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Contents

AREA WOMAN

92 50 COVER 92 Tammy Miller CEO of Her Own Life

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IN EVERY ISSUE 12 Contributors 16 Area Calendar 42 Fashion Trends 44 Hair Trends 46 Weddings 48 Kids 50 Where to Shop

LIFE 24 On the Homefront

26 A Night to be Thankful 28 Eat Your Soup 30 I Was in Jail 5

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FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012

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42 32 Home & Garden Show 34 It’s Everyone’s Business 38 Let’s Find Them a Home

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STYLE 52 The New Square

HEALTH 59 New Surgical Option Minimizes Neck Scar 60 Sisters Battle Rare, Difficult Disease 62 Therapy for Everyday Life

HOME 66 Life Constructed AW |

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Contents

AREA WOMAN

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PROFILES 74 Going All In 76 Clean Sweep 80 Good Morning Sweetheart 82 Feeding the World 86 Good for the Sole 88 Overcoming Barriers

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PUBLISHER Area Woman Publishing, LLC EDITOR Mike Sherman | 701-306-5119 ASSIGNMENT EDITOR Jill N. Kandel EDITING | PROOFREADING Jill N. Kandel Amy Peterson Mike Sherman Anna Hettenbaugh ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Anna Hettenbaugh | 701-729-1910 Patty Nystrom | 701-412-4109 DESIGN | LAYOUT Dawn Siewert Mike Sherman Becky Sherman PHOTOGRAPHY 5Foot20 Design Lounge | Classic Photography Haney's Photography | Legacy Photography Skyloft Photography | Milestones Photography

issue www.areawoman.com Read an e! www.facebook.com/areawomanmagazine onlin www.issuu.com/areawoman

Area Woman is a proud 28 year member of the Fargo/Moorhead Chamber of Commerce. Area Woman Magazine is published six times a year by Area Woman Publishing, LLC. Print quantity 23,000 per issue. Printed in the U.S.A. Š 2011 Area Woman Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Area Woman is a trademark registered at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Area Woman Magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. Area Woman Magazine does not necessarily endorse or agree with content of articles or advertising presented.

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AW | WOMEN’S RESOURCES

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meet our

Jill N. Kandel has lived in Zambia, Indonesia, England, and in her husband’s native Netherlands. Her writing has been published in literary journals including The Gettysburg Review, Brevity, River Teeth, and Image. One of her essays was published by Penguin in the anthology “The Best Spiritual Writing 2012.” Another essay is forthcoming in “Becoming: What Makes a Woman,” to be published by the U. of Nebraska Press.

CONTRIBUTORS Dawn Hoffner has over twenty-five years of health related communication, development and policy consulting experience. A former full time Minnesota State University Moorhead faculty member, she taught undergraduate courses in health care administration, community and school health, as well as guest lecturing at Concordia, NDSU, MSCTC, U Mary and UND. A member of the executive leadership team, Hoffner serves as Community Liaison Department, Marketing & Business Development Director for Prairie St. John’s hospital and two clinics. She resides in Fargo with her son and two daughters and enjoys music, travel and spending time with her family and their dogs and horses. Amy Peterson has been living in the Fargo/ Moorhead area since 1997 when she began her freshman year at Concordia College. While unsure of how she would use her degree in English Literature and Communications, she found a job after graduation that allowed her to put her newfound knowledge to good use and helped her pay off those pesky student loans. Though she is originally from Long Lake, MN, a western suburb of Minneapolis, she, along with her husband and their three children, is proud to call Fargo home.

Anna G. Larson is from Fargo and graduated from NDSU with a journalism degree in 2008. At NDSU Larson was an editor at The Spectrum and a member of Lambda Pi Eta. She enjoys running, photography, kittens, fashion and all things Martha Stewart. Larson is a freelance writer and lives in Fargo.

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Roxane B. Salonen began her professional writing career as a newspaper reporter then took up freelance work to meld career and family. Her latest writing endeavor, children’s literature, has produced two children’s books: “P is for Peace Garden: A North Dakota Alphabet” (Sleeping Bear Press, 2005) and “First Salmon” (Boyds Mills Press, 2005). Roxane and her husband, Troy, and their five children live in Fargo.


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AW | LIFE


A read through the Area Life section is one way to make life slow down just enough for you to take a look at it. Whether you are looking to attend a concert or fundraising event, discover what’s showing at the theater, or find a weekend activity for the family to enjoy, you’ll find a great list of events in the calendar section. You’ll read about Bowls for Babies and Lend A Hand, and realize the people of the FM area have been busy supporting each other. The stories of Sheila Raye Charles and Roland Dille are sure to offer inspiration. And, you can preview the upcoming Home and Garden Show while you start dreaming of spring! AW |

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AW AREA CALENDAR 04 FEB

FEBRUARY 2012

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SATURDAY

FEB

F/M COMMUNIVERSITY February classes begin. A diverse selection of classes for learners of all ages to choose from. Offering different courses through mid – April. 218-299-3438 or fmcommuniversity.org

FEB

through MAR 26

“EXPLORING NOW: 365 DAYS TO 50” AND “THE sheARTS PROJECT: ART HATS FOR BREAST CANCER AWARENESS” (EXHIBITS) These exhibits showcase how art heals the soul in times of life’s challenges. Both projects were created by local artist and designer, Claudia M. Pratt, who has faced breast cancer head on over the last five years. Monday – Saturday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Sunday, noon – 5:00 pm Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County at the Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Avenue North, Moorhead 218-299-5511 or hcscconline.org

04 FEB

SATURDAY

ZUMBA! Bring the whole family to try out Zumba, a fun latin-inspired dance-fitness program that requires no actual dancing skills. A “Kick It Up- Read!” program. 2:00 pm Moorhead Library 118 5th Street South, Moorhead 218-233-7894

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FEB

SATURDAY

23RD ANNUAL RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE SWEETHEART BALL Presented by McDonald’s of the Red River Valley. We invite you to join us for this great event to help Ronald McDonald House keep families close when they need it most. 6:00 pm Holiday Inn, Fargo 218-299-3438 or fmcommuniversity.org

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ON THE MOVE LITTLE BLACK DRESS FOR MS LUNCHEON Join people who are passionate about the MS movement at a luncheon featuring a silent auction, a delicious lunch and motivational speaker Chris Linnares.  This is an opportunity for women - and men - to come together to honor and recognize all people who stand strong in the face of MS.  Women are encouraged to wear a black dress.  11:00 am -1:00 pm $35 in advance. Corporate tables also available. Hilton Garden Inn, Fargo RSVP 701-235-2678 or tinyurl.com/ LittleBlackDressMS

February 24-26 Home & Garden Show

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FEB

THURSDAY

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FEB

SATURDAY

FRIDAY

MINNESOTA STATE UNIVERSITIES FOUNDERS SCHOLARSHIP GALA Join Minnesota State University Moorhead as we enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing to raise dollars for scholarships. MSUM Campus in the Comstock Memorial Union Ballroom  To register and purchase tickets visit donate.mnstate.edu/FoundersGala or call 218-477-2143

JAZZ FESTIVAL CONCERT 7:00 pm Free and open to the public. Festival Concert Hall, Fargo NDSU Fine Arts Box Office 701-231-7969 or ndsu.edu/finearts

FEB

SUNDAY

FAMILY DAY AT THE DIKE 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Free Dike West 310 4th Street South, Fargo 701-499-7788 or fargoparks.com

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FEB

TUESDAY

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

February 25 Claudia Pratt’s Birthday Bash


AREA CALENDAR AW

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FEB

SATURDAY

15TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF WOMEN AND THEIR MUSIC 6:30 pm, Doors open at 5:30 pm $15 General, $10 Student Fargo Theatre, Fargo Tickets: 800-514-3849 or tickets300.com

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FEB

FEB

FEB

through FEB 26

TIN ROOF THEATRE PRESENTS “HARVEY” BY MARY CHASE Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy. 7:30 pm, February 23, 24, 25 2:00 pm matinees, February 25 & 26 The Stage at Island Park, Fargo 701-235-6778 or tinrooftheatre.org or thestageatislandpark.org

SATURDAY

YOUTH ICE FISHING DERBY 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm Free South Woodhaven Pond, 4802 Woodhaven Drive South 701-499-7788 or fargoparks.com

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FEB

FRIDAY

FARGO FORCE VS. OMAHA LANCERS Youth Hockey Night. Sponsored by International Hockey School. Kids wear your youth hockey jersey and get in for $5! 7:35 pm Scheels Arena, Fargo For tickets call 701-364-3672

February 18 Women & Their Music

through FEB 25

LEADING LADIES MSUM’s Academic Theatre series presents a dramatic comedy about two English Shakespearean actors who find themselves so down on their luck they are reduced to performing “Scenes from Shakespeare” on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. 7:30 pm Gaede Stage in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts on the MSUM campus For tickets, 218-477-2271 or go to mnstate.edu/theatre or buy at the door.

