PATH ND Board of Directors
Michelle Murray, Interim CEO
Dr. Michelle K. Murray joined Nexus in 2010 as the Director of Clinical Services, and was promoted to Vice President of Clinical Services in 2015. In this capacity, Murray is responsible for establishing consistency in clinical services, as well as providing support, consultation, and setting the clinical direction for all services and programming across the Nexus continuum. Murray is also responsible for the onboarding and development of new clinical services, providing leadership to Nexus’ Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) endeavors, and ensuring ongoing training and development of clinical staff.
In her previous position as Nexus Director of Clinical Services, Murray assisted with the oversight of Nexus programming across the continuum and provided professional expertise to the successful implementation of the Nexus’ Family Partnership Initiative and trauma-informed practices. Dr. Murray was also in charge of coordinating Nexus’ COA accreditation process and providing oversight to CQI before a Director of CQI and Research was established at the organization.
Dr. Murray has 19 years of experience in the field. Before joining Nexus, she worked for
Adelphoi Village/Northern Tier Children’s Home as the Director of a 62-bed residential
treatment facility that served both male and female youth with co-occurring mental health issues and sexually harmful behaviors. Other programs under her leadership included foster care, shelter/diagnostic assessment services, group homes, independent living services, and community-based psycho-sexual assessments. She also held positions as Clinical Director, Director of Residential Services, and Family Therapist with Adelphoi.
Dr. Murray is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and an Approved Clinical
Supervisor through the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. She
received her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University.
William A. Metcalfe, Chief Executive Officer
Year Elected to Board: 1994
Dr. William A. Metcalfe, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), has been with PATH since its beginning in North Dakota in 1994, and has been instrumental in developing family-based services throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. Dr. Metcalfe has also been very involved in furthering family therapy and systemic views in treatment foster care and other programming. He developed and provided training for PATH staff and foster parents in family therapy and sponsored training in North Dakota in structural family, systemic family, and brief solution focused family therapies. As PATH ND CEO, Dr. Metcalfe oversees all PATH programs in North Dakota and Idaho.
Before joining PATH, Dr. Metcalfe worked in public and private human service agencies, serving in executive leadership positions in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa. He holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from North Dakota State University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Iowa, LICSW, Board Certified Diplomat in Social Work and is a Clinical Member and Approved Supervisor of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. Dr. Metcalfe has completed the CWLA Leadership Training from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; worked with North Dakota State University at the Family Studies Institute; and is included as a “Distinguished Scholar” by Circulus with the University of Louisiana. He has been honored with a lifetime achievement award from the North Dakota Family Based Services Association, and the family-based services programs developed by Dr. Metcalfe have been honored by both the Minnesota and North Dakota Family Based Service Associations for outstanding services.
Kathy Ellingson, President
Year Elected to Board: 2009
Kathy Ellingson joined the PATH ND Board in February 2009, and was elected as President in November 2009. Kathy brings a background in Board service and management to PATH ND. She has been on the May-Port Clifford/Galesburg (CG) School Board for 15 years, manages the Pizza Hut in Mayville, and has worked at Luther Memorial for ten years. She and her husband, Doug, are licensed foster parents and have six children. They have provided care for the County and Lutheran Social Services, and began fostering with PATH ND in 2003. Kathy teaches CCD to the fourth grade at Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Mayville, ND, and belongs to the Ladies Aides.
Michelle Beyer, Vice President
Year Elected to Board: 2007
Michelle became a PATH Board Member in 2007, after serving as a PATH Unit Representative and a PATH Regional Board Representative. She started with PATH as a therapeutic foster parent and worked with programs such as SAFE, Family Support, CARE, and respite programs. In addition, she is a certified PATH PRIDE trainer and assists with SAFE Bed four days per week. She and her husband, Patrick, have nine children — seven of whom were adopted through the foster care system.
Larry Bernhardt, Secretary/Treasurer
Year Elected to Board: 2014
Larry has served on the PATH ND Board of Directors since 2014 as a community representative from the Fargo, ND area. He retired as Executive Director of Catholic Charities ND in July 2013, after a 45-year career that included serving as Deputy Director for the ND Dept. of Human Services; Executive Director for Stark County Social Services, Dickinson, ND; and Director of Koochiching County Social Services, International Falls, MN. He also served two independent terms as President of the ND Conference of Social Welfare, and was awarded the Ruth Meiers Award, the Sr. Donna Chaput Award, and the President’s Award. Larry is a licensed Social Worker in ND. He and his wife, Barb, and their two children, Sarah & Aaron, provided licensed foster care in Dickinson, ND, and cared for many children in both short-term emergency care and long-term care.
Wannetta began her post-secondary education with an Associate of Arts degree from Turtle Mountain Community College, Belcourt, ND. She then attended Minot State University, Minot, ND, where she attained a Bachelor of Science degree. From there, she went to the University of Mary, Bismarck, ND, where she earned her Master of Science in Management and, later, a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Wannetta recently earned her Doctorate in Business Administration (PhD BA). She and her husband, Ed, have served as foster parents for many years. Wannetta is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa: a Pembina descendant and a member of the Crane Clan (Ajijaak Indoodem).
Lisa J. Bjergaard
Lisa has served continuously on the PATH ND Board since its founding in 1994, and has served periodically on the Strategic Planning Committee, Finance Committee, and Executive Committee. She also serves as the Director of the North Dakota Division of Juvenile Services, a position she has held since September, 2006. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing operations of the State’s juvenile corrections agency. Her background includes serving as a regional administrator and a case manager within the Division of Juvenile Services, as well as working in the private sector with delinquent youth in residential care, shelter care, and in a non-profit setting with survivors of domestic violence. Lisa currently serves on various youth-related boards and committees at the local, state, and national level, and has been involved in the development of a variety of public/private partnerships that provide mental health, substance abuse, educational and behavioral health services to youth and children. She has assisted in content and curriculum development and training delivery for a variety of training programs within North Dakota and for the National Institute of Corrections. Her educational background includes a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Public Safety (M.S.) and a Bachelor’s degree in Religion (B.A.).
Board Member since 2006
Mary Rothmann has served as a PATH ND Board member since 1999. She is the community representative for the Minot region, having resided in Bottineau County since 1967. Mary, a licensed social worker, was director of the Bottineau County Social Service agency from 1968 until 2004. After resigning as director, she was elected County Commissioner and served in that capacity until December 2010. She attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN, where she majored in Social Work, Psychology, and Sociology. Following graduation, she worked in Ward County as a social worker. Mary is a mother of two children, and grandparent of three girls.
Gregory is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and Associate Dean for the College of Human Development and Education at North Dakota State University. Greg teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, with a focus on family science and gerontology. He conducts research in the areas of family relationships and later-life families. In his role as Associate Dean, he provides leadership in building capacities in technology and research. He has published and presented nationally on building technology and distance education capacities and in issues related to aging and families in later life. Greg serves on the Helpers Board (Barnesville), PATH ND Inc., and the Services Committee for the Alzheimer’s Association (Minnesota/North Dakota). He also serves on the Great Plains IDEA Human Sciences Board.
Frank Sesek has more than 20 years’ experience in child welfare in Illinois and Idaho. He served as Deputy Administrator for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, supervising all child welfare programs from 2002 to 2009. Prior to that, he served as Project Director for development and implementation of Idaho’s statewide automated information system for child welfare. His management experience in Illinois includes service with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Service and the Chapin Hall Center for Children, a national child welfare research center based at the University of Chicago. Frank holds Master’s degrees in both Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and Business Administration from Northwestern University.