ND Vision Zero Partner Conference
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Robin Rehborg, Deputy Director for Driver Safety, North Dakota Department of Transportation

Robin Rehborg was named the deputy director for Driver Safety in 2019. Robin oversees driver license, motor vehicle, highway safety, state fleet and aviation services.

Robin joined the NDDOT in 2006 and worked in many capacities including fleet manager, fleet operations manager, workplace investigation team lead, and interim driver license director. Robin obtained her Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) designation in 2012. She served as State Fleet Services Division director for seven years. Prior to joining the NDDOT, she was the general manager of Southeast Propane LLC, in Gwinner. She has been active in several associations, including the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) where she serves as region three vice president, AAMVA International Board of Directors and member of the Finance, Investment and Audit committee, Advancing Women in Transportation (WTS) International, National Conference of State Fleet Administrators (NCSFA), NAFA Fleet Management Association and the Government Fleet Magazine Advisory Board. Robin is a graduate of Moorhead State University, Moorhead, MN, and has a bachelor’s degree in business. Robin and her husband, Tom, live in Mandan and have two grown daughters and one granddaughter.

Jonathan Adkins, Chief Executive Officer of the Governors Highway Safety Association

Jonathan Adkins was named chief executive officer of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) in 2023 after serving as executive director since 2014. GHSA is the national nonprofit that represents state highway safety agencies. GHSA members are charged with implementing their governors’ highway safety plans and administering federal behavioral highway safety funds.

Jonathan is responsible for directing the organization’s Washington headquarters office, serving as the association’s chief liaison with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other federal agencies, and representing the organization on Capitol Hill and with private sector partners. He frequently represents the states’ viewpoints on highway safety solutions in the media and before Congress, federal agencies and industry partners. Jonathan is regularly quoted by a variety of publications, including Politico, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

Under his leadership, GHSA has expanded its scope and influence by adding new programs, member services and staff. Jonathan has built partnerships with a variety of leading organizations in the automotive, insurance and consumer products industries, and has leveraged those relationships to develop tools for state highway safety agencies. Jonathan also launched GHSA's Consulting Services Initiative, through which the organization assists states in managing their highway safety programs.

Jonathan began his work with GHSA in 2000. Prior to being named executive director, he served as GHSA’s communications director as well as deputy executive director. Jonathan has served on a variety of boards and in appointed roles within highway safety and the broader community, including the National Organizations for Youth Safety, the Road to Zero Coalition and the National Lifesavers Conference. Currently he serves as Chair of the Board of the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving (NASID).

Jonathan holds a political science degree from Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Outside of work, he volunteers time with Dickinson College, West Virginia University and The Matthew Shepard Foundation, among others. Jonathan and his husband, Ben, live in the Logan Circle neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Ryan Gellner, Vision Zero Outreach Program Director, North Dakota Association of Counties

Ryan is the Vision Zero Outreach Program Director at the North Dakota Association of Counties (NDACo). The program provides county-level traffic safety outreach to county leadership and employees to increase support for traffic safety policies and intervention at the local level. Ryan also acts as a lobbyist for NDACo during the North Dakota Legislative session, working on county-related traffic safety issues. He currently serves as the committee chair for the Vision Zero Priority Emphasis Team in the area of occupant protection.

Ryan acts as the Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator supervisor and oversees each regional coordinator across the state. He also works with other traffic safety partnerships outside of county government to include schools and universities, businesses, sports venues, media and other entities. Ryan is very active in the Impact Teen Drivers Program, implementing and teaching the nationwide educational program that confronts the dangers and consequences of reckless and distracted driving. Ryan has been working firsthand with the Impact Teen Drivers curriculum and has delivered the free one-hour course to thousands of students across North Dakota.

Ryan and his wife Lisa live in West Fargo with their two children. In his free time, Ryan officiates high school and college basketball, football and softball.

Clayton Verke, Firefighter, Washburn Fire Department

Washburn Fire Chief Clayton Verke leads the community's fully volunteer-staffed organization. Their state-of-the-art department prepares a fully-trained crew of fire fighters serving the entire Washburn School District. Originally from Carrington, Clayton now lives and works in Washburn as the owner-operator of C & S Repair.

Emily Retterath, EMT, Washburn Ambulance

Through her life-long passion of helping others and 10 years of experience with the CHI-Washburn Family Clinic, Emily developed a passion for emergency medicine. After obtaining her EMT license, she became a volunteer EMT with the Washburn Ambulance Service where she has served for the past nine years. In addition to volunteering for the Washburn Ambulance, Emily is an active CPR instructor and has been a volunteer for the McLean County crisis line for 18 years. She is currently an assistant administrator at the Washburn Public School, which allows her to continue practicing emergency medicine during and after school. Emily is very active in the community and enjoys spending time with her husband and four children.

