Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation elects 4 new board members
New board includes Peggy Stebbins, Robert Birkeland, Andrew Ostlund, and Lora Graumann.
BRAINERD — The Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation (BLACF) recently announced that Robert Birkeland, Lora Graumann, Andrew Ostlund, and Peggy Stebbins have joined the Board of Directors. The current Board of thirteen members governs BLACF, conducts development activities, approves grant recommendations, and works to engage people, connect resources, and build community. All members are volunteers and serve up to three, three-year terms.
Peggy Stebbins of Deerwood has served as director of marketing and public relations at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby since 2014. She manages CRMC’s charitable fund and all communications and advertising, publications, events, wellness and serves as spokesperson. Peggy is a member of the Northland Arboretum board and has served as a volunteer on the Cuyuna Lakes Chamber of Commerce board and Deerwood Civic and Commerce Committee. She moved to the area from Helena, Montana, where she worked as Public Relations and Marketing Director at St. Peter’s Health for 12 years. Peggy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in communications, business administration, and graphic arts from Minnesota State University-Mankato and is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America. Originally from St. Paul, she has two grown children who reside in Bozeman, Montana.
Robert Birkeland is a lifelong resident of the Brainerd lakes area and a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. Birkeland graduated from Wichita State University with a marketing degree. He is co-owner in Larson Group Real Estate with Bruce Larson. Birkeland has been in real estate sales for 25 years. He’s been on the Ideal Fire Department for 25 years and currently serves as chief 1 and is also a member of the Crosslake Fire Department. Birkeland currently serves on the St. Francis of the Lakes Foundation board, Pequot Lakes Community Education sports advisory committee and the Patriot Activities Committee board. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two kids that attend Pequot Lakes Schools; Genevieve is 15 and Tollef is 13 years old.
Andrew J. Ostlund, certified financial planner with a Master of Business Administration, is a senior wealth advisor with Clifton Larson Allen Wealth Advisors LLC and specializes in providing comprehensive financial and estate planning, small business transition/liquidation planning, and family wealth transition planning. Ostlund has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, with over 14 years of directly servicing individual and business clients with wealth accumulation strategies. Ostlund holds both a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Studies and a Master in Business Administration from Northwestern University. He also holds a Master in Public Affairs degree from the University of Minnesota. His emphases for his master’s degree were financial literacy and human trafficking. He acquired the certified financial planning designation in 2005. Ostlund is active in many civic organizations, most notably, is a board member for Junior Achievement.
Lora Graumann is the Associate Vice President/Investments at Stifel. has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. She enjoys the personal interactions and developing long-term relationships with clients while assisting in the development of their personalized plans. Graumann graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation. She is an active member of the Brainerd Sports Boosters, serving on the board of directors and as the club’s treasurer. In addition, she serves on the board of directors with the Cullen Lakes Association and volunteers with Ruby’s Pantry. During her spare time, Graumann enjoys spending time with her family, attending local sporting events, and fishing. Graumann and her husband, Tom, have three children: Heather, Nicolette (husband Neil), and TJ (wife Gracie), as well as two grandkids, Jayven & Lily.
Karl Samp, BLACF Executive Director stated, “all the new members bring an immense amount of expertise and offer a unique perspective around community needs while having demonstrated experience in championing community projects. We are excited to welcome them all to the board to aid us in continuing the good work that we do in the Brainerd Lakes Area.”
BLACF attracts and administers charitable funds in the local Brainerd area. Since 1998, BLACF has grown to over $18.5 million in assets and awarded over $8 million in grants to nonprofits. The BLACF is governed by a local board of directors and is a partner of Community Giving, which is a collaborative of community foundations united under a single framework to create efficiencies that maximize the impact of our donors. Collectively, CommunityGiving administers over 900 funds totaling nearly $201 million. Learn more at CommunityGiving.org/Brainerd.