Page 1

OUTDOORS // The Power Of


ISSUE 2 12019 ISSUE 2019 Printed in USA Printed in USA

A Chorus ART & // Worth Praising CULTURE

Ganesha Founders Talk Finding Their Purpose On Or Off The Mat

HOME & Know Your DESIGN // Market


Come see us!

March 22 - 24 @ The Alerus Center

Alissa, Melissa & Patty | 2001 Gateway Drive | 701-757-0563


















ISSUE 2:19 //









The Heitmanns have built a life, and a garden center oasis, that makes for an epic tale of family, entrepreneurship and the blooms of every season.

These real estate experts are passionate about what they do and they have the lifestyles and market results to prove it.


THE POWER OF RESTORATION AirCorps Aviation restores vintage WWII era planes to flight-capable masterpieces, traveling the world to find parts and old stories.



A CHORUS WORTH PRAISING The Grand Cities Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choir is a highlystructured, talented organization that helps kids find their ability for singing and leading.


TURNING THE PAGE Independent bookstore owner, Dane Ferguson, has experienced the ups and downs of the book business. With a renewed focus, his work could help the region re-imagine the book buying process.



FOCUS FOR THE POSE A year-and-a-half after opening their own hot yoga studio, the female founders of Ganesha Yoga have embraced their own mantra: what happens off the mat is just as important as what happens on it.

10 18



A NEW ERA IN EYEWEAR From geek chic to double bar, eyewear frames are more stylish than ever, and with new technology from the optical industry, provide benefits for the modern age of screens.





7 Things From 7 Stories In recent months, our team has been invited to talk or present about the magazine, who we are, how we choose stories, and always, without a doubt, the stories themselves. It’s always a valuable experience. We share

details, recount moments or conversations that stood out in each story. We also talk about the details, moments or conversations that never made it to print (not off-the-record stuff, just cool and interesting tidbits). In that spirit, here are seven things—call them takeaways, moments or maybe even small bits— that stood out from each story in this issue. 1. In the story, “Growing A Legacy,” Jill Heitmann-Kiel and her sister, Jan, explained their lives in the gardening and nursery business. At one point they mentioned that someone should film a reality show on their operation. Even though there really isn’t any TV-worthy drama there, the uniqueness of their situation would make for a great series. 2. The Grand Cities Children’s Choir may not get a lot of publicity, but they sure are impressive. In a good way, they run a highly-structured program that produces award-winning results. They train hard, sing hard and don’t mess around. 3. For the piece on eyewear trends, we spent a day with a certified optician. Had we held a photo shoot a day later than we did, we could have included photos of me in my newly purchased frames. I’m now a big believer in the blue-light reduction frames. 4. We didn’t expect Warren Buffett or the New York Yankees to be part of a real estate perspective story. And, we didn’t think Jessica Rice was telling us the truth when she said she’s moved six times in nine years just because she loves real estate. She wasn’t lying.

5. Not included in the amazing aviation piece are photos of the author, Patrick C. Miller, and his wife standing in front of one of the planes. Both attended the photo shoot for different reasons. Patrick to stand next to the planes he’s researched, followed and been enamored with his whole life, and his wife—a library professional—to talk with the AirCorp’s data and library specialist about work. In the true, full-version of the story, the Miller’s are also a part of it.

Luke Geiver

EDITOR, GRAND Lifestyle magazine

6. Dane Ferguson didn’t hold back when describing the ups and downs of owning an independent book store chain. He was candid and honest about bad times and better times. He also provided a hopeful vision for the future of his business. People are reading more than ever. 7. Danielle Gregoire was fretting over something she said for the story, “Focus For the Pose,” regarding why she co-founded a yoga studio. I think most will agree what she said was spot-on. In this day-andage, when screen time and to-dos and want-to-dos are all consuming, it was easy to agree with her quote. We ended that story with what she said. 6

Follow Us



A&L Siding


Alerus Financial


Altru Health Systems


President Tom Bryan

Amish Gallery


Editor Luke Geiver

Attainable Wealth


BeMobile Verizon Wireless


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Family Realty Jodi Danzl


Brockmeyer Tile & Stone


Bully Brew


Choice Financial Mortgage


Choice Health & Fitness


Elle Interiors


First International Bank & Trust


Gerrell's Sports Center/ Hockey World


Gorecki Alumni Center


Grand Forks Country Club


Grand Forks Subaru Kia


Greenberg Realty


Home of Economy




King's Walk


MAK Construction


Nodak Insurance Kris Moen Agency


Right Choice Electric


Signature Jewelers


Sky's Fine Dining


Sterling Carpet One


Sunrooms Plus


Wall's Medicine Center



Writer / Photographer Patrick C. Miller Art Director Jaci Satterlund Marketing & Sales Director John Nelson Circulation Manager Copy Editor Jessica Tiller Marketing & Advertising Manager Marla DeFoe Account Manager Dayna Bastian

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscriptions to GRAND Lifestyle magazine are free of charge to everyone, with the exception of a yearly shipping and handling charge. To subscribe, visit or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to: GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203

REPRINTS AND BACK ISSUES Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at 866-746-8385 or

ADVERTISING GRAND Lifestyle magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about GRAND Lifestyle magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at 866-746-8385 or

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR We welcome letters to the editor. If you write us, please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space. Send to GRAND Lifestyle magazine/Letters, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or email to

COPYRIGHT Š 2019 by BBI International



Capturing detail in an object no bigger than a flower pedal might sound tough. The Manstrom's make it look easy. Their images for the All-Seasons story were refreshing. //

JOHN LATOURELLE PHOTOGRAPHY Action shots of anything are always difficult to get right. Luckily, we had John Latourelle to provide original shots of the WWII aircraft. Stunning work John. //

RUSS HONS PHOTOGRAPHY Hons ability to put his subjects at ease during any photo shoot should never be understated. His photos always show people delivering their best, most natural smiles. //

MELQUIST PHOTOGRAPHY The creativity in Melquist's photo ability was on full display the night we shot the yoga story. He used unique lighting and angles to create many memorable images, including the cover shot. //


Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling


Introducing the all-new 2019 Subaru Forester. ®

The 2019 Subaru Forester. With standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive + 33 mpg.9 Plus, the Subaru Forester has the lowest 5-Year Cost to Own in its class for two years running, according to Kelley Blue Book.*

Grand Forks Subaru Better People, Better Products, Better Prices

(800) 966-6278 2400 Gateway Drive | Grand Forks, ND 58203

Subaru is a registered trademark. *2018–2019 model-year vehicle’s projected cost to own for the initial five-year ownership period is based on the average Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own data, which considers depreciation and costs such as fuel and insurance. For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. Actual mileage may vary. Actual mileage may vary. **MSRP excludes destination and delivery charges, tax, title, and registration fees. Retailer sets actual price. Certain equipment may be required in specific states, which can modify your MSRP. See your retailer for details. Vehicle shown with available accessories.


