Tom Bengtson and Dale Ahlquist, Co-Founders
Board of Directors
Richard Vigilante, Board Chair | Mark Culhane, Vice Chair
Dale Ahlquist | Patrick Gaughan | Tizoc Rosales | Casey Scott | Judy Shea | Jay Ward
Tom Bengtson | Co-Founder
Tom Bengtson is president of NFR Communications, Inc., a publishing company that specializes in niche magazines, and is editor and publisher of a trade magazine covering the banking industry. He is also the managing director of a financial services industry trade association in the Midwest. Tom is the author of two books and writes a column on living your faith at work that appears in the Catholic Spirit, as well as the diocesan newspaper serving Superior, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and a 2005 Fellow to the Stonier Graduate School of Banking in Georgetown University. Tom and his wife Susan have four children.
Dale Ahlquist | Co-Founder
Dale Ahlquist is the president of the American Chesterton Society. He is the creator and host of the television series, G.K. Chesterton: The Apostle of Common Sense, on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). Dale is the publisher of Gilbert Magazine, author of The Apostle of Common Sense and Common Sense 101 – Lessons from Chesterton. He is editor of The Gift of Wonder: The Many Sides of G.K. Chesterton, associate editor of the Collected Works of G.K. Chesterton (Ignatius). He has been called “one of the most respected Chesterton scholars in the world” and has delighted audiences around the country with his variety of talks on the great English writer. He is a graduate of Carleton College (B.A.) in Northfield, Minnesota, and Hamline University (M.A.) in St. Paul, Minnesota. He lives near Minneapolis with his wife and six children. Like Chesterton, Dale is a Catholic convert and a joyful defender of the Catholic Faith. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave Beskar | Superintendent
Dave Beskar joined Chesterton Academy of the Twin Cities as Superintendent and Headmaster of the Edina campus in 2015. He has served as a high school teacher, coach, and administrator since 1990. During his career, he served in roles including faculty member, Academic Dean, and Associate Head of School at Trinity School at River Ridge. In 2011, he went on to serve as Head of School of Trivium Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, part of Great Hearts Academy, a network of classical liberal arts charter schools. During his time in Arizona, he led the opening of two academies, a K-5 academy and a 6-12 prep academy. He led the process of opening a third academy and the building of a new campus. Mr. Beskar holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Economics from the University of Minnesota.
John Niemann | Headmaster
John Niemann is Founding Headmaster of Chesterton Academy’s East Metro Campus (opening in fall 2016), in addition to his teaching responsibilities. John has a law degree from the William Mitchell College of Law, a Master of Liberal Studies degree from Saint John’s College, Santa Fe, NM, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative History from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. He was a teacher of English, history, literature and economics at Eagle Ridge Academy in Eden Prairie from 2005 to 2009 where also served on the Board of Directors, spending one year as Chairman. Prior to that, he was a teacher at Trinity School in Bloomington, MN for four years. He joined the faculty of Chesterton Academy in 2010 and served as Headmaster of the Edina campus until 2015.
Emily de Rotstein | Executive Director
Emily joined Chesterton Academy in July 0f 2011 as the school’s first Executive Director. She served as a member of the Chesterton Academy Board of Directors for the 2010-2011 academic year. Emily has extensive fundraising, corporate and entrepreneurial experience, most recently as Vice President of Marketing and Sales at Vocal Laboratories, a national customer satisfaction measurement company based in the Twin Cities. She has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Minnesota.