Executive Mentorship Program Mentors

  • Our Executive Mentors are irreplaceable volunteers who shape the Executive Mentorship program into an incredible real-world learning experience for all Paseka School of Business students. Shown in the profiles below are samples of the many mentors that are available to be matched to students participating in the Executive Mentorship class.

    Students and mentors are matched by Paseka School of Business faculty through a multi-phased process which determines mutual career interests and scheduling availability. All Paskea School of Business majors are eligible to be matched because there are a variety of mentors who come from a range of backgrounds and are able to relate to Accounting, Business Administration, Finance, International Business, Management, and Marketing students.

    Richard Kasper
    Richard Kasper
    Vice President & CFO, Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative

    Richard J. Kasper joined Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative as its Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in December 2011, which includes responsibilities as the Chief Operating Officer of Minn-Dak Yeast Company. Prior to joining Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative, Richard J. Kasper was the President and Chief Operating Officer, Global Electric Motorcars. Prior to joining GEM in 1999, Mr. Kasper spent 11 years with the Jack Kent Cooke organization, which included responsibilities as the Chief Financial Officer for the Los Angeles Daily News.

    He is currently the vice-president of the MSUM Foundation Board and, for many years served on the Board of the MSUM Paseka School of Business, including as Chairman in 2014. He served as an Executive Board Member of the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead, and as a Coach for the NDSU Research and Technology Park Incubator. Mr. Kasper received his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at Minnesota State University – Moorhead. He was named the MSUM Business and Industry Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2002. In 2016 he was selected as the MSUM Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter Honoree.

    Jeffrey Haarstick - Executive Mentor
    Jeffrey Haarstick, CPA
    Chief Financial Officer, Horn Plastics, Inc.

    Jeffrey Haarstick is CFO at Horn Plastics Inc. where he directs accounting, finance, human resources, and information technology. Jeffrey graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Since graduating, Jeffrey has earned his certifications as a Certified Public Accounting and Senior Professional in Human Resources. In 2014, he graduated from University of Mary with a Master of Business Administration in Management.

    Mona Tedford - Executive Mentor
    Mona Tedford
    Regional Manager, Bremer Wealth Management

    Mona Tedford graduated from MSUM in 1987 with a major in Finance and minor in Psychology, and later earned the Certified Financial Planner designation as well as an MBA degree from NDSU. She has spent her career working with clients as a Wealth Management Advisor and trust officer, and today also serves as a region manager for Bremer Wealth Management. She advises clients on financial planning, portfolio management, and estate planning issues. Fargo–Moorhead has been her home for most of her career, with the exception of five years in St. Cloud, MN. Mona worked for Wells Fargo for 19 years before joining Bremer in 2007.

    Mona also is involved in the community by being a board member on the MSUM Alumni association, she is a volunteer for YWCA Cass Clay Finance Committee, and is a member of the Fargo Lions Club. She has also served on the Red River Valley Estate Planning Council and in her free time she enjoys running and reading.

    Judy Green - Executive Mentor
    Judy Green
    Regional CEO, American Red Cross

    Judy Green grew up in Langdon, North Dakota. Upon graduation, she moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area and attended college at Moorhead State University where she received her Associate’s Degree in Accounting.

    She has worked professionally in three different industries. Judy worked at First Bank for eight years early in her career. From there, she moved into ministry and was employed at Olivet Lutheran Church as their Church Administrator. Crane Johnson Lumber Company was her next occupational choice. She was employed there for seven years as their Financial Manager. As Scott and Judy’s children grew older, she finally made the transition into the non-profit arena where her personal passion became her profession. She spent four years as the Executive Director of the YWCA and was considered the beacon of hope for the women and children in our region. From there, Judy was named President of the United Way. She then broadened her horizons by joining Sanford Health where she led marketing and communications for the Sioux Falls Region. In 2012, Judy was named the Regional CEO for the American Red Cross serving North Dakota, South Dakota and 10 counties in Northwest Minnesota and most recently was promoted to Senior Director of Development for American National Red Cross.

    Judy has served on YWCA Board, North Dakota Homeless Coalition Board, Hope Lutheran Church Council, Meritcare Board of Trustees, the Village Family Services Board and a dedicated mentor to MSUM students. In 2016, Judy and her husband Scott, were recipients of the MSUM L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award.

    Scott Green - Executive Mentor
    Scott Green
    Market President, Starion Bank

    Scott Green grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and graduated from Fargo South High School. Upon graduation, he attended Moorhead State University where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Scott furthered his education graduating in top five percent from the University of Wisconsin-Graduate School of Banking in 1998.