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FEB

through FEB 26

THEATRE NDSU PRESENTS WOKASHI: A PROGRAM OF CLASSIC JAPANESE KYOGEN COMEDIES Guest Artist: Tokuro Miyake Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm Askanase Auditorium, Fargo Tickets: ndsu.edu/fineartsSunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Fargodome

FEBRUARY 2012

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FEBRUARY 2012

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FEB

through FEB 26

RED RIVER VALLEY HOME & GARDEN SHOW Whether your passion is home improvement or achieving gardening greatness, the 51st annual Red River Valley Home & Garden Show brings two first-rate experts to your back door Feb. 24-26. HGTV hosts John Gidding (Curb Appeal: The Block) and William Moss (Dig In) will share their expertise during seminars that cover bumping up your home’s attractiveness, mastering container gardens and successfully growing fruits and veggies. Friday 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am - 6:00 pm Sunday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm Fargodome

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SATURDAY

CLAUDIA PRATT’S 50TH BIRTHDAY BASH A celebration of Claudia Pratt’s work and a fundraiser to establish her endowment, the “Art Heals Fund,” will be featured during Claudia’s 50th Birthday Bash. The event is open to the public and tickets are available through FargoStuff.com and at the door. Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County at the Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Avenue North, Moorhead 218-299-5511 or hcscconline.org

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SATURDAY

UNGLUED: CRAFT FEST Indie craft fair and bazaar with free swag bags and Dunn Bros. coffee to the first attendees, local music, and free craft workshops. 9:00 am-5:00 pm Free admission. Plains Art Museum, Fargo ungluedmarket.com

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AW AREA CALENDAR 02

MAR

FRIDAY

WIND SYMPHONY CONCERT 7:30 pm Festival Concert Hall, Fargo Adults: $5, Students/Seniors $2 NDSU Fine Arts Box Office 701-231-7969 or ndsu.edu/finearts

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MAR

SATURDAY

F/M COMMUNIVERSITY 7:30 pm Festival Concert Hall, Fargo Adults: $5, Students/Seniors $2 NDSU Fine Arts Box Office 701-231-7969 or ndsu.edu/finearts

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MAR

SATURDAY

JAMES SEWELL BALLET AND THE ARSENAL TRIO MSUM’s Cheryl Nelson Lossett Performing Arts Series brings the James Sewell Ballet to the community for a performance featuring Sewell’s choreography to Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio as well as new work by Sewell. The contemporary dance company, well-known for its surprising take on ballet, collaborates with the Arsenal Trio – violinist Ben Sung, pianist Jihye Chang and cellist Hrant Parsamian. 7:30 pm Hansen Theatre in the Roland Dille Center for the Arts on the MSUM campus. For tickets 218-477-2271 or go to mnstate.edu/perform or buy at the door.

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MAR

TUESDAY

THE FLOOD OF 2009 (EXHIBIT) You may have seen Vern Whitten’s photos at West Acres. See if you can point out your house in these aerial photographs of the Great Flood of 2009, the highest crest in recorded history. Monday, Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, noon - 5:00 pm Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County at the Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Avenue North, Moorhead 218-299-5511 or hcscconline.org

06

MAR

through MAR 10

FARGO FILM FESTIVAL Fargo Theatre 314 Broadway, Fargo Fargo Theatre box office 701-239-8385 or fargofilmfestival.org

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MAR

through MAR 11

FARGO ICE REVUE Saturday 7:00 pm, Sunday 2:00 pm Coliseum, 801 17th Avenue North, Fargo 701-499-6060 or fargoparks.com

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MAR

THURSDAY

SEEDS OF VICTORY! (EXHIBIT) An exhibit about the World War II Victory Gardens just in time for spring! This exhibit, from the State Historical Society of North Dakota, will tell us how gardening and canning your own food was a patriotic duty during WWII. Monday-Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, noon - 5:00 pm Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County at the Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Avenue North, Moorhead 218-299-5511 or hcscconline.org

March 3 James Sewell Ballet and the Arsenal Trio

MARCH 2012


MARCH 2012

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AREA CALENDAR AW

SATURDAY

MAR

CELTIC FESTIVAL 10:00 am - 4:00pm Free Hjemkomst Center, Moorhead 202 1st Avenue North, Moorhead 218-299-5511 or hcscconline.org

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MAR

through MAR 24

BUTTERFLY BALL 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm Tickets $12 Tickets are required and are available for purchase starting February 28th. Hilton Garden Inn 4351 17th Avenue South, Fargo 701-499-7788 or fargoparks.com

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MAR

WEDNESDAY

BRASS CHAMBER NIGHT 7:30 pm Free and open to the public. Beckwith Recital Hall, Fargo NDSU Fine Arts Box Office 701-231-7969 or ndsu.edu/finearts

Quotable

“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. Then you will seek me and find me: when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord.” - JEREMIAH 29: 11-14

Correction:

In our previous issue on page 28 the caption printed, “Marilyn Jordheim and Ethel Aarhus” when in fact it was, “Peg Winters (Hospice CNA) and Evelyn Gilmore.”

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AW FEATURING FARGO

WRITER: JANELLE BRANDON | PHOTOGRAPHY: 5FOOT20 DESIGN LOUNGE

ON THE HOMEFRONT

A Salute to Dr. Roland Dille and WWII’s Greatest Generation at Hjemkomst Gala

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n a recent, unusually warm, fall evening members, friends, and guests gathered at the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County (HCSCC) in Moorhead to honor the instrumental work of Dr. Roland Dille, recipient of the HCSCC’s Heritage Award. Dr. Dille, a WWII Veteran, served as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s president from 1968 to 1994 and was a vital member of the Red River Heritage Society, the precursor to the Hjemkomst Center. The silent and live auctions at this year’s gala raised more than $5,000, which will be used toward educational exhibits and programs the HCSCC offers to the public and the preservation of the 30,000 artifacts in HCSCC’s collection. Dr. Dille moves with the assistance of a walker, receives dialysis three times a week, and resides at Eventide in Moorhead with his wife Beth. However, when he took his place at the podium to accept his Heritage Award, he entertained with the grace and ease of a seasoned public orator. Though the 1940s All-Star Band provided musical entertainment, Dr. Dille delighted the audience by singing a verse from the 1944 Bing Crosby hit “Accentuate the Positive.” [AWM]

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AW FEATURING FARGO

A NIGHT TO BE THANKFUL The Thanks For Giving Banquet

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WRITER: AMY PETERSON PHOTOS: 5FOOT20 DESIGN LOUNGE

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or those who wish to be a supportive hand to a friend, coworker, or family member experiencing a medical crisis, Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) Lend A Hand can help. Lend A Hand was launched in 2008 to support community members that help families in medical crisis. To date, Lend A Hand has supported 160 efforts with fundraising resources and matching funds to help raise $4 million for area families. The Thanks For Giving banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn on November 21 celebrated volunteers, program sponsors, and all who made contributions to help local families. More than 200 people attended and listened to the words of appreciation and encouragement from DMF board and staff members Pat Traynor, Jeana Peinovich, and Jay Eisenbeis. Heartwarming stories from recipients Ryan Anderson, who lost his leg in a farming accident, and Jeremy and Sheila Schmaltz, who received assistance following the birth of their premature twins, provided a glimpse of the profound impact of Lend A Hand. It was a night filled with gratitude and hope. To learn more about Lend A Hand or make a gift on Giving Hearts Day or any day to help a family in medical crisis, visit dakmed.org/lendahand. [AWM]

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AW FEATURING FARGO

EAT YOUR SOUP!

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The March of Dimes dishes it up at Bowls for Babies WRITER: JILL N. KANDEL CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

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moked White Cheddar, Cheesy Chicken Tortilla, and Smoked Gouda & Beer Cheese were just three of the soups dished up at the March of Dimes 9th Annual Bowls for Babies luncheon and silent auction, on December 7, at the Ramada Crystal Ballroom. Kim Peterson, of Lillestol Research, chaired the tasty event which included soups from the Ramada Plaza & Suites, Basies, Hotel Donaldson,  Maxwells, Texas Roadhouse, Grazies, Old Broadway, Granite City, Doolittles, Nichole’s, and Bertrosa’s. Breadsmith provided Mediterranean Herb, French Peasant, and Russian Rye breads. This year’s major sponsors were Essentia Health, Gate City Bank and Lillestol Research.  A silent auction offered a variety of shopping, and attendees could also choose a favorite bowl―glazed and fired by Clay Your Way―to bring home as a thank you. March of Dimes Community Director, Ashley Gerner, said, “We are very appreciative to the community.  Over 850 people attended and we raised nearly $45,000. Thanks to this support, we are able to continue working towards the day when every baby will be born healthy and on time – every time!” Next year’s Bowls for Babies luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5. Groups or businesses interested in sponsoring or painting bowls can contact Gerner at 701.235.5530. [AWM] For more information visit www. marchofdimes.com/northdakota

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AW FEATURING FARGO

I WAS IN JAIL The Jail Chaplains’ 2011 Appreciation Event WRITER: JILL N. KANDEL | CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

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ver 700 people attended the Jail Chaplains annual dessert and silent auction appreciation event. This year the Jail Chaplains hosted Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of famous performer Ray Charles, at the Ramada Plaza Suites on November 15. After the silent auction, former Sherriff Don Rudnick was honored. Current Sherriff Paul Laney, Executive Director Pastor Curt Frankhauser, Chaplain Mike Sonju, and Melvin Lewis all spoke about the value of the Jail Chaplains’ program in restoring lives to our community with the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. Sheila Raye Charles talked about her own journey of addiction and three incarcerations in federal prison. She spoke about hitting the bottom and having nowhere to go except to Christ. Her message was one of second chances and modern day miracles. “You think that God will not meet you where you are?” she asked. “Well, then, just go to jail.” Sheila’s joy-filled message was mixed with powerful vocal selections, including many of her father’s. “I loved my daddy,” Sheila said, “but it wasn’t Ray Charles that saved me! Only Jesus Christ could do that.” The Jail Chaplains offer caring, effective and professional ministry to inmates and law enforcement personnel. For more information visit www.jailchaplains.com [AWM]

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AW LIFE

51ST ANNUAL HOME & GARDEN SHOW HGTV architect/designer and master gardener to offer seminars

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hether your passion is home improvement or achieving gardening greatness, the Red River Valley Home & Garden Show brings two first-rate experts to your back door at the end of February. HGTV hosts John Gidding (“Curb Appeal: The Block”) and William Moss (“Dig In”) will share their expertise during seminars that cover bumping up your home’s attractiveness, mastering container gardens and successfully growing veggies and fruits.

