top of page

Board of Directors

Matt Sorenson.jpg

Matt Sorenson

Vice-President & Interim President

A software and technology consultant with a long list of other interests, Matt cares about environmental education and ecologic preservation of natural areas. On his sleeve he often wears his convictions about gardening, green spaces, wild places, sensory experiences, and a certain wanderlust – and the critical impact of these functions on health and healing, mindfulness, gratitude, and understanding the impact of our actions and decisions on the planet.

As a father, Matt believes it is especially important to foster an appreciation for nature and earth-connectedness to our younger generations. Whether a module of software code or a parcel of land, his ethos is, leave it better than you found it.

Teresa Jesten.jpg

Teresa Jesten


Teresa has worked with Gate City Bank for 13 years and is currently an Assistant Vice President and Customer Sales Supervisor at the North Fargo location.


An empty nester living in North Fargo with her dog Angel. Her daughter is a junior at NDSU and her son will be in his first year this fall at NDSCS.


Originally from Anoka, MN, Teresa moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area in 1987 to study Psychology and Sociology at MSUM. She fell in love with the area and never left. Teresa has been through many different things in her life and this community has supported her in ways that she feels saved her life. She believes there is a place for kindness in the world and wants to give back to the community she loves.

Barbara Villella.jpg

Barbara Villella

Board Member

Barbara Villella was chosen to be among the opening leadership team for Prairie Roots Food Coop and later their non-profit Prairie Roots Community Fund as the Development VISTA. She has also served on several other Non-Profit Boards in the FM Area. Improving access to resources, including healthy less traveled farm to table foods for all, is a passion of hers. Her extensive background in education and business administration has helped promote new technologies such as adding a Virtual Tour to our gardens by Be More Colorful. She loves the gardens and has been volunteering since 2019.


Barbara serves as Public Relations/PR/Events and Market at West Acres Committee Chair, and is committed to connecting us to other community groups as we grow.

Ruth Morton.jpg

Ruth Morton


A life-long gardener, Ruth has been a Master Gardener for many years. She enjoys creating beauty in gardens and on looms for others’ enjoyment.


Ruth previously served on the NPBGS board as member and treasurer for two terms. Ruth has lived in Moorhead, MN for 46 years.


Mary Beyer

Board Member

With a degree in both Accounting and Technology, Mary currently works for Microsoft.  Mary feels she is taking after her mother, who was an avid gardener; enjoying the outdoors, planting and tending to trees, shrubs and flowers.  


To quote Mary, “I look forward to learning more about the gardens and helping to reach a broader audience to enjoy, expand and protect the gardens.”  With global warming being top of mind for so many, I think it’s important to preserve, protect and enhance our green spaces – big and small, and then share that information to increase public support of that effort.

Marissa Gapp.jpg

Marissa Gapp

Board Member

Marissa is a logistics coordinator and lives in Fargo, ND with her two cats, Melvin and Gertrude. Born in New Mexico, she was raised in Alexandria MN and graduated high school in Tulsa Ok. She currently has plans on pursuing a degree in business starting in January. Hoping to create a better world, she helps when able to, keeps a positive outlook and has a kind word for everyone.

Conrad Klinkhammer.jpg

Conrad J. Klinkhammer

Board Member

Conrad J. Klinkhammer is the co-founder of Fargo Meets Japan with his wife Minami Klinkhammer.


He studied Japanese at Minnesota State University Moorhead before attending Kanda University of International Studies near Tokyo. He returned to the Fargo area in 2011.


Conrad is a Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Premier Properties and operates a Bookkeeping Company with his wife Minami.


Conrad has recently joined the board of the NPBGS to help tie the Japanese and Japan-enthusiast community into the Hina Doll Festival, the Japanese Garden, and beyond. 

bottom of page