Ashby Legacy Fund was established with a vision to celebrate, with gratitude, the many benefits offered by the community of Ashby, MN. While our organization has many goals for the betterment of our community, a key goal is creating a central location for Ashby alumni and friends to continue investing in, for generations to come.
A passion for community enrichment.
The Community Team (formerly Community Club) focuses on the revitalization and sustainability of Ashby, as well as hosting many fun and seasonal events that celebrate our community’s uniquely vibrant history.
A passion for student initiatives.
The School Team (formerly Ashby Education Foundation) works with educators and classroom fundraisers to support vital programs in Ashby schools that may lie beyond the scope of an annual classroom budget.
A passion for lifelong learning.
The Scholarship Team (formerly Dollars for Scholars) provides Ashby students with a one-of-a-kind scholarship opportunity and helps to strengthen our culture of remembering our roots and giving back to the next generation.
By merging all three programs into Ashby Legacy Fund, we are able to better support one another and serve our common purpose with greater effectiveness. We know it takes a village—but when we work together, amazing things can happen!
Ashby Legacy Fund is made possible through the generous support of Ashby alumni, community leaders, and student advocates.
As a proud alumnus of Ashby Public School, Rob supports Ashby Legacy Fund as President. Rob graduated from Bemidji State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Rob is also the CEO and Founding Partner of NorthRock Partners, an advice firm headquartered in Minneapolis, MN that supports individuals, professional athletes, and business owners. Rob and his wife Lucinda live in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Rob has a son, Brady Nelson, who is currently attending college in the Portland area.
Executive DirectorMeet Heidi
Heidi Hoff attended Ashby School from kindergarten all the way through high school. After graduating Ashby High School in 1997, Ms. Hoff went on to study at Fergus Falls Community College and Alexandria Technical and Community College. She then returned to Ashby School, where she worked as an Administrative Assistant for nine years. Today, Heidi is a proud Ashby resident and mom to two current students. She serves on the board of Ashby School District and the Ashby Legion Auxiliary, and can often be seen around Ashby at her sons’ sporting events, spending time with family and friends, and participating in local events. Heidi looks forward to this new opportunity to give back to her hometown and to support Ashby’s future generations.
Board MemberMeet Al
Originally from Frazee and with a long history of family in Minnesota, Al Niemann is a long-time veteran of serving in Minnesota schools. Al received a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education and Mathematics at Bemidji State University. At St. Cloud State University, Mr. Niemann earned a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, as well as a degree in Educational Administration and Supervision. Mr. Niemann served as the principal for Foley High School for seventeen years before coming to Ashby as the Superintendent in 2016, where he served until 2018. Boasting a nearly forty-year career in education, Al comes to the Ashby Legacy Fund as an expert in Ashby’s education system.
Board MemberMeet Erin
Erin Peterson attended Ashby Public School from kindergarten through graduation as a member of Class of 2000. After high school, she completed her undergraduate degrees at the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 2004 before attending medial school at the University of Minnesota in Duluth and Minneapolis and receiving her MD in 2009. Throughout her years of training, she kept her goal of returning to Ashby to serve her community as a primary care physician in sight, and after completing her residency in Internal Medicine at Abbott Northwestern in 2012, she moved back to Ashby with her husband to start her practice at Lake Region Healthcare. She is an active member of the Ashby community, serving for several years as the president of the Ashby Community Club (which is now known as the ALF Community Advisory Team) and as the director of the annual Appreciation Days 5K Run. She and her husband, Justin Eberhardt, enjoy traveling, camping, skiing, and hiking with their young son, Aiden.
Board MemberMeet Dallas
After graduating from Ashby in 2002, Dallas Rylander went on to pursue a degree in Business Administration from Bemidji State University. He then transferred to Minnesota State University Moorhead, where in 2006 he earned a degree in Business Administration, Finance, and Communication Studies. After graduating, Dallas came back to Ashby and worked as a Financial Analyst for Verizon Wireless. In 2011, he began employment with First State Bank of Ashby and Rylander Insurance Agency, achieving the role of Vice President, Assistant Cashier, and Insurance Agent. Dallas is now transitioning into management of the insurance agency. He currently serves as Treasurer for the Ashby School Board, Vice Commander for Ashby Sons of the American Legion, and Treasurer for Coots Unlimited – Ashby’s local sportsmen’s club. As an active member in the Ashby community, he is proud of where he was brought up and where he continues to raise his own family.
