Project Management & Professional Writing

Copyrighted logo of the National Civic League's annual competition.

All-America City Competition

Morris, Minnesota

One of my favorite projects, the All-America City Award competition was a six-month community-wide effort that involved more than one hundred local leaders and citizens from all sectors. I served as project manager and application author.

My activities included: Facilitating weekly large group application development sessions with 30-40 community leaders, and coordinating three project sub-committees; Engaging in media relations, including weekly radio appearances and news releases; Authoring a 7,000 word application to the National Civic League, which gained the City of Morris finalist status; Leading a fifteen person delegation to Atlanta, GA to compete for the award; Coordinating travel logistics and fundraising for the trip; Authoring a presentation script; Coordinating the delegation's activities in Atlanta, and more.

View PDF of the application.

View selected publicity #1

View selected publicity #2

Professional Writing

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Freelance News / Journalism

Over the years, I have been privileged to write on a variety of platforms in a wide range of professional genres and voice styles. One of my favorite outlets for telling stories is through local news publications. It was while writing in this forum that I first discovered one of the most important rules for making any subject engaging to a broad audience: Every story is inherently interesting, you just need to dig a little to find the gold. 

View some of my favorite pieces below. (Some links are high resolution PDFs)

Reflections of a Father from an Empty Nest

College and Community: A Win-Win Relationship

MN Mental Health - Legislative Event

Welcome Home, George! 

A Soul in Transition - Artist Profile

A chance to relive Doolittle's derring-do

County Historical Museum to Receive National Award

Crossing paths with history

Professional Writing and Graphic Design

Lakes Country Service Cooperative

MN Economic Development Region 4 Workforce Issues Report

The Lakes Country Service Cooperative contracted me to review notes and materials from a series of facilitated meetings focused on county-specific workforce issues held in the nine Minnesota Economic Development Region 4 counties. I analyzed the data gathered from those meetings in order to identify specific workforce issues and patterns throughout the region.

 Utilizing the analyzed information and data, I authored and designed this briefing document that identifies common workforce issues in the region, compares similarities and differences between counties, and highlights anomalies that are present.

Read full report HERE

Video Production & Graphic Design

Bolluyt Oral History

This video was truly a pleasure to work on. Produced for their 65th wedding anniversary, this commemorative 80-minute oral history celebrates the lives of Nick and Evelyn Bolluyt. 

My wife and I, along with my favorite videographer and sound engineer, sat down with the Bolluyts for a two and a half hour on-camera interview, where we talked about how they met, their marriage, their family, and their many life experiences. I edited the raw video down to 80-minutes of stories, cut together with historical family photographs and musically scored transitions between segments. The final product was shown "theater-style" to the many friends and family who gathered for their anniversary party. I also designed and authored a commemorative DVD, which was distributed to family members.

The DVD case, label, and chapter menus were designed with earth tones to represent their history together as defined by their life on the farm.

Watch preview (2 min 48 sec)

View DVD case design (large)

Video Production

DVD case designed by Jaci Kjelland

DVD case designed by Jaci Kjelland

A Place of Our Own

A Mental Health Travelogue

This project tells the story of "Community Partners", a mental health drop-in center in Glenwood, Minnesota. Using the part-time coordinator as our doorway in, we tour the center and get a taste of daily life through the eyes of those who regularly visit. 

One of the productions I am most proud of, this 30-minute travelogue involved six months of hard work, including one month of pre-production, two months of principle photography, and three months in post-production. We conducted numerous interviews, attended and filmed several activities (including their annual Christmas party), and shot many hours of B-roll coverage.

The project was distributed by both DVD and online. It is currently posted on the Region 4 South Adult Mental Health Consortium web site on the "Educational Videos" page. The link below bring you to the page where the video is posted.

Watch Video

View DVD case

Video Editing & Creative Consultant

Men and Women of the Land

Oral History Video Series

Men and Women of the Land: A Hall of Honor is an oral history video series on which I am currently serving as video editor and creative consultant. Produced by the Stevens County Historical Museum, this 50 video series tells the collective stories of unique individuals, past and present, who have helped to shape the character and course of Stevens County Minnesota. 

This 5-minute (edited down from 20 minutes) sample tells the story of Rodney Briggs, the key figure in the founding of the University of Minnesota, Morris campus. 

Video Production & Graphic Design

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Manska Graduation Commemorative

This commemorative was a lot of fun. The parents of this graduating senior wanted a video celebrating their son's high school experience to play on a loop at his graduation party.  

I worked with them to develop a concept, and we found a great one. They assembled video of his basketball and football activities, more than 50 photographs, and a selection of his favorite songs. I cut together 14 minutes of sports clips and stills, together with a musical soundtrack. Perhaps my favorite part was the intro, which involved sifting through hours of game footage to find audio of the sports announcer  mentioning the student's name. 

