Who We are
Terebinth Refuge is a Christ-centered non-profit shelter and transitional home that provides strength-based, trauma-informed healing and holistic services to women 18 and older who are escaping sexual exploitation and sex trafficking and assists their transition into a life of health, stability and independence.
Significance of the Terebinth (Oak) Tree
Throughout the Old Testament Terebinth and Oak are referred to and the reference interchanged. The word used in Isaiah 61:3 which is often translated ”ram” as it’s root, refers to strength and power and can also mean “pillar”referring to a strong leader. Terebinth (pistacia) develops a very large deep and extensive root system and therefore remains green in years of drought, it often sprouts from the stump after being cut. Because of its large size and great age, terebinth tree were places of significance, well known landmarks in the scripture, also seen as a resting place of shelter and shade.
God refers to His children as becoming a “terebinth of righteousness”, a position of resilience, strength and rest to bring Him glory.
MEET THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Cynthia Terlouw (CeCe) has dedicated her life to the development and advancement of others.
Raised in Arden Hills, MN, CeCe graduated from Mounds View H. S. and received a full scholarship to the University of Minnesota, where she received her B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation. After graduation, her passion for helping others led to positions at the Home of the Good Shepherd, Outreach Group Homes, and the Hennepin County Home School.
CeCe joined Heartland Girls Ranch in 1992. During her near 24 year tenure, her responsibilities encompassed everything from operations to program development. She was named HGR's Executive Director in 2008, and Executive Director of Strategic Development in 2015. Under her leadership, Heartland became a model program recognized throughout the state for at-risk and sexually exploited/trafficked girls.
CeCe serves on the Safe Harbor Statewide Director Advisory Panel and is an active member of the Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force. She is certified in the My Life, My Choice curriculum for sexually exploited youth and has completed the Executive Director Leadership Program through the University of St. Thomas. CeCe co-authored “Heartland Girls’ Ranch Hearts for Freedom Project: A Resource Guide for Working with Sexually Exploited Youth & Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law”, and has also written her own curriculum, designed specifically for sexually exploited girls. CeCe is frequently invited to speak on human trafficking and the hope of restoration for exploited women.
Board of Directors 2017
Dieter Pape - Board Chair Retired/Self-Employed B.A. – 1969 Michigan State University 1969-1970: US Army – Vietnam MBA – 1972 Michigan State University Dieter has spent the majority of his career in start-ups and turnarounds encompassing a diversity of industries from software to protein. Dieter has been a lead partner in start-ups in the technology industry, including one of the first Applications Systems Providers (Cloud Provider). For the past 18 years, Dieter has been President/CEO of Morey’s Seafood International, North American Bison Cooperative, North Dakota Natural Beef and American Time. In addition to his business experience, Dieter taught Marketing and Advertising at St. Cloud State University, Rasmussen College, and spent two years as the Vice President of Continuing Education at St. Cloud Technical College. Dieter believes in giving back to the community and has served on the boards of the YMCA, St. Cloud Technical College, and Central Minnesota Boy Scouts. He is also an active member in his church.
Bruce Jacobson - Vice Chair
Professor, St. Cloud State
BIO COMING SOON
Ceena Idicula Johnson - Board Secretary/Treasurer
Associate Attorney at Quinlivin & Hughes, PA
BIO COMING SOON
Core Value Coach/Director
"I am a Core Values coach. I work with clients to identify, implement and live a values based life. I have been married to my prince, Paul Knutson, for a year and a half and together we have four grown children. We recently relocated to Alexandria, MN. We enjoy gathering friends together and getting out on either our pedal bike, Harley, or paddle boat."
Chief of Police, Waite Park, MN Chief Dave Bentrud has been a police professional in Central Minnesota for the past 25 years and presently serves as Chief of Police for the City of Waite Park. Prior to Waite Park, Chief Bentrud was with the St. Cloud Police Department for 16 years. Dave has a B.A. Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of St. Thomas and a M.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University (SCSU). In addition to his policing career, Dave has been an Adjunct Instructor in the Criminal Justice program at SCSU for 22 years. Dave serves as Director on the board for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA) and was recently elected 3rd Vice-President. In 2013, Chief Bentrud was appointed by Governor Dayton to the Minnesota Peace Officers Standards and Training Board (POST). Chief Bentrud is a graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command and the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS). In addition, Chief Bentrud has attended numerous police related trainings on topics such as leadership, community policing and police operations.
Licensed Practical Nurse at Coborn Cancer Center
Melissa is a mom of 4 and a full time Oncology nurse at the Coborn Canver Center. "I became aware of the prevalent problem of sex trafficking in my very own home town, and I could not look away. God tugged at my heart to get involved. I spent all of last year as the reigning Mrs. Minnesota, spreading awareness and inspiring action to the issue of Human sex trafficking. I was led to CeCe and my heart is full in to do whatever I can to make the Refuge a success. It is an honor to serve on the board."
President & CEO GeoComm
John has over 35 years' experience in sales, product-management, marketing and general management. He has spent the last 20 years in senior level executive positions, each with a focus on driving profitable growth. Throughout this experience, John has tackled business problems and realigned organizations and teams with market opportunities.