* 5 $ 1 '  ) 2 5 . 6   ( $ 6 7  * 5 $ 1 '  ) 2 5 . 6   )$ 5* 2

Champagne Brunch • Sundays • 11 AM – 2 PM


.ULV0RHQ$JHQF\ $XWR_+RPH_%XVLQHVV_)DUP 5DQFK_/LIH_$QQXLWLHV ƑƒƏƔ")-v_bm]|om u-m7 ouhvķ ƔѶƑƏƐ ĹŐƕƏƐőƕƔƕŊƐѵƐƒ ĹŐƕƏƐőƒѵƕŊƒƏѶƒ b=;bmv†u-m1;-m7-mm†b|‹ruo7†1|vo@;u;7|_uo†]_ -ul†u;-†b=;mv†u-m1;olr-m‹ĸ


OUTDOORS // Photos by Manstrom Photography


The Heitmann sisters possess a unique ability to make a person jealous. They accomplish the feat in many ways. Without a doubt, they aren’t trying to, but like all the rare people we meet that have found what they love and have learned to make a life at it, the Heitmann sisters just have a way of making what they do seem glorious. Despite their world travels or award-winning recognitions, it’s the expla-

nation of their daily tasks that is most impressive about their ability to make people envious of what they do and the life they’ve built. Picking off bugs. Power washing dirty pots. Moving 80 flats of dirt, from inside to outside, before moving it all back later that night, just sounds like a dream scenario when you hear it from them. Each of those tasks are common for the sisters, Jill and Jan. On most days, they join their team to do the work. By noon (most times earlier), their fingernails are caked in dirt. That’s how they prefer it anyways. It’s just what you do if you’ve grown up in the garden center, nursery and landscaping business. After 40 years working at All Seasons Garden Center—the 14-acre site their parents, Georgia and Deiter, transformed from a vacant chunk of ground on the outskirts of Grand Forks


MORE TO LOOK AT Visiting the greenhouse is about more than greenage. The facility features outdoor seating, sandbox play areas, a water wheel near the pond and, of course, plants galore.

into a community staple and regional garden center mecca—Jill and Inside, they have these things because kids and older Jan are still certain that every day they wake up, and every day they guests enjoy them. head for home, time spent surrounded by plants and trees and people couldn’t have been spent any better. When you ask them about how they spend their days or why they never chose to do anything else, it all just sounds inspiring. It’s not just about the act of potting annuals in the spring, placing Poinsettia cuttings or fussing over seedlings that makes it all sound so glamorous. Nobody finds watching plants grow that exciting or fast-paced (except for maybe, Jan). It’s everything else about their lives, their history of growing plants, growing families and growing their parents’ business together that makes you think hypothetically about starting a garden center, or actually joining their team or even dad and him slamming on the brakes. There would be nothing to just returning to All Seasons as soon as possible. see—no deer, or moose or anything out of sorts. Her dad would stop though, she explains, when he saw a rare tree breed for the A Life Of Growing region, no matter if it was in a ditch or off on the horizon, hidden The sisters started working for the family business as soon as in a shelterbelt. He’d always see them, and he would always stop. they were old enough to pot plants. Dieter and Georgia opened a Jill never minded. garden center in Langdon in 1970 before moving their operation to Today, Georgia goes on the radio to talk plants. She’s become a Grand Forks. In 1978, they dug a pond to get dirt to build up the cur- regional gardening celebrity. The region extends farther than you rent location. In 1979, the first greenhouse was completed. Dieter might think. Both Jill and Jan think someone should write a book did the cement work—all of it. That is how most of their family story on their parents, no matter the angle. It be about business, gardengoes. They all pitched in, doing most things themselves. In 1980, the ing or how to live a dream. main showroom, garden store, gift shop, floral department, garage As kids, the sisters remember running around the annual and work areas were completed. Over the years, Dieter became Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce dinners. They were the only known as a tree expert. He started a massive nursery that is now youngsters involved with their family business present at the highly respected. Jill remembers driving down backroads with her meetings. Their mom was one of only a handful of women running a business. Jill’s kids have all learned to drive tractors, dirt bikes or cars at the greenhouse sites. Starting this year, Jill and Jan also be learning more about running the business. The pair has officially taken it over from Georgia and Deiter. Both still work, but the sisters are bringing them all into the future with their own, new executive titles. The funny part is, trying to get the sisters to talk about themselves or their operation in the future always ends up in some kind of story about their parents and the past. 12 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2019


Outside the main shop, they’ve added greenhouses and growing space. Inside, they are constantly changing the look and offerings to match the trends of the times. Every family -member is trained that during rain storms, they need to rush back to the greenhouse to close up the vents. Jill says its become a fun game. In 1997, they had a rough year because of the flood. Jill recounts a moment from ’97 that she says has always stuck with her and helps remind her why they run a business predicated on bringing in people. “A man came in from out of town covered in muck water from the flood. He looked tired. He was stressed like all of us,” she explains. “I’ll never forget watching him walking over to the hanging baskets and grabbing two huge baskets. He paid, and then left to go back to where ever it is he was going. Probably some place that needed work. He was carrying those two big baskets with his arms stretched out trying not to bump them on anything. He was trying to make someone’s day better at a time that was tough on everyone.”

A Day Of Growing

Trying to get Jan to tell you her favorite plant is like trying to lift a spoon with just your mind, it’s basically impossible. She has traveled the world to plant shows, plant trials, plant sales and just about anywhere there are plants. According to her, she took her first vacation when she was already years, not months into her job. During the spring, most of them work 80 hours per week because they grow several hundred varieties of different types of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. The plants are all attention-heavy. At least that is what Jan says. Jill recalls the number “88”, the number of days she and her dad worked straight at one point. Each spring they



GROWING PAINS Georgia and Jan have always taken an

environmentally friendly approach to their in-house plant growing operations. They physically take bugs off of plants. Natural temperature variances that can help plants develop to their full potential are always used, which means they move flats around all day to catch the right temperature. They don’t spray plants, doing so would cause too much havoc on quality and the surrounding plants. Jan is quick to tell everyone about the stresses of her job: “There is no crop insurance for what we do.”


have a step count competition. Most days they average 34,000 steps, moving back and forth from the main plant display areas to storage areas. For context, the average smart watch congratulates you at the end of a long day if you’ve managed to reach 10,000 steps. In the winter months, they try to remember the spring days when they are moving snow outside away from the greenhouses. Every four years the plastic on the greenhouses has to be replaced. They have always tried to recycle as many materials as possible, including dirt. Some of the benches in the front of the store are potting benches from an earlier time. The list of employees that have left and come back is long. The list of employees that never left is always growing. Both recount employees that met and fell in love during their time potting annuals together. Some of them even got married at the actual greenhouse. Dieter and Georgia have been the best man and woman for at least one of the weddings. Even though the signage has a vintage feel, Jill and Jan are on the cutting edge of plant, décor and landscaping trends along with business strategies. Jan considers the greenhouse an incredible creative outlet and spends countless hours coming up with new arrangement ideas, display items, or plants to bring in. Lately, succulents have been popular. The classes they put on to help people learn how to plant them or care for them, prove it. Jill has proven she could run an operation of any size. She can expound on tax codes, building practices, business announcements and shopping trends like a Wall Street analyst. There’s a reason All Seasons will keep on growing.

“We are always looking for the next trends,” Jan says. Jill agrees. They enjoy hearing comments about the quality of their plants almost more than anything. The only thing that tops that, Jan says, is when people tell them they come back every year because it is a family tradition. They’ve found a way to capture the nostalgia of previous times with the modern buying desires of today. Just grab some coffee there. The single shot espresso maker from Keurig is placed on an old cast iron stove that has to be 80 years old. It’s easy to see that the sisters will implement changes, and easier to see why they won’t. All Seasons has become a place in this community that people know about even if they’ve never been there. It’s got what every business, or family, or person wants. It makes you jealous, in a good way. It’s a place that makes you want to have been there for all those years with Georgia and Deiter as they grew their place in the region. Luckily, thanks to the sisters, we still have that chance. G


For the past few years, the Heitmann’s have operated a large gardening plot on the west side of town. People that live in apartments need to garden too, Jill says. “There is a great social aspect to it,” she says. One gardener grew more than 3,000 pounds of produce last year before donating nearly all of it. A group of brothers have competing gardening plots. They usually grow the big pumpkins and tall corn. Not surprisingly, many longtime friends, and even spouses, have met there.



Wallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Medicine Center Your Family Pharmacy VOTED BEST PHARMACY







0(',&,1( &(17(5






$/758 3+$50$&<


/7& 3+$50$&<




If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a new home, let us help. With our rate lock and versatile loan options, we can put the key to your new home in your hand.

