Page 1





surgeon says






a l e a c i m

sophisticated INDUSTRIAL



o t a c n a r b n o s t ben

Anniversary Event

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Midwives are experts supporting women in normal, healthy childbirth. Research and quality measures support this.


Midwives help you learn about the birth process so you can make the best decisions for you and your baby.


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4 5

Midwives believe women are strong and capable of birthing their own babies with little intervention. This often translates to a lower c-section rate and low NICU admissions. Midwife means “with woman�. Essentia Health Midwives are here with you throughout your labor and birth, then throughout your lifetime!


USING EACH ONE IS FREE. WITH A GATE CITY BANK CHECKING ACCOUNT, USE ANY ATM FOR FREE. UNLIMITED AUTOMATIC FEE REFUNDS. We’re ready to make your life better. Stop by a Gate City Bank location, call us at (701) 293-2400 or (800) 423-3344, or visit gatecitybank.com for more information.

36 locations in North Dakota and western Minnesota.

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Smiles don’t always mean a happy head & heart. At Prairie St. John’s we help children of all ages through behavioral health and substance use concerns. We also offer an autism-specific track in our child and adolescent programs. Here is what you can expect: • Intervention Plan Development for use at home & school • Group work allowing social skills to shine, such as Lego groups & monthly themes • Monitored medication changes • Evidence-based practices incorporated The treatment team is multi-disciplinary and includes nursing, therapy, occupational therapy and psychiatry. Call us at 701.476.7200 to learn more. Confidential assessments available 24/7.






82 48

50 32

contents OCTOBER.NOVEMBER 2016



16 Contributors 22 Calendar 32 Arms Wide Open Community Form 34 Living Your Best Day 36 Paw-rty On 38 Homeward Animal Shelter 40 Q&A on Estate Planning 44 Artfully Innovative 46 MSUM Remodeled Student Union 48 Wedding Photography We Love 50 Beyond the Frosting 52 Family Photography We Love 54 Where to Shop 58 Bagan Strinden Vision 60 Surgeon Says 62 It Takes a Village (and Six Angels) 66 Sophisticated Industrial Chic 72 A Century of Entrepreneurialism 76 The Drive to Succeed 78 Komatsu Program with NDSCS 80 Masters Degree Helps West Fargo Teacher 82 Cover Story: Micaela Bentson Brancato

Let us cater your holiday party, we specialize in


for questions regarding menus and pricing, please contact our Catering Manager – Judith Perritt (218) 477–2852 | msumdining.com

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PUBLISHER Area Woman Publishing, LLC EDITORS IN CHIEF Mike Sherman Becky Sherman PROOFING EDITOR Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss ART DIRECTOR Megan Elgin GRAPHIC DESIGN INTERN Anna Hinsverk ADVERTISING Mike Sherman 701-306-5119 Debbie Trombley 701-729-1910 Marietta Hartze-Andresen 701-200-3010 FIND US 701-306-5119 areawomanmagazine.com twitter.com/AWFargo facebook.com/areawomanmagazine pinterest.com/areawomanmag READ IT ONLINE issuu.com/areawoman PHOTOGRAPHY 5Foot20 Design Lounge Abby Anderson Ben Nash Photography Jill Ockhardt Blaufuss Kensie Wallner Photography Kylee Dahl Photography Legacy Photography Lindsay Kaye Photography MJOY Photography Mike Smith Rick Westra Rosetta Ann Photography Scherling Photography Thuen Studios True Expressions, Kelsey Buchholz Area Woman is a proud member of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. It is published bimonthly by Area Woman Publishing, LLC and printed in the U.S.A. ©2016 Area Woman Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from AW. Area Woman is a trademark registered at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Area Woman Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs and does not necessarily agree with content or advertising presented.

RE NE W YO U R CO NFID E N CE . At Altaire Medical Spa, our experienced team is dedicated to helping you reveal the best version of you. We offer a full range of medical spa services to help you look and feel naturally healthy and revitalized, both inside and out.



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Just like other parts of the body, the vagina changes with age and life events like childbirth and menopause. The diVa treatment uses a revolutionary laser technology to deeply resurface and restore vaginal tissue. It’s quick, comfortable and requires no downtime.

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Consider the Consider the Consider the Consider the What ifs What ifs What ifs What ifs

We’ve all heard expression, “You neverknow.” know.”That’s That’swhy why We’ve all heard thethe expression, “You never We’ve all heardtothe expression, “You never know.” why it’s important plan ahead protect theones ones youThat’s love.Life Life it’s important to plan ahead to to protect the you love. We’ve all heard the expression, “You never know.” That’s why it’s important to plan ahead toaffordable protect the ones you love. Life insurance can be an easy and way tohelp help protect insurance can be an easy and affordable way to protect it’s important to plan ahead to protect the ones you love. Life insurance can be an easy and affordable way to help protect ® ® can your family’s financial future. COUNTRY Financial help can be an easy and affordable way to help yourinsurance family’s financial future. COUNTRY Financial help ®canprotect your family’s financial future. COUNTRY Financial can help ® you determine the type and amount life insurance that’s family’sthe financial future. COUNTRY Financial can help youyour determine type and amount ofof insurance that’s you determine the type and amount oflife life insurance that’s right for a local financial representative the type and amountrepresentative of life insurancetoday. that’s rightyou fordetermine you.you. TalkTalk to ato financial right for you. Talk tolocal a local financial representativetoday. today. right for you. Talk to a local financial representative today.

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S Y A D E E R F l al


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are awomanmaga zine.com | 15


our writers

page 82

are the voice of Area Woman Magazine. They bring to life the Fargo-Moorhead area and the incredible stories of the women we feature.


An art lover from an early age, Kim spent the early years of her career as a graphic artist and editorial liaison. Her work led her to the publishing world where she became editor-in-chief of the national, award-winning From House to Home magazine. In addition, Kim served as editor for Wedding Vow and PB&J—a family publication, as well as director of operations for Publication Services of America. Today, Kim continues to write and edit and is passionate about her work with Friends of Chimbote, traveling to Chimbote, Peru, as often as she can, to work at Father Jack’s Mission.

These are the talented writers featured in this issue. Learn more about these and our other contributors at


Joyce Eisenbraun

Kristy Olsgaard Alissa Maier

Meagan Pittelko 16

Susan A. Stibbe

Rebecca Meidinger Alicia Underlee Nelson

Guiding you on your

Kim Meyers

homebuilding journey!

Jenna Nygaard

Heritage Homes changed things up this year and people are loving it! We have a variety of pricing options from first time home buyers to those building their forever homes. With both rambler and two-story plans, our Women-Centric approach offers grand entertaining areas, plenty of storage, flexible living and a space for you to de-stress.

Mari Santoyo Perry

HeritageFargo.com | 701.281.7184 Proudly marketed by

Connect with our Sales Specialists at 701.281.7184 or learn more at the newly redesigned HeritageFargo.com. Š2016 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently owned and operated franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.Ž Equal Housing Opportunity.




High Deductibles? No Insurance? No Excuse. Women’s Way may provide a way to pay for most early detection screenings like mammograms and Pap tests.

children • adolescents • adults • elders

Crisis Intervention Individual and Group Counseling

Regular screenings can save your life. Call Women’s Way at 1.701.298.6918 or 1.800.280.5512 and find out if you qualify.

Community Education Trauma Recovery Legal System Support 24-Hour Crisis Line: (701) 293-7273



WHERE TRADITION AND EXCELLENCE GO HAND IN HAND We are a community that inspires excellence through faith, learning, and service. 3 yr old Little Deacons - 12th Grade For information or a tour call 701-893-3271 jp2schools.org HOLY SPIRIT ELEMENTARY







317 8th St N, Fargo • www.raccfm.com





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Love to sing Christmas Carols? Acappella Xpress is the place for you! A Sweet Offer: Women of all ages who enjoy singing are invited to our Open House at Trinity Lutheran Church, 210 7th St. S., Moorhead, MN on October 6th at 6:30pm.

Ladies, if you love Christmas music we would love to have you sing with us at our Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 11, 2016 at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Learn more at: www.acappellaxpress.com

area LIFE

WHETHER IT'S ENJOYING OUR AREA'S ART, one last 5K, or a new class, fall returns to the area with a calendar full of ways to enjoy it. Read about an annual event that helps shelter pets, how our area is dealing with the heroin epidemic, and how you can find comfort and peace regarding end-of-life care and planning.



CALENDAR: ART, CRAFTS & EXHIBITIONS Note: All events are subject to change. Confirm dates and times before attending.


ART EXHIBIT: TOWN & COUNTRY featuring Lynn Fundingsland


ART EXHIBIT: TOWN & COUNTRY featuring Steve Knutson

Local artist Steve Knutson is known for his landscapes and iconic images from his home state of North Dakota. The paintings included in this exhibit showcase recent paintings of the country and city. Creating weathered backgrounds for the landscapes, the artist presents a romantic, yet fresh and vibrant expression of the beauty of North Dakota 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM City Hall, 200 3rd St N | Fargo Nicole Crutchfield 701-297-7782

The photographs in Fundingsland’s exhibit showcase the built environment, allowing us to focus on architectural structure and infrastructure of Fargo, as well as the city’s relationship to nature. 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM City Hall, 200 3rd St N | Fargo Nicole Crutchfield 701-297-7782



Join Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists and art supporters in a fun evening of socializing, food, libations and "guerrilla drawing," where local artists and nonartists will collaborate on artwork to be created and given away that night. No previous drawing experience necessary, just a curious adventurous spirit. FREE 7:00 – 9:00 PM Rourke Art Museum 521 Main Ave | Moorhead 701-739-4722



Join us in celebrating our first anniversary with discounts, refreshments, and give-away drawings throughout the day at both the Fargo and Moorhead locations. 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM @ FARGO ANTIQUES & REPURPOSED MARKET 5258 51st Ave S | Fargo 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM @ FM ANTIQUES & REPURPOSED MARKET 420 Center Ave | Moorhead




A variety of artists and vendors will present jewelry, clothing and artwork at this event hosted by the Fine Arts Club of Fargo. $5 admission includes rolls or dessert 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Fine Arts Clubhouse 601 4th St S | Fargo fineartsfargo.org


2ND ANNUAL COPPER RIDGE FALL CRAFT SHOW AND SILENT AUCTION Start your holiday shopping with many handmade items including crochet, knit, pillows, blankets, soaps, embroidery and food, plus a silent auction. FREE 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Copper Ridge Event Cent 21 18th St S | Fargo 701-388-2510 smnelson21@yahoo.com



“Home is where the Art is” showcases recycled art utilizing materials from ReStore. Entertainment will feature Kwaician Traylor, a Habitat homeowner. Our featured artist is Ashley Kunz. Buy tickets as lakeagassizhabitat.org/artshow with free will donations accepted. 5:30 – 7:30 PM Dakota Medical Foundation 4152 28 Ave S | Fargo lakeagassizhabitat.org/artshow


Proceeds from this event will benefit the 2017 Survivors of Heroes Retreat at Holbrook Farms (read more in our cover story). Our unique little shop, The LOFT, is filled with home decor and gifts. You will find one-of-a-kind wire art pieces designed from the heart. Stop by and help support our military families. SATURDAY, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM SUNDAY, NOON – 5:00 PM The LOFT 808 36th St S | Moorhead Carol Seefeldt 218-291-1549 carol@iamwiredup.com iamwiredup.com


Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists members will display original art for sale. Artists will be present to answer any questions about art making. This is a comfortable indoor shopping environment to view and purchase one-of-a-kind locally produced gifts for the holiday as well as an opportunity to get to know the artists. FREE and open to the public. FRIDAY, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM SATURDAY, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Moorhead Center Mall 510 Center Ave | Moorhead fmva.org



Family-friendly multicultural arts showcase of the diversity of the Moorhead-Fargo community & surrounding areas. FREE 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Ave N | Moorhead communications@hcsmuseum.org hcscconline.org 218-299-5511

Community Block Party Monday, October 3, 2016 | 6 to 8:30 p.m. Nemzek Hall & Practice Field, MSU Moorhead

Fun for all ages! ▸ Food ▸ Music featuring MSUM’s commercial ensemble ▸ Inflatable Games ▸ Airbrush tattoos

▸ Photo booth ▸ Balloon artists ▸ Airbrush tote bags & more

Please join us in kicking off MSU Moorhead Homecoming Week Events.

