MnCCC Spotlight: Brian Kopperud
Every month MnCCC features a spotlight of a member who is deserving of special recognition. Sadly, with a heavy heart, we share that Brian unexpectedly passed away. Brian served as Chair of the Corrections User Group with 11+ years of involvement with the MnCCC organization. His leadership and dedication to MnCCC played a tremendous role in supporting successful cross-collaborative initiatives within Dakota county and among numerous Minnesota agencies. We were fortunate enough to ask Brian a few questions and receive his responses back shortly before his passing. Here is Brian's spotlight feature:
What was your first job?
My first job was at the age of 15 (I lied on my application. I worked at Bachman’s Landscape and Floral on 60th and Lyndale Ave in South Minneapolis. I worked for 2-3 hours after school crushing boxes and bailing them with this extremely intimidating machine. I thought for sure I was going to crush or lose a limb!
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I was born and raised in South Minneapolis with my three brothers. We lived just off Minnehaha Pkwy and Elliot Avenue. I graduated from the University of St Thomas with degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I then went on the the U of M Masters Program in Family Social Science with my emphasis being counseling and therapy. I am married to my wife Jill for 37 years. We have two amazing children; Erin is 34 and works as a probation officer for Hennepin County, lives in Richfield with her soon to be husband Joe and our son Ryan, is 33 and works in Software marketing, lives in South MPLS with his wife Jen. Jill and I enjoy traveling together, gardening, home improvement and decorating and I love to cook and bake.
What interests you about MnCCC?
I have been involved in MnCCC through the Corrections User Group and the CSTS Executive Committee for the past 11+ years. I love the model of MnCCC and what they help us accomplish. I love all the additional trainings and learning opportunities that are offered to us as members. They are so diverse and I have never been disappointed. I appreciate the staff and their assistance, Lisa Meredith’s leadership and guidance is invaluable. The sense of collaboration is great!
What is your role with Dakota county?
My title and role in Dakota County is Director of Community Corrections. I have been with Dakota County for just over 4 years. I am responsible for the day to day management and leadership of all services related to probation, parole, our juvenile facility and we are an integral partner in the Criminal Justice System along with the Sheriff’s Office, County Attorney’s office, the Court system, the Public Defender’s office and the private defense bar, besides many others. We have 180 staff with a 21 million dollar budget and are part of the Community Services Division which also includes Public Health, Social Services, Employment and Economic Assistance and Veterans Services. Dakota County is one of 33 Community Corrections Act Counties in Minnesota.
If you could do something in your wildest dreams, what would it be?
How do I pick just one? My wife and I have a dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast! This would allow us to combine decorating, cooking, gardening and entertaining and hospitality. We love all these things! Another bucket list is more and extended travel. We would like to take a month and spend it in the British Isles. Ireland, Scotland, England. We would do the same with the Scandinavian Countries too. Then on to Provence in France and Tuscany in Italy!
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