    Scott Green has spent his entire life working in the banking industry. He started humbly in the mail room as a part-time clerk at First Bank system in 1980. He spent 13 years with First Bank serving in various capacities. In 1993, Green joined Community First National Bank as an Assistant Vice President for lending department and in 2001 was named the Senior Lender of the bank. Two years later, Green was promoted to Market Manager for Bank of the West. In October, 2016, Scott extended his banking career into community banking as he became the Market President for Starion Bank.

    Scott has been recognized for his leadership and service to the community throughout the years. In 2010, Green was named MSUM Distinguished Alumni and joined 41 other recipients who had been honored by MSUM since 1979. In 2016, Scott and his wife Judy, were recipients of the MSUM L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award. He has been highly active in the community by serving on boards of the Vocational Training Center, ShareHouse Foundation, Red River Zoological Society, Fargo Public Schools Foundation, and the United Way of Cass Clay. Since 2014, Scott has also served on the MSUM Advisory Council for the Paseka School of Business as well as a dedicated mentor to MSUM students.

    Lisa Giese - Executive Mentor
    Lisa Giese
    Director of Finance, Integrity Windows & Tecton Products

    Lisa is the Director of Finance for Integrity Windows and Tecton Products located in Fargo, ND. Lisa leads the accounting team for the companies and serves as the key financial leader for the manufacturing facilities operations team. In her role, Lisa participates in cross functional teams to ensure financial success through new product innovations, finding solutions to problems, and strong business strategicplanning. Lisa believes her role as an accountant is to interpretfinancial data in order to see the story it tells providing a sound basis for making business decisions.

    Before launching into private industry, Lisa worked for 15 years at Eide Bailly LLP, serving as an audit partner for the large regional accounting firm. Having experience in both public and private industryallows Lisa to share her experiences with students from both perspectives.Lisa holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA)and Certified Managerial Accountant (CMA) certifications. Lisa receivedan undergraduate degree in accounting from MSUM in 1999.

    Eric Piela - Executive Mentor
    Eric Piela
    Vice President of Marketing, Peak Engagement

    Graduating Summa Cum Laude from MSUM in 2000, Eric leveraged his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications to build a successful career in marketing, training, and public speaking. In his current role as VP of Marketing, Eric focuses on advocating Peak Engagement's transformative nonprofit technology solutions, while internally developing initiatives that inspire employee engagement and cultivate corporate culture.

    That entrepreneurial desire to educate served as a primary catalyst to spearhead the inaugural FargoConnect, a marketing technology conference in 2014. Now an annual collaboration, the regional event celebrates and shines a spotlight on thought leadership in our surrounding community. Additionally, Eric serves as a steward of the Fargo/Moorhead area as a campaign cabinet member for United Way of Cass Clay and sits on the MSUM Paseka School of Business Advisory Council. Prior to his role at Summit Group Software, Eric held positions at Flint Group, Microsoft and Silverpop (an IBM Company). He attended graduate school at North Dakota State University, perusing a Master Degree in Organizational Communication, and is a distinguished graduate of Dale Carnegie.

    John Machacek - Executive Mentor
    John Machacek
    Senior Vice President, Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation

    John Machacek is the SVP, Finance & Entrepreneurial Development for Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. His #1 priority in life is appreciating every day and any time with his wife and two kids. As a Fargo resident of 26 years with a knack for knowing things and knowing people, his job at GFMEDC suits him well as he enjoys educating and connecting others to help them succeed in business and life. In his career, he has also worked in accounting, banking, and food service management.

    John helps organize Startup Weekend Fargo, Startup Digest Fargo, and The Fargo Beat. He also serves as a Kiva U.S. Small Business Advisor and recently served as the Fargo Moorhead Community Ambassador for Yelp.com to build up their local presence. John is currently on the boards for Fargo Theatre, MSUM Paseka School of Business, and North Dakota Small Business Development Centers. He is a 1995 grad from MSUM, majoring in Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Management.

    Jenni Huotari - Executive Mentor
    Jenni Huotari, CPA
    Partner, Eide Bailly, LLP

    Jenni Huotari is a CPA and partner with Eide Bailly LLP (EB). She joined EB 14 years ago, after earning her BS in Accounting. Jenni has served primarily in an audit role throughout her career, she now oversees the High Growth Outsourced Accounting service offering. Outsourced accounting brings timely, quality financial information to small and mid-sized businesses to help them grow and thrive. Jenni has also completed a 3-year rotation in the firm’s National Assurance Office, specializing in quality control and due diligence and integration of acquired assurance practices. Jenni has had significant involvement in the firm’s women’s initiative (First Focus) for the last 7 years including as co-chair since 2013. First Focus was formed with the vision to create a culture where women are as likely to succeed as are men.

