2016 South Central College Outstanding Alumni Named

Faribault Campus Honoree Brad Breyer and North Mankato Campus Honoree Julie Nelson

(May 3, 2016) -Two southern Minnesota natives have been named the 2016 Outstanding Alumni for South Central College (SCC). The recipient of the Faribault Campus Outstanding Alumni Award is Brad Breyer, Market President for Home Federal Savings Bank based in Albert Lea. The North Mankato Campus Outstanding Alumni honoree is Julie Nelson, the Associate Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Minnesota State University.  Both will be honored at South Central College’s Graduation Ceremony on Thursday, May 12 at 5:00 p.m.

Brad Breyer graduated from Faribault Area Vocational Technical Institute, now South Central College, in 1978. He graduated from the Accounting program and remembers with pride that he had his first job lined up in the Rice County Auditor’s office before he graduated.  Brad’s understanding of financials, learned while he was at SCC, has contributed to his success in banking. Brad worked his way through the banking world starting as a credit analyst for the southern portion of Minnesota at Norwest Bank, using that experience to become a commercial and agricultural lender with a few local banks. He credits his schooling with making that all possible. Brad has served on the Accounting Advisory Committee at South Central College for many years and has served as a volunteer for many organizations in the Owatonna, Faribault and Albert Lea communities. Brad lives in Owatonna and in his free time, he enjoys camping, running (he has completed several half marathons) and spending time with his wife, Brenda, three daughters and their families, including eight grandchildren. 

Julie Nelson graduated from South Central College when it was called Mankato Area Vocational Technical Institute in 1976. She studied Office Technology (then known as Secretarial).  To this day, Nelson is still a voracious learner and realizes the importance of continual professional development. Nelson stands out among her peers in the Minnesota SBDC Network, and her excellence has not gone unnoticed.  In 2014, she was named State Star, which recognizes an SBDC top performer who embodies a strong commitment to small businesses. Nelson is an active volunteer on South Central College’s Small Business Advisory Council and a member of Mankato BPW (Business and Professional Women), in addition to many other professional and community associations.  “Blessed with a passion and a dedication that inspires those with whom she works, Julie’s professional savvy has improved our area’s economy and its quality of life.  For the myriad of qualities it takes to work effectively in small business and economic development, as well as volunteer endeavors, Julie is truly worthy of this award,” said Michael Nolan, former SBDC Director.  Julie and her husband, Gene, who is also a graduate of SCC, reside in Mankato, MN.  Nelson said, “I have been blessed with steady advancement and some professional recognition, but most of all, I love my work.  I also strongly believe in contributing to my community and other causes through volunteering. SCC is one thread in the tapestry that is me.”