About Us

The Heritage Education Commission is an organization developed for the purpose of creating, initiating, and conducting programs and projects which aid in the preservation or restoration of the cultural heritage in the service of the Upper Midwest region.

The Commission's board of directors meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 4:00 pm 1587 30 Ave S,  Moorhead, MN
Commission Members are:



First Year

Evonne Anderson

Evonne has been a Commission member since 1990. She has been archivist most of that time and for the last three years, has been on the committee that judges the book awards. She works at the registration table during the Family History Workshop. Evonne is retired from working in the Communications Office at Concordia College.


Les Bakke


Les Bakke, Information Technology Director Emeritus, MSUM, is a past president of the Heritage Education Commission. He is currently coordinating the Commission's Veteran's Oral History project which is dedicated to collecting oral histories from area veterans, especially WW II era veterans. Les has been a Commission member since 1994. He is also the Commission secretary.


Angie Beaton Angie Beaton joined the Heritage Education Commission in 2015. As a graduate of NDSU’s Public History program, presenting history in a compelling way to the public is a particular passion of mine. I’m very interested in all types of educational opportunities that are outside of a traditional classroom and in providing opportunities for life-long learners to continue their history education. Helping people with family histories is a great way to spark an interest in history that could reach past their particular genealogy. I also have experience working with oral histories – both doing interviews and in transcription work – and feel that oral histories are an excellent resources to capture stories and experiences from members of the community that would otherwise not have a chance to share them. My professional experience with the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County and with the FM Nordic Culture Clubs has further sharpened my interest in helping people learn about their heritage. 2015

Jane Cumber

Jane Cumber has been a member of the Heritage Education Commission since May 2009 and is currently Treasurer. She was President from 2012-2015. She has been employed at NDSU since 1974. She started family history research in the early 1970s by documenting records from elderly relatives both oral and written. She has done family research in ND, MN, WI, Norway, Germany, and Poland.


Alice Ellingsberg

Alice Ellingsberg is a Certified Genealogist and Past National Chairman, Lineage Research Committee, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). Locally she serves as president of the Red River Valley Genealogical Society and Registrar of the North Dakota State Society, NSDAR.


Luana Gilstrap Luana began working on her family history in college. She earned her B.A. in English from UCLA and remained there to earn her Masters in Library Science. She has worked as a genealogical librarian in two different libraries. Over the years she has taught family history courses at colleges, been a presenter at numerous genealogy seminars, and for five years was an instructor in the training program at the Los Angeles Regional Family History Library. Recently she was asked to be the Director of the Fargo LDS Family History Center. Her travels have taken her into courthouses, libraries, and archives across the United States and in England and Ireland. 2016

Lois Johnson

Lois graduated from Moorhead State University in 1980.  Her interest in genealogy began when she took Dr. Clarence Glasrud's Freshman English class "Midwestern Experience". She was the coordinator of volunteers for the genealogy room at the Scandinavian Festival held in June each year in Moorhead, MN.


Kristi Kaiser

With a degree in Zoology from NDSU, Kristi  has worked for more than 20 years in the computer industry at Great Plains/Microsoft.  Beginning her family research in 1976, she was bitten by the geno bug and has been researching ever since.  Her areas of interest for genealogy research include regional history of the Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin as well as countries including Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Germany and Poland. 


Susan Kinkle

Originally my interest in family history came from a desire to prove our family legend that we were related to John Adams. The research indicated that we were not direct descendants but rather only distant cousins. Not long after that I discovered that we were Mayflower descendants and had a few patriots who served in the American Revolution.
During my ten years served on the Devils Lake Historic Preservation Commission, I co-authored three National Register nominations. At the present time I am treasurer for the ND Mayflower Society, treasurer for the ND State Society Daughters of Colonial Wars (DCW) and treasurer for the National Society DCW. I believe in the work of the Heritage Education Commission. Uncovering my family history has brought joy and understanding of who we are to my family. I want to assist others with the journnally


Jim Soderberg Jim Soderberg, a graduate of Dunwoody College of Technology in architectural drafting spent a career as a Certified Professional Supermarket Designer with SUPERVALU, INC and Dakota Refrigeration Inc. Currently, I am semi-retired. I was given a head start with my genealogy as I was fortunate that many family members had spent time researching and documenting our family tree. In 2008, I felt the need to dig deeper so I investigated ancestry.com, and have never stopped. My research has taken me to Sweden, Norway, and China, but what I find most fascinating is my mother’s side that is English & Irish and the connection with American history. I have traced relatives back to the Mayflower, Revolutionary War, and my relation to Abraham Lincoln. I was invited to membership of the Heritage Education Commission in 2014. 2014
Lois Sullivan Lois Sullivan has been a member beginning 2015. I began attending workshops several years ago and it peaked my interest even more in genealogy. Since then I have written 4 books about family histories. While acting director of The Nordic Culture Clubs I worked with so many speakers with varied Scandinavian backgrounds that it became a passion to learn more about family history. 2015
Tony Tilton Tony Tilton is the morning director for ValleyNewsLive and General Manager of Moorhead Community Access Media and Television. Tilton is a graduate and on-call adjunct professor of film and music at MSUM and is a founding chairperson of the Fargo Film Festival as well as the chairman of the annual popular culture festival ValleyCon and Fargo-Moorhead Comic-Con and several other local and regional events and non-profit organizations. 2014
Lauri Winterfeldt Lauri has worked for Moorhead Community Education for more than 25 years, the past 13 as the director of the program. She is also a former city council member from Moorhead. Lauri is a graduate of North Dakota State University and is currently doing doctoral work at that institution. She has lived in Moorhead since 1993 and has two adult children.
Lauri has always been interested in history and knowing more about her German ancestors. She's spent time in court houses and historical societies in southeastern Minnesota trying to find out as much as she can about her roots. Public service and education are a strong part of her family legacy.
Currently, Lauri is busy focusing on her future. She is engaged to Jim Miller and they plan to be married at the Germanic American Institute in St. Paul in May of 2013.

Margaret Zeren

Margaret's interest in Family History Research started in High School with the required project to write her family history that was when she learned that her Irish Great Great Grandfather was a ship captain on the Great Lakes. Since then, she has attended the HEC Family History workshop for over 25 years and joined the Commission in 2011. She was a presenter at the 2012 workshop, served as Vice President and is the current President.