Kristi Mukomela

Kristi Mukomela has seen SMSU from many perspectives.

First, as a daughter, then student, employee and finally, an active alumna.

The 1980 graduate is President and CEO of Novation Credit Union, the 15,000-member credit union for 3M employees and family members, a position she’s held for 22 years.

She came to Marshall in 1968 when she was 10 years old and her father, Ken, got a job as a Business professor at what was then Southwest Minnesota State College. Ken and his wife Gwen raised Kristi and her four siblings in Marshall.  She witnessed the college’s growth from those early years.

She graduated with an Accounting degree after initially starting in the Hotel Restaurant Administration program.

After her freshman year she took an internship at Quadna Mountain Resort, south of Grand Rapids, and enjoyed the north woods so much she attended Itasca Community College as a sophomore where she gook general courses.

She returned to SMSC her junior year and pursued an accounting degree. “My interest was in more general business management than pure accounting but I realized an accounting degree was going to be useful for either direction,” she said.

After graduation she worked as an admissions counselor (recruiter) in the Office of Admission. Her territory was South Dakota and some of the counties in southwest and greater Minnesota.

She’s seen Marshall and SMSU through several lenses, each unique in its perspective. “Growing up in Marshall you have a certain perspective as a high school and then a college student.  Coming back on board as an adult and serving in a volunteer capacity has given me a different perspective on the community. I see things in a fuller context and that’s been rewarding.

“I think SMSU provides value to the community as well as the region. The students receive a quality education and there’s plenty of experiences outside the classroom. Being on the Foundation Board, I have a better understanding of the significant financial support the community gives to the University and of the important role that SMSU plays in the region.”

Influential professors during her time at SMSC included Jim Babcock, Al Blitstein, Emil Milacek and Mike Boedigheimer.  She also recalls the many “arm punches” she received from Glen Mattke.

Kristi continues to give back to the University. She’s on the SMSU Foundation Board of Directors and chairs its Finance Committee. She is also a past member of the Alumni Association Board.

Kristi and her husband Mark Everson have a blended family of 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

 “I’m very flattered and honored to receive this Alumni Association honor,” she said.