Three Cheers for These Community Volunteers

Advisory board member Karen Alnes.
Meet the members of our Editorial Advisory Board.
Karen Alnes

At White Bear Lake Magazine, we’re devoted to sharing stories that define our lakeside communities, and we couldn’t do this without the support of our Editorial Advisory Board of local stakeholders. Our board holds us accountable, connects us with sources and stories and drives us to do better and be better with every new issue. These standout people come from various backgrounds and fields and share a common goal of serving this community. That’s why, in this our annual “Giving Back” issue, we connected with each of them to discuss what it means to give back and how newcomers can look to get involved in this community.

Karen Alnes

Board secretary, Greater White Bear Lake Community Foundation

For Karen Alnes, giving back is “what keeps [our communities] alive and joins us together,” she says. The longtime Mahtomedi resident loves spending time sailing and kayaking on White Bear Lake and has found a place serving with both the White Bear Sailing School and on the board of the Greater White Bear Lake Community Foundation in retirement. Alnes says she joined our advisory board “to help communicate both the needs and good things happening here.” For locals looking to get involved, Alnes suggests checking with local nonprofits and the White Bear Press for a list of weekly volunteer opportunities.

Ellie Fuelling

Communications director, White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA)

Ellie Fuelling Portrait

Ellie Fuelling brings a creative perspective to our advisory board and enjoys reading the On the Town section to see “what should be on my radar,” she says. She joined the board with a desire to learn more about the community through the lens of storytelling. In her role at WBCA, Fuelling says she gives back by increasing accessibility to the arts “because art always makes communities stronger,” adding that WBCA is always looking for volunteers to help create community through art.

Dylan McDonough

Volunteer and community engagement manager, Solid Ground MN

Dylan McDonough Portrait

Dylan McDonough spends his days giving back—working alongside donors and volunteers to serve 150+ families at local nonprofit Solid Ground. When he joined the board in 2022, McDonough did so to get to know the community better and says he enjoys “anything recipes” in themagazine. McDonough appreciates “the diversity and passion” within White Bear Lake and the “mindset of looking out for others.” He suggests volunteering as “an easy, free way to get to know the community and the people who represent it.”

Jackie Reis

Community volunteer with White Bear Lake Rotary, League of Women Voters and Many Faces of the White Bear Lake Area

Jackie Reis Portrait

Jackie Reis has been truly immersed in the White Bear Lake community since moving here in 1989, serving on and leading a number of local organizations. As a rotarian, Reis says she lives by the motto "service above self." While she describes this community as one that has much to offer, Reis says there are “issues to address—among them affordable housing, transportation [and] ensuring everyone feels like they belong.” To get started in volunteering, Reis suggests “thinking about and acting on the things that are important to you.”

Marisa Vette

Director of communications and community relations, White Bear Lake Area School District

Marisa Vette Portrait

Marisa Vette is a positive and enthusiastic board member and resource on stories that impact young people in our community. Vette describes the area as “a small-town gem” made special by the “sense of ‘Go Bears!’ pride.” At home, Vette and her husband pay it forward by supporting
local youths through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, hosting exchange students and sponsoring the Vette Family Scholarship for local graduates. Vette says, “Supporting students is a solid investment in the community, especially as many of our graduates end up … coming back to the area to raise families!”

What Does The Editorial Advisory Board Do?

Our Editorial Advisory Board is a lifeline to the community. The group of area leaders is chosen by the editor to serve a two-year term, during which they support the magazine by connecting staff to local stories, offering feedback and suggestions, and more. Interested business owners, volunteers and leaders can inquire about future openings at [email protected].