PDF Print E-mail

Volunteer of the Month


Know a deserving volunteer? Nominate them at www.surveymonkey.com


March Volunteer of the Month - Jamie Cassavant


 Jamie Cassavant is tJamie Cassavanthe Family Readiness Group Leader for B Co 2-136 Combined Arms Battalion out of Crookston and Thief River Falls, MN. She has been a part of the FRG since 2005 and her commitment has been evident from the beginning. Jamie works hard to make sure the families she supports are informed and has attended as many additional training opportunities as she can to gather information. She recently established a Wellness Fair event at the Crookston TACC during B Co 2-136 CAB December IDT weekend. She used her connections with local military organizations such as the DAV, American Legion, VFW, County Service Officers, etc. to provide information on various veteran and military friendly services available to Servicemembers. This event had a major impact on the unit's moral and spiritual wellness.


Jamie has dedicated a great portion of her life to supporting members of the military, not only by volunteering as an FRG Leader, but she is also very active in numerous veterans' organizations. Jamie is a well known and recognized individual in the Crookston and surrounding areas. She has been crucial in connnecting the City of Crookston with individual Soldier's unique needs. Volunteering numerous hours of her personal time to ensure that these services are available to our troops, her contributions have helped increase awareness throughtout a large portion of Polk County. She has been key in providing a seamless relationship between the Company FRG, Crookston BYR committee, and local veteran's clubs and their auxiliaries. We truly thank her for her amazing commitment to the Servicemembers, families, and commmunity. We are honored to have her as a part of our MN volunteer team!



 January Volunteer of the Month - Maggie Koester


Maggie Koester 1-15-14

Maggie Koester is the Family Readiness Group Leader for the 114 Transportation Company (114 TRANS) out of Chisholm, MN, currently deployed to Afghanistan. As soon as Maggie was appointed as the FRG Leader, she jumped right in and made sure that Families understood the deployment process. In a large state where we have many geographically dispersed Service Members and their Families in one unit, she has organized the Family roster according to regions making it easier for Families to find a location to meet and less distance to travel. Maggie's first FRG meeting was a success, connnecting five armory locations - Roseville, Duluth, Austin, Olivia, and Camp Ripley - through video teleconference. Families were able to select a location closest to their home, and still feel a part of the FRG Group.



On top of getting ready for the deployment, less than one month before the 114 TRANS left Minnesota, Maggie was married to CPT Ryan Koester, commander. In the true spirit of a Military Spouse, Maggie is resilient, eagerly anticipating her new husband's return to begin their married life together, but focusing on dedicating her time to offering support to others. With her easy smile and sincere words, Maggie provides comfort to those around her. She genuinely cares about the Families she supports and it shows! We are fortunate to have her as a part of our MN Volunteer Team!



August Volunteer of the Month - Christina Cerecedes


August VOM CollageChristina Cerecedes is the Family Readiness Group co-leader for A Co., 1/34th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, in Bloomington. Christina has been actively participating in the FRG for more than two years, initially as secretary, now as co-leader. She has taken a lead role in efforts to support the summer picnic and holiday party and worked tirelessly to ensure that every family event is well planned and exceeds the expectations of the families. It will always be a great event when Christina is involved.

Christina is respected and well-liked by the Servicemembers of the unit. They appreciate her honest and genuine concern for them as well as her ready smile and great sense of humor. They also look forward to her homemade food (she once made chili to feed 100!). The FRG leadership team knows that Chrstina can be counted on, whether it's driving to Camp Ripley during Annual Training or attending drill weekends to represent the FRG, wrapping gifts for the military children for the holiday party or securing non-military volunteers to provide music at picnics and holiday parties - she is always stepping up to support FRG events.


Chrstina's commitment extends to her pride in her "military men," as she is a very proud military spouse and mother. Her husband is with Headquarters Support Company, Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 34th Infantry Division, and her sons are with A Co. 1/34th BSTB. The family also boasts two daughters and a granddaughter.

Christina can make the mundane and boring fun and challenging. Her glass is always half-full and we are proud to have her as part of our Minnesota volunteer team!



July Volunteer of the Month - Kari Westby


fathers dayKari Westby is the FRG Leader for ETAB 1-151 FA, out of Anoka. Since becoming the FRG Leader this fall, Kari has turned a floundering FRG into a resource for the

Soldiers and Families within ETAB. She has worked tirelessly with local organizations, including the Elk River BTYRN and Anoka BTYRN Committees to provide resources for the ETAB family. This has resulted in job opportunities and housing assistance for families in need. Her work with families and local community has created a professional FRG that has willing and capable volunteers.


Kari is at every drill, sometimes for hours so that the Soldiers know she is there and committed. She also makes sure to recognize all Holidays/Months that are dedicated to the military by either bringing cookies to drill or making sure they bring home information about month of the military child and military family appreciation month. Additionally, she has applied and been accepted to be trained as a Volunteer RTA so that she can continue to make a positive difference for the Soliders and Families she supports. Kari really has gone above and beyond to support the Soldiers and Families of ETAB 1-151 FA and it is our priviliege to have her as part of our MN Volunteer Team!



May Volunteer of the Month - Cassie Kohn


Cassie KohnCassie Kohn is the Family Readiness Group Leader for HHC, 2-135 Infantry Battalion, out of Mankato, MN. Cassie is dependable and professional. She provides a superior level of support to the families of the FRG by using tracking documents she personally developed and attending all available FRT Trainings to further her knowledge and skills. As a result of her experience and knowledge she excels as a leader and is able to connect families to the necessary resources in a timely manner.


