Rich O’Connell

“My career was in financial and retirement planning.  I hope to offer advice and counsel to SVSSP in managing the financial portion of this group. I enjoy working with the people of this community and want to see Staying Put continue to grow.”

Karen Gunderson, President  (former Vice President)

“I was born and raised in Spring Valley, my career in food product development took me to various locations throughout the United States, but Spring Valley was always home.  After 35 years in the food industry, I retired and was looking for ways to volunteer and give back to the community.  SVSSP has allowed me to do just that. It is exciting to see volunteers come forward to assist Seniors and make Spring Valley a great place to age”.

Meet the Board


Sandy Thompson

Sandy Thompson grew up in Elmwood Wi.  In 1967 she began her career in banking.  In 2016 she retired and is now working part time at the Spring Valley Drug Store.  She enjoys her retirement, doing volunteer work, and spending more time with family.  Spending time in her flower gardens and doing yard work is the hobby for which she is most passionate.  
She volunteers at her church, the community gardens and for SVSSP.
She loves the opportunity that volunteering for Staying Put gives her to help others.

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. 

Margy Balwierz, Vice President (former President)

Margy Jean, who has lived in our area for 20 years, initiated the effort to bring Staying Put to Spring Valley.  She was raised in Illinois and received formal education at UW, Madison; Mundelein, Chicago, and Macalister, St Paul.   After widely traveling she became a wife, mother and grandmother who enjoys gardening and being outdoors, rocks, dragonflies and sky watching. 

A retired Elementary Science Specialist she continues to be active in reading, cooking, yoga and creative arts, now producing original stoneware tile in her home studio.

Diane Huebel, Secretary

 “My background is finance and marketing.  I retired from BMO Harris Bank as a Personal Trust Administrator.  My years of working with Trust clients I came to realize and appreciate the significantly growing senior population. Their greatest asset is their independence.  Being involved in Staying Put has given me the opportunity to contribute what I can to help seniors remain independent if possible.”

Jan Hatling  (former Treasurer)

“Growing up I was lucky to have wonderful grandparents in my life.  Working as an RN I have always loved working with seniors. When Margy told me about her interest to help seniors stay put in their homes I wanted to help.”


(715) 778-5800


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

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