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Bridges of Hope lists new board members

Bridges of Hope, a Brainerd-based nonprofit organization, is pleased to welcome Lynda Erickson and Jennifer Perez to the organization’s board of Directors.

“Lynda and Jennifer each bring a wealth of knowledge about client service,” says Jana Shogren, Bridges of Hope’s Executive Director. “Their skills, compassion and innovative thinking will benefit our programs greatly.”

Erickson works for Crow Wing County Community Services and helped establish Bridges of Hope in 2002. Erickson has an excellent working knowledge of the systems in place to strengthen families and keep children safe which fits well with Bridges of Hope’s strategic priorities.

Perez is a mental health practitioner for Northern Pines Mental Health Center and works with elementary school-aged children. A Bridges of Hope statement said Perez’s passion for helping families achieve their goals and her experience working with other community agencies will bring a helpful perspective to Bridges of Hope.

“While recruiting new board members, we look for candidates with a compassionate heart, an understanding of the resources available in our community, and expertise in a variety of professional disciplines to help strengthen the organization,” explained Tracy Jeremiason, Bridges of Hope’s board chair.

The board positions that Erickson and Perez are filling were left available after terms expired for Pat Sharbonda and Tamra Laska. Bridges officials said Sharbonda played a key role in establishing the organization more than 10 years ago and, after time off the board, recently completed another term. Laska, human resources director for the county, served one term and was integral in assisting the organization through recent growth and the addition of its Common Goods thrift store.

“Tami and Pat will be missed,” stated Shogren. “They both care deeply about the mission of the organization and provided great counsel that shaped the programs and processes of the organization.”

Bridges of Hope was founded in 2002 with a mission to build bridges of support, anchored in Christ’s love, between those in need and the resources that can help. Those who are interested in learning more about the organization, need assistance with a difficult situation, want to volunteer, or would like to make a gift please may call 825-7682 or visit

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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