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Dianna Thurlow

City of Kelliher employees introduced

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Dianna Thurlow

Dianna Thurlow is still getting settled in to the position of the city clerk of Kelliher that she has held since February of this year.

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"I really enjoy this position because every day is a new day and there is something different happening all the time," she said.

Before coming to Kelliher, Thurlow worked as the deputy clerk in Blackduck for three years and then worked for the county highway department for a year.

For the past five years, Thurlow has enjoyed life in Kelliher with her husband, Jeff, and her two children, Danny and Kari, both of whom, currently live in Bemidji.

Before moving to this area, she lived in Staples, where she was originally born and raised, for 10 years and in Nebraska for a period of time before coming back to her native Minnesota home.

Thurlow attended college at Central Lakes College on the Brainerd Campus, where she received a degree as an accounting microcomputer specialist.

Her accounting background makes numbers one of the aspects Thurlow enjoys most about her job.

"I like doing things like the liquor store income statements and balancing the city's checkbook," she said.

Aside from working as the city clerk, Thurlow and her husband run a cow/calf operation of approximately 120 head on their roughly 600 acres of land.

"My real passion is horses," Thurlow said. "I love to work with horses. We have a total of 13."

Life, according to Thurlow, couldn't get any better at the moment. She said she plans to keep along this path as long as she possibly can.

Peggy Vollhaber

Peggy Vollhaber is celebrating two years as assistant clerk for the city of Kelliher this month and she couldn't be happier.

Prior to coming to work for the city of Kelliher, Vollhaber worked for Beltrami County Nursing Service off and on for a year and a half. She then worked as a bookkeeper for Village One Stop for six years.

Vollhaber very much enjoys her position especially because she gets to interact with so many people.

"I absolutely love seeing people," she said.

Learning the ins and outs of city government is another highlight to Vollhaber's job.

"Even as such a small town, it is so interesting to learn what it takes to keep it running," she said. "I think some people take for granted all the work that is done to keep a town going. I give credit to anyone who runs for city council."

She has held a spot on the school board in Kelliher for two years. As a school board member, Vollhaber again, sees how much work and effort is put into keeping a school system alive and working in running order.

"My daughters actually liked that I served on the board," Vollhaber said of Kayla, who is now a freshman at Bemidji State University and Cassie, a freshman at Kelliher High School. "I guess they think they have a voice through me."

With both of Vollhaber's jobs, she said the most challenging facet is the fact that not everyone can be pleased.

"People do get unhappy and I try to do the most to my ability, to work with them and make situations better," she said.

Vollhaber and her husband, Greg who works for the Department of Natural Resources in Bemidji, have made Kelliher their home for 22 years -- one month after they were married.

"The original plan was to come for one year and 22 years later, we're still here," she laughed.

Chuck Schultz

While he can, Chuck Schultz, the water and waste water superintendent of Kelliher, is busy getting work done around the city before the ground freezes and the below zero temperatures roll in.

Schultz has held this, sometimes not-so-clean, job for seven years and enjoys all corners of it.

"I really like the variety I get when I come to work," he said. "Dirty jobs, like working on the sewage ponds make life interesting."

Schultz has lived in Kelliher for nine years and said that after that amount of time, he has gotten very familiar with the city, which makes his job much easier at times.

There are, however, a lot of areas that require additional knowledge Schultz explained.

"There are times when I run into new challenges and having to learn things," he said. "To help better myself and my career, there are different kinds of classes I go to throughout the state, northern Minnesota especially for training to keep up with the constantly changing technology and aspects of the job."

Schultz has four sons and has been married to his wife, Kaylene, for seven years.

Schultz is also an avid hunter, trapper and fisherman.

"This area is God's country," he laughed. "That's why I live here.

I am happy with my work, I'm happy with where I live and I just overall enjoy doing what I do," Schultz said.

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Pioneer staff reports
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