Region 9 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 Region 9 award winners! Thank you for your contributions to the health and human services in the region.

Outstanding Child Foster Care: Sara and Robert Besweinger
Outstanding Retiree: Nancy Haag, MN Valley Action Council
Outstanding Staff Achievement: Shelter Program and Housing Staff, Partners in Housing
Outstanding Treatment Foster Care: Tessa Donato

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. This year's conference will be held virtually on September 24. More information about the training can be found on the event page.

Dignitaries Breakfasts

As part of MSSA Region 9's commitment to public policy and advocacy, Dignitaries Breakfasts are held two to three times per year. State legislators, county commissioners, and health and human service agency directors (both public and private) are invited to have an open forum to discuss regional health and human service-related issues. This is a great opportunity for members to bring their thoughts and concerns directly to their lawmakers.

2021 Region 9 Event Calendar

September 24: 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 two $1,000 scholarships for students in the BSW and MSW programs at MSU, Mankato. For more information, click here.

2020-2021 Scholarship Recipients
Gelila Wondimu (BSSW Recipient)
Katelin Farmer (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 Hiller-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 ChairSouth Central Minnesota Multi-County HRA
Dawn ZollarsConference ChairSurdy Psychological Services
Bill AndersonCommittee MemberMSU Mankato
Katarina BarrettCommittee MemberCounseling Services of Southern Minnesota
Angela BrunsCommittee MemberBrown County Family Services
Debra GohaganCommittee MemberMSU Mankato
Rosalie GramsCommittee Member 
Joniesha HayesCommittee MemberMSU Mankato
Tara JohnsonCommittee MemberWatonwan County Human Services
Tricia M. JohnsonCommittee MemberLeo A. Hoffmann Center, Inc.
Judi LeibbrandCommittee MemberHarry Meyering Center
Andrea R. Loken-SchmidtCommittee MemberMN Department of Human Services
Kelly NelsonCommittee MemberCounseling Services of Southern Minnesota
David SellnowCommittee MemberNicollet County Health and Human Services
Sue SerbusCommittee MemberHorizon Homes
Stephanie SurdyCommittee MemberNicollet County Health and Human Services
Susan UhdeCommittee Member 
Scott VaskeCommittee MemberWellcome Manor Family Services
Christina ZeiseCommittee MemberMSSA
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
Surdy Psychological ServicesMNMankato
Watonwan County Human ServicesMNSaint James
Wellcome Manor Family ServicesMNGarden City