Region 9 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2022 Region 9 award winners! Thank you for your contributions to the health and human services in the region.

Outstanding Child Foster Care: Chris and Holly Aasen
Community Collaboration: The Family Facilitator Program
Individual Distinguished Service to MSSA: Andrea Loken-Schmidt, MN Department of Human Services
Outstanding Staff Achievement:
Naomi Baker, Ecumen Pathstone
Outstanding Treatment Foster Care: Amanda and Gary Clipp

Regional Trainings

Summer Conference. This annual event is co-sponsored by MSSA Region 9 and the MSU, Mankato Social Work Department. More information can be found on the event page.

Fall Conference. The 2021 conference was held virtually on September 24. More information about the training can be found on the event page.

Legislative Listening Sessions

Are you a leader of a health and human services organization in the Region 9 area? Join us at our Region 9 Legislative Listening Sessions, where local leaders get the opportunity to connect directly with elected officials. Email Bonnie Stanton, Region 9 Legislative Chair, at [email protected] for more information.

2022 Region 9 Event Calendar

June 16 & 17: Region 9 Summer Conference (virtual event)
September 23:
Region 9 Fall Conference (virtual event)

Region 9 Board Orientation

Download the Region 9 Board Orientation PowerPoint (PPT) or view a narrated version here.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Partnership & Scholarships

The Department of Social Work at Minnesota State University, Mankato is an MSSA agency member and is represented on the Region 9 board. Department faculty regularly present at the Region 9 and Annual Conference.

Each year, MSSA Region 9 provides scholarships for students in the BSSW and MSW programs at MSU Mankato. For more information, click here.

2022-2023 Scholarship Recipients
Alyssa Nelson (BSSW Recipient)
Leah Larson (BSSW Recipient)
Karmy Luker (MSW Recipient)
Jessica Schisel (MSW Recipient)

Contact Information

For more information about getting involved with Region 9 contact Gretchen Rialson.
Full NamePositionOrganization
Jade Blekestad-KralSecretarySibley County Public Health & Human Services
Rhonda FjeldbergTreasurerMinnesota River Area Agency on Aging Inc
Tyler BergLegislative ChairEON, Inc.
Bonnie StantonLegislative ChairNexus- A Family of Treatment Programs
Laura BeneschAwards ChairMSU Mankato
Gretchen RialsonMembership ChairCity of Mankato - Mankato/Blue Earth County EDA
Dawn Zollars, owner/therapistConference ChairBuilding Resilience Counseling, LLC
Bill AndersonCommittee MemberMSU Mankato
Katarina BarrettCommittee Member 
Angela BrunsCommittee MemberBrown County Family Services
Laura GeburCommittee MemberMinnesota State University, Mankato
Debra GohaganCommittee MemberMSU Mankato
Rosalie GramsCommittee Member 
Amanda Jane HoffCommittee MemberMSU Mankato
Tara JohnsonCommittee MemberWatonwan County Human Services
Tricia M. JohnsonCommittee MemberLeo A. Hoffmann Center, Inc.
Grace KnutsonCommittee MemberLutheran Social Service of MN
Judi LeibbrandCommittee MemberHarry Meyering Center
Andrea R. Loken-SchmidtCommittee MemberMN Department of Human Services
Kristen MullenCommittee MemberMinnesota River Area Agency on Aging Inc
Kelly NelsonCommittee MemberAllina Health
David SellnowCommittee MemberNicollet County Health and Human Services
Sue SerbusCommittee MemberHorizon Homes
Stephanie SurdyCommittee MemberNicollet County Health and Human Services
Scott VaskeCommittee MemberWellcome Manor Family Services
CompanyState ProvinceCity
Aging Services for CommunitiesMNMontgomery
Blue Earth County Human ServicesMNMankato
Brown County Family ServicesMNNew Ulm
Counseling Services of Southern MinnesotaMNSaint Peter
EON, Inc.MNNew Ulm
Harry Meyering CenterMNMankato
Horizon HomesMNMankato
Le Sueur County Human ServicesMNLe Center
Leo A. Hoffmann Center, Inc.MNSaint Peter
Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging IncMNMankato
MN Valley Action Council IncMNMankato
MSU MankatoMNMankato
Nicollet County Health and Human ServicesMNSaint Peter
Sibley County Public Health & Human ServicesMNGaylord
South Central CollegeMNNorth Mankato
The Salvation Army - MankatoMNMankato
Watonwan County Human ServicesMNSaint James
Wellcome Manor Family ServicesMNGarden City