Kelly Dollinger, Flight Paramedic, Sanford Air Med

Kelly Dollinger’s 37-year EMS career started as a combat medic in the United States Army where he served overseas. He has completed his 32nd year as a paramedic, and his 8th year as a certified flight paramedic with Sanford Health, AirMed 3 in Bismarck. Kelly is the immediate past president of the North Dakota EMS Association and has had the pleasure of working in many aspects of EMS including ground, air, tactical, education and search and rescue.

Suzan Buetow, Flight Nurse, Sanford AirMed

Suzan Buetow received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix after graduating from a local nursing program in 1986. Suzan is celebrating 35 years as part of the Sanford family, the majority of that time in critical care and the last 10 years as part of the AirMed Flight team. Suzan holds the following certifications: Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN), Certified Flight Registered Nurse (CFRN) and Trauma Certified Registered Nurse (TCRN).

Rick Richard, Lieutenant, McLean County Sheriff’s Office

Lt. Rick Richard serves as the support services commander and 24x7 program and training coordinator for the McLean County Sheriff's Office. His decorated career in law enforcement began in Streeter and then Napoleon where he served as chief of police before transferring to the NDHP in 1984. During his 31 years as a trooper with the NDHP, he held the positions of collision reconstructionist, crash data retrieval analyst, program coordinator and Honor Guard Team member.

Lt. Richard is a board member with the ND Work Force, Safety and Insurance (WSI) and a retired special agent in the United States Air Force (USAF) Office of Special Investigations (USAFR). He has received the North Dakota Peace Office Association (NDPOA) Bravery Award (1995), NDHP Trooper of the Year (2001), USAF Meritorious Service Medal (2003), NDPOA Peace Officer of the Year (2014), and NDHP Meritorious Service Medal (2015).

Timothy Frank, Trooper, North Dakota Highway Patrol

Trooper Timothy Frank has served with the North Dakota Highway Patrol since 2009. His career with the NDHP began in Crosby where he spent two years before transferring to Underwood. He spent eight years in Underwood during which time he was promoted to the rank of trooper. Trooper Frank received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Dakota.

Justin Schlosser, Engineer, North Dakota Department of Transportation

Justin Schlosser is the traffic operations engineer at the NDDOT where he prepares and analyzes traffic and infrastructure safety studies. He also manages the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), a federal-aid highway program which seeks to significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads.

Dr. Jason Jones, Founder and CEO, LeaderPath

Dr. Jason Jones equips leaders to energize, engage and activate the best in themselves and their people. He is an organizational psychologist, keynote speaker, two-time best-selling author, and executive coach. Utilizing the latest in neuroscience research and gleaning from more than 100 years of motivation theory, Jason teaches leaders how to apply these proven principles to become more influential and persuasive.

Dr. Jones is the founder and CEO of LeaderPath, a company dedicated to sharing evidence-based methods for enhancing performance in the workplace. He has been featured by Inc. Magazine, CBS, ABC, FOX and PBS. His client list includes some of the world’s most recognized brands, including IBM, American Airlines, Porsche, Boeing, AT&T, Ericsson and Seagate Technology to name just a few.

He is the author of the two books, “Activator: Using Brain Science to Boost Motivation, Deepen Engagement, and Supercharge Performance” and “28 Days to a Motivated Team.” In his last corporate leadership role, Jason led executive education at AT&T where his team was responsible for developing more than 6000 leaders around the world and his team contributed to AT&T being awarded the #1 Learning Company in America by Chief Learning Office Magazine.

On a personal note, Jason enjoys playing mediocre golf, working on cars with his teenage sons, and cooking with his daughter. He and his family reside in Dallas, Texas.

Kaitlin Atkinson, Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator – NE Region, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office

Kaitlin is the Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator for the Northeast region of North Dakota. Housed out of the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office, her work focuses on helping road users make safe choices when behind the wheel. She is committed to working across various fields to reach people throughout the region, ensuring young drivers and experienced drivers alike have the skills they need to make it to each of their destinations safely. Kaitlin is passionate about North Dakota being her home and looks forward to continuing to make a positive impact on North Dakotans across the state.

