Six new officers have been named to Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Alumni Foundation board of directors: Arlette Preston, Tod Ganje, Frank Leidenfrost, Corey Elmer, Darlene Cobian and Tomi Sawyer.
The Alumni Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation involved in developing alumni and community relationships, promoting the university and providing funding for academic excellence. It is governed by a 24-member board of directors.
Preston is a 1982 MSUM alum and the owner and manager of AHP Consulting, Inc., dba Home Instead Senior Care. She earned her B.S. in nursing from MSUM in 1982 and her M.S. in nursing from Texas Woman’s University in 1986. She has been a member of the Fargo City Commission, Fargo School Board, as well as served or currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Fargo Moorhead YWCA, Prairie Public Broadcasting, Riverkeepers, Plains Art Museum, and Fargo Public Schools Foundation. She has received the YWCA Woman of the Year Award in both Health Care and Public Service, as well as the Eva Vraspir Excellence in Nursing Alumni Award from MSUM.
Ganje, a 1998 MSUM alum, is the manager of Travel Incorporated in Moorhead. He has been involved with the MSUM Alumni Activities Committee for a number of years. In 2007-08 he served on the committee and arranged all travel for the WDAY Honor Flight to take hundreds of WWII veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial built in their honor.
Leidenfrost is a 1957 MSUM alum and has taught physical education and driver education at the high school level for 36 years, and was the head football coach at Waubun and Staples high schools. He has also been an assistant athletic director for several years. Since retiring he has been active in Lions Club International, serving as president of his club, district governor of 5M-8 Lions, and as a trustee on the Multiple District Lions Hearing Foundation for the past six years. He is currently the chairperson of the board of trustees. He is a recipient of MSUM’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Elmer is a 1994 MSUM alum and is a shareholder with the Vogel Law Firm, practicing business and real estate law in its Moorhead office. He holds a B.A. from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and earned his J.D. degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the former student member of the Minnesota State University Board and served on the board of directors of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation. He is active in community affairs including Rotary International, the Moorhead Rotary Cub, and Minnesota Public Radio. He is the former chair of the MSUM President’s Regional Advisory Board and received MSUM’s Outstanding Young Alum Award in 2003.
Cobian, a 1985 MSUM graduate, is a shareholder in the firm of Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, based in St. Paul. She practices primarily in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, charitable gifting and tax-exempt organizations. She received her B.S. from MSUM and her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. She was a probate registrar and clerk of court in North Dakota before joining Briggs in 1992.
Sawyer graduated from MSUM in 1976 and is chief scientific officer and senior vice president of Drug Discovery & Innovative Technologies at Aileron Therapeutics in Cambridge, Mass., an emerging biopharmaceutical company developing a breakthrough class of drugs called Stapled Peptides. He currently holds academic and research advisory appointments at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He received a B.S. in chemistry from MSUM and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona. He was previously Senior Director, Pfizer Research Technology Center (Cambridge, Mass.) and concurrently served on Pfizer’s Global Chemistry Leadership Team.
Returning board members are: President Jo Burdick, President-elect Darrell Rowe, Secretary Michael Redlinger, Treasurer John Bennett, Christopher Birmingham, Rodney Paseka, John Haugo, Mark Anderson, Yvonne Condell, Ev Quiqley, Pam Wimmer Benedict, Jay Nibbe, Greg Staszko, Mary Tallman, Mark Voxland and Maureen K. Brownson
The board members, who meet twice a year, are elected to three-year terms.