OUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Devan Arntson, Director of Christian Education
Devan Arntson, born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, serves as our Director of Christian Education. He moved to Merrill in 2021 and has been actively involved in the lives of our youth since then. Devan runs the middle and high school Youth Groups, oversees Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, and leads several adult Bible Studies. Devan also helps at Trinity School where he’s needed and coaches at the Merrill High School. Everything Devan does flows from the philosophy that he wants to be the guy he needed when he was a teen.
Robin Grenfell, Church Administrative Assistant
Britnee Hartwig, Director of Communications
Native of Hershey, Nebraska, Britnee Hartwig lives to serve the Lord. Britnee first moved to Merrill in the summer of 2019 after graduating from Concordia University, Nebraska with a Bachelor’s of Science in Education Degree with English Language Arts and English as a Second Language endorsements. Britnee began her career at Trinity School as the K-8th grade technology and middle school ELA teacher and later moved into the position of 5th grade teacher. Now, she serves as the Middle School (6-8th) ELA teacher at our school and is the Director of Communications at our church. Britnee married Joshua Hartwig in June 2022. Joshua now serves as an elder of the congregation and both Britnee and Joshua love serving at Trinity and beyond – helping to build His Kingdom. Britnee’s mission as the Director of Communications is to provide leadership via all communication platforms to share the Gospel and the mission of Trinity Merrill with all Trinity members, the Merrill community, and the world.
OUR CHURCH COUNCIL
Back Row: Jeremy Thompson, Dan Schneider, Chris Grunenwald, Jack Kleinschmidt, Dan Riste.
Front Row: Michelle Skic, Laurie Swope, Sheila Polak
Not Pictured: Mike Handlin
Jeremy Thompson, Congregational President
Jeremy Thompson and his wife, Jan, have been married for 17 wonderful years. Jeremy and Jan both attended Trinity School and their son, Caleb, is the third generation to attend Trinity. Jeremy’s hope is for many future generations to be able to grow in their faith and call Trinity their home.
Sheila Polak, Treasurer
Sheila Polak and her husband, Dennis, have been married for 20 lovely years and have been blessed with four children: Adam, Nolan, Grant, and Jack. Professionally, Sheila has over 22 years of experience in accounting and finance leadership roles and is passionate about sharing her financial expertise to help advance ministry at Trinity.
Dan Riste and his wife, Beth, have been married for 43 delightful years and have been blessed with two sons, Collin and Kyle, who have both married and given them two grandsons. Dan and Beth moved to Merrill and joined Trinity in 2020. Dan’s dream for Trinity is to welcome back members we have missed since Covid.
Jack Kleinschmidt has been a member of Trinity Merrill for 75 years. He was baptized, attended school, and was confirmed at Trinity. Jack and his wife, Sherry, were also married at Trinity and have raised their two children, Karli and Kory, to be part of the Trinity family. Jack has served on many boards and as the congregational president. His vision for Trinity is to continue to spread God’s word through the eventual building of a new school to further the opportunities of youth in Merrill to receive a Christian education.
Laurie Swope and her husband, Mark, have been married for 27 marvelous years. Laurie is a life-long member of Trinity as her parents, Willie & Karen Schult, provided her with a Lutheran education at Trinity School. Attending Trinity School and youth group helped mold her faith in God. She currently works for Church Mutual and has been with the company for 33 years. Laurie believes we are all called to do God’s work here on earth, making good use of our resources to grow His Kingdom.
Chris Grunenwald and his wife, Sarah, have been blessed with two children, Erik and Emily. Chris is a life long member of Trinity and has professionally been employed as an attorney at Church Mutual since 2011. Chris’s goal on the council is to ensure the continued viability of Trinity for the next 125 years.
Michael Handlin and his wife, Lisa, have been blessed with two children – Timmy and Johnny. Mike recently retired from Merrill Area Public Schools after 25 years. He is an avid Wisconsin sports fan and enjoys being outdoors. His wish for Trinity is for Trinity to continue to grow and flourish in our community.
Dan Schneider and his wife, Gail, have been blessed with two children – Dana and Stephanie. Dan works for Thrivent Financial and in his down time, loves to hunt and fish. He feels it is vital to be an active member at Trinity and has served on many boards and committees, as an elder, and on the school board. Dan and Gail love Trinity and are excited that their children and grandchildren love Trinity as much as they do.
Michelle Skic and her husband, Luke, have two children, McKenna and Madilynn. Luke and both daughters attended Trinity School. Michelle’s goal for Trinity is to be the foundation of a Christ-centered family who all walk in faith and in His Word together. She believes it is important to be good stewards in our community to positively impact the lives of those in our community.