Our Staff

Tim Benz, CFRE, President: Tim came to MISF in January, 2014, as Associate President and became president of MISF on July 1, 2014. His professional background and passion for private and independent education make him the ideal person to lead MISF into the future. As president, Tim has responsibility for overall management of the MISF office and staff. He will lead the creation of a new strategic plan, oversee development, marketing, finance, member retention and recruitment, and assist in evaluating MISF’s programs and services to ensure that MISF schools are receiving the most value from their membership. Tim served in marketing and fundraising roles at the College of Saint Benedict, Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Cretin-Derham Hall, and the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls. Tim is a member of the Minnesota Nonpublic Education Council, a cabinet member of Minnesota Comeback and serves on the board of the Hopkins Early Learning Center. Tim attended private schools through grade 12 and his two sons have attended MISF member schools. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of St. Thomas and has held the Certified Fundraising Executive designation since 2005.

Click here to email Tim.

Michelle Ponsolle, Director of Development and Programs: Michelle joined MISF in August 2010. She held various positions in retail management for 22 years where she was responsible for meeting sales goals, staffing, inventory and merchandising.   This included supervising up to 30 employees. Her experience in development began in 2004 as director of development at a combined private high school and grade school. Her responsibilities there included director of annual giving program, supervisor of development staff, grant writing, project manager and alumni director.  At MISF, Michelle is responsible for advancement efforts.  She manages the STEM program, annual campaign, has responsibility for grant writing, donor relations, developing programs and coordinating admissions/marketing, development, and technology seminars.

Click here to email Michelle.


Michele Skare, Executive Assistant and Office Manager: Michele is a product of 16 years of private education. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and early childhood education from The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, and taught at several preschool programs throughout the Twin Cities. Prior to joining MISF in 2010, she was the office manager and executive assistant to the CEO at a local telecommunications provider. At MISF, Michele provides administrative assistance to Tim Benz, maintains our database and website, oversees our social media, and takes care of our daily office needs.

Click here to email Michele.

Debbie Kaliszewski, Business Manager: Debbie began her career at MISF in September of 2012. She handles all of the accounting functions and provides assistance with HR and insurance compliance. Before coming to MISF, Debbie worked as an accountant at a social service agency for nine years. Prior to that time, she was co-owner of a construction company.


Click here to email Debbie.