Kristine Macken

Meet Kristine! Kristine is our Operations Coordinator. She joined the United Way staff in February 2022. She is a hard worker and we are grateful to have her in our team! "I have spent most of my adult life working in the healthcare and service industry, most of the time working multiple jobs at once. I was starting to feel underwhelmed in my day-to-day work life, and that’s when I heard about a job opening with United Way. Being offered the Operations Coordinator position was a blessing for me. I love helping people and this was my chance to do so on a much bigger scale. I accepted my current position and love coming to work every day. I’m responsible for ensuring our Backpack Program operates smoothly. Our program currently serves five locations, East Grand Forks Headstart, Grand Forks Head Start, New Heights Elementary, South Point Elementary, and Central Middle School. We pack and disperse about 500 bags of food each week during the school year. I also oversee our Kidz Closet Program. We take essential items such as clothing, hygiene products, infant items and more. Families in the Greater Grand Forks area will then put in an application indicating what they need for clothing and hygiene products and we fill their requests if we have what they need. Both programs are volunteer-ran, I coordinate with people in our community looking to give back and help get them scheduled with our programs. Working at United Way is both fun and rewarding. Helping those who are in need and being a part of the community is an amazing feeling." - Kristine Macken Operations Coordinator at United Way

Joe Demester

Meet Joe! Joe is the newest Board Member of United Way. He joined us in December of 2021 and we are happy to have him on board with us. "When I started my professional career at Choice Bank roughly 6 years ago there were a few weeks that Choice Bank played 'office games'. I had no idea the background to why these games were being played but I figured I would take part. After taking part I finally asked, 'why are we playing these games'. I was then told that Choice Bank was taking part in the United Way campaign. I wanted to know more. I then Googled United Way and what United Way is/does. At that moment I realized the impact United Way has on so many people. Each impact may be different. When given the opportunity to join the United Way Board I felt there isn’t a better way to meet and connect with different leaders who all want to contribute to serve the organization and its mission. I am truly proud to serve on the United Way Board." - Joe Demester Business Banker, Choice Bank | Board Member at United Way

Crystal Lundmark

Meet Crystal! Crystal is a regular volunteer at United Way. She helps with our programs and events. We are grateful to have a neighborhood hero like Crystal who's there to help when needed. "I chose to volunteer at United Way as it is my passion to help those in need and underserved populations. I am currently a student at the University of North Dakota pursuing graduate school in Counseling Psychology. With my education, I am learning more about underserved populations, diversity, multiculturalism, and social structures. My goal is to use my education and time at United Way to make a difference in others’ lives and support those in our community. I enjoy being able to help change people’s lives for the better!" - Crystal Lundmark United Way Volunteer | Graduate Student at UND

Calaeb & Jessica

Meet Calaeb and Jessica! Calaeb and his mom Jessica are one of United Way's generous donors and committed volunteers. Yearly, Calaeb put together a bowling tournament to support our Winter Wishlist program. "Winter Wishlist is our favorite United Way program because it allows kids of all ages to learn the true meaning of Christmas. It also provides less fortunate kids with Christmas gifts and necessities." - Calaeb "We choose to volunteer at United Way because we can make a difference in our community. United Way has a wonderful staff that make you feel welcome and they truly appreciate people like my son and I being there to help." - Jessica

Brittany Marynik, LSW

Meet Brittany! Brittany has been with United Way for over a year now and we are lucky to have her on our team. "I chose to work at United Way because it is my passion to improve the lives of people in our community and that is what I get to do everyday when I go to work. Families who are homeless or are at risk of being homeless are an underserved population and at United Way, we get to be part of the change. I make it my mission to assist these families in any way I can and help them overcome challenges and barriers they face when they are trying to make a better life for their children and themselves. My favorite part is being able to build relationships with families in the community and give them hope for a brighter future." - Brittany Marynik, LSW | Social Services Coordinator at United Way

Dr. Terry Brenner

Meet Terry! Terry has been an active Board Member of United Way for over 6 years now. We are thrilled to have him on board with us again this year! "I opted to serve on the United Way Board of Directors because UW is philanthropic and altruistic within the Greater Grand Forks Community. United Way's wrap-around services and programs continue to provide individuals and families with a "leg up" when facing enormous challenges. Oftentimes, these challenges are faced by Grand Forks Public School District students who I've been entrusted with across eighteen campuses. Thus, there is a wonderful connection between servant leadership within United Way and the school district." - Dr. Terry Brenner | Superintendent, Grand Forks Public Schools

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