Gidding In a seminar titled “Behind the Scenes Secrets from HGTV’s ‘Curb Appeal: The Block,’” Gidding shares detailed tips from fan-favorite projects, covering everything from hidden obstacles to money-saving tips. A second session titled “Tips for Improving Your Home’s Curb Appeal” gives attendees tried-and-true tricks Gidding has used to guide homeowners through projects that instantly make their homes more attractive. At trade shows, he prefers to talk with audience members to get an idea of what they would like him to share, ultimately letting them decide much of the presentation’s direction by asking questions. “We end up having a pretty good conversation, educational and fun, and it’s happened that I haven’t even gone through my entire presentation,” Gidding says. “The main takeaways are how to start a design project of your own, how to be inspired, how to create your vision and what some of my process for doing that has been.” Gidding presents at home, garden and flower shows across the nation. Born in Istanbul, he attended American schools in Turkey and Switzerland before entering Yale University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in architecture. He also earned a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Before beginning his career in television, Gidding was previously a fashion model and worked the runways for Armani and Gucci. He has also appeared on HGTV’s “Designed to Sell.” As owner of the New York City–based John Gidding Design Inc., he has done numerous residential renovations there and around the country.

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WILLIAM MOSS


Moss Moss’s seminar, “Any Size, Anywhere Edible Gardens,” will show attendees how to bring the taste of homegrown freshness to their gardening experiences. Divided into two parts, the first part of his seminar shares tips and techniques for growing fruits and vegetables; the second covers selecting the best plants and varieties for this area. His other two-part topic, titled “Best Container Plants for Food & Flowers,” will address proper plant selection and care for growing containers. Moss was raised in South Carolina and now lives in Chicago. He graduated from Northwestern University, went on to teach sixth grade, and later completed the Chicagoland Master Gardeners program which led to a career as a horticultural educator for the Chicago Botanic Garden. Moss uses landscaping know-how and his charming personality to engage, educate and entertain audiences with relevant, informative content. In addition to his HGTV gig, Moss has appeared on the Discovery Channel, TLC, CBS’s “The Early Show” and on QVC.

Show details The 51st annual Home & Garden Show, Feb. 24-26, is organized by the Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead and offers the largest selection of home and garden exhibits in the region. Gidding’s seminars will run Friday and Saturday, while Moss’s seminars will be Saturday and Sunday. Platinum sponsor Accent Kitchen & Bath also offers kitchen and bath seminars throughout the show. For show hours, seminar details, admission coupon and two-for-one admission specials, visit www.hbafm. com or pick up the show guide starting Feb. 20 at any Hornbacher’s. Admission is $8. Children can enjoy a professionally-managed playground with childcare. [AWM] JOHN GIDDING

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AW LIFE

WRITER: DAWN HOFFNER | PHOTOGRAPHY: HANEY’S PHOTOGRAPHY

IT’S EVERYONE’S BUSINESS

Start talking about domestic violence, because it’s everyone’s business

KEITH TERNES, DAWN HOFFNER, GREG DIEHL

Should you talk with your friends, your family, your coworkers and even your neighbors about domestic violence? Yes. It’s everyone’s business. Domestic violence continues to occur in our community, and the only way we can stop it is for everyone to make it their business. Some sources estimate over 25% of all suicide attempts in women are related to

domestic violence. And domestic violence is associated with a multitude of health issues, including alcohol and other drug abuse. Nearly 1/3 of women experience abuse by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives. Domestic violence affects everyone, and persons of any gender or age can be victims of domestic violence. The American Psychological Association defines domestic violence as a pattern of

abusive behaviors including a wide range of physical, sexual and psychological mistreatment used by one person in an intimate relationship with another to gain power unfairly or maintain that person’s misuse of power, control, and authority. And while domestic violence is about power and control, Dawn Hoffner believes community collaboration has the power to reduce domestic violence.

Domestic violence is a significant, preventable public health problem that can lead to serious mental health-related consequences for victims and witnesses, including: • Depression • Anxiety • Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms • Flashbacks • Substance abuse • Even suicidal behavior

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As the director of the community liaison department & business development for Prairie St. John’s Hospital, Hoffner has had the opportunity to partner with Fargo Police Chief Keith Ternes and Rape & Abuse Crisis Center Executive Director, Greg Diehl. Both the Fargo Police Department and the Cass County State’s Attorney’s Office have dedicated resources to investigating and prosecuting domestic violence related crimes. “We are so fortunate to have visionary, proactive progressive leadership from our law enforcement as well as our advocacy, service provider and professional treatment community” Hoffner said. In addition to the Rape & Abuse Crisis Center, the YWCA is the largest emergency shelter provider in the state of North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota for women and children experiencing domestic violence. And the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center exists to facilitate community response to child maltreatment for victims and their families through a team approach to investigation, treatment and prosecution in a safe child-friendly environment. “These wonderful and essential organizations need and deserve our community’s full support as they effectively serve victims and their families and create awareness and advocacy through collaboration” Hoffner added. But accountability to make the community a safe place for everyone isn’t the job of just one agency. It will take everyone to make our community domestic violence free. So start talking about domestic violence, because it’s everyone’s business. [AWM] DAWN HOFFNER

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AW LIFE

Let’s Find Them A HOME

LINDSAY KAYE PHOTOGRAPHY

The FM Humane Society is primarily a pound rescue organization dedicated to rescuing dogs and cats at risk of being euthanized at local impounds. Each year, we adopt out hundreds of wonderful pets that just need a second chance at finding a “forever” home. We have a variety of pets available for adoption, from puppies and kittens to senior pets and everything in between, and almost any breed, including purebreds. Next time you’re considering adopting a pet, please check out our shelter and consider giving a pet in need a home. Check us out at fmhs@fmhumanesociety.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fmhumanesociety, or give us a call at 701-239-0077.

Amelia

Ivy Patty Cake

Fancy

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Cheezit

Ella

Rainy

Sammy

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AW | STYLE


SKYLOFT PHOTOGRAPHY

Keeping a pulse on the changing trends in the area can prove difficult. The articles in Area Style offer you the opportunity to see what’s hot. From runway fashions and hairstyles to a fresh look at square dancing, there’s a little something for everyone. If you’re looking for a way to capture the important moments in your life, be sure to take a look at the variety of photographers that can help.

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New Wave

Early spring fashion is sea-inspired

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APRICOT LANE

AW FASHION

WRITER: ANNA G. LARSON

APRICOT LANE

himsical and aquatic, early spring fashion brings the sea to dry land. A washed-out color scheme, fluid, flowing garments, and artistic prints form the core of early spring’s sea-worthy fashion, as seen on the spring/summer 2012 runways in New York and Paris. Barely-there color defines early spring’s fashion. Models dressed in delicate shades of peach, pink and sea foam green, paired with white or black, floated down the runways of Chanel, Armani and Chloé. 3.1 Phillip Lim offered slightly different colors, with an array of washed-out neons. The delicate colors correlate well with the graceful, easy-to-wear nature of this season’s fashions. The Row’s angelic Grecian dresses and the airy layers seen on the 3.1 Phillip Lim runway were simple and breezy. On the Chloé runway, pleated tops and dresses fell fluidly like waterfalls. Chanel added dimension to skirts and tops using gathering techniques, gorgeously mimicking sea anemones and coral. When early spring’s fashion isn’t mimicking sea life, it’s mimicking water-inspired art. Artistic prints decorated dresses on the runways of Chanel and Chloé. Chanel showed watercolor-like fabrics, while the Chloé runways were dotted with dresses resembling smudged pastel drawings. The sea-inspired and artistic nature of early spring fashion gives us a taste of the spring and summer fashion that is still to come―don’t be afraid to go with the flow. [AWM]

LAURIE’S

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FUSION BOUTIQUE LOCATED INSIDE SCHEELS HOME & HARDWARE


LAURIE’S

LAURIE’S

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HAIRSTYLES COURTESY OF HAIR SUCCESS | HANEY’S PHOTOGRAPHY WRITER: PATRICIA CARLSON

New Year, New Look, New You!

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id ‘adieu’ to 2011‘s pixie and shag cuts and say ‘bonjour’ to 2012 with long and luscious locks. From beachy waves to big blowouts, hair should fall below your shoulders giving you endless options with which to play. Side-swept bangs are cut into long, face-framing layers. Waves are gently separated with your fingers; no need for tight tendrils this year. These easy-to-manage styles are are ideal for our winter weather; your tresses will look effortlessly chic whether you’re rocking a pageboy cap or a beanie. For a simultaneously sassy and sweet look, take a cue from iconic French beauty Brigitte Bardot: try a half-up, half-down ‘do. Pull your hair off your crown but leave length in the back. For more sex appeal, amp up the volume on top. Don’t forget your smoky eyeliner and pouty, nude-colored lips. Keep your luxurious locks healthy and shiny through winter’s dry months with deep conditioning or gloss treatments at your favorite salon. It’s the perfect treat for your tresses and for your spirit. Because when you feel good, you look good. We promise! [AWM]

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HANEY’S PHOTOGRAPHY

AW WEDDINGS

SCHERLING PHOTOGRAPHY

LEGACY PHOTOGRAPHY

HANEY’S PHOTOGRAPHY

SKYLOFT PHOTOGRAPHY

CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

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save the

date MILESTONES PHOTOGRAPHY

SCHERLING PHOTOGRAPHY LEGACY PHOTOGRAPHY

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AW KIDS

CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

LEGACY PHOTOGRAPHY

5FOOT20 DESIGN LOUNGE

SKYLOFT PHOTOGRAPHY

HANEY’S PHOTOGRAPHY

SKYLOFT PHOTOGRAPHY

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5FOOT20 DESIGN LOUNGE


SCHERLING PHOTOGRAPHY

LEGACY PHOTOGRAPHY MILESTONES PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

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AW WHERE TO SHOP Oh, Suzanne! | Pioneer Shopping Center | 1420 9th Street East, West Fargo | 701-476-0056 | Scarf Charms | $9.00

Exciting Windows by Design | Kari Bucholz | 701-237-5427 | excitingwindows.com/bydesign | Window Treatment | The proper window treatment can transform a space by adding color, controlling light, and enhancing privacy. With by Design, you can add a personal style to your space with a huge variety of custom window treatments to fit any budget. The possibilities are endless!

SH P WHERE TO

Fusion Boutique | Located inside Scheels Home & Hardware | 3202 13th Avenue South, Fargo | 701-232-8903 | facebook.com/scheelshardware | Simon Sebbag Designs | Handcrafted quality and unique styling define Simon Sebbag Designs. Find a variety of unique sterling silver pieces in rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings for a look to complement your lifestyle.

