Shelly Bauerly Kopel transitions from role as volunteer President while remaining active on the Anderson Center Board

Anderson Center plans continued growth across Greater Minnesota

After conducting a national search, the Anderson Center Board chose Aleisha Gaalswyk Stephens as the Center’s first full-time President from a large pool of qualified candidates. She was selected for her demonstrated leadership skills, her subject matter expertise in curriculum development, her experience as a teacher, and her passion for professional development.

Aleisha has roots in the Brainerd Lakes area, and after spending the last decade living abroad in Europe, she has moved back home to Central Minnesota. Aleisha, along with her husband Brian, are now residents of Sartell where they plan to raise their four children (Cecelia, Gabriel, Alexander, and Elias) and become active members of the community.

Aleisha earned her teaching degree at the College of St. Scholastica and her Masters in Education at Queens University in Charlotte. From 2010 to 2019, she worked in a leadership role at Josiah Venture, an international non-profit organization headquartered in the Czech Republic. Her focus areas included fundraising, recruiting, operations management, curriculum development, and the training of adult learners. In her most recent role as Director of Human Resources she created a leadership development forum for 350 leaders from 14 different countries.

Aleisha commented on the strength of Anderson Center’s offerings and on her family’s recent move, saying, “Designing leadership training and staff development in an international setting has given me the context to more fully appreciate the high caliber of leadership and management development that Anderson Center offers. I am thrilled to be back home in Minnesota serving as President of such a solid organization.”

In just the last three years, Anderson Center has served over 1,400 participants from over 240 companies. As Shelly Bauerly Kopel looks forward to increasing the Center’s capacity and its ability to continue its growth trajectory, she said, “We are thrilled to have Aleisha join the Anderson Center team! She brings strong education, skills, leadership and organizational management experience as well as a fresh perspective and an Anderson Center-aligned philosophy.”

Scott Anderson, Board Chair, also noted the legacy of progress and growth of the Center, saying, “We are grateful to Rick Bauerly, who served as volunteer President from 2003 to 2015, and to Shelly Bauerly Kopel, who served in that same role from 2015 to 2019. We look forward to their continued volunteerism and engagement with the Center as we continue to see opportunities for growth and the impact that we can have. Aleisha will certainly help us realize these goals.”

Please join all of us in welcoming Aleisha to Anderson Center!