    Jenni also serves on the Boards of Directors for the MSUM Alumni Foundation, the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, Fargo Board of Trustees (Treasurer) of the Jeremiah Program, and current chair for Hope Lutheran Foundation, where she also regularly teaches Sunday school. Jenni and her husband, Bryce, and their three children- Carter, Grady and Finley live in Moorhead.

    Tim Sayler - Executive Mentor
    Tim Sayler
    Chief Operating Officer, West Region of Essentia Health

    Tim Sayler is the Chief Operating Officer for the West Region of Essentia Health. The region includes five hospitals, twenty-five clinics and approximately 300 providers in western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota. Essentia Health is an integrated health care delivery system with organizations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Idaho.

    Prior to joining Essentia Health, Tim served as President/CEO of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Idaho. He also worked for twenty-seven years in health administration at Altru Health System in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

    Kathryn Astrup - Executive Mentor
    Kathryn Astrup
    District Manager, U.S. Bank

    Katie is a District Manager for U.S. Bank and has responsibility for the 11 branches in Southeast North Dakota and Moorhead Minnesota. She has held numerous roles throughout her banking career and has been a District Manager since 2008.

    Katie graduated from MSUM in 1999 with a degree in Finance. She has been an active member of MSUM's Paseka School of Business Advisory Council since 2011. She also volunteers with the United Way, American Heart Association and Habitat for Humanity.

    Jason Wisniewski - Executive Mentor
    Jason Wisniewski
    Product Manager, Appareo Systems

    Jason graduated from MSUM in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in Marketing. He currently works as a Product Manager for Appareo Systems in Fargo, as well as operating a real estate investment company.

    Jason has been employed in various management positions across sales and project management disciplines. He serves as a member of the MSUM School of Business Advisory Council and has served on committees within the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

    Sarah West - Executive Mentor
    Sarah West
    CFO & Controller, Roers

    Sarah West is currently the CFO and Controller at Roers, a real estate and construction firm based in Fargo. She earned her undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead in Accounting and Finance and her Masters of Business Administration from North Dakota State University. She is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and Senior Professional of Human Resources (SPHR). She has experience in multiple industries including banking, insurance, agriculture and real estate. She is an adjunct professor at NDSU and on the executive committee of the College of Business advisory board for MSUM.

    She is passionate about developing the future generations and our community through her involvement with the Institute of Management Accountants, American Red Cross, United Way of Cass Clay, YWCA, Church’s United for the Homeless and her local church. Her purpose is to inspire people to action to improve their quality of life and be their best selves.

    Ramona Johnson - Executive Mentor
    Ramona Johnson
    Tax Partner, Eide Bailly, LLP

    Ramona is a 1981 graduate of MSUM, who graduated with an Accounting degree. As a partner with Eide Bailly LLP, Ramona provides fiduciary, estate/gift and individual taxation services, with a special emphasis in wealth transfer and estate planning. She works with high net worth individuals on estate planning and understands the nuances of current tax laws. She is a member of Eide Bailly’s National Tax Office team and is committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends. Ramona currently co-chairs Eide Bailly’s Wealth Transition Services team.

    Dani Krolak - Executive Mentor
    Dani Krolak
    Marketing Coordinator, Sundog

    Dani is a 2013 graduate of MSUM with a bachelor's degree in mass communications, emphasizing in integrated advertising and public relations. During her education, she was an active member of Ad Club and studied at Oxford University through MSUM's Eurospring program. Now, Dani works as a Marketing Coordinator for Sundog, a marketing and technology company based in Fargo, ND. She has been with the company since she started as a Social Media Intern in 2012.

    Her current role contains a large variety of tasks, including: project management, culture initiatives, community involvement, email marketing campaigns, event planning, brand advocation, social media community management and intern advising. She is passionate about making daily tasks fun and finding the silver lining in any situation. Her interests include cooking, yoga, red wine and cuddling with her bunny, Nala.

    Judd Graham - Executive Mentor
    Judd Graham
    Fargo Region CEO, Bremer Bank

    Judd Graham is the Fargo Region CEO for Bremer Bank, a division of Bremer Financial Corporation. Bremer is a privately held $11 Billion regional financial services company jointly owned by the Otto Bremer Trust and Bremer employees.  In his capacity as Region CEO, he oversees 12 markets throughout North Dakota. Graham got his start in the financial services industry in 1986 after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Throughout his 30 year career, he served in a variety of leadership roles at banks in eastern North Dakota, primarily in the Fargo-Moorhead and Grand Forks regions. Graham has been active with the MSUM Paseka School of Business Advisory Council.