Homecoming events: mnstate.edu/homecoming and facebook.com/msumhomecoming Minnesota State University Moorhead is an equal opportunity educator and employer and is a member of the Minnesota State system.

Are you planning or at tending an upcoming event? Submit local events online at AREAWOMANMAGAZINE.COM





HOPE Inc invites you to their inaugural 5K benefit. The organization has been helping kids and adults with mobility challenges in our region get off the sidelines and into the game through adaptive sports and recreation for over 10 years. Register at hopeinc.org. $15 fee includes a t-shirt. 3:00 PM Lindenwood Park, Rotary Shelter | Fargo Adair Grommesh 701-866-9002 hopeinc.org



A free community event to raise awareness of the impact of diabetes in our community, raise funds for local programs, Camp Sioux & advocacy efforts, & celebrate our Red Striders (people with diabetes). NOON – 4:00 PM Oak Grove Park 170 Maple St | Fargo diabetes.org/fargostepout



Join us for the 7th Annual Roers Chili Feed! This delicious event features 50 different kinds of chilies and desserts, the best part, all proceeds benefit the United Way of Cass-Clay. Come and help us give back to the community as we pay it forward one spoonful at a time. 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM Roers 200 45th St S | Fargo 701-356-5050

OCTOBER 21 & 22


Volunteers will be collecting baby supplies such as diapers, formula, pacifiers, clothing, books, wipes, baby monitors, in the Kmart entrance. FRIDAY, 5:00 – 9:00 PM SATURDAY, 9:00 – 3:00 PM Kmart 2301 S University Dr | Fargo 701-367-2862



Join us for wine tasting, delicious food, music and fabulous auction items at the 7th Annual Wags, Whiskers & Wine fundraising event. All proceeds benefit the homeless cats and dogs of Homeward Animal Shelter. 6:00 – 9:00 PM NDSU Alumni Center 1241 N University Dr | Fargo homewardonline.org for tickets




Teaming up with Make A Wish Foundation, an all ages Trick or Treat Wish Walk in Downtown Fargo that gives back to those in need. Dress to impress in your Halloween best, shop till you drop, and trick or treat for something sweet. 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM downtownfargo.com


NORTH DAKOTA HEART GALLERY ANNUAL GALA & KIDS CARNIVAL Join us for fun, food, refreshments, speakers and a photographic exhibit of our North Dakota children waiting for their adoptive forever family. Bring the whole family. FREE and open to the public. 5:30 – 7:30 PM Fargo Air Museum ndheartgallery.org



NDSU Alpha Gamma Delta invites you to our 30th Annual Homes for the Holidays, a showcase of holiday decor featuring local designers at five area homes. Tickets are $20 avaiable at Burlap, Hollands and Scheels Home & Hardware. In part to benefit the Jeremiah Program, FargoMoorhead chapter. NOON – 5:00 PM homesfortheholidaysfm.com



The Fargo Brewer's Ball is all about good people, drinking good beer, for a great cause— to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis. The 6th annual Fargo Brewer's Ball is a unique craft beer, wine and distilled tasting event. The event offers a variety of beers, wines and distilled spirits from 15 of the region’s best breweries, wineries and distilleries while also enjoying fantastic food. The evening will feature one of the region’s most memorable silent and live auctions and music from The Front Fenders. Tickets: VIP $75 and general admission $50 at fargobrewersball.com 6:00 PM Hilton Garden Inn 4351 17th Ave S | Fargo fargobrewersball.com


HAIR NEEDS & fashion wants

FM ‘BURN THE BIRD’ THANKSGIVING DAY 5K AND 10K Get yourself some fresh air and a good burn going with either the 5K run/walk or the 10K run before sitting down to that big Thanksgiving Day dinner. A portion of the profits support the YMCA LIVESTRONG training program for cancer survivors and the Great Plains Food Bank. We welcome all runners to contribute food items to the canned food drive the same day. 8:30 AM Fercho YMCA 200 1st Ave S | Fargo solemotionrace.com

Tammy Bork

Sola Salon


» Call for your

3475 45th St S, Ste 100 Fargo





Distribution of warm winter gear for kids & families in the Fargo-Moorhead area.


Registration to receive food box for Thanksgiving meal. Must have at least one child in household. Must bring with photo ID for primary head of household, social security cards for each member of household, and proof of income.

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Salvation Army Annex Building 1503 1st Ave N | Moorhead

NOVEMBER 7 – 10 & 28


Registration to receive food box for Christmas meal. Must bring with photo ID


for primary head of household, social security cards for each member of household, and proof of income.

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Salvation Army Corps 304 Roberts St | Fargo




Kettle goal announced. Opening day for red kettles. 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM West Acres – JCP fountain area FOR MORE INFORMATION: julie_rivenes@usc.salvationarmy.org 701-232-5565

FROM 12 pm TO 6 pm



Are you planning or at tending an upcoming event? Submit local events online at AREAWOMANMAGAZINE.COM OP-RS16-WRK548_McCulley_4.5x7.indd 1


8/25/16 4:35 PM


ACAPPELLA XPRESS Christmas Kickoff Open House

Women of all ages who enjoy singing, join us as we begin rehearsing for our Christmas concert in December. 6:30 - 9:00 PM Trinity Lutheran Church 210 7th St S | Moorhead acappellaxpress.com



activities from children’s games, petting zoo, silent auction, turkey dinner, dancing and much more. Be sure to check the website for a full schedule of events. FREE (5 & under), $5 (ages 6-10), $10 (11 & up) SATURDAY, 4:00 – 9:00 PM SUNDAY, 10:00 AM – 2:30 PM Trinity Elementary School 2811 7th St E | West Fargo 701-282-7217 holycrosswestfargo.com


ALL THAT STYLE FASHION SHOW A fashion show with dessert and coffee. 2:00 – 7:00 PM El Zagal Shrine Center 1429 3rd St N | Fargo 701-235-7521


21+ event. Meander through downtown Fargo while tasting local beers and experiencing various forms of local art. 5:00 – 9:00 PM downtownfargo.com



Join McCulley Optix Gallery to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the perfect pairing of McCulley Optix Gallery and Oliver Peoples Eyewear. Find a perfect pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses. NOON – 6:00 PM McCulley Optix Gallery 2553 Kirsten Ln S | Fargo 701-373-2020 optixgallery.com

Celebration of Scottish food, bagpipes, dance songs, tartans, culture and history. Purchase tickets by October 31 by calling 218-287-1646. 5:00 PM Cambria Hotel & Suites 825 East Beaton Dr | West Fargo 701-261-5683 cynthia.sillers@gmail.com




Join the Fargo Force for a fun evening of shopping, hockey and high heels. Shop vendor booths located around the concourse starting at 6:00 PM. Hockey 101 with a Fargo Force coach prior to the game. GAME @ 7:05 PM Scheels Arena fargoforce.com


This event is hosted by the MOMS Club of Fargo-Moorhead. Enjoy time with other moms, snacks, playtime for children and an opportunity to learn more about the club. This event is free and open to moms and children in the Fargo-Moorhead area. 10:00 – 11:30 AM First Congregational Church 1101 13th Ave S | Fargo facebook.com/momsclubfargo | momscluboffm@gmail.com 26



Heirlooms Thrift & Gift HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE

Join us for the Holiday Open House at Heirlooms Thrift & Gift. We're opening our doors on Sunday, November 6, for a special holiday sale. Enjoy cider and cookies, browse our selection of holiday gifts and decor, and register to win a gift certificate. NOON – 5:00 PM Heirlooms Thrift & Gift 3120 25th St S | Fargo


Celebrate the season of giving by visiting Santa Village. Meet Santa, decorate a cookie with Mrs. Claus, see the model train displays, enjoy the holiday light displays, make a special craft project and make memories together as a family. Enjoy Fargo's version of the North Pole beginning the end of November until the day before Christmas Eve. 1:00 – 7:00 PM Rheault Farm 2902 25th St S | Fargo

What makes Beans (extra) special? » Fresh, homemade mini donuts on top of every hot beverage » Homemade or fresh from bakery food items » Free refills on brewed coffee in-store » Kids’ area and drive thru » Jazz music every day and Christian music Sundays

Now open at two locations

Open 6–8 Monday–Saturday, 8–6 Sunday

5675 26th Ave S, Fargo | 2550 S University Drive, Fargo


Whether you are just learning how to embroider or need a refresher, this class at Nordic Needle is for you. You will learn popular stitches creating a design that is easily finished in your hoop. The class fee includes all the supplies including the hoop, and use of store embroidery scissors. Perfect for teens and adults. Register through Moorhead Community Education. 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Nordic Needle 1314 Gateway Dr | Fargo nordicneedle.com



For more than two decades, hospice nurse Maggie Callanan has tended to the terminally ill and been a cornerstone of support for their loved ones. Callanan empowers patients and their families to write the last chapter of their lives with less fear, less pain and more control—creating the best possible ending. No registration required. No CEs provided. FREE 7:00 – 9:00 PM Ramada Plaza and Suites | Fargo hrrv.org/journeyinghome

“Imani Winds isn’t your typical wind quintet….. it also sinks its teeth into jazz, Latino, African, Middle Eastern and any other style of music that strikes its fancy.”– Detroit News Imani Winds is one of the most successful chamber music ensembles in the United States. The Grammy-nominated woodwind quintet has taken a unique path, carving out a distinct presence in the classical music world with its dynamic playing, adventurous collaborations, and inspirational outreach programs.


Thursday, November 3, 7:30 p.m.


Renowned Christian author, speaker and Bible teacher Margaret Feinberg will share how to “Fight Back with Joy” when dealing with the ups & downs of life.Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the Hope Lutheran church office, Melbergs Christian Book & Gift, & Family Christian. FRI, 7:00 – 9:00 PM | SAT, 9:00 – 11:30 AM Hope Lutheran Church 3636 25th St S | Fargo fargohope.org/women

Imani Winds

Gaede Stage, Roland Dille Center for the Arts 2016-17 Cheryl Nelson Lossett Performing Arts Series | Purchase tickets online at mnstate.edu/tickets or call (218) 477-2271 M-F from noon to 4 p.m.