3 Chicks Boutique | at Baker Garden & Gift | 2733 South University Drive, Fargo | 701-237-6255 | bakernursery.com | Simon Sebbag Designs | There are no detergents, no phosphates, no chlorine, no petrochemicals, no synthetics, no dyes in  these natural cleaning products: they’re 100% biodegradable and safe for fishies. It doesn’t take chemicals you can’t pronounce to clean your  counters, mirrors or your unmentionables. It’s simple, use natural cleaning products to clean nature’s unnatural mishaps.

Apricot Lane Boutique | West Acres Shopping Center, JCPenney’s Wing | 701-356-5080 | apricotlanefargo.com | Apparel | Shop for fashion forward, unique items for women of all ages, including premium denims, tops, shoes/boots & accessories.

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bouclé yarn studio | 311 North Broadway, Downtown Fargo | 701-356-YARN (9276) | boucleyarnstudio.com | Fantasia Spinning Wheel by Kromski | Come in and see our beautiful spinning wheels by Kromski and Schact Spindle Co. | $400-$1600

McCulley Optix Gallery | 2553 Kirsten Lane South, Fargo | 701-373-2020 | optixgallery.com | Biofinity Multifocal | Love your contacts but hate the on and off of readers?   The new technology available in  Biofinity  Multifocal  can help you say goodbye to reading glasses and hello to convenient, comfortable vision!

Carol Widman’s Candy Co. | 4325 13th Avenue South, Fargo | 701-380-8664 | Chocolates | Carol Widman’s assorted handmade chocolates and famous chippers make them Fargo-Moorhead’s finest chocolatiers. | $43.95

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WRITER: JOYCE EISENBRAUN | PHOTOGRAPHER: MILESTONES PHOTOGRAPHY

THE NEW SQUARE

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t’s an evening filled with all styles of music, moving to “flutterwheel” and “star left,” exercising while laughing, and talking with adults from ages 23 to 91: It’s square dancing! “It’s not a hokey barn dance anymore,” joked Bernadette McNeil, L & M Squares club “cuer,” and square dance enthusiast. “Today’s square dance club will include dancers with both traditional dress and casual street clothes — it’s the dancer’s choice.” The music played during the evening might also surprise: it includes jazz, rock and roll, a little rap, ballads, plus the traditional country that’s usually associated with square dancing. McNeil and her husband, Roger, took square dance lessons in the mid’70s and danced for about three years before life with kids got busy and they dropped out. They restarted their square dancing in 2000, and by 2001, Roger had started calling. (In square dancing, a caller “calls” the moves that the dancers are to perform, keeping everyone synchronized in time to the music.) “It’s great aerobic exercise,” McNeil said, “since we walk about five miles during a dance. It’s also a great mental break. Even when you’ve had a bad day, by the time you focus on the music and the calls in the dance, that bad day disappears! Plus we’ve gotten to know people we would never have met without square dancing.” Four square dance clubs in Fargo-Moorhead make up the Fargo-Moorhead Square Dancers Association. McNeil and her husband helped start the L & M Squares along with Rita and Jim Lizakowski. It’s a “mainstream” club, which means that they use a basic set of 66 moves in all their dance calls. They meet on the second and fourth Tuesday evenings in the Cash Wise community room, and have about 40 members. The first dance of every month has a special theme, which ranges from black light dances and casino nights to breast cancer awareness and holiday themes. “We wear name tags, so people can get acquainted,” she explained. “It’s a great social time, as well as an opportunity to dance.” A typical dance includes a “tip” or two songs, with the moves called by Jim or Roger. Then Bernadette will provide the cues for the next two round dances, which are really cued ballroom dances, including waltz, two-step and foxtrot. The pattern of two songs and two round dances are repeated throughout the evening.

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CHERYL SORNSON


To help new dancers learn the moves, Roger and Jim teach a class on the first Monday of the month, with new classes beginning in September and January each year. “It takes about 15 weeks to learn all the moves,” Roger noted, “but in about the first 10 minutes of any class, you’ll learn about eight to 10 of the basic moves. You “graduate” when you learn all the moves. But rather than a diploma you hang on the wall, it’s an opportunity to practice, and to continue dancing.” Classes are also taught for those who want to learn the additional 30 moves for “plus” dances. For those who would like to learn the steps for round dancing, Bernadette has a class. It takes eight people or four couples to make a “square.” There are heads and sides to each square, and the caller provides direction throughout a song for all the dance moves. “Men really like square dancing,” Roger laughed. “Usually their wives drag them there the first night, and then the men bring the wives back for the second night. They can walk to the music, and just move their hands and arms in the pattern we give them — it’s a much easier way to learn to dance.” For those who do not have a dance partner, the club has several solo dancers, both male and female. As a border community the club is active in both the North Dakota and Minnesota associations, which helped earn them the “Most Active Club” award from Minnesota last year. Each year, they do promotional dances at Streets Alive, the Red River Valley Fair, Pioneer Days, and the Steam Threshers Reunion at Rollag, MN, in

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AW STYLE

“It’s great aerobic exercise,” McNeil said, “since we walk about five miles during a dance. It’s also a great mental break. Even when you’ve had a bad day, by the time you focus on the music and the calls in the dance, that bad day disappears! Plus we’ve gotten to know people we would never have met without square dancing.” BERNADETTE AND ROGER MCNEIL

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addition to entertaining at nursing homes and other events. They’ve even been involved in square dances with lawnmowers and horses — there’s no limit to the creativity of square dancing! Bernadette works as an accountant during the day for the YMCA, but most nights of the week, you’ll find her teaching, cueing a round dance, or making arrangements with her husband to go to a square dance somewhere in the tri-state area. The calendar’s full, but full of fun, new friends, and the chance to wear one of her 25 frilly petticoats and dancing shoes. [AWM] For more information about square dancing, visit fmsquaredancers.org or contact the L & M Squares: Clayton or Gloria Brennan at 701-282-8806, Roger McNeil at 701-293-6620 or rmcneil@ ideaone.net, Jim Lizakowski 218-2336212 jimlizakowski@hotmail.com.

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AW | HEALTH


Concerns about health and wellness usually take a front seat at the beginning of a New Year. Area Health provides a look at a new type of surgical procedure. Take an in-depth look at what a diagnosis of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) means for the lives of two sisters in Fargo. And discover a place where children and adults with AD/HD can find the help they need to be successful in life.

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AW ADVERTORIAL

MAGNETIC THERAPY

TREATING DEPRESSION IN 2012 BY RACHEL FLEISSNER MD

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epression is a disease that affects 19 million Americans. For many sufferers medication just doesn’t work. Now there is a new FDA approved treatment available in Fargo that is giving new hope for many of these patients. The treatment is called Transcranial Magnetic Therapy (TMS) and it is being used in all the top psychiatric centers in the county with great success. TMS uses highly-focused MRI-strength magnetic pulses delivered to the area of the brain linked to depression and anxiety.

Patients are treated in the office. Each office session lasts approximately 40-50 minutes each. Most people are prescribed a treatment course that consists of 20-30 sessions. No anesthesia and no sedation is used for TMS. Patients can drive themselves to and from the office for their sessions. Because there are no cognitive side effects, patients go on with their usual daily activities immediately after their 50 minute appointment. Dr. Fleissner has treated patients from age 20 to 85 and has seen “remarkable” success in many patients. “Seeing patients who have suffered for many years get better and renew their joy for living is a wonderful thing to see.” So many patients cannot tolerate the side effects antidepressants and mood stabilizers cause while others just do not get better taking them,” says Dr Fleissner “Finally their is a new, modern, scientific way to treat these patients with an office treatment that has none of the medication side effects.”

“Seeing patients who have suffered for many years get better and renew their joy of living is a wonderful thing to see.“ Dr. Fleissner can be reached via her web site www.MyDrRachel.com or telephone at 701-364-9723. Her office is located at 2902 South University Drive, Fargo.

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HEALTH AW

NEW SURGICAL OPTION MINIMIZES NECK SCAR

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osh Rahn wasn’t feeling right but his symptoms were vague. His body ached. He had trouble focusing at work and concentrating. Fortunately, the 30-year-old West Fargo resident was already seeing Essentia Health endocrinologist Dr. Alberto Cabo Chan for diabetes care, and his physician knew the significance of his symptoms and the higher levels of calcium in Rahn’s blood. The trouble turned out to be an overactive parathyroid gland – a gland Josh had never even heard of. Parathyroid glands are the size of a grain of rice, but they can cause big problems in the body if they’re not working properly. Symptoms like fatigue, depression, fractures, chronic constipation, bone pain and high blood pressure can all be associated with a parathyroid gland that produces too much hormone. This condition, called hyperparathyroidism, most often occurs when a growth or tumor forms on one of the four tiny glands located in the neck. Essentia Health-Fargo is the only healthcare provider in the region to offer a new minimallyinvasive procedure to remove the overactive gland and tumor. Parathyroid glands play an important role in regulating calcium in the body, explains Dr. Cabo Chan. If left untreated, the condition can cause recurrent kidney stones, osteoporosis and broken bones, because the gland leaches calcium from the bones. Dr. Cabo Chan used to send patients who were candidates for this minimally-invasive procedure to the Mayo Clinic in

Rochester, Minn. Now, he can refer them to his colleague, Dr. David Tsen, an Essentia Health Ear/Nose/Throat specialist who’s had extensive training and has been providing the delicate endoscopic surgery for about a year. “It’s a lot more convenient for the patient,” Dr. Cabo Chan says. “They don’t have to travel and the procedure can be done as soon as possible. If you can do everything within the same institution, it’s much better for the patient.” “That was a plus,” Rahn says. “It was one-day surgery – in and out.” During the surgery, Dr. Tsen makes a 2-centimeter incision in the neck and uses a tiny camera to locate the tumor. “It’s quite an improvement over traditional procedure,” he says. “I’ve seen neck surgeries with a 6- to 8-centimeter incision.” Patients often go home the same day. “In general, the smaller cut you can make, the happier people will be,” Dr. Tsen says. “The patient is in less pain and will need less pain medication.” The minimally invasive technique can also be used for some tumors on the thyroid gland. Dr. Cabo Chan enjoys telling patients that they can stay close to home for their surgery. “They are surprised,” he says. “They have already done their research and they think this procedure is only available in certain states.” Rahn says he was pleased to have his condition diagnosed and taken care of close to home. “I read this often goes untreated for many, many years,” he says. “I’m glad this was caught.”

