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Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors

Jim Schaefer - Board Chair (since 2014)

How long have you been connected with Fort? We first came to Fort for Family Camp in 2004.  We have been doing Project Serve, Men’s Retreats, Marriage Enrichment, Youth Group Retreats, and more since 2009.

Work outside of Fort: Managing Director of Treasury and Payment Solutions at BMO Harris Bank.

Fun Fort Memories: Fort is special to us. Both of my now-adult children had their first real profession of faith at Fort on the trail to Cranberry Point, and in 2014, I was able to help baptize my daughter in Spider Lake.

Nick Breach

How long have you been connected with Fort? Since 2007 when I spent a weekend at Fort for our church’s first Men’s Advance. A few years later we started camping and volunteering as a family.

Work outside of Fort: VP of Global Field Operations for Compass – finances God’s way, a financial discipleship ministry that teaches people what God’s Word says about money, how to apply it to their lives and multiply it in the lives of others.

Fun Fort Memories: Experiencing God in a tangible way. Fort is a ‘thin place’ where there isn’t much between you and God. I eagerly look forward to my next opportunity to drive past the Fort sign and into a sanctuary, set apart for the Lord and His work.

 

Paul Robertson - Board Member (since 1992)

How long have you been connected with Fort? My entire life – I am one of the five children of Truman and Jan Robertson, founders of Fort Wilderness.

Work outside of Fort: Retired business owner in the Milwaukee area.

Fun Fort Memories: I met my wife Jeri at Fort in 1967, we married, and we have two grown sons as well as five grandchildren.

Emily Rygh - Board Member (since 2019)

How long have you been connected with Fort? I started coming to Fort when I was 3 years old. We came to Family Camp with a bunch of other families from home. Eventually, I went to Junior High Camp, Lab, and was a Summer Staffer. My husband and I served as Full-time Staff, leading the gap year program from 2000-2003. Now our kids love camp!

Work outside of Fort: R&D Innovations Team for the Jesus Film Project

Fun Fort Memories: I met Jesus at camp. I have a clear memory of sitting on the stone steps down by the lake and understanding that I wanted to have Jesus in my life. It was at Lab that I remember deciding that I really did believe and the Bible began to make sense to me. And it was through serving at camp that I began to really solidify my walk with God. Some of my closest friends today are friends that I met at Fort in high school and college.

It would be impossible to say a favorite memory and for sure some of them are not repeatable on the internet. However, it’s certainly the relationships that I have gained that are my favorite.

Brad Feltz - Board Member (since 2021)

How long have you been connected with Fort? I first attended Fort Wilderness in 1983 and I have been involved with Fort ever since.

Work outside of Fort: I am an Investment Manager for US Bank Private Wealth

Fun Fort Memories: Some of my favorite memories at Fort are from when I volunteered during my high school summers in the mid-1980’s.  I was on the Maintenance Crew and Tom Robertson was our ‘Crew Leader.’  Those were awesome summers!

Daniel Farm - Board Member (since 2020)

How long have you been connected with Fort? Since 1996

Work outside of Fort: Owner / Pastoral Counselor at Renewal Counseling & Coaching in Rochester, Minnesota.

Fun Fort Memories: Fort has been the fabric of our family’s life. My wife began attending as a child, both of our children served at the Fort, and I have spoken at Fort 12 times—which has been an amazing blessing! My favorite thing about Fort is Wrangler’s Breakfast!

Keith Ogorek - Board Member (since 2022, also served from 2006-2015)

How long have you been connected with Fort? The first time we came to Fort was in the mid-90s for Family Camp when our daughters were just 4 and 7. Since then, we have come for multiple family camps and retreats, and our girls have attended camp and served on summer staff. So almost 30 years. I have also served on the board, the advancement committee, and spoken at Family Camp.

Work outside of Fort: Director of Partnerships for Author Solutions – which is the world’s largest supported self-publishing company, President of The Author Learning Center, and Director of Fuzeframe.

Fun Fort Memories: I love that Fort is a place of firsts. It is the first time you often do many things, but one of my favorite activities is the Tube Float.

Joanne Lancaster - Board Member (since 2022)

How long have you been connected with Fort? Our family first came to Fort for Family Camp week 5 in 2012 and have come every year since. We also experienced our first Winter Getaway in 2021 and my son has attended Fort Youth Camps.

Work outside of Fort: I have worked in Drug Development for most of my career. My current role is VP, Program Team Leadership for Immune Oncology Clinical Development at NGM Bio, a biotech in the San Francisco Bay area.

Fun Fort Memories: Experiencing camp life through the eyes of my son over the years including watching him repeatedly get off and right back on the mini-train made out of barrels, feeding baby goats with a huge milk bottle, sailing on Spider lake. One memorable experience, perhaps not so fun, was when I came face to face with a black bear as I was out running on Spider Lake Road.

Craig Raddatz - Board Member (since 2023)

How long have you been connected with Fort? 1972 – My first day of second grade in a new city I met my life long best friend Derrick. His invite to Fort that summer’s boys camp changed my life forever.

Work outside of Fort: Partner and Vice President of Development for Fiduciary Real Estate Development in Milwaukee.

Fun Fort Memories: Having a Godly man like Truman Robertson and their whole family pour into me as a boy and to truly experience the WILD in Fort Wilderness. My wife Mary and I vividly remember picking up each of our three children from Leadership Lab and seeing the difference in their lives. I am so thankful that Fort is still that special “Heaven on Earth” that changes lives.

Sue Simic - Board Member (since 2023)

How long have you been connected to Fort? Our family first came to Fort in the summer of 2012. I was initially drawn by the key speakers, two fellow Brits, Stewart and Jill Briscoe!  Since then, we continued to make Fort a favorite part of our summers.   Family Camp, Adventure Outpost and Leadership Lab have played a crucial part in our family building a firm foundation in Christ.  

Work outside of Fort: Married to a business owner has provided the opportunity to serve in many areas of ministry.  For over 20 years I’ve had the privilege of leading toddler, children, youth and discipleship groups. I particularly enjoy facilitating Bible studies for adults and women’s groups.  

Fun Fort Memories: That first year watching our son ‘mutton busting’ and daughter ‘going around the world on a pony’ neither had interacted with sheep or horses in quite that way before! 

My youngest daughter and I were baptized in Spider Lake in 2020.  Given the choice to go to Fort or Disney World, we would pick Fort every time. 

 

Steve Vranyes - Board Member (since 2023)

How long have you been connected to Fort? My family and I have been connected to Fort since attending Family Camp #6 in late July of 2004. We’ve attended every summer with one exception for the birth of our youngest. Our family has also done a number of Leadership Labs, Kids Camp, winter camp, volunteering at main camp, AO, and in the kitchen. 

Your work involvements outside of Fort: I’ve been in software development my entire career and have focused on managing large and complex systems with modern technology. I work at Medtronic, where my work improves outcomes for cardiac patients. 

At our home church in the Minneapolis area, my wife and I teach 2nd grade Sunday school, and I help lead 12th grade boys on Wednesday nights. I also serve on the board of another Christian non-profit that focuses on building employment skills for those coming out of rehab programs. 

Fun Fort memories: Seeing my daughter Lydia do “mutton busting”, competing in the rodeo competition way back in the day, getting thrown by Judd while doing a cattle roundup, roofing the Eagle’s Roost with my boys when they were young, and more recently, family games. In all the “fun” I leave Fort every time feeling nearer to God and to others.