Mike Tomasko of West Fargo, Dave Braaten of Grand Forks, and Ron Torgeson of Bismarck have been appointed to the AARP North Dakota Executive Council. Other Executive Council members are Rodger Wetzel, president, and Susan Wefald, both of Bismarck, and Sharon Ervin Johnson of Minot.
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AARP Executive Council members work with staff and other volunteers to provide ongoing strategic direction for state activities in support of AARP priority issues. Executive Council terms are two years and members may be reappointed twice.
Tomasko, 67, retired at the end of 2007. Following a stint in the service and a handful of years in the communications industry, he began a 35-year career in health care administration in North Dakota. Thirty of those years were spent in Bismarck where he last served as CEO of Mid Dakota Clinic and an administrator of the PrimeCare health group.
Tomasko is a lead North Dakota volunteer on AARP’s efforts to strengthen the Social Security and Medicare programs.
Active in community service, Tomasko served as president of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, chair of the Bismarck Folkfest celebration and is a recipient of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce community service award.
Braaten, 75, has been involved with AARP at the state level for a number of years. Most recently he served as a member and chair of the Government Affairs Committee, which helped prioritize and direct AARP’s state advocacy work with policy makers, including the state legislature.
Braaten worked in social services for 35 years, retiring in 1998 as county social service director in Grand Forks County. Prior to that, he served as county social service director in Foster County and as a case worker in Richland County.
Braaten’s community service work includes three years coordinating volunteers from area church congregations for Thrivent Financial for Lutheran’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity called Thrivent Builds. He has served on the board of directors of Development Homes, Inc., for 34 years. The organization provides residential, training and services for daily living for developmentally disabled children and adults. He’s also a member of the choir and a regular volunteer for Sharon Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.
Torgeson, 77, has a background in education and currently serves as treasurer of the North Dakota Retired Teachers Association, an affiliate of AARP.
He retired in 1997 after working in the N.D. Department of Public Instruction for 25 years. His roles there included Director of Planning and Evaluation and Director of Management Information. During the early years of his career, Torgeson worked as a teacher, principal and superintendent in the communities of Wildrose, Fortuna and Alexander.
He is a Divide County native. He received his bachelor and master’s degrees from the University of North Dakota. After retiring, he returned to UND to earn his doctorate.
Since retiring, Torgeson has remained active in the workforce as well as through volunteerism. He has held temporary positions with the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the American Cancer Society and the North Dakota League of Credit Unions.
Torgeson has served on the Capital Credit Union board of directors since 1973, including a term as chairman. He has also held volunteer leadership roles at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, the Brush Lake Cabin Owners Association, the Brush Lake Recreation Service District, Dakota Wood Turners, Flickertail Wood Carvers and the Bismarck Lions Club.
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