1697 S 42nd St. | 4501 S Washington St. | Grand Forks APPLY NOW AT

We help you do your homework. Contact Us Today. Paul Canton MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR NMLS #686730 p 701-738-4336 c 701-741-2683

Deb Kolling MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATOR NMLS #1027681 p 701-738-4311 c 701-740-1195 Some exclusions may apply. Subject to credit approval. Insitution ID #465995 Member FDIC.

5HVLGHQWLDO_&RPPHUFLDO_,QGXVWULDO_$JULFXOWXUDO 6 ( 5 9 , 1 *  7 + (  * 5 $ 1 '  ) 2 5 . 6  $ 5 ( $



HOME & DESIGN // Photos by Russ Hons Photography



Buying and selling season is upon us. To help you navigate and understand the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s real estate space, we sat down with two different sources. Both have unique stories that reveal an even more

unique situation here in the Northern Red River Valley. We certainly talked buying and selling trends,

and the myths of house flipping. But, we went further as well, reliving a cross-country recruitment trip that involved New York Yankees baseball, Warren Buffetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company and what still matters to buyers, sellers and realtors in the online era.


When Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices first started recruiting teams from around the country to join their new division, a small group from Grand Forks was on the list. First, a group including Katie and Mike Marcotte, Josh Steinke and Jodi Danzl simply

received phone calls. Following that, they were flown to New York city for a recruitment pitch that included high-end dinners, a Yankees game and specialized presentations that were tailored to the Grand Forks team. As Mike Marcotte recalls it, the presentations were informative, but odd. “The presentations were all about their management style and the people behind everything,” he says. “We expected it to be more about markets and other things.” The Warren Buffett-led global entity was getting into the real estate industry, Mike explains, and they wanted potential partners and franchisees they were trying to work with, to understand who


they would be partnering with. The Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices team had good reason to invest time and expensive baseball tickets into the small team from Northeast North Dakota. Two years after taking over the Century 21 brokerage, the team vaulted from the No. 87 (out of 89) real estate firms in the region to No. 6. In that same time, the Marcottes, along with Jodi Danzl and Josh Steinke, grew their agent team from 5 to 34. “We always had a vision for what we wanted to accomplish and how we thought we could grow,” Katie says. After hearing the pitch from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the Grand Forks team had to also explore other pitch-


es and take time to travel the country and meet with other real estate brands. Knowing what they now know, choosing Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices seems like the obvious choice all along. The company has brought an extreme level of technology. Every paper process associated with real estate dealings are now be done from a phone or tablet. Overnight, the company’s Grand Forks signage, branding and store-front was changed out. Having that type of attention and effort from such a large brand name has made the entire team feel secure in their visions for expansion in this region and beyond, Danzl says. “They are all about being number one. No one is going to outspend Warren Buffet,” says Steinke.


After years in the business, the Grand Forks team believes it takes multiple skills to be a perfect agent, including: Understanding the power of the personal touch in messaging, showings and even paperwork Utilizing new technology to speed paperwork, or to market listings across more platforms Letting the client's dream shine through by keeping style opinions out Provide comfort and care for any size of deal-making hurdle

Marcotte says Berkshire chose her and her team because they knew what it could do for the new real estate name in a strong market.

Making Sense Of The Market

According to the new GF Berkshire team, the real estate market in the region is unique. “We don’t have large fluctuations in prices like the bigger markets have,” Katie says. Because of the region’s stability, real estate is a super investment, Danzl says.

And, as someone that has invested in other markets across the country, she knows firsthand. While the market is different from years past when buyers had a week (or sometimes hours) or less to make an offer after viewing a home, prices for most residential real estate have remained steady. “Investing in real estate in this area is one of the best types of investments you can make,” Danzl says, noting that the same couldn’t be said for other regions. Mike says Berkshire started a home division a few years ago because, as they told him, real estate is one of the best investments anyone can make. To help buyers or sellers understand the unique market of the region, the Grand Forks team has published a book geared to buyers, sellers and even for-sale-by-owners. In addition to the book, they are rolling out a new website that will give new market intelligence to anyone looking at real estate. The information is superior to that of a popular real estate website, they say, which uses faulty information and paints an inaccurate picture of a home.

Investing In The Team

“You thrive in a place that is positive,” Danzl says. In their headquarters kitchen, the team often shares breakfast cooking duties while talking shop. They follow a mantra linked to family, trying to let all of their team members know that they want to create a unique brokerage that people can grow in and from. “We always want to feel like we are invested in each other,” Mike says. Katie says they continually strive to tell the entire team that no client or deal is ever the same. They also try to take team trips and go through continuing training sessions together. Katie is proud to explain how the investment in her team has paid off. Since they started adding team members, no one has left for another brokerage.


Mike focuses solely on commercial real estate. Here are four things to know. 1. Commercial deals in the region take longer. 2. Commercial property marketing has changed. Real estate is marketed on multiple channels in several regions now. 3. Many deals involve secrecy. Property owners put buildings up for sale but don’t want others to know. 4. Commercial agents need to know how the city works. It helps expediate, or even make possible, pulling off high-dollar transactions.

“What you learn in real estate school is not what you learn on the job,” she says. Like true real estate aficionados, they all live and breathe the details and elements of a residential or commercial deal and how they can make a client happy. Sometimes they’ve fixed fences or painted houses for clients. Many times, they’ve spent hours educating clients on the possible, getting them to realize that what they originally wanted in a house may not be the thing they really want in the end. They are proud to display such a wellknown name on their signs, but, they aren’t even close to done. As one would imagine, they see potential in the region that many do, and many others don’t. They have deals in the works. They don’t consider their jobs work, which means they rarely stop working. Despite the new technology and the big name, they believe that in the end, what brings them—and their clients—happiness in buying or selling, is the person-toperson experience. The Berkshire recruitment team understood that when they flew the Grand Forks team out for a Yankees game and a nice meal. The Marcottes, Danzl and Steinke all understand the purpose of that meeting today as well. Now, both sides of the deal are happy, and growing.


The Early Days

Sellers: Know This

After six years working in the banking industry, Rice told her boss she wanted to become an agent. “My boss told me I would hate it. I would have to work nights and weekends. I thought the opposite. Today I’m loving my career because I still have the same passion for it as I did when I started and chose real estate over banking,” she says. Her first sale was to a young couple, who Rice recalls, was referred to her by the bank she previously worked for.

In the current market, buyers are taking their time. Most houses may sit for 30 to 40 days. Rice says she recently had a house that sat for 38 days and then got three offers on the same day. “We have to coach our sellers to be more patient now. With more inventory on the market, buyers have more time to make a decision.”

Selling Lake Properties

Jessica Rice has followed real estate her entire life. As

a kid, she considered open houses fun. Nine years into her career as an agent for Crary Real Estate, Rice has moved houses six times. For one of the moves, she had to move back into a house she’d just moved out of because a client wanted to buy the house she was moving into. She’s flipped multiple houses, helped to develop new construction projects and because of time spent living on a lake as a kid, she knows more than the average realtor regarding lake properties. We sat down with Rice to talk buying and selling trends, expectations for listing times, secrets of flipping and why she’s so willing to go through what many consider a stressful part of buying or selling—moving.

Rice grew up at a lake home. That experience has helped her with clients looking at places in the surrounding region. “I can give background on how things have changed, and I understand the ins and outs and dos and don’ts of lake living.”

How Buyers Have Changed

Everything is online now, she says. Most people have narrowed down their preferred options to three to five properties before they get in touch with me. “Pictures are always deceiving. We always help buyers understand that and show them other properties.” Today, buyers seem to want everything in a house done. “They want move-in ready homes. They want things updated.”