Watch Sample (2 min 59 sec)


Graphic Design & Professional Writing

Cover of the published book.

Adapting to Change:

The Morris COPC Story

In 2004, the Center for Small Towns received a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development and engaged in a four-year community development project. When the project was complete, the Center asked me to put together this 38-page coffee table book which documented the project's activities and accomplishments. A University student set-up the original project in Adobe In-Design. I retained some elements from that original lay-out, but otherwise completely redesigned the piece and authored new content.

Under an intense three week deadline, I digested hundreds of pages of project documentation, searched image archives and selected appropriate visuals, conducted personal interviews, distilled three academic applied research reports into a four-page executive summary, authored and organized content into succinct, accessible narrative, and created a fresh lay-out and design. It was an adventure where I worked from 2:00am to 10:00pm every day until the project was complete!

View PDF of the coffee table book

Professional Writing

Freelance - Office of University Relations

It has been an honor to serve in a professional capacity with several departments of my Alma Mater, the University of Minnesota, Morris.

As a freelance writer, I authored a number of public relations pieces for the Office of University Relations, and also served as copy editor on the work of other writers. From international political policy discussions to artistic profiles, the experience brought me into contact with a fascinating mix of individuals with interesting stories to tell.

View some of my favorite pieces below.

Alum establishes charitable foundation

Cyrus Bina to Speak at Conference on Iran

Bina's recommendation to Argentinian government helps shape policy

Retired U.S. Army Colonel to Speak on D-Day Invasion

Final Appearance for Trio Lorca before Carnegie Hall

Melosi to Present History of Nuclear Energy as Environmental Studies Scholar

Video Production


Options for Women Pregnancy Center

Promotional Video

I produced, directed, and edited this 16-minute promotional video for the non-profit Options for Women pregnancy center in 2013. The project was funded in part by a $130,000 operations expansion grant that I wrote for the center in 2012 to the Minnesota Department of Health.

This project was a simple, low-budget production designed to give potential clients to the center a sense of what to expect, a feeling of reassurance, and awareness of the services available at the center. The video was also designed as  a fundraising tool to help explain the nature and impact of the center to potential supporters. 

Watch Video

Video Production

Progress in Minnesota Mental Health

From the Old Days to the New Ways

The Region 4 South Adult Mental Health Consortium contracted me to help them develop a three-part series of trainings for law enforcement, hospital ER staff, and social service professionals. These trainings, delivered via Interactive Television (ITV) to five counties, were designed to help the audience better understand the full range of mental health services available to support adults with mental illness at all stages, and equip participants to be effective conduits to those resources. The series was called "Creating a Neighborhood of Support". 

I produced this 15-minute video as part of that series. With only two weeks of pre-production time and a month in post-production, we shot this micro-documentary very much in "guerilla filmmaking" style, moving from location to location over two days to conduct one-hour interviews with eight experts.

The video was played in the second training of the series, and is now posted online with the other training materials.

Watch Video (15 min 48 sec)

View web site (scroll to bottom)

Video Editing & Creative Consultant

Men and Women of the Land

Oral History Video Series

Men and Women of the Land: A Hall of Honor is an oral history video series on which I am currently serving as video editor and creative consultant. Produced by the Stevens County Historical Museum, this 50 video series tells the collective stories of unique individuals, past and present, who have helped to shape the character and course of Stevens County Minnesota. 

This 5-minute (edited down from 15 minutes) sample tells the story of Peter and Agness Erdahl, long time residents of Stevens County.

Video Production & Graphic Design

Morris High School Class of 1961

50th Reunion Commemorative

When the Morris class of 1961 reunion committee approached me to produce this commemorative video for their 50th reunion, I was excited about the possibilities. As an avid fan of the doo-wop and early rock-n-roll era, I was anxious to channel my creative energies into this project and produce something emotional and memorable. The final product was 25 minutes long and included, in addition to the visual retrospective with period music, the incorporation of two additional videos produced by others: a tribute to the classmates who had passed on, as well as a visual tour of the community, narrated by a local community member. 

The DVD case is designed to represent a leather-bound high school annual, with 1950's / early 1960's style neon lettering in the title, and the class motto embossed at the bottom.  The DVD label and chapter menus follow suit.

Watch sample (3 min 28 sec)

View DVD case design (large)

Graphic Design

Mitchell Automotive Repair

Business Card

Created using Photoshop CC, I designed this business card for an independent auto-mechanic to be simple and elegant. 

Graphic Design


Phillips Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Advertisements and Business Cards

I have worked with Phillips Upper Cervical, a chiropractic specialist based in Bloomington, Minnesota, on numerous occasions to develop PR materials. 

Click on one of the links below to download and view PDF samples. All of the samples below were produced in Photoshop.

View postcard announcement (front and back)

View full page advertisement

View business card