Board of Directors
Stephen Rufer, Chairman & General Counsel
Stephen is a practicing attorney and lives with his wife, Sandy, in Fergus Falls, Minn. He is a certified civil trial specialist and is on the state Supreme Court roster of approved mediators and arbitrators. Stephen’s hobbies include biking, water sports and flying - he is a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor. He has three adult children, Emily, Sam, and Tom. Stephen is active in the community and currently president of Lake Region Healthcare Corporation. He is also a past president of CA.
Patty Strickland, President & Chief Operating Officer
Patty has been with the organization since 1981. Because she has worked in nearly every aspect of the organization, Patty has the knowledge and expertise to lead CA as it continues to grow while providing members with the benefits and services they have come to expect.
Angela Nelson. Chief Financial Officer
Angela has been with the company since 2006. She has served on numerous non-profit boards in both oversight and management capacities. Angela’s no-nonsense approach and attention to detail coupled with her deep sense of commitment and passion for her work have proven to be a valuable asset to all of the CA members. A Minnesota native, Angela currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband Les. She enjoys reading, going for motorcycle rids and spending time with her family.
David Ramey, Vice President
David is the owner, with his wife, Carla, and winemaker of Ramey Wine Cellars. Previously, David directed viticulture and winemaking for Rudd Estates and Dominus in Napa Valley and Chalk Hill and Matanzas Creek wineries in Sonoma County. David and Carla have two adult children Alan and Claire, and live in Glenn Ellen, California, in the heart of the Valley of the Moon.
Mark Ritchie, Vice President
Mark Richie is president of Global Minnesota, a nonprofit nonpartisan organization devoted to advancing international understanding and engagement. A graduate of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Iowa State University, he served as Minnesota’s Secretary of State from 2007 to 2015. Since leaving elected public service, Mark has led the public-private partnership working to being the 2027 World Expo to Minnesota and he has served on the board of directors for LifeSource, U.S. Vote Foundation and Expo USA. Mark is also a national advisory board member of the federal Election Assistance Commission and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Minnesota. Mark is the appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, representing Minnesota.
Bob Rumpa, Vice President
Bob is the President of Rumpza Consulting founded in 2007. Bob has worked inside non-profit organizations, corporations and communication agencies. He formerly served as executive vice president of Weber Shandwick. He has two community service roles in directing AmeriCorps volunteerism in Minnesota. He is a member of the ServeMinnesota board of directors and is board chair for ServeMinnesota Action Network. He is a University of Minnesota School of Journalism alumnus and is the winner of the coveted Silver Anvil of the Public Relations Society of America for his crisis communication work.
Milt Smedsrud, Chairman Emeritus and Founder
In 1972, Milt founded what was then known as the Creamery Association (CA) in Fergus Falls, Minn., to provide group purchasing power for farmers. The CA Scholarship and Education Foundation was established in 1981, followed by the CA Exchange Program (CAEP) in 1985. Today, CAEP is one of the largest training and internship exchange programs in the United States. He also owns and operates the Smedsrud family farm.