Optivation hosts a staff of highly qualified and experienced people who are ready to work with you to meet your organization's needs.
Ms. Kerry Ross, M.S., Associate Director
Kerry Ross, M.S., provides administrative and operational management of Optivation including purchasing equipment, budgetary oversight, technical assistance to project managers, and supervision of support personnel. Ms Ross is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of all non-credit instruction and corporate contracts including scheduling and identifying appropriate classes, identifying and supervising instructors, contract development and quality control. She is also a skilled focus group facilitator. Her experience includes 10 years in Human Resource Management. She has been a professional corporate trainer for more than 7 years focusing on Human Resource topics including Leadership and Supervisory Skills, Conflict Management, Teambuilding, Time Management, Delivering Effective Customer Service, and Managing Change in Your Organization.
Mr. Kris Williams, Industrial Training Coordinator / Multimedia Development
Kris Williams is the WEB master for the Northern Tier High Technology Corridor project including the day-to-day information systems development. (www.ntht.org). He is also responsible for the development of our web based delivery efforts, and CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, Video and Multi-Media development. His latest efforts include the production of multi-media learning objects for Minnesota Online, and other MNSCU schools. These learning objects aid in the learning process for classes delivered online. Contact Mr. Williams if you have a need for the creation of learning objects. Mr. Williams also researches existing and evolving technologies in order to continually expand the capacity of Optivation. Mr. Williams holds a B.S. in Design Technology with an emphasis in 3D/Multi-Media design.
Mr. Richard R. Lehmann, Office Manager
Richard Lehmann is the Northwest Technical College Office Manager for Optivation. He is responsible for completing contracts for companies that retain our services and trainers that are contracted to provide those services. Mr. Lehmann also does the scheduling and coordinating of the various trainings that take place on the Northwest Technical College campus. He is also responsible for reporting and record keeping for learner credentials and college administration. Mr. Lehmann is a graduate of Northwest Technical College with a diploma in Automotive Service Technology and Bemidji State University with a B.A. in Political Science. He has also been Mayor of Bemidji since 2001..
Ms. Emily Neuman, Student Worker
Emily Neuman is a student worker for Optivation at Bemidji State University. Emily joined Optivation in September 2011, she assists with workshop preparations and other responsibilities. She is focusing her education towards a Business degree and thinking about majoring in Business with a minor in accounting.
Ms. Allie Carle, Student Worker
Allie Carle is a student worker for Optivation at Bemidji State University. Allie joined Optivation in September 2012, she assists with workshop preparations, newsletter writing and other responsibilities. She is focusing her education towards a double major in English and Marketing Communications and one day hopes to work with a publishing company as an editor.
Ms. Lyndi Odegard, Instructor
Ms. Lyndi Odegard graduated from Bemidji State University with a BA in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management. She has worked in the banking industry for 5 years. Having worked for a major corporation and privately owned small businesses, Odegard has experienced personal HR as well as "cookie cutter" HR and believe the personal will get businesses further. Lyndi instructs the courses New Position Basics: Job Analysis to Hiring, and Human Resources Management.
Mr. Nate Dorr, Instructor
Nate holds a Master's degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute. He is currently employed as an analyst with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Over the past eight years, he has attended and led trainings directly related to grant writing, and has expertise in developing needs statements and evaluation. As a grant writer, he successfully navigated federal, state, and private grant programs. In his current position, he now reviews grants and aides partnering organizations in developing programs and assessing their needs. As a volunteer, Nate is working tirelessly to raise funds to build a community skate and bike park in Bemidji, MN. To view courses instructed by Nate, click here.
Mr. Cal Rice, Instructor
Cal has a BS in Mathematics and MS in Statistics. He spent 32 years with IBM as a programmer and in programming management. For 15 years he has taught hundreds of adults through Community Education in Texas and northern Minnesota. In 2000 he was named Outstanding Community Education Instructor in the state of Texas. To view courses instructed by Cal, click here.
Mr. Michael Wellcome, Instructor
Mr. Wellcome's professional experience includes business process improvement, electronic commerce, grant writing and administration, strategic planning, and project management. He has a BS in Vocational Education and an MS in Organization and Management.
Mr. Brian Mathews, Instructor
A graduate of the University of North Dakota, Brian offers 15 years of broad human resource management experience.His background includes management positions in the retail, internet, construction and manufacturing industries for companies including Amazon.com, Boise Cascade, and Acme Electric/Tool Crib of the North. With a first hand perspective of HR's role and challenges in business today, Brian offers a practical, but progressive perspective on HR polices and practices.
Ms. Karen Pikula, Instructor
Karen Pikula has been employed by Brainerd School District for the past twenty years and also currently teaches on the Central Lakes College, Brainerd Campus, as well as for Optivation, a joint venture of Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College.She has specific interests in educational psychology, online learning, and leadership style. She earned her Bachelors in Elementary Education with a Minor in Psychology and her Masters in Education with an emphasis in online instruction from Bemidji State University. She is currently entering the dissertation phase of her PhD. in Educational Psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis Minnesota. The analysis and study of leadership involves two intricately entwined elements: psychology (The science that deals with mental processes and behavior) and social identity (how we perceive and make sense of each other). Her background in these areas influences the content and the context of the Art of Leadership I and II courses.
Ms. Patty Heath Gordon, Instructor
Patty Heath Gordon received her undergraduate degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead with three years in Business Education when the degree was discontinued so the last year of mostly electives was combined with the three years of Business Ed and individualized as General Studies. Then she received her Masters degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead in Liberal Arts. The Masters degree gave her the opportunity to study online. For 11 years she worked for youth in a non-profit organization and enjoyed it very much. Realignment directed her out of sales and she found herself working for the State of Minnesota in higher education developing Business & Entrepreneurial Services and a campus Foundation. This is where she "accidentally" had an opportunity to teach and realized it was her calling.