HR Advisory Board

Kelley Blank
WA Group

Kelley Blank is the current Director of Human Resources at WA Group in Winona. She has been with WA Group for nearly 3 years.

Prior to her current role, she worked as an HR Generalist for Festival Foods.

Kelley has been actively working in the Human Resources field for over 6 years.

Kelley graduated from Viterbo University and also serves on the Habitat for Humanity HR committee.

Stephanie Hemker
Thern, Inc.

Stephanie started as an HR assistant at Thern, Inc. 12 years ago and served as an HR Generalist until she was promoted to HR Manager in May of 2018.

Stephanie is originally from northeast Iowa, moving to Winona after interviewing at Thern.

She is an avid softball and volleyball player during the summer.

She also enjoys being with her kids, camping, hiking, biking, boating, and cuddling up with some great books.

Terrie Klug
Behrens Manufacturing

Terrie Klug is a WSU alumni who graduated with a degree in Human Resources Management. She was active in the collegiate SHRM group.

She is actively involved in the Winona Area Safety Council and has served on their Board of Directors and has held the roles of President and Vice President in the past.

She held the role of HR Manager at her previous job at Boelter Industries for 13 years.

Prior to that, she was employed as a Sr. Staffing Specialist at Manpower for seven years where she received a vast amount of experience in Human Resources from recruiting, hiring, training, work comp, and more.

She was an instrumental part of the team in implementing and maintaining ISO 900 Certification.

Since 2014, she has been the Director of Human Resources at Behrens Manufacturing in Winona, MN.

Beth Nelson
Mayo Clinic

Beth has worked for Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare (MCHS FH) in La Crosse, Wisconsin, for 12 years.

Her title is currently HR Senior Advisor. While her title has changed over the years, she has always worked in Employee Relations.

Prior to working at MCHS, she was the Manager of Assisted Living for Winona Health.

She worked at Winona Health for 19 years, starting as a Therapeutic Recreation Therapist for the nursing home and behavioral health department for 5 years before moving into managing the Assisted Living.

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and a Master of Community Counseling from Winona State University.

She has lived in the Winona area for 36 years. She feels very fortunate to live in this beautiful area in small house overlooking the Mississippi River.

She loves the outdoors, music, and art, making Winona the perfect place to live!

Tabitha Newton

Tabitha Newton is an experienced human resources leader with SHRM-SCP, SPHR and CCP professional certifications.

Tabitha is a member of the national SHRM chapter and serves on the Winona Area SHRM Board as the Membership Director and has been an active member of the Chippewa Valley SHRM Chapter where she served as the College Relations Coordinator for UW-Eau Claire.  She holds a Master’s degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch University and a Bachelor’s degree in English from UW-Parkside.

Tabitha is from southeastern Wisconsin and has relocated to the Winona and works for Fastenal Company as an HR Diversity & Compliance Manager. Prior to this, she worked for an organizations in the Chippewa Valley and a company on the east coast focusing primarily in the areas of leadership, Compensation Management and Organizational Development and Talent Management.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, traveling and walking.

Chris Robson

Chris began in the employee benefits insurance industry in 2002 at a medical third-party administrator, filing claims and doing clerical work.

A few months after starting, he moved to manage the department that handled enrollment of employees into health plans, and then, shortly thereafter, he moved into account management.

In 2010, Chris started on the insurance agency side of the business and was an account manager with a large agency in Wisconsin for about three years before moving back to Rochester in 2015 into a sales position at North Risk Partners.

In July of 2019, he moved to an agency in Plymouth, Minnesota, called NFP, as a senior account executive until February of 2020.

In January of 2019, Chris was elected to be the president of the Rochester Human Resources Association, a local chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM). Chris has expertise in strategic planning and creation of employee benefit plans for employers.

In addition, Chris owned a small fishing resort in Northern Wisconsin for several years, where he learned the ins and outs of running a small business, including everything from managing insurance to employees, as well as budgeting, customer service, and more.

Chris currently lives in Rochester, Minnesota, with his fiancé Holland and 4 cats.

Rebecca Rowe, SHRM-CP
City of La Crosse

Rebecca is employed by the City of La Crosse, WI as the Director of Human Resources.

She has earned multiple degrees in Human Resource Management including:

  • Associate’s degree in Human Resource Management | Western Technical College
  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resource Management| University of Wisconsin – Stout
  • Master’s degree in Training and Human Resource Development |University of Wisconsin – Stout

Rebecca has been actively working in the Human Resources field for 10 years primarily working in the manufacturing industry, but nearly 3 years ago made the switch to the public sector.

She has been actively involved with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) since college, serving on the college Board of Directors in a Secretary role.

She has been on the Board of Directors for seven years and is currently the President of the Winona Area SHRM chapter, Professional Development Director for MNSHRM and a member of SHRMs emerging Professionals Advisory Council (EPAC).

She is also certified as a Certified Professional from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM-CP) as of July 2018.

Elizabeth Ressie
Dairyland Power Cooperative

Elizabeth Ressie is the Director of Human Resources for Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse where she leads Dairyland’s Human Resources Team. Ressie joined Dairyland as Senior Human Resources Business Consultant in January 2020.

Prior to joining Dairyland, Ressie was the Director of Human Resources for BIC Graphic, which she joined in 2014.

She was a strategic Human Resources leader within the organization, focused on leading a multi-site HR team while designing, planning, and implementing HR solutions by establishing HR processes, programs, and policies, including benefits, compensation, employee relations, HR metrics/data analysis, leadership development, performance management, rewards, and recognition, staffing forecast/labor management, and succession planning.

Before joining BIC Graphic, Ressie was an HR Generalist for Peerless Chain Company and McNeilus Companies, Inc.

Ressie is a graduate of WSU with a dual degree in Human Resources and Business Administration. She also earned her Master of Human Resources Management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

She is certified as a Senior Certified Professional from the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM-SCP) and as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) from the HR Certification Institute.

Melissa Shore
WNB Financial, N.A.

Melisssa Shore graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a BS in Business Management with an emphasis in Human Resources.

After graduation Melissa worked as an HR Generalist for 2 years in Manufacturing before starting at WNB Financial where Melissa has been for 7.5 years.

Melissa was an HR Assistant for 5.5 years and has been the SVP Chief Human Resources Officer for 2 years.

Melissa also serves as the secretary for the Winona Area SHRM Chapter.

Contact the Business Administration Department
Business Administration Department

Somsen Hall 324

Office Hours
Monday-Friday: 8am-4:30pm

Liz Schwanke
Advising Specialist
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Dr. Kubilay Gok
Department Chair


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Alysa Sackreiter
Office Manager


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