Women 360

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Women 360˚ 412 LAKES AREA

A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. ­ — Diane Mariechild

Deanna Sinclair 2016 Woman of the Year

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Detroit Lakes Women 360 Oct 2016.pdf



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DEANNA SINCLAIR.........................................7 She, like so many amazing women in this area, has proven that she does not stop at 'good enough'. She takes care of her family, her career, her community and of herself. She finds the adventure through all of this - Deanna Sinclair is Women 360's Woman of the Year.

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MAREN SKADSEM.........................................10 COURNEY WESTON.......................................11 SKYE FINGALSON..........................................12 BRENDA NORTH............................................14 BETH PRIDDAY...............................................15 SANDY LIA......................................................24 SHARON JOSEPHSON...................................26 BERTHA ANDERSON.....................................28 MARIE LUNDBERG........................................30

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Woman of the Year:

Deanna Sinclair

Striking the balance between living and giving


he’s the kind of lady who can walk into just about any room around Detroit Lakes and there will almost always be somebody who knows her. She has had her fingers into a lot of selfless projects around Detroit Lakes over the years, proving that she is truly one of those women who makes the world around her a better place. She is a mom, a wife, a professional, a philanthropist, a traveler, a soccer player, a hot air balloon chaser. Yes, Deanna Sinclair is a woman with a lot of sides and angles and layers to her — it is why she is this magazine’s very first Woman of the Year. GROWING UP From an early age, Deanna Sinclair (then called Deanna Berg) experienced what it meant to pull up roots and head on out to another experience. The daughter of an insurance man and a homemaker, her childhood was split between Moorhead, Hendrum, and Fertile, Minn., as well as Colorado, and then back home again to Fertile, where she graduated high school. Her artistic flair and love of yearbook and photography took her to a tech college in Rosemount, Minn., where she studied graphic art. The profession proved a versatile one, as she gained experience in the industry through jobs in Burnsville, Crookston and Fargo. “I did everything from being a graphic designer, I was a typesetter and proof reader, general manager of a print shop and did a lot of commercial printing sales,” said Sinclair, who moved to Detroit Lakes in 1989 when she met her husband, Jim Sinclair. “I met him, got engaged two weeks later and six months later got married,” she said, smiling, then added with a laugh, “Hey, it worked out.” After a several years working at the Lake Area Press/Detroit Lakes Newspapers, Sinclair decided to test her talents and drive


with her own company – a Xerox sales agency. “I liked to have the opportunity to be my own boss, set my own hours and to work as hard as I wanted to and be rewarded for it,” said Sinclair, who by that time had a real need for flexibility. She and Jim became parents to a set of twins — a son and a daughter. “Oh, and five exchange students,” said Sinclair, who through her work with Rotary has sponsored high school students from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Turkey and Brazil. “It’s been very good for our family to expand our viewpoints of the world, to learn about other people’s cultures and to help these kids adapt to what is a new culture for them,” said Sinclair, who has so far visited three out of the five exchange students in their home countries. “Our son in Turkey is engaged now, so we’re hoping to go there for a wedding, but the date hasn’t been set,” said Sinclair, adding that she’d also like to travel to Finland to meet her new twin Finnish grandbabies. Sinclair’s well-rounded worldly views have also been enhanced by the sport she’s grown to love since the mid-1980’s. “When I was attending Moorhead State (where she earned her a bachelor’s degree in business), I had a professor who encouraged me to play soccer — I had never played before,” said Sinclair, who decided to give it a shot. For the next 25 years, Sinclair dug into the sport as she bounced around to a few different co-ed teams. They were always full of international students and natives from other countries. “I was on a team full of Bosnians for a couple of years, and there were actually two former professional soccer players on that team, so that was crazy and fun,” she said. “I usually played defense or midfield, and I guess I could be considered a little feisty,” laughed Sinclair, who hinted that she

may even gotten thrown out of a game or two. GIVING BACK Sinclair’s feistiness has served her well over the years, and therefore has served her community well, too. She served on the Detroit Lakes School Board for five years, and has been a member of the Detroit Lakes Rotary since 1993, even serving as the club’s first female president in 2000-01. She’s also been involved with Lakes Literacy Council and ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education). Sinclair has been no stranger to giving back, which made her an understanding spouse when her husband, Jim, also gave up on many family celebrations and special days to serve on the Detroit Lakes Volunteer Fire Department. “Our first Thanksgiving together he was gone most of the day…one Christmas he was gone for an elevator fire…” said Sinclair, who says the couple always juggled things as best they could to make it all work. After 16 years of owning her own business — one she grew from a couple counties to 18 counties — Sinclair opted to sell and begin a whole new adventure. “I got my real estate license in 2013 and started working part time with ERA Northland Realty,” said Sinclair, who went fulltime soon after. “I had been approached several times (about going into real estate) and I just thought...the kids were out of the house, and I had the time to do something different,” she said, adding, “And I love it. I work some crazy, long hours, but I love it.” Sinclair seems to have a little affection for “crazy” though, as she has found a lot of joy in being part of a chase crew for hot air balloons. She not only balloons around lakes country in the summer, but makes an annual trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the International Balloon Fiesta. 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600 | PAGE 7