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AW HEALTH

SISTERS BATTLE RARE, DIFFICULT DISEASE Sanford Heart Center offers crucial expertise

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or sisters Lana Eichhorn and Carmen Froseth of Fargo, the symptoms were eerily familiar. Their mother experienced them years ago. “Mom started having trouble walking hills. Next she couldn’t catch her breath going up a flight of stairs,” recalled Lana. “She was diagnosed in April 1991 and passed away seven months later.” Last summer, after similar symptoms, Lana and Carmen learned they had pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) -- the same disease that took their mother at age 33. “The diagnosis was terrifying,” said 28-year-old Carmen. “And it was happening to both of us at the same time,” said 36-year-old Lana.

What’s PAH? • In PAH, the arteries of the lungs constrict abnormally, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood. This can lead to heart damage and ultimately heart failure. • Often PAH is secondary to other diseases. Inherited and isolated PAH such as Carmen’s and Lana’s is rare. • PAH symptoms can include chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue. These relatively common symptoms make PAH difficult to diagnose. An echocardiogram is key. • PAH has no cure, but today’s treatments can reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and slow the disease. The medicines are powerful, but expensive.

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Then came hope, thanks to 20 years’ medical progress that continues today.

Essential expertise The sisters connected with Dr. Heeraimangalore Manjunath, Sanford cardiologist who is board certified in advanced heart failure, including PAH; it’s a rare specialty. He and specially trained nurse Cindy Jurva provide precise, comprehensive care at the Pulmonary Hypertension Clinic in the cardiology department at Sanford Heart Center in Fargo. “PAH is a very difficult disease, both for the patient and the medical team,” said Dr. Manjunath. “Key steps include identifying patients at risk, diagnosing the exact type of PAH, and carefully initiating patients on the correct group of medications.” Carmen takes a combination of medications daily. Lana’s more advanced disease required a chest catheter to enable a continuous flow of lung medicine. Both sisters have experienced improvement.

A different life So far Lana and Carmen have been able to continue their full-time jobs, but other aspects of life have changed: • Married five years, Carmen cannot have children because of the physical stress of childbearing and the harmful fetal effects of the medicines. • Lana and her husband have two young children. Steps will be taken to ensure that if they have PAH, it will be diagnosed as early as possible. • Limitations in activities. “You learn to live with them,” said Carmen. “I’ve noticed we’re both so much more grateful for everything we’ve been blessed with.” So what keeps these sisters fighting this harsh disease? “You fight for your family and for everyone you care about,” said Lana. “No, you can’t do everything you used to do, but you’re alive and that’s what matters most.” They fight for each other, too. Carmen and Lana text, call or see each other almost daily. With hope, humor and hugs, they bring new meaning to an old saying: “A sister is a forever friend.” [AWM]

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AW HEALTH

JANET GROVE AND JODI HEDSTROM

THERAPY FOR EVERYDAY LIFE

WRITER: JOEL HAGEN PHOTOGRAPHER: CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

Struggles with memory, time management and attention treated by a local business

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magine you are a student at your locker. You look at the time and realize you are late for class. When you get there, you have forgotten your assignment and book. For the next hour you try to focus, but your thoughts are racing and you are easily distracted. Before you know it, class is over and you have no idea what the assignment is. You’ve lost track of how many times this sort of thing has happened. It’s not that you don’t want to do your homework; you are unsure of how to even begin. Something just keeps you from focusing no matter how hard you try. Imagine now that you are 45 and employed. No matter how hard you work, you just can’t stay on task. Forgetting important details and overscheduling has become a daily occurrence leaving you feeling overwhelmed. You try to do things the same way as your coworkers, yet nothing seems to work for you. People see you as lazy, selfish, even stupid. You see yourself in worse terms. You aren’t making a conscious choice to forget. It’s not intentional, yet you keep forgetting things or losing focus. Your loved ones know you are bright, but your performance never matches your potential.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or AD/HD, can severely impact people for their entire lives. They struggle with chronic symptoms including time management, working memory, attention and impulsivity. Disorders with cognitive impairments like AD/HD, traumatic brain injury, post-concussive syndrome, stroke, and more, can be treated. Progressive Therapy Associates does just that. Janet Grove and Jodi Hedstrom are certified and licensed Speech-Language Pathologists and coowners of the business. They specialize in cognitive treatment that goes beyond medication to provide help with daily life skills that make adolescents and adults successful in the real world. “Each person that comes through our door, we evaluate their areas of need, their impairments, strengths, weaknesses, and determine how we can best improve those skills,” Grove said. Progressive Therapy Associates uses three watchwords – improve, empower and renew – to guide their treatment philosophy. Grove and Hedstrom work on skills that patients can incorporate into their daily lives to help them feel successful, for perhaps the first time in a long time. Through hard work and time, the results are rewarding and often fuel patients to work even harder. One end goal is for the patient to be able to take the skills they have learned and apply them to new situations. “Life doesn’t have to be a constant battle day in and day out. It can be better,” Hedstrom said. Doctors often refer patients, but patients can call Progressive Therapy Associates directly for a free consultation. Progressive Therapy Associates is located at 1150 Prairie Parkway, Suite 105, in West Fargo. They can be reached at 701-356-7766. For more information on AD/HD and the many other conditions they treat, visit their website at www.progressivetherapyassociates. com.

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AW | HOME


In this edition of Area Home, get to know a bit about Jordahl Custom Homes while touring one of their designs. This home, located in the Eagle Run neighborhood, showcases what a custom home builder can provide: the chance to personalize your home to fit your particular needs. Get ideas and get inspired!

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LIFE CONSTRUCTED

WRITER: CAMMIE WRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER: MICHAEL K. SMITH

How one homebuilder makes it easy to have it all

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rom the outside, the home looks like a lot of homes in this established Eagle Run neighborhood, with its well-kept lawn, welcoming front porch and outdoor lighting. But walking in to this sprawling rambler brings one word to mind: personalized. Everything is too considered to be accidental. From the large open kitchen, dining and great room area ideal for entertaining, to the master suite’s bathtub that is perfect to relax in after a long day, the home is clearly structured around the life of its occupants, and not the other way around. Area homebuilder Jordahl Custom Homes’ main objective is making sure the home building experience and process is personalized to each individual customer. Whether making minor adjustments to one of Jordahl Custom Homes’ unique floor plans or developing their own, customers work directly with the Jordahl Custom Homes team to design a home that fits their style and meets their needs. It is important to the entire Jordahl team that the process is fun and rewarding, and that the end result is a dream home that exceeds their customer’s expectations. “We understand how busy today’s family is. That’s why we pride ourselves on our team approach, making it not only easy to build a custom home, but to create a home that truly is going to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the homeowners,” Jordahl Custom Home’s Vice President Dawn Cruff-Kartes said.

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Because Jordahl Custom Homes offers endless customization choices, the sales team asks many questions in the initial meetings with customers. Each customer, and therefore each home, is unique. “We do ask people questions such as, ‘Which room do you spend the most time in?’ ‘Tell me how you will use the kitchen day to day,’ ‘Describe your ideal master suite,’ ‘Do you plan on doing a lot of entertaining?’ because we want their home to be completely customized for them. We want to create spaces that will help

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the countless customization options housed in the Jordahl Custom Homes Design Center. The design process is a series of appointments where each customer selects everything from their exterior color and style to interior components like cabinetry, flooring, paint, plumbing and lighting as well as options like fireplaces, media wiring and security systems. Jordahl Custom Homes encourages customers to be as involved in the construction process of their home as they desire to be. Although a complimentary interior designer definitely sets Jordahl Custom Homes apart from other area homebuilders, it’s not the only way they differentiate themselves. The Jordahl Custom Homes team is available to every customer, 24/7, 365 days a year, with an answering service for any late night and weekend emergencies. The service team is available to assist customers well after the sale, answering any homeowner maintenance questions that may arise.

make people’s lives easier. I’ll even get their furniture sizes beforehand of items they want to incorporate in their new home, that way they know their treasured pieces are going to fit perfectly in the new space,” Cruff-Kartes said. The Jordahl sales team is assisted by their certified in-house interior designer and newlyexpanded design center, a complimentary service provided by Jordahl Custom Homes. Every homebuyer, whether investing $135,000 or $850,000, has access to their designer and

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With all these amenities available to their customers, Jordahl Custom Homes has become a staple of custom home construction in the region. At the heart of Jordahl Custom Homes’ continued success is their commitment to selling more than just a house, and that is a mantra that has caught fire with customers all over the state. “We know that building a home is a huge investment, in time as well as money. Our goal is that everyone is able to customize their home for their specific needs and know that they are getting exactly what they wanted,” Cruff-Kartes said.

Jordahl Custom Homes’ experience and knowledge has made them a favorite option for many realtors and lenders to suggest to their clients. Their hands-on approach to building takes a load off of the realtor by facilitating the behind-the-scenes details, making the building process an enjoyable and stress-free experience for everyone. As Jordahl Custom Homes continues to grow in the region, they are launching a new, more interactive website as a resource for potential/ current customers as well as realtors.

