Peggy Hutchings is the Gift Administration and Stewardship Coordinator at Ripon, working in her 12th year. She lives in an old house in Ripon with her husband and three dogs, and enjoys gardening, reading, spending time with her daughter, and volunteering with local dog rescue and veteran non-profit groups.
Amanda is a 2007 Ripon College graduate with a major in French and minors in philosophy and politics and government. She has worked in the Advancement Office since August 2009, first in various roles within annual giving and constituent engagement and now as the Associate Director of Advancement Services and Data Analyst. Amanda’s focus is primarily in working with the database: reporting, querying, and analyzing data for all areas of the Advancement Office. She produces mail, email, and phone lists for fundraising and stewardship purposes, as well as visual representations of fundraising metrics. Amanda also creates the annual Honor Roll of Donors and works with the Business Office on the yearly audit.
Amanda lives in Random Lake, Wisconsin, with her husband Michael, teenage step-son Matthew, toddler son Theodore, and soon-to-arrive daughter. When she is not working, Amanda keeps track of her family’s diverse schedules, sports practices, and games, and in her spare time enjoys ballroom dancing with her husband and baking.
Amy Gabriel Gerretsen, a 2004 Ripon College graduate, has been on staff with the Advancement Office focusing on alumni relations since September of 2006. In her role as Director of Constituent Engagement, she oversees all events, communications and volunteerism for alumni, parents, friends and donors to the College. Amy plans and executes all regional programming, while also managing on campus engagement events, including Alumni Weekend and Class Reunions, Family Weekend, and Commencement. She prides herself on the creation of unique student-alumni experiences with the support of the Alumni Association Board of Directors including the Career Discovery Tour program, and continued development of student education events.
Besides attending Ripon College events, Amy truly enjoys meeting new people and collaborating with Ripon volunteers like Alumni Board members, Class Agents and Reunion Volunteers to create stronger engagement opportunities for all alumni. As a chemistry major, her analytical skills, attention to detail, and process-orientated nature allow her to continue to creatively engage constituents through both in-person and online methods with personal service and authentic connections. Amy met her husband, Bryan, Class of 2003 on campus more than 20 years ago, and they are raising their daughters in Ripon.
Bri joined Ripon in 2016 as Associate Director of Development. Throughout the year, Bri visits with alumni and friends of Ripon in California, Colorado, Chicago, Washington DC, and the East Coast to provide updates on College projects and work with donors to achieve their giving goals. Additionally, Bri leads the College’s planned giving program where she assists individuals and families write their Ripon legacies. She is a graduate of Lake Forest College where she majored in Biology and History. In her free time she enjoys hiking, yoga, and reading.
If you are interested in discussing your philanthropic goals with Bri while she is traveling in your area, please reach her at [email protected]
Originally from Peosta, Iowa, Brendan McCoy is a 2017 graduate from Ripon College with degrees in Economics and Sport Psychology. In his time as a student he was a member of the 2017 Midwest Conference Tournament Championship Men’s Basketball team, Student Athlete Leadership Team, and College Days student newspaper. He has been part of the Advancement team since concluding his time as a student a few years ago. Brendan’s responsibilities include support of the Ripon Fund, Leadership level fundraising, planning of our annual Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble, and leading stewardship efforts throughout the department.
Away from the office, Brendan enjoys golfing and spending time with his wife, Maddie, who is also a 2017 Ripon College graduate. Brendan and Maddie were married in Great Hall on the campus of Ripon College in the fall of 2018 and live in Ripon with their dog, Finn.
Randy joined the Advancement team in April of 2020 shortly after COVID 19 hit. Although the virtual environment was a strange way to start, Randy’s knowledge of the college and the Ripon community made his transition seamless. Prior to joining Ripon College, Randy served as Chief Operating Officer for ThedaCare in Appleton, WI. Randy’s strong professional background will translate well with his role in building strong relationships with Ripon College alumni, foundations and corporations. Randy will also focus his efforts on process improvement, data management and developing data driven initiatives.
Randy lives in Green Lake with his wife, Tanya Schwartz ’88, and two boys Jonah ’24 and Oliver. He enjoys spending time outdoors on his family farm or out on his boat on Green Lake. He is an avid gardener and grows over 3000 bulbs of garlic every year.
Kelly Nielsen joined the Office of Advancement in 2017 as Associate Director of Annual Giving. Within a year she moved into the Director position and now manages Ripon Fund initiatives like #OneDayRally, Phonathon, reunion gift efforts, the 1851 Club, Senior Class Gift and other annual fundraising projects. She also works closely with volunteers on the Alumni Board and Reunion leadership committees. Kelly also looks forward to hitting the road this fall to meet with many of Ripon’s alumni in person!
A Ripon High School alumna, Kelly attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and graduated from the College of Liberal Arts with a major in Urban Studies. From there she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she worked for 11 years as an admission recruiter for a local art school. After her daughter was born, her young family moved “home” to Ripon to be closer to her parents. Today the family lives across the street from campus where they love to garden, host backyard gatherings, and participate in many College activities. Their nightly routine in the warmer months is to walk around lower campus and into the Prairie, always on the hunt for wildlife and wildflowers. During the winter they enjoy basketball games at Willmore, snowshoeing on the trails and sledding at Sadoff.
Shawn Karsten has served as the Vice President for Advancement since 2018, and in 2020, assumed strategic leadership of the Marketing and Communications office. In his role, Shawn oversees all aspects of Advancement, including Advancement Services, Communications and Public Relations, Constituent Engagement and Development. As a member of the Administrative Council, he works closely with the Ripon College President and the Board of Trustees.
A 2009 Ripon alumnus, Shawn was a member of the men’s basketball team and a founding member of the nationally recognized Speaker’s Bureau, for which he received the 2008 Excellence in Leadership Award. He returned to Ripon College in 2014 as a major gift officer following five years as a self-employed professional speaker. During that time, he also co-authored two publications with Dr. Jody Roy, Professor of Communication: Breaking Through to Boys in Crisis: Insights from Inmates (2012) and Sharing Your Story, Saving Their Lives: Public Speaking for Ex-Offenders (2014).
When he isn’t in the office or on the road visiting with alumni and friends, Shawn is spending quality time with his wife, Carissa Karsten ‘10 and their three children – Evelina, Adler and Luther. He also enjoys being on the water, the golf course, and volunteering in the community as a board member at Ripon Education Foundation and Diverse Options Inc.