The Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors has elected new officers and welcomes three new board members for 2022. Carrie Bergquist (RiverView Health) has been selected as Chair, Ryan Wall (American Crystal Sugar) has been selected as Vice-Chair, and Dana Jonsson (First Community Credit Union) has been selected as Treasurer. Lance Norman (RiverView) moves into the immediate Past Chair position for 2022.

The Chamber Board has also selected three new board members. Hallie Fischer (Fischer, Rust, Stock, & Rust, PLLC), Shane Mendez (Crookston Police Department), and Hailee Benson (Brady Martz & Associates, P.C.) have joined the board. The Chamber thanks Molly Hanson (Choice Therapy) and Garrett Kollin (Thrivent Financial) for their many years of commitment, innovative ideas, and perspectives. Their presence will be missed at the Chamber.

The Crookston Area Chamber of Commerce represents more than 200 businesses and organizations in the Crookston area. The Chamber has been active in community development, government relations, business development, and membership services for more than 80 years. The goal of the Chamber is to help improve the business community and help make the Crookston area a great place to live and work. For more information on the Chamber, or to learn how you can get involved, contact Executive Director Mark Landa at 218-281-4320,, or by stopping in to visit at 103 South Broadway in Crookston.

Meet The New Board Members

Hallie Fischer was born and raised in Crookston. She attended school at Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She is an associate attorney at Fischer, Rust, Stock, & Rust, PLLC where she practices family law. She lives in Crookston with her Husband Henry and their daughter. She is excited to be in Crookston after being away for ten years and is happy to be a part of such a close community that is truly home.

Shane Mendez grew up in northern Minnesota. At the age of twenty, he bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii, where he ended up staying for four years. It was a great experience and while he was there he felt an increasing desire to become a Navy SEAL. He enlisted in the US Navy in 1998 and was initially trained as an Information System Technician (IT). After a lot of hard work, tests, and evaluations, he found himself in Coronado CA, where he began Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training (aka BUD/s). SEAL training was everything he had dreamed and dreaded it would be. But ultimately, he did not make the cut. The Navy then reassigned him. He became a Military Police officer (MP) and spent his remaining time in Greece. During his time in Greece, he created and taught an orientation/training program for newly assigned security personnel. When he returned home to Crookston he enrolled at the University of Minnesota Crookston (UMC) and completed his degree in Applied Studies. For him this consisted of a combination of Aviation and Law Enforcement studies. In 2007, he was hired at the Crookston Police Department (CPD) as a Police Officer and in 2012 was promoted to a supervisor position (Patrol Sergeant). During his time with the CPD, he has trained and mentored new officers, obtained training in crisis negotiation, became a member of the Grand Forks Crisis Negation team, taught de-escalation classes to officers, recruited UMC students to become members of the CPD Reserve Program, and created a CPD Reserve training program which he also taught. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from St. Cloud State University where he is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. He is looking to transition out of law enforcement and is looking for a great organization that is a good fit for his unique set of skills, experience, and education.

Hailee Benson is a Senior associate at Brady Mart & Associates, P.C. She graduated from the University of Minnesota – Crookston in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a minor in finance. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing and watching volleyball (GO GOPHERS!), and enjoys spending time outdoors whenever possible! She and her husband have been married for three years and are excited to welcome their first daughter in April.

“I am SO excited to have this opportunity to be a part of the Crookston Area Chamber board to help local businesses, as well as the Crookston community, grow and prosper!”

Pictures of the new board members can be found down below –