Russ joined the SVAS Board in March 2006. Even though their successful businesses, Earthmovers and X-Press Mart, and family keep them extremely busy, Russ and his wife Jeanne still find time to be involved in the community. Whether it’s personally helping to build Habitat for Humanity homes, serving on local nonprofit organizational boards, or contributing to worthy causes (including their longtime financial support of the SVAS), Russ and Jeanne have definitely given back to Minot. They try to steal some time in the summer for themselves and their two small dogs, Gracie and Angel, at the lake. Russ also enjoys flying model airplanes and has helped the Minot Aircraft Modelers make their flying field one of the finest in ND .This field was also the home to the “Christmas in July” fundraiser Jeanne and Russ single-handedly organized that raised several hundred dollars for the Animal Shelter in 2006. Russ has sold Earthmovers and is now a consultant for Statoil in Williston. SVAS BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kris Warmoth-President (2019)
Kris Warmoth was raised in Southern California and moved to the Minot area in 1999. The oldest of 8 children she grew up with cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and ducks. An avid supporter of animal rights, Kris has over the years supported the advancement of products that do not use animal testing and is a long-time supporter of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the World Wildlife Federation. She recently joined the Board of Directors for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter and looks forward to assisting this group in their efforts to help animals. Kris currently works for Minot State University as the Dean for the Center for Extended Learning. She completed her Bachelors and Masters at San Diego State and her doctorate in Education from the University of San Diego. She hopes to help promote the shelter by volunteering her skills in organizing events and managing large projects. She currently has two cats, Bob and Junior. Bob is 19 years old and won her heart when she saw him in a box full of kittens that were being given away in front of a grocery store. Junior was adopted from the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter in Rancho Santa Fe, California and he is 14 years old. Both her kitties were born in California, but love North Dakota!
Sheila Miller - Secretary(2017)
Sheila is a Minot native who has been married to her husband, Mark, for eighteen years. They have a five year old husky/shepherd mix, Sophie, that was adopted from SVAS about three years ago. She is a Certified Public Accountant with degrees from Minot State University in accounting and management. She has over 20 years experience in accounting and finance and is currently employed as Vice President of Finance for Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. She is hoping to bring her expertise in finance and fundraising along with a lifetime love for animals to help the SVAS sustain the good work it does for animals.
Dr. Dyan Underhill - Director(2019)
Dyan Whitlow Underhill was raised in Michigan. As a proud military wife, she has lived many places with her husband and their two children. She came to Minot in 2013. Dyan is a strong community activist, best known for her literary work involving Read Across America and Read for the Record. More recently, Dyan founded the Read to the Animals program in partnership with the Souris Valley Animal Shelter (SVAS) in 2016. She recently joined the Board of Directors in 2016. As an avid supporter of stray cat initiatives, animal adoption vs. buying, and shelter animal socialization, she looks forward to assisting the Board in education and community outreach. Dyan supports the National Mill Dog Rescue and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Dyan currently works for Pearson in Sales Operations. She has a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Denver, a Master’s degree in Education Leadership from the George Washington University, a Masters degree in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Charleston. Dyan and her family have two cats, Stella McCartney and Vera Wang — along with their dog Bo (chocolate lab). Bo was adopted from SVAS in 2016 and is currently being certified as a therapy dog through the American Kennel Club. He is her running partner, in warmer weather.
Laura Thomas - Director (2018)
Laura was born and raised on a farm in Bottineau North Dakota. As a child Laura spent countless hours a day caring for all her farm cats. She moved to Minot and graduated from Minot State University in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Laura is currently employed with a company as a Regional Human Resources Manager. Laura and her Husband CJ call Minot home. They are the proud parents of four children, Kemper (12) Yorkshire terrier rescue, Pretzel (12) calico, Neko (11) korat and Panda (10) she was adopted from the SVAS 8 years ago. Laura is excited to be part of this organization, as animals are a very important part of her life.
