Announcing the 2017 Minneapolis Aquatennial Crew
Minneapolis, MN. July 21, 2016 - The Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) officially announced its 2017 Minneapolis Aquatennial Crew with the selection of the Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes and Princesses on Saturday evening at the Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Coronation presented by SPIRE Credit Union.
Queen of the Lakes, Carolyn Meyer
Carolyn currently attends the University of St. Thomas where she is majoring in Journalism and Communications. Upon graduating, she hopes to begin her career as a multimedia journalist. Carolyn is employed as the sports editor for Tommie Media and aspires to serve on the Executive Board before graduation. In high school, Carolyn was a three-sport athlete and secretary for both National Honors Society and her FFA chapter.
Aquatennial Commodore, Dan Stoltz
Dan lives in Lino Lakes, Minnesota and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northwestern, Roseville, where he met his lovely wife, Robin. Their three children also graduated from Northwestern. Dan holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and is a Certified Public Accountant.
In 2010 Dan was named President/CEO of SPIRE Credit Union. Prior to this, Dan was SPIRE’s CFO and Executive Vice President. Dan was honored as the Outstanding Professional of the Year by the Minnesota Credit Union Network in 2015. This award is given to a person who truly stands behind “the people helping people” credit union philosophy.
His background includes not only a long and successful career in the financial industry, but also a history of civil and community service. As a City Councilman in Lino Lakes and Circle Pines for 12 years, Dan’s dedication to community is unwavering. Whether it’s giving speeches to youth or adults on the importance of giving back, or participating in the Season of Giving with the Minnesota Timberwolves (where kids awaiting adoption are taken on a holiday shopping trip), Dan gives of himself freely. The unbelievable time commitment invested by Dan is done without regard for himself, but purely a deep conviction in community and improving lives. Dan believes strongly that life is about giving-not getting. Everyone should give their time, talents, and treasures to others.
Having just completed his reign as King Boreas 79th. - head of the Royal Family of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Stoltz is warmed up and honored to serve as Minneapolis Aquatennial Commodore.
When Dan has a free moment, he enjoys spending time with his family-including three grandkids, golfing and traveling.
Aquatennial Princess, Cassie Thielen
Cassie currently attends Augstana University where she is studying Nursing and Psychology. She plans to attend graduate school to become a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Psychiatry. Cassie is passionate about her involvement with Augiethon, a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network. She is also involved with intramural sports and Psychology Club.
Aquatennial Captain, Jim Ganger
Born and raised in the Midwest, Jim recognized at a young age he wanted to use his talents to help others. His service began with the United State Air Force where he was awarded the honor of Superior Performer by the Inspector General United States Air Force. This prestigious award is reserved for only the top 1 percent of airmen.
At just 23 years of age, Jim began his career working in the insurance industry. This experience propelled him to his current role where he continues to serve others. Over the past 25 years in the credit union industry, Jim has worked as a financial advisor, national sales manager and is currently the Vice President of Member and Partner Development at SPIRE Credit Union.
Jim also seeks opportunities to get involved within the community including emceeing a Relay for Life event benefiting the American Cancer Society. Residing in St. Paul, Jim can often be spotted cheering on one of our Minnesota sports teams along side his son, Mikey.
Aquatennial Princess, Kassandra Scherping
Kassandra attends North Dakota State University where she studies Human Development and Family Science with Elementary Education and a Special Education Endorsement. Upon graduation, she hopes to work as a special education teacher or daycare provider. In high school, Kassandra was the recipient of the AAA award for her achievements in athletics, arts, and academics. Kassandra enjoys photography, singing, and dancing.
Aquatennial Captain, Sarah Schrader
Sarah has been involved with community festivals since 1996 when she was selected as Miss Red Wing, and then continued on as a candidate for the Minneapolis Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes program in 1997.
Sarah spent 11 wonderful years volunteering on the Red Wing Royal Ambassador Committee in various roles
including Chaperone, Chairperson and Pageant Director for 7 years - which included managing the candidate program. Her favorite time while volunteering with that program was watching the candidates transform over the summer into more confident public speakers. Sarah currently manages the AAO website and online payment system, and has assisted at serval AAO events.
Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Sarah currently works as a Solutions Engineer for her dream company, Esri-the global leader in geography-based mapping and analytics software where she supports county and local government agencies throughout the Midwest. In her spare time, Sarah loves to travel near and far and plans to visit each of the 7 continents in her lifetime.
Sarah resides in “Pretty Red Wing” with her husband, Christopher, and their border collie, Gatsby.
About The AAO
The Minneapolis Aquatennial Ambassador Organization (AAO) is a Minnesota nonprofit and a Section 501(c)(3) public charity. The AAO focuses its efforts in three areas: Community, Leadership, and Scholarship. Throughout each year Aquatennial ambassadors visit dozens of communities and festivals throughout Minnesota and across North America to build strong relationships and promote the Aquatennial festival and Minneapolis. Additionally, the ambassadors also volunteer time in service for other deserving organizations.
While inspiring young women to achieve extraordinary futures, the AAO provides a candidate program for Minnesota-based community festival ambassadors to enhance their professional development and leadership skills. At the end of the candidate program, three ambassadors are selected from the group of candidates to continue on and represent the AAO for one year. The AAO generously provides the educational scholarships each year for the Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes and Princesses after the completion of their year of service.