Leah Kelm, Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator – SE Region, Cass County Highway Department

Based in Cass County, Leah Kelm is the Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator for the Southeast region of North Dakota. She is a certified child passenger safety technician, a trained Impact Teen Drivers ambassador, and a strong advocate for reducing serious injuries and fatalities from motor vehicle crashes. Prior to becoming a traffic safety professional, she was in the field of parks and recreation for 10 years. From planning activities and events for youth and adults to serving on the North Dakota Recreation and Park Association’s Board of Directors, Leah has a wide variety of experience providing engaging opportunities for communities. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, attending sporting events and concerts, being with friends and family, and hanging out with her rescue dog named Bart.

Theresa Liebsch, Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator – SW Region, Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department

Theresa graduated with a degree in communications from the University of Mary in 2020. Since taking on the Vision Zero Coordinator position in December of 2020, she has been educating communities and schools about traffic safety in the Southwest region of North Dakota. Theresa’s greatest passion continues to be seat belt use and has gone to nearly every elementary school in the Bismarck/Mandan/Lincoln area to teach seat belt safety to grades K-6. Theresa has also helped Wing and Flasher Public Schools become Vision Zero Schools. Through events, education and networking, Theresa hopes to continue to expand the Vision Zero initiative and get every North Dakota citizen home safely.

Kyle Patterson, Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator – NW Region, Ward County Highway Department

Kyle Patterson is from Norwich and a graduate from Minot State University. Previously, Kyle was employed at iHeartMedia and KCJB Radio. He worked as sports director at a Harvey radio station and later at a Jamestown radio station. He returned to Minot to be closer to family and worked as an admissions counselor at Minot State University before returning to the radio business. Kyle is currently the Vision Zero Outreach Coordinator in the Northwest region of North Dakota. He lives in Burlington with his wife, Kelsey, and their two children.

Mason Sisk, Senior Policy Advisor, North Dakota Office of the Governor

Mason Sisk is a senior policy advisor in the North Dakota Governor’s Office focused on transportation, public safety, and technology policy. Since 2019, he has worked to support the Vision Zero initiative by serving as a strategic advisor to the Governor, Lt. Governor, policy, and executive team to help develop and implement the administration’s policy agenda by building relationships and coalitions, conducting major policy reviews, making recommendations on policy issues, and addressing stakeholder comments and inquiries on policy.

Mason is a graduate from the University of North Dakota and has worked with several key industry associations prior to joining the Governor’s Office including the North Dakota Safety Council and Economic Development Association of North Dakota.

Dr. Nichole Morris, Director of HumanFIRST Lab, the University of Minnesota

Nichole Morris, Ph.D., is a research associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, director of the HumanFIRST Laboratory, and a research scholar of the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Morris' research focuses on human-systems interactions in transportation with an emphasis on pedestrian safety, high risk road users and in-vehicle technologies.

Dr. Christopher Boe, Emergency Medicine, Altru Health Systems

Christopher Boe, M.D., is a board-certified emergency medicine physician in Grand Forks. He graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences and is currently the chief of staff at Altru Hospital, medical director of Altru Care Flight, and the chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine and Urgent Care Services. He has spent his career taking care of trauma patients from the region.

Robert Kennedy, North Dakota Highway Patrol

Robert Kennedy has 31 years of experience in law enforcement. In 1990, Kennedy worked for the University of North Dakota Police Department. Robert started his career with the NDHP (1995) retiring as a regional sergeant stationed in Devils Lake (2019) and served four years as the Towner County sheriff. Robert was hired as a civilian employee for the NDHP’s newly developed Crash Assistances Program (CAP) in 2021. The NDHP CAP was developed to assist individuals and families affected by serious injury/fatal crashes and traumatic events. Kennedy currently lives in Steele with his wife Kelly. They have four children and two grandchildren.

Nevon Heisler, Trooper, Grand Forks North Dakota Highway Patrol

Nevon Heisler is currently a traffic trooper with the NDHP and stationed in Grand Forks. He has been a trooper for over nine years and previously stationed in Rugby. Nevon is a member of the NDHP Crash Reconstruction Team (CRT) and a certified car seat technician. Nevon was the 2021 Vision Zero Traffic Safety Officer of the Year. He was a commissioned officer in the North Dakota Army National Guard where his duties included being a Black Hawk aviator. He is from Devils Lake and married with two children, ages three and five.

Michael Paulson, Officer, Bismarck Police Department

Paulson graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology. Paulson is a 10-year veteran of the Bismarck Police Department and has been assigned to the department’s traffic unit since 2019. He specializes in traffic enforcement, crash reconstruction and recruit training. Paulson is a certified child passenger safety technician through Safe Kids and an active member of the National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists.

