Click the staff member to read their bio

Donna Dempewolf
Sandy Vesledahl
Office Administrator

Sandy is a lifelong Northfield person, growing up on a farm south of Northfield and graduating from Northfield High School. She spent several years in the banking industry and also has a very extensive non-profit background. She has been an active volunteer with the Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration since 1983 serving in various positions including General Chairperson of the celebration, secretary, Board Director and currently as the treasurer.  She has a deep love for animals and is very involved in volunteering with the Prairie's Edge Humane Society in Northfield, including fostering dogs. Sandy resides in Northfield with her Shiba Inu dog Fletcher. 

Greg Ennis
Children's Ministry Programming Coordinator

I am so excited to join the team at the Northfield United Methodist Church.  I thought I’d take a moment to share somethings about myself.

I grew up in Northfield and graduated in the class of 1999.  I went to Hamilton College in upstate New York. While I was there, I studied abroad in Ghana for one semester.  After college I participated in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Seattle, WA and worked in a homeless shelter.  A few years later I started seminary In Berkeley California at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  I met and married my wife, Stephanie, while in seminary.  We spent a year and a half of my seminary time at Luther Seminary in St. Paul after our daughter, Miriel, was born in 2008.  Two years later our son, Theodore, was born.

As a family we have lived in Northfield since 2010.  Since then I have stayed home with my children and worked for two years in youth ministry.  I love to spend time with my family, run, bike, swim, ski, hike, camp play hockey, baseball, soccer and basketball.  I love movies, music, reading and many other activities. 

I am very excited to get to know all all of you and be a part of this this church community. 

Kathy Szydlo
Bell Director

Kathy grew up in Pennsylvania where she earned a degree in Music Education, met her husband Bill, and picked up her first handbell.  Since 1985 they’ve lived in Northfield and raised 3 sons.  She’s retired from teaching music lessons and a picture framing business, but continues to play clarinet in the CVRO and a woodwind quintet.  

Ruth Kruse
Parish Nurse

Ruth grew up in the little village of Deephaven, MN near her maternal grandparents’ 25 acre hobby farm. Her great-grandmother, Ellen Sherpy, was one of the charter members of the Methodist Church in Northfield. Throughout Ruth’s childhood, family reunions were held on her ancestors’ Northfield dairy farm. Ruth loves nature, music, traveling with her family, kayaking, reading, riding on Amtrak trains, and operating 1/8 scale trains.

Since Ruth graduated from St. Olaf College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, she has had a variety of nursing jobs. They include hospital nurse, school nurse, childbirth educator, laboratory facilitator (in the St. Olaf nursing department), and parish nurse. As a registered nurse with a parish nurse certificate, Ruth works closely with NUMC pastors and Care Team members to provide loving and compassionate care in support of the congregation’s health and well-being.

Arturo Rosas Avila

Arturo was born and raised in the sunny state of Veracruz, Mexico.  Arturo comes from a family of 12 brothers and sisters. Arturo immigrated to the US in 1998 and moved to a small town in Maple Island, MN.  Arturo and Mimi meet a year later.  Together they have four daughters, ages 23, 18, 14, and 5.  Arturo's family moved to Dundas in 2001.  Arturo's household is buzzing in preparation for their eldest daughter's wedding in January 2023 and their second daughter graduating high school and attending college in 2023.  Arturo enjoys working at NUMC. Arturo's English has improved, and he is speaking more English. It may not be perfect, but he tries hard to communicate and make new friends.  Arturo's hobbies include bonfires, working on his property, and caring for his two dogs, three chickens, and one bird. Arturo is thankful for his job at the Northfield NUMC.

Deborah Rae
Choir Director

Debbie is a native Northfielder, and proud Gustavus graduate. She has a degree in Music Education, and about 40 years of teaching experience. Debbie has taught band in grades 5-12, choir and classroom music in grades K-12, has directed a Junior High School church choir, and she currently co-administers the FiftyNorth Band with Dave. Additionally, she has an elementary education degree from St. Olaf/Augsburg, and has 8 years of experience teaching 4th grade. 

In her spare time, she likes to read, do counted cross-stitch, quilt, watch too much TV, and travel as much as possible. 

Debbie is married to Dave, the Church Band Guy. They share 2 wonderful kids, Andy (& wife Katie), and Maddi, and a delightful granddaughter, Eloise Rae.  

David Miller
Band Leader

David grew up in northern Colorado and has degrees in music education from Gustavus Adolphus College and the University of St. Thomas. He enjoyed a 40-year career teaching middle school band and in retirement is directing Jazz Ensemble II at Northfield High School and co-leads the FiftyNorth band with Debbie. He has played many instruments in the band at UMC for 30+ years and is now the band leader. You might spot him playing drums around town with Sweet Jazz, Occasional Jazz, and the Todd Thompson band. In addition, he plays piano in the Bend in the River Big Band, Jazz Mentors, and the Agape Quintet.

David enjoys traveling with Debbie in the spring and fall, camping, biking, and hiking, and spending time with our adult children and granddaughter.