Candidates' bios

Dan Croonquist Age: 45 Occupation: Lutheran pastor Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Minnesota-Morris; master of divinity, Luther Seminary Civic involvement: Willmar Public School Foundation Board; Willmar Public School Facility Task Fo...

Dan Croonquist

Age: 45

Occupation: Lutheran pastor

Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Minnesota-Morris; master of divinity, Luther Seminary

Civic involvement: Willmar Public School Foundation Board; Willmar Public School Facility Task Force; Cardinal Pride Board; YMCA coach; youth football, basketball, baseball and softball coach; Ridgewater Campus Ministry Board; Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Board.


Bill Fenske

Age: 48

Occupation: Chief financial officer at Rice Memorial Hospital

Education: Bachelor's degree in accounting, Southwest State University; master of business administration, University of Minnesota

Civic involvement: United Way of West Central Minnesota, board member and officer; Rotary Club of Willmar; Calvary Lutheran Church Council and Finance Board chair; Cardinal Pride treasurer; Ridgewater College Foundation Board.

Jill J.H. Gould

Age: 40

Occupation: Life-Science Innovations, Human Resources Department, responsible for workers compensation, workplace safety and health, and employee wellness.


Education: Master's degree in industrial safety, University of Minnesota-Duluth; bachelor's degree, community health education, St. Cloud State University

Civic involvement: United Way of West Central Minnesota, Empower-Women United in Philanthropy Steering and Investments committees; Willmar Chamber of Commerce Leadership Perspectives graduate; church lector; Curriculum Advisory Council, Willmar Public Schools; Willmar Community Education and Recreation Joint Powers Board; Junior Achievement of Willmar, classroom volunteer and past board member; Parent Teacher Student Association member; Education Matters, Public Speaking Committee advocating passage of school levy.

Linda Mathiasen

Age: 39

Occupation: Self-employed business communications specialist

Education: University of St. Thomas, mini-master of business communications; St. Cloud State University, bachelor's degree in English education and speech communications

Civic involvement: S'Mores in the City planning committee member/Girl Scouts of West Central Minnesota; Rice Hospital Foundation Holiday Festival-Live Auction Committee member; Resource Center Program/WCI board member; elementary school volunteer December; Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teacher; Willmar Lakes Chamber of Commerce member and Leadership Perspectives; Girl Scout leader; Junior Achievement board member, classroom volunteer; Church Council member, board of education; United Way Marketing/Public Relations Committee member; certified small group ministry leader; member and group discussion leader for Mothers of Preschoolers.

Shawn Mueske


Age: 40

Occupation: College biology instructor, 18 years

Education: Master's degree in biology, Mankato State University; bachelor's degree in biology, Southwest State University

Civic involvement: Kandiyohi County Historical Society board of directors; assistant Cubmaster and Den Leader for Scout Pack 224; YMCA youth football coach; Willmar United Methodist Church Council chair; Ridgewater College faculty leader in curriculum, policy, technology and fiscal affairs; commissioner, Willmar Human Rights Commission; Skills to Action, Cultural Competency Leadership Series; Green Lake Environmental Learning Center Board of Directors; Ridgewater College Veterinarian Technician Program Advisory Board.

Nathan R. Streed

Age: 38

Occupation: Mortician/partner Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Homes

Education: Ortonville High School; attended Willmar Community College; graduated from University of Minnesota with a bachelor's degree in mortuary science


Civic involvement: Former board member and past president of the following organizations: Willmar Noon Lions, Willmar Jaycees, United Way of West Central Minnesota; past member and chair of the Willmar Zoning Appeals Board; past member of Ridgewater College Advisory Board; current member of Rice Hospice Advisory Board; current member of Willmar Noon Rotary; active with the Vote Yes Twice and Education Matters committees; board member of The 100 Yard Club (football boosters); Building, Grounds and Cemetery Committee at Church of St. Mary.

Don Thorpe

Age: 45

Occupation: U.S. Post Office rural carrier; H&R Block tax specialist; Calvary Church weekend custodian; Thorpe Marketing, Thorich Ranch and Kandiyohi Petting Zoo owner; former high school agriculture teacher

Education: University of Minnesota bachelor's degree in agriculture and education; Willmar Community College associate degree; Ridgewater College, two years in veterinary technology; Clayton College naturopath and doctor of natural health student

Civic involvement: 4-H Club leader; FFA alumni; Rural Carrier Union

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