“I just got back from my 13th trip there,” she said, smiling. Sinclair has a love of adventure, from ballooning, to camping, backpacking, sailing, kayaking and traveling. “I have a long list of places I want to go,” she said, adding that while her favorite places so far are Italy and Hawaii, she’d still love to make it to Norway and to kayak through the Greek islands. “I like connecting with different people and hearing their stories and what their backgrounds are, and I like seeing different architecture and art and landscapes,” said Sinclair, who loves to see these things through the slow, beautiful process of hiking. “A lot of times we walk or hike to see the beauty of nature — and we both love to try different foods, practice different languages…” she said, adding that she loves to do these things with her husband, Jim, but also believes that in a marriage it’s important to have separate interests as well. For her, it is soccer and hot air ballooning she keeps as her own, separate interests. “There’s a quote from Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese writer: ‘Let there be spaces in

your togetherness’, and I like that because I think if you’re married and had all your interests the same, it would be kind of boring,” said Sinclair, who adds that Jim hunts and fishes without her. “You have to have things you can do together and things you can do separately or with different friends and family.” Sinclair has certainly created what many would consider a pretty incredible life for herself, but she’s very aware of the fact that not all women have the joy she has. She is a longtime supporter of the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center in Detroit Lakes, a shelter for women and children who are the victims of domestic abuse or otherwise in crisis. She was recently part of a core group of women who created a newly formed charity group called “Women’s ONE-Hundred,” which is designed to get 100 women in the community to give $100 each, annually, to the crisis center. She further advocates for women and voters’ rights through her involvement with the Detroit Lakes Area League of Women Voters. She says she got involved to “ensure the public has unbiased, nonpartisan information about candidates

and election issues and to ensure voting rights”. “Last year the League co-chaired a community forum on sex trafficking in the region,” she said. “This year, we are holding candidate forums (for city, county, state legislature and school board candidates).” Sinclair goes like crazy, continually digging in to find a nice balance of giving back to the community and fueling her own inner happiness. “Work hard, play hard,” said Sinclair, who adds that her favorite thing about herself is that she can enjoy a lot of different things because she can always find something interesting in a situation, and her big piece of advice to other women would be this: “If someone invites you to do something, say yes. A lot of things I’ve been able to enjoy have come from people inviting me to do something I hadn’t done before — I think some people hesitate or don’t dare do something because of their fear of the unknown, but I’ve been willing to give things a try, and they have led to a lot of fabulous connections with people and great adventures, so if somebody invites you, just say yes.”

Deanna Sinclair

She simply pursues her vision of excellence at whatever she does, leaving others to decide whether she is WORKING or PLAYING.

To Deanna she’s always doing both. Congratulations on All You Do - We are Proud of You!

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Maren Skadsem

Proving hands like hers are never too little to lend STORY BY KAYSEY PRICE


aren Skadsem, a fourth grader at Rossman Elementary, is making waves in the community as one of the Women’s ONE-hundred, an organization that is recruiting 100 women to donate $100 to the Lakes Crisis Center every year. Maren’s mother, Sara Skadsem, said she was initially approached to be one of the 100 women, and Maren really wanted her to do it. “First, she was trying to get me to do it. As she was trying to convince me, a light bulb went off, and then she said, ‘Maybe I’ll do it,” Sara remembers. And so she did. She sold homemade brownies and lemonade at a garage sale to raise the funds. “I got over $100,” she said proudly, but she’s humble too, admitting she couldn’t have done it without the help of her older sister, Breanna.

“My sister did the brownies, and I did the lemonade,” Maren said. As for next year’s fundraiser, the girls are in the planning phase. “Well, I had one plan of me and my sister, we were thinking of selling bracelets and necklaces,” Maren said. Dancing is also another of Maren’s passions. She goes to the Center Stage Dance academy and was picked to receive three scholarships to go to a “dance camp” of sorts in Chicago. “It’s a lot of fun. I like to go,” Maren said. When she isn’t fundraising or dancing, Maren is being a normal fourth grader, having fun with friends and family. “I like to play basketball with my dad and football with my brother,” Maren said, adding that she’s really into a game called Phase 10, which she plays with her sister.

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Maren Skadsem of Detroit Lakes is the youngest member of Women’s ONE-Hundred, after raising money for the Lakes Crisis Center this summer.

