Meet the Freedom Farm Board
Susie Bjorklund, Founder and President
Ms. Bjorklund is the Founder of Freedom Farm. She has been a riding instructor and training horses for over 20 years and is a licensed practical nurse. Ms. Bjorklund is a Certified Path International Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Mentor, and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Ms. Bjorklund provides the primary direction and instruction during all therapeutic riding sessions
Pamela (P.J.) Frauendienst, Chairman
Pamela is a Designer at Millerbernd Manufacturing in Winsted, MN, with 25 years of experience in CAD software and Document Control. She has put this experience to use at Freedom Farm assisting with the documentation for the PATH Int’l Standards. Pamela has volunteered at Freedom Farm for the past 10 years; thoroughly enjoying her time with the children and equine angels. She and her husband Brian reside in Waverly, MN on a 5-acre hobby farm with their 2 horses.
Steve Storkan, Secretary
Mr. Storkan is a Senior Account Manager and Director of ESOP Administration in Alerus Financial’s Minneapolis retirement services division. Steve joined Alerus Financial in 2012. Over the course of his 22 year career, Steve has utilized a proactive, hands-on approach to ensure superior client satisfaction. Steve and his wife Jody, live in Forest Lake along with their daughter. Mr. Storkan is involved in Freedom Farm’s annual Polo Event and Riding Celebration, as well as, our Hope with Horses program.
Sarah Kostial, Treasurer
Sarah is a relationship manager for private banking and professional services at Alerus. Sarah joined Alerus in 2012 with 20 years of experience in the banking industry. Her past roles focused on professional service firms and private banking, as well as leadership roles in branch management. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College. Sarah is a current board member and past board chair of the Edina Chamber of Commerce and board member/treasurer with the Institute for Basic and Applied Research in Surgery. In her free time, Sarah enjoys her three children and weekends away at the cabin. She also enjoys golfing, paddle boarding, skiing, and volunteer work. Originally from Saint Paul, MN, Sarah now lives in Orono with her family.
Dr. Heather Damico, Director
Dr. Heather Damico has been an associate veterinarian at Buffalo Equine since March 2008. She earned her undergraduate degree at UW-River Falls and is a 2007 graduate of the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to joining Buffalo Equine, Heather completed an internship at The Piedmont Equine Practice in Virginia with a focus on sport horse medicine. Heather and her husband, Tony, spent most of their free time chasing their two young sons, but she also enjoys camping, knitting, and making wine.
Dan Durkin, Director
Mr. Durkin is Vice President of the Cargill Starches and Sweeteners business based in Wayzata and has been with the Cargill company for over 30 years. Having lived in Ohio, Tennesee, Iowa, and Minnesota, for the past 16 years, he has held various leadership positions with Cargill in the operations, supply chain, and commercial management areas. Dan is married to Lisa and both are outdoor enthusiasts, have four grown children, and live on a hobby farm in Waconia. The couple has volunteered with Freedom Farm for 2 years and feel that Freedom Farms offers them a unique and meaningful opportunity to give time and resources in a way that is aligned with their passion and goals.
Ben Pressley, Director
Mr. Pressley co-owns a third-party transportation recruiting company where he is the head of business development. Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Ben began working at his family business designing, implementing and refining new curricula for trucker training programs. Ben is now an active member of The Commercial Vehicle Training Association and he annually meets with US lawmakers' in Washington, D.C. Outside of work Ben trains Muay Thai, instructs part time, and volunteers with Freedom Farm. Through work, teaching martial arts, and working with riders at Freedom Farm Ben gets to live out his passion for developing strong partnerships that facilitate a sense of community and maintain environments in which individuals can grow intellectually, physically, and spiritually while achieving and continuing to surpass their personal goals.