served as a past board member of the American Rental Association, a Trustee of the American Rental Association Foundation, and is a current board member of the Gamehaven Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is a life-long resident of Owatonna. Dennis and his wife, Julie have three grown children.
Bunkers, Michaletz, and Von Ruden join 32 other Trustees that comprise the Foundation board. “We’re pleased to welcome these new Trustees to the Foundation Board. It has been my privilege to serve on the Foundation Board and I know that these new Trustees will bring their areas of expertise and their commitment to Owatonna with them as they join us in the work that the Foundation does to benefit the community.” said Owatonna Foundation Board President, David Einhaus.
Other Trustees that were reappointed to the Board for a five year term included: Gerald Deetz, Kent Kienholz, Tim McManimon, Monte Mitchell and Steve Smith. The following Trustees were elected to serve as officers: President: David Einhaus, Vice President: Betsy Lindgren, and Secretary/Treasurer: Ray Stawarz.
Other members of the Board of Trustees include: Paul Arnfelt, William Beer, Gregg Draeger, Tom Dufresne, Dale Gandrud, Todd Hale, Bob Heers, Charles Herrmann, Michael Jensen, Jay Johnson, Robert Jungbluth, Matt Kottke, Chadwick Lange, Dennis Meillier, Gene Michaelson, Michael Milstead, Carol Nelson, Otto Nelson, Sabra Otteson, Julie Rethemeier, Dave Seykora, Sharon West, Kenneth Wilcox, and Dr. Carol Winter.
Business at the Annual Meeting included the awarding of a grant to Wee Pals Child Care Center, extension of the grant term for the Owatonna Arts Center project, the adoption of a new mission statement which is: “The mission of the Owatonna Foundation is to improve the quality of life for present and future generations by supporting Owatonna projects that focus on community, education, the arts and recreation.” and the kick-off of the Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Campaign.
Incorporated in 1957, the Foundation has served the Owatonna community for 58 years, providing over 11 million dollars in financial support to meet the ever-changing needs of the community. The Foundation makes grants for capital purchases and improvements in the following categories: Community – with projects that have an impact on the quality of life of the people of Owatonna, and the parks and places they use and enjoy. Education – with scholarships and improvements promoting literary and scientific ventures and preserving the history of Owatonna. The Arts – with projects that support fine arts, both visual and musical, and encouraging a diverse cultural environment. Recreation – with projects that help improve the recreational diversity of Owatonna, offering all ages a recreational outlet throughout the year. The Foundation also provides both traditional and non-traditional scholarships for youth and adults that are residents of Owatonna.