This project is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This activity is also supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Minnesota State University Moorhead is an equal opportunity educator and employer and is a member of the Minnesota State system.

Are you planning or at tending an upcoming event? Submit local events online at AREAWOMANMAGAZINE.COM




& Kids



NOVEMBER 3 Free & open to the public A photographic exhibit of our

North Dakota children waiting for their

adoptive forever family

FARGO AIR MUSEUM 5:30 – 7:30 pm Food & Refreshments, Cash Bar, Speakers


Join us for our Holiday Open House!

We’re opening our doors from

12-5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6, for a special holiday sale. Enjoy cider and cookies, browse our selection of holiday gifts and décor, and register to win an Heirlooms Thrift & Gift gift certificate. We hope to see you on Sunday!

3120 25th St. S. | Fargo, ND 58103

(701) 356-2670

Store Hours Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.




Heirlooms supports the work of Hospice of the Red River Valley.






The Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to ring the bells during the 2016 Kettle Campaign!




Join us for wine tasting, delicious food, music & fabulous auction items at the 7th annual Wags, Whiskers & Wine fundraising event. All proceeds benefit the shelter pets of Homeward Animal Shelter.

Automotive Group Fargo & Grand Forks, North Dakota

Proceeds support the

2016 16 10. 4.20 4.2016 4. AT ROERS | 200 45TH ST S | EAST SIDE OF BUILDING | DOOR M


Come try more than 50 chilies and desserts

11:30 - 2:00




October 28, 2016 NDSU Alumni Center 6-9PM







Family and professional caregivers are welcome to join us for the Fargo-Moorhead Caregiver Conference, “Recharge, Rebalance, Rejuvenate.” A light brunch will be served. The conference features expert presenters on a variety of caregiving topics, including medication adherence, activities for patients and caregivers, sleep hygiene & relaxation. Space is limited to 75 participants and registration is required. Call 218-299-5514 to register. 8:30 AM – 1:00 PM Hjemkomst Center 202 1st Ave N | Moorhead

for youth ages 6 to 18 who have lost a loved one. The day is broken down into sections, allowing youth a chance to explore how the death of their loved one has affected their lives, their feelings, selfcare and how to embrace memories, plus an opportunity to meet our pet therapy dogs. The day ends with a celebration of life service. Parents/guardians are also required to attend a portion of the day. Food and snacks are provided throughout the day. Pre-screening and pre-registration are required by October 24. Please call the bereavement department at 800-237-4629. FREE 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM Hospice of the Red River Valley 1701 38th St S | Fargo (use west door) 800-237-4629

Swedish weaving at Nordic Needle. We will be stitching a towel, perfect for a handmade gift. Class fee includes all supplies, including towel and use of embroidery scissors. Perfect for teens and adults. Register through Moorhead Community Education. 6:30 – 8:30 PM Nordic Needle 1314 Gateway Dr | Fargo nordicneedle.com

THE 13th ANNUAL FARGO-MOORHEAD YOUTH JOURNEYS GRIEF CLASS QUICK AND EASY SWEDISH WEAVING Youth Journeys is a day-long program Come have fun and learn the easy art of CAREGIVER CONFERENCE


A series of classes designed for those who are recently bereaved. It is intended for adults 18 years and older who have experienced the recent loss of a loved one. The sessions will help you better understand the grief process, explore methods of self-care and embrace and carry memories with you as you move forward. Pre-registration is required by October 7. Call 800-237-4629 to register. 6:00 – 8:00 PM Hospice of the Red River Valley 1701 38th St S | Fargo (use west door)

BABIES AT BEANS Birth Photography Info Night

Come and learn more about birth photography and what it entails with Lindsay Kaye, the area's top birth photographer. Birth photography is about capturing the story of the day, and the emotion on your faces when you add one more member to your family. We'll be going over why birth photography, what to expect, how to plan for a photographer coming in, and the common questions that moms have. 6:30 PM Bean's Coffee Bar 2550 S University | Fargo 701-491-8050 lindsay-kaye.com

NOVEMBER 15 BEING MORTAL MEDICINE & WHAT MATTERS IN THE END Documentary Screening: Join us for a free

screening & discussion of the PBS Frontline film, “Being Mortal.” Based on the bestselling book, this documentary explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illnesses and their relationships with the physicians who treat them. The documentary sheds new light on how the current health care system neglects important conversations that need to take place so a person’s true priorities can be known and honored at end of life. Preregistration required, seating is limited. Call 701-356-1521 to reserve your seat. 6:30 – 8:30 PM Dakota Medical Foundation 4141 28th Ave S | Fargo hrrv.org


AWESOME ART AFTERNOON: Love art but hate the mess? Bring

your child to this interactive art program—free, thanks to Xcel Energy. Adult supervision required. Register online at fargoparks.com. 1:00 – 3:00 PM RDJ Rec Center 1104 2nd Ave S | Fargo fargoparks.com 30


Enjoy a safe trick-or-treating adventure throughout the zoo. Create cute fall crafts, decorate pumpkins and watch our animals receive Halloween “treats” from the Zookeepers. Regular admission rates apply; RRZ Members and children under 2 are free. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM Red River Zoo 4255 23rd Ave S | Fargo redriverzoo.org 701-277-9240


Let your children explore through a variety of hands-on activities and projects. Preregistration is required at fargoparks.com. 6:00 – 7:00 PM RDJ Rec Center 1104 2nd Ave S | Fargo fargoparks.com


Vampires, ghosts and skeletons welcome. All participants are encouraged to wear a costume and dance the night away. Explore the haunted attic, play ghoulish games and trick-or-treat for some spooky snacks. Enjoy a live DJ all night long and a spooktacular entertainment show at 7:30 pm. Parental supervision required. 6:30 – 9:00 PM Fargo Youth Center 2500 18th St S | Fargo

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A carnival for FM community. The event will be a mix of carnival games and inflatables from Games Galore. FREE 3:30 – 5:30 PM Courts Plus Community Fitness 2491 S University Dr | Fargo courtsplus.org



Learn to use duct tape to create fun, useable pieces of art. All supplies are provided. Preregistration is required at fargoparks.com. Ages 6-12. 6:00 – 8:00 PM Courts Plus Community Fitness 2491 University Dr S | Fargo fargoparks.com

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

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Monica McConkey, director of business development at Prairie St. John's


ccording to Chuck Rosenberg, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Acting Administrator, “We will lose 47,000 people to drug overdoses this year in the United States and we know that base number is certainly more since drug overdose deaths are vastly underreported.” He continued, “This is now a crisis, an epidemic, unprecedented and historic.”

Arms Open Wide was the third in a series of community forums addressing the opiate and heroin crisis in the Fargo-Moorhead region. The goal of the organizers was to bring together experts from the medical community, law enforcement, treatment centers, education, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to discuss how communities can work together to find new solutions for this substance abuse problem.


Monica McConkey, the director of business development at Prairie St. John’s, was one member of the core group that met after overdoses and deaths from opiates and heroin started hitting our area last year. “We wanted to inform the community about the dangers of opiates,” said McConkey. “As Chris Myers, U.S. attorney for North Dakota, said at one of our first meetings, ‘I am sick and tired of talking to parents of kids who died,’” McConkey said. Several hundred community members attended the forum held at Fargo South High School on Wednesday, September 7. In addition to Chris Myers and Chuck Rosenberg, the other speakers were Drew Wrigley, North Dakota lieutenant governor; Birch Burdick, Cass County state’s attorney; Jeff Schatz, Fargo Public Schools superintendent; Lynn Kovash, Moorhead Public Schools superintendent; David Flowers, West Fargo Public Schools superintendent; Dr. Anne Blackhurst, MSUM president; Dr. Dean L. Bresciani, NDSU president; Dr. William J. Craft, Concordia College president.

Many of the speakers emphasized that this is an issue for everyone. “We see this across all age groups, racial, urban, rural and economic lines,” said Rosenberg. “This is an issue for everybody, no matter what your walk of life or who your parents are, this affects everyone. It does not discriminate, it kills,” said Myers. The speakers warned that the increased abuse of synthetic drugs is especially worrisome. These drugs are often mixed with the painkiller Fentanyl, which is so dangerous that any exposure by touch or inhalation can be fatal. “The dangerous thing now is the synthetics. It doesn’t need to be grown or cultivated and the profit margin is just staggering,” said Rosenberg. The speakers also agreed that most opiate and heroin addiction begins with the abuse of prescription pills. “Four out of five new heroin addicts started on prescription pills,” reported Rosenberg.

“We’ve got to staunch the demand,” said Drew Wrigley. “This is an insidious addiction. It comes in at the beginning through the front door. The addiction starts with a pill bottle with a doctor’s name on it.” All the participants wanted to thank the partners in the community who are working to raise awareness about the crisis we are facing in the Fargo-Moorhead area. “Let me make this one message very clear,” said NDSU President Dean Bresciani. “Students are our most powerful tool in identifying what is going on and how to implement mechanisms to improve behaviors. Do something. Find something to do.” Chuck Rosenberg concluded, “What you are going to do, collectively and individually, is save lives.” [ aw ]

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best DAY

Words by Rebecca Meidinger | Photography by Ben Nash Photography

HOSPICE of the RED RIVER VALLEY STAFF pictured from left to right: DR. TRICIA LANGLOIS, Medical Director; BONNIE OELSCHLAGER, Marketing & Communications Director; TRACEE CAPRON, Executive Director


or 35 years Hospice of the Red River Valley (HRRV) has brought expert medical care, spiritual support and decision-making guidance to families and individuals in our community who are walking through some of the most difficult journeys of life. While many find this journey daunting or overwhelming, for the team at HRRV, this is a tremendous honor. Executive Director Tracee Capron, RN, explains, “This work is a privilege for us; it’s a sacred time for people.”

When a family chooses hospice, they benefit from an expert team of professionals who go to wherever the patient calls home—be it their house or apartment, or a long-term care facility,


nursing home, homeless shelter, campground or hotel. Attending to the patient and family’s full breadth of needs, HRRV’s aim is to help each patient live well. Each patient receives care from certified medical professionals, including a physician, nurse practitioner, registered nurse, hospice aide, social worker and chaplain. Additionally, volunteers visit homes to provide companionship, or offer services such as hairstyling or housework, as well as a time for the family/caretaker to take a break. Even after decades of service and a renowned reputation for compassionate care, the agency still faces a long-standing challenge: While hospice is designed for individuals who have lifelimiting illnesses, many families wait until the last week of life to make the phone call. However, because of the tremendous care they receive during that time, most families comment, “We wish

we would have called sooner.” Dr. Tricia Langlois, medical director at HRRV, is certified in hospice and palliative medicine and is one of the few fellowship-trained geriatric specialists in the state. Overseeing all of the patient care for the approximately 300 patients they serve each day, Langlois observes, “People aren’t actually scared of death itself; they are afraid of the process.” So now in their 35th year, HRRV has launched a new program with a goal to come alongside patients sooner in their journey. Red River Valley Palliative Care—a program of HRRV—has expanded the organization’s continuum of care. “The palliative care program enables patients to live better by aggressively managing the symptoms of their illness while the patient continues to pursue curative treatments,” explains Capron. “When a patient elects Red River Valley Palliative Care, which is also provided in their place

This isn't a job for us ~ IT'S A PASSION

a calling, a mission BONNIE OELSCHLAGER

of residence by trained palliative care medical specialists, we then have the ability to care for him or her for perhaps one to two years before hospice would be even be considered. This allows the family and staff to build relationships and engage in thoughtful conversations centered around a person’s goals and wishes.” In palliative care, the question is asked of the patient and family: How do you want to proceed? What’s best for you? “We acknowledge often people have goals and priorities beyond just living longer,” says Langlois, explaining that sometimes doing everything medically possible isn’t the right thing for the patient or the family. “As physicians we are trained to fix everything, and in medicine there will always be another aggressive treatment, but at what cost to quality of life? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” The palliative care program is driven by the desire to provide the right care, in the right place, at the right time, for each individual situation.

