Shelly Weppler was born and raised in Minot, which is just part of why she’s so dedicated to improving the community she lives in and loves.
“John Wesley [said], ‘Do all the good you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, and all the places you can for all the days.'”
Speaking of the places, right after high school, she took her first plane ride to Germany after enlisting in the Army.
“I was the only female in my unit,” she said. “So when I got off the plane, I looked around and I said, ‘I have four brothers at home, I need brothers here.'”
She’d spend two years as military police.
Not too long after she was back home in Minot, she got a job as a bank teller.
Little did she know she’d meet her future groom at the drive-thru.
She recalled, “His question to me was this, he said, ‘I’m going to Big Sky to go skiing would you like to go with me?'”
She didn’t go to Big Sky but she did eventually go on a date and the rest is history, these 41 years later. The Wepplers have three sons and four grandchildren.
For Shelly, her two biggest passions are family and community.
You could argue that the two go hand in hand, as community involvement was something she’d learned from her parents.
“It’s a way of life that I learned, that I lived and saw,” she said.
After years of banking Shelly officially took off her corporate hat and put on her community hat and it’s still one she wears today.
She is President of St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation, an organization that grants funds towards projects in 11 counties that impact the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional well-being of the people they serve.
She’s held her position since the foundation’s inception back in 1998 when St. Joseph’s hospital was sold.
If you’re within the 11-county region, it’s likely you’ve heard of the Twice Blessed campaign. That’s through St. Joe’s and its 2020 campaign was able to dole out $1.1 million.
“It doesn’t take much for tears to well up in my eyes when I see something, little miracles that are happening every day,” Shelly said. “I always say that we’re a great resource, a great legacy left by the sisters. It’s such a wonderful thing. But the real boots on the ground are these non-profit organizations.”
Her community service is not limited to her profession. This year marks her third term as a Ward County Commissioner.
“I ran, wanting to understand, to get elected and understand. To be a part of the inside of what those needs are in our community in that social service arena.”
Sitting in the commissioner’s seat isn’t an easy feat but it’s a way that Shelly can revert back to her favorite saying, ‘do all the good you can, when you can.’
“I’m such a small part of the whole picture,” she said. “So I do my part, and if I do my part and step one foot in front of the other each day and keep trying then I know that differences are being made.”
Another major project Shelly played a huge role in is the Taube Museum of Art.
The Minot Art Gallery was once in a historical building on the state fairgrounds until the late 90s when Shelly and Maragret Lee of Minot forged the way to where the Taube stands today, which in fact, was once a bank that Shelly worked.