Our Board

Jim Barnes - Owatonna, CHOICE Parent, Board Chair

Jim Barnes is currently the Financial Analyst for Pearson NCS in Owatonna and taught Business Ed at Cloquet High School in Cloquet, Minnesota for one year. While at CHS Jim taught business and vocational courses and advised the Anime Club, Board Game Club, and BPA (Business Professionals of America) which had a student qualify for nationals in Anaheim, California. Prior to that he was an intern at Mayo High School in Rochester, Minnesota for one year. Before teaching he also worked in treasury and accounting for a number of companies including Toro and Multek. He is currently the treasurer for the Pearson Employee’s Club. Jim Barnes can be reached at  jimb@technicalacademies.org

Dan Swenson.JPG

Dan Swenson, Retired, M.S. Experiential Education - Interim Board Treasurer

Dan Swenson is retired and was a 4-H member as a youth. He received his BS from the U of M, Twin Cities and recently an MS in Experiential Education at MSU, Mankato. Dan is a volunteer judge at the regional Science and Engineering Fairs held each year in Mankato. He is a former member of the Waseca City Police Reserve and past board member and treasurer of the Waseca County Historical Society. Dan Swenson can be reached at dans@technicalacademies.org 

Marissa Johnson, CHOICE Board Member, Recorder

Marissa graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education. She taught remedial English courses for one summer at the Valley View Learning Center in Dover, MN. She also spent two years teaching high school English at Don Bosco Catholic High School in Gilbertville, IA. Marissa is looking forward to becoming an active member of the Owatonna community and sharing her passion for learning with the students and faculty at CHOICE. Marissa can be reached at mjohnson@technicalacademies.org 


Sue Blumhoefer - Dream/Willmar, Board Vice Chair                                                                                          

I grew up in Fairfax and have 2 sisters, I graduated from the St Cloud Business School. After marrying Matt, my High School sweetheart, in 1990 we moved to Willmar where I worked at Herberger's for 7 years and then started in the real estate industry as an office assistant working for Century 21 Kandi Realty for 10 years before being hired at WCAR as administrative assistant and then in May 2011 was promoted by the Board of Directors as the Association Executive.   I received my RCE REALTOR® Association Certified Executive designation in 2014. Volunteer at our church and currently serve as the chair of the Dream Academy Advisory Council. My greatest accomplishment is raising 2 wonderful boys, Dalton who attended U of M Morris and is now moving forward in life and Logan who attended Dream Technical Academy and graduated in 2017 while completing the first year of welding at Ridgewater College as at Dream Technical School.   I love to read, spend time outside, camp and eat dark chocolate!  My favorite phrase is "Make Today Ridiculously Amazing".   Sue Blumhoefer can be reached at sueb@technicalacademies.org

Elias Johnson - Dream/Willmar

Elias Johnson is an advisor at Dream Technical Academy. He graduated from Luther College in 2012. Before working at Dream, he lived and taught in Indonesia for two years. Elias enjoys the passion that students bring to a project-based school and is looking forward to seeing what new things the students discover and create. Elias Johnson can be reached at ejohnson@technicalacademies.org   Elias can be reached at ejohnson@technicalacademies.org

Billie Johnson - Dream/Willmar

Check back soon to learn more about Billie Johnson.  Billie can be reached at billiej@technicalacademies.org

Join Us!

If you would like to get involved, learn more about the Technical Academies, or help with recruitment and our start-up fundraising, please contact any of our board members or email us for information.  Board meetings are open to the public. Email info@technicalacadmies.org for more information and to contact board members.


The TAM Board of Directors meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm.  Meetings are held at the Choice Technical Academy, on the Pillsbury campus, Pillsbury Hall: 315 S. Grove, Owatonna, MN, 55060 unless otherwise indicated.  Meetings are also available online.



Upcoming meetings:


Special Board Meeting: Sept 12, at 6:30 pm at 315 S. Grove Ave, Owatonna, MN


Click the link below to join our video meeting:


Or Telephone:

Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll)

    Meeting ID: 366 029 4036


    SIP: 4435479143@zoomcrc.com


TAM Board Subcommittees

1. Governance Subcommittee: Jim Barnes (Owatonna, CHOICE Parent, Board Member), David Introne - (Owatonna, CHOICE, Advisor, Board Member), Michael Warner (Education Leader - Acting Vice Chair)

Purpose: The Governance Subcommittee was created to review the TAM bylaws and TAM board policies.

Next Meeting: 3/23/17, 6:30pm at Choice Technical Academy, 315 S. Grove, Owatonna.

Governance Subcommittee Agendas                                                 Meeting Minutes                                                                                                                                                         3/23/17                                                                                              3/23/2017  



2. Rochester Subcommittee: Jim Barnes (Owatonna, CHOICE Parent, Board Member), Dan Swenson (Retired, M.S. Experiential Education - Interim Board Treasurer), Marissa Johnson (Owatonna, CHOICE Advisor, Language Arts), Samantha Bultsma (Owatonna, CHOICE Sped Paraprofessional)  

Purpose: The Rochester Subcommittee was created to help plan, and make arrangements for, the starting of IMAGINE Technical Academy in Rochester MN.

Next Meeting: 4/25/2017 at Choice Technical Academy, 315 S. Grove Ave, Owatonna MN.

Rochester Subcommittee Agendas                                                  Meeting Minutes

2/9/2017                                                                                         2/9/2017                                                                                                                                                                                 2/28/2017                                                                                       2/28/2017                                                                                                                                     3/28/2017                                                                                       3/28/2017                                                                                                                                                                          4/25/2017