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Often people are intimidated by the idea of calling hospice. And palliative care, while gaining notoriety, is misunderstood, even in the health care community. “We want people to know we can help them and their families— and often a lot sooner than they think,” says Langlois. “We can help align their care with their goals and priorities.” Brimming over with expertise, compassion and wisdom, the team at HRRV works tirelessly to make each person’s journey as rich as possible. Of their desire to fill each patient’s last days or months with comfort, joy, hope and companionship, Bonnie Oelschlager, marketing and communications manager, comments, “This isn’t a job for us—it’s a passion, a calling, a mission. We want to fight the myth of, ‘There’s nothing more we can do.’ There’s so much more we can do!” Langlois sums it up well by saying, “Our hope is to give our patients their best day possible.” [ aw ]

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Paw-rty On

WHO LET THE PAWS OUT? Words by Kristy Olsgaard Photography by Dennis Krull and Jolee Krull, 5foot20 Design Lounge


t was paw-rty time at Rheault Farm one hot, humid July night. Ruff-ly 100 four-legged pets and 200 humans gathered to raise $34,145 for the Homeward Animal Shelter (HAS) whose mission is to rescue, shelter, protect and rehome homeless dogs and cats.


The Paws Walk grand marshal was Bazzil, a friendly 95-pound Labrador cross rescued in 2010 by Liz Simon and her husband. Simon says, “I just have a heart for anything unclaimed, animal or kid. Every animal deserves to know love.” They’ve also adopted two cats from Homeward Animal Shelter. Melanie and Jason Dinham strolled around with Cecil, a diabetic cat they fostered before adopting. Cecil approvingly grinned at the well-behaved attendees. The Dinhams currently foster 11 kittens and two adult cats and have adopted six cats since 2010.

Thank You!

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Newly Expanded & Remodeled Store Visit our newly expanded & remodeled store with even more Food, Treats, Toys & FUN for your pet!


Many businesses lined the perimeter offering pet treats and information. One attendee said they pocketed enough treats for a couple weeks.

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Executive Director Nukhet Hendricks says, “All donations to HAS are used locally. Each year over 800 animals are rescued through our programs.” If you have a heart for homeless dogs or cats, check the Homeward Animal Shelter website, homewardonline.org, for more information. In addition to the staff, it takes 150 volunteers to run their rescue efforts. Don’t miss this pet and family friendly paw-rty next year. [ aw ]

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celebraqing 50 yearw






HOMEWARD animal shelter

he pawsibilites are endless when you open your heart… Are you ready to open your heart to a shelter pet? If you can’t adopt, you can still support the shelter animals in a number of ways: donate, foster or volunteer. Remember, a shelter pet is waiting to share its love with YOU!





SIEGER homewardonline.org facebook.com/HomewardAnimalShelter 1201 28th Ave N | Fargo 701-239-0077 Homeward Animal Shelter is a local and community-funded, nonprofit animal shelter. Its mission is: “Rescue. Shelter. Protect. Rehome.” It provides a second chance at happiness to lost, abandoned and owner-surrendered animals and educates the community in the proper, loving and kind treatment of animals.


Bronze Paw Sponsors:

Silver Paw Sponsors:

In-Kind Sponsors:

Animal Health Clinic Casey's General Stores Cornerstone Bank dogIDs Games to Go General Equipment & Supplies, Inc. Hatch Realty Mechanical Insulation & Supply Monkeys Allowance Northwestern Bank OK Tire Store Ostrom's Ace Hardware Pet Nannies Plus Prairie Winds Veterinary Center Shack on Broadway Sharon J. Windels, CPA Southgate Veterinary Hospital Two River Veterinary Hospital Yuppy Puppy Dog Hotel

Border States Electric Bremer Bank Conmy Fest Ltd Glacier Snow Management Haugen, Moeckel and Bossart InHealth Specialty Pharmacy Invisible Fence Jordahl & Associates Luther Family Buick GMC Montgomery, Goff & Bullis Rover's Playhouse Scenic Landscaping Valerie J. Axt, CPA Wells Fargo West Fargo Animal Hospital Western State Bank

Copy Kat Printing, Inc Globe Vet Tech Students Green Team Realty Heat Transfer Warehouse Hornbacher's Jordan Tankel Photography Kay Hilde, Artist MSUM Catering Muscatell Subaru Papa Johns PetSmart RetroDisc DJ Sam Bacon Photography Timeless Images Photography Terry Wallace Walmart

Thank you to all of our Walkers, Donors, Booth Vendors, Volunteers, Staff and everyone who helped make this event possible!


on estate planning with ATTORNEY JESSICA FOSS



Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and disposition of your estate upon your death and can minimize gift, estate and income taxes as well as provide asset protection for the recipients of your estate.

will determine the division of your property among your heirs at law. If you have minor children and want to nominate who would be the guardian of them if you die, you need a will. Without a guardian nomination, the court will make that decision.




The federal estate tax and gift tax exemption is $5,450,000 for each individual. In addition, the current annual federal gift tax exclusion is $14,000 per recipient for an unlimited number of recipients. Thus, you may give each recipient up to $14,000 per year (free of any taxes to the recipient) without affecting your lifetime exemption. North Dakota does not have a state estate tax or a gift tax. Minnesota’s current state estate tax exemption is $1,600,000 per individual. In addition, certain farm assets and small business assets may also be exempt for Minnesota residents if certain requirements are met. Minnesota does not have a state gift tax. However, in Minnesota, certain gifts made within three years of death will be included in the taxable estate of the decedent. Non-resident decedents who own Minnesota real estate may be subject to the Minnesota estate tax.



If you want to decide who receives your assets upon your death and who should manage the disposition of those assets, then you most likely need a will. If you do not have a will, then state intestacy laws


WHAT IS A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE? A health care directive is a legal docu-

ment in which you specify what actions should be taken with respect to your health if you are in a terminal condition and if you are unable or unwilling to make those decisions for yourself. You may also designate the person(s) (your health care agent(s)) who is in charge of carrying out your health care wishes and your wishes with respect to organ donation.



A durable general power of attorney authorizes another individual (or financial institution) to act on your behalf with respect to any legal act that you could do for yourself, unless otherwise forbidden in the document. A power of attorney is effective the moment you sign it and remains in effect until you either revoke it or die. It is a very powerful document but an important one. If you become incompetent and do not have a power of attorney, then a court order will likely be needed to appoint a conservator and/or guardian, which is a timely and costly matter. Furthermore, if you do not have a power of attorney in this situation, then the choice of who will handle your affairs is no longer yours.



First, I ask prospective clients to provide some basic personal and financial information. This information is confidential and helps me to better understand your situation, as the intakes ask questions on topics that you may not think are important, but actually are. At our first meeting we go over the intakes and discuss the questions, concerns and objectives of the clients, after which I can provide advice and recommendations. At the conclusion of that meeting we schedule our next appointment. I send draft documents to the clients about a week before that second appointment so that they have time to review the drafts prior to our meeting. At the second meeting, we review the drafts and make changes if needed. If the client feels comfortable in doing so, then we proceed to sign the documents. [ aw ]

Jessica Foss is an estate planning attorney at Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., a law firm located in Fargo. You can reach her at (701)237-8200 or jfoss@fredlaw.com. When Jessica isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Sean, and their two daughters, Sienna (3) and Sierra (1) doing anything outdoors.

are awomanmaga zine.com | 41

area STYLE

THE BEST PLACES IN TOWN TO SHOP, and stop off for a sweet treat at a local warm and cozy cake shop.

Plus see how the design and redesign of some major buildings in the area shows ingenuity in creating inviting spaces.




Koedam looked at all the elements in bank design that can make customers feel alienated and redesigned them to make them inclusive, welcoming and multifunctional. Everything in the bank’s 14th location in the Fargo-Moorhead area, located at 3800 51st Ave. S. in Fargo, is designed with transparency, openness and accessibility in mind.

What we wanted to do is to create kind of a unique experience for OUR CUSTOMERS.


senior vice president of office services at Gate City Bank


he bold, light-filled atmosphere of Gate City Bank’s Woodhaven branch is designed to be different. “What we wanted to do is to create kind of a unique experience for our customers,” said Jay Krabbenhoft, senior vice president of office services at Gate City Bank. “We all feel a little bit of apprehension in a new space and we wanted to try to eliminate that. Our guests’ comfort—and our coworkers’ comfort—is very important.”

“I think the most important thing is that it’s warm and comfortable,” says architect Andrew Koedam, who designed the project for Fargo-based firm Wild|crg. “We looked at the bank, broke it down again and tried to see how we could get multiple functions out of each piece.”


The tiny drive-through windows that obscure both the teller and the customer are replaced with an expansive sheet of glass that welcomes customers at first glance, offers the staff sweeping outdoor views, and floods the lobby with natural light. In place of a segregated teller line, customers find a wide counter complete with a lower shelf to put a phone or handbag that feels more like a hotel desk, and a waiting area with a 90-inch television that can double as a meeting room as needed. Branch employees work behind glass walls instead of being hidden away in offices, a design choice that encourages openness with customers and collaboration between employees. Soothing white noise, glass doors and quiet background music create a peaceful atmosphere and preserve privacy. When a customer fills out a deposit slip at the convenience island, they can pour a cup of coffee, nibble on a freshly baked cookie and even take a seat in a colorful, upholstered chair to gather their thoughts. Even if customers don’t understand the design forces at work in the Woodhaven branch, they can feel the emotional impact when they take in

the high-ceilinged sun-drenched lobby, its airy spaces punctuated with striking art and a jaw-dropping custom chandelier from Lucas Lighting. “Their eyes light up immediately and they say, ‘Wow,’” says Brandie Haugen, assistant vice president and personal banking supervisor, adding that the employees appreciate the natural light and that the space’s dramatic light fixture looks especially striking at night.


t just under 3,000 square feet, the branch is about 2,000 square feet smaller than a typical bank branch, so “every square inch is utilized,” said Krabbenhoft. Every single element, right down to the pull out drawers and built-in cabinets, was carefully considered and designed for maximum efficiency and flexibility. The design team wanted everything in the Woodhaven branch to be beautiful and functional. Team members created several elements specifically for the space, including custom carpets and a nearly floor-to-ceiling painting by local artist Christa Crane in the lobby. Much like the bold wallpaper that cleverly hides the doors to the janitor’s closet, Crane’s painting is beautiful on it’s own but also serves a purpose— obscuring the door to the teller room. Local art is prominently featured throughout the building. Krabbenhoft, who has a keen eye for aesthetics and design and whose guided tours include passionate and nuanced discussions of color theory and lighting design, sourced most pieces from artists and craftspeople in the region. Gate City Bank’s art collection is lit like it’s in a gallery, with 14 zones on dimmers and colored lighting effects to display it to its best advantage. And not all of the art is hanging the walls. When customers reach for a pen or grab a still-warm cookie, they’re interacting with custom-designed vessels by Fargo sculptor James Wolberg. Tiny, tactile details like this are part of the soothing, welcoming experience that Wild|crg and Gate City Bank have worked so hard to cultivate. The design team’s reconfiguration of the way a bank is set up results in a space that’s both highly functional and soothing to experience. [ aw ]

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The remodeled Comstock Memorial Union includes a handicap accessible, welcoming entry for all students.


qo remodeled student union

FEATURES INCLUDE MORE LIGHT, COFFEE HOUSE ATMOSPHERE, FIREPLACES AND MORE The remodeled Comstock Memorial Union features two fireplaces.

