I was born in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio, the second of four children in a hard-working family. My father was a truck driver, and my mom ran the house. I attended Catholic school for nine years, and graduated from public high school, James Ford Rhodes, in 1969. I got my first job at fifteen, and have held a job ever since. In 1973 I became the first member of my family to graduate from college, Case Western Reserve, right in Cleveland. It was not easy to hold down a job while attending school, but my folks could not afford the tuition. I learned early that you have to work for what you want. After a few years working in the ocean freight business, I went on to graduate school and earned a Master’s in Academic Administration from the University of Maine in 1977. And then I moved to Ashland and found my home.
My professional career in northern Wisconsin includes more than 30 years:
- WHEDA – Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority: Senior Community Development Officer/ State Tribal Liaison/ Business Development Officer
- City Councilor, Ashland City Council, Ashland
- Family Administrator, HRK Group, Bayfield
- Mary H. Rice Foundation, Executive Director
- Northland College, Dean of Students
Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Financial Literacy; WHEDA Collaboration Award; WHEDA Innovation Award; Fellow, Shannon Leadership Institute; Financial Planning Conference convener and planner; Poverty Conference organizer and presenter.
My work for WHEDA included travel to every corner of northern Wisconsin. I’m proud of the quality housing, the new business opportunities and the many jobs we helped create. I’m motivated by the neighborhoods, villages and towns that give northern Wisconsin its character.
I am married to David Saetre, Professor of Religion and Campus Minister, Northland College. David and I have five grown children and three fantastic grandchildren (aren’t they all!).
This is an incredible place to grow in every way — as families, professionally, spiritually. I want to contribute to a way of life that honors the best of living in northern Wisconsin. I will work to make this abundant land a place where everyone has a fair chance to raise a family, to find fulfilling work, to receive a good education, and to preserve the incredible resources of the north woods and the world’s largest body of fresh water.