As for Maren’s future business endeavors, she’s not really sure, although she’s thinking she might be a hairstylist or massage therapist

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Courtney Weston

Instilling her love of learning into children STORY BY KAYSEY PRICE


s a woman in her 20’s, Courtney Weston isn’t new to the workplace. She’s earned her keep since she was old enough to legally hold a job, working as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) at Emmanuel Nursing Home to earn money for a car and for college. Upon graduating with honors from Detroit Lakes High School, Weston went on to earn a degree in elementary education with a middle-level math minor from Winona State University, returning to Detroit Lakes to student teach and graduating summa cum laude. Weston finished out the school year as a full-time Title 1 teacher at Roosevelt and then went on to teach junior high math at Waubun High School. Her passion and drive to go after her dream job have paid off, now in her second year teaching seventh and


Courtney Weston, a high school math teacher in Waubun, has her dream job and recently received the “Above and Beyond” award for her hard work.

eighth grade algebra, as well as fifth and sixth grade enrichment. “I have always wanted to be a teacher. I have always been someone who enjoys helping others. I don’t think there’s a better feeling in the world than instilling a love of learning in students,” Weston said. And her love for teaching is clear— she can’t get enough of it. She stayed after school last year as a targeted services teacher, giving students the extra help they need. She also taught summer school last summer. Weston has also joined the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) committee at the Waubun High School. She likes to keep the classroom fun by sharing stories with her students, which usually have a hidden lesson like one she recently told about her new puppy, Nora, whose world gets a little bigger every day—Nora re-

cently discovered Alfred, a bunny in Weston’s yard, despite Weston’s best efforts to keep her puppy from chasing rabbits. And her students seem to be responding well to her teaching. Weston was given the “Above and Beyond” teacher award last year. Teaching is her dream, and she won’t be giving up on it any time soon. “In five years, I see myself finishing my masters in education,” Weston said. “I plan on continuing to teach. I don’t see myself ever doing anything else.” As for what she believes makes a woman successful, Weston says it’s all about the journey. “I think a woman has reached success when she is able to find happiness in her life. I don’t think success is a destination—but a journey,” Weston said.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S. Lewis


412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600 | PAGE 11


Skye Fingalson Work, child, charity she does it all STORY BY KAYSEY PRICE

A Skye Fingalson is launching the Festival of Trees, a business fundraiser to benefit childrens’ programs at Lakes Crisis Center.

mom and a showroom manager and residential sales and design consultant for I’ll Tile and Stone, Skye Fingalson is keeping busy. Fingalson recently had her first child, who is now one-and-a-half years old, and keeping up with her is a full-time job in itself. “It’s tough (balancing motherhood and business).

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Our suppers are often times unimpressive, but everyday I strive to create and provide the best life I can for her and our future,” Fingalson said. While Fingalson is busy with her first child and full-time job, she still found time to plan a fundraiser for the Lakes Crisis Center: The Festival of Trees. “The Festival of Trees is something that I’ve always wanted to do in our community,” Fingalson said. “We have Thanksgiving every year in Valley City, where I’m from, and my mom usually would buy us tickets to go to the Festival of Trees there.” Fingalson said the festival always gets her into the Christmas spirit, and for many years she has wanted to put one on in Detroit Lakes, so this year she’s going to. “When discussing our annual customer appreciation event at I’ll Tile & Stone this year, we decided that we’d

really like to get more involved with the community and give back where we could,” Fingalson said, adding that she suggested the Festival of Trees and donating all of the proceeds. “We selected the Lakes Crisis and Resource Center, directing all of the proceeds to the Children’s Service Department,” Fingalson said, adding that I’ll Tile and Stone has gotten several other businesses involved as well. As for everyday business, and what makes her successful, Fingalson says it’s her drive.


“Being determined and dedicated. You have to have the motivation to go after things,” she said, adding that customer service is also an important aspect that play into her job. Fingalson has been in the industry for over 12 years, helping people decorate their homes. She graduated from M State in Detroit Lakes with a degree in sales and marketing, and she says she wouldn’t change a thing. “I wanted to do what I’m doing now. It’s something I just have a knack for,” she said.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any. - Alice Walker



Brenda North Pastor Brenda North is with her flock through the highs and lows Brenda North is proving spiritual leadership is her forte.


aving a good heart and a good sense of humor will take you a long way, but add a deep, abiding faith in a loving God, and you start to understand why Rev. Brenda North is so well thought of by her congregation at United Methodist Church in Detroit Lakes. During her early teen years, she started going to church with a friend.


When you find a good thing, you want to share it, and eventually her whole family began attending church. “The transformation I experienced as a new Christian, and the transformation I saw in my family inspired me to share the faith and love I had found with others,” she said. “We sang a chorus each Sunday during that time called ‘People Need

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the Lord.’ My conviction as a young Christian that indeed people needed to hear the good news of God’s grace was the catalyst for my call to ministry.” North, 42, grew up in Huron, S.D. and started her life as a Christian in the American Baptist Church. By age 16 she felt a pretty strong calling to become a pastor, but didn’t have any first-hand experience with female church leaders.

