Three education supporters join Ridgewater Foundation Board
November 28, 2022
WILLMAR and HUTCHINSON, MN – The Ridgewater College Foundation is proud to announce three new members to its board of community volunteers: Amber Erickson of Hutchinson, Kristie Haefner of Litchfield, and Leslie Valiant of Willmar.
“I am thrilled to add Amber, Kristie and Leslie to our Foundation Board,” said Kelly Magnuson, Ridgewater Foundation executive director. “They each bring a unique perspective from industry, are well-known and engaged in the regional community, and are strong supporters for Ridgewater College.”
Amber Erickson is a social producer for a company called Goodbye Vanilla, specializing in social media marketing and video production development.
Erickson is a member of the Think Local committee and Hutchinson Area Dollars for Scholars. She has also served on the River Song Music Festival Board, Hutchinson Jaycee Water Carnival Committee and has volunteered for other local non-profit organizations.
Erickson and her husband, Andrew, reside in Hutchinson with their five children: Deaja, Aiden, Isabella, Ayla, and Tryceton. Erickson enjoys spending time with her family, walking, biking, and learning more about gardening.
Kristie Haefner is a 2002 alumnus of Ridgewater College who rounded out her college experience at Winona State University in 2004 with an undergraduate degree in Human Resources Management. She joined the team at Doosan Bobcat in 2020 as a human resources manager supporting multiple manufacturing sites. Her work history involves experience in non-profits, hospitality, accounting, consulting, and corporate manufacturing.
Haefner has been a board member with United Way of West Central MN since 2014, serving as secretary, president, Community Investments Committee chair, Special Events committee member, and more. Haefner is also a 2016 alumnus of the Vision 2040 program and briefly served on the marketing committee. A proud graduate of Ridgewater College, she is excited to be back serving her alma mater as a volunteer.
Haefner and her family recently relocated to Litchfield, MN, and enjoy exploring their new community. She enjoys being anywhere with her husband, Travis, and their children Gabriel and Madelyn.
Leslie Valiant holds an Accounting associate degree from the former Willmar Vo-Tech and Accounting and Business Administration degrees from St. Scholastica. Her work experience includes accounting and finance work for the Litchfield Public Utilities Commission and the city of St. Joseph, and city administration for Spicer and now Willmar. She has owned her own business and was the gambling manager for the Litchfield Baseball Association for 12 years.
Valiant enjoys working with people and finding creative ways to support and encourage economic development. Her hobbies include golfing, traveling and biking. In her spare time, Valiant is very involved with her grandchildren.
Erickson, Haefner, and Valiant will fill vacancies left by Robert Hantge of Hutchinson, Mark Olson, of Willmar, and Eric Lipke, of Stewart, who served one, two and three three-year terms, respectively.