Kate Williams

President - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Mary (Kate) Williams has lived full-time in her family’s old Lake Home on Big Trout for 19 years.  Her love of camp started at Camp Wabigoniss, as camper and counselor.  She attended St. Catherine's and continued to the University of Minnesota, doing graduate work in horticulture.  Kate spent 20 years teaching biology at Regina High School and Minneapolis Community College.  Her background and passion for camping and teaching led Kate to become deeply involved with Camp Knutson in the early 90's.  She became program director in 2000 and assistant director until her retirement in 2016.  She remains committed and involved with Camp and CKV volunteers as well as serving as president of the Crosslake Historical Society.


Jeannine Acker

Vice President - Camp Knutson Volunteers
Chairperson - Night Under the Stars

Jeannine grew up in Golden Valley, and attended the University of Minnesota Duluth as a journalism major. The majority of her professional career was spent managing trade shows and medical education conferences for several Twin Cities based medical device firms. After her retirement five years ago, Jeannine was searching for a meaningful volunteer opportunity. She found the right fit as a Camp Knutson volunteer. Jeannine is this year’s Night Under the Stars Chairperson. In addition to travel and exploring new places, Jeannine and her husband, Keith, love to spend time boating on the Whitefish Chain!


Laurie Ridgely

Secretary - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Laurie Ridgley is the daughter of a railroad executive who's job moved the family 8 times before she graduated from Rosemount High School.  With a Masters of Science degree in Perinatal Nursing, Laurie worked in Minneapolis and New Jersey loving her 40-year career in caring for moms and babies. Laurie started volunteering at Camp K in 2014, drawn to the children and the Camp's philosophy.  It's hard to beat the heartwarming feeling after a day at Camp K! When Laurie is not at Camp, she enjoys sewing and other craft projects, going on archeology digs, rock hunting, gardening and most of all visiting her grandchildren.


Mardy Brodil

Treasurer - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Mardy grew up in Iowa and upon HS graduation moved to Omaha, NE to continue her education in finance where she met her husband, Joe.  She and Joe moved to MN in 1974.  During her career Mardy has volunteered her time at various organizations working with and for kids.  Upon her retirement from BCBSMN in 2010 Mardy and Joe relocated to the Crosslake area.  Mardy and Joe both strongly believe in giving back to the community – Joe is the AIS Director for WAPOA and Mardy has been volunteering at Camp Knutson since 2011.  In addition to volunteering at the camp, Mardy enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, golfing and traveling.


Marilyn Schonenman

Marketing / Communications Chair - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Marilyn Schoneman was born in Oklahoma, moving to Minnesota at age five in order for her sister to attend the Minnesota School for the Deaf.  Upon graduation she attended a business school in Minneapolis.  Her working career including working as a secretary, bookkeeper, and an employment recruiter.  In the past she became involved with the camp while working with publicity for the Taste Luncheon and Sunday Funday. She has enjoyed meeting Camp Knutson volunteers.  She enjoys gardening, cooking, baking, and spending time with family and friends.


Ginny Hersey

Volunteer Coordinator - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Ginny Hersey grew up in St. Louis Park, MN, graduated from St. Cloud University, and earned an MA from the U of M.  She taught in the elementary grades over a 40-year span for Wayzata Schools with an interim career in law firm management in downtown Minneapolis. At retirement in 2004, Ginny and Ken built a home on Fox Lake. With the new Crosslake Area Library, she developed the children’s program, and continued for ten years.  Ginny discovered Camp in 2007, serving in many aspects of Night Under the Stars, as Co-Chair of the Taste Luncheon fundraiser, as well as working with campers and special projects.  She currently enjoys coordinating volunteer opportunities. Ginny is a fan of bridge, mahjongg; loves travel and spending time with family and friends at the “cabin”.


Mary Nielsen

Membership Coordinator - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Mary Nielsen is a "sunbird", migrating from her Atlanta home north to her Pequot Lakes cabin when temperatures climb above 80 in Georgia. She and husband Dave bought their cabin in 2001 after vacationing on the Whitefish Chain with family for 20 years. Mary's involvement at Camp K began with fundraising and craft activities. When not at camp or on the lake, she practices Pilates at Encompassing Beauty in Crosslake where she will be teaching yoga classes this summer. An avid genealogist, Mary is active in Daughters of the American Revolution in Georgia. She and Dave (a Delta pilot) travel extensively and have a daughter in New York and son in Australia. 


Jean Jones

Marketing & Communications Assistant - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Jean Jones is a Nebraska native, landing at their 100 year old Lakes area home for the summer.  Her Doctor of Education degree led her to work with research, teaching, community planning, and marketing at University of NE and Concordia University.  She was drawn to the fundraising activities at Camp and was instrumental in creating the first website and Greater Giving platform for Night Under the Stars.  When she isn’t glued to the computer, she spends time on the family business, gardening, playing the piano, and traveling, mostly to see her grandchildren. She loves the opportunities the Camp offers, as well as the friendships she has made.


Lori Nelson

Past President - Camp Knutson Volunteers

Lori Nelson was born and raised in St. Paul, MN.  After she married Herb, they moved to Cottage Grove and lived there for 29 years, raising two daughters.  When Herb retired in 2018, they decided to leave the cities and enjoy their retirement “up north", where they bought a fixer upper on Lake Edward in Merrifield.  While looking for things to do, Lori came across Camp Knutson and has been hooked on volunteering with the fundraisers, tailgating and the beading program ever since. She is grateful for the many new friends she has made through volunteering at camp.  Lori enjoys spending time with three grandkids, church activities, traveling, stamping cards, crafts, fishing, serving at two soup kitchens and spending time with family and friends.


Jared Griffin

Senior Camp Director - Staff

Jared Griffin has been onboard as senior director since June 2015.  He grew up on farm in Iowa and has background as a special education teacher.  He joins us after several years of working as the program director for a special needs camp near the boundary waters. Jared and his wife, Jo, met while working at a summer camp. Jo is an occupational therapist. Jared and Jo are blessed to be raising their two daughters Payton (3) and Sadie (1) at camp.


Caitlin Malin

Program Director - Staff

Caitlin was a Camp K summer staff for three summers and became a part of the year round leadership team after graduating from UW-La Crosse in 2015. Caitlin is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation and Child Life Specialist. Caitlin grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and her passion to work with people with identified needs stems from her younger brother, who has born with Down syndrome. Camp Knutson has given her the opportunity to work alongside those who share their endless love, energy, and compassion for others. When Caitlin is not at camp, she loves spending time with her dog Cooper, serves as a First Responder and Firefighter, loves being outdoors, hiking, taking naps, playing sports, and spending time with family and friends!