2016 Alumni Achievement Award Recipients
Dr. James B. Buhr '67
Dr. James B. Buhr has devoted his life to global influence as a family practice physician for more than 40 years. During his career, he has served hospitals in Chicago, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Africa, Liberia and Cameroon. In 2006, he led a group on behalf of Global Health Ministries to assess the need and feasibility of building a hospital in Central African Republic, a country facing extreme poverty and ongoing violence. He then participated in efforts to build the hospital in Gallo and returned to evaluate the services provided by it. In Valley City, he serves as county health officer/medical director, coroner, and is the primary physician for more than 100 individuals at the Open Door Center, which serves adults and children with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities and mental health needs.
Jean E. Bye '79
Jean Bye has been focused throughout her career at Dotson Iron Castings on building a company that outperforms the competition while creating a culture that values and inspires employees. Today, she is president and CEO of the iron foundry in Mankato, Minn. Among her successes are managing the stress of recession, meeting high demand pressures from U.S. industry giants and launching an Employee Stock Ownership Plan plan for the company. She willingly shares her expertise and experience. In 2014, she initiated a special interest group within the American Foundry Society that mentors and coaches women in the industry. She is the first woman to serve on the society’s executive committee and will be the president of the association in 2018. Additionally, she has been invited to participate in the invitation-only International Foundry Forum twice.
Dr. Karen A. Feste '66
Dr. Karen Feste has contributed greatly to the international relations fields of conflict resolution, terrorism and military intervention. She is professor at the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. There she founded and is director of the interdisciplinary Conflict Resolution Institute and is director of its International Security master’s program. She has published numerous articles and books, and has been asked to speak within and outside the U.S. Many of her former students have achieved distinction, including former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice and former Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey. She was twice a Fulbright Scholar to Vienna, Austria. She serves on the board for the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights and is active in Forward Global Women, which strives to bring peace to troubled areas of the world.
David J. Horazdovsky '78
David Horazdovsky, president and CEO of the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, has key passions for innovative care and consumer-focused service. As leader of the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of long-term care, housing and senior services, he emphasizes well-being and improved environments. He joined the society in 1978 and served as an administrator at three locations until 1989, when he became regional director for Minnesota. He was tapped to lead the organization in 2003. In addition to his work with the society, he serves as a board member of a healthcare technology company and a national affordable housing trust company. He represented South Dakota at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging and was a member of an advisory board for the U.S. Department of Labor. He continues to be involved in public policy and advocacy for seniors.
2016 Sent Forth Award Recipients
Amy Kircher '97
Amy Kircher is director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute, a Homeland Security Center of Excellence, where she coordinates a research consortium of experts dedicated to protecting the food system. She is also an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota. Kircher received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She previously worked as an epidemiologist for NORAD – U.S. Northern Command and was an instructor for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Miquette (Denie) McMahon '06
Miquette McMahon worked at a nursing home and a hospital in Detroit Lakes, Minn., for a year after graduation before returning to Haiti to work as a school nurse and teacher. She founded TeacHaiti, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to send children to school in Haiti. After Haiti’s earthquake when many schools in Haiti were destroyed, McMahon opened TeacHaiti School of Hope in Port au Prince. Currently, TeacHaiti educates more than 350 students through student scholarships. McMahon oversees every aspect of TeacHaiti and spends much of her time advocating and fundraising for TeacHaiti throughout the United States.
2015 Alumni Achievement Award Recipients
Paul D. Erickson '74
Paul Erickson, Circle Pines, Minn., is a sports administrator whose passions have benefitted cities across Minnesota. After Concordia, he taught in Australia. He then served as Concordia’s director of student activities from 1976-82. While at Concordia, he led two Arctic ski expeditions – one in Greenland and another in Lappland with two blind skiers. He was vice president of public relations for the Sons of Norway from 1982-86. In 1986, the governor appointed him executive director of the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, a position he held for 27 years until he retired. During his tenure, he established the largest youth sporting event in the U.S. and led the development of $300 million of sports facilities in Minnesota, including the nation’s largest amateur sports facility in the nation.
Dr. Alan R. Hopeman '42
Dr. Alan Hopeman, Minneapolis, Minn., served in the U.S. Army as an enlisted medic and Medical Service Corps officer during World War II. Completing medical school in 1950, he returned to the army as a medical officer and served until 1970. His leadership was widely recognized in the field of cardiothoracic surgery. His second career was in academic surgery as professor of surgery at the universities of Missouri, Nebraska and Colorado. At each of these medical schools, he received the Golden Apple Award for teaching from the students. In 1985, he was awarded professor emeritus of surgery from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center based at Denver General Hospital. He provided extraordinary public relations to the hospital community and gave freely of his time to his patients, medical students and residents.
Dr. Craig J. Lambrecht '83
Dr. Craig Lambrecht, Bismarck, N.D., is responsible for operations for Sanford Health west region, which includes several facilities in western North Dakota. He became president/CEO of Medcenter One, Bismarck, in 2010 and guided the health system’s merger with Sanford Health. He is board certified in emergency medicine. He was a 30-year member of the North Dakota National Guard and served two wartime deployments to Iraq. During his second deployment, Lambrecht built up a struggling pediatric burn clinic, the only one in Iraq, by gathering thousands of dollars of donated supplies and cash donations. He retired from the National Guard as a colonel. He earned degrees in international relations and biology from Concordia and a medical degree from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He holds three master’s degrees: health services administration, public health/occupational medicine and business administration.
Dr. Howard O. Nornes '53
Dr. Howard Nornes, Fort Collins, Colo., graduated with a degree in biology. He obtained a doctorate in neuroscience from Purdue University and did postdoctoral research at the University of Lund, Sweden, and the Max Planck Institute, Göttingen, Germany. He is professor emeritus of neuroscience at Colorado State University and continues to teach courses in neuroplasticity of the adult brain in their continuing education program. His major research interest was the development and regeneration of the nervous system, work that promotes healing and recovery of the function of the spinal cord and brain. Through the years he has been involved in community programs to promote peace and social justice.
2015 Sent Forth Award Recipients
Kristi Rendahl '97
Kristi Rendahl is the organizational development advisor of the Center for Victims of Torture in St. Paul, advising centers for victims of torture around the world. She founded Prairie Talks, a speaker series that brings national and international speakers to her hometown of Rugby, N.D., and she is a regular columnist for The Armenian Weekly. Rendahl earned a Master of Arts degree in nonprofit management and a doctorate in public administration from Hamline University. She previously worked with Habitat for Humanity International and served in the Peace Corps in Armenia, where she lived for five years. She currently lives in St. Paul.
Mike Solberg '95
Mike Solberg is president and chief executive officer of Bell State Bank & Trust. He has helped the company grow to be one of the largest independently owned banks in the country. Bell State Bank & Trust’s culture, including its commitment to staff and community, has been highlighted by media outlets from "CBS Evening News" to People magazine. As president of Bell State Bank & Trust, Solberg launched the bank’s “Pay It Forward” project, providing every full-time employee with $1,000 each year to give to individuals, families or organizations in need. Solberg also provides leadership to several organizations. He has served as campaign chair for the United Way of Cass-Clay, board chair for the Trollwood Performing Arts School and is currently on the board of Prairie Heights Community Church, The Bush Foundation, The Guthrie Theater and serves on the Concordia College Board of Regents. He and his wife, Charleen, live in Fargo with their three children.