Our Staff

The BENCHS Staff

Lauren Wensman, Animal Care Manager

Lauren has volunteered with different rescue organizations, providing transportation, foster coordination and fostering cats and kittens. Lauren graduated from University of Minnesota-Crookston with a degree in Animal Science. She has experience with different humane societies and also rescue organizations.

Lauren likes to spend her spare time with her fiance Tanner and their friends. They have two rescue dogs (Rascal and Mylo) and two cats (Thor and Leo) in their family. Lauren loves gardening even though she might not always have the best results, but she says she tries, but the green thumb might not be green all the way!

Lauren’s favorite inspirational quote is “ You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” Lauren believes that you can always reroute your path as long as you put the time and effort into it. The animals she sees everyday are the biggest motivation that keeps her going. The moment that a shy dog or cat starts to come out of their shell and wants attention gives her the biggest smile!

Dr. Jenny Mountin, Lead Veterinarian

Dr. Jenny Mountin is the lead veterinarian at BENCHS. She attends to the health of all the BENCHS animals and the Mankato Impound animals. She performs spay and neuter surgeries as well as other surgeries such as eye removals and leg amputations when needed. Dr. Mountin is also excited to be a part of BOC, or BENCHS Outreach Clinic, where she performs spay and neuter surgeries for other animal rescue groups.

Dr. Mountin earned her B.A. degree from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. Then, she went on to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She spent a year working in beautiful Shenendoah Valley, Virginia. Then, she spent the next 5 years working at Flamingo Pet Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada. Finally, she moved to Mankato, Minnesota and is loving the community here!

Dr. Mountin started volunteering at BENCHS in 2010 and became an employee in 2016. In 2020 she decided to devote her career to shelter medicine and left  private practice. Dr. Mountin and her family enjoy fostering young kittens and have a great little dog they adopted from BENCHS. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family, as well as serving others when she can. “The King will reply, ‘Anything you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.’” Matt. 25:40 In her career, Dr. Mountin has always had a passion for the least, the lost, and the left behind. She is grateful to be in a setting where that compassion can be utilized and shared with others.

Kristina Bergeson, Animal Coordinator

Kristina Bergeson is the Animal Coordinator at BENCHS. Kristina is responsible for coordinating the animals, including strays, surrenders, transfers, and adoptions.

Kristina began volunteering at BENCHS in early 2019, and accepted a position as an ACT later that year. She soon added the role of Dog Adoption Specialist to her regular ACT duties and began working with management and veterinary staff to facilitate dog surrenders. In fall of 2021 she was promoted to a supervisory role, and served in the Lead ACT position before recently transitioning to the Animal Coordinator position. Kristina graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Psychology and a Certificate in Human Factors.

Kristina enjoys spending her free time reading with her rescue kitty (a distinguished fellow with many nicknames), and finding new coffee shops in which to write or pursue other curiosities. When asked to provide her favorite quote Kristina was not sure which one to give, as she has always been inspired by a multitude of favorite quotes. Her best advice is to do each thing in life with a decided purpose. To always ask yourself ‘why’ and know the answer.”

Kristina’s work in rescue is motivated by a desire to improve and enrich the daily lives of the animals in the shelter environment, to assist in placing animals in environments most suitable for their individual needs, and to educate people on successful pet ownership, so that they and their pet can have a long-lasting partnership.

Kayla Kampsen, Volunteer Coordinator

Kayla Kampsen is the Volunteer Coordinator at BENCHS. Kayla is in charge of getting volunteers for cleaning cat condos, dog walkers, lawn care, BOC volunteers, cleaners and everything in between!  Kayla started as the Volunteer Coordinator in July 2021. She is passionate about helping animals and loves to see the connections volunteers and the animals have! She has helped build up the volunteer list by recruiting dog walkers, BOC lunch volunteers, maintenance volunteers, painters, event volunteers, student volunteers and so many more awesome, dedicated volunteers! BENCHS is her “fun job” during the day but at night she is a sleep technician.

Kayla is a proud mom of…. 4 cats! She is a very outgoing individual and loves surrounding herself with people, especially individuals with the same interests (crazy cat ladies) and that have a passion for helping people and animals. She also volunteers at the YMCA for the big sister/little sister program!

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”…and then dealing with the chocolate you are handed! Being positive and finding a way through difficult situations (or bad chocolate) is what keeps Kayla inspired and motivated. People that are passionate about helping others whether that be people or animals is what motivates her!

Trish Boeke, Business Manager

Trish Boeke joined the BENCHS team as Business Manager in March, 2022. She retired in 2020 from the accounting department at Carlson Craft.
She is a cat person, having been raised with and owned dozens of cats. Her parents bred chocolate-point Siamese cats for several years.
She and her husband Terry have a daughter Bess, and they live with 5 cats. They also hosted two foreign exchange students when Bess was in high school.
Trish believes in the power of the individual to do good things and make a difference in their world. The people at BENCHS exemplify that belief.
Staff member in scrubs standing in surgical suite
four women observing a cat