Jennifer Burdick - Director (2018)
Jenn was born and raised in the Minot area. She earned her BA in Elementary Education and Special Education from Minot State University. She started teaching Elementary Special Education while earning a MS in Special Education, as well as a credential in Early Childhood Special Education. She is currently the Behavior Strategist at Edison Elementary. Jenn was raised to care for animals and people alike. Joining the Board of Directors for the Souris Valley Animal Shelter will be her first experience in a non-profit organization, but she is excited to learn and contribute. She has owned dogs throughout her life, and recently adopted a lab mix named Abby.
Al Schmidt - Director (2018)
Al is from Seattle, WA and currently resides in Des Lacs, ND. He has been in law enforcement for last 22 years And is presently the Berthold Chief of Police. He and his wife Shiela have six children and three dogs Milli, Vinny, and Barkley. In his free time Al is a football strength coach, youth baseball coach, and an amateur bodybuilder
Leann Mellum - Director (2018)
Leann was born & raised on a small grains family farm in ND. She grew up caring for the farm cats, dogs, cattle, horses and bison – often delivering medical attention to the animals when needed. She earned her BA in Communication from the University of North Dakota and spent many years working for the Grand Forks Herald. Later, she worked in Enrollment Services at Dakota College at Bottineau before relocating to Minot, ND. Currently, Leann is the Marketing Director at Norsk Høstfest, a 501(c). She is active with the Minot Area Chamber’s Ambassadors Committee, The Optimist Club, iMagicon – Minot’s comic con, Sons of Norway Thor Lodge and the Scandinavian Heritage Association. Leann is a proud rescue “mother” to her two fully clawed cats, Renegade & Felony, and two basset hounds, Ruby & Daisy, and is an outspoken advocate against the practice of declawing.
Emily Schenfisch - Director (2018)
Emily was born in Barney, GA, a small town in South Georgia. She grew up on a farm there that had many farm dogs and cats that she ran and played with for hours on end. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a BA in Public Relations. In 2012, Emily moved to Minot, with her husband Tanner, who is originally from Makoti, ND. They then moved to Velva in 2013. Emily is Assistant Manager of Loan Operations for First International Bank and Trust, in Minot. She is mother to one fur baby, a red heeler border collie mix, Junebug, who keeps her busy every day. Emily is also an alumni of Women’s Leadership Minot and member of the Star City Golf Course in Velva. Emily is very excited to put her experience to work at the SVAS.
Russ Gohl-Associate Director
Russ joined the SVAS Board in March 2006. Even though their successful businesses, Earthmovers and X-Press Mart, and family keep them extremely busy, Russ and his wife Jeanne still find time to be involved in the community. Whether it’s personally helping to build Habitat for Humanity homes, serving on local nonprofit organizational boards, or contributing to worthy causes (including their longtime financial support of the SVAS), Russ and Jeanne have definitely given back to Minot. They try to steal some time in the summer for themselves and their two small dogs, Gracie and Angel, at the lake. Russ also enjoys flying model airplanes and has helped the Minot Aircraft Modelers make their flying field one of the finest in ND .This field was also the home to the “Christmas in July” fundraiser Jeanne and Russ single-handedly organized that raised several hundred dollars for the Animal Shelter in 2006. Russ has sold Earthmovers and is now a consultant for Statoil in Williston.
Mia Farstad-Associate Director
Mia Farstad graduated from St. Catherine University located in St. Paul, MN. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration: Marketing and Management, with an emphasis in Marketing. Originally from Champlin (MN), Mia moved to Minot in 2014 to be with her husband Shane, who is originally from Minot. Mia is the Marketing Director of the Minot Area Development Corporation (MADC). Mia began working at MADC in 2014, MADC is dedicated to building and supporting a resilient, sustainable, and diversified economy to ensure Minot is the right location for businesses and families. Mia is a member of Minot Young Professionals (YP), Kiwanis, and has also served in Junior Achievement.