Lessons In Flipping

You always go over budget, she says. Flipping a house isn’t as easy as it looks. Something that might take five minutes may take five hours. It is always worth it to spend more to do something right than to go cheap. When Rice works to flip a house, she employs the help of her parents (her dad is great at fixing things), and she and her mom paint and repair as well. On previous projects they’ve repaired siding, replaced windows and more. “It is exciting to see the transformation. We like to do it in one month, or two months max.”

The First 90

Within a minute-and-a-half, buyers will know whether the property they are in is the one for them, or whether it isn’t.

Perks Of The Job

“I love it when I find my clients the right place. It shows I’m listening to them.” G

(<@Ã&#x152;= :






  "┼Ж& ┼З  !$!$┼З$"┼З "┼З""┼З! "┼З! $

┬Н┬Ц┬Ь╦Ц┬Й┬Х╦Ч┬Щ┬М┬Й┬Ф┬Ы├д ┬М╦Ц┬Й┬Хz┬Ь┬Р┬У┬Л┬Ы

om|-1|&v=ou- u;; vржЮl-|;


-8%͏4\/͏͏ŮŭŴƛųųŵƛůŰųŴ ΉΉΉú"Č`؊!áČËĒ!`ÔÁÌ΋D–`Ì͒΋ú}áÔ ͏JČ`ŠÁ͒ÁáØ͏áª͏JDMGJ

What’s your next move? See us first.

At First Interna International Bank & Trust we strive to make ma your banking life easy. Whatever your financia financial goals are, we’ll work with you to help make them happen. Whether you’re planning a wedd wedding, remodeling your home, welcoming a new addition to the f amily or preparing for retirement, retirem we help dreams come true, one customer at a time. See us first, let’s work together t on your next financial move. BANKING | MORTGAGE MORTGAG | INSURANCE* | TRUST & INVESTMENTS* 1970 S Columbia Road | Grand Forks, ND (701) 757-6500 | firstintl *Not FDIC or any federal agency insur insured | No bank guarantee | May lose value 0455_02-19


Lope's Hope 3rd was restored by AirCorps Aviation to represent a historically accurate version of the P-51C Mustang flown by the late Don Lopez during World War II. PHOTO: SCOTT SLOCUM



Power w of

AirCorps Aviation is a Bemidji-based, globally recognized team rebuilding historic fighters and other WWII-era aircraft. By Patrick C. Miller


In a hangar at the Bemidji Regional Airport in Minnesota, two gleaming examples of America’s World War II air power legacy are undergoing annual maintenance. There’s a rare Red Tail P-51C Mustang flown by the Commemorative Air Force of Texas to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, a fighter squadron of black pilots who made history by proving themselves in combat during the days when segregation was a common practice in the U.S. Armed Forces. Next to it is “Sierra Sue II,” a P-51D Mustang 28 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2019

operated through Wings of the North in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It’s one of the few remaining flying Mustangs that saw combat during the war. The plane looks just as it did in the spring of 1945 when based at an American airfield in Belgium. Boasting high speed, great maneuverability and exceptionally long range, the sleek Mustang—sometimes referred to as “the Cadillac of the sky”—is best known for the critical role it played in gaining air superiority over the skies of Germany and Japan in World War II. Designed and built by North American Aviation, the P-51 was the pinnacle of piston-engine fighter development in the mid-1940s.

OUTDOORS // FACES OF AIRCORPS AVIATION Previous page lower left: Dave Moyer, paint lead (left), works with Randy Kraft, restoration specialist, to rebuild the fuselage of a P-47D Thunderbolt recovered from Papua New Guinea. Center left: Eric Trueblood, senior vice president of sales and marketing, is one of the original four cofounders of AirCorps Aviation. Next page top right: George Francis, restoration specialist, assembles the “greenhouse” canopy enclosure of the P-47D. PHOTO: JOHN LATOURELLE

Mark Tisler, AirCorps Aviation co-owner and restoration expert, helped resurrect both planes and has probably returned more P-51s to the sky than anyone in the U.S. He’s met and visited with a steadily declining number of World War II pilots about their experiences. “They went out on a mission and some of their buddies didn’t come back that day,” he says. “And then they went out again the next day. “This one particular Mustang pilot—Noble Peterson from New England, North Dakota—I asked him if he flew when he came back from the war,” Tisler continues. “He was like, ‘Nope.’

He was a rancher, which meant he could have used an airplane to fly around and check on his cattle. He said, ‘I knew that I’d never have as much fun flying airplanes as I did during the war—so I just quit.’ I guess the excitement wasn’t there; they’d already had theirs.” The aircraft restored by AirCorps Aviation provide insight into what’s transformed the Bemidji-based company from an idea in the minds of its four founders—Erik Hokuf, Dan Matejcek, Eric Trueblood and Tisler—into one of the top aircraft restoration companies in the world. Since its launch in 2011, AirCorps Aviation has won four of the highly coveted Golden Wrench Awards and one Silver Wrench Award. The honors are presented each year during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) AirVenture international air show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In July 2018, a P-51C named “Lope’s Hope 3rd,” restored by AirCorps Aviation, received EAA’s Grand Champion Golden Wrench Award at AirVenture. “It’s painted to honor American World War II pilot, Don Lopez, who went on to become the chief historical architect for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.,” Trueblood says. “This airplane was the first airplane that we ever really had the opportunity to go to the level we knew was possible in terms of restoration. It’s easily the most historically accurate P-51 flying in the world today.”

Sweating the details

Trueblood, a Minot native, a resident of Grand Forks and a 2006 University of North Dakota graduate, helped create the company with the mission of restoring historic warbirds to flying condition. Like a proud papa, he discusses the painstaking detail AirCorps Aviation employs to maintain the



Photo directly above: This Boeing Stearman N2S-1 Kaydet, restored by AirCorps Aviation was flown by President George H.W. Bush during his training at Wold-Chamberlain field in St. Paul, MN. PHOTO: GREG MOREHEAD

exactness of the P-51s in the hangar. This ranges from using historically accurate rubber stamps for some aircraft markings to repainting aircraft interiors to match the widely varying shades of zinc chromate primer. It doesn’t take long to understand that Trueblood would rather talk about the airplanes and the people who built, flew and maintained them than he would about himself. “Our motivation is really to set the standards and raise the bar in terms of authenticity and accuracy,” he explains. “Often times, the guy sitting in the pilot’s seat gets all the recognition. We forget the fact that there were hundreds of thousands of people who formed the arsenal of democracy at home who assembled the airplanes. They left places like Rugby and Grafton in North Dakota to travel out to do


whatever they could do to spur the war effort on the home front. It was a remarkable period of time.” Suspended from the hangar’s ceiling while undergoing restoration for Wings of the North is the fuselage of a vintage aircraft in civilian colors that’s clearly seen better days. Asked why an aircraft that appears out of place is in the hangar, Trueblood quickly switches gears to discuss the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the plane’s origins. During World War II, the aircraft was known as the “Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan,” and was flown by women pilots before being converted post-war to civil use. “This airplane is not a heavily sought-after airframe that gets a lot attention from the air show crowd,” Trueblood admits. “But it has an

RESTORING THE FLYING TANK Asked about the legendary toughness of the Republic Aviation’s massive Thunderbolt fighter, a technician at AirCorps Aviation restoring a P-47D recovered from the South Pacific exclaims, “That plane is way overbuilt!” But to the late Robert S. Johnson, the second leading U.S. ace in the European theater, the aircraft’s rugged construction proved life-saving during his World War II service. In July 1943, on a bomber escort mission over France, Johnson’s P-47 was bounced by German fighters. Wounded and with his shot-up plane on fire as it plunged earthward, Johnson couldn’t bail out because the aircraft’s canopy was jammed. Miraculously, the fire went out and Johnson managed to regain control of the severely damaged Thunderbolt. As the plane limped back toward England, a German ace closed in on what he thought would be an easy kill. He emptied his guns into Johnson’s helpless Thunderbolt, but it refused to go down—despite being riddled with more than 220 machine gun and cannon rounds. Johnson, who went on to shoot down 26 more German aircraft in the P-47, wrote after the war, “Battered into a flying, wrecked cripple, she fought her way back, brought me home. It’s almost too much to believe!” The saying among U.S. fighter pilots was that if you wanted to impress the girls, you flew a P-51 Mustang. If you wanted to come home alive, you flew the P-47 Thunderbolt.



