Von Pinnon: The Forum welcomes new Readers Board members

Editor-in-chief Matthew Von Pinnon introduces readers to the five new members of The Forum's Readers Board.

Matthew Von Pinnon
Matthew Von Pinnon is the editor-in-chief of The Forum.
Forum file photo

Meet the five new members of The Forum’s Readers Board. They join seven returning members whose terms expire in July.

Members stay on for a year, but terms are staggered by a half-year. The Forum’s community sounding board chooses its own successors from a pool of people who apply to serve.

We want to first thank our valued members who left the board in December: Cora Bollinger, Katie Wangstad, Rick Schara, Steve Anglin and Toby Zikmund.

New members:

  • Daniel Gunderson, 33, Fargo, is an insurance broker with Marsh McLennan Agency. He earned degrees in journalism and public relations at North Dakota State University. He’s married with three children and has lived in the area for 15 years.
  • Lana Rakow, 70, West Fargo, is a retired communications professor from the University of North Dakota, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She went on to earn her doctorate of communications from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The native of Buffalo, N.D., is married with two adult children.
  • Christina Sliwinski, 52, Fargo, works in program management and academic medicine administration. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Concordia University in Wisconsin. The North Dakota native is a married mother of two who returned to the area in 2020.
  • Dick Walstad, 84, Fargo, is the former owner of Cook Sign Company, one of the founders of the Fargo Air Museum and co-chair of the Fargo AirSho for 30 years. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota. He is married and the father of two children. He’s lived in the area since 1969.
  • David D. Withee, 70, West Fargo, is retired from the laboratory furniture industry. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his master’s degree from the University of Dubuque. He is married with an adult daughter and is new to the area.

Returning members:

  • Alison Daoust, 34, Moorhead, is a stay-at-home mom and freelance writer and photographer. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead and an associate’s degree in business management and entrepreneurship from Rasmussen University. Originally from the Jamestown, N.D., area, she has lived in Fargo-Moorhead since 2008. She is married with two children.
  • Danielle Erdmann, 41, Fargo, is the director of data analytics and optimization for Sevita. She earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from Northeastern University in Boston. She is single and a native of Fargo.
  • Mary Gaylord Frojen, 74, Fargo and Sharon, N.D., is a retired teacher. She earned a bachelor’s degree in American studies from Carleton College, Northfield, Minn., and an English degree and library credential from Mayville (N.D.) State University. She’s married with two adult daughters.
  • Keith Lehman, 27, Fargo, is a math teacher and track and field/cross country coach for Fargo Public Schools and an adjunct statistics professor for the North Dakota State College of Science. He earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and education at North Dakota State University and a master’s degree from Minot (N.D.) State University. He is single and a native of Fargo.
  • Jeff Mellott, 65, Fargo, works in security. He has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications/journalism and a master’s degree in political science. He is married and has lived in the area a little over a year.
  • Steve Thompson, 53, Wyndmere, N.D., is a teacher at Hankinson (N.D.) Public School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Valley City (N.D.) State University and his master’s from NDSU. He is married with a son and two stepdaughters and has lived in the area most of his life.
  • Darrell Vanyo, Crozet, Va., formerly West Fargo, was employed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota for 32 years and is a former West Fargo city commissioner and Cass County commissioner. He earned degrees in computer science and mathematics from NDSU. He is married with four adult children.
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