Closer to family

Vandendriessches return to Marshall, pursue career passions

Submitted photo Newlyweds Jeff and Shay Vandendriessche returned to Marshall to be closer to family and also to pursue career passions

Editor’s Note: This story is the seventh in a series that reflect the contributions made by Marshall High School graduates when they returned to the community.

MARSHALL — Coming home to Marshall can mean a lot of things for any number of people. For Jeffrey and Shay (Birath) Vandendriessche, it meant finding each other. The couple got married in 2015 and settled down in their hometown.

Jeff is currently employed at Birath Wealth Management as a wealth management specialist and CPA for the past two years. He is also a farmer, working at Vandendriessche Farms, which he has done full time for the past four years.

“I’ve helped out on the farm my whole life,” he said. Having obtained an accounting and finance degree from St. John’s University in Collegeville after graduating from Marshall High School (MHS), Jeff had worked a while for Cargill in Minnetonka and Target in Minneapolis before coming back to Marshall.

The reasons for his return were multifaceted.

“I came home to farm and to find more meaningful work,” Jeff said. “Also, to be closer go family, closer to hunting, fishing and golfing.

“I should say I really enjoyed living in the Twin Cities working for some great companies, but I felt it was time to come home and farm and pursue my passion in investments. I am living the best of both worlds.”

Jeff’s family includes his parents, Tom and Janet Vandendriessche, and his sisters, Katie (Vandendriessche) Cass of Alexandria and Jenny (Vandendriessche) Stedman of Eden Prairie, each married with children.

Jeff’s family now includes his wife, Shay, who is a self-employed photographer.

Shay majored in graphic design and minored in fine arts and marketing at South Dakota State University upon graduating from MHS. She worked as a graphic designer at Maxology Marketing & Design for 3.5 years and is currently owner of Shay Photography for the past 3.5 years.

“I returned to Marshall to start my own business,” she said, “and to be close to family.”

Among her greatest accomplishments, Shay said, is “finding my husband and getting to use my love of photography to photograph the wonderful families, couples and seniors of Marshall and the surrounding area.”

Shay’s family includes her parents, Tom and Gayle Birath, and siblings, Raftyn (Birath) Rignell of Marshall and Ross Birath of Tyler, as well as husband Jeff.

Shay is involved in the Pride in the Tiger Foundation, and the couple belongs to Holy Redeemer Church.

“We work a lot, like to travel and are busy with our families and nieces and nephews,” Jeff said.