(715) 778-5800


Kari Jensen, Secretary

Kari first came to Spring Valley with her parents, Dell and Judy Skow, in 1971, just in time to start Kindergarten. A Cardinal through and through, Kari was active in school sports, theater and other countless other school activities, as well as Girl Scouts, St. John’s Lutheran Church and in the community. In 1988, she graduated from St. Olaf College and later also matriculated at Sund Folkehøgskole in northern Norway.

Upon returning to the US, she lived St. Louis Park, Minnesota, until her marriage to her former husband, Jeff, who is also a Spring Valley native. Together they bought a house in Eagan, Minnesota, where they lived for 8 years and were blessed with their two sons, Nicholas and Jordan. She worked many years for an executive benefits planning firm, commuting by bus or car to downtown Minneapolis. In 2001, their dream of moving “back home” came true, and they settled in to raise their young boys in the same house built by Kari’s parents, directly across from the local golf course. Like their parents (and some of their grandparents!), both sons were educated K-12 in Spring Valley schools, growing up close to family, friends, and good neighbors.

Since then, Kari has been involved in various community organizations, serving as Cub Master (Boy Scouts of America) for seven years and has even been seen in the odd performance at the community theater. Her other interests include golfing, camping, hunting and all manner of water sports and lake life at her family cabin up north.  She is currently a volunteer for Seniors Staying Put, delivering for their Meals on Wheels program and other offered services. Kari is also a volunteer for and a dedicated proponent of the Alano Club of Menomonie.  She remains an outspoken advocate of small-town life, specifically the many rewards of living in Western Wisconsin. 

Coordinating volunteers to help seniors and adults with disabilities to maintain their independence.

Sue Christopher, President

Sue is retired from 3M, she and her husband Mark own Maple Leaf Orchard. Both Sue and Mark have dealt with aging parents and friends, so they really admire SVSSP's assistance to help keep local people independent as long as possible. Sue is looking forward to working with this dedicated group!

We do a lot to improve life for people in need!

Staff Members

Kelly Bonner – Administrative Assistant

My area of education is Occupational Therapy.  I worked in this field in Eau Claire, WI (primarily) for 32 years. Besides my field of study,  I have cared for family members at my home as they have aged and become disabled. 

Before moving to Spring Valley, I was living in Thorp, Wisconsin for the last two years. I had run a small motel there.  

I am very thankful for the opportunity to both live and work now in Spring Valley.  I love small towns.  The job opportunity at Staying Put helps me stay connected to people and keep them happy and safe in their homes for as long as possible.  

Don Fritz

Don grew up in Elmwood and returned seven years ago.  He is semi-retired as of last year.  He is an alternate MOW driver and is familiar with Heritage home in Elmwood with his parents’ experience there.  He is happy to help our worthy cause. 

Meet the Board


Our volunteers provide: rides to and from church, hair appointments, and community events; friendly visits and check in calls; help with light chores; grocery, library or pharmacy deliveries; local shopping assistance; caregivers time-out visits, socialization connections; references to services for hire and other available help.

Janice Ottman, Treasurer

Janice grew up in Ellsworth and moved to Spring Valley in 2010. She retired in 2015 and began getting involved in Staying Put in early 2016. She has volunteered in various capacities throughout 2016 & 2017.

Janice plays a key role in, and very much enjoys, the Memory Cafe program. She also escorts clients to the Menomonie dance event on most months. Recently she was elected to the Board of Directors at Staying Put, and has also accepted the officer position of Treasurer. 

Erik Thompson 

I was born in Hastings, MN and moved to Spring Valley in 1998. Attended and graduated from SVHS in 2004. Graduate of UW-Stout, and currently employed with First Bank of Baldwin in the Spring Valley office. My wife, Marie Thompson, and I live in Spring Valley with one daughter, Reyna. I participate in HS officiating, the SVHS baseball team as an assistant coach, and manager of the Spring Valley Hawks Baseball Club. I enjoy spending my time with family, friends, sports, and card collecting. I am excited and fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful organization, as Staying Put, in our community. 

Cari Cornelius

Cari moved to the Spring Valley area in 2019. She has three dogs and spends most of her time doing any activity she can find outdoors. She works for the local Spring Valley and Woodville newspapers. She learned about Seniors Staying Put by covering various events including the Memory Café anniversary and Elmwood Expansion and realized that the cause was near and dear to her heart. She signed up as a volunteer shortly after. She is excited about what the organization does for the community and the services it offers to area residents 

Kathy Nyeggen – Volunteer/Client Director

I’ve been honored for the opportunity to serve this agency since 2015, when it formed. With a background primarily in corporate administrative and Human Resources management, it has been the most rewarding experience of my career life. The incredible people I’ve known & worked with in the Spring Valley community have made possible what its founder (Margy Balwierz) envisioned.  I am very grateful to be a part of this important work.