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AW HOME

Visit the new Jordahl Custom Homes website at www.jordahlcustomhomes.com or call 701-234-0404 to learn more about exploring your building options. Jordahl Custom Homes services reach far beyond the Fargo-Moorhead metro; they build in communities throughout North Dakota, including Watford City, Minot, Tioga, Jamestown, Carrington and Devils Lake. Readers in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo and surrounding areas can meet the sales team during the Red River Valley Home & Garden Show at the Fargodome Feb. 24-26, or tour their showcased Jordahl Custom Homes during the Spring Parade of Homes at the end of April. [AWM]

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AW | PROFILES


Area Profiles offers you to the opportunity to rub shoulders with people you may not otherwise have a chance to meet. In this edition, you can get to know Cindy ColeSofting of Altel, NDSU sophomore Ann Podol and her curling team, Jiffy Lube manager Melanie Moseby, Dr. Asunta (Susie) Thompson and her work to feed the world, Lemongrass Spa consultant Wendy Gerlach, Immigrant Development Center director Fowzia Adde, and Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller. These fine women represent what’s great about living in the FM area. AW |

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AW PROFILES

CINDY COLE-SOFTING AND CHAD SOFTING

GOING ALL IN

WRITER: ANNA G. LARSON | PHOTOGRAPHY: LEGACY PHOTOGRAPHY

Altel founder is fueled by passion and people

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indy Cole-Softing’s first business was a Kool-Aid stand. She wanted a bike, and her mother told her to earn it. She hired neighbor children to work for her, and paid off the sugar-and-Dixie-cup loan from her mother. The next summer she had a snow cone stand and, after two summers, she finally bought that bike. “I think sometimes people have a sense of entitlement,” she said. “But I learned that if you want something, you have to earn it.” Drive and entrepreneurial spirit ultimately lead Cole-Softing to start her own telecommunications business, Altel Alternative Telecom Inc., in her native Moorhead 12 years ago. “It was actually a huge accident,” she said. “It was a combination of perfect timing and passion.” Before founding Altel, Cole-Softing worked in the telephone business, and then went on to pursue other career paths. Her knowledge of telecommunications and phone systems stayed with her, and she often helped former customers purchase telephone systems or troubleshoot problems. People spread the word that she was the go-to woman for phone systems and soon she realized she could make a living doing something she loves—helping people.

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“I’m driven by people,” she said. “If you ask me where this business is going, I say ask the customers; they’re the ones driving it. They tell us exactly what they want.” Altel Alternative Telecom Inc., not to be confused with Alltel Wireless that opened after Cole-Softing’s business and has since left the market, began in a spare room in her house. Altel sells, installs and services many brands of business telephones, IP technology and alternative solutions for cloud connection. Altel’s customers include everyone from local businesses to large schools, hospitals and banks. The Altel team can also move or service existing phone systems, wire facilities for voice, data and cable, and configure and order dial tone for local, long distance and Internet access. “We’re in the service industry,” said Cole-Softing’s business partner and husband Chad Softing. “Our technicians will go out after storms and power outages to make sure our customers are taken care of and back up and running to continue to conduct their business 24/7.” The eight-member team prides itself on bringing the “latest and greatest” in technology and is excited to share what’s available to its customers. The staff stays on top of the dynamic technology


industry by attending seminars and conferences regularly. “Education is huge for us,” ColeSofting said. “I don’t cheap out on education.” Cole-Softing has never hired anyone— every person on her team has approached her about wanting to work at Altel. “I feel very fortunate in that respect,” Cole-Softing said. “We’re all best friends and we like to have fun.” Cole-Softing says her business and her positive attitude is the result of never letting anything slow her down. In 10th grade, she signed up for an electronics class and was the only female in attendance. The instructor suggested she was in the wrong class but Cole-Softing didn’t budge and instead excelled, starting a path that would eventually lead her to owning Altel. Cole-Softing is also part owner of the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. [AWM] For more information about Altel Alternative Telecom Inc., visit www. altelnet.com or call 218-233-3320. Altel Alternative Telecom Inc. has an office in Moorhead, and a new home office opening in Fargo.

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TEAM LEFT TO RIGHT: BETH PODOLL, VANESSA MANLOVE, CASEY HATLEVOLL, CHRISTINA LAMMERS, ANN PODOLL

CLEAN SWEEP

WRITER: AMANDA J. PETERSON | 5FOOT20 DESIGN LOUNGE

Ann Podoll brings determination, heart, and focus to the sport of curling

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argo-Moorhead might be hockey country, but there’s another highly-competitive team sport on the ice. Tucked away in a North Fargo arena, the FargoMoorhead Curling Club brings together about 150 local athletes. One of those is North Dakota State University sophomore Ann Podoll. Ann, a quiet 20-year-old nursing student, grew up on the ice. Her parents, Frank and Ruth Podoll of Fargo, have been heavily involved with the FMCC for years. They taught Ann – and her younger brother and sister – the skills, spirit, and strategy of the game and watched them flourish. Over the years, Ann has placed highly at several national competitions, and she has her eye on the Olympics. “One of her biggest assets is her determination,” Frank said. “Ann has an ‘I’m going to do this’ kind of attitude. That is good for being a skip, or captain, of the team.”

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The sport or curling dates back centuries to Scotland, where folks created a game by pushing large river rocks across frozen marshes. Scottish emigrants brought the sport to Canada in the late 1700s and later the United States. Today, 1.5 million people in 35 countries participate in curling. Curling is played by four-person teams on indoor ice sheets. Players take turns throwing (or precisely sliding) a 42-pound stone toward the opposite end of the ice, known as the house. Play continues until all eight stones per team have been released. The goal is to land the most stones inside the house, or target, while also bumping out opponents’ stones. A round is completed when all 16 stones have been played. Ten rounds make a game. The sport requires finesse and athleticism, as the thrower must be perfectly aligned to the target, must push off with speed and grace, and must be able to release the stone with just the right turn. After the stone is released, two other teammates use


specially-designed brooms to quickly sweep the ice in front of the stone. The sweeping creates friction, melting the ice and creating a layer of water for the stone to glide across. At the end of the ice, the team’s skip directs where the stone should land. It’s the skip’s role to lead the strategy of the game, something Ann compares to chess. “You try to be one step ahead of your opponents,” she said. “Sometimes you’re in a jam and have to come up with the best shot of reducing their score or increasing yours.” That strategy and competitiveness quickly drew Ann to the sport. In fifth grade she joined the youth league and began competing. By eighth grade, she and her friend Christina Lammers, of Fargo, started a junior team with the North Dakota Junior State Competition as their goal. They made it in 2007 and nearly qualified for Nationals. The following year they took second place and made it to Nationals. They followed suit in 2009. “Ann is really good for our team when it comes to stressful situations,” Lammers said. “She keeps us all calm.” Ann carried her love of curling to college, where she continues to be coached by her parents and play with Lammers. She serves as the team’s skip. Vanessa Manlove, a junior at Concordia College, plays lead (the first to throw stones.) Casey Hatlevoll, a senior at

ANN PODOLL

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“Ann is really good for our team when it comes to stressful situations. She keeps us all calm.” — Teammate Christina Lammers

FAMILY: BETH PODOLL (SISTER), AARON PODOLL (BROTHER), ANN PODOLL. RUTH PODOLL (MOTHER), FRANK PODOLL (FATHER)

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GOOD MORNING SWEETHEART!

WRITER: KRISTI MONSON PHOTOGRAPHER: MILESTONES PHOTOGRAPHY

Female auto technician puts a smile on your car

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elanie Moseby has a positive attitude, strong work ethic, and lots of determination. She brings those qualities to Fargo’s downtown Jiffy Lube, where she is the unconventional service center manager in a conventional, male-dominated business. Some people are surprised. “Some customers are surprised to see a woman doing this type of work, but most people don’t mind seeing a woman getting her hands dirty or breaking a fingernail. They think I do the work just as well as a man,” Moseby said. “I have passion for what I’m doing.” Moseby grew up in inner city Chicago. Her parents split when she was four, and drugs and alcohol were rampant in her neighborhood. When she became a young mother, she received tremendous support from her husband’s family, who encouraged her to stay in school. She earned an associate

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degree in accounting and has worked in retail and food service management. “I tried to pick up good work habits because I wanted a better life for my family.” Her father was a mechanic, but she studied under the hood with her husband, Shelton, and her father-in-law. Whether it was replacing an alternator, changing oil, or finding the starter, she learned tools of this trade out of necessity. “When I was eight months pregnant, I had an ’85 Grand Prix with a leaking transmission. At the time, my husband was in North Dakota, so I took out the transmission myself and replaced the gasket. It was kind of hard, but it was fun. I have a natural inclination for this work,” Moseby said. The Mosebys moved to North Dakota in 2005. She has always been drawn to the customer service industry, so Jiffy Lube was a good fit for her.

“I love to be around people,” she said, explaining that dealing with customers is the best part of her job. “I think that’s my greatest strength. They are my extended family, especially those who always come back to see me. I give my customers the best quality service I can.” She started working at Jiffy Lube on 32nd Avenue as a service technician and later became assistant manager. When the manager position opened at the downtown location, the owners thought she was the right person for the job. She’s a hands-on manager — changing oil, checking fluids, working the pit, and providing all of Jiffy Lube’s preventative maintenance services. She trains the technicians, leads the service team, and supervises a staff of four. Moseby enjoys getting her hands dirty, learning more about cars, and being her own boss. She is the nuts and bolts of this Jiffy Lube location.