Michael Contardo graduated in 1978 from the University of Minnesota school of Dentistry. Since then he has been dedicated for over 30 years to providing comprehensive care at his private practice of Laser Dentistry in St. Joseph, MN. Michael states "I look at the big picture, listen, give feedback, and offer hope."
Les lives in St. Cloud, MN. He has four grown children and lost his wife, Sallie, to pancreatic cancer in 2004. He has a Bachelor of Science, Metallurgical Engineering, 1963, and a Master of Science, Metallurgical Engineering, 1969, from the University of Cincinnati. In the past, he has worked for the General Electric Company in their Nuclear Systems Program and Aircraft Engine Group and Brown Boveri Turbomachinery. He then founded Engel Metallurgical in 1983. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Minnesota and Ohio. Besides work activities, Les volunteers on the boards for the Central Minnesota Manufacturing Association, Benton-Stearns Workforce Investment Board, Partners for Student Success, and the Terebinth Refuge. He is also involved in a number of Industry Advisory Committees for some Minnesota colleges, he is a RDAC member for MPR, and he is a member of St. Cloud Sertoma Club. To fill out his weekends, he volunteers as an AV technician at his church.
Author, Retired Pastor
Dennis Herschbach is a retired high school teacher and synod appointed minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. He has authored eight books, one being a novel about the sex trafficking of Canadian Native American girls through Thunder Bay and out the Duluth Harbor. Dennis has been asked to speak on numerous occasions about his book and on sex trafficking. Dennis is also a poet and his poetry has won several awards.
Marilyn Birkland Advertising Director, Times Media Marilyn Birkland has lived in the St Cloud area for the past 18 years, moving to St Cloud from the Willmar area. Her career has focused on leading sales teams within the media industry and helping them to adapt to the changing environment, while ensuring they are successful at helping businesses locally achieve their marketing goals. Marilyn has one son, who is developing his career here in the St Cloud area and is recently married to Clint Jordahl.
Please visit our Contact Us page to reach out to any of our Board of Directors.
Meeker County Commissioner, Owner-Housman Properties, Housman Farms Mike has been self-employed in IT consulting since 1994, doing business in analysis, software design, development and implementation. He is owner of Housman Properties, specializing in single family home rental properties, He is also owner of Housman farms, raising organic chicken and breeding Great Pyrenees dogs. Mike is currently and has served several terms as Meeker County Board of commissioners. He has served as chair, treasurer, finance chair and on various subcommittees and joint power boards as part of his commissioner duties.
Marketing Strategist Marketing professional with over 20 years of experience in various aspects of marketing and communications. "I have a drive for making relationships. Passionate about people, culture and diversity."
Licensed Social Worker
Lana Kozak is a Licensed Social Worker and certified Life Coach for Pregnancy Resource Center in St. Cloud. "I graduated with honors with my Bachelors of Science in Social Work, and a minor in human relations with an emphasis on elementary education. My previous experiences include working with Anna Marie’s Alliance as a woman’s advocate for 7 years; I also enjoyed serving as the Director of Admissions and Development for 5 years at St. Cloud Christian School. My interests and experiences include policy making, proofreading, employment/hiring processes, development, organizational processes, systems, grant writing, committee leadership and a missions trip to a women and children’s care home in Romania. I have a passion for serving others and my ultimate goal is to become more of a servant leader."
CFO, North American Bison Cooperative, LLC
Over 25 years of accounting and finance in the protein industry, including a startup company. Independent consultant in accounting for a computer software developer and two non-profits.
Director at Bridging the Gap, MN District Assemblies of God
BIO COMING SOON
Dr. Kathryn P. Mayhew Department of Community Psychology, Counseling and Family Therapy St. Cloud State University "Currently, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses for Community Psychology, School Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy specializations at St. Cloud State University. Prior to becoming a Professor, I worked as a Registered Nurse and as a Crisis Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist. My work and research experiences include issues related to trauma, mental health, family health and substance use."
LPN & Ridgewater College Instructor
Cherrie Miller is an LPN and has also worked as a medical assistant educator at Ridgewater College in Wilmar, MN for 12 years. She is married and has seven children and four grandchildren. In addition, she has volunteered monthly at Heartland Girls Ranch for the past two years.
Practice Manager, Sartell Pediatrics
Jill Smith is the medical administrator at Sartell Pediatrics, responsible for the practice operations and staff. Champions of independent medicine, Jill and her husband, Dr. David Smith, opened Sartell Pediatrics in 2012. As the only independent pediatric facility in central Minnesota, she has grown the practice to include three medical providers and a child psychologist. Jill spent her early career in technology and applications consulting at Grant Thornton and Hitachi Consulting, where she gained expertise in multiple business functions now critical to her role. Jill believes strongly in giving back to the community, serving on the Catholic Charities board of directors, chairing multiple March of Dimes events, and volunteering at church and other local organizations.
President, Farmers and Merchants State Bank
Todd Zaun is the CEO of Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Pierz. Todd is also the President of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of the Dioceses of St. Cloud and a member of the finance committee of CentraCare. Before becoming a banker, Todd had a 15-year career as a journalist that included stints as a foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and as a business writer for The New York Times. Todd has a law degree from Pepperdine University School Of Law, a masters degree from the University of California, San Diego and a B.A. in Economics from the University of St. Thomas.