​Making An Impact

David Mjolsness 
David L Mjolsness ’78 – Senior Photographer 
David Mjolsness, Ridgewater Class of ’78, is a senior photographer for John Deere.
"My education at Willmar/Ridgewater prepared me well for my career. My instructors instilled in me that graduation was only the beginning of my education and if I wanted to succeed, I needed to continue on a path of continual learning. I'm fortunate to have had these instructors." - David
 At Ridgewater (WAVTI): 1976-1978 – AA degree in Photography
David attended Ridgewater (Willmar Area Vocational Technical Institute) after waiting for a spot to open in the Professional Photographic Technology program. While waiting for a spot to open, he attended Moorhead AVTI, enrolled in their Sales and Marketing program. The addition of this abbreviated education benefited him, as most of his career, his photography, has been used for advertising purpose. He graduated with honors from the Ridgewater program.  
“Willmar/WAVTI now Ridgewater College, holds a special place in my heart, without the education and training I received from the very dedicated and talented instructors at Willmar, my life would have been very different. The friendships I made while attending the Photographic Technology program have lasted decades." - David   
 At Ridgewater (HAVTI): 1978-1979
David attended Ridgewater (Hutchinson Area Vocational Technical Institute) to study Audio Visual Production. His goal at the time was to be a rock and roll recording engineer, at that time he did not realize how the additional education of audio and video basics would end up complementing his career.
In David's current position as part of the John Deere Visual Services departments, his team is instrumental in creating imagery that helps define and promote the brand. The nine person department photographs Deere products, people and customers in the studio and on location. Deere makes an extensive range of agricultural, construction and forestry equipment. Along with residential, golf course and turf care equipment. Our photography assignments can take us anywhere in the world.
After Ridgewater:


2005 to current – Senior Photographer - John Deere
1999 to 2005 – Owned a Photography business in Moorhead, Minnesota
1992 to 1999 - Photographer / Producer - Jones and Thomas Advertising Agency - producing network television and nationwide radio ads
1988 to 1992 - Owned a Photography business in West Fargo, North Dakota - shooting mainly commercial and advertising photography
1982 to 1988 - Manager of photography at A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company
1979 to 1982 - Photographer at A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company - his job encompasses photographing (still, film and video) a very wide
        range of products and applications as well as photographing people in the studio and on location. He traveled around the country and 
        the world
1978 to 1979 - Attended Hutchinson AVTI to study Audio Visual Production
1978 to 1979 -Staff assistant at Winona School of Professional Photography in Winona Lake, Indiana