“We put a smile on your car,” she said. “Our goal is 100 percent satisfaction because a happy customer is a returning customer. If I don’t get a customer to smile, he might not come back.” As a customer walks in, Moseby greets him with an enthusiastic, “Good morning sweetheart,” and she’s rewarded with the gesture she works so hard for … a smile. [AWM]

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FEEDING THE WORLD

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farm girl from Barnesville, Dr. Asunta (Susie) Thompson, came to North Dakota State University as an agronomy major with the goal of helping to feed the world. Now a few decades later, that’s exactly what she is doing. She leads one of 13 potato breeding programs in the country (including state, federal, and one private organization) and is “living her dream” at NDSU. “I love what I do,” Thompson said. “I get to work in the greenhouse, the lab, teach, work with colleagues, and be outside in the field — I get it all.” At NDSU, her role is to develop new potato cultivars (or varieties) that will meet the needs of producers and growers in the region, with higher quality potatoes that provide producers and industry more profit potential, and consumers a healthier product. Potatoes are the most important vegetable and horticultural crop grown in North Dakota, Thompson said, with more than 22 million cwt. (hundredweight) harvested in 2010. Next door in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Manitoba, growers are also eager to try out new NDSU varieties. Farmers in the region produce for three distinct markets: chipping potatoes for Barrel O’ Fun, Old Dutch, and Frito Lay; the fresh “table” market; and french fry varieties for the processing plants of Cavendish Farms, JR Simplot, and LambWeston. “This is a very creative growing region,” Thompson said, “because we have all three markets that we’re trying to support. We strive to develop cultivars that are naturally (genetically) resistant to potato diseases and insects, are nutritionally superior and delicious, and meet processors’ specific needs.” NDSU has been involved in potato research since the late 1800s, and Thompson is the latest in a collection of exceptional breeders to oversee

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WRITER: JOYCE EISENBRAUN PHOTOGRAPHER: LEGACY PHOTOGRAPHY


the breeding program, which began in about 1930. NDSU has released 24 varieties, including four during Thompson’s tenure. One of the primary goals of the NDSU program is to enhance the germplasm — the genetic resources — for potatoes. “Bryce Farnsworth is an NDSU colleague who’s been involved in potato breeding since 1967,” she noted. “He has a great understanding of our germplasm history, which is essential in the breeding process.” Actually developing a named cultivar takes years of effort. In addition to carefully selected varieties, Thompson will also cross with several wild species that offer useful characteristics and are adapted to northern conditions. Preparation for spring planting is done throughout the winter in the greenhouse, where parents are crossed, and seed tubers evaluated for the presence of disease. The best selections are planted in the field. From the true potato seed, (the result of crossing parent plants), selected seedling families are taken to the seedling nursery at the Langdon Research Extension Center and planted. This year, Thompson’s team planted 618 “families” of potatoes, each averaging about 300 individual plants. More than 80,000 single hills of potatoes were planted, which all needed evaluation. From that start, only about 1,000 seedlings will be brought back for storage and evaluation this fall. Over the next decade, these potatoes will be planted in irrigated and non-irrigated plots throughout the region. Careful scrutiny throughout the growing season, and extensive testing of each potato selection, will be done to see it if meets the stringent criteria of growers and processors. Around year seven, a selection may make it to the North Central Regional Potato Variety Trial, where it will be further evaluated at seven regional locations in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Thompson estimates that after 10 to 15 years, one out of one million seedlings becomes a named cultivar. Dakota Trailblazer is the most recent release, a beauty that is the first from the NDSU program that is suitable for making high quality french fries and frozen products. She has high hopes for ND8068-5Russ, which is showing

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Susie’s Favorite Fries:

Preheat oven to 400° Clean and cut potato into 3/8” strips Place cut potato fries into plastic bag Drizzle with favorite olive oil and seasonings Shake to coat Put coated fries onto baking sheet in a single layer, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown on outside, and cooked on the inside. Turn fries after the first 30 minutes to brown evenly. Serve hot. promise and is extremely early, but hasn’t been named as yet. “There are many advancing selections that we’re evaluating,” she said, “including ones with great colors — buff colored with purple splashes, bright yellow inside. Another is more mulberry or fuschia. European cultivars are primarily all yellow fleshed, while the U.S. markets prefer white.” “I get to work with wonderfully fabulous people from all over the world, including world-renown potato pathologists Dr. Neil Gudmestad and Dr. Gary Secor right here at NDSU,” Thompson said. “Plus the growers are cool people — they help us so much.” When she is not occupied as the “nomad farmer” racing from potato plot to plot around the state, Thompson enjoys time with her five children and one precious grandson. “I run, write poetry even while I’m harvesting, love to read old westerns, garden, and I cook a lot of potatoes, both to test and because I like them,” she laughed. Whether in the field, testing in the lab, or cooking at home, Thompson is making an impact: she is truly helping to feed the world. [AWM]

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WRITER: ROXANE B. SALONEN PHOTOGRAPHER: MICHAEL K. SMITH PHOTOGRAPHY

GOOD FOR THE SOLE Sending unique care packages overseas

Nearly five years ago, Wendy Gerlach of Moorhead attended a home product party, mainly to appease the host. A couple hours later, she emerged changed. One might call it a conversion of the sole. The merchandise, Lemongrass Spa Products, comprises a line of all-natural massage products to soothe weary limbs, including feet. The transformation led Wendy to reach overseas to soldiers through an initiative called Operation Freedom Feet. To her, the endeavor has always been more mission field than sales pitch. Around the time she received her consultant’s kit, Wendy began feeling a divine nudge to branch out beyond her job as owner of a cleaning business. Specifically, she believed her work would entail ministering to the imprisoned. But her husband, Vaughan, had misgivings, so Wendy prayed and talked to a spiritual mentor. “She reminded me women are imprisoned financially, emotionally, and so many other ways,” Wendy recounted. “That blew the doors wide open for me.” She began spending time at the feet of anyone who seemed weary in any way, serving them with a simple bucket and spa products. And then, when Lemongrass implemented Operation Freedom Feet to offer foot-scrub kits to war-trodden female soldiers in the Middle East, everything came together. “These women are imprisoned halfway around the world … because they cannot come home and tuck their kids in at night,” she said. “They’re over there — just like we are here — so busy pouring out they don’t take time to pour back in.” Many soldiers have shared their gratitude over the gift containing a cucumber scrub, soak, and cream — simple things that make a profound difference to someone in the trenches. “It touches a point deep within them. This is a care package unlike any other they’ve received.”

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One soldier was preparing to soak her feet on Christmas Day when sirens and bombs began going off. In bare feet, she dashed away with her gun to hunker down with the rest of her battalion. Eventually, she returned to the foot tub and started over. “We can’t begin to imagine the stress,” Wendy said.

“Imagine taking off your boots when you’ve been walking around in 120-degree heat and sliding into a cool and relaxing foot bath.”

She’s grateful to the community for its generosity. A recent “Loot for the Boot” effort resulted in enough loose change to send 90 foot kits to Iraq and Afghanistan. But it’s well short of the company’s goal of 2,011 foot kits in 2011. “It’s been heartbreaking to me to not be able to reach that goal,” Wendy said, noting that ultimately, she’s hoping for corporate sponsorship to add to individual efforts. In sharing the product locally, Wendy keeps in mind that almost everyone carries burdens. “I try to provide an environment that allows people to release their day into that bucket,” she said. “To me, it’s never been about lotions and potions.” [AWM] To help send foot kits to woman soldiers, call Wendy at 701-729-8021, email lemongrasswendy.aol.com or visit www.OurLemongrassSpa.com/246

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Overcoming BARRIERS

Fowzia Adde finds a welcoming home in Fargo The following is a conversation with Fowzia Adde, director of the Immigrant Development Center in Moorhead. Fowzia works with immigrants to overcome barriers and help them realize their dreams of self-employment. AW: Where did you grow up? Fowzia: I grew up near the Indian Ocean in Mogadishu, Somalia. I loved to swim! My father worked for the Somali government as a ship captain. In 1990, war broke out, and we were one of the first targets. We escaped to a refugee camp in Kenya. I was twelve or thirteen. We stayed there six years. We didn’t know what was next. In a refugee camp, you get lost. You don’t know who you are. I went to school in the camp and graduated. Then I went to a boarding school and became a nurse. AW: Did you want to go back to Somalia? Fowzia: The war in Somalia kept on. It became a civil war, then territorial, then religious. I did not have a choice. I could not go back home. My grandmother still lives there. She is very old. I have always wanted to go back, to say good-bye to her. AW: How did you come to the United States? Fowzia: After six years, the UN began to look for a place of settlement. Each family in our camp could register for Canada, Australia, or America. Australia and Canada had limits of four people per family. We applied to America because we were eight. It took about a year. It was hard to wait. I wondered what my fate would be.

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FOWZIA ADDE

FOWZIA ADDE

WRITER: JILL N. KANDEL PHOTOGRAPHER: CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY


When we got the letter we jumped up and celebrated. We had two months of orientation. We learned the laws of the United States. We learned that if we are angry we cannot fight, we are supposed to tell the police. We learned what 911 is for. It is not because you have a headache. There were so many new things to learn. Then I got my ticket! I was going to Washington DC! June 16, 1997. I came to the United States by myself. I got on the plane, and the whole flight was full of Somalia people. We were afraid they were taking us back to Somalia. But then we landed in France. I was on my way! AW: What was it like when you first arrived? Fowzia: A caseworker met me at the airport. He held my name up on a sign and took me to an apartment. I had a small bed and a refrigerator. But the fridge was empty. He gave me a check and paperwork. I didn’t know how to cash the check. I was hungry. My neighbor, a Jewish girl born in the United States, helped me. She bought me a phone card so I could tell my family I was in America. I spent six months in DC. AW: What brought you to Fargo? Fowzia: Some of my friends from the refugee camp had settled in Fargo. They said life in a smaller town was better. So I took a bus and came to Fargo. I got a full time job. Later I started to work as an interpreter over the phone. I would get calls from all over. People needing interpreters about insurance, hospital problems, accidents, 911 calls, struggles were everywhere. After years of interpreting work, I was tired. I didn’t want to hear about people’s problems. I wanted to get involved and start to solve the problems. I began to talk to people and we dreamed of making an organization that would be a resource for immigrants. I took training with

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TIA THOMAS, DARCI ASCHE, FIDELA JONES, ISHAN OSMAN, FOWZIA ADDE, ALIA MOHAMED, REBECCA MOLLDREM

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“It is a blessing: to have been a refugee woman and now to be running a non-profit organization!”

