Meet the Committee

These wonderful people are the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Committee.  Say “Hi!” if you see one of them during the show!

Committee Members:

Ryland Eichhorst, Mayor and Chair of Gold Rush Committee

My wife, Pat and I relocated to our house in River Park subdivision in March 2013 from Peosta, IA, just west of Dubuque, IA to be closer to our daughter and grandchildren, as well as Pat’s family in Lewiston and St Charles. We like what Oronoco had to offer with a small town atmosphere, but close to Rochester, well, at least Menards, 7 minutes away, and Target North!

This is my 5th year on the Gold Rush committee and I thoroughly enjoy it! It is a great experience to have thousands of friendly people visit the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush days! It is a lot of work, but very rewarding when you see people smiling, having a great time and carrying that lost treasure they have been looking for a long time or just bought it on impulse!

Looking forward to 2019 and years to come! See ya!


Melissa Griggs


As a new resident in Kings Park in 2003,  our bond with the Oronoco community started early. I have had the opportunity to work along side the Oronoco Fire Department over the years in coordinating the Free Carbon Monoxide Detector Program for local residents and have worked with other community heroes to clean up and maintain our beautiful Zumbro River. I’m excited to add serving on the Gold Rush Committee to the list of ways I can contribute to our small community! I’m looking forward to helping Gold Rush grow its following by continuing to add new features for families and support expanded vendor options for the future! 

Lori Novak

Lori Novak, Council Representative

Lori was born and raised in Burnsville, Minnesota. After graduating from Burnsville High School in 1992, she attended The Aveda Institute for Cosmetology. In 2003 she and two other women opened a hair salon in Rochester, MN, where she continues to work full time.  Lori, her husband Jason, and their four children have lived in Oronoco since the fall of 2015. She currently serves the community as a Council Person, is on the Gold Rush committee, as well as the Water and Sewer, and EMT committees. She also works with her local neighborhood association as the vice president. “I love working with the Gold Rush committee. Helping to plan a huge event that completely benefits our local community is so rewarding.”



Nancy Quimby, Council Representative, Secretary

I have lived in Oronoco my whole  life, born and raised and never wanted to leave. When I was growing up we knew everyone in this small town (my dad was the town’s mechanic ). Now I want to give back to this great town that I have always called home.

Trish Shields

Trish Shields, Vice Chair, Treasurer and Council Representative
Trish has been an Oronoco resident since 2000. Trish was elected to City Council Member in 2012 and is currently serving as the Vice Mayor. She has served on many committees over the years including Water & Sewer, is a current member of Planning & Zoning and has been a Parks & Trails member since 2002. We have been lucky to have Trish on the Gold Rush committee since 2012 and are happy to continue to benefit from her ideas and experience!

Cory Matzke

Dana Gold Rush

Dana Bergner, Social Media, Website, 5K Coordinator
Dana has been a resident of Oronoco for 11 years and slightly obsessed with Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days for much longer than that! She often calls it her favorite “holiday” of the year and spends all 3 days perusing the hundreds of vendor booths that take over Downtown Oronoco on that special weekend each year. Last year she became involved in the show and organized the first annual Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush 5k which made her realize that she loved being involved in the show as a volunteer. So, after years filling her home with treasures during Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days, Dana felt it was time to become an official committee member, to the relief of her husband Jay! Throughout the year, Dana works on the website and all of our social media pages to keep our event current. During the event this year, you will find her surveying the shoppers, helping at the Information Booth, taking pictures of vendors and coordinating the 2nd annual 5k. She also plans to sneak in a little shopping, but no need to tell her husband that!


Carol Olson

Carol Olson, Event Coordinator

My husband and I moved to Oronoco in August of 1988. As we lugged boxes into the house, we couldn’t help but notice all the activity going on in the community. (Not every day does a port-a- potty end up on your street corner.) We looked at each other, and said, “Let’s throw a mattress down and spend the night and see what happens.” The rest is history. We experienced our first Gold Rush and we were hooked. Within a very short time I was volunteering as was my husband. We did this for many years, and I filled a variety of roles within the committee. In 2005 when I was preparing to retire after 30 years at Mayo Clinic, the Event Coordinator at that time, Ed Simon, asked if I would be interested in taking over his duties when I retired. With the committee’s approval, I moved into this role officially in 2006. I have thoroughly enjoyed working and volunteering as the event coordinator for this event. The vendors who come year after year have become an extended family to me. And there is also a certain pride in being associated with this non-profit organization and the individuals on the committee who give so generously of their time. Each year we see the profits returned to our community in a variety of projects, and there is a deep personal satisfaction, that in a small way, volunteering with this great organization is part of my legacy. I’m still hooked on “Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush Days!”