Damian Wright, Deputy Sheriff, Emmons County Sheriff’s Office

As a Bismarck native, Damian graduated from Bismarck High School. Following graduation, he attended Lake Region State College, receiving a certification from the Peace Officer Training Program. He began his law enforcement career in 2017 with the Kidder County Sheriff’s Department prior to accepting a position as deputy sheriff with the Emmons County Sheriff’s Office in early 2018. Damian currently has more than 900 hours of training and serves as a North Dakota POST certified instructor for police subjects including firearms instructor, CPR instructor and child passenger safety technician for the Emmons County Sheriff’s Office and for other local law enforcement agencies if requested.

Dawn Mayer, Child Passenger Safety Program Director, North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services

Dawn Mayer is the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) program director with the North Dakota Department of Health & Human Services. Her career includes 30 years in injury prevention where she has also been a certified CPS instructor for 24 of those years. She is the current state CPS coordinator for North Dakota.

Carma Hanson, Grand Forks Coordinator, Safe Kids

For 28 years, Carma Hanson has served as the Coordinator of Safe Kids Grand Forks – a coalition focused on preventing unintentional injuries and death to children under age 19. Under her leadership, the coalition has expanded injury prevention throughout northeast North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. Using her nursing background, Carma has aided the coalition’s work in curriculum and program development, strategic and campaign planning, and policy development. She is certified in child passenger safety and special needs transportation and teaches the safe transportation of children in ambulances curriculum.

Darrin Grondel, Senior Vice President Traffic Safety, Responsibility.org

Darrin currently serves as the senior vice president of traffic safety for the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the director of the National Alliance to Stop Impaired Driving. He directs Responsibility.org’s state government relations and traffic safety portfolio with an emphasis on the impaired driving system.

Dr. Kimberly Vachal, Program Director, Rural Transportation Safety & Security Center

Kimberly Vachal, Ph.D., is the lead investigator for the Rural Transportation Safety and Security Center at North Dakota State University’s Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. She conducts research and outreach in cooperation with state and federal stakeholders to promote safe and secure transportation, with a focus on rural regions. She has over 20 years of experience in transportation research, primarily in the traffic safety and agricultural logistics fields with a concentration in public policy and program evaluation. She has written more than 50 research papers and authored several journal articles. Dr. Vachal has worked with state and federal crash record databases and associated administrative records in her traffic safety research. She also has an adjunct faculty appointment with the graduate school where she works with graduate student research assistants in traffic safety and program evaluation.

Jason Benson, Engineer, Cass County

Jason Benson has served as the Cass County Engineer since 2011 and worked as a construction and design engineer for Cass County from 2000 to 2011. His engineering duties include infrastructure management of 637 miles of paved and gravel roads and approximately 564 bridge structures, as well as managing 100 full- and part-time employees of the highway maintenance staff, engineering staff, Vector Control Department, the Planning Department and Vision Zero Coordinator. He also serves as a senior technical advisor for the $3.2 billion Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Project. He is a licensed professional engineer in North Dakota and holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from North Dakota State University, master’s in management from the University of Mary and a master’s in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.

Kelly Bengston, Engineer, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute

Kelly Bengtson is a professional pavement and bridge engineer at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. He works with road and bridge investment needs studies, asset management efforts, rural transportation safety, commercial truck studies and technical assistance to local units of government. As the previous Kittson County, MN engineer (1997), he completed Red River flood damage repair, and worked on 450 county road miles and 210 bridge structures. Kelly also served as the drainage engineer for the County Drainage Authority with over 250 miles of legal drains, the district manager/engineering technician for the Kittson Soil and Water Conservation District for 10 years, and a product engineer with Deere & Company in Waterloo, Iowa for three years. He is a Hallock, Minnesota native where he owns the family farm and enjoys spending time with his wife and family.

Holly Kostrzweski, Highway Safety Specialist, Impaired Driving Division, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Holly did not choose her career her career chose her. Her path forever changed, when at the age of 18 she sustained a life-changing traumatic brain injury, as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Significant challenges followed during her ongoing recovery. Holly began her career nearly 20 years ago at the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa as the Injury Prevention Program coordinator. Most recently Holly spent 13 years as the first Northeast and Northwest Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths Regional Director. In September 2022, she began a new position as a highway safety specialist for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in national program development.

Holly holds a bachelor’s degree from The College of St. Scholastica earning a double major in Business Communication and American Indian Studies and a double minor in management and English. She earned a master’s degree in public health and is currently writing her dissertation for her doctorate in public health. She completed the Indian Health Service Injury Prevention Program Development Fellowship. The Duluth News Tribune named Holly a recipient of the Top 20 Under 40 Award, and in 2022 she received the Lifesavers National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Public Service Award for her work with tribal and rural communities.