We are a team of talented professionals with a wide range of skills and experience. We love our community, love what we do, and we do it with passion.
Founder and President & Interim Executive Director
My husband Clayton and I have lived in the Big Lake area since 1996 and have raised our three children here. I have worked all of my adult life with children of all ages, and find pure joy in those “light bulb” moments when something clicks for them upon discovering something new. I love to nurture relationships and connect people and see their relationships develop, especially between those in different stages of life. I am not only committed to helping youth thrive, know they are loved, and a valued part of this community, but also to this fantastic community. Over the years I have been involved in several Big Lake community organizations and continue to enjoy doing so. Several years ago, I started my first nonprofit to raise awareness of the autoimmune disease Lupus after my son was diagnosed. Since then, I have mentored and coached students at Luther Seminary and have worked alongside professors to assist students in their final thesis projects. I enjoy, and am honored to consult and coach congregations and their staff. I am also working as the team lead of education and small groups for the Multicultural Youth Leadership Event (MYLE) taking place In Minneapolis in June of 2022. I love to spend time with my family, volunteer in the community, kayak, run, and go hiking at State Parks. I also apparently can’t keep myself out of school and have earned two Master degrees in the last five years and am a current Doctorate in Ministry student.
Why do I support The Wave Youth Center? Because our world has changed drastically, leaving many communities fragile with people less connected to their neighbors, and I want more for this community.
I have lived in Big Lake for the past 16 years. I have three daughters ages 22, 16 and 13. My oldest daughter, a BLHS alumni, now lives in Fargo ND with her husband. My 16 and 13-year-old daughters have attended Big Lake school since preschool. They are active in dance, as well as a variety of school activities including cheerleading and drama. I am currently employed at Sherburne County Health and Human services as a social worker in the Developmental Disabilities Unit. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time on the lake and bonfires.
“Why do I support The Wave Youth Center?” I support the Wave do to the fact that I see many youth in this community needing a place to find acceptance. Being a teen in this day with social media can be very difficult. Knowing there is a safe place where they can go and hang out and have fun in a safe open and welcoming environment can be the change that one youth needs.
I am the Senior Pastor of Saron Lutheran Church in Big Lake. My wife, Val, and I are the parents of two adult children and have two grandchildren. I have several years of experience advocating on behalf of youth and for communities that I serve. I participate in many of Big Lake’s community organizations. I am also heavily involved with the Big Lake Area Ministerium, bringing together churches in ways that benefit the Big Lake community. I also have 11 years of experience in full-time church youth ministry in Minnetonka and Brooklyn Park.
I support The Wave Youth Center because I see so many young people without effective support in this community. There are many people who care and work hard for young people. But the organized and individual efforts are not reaching all. The Wave will provide safe space, support, encouragement and positive options for young people in ways that parents, schools, sports and employers cannot. I want every young person to know she or he is valuable, supported and cared about.
After graduating from Big Lake High School, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I have worked as an accountant in both the public and private sector for 18 years. I enjoy reading to my kids, volunteering at their schools, and going for walks. In addition to being the Treasurer of The Wave, I am Chairman of the Agape Christian Preschool board, and a board member of the Employee Sponsorship Program at my employer.
Why I support The Wave Youth Center…I support The Wave Youth Center because I see the extraordinary need in our community for youth support and encouragement. Our kids need a safe place to socialize, learn valuable life skills, and receive the support they need to be successful adults.
Executive Board Member
Born and raised in Minnesota, I’ve been a resident of Big Lake for the past four years with my blended family including children ages 22, 20 and 7. I love this community, the people, the schools and the incredible opportunity for balance with the nature and recreation the area provides.
After working in office settings my entire career ranging from administration to financial planning and investing, estate and trust planning, accounting and tax – I discovered a creative side to myself that I hadn’t known existed. Since picking up a paintbrush in 2017 I have learned so much about myself through art, mindfulness, meditation and yoga I began exploring ways to bring the benefits to the greater community. In September 2018 I began making my dreams my reality by entering the world of entrepreneurship and Create & Connect Studio was born! As doors continue to open in this grown field of mindfulness I have since become a certified children’s yoga instructor. Currently enrolled in yoga teacher training as well as mindfulness training courses, I continue to learn and expand my knowledge.
The Wave Youth Center initiative is very dear to me. Our teens and young adults are facing more stress and trauma in their everyday lives than ever before. The world of mindfulness, yoga and art is available to everyone of all ages – it is my goal to reach as many people as possible of all ages and all walks of life – sharing joy and wonder. The Youth Center is one such way that I hope to make an impact in a powerful and meaningful way.
