Debra's career in education began in 1978 and ended in June of 2017 when she retired. She has a Masters Degree in Management with an emphasis on Human Resources, English as a Second Language (ESL) training and Safe Zone certification.
Her circle of friends and family is broad and diverse and she believes that diversity makes any organization or community a richer and more vibrant place. Debra is a board member for the Alexandria Literacy Project and is a volunteer tutor with ELL students. “Working with the ELL students is a rewarding experience. I often feel I get more back from them than I give to them.” She is also a part of UCAN and the United Way of Douglas and Pope counties.
John is a former educator who has worked as a headmaster, teacher, crisis counselor and prevention specialist in both institutional and public school settings. He holds degrees in sociology, English, emotional disturbance and behavioral disorders. John has developed leadership “weekends” for both students and educational staff, and has led a great many high adventure rock climbing and canoeing treks in Minnesota’s BWCA.
Upon retirement, John transitioned into presentation activities with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion. He is a passionate advocate for social justice who spends his down time reading, biking and playing with grandkids.
With a degree in Sociology & Religion from St. Olaf College, Scott became an ordained minister in 1980 and has worked in six churches of varying sizes since then. Serving a congregation is the very definition of working with people. Scott says, “I take pride in knowing that I have grown in terms of my ‘people skills’.
Scott and his wife have two children; son Jeremiah and daughter Naomi. They adopted Naomi from Korea in 1996. As a result, Scott has witnessed first-hand the challenges that can go with being a minority. Being “different” is not always perceived positively and has at times brought pain and discomfort to the family. The experience of loving and raising a Korean-born daughter gives Scott a heartfelt feeling for the importance of diversity and inclusiveness. Even as he is in his fourth decade of marriage, Scott keeps welcoming change; “I know that I will continue to grow – by trial-and-error if necessary –to prepare me for the next phase of professional growth.”
Scott enjoys photography, videography and putting together Power Point presentations. He also enjoys staying on the cutting edge of Diversity and Inclusion developments and volunteers his free time when he can. Scott is a pillar in the community and a blessing to those around him.
A graduate of Hamline University (1995) and Mitchell Hamline School of Law (1999), Sherry Ann Bruckner brings a rich and unique perspective of working with people of diverse cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. From living with families in Costa Rica while learning Spanish to practicing law in rural Appalachia, she appreciates the breadth and depth of humanity and loves to learn and understand the “why” behind what people think and do from a place of love and compassion.
Sherry enjoys traveling and connecting with people from all over the world, hiking, bicycling, and reading and resting in a hammock.
Marcie is a veteran of the nonprofit sector with nearly three decades of experience as a nonprofit business consultant and professional fundraiser for national and international organizations. Her experiences in growing newly incorporated nonprofits and working with the visionaries who form them, fuel her passion for social enterprise.
This passion recently moved her to incorporate the nonprofit Laughing Buddha Meditation Centre. Laughing Buddha offers Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at no cost to vulnerable populations.
She was acccepted to the University of Massachusetts Medical School - Center for Mindfulness – getting her MBSR credentials to teach.
Marcie lives the lake life in Osakis, MN with her partner Kevin and their dog Le Le. She moved her father here last year and he lives at Edgewood Vista. She has two adult boys who live out of state (and she misses them very much). She fills her spirit through a daily practice of meditation, running, and social justice volunteerism.