Words by LEXI BYLER, MSUM Marketing Intern Photography by DAVE ARNTSON, MSUM Photographer


riginally constructed in the mid-1960s, Minnesota State University Moorhead’s Comstock Memorial Union hadn’t been renovated since 1992. Having not been fully refurbished since before most MSUM students were born, it was time for an upgrade. During the fall semester in 2011, the task of renovating the student union was initiated. Comstock Memorial Union director Layne Anderson was an instrumental part of the renovation process, leading conversations with students, faculty, staff, administrators and architects. The priorities identified prior to breaking ground in May 2015 were narrowed down to include daylight, space with a coffee house atmosphere, a welcoming entry, social lounge spaces and a fireplace. “A welcoming entry was incredibly important to students. Especially from multiple perspectives,” said Anderson. The building was handicap accessible pre-renovation but not in the most convenient way. Students wanted a more welcoming entry to all students, including those with disabilities. Now, at the main entrance, a large ramp sits front and center, allowing for easy access to the entire lower level of the student union. Not only is the building more accessible, it’s more open. An assortment of fur-


niture and plenty of open space makes it much easier to maneuver. There are over 20 seating variations with different pops of color to form a bright and fun atmosphere.

More social gathering spaces are an important element for student life.

Student body president Charles Bergman was one of the first students to utilize the renewed building. As a senior, he had gotten used to the outdated look and was pleasantly surprised by the changes. “Before the renovation, it was a lot more closed off, a lot more separation. It wasn’t as open as it is now,” said Bergman. “I’ve already picked out a few of my favorite chairs.” With a budget of approximately $9 million, the university had large goals for the new student union. Not only did they plan to remodel the existing 34,000 square foot structure, but they also would add an additional 3,400 square feet to the building. The campus community can now enjoy the comfort of a new atmosphere and new dining experiences. With the addition of SubConnection, Wholly Habaneros, Wow! Café and Wingery and Jamba Juice, as well as a newly renovated Starbucks, the array of choices are enough to please anyone’s taste buds. While the new food choices are exciting, the student union is for much more than eating. It’s a place where students can study, hold meetings and socialize. “It’s a place where students can feel safe, talk to other students, can do homework, have places to go to eat. It’s essentially their home away from home,” Bergman said. [ aw ]

Bank on Greater Convenience.

Check your balance, transfer funds, deposit checks and now use Apple Pay to make purchases all from your mobile device. Use Apple Pay and your favorite First International Bank & Trust debit or credit card to pay the easy, secure and private way at stores nationwide.

Additional Mobile Conveniences: • Mobile Check Deposit • Person-to-Person Payments via Popmoney • Bill Pay • View Your Balance Instantly • Find an ATM Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad Air and Passbook are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Pay, iPad mini, Apple Watch, iTunes and Touch ID are trademarks of Apple Inc. You may be charged access or data usage fees by your provider based on your phone plan. Please check with your provider for details on specific fees and charges.


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IF THE SUN REFUSED TO SHINE, I WOULD STILL BE LOVING YOU when mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be

youme ,AND <

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s I sat down at a diner-esque table in a cozy cake shop, more notably known as Fantasies in Frosting, I quickly learned that the owner and head baker, Darla Julin, was as sweet as her decadent desserts. Right in the heart of the bakery that opened nearly 20 years ago out of her very own home, we chatted about how she’s gained traction that’s led to her success as a full-time business owner with multiple awards to date and a namesake in the Fargo-Moorhead community.


Julin is far from green when it comes to the baking industry, having developed a passion for the craft around the time she was eight or nine years old when she received her catalyst to success, an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. Her talent escalated swiftly in the kitchen alongside such influences as her mother and grandmother who urged her along. Unlike most children during the summertime, she talked about how she “preferred to spend [her] summer vacation indoors in the kitchen, rather than outside playing with the other neighborhood kids.” Her sweet treats were well consumed with glowing feedback which gave her that “aha!” moment, validating her knack for such a talent.

Julin is a woman who is sure of herself and knew from the beginning that baking wasn’t just her passion, it was her livelihood. She went on to pursue her dream at what is now Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Moorhead where she received even more encouragement from her first year teacher, having been awarded Outstanding Chef Student her first year. There was no question about it; Julin was born a professional, however with her skill set as a given gift, there was plenty to be taught about owning her own business. As a member of Retail Bakers of America, a national organization for retail bakers that offers the opportunity to pose questions and answers regarding the industry, Julin used her resources and reached out with questions regarding owning a business. As fate would have it, a couple out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, having four bakeries underneath their belts themselves, took Julin under their wing. They offered her advice, including where to open her bakery based on statistics such as traffic counts and taking into consideration businesses nearby that complimented her own. Julin explained to me that with her location in the strip mall across from Scheels, she’s in a complimentary neighborhood for Papa Murphy’s customers who want to pick up dessert before heading home, or for family members who aren’t in the mood for Cold Stone Creamery ice cream and prefer a cookie or cupcake.

Initially, Julin had no intentions of doing retail baking, however as the times change, so must businesses. If you’ve attended a wedding or two such as myself over this past summer, you might have noticed that brides and grooms are shying away from traditional wedding cakes and opting for cupcakes instead, which has easily become one of Fantasies in Frostings bestselling desserts. A common wedding theme this last year has been rustic, although Julin did mention that as with any trend, they’re quick to change. Bridal magazines often play a large role as well in what Julin can look to expect. As one might imagine, a bride may look in bridal magazines to read up on this year’s hottest colors (this past year’s being pink and blue), but that also affects the baking industry in what frosting colors to account for.


ow, if you’re anything like me— and by this point craving something sweet—you can expect to see the common five flavors of cupcakes that Fantasies in Frosting offers daily and expect as many as 18 flavors on Saturdays, with gluten-free options available as well. As mentioned earlier, Julin is a heavily decorated baker having won a prestigious award at a competition held in the Mall of America where she competed against ten other decorators and won first place for best wedding cake and second place for best Halloween cake (as you can guess, the competition was held around the holiday). In another regional competition, this time against 14 decorators, Julin won first place, sending her to the national competition in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she was presented the opportunity to meet Buddy from Cake Boss, a picture of proof for viewing hangs in her store. It’s safe to say that Julin belongs in the kitchen baking the desserts that put a smile on all of our faces, but what makes her exceptional is her passion and drive for the craft. She gushes to me about her excitement to be able to express her creativity on a daily basis and her enthusiasm for trying new recipes. Her attention to detail is what makes her stand out among the crowd. She plans to one day pay her efforts forward by helping someone else who’s just staring out in the baking industry by sharing her knowledge and wisdom. [ aw ] are awomanmaga zine.com | 51

Lindsay Kaye Photography


Scherling Photography

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wondering about yet. Kelsey Buchholz, True Expressions







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where to



Liverpool Jeans deliver quality and fit in a mix of options including skinny, bootcut and pull-on styles. Featuring 4-way stretch and a contoured waistband, they help lift and shape while staying comfortable all day. Find the perfect pair of jeans this fall at Fusion Boutique. Located inside Scheels Home & Hardware 3203 13th Ave S | Fargo 701-232-8903 scheelshomeandhardware.com


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Football season is here, and our gift shop has the perfect piece for little ones: Izzy & Owie baby leggings. This green and gold pair is sure to be a hit as you cheer on the NDSU Bison. In addition to the football theme, the leggings are available in a variety of patterns and sizes from 6 - 24 months.

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Read about a team of six who are dedicated to the health of Fargo-Moorhead's homeless, how one doctor is making reconstructive surgery an option even years after a mastecomy, and how you may be able to put your glasses away for good.

You mean I won’t have to wear






ye surgery just got even better. Dr. Tom Strinden and Dr. Steve Bagan of Bagan Strinden Vision have lots of exciting new ways of correcting your vision, and told us about some of them; laser-assisted cataract surgery, premium lens implants, and iDesign Lasik—a big upgrade in Lasik surgery.

To understand these opportunities, you need to know a little bit about how the eye works. The lens of our eye lies right behind the pupil, and helps the eye to focus. A cataract is a common condition in which the natural lens of the eye gradually clouds over, resulting in fuzzy vision affecting reading, driving—especially after dark—causing haloes around lights, and generally making all daily activities blurry.

the surgeon must do several parts of the operation using hand-held instruments. After taking a custom 3D image of the eye, the laser places treatments for astigmatism and cataracts more precisely than can be done by hand, making the rest of the surgery easier for the surgeon. This can improve outcomes, especially for those patients desiring better vision without glasses after surgery.

During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed during the surgery and replaced with a permanent artificial lens called a lens implant. In the traditional, non-laser approach,

Until recently, the goal of cataract surgery was to safely restore vision, with the expectation that the patient would still be wearing glasses after the surgery. But with our advanced surgery

technique, an additional benefit is that the patient’s prior focusing error can be corrected. So a patient who had strong eyeglasses all their life can now have much less dependence on glasses, as an implant to correct that focusing error will be used. There are special lens implants to correct astigmatism, and even one called a multifocal that has reading magnification built into it, so the patient will have less need for reading glasses or bifocals after the surgery. The laser provides extra precision for these types of cataract cases. The laser portion of the surgery only takes about three minutes, and is painless—done without the need for sedation or any needles or shots.


n some cases, the lens of the eye can be surgically replaced even if it has not yet clouded into a cataract. This is an option for those unfortunate few whose prescription is so strong that they are not candidates for Lasik. Dr. Bagan and Dr. Strinden often see patients who were turned away by other laser centers, and can offer a variety of options for these tougher cases. Speaking of Lasik, there has just been a significant upgrade, and Bagan Strinden Vision is the only Lasik center in the state to have it. It is called iDesign. This advanced technology can measure optical aberrations that are unique to each individual eye. Just as your fingerprint is unique to you, there are subtle variations in the curvature of each eye that can’t be accounted for by the correction in your glasses or contact lenses. The iDesign can measure aberrations in problem eyes— those that have had prior corneal surgery, injury or various cornea diseases. The measurement taken can be programmed into the Lasik laser, to make a truly customized treatment for each eye. Together, Drs. Strinden and Bagan have over 50 years of experience in treating all kinds of complex eye disease with lasers and surgery, but the new advances within the past year have made it possible to treat problems that just couldn’t be corrected before. Stay tuned for more advances—there is a device coming out that can be implanted in the cornea to restore reading vision for those over the age of 40 who need those annoying reading glasses.