She attended college and seminary in South Dakota, with youth and family ministry an important focus of her studies. “I studied under a couple of wonderful United Methodist theologians in college,” she said, and she noticed that women were often embraced in leadership roles in that church. That proved true for her as well. “My leadership has been really welcomed by the communities and congregations I’ve served,” she said. Brenda and Jim Gausman were married in 2005. He teaches economics and

marketing at M State in Fergus Falls, and she asked her bishop for placement in a church within one hour of there. She assumed leadership of the Methodist Church in Detroit Lakes in 2007. “I’m a double winner,” she said. “I’ve got a great congregation and a great husband.” The United Methodist Church in Detroit Lakes has 384 members and 242 who regularly attend services, she said. “It’s a sincerely warm, generous group of people,” she said. “I think this is the most vibrant of all the congrega-

tions I’ve served, this church is so good about reaching out to the community and welcoming people wherever they are in their faith journey.” Previously she served as the pastor of Albright United Methodist Church in Marshall, Minn., and as associate pastor of Owatonna United Methodist Church. “I’m excited about being part of a profession where you can make a positive difference in the lives of so many families,” she said. “I’m profoundly honored to walk with people through the highs and lows of life.”


Beth Pridday

Pridday is unafraid to step up when it comes to community involvement STORY BY VICKI GERDES

T In the midst of showing cancer who is boss, Beth Pridday treks on with charitable projects.

hough she’s only been a resident of Detroit Lakes for the past 15 years, Beth Pridday has made her presence felt. From the Humane Society of the Lakes to the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center, Habitat for Humanity, Kiwanis, Detroit Lakes Park Board, Detroit Country Club and various Chamber of Commerce committees, the 50-year-

old has taken community involvement to a new level. “I’m also the coordinator and driving force behind the Women’s ONE-Hundred,” she added, referring to a new local philanthropic initiative where 100 women pledge to contribute $100 toward a single cause, with the idea that a $10,000 total pledge Pridday to page 18

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412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600 | PAGE 15

There are 8 different fitness classes that take place in the swimming pool? These include: Swim Fit, Aqua Fit, Silver Sneakers Splash, Aqua Deep, Aqua HIIT, Aqua in Motion, Aqua Stretch and Deep Water.

Sweat, smiles and a who What if you could change your life by simply rethinking how you do things and by making a few simple adjustments? This change would improve your health, decrease your daily aches and pains, give you more energy, and strengthen your body, your mind and your sense of community. Sallie Eikren, a fitness instructor at The Center, says that she decided to become a fitness instructor when

her friends all started to complain about their aches and pains. These were young women, mostly moms, and she wanted to be able to do something to help them. As it turned out, fitness was the answer. “I tell women it’s important to look at your workout as therapy. Make it a part of your routine just like brushing your teeth or taking a shower each morning— and drink lots of water. It’s a way of giving back to

THE CENTER HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE ❖ Indoor Walking Track ❖ Over 30 pieces of cardio equipment ❖ Weight machines ❖ Free weight room ❖ 3 Fitness Class studios ❖ 2 full court fieldhouse ❖ 2 racquetball courts ❖ Women’s only workout room ❖ EXPLORE The Backyard play area for kids ❖ Youth Gym ❖ Kidzone Child Care PAGE 16 | 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600

❖ Women’s, Men’s and Family Locker Room ❖ 8-Lane pool and aquatic classes ❖ 140 foot waterslide and children’s area ❖ Hot tub and sauna ❖ 3 Birthday Party rooms ❖ Batting Cage ❖ Indoor golf nets ❖ Pickleball courts ❖ Maternity Room

yourself….you have moved and you will feel better! You don’t have to be the perfect person, a size 2, or this or that. All you have to do it move!” TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGIN’ As lives have changed with more time at the desk, in the car, on the phone or tablet, sedentary lifestyles are becoming the norm. Working small changes into your day can make all the difference. “Little things like not using your hands or arms to get out of your car do add up. Just try to engage all parts of your body in your everyday life. Any time you can work your core to do something, it will only make you stronger,” says Eikren. Getting started is the hard part, say the fitness experts at The Center and something they are very aware of with new clients. “We are here to help,” says Heidi Mason, the Director of Memberships, Corporate and Senior Wellness. “We understand that it can be intimidating to decide to join The Center, or a new fitness class, but we want you to feel comfortable here, and we will do what we can to make sure that you do!”

Women over 50 are the healthiest, wealthiest and most active generation of women in history? Our Silver Sneakers classes are a perfect fit for group who understand the importance of staying fit.

ole bunch of endorphins Mason also says that it’s important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere and that those who have been in a class for a while are probably at a higher level than a beginner, but no one is judging, because more than likely, they remember where they started themselves. She believes that the relationshipbuilding that happens at The Center sets it apart from other places. “We get to know people to the point that you almost feel they are family”. EXERCISE HELPS YOU CLEAR YOUR MIND, AND BOOST YOUR ENDORPHINS. “My PiYo class (a combination of Pilates and Yoga) started with just four people and now there are more than twenty. There are two people

The Center will come to your workplace through the Worksite Wellness Program! Contact Heidi Mason at 218-844-4221 Ext. 116 for more information! who have been in the class from the very beginning.” Mason enjoys seeing their flexibility and strength improve—it makes her happy that she is really making a difference in their lives. Both Eikren and Mason agree that taking time for you is hard to do—especially for mothers who still have children at home. The KidZone at The Center provides the perfect solution. Open from 8—11 a.m. and 4—8 p.m. on weekdays, and 8—Noon on Saturdays, moms and dads can take their favorite classes, workout, get a massage, swim a