Cassie has gone above and beyond to partner with the Yellow Ribbon communities in the area and in particular, demonstrated her dedication by attending a Yellow Ribbon Career Fair event to promote jobs for veterans. Her positive attitude and approachable personality make her a positive asset to her command and to the families she supports. We salute her and are lucky to have her as part of our MN FRG Team!


April's Volunteer of the Month - Robin Agthe


IMG 20130428 140231 279-1Robin is the Family Readiness Group for D Co., 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battalion, out of St. Paul. She is the mom of Spc. Nathaniel Agthe, a member of D Co., 2-147th AHB. She first volunteered in December 2011, and later stepped into the FRG Leader role for D Company. Since then she has gone above and beyond her duties as leader.


Not only does she send out communications to the families she supports via email, but she also personally calls them every three months to verify their numbers and lets them know she is there as a resource. Robin also attends battalion FRG events, taking charge of children' games and crafts, and helps out with set up and tear down for the events.


Robin shows her support of the National Guard not only by attending functions for D Company, but also functions - such as change of command - for other companies in the battalion. She has also assisted with creating company book binders for the entire 34th Combat Aviation Brigade. She was recognized for her hard work at the 2012 Brigade Ball and received a Certificate of Appreciation from the FRG Brigade Leader Nancy Huddleston and Col. Michael Huddleston. Her selfless giving and her compassion for families make her a valuable member of the FRG team, and we are fortunate to have her!



March's Volunteer of the Month - Kim Hite!


homeKim Hite is the Family Readiness Group co-leader for A Co., 2nd Battalion, 147th Assault Helicopter Battlion, out of St. Paul. Kim took on the role during her husband's second deployment (she was previously the FRG leader for his first deployment in 2008-09 with D. Co., 2-147). Kim believes in the FRG program and displays it in her actions with her fellow family members. She has planned meetings and researched creative events for the families, including a memorable meeting held at the zoo and a free photo booth and photographer for a battalion event. Additionally, Kim sends out email communications to the families and is a phone-tree caller.


Kim has great compassion for the families she works with. The families, in turn, trust her and know they can come to her for information or to just talk. Through her listening skills and research and resource abilities she has empowered her families to be self-reliant and resilient. We are fortunate to have her as part of the FRG team!



February's Volunteer of the Month - Angie Glassel


Angie Glassel 2012 Professional PictureAngie Glassel has been part of the G Co., 134th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Family Readiness Group since 2003. She has held various positions to include her current position of FRG Leader. Angie is also a founding member of the South Central Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Network, which serves Nicollet, Blue Earth and Le Sueur Counties. Angie has organized and planned many events. Her most recent endeavor was a Spa Day during the unit's December drill. Angie coordinated and planned the event which allowed for spouses and family members to receive manicures, hair styling and coordinated for Rasmussen College to share information on nutritional wellness.


Angie has made a positive impact on the morale of the unit and its family members. During the most recent 1st BCT deployment, Angie created innovative events monthly for amilies. Some of the events that she was directly involved with were Water Park of America weekend in Bloomington, family fun at the Wow! Zone, holiday fun with Santa and Mrs. Clous, a welcome home parade for returning Soldiers and many other exciting events. Angie also is a spokesperson at the local South Central Beyond the Yellow Ribbon meetings, allowing for great events for current Soldiers and veterans alike. Angie gives countless volunteer hours to the Minnesota National Guard and all local veterans programs. We are fortunate to have such a great FRG leader!



January's Volunteer of the Month - Bill Krammer!


KrammerBill has done a fantastic job as the Family Readiness Group treasurer, maintaining and consistently turning in FRG fund reports at the beginning of each month. He has brought his finance knowledge and experience as a tax preparer to the position, using his knowledge of such software as QuickBooks and Excel to keep the account within the guidelines set for the FRG by the Army Regulation.


He actively participates in the planning and volunteer recruitment for unit family events, such as the holiday party and family picnics. At these events, Bill has shown that he is a hard worker and reliable, staying on task until the job is complete. Bill is active with both the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of Suburban Ramsey County and the Knights of Columbus, which allows him to recruit much needed volunteers for unit family events. He does not have a family connection with the unit, but when the call went out to the community for an FRG treasurer, he was the first person to step up.




December's Volunteer of the Month - Nancy Huddleston!


Nancy HuddlestonNancy Huddleston became the 34th Combat Aviation Brigade's Family Readiness Group leader shortly after her husband took command of the unit in September 2009. As a new leader, Nancy wanted to understand the needs of the families and unit FRGs and met with the outgoing FRG leader and Family Readiness Support Assistant to identify different ways she could offer support.


As the brigade FRG leader, Nancy has worked with all thirteen companies within the brigade and has attended many of their events. In particular, she helped promote the "My Life in a Box" presentations which teaches families about personal and emergency preparedness and even drove a participant to an event. She has also supported the unit pancake breakfast by setting up for the event, serving food and recognizing volunteers for their efforts. Both she and her husband have attended the four departure ceremonies and three homecomings that have happened during her time as the brigade FRG leader. Additionally, Nancy contributes a monthly article titled "In Touch with FRG" which is published in every unit newsletter. For the past two years, she has gone out of her way to recognize the company FRG leaders for their efforts both informally and at the annual Brigade Ball. She is known by her fellow volunteers as a person who offers encouragement and support.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 09:47