St. Croix Valley Magazine has the pleasure of working with several area community members, who serve on our magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board. From sharing story ideas to being a voice in the community, we’re thankful to all members who work with our magazine—and our wonderful society. Writer Staci Perry Mergenthal sits down to talk with three of our Editorial Advisory Board members. So, get to know your neighbors, as well as their favorite spots around the Valley. —Hailey Almsted, editor
ArtReach St. Croix executive director Heather Rutledge has been working with museums, arts organizations and arts funders since her first high school internship. “For me, it is about building an ecosystem where the arts can thrive,” she says.
Rutledge has been on the St. Croix Valley Magazine Editorial Advisory Board since its inception. “I love pitching art stories and being a cheerleader for the creative projects that happen in our river towns,” Rutledge says.
Treasuring the outdoor work through all seasons, she also serves on the board of Franconia Sculpture Park. “Franconia is a great example of how you can experience the arts in the Valley, but I also love driving all over the countryside to satiate my pottery addiction during the St. Croix Pottery Tour over Mother's Day weekend,” she says.
She and her husband, Andrew, settled in Stillwater 10 years ago, where they’re raising their two boys. They spend quality time at parks, including Afton State Park, William O’Brien State Park and Interstate State Park. “The beach at Square Lake is our go-to on summer evenings,” she says.
Favorites for dining out? “I’m a vegetarian, and luckily, many of the Valley’s restaurants are vegetarian-friendly,” Rutledge says. “Phil’s Tara Hideaway is a great place to take out-of-town guests. The igloos made for a fun brunch at Pier 500. When I plan a night at St. Croix Festival Theatre, it always includes dinner at nearby restaurant, [like] The Vegetarian, a surprising place to find delicious Indian cuisine. Bring on the dal makhani and garlic naan!”
Sarah Stratte Quickel
Native Stillwater resident Sarah Stratte Quickel has always loved fashion. She opened Enchantè in 2014, expanded four times, added a men’s collection, Garçon, and plans to open a second location on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.
“I am so proud of how the St. Croix Valley has blossomed,” Stratte Quickel says. “We have so much to offer with a variety of shops, restaurants and activities. My true love is this beautiful river we are so lucky to have. You can find me, whenever I can, rowing or kicking back on our boat.”
A member of the Stillwater High School class of 1982, Brent Peterson started his history career at the Minnesota Historical Society and is the Washington County Historical Society (WCHS) executive director. Peterson has served on the Stillwater Heritage Preservation Commission and the Historic Courthouse Advisory Commission. He is currently a trustee on the Fairview Cemetery Board, and he writes a weekly column for the Stillwater Gazette on the history of the St. Croix Valley.
Because St. Croix Valley Magazine is a source for citizens and visitors, Peterson enjoys serving on our board and providing to the community. “With its articles and other attributes, it is a fine magazine for those looking for something to do in the Valley,” he says.
Peterson is married with two grown daughters. Noting there are many fine restaurants in the Valley, Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop is the one they keep going back to. Washington Park is their family go-to as they live a few blocks away. When he’s not working or doing housework, he’s golfing, fishing, enjoying their family cabin in northern Wisconsin or playing WCHS’s Vintage Base Ball.