THE CENTER INSTRUCTS 26 DIFFERENT FITNESS CLASSES 64 TIMES MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY. • 8 different Aqua classes • 6 Cardio & Strength • 2 Cycling • 2 Dance • 1 Relaxation • 1 Seated Yoga • 3 Strength & Flexibility

few laps or decide to burn some calories by running through The Backyard with their kids, “Now that’s a workout!” says Eikren The X-Zone, a women’s only workout area, is the perfect place for a beginner to start out. It is a good idea to make an appointment with a personal trainer to begin. They can help educate clients on how the machines work, making sure forms is correct— it’s the first step towards a healthier, stronger you. The Center is your refuge from the daily grind. It serves to create balance and overall wellness for your body and your mind in a fun and supportive environment. If you aren’t sure how or where to start, call The Center at 218-844-4221. We are here to make you, the best you possible. SPONSORED CONTENT


412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600 | PAGE 17

Pridday from page 15

could make a significant difference. “It came from my desire to get more women involved with philanthropy,” she said, noting that for this first project, the women have pledged their donations to the Lakes Crisis & Resource Center (where Pridday currently serves as a board member). “When I first moved to Detroit Lakes, I didn’t fall in love with it right away, but after living here for a couple of years, I found my lane and realized there were a lot of things where I could make a difference,” she said. “I believe in that phrase, ‘We need to be the change we want to see.’ “When I see things I think need to change, I’m willing to step up and serve. For me it’s easy to say yes because I understand the impact it can have on the community. “I’m super grateful that I have a flexible lifestyle which allows me to say yes, and donate my time and energy and money to projects like this.” She and her significant other have

also decided to call Detroit Lakes home for the foreseeable future, and are in the process of building their permanent home here, to be completed in the spring. And despite being diagnosed with breast cancer this past year, Pridday remains a force to be reckoned with, taking to social media to publicly document her struggles with the disease. “There’s no place better to battle this disease than in a small community,” she says. “There’s been such an amazing outpouring of support, from surprise gifts and kind acts to cards, home-delivered meals and offers to drive me places.” She’s even had some friendly visitors bring coffee and other goodies during her long stints in chemotherapy treatment, where she has been spending 5½ hours every Tuesday morning. Now a little more than halfway through her chemotherapy, she has 38 sessions of radiation therapy ahead of her as well, but remains optimistic. And the fact that she was diagnosed early enough to fuel that optimism has also

made her a strong advocate for being proactive when it comes to health issues. “I think women’s health is a big deal,” she said. “Women should not avoid getting their physicals and mammograms.” Every time she sees someone post a message on her Facebook page, stating that her own struggles have caused them to get tested, “It inspires me,” Pridday added. “Both my doctor and my radiologist said they would never have seen it (the initial lump) had I not had that 3D mammogram,” she said. “Thank god for that advanced technology, and that it’s available here. “If you have to have this kind of thing happen to you, there’s nothing quite like (the support from) a small community,” Pridday added. “The random acts of kindness… it’s just been crazy. It really fuels your fight. I feel good and I feel strong and I know I’m going to beat breast cancer, but it’s definitely better to have other people alongside you, cheering you on.”

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412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600 | PAGE 19

Been there, done that. Local ladies who have spent years in the workforce have earned their wisdom. Here's their advice to millennial women just coming in.


56 year old owner of Detroit Lakes Floral says, “If you want a really good job, you have to be willing to put forth the effort.”





48 year old worker at Main Street Restaurant says, “Just show up everyday and work hard and just be aggressive. That’s all the advice I would give them.”

57 year old worker at Main Street Restaurant says, “Going into the workforce, be kind, be loyal, work hard, show up for work, and don’t call in sick every week, “

54 year old worker at Hometown Crafts in the mall says, “They should get some kind of further education besides their high school diploma. Whether it’s tech school, college, any kind of further education.”

57 year old owner of Lake Country Bakery says, “Just work hard and be happy at what you do and that’s the main thing. Success comes from happiness, really.”

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22 year old worker at Detroit Lakes Floral in the mall says, “We are all so hardworking, and we like to try new things.”


21 year old worker at La Barista says, “I would say that we don’t specifically treat millenials vs. nonmillenials any differently, we kind of treat everyone the same.”


24 year old worker at Hometown Crafts in the mall says, “I think it’s okay to kind of have fun at work and have a little bit of talking and enjoyment, because I know some of the people I work with in the older generation like to be more strict and a little more work work work-no communication really.”

Millennial women in the lakes area want society to understand they are more than just young.


19 year old worker at Detroit Lakes Floral says, “I would like them to know that I am willing to learn, that I’m pretty much guaranteed to make mistakes but just that instructions and attention to detail is really important.”


25 year old Cassie McCloskey works at Lakes Country Bakery says, “With their expectations, it’s really hard to live up to those expectations.”


30 year old owner of Affairs by Brittany in the mall says, “I’d like the older people in the workforce to know that we are creative, we have our own ideas, and that we like to work in an atmosphere that has a lot of team building and that our ideas and everything that we do actually impacts things for the greater whole of the business.”

