Vesterheim Hires New Director of Development

Arlan C. Quandahl, Vesterheim Museum's new Director of Development

Arlan C. Quandahl, Vesterheim Museum's new Director of Development

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum announces the hiring of Arlan C. Quandahl of Monona, Iowa, as the museum’s new Director of Development

Quandahl’s background is in market development, management, and sales. He also has worked in the banking industry and has experience in estate planning and philanthropic giving. His career includes positions with Culligan International Company, Pioneer Plastics Corporation, the Metron Corporation, Northeast Iowa Telephone Company, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and most recently Bank of the West. He also has significant nonprofit experience through an association with Camp Ewalu.

“We are confident that the breadth of Arlan’s financial expertise will allow him to create and successfully execute a Development plan that will utilize all aspects of fundraising,” Vesterheim’s Executive Director Steven Johnson said. Quandahl “will work with museum trustees, especially members of the Development Committee, to cultivate new donors and creatively explore other funding opportunities,” Johnson explained.

Equally important, Johnson added, are Quandahl’s strong ties to the museum, its mission, and its members. “A passion for his own Norwegian heritage will fuel his efforts on our behalf, and his friendliness and approachability will allow him to easily communicate that passion to others,” Johnson said.

“I am truly excited to have the opportunity to join Vesterheim and become a member of the team responsible for its care and advancement,” Quandahl said. “Since I was a child growing up in Winneshiek County, Iowa, Vesterheim has always been there to serve as an anchor to my heritage. In my youth I stood in awe of Vesterheim. Today I retain that feeling with an even greater appreciation,” he added.

“I look forward to working with our members to continue the Vesterheim journey,” Quandahl said.

Vesterheim uses the story of Norwegian-Americans to explore aspects of identity and culture common to everyone. The museum cares for over 24,000 artifacts, among which are some of the most outstanding examples of decorative and folk art to be seen in this country. Founded in 1877, Vesterheim is the oldest and most comprehensive museum in the United States dedicated to a single immigrant group. This national treasure includes a main complex of 16 historic buildings in downtown Decorah, and an immigrant farmstead and prairie church just outside the city.

From May 1 – Oct. 31, Vesterheim is open daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with hours extended until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. From Nov. 1 – April 30, Vesterheim is open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., with hours extended until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays and is closed Monday. For more information on the museum’s exhibits, activities, and membership opportunities, consult Vesterheim’s website at, call (563) 382-9681, or write to Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, 523 W. Water St., P.O. Box 379, Decorah, IA, 52101-0379.

Source: Vesterheim

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.