In June, 2011, I began my 30th year with the Minnesota Department of Corrections. I graduated from St. Cloud State University in March of 1982. This was during a time when the economy was poor and getting a job with no experience was difficult. In June 1982, I started at the Oak Park Heights Prison as a Correctional Officer (we were called Correctional Counselors when I was hired). I was an officer in that maximum security prison for over four years, but was not fulfilled with my job and wanted different challenges.
I had a background in accounting and transferred to the facility Administrative Division in 1986. I worked in several finance positions and in 1996 I was promoted to Finance Director at the Oak Park Heights prison. I later worked as Finance Director at the Lino Lakes and Stillwater prisons. As Finance Director, I was responsible for many support functions in the prison, including Offender Property and Canteen. I was also Officer-of- the-Day, serving as the administrative contact for emergency situations after regular business hours. This background provided me with exposure to managing more complex functions within a correctional environment.
I was promoted to Associate Warden when the Rush City prison opened in 1999. Between 1999 and 2008 I worked as an Associate Warden at the Oak Park Heights and Stillwater Prisons.
In 2002, I served as Chief Financial Officer for DOC for eighteen months. This provided me an opportunity to manage at the DOC Agency level. It also required working with the legislature for two sessions.