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any people face the challenge of balancing work and family. Workloads may be hefty on both fronts, and the pursuit of a healthy balance between home and career may seem like an unattainable goal. Stress can build from feelings of being pulled in too many directions. According to Mental Health America, stress can compromise a person’s ability to concentrate, lead to feelings of irritability or depression, negatively affect personal relationships, and weaken immune systems, increasing a person’s susceptibility to a variety of ailments. Research even indicates chronic stress may double a person’s risk of having a heart attack. The desire to have a fulfilling career and a full life at home is a goal shared by millions of people across the globe. But it’s important that one’s pursuit of such goals not come at the expense of personal health. Living a fulfilling life often involves finding the right work-life balance, and the following tips can help make that possible. • Establish your priorities. Make a list of the things that are most important to you. Having this list put on paper can make goals more attainable. Think about the main things you want to focus on in life and go from there. • Learn to manage your time. One of the keys to creating a work-life balance is to hone your time management skills. Effective time management can help you fit more in without feeling rushed or anxious. Start by determining just how much time you need to perform certain tasks. Then divide up the day accordingly. You may find that by waking

up an hour earlier each day, you achieve a lot more without affecting your well-being. Quiet time at home in the morning can be a prime time to fit in a workout or catch up on paperwork. • Don’t procrastinate. Stick to your schedule so you don’t feel stressed and as if you are constantly rushing around. Complete one item before you move on to the next. • Communicate effectively with your bosses. Be honest with your bosses or colleagues if you feel like work is negatively impacting your home life. Supervisors may be flexible and receptive to feedback if it means keeping good employees happy and productive. Bosses may allow you to work from home or be willing to arrange a flex schedule. • Unplug at home. When spending time at home with your loved ones, disconnect from your devices, especially those that connect you to work. Making yourself too available for work can be a detriment to your health and family. • Divide your responsibilities. Allow family members to tackle some chores or other household duties so it will free up more time to spend together. • Schedule a mental break each day. Give yourself time to perform one activity per day that you really enjoy. This will help you recharge and manage stress even further. Activities may include sports, hobbies or exercise. Finding the right balance between work and family requires some maneuvering and practice, but it can be achieved with planning, organization and communication.

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Sandy Lia ‘I love my job, I really do’’ Over the last 36 years, Ecumen’s Sandy Lia has filled many roles with the organization, and in the community STORY BY VICKI GERDES


love this town!” exclaims Sandy Lia. “Detroit Lakes is the best community on the planet,” she adds, noting that while it may be considered a “small town” in terms of population, “We are so much bigger, in so many ways.” She loves the diversity, both in the community’s growing population and in the things to see and do in the 412 lakes area. “It’s all here, all year, is a perfect quote,” Lia says, referring to the local Chamber of Commerce’s catch phrase. Though she is actually a North Dakota native, Lia did spend some time in Detroit Lakes as a child, “because my grandparents lived here.” She also attended Washington School in Detroit Lakes for one year, and attended Callaway Elementary for another, though the remainder of her childhood was spent in Casselton and Hawley (the latter being where she

graduated from high school). Lia is proud to have called Detroit Lakes her permanent home since 1980, though she admits that it was a rather circuitous route that led her back to the community. After majoring in drama at Brainerd Community College, she headed out west and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she worked in the theater department at the University of Utah. She went on to take a variety of jobs in Utah, including everything from a sporting goods store to a Photo-Mat, before the traveling bug bit again. Lia went to Mexico, Arizona, and various locations on the West Coast before ending up selling sports cars in Denver, Colo. In the 1970s, Minnesota beckoned once again, and she eventually wound up back in Detroit Lakes, where she would meet the love of her life, legendary Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame sportscaster Andy Lia

PAGE 24 | 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600

Known as “The Voice of the Lakers” until his retirement this past summer, Lia spent more than 40 years with Leighton Broadcasting’s KDLM Radio. He and Sandy have been married for almost 30 years. “I’m married to the greatest guy in Detroit Lakes,” she says. “I feel very lucky to have met Andy… He’s my rock. I’m so proud of him.” Though Andy Lia is well-known for his philanthropy and community involvement, his wife is no slouch in that department either. In her 36 years at Ecumen Detroit Lakes, Sandy Lia has been responsible for establishing the Adult Day Services program, which she ran for over 20 years, as well as coordinating Ecumen’s annual charity fundraiser and spearheading the community-wide ACT on Alzheimer’s initiative, which aimed to enhance community awareness of, and proactiveness toward Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses.