To continue to honor the people who built the aircraft, maintained them and crewed them, you don’t carry on that love or that passion for World War II aviation if you can’t fly the planes. ERIC TRUEBLOOD

BUILDING A LIBRARY LIKE NO OTHER When Ester Aube came to work for AirCorps Aviation as its data and library specialist, her aviation knowledge was extremely limited. The Montana native’s education and background were in art conservation. Today, she finds herself in charge of an online, digitized library containing massive amounts of information on almost every aspect of World War II military aircraft, a library accessed daily by subscribers from around the world. The information is not only valuable to those in the field of aircraft restoration, but also to model makers, historians and anyone who wants to learn more about their ancestors who served during World War II. Aube routinely hunts for information to help the AirCorps Aviation team make its aircraft restorations as historically accurate as possible, while constantly adding new finds and donations to the library. “The struggle, in a more general sense, is the amount of information available to scan and knowing that it would take me seven lifetimes to get everything digitized and organized,” she says. The AirCorps Library also contains information on less popular World War II aircraft, such as the Bell P-39 Aircobra, widely considered a failure by American pilots and aviation historians. Yet while discussing the recent addition of P-39 manuals to the library, Aube demonstrates how much she’s learned from her experience. “Russia thought it was a great plane,” she says, referencing the fact that 5,000 P-39s were sent to the Soviet Union under the Lend Lease program and flown by some of the nation’s leading aces. 32 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2019

important role in our national history by being able to effectively tell the story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots and their role. There were about 1,100 of them who flew to help train bombardiers, navigators and gunners; they towed targets; they ferried airplanes hundreds of thousands of miles. They filled a vital role during World War II in piloting aircraft, flying every American aircraft operated during the war. That’s why I feel airplanes like this end up here,” Trueblood relates. “It’s because there’s a story that needs to be told along with the restorations.” Telling those stories and preserving history is what AirCorps Aviation does best. Sometimes the stories have endings, and other times they leave unanswered questions. For example, in 2017, the inscription “Eva & Edith” was discovered written in grease pencil inside the wing of a P-47D Thunderbolt being restored by the company. A blog on the AirCorps Aviation website resulted in the story being picked up by the national news media. Were Eva and Edith reallife Rosie the Riveters who helped build Thunderbolts in Evansville, Indiana? The question was never fully answered, but the signatures were recorded for posterity and preserved inside the plane’s wing.

Finding Loren

In 2012, AirCorps Aviation became involved in the search for Loren Hintz, a

P-47 pilot from Iowa whose plane was shot down over Italy during the closing days of the war. Although some of Hintz’s remains were recovered and buried in an American military cemetery in Italy, his family never knew the full story of his last mission. In 2000, his grandson, Hans Wronka, began the process of researching his grandfather’s final fate. On July 23, 2016, members of the Hintz family, Trueblood and a team of aviation historians and archeologists gathered near Bologna, Italy, at the site where the Thunderbolt was thought to have crashed. Trueblood identified parts of the aircraft excavated from 16 feet beneath a farm field—including its massive radial engine and machine guns—as coming from the plane Hintz flew. Also discov-

ered were the pilot’s dog tags and more of his remains, which will be interred at the American cemetery in Florence on Nov. 16. “That moment will forever be forged in my mind when a gentleman—I believe he was a Swiss dentist who has a background in archeology—found the dog tags,” Trueblood recalls. “He didn’t speak English, but I saw his exuberance at the moment he pushed that dirt off the dog tag, raised it up in the air and uttered words that got everybody excited. I’ll always remember him in a bear-hug embrace with Steve, the grandson of Loren Hintz.” AirCorps Aviation has come a long way since starting out as four guys who moved from place to place to restore aircraft. Now with a hangar at the Bemidji airport and a larger facility in the town’s industrial park, the company employs 35 people. It’s also engaged in aircraft maintenance, parts fabrication, the reverse-engineering of legacy aircraft parts, aviation art and producing authentic aircraft markings. Trueblood is especially proud of the AirCorps Library which includes tens of thousands of digitized manuals and documents related to World War II aircraft.

They’re available as an online subscription for $50 a year or $5 a month. Some question whether warbirds should be flown, suggesting that the proper place for such historical artifacts is in a museum. But to Trueblood, it’s not even an issue. “To continue to honor the people who built the aircraft, maintained them and crewed them, you don’t carry on that love or that passion for World War II aviation if you can’t fly the planes. You can’t inspire those kids standing by an airport fence at an air show without the airplanes running and flying.” When it comes to inspiring people to learn more about history and honor the sacrifices of World War II veterans, it’s mission accomplished for AirCorps Aviation. G




*(55(//6 *6 632576 Gerrells Sports Center 1004 S Washington St, Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-0553


ART & CULTURE // Photos by MJD Photography



In 2002, Melanie Popejoy floated the idea of starting a children’s choir for the region. The idea was to challenge young

singers in grades 3 through 9. The choir she had in mind wouldn’t be easy to create. Teaching would be top-notch. Rehearsals would be jam-packed with instruction, and, attending rehearsals wouldn’t be optional. The kids would have to audition, and if they made it, they’d be pushed to improve vocally, but also as peer and community leaders. It was an ambitious vision, Popejoy admits. There were already other options for young vocalists— but nothing like this. “When we brought up the idea to the community we weren’t sure what the response would be,” she says, “but we should have known.” After spending many years traveling and living in various cities for her husband’s university-based career,


she had arrived in Mexico, Missouri. There she was able to participate in a major children’s choir in the St. Louis area. “I loved the thrill of seeing the students learn they could sing. Some of them didn’t know what they were capable of. Having the ability to help them was amazing,” she says. Shortly after arriving in Grand Forks for her husband’s new job, Popejoy understood there might be an opportunity to recreate the success she was a part of and witnessed in St. Louis. “We learned right away that in Grand Forks we could grow ourselves and that investing in the community would be worth it,” she says. “We also noticed that this community really invests in its kids.” When she told others about the idea of starting a choir, numerous people she'd never met stepped up to help and volunteer. She was hoping to get 35 to 40 sing-


ers the first year, but ended up with more than 100. Now affiliated with the Grand Forks Public Schools and a division of the Summer Performing Arts company, the Grand Cities Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choir (GCCC) includes more than 250 kids, nearly 30 mentors (former singers that now teach), several professional instructors, several more volunteers and a long list of accomplishments that shows how successful Popejoy and her team have been and why the GCCC is a serious staple of the community.

Spreading The Love

GCCC performs almost year around. There are multiple singing groups based on voice type and age. In addition to the two main concerts the group puts on in the spring and fall to crowds of 800 people, the singers and teachers create, produce and put-on several other events throughout


Poco Voce or Little Voices Director: Annella Winger Grade: 3, boys and girls

Canto Voce or Singing Voices Director: Ruth Ann Tuseth Grades: 4 to 6, boys and girls

Accordo Voce or Harmonizing Voices Director: Danielle Larson Grades: 4 to 6, boys and girls

Primo Voce or Principal Voices Director: Melanie Popejoy Grades: 7 to 9, boys and girls



Lit er a

re tu

ups mar W

Lyrics &


tion ora lab ol

r ve


ing Music Read

Stan d & De li


GCCC has expert instructors in multiple areas. They understand what the kids should be learning and how they should be learning.