Board MemberMeet John
John Kent has been a staple of the Ashby school community for generations, retiring this summer after 31 years teaching at Ashby High School. and serving as the Athletic Director. During his time at Ashby, he especially enjoyed coaching the school’s basketball teams. There’s no shortage of students who highlight the positive impact Mr. Kent made on their lives during their time at Ashby. John is excited to continue his legacy at Ashby in his new capacity serving as board member for the Ashby Legacy Fund.
Board MemberMeet Renee
Renee Melby is a long-time resident of Ashby: she graduated from Ashby High School in 1974. She continues to play a large role in the Ashby school district, where she currently serves as the Business Manager for Ashby Public Schools. Together with Greg and other members of the class of ’74, Renee took on the project of restoring the iconic City Restaurant in downtown Ashby. The close-knit class works together to keep the restaurant a community staple. Renee is looking forward to working with the Ashby Legacy Fund and seeing what all Ashby alumni can accomplish together.
Board MemberMeet Nicholas
Nick resides in Ashby with his wife Megan and two sons Henry and Abraham. He graduated with the AHS Class of 2000. He joined the US Navy after high school and served with the VS-24 Scouts aboard the USS Enterprise and USS Roosevelt as an Avionics Technician. Nick returned home and graduated from the Computer and Voice Networking program at Alexandria Technical and Community College. He has been employed with the Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District since 2008. Nick is a volunteer Fire fighter and EMT with the Ashby Fire and Ambulance Service for the past fourteen years. Nick is a charter member of the Ashby’s Sons of the American Legion and has been a member of The Ashby American Legion since 2001 where he had held the titles of Commander, Vice Commander and Adjutant. Nick’s community involvement is an asset to the Legacy Fund.
Board MemberMeet Dwight
Board MemberMeet Heather
Heather Dewey attended Ashby School from kindergarten through graduation. After graduating from Ashby High School in 1999, Heather attended Minnesota State University, Moorhead to study Early Childhood Education, graduating in 2002 with a birth to third grade teaching license. She taught preschool for 18 years, during which she also received a Parent Education Certificate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and a K-12 Reading Specialist Certificate from St. Cloud State University. Mrs. Dewey is currently employed as a Reading Specialist at Ashby School. She is active in many committees within the school in an effort to ensure students are getting the best education possible. Heather is married to Ashby graduate, David, and together they have three children who are all enrolled in Ashby. Heather looks forward to giving back to the Ashby community through the Ashby Legacy Fund.
Board MemberMeet Suzanne
Suzanne Wing is a dedicated member of the Ashby community. She received a bachelor’s of arts degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and moved to Ashby after experiencing all the community had to offer while spending time at her family’s local cabin. Since 2006, she has served on the Ashby school board and today is the current Chair. Since 2007, Suzanne served on the Ashby Education Foundation Advisory Committee, until the Foundation merged with Ashby Legacy Fund. From Wayzata, Minnesota, Suzanne is involved in the larger Minnesota education community as well, serving as a Director for the Lakes Country Service Cooperative—a nonprofit dedicated to serving as a liaison for many local schools. Suzanne is the proud mother of two Ashby graduates and enjoys bringing her perspective to the Ashby Legacy Fund.
Student AdvocateMeet Carson
Carson Spangler, Class of 2022, is the son of Shawn & Kristin Spangler. He is involved in football, basketball, baseball and trap. His favorite class is History. He works at Ness Backhoe Service and Mickelson Lawn Care. In his free time, Carson loves to hunt and fish.
Student AdvocateMeet Matson
Matson Hoff, Class of 2022, is the son of Peter & Heidi Hoff. He is involved in cross country, football, basketball, basketball, trap, NHS, band and choir. His favorite class is History. He works at JC’s grocery and GOD’S Country Lawn & Dock Service. His plans are to go to college and get a pilot license.