“At Ecumen, we represent the definition of the term ‘teamwork,’” she says, adding that she truly believes that she works with some of the best and brightest in the community. “Whatever I’m assigned to do, I give it my best. “I love working with people,” she added. “I hope that I’m making a difference, making life a little better for our residents, and I’m pretty confident that I am. My heart’s truly in it, and I’m sincere about that.” In addition to her work at Ecumen, she has been actively involved with the United Way of Becker County, the Patriot Assistance Dogs (PAD) program — which pairs service dogs (mostly rescued from area shelters) with veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other combat-related illnesses and injuries — the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors program, and along with Andy, has often entertained at local charitable functions as the female half of the comedy duo, “Ole and Lena.” “I’d like to do theater again someday,” she says. “I also hope that I will be able to be involved with more programs involv-


ing kids, and animals. I like working with younger people… and I love animals, especially dogs. They’re so awesome.” She and Andy also have a “bucket list” in mind for the day when she decides to call it quits from her work at Ecumen — though that’s not in her immediate plans. While she has held many job titles at Ecumen, from activities director to Adult Day Services director, housing manager (at The Madison), fund development director, marketing and events director, and others, she says her latest — community events specialist — may be her favorite so far. “I love my job, I really do,” Lia says. “I love planning events, putting them together, creating them from the ground up and running the whole event.” But she has loved pretty much every job she has held with the organization over the past 36 years, she added. “If you’re doing what you want to be doing, then you can have fun all the time,” said Lia. “You get out of your work what you put into it, and if you’re not having a good time it’s no one’s fault but your own.”

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412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 360 | PAGE 25 0


Sharon Josephson

Sharon Josephson has been a key player in the political arena around these parts for many years.


ost people know Sharon Josephson as a key staffer for U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson until her retirement, but she has been involved in a lot of things over her 71 years, and she has always made an impact on the community. Whether it was 4-H and the Extension Service, the Children’s Initiative, the Women’s Crisis Center, the Historical Society, DFL politics, Trinity Lutheran Church, the League of Women Voters or serving on the board of Lake Homes, Josephson has always jumped in with both feet and made a difference – on the local level and beyond. On Friday, she was taking care of her 7-month-old grandson. “Be involved in your community and keep mentally alert, even when you’re taking care of babies — that’s my advice,” she said with a laugh. Born in Wahpeton and raised and educated in Breckenridge, Josephson has always set ambitious goals for herself. To save tuition money, she earned

You can get a lot done if you don’t mind who gets the credit. Sharon Josephson has always stayed busy, often behind the scenes STORY BY NATHAN BOWE

a triple major (history, political science and speech) at Concordia College in Moorhead in just three years. She landed her first teaching job in Detroit Lakes, as a high school social studies teacher and worked there for 10 years. Some of her fellow teachers at the time were Tom Hanson, who went onto found the Zorbaz chain, and Larry Buboltz, who went on to become popular longtime mayor of Detroit Lakes. Buboltz went on to run the Concentrated Employment Program in Detroit Lakes, and as an upbeat ambassador for Detroit Lakes, he always made a big impression on state leaders, she said. “One of the reasons we have the Minnesota Lottery office in Detroit Lakes is that Larry Buboltz made such an impression on the Lottery Board that they said ‘we have to have the office in DL,’” she said. Josephson herself served on the first Minnesota Lottery Board. “I was the ‘church lady’ on the Lot-

PAGE 26 | 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600

tery Board,” she said with a laugh. “I actively opposed the Lottery, but Gov. Rudy Perpich wanted balance on the board and appointed me.” Another fellow Detroit Lakes teacher was her future husband, Roger. He’s a lifetime Republican and she’s a lifelong Democrat, and they and their three children have had some interesting family discussions throughout their 45-year marriage. “All my kids are politically engaged, active, and civic-minded,” she said. “They’re one of my proudest accomplishments. They’re all involved in their communities.” Josephson took some time off to raise her children when they were young, then joined Collin Peterson’s staff, where she was a central player for 25 years. “It was a great pleasure working for Collin all those years,” she said. “I met some great people and we were able to give them a lot of help. I’m a farmer’s daughter, and agriculture is the backbone of our economy.”



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t 80 years old, Bertha Anderson of Detroit Lakes is still raring to go. She is a volunteer driver for Ecumen through RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program), but she has also been involved in a number of volunteer positions, including holding board positions with Oak Crossing Family Council, where she is now the treasurer. Every year she makes her “famous lemon pie” for the Party in the Park, which Oak Crossing has put on for the last 24 years as a way to raise money for items that enrich the lives of residents there. Anderson has also served on the National Council Administration for two years and been involved with the VFW Auxiliary as the president of the Department of Minnesota Ladies Auxiliary, which she was made eligible for through her husband, Andy, who served in the Korean war. Anderson is also heavily involved with her church, Grace Lutheran Church, where she has been a charter member for the last 52 years. She has also served on the church council, holding many different positions and chairing the salad luncheon since it started in 2011. The church also puts on a bazaar every year, which she makes lefsa for. Anderson has lived in the Becker County area her entire life. She worked for Becker County Human services, but has since retired, which is when she began volunteer driving. She’s kept busy over the years and for good reason. Her advice for being successful in-


Bertha Anderson has proven that age is just a number, as she continues heading up charitable events for her church and Oak Crossing.