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ndsu.edu/business For more information, contact Paul Brown at (701) 231-7681 or paul.brown@ndsu.edu.

[ aw ] are awomanmaga zine.com | 59

surgeon says



Words by Jodie Tweed | Photography by Scott Thuen of Thuen Studios


ven if it’s been years since a mastectomy, Dr. Pamela Antoniuk wants breast cancer survivors to know that breast reconstruction may still be an option for them.

A plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Essentia Health in Fargo, Antoniuk specializes in breast reconstruction for women, especially for those who have had breast cancer. She believes women should know their options, and she supports whatever decision each woman makes for herself. “We want to keep the focus on the woman going through this,” Antoniuk explains. When she worked on the east coast, more breast cancer survivors chose immediate breast reconstruction than the patients she now sees in the Fargo-Moorhead area, Antoniuk says. 60

Women are busy with families and careers, often too busy to think of themselves even when facing their own personal health crisis, the plastic surgeon says. Some women have young children at home and don’t want to face any additional surgical procedures after undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Other women are already scheduling their treatments around the planting and harvest seasons on their family farms. Some women just aren’t ready to contemplate reconstructive surgery. “I always joke with my patients that on the east coast, I had to tell women to go back to work. Here I have to tell women not to go back to work,” Antoniuk says. “The work ethic is incredible here. Sometimes women think because they didn’t have breast reconstruction done immediately, they’ve lost their chance. They hear they should be happy they’re alive and that the cancer is gone.”

Antoniuk knows how to connect with patients as they struggle to make difficult treatment decisions, says Andrea Horning, an oncology nurse navigator at the Essentia Health Cancer Center in Fargo. She explains that some women may be at peace with losing a breast or both breasts, but many find it more emotionally painful than they thought. “Dr. Antoniuk can read people very well,” Horning says. “If someone is nervous, or on the fence about what to do, she adjusts to meet each individual’s personality. As a woman, I think she can relate. This is a body part we’re losing. I think she’s really empathetic and works well with her patients. She also helps put them at ease.” Breast reconstruction isn’t about vanity, Antoniuk says. It can be an empowering way for a woman to take back her health. The plastic surgeon says she knows a reconstructive surgery

has been successful when she notices a woman’s self-esteem increase through subsequent follow-up visits. “Women feel better about themselves. They put on makeup, and you can see it in the clothing they’re wearing and they’re smiling more,” Antoniuk explains. “The surgery may be hidden, but you can see the results in their smiles.” Antoniuk says advanced techniques and implant improvements make breast reconstructive surgeries safer and more successful than in the past. Some patients don’t realize breast reconstruction is offered in Fargo. They think they have to travel to the Twin Cities or Rochester. The federal government has mandated that insurance cover breast reconstruction after cancer. Antoniuk enjoys the relationships she develops with her patients and their families. Often she gets to know her patient’s spouse, children and sometimes extended family members who join appointments.


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As a female surgeon, Antoniuk found a special interest in helping women through breast surgeries, which includes breast augmentation and reductions. She’s been at the Essentia Health’s 32nd Ave. S. Fargo clinic for more than a year. “I saw a need here in this region. Many patients had to go elsewhere to receive this kind of surgical care,” Antoniuk says. “I am happy to be able to provide these much needed services to women in this community so that they can stay close to home during what can be a very difficult time.” Dr. Antoniuk earned her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark. She completed a residency in plastic surgery at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, a residency in general surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, as well as a fellowship in hand and microvascular surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT with Dr. Antoniuk, call (701) 364-8900.

[ aw ] are awomanmaga zine.com | 61

Caring for the Health Needs of the Homeless

IT TAKES A VILLAGE ( and six angelw ) Words by Kim Malakowsky | Photography by Dennis Krull, 5foot20 Design Lounge

we’re right there with them. Rapport and relationships are real important.” Whitney Fear arrives at the clinic each morning handling nurse triage duties. Outreach and outpatient nursing case management are a large part of her day. Along with working in the clinic, she visits homeless shelters in an attempt to inform and engage those in need of medical attention. She strives to reach the population that is hiding, unwilling to engage, or don’t have the resources to access primary care.

HOMELESS HEALTH STAFF Back Row: JILL THORSEN, Patient Representative; KIM SEEB, LSW Program Director/Case Manager; WHITNEY FEAR, RN, BSN, TNCC Nurse Case Manager; ALICIA HAUFF, DNP, FNP-BC Medical Provider; Front Row: DENISE HANSEN, LPN; BONNIE ERICKSON, RN Housing Nurse Case Manager


early two decades ago, a tiny clinic began operating in the basement of the Salvation Army in Fargo, North Dakota. It was in response to unfolding events of the ‘80s, a time of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and the return of Vietnam veterans. Homelessness was exploding across the nation.

A young Fargo nurse volunteered in a pilot program geared at providing healthcare to those individuals who are hard to serve and hard to engage, who are out on the streets. She applied for and received a grant to fund a healthcare for the homeless program. Today, on NP Avenue you’ll find a larger clinic, one continuing to serve the homeless population and run by Kim Seeb, a licensed social worker,



program director and case manager of Homeless Health. Behind the scenes is a story of compassion, strength, and an uncommon bond of six women and the people they serve. On a typical morning the lobby begins to fill with those seeking medical care. It’s a walk-in clinic — no appointments are needed. Many have slept outdoors; they smell like campfires, they’re cold, wet, tired and sick. Jill Thorsen knows the drill and handles the patients with great care getting them registered and handing them off to Denise Hansen who handles the intake and rooming of each patient. “There are days when the lobby is kind of crazy,” says Seeb. “But it’s about meeting the patients where they’re at and making sure they know we’re not looking down on them and

Nurse practitioner Alicia Hauff speaks about her work as the center’s medical provider. “New patients often require checking lab work, just to see where they’re at right now. Often times it’s a whole complicated history, there can be more than one chronic illness going on but also there’s often some mental illness too or mental plus addiction issues.” A chronic disease is hard to deal with under normal circumstances. On the street, the job becomes often times overwhelming. Seeb explains, “It’s one of the things we had to learn early on, you just have to be flexible and creative. You can’t give someone who’s sleeping outside a bottle of insulin that needs to be refrigerated and say, ‘Here, take this three times a day.’ It’s a harm reduction kind of approach. What can we do that decreases the harm that happens with someone who is chronically ill?” Numbers of homeless individuals in our community continue to rise due in part to a lack of affordable housing. Homeless Health serves not only the chronic homeless but also the newly homeless and imminent homeless. Seeb describes, “We see patients who are working

or going to school. Something happened and they got behind or had a health crisis, a mental health crisis, or something, and they ended up homeless.” Some of these individuals find a place to sleep at the area shelters; some sleep in their cars, working full- or part-time jobs during the day.


nowing the impact homelessness has on one’s health, an essential part of the program is working with individuals to find them access to housing. “We do whatever it takes to get someone housed with whatever resources we have. There is only six of us all together, so we rely heavily on community partners for helping and accessing different services,” says Seeb. Cooper House is one of those community partners. Homeless Health staff member and nurse Bonnie Erickson spends 20 hours a week serving patients in this 42-unit building constructed to provide permanent supportive housing for people coming out of homelessness. Erickson, like Fear, supports the homeless with outpatient nursing case management, a service not typically offered by other clinics. The relationship, built with time and trust, continues once an individual is housed through the city’s various programs. For the next year the staff continue to work with the individuals. Once they are independent and doing well on their own, a transition to Family HealthCare — a primary care clinic providing a widevariety of medical services with a sliding fee scale — can take place. “We want to help them maintain their health,” says Seeb, “so they don’t end up back in a shelter or on the street. We have a lot of flexibility with the definition of homelessness, or being able to stay with them and continue to work with them.” “Don’t judge,” concludes the staff, “just do what you can and hope that it’s the hook that will get them to trust you and seek help when they need it.” The days are filled with challenges. They are filled with rewards as well. A patient leaves the lobby, “Ok, thanks, love ya.” Echoing brightly from the office, “Love you back.” [ aw ]



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colors, materials and new home floor plans that are perfect for entertaining. Plus find out how one business continues to prosper since it's humble beginnings in 1917.

Words by Joyce Eisenbraun Photography by Mike Smith


leek grays and soft whites,


warmed by brown stone-stained birch, create a sophisticated, contemporary palette for Luxe Custom Homes’ model in a new development at 2031 69th Ave. S. in Fargo. The five-bedroom, three-bath rambler home is fully finished on both levels, offering 4,096 square feet of well-designed space for living life and entertaining. Located a block north of Davies High School in the Crofton Coves development, the contemporary design begins with the exterior ember gray siding, accented with Hebron white oak honed stone and dark gray garage doors. The front door is European two-panel oak, framed with two side lights and a top transom. Walking into the foyer, the tall ceilings, open floor plan and view of the pond in back create an expansive, welcoming environment. Cheyenne Jundt, design coordinator at Luxe Custom Homes, talked about the concepts used in this model. “We used our Sante Fe model plan, then customized the home to create an industrial contemporary feel, reflecting current home trends.” The high-traffic areas of the home have a “reclaimed castle” oak plank laminate flooring in a weathered gray, while the rest of the woodwork throughout the home is birch with a “stone” stain that combines a subtle warm brown with gray undertones. Moldings and door casements are a luxurious 4 and one quarter inches in depth, making a lovely frame for the snowbound white walls. Jundt has added a few accent walls in French light gray and classic gray, empha-

sizing the clean contemporary lines. Ten- and 11-foot ceilings throughout the home add to the large industrial space feel, warmed by the wood tones and quality textures. Reaching almost to the floor, large windows in the living room overlook the backyard and pond. With the private view, there are no window treatments used, keeping the crisp outline. The open concept living room features a floor to ceiling fireplace surround in light French gray, with classic gray insets on either side. A rank of closed cabinets, topped with white quartz, provide wonderful storage for games, toys or other treasures. Above, a recessed ceiling detail includes can lights that can be adjusted, as well as indirect under-cabinet lighting. Separating the kitchen from the living space is a large L-shaped island, with seating on both sides. The frost white quartz on the two-level island offers great space for casual dining and serving. Above, five construction light pendants in pewter finish supplement the contemporary industrial flair, complementing the dining room chandelier. Tall birch cabinets with the stone stain line the back walls, accented with oversize brushed nickel hardware. A floor-to-ceiling wine rack is snuggled next to the French-door refrigerator. The five-burner gas stovetop, convection microwave and standard ovens are on the opposite wall, right next to the walk-in pantry closet with an auto light feature. Ribbon glass in clear and gray create a stunning backsplash below the cabinets. are awomanmaga zine.com | 69

On the north side is the dining room, overlooking the pond. Floor to ceiling windows on two sides provide a lovely view, and disguise the door to the back patio. Because of the open design, the space can be used for an intimate dinner for two or a party of 12. Tucked behind the kitchen is the short hallway to the threestall garage, which is lined with lockers for handy coat and accessory storage. Additional off-season storage finds a home in the large walk-in closet.

