Alerus Adds Commercial Real Estate Lending Team

MINNEAPOLIS (March 22, 2022) – Alerus is pleased to announce it is expanding its commercial real estate (CRE) lending expertise with the addition of a five-person team specializing in financing local, regional, and national development and construction projects.

Andrew Meelberg joined Alerus as director of CRE lending. He is responsible for guiding the CRE lending strategy, oversight of the CRE loan investment portfolio, and leading the lending team. He has more than 20 years of experience in CRE lending and specializes in investor/developer real estate, with a focus on multifamily, medical-office, senior housing, industrial, retail, office, and hospitality. He previously served as Twin Cities commercial real estate market manager at Bremer Bank.

Kristine Johnson joined Alerus as a senior CRE lending advisor. In this role, she works closely with CRE owners/developers and Alerus business advisors to provide creative and flexible financing solutions. She has worked in banking and finance for 20 years and has significant experience financing all CRE asset types. She previously served as a vice president of CRE banking at Bremer Bank.

Bryan Witschen also joined Alerus as a senior CRE lending advisor. He has more than 10 years of financial industry experience, with expertise in financial analysis, client service, and commercial banking. He previously served as a commercial banking officer, specializing in CRE lending, at Bremer Bank.

Cody Pederson joined Alerus as a senior CRE underwriter, specializing in loans for construction and acquisition of multi-family, commercial, retail, and other investment properties. He has more than five years of experience in credit analysis and underwriting, with expertise in CRE, commercial lending, and agribusiness. He previously served as a credit analyst III at Bremer Bank.

Marijo Thomforde joined Alerus as a commercial construction loan administrator. She has more than 20 years of experience in CRE, residential real estate, and development projects, and specializes in complicated financing projects. She previously served as a senior commercial loan administrator at Bremer Bank.

The team will be based primarily in Alerus’ downtown Minneapolis location and will serve clients directly as well as support Alerus business advisors throughout the company’s geographic footprint.

Visit to view open positions and learn more about Alerus’ benefits and culture.

About Alerus

Alerus (Alerus Financial, N.A.) is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Grand Forks, ND. Alerus provides innovative and comprehensive financial solutions to businesses and consumers through four distinct business segments—banking, retirement and benefit services, wealth management, and mortgage. These solutions are delivered through a relationship-oriented primary point of contact along with responsive and client-friendly technology. Alerus Financial banking and wealth management offices are located in Grand Forks and Fargo, ND, the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN metropolitan area and Scottsdale and Mesa, AZ. Alerus Retirement and Benefits plan administration offices are located in St. Paul, MN, East Lansing, MI, and Littleton, CO.