Meet the Committee

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

 

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!

I thoroughly enjoy being on the Gold Rush Committee. 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 the 2021 event and years to come! See ya!

 


Melissa Griggs: Committee Member, Volunteer Coordinator

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.”

 


Christine Jannetto: Committee Member, Volunteer Coordinator

Hello. I am originally from Muskego, Wisconsin. After graduating from UW – Milwaukee, I worked as a Cytotechnologist until I moved into Laboratory IT to design, build, implement, and support the computer system for all Anatomic Pathology. In addition, I was the Point of Care Coordinator, integrating IT work with new patient testing instrumentation for the hospital. In 2012, I came to Minnesota with my family when my husband took a job at the Mayo Clinic. The following year, we moved into our home in Oronoco where we enjoy the small town community and friendly neighbors. Since moving to MN, I have been fortunate to be able to dedicate my time to my family, subdivision HOA, chairing state and local PTAs, and volunteering in the community.

I am excited to be a part of this wonderful Oronoco Gold Rush team and become more involved within the city.  I hope to help grow and enhance the event as I share my information technology and coordination skills on the Downtown Gold Rush Days Committee.


Cory Matzke: Committee Member & Vintage Car Show Coordinator

Hello, I am Cory Matzke.  I have over 40 years’ experience at Gold Rush (as my parents and in-laws were vendors for decades and I have also been a vendor on my own at Gold Rush too!).  I have viewed Gold Rush from both a vendor and shopper perspective over the years.  I am also a business owner in Downtown Oronoco and have lived in Oronoco Township for 25 years: this is definitely my home!   My wife Tammy and I are avid volunteers in other community efforts besides Gold Rush such as watershed efforts for the Zumbro River.   

I joined the committee as the antiques market has changed over the years and I wanted to offer ways to keep Oronoco Gold Rush relevant and exciting. 


Dana Gold Rush

Dana Bergner, Council Representative, Social Media, Website, 5K Coordinator

Dana has been a resident of Oronoco since 2008 and has been 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. In 2019 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 visiting with shoppers and vendors, helping at the Information Booth, taking pictures and coordinating the 3rd annual 5k. She also plans to sneak in a little shopping, but no need to tell her husband that!

 


Carol Olson

Carol Olson, Event Director 

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!”