I am currently the Sherburne County Commissioner serving District 2 – Big Lake Township and City of Big Lake. I have lived in Sherburne County for more than 40 years. My husband, Ervin, and I live in Big Lake. We have two grown children that we raised in this community, and four grandchildren all of whom live close by. For more than 40 years, I have been a business owner in Big Lake, and heavily involved in community service.
Prior to being elected to Sherburne County Board of Commissioners, I served on the Big Lake City Council for 10 years, first as a council member for four years, and then as mayor for six years. Since being elected, I have enjoyed serving the residents of Sherburne County.
I support The Wave Youth Center, because I feel there is a huge need for it in Big Lake for our youth to have a safe place to hang out.
A true community member. From home ownership to education, to family, and employment, Jack is committed to continuing to make Big Lake the best possible place to live and raise a family. In his spare time, Jack enjoys volunteering in the community, watching films, playing music, and of course, spending time with his amazing wife and two very awesome boys.
My name is Julie. I moved to Big Lake in 2016 and immediately fell in love with the city and community. My current household consists of my significant other Kurt and my sassy Old English Bulldog Stella. I have a 23 year old adult son, Austin who recently married. We welcomed my daughter-in-law Carina to the family in April 2022.
I currently work in the health insurance industry full time. I have always known that in some capacity I have wanted to work in healthcare but I definitely do not have the stomach for a lot of it. After working on the insurance side of healthcare, I went back to school and am currently working towards my Health Information Management degree through St. Cloud Community and Technical College. In my spare time, we enjoy spending our summers on Big Lake and Lake Mitchell. We have also found some creative ways to embrace the lake in the winter months too!
The Wave Youth center is such a special and necessary place for the youth in our small and growing community. Growing up in the inner city of Minneapolis there are so many community programs available. I have found in smaller communities and outside of the cities it can often be difficult to find programs like The Wave here in Big Lake. While raising my son it was very clear that there was something missing in our community that allowed youth to connect with each other outside of school and technology. I take great pride in knowing that my community has a safe and welcoming place for our youth to gather, connect, create and express themselves.
My family moved to Big Lake in 2005. I have bachelor’s degrees in biology and German Language, and a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Since graduating in 2000, I am a practicing partner in the Big Lake Area Veterinary Hospital and St. Michael Veterinary Clinic.
I have 6 daughters aged 12 to 25 who are and have been active in dance, music, gymnastics, volleyball, swimming and hockey. I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband who supports me in every way.
As a member of the Big Lake Chamber of Commerce I serve on the block party planning committee. I help support the community by working with the youth apprenticeship program and providing scholarships to graduating seniors, as well as a working with Independence STEM classrooms.
I spend my free time with Girl Scouts where I’ve been a leader since 2003. I have been blessed to see and help many different girls grow into young women and start their adult lives. I enjoy gardening, reading and traveling. But my favorite thing to do is watching and supporting my girls in their favorite activities.
I joined The Wave to continue to support and help the children of this community thrive and develop important interpersonal skills that are necessary to have. In a difficult situation the past few years, our most precious asset is also our most vulnerable, The Wave is a place where our youth can gather, talk to one another, seek help if needed and develop important relationships in a safe environment supported by the community.
Hello! My name is Holly Baker, and I am local here in Big Lake! My Husband Alex and our two sons moved here in 2019. We were in a large city and felt like it wasn’t the right place to raise our kids. Big Lake has everything we wanted, awesome nature to hike, lakes to fish and kayak, and amazing opportunities for our kids. I grew up in large cities and have a passion for the outdoors! Louis is 5 and starting kindergarten this year and Leo is almost 4. Alex and I worked for corporate positions when we moved here and early last year we had taken time to reflect on what we wanted in life. At that point, we felt like we were living in Big Lake; but, not really living IN Big Lake. We never had been to a restaurant or visited any of the small businesses.
Alex’s Mother passed away and it made us realize how important relationships are and making memories with others. After reflecting on what was important to us and the life we wanted for our kids, we wanted to embrace our community that we hadn’t yet lived in yet. That’s when we decided to take a look around our community to see what was missing. Both of us have experience in the pet industry and I have now been grooming professionally for 18 years. Naturally, we noticed there was no grooming salons in the city of Big Lake. So, we made the decision over a weekend to launch a salon with us running it together. We now have three locations! I can honestly say I am totally invested in Big Lake now! I volunteer in Children’s Ministry at our church, am Head Coach for a T-Ball team here in Big Lake, belong to the board for Green Acres Animal Rescue, and volunteer as Vice President of a business networking chapter. I have gotten the pleasure of meeting so many people in our community by grooming their pets and it’s such a blessing to get connected with our incredible neighbors and generous community!
