grade, my family moved to northern MN. A town called Pelican Rapids, where we stayed for 3 years—it was tough moving from the Cities to the Country—we had chickens and dogs/puppies, cats and lots of mice and a wood burning furnace—that would often burn itself out in the middle of the night and we’d wake to see our breath in the air—not my favorite.  Then, we moved when I was in the 9th grade back to the Cities area, to Stillwater, and rented for 8 months then found a house in Afton, MN. which is where I was until I graduated high school from Stillwater.  The Summer between high school and college I applied to a Nanny agency and I flew to Connecticut where I was placed with a family of two kids to work for the Summer.  That fall, I went to Winona State for one year—lived off campus with a friend—and we both decided after 1 year to transfer to the U of M Twin Cities campus for more opportunity and a larger campus.  I stayed there for 3 years—ending up as an English Major.  

I met my husband at a fraternity party at the U of M…and got married in 1993.  Our first son Cole was born in 1996 and our 2nd son Max came along 4.5 years later in 2000.  I have worked in the business office at St Croix Reginal Med. Ctr, worked as Director of a daycare center, and owned an Anytime Fitness Franchise for 6 years, before I came to Ecumen in 2014.  

In my spare time, I think travel is high on the list—I have been lucky to travel to many places—my first plane ride was when I was 19 my family went to Disney Land in Calif. To attend a family reunion…then my first trip to Europe was when I was 37 years old.  Since then, I’ve been to France 3 times, as well as Italy, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, & England. I was lucky enough to have a brother who lived in Europe for 10 years so I had a readymade travel guide to plan out trips for me.  

I have also been around the US from New Mexico, Texas, and California to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.  I have also been to the Caribbean Island of St Thomas 4 times—my husband actually has family that lives there that we visit—which is a plus.  Besides travel, I also like to garden, ride bike, take hikes, visit wineries and breweries, attend plays and musicals at theatres, watch football, I love shopping, and spending time with family and friends.  

My favorite food is any pasta—I love pasta!!  And my favorite beverage is a good glass of wine or a Coke Zero 

An interesting fact about me is that I like to collect antique wedding cake toppers—you know those little ‘man and wife’ figurines that go on the top of wedding cakes—I got my first set when my grandpa died, and it was the year of my wedding and he had a set, so family decided I should have it and that started my interest in finding more—so I have little ones and bigger ones and military couples, a couple from the roaring 20’s and more—I think I have about 25 sets of them that I display on a shelf in my Home Office.  

I am also of Finnish descent—50% Finnish—and I love to take saunas, so my husband and I recently built a custom outdoor sauna—it has a cute front porch, and a small changing room and the Sauna is all cedar and is about 8 x 8 ft. with an L Shaped bench—it’s been really fun to run from the house to the hot sauna in the cold winter to warm up!

Meet our Member: Mara Krinke

Mara Krinke is our current Chisago Lakes Rotary President. Mara lives in rural Shafer, on 20 acres where she and her husband built their home we built  3 years ago.  Mara and her husband Chad have been married 29 years, and together they have two sons.

"I've been in the Rotary for 7 years.  I have enjoyed the opportunities it provides to get out into the Community and make a difference.  I also love all our fellow Rotarians, and our district Rotarians.  All of them are smart, energetic, caring people who push me to do good things and be my best self.  I am honored to be your President this year and look forward to continuing our good work together!"

I grew up in multiple places, and I have one sibling, a brother, named Chris who is 3 years older than me:  I was born in St. Louis Park, MN and attended elementary school in Mpls. In the 6th