by Cori Hilsgen
Glennis Werner Roseboom said the position of College of St. Benedict athletic director, which she will begin July 1, is one she has dreamed about for many years and thought if it ever became available, she would pursue it.
“When Carol (Howe-Veenstra) announced her retirement in the fall, it was almost an automatic thought I would apply and hope to land an interview,” Werner Roseboom said. “As the process moved forward, I became more and more excited at the opportunity. Now I’ve been selected, I’m even more ready for this opportunity.”
She said the night CSB Vice President of Student Development Mary Geller telephoned her to offer her the position, she was driving to a friend’s house to meet up with her teammates for a game of pond hockey. Upon receiving the news, Werner Roseboom turned around, headed home, told her daughter and invited her parents over for an impromptu celebration.
At the time, she couldn’t yet share she had been offered the position, so it was fun to have a private moment with her family.
Werner Roseboom, a 1993 CSB alumna who graduated with a social-work degree, will replace Carol Howe-Veenstra who is retiring after 30 years in the Blazer Athletic Department. She will bring a lot of experience to her new position.
Werner Roseboom, a Cannon Falls native, was a four-year member of the Blazer basketball team and was part of four straight trips to the NCAA Division III National Tournament. She helped the team to the Sweet 16 in 1992 and was part of the CSB squad that won its first 28 games in a row and made it to the NCAA Division III Final Four in 1993. Werner Roseboom and that team are in the CSB Hall of Fame.
For the past two years, she has been the assistant general manager at the VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa in Colorado Springs, Colo. In her position at that 12,000-member facility, she oversaw the management team, handled building repairs and developed strategic plans while overseeing a $10 million annual budget.
Before that, Werner Roseboom worked at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. She began as a residence-life coordinator, moving up in positions to scheduling coordinator, operations manager, associate director and director. As the director, Werner Roseboom oversaw the operations at this facility, attended six Olympic and Paralympic games to help execute training and competition plans and helped raise $16 million for facility construction and renovation.
Werner Roseboom was one of two finalists, from a 70-applicant pool, selected by a search committee which included members from all areas of CSB, including athletics, admissions, administration and institutional advancement.
“I am thrilled the selection committee unanimously recommended Glen as their top candidate for athletic director at CSB,” Geller said. “Glen brings a depth and breadth of experience that compliments the portfolio of skills necessary for leading a winning DIII women’s athletic program. As an alum of CSB and former Blazer athlete, she brings an inherent understanding of both the college and the Blazer athlete experience. Her professional expertise, in particular her work at the Olympic Training Center, has prepared her well for leading and managing a dynamic budget and staff.”
Geller said college athletic directors today need to be able to raise funds to cover the growing costs of programs, something that’s a new skill required for the AD position and Werner Roseboom was hired with that skill in mind. Werner Roseboom’s enthusiasm for Blazer athletics stood out, and Geller said she believes she will be able to genuinely encourage others to invest in the CSB outstanding program and services.
“Personally, I find Glen to be bright, engaging and confident, all skills I look for in an AD,” Geller said. “Glen follows quite a legacy in the leadership of Carol Howe-Veenstra. Carol and I both agree handing over the program to Glen leaves it in good hands and we look forward to how she will take Blazer athletics to the next level.”
As the new athletic director, Werner Roseboom hopes to continue the connection Howe-Veenstra achieved in her 30 years.
“I hope to find new and interesting ways to bring the campus community together and for Blazer student-athletes to connect into larger circles of campus and community life,” she said. “It will take quite a few weeks of conversation with the critical constituent groups to find the themes of what is needed in athletics. (CSB President) Dr. (Mary) Hinton and Mary Geller will assist with developing those themes according to the 2020 Strategic Plan. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for the student athletes at St. Ben’s.”
Werner-Roseboom is looking forward to moving back to St. Joseph.
“Coming home to St. Ben’s is a long-held dream of mine.,” Werner Roseboom said. “I’m suited for this type of position, since it simply fits with my lifelong passion of working with coaches and athletes.”
Her daughter, Samantha Roseboom, 9, and significant other, Casey Owen, will be moving with her to St. Joseph. Samantha will attend the All Saints Academy school.
Owen, a business developer for a landscape company, will arrive in September after he finishes a 2,600-mile, five-month Pacific Crest Trail hike. He will be raising funds for ALS and hiking for mental health organizations.
“Our home purchase of a dream house went through last week, and we are thrilled to meet our neighbors and settle in sometime in June,” Werner Roseboom said.
Werner Roseboom is looking forward to no longer having a 45-minute commute and will enjoy having things within walking distance.
She’s also excited for her daughter to experience living in a smaller city. Samantha, however, is somewhat apprehensive about moving from the only home she has known and hopes to meet some new friends to invite to her late-summer birthday party.
“Sam is also lobbying for a puppy,” Werner Roseboom said. “Her online research has found all of the rescue organizations within a 100-mile radius of St. Joe. I have my work cut out for me to move and get settled, but I’m so looking forward to all this new adventure and (what it) brings in this wonderfully familiar place.”
She and her daughter are happy her parents, Gordy and Gail Werner, who retired to Colorado 11 years ago, have decided they will also relocate to the St. Joseph area to be closer to their daughter and granddaughter.
“So this decision was a big one for them as well,” Werner Roseboom said. “It wasn’t in their plans to move again, but they said ‘their girls’ weren’t going back to Minnesota without them.”