Barry Nelson, Chair
Committee(s): Executive, Development
Barry Nelson is director of the Head Start/Early Head Start Program at Southeastern North Dakota Community Action Agency, Fargo. Nelson proudly calls himself a community activist and believes that ALL people should be able to participate fully in their community be it in housing, employment, access to services and/or choice of relationships. He is board member with RiverKeepers, and is active with his district political party. He was one of the charter members of the NDHRC board and returned as a board member in the fall of 2009.
JoNell Bakke, Vice-Chair
Committee(s): Executive, Programming (Co-Chair), Nominating (Chair)
JoNell Bakke is a Special Education teacher currently teaching at Schroeder Middle School in Grand Forks. She served in the State Senate from 2206 to 2010 representing District 43 in Grand Forks. JoNell also serves as Chair of the North Dakota Women’s Network Board of Directors and is Co-Chair of the Area Health Education Cooperative Advisory Committee. She was appointed to the Governor’s Youth Council and the Department of Public Instruction Professional Development State Advisory Committee. As a former foster parent and the adoptive mother of two special needs sons, JoNell has made a commitment to addressing the needs of all citizens within our state particularly the children, the disabled and elderly. JoNell and her husband, Greg, have four children, two grandsons, a son-in-law and daughter-in-law. She has served on the NDHRC Board of Directors since 2010.
Bernie Erickson, Treasurer
Committee(s): Executive, Marketing
Bernie Erickson is originally from Fertile Minnesota, and studied business at Moorhead State University. He recently retired from his role as Vice President, Store Manager of Macy’s West Acres, and is currently the Marketing Director and Box Office Manager at Fargo Moorhead Opera as well as a sales associate with Park Company Realtors. Bermie and his partner of 10 years, David Hamilton live in South Fargo. They have two sons, two daughters and two grandchildren all in the Fargo-Moorhead area.
Committee(s): Executive, Programming (Co-Chair)
Karen is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2009 she received her B.A. in Political Science from Princeton University as well as two minors in African Studies and Near Eastern Studies, followed by a Masters in Sociology from NDSU. While her academic interests focus on social inequality, she is eager to apply the theoretical and analytical skills acquired in the classroom in her advocacy pursuits in North Dakota, and is absolutely thrilled to be a part of NDHRC.
Committee(s): Marketing (Chair)
Jeannie has been with WDAY for over 3 years and previously worked in the hospitality and nonprofit sector. She enjoys working with clients to figure out ways to increase their business, especially working with non-profits to help achieve their fund-raising goals. She earned a degree in Mass Communications at Minnesota State University. She continues to improve her education and philanthropy through training at Dale Carnegie, Kellogg School of Management, Blandin Foundation and others. She lives in West Fargo with her husband, JJ, and her new son, Ryan, who was just born in February 2009. She grew up in the Grafton area, where her parents and two of her 4 sisters still live. She enjoys volunteering on various boards and nonprofit organizations, plus spending time running, golfing and spending time with family and friends.
Ellen Dunn is a career educator of students with disabilities. She is currently the Work Experience Educator for Students with Disabilities in the Fargo Public Schools. Ellen has served on various boards at the local and state level. She has served in positions at the national level for the National Education Association. She is an advocate for disability rights and believes all should have access to health care and economic opportunities. Ellen is politically active in her district. Ellen’s husband, Mick, is also an educator. They have two children, Heather, who is married to Ryan and Michael, who is married to Beth. Ellen and Mick have two granddaughters, Ryan and Hadley.
Brian J. Hayer
Committee(s): Development (Chair)
Brian was raised in Fargo, ND. He graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ with a BS in Insurance. He is the father of Rudy and Eden. Brian is the president of Warner and Company Insurance which has offices in Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Detroit Lakes. He joined the NDHRC in 2010. He also serves on Fargo’s Downtown Community Partnership board and chairs committees for the YMCA of Cass-Clay and Fargo Kiwanis. He has been president of the YMCA, MeritCare Foundation, Fargo Area Dollars for Scholars, F-M Independent Insurance Agents and has chaired the United Way Campaign of Cass-Clay. He attends Hope Lutheran and is a member of the contemporary worship team.
Lillian Jones is a Bismarck native and works as paralegal for Jones Legal, a public interest law office in Fargo. She studied at the University of Mary and the University of North Dakota and is involved in a number of programs in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She is a consultant and delivers educational and awareness presentations on Violence against Native Women to enhance competency with practitioners serving victims of crime. She is adjunct faculty for Lay Advocacy at the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada. Lillian and her husband have a combined family of four children and five wonderful grandchildren. She is excited to serve on the NDHRC Board of Directors and looks forward to what lies ahead in the State of North Dakota and upper Midwest region.
Kjersten is a Fargo native, who returned home to be an assistant professor of political science at North Dakota State University. Prior to this, she spent time in St. Paul, Syracuse, NY, and Washington, DC, where she worked for Senator Kent Conrad on health, education, and labor issues. Her interest in political science is a lifelong one, stemming from a desire to work towards a political system and community that includes everyone and improves everyone’s quality of life. Kjersten lives in Fargo with her husband Ryan, two young children, and several felines.
Sue Peterson is a social worker with fifteen years experience working in the areas of mental health, domestic violence, disabilities, and school social work. She has been a higher education social work instructor since 1999 and currently teaches in the School of Social Work at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Amy Phillips is a social worker with twenty years experience in work with families, groups, organizations, and communities. She has been a higher education social work instructor for eleven years and currently teaches in the Department of Social Work at the University of North Dakota.