Click on one of the people below to find out more information.

Dane Milender
General Manager

Dane has worked in automotive since 2008. A native of Brainerd, Dane is a graduate of Brainerd High School, Central Lakes College, and St. Cloud State University with a degree in social work. He served from 1990 to 1996 in the U.S. Army Reserves as a heavy equipment operator and combat engineer. For 15 years, Dane was manager of Milender Residential Services, a foster care facility for developmentally disabled adults. He lives in Brainerd and enjoys fishing, hunting, exercise and anything to do with the outdoors.

JD Berns
New Vehicle Sales Manager

JD joined Mills in August 2014 after previously working in nursing administration and the education department at Essentia Health- St. Joseph's Medical Center. He was also assistant manager for five years at Foot Locker. With a passion for racing, JD has worked in nearly every department at Brainerd International Raceway since 2005, including safety, security, tech inspection and start line. He is a graduate of Brainerd High School and Central Lakes College with degrees in business management and hospitality. JD is an American Heart Association basic life support instructor, Brainerd Area Sertoma Club board member, is serving a term on the Brainerd Charter Commission, and a high school basketball referee with the Lakes Area Officials Assn. JD and his wife, Krystal, live in Brainerd. Besides races at local/area tracks, JD also enjoys golf, fishing, and attending concerts.  Connect with JD on Facebook!

Scott Pikula
Used Vehicle Manager

A resident of East Gull Lake and Brainerd High School graduate, Scott has been with Honda since 2010. He worked 15 years for M.G. Carlson Construction, Baxter, as a project manager, estimator and supervisor. Scott is a graduate of the machine trades program at Central Lakes College, Staples, and has a degree in architecture technology from St. Cloud State University. He is also a state certified building inspector. After work, Scott enjoys riding his motorcycle, fishing and boating.

Joe Erickson
Sales and Leasing Consultant

Born and raised in Minneapolis and a graduate of Osseo High School, Joe has worked in automotive sales since 1994. He has an associate's degree in business from Anoka Technical College, completed Dale Carnegie courses, was Chrysler Gold Certified (1994-2008) and Honda Certified since 2009. Joe and his wife, Terri, have lived in Baxter since 1986. They have four children, Joe, Elin, Sara and Katie. The family also includes two dogs, Torii and Hunter. Joe enjoys collecting music and electronic gadgets, and he is an avid fan of the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Gophers.

Connor Bowman
Sales and Leasing Consultant

Connor joined Mills in 2016 after working as water park manager at Holiday Inn Express. Born in Iowa City, Iowa, Connor moved to Minnesota when he was five. His family lived in the Twin Cities for three years, Hill City for six years, and then on to Brainerd. Connor is a graduate of Brainerd High School and Central Lakes College. He lives in Brainerd. Connor enjoys hunting, fishing, basketball and other sports.

Todd LaFlamme
Sales and Leasing Consultant

New to the Brainerd Lakes Area from Alaska, Todd was previously a salmon research/management biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. He also was an assistant manager for yard shipping/receiving at Menards in Baxter, and sales/office/warehouse manager at Northern Meats, Inc. in Anchorage. He is originally from New Hartford, CT. A graduate of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, with a degree in wildlife management, Todd now lives in Brainerd, and enjoys the area's outdoor activities and travel.

Sarah Ellies
Sales and Leasing Consultant

Sarah started with Mills in 2021, new to an automotive focus but certainly no stranger to providing excellent customer service.  "I have always been in the business with people. I have worked in the service industry for my whole adult career, either cafes, restaurants, or bars," she said.  Sarah grew up in the Mille Lacs Lake area, attending Isle High School and then moving on to study at Central Lakes College and St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where she received her Associates in Liberal Arts & Sciences degree.  She currently lives in Brainerd with her spouse and "three beautiful children".  Their family also includes 2 "old, fat, happy cats" Sarah jokes.  When she's not working Sarah (an avid reader) also enjoys being outdoors, taking walks & hikes, fishing "or just playing at the park with my children", she says.

Randy Olson
Sales and Service Assistant

Randy originally joined the Mills Automotive Group Guest Service Center in April 2016. He later joined  the MAG Maintenance Dept., returned to the Guest Service Center, then moved to his current position in November 2018. Randy also worked 10 years in patient accounts and registration at Essentia Clinic and Essentia Health St. Joseph's Hospital in Brainerd. He is a graduate of Brainerd High School and lives in Baxter. Randy is an accomplished guitar player and singer with the local bluegrass band, "Gold Rush."

Thomas Altepeter
Service Advisor

Thomas joined Mills in 2018 after previously working in management and sales, including four years in automotive sales. He is originally from northwestern Minnesota near Thief River Falls. Thomas is a graduate of Lincoln Senior High School in Thief River Falls, and Alexandria Technical College with a degree in marketing/sales management. He lives in Pine River, has two children, and enjoys fishing, hiking, biking, camping, hunting, volunteering, gardening and house projects. Thomas is a Cub Scout leader, and active in the Lions Club.

Ryan Baker
Parts Supervisor

Ryan has been involved in the automotive world his whole life, on and off working as such for roughly 9 years before joining the Mills Honda team in 2018.  Other past jobs he's worked include customer service, sales and warehouse duties.  He's been part of the MSRA (Minnesota Street Rod Association) for over a decade, and is also a member of the Rat Pack Car Club.  Trained and certified in CPR in 2019, he also has a Coaching certificate he earned back in 2008.  Ryan grew up in Duluth, attending nearby Hermantown High School, but now lives in Nisswa with his longtime girlfriend Melissa and their daughter.  Their family also includes a dog named Piper and a cat named Bella.  When he's not working, Ryan enjoys car shows, sports, drawing and photography.