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Who We Are.

Meet Ecumen’s team of caring and committed professionals.

For more information, please call 320-762-1567 or click here to contact us online.

Matthew Fischer
Executive Director

Phone: 320-763-1133

Matthew was born in Marshall, MN and grew up on the family farm.  His wife Whitney is from Chokio, MN and also grew up on her family farm.  They met while attending Southwest State University in Marshall.  They have a daughter.

Matthew received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management from Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN and is currently enrolled in the Executive Masters of Healthcare Administration at the University of Minnesota.  Matthew is a licensed Nursing Home Administrator in Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa.  He has prior work experience in Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming and Minnesota.

Leisure time is spent with family, enjoying the lake and outdoor activities.  He is a golf enthusiast.

Matthew states he has a deep passion for working with people and caring for our elders.  He feels blessed that he can share that passion at Ecumen Bethany Community. 

Carla Nienaber
Adult Day Services Supervisor

Phone: 320-763-2181

Carla Nienaber has been with Ecumen Bethany Community for 22 years. She started her career as a CNA then went onto Alexandria Technical College to earn her TMA certification.  In 1998 Carla was promoted to Coordinator for Day Services.  Carla’s favorite part of her job is knowing she is making a difference in the lives of people she serves.  She is devoted to serving people as she has been involved in several community organizations.  She is most proud of being one of the founders of the Garfield First Responder organization where she has served for over 20 years. Carla also stays busy with her stamping and scrapbooking supplies and hosts monthly gatherings to others who need the space and time to do their creative crafting; to which Carla also offers ideas when they get stuck. When Carla is not serving others she enjoys spending time with friends, her husband of 26 years and their 2 kids fishing, camping, traveling, photography and scrapbooking.

Chad Flynn
Maintenance Manager

Phone: 320-762-1567 ext: 36408

Chad is a graduate of Osakis Public Schools advancing his education at Kaplin University in Sales and Marketing.  In 2002, he received his insurance license in property, casualty, life and health.  Having enjoyed the challenges of maintenance work from a very young age, he followed his heart to develop a career in the maintenance field.  Chad joined the Ecumen Bethany team in 2016.

Outside of work, Chad enjoys auto racing, hunting, camping and spending time with his wife and two girls.

Deb Buker, R.N.
Director Of Nursing

Phone: 320-763-1128

Deb Buker RN, has been with Ecumen Bethany Community since 1998 and has been in her position as the Director of Nursing since 2011. Deb has always worked in Long Term Care and started her career in 1975 as a nursing assistant and worked her way up the career ladder.

Deb loves long term care and all that it has to offer. “The residents bring such joy to my life, the staff and the team work that it takes to have a great nursing organization. I can’t see myself working anywhere else.”

Deb’s interest outside of work is her family. Deb’s favorite time of the year is the summertime and spending time at the lake with as many friends and family that are able to gather together on the weekends

Jamie Tikkanen, LSW
Director of Social Services

Phone: 320-763-2191

Jamie has worked at Ecumen Bethany Home since 2002.  Jamie graduated with her Social Work degree from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN.  She worked in the fields of advocacy as well as with children and families before coming to Ecumen Bethany Community. Her favorite things about working at Ecumen Bethany Community is helping residents realize their resiliency to adapt to difficult life changes, working with incredible co-workers and a company that has a heart of compassion. Outside of work Jamie is married with 2 children that keep her busy with their talents and activities.   

Jessica DeZeeuw RN, RAC-CT
Admissions Coordinator

Phone: 320-763-2185

Jessy has been working at Ecumen Bethany Community since February 2008 where she started her nursing career as a LPN. She completed the RN program at Alexandria Technical College a year later and has continued to advance her nursing career at Ecumen Bethany Community. She has been an Admission Coordinator and Reimbursement Manager since 2011. Jessy enjoys helping families find comfort in finding a home at Ecumen Bethany Community. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, cooking and being active outside.

Julie Eipperle
Housekeeping and Laundry Manager

Phone: 320-760-0912

Julie has been at Ecumen Bethany since 2010.  Julie graduated from Purdue University with a Computer Technology degree.  She worked as a Computer Programmer for many years.  Julie loves her job at Bethany and the challenges of keeping the campus clean and tidy!  In her spare time, Julie enjoys landscaping, decorating, shopping and spending time with her two sons and their families.

Krista Rehm, RN
Admissions Coordinator

Phone: 320-763-2186

Krista has been at Ecumen Bethany Community since 2009. She enjoys working with families to alleviate the many concerns involved with increased care needs of a loved one.  Her most favorite thing about working at Bethany is witnessing shared laughs and joy between staff and residents. Out of the office she enjoys hockey, watersports, traveling, animals and playing anything with her four children.