Bio and Picture Coming Soon
I’ve been a resident of Big Lake Township for over 6 years. I’ve fallen in love with the location and the people. Bill and I are blessed with 7 adult children between the 2 of us, along with 4 dogs and several
fish. Bill is a Navy Veteran – so we are involved in many Veteran activities. From Memorial Day and Labor Day events, keeping the Veteran Memorial Park clean, and participating in the monthly American Legion meetings. It is important to us to help Veterans keep connected to the community and each other.
My top priorities are to honor and build my relationship with God; to be the best version of myself – emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually; and to support my family and others to be the best version
of themselves. When I’m not working I enjoy swimming, knitting and my new newest passion is making quilts. I attained my big goal in 2022 of swimming 5 miles in Vermont. Next year – I have a goal to swim 10
miles, and in 2025 to swim 25 miles. I have a long-term goal of making quilts for veterans and future generations.
I am passionate about helping others to see what is possible and to transform to be the best version of themselves. This is my ‘why’ of being involved with The Wave Youth Center. Our youth need to see
what is possible for them and how to become the best version of themselves. We can do this together, for them and with them.
I love this community and have called it home since 1987. Although I am only an official member of The Knights Of Columbus I support many community organizations. Growing up in a family of farmers I developed a love for gardening and animals.
Why do I support The Wave Youth Center? As a child growing up with disabilities, I was often excluded from activities and often heard that I could not do something or I would not amount too much because of my disabilities. The Civil Air Patrol and the youth Conversation Corps were organizations that had a place for me that I felt valued and loved just as I was. I want to be a part of encouraging others that are often excluded to find a place where they feel they belong and are cared for.
My name is Jennifer Neumiller, or Jen. I moved to Big Lake just over a year ago from the Albertville area. I relocated from “the cities” when I met my hubby.
I attend SCSU for Recreation Administration and St. Catherine’s University for Elementary Education. I have worked with youth at all age levels from preschool programs to Senior High Youth Group. I have always enjoyed working with youth and feel they have so much to offer the world.
I currently own a small business with my husband and when we aren’t running around doing that I enjoy spending time with my family, running, crafting and gardening.
I am looking forward to joining The Wave after hearing many great things from my daughter who attend quite frequently this last year. I enjoyed hearing about all the different things that went on and how she “felt safe to be somewhere fun.” That was enough for me to reach out. I am excited to join this amazing team and our community.
Bio/Photo Coming soon
For privacy and online safety we do not publish the last names or provide pictures of our Youth Liaisons.
NEW BIO COMING SOON
We are so excited to share the fabulous youth we have on the board!
Hello my name is Lydia. I like the arts, drawing, music, and reading. In my spare time I can be found helping others out or drawing. My main interests are rhythm games, Nintendo, Webkinz, medical knowledge and psychology.
I have two siblings, my parents, along with a lot of fish at home. I am going into ninth grade, my freshman year in September.
One of my favorite memories at The Wave is playing Wii tennis on Wii sports against other people. I wanted to join the board because I care a lot about the community and I want to help preserve spaces for youth that may not necessarily have access to them.
I support The Wave because I want there to be a place for people to be in several years even when I am out of school, I want to help leave a lasting impact.
Hello! My name is Lily. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about myself, why I would like to be a student liaison, and why I love The Wave so much. I’ll start with some things about me. First of all, I love making new friends. I think it’s amazing to hear about new stories and about all the things others like and do not! Another thing is I love helping people. It makes me so happy to help people, it’s like a warm cup of coffee. Sweet and warm. Lastly, I love to cook. It lets me express myself and I’m pretty good at it so it makes me feel confident.
Now, why I am so passionate about being a student liaison at the wave. Some reasons why I want to be a student liaison are: I can help with making decisions on things that kids would enjoy and things that kids aren’t feeling so sure about. Next, I love to be part of my community and The Wave is like a second home to me, meaning it is important to me. I care about the happiness of others when it comes to being in a community I’m in. I want the absolute best for as many kids at The Wave. Last but not least, I enjoy hearing what people have to say about things that I can help with. Then, I can let you guys know when there is something that should happen to better The Wave and make it a safer place for everyone.
Finally, I love The Wave as it has helped me a whole lot with being confident around people in public situations. I know every time I walk through the door I will be welcomed, accepted, and heard. Thank you so much for listening to me, hearing what I have to say, and giving me this amazing opportunity!
Hi my name is Zachary. I enjoy tennis, theater and writing. I also enjoy playing video games, mainly Hollow Knight and Slime Rancher. I am going into freshman year this year. I also enjoy Pokemon and Nintendo.
My family is important to me. I have three siblings, two parents, three dogs and a guinea pig.
I started going to The Wave about three months ago. One of my favorite memories here was playing Wii Sports. I wanted to join The Wave board because I believe in the cause and a safe place for students