Meet our New Alumni Board President

By Brian Nalipinski '96, Alumni Board President
November 26, 2019

Brian Nalipinski '96 with past Alumni Board President Megan Fee Smith '00.

I am forever grateful to CDH for the education and values they instilled in me.

My four years at CDH were full of memories and experiences that I will always cherish. Mr. Horyza, to this day, is someone I consider to be one of the most influential teachers and mentors I have been blessed to be around. He pushed me to believe in myself.

I attended grade school at St Rose of Lima in Roseville and from there knew I wanted to go to CDH from the second grade. After graduating from CDH in 1996, I decided to continue my education at St. Mary’s University in Winona. To say I am a huge believer in Catholic education is an understatement.  For someone like me who needed the extra push and personal attention, I am forever grateful that I received that throughout my education.

Goal: Dairy Queen

Anyone who knew me during my days at CDH knew I worked a lot when I was away from CDH. I put in 40 plus hours a week working at the DQ in Shoreview. I knew from the age of 16 what I wanted to do in life - and that was to own a DQ franchise.

I was unsure how I was going to get there or the road I would take. I just knew hard work and knowing your end goal will always pay off.

That lead me to working for 2 separate franchises as well at International Dairy Queen based in Edina. I traveled the Midwest and even moved to Fort Myers, FL for a year to start up the first DQ Grill & Chill. In 2009, an opportunity finally presented itself and I knew it was time to take the leap and buy a store on my own. It's now been 10 years that I have owned and operated the DQ Grill & Chill in Morris MN.

In the years before I bought my own store, a lot of people asked why I was still flipping burgers after I got my degree and questioned why I was not getting a “real job.” But I always knew what I wanted and what the end goal was. Today I can say all the hard work really did pay off. Owning the DQ is the best thing I have done professionally in my life.

Today, I live in Hugo MN with my wife Jessica and our four kids, Maddie (9), Luke (3), Brady (3) and Heath (1). Three boys under 3 keep me on my toes, to say the least. We have a cabin in Spooner, WI where we spend most of our weekends as a family enjoying the lake and time together.

As Alumni Board President, I hope to get more alumni active in CDH events, even those who have not been active with our events. There are truly some great events that take place at CDH.

Over the next two years, I hope we can also move forward and create new events that appeal to the alumni as we grow the overall involvement of both CDH, Cretin, and Derham Hall alumni.

Advice for current students

To the current students at Cretin-Derham Hall, my advice is very simple. Hard work will always pay off. It does not matter who you are or where you come from. If you work hard and have an end goal in mind, you will succeed.

CDH is the greatest tool you have right now. Take advantage of this education and all the varied experiences now. When you graduate from CDH, you become part of a very distinguished group of people…Cretin-Derham Hall Alumni!  

Hail, CDH!


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