MEET OUR BOARD MEMBERS
A Place for You is governed by a Board of Directors and led by Executive Director Vicki VanderVegt.
Vicki along with a small staff and dedicated group of volunteers work together to provide shelter, hospitality and support services to assist residents into safe, affordable, sustainable housing.
Kim Brubaken: Board Chair
Kim Brubaken has been a senior high guidance counselor at Pine City High School for over 16 years. Prior to that, she was the director of the Employment & Training Center at Pine Technical College, which delivered welfare reform programs in a five county area. Kim has been a lifelong resident of Mora where she has been actively involved in youth mission trips and providing foster care for adolescent teenage girls. Kim has been an advocate for youth and adults while serving on several boards including her church and advocacy organizations in the Twin Cities.
Deb Eck: Treasurer
Deb grew up on a farm near Gonvick, a small town in northwestern Minnesota and has lived in Pine City since 1969. She has a degree in accounting and has been with East Central Energy for the past 19 years working in their finance department. Deb has been involved in volunteer activities within the community and church throughout the years. One that is very special to her is the Image Project. Through the efforts of all those involved the Masaii girls in Tanzania are getting an education. It was this group that inspired Deb to become involved with A Place for You.
Frank Grundmeier: Board Member
Frank was born and grew up in southeastern MN. He farmed for 50 near Friesland raising dairy cows for 25 years and beef cattle for 30 years. He is married with three adult sons and 7 grandchildren.
Frank has been an active member of the community participating in the following areas:
Dell Grove Township Treasurer; Pine County Officers Association President; Family Pathways Volunteer; Pine/Kanabec Thrivent Chapter Board; Pine County Chaplain Corps; Pine County Township Rep on ECRDC Board; Farm Service Agency County Committee; Church Council, Treasurer and Financial Secretary.
Wayne Eller: Board Member
Wayne is the Executive Director for East Central MN Habitat for Humanity and has served for 16 years. He retired from working as a.MN DNR Conservation Law Enforcement Officer for 21 years. Wayne is on the Board of Directors for for East Central Energy. He served in US Army for 3 years. He graduated from Northwestern University in Roseville, MN; Summa Cum Laude with BS in Business Admin and he did post graduate work in Adult Education at the University of MN. Wayne has a private pilot’s license from Wings Inc. St Paul. He is an author with publications: 1) Survey, Analysis, and Proposal for Grant Funding to Train MN DNR Conservation Officers for the Enforcement of PCA Regulations. (1992); 2) A “How To” Crappie Fishing Book (1986). Wayne has owned and operated rental housing for 30 years.
Steve Hallan: Board Member
Marleen Zak: Board Member
Marleen grew up in Rochester, MN. She moved to the Pine City area in 1981 to take a position with Braham Area Schools.
Marleen has a degree in education and multiple licenses for special education disability areas. Marleen retired from her position at St. Croix River Education District after 37 years of service in MN schools. Her job duties for the last 25 years were to coordinate educational, medical and work skill services within the school systems in Pine and Chicago Counties. She chaired both the Pine County and Chicago County Disability Committees establishing improvements for services needed to help students transition from high school to work or post secondary training. Marleen is an advocate of community based services to support persons with disabilities or with under served populations. Her participation on several statewide committees to improve services in rural areas connected her to APFY.
Melissa Chinn: Board Member
Melissa is a native of rural Middle River, a small farming community in northwest MN. After graduation from MSU-Moorhead, she worked five years in northeast South Dakota as a School psychologist before returning to MN with her family. Initially employed almost 10 years with the Rum River Special Education Cooperative based in Cambridge, she works for the St. Croix River Education District. She worked as an RTI, Reading First, and MN Reading Corps coach for several years, serving school districts between the Finlayson and Chicago Lakes areas. Melissa has since transitioned back to a School Psychologist position within the Pine City School District, but continues to serve as a trainer and coach for the MN Reading Corps, an Americorps program. Melissa's work with Kim Brubaken at the PCHS, and a desire to support her community, inspired her involvement with APFY.
Sharon Lawrence: Board Member
Tracy Smetana: Board Member
Sarah Ellstrom: Board Member
We Have Openings for Board Members
Board Member Position Description
Regularly attends board meetings and important related meetings
Makes serious commitment to participate actively in committee work
Volunteers for and willingly accepts assignments and completes them thoroughly and on time
Stays informed about committee matters, prepares themselves well for meetings, and reviews and comments on minutes and reports
Gets to know other committee members and builds a collegial working relationship that contributes to consensus
Is an active participant in the committee's annual evaluation and planning efforts
Participates in fund raising for the organization