the Organizing Apprenticeship Program in Minneapolis for six months. We began the Immigration Development Center in 2006. AW: What does the Immigrant Development Center do? Fowzia: We have four main areas: Microenterprise Development, Entrepreneurship Training, Community Gardening, and the International Market Plaza. The Plaza will contain 16 businesses. Our goal is to create 58 jobs. It will give people a place to start and grow. Restaurants, café, grocery, jewelry, and small retailers will all be a part of it. AW: Are you settled now? Fowzia: With all I have been through in my life, Fargo feels like home. My children go to school here. I have found good people who care about me. Many people in Fargo have given me time, advised me, listened to me. I am honored they believed in me. This community allowed me to move ahead. I have been a refugee woman, and I am now running a non-profit organization. I found my place. [AWM] For more information about the Immigrant Development Center visit www.idcfm.org

“In a refugee camp, you get lost. You don’t know who you are.” AW |

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WRITER: PATRICIA CARLSON | CLASSIC PHOTOGRAPHY

Tammy Miller CEO of Her Own Life

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ammy Miller knows exactly what she wants out of life. And she’s discovered her secret to making it happen. “Much of my career success has been driven by three key leadership strengths,” shared Tammy, the CEO of Border States Electric, a billion dollar distributor of electrical products headquartered in Fargo, “vision and strategy; communication; accountability.” Tammy is confident that putting these ideals into action through the years is what propelled her to the top spot at Border States Electric. But beyond her professional aspirations, it is clear these qualities permeate her personal life as well. Tammy has used her leadership skills and her abundant energy to establish loyal relationships with not only her colleagues at Border States, but her husband, alma mater, and several community organizations in the Fargo-Moorhead area. “I really like to use my talents and my financial resources to help make our community a better place,” Tammy said. “To make the greatest impact, my husband and I have decided to focus on three organizations; the YWCA, United Way and MSUM, from where we both graduated.” “MSUM had a very positive impact on both our lives and provided the foundation for our careers,” said Tammy’s husband, Craig Palmer. “It is important to us that MSUM continue to provide that foundation for future generations.” It’s clear that the way Tammy commands her professional and personal lives is linked. The skills she’s learned throughout her career have helped excel her philanthropic goals, and her community service has influenced her management style and team-building abilities. And Tammy started cultivating her ‘leadership strengths’ long before taking over the helm of Border States in 2006.

Vision & Strategy It was during high school that Tammy began to envision the life she wanted and strategize how she was going to achieve it. One of just 42 students at the time at Lakota High School, in Lakota, North Dakota, Tammy took the opportunity to participate in as many activities as she could. “Sports, drama, music... I was involved in many school activities,” she remembered. “It was a real confidence builder at a young age and instilled a lot of values that I have today.” Tammy said she learned the art of giving back from her parents, Ralph and Gen Miller, while growing up near Brocket, ND. The family didn’t have a lot of money, but Tammy remembers her mom and dad actively volunteering their time in the community and at church. “Giving back is part of my DNA,” she said. “It’s how I was raised. My parents taught me that giving of your time and talent is equally, if not more, important than writing a check.” If you walk through the campus at

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Minnesota State University - Moorhead, you might notice some of Tammy’s efforts. An MSUM Center for Business Auditorium is named in honor of Tammy and her husband. She was also behind the school’s Major Gifts Initiative to fund scholarships and a new wellness center. “We made a substantial contribution to the business school and devoted a lot of time fundraising for the wellness center,” she said. “Philanthropy is significant part of our lives.” Tammy continued her education at MSUM where she studied accounting and upon graduating, landed a job as a Certified Public Accountant at Charles Bailly, now Eide Bailly, in Fargo. During her nearly nine-year tenure at the company, Tammy moved up the accounting ranks but decided she didn’t want to be in public accounting her entire career. Public accounting provided a great foundation for a running a business she recalled thinking at the time and wanted to put her experience to use in a corporate environment. Once she made up her mind to pursue a new career path, Tammy quickly found an opportunity with Border States and it turned out to be a bigger opportunity than she ever envisioned. Border States Electric is a 100 percent employee-

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AW PROFILES owned company that provides products to the construction, industrial and utility industries. Tammy was familiar with the company because they were a client of hers at Charles Bailly. Border States was looking for someone to eventually fill the shoes of its Chief Financial Officer who was due to retire in a couple of years. Tammy joined Border States as the accounting manager in 1991, was appointed treasurer a year later, and in the ensuing years has held a variety of positions while working her way up the corporate ladder. She and her husband relocated to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2003 after she assumed general management responsibilities for the Southwest region. She was later named president and CEO, in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Since taking over the helm, Tammy has made it her personal mission to not only grow the company and increase its stature in the electrical distribution marketplace but to promote Border State’s corporate culture and values by using another one of her tremendous leadership strengths.

Communication “This year Border States will generate sales of approximately $1.2 billion. We’re the 7th largest electrical wholesaler in the country, with 1,400 employees and 58 branch locations in 13 states,” Tammy rattled off, the information coming swiftly, confidently and proudly from her lips. The company has always been a growing and profitable company but both were accelerated when Tammy became CEO in 2006. Tammy and her team set forth a plan to be a $1 billion sales organization in five years – the goal was to more than double sales and the stock value by 2011. To help accomplish these goals Tammy made communication at the employeeowned company a priority; after all, every single employee had a stake in the company. “Since I became CEO, we have had concise and consistent communication of our objectives,” she stated. “We practice open book management and every month I make a video for all of our employees. We find that informed employees make better decisions for our customers and themselves. And since our employee-owners all share in the financial success of our company they greatly appreciate knowing how our company is doing. I think our employees really appreciate our consistent, open and honest communication.” Tammy is quick to point out that she alone is not responsible for the dramatic

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growth and success at Border States. She credits hard-working managers, devoted employees, forward-thinking initiatives, and a corporate culture that people—employees and customers, alike—believe in. “A big part of our mission today is developing our people and systems to be sustainable,” Tammy explained. “We have put in a lot of structure to succession planning, employee development, innovation and enhancing service excellence. We want to make sure we can deliver highquality customer services consistently throughout our branches. We want to get better as we grow bigger.” As CEO, Tammy gets plenty of opportunities to promote Border State’s products and the electrical wholesaling industry. She logs roughly 150-thousand frequent flyer miles each year on Delta alone, that’s not including several other airlines she travels. And she said that no two weeks are ever alike. “Take last week. I was in Fargo on Monday. Sacramento on Tuesday. Back to Fargo on Wednesday. Milwaukee on Thursday and Friday and I flew to our other home in Arizona for the weekend,” she said. At times, it’s an exhausting life. She works out religiously (even on the road) and eats well. “I always have instant oatmeal, Cliff bars, peanuts, raisins, and Starbucks Via instant coffee in my rollerbag briefcase. My colleagues believe it is my work briefcase but it’s more like a lunch box,” she said chuckling. “People sometimes think being on the road is glamorous. And it can be, but frequently you will find me sitting in my hotel room eating instant oatmeal with raisins that I made using hot water from the in-room coffee pot!” Nonetheless, Tammy knows how hard she has worked to get where she is and doesn’t take for granted a single chance to share Border State’s mission.

Accountability There is a story that Tammy rarely shares with people. She was attending her first trade show in the mid-1990s with Border States’ CEO at the time. They bumped into the head honcho of another electrical distributor from the South. “He came up to us and said to my boss, ‘Aren’t you lucky you get to bring your secretary to this meeting?’” Tammy said. “And my boss, without

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a second thought, said to him, ‘This is Tammy Miller. She’s our Vice President of Finance and she’s the smartest person at our company.’” That career support and the charge of being one of the few women CEOs in electrical distribution in the United States is not something Tammy takes lightly. In general, Tammy said there are few women in the industry but that’s not necessarily due to old-school gender stereotyping like she experienced at that trade show. “This is not a sexy industry and women don’t think about coming to this industry,” she stated. “But I’ve used my position as a platform and worked really hard to improve awareness about our industry.” Tammy was the first and only woman to serve as Board Chair of the National

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Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), completing her run in 2008 during NAED’s 100th anniversary. She also helped establish Women in Industry, a group within NAED that is devoted to engaging women in the electrical industry. “The group started out as a luncheon with a speaker,” she explained. “Now it’s expanded to a stand-alone conference every year with more than 100 women attending.” However, she doesn’t let being a woman define her management style. Tammy said she is not an emotional person, something commonly—and often unfairly— associated with women leaders. She said she bases her decisions on facts and on metrics, but makes sure to clearly define her expectations. “I know I am demanding and hold people accountable but I also think

I’m very fair,” she said. There is no one who holds Tammy Miller more accountable than Tammy Miller, though. She has high standards for herself, professionally and personally. One of her continuing goals is to maintain and grow the philanthropic efforts she’s established with her husband, Craig. In addition to the couple’s donations and fundraising efforts at MSUM, Tammy led the 2010 United Way campaign (“I was the campaign chair and we raised $5 million for the first time,” Tammy said) and they continue to give substantial donations to the YWCA Cass Clay each year. “Tammy and I have a strong desire to give back to the community and to try to make a difference,” said Craig. “We have a good life and are pleased that we can


share some of our success. We focus our efforts on organizations that can assist individuals and families who are committed to improving their current situation.” Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Tammy has received the YWCA Women of the Year in Business Award and was recognized as one of the most influential women in FargoMoorhead. Tammy said she couldn’t have accomplished all that she has without Craig. “My husband is a big part of my success,” she said. “We have a good partnership.” Craig is equally enamored with his wife. “We stay committed to each other and to the goals we have set for ourselves,” he said. “At the end of every day, whether we are together or not, we talk about the events of the day and try to stay involved with each other lives.” Their devotion clearly shows. Whether it’s through shared causes, or by Craig’s willingness to travel with Tammy, they are a true team. You might think that with all Tammy has accomplished, she could be swayed into contentedness. But for a woman who is CEO of her own life, there is always something more to do. “Tammy would be great at doing fundraising for a non-profit or she might have a career in politics,” Craig said. “She would make a positive impact in a system that could use people with her values and skills.” Well, one thing is for sure. Tammy knows exactly what she wants. And what Tammy wants, she achieves. [AWM]

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Area Woman - February/March 2012