SLEEPING QUARTERS The main level includes two spacious bedrooms and the master suite, all on the east side of the home. Both of the bedrooms have large windows overlooking the front yard, short pile two-tone gray carpet and large closets. Next door is a shared bath with a rectangular vessel sink in white on a stone-look laminate countertop; cabinets are matching birch with stone stain. Keeping the contemporary look, the mirror above is unframed. The master bedroom has a recessed ceiling with a curved three-paddle fan and can lights. A lovely view of the backyard and pond is seen through the oversized windows. Jundt added an accent gray to the east wall, creating a warm and inviting environment in the spacious room. Pocket doors separate the bath and dressing areas from the bedroom. On the right is a large shower area, with frost white and gray accent glass in the mesa gray tiles. A built-in bench, shampoo niche and large glazed window help create a luxurious spa atmosphere. Light mesa gray rectangle tiles, two undermount sinks set in white quartz and one-lever hardware keep the industrial style chic. Above, unframed mirrors are topped by three lights on a matching brushed nickel bar. The walk-in closet has double racks for hanging clothes as well as shelves for storage. 70

LOWER LEVEL Just off the front foyer are the stairs to the lower level, featuring open glass sides and plank banister rails. With nine-foot ceilings and several escape windows, the lower level feels both comfortable and airy. The large family room maximizes the possibilities of use, from large theater area, to game room or a wonderful adventure space for kids. On the side is a well-appointed wet bar, complete with full-sized refrigerator and lovely two-tier counters, just right for serving a crew on game day. Behind the counter, rectangular gray glass tiles create a contemporary backsplash. For the television enthusiast, both the north and east walls have operational hookups. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That way the homeowner can choose where theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like the television or have more than one,â&#x20AC;? says Jundt.

thoughtful design creates a clean contemporary environment West Acres Mall • 701-282-0421 • Stabo-Imports.com

Another two bedrooms—which can double as office, home gym or other creative space—and a bath complete the lower level, ensuring that guests will find both comfort, luxury and beauty in their environment.


From little details like the width of the moldings to the perfect stain color on the cabinets to the ceiling height or correct alignment of the glass blocks in the backsplash, the model illustrates the creative design and attention to quality of Luxe Custom Homes. Thoughtful design creates a clean contemporary environment that will provide a superb palette for some fortunate homeowner who will appreciate the quality and beauty of this luxurious custom home.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Luxe Custom Homes 4342 15th Ave. S. #105 Fargo, ND 58104 (701) 356-LUXE (5893) info@luxecustomhomesfm.com MODEL HOME AGENT: Jarrod Nyland ReMax Legacy Realty (701) 866-4743 jn@legacyr.com

[ aw ] are awomanmaga zine.com | 7 1


a century of at FARGO GLASS & PAINT COMPANY Words by Rebecca Meidinger | Photography by Kensie Wallner Photography


early a hundred years ago,

a man with a vision and a dream traveled from his family home in South Dakota to a bustling and growing town on the northern prairie to find out what type of services were lacking. The man was E.J. Schonberg, the year was 1917, and the town was Fargo, North Dakota. After some time, Schonberg determined that in any town where new construction was booming, a glass store was a necessity. He secured one job, ordered the needed glass to be delivered by train, and thus, the Fargo Plate Glass Company was born. A year later, after his family had joined him in Fargo and the glass business was established, he felt a need to include paint sales in the business and partnered with the Benjamin Moore Paint Company. In 1922 the name was changed to Fargo Glass & Paint Company, as it is known today.


99 years later, the business is still in town, and many divisions now make up the Fargo Glass & Paint Company (FGP)—millwork, floor covering, paint, glass and contract glass. Still headquartered in Fargo, FGP operates outlets in Bismarck, Minot, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to better serve their customers in those areas. Growth has also meant relocation, four times in fact, over a century of business. Initially located on Broadway, then on N.P. Avenue, FGP is best known for its third location, which is at 7th Avenue North and 18th Street. That location has served FGP well for many years, and still serves as its corporate headquarters and wholesale distribution warehouse, as well as the site for all glass business, including contract glass and glazing, and retail glass sales.

However, as Fargo has stretched south and west, FGP decided to move Fargo’s only locally owned retail paint store that direction to better serve residents with a more “retail friendly” location and to meet the high demands of new construction. Now, for your painting, window treatment and wallpaper needs, you can visit FGP at 4323 45th St. S., #107, in the Osgood Hornbacher’s strip mall. A benefit of the strip mall location is that a customer can go next door to have lunch, do some grocery shopping or accomplish a number of other errands while their paint is being mixed. For those who’d like an expert to envi-

sion what would look best in their home, Craig Tait, FGP’s interior designer and grandson of the founder, travels to any home or business, free of charge, offering his expert eye, knowledge and informed opinion on colors, textures and patterns.


aul Heskin, manager of the Osgood store, extends a warm welcome and invitation to businesses and homeowners who are looking for paint expertise and high-quality products in the context of a hometown feel. “In addition to the highest quality paint available, we offer an expert and very experienced staff,” says Heskin. It doesn’t take long to see what sets this hometown business apart. Even after a century of growing with the city, the spirit of entrepreneurship certainly lives on at Fargo Glass & Paint Company. [ aw ]

The first community solar array in North Dakota provides Cass County Electric Cooperative members access to clean, renewable solar energy. In pursuit of an all-of-theabove energy strategy, CCEC is taking strides toward renewable energy innovation. Prairie Sun Community Solar is a 100kW array located in Fargo. CCEC members can purchase the output of solar panels and receive a solar energy credit on monthly bills.

Looking to the next generation.

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GET MOTIVATED BY GIRL POWER IN THIS ISSUE! Read on about one woman who not only survived but excels in a male-dominated profession, another who shows us how her school district opened doors for growing in her profession, and our amazing cover girl Micaela Bentson Brancato who exemplifies compassion and service by creating a healing retreat for survivors of fallen heroes.

the DRIVE TO SUCCEED Words and Photography by MEAGAN PITTELKO


s a child, Jennifer Larson followed her father around the family farm, helping fix things here and there and admiring her father’s handiness.

“I followed my dad wherever he went,” Larson says. “I wanted to be able to do things with my dad and to have something in common with him.” It was an easy realization, then, that Larson wanted to be a mechanic, but the road she followed to where she is now was not devoid of a few bumps. She began by following this passion to school, receiving her associate’s degree in automotive technology. She then worked as a technician and, later, as a service advisor before deciding that she wanted more.


It wasn’t easy, though, to be a woman in a typically male-dominated field, Larson says. “Starting off, it was really difficult,” she says. “I got a lot of customers who didn’t want to talk to me because I was a girl. It took quite a while to establish that rapport. It’s more receptive now though, and I hope people respect me after they realize that I can help them.” Her advice to young women going into male-dominated fields? Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. She adds, “If I really want to do something, I set my mind to it. Even if you fall down twelve times, get back up and go for it.”

Lead by her drive to succeed, Larson began to expand her horizons after more than a decade as a service advisor.

“There just really wasn’t an opportunity for growth,” she says. “I was a service advisor for thirteen years and you kind of get stuck there.”


o Larson decided to pursue another avenue, earning a degree in business management. After graduating and working for two years as parts manager at a dealership in the area, Larson earned the promotion that keeps her occupied today: service manager at Corwin Toyota. “I currently oversee the entire service department—the service advisors, technicians— and make sure that they’re being productive and taking care of our customers,” Larson says. “Plus, I play peacekeeper and try to make sure that everyone’s a big, happy family. They call me ‘Mom.’” Although Larson says that playing “Mom” to her service department family is something she loves, she admits that, like any job, it can get pretty stressful to keep everyone happy at times. And Larson, who was in the Army National Guard for eight years, is no stranger to stress. The diverse spectrum of people she met as a member of the guard, she says, allows her to connect with a variety of customers.

IF I REALLY want to do something, I set my mind to it. Even if you fall down twelve times, get back up

Package A

1 - 8x10 2 - 5x7 Sitting Included ________________

and GO FOR IT.

In the end, Larson believes that if you set a goal and strive for it, you’ll be surprised to find out what you’re capable of doing. And, despite the challenges she had to go through to get to where she is now, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The reward of actually helping people and succeeding in making them happy is why I do this,” she says. “Plus, the department truly is my family.” [ aw ]

Package B

1 - 8x10 or 2 - 5x7 25 - Holiday Cards Sitting Included ________________

Package C 50 - Holliday Cards Sitting Included 2801 13th Ave S. Fargo, ND 58103

701.237.3157 are awomanmaga zine.com | 77

General Equipment & Supplies Inc.



here comes a time in a parent’s life when they worry about what their child will do after high school. Maybe their children will have a future as a police officer, doctor or mechanic. Regardless of their child’s decision, there will likely need to be a very serious discussion on career choices, where to attend and how to pay for school. Ann Pollert, technician and career developer

with General Equipment and Supplies Inc., speaks with students all across the area about the opportunities available to them after high school and how to find a career that will best fit their desires. As a recruiter she talks to students about getting an education and the options available to pay for school. She speaks with high school students about their futures and encourages them to consider job shadowing and internships. Pollert states, “I talk about people like Steve Jobs and Mike Rowe to have kids relate to careers and passion—tell them they have to like what they do because work is a large part of life.” In just this past year, Pollert has traveled to more than 46 schools, career fairs and other events. Her goal is to get every student thinking about


they have to like what they do because work is a

LARGE PART OF LIFE. their future and to encourage them to open up the conversations about how they plan to pay for school with their parents. Pollert’s role as a recruiter stems from the program that was launched this past year with collaboration from North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton and General Equipment in Fargo. The program provides students attending NDSCS the opportunity to learn from and work alongside diesel mechanics at General Equipment. The students have an opportunity to receive training on Komatsu heavy construction equipment through classroom instruction, hands-on instruction and work experience. Students are required to gain admission to NDSCS and apply to the program with General Equipment. In return, they will receive 100 percent tuition reimbursement along with a guaranteed job when they finish school. Pollert states, “General Equipment wanted a program to ensure their workforce. It is a great opportunity for students that are interested in going into diesel.” Each career path is different, but gaining access to most careers through additional schooling will always come at a cost. Pollert states, “I know that not all kids are interested in being a diesel technician, but my goal is to find those that are, while making an impact to other kids I talk to.” Parents don’t always talk to their children at a young age about their career path and paying for school, and Pollerts goal is to get a few more hands raised when she poses that particular question of who has had this discussion with their parents.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on the Komatsu program available through NDSCS, please contact Ann Pollert 701-364-2181 apollert@genequip.com

Living With Grief “Living with Grief” is our monthly drop-in meeting on the first Tuesday of the month held at Boulger Funeral Home from 6:00 P.M. – 7:15 P.M. A topic on loss and grief begins our conversation for the evening. Other meetings will take place on October 4, November 1 and December 6.

Contact: 701-237-6441 griefsupport@boulgerfuneralhome.com For more information please visit: boulgerfuneralhome.com These meetings are led by our Grief Support Coordinators, Ann Jacobson and Sonja Kjar.

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master’s degree helps west fargo teacher grow in career Words by Sara Flowers | Photography by Dan Koeck

“I get excited about new initiatives,” she says. “I like to problem-solve and get things going the way they should be.”

simple email changed the course of Megan Diemert’s career. The hard-working teacher, wife and mother of three had contemplated going to graduate school to advance her career. In 2014, an email from her school district presented the right opportunity. North Dakota State University and the West Fargo Public Schools had partnered to offer a new Teacher Leader Academy master’s program. The program was tailored for the school district’s teachers—one of the ways NDSU has increased the enrollment of undergraduate and graduate students to meet the workforce needs of the region. The program blends research with application to the classroom and provides the school district with a strong method for helping teachers develop their leadership skills. Diemert had excelled in leadership roles throughout her teaching career, where she started as a summer school teacher and then moved into teaching third and fourth grade. She was an enthusiastic volunteer on school and district committees and started the after-school program at her school.


