Innovation in education: Building tomorrow's workforce
With continued growth across our metro and pressing workforce demands and challenges, it is essential that our education models are ever-evolving to meet the current and future needs of our community. This December, we are convening area superintendents, educators, and innovative business leaders for a close look at how our education and businesses have adapted to our workforce demands, what new approaches are currently in motion, and what evolutions are still imperative to ensure our region's future success.
Dr. Carrie Brimhall
Jennifer Frueh Dr. Denise Jonas
Dr. Brandon Lunak
- Dr. Carrie Brimhall, President, Minnesota State Community and Technical College
- Jennifer Frueh, Adult Learning Center Coordinator, Fargo Public Schools
- Dr. Denise Jonas, Career & Technical Education Director, Cass County Career & Technical Education Virtual Center
- Dr. Brandon Lunak, Superintendent, Moorhead Area Public Schools
- Matt Walstad, Vice President of Workforce and Talent, The Chamber
- Moderated by Shane Waslaski, CEO, Moore Holding Company
Dr. Carrie Brimhall has served Minnesota State Community and Technical College for more than 25 years, in varied roles throughout the institution. She has been serving as President since 2018. She earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in Organizational Management with a specialization in Leadership at Capella University, her bachelor’s degree in Communications at Concordia College and her Associate of Arts degree at Minnesota State Community and Technical College. President Brimhall believes that education has the power to transform lives, families and communities. She was the first in her family to attend college, which has driven her to remove barriers for all students to ensure they can reach their highest potential and achieve their dreams. Her greatest accomplishments are celebrating the achievements of M State employees, collaborating with people to create solutions, and building relationships with students.
Jennifer Frueh began her teaching career in 2004 at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo as an English Learner (EL) teacher for grades 6-8. In 2005, she was selected as one of 200 US educators to participate in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Program. In 2006, she also began working as an EL Adult Education instructor for the West Fargo Adult Learning Center. In 2007, she was selected as one of the 200 US educators to participate in the Korean Studies Workshop. In 2008, she joined the Fargo Public Schools Adult Learning Center as the lead GED teacher. She was named the adult education coordinator for the Fargo Adult Learning Center at the Agassiz building in 2012. In her role, she oversees the Adult Learning Center, which includes Adult Basic Education, GED, Adult English Learner Classes, Citizenship Classes, Career Readiness Classes and the Even Start Family Literacy Program for Fargo Public Schools. In 2014, Frueh received the Outstanding Leadership award from the ND Association for Lifelong Learning. In 2017, Frueh was selected by the Department of Public Instruction as the Region V Adult Education Director serving Adult Learning Centers in Fargo and Wahpeton. Frueh has served as the president of the North Dakota Association for Lifelong Learners. In 2016, she was selected as the YWCA Women of the Year for Education. In 2019, Jenifer was named the Fargo Public Schools Administrator of the Year.
Dr. Denise Jonas is a WOO and a Connector. She is energized by people and interested in connecting with others to make a difference in her community and state. As the Director of Career and Technical Education for Cass County, Denise coordinates CTE programs for Central Cass, Fargo, Northern Cass, and West Fargo Public Schools and has been actively involved in academy vision and planning of the Career Innovation Center. She believes CTE is essential to the K-12 educational experience to engage students in learning through career awareness, relevant projects, work exploration, and college connections. Denise values collaboration, family, risk-taking, and making a difference for the future. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Business Education, a Masters in Career & Technical Education (CTE), and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Brandon Lunak is the 11th superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools. A Grand Forks, N.D., native, Lunak earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Dakota and a K-12 principal and superintendent’s license as well as a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Lunak taught physical education and health for Climax-Shelly School District in Climax, Minn., from 1997-2005. He was the superintendent/elementary principal in the Emerado Public School District in Emerado, N.D., from 2005-2011. There he led the district through an HVAC upgrade that was partially financed with a grant for energy efficiency. From 2011-14, Lunak was superintendent of the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth Public Schools, where he led the district through the construction of a preschool addition to the elementary site with the help of a grant through the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services. In 2014, he joined Moorhead Area Public Schools as the assistant superintendent of finance and operations and became superintendent in 2018.
Matt Walstad joined the FMWF Chamber in July of 2022 with a unique mix of experience that includes over 15 years of public relations work for public, private, and state government organizations, 10 years of nonprofit management, and 18 years of military service in the North Dakota Army National. Matt holds bachelor’s degrees in public relations and marketing, and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) focused in nonprofit and government organization management. As the Vice President of Workforce and Talent at the FMWF Chamber, Matt works closely with the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo business, education, government, and non-profit community to develop and deploy new programs, initiatives, and solutions to the workforce and talent issues facing our region, along with overseeing the management of current development programs like YPN, POC, and Leadership.
Shane Waslaski leads Moore Holding Company's family of companies, bringing a long history of success at diversified organizations. He was president, CEO and a board member for Intelligent InSites and the president of the Varistar division of Otter Tail Corporation prior to becoming Moore Holding Company CEO in September 2021. Shane has been a Moore Holding Company board member since 2019, and also serves as a board member for Dakota Supply Group and the NDSU Research and Technology Park. He earned his bachelor's degree at NDSU, with continuing education in strategy from Harvard Business School.
Livestream - $40
$40 in advance
$50 at the door
* Non-Member Registrations Must Be Paid At Time of Registration *
Bremer Bank | Choice Bank | Concordia College
First Western Bank & Trust | Home Builders Association of FM
Moore Engineering, Inc. | MWC Advertising of Fargo Moorhead
ROERS | Ulteig | Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
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