Marshall H. and Nellie Alworth Memorial Fund Adds 4 Board Members – Brainerd Dispatch


Four Northland executives – Marieta Johnson, Maggie Skelton, James Spreitzer and Jeffrey Wig – have been named to the board of the Marshall H. and Nellie Alworth Memorial Fund.

They join four other board members who, in conjunction with Alworth Memorial Fund staff and others, distribute numerous $20,000 scholarships each year to students in a 10-county area of ​​northern Minnesota who wish to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Johnson, who resides in Tower, recently retired after 26 years as a leader of Minnesota’s judiciary. She received her master’s degree in judicial administration from the University of Denver Law School and later helped found the Virginia Community Foundation. Skelton, who earned his master’s degree in engineering from UMD, is a chemical engineer with Minnesota Power. She serves on the Board of the Range Engineering Council and the UMD Chemical Engineering Advisory Committee. She resides in Grand Rapids. Spreitzer, who earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMD, recently retired as managing partner of the Duluth office of RSM, an audit, tax and advisory firm. He serves on the boards of the Human Development Center and Generations Health Care Initiatives, and previously served on the board and foundation of the Duluth-area YMCA and the Marshall School Board and Endowment. Wig, vice president for entrepreneurship at the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation, earned a master’s degree in business administration from St. Cloud State University. A resident of Brainerd, he previously held positions there as director of its regional airport and as dean at Central Lakes College.

“The Alworth Memorial Fund is fortunate to have a diversity of interests, geographic representation and expertise on our board, which allows us to award scholarships to STEM students who reflect the diversity and talent of our region,” said Board Chair Patty Phillips. “We welcome the additional perspective and enthusiasm that Jeff, Jim, Maggie and Marieta bring to our Board of Directors.”

Other members of the organization’s board of directors are Lonnie Swartz, vice president and chair of the scholarship committee; Kurt Brooks, Treasurer; and Pam Thomsen.

The Marshall H. and Nellie Alworth Memorial Fund awards scholarships to students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics or science fields of study. The Fund is available to students at 60 high schools, as well as home-schooled students, who live in these 10 northern Minnesota counties: Aitkin, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Lake, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis. Since its inception in 1949, the Fund has distributed $52 million to 5,200 motivated young people. Learn more at


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