Meet the SOLLC Team
Dan Poffenberger grew up in Hopkins, MN, and earned degrees from Gustavus Adolphus College, Luther Seminary, and Portland Seminary. He served four churches before joining Shepherd of the Lake as the Lead Pastor in 2015. The mission and values of Shepherd of the Lake – Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Table – have been compelling and central to Pastor Dan’s calling. When he hears our community living these values and describing the importance of this community, it fills him with joy and excitement. Dan lives with his wife Gretchen in a little corner of the woods surrounded by wildlife. They have two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and a wonderful grandson who lights up their lives.
Laila Barr earned degrees from The University of Iowa (BLS, 1999) and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (M.Div., 2007). She began serving Shepherd of the Lake in 2015, first as Pastor of Lifelong Learning, and now as Executive Pastor. Pastor Laila is passionate about the gospel message of God’s love for and presence with all people – no strings attached. She is in awe of the ways that the people of Shepherd of the Lake show up authentically, lean into this gospel message, allow themselves to be transformed by God’s radical grace, and give so freely of themselves in this world – one day at a time. When she’s not pastoring, Laila’s favorite place is with her family. Together they enjoy skiing and snowboarding, baseball games, rollercoasters, travel, and weight training.
Pastor of Worship & Music
Jonathan Rundman graduated from Luther Seminary, was ordained here at SOLLC, and began serving as Pastor of Worship and Music in the summer of 2022. Before becoming a pastor, Jonathan spent 30 years as a freelance musician, writing songs, recording albums, and touring the US and Europe playing concerts. Jonathan and his wife Dawn have two children, one in high school and one in college. When he’s not writing, playing, recording, or arranging songs, you can find Jonathan shopping in record stores, eating ice cream, and swimming in lakes.
Director of Children, Youth, & Family Ministries
John Holt began his career in social work before discerning a call to ministry. He has spent the past 25 years in rural, urban, and suburban ministry contexts working with children, youth, and families. John is the Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministries and is committed to meeting children and families wherever they are in their faith journey. John, his wife, and daughter love to travel, explore new restaurants and spoil their dog, Toby. John’s other loves include music, sports and BBQ.
Director of Children's Ministries
Becca Richardson holds a BA in Communication and Spanish, and a MA in Education. She is a licensed Teacher and School Administrator. As the Children’s Ministry Director, Becca is passionate about making Shepherd of the Lake’s children and family programming a safe and inclusive place for all families and building community through joyful shared experiences. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, kayaking, petting all the dogs and visiting her favorite place, Lake Superior, with her husband and two children.
Director of Student Ministries
Eric Foerster graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Youth Studies and Spanish. Prior to becoming the Director of Student Ministries at Shepherd of the Lake, Eric worked at a residential treatment center and in youth ministry. Eric and his paw-tner in crime, Gizmo, can often be seen playing frisbee on the Shepherd of the Lake campus. Eric and his amazing wife, Mikayla, live in Savage and enjoy adventuring around Minnesota and road tripping to see family in Kansas.
CYF Admin Specialist & Student Ministry Coordinator
Laurie Schafroth shares her creative mind and passion for helping people in her two roles as Student Ministry Support and Children, Youth, and Family Administrator. She also owns an art business and was previously employed by the YMCA. Laurie is driven by her personal mission of being part of something meaningful and impactful and her roles at SOLLC allow her to do just that. Laurie lives in Prior Lake with her husband and three boys who keep her busy!
Children’s Ministry Coordinator
Andrea Sheridan joined the SOLLC team as the Children’s Ministry Coordinator in August 2022. An inquiry to volunteer turned into a part-time position and the rest is history. Andrea loves working with children and finding new ways for them to explore their faith. Andrea can often be found cooking, baking, or spending time with her husband and their two children.
Communications & Community Life Director
Shannon Hoffmann has over 20 years of branding, marketing and communications experience with both big corporations and small businesses. Shannon’s passion for branding, storytelling, and connecting with community brought her to the role of Director of Communications and Community Life. When she’s not at SOLLC, Shannon can be found paddleboarding, hiking, reading, or decorating something! Shannon lives in Prior Lake with her husband and their two children.
David J. Russ
David J. Russ, Technical Director of SOLLC, is a musician and a sound engineer, who’s been performing since the age of 15. He started at SOLLC nine years ago as the drummer, transitioning to sound production in 2019. On Sundays, you can find him in the Heritage room mixing audio for the live stream. In addition to his work for SOLLC, he performs with Dan Israel, ABBAsolutely Fab, and ELnO. When he's not on stage or mixing sound, he likes to write music that appeals to a select few and watch episodic television with Jenny, his wife of 16 years, and their cat Burton.
Nichole Porath started at SOLLC as the Director of Finance in May 2022. She holds a BA in Finance & Math from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management. Nichole has over 15 years of experience with both corporate and nonprofit organizations. Nichole lives with her husband and four children in Northfield, MN. She is an avid long-distance runner and enjoys coaching the girls cross country team at Northfield High School.
Lacey Skoglund grew up in Bloomington, MN, graduated from Iowa State University, and has lived in Prior Lake since 2011. Lacey and her family began attending worship online during 2020 and knew quickly that SOLLC would be their church home. Shortly after, Lacey accepted the position of Accounting Specialist. In addition to being excellent with numbers, Lacey competed in synchronized swimming. She also enjoys knitting, crafting, and spending time with her husband and three children.
Director of Music & Arts
JoAnna Johnson pursued a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance as a Palmer Scholar, at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Along with teaching voice lessons and freelance singing, JoAnna has sung with the Ensemble singers of VocalEssence, a choral organization based out of Minneapolis, for over 12 years. After witnessing the strong bonds and fellowship between the SOLLC choir and the dedication the congregation has to the Music Ministry, JoAnna felt called to accept a position on staff with SOLLC in 2018. Her role as Director of Music and Arts (as of 2022) gives her even more opportunities to imagine new and creative spaces for all SOLLC members to experience spiritual growth through Music and the Arts. When she isn't busy being a mom of two and singing, she is digging in her garden or dreaming of her garden on winter days.
Associate Music Director
Leah Toppen holds a BA from Luther College, a Master of Arts in Education from Hamline University and has been teaching K-12 instrumental music for over 9 years. She began performing piano, trumpet, and organ for congregations when she was just 12 years old. Leah’s love for music led her to Shepherd of the Lake where she recently became Associate Music Director. When she’s not sharing her musical talents at SOLLC, she can be found knitting, sewing, gardening, or paddleboarding. Leah grew up on an organic blueberry farm and now lives in Mound with her husband and Bernese Mountain Dog, Lambeau.
Director of Shepherd's Flock Preschool
Ann Janisch has always dreamed of building her own preschool and when she walked into Shepherd’s Flock she realized that her vision for a preschool was already right here. She began working as the Director of Shepherd’s Flock in 2020 and is very passionate about play-based learning. Ann has a BA in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. Ann lives in Savage with her husband, three children, and their dog, Dallas. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, jigsaw puzzles, and cheering on her children.
Kari Unruh has worked at Shepherd of the Lake for over 20 years, beginning in the role of Office Manager in 2013. She is a true community connector and has a passion for helping people and solving problems.Kari and her husband, Ken, love music and cooking and have so much fun spending time with their adult children and their dog, Boomer.