Lisa Schroeder
Director of Finance and Information Services

Phone: 320-763-2190

Lisa joined Ecumen Bethany Community in 2008 and has worked in the long term care and home care industry since 1993.  She graduated with Honors and her Degree in Accounting, and also completed the Aging Services Housing with Services Management program.  Lisa enjoys the variation and challenges to her job, which includes finance, business office operations and Information Services Operations.

Lisa loves her career at Ecumen Bethany, stating “I love our mission—Creating home for older adults wherever they choose to live. This is their home that I come to every day, and every day is a new opportunity to make a difference.”

Lisa volunteers with 4H and the humane society, serves on the Community Education advisory board and trains her 6 dogs (they are frequently seen at Ecumen Bethany visiting the residents).  When Lisa’s not at work, she enjoys her daughters’ sports activities with her husband and is active with her church.

Patti Carey
Director of Housing

Phone: 320-763-1122

Patti joined Ecumen Bethany Community September of 1997. She earned her Assisted Living Housing Manager certification in July of 1999 and is our Housing Director for Bethel Manor I, Bethel Manor II, Winona Shores and Pelican Bay. Patti’s hobbies include hunting, fishing and being with her family – which also includes all her residents at Ecumen Bethany Community. “I don’t consider this a job when I can truly say that I enjoy coming to work every day!”

Rachel Primus
Human Resources Manager

Phone: 320-763-1130

Rachel has been working at Ecumen Bethany since August of 2008 where she started as the Human Resource and Staffing Specialist.  Through the years, with hiring and onboarding of new employees, she obtained her current postion as Human Resources Manager.  Her position focuses on hiring and retaining great people to care for our residents.  Rachel's favorite things about her career are that no two days are ever the same and she has the ability to choose compassionate people to care for our residents. 

In her spare time, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.  She also enjoys gatherings with extended family and friends, cooking, traveling and summer!

Randee Hall
Director of Community Relations

Phone: 320-763-2192

Randee Hall, a graduate of Winona State University, has served Ecumen Bethany for 29 years.  Over this time, she has seen many changes to the campus and services offered and states:  “The best is yet to come! There is no better place to work.  Making a difference is what work life is about”.   Randee enjoys time with her family, sewing and traveling. 

Sammie McDaniel
Life Enrichment & Volunteer Services

Phone: 320-763-2196

Sammie has been at Ecumen Bethany Home since 2015.  She graduated with Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health and Exercise Science from Bemidji State University.  One of Sammie’s favorite aspects of her job is discovering new, creative and fun activities to do with the residents.  In her true Alaskan nature, Sammie enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and camping.

Shannon Leininger
Clinical Director of Home Care

Phone: 320-759-5052

Shannon Leininger has been with Ecumen Bethany Community since 2004.  Shannon has been the Clinical Director for home care since 2013.  Prior to her role in home care she served as nurse manager for the short-term rehab unit at Bethany.  Shannon earned her associate’s degree in Nursing from Ridgewater College in Willmar, as well as a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and Public Health Nurse Certificate from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.  Her favorite thing about Ecumen Bethany is the “exceptional team of staff” and the “quality care provided to our seniors living on our campus.”  When she’s not working, Shannon enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Tina Nessman, RN
Staff Development Manager

Phone: 320-759-5059

Tina has been employed at Ecumen Bethany Community since 2004 and has worked in staff development since 2007. She graduated from Alexandria Technical & Community College with her Associate’s Degree in Nursing.  Tina enjoys the variation and challenge to her job, which includes staff development for all employees, coordinating our numerous students that come to Bethany, workman’s’ compensation, and LEAN.

Tina loves her career at Ecumen Bethany, stating “I love Ecumen’s mission—Creating home for older adults wherever they choose to live. This is not my workplace, this is their home.”

Tina enjoys teaching and is working on completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.  When Tina’s not at work, she enjoys music, singing, playing with her two boys, and is active with her church.

Tracy Kent, LSW
Social Worker

Phone: 320-763-2194

Tracy has worked at Ecumen Bethany Community as a Social Services Specialist since May of 2008. She received her Bachelors of Social Work degree from Concordia College, Moorhead. She currently works in the short term rehab unit helping residents during their stay and assists with discharge planning.  What she enjoys most about her job is meeting so many different people and working with a great team in an exciting environment where she is able to learn something new every day.  She lives with her husband and two children who keep her very busy outside of work

Valerie Jerzak, CDM CFPP
Director of Dietary

Phone: 320-763-2183

Val began her employment at Bethany Community in 1989 as the Evening Supervisor. In 1990 she received her Dietary Manager Certification and continued her employment until 1998 when she relocated to Sioux Falls SD. In 2007 Val returned to Ecumen Bethany Community as Director. “I enjoy the ability to be creative and work with my team to provide enjoyable meals to our residents and to help make their lives here as homelike as possible.”  When not working she enjoys her family time, 5 grandchildren and her dogs Odie and Frankie.                                                                      

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