News & Events

New Board Members

Vinland is honored to introduce our new board members!

Honorable Judge Jana Austad

Judge Austad was appointed to the bench by Governor Dayton in 2013. She is chambered in Cass County, Minnesota. Prior to her appointment, she was the Managing Attorney for the Brainerd Regional Office of the Public Defender. Jana sees many individuals in the court system struggling with cognitive impairments and chemical dependency, often inadequately treated and undiagnosed. She is looking forward to working on Vinland’s board and to supporting Vinland’s mission of treating the whole person.

Brigadier General Neal Loidolt

Brigadier General Neal Loidolt was born and raised in the Saint Cloud area. As a traditional soldier, Brigadier General Loidolt is Commanding General of the 34th Infantry Division, Minnesota Army National Guard. He commands more than 10,000 soldiers of the storied “Red Bull” Division.

In his full-time capacity, he serves as Deputy Adjutant General, Minnesota Department of Military Affairs. He provides guidance, leadership, support and oversight to the Department on matters pertaining to the effort of relationship integration and the supporting actions of Sustainable Infrastructure, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon, and Diversifying the Force. He represents the Adjutant General for state and government matters as the Deputy Commissioner.

Steve Novak

Steve Novak served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1975 to 1982, and then spent 17 years in the State Senate. During his terms in office, Steve was a strong champion of Vinland. After retiring from the Senate, he worked for Anoka County as a Division Manager of Government Services until 2012. He currently works for the Minnesota Inter-County Association.

Don Samuleson

Don Samuleson was born and raised in Brainerd and has never left. In 1968, he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, and, in 1982, to the State Senate. He served as Chair of the Health and Human Service Finance Committee for 26 years and President of the Senate from 2000 to 2002. Throughout his political career, he was a staunch supporter of Vinland.

Don currently serves as Chair of the Crow Wing County Historical Society, the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission, and the Brainerd Charter Commission. In 2012, Governor Dayton named him Chair of the Minnesota Board of Aging. He also finds time to deliver for Meals on Wheels once a week.

Ted L. Suss

Ted L. Suss is a retired school superintendent. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for two terms during the 1970s. Ted previously served on the Vinland board during the 1990s, and he was the driving force behind our prairie restoration project.

Ted serves on the board of the Redwood Falls Community Theatre, the Redwood Hospital Foundation Board, and two local community foundations. He is an active member of the Wabasso Lions Club and the Wabasso American Legion Post.