SOL Magazine Spring 2023

2012 Send your 2012 class notes and photos to Salena Koster (salena. or JR Wise ( ______________________________ Kira (Simnioniw) Barrett, her husband Parker and their son Oliver welcomed a new baby girl into the family in July! Her name is Braelyn Reese Barrett.

2008 Send your 2008 class notes and photos to Andrea Hoversten ( ______________________________ Sarah Brenes is now the executive director of the James H. Binger Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School. Sarah has long advocated for the rights of non-citizens, including refugees and asylum- seekers.

2011 Send your 2011 class notes and photos to Amanda Crain or Pamela Steinle at (ust2011classnotes@

companies are pushing employers to fire their workers. 2014 Send your 2014 class notes and photos to Austin Bowyer (austin. or Anthony Truong (ants.conglomerate@ ______________________________ Joy and Erik Beitzel welcomed Baby Karl on September 29, joining his big sisters Ingrid (5) and Greta (3). They celebrated two years of living in Duluth, where Erik is an assistant city attorney and Joy is the staff attorney at the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault.

property at Bang & Olufsen. She has been traveling Europe and diving into ceramics in her free time. Luke Heck remains a partner at Vogel in Fargo, ND but life is lonely at the top. His “friends” Alex Healy, Ben Kajer and Parker Olson never call. Kyle Dreger and Ben Freedman love his career assistance, but not his company. Brady Janzen is still cool though. Katie Nagel is now corporate counsel at One80 Intermediaries, which provides specialized insurance solutions for commercial companies, nonprofits, public entities and individuals throughout the U.S. and Canada.

of construction. Sterling manages real estate investment trusts in the Midwest region.

______________________________ Hello Class of 2011, pour yourself a cup of coffee and grab a snack, Pam and Amanda have a lovely set of class notes to share with you today. Please note, we were directed to keep notes to 45 words each. Your submissions are wonderful, we love every word, but “like sands through the hourglass …” Congratulations to Jenna Eisenmenger on launching Midwest Family Law, a Woodbury-based firm that focuses on family law and child protection.

2010 Send your 2010 class notes and photos to Meghann Kantke or Garin Strobl (ustlaw2010@ ______________________________ Congratulations! Frank Aba-Onu is now senior associate general counsel at Optum. He and Danielle welcomed their first child, Ayden Chinedu, on July 13, 2022.

Congratulations to Ryan Hansch , who was elected McLeod County Attorney. Mandy Kopnick joined Castlelake in September as head of core compliance, senior counsel. Castlelake is a global alternative investment firm. Mandy reports she enjoys the change of pace and has already learned a lot! Congratulations to Brandon Niles ’09 and Pamela LeBlanc Niles, who welcomed their second child, John Arthur, on April 22, 2022. Pamela Steinle moderated the 2022 School of Law Alumnae Brunch panel, “Creating Space for Women to Succeed.” Victoria Brenner ’04 was honored with the Alumna Achievement Award, and panelists included Barb Brekke ’05 , Kelli Riley ’12 and Molly Hough ’18. Carly Stephani is now Medtronic’s lead counsel for core spine and biologics, providing legal support and partnership on everything from contracting and communications, to deals and disputes. She lives in Eden Prairie with husband Mike Stephani ’10 and children Jack (5) and Liv (3).

2013 Send your 2013 class notes and photos to Carolyn (Latimer) Frazer ( or Grant Gherity ( ______________________________ Daniel Brees joined Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, LLP. He is a member of the employment law, professional liability defense and commercial litigation practice groups. Grant Gherity and wife Kelly welcomed twins Finnegan and Molly to the family on October 4. Everyone is doing well!

David Carrier is now a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough in the firm’s litigation practice.

2009 Send your 2009 class notes and photos to Lisa Thimjon (

Trevor Carolan is an appellate and complex motion attorney at Bowman and Brooke LLP in Dallas, Texas. Better news, he is NOT a Cowboys fan. He also continues to play the pipe organ professionally and had a recent Midwest concert tour.

