GMNP welcomes new board members!

The GMNP is excited to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors: Anne Blackhurst, Terry Gaalswyk and Anna Wasescha. The bring extensive knowledge and experience with high education and economic development issues, and we look forward to working with them to develop policies and programs that will help Greater Minnesota communities and businesses grow.

Here is more information about our newest board members:

Dr. Anne Blackhurst has more than 30 years of higher education experience in small liberal arts colleges, mid-size comprehensive public universities, and a large research-intensive institution, including 10 years of successful experience in academic leadership roles. She served as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) before becoming the 11th president in 2014.  As president of MSUM, Blackhurst is an active participant in workforce and economic development initiatives in the Fargo-Moorhead community. She serves on the board of directors for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and Downtown Moorhead, Inc.

Dr. Terry Gaalswyk has more than 20 years of service in higher education including universities & community/technical colleges. Gaalswyk believes in the mission of community & technical colleges and has committed his professional career to serving rural communities in service to this mission, our students, high schools and industry partners. Gaalswyk began his service as president of Minnesota West Community & Technical College in July 2015.  Minnesota West is committed to excellence and has been recognized regionally and nationally as a top-performing college relative student success and online education. As a recovering mathematics teacher, he is equally proud of his vocational background, having worked alongside his parents building custom countertops and cabinets in a family-owned business.

As president of West Central Initiative, Dr. Anna Wasescha focuses on projects that are critical to the quality of life in west central Minnesota and that strengthen its economic and social fabric. Before joining West Central Initiative in May 2017, Wasescha was president of Middlesex Community College, Middletown, Conn., from 2011-2017, and provost of Minnesota State Community & Technical College, Fergus Falls, from 2007-2011. During this time, she expanded programs that strengthened student engagement with civic life and deepened their understanding of the global sustainability movement.  She also led efforts to revitalize relationships with community and develop new programs focused on workforce needs.