The program was a way for Diemert to further her education while continuing to live and teach in West Fargo. “Everything is tailor-made for West Fargo schools,” she says. “I knew I wanted to stay in the district and find something that fit around my busy schedule.” She enrolled in the five-semester master’s program with 13 other teachers from her school district. Diemert made deeper connections with her peers and further developed her strengths in leadership and problem solving. “Megan consistently exhibited a thoughtful approach to the role of an educational leader,” says Ann Clapper, NDSU’s program coordinator. “She has the ability to apply knowledge to real life settings that school leaders are faced with on a daily basis.” The teachers and school district have noticed the benefits. Clapper says the master’s students enjoyed the networking opportunities and reported improved communication skills and relationships with colleagues, students and parents. “The impact of the academy can be seen across the district on building-level leadership teams, gradelevel professional learning communities and on curriculum committees,” says Beth Slette, assistant superintendent of West Fargo Public Schools.

I like to problemsolve and get things going the way


Diemert prioritizes what matters most to her. Her family comes first. Diemert’s husband and close family helped while she attended classes. Her principal also was very supportive. She graduated with her master’s degree in December 2015, as part of the program’s inaugural class. She taught third grade, ran the after-school program in her building and maintained a balanced home life as she finished the coursework. “You don’t have to sacrifice everything,” says Diemert. “You can still be there for your family.”


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The program also helped Diemert realize she is interested in the administrative side of education. Her experiences in the school district, along with the completion of the master’s program that was so easily integrated within the district, helped lead to a new career path. She now is the dean of students at Clayton A. Lodoen Kindergarten Center. “We know Megan can make an immediate impact,” says Ethan Ehlert, principal at Lodoen. He says the new knowledge she gained through her coursework is relevant to the district and her experiences make her an asset to the school. Diemert greets kindergartners in the morning and ensures they are ready to learn. She works with student behavior and academics, facilitates faculty meetings and partners with teachers who are part of leadership teams. “There are so many different avenues to go,” says Diemert. “Whatever my district needs from me, I’m happy to help wherever I can, keeping in mind the best opportunity for me and my family.” [ aw ] are awomanmaga zine.com | 81

cover story

f o t r a e h a wervice Words by Kim Malakowsky Cover Photo and Portrait Photography by Julia MacInnis Photography Photography by Dennis Krull, 5foot20 Design Lounge


BENTSON BRANCATO learned early on to follow her heart. She also learned that big things could happen when you are supported by family and community. “My family has always been very proud of whatever I’ve done,” says Brancato. “They cheered me on and were always very involved. They knew I had a heart of service. It began when I was little and wanted to volunteer at church. Then, when my grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I decided to volunteer at the nursing home.” Brancato smiles as she fondly describes her childhood home in South Fargo filled with the competiveness of athleticism derived from her dad’s coaching, while balanced with her mother’s nurturing aspects as a NICU nurse. The home was also filled with music, which remains a steadfast part of her life today.

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Though she loved growing up in south Fargo, Brancato always wanted to see the world and when she was recruited to play basketball at the United States Air Force Academy it seemed like the perfect opportunity. “I didn’t know anything about the military but I felt I could learn more about leadership there, Mom and Dad wouldn’t have to pay for school, and Colorado was so beautiful.”


rancato went on to spend four years at the academy, commissioned as an Air Force officer serving around the world for eight years of active service and eventually moving back to Fargo as part of the North Dakota Air National Guard where she deployed to Afghanistan and currently serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Pentagon. It was in the Air Force she met Lt. Col. Matt Brancato, a handsome pilot from Chicago whom she married in 2000. After several visits to the area, Matt fell in love with the Minnesota lakes country and the couple knew they would one day call this area home.

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Senator Tim Flakoll Superintendent Kirsten Baesler Working together with local schools to keep North Dakota

Due to the nature of their military careers, the Brancatos experienced the loss of several friends and felt the enormous need to help families that were left behind. Deeply affected by these experiences, the dream of the Survivors of Heroes Retreat was born.

Working together with local schools to keep North Dakota Paid for by Flakoll for Senate, Laurie Thielman Chair

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qhe dream

HOLBROOK FARMS RETREAT It was after their 2008 return to the area that the Brancatos began to realize their dream. Purchasing a 47-acre working maple syrup farm on a breathtaking piece of land surrounded by woodlands and lakeshore south of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, afforded them the opportunity to define a place that would become a haven for military widows. It would lend the backdrop for survivors to heal and give support to one another. Survivors of Heroes retreats offer an all-expense paid getaway for military survivors of fallen heroes whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The retreats are designed to share time with others who have experienced a similar tragedy, to share stories, ask questions, or simply relax and take time to rejuvenate. A sprawling home and the expansive property gives opportunities for the attendees to gather


in small or large groups. They enjoy bonfires, boat rides and reconnecting with the healing properties of nature. There are shopping excursions and a night out at a favorite local restaurant. Another highlight is a BBQ and spending time on the water at the lakeside cabin. The survivors come from all over the United States. Many have never known a Minnesota summer. Most leave looking forward to a return. “We were very intentional about our size,” explains Brancato. “We found that when you get past the 10-12 number it gets a little bit harder to have those smaller more intimate conversations. So it’s our goal to keep it at a smaller group. We want them to feel they are really a part of our family and part of the community, and the community has done some amazing things to facilitate that.”

One of the survivors expressed to Brancato that she had received more out of four days at Holbrook Farms than from four years of counseling. “It’s that kind of experience, that when you’re around people that have gone through the same thing, you don’t have to pretend. You don’t have to be tough. You don’t have to put your smile on and you can just be. That’s the feeling we’re trying to achieve,” says Brancato. She further explains that people often ask if they have counselors or chaplains at the retreat. They are available if someone needs them, but not a planned event on the itinerary. The Survivors of Heroes retreats center on peer-to-peer mentorship and time away from reliving the tragedies. “If it needs to happen it happens organically,” says Brancato. “It might be as they’re sitting around the bonfire that they’ll have those conversations.”



In her unassuming way, Brancato points out none of this would be possible without her team. It stems back to her days as a point guard at Fargo South High School. “I’ve always loved being part of a team, to bring together everyone’s strengths and make things happen. Together, we can do big things.”

Merwin shares her incredible talents of mentorship at each retreat. “I was able to cope and work through my pain with many wonderful family and friends by my side,” says Merwin. “Not everyone has that support network, and when the tough days come, I want to be there to help and support people through their struggles.”

Photography by Alecs Peters

The team at Holbrook Farms is deeply connected. Sarah Merwin is vice president of the board of directors as well as the Survivors of Heroes retreat coordinator. Merwin, who served seven years in the Air Force herself, became a military widow when her husband Eric Ziegler died in a plane crash while serving as an Air Force pilot in 2011.


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rancato recognizes and appreciates the gifts her team members offer. “I’ve been so impressed by how Sarah took a very tragic situation in her life and has reminded all of us what’s really important. Sarah has done that with grace, she has taken steps forward, not only for herself but she is a great mentor for all the other survivors. They come to her as a resource for so many things. We learned from our survivors it’s not that you move on, but you find ways to move forward.”

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erwin also taught those around her not to assume someone needs space. The reality is they would like to feel as normal as possible. They’d like to be invited to the family barbeque. Even though they’re not coming as a couple, they’d still like to come.

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Brancato’s learned a lot from the survivors. “As a friend, you don’t have to ask what they need, just show up. Vacuum the floor for them, lend a hand, or sometimes you just need to be there and sit with them. You don’t have to say anything; you just need to show up.” Another team member, Melissa Lorentz, is secretary of the board of directors and has recently taken on the role of property manager at Holbrook Farms. “Melissa is a military spouse with a huge heart, always reaching out to family members, the community and to survivors,” says Brancato. “Melissa is a local business owner and is highly involved with the Holbrook Farms strategic planning. She truly understands the perspective of a spouse, which is really helpful. We all feel as military spouses that it could have been any one of us.” Along with the Holbrook Farms team is a host of volunteers acknowledged by Brancato. She insists none of this would be possible without the aid of community and volunteers. Wired Up! owner Carol Seefeldt donates personalized gifts to all the survivor retreat attendees. She’ll be hosting an open house at the LOFT October 29 and 30 with all proceeds benefiting the Survivors of Heroes retreats (see AW calendar for more details).


Jess Stuewe teaches the survivors stand-up paddle boarding on Holbrook Lake. Noreen Clark pampers each survivor with a magnificent massage. Anita and Roger Price of Price’s Fine Jewelry clean and repair a special piece with great meaning for each survivor. In addition to these very remarkable people are family members and legions of those in the community who show up on community work days helping to make the property retreat ready.


Big dreams go along with a big heart and Brancato has more plans. Holbrook Farms will continue to hold two Survivors of Heroes retreats each summer, along with an alumni retreat.

And in the midst of it all is the military family of the Brancatos. “I feel so blessed to be an American woman where we can serve our country, be successful entrepreneurs and spend time with our families,” states Brancato. “I’m thankful we are allowed to dream and have all the tools to turn them into reality.” Brancato’s dream of Holbrook Farms would still be far off in the future if she and husband Matt had not been open-minded to another opportunity. They became independent consultants for Rodan + Fields online skincare company. This allowed them to continue their military service, while realizing their dream to own a business together. One hundred percent of the income from this endeavor has gone to fund Holbrook Farms allowing them to open five years earlier than originally planned. Brancato and her husband plan to return full time to the farm after finishing their military careers. In the meantime, they will always return for the survivor retreats and give guidance to the on-theground team running the day-to-day business.

In the summer of 2016, Holbrook Farms was added to the VRBO list (Vacation Rentals By Owner) offering weeklong rentals for family reunions, wedding parties, as well as a venue for hosting church groups or other organizations. They will be hosting marriage, corporate and leadership retreats, plus crafting weekends and much more. They look forward to being your next family vacation spot too. Eventually the expansion will include retreats for other groups including military veterans, caregivers of wounded warriors, and those dealing with PTSD or brain injuries—all in the interest of serving and helping others heal. Brancato talks about her dream of building a big barn in the clearing where live music and barn dances will be held one day. Her eyes light up as she describes the “1940s themed big band” that will play and I see a glimpse of the little girl with big dreams and a heart of service, the one who grew up loving the lakes and knowing what it is to be supported by family and community.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW YOU can be a part of Holbrook Farms retreats by visiting holbrookfarmsmn.com.

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BRANCATO APPEARED on our Spring 1997 cover. The feature story was about women of the academy in which Brancato and three other area daughters explained how and why they chose the academy.

[ aw ]

888.99.ARVIG | arvig.com ©Arvig 2016. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Area Woman Magazine – Fargo, ND  

October.November 2016 – Area Woman is the first known, free-released, women's interest magazine in the country.

Area Woman Magazine – Fargo, ND  

October.November 2016 – Area Woman is the first known, free-released, women's interest magazine in the country.

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