A typical rehearsal involves 6 stages: 1. Warm-ups. Both physical and vocal. This is like a mini singing lesson. 2. Working on lyrics and literature. Teaches musicianship. Students need to be able to sing their parts and hear other parts at the same time. 3. Teach the art of reading music. For professional singing settings, they have to know how to sight read. 4. Collaboration. The kids have to know how to accept each other’s strengths and maintain self-discipline with their voices. 5. Stand and deliver. They are taught the tools needed to sing in front of people and large groups. 6. Prep for next time. The kids are given goals for personal practice and how to be ready for the next rehearsal.


the year. Recently, they sang at various locations around town in front of seniors and others in an event they called, “Spread The Love.” In 2014, the group sang at Carnegie Hall in New York City with a live orchestra. The kids came away with an appreciation of what they’d accomplished and also where they lived, Popejoy says. While there, they volunteered their time at different places and gave away bags of cold gear they’d brought with. During a trip to Washington D.C., the groups sang in front of the monuments and the Whitehouse. Popejoy laughs at the Whitehouse trip. As she explains it, a van pulled up in front of the Whitehouse near the singers. From the van, someone stepped out carrying the Stanley Cup. “It was hard to keep the kids singing,” she says. Some of the children ran to the cup. After explaining to the handler where the kids were from and there was basically no way the cup would be allowed to pass without letting the kids touch the cup, the kids got to touch the cup. Confidence in singing wasn’t always easy on early trips like it was in NYC or D.C, she says, even if it should have been. The first time the group applied to represent the region (multiple states and major areas) at a major choral event, the GCCC was selected. After a trip in the early days to Omaha for an event where everything is scrutinized down to the outfit colors, the group received high praise. “The kids finally understood that they were a big deal,” she says. Since then, the GCCC has been living up to its reputation as a choral powerhouse in and out of the region. Through a mentoring program, singers that surpass the age range often come back to remain as part of the program. Having someone there waiting for the young singers lets them know they are cared about and motivates them, Popejoy says. In addition to singing, the kids ask about school or college depending on their age. The instructors put on social nights to bring everyone together because the students are from all over the region. In the summer, they put on leadership retreats. As Popejoy says, the goal of the program was never just to sing.

Putting GCCC On The Map, Again

Next year, Popejoy and her team are turning their ambitious abilities into a unique opportunity for their singers and others from the region. The group is going back to Carnegie Hall to perform. This time, the performance will be a celebration of Grand Forks. The team plans to invite other choirs and singers linked to the area to sing with them and give them a chance to sing on a world stage that they may have never had before. “The lens in NYC will be on Grand Forks.” Between now and then, the team will continue running a highly-structured, world-class children’s choir program. Popejoy and the others are elated with how things have turned out in their 17 years with the GCCC, and, its easy to understand why the community continues to back their efforts, attend events and follow their success. All of it—from the 3rd graders learning social skills to the 9th graders learning about leading all the way to the 2020 idea of bringing the region’s best choir singers together in NYC to showcase where they live— just sounds amazing. G





HEALTH & FITNESS // Photos by Melquist Photography



It’s early February in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, and the temperature is hovering between 103- and 104-degrees Fahrenheit. We’ve met up to talk about one of the most unique settings and inspirational places in the region—Ganesha Yoga’s hot studio. We stand in a circle and start the conversation but before too long, its just too hot for reflective conversation. Exiting the space, mirrors covering one side of the room from floor to ceiling show all four of us walking out. Everyone else has left for the night. After starting at 5:30 am, classes for the day are finally over. Floor heaters in the corners remain on. A ceiling heater keeps humming. Outside of the room, the air feels more refreshing than any room at normal temperature really should. The whole place has that feeling. There are more mirror-covered walls throughout the space. Where there aren’t mirrors, its brick or shiplap or decorative wood. The lighting is soft, and the floorboards seem to glow or shine despite all the use they get. Outside, the temperature and wind is the opposite of what it feels like inside. Through one of the front windows, snowflakes whip with the wind under a streetlight. We find a new spot at the front of the studio and spread out on the wide planked wood flooring.



We start talking about the yoga studio, why three women from the region joined together a year-and-ahalf-ago to open it, what they’ve learned and among many other things, what they’ve brought to the community and their loyal yogis. Danielle Gregoire, one of the founders, is still in yoga gear, sweating from her last class. Cassie Thompson and Katie Thorson, also founders and certified instructors, are each there as well, unconsciously doing stretches and poses on the floor as they talk about their experience. When we talk about the practice of teaching yoga, the women are so eager to explain their business and shared passion, that they do so almost simultaneously. When they get reflective on what they’ve learned about themselves or the people that utilize the studio, they each offer different answers with harmonized mean-


ing. At the end of our discussion, the snow continues to sparkle under the street light. The light is still soft inside the studio. The air temperature feels perfect at a comfortable 72 degrees, and incredibly refreshing for a winter night. It’s hard to commit to wrapping up. Walking out, the mirrors show us leaving, and the calm and wellness that's reflected is hard not to notice. They look relaxed, content and unbothered by wind chill advisories or conference calls or errands and to-do lists. The people in that mirror look refreshed, like the reflections made possible only by being in that studio, are the best versions any of them can be.

What’s Happened At The Yoga Studio

Gregoire, Thompson and Thorson all began practicing yoga for different reasons. Since their starts, each

has finished various forms of intensive training to become certified in different forms. When they met at Urban Stampede to discuss their thoughts and dreams on yoga roughly two years ago, they shared a singular vision for co-founding and running a studio in downtown EGF. After acquiring their space, they put in new flooring, shiplapped some of the walls, painted every room and installed mirrors and heaters (for the hot studio). “If you were related to us,” Thompson says, “you helped.” Friends provided services or materials. Thompson’s grandfather built benches for a waiting area. From the beginning, support and belief in their vision for a yoga studio was always present from their family, they say, and from a community looking for more yoga. In addition to themselves, Ganesha has 11 different instructors to provide a wide range, from beginning yoga to weights to cardio-based routines. Running the studio and teaching classes is a full-time job even though the founders also work other places as well. Time spent remodeling the space has allowed them to host or rent for special events ranging from book signings to photo shoots to free community yoga classes. Ganesha also sells its own clothing line in addition to mats and other gear from the best yoga brands. The studio has taught each of the founders the hours entrepreneurs must keep, the intricacies of

DIY vs In-Studio Thompson loves doing yoga anywhere. She thinks everyone should find time, but, the benefits of in-studio instruction outweigh the price savings of going solo. In-studio benefits include: -Alignment instruction and assessment -Personal interaction to aid fulfillment -Injury prevention -Alternative poses for common objectives Pricing options include class passes for multiple classes, drop-in rates for $5 to $10 per class or monthly unlimited passes. Your first class at the studio is free.



heating and ventilation, and why they have always been drawn to the practice of poses. “Being here is the least stressed I’ve ever been,” Gregoire says. “We’ve learned how to say yes to the right things.” Thorson shares Gregoire’s affinity for using the studio as a place to find the right life focus. She also cherishes the natural happenings of their studio: everyone that comes in for a class becomes a friend. “We’ve been fortunate to create that here,” she says. “I think part of our success is also about confidence. People gain confidence here. We can help with that.” Thompson, a former collegiate basketball player that hasn’t gone more than a day without performing yoga in a really long time (she guesses) since she first tried yoga, is always inspired by a unique element of the practice. She loves to see people get better, own find more confidence in their or physical movement during a series of classes, but she also knows that isn’t the only thing happening. “The best part isn’t always what happens on your mat,” she says. “It’s what happens off of it.” All three agree and emphasize the space in EGF is more than a yoga studio. They’ll always stay busy teaching classes, and inspiring people, but they also have plans for more events and community