Bertha Anderson

Never slowing down, this Becker County gal continues giving back to her community STORY BY NATHAN BOWE

cludes determination. “I think you’ve just got to set your mind to do something and then follow your instincts, follow your dreams,” Anderson said, adding that in high school she wasn’t one for speaking in front of people: “I was shy,” she said. Over the years, though, she overcame her fear. Anderson also suffered from polio when she was 13, causing her to miss part of her freshman year—but she didn’t let it hold her back. “So I didn’t get to start my freshman year until January,” Anderson remembers, “but then I graduated valedictorian.” “My husband says (I got valedictorian because) I was the only one in my class,” she laughed, adding that he likes to tease her. Anderson has also set her mind to other goals more recently, checking off some goals on her bucket list. “One thing on my bucket list was going to Hawaii,” she said, adding that she was able to go last February, and now she has set her sights on New York. “I would like to go to New York and see some Broadway plays.” In her downtime, when she isn’t volunteering or crossing items off her bucket list, Anderson likes to scrapbook. “I have made scrapbooks for all of my grandchildren,” said Anderson, who has four children, 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, adding that she gives them when a grandchild graduates high school. “I’ve got eight completed and two left to go.”

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. - Helen Keller

PAGE 28 | 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600





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hough she’s not as ac “My dad wanted me to come tive as she used to be, home,” she said, so she went 99-year-old Detroit back and worked with him on Lakes resident Marie Lundthe farm. In 1938, she and Carl berg still likes to keep busy Lundberg were married, and with volunteer work around moved to their first home tothe nursing home at Ecumen gether in Erie Township. Detroit Lakes, where she has “I’ve stayed here ever been a resident since 2012. since,” she said. “I fold church bulletins A Ladies Aid member for and help deliver the mail,” many years, including a stint as she said, adding that she also president, Lundberg also orgastuffs envelopes and helps put nized a homemaker’s club in address labels on the mail that Erie Township, and started angoes out of the nursing home other one on Floyd Lake when each week as well. she and husband Carl moved “My biggest problem is stay- Marie Lundberg is 99 year old but still staying as active there in 1968. ing busy,” says Lundberg, espe- and helpful as she can, something she has done her en- Before leaving Erie Towncially in the last couple of years. tire life. ship, however, she and a “My eyesight has all but left couple of other ladies in the me,” she added. An avid reader area took the old District 26-2 and crossword puzzle addict in country school and turned it her younger days, she must now into a community center. content herself with audio books “We redid the floors and and going to craft and painting fixed it up,” she said. “We had classes whenever they’re offered. card parties, and 4-H meet “I go whenever I can,” she ings, and Sunday school and says, but adds, “My paintings other things there.” are getting to be pretty simple. After moving to Floyd Lake, I can’t see the lines… they’ve she and Carl remained there got to be really dark.” until his death in 2002, when She also gets regular visshe moved to Silver Birch Apartits from her kids, grandkids, ments in Detroit Lakes. She great grandkids and great-great would continue to live there ungrandkids. Though she lost her til moving to Ecumen’s Emmanhusband Carl in 2002, and two uel Nursing Home in 2013. of her five children are also de Besides being a homemakSTORY BY VICKI GERDES ceased, Lundberg does have er, Lundberg has also held three surviving children: Roger Lund- was 16,” she says. “I played on and off many other jobs over the years, includberg, 76, Janet Anderson, 71, and Lois until 2002.” ing working at the local hospital, at Welsch, 69, as well as nine grandchil- She also served on the church board, Roger Roy’s grocery store, as a cook for dren, 27 great grandchildren and four including a stint as treasurer, and school lunch programs at Washington great-great grandchildren. taught both Bible school and Sunday Elementary, Detroit Lakes Junior High “It’s quite a crew,” she joked. school “while my kids and grandkids and DL Senior High School, and also A near-lifelong resident of the De- were there,” including several years as did bookkeeping and other jobs at Cantroit Lakes area, Lundberg is a past Sunday school superintendent. dt Motors, Berg Auto Electric and DiaBecker County Outstanding Senior The only time that Lundberg did mond’s clothing store, among others. Citizen (1995), and has worn many not call Detroit Lakes her home was “I was also in the Detroit Lakes hats over her long life, including for a brief stint after graduating from Sweet Adelines, and sang in the 4-H leader (with the Cloverdale 4-H high school in 1933, at age 15. church choir,” she said. “I hauled peoClub), church organist (at Bakke, Up- “I decided I was going to be a ple up to Fargo and back for their cansala and Lund Lutheran churches) nurse,” she said. cer treatments, and I belonged to the and choir member, American Cancer So she went to the Swedish Hos- blood bank, where I got two gallon Society volunteer and more. pital in Minneapolis to receive her pins for donating a gallon of blood (in “When I was little I started playing nurse’s training. But after a visit from total, not at one time). the pump organ, and I started playing her dad a few months later, she found “I’ve tried a little bit of everything, in church (at Lund Lutheran) when I herself headed back to Detroit Lakes. I guess,” she added..”


Marie Lundberg

‘I’ve tried a little bit of everything’.

PAGE 30 | 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 3600

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PAGE 32 | 412 LAKES AREA | WOMEN 360