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 leads the implementation of the new strategic plan, oversee development, 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 chair of the Minnesota Nonpublic Education Council, serves on the Leadership Council Minnesota Comeback and is a board member of the Hopkins Early Learning Center. Tim attended private schools through grade 12 and his two sons have attended MISF member schools. Tim was recognized as the Outstanding Professional Fundraiser in 2016 by the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of St. Thomas and has held the Certified Fundraising Executive designation since 2005.
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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.
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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.
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Cassie Simpson, Executive Assistant and Office Manager: Cassie started with MISF in November, 2017. Cassie has previous experience working in development at Bethel University, where she helped raise funds for the Royal Legacy Scholarship and connected alumni and students of the university to one another. She also interned at Schuler Publicity, where she developed her written and interpersonal communication skills. Cassie now serves as the primary point of contact for office communications and keeps MISF’s social media up to date. Cassie also assists with the coordination of various MISF events, meetings, and seminars, as well as the design of marketing materials. Cassie is also a graduate of Central Minnesota Christian School, an MISF member school.
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