Kate Norris got married to a fella she first saw at Chipotle. Her bachelorette party was a treat, which included fellow St. Thomas Law alums Maria Zaloker, Jessica Drewiske and Alicia Strilzuk.

______________________________ Class of 2009, I hope you all are doing well as we start 2023. I had a great summer trip, which included biking 142 miles from Amsterdam to Cologne to celebrate my dad’s retirement. It was a really fun way to take in the sights, and I would highly recommend it. Matt Schwandt is using his expertise as Bauhaus Brew Labs president and co-founder to expand into consulting, helping other brands establish brand equity and align organizational decision-making with profitable branding and marketing solutions. He also spent time hiking the Scottish Highlands, which sounds revitalizing. In August 2022, Blair Gisi was named a shareholder at South Law in Overland Park, Kansas. Way to go, Blair! Jessica Welk joined Minneapolis- based real estate development company Schafer Richardson as general counsel. Jessica leads the legal team and supports the development, asset management, property management, construction, leasing, accounting and SR Realty Trust teams.

Mike Boulette, a domestic relations partner at Taft, won a Minnesota Supreme Court victory in Pooley v. Pooley, a case regarding omitted assets in a divorce.

Meghan Feliciano returned to St. Thomas Law as the assistant director of the Mentor Externship Program. Meghan reports it has been fun seeing familiar names in students’ mentor logs and thanks her colleagues for serving. Anyone interested in serving as a mentor can email her at meghan.

Katie Wertheim Iacarella is now the director of advanced client strategies at Renaissance Financial, supporting financial advisors and their clients on estate planning, tax planning, charitable planning and business succession strategies. Katie and Jeremiah Iacarella also welcomed Eloise Grace Iacarella on September 15.

Jill Sauber is now certified by the National Elder Law Foundation. Jill owns Sauber Legal Services LLC, where she practices elder law, including asset protection, medical assistance, veterans benefits and long-term care planning; estate and tax planning; and estate and trust administration and litigation.

Ana (Chilingarishvili) Michno is now director counsel of operational systems at Target. Iowa District Court Judge John Sandy started a pilot drug court program in Clay and Dickinson Counties. The program seeks to help those struggling with addiction stay clean during probation.

Kristin Giant continues to change jobs 1-2 times a year to keep her husband on his toes. She recently embarked on the thrill of a lifetime, teaching business to 400 high school students. For fun, she maintains her consulting company advising philanthropists and impact investors. Laura E. Gisler is enjoying life in Copenhagen, Denmark as the global director of intellectual

A major in the Army Reserve, Peter Postma recently returned from a year-long deployment to the Middle East where he was the Brigade Judge Advocate for the aviation brigade providing aviation assets throughout the region. Peter then joined Taft’s Real Estate Group in Minneapolis.

Sarah Gillaspey married Byron Lubenkov on May 20, 2022, in St. Paul, MN. Many Tommies were in attendance: Caitlin Anderson, Will Aschenmacher, Ashley Boe, Amy Boyle, Jacques Duplantier, Peter Glessing, Kelly Mellberg and Callie Lehman. Sarah and Byron live in the Longfellow neighborhood in Minneapolis.

Joey Orrino and his wife Emily welcomed their fourth child, a daughter named Edith Mary, on August 4. Salena (Tumini) Koster and Jared Koster welcomed their third child, Claudia Marie, on September 30. Also in September, Jared joined Sterling Management in Bloomington as their new director

The award for best business move goes to Tony Toepfer, who claims he hired an associate purely to put the associate’s last name (Wins) on marketing materials. And with that … “so are the days of our lives.” Keep those class notes coming, and next time, more pictures!

Josh Socks and Liz Malay , along with Josh’s law partner Dustin Collier, won their trial against the 11th biggest insurance brokerage in the U.S. Their client, a school custodian, was awarded nearly $35 million dollars. The trial exposed why some insurance

Alyssa Troje is now a shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron (Minneapolis).

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Spring 2023 Page 35

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