THE YOGA COMMUNITY The busiest time of year at the studio is Christmas and Thanksgiving. Friends and family, of friends of family, go to the studio to getaway from stress, get a workout or catch-up. Fitness experts in other practice areas, business professionals, families, school classes and athletic teams make-up the majority of Ganesha students. Every instructor has hosted special group sessions, including classes for: -Highschool and college hockey teams -Highschool and college swim teams -Regional and national corporate teams -Individuals -Teachers



gatherings in the future. Regardless of whether the founders or the teachers are helping someone with a pose or with their mindfulness of the moment, Gregoire believes spending time there or understanding the point of yoga—even if its on a paddleboard at the lake or a snow pile at a ski-resort (two places all three have practiced yoga poses before)—is about doing something so many in the region struggle to achieve. To-do lists get long, travel and work saps our energy. That’s what team Ganesha helps to fix, or even change, Gregoire says. “Sometimes yoga really helps us take time to focus on ourselves without feeling selfish.” G


Involves weights Links breathe and posture Focused on alignment High intensity for core, arms Most doable, yet-difficult one-hour class Primal movement meets cardio More than just physical focus Pose sequences, balance, breathing



With one-on-one guidance and a breadth of financial services, Alerus provides everything you need for your financial future to take flight. 701 .795. 32 0 0 : : A L E RU S .CO M


ART & CULTURE // Photos by Russ Hons Photography

The ups and downs as an independent book and media operation

When Dane Ferguson recounts earlier times, he’s like an open book. He is honest about the highs and the


lows of operating an independent book store. He doesn’t try to sugarcoat the challenges he’s faced or the wins his team has earned. Talking to Ferguson about books, entrepreneurship or the new trends in pop-up shops is refreshing. It’s hard not to just keep listening to him expound on various topics, (we talked multiple times for the story). Ferguson opened his first bookstore in Grand Forks in 2010. Prior to that, he was working retail straight out of college. His expecting wife was



LOCAL AUTHORS FRONT AND CENTER Every store Ferguson operates—he now runs a store in Bismarck, North Dakota—features local authors front and center. In the Grand Forks location, an entire wall is dedicated to the works of regional writers. It’s a popular wall.


With an overflowing supply of new or used books, Ferguson has always struggled with too much inventory. By hitting the road in every direction from Grand Forks, readers have come to know and look forward to a visit from Dane. At a Billings, Montana, location, Ferguson used a large room that featured a stage, tables and more tables, to place books. He sets out a massive stock of books out for roughly a 48-hour period. Like all of the bag sales, patrons can pay $20 per bag in which to fill with books. Hugo’s Family Marketplace supplies the brown bags. In addition to the books for the bags, Ferguson puts out yet-to-bereleased books. “People can buy books from us before anyone else can get them,” he says. There are too many Facebook posts to show, but they all include smiling people in various cities holding up book purchases.


teaching. All around the region, chain bookstores were closing, including Walden Books and B. Dalton's here. “I thought about a little bit different concept with books” he said. He wanted to capture the desire of book buyers looking for new titles, and old. Most readers didn’t care if the old titles had already been read by someone else. Six months after quitting his job, he opened his first store with the help of his brother and wife. “It was way more work than what I had in my mind before we started,” he says with a laugh. “I had no idea what I was getting into.” Initially, Ferguson offered new and used books from a single location. A year after opening in the Menard’s strip mall, he was looking to capture more foot traffic from the mall. He opened a Kiosk there while he kept his original store location running. Then he opened a second store in the mall, giving him two locations. By 2014, he’d moved both stores into one consolidated location in the Grand Cities mall after trying to make multiple locations work. Sales were consistent at every store. The desire for books was constant, but it always seemed like the book tracking system wasn’t as efficient as it should have been, or customers always wanted a book that was at a different location. Even the joy and excitement he and his team had gained from opening, running and maintaining a bookstore was fading. When he decided to move into the current location, they grew their non-book offerings out to include toys and other media. “We had a grand opening, and everything was going great.” But then, as Ferguson admits, his focus shifted. He is an active entrepreneur and advocate always trying to think ahead. He is the type of person that may end up on the cover of a business magazine someday. With a dispersed focus, the book store was losing ground for two years. He even took a different, salaried position that made him travel away from the region more. From 2015 to 2017 he had tough decisions to make about the store until eventually, everything came down to a choice. Refocus on the books or figure out a dreaded alternative. Last summer, he chose to reapply his business acumen to books. He put together a pop-up shop book event in Fargo. Then, he traveled to Bismarck to perform the same offering there. “The results were amazing. It gave us new life.” The shops, and his renewed focus, saved Ferguson’s bookstore operation name. With the success of the pop-up shops proven, he even had a re-examining of his Grand Forks store with the team. He asked them to talk on or look for the good things to continue doing, and the areas they should cut. Today, he says, everything has come together and everything about the bookstore and his overall focus is better. “I’m proud of that,” he says. “We turned it around when we needed to.” With an independent spirit and new offerings that have been proven successful, Ferguson is back on the road to becoming the region’s prominent book provider. He’s found unique ways to tap into his customer base and frequent readers to help stock the best books people from the region want to read. That’s never an issue. People love reading. In 2017, the book industry sold more than $10 billion. Ferguson is always honest about everything. It wasn’t always easy, but in the end, it seems, it’s all turning out to be a great story. G


Perfect lighting plans

Stunning custom cabinetry

Unique backsplash patterns

Beautiful quartz countertops

High-traffic durable flooring


Grand Forks 701-746-8444 Bemidji 218-751-1063 Drayton 701-454-3504

IT â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S OKAY. WE CAN HELP.



•ƒ„‘—–‘—” ’”‹‰‡„‡”•Š‹’ ”‘‘–‹‘



Country View Woodworking Leg Table with Elm Top and Brown Maple Base


Country View Woodworking Quarter Sawn Oak Mission Set

GRAND FORKS ¦ MINOT 800-950-8222


SHOP & STYLE // Photos by Manstrom Photography



EYEWEAR It’s easy to see why Cait BrooksSanger and her team always look busy. As

certified opticians they are in an industry undergoing constant change. “Technology and innovation is huge in our industry,” Brooks-Sanger of Lifetime Vision Center in Grand Forks, says. New tech and innovative procedures are a must for everything from eyewear to standard optical testing procedures, she adds, because of a growing number of factors. The largest generation in the U.S. is growing older. Screen time amongst every segment of the population is increasing. And, more people today wear frames, even if they aren’t necessary, because as Brooks-Sanger says, they simply help a person show off their personal style.

Look At The Tech

Both the material and processes to produce a prescription lens has evolved. Most vision centers used to grind prescriptions into a glass lens, shaping it into the appropriate piece. It required many steps and a large lab. Today, most prescriptions are digitally applied to a material. Lifetime utilizes





SCREEN TIME EFFECTS The biggest thing people don’t think about with their eyes is the impact of blue light—a spectrum of light that can be good and bad depending on the amount of exposure to our eyes. Long doses of blue light cause strain, discomfort and eye irritation. Today, glasses aren’t just beneficial to those who are near- or far-sighted. Blue light rays have the shortest wavelengths and highest energy. Blue Light Benefits // Boosts alertness // Elevates mood // Regulates circadian rhythm (sleep cycles) Where Are You Exposed To Blue Light? After sunlight, there are several sources: // Computer monitors // Smartphones // Tablet screens // LED lights // Flat screen LED televisions New thoughts on blue light “Exposure you receive from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. And yet, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.” // 60 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2019


(think big names like Tom Ford, Tiffany, Coach or Maui Jim)



Each brand or style has signature details that set the frames apart and make them recognizable. The gold T shape is a staple of the Tom Ford brand. Ray Bans use cursive text somewhere on the frames. Every pair relies on differences in the smallest things—in style or quality— to stand out.




