DCTC & Inver Hills Present 2019 Joint Gala

Staff, alumni and community partner honored at annual event

Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College teamed up to present A Night in Hollywood, a joint gala event that honored the tremendous work of students, faculty, staff and the donors who support them.

A Night in Hollywood was held Thursday, April 18, 2019, at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville, Minnesota. The evening began with a social hour and silent auction. A special dinner was served to all guests at hosted and numbered tables. A program, live auction and heads or tails fun completed the gala event.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support the ongoing work of the DCTC Foundation and Inver Hills Foundation. Both foundations strive to help students find success in college and graduate with less debt.

2019 Joint Gala

A Night in Hollywood

This year’s gala, co-hosted by the foundations of Dakota County Technical College and Inver Hills Community College, was a lively event showcasing the work of students, faculty and staff along with donors who support both institutions. As in past years, the April gala was held at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville, Minnesota, with nearly 350 guests in attendance.

Celebrating the gala’s theme, A Night in Hollywood, guests snapped and shared photos of themselves on entering, participated in live and silent auctions, played various games, and heard from two recent scholarship recipients.

Cory Hepola from WCCO Radio served as the guest emcee of an Oscars-like awards program. The planning committee was elated with the overall number of sponsorships and attendance. Proceeds raised will help students find success in the classroom and beyond as well as graduate with less debt. Both colleges will celebrate their 50th anniversaries in 2020.

Some alumni attending the gala:

  • Kathy Paukert
  • Elizabeth Sartor
  • Jeremy Mattson
  • Joseph Filipovich
  • Alba Nowlin
  • Scott Kadrlik
  • Joel Fogarty
  • Branko Tambah
  • Leah King
  • Marcus Leong
  • Miriam Vergara
  • Molly Hamel
  • Cheryl Brogger
  • Anna Voight
  • Todd Jagerson
  • Tom Kennedy

2019 DCTC Staff of the Year


Anna with President Berndt

Anna with President Berndt at Joint Gala

I have worked closely with Anna for the past three years and have witnessed the outstanding contributions she has made to DCTC over and above her job responsibilities in Student Life.

As Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee chair, Anna has implemented a continuous improvement process for the committee’s initiatives and goals to focus on quality. The result, DCTC has risen to #6 in the nation and #1 in Minnesota as the Best Technical College for Veterans, according to Military Times magazine.

Kathy Bachman, MDVA Higher Education Regional Coordinator
Dakota County Technical College

Anna is an amazing asset to the DCTC team. Organized and intentional, she works hard and gets stuff done. She provides great student leadership and truly focuses on building up strong and diverse student leaders who enrich our campus. DCTC’s Student Life wouldn’t be the same without her and that’s why I nominated Anna for Staff of the Year.

Rachel Marzahn, Videographer and Social Media Specialist
Dakota County Technical College

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2019 DCTC Alumni of the Year


Joey Flip

Joey Flip

Joe Filipovich, known professionally as Joey Flip, attended DCTC from 2013 through 2015, taking classes on social media, business and marketing. Since his days as student, he has made a name for himself as a blues musician, music event promoter and small business entrepreneur. He co‐invented and co-owns HayBurner Guitars, which have sold around the world and produce great sound.

As a musician, Joe averages 200 shows a year as both a solo and duo artist. In recent months, he participated in the International Blues Competition in Memphis, where he finished as a semifinalist. He also was received an award from Midwest CMA for his Stevie Ray Vaughn Tribute Show. Joe is involved in the local community and runs a nonprofit that provides new harmonicas to school-age kids so they can learn an instrument while gaining an introduction to various music genres, including the blues.

Amy Eppen, Foundation Development Director
Dakota County Technical College

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2019 Inver Hills Staff of the Year


Libby with President Berndt and at Joint Gala

Libby with President Berndt and Cory Hepola at Joint Gala

Libby is an excellent nominee for Staff of the Year. She’s selfless and altruistic. She embodies a true servant-leader and is an absolutely affirming team member. She’s a strong advocate for students, in particular those who are marginalized regarding postsecondary access. An advocate for equity in higher education access, I know that I will be both challenged to grow and supported by Libby when discussing complex issues centered on morals, values, and justice.

Aaron Salasek, Director of Outreach and Recruitment
Inver Hills Community College

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2019 Inver Hills Alumni of the Year


Patsy with President Berndt and at Joint Gala

Patsy with President Berndt and Cory Hepola at Joint Gala

Patsy Keech is truly an outstanding Inver Hills alumna. Arriving at Inver Hills in 1982 from Rosemount High School (as Patsy Neary), she has gone on to make a tremendous difference in the lives of thousands of students and thousands of parents of critically ill children. After her son Derian died at 2 ½ from a heart condition, Patsy dedicated her life to helping parents facing similar crises. She wrote a book titled, Mothering an Angel, and started a foundation with her husband called the Spare Key Foundation.

In 2004, Patsy turned over the reins of the Spare Key Foundation to others, who continue to operate it in St. Paul today. With her newly earned M.S. in Experiential Learning, she returned to work in education. She was the customized training coordinator at Dakota County Technical College in 2004–2005, then returned to teach in District 196, this time at Eagan High School, where she has taught since. She is now teaching students in an innovative program in hospitality management, where students are finding jobs (and success!) in a fast growing industry that needs trained and motivated workers.

Don Parker, Communication Faculty
Inver Hills Community College

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2019 DCTC & Inver Hills Partner of the Year


Mark with President Berndt and at Joint Gala

Mark with President Berndt and Cory Hepola at Joint Gala

Mark Jacobs is the director of the Dakota-Scott Workforce Development Board. Mark works with various community resources across the two counties and strides to connect all of those resources to the folks who need them. He has supported his staff in coming to campus to educate students about SNAP benefits. He also provides employer referrals to campus for potential internships or hiring of our students. Mark brings K–12 partnerships and resources that support adult learners together all with the greater good of expanding and educating our workforce in Dakota and Scott counties.

Emily Johnson, Director of Career Development
Inver Hills Community College

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2019 Joint Gala gallery ¹

¹ Photos by Maggie Halstead and Isabelle Zahn, DCTC Photography Students

For more event photos:

Visit DCTC and Inver Hills Joint Gala 2019 on Flickr.

Learn more about the 2019 Joint Gala and the DCTC Foundation by contacting:

Michelle Boe, JD
Executive Director of Foundation

Amy Eppen
Foundation Development Director