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BSU Foundation

Brainerd, Baxter-area alumni to lead Bemidji State Foundation Board of Directors

Bemidji State University alumni Carol Russell ’74, Trudy Rautio ’75 and Bill Hawkins ’74, all members of the broader Brainerd community, will provide strategic leadership and support on the Bemidji State Foundation Board of Directors.

Russell became president of the BSU Foundation Board of Directors at the organization’s annual meeting in October. Russell is CEO and a founding partner of Russell Herder, an integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Minneapolis and Brainerd. Russell leads the firm’s strategic practice in representing corporate and governmental entities regionally and nationally. She has applied that experience in her leadership on a Foundation board as vice president and leader in the group’s recent strategic planning efforts. Russell was a 2006 Outstanding Alumni Award recipient. She previously served on the board from 1998-2004 and rejoined in 2009. She holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from BSU. She also has a master’s degree in communications management and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Executive Program, Carlson School of Management.

Rautio, who is president and chief executive officer of Carlson was selected vice president of the Foundation board at the October meeting. She was appointed to her current position in August, 2012 and was previously executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer. Rautio holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Bemidji State University in Minnesota and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas, Twin Cities. Rautio accepted BSU’s Distinguished Minnesotan Award in 2014. She received an Outstanding Alumni Award in 2007.

After graduating from BSU in 1974, Hawkins spent six years teaching high school English and coaching before deciding to focus his efforts on Hawkins Enterprises, Inc., a company he founded in 1978. Since then he has become one of the most sought-after sales and marketing consultants in the country and speaks to tens of thousands of people annually. He has authored a highly successful series of talks on electronic commerce and the future of the Internet, and also developed a business training series that has been translated into eleven languages. Bill serves on the Board of Directors of Worldwide Group, LLC and also the Independent Business Owners Association International, which is the largest small business trade organization in the world. He received the BSU Outstanding Alumni Award in 2011.

Cashman, Jensen, Vogt join Foundation Board

Cynthia Cashman ’85, Paul S. Jensen ’95 and Steve Vogt ’85 Ph.D. recently began three-year terms of service on the BSU Foundation Board.

Cashman intended to use her BA in media communications to launch a broadcast marketing career. Her first post-college job was as a marketing specialist at WCCO Radio in Minneapolis. It was there she worked side-by-side with local non-profits to benefit their causes. Inspired by this experience, Cashman changed her focus to work exclusively in the non-profit sector. She joined her alma mater as alumni and annual giving director and went on to positions in fund raising at the University of Minnesota Medical Foundation, YMCA of Minneapolis, and Hamline University. She became chief development officer for CFANS in 2004.

Jensen is a partner in Fergus Falls office for the firm of Karkela, Hunt, Cichosz & Jensen. He practices commercial, business and real estate law, as well as probate, debtor and creditor, bankruptcy, wills and trusts. He earned a bachelor’s degree from BSU in 1995 and went on to graduate from Hamline University School of Law in 2004. He is a member of the Otter Tail County, Minnesota and American Bar Associations. He also is involved in several community organizations. Jensen also is an owner of Holly's Resort located on Otter Tail Lake.

Vogt is chief investment officer for Mesirow Advanced Strategies in Chicago. He has been with the firm since 1999. He oversees all aspects of research including portfolio management, risk management, manager due diligence, and manager monitoring. Previously, Vogt was an associate professor of finance at DePaul University. He earned his undergraduate degree at BSU and went on the receive a master of arts and doctorate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He is and has been a member of several international, national and regional professional organizations including IAFA, PRMIA.




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