POLARIZATION IS YOUR FRIEND Sunglasses built with polarization lenses cut out horizontal bounce of light. This is what it means:

Helps reduce reflection of snow

Helps reduce eye fatigue

Helps you see through water better and catch more fish (the fish part isn’t true)

Brown tints=enhanced texture viewing Yellow tints=better vision at dusk Gray tints=eases light sensitives

ate and a material called Trivex; both are lightweight and durable. Big prescriptions no longer require thick lenses. Blur zones on new trifocals have been vastly reduced. Testing procedures for eye health now include special imaging that provide pictures of the eye that look like a NASA image of a far-off star being formed.

Styles Change, Then Come Back

“Glasses are like haircuts,” Brooks-Sanger says, “they don’t always work on certain people.” Because of that, the Lifetime team carries an impressive collection of frames. They offer geek chic, the black rimmed glasses associated with the stereotypical eyewear of fictional people like Steve Urkel. (If you don’t know who he is, Google “TV Nerd”). They have cat-eye frames, rose-gold frames and options for hard-core fishermen or people who want to look like hard-core fishermen. Aviators aren’t going anywhere. “All of the styles come full circle. It all rotates,” Brooks-Sanger says. Today people wear frames to showcase their personal style. Some people, she says, take twohours to find the right look. Others find their pair in five minutes. Every option typically holds up better than they used to, she says. Small frames or glass-only frames are not currently in style. Tortoise brown (the speckled brown color) is always in. Rose gold is just like home décor, its hot right now. G








Innovative Basement Systems

Budget Blinds

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

Thermography & Health Solutions

Innovative Basement Systems

Innovative Basement Systems specializes in basement waterproofing, boathouse structural repair, concrete leveling, lifting & repair, crawl space encapsulation & repair, egress windows, foundation repair, mold, radon gas & mitigation, shoreline restoration, sump pumps and more! Innovative provides high quality products & exceptional customer service at economical prices. Restore Your Home & Peace of Mind Phone: 877-365-0097

Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture

At Plains Chiropractic & Acupuncture we see you as an individual with a unique set of needs, and we view chiropractic care as a system of health care that can help you reach improved levels of wellbeing. Allow our combination of experience, evidence-based care, and collaborative mindset help you reach your health goals. 3750 32nd Ave. South Suite #103 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-775-1034

Budget Blinds

At Budget Blinds, our goal is to provide you with the best products and services in order to enrich your home environment. We offer FREE In-Home Consultations, Professional Measure and Installation, and the Best Warranty in the Industry. Call us today to schedule your Free In-Home Consultation. Style and Service for Every Budget. 701-213-0254

Thermography & Health Solutions

Thermography & Health Solutions, located within the Holistic Hub, provides a variety of services for your health care goals. We offer a holistic approach to assist your body as a whole to achieve a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Our personalized plans offer several options for achieving desired wellness. Visit our website to see all of the therapies we offer. 4575 32nd Ave South, Suite #3 Grand Forks, ND. 58201 218-791-9103



Avant Hair and Skin Care Studio's and Spa

Paragon Chiropractic

John D. Schroeder

Maple View Memory Care Community

Avant Hair and Skin Care Studio's and Spa

Maple View Memory Care Community

AVANT SALON'S AND SPA takes Maple View communities are great pride in everything we changing the way the world do! Signature Customer Service, views memory care. With our Technically Strong and Profeshighly specialized staff and our sional Providers of Services and Montessori-based programming, Treatments. AVEDA Naturally we have created an environment Derived Hair Color and Products that nurtures independence, for the Hair, Skin, and Body. The self-assurance and positivity in Look...The Feel... The Atmosphere seniors and memory-impaired of Avant, created for you, our individuals, as well as their loved valued guest, with two locations ones. Let us provide a new to serve you. outlook on what life could be. 33 S. 3rd St 701-775-5333 (downtown) 4650 S Washington St 2750 Gateway Dr. Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-8000 (Gateway) 701-772-3400 64 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 2 2019

Alerus Mortgage

Paragon Chiropractic and Wellness Center

Paragon Chiropractic and Wellness Center is family-friendly, and may be unlike any doctor’s office that you’ve experienced. We aim to transform the way you think about health and what is truly possible for you and your family. Our clinic exists to encourage a culture of health through cutting-edge chiropractic care and one-onone lifestyle coaching. 2860 10th Ave N Suite 200 Grand Forks, ND, 58203 701-757-1145

Robin Carriere – Alerus Mortgage

If you are looking to finance a new home, Robin Carriere is ready to help you out. She is enthusiastic in helping clients secure the best financing possible. She is a longtime resident of Grand Forks and enjoys helping people find the right home right here in the Red River Valley. Alerus is an Equal Housing Lender. 401 Demers Ave. Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-795-3292


Pretty b.

Norby's Work Perks

Love Where You Live. Quotable Kids

Pretty b.

We hand select each piece with quality and the customer in mind. Each year we continue to grow and connect with our customer's, bringing in a mix of the best basics and must have styles for the season!

Coldwell Banker

Quotable Kids

And make sure to check us out on Instagram and Facebook!

Quotable Kids offers evidencebased speech-language, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services for children ages birth to 21 years of ages. Above all, we value the relationships we have with the children and families we serve, and we offer individualized care for each child. When you enter the Quotable Kids clinic, you are special, loved, kind, amazing, strong, brave, respected, & the FUTURE!

2650 32nd Ave. S Suite B Grand Forks, ND 58201 phone: 701-757-0179 website:

2600 DeMers Avenue, Suite 106 Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-739-5437

Stop in and see us today! We can't wait to meet you!

Norby’s Work Perks

Norby’s is your turnkey solution for all office interiors; ranging from fully ergonomic office chairs to a complete smart building designed by us with modular walls, flooring, and adaptable furniture. We have evolved and we will keep adapting to the most current trends in design principles for Interior Spaces while never losing our commitment to our customers to provide “Service, Service, Service in everything we do”. 11 S 4th St Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-9441

Coldwell Banker

I am a Realtor working with Coldwell Banker Forks Real Estate. It is important to me that you Love Where You Live. Please contact me if you or someone you know needs any assistance with buying or selling a home or any other Real Estate Property.

Sarita Bansal, Realtor 701-330-2024 2880 19th Ave S Grand Forks, ND 58201




Sadie's Events

Crary Real Estate

Half Brothers Brewery

All Seasons Garden Center

Sadie's Couture Floral & Event Styling

From weddings to corporate events, Sadie’s Couture Floral & Event Styling brings your ideas to life with a personalized touch. However simple or elaborate, we are here to make your event memorable. We are passionate about our work and strive to create beauty in every event we touch.

899 2nd Ave N Suite 1 Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-317-3255

Half Brothers Brewery

Welcome to the Family Half Brothers Brewery is a familyfriendly brewery featuring the finest craft beer, delicious food, and local live music every night. Working with local artists and professionals, we’ve built something special that goes beyond quality beer and great food. Come in for a pint and a bite and see for yourself. 17 N. 3rd Street Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-757-0805


Jessica Rice, Crary Real Estate

Buying and selling your home can be very emotional. I am here to simplify the process and make everything easy on you. Whether you are buying your first home, building your dream home or downsizing into the perfect town home, I am here to assist you!

4551 S Washington St Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-741-8681

All Seasons Garden Center

During every season, All Seasons Garden Center is a local shopping destination. Flowers for your garden each spring and summer…fall brings beautiful colors with trees and homegrown mums…winter with holiday sparkles, fresh Christmas trees and wall-to-wall poinsettias. The coffee is always on. The greenhouse is always warm! Come get your green therapy with us today! 5101 S. Washington St. Grand Forks, ND 58201 701-746-7777

+ 3 6 : 469,/64,:



Focused on you. Focused on the future.



Profile for BBI International

Issue 02:19 - GRAND Lifestyle magazine  

Best of the Grand Cities magazine.

Issue 02:19 - GRAND Lifestyle magazine  

Best of the Grand Cities magazine.

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded