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Of // Spirit Imagination


New Era For // AThe Blue Moose

OUTDOORS // America’s Drone

Proving Grounds

Cover Sent Separately

ARRANGE Your Perfect

STYLE New Inspiration For Your Dream Event

ISSUE 5 2019 Printed in USA





GRAND FORKS ¦ MINOT 800-950-8222

FRIDAY NOV 08 6:15PM | Alerus Center | Grand Forks, ND Join us for a fun evening out! Bring your friends for a night of dancing, cocktails, great food, oh and did we say a wedding!?! If you are shopping for wedding vendors - come see them in action!








ISSUE 5:19 //





SPIRIT OF IMAGINATION Commercial artist, and now children’s book author, Katie Lee, explains how we can embrace our imaginations and trust in what comes after.


ARRIVING WITH STYLE Trendsetting, highly popular floral and event stylist, Brooke Conlin, shares her insights and inspirations on new trends, overcoming personal obstacles and what we all need to do about events in the region.



GRAND PEOPLE: HAILEY ERNST Inspired by her own experience with foster children, high schooler Hailey Ernst, is providing unique experiences to foster families of the region.





THE MODERN AMENITIES OF FIRE Thanks to modern technology, fireplaces have been reimagined and retooled for hassle-free everyday life.



A NEW ERA FOR THE BLUE MOOSE With new owners taking over, the iconic eatery and bar in East Grand Forks is operating at a pivotal time. Read on for the new (sort of) vision.




AMERICA'S UAS PROVING GROUND The hype is real. Grand Forks has become the epicenter for unmanned aircraft systems activity, testing and commercial work. Learn what makes the region a drone leader.




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Checkout The New Section Who do you personally know that has amazed or inspired you?

Think about it for a second before reading on—someone that is a changemaker, a mentor or exemplifies someone you’d like to emulate. For this issue, we pooled our list of people and profile story ideas together for a new section of the magazine we are simply calling GRAND People. The premise is based around the question from above. I’m guessing you were able to think of multiple people to that question. We did too, and, we certainly think those people warrant a place in your magazine. For the foreseeable future, the publication will include some formulation of a story that showcases inspiring, exemplary or flat-out good and cool people from the region. To start, we chose Hailey Ernst, a high schooler from Thompson, North Dakota. Ernst has formed and now leads an organization set-up to sell apparel and use the proceeds to pay for experiences—like birthday parties, swimming lessons or the ability to play an instrument in the school band—that foster kids don’t typically get. As the story on Ernst reveals, the amount of kindness in the region is impressive and the need for it, like all places everywhere, is never ending. Think you have a person in mind for the new section? Let us know, we have a great list already, but we can always use more. Also in this issue, we looked into the technological advances that have transformed what we know about an iconic home feature: the fireplace. Ron Hoime, fireplace expert and main source for our research, detailed the way touchscreens, mechanical engineering and modern design has made owning, operating and enjoying a fireplace more feasible than ever. Brooke Conlin could have been in the GRAND People section for how inspiring she has been in battling through physical restrictions that are often misunderstood but extremely hard to function with, but we took a deeper dive on her story and provided insight on what it takes to make a great floral arrangement. Speaking of icons, how about the place in East Grand Forks we all know as The Blue Moose. The iconic eatery and bar is entering a new era and the leaders have a vision to make the place last a century. Katie Lee, national artist, explained how she became a commercial artist and then branched out to become a published author. (She would have been great in the GRAND People section as well). Luke Geiver EDITOR, GRAND Lifestyle magazine And then there are the drones. To help you understand why Grand Forks continues to be the epicenter for drone research, commercial activity testing and every day operations across a wide spectrum, we put together an imageheavy story showing why and how the region is truly America’s UAS proving grounds. Enjoy the stories. 8

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GRAND LIFESTYLE TEAM CEO Joe Bryan President Tom Bryan Vice President, Marketing & Sales Director John Nelson Editor Luke Geiver Art Director Jaci Satterlund Photographers Manstrom Photography Insta: @manstromphotography | FB: @manstromphotography | Twitter: @ManstromPhoto

Russ Hons Photography Insta & Twitter: @RussHons | FB: @RussellHonsPhotography | Website:

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Circulation Manager & Copy Editor Jessica Tiller Marketing & Advertising Manager Marla DeFoe Social Media Coordinator Dayna Bastian Account Manager Ryan Livingood

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

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ART & CULTURE // Photos by Russ Hons Photography

SPIRIT OFIMAG INATION Katie Lee is fully aware that she fits into the common stereotype assigned to many artists. Sometimes she loses track of time during


a painting session. In many cases, she realizes after stopping for a break that the lack of light outside her studio window isn’t linked to a recent sundown, but instead, the clock on her phone displaying a time that is well past midnight. She admits that like most artists, she gets lost in her work. She’s painted since she was young, like most artists also say, and, she’s always been drawn to a creative force that seems to pull her mind, eyes, hands and time towards a blank space waiting to be enhanced by some combination of oil paint and her own imagination. Inside her studio space, blank white canvases are stacked against each other by the dozens. Her walls display works in progress or works re-


cently completed. There is a large table covered by a sheet. The legs of the table are propped up by truck tires and the table top is like a buffet of oil paint splotches, mixes and swatches of every color imaginable. The table is about purpose and function and mixing paint. It has nothing to do with anything else, but in many ways says a lot about everything in Lee's world. It is clear that witnessing Lee in her studio reveals the obvious: she is definitely a painter. Lee has embraced her calling. Talking with her, as we did to gain a glimpse into the multifaceted world of commercial artistry, entrepreneurism, children’s book writing and the experience of participating in a sweat lodge ceremony (all of which Lee is well versed in), also provides an obvious truth about Lee: she is definitely more than any stereotypical painter. And, her journey can act as a pseudo guidepost for many of us to drift towards.



The Artist Turned Writer unworthy of recounting. But, after talking It’s hard not to believe in Lee’s manabout her spirit experience with a family tra of embracing an activity without the Inspired by her fascination with vibrant friend and learning that such an experiworry of an end goal after seeing her rise colors, Lee painted a rainbow image for ence is rare, Lee and the friend were confrom artist to writer. After going through the cover of her book. At the time, she tacted by a Lakota member of the Standing a unique experience roughly three years didn’t realize it was a unique image she’d Rock Sioux Tribe. Lee was then invited to ago, Lee has now become a successful chilchosen to emulate in the painting. Upon further examination of her image, Lee partake in a sweat lodge ceremony to help dren’s book author and illustrator that is learned she had chosen a rare double her, and others interested, understand how published on, in Barnes and rainbow image. A double rainbow shows and why as Lee says, “a white girl from Noble and across the region in various the presence of two realms: the earthly Grand Forks had such a spiritual encounbook stores. How it all started is something realm and the spiritual realm. Both realms ter.” Lee says she could not have planned. are significant to the story, Lee says, The entire experience inspired Lee to Her journey to become an author acknowledging that the cover turned out write her first book, “No Matter Your Color, started with spiritual encounter a chance well even if she didn’t intend to provide the Great Spirit Will Find You.” According that involved the presence of a Native so much meaning through her color and to Lee, she wrote the entire story in roughAmerican spirit. During an early morning image choice. ly two hours. Over the next year and a half, walk and meditation stop at her father’s ranch in western North Dakota, Lee experienced an unmistakable Lee created individual scenes for every section of the book. A Unipresence while she stood at an old teepee ring they had previously versity of North Dakota graphic designer helped her formalize the found. It felt like a buffalo was standing next to her as she stood with layout. Like always, her kids and husband helped her work through her eyes closed. Lee recalls, its breath heavy and its presence was the editing and proofing process on her work. As you’ll read, there easy to feel. It turns out, Lee discovered, the presence was Iktomi, are layers and layers of meaning in the story. Although it is considthe great spider spirit best known for being the legend of the dream- ered a children’s book, Lee has already received major orders from catcher. For most, the encounter may have seemed to be a fluke or unlikely places. A financial advisor from out of state liked the book so



much that he ordered 400 copies to give to clients and friends. Lee didn’t know him until the order came through. A teacher in Montana is working to install the story in her coursework. Local support has also been strong. The story itself, falls in line with Lee’s personal experience. A young girl discovers an ancient Native American medicine wheel on her parents’ ranch (sound familiar?). As Lee writes on the back of the book, “it is a whimsical interpretation meant to awaken its readers, lift spirits and teach children and adults alike that no matter your color or beliefs, we are all the same on the inside.” We might not all have the same skill at painting or possess the imaginative insight of putting color on canvas like Lee does, but we can see or experience what she has. Oil paint, or words on a page, are just a medium, Lee says. The key to it all starts well before the brush is picked up or the keyboard lights up. “It’s all about embracing what you know,” she says. “You have to embrace your imagination.”

PAINTING WHAT SHE KNOWS: Lee insists on following the time-tested painter/writer mantra about subject choice. Lee paints or writes about what she knows. She’s lived in multiple unique places like Seattle or Big Sky, both of which show up in her portfolio of work.



Painting Her Way Through GOING FOR GOLD: Although Lee paints with oil, she is constantly looking for ways to experiment. She’s painted on huge teepees, brick walls and blue heads. In her latest work, she’s found a use for gold leaf flecks to give a starscape image a unique glint of reflective light.


Lee has never taken formal painting classes, she’s always painted. Others—all over the American West and Midwest—have embraced her painting imagination since she first started selling her work. Lee has sold hundreds of paintings. In the Big Sky, Montana, area where her family spends time throughout the year, Lee has paintings displayed in hotels, restaurants and several other locations. Although she typically sticks to canvas, she is wellknown in Montana for painting a full-size, 18-foot teepee replica. In Grand Forks, you’ve probably seen the painted view on the glasses worn by the blue head art installation downtown. Lee painted that. Out West, she’s well known for her take on the wild, particularly animals like bison. Many of her pieces utilize large canvases displaying sections of an animal (a bison’s broad shoulder humps or a longhorn’s white tips. In her scenes, nearly every piece boasts a color section that seems to burst off the image as if Lee just finished the piece and the color on


the image is so fresh and bright, touching it might stain your fingertip. “I never really wanted to paint an animal or a scene as it really appeared,” Lee says when describing her approach to painting. “I like to embrace my experience with things and try to document them the way I remember them.” For Lee, that often means recapturing an image or scene with vivid colors nearly impossible in reality. It also means emphasizing portions and details of a bison, skyline or starscape that make it clear to the viewer that the beauty of the specific thing they are seeing pop from the painting is the same thing Lee envisioned for her work moments before her brush ever touched the canvas. However, Lee doesn’t work on a schedule or under the confines of a plan. In fact, she cringes at the thought and believes that if there is anything nonartists can learn from her success, it’s that it is okay to embrace an activity without worrying about how it fits into an end goal or plan. G






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HAILEY ERNST Fosters A Kind Experience 18


Hailey Ernst started thinking about the apparel business soon after her Thompson, North Dakota-home added members through the foster care system.

Only 16 at the time, Ernst quickly began to realize how important and meaningful family relationships were to her—regardless of how her new siblings came to be a part of her family. In 2018, she started a foundation with a unique goal. Ernst and her mother, Melissa, wanted to provide experiences—like birthdays, swimming lessons, or the ability to play an instrument in the band— to foster children of the region. According to Ernst, most foster families have the funding to take care of regular living expenses, but in some cases foster families don’t have the funds to pay for extracurricular activities or special events that others of the same age might typically experience. Through the Kindness Over Everything Project, Ernst has helped provide funding opportunities to foster children. “It has been an adjustment to become a foster sister,” she says. “It has taught me to treat relationships different than I did before. The people in your life today might not be there tomorrow.” When Ernst started her Kindness project, all she wanted to do was raise money by selling apparel. After playing around with a logo that included the word Kindness and a single horizontal line underneath the word, they came across a name for their venture. Today, the project has become a successful charitable organization for foster kids. She started with a Facebook site and word of mouth selling. Then, she says, “it all blew up. People started buying T-shirts like crazy.” To date, her apparel is mainly sold in the region, but Ernst has already made it into several boutiques. She hopes to expand sales into Minnesota and western North Dakota through shirt

sales and speaking engagements. Ernst also hopes that more businesses will place bulk orders or fund experiences through her organization. Many already have, she says. Minnesota-based Section 21 Apparel Co. has helped design and print the T-shirts and other gear. Funds so far have gone to pay for everything from swimming lessons to a birthday party at River Cinema. According to Ernst, the foster family reached out to her after the birthday and said it was an experience they would never forget and that without the funding, they would have never been able to create such a day. “Foster kids are typical kids,” Ernst says speaking of her own foster siblings. “They just want to do normal after school activities. They just want to be loved and feel like they are a part of something.” With no plans to stop, Ernst has had several great moments leading the charge of the Kindness project. In addition to the comments and input she receives on the benefits of the Kindnessfunded-experiences, she also enjoys people wearing her shirts. “I’ve seen them everywhere, but the best is at school. Some days I see my friends or teachers wearing my shirts. That is the best. I know I can have an impact, I know other people care.” G

Foster Misconception No. 1 For Ernst, the main falsity about fostering is one she learned about firsthand. “I’ve learned you don’t have to be the richest family to foster. You just have to have a loving home. That is all most foster kids dream about.”


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HOME & DESIGN // Photos by Russ Hons Photography



The way Ron Hoime explains the features of a glass-faced electric fireplace insert makes you smile, even if the explanations can run a little long. For 35 years, Ho-

ime has been immersed in the home comfort industry as the owner of Sunrooms Plus in Grand Forks, a shop that designs, sells and services fireplaces (along with sunroom additions, hot tubs, outdoor furniture and a myriad of other comfort-based items). When he activates an electric fireplace with the swipe of his hand or dials the flames up to fire off in multiple colors, or turns on, off and on again the backlights of the unit, it’s just impossible not to smile. Hoime knows his products, that is clear, but when he talks about them and displays their high-tech functions and mood-enhancement qualities, you can’t help but feed off his positive energy. You realize that at some point in the conversation and demonstration, he has moved beyond trying to sell you a new unit and is instead just genuinely enamored by the features of fire. His energy alters your mood, sort of like fires always do. By the time you realize the unit he’s been showing you is only a foot away and has been on full-blast for ten minutes, you don’t even care that you are sweating in a building that has the air conditioning running. Hoime’s rundown



of flame heights, smartphone features and ease of operation abilities of the unit have most likely hijacked all your thoughts and senses and taken you to a dream state where you, your loved ones and the floating flames of the unit in front of you are cozy and happy. When Hoime finally halts his run-down and asks you, “What do you think?” all you really can do is smile. To take a new look at an ageold, iconic feature nearly everyone would take or use if given the choice, we checked in with Hoime on what’s new and what’s available in the world of fireplaces. We left with a long list of things to write about, a big smile and a sense of comfort—sort of like the kind you get when you sit down in front of that fire and watch or listen to the flames after a long day. G

Forget The Basic Brick Although basic brick stone fireplace surrounds are still attainable, the type and amount of materials used in new builds or retrofits today is amazing. Hoime and his team work with suppliers that can make and install new overlays to hide the old, gold fireplace faces popular in the 70s. Hand-hammered (Hoime has met the maker that does the actual hammering) overlays offer a new look with an old-world feel. Some surround material makers have turned to old wooden boats from Asia to provide a unique, woodlook feel to the area above the fireplace. Mantles are a key component of most gas inserts and Hoime has a huge selection. Most choose a rustic, real chunk of hardwood these days.


The Comfort of Family Hoime and his wife, Cheryl, have been operating the store since 1982. Members of their family and long-time friends are, and have been, a part of the business since its inception.

Technology Has Found The Fire Woodburning or pellet stoves no longer come with a headache of fire-starting fumes or ash removal. Hoime heats his entire shop with a motion activated pellet stove. A wood stove featured in his shop offers a hands free start-up mode that eliminates fumes during the start-up process. New sealing techniques put on heat and nothing else. When gas or wood units are installed, Hoime’s team uses a piping system that removes air and draws air without compromising the temperature or air quality of the dwelling. Electric units provide style and function. Remotely controlled, the inserts put out usable warmth with a look that can be modern or near-authentic.

The Perks Of Comfort When he’s not installing a sunroom or helping design a fireplace setup, Hoime is looking for, working on or thinking about antiques and cars. In front of his shop, he considers the old Willy’s Jeep a staple piece signifying where his store is at. In the back shop, he frequently parks or stores his current car projects. On summer nights, you’ll probably find him at a car show showing off one of his Dodge vehicles.


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EAT & DRINK // Photos by Manstrom Photography & Kuntz Photography




They were trained how to run his Blue Moose. Now it’s time to run their version. Although it seems contradictory, their plan for the future—to make changes without changing— makes sense in some magical way. Patrick Boppre and Nathan Sheppard want to make changes at The Blue Moose Bar and Grill—the long-running culinary and community staple in the GRAND region famous for its location on the banks of the Red River, the lodge inspired décor and atmosphere or its peoplepleasing menu—without changing anything. Investors in the East Grand Forks restaurant since 2011, Boppre and Sheppard will officially take over the majority stake and control of the eatery next year. Listening to Boppre, the current manager that started working there at 16 as a busboy, and Sheppard, a local chef talent that has run kitchens across the country and now runs things in EGF, talk about their hopes, dreams and fears


about taking over the helm of a Mount Rushmore-type of regional restaurant reveals an interesting and complex set of scenarios. How do two young, fun-loving, energetic food and service enthusiasts with big ideas make their mark at a place that has already made its own mark? And, how, or maybe why, should a place as successful and well-known as “The Moose” even need to embark on expansion or growth? Boppre and Sheppard have actually thought about those questions, they say. As we sat at a corner table in the bar section of the restaurant recently, discussing those same questions, Boppre wearing his Blue Moose logoed polo and Sheppard in his chefs’ hat and buttoned shirt, the pair looked at each other and paused, sharing a brief low-rise smile, as if they knew what the other was thinking and about to say. As we are all about to see, smell, taste (or in this case read) Boppre, Sheppard and the Blue Moose dynasty does have a vision for the future.

Owner Favorites

It has become apparent to the staff, customers, friends and family of Boppre and Sheppard that the two genuinely enjoy working together. Apart from each other, here are their favorites.

Moose Item: B-Guinness Burger S-Atlantic salmon or Reuben Food To Make At Home: B-Smoked Corn S-Soups Time of Year: B-Motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Day (they serve more than 800 people) S-Thanksgiving (because some people wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get that type of meal otherwise).

The Moose Go-Tos The Moose Go-Tos

Spinich dip is always the top seller. Dave Homstad bought the recipe at a food show. Other popular dishes include the walleye, homemade macaroni and cheese, spicy wrap and any of the burgers. After Sheppard started, all of the burgers were made by hand patting, which equates to roughly 600 hand-pattied burgers per week.



Understanding Their Place In East Grand Forks It’s hard to say what the restaurant is truly famous for, even though it would be hard to find anyone in the region that doesn’t count the restaurant as a staple to revisit or enjoy for the first time. Opened and locally owned since 1994, the facility itself has undergone multiple renovation rounds. It’s been redone after floods, and then redone again after flood protection infrastructure ran through its property lines, forcing it to make changes. Menus have been majorly tweaked. The well-known slogan used by the marketing team simply describes the Blue Moose as a “Place In East Grand Forks.” The slogan is certainly accurate, but there is also so much left unsaid. Of anyone, Boppre has experienced and embraced the magic of the moose. After bussing tables in high school, he served and bartended there during his college days at the University of North Dakota. Boppre even met his wife at the Moose. “I’ve always really liked the restaurant industry. There is so much energy in the people,” Boppre says. The energy undoubtedly starts with Dave Homstad, founder and visionary behind it all.




Homstad, who also ran another Grand Forks iconic eatery in Whitey’s, not only built a restaurant capable of lasting 100 years or more, he’s also taken on a mentor role to Boppre and Sheppard. Homstad’s LinkedIn profile even describes his position as “mentor to my replacements at Blue Moose Bar & Grill.” The new owners would say Homstad was everything they could have asked from a mentor. When they talk about their early fears for taking over the business or their plans for the future, Homstad’s name comes up in the conversation, usually in a way that indicates the two are only doing what Dave said to do or would do. Back in 2011, Boppre and Sheppard were excited about the opportunity to work with Homstad. But they were also hesitant. “I remember being excited but also nervous,” Sheppard says. Although he’d learned the chef ropes at the former Sanders restaurant in Grand Forks and spent time at major culinary spots in the Pacific Northwest, Sheppard had never ran a business. Boppre knew management, but like Sheppard, he didn’t know what Homstad did. “My wife had an accounting background, so when I came home and said Dave wanted to help us take over the restaurant, she wanted to see the books.” As history has shown, there has never been an issue with the finances of food at the restaurant. In 2011, the new owners invested enough to attain 12.5 percent of the Moose. When it is all said and done, Homstad will retain a small percentage of the restaurant as a legacy owner. Bop-


Lessons From Dave n

Invest in restaurant infrastructure: buy new ovens, upgrade the bar, put in new carpet


Make building updates every 3 to 5 years


Keep the deck. The view is irreplaceable.




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The Founder’s Journey Even if you don’t know Dave Homstad, you know Dave Homstad. In 1993, he officially opened what has become an iconic eatery and bar in East Grand Forks known as The Blue Moose. At the start of 2020, when Homstad takes a seat at the bar, or in a booth overlooking the Red River, he’ll be just another customer—sort of. After a handful of years spent grooming, tutoring and mentoring Patrick Boppre and Nathan Sheppard to become the new owners, Homstad is handing over leadership of the Moose and retaining only a small ownership portion. “It was my heart and soul,” he says. “It became so much a part of my life that I just wanted to retain a bit of it.” At a time when independent restaurants continue to show less success than their chain-counterparts, Homstad has left a blueprint on how to run a successful restaurant and now more recently, how to perform a successful transition so that future success can mirror the past. It all started when Homstad was working at Whitey’s, a staple of the GRAND region’s restaurant and bar scene for decades. A neighboring restaurant had just opened and was struggling. With a hidden desire to own and run his own establishment, Homstad went to the neighboring restaurant “to borrow a cup of sugar,” he says. During that stop, he asked about buying the restaurant, knowing full well he had no money or asset package from which to borrow off. After a conversation with the ownership group of Whitey’s—Homstad explained it would be better for them to know their competition than not—Homstad had what he needed to make the buy. A few months of renovations later, he opened The Blue Moose. For the first few years, the business was simply okay, despite the rave reviews and commentary he received from the community. “A lot of people thought we were a chain because we had a lot of things figured out,” he says. Before they ever opened, Homstad had already created an extensive training manual for his employees, formulated an operating strategy for his managers to succeed and keep customers happy and developed a full-menu. In 1997, The Blue Moose was the first to receive electricity after the Red River flood. “Area leaders wanted to get us up and running to provide some normalcy to the community,” Homstad says. “Everyone was looking for something to do that was normal after a long day of cleaning their basements.” Since then, the Moose has become a constantly packed regional staple known for its food, bar and atmosphere, all of which Homstad had a major role in creating. For several years, Homstad put in 90 to 100 hours per week. He knows it was tough on his children at times and his wife stopped going to the grocery store with

him. “Because I came to know so many people from the restaurant,” he says, “it took me twice as long to get groceries as the normal person.” Homstad has always considered customer interaction the best part of the job. He always tried to stop by as many tables as possible and he always trained other managers to do the same. “It is so hard to create that customer that really enjoys coming back. It is hard to cultivate that. If you don’t take care of the guest, you just have to work harder to get a new guest.” He loved the spinach con queso dip and the pan-fried walleye. He wishes he would have moved the bar from the center of the facility to where it is today sooner rather than later. He is proud of creating a place that is so well known for more than the food and that in a business that requires great talent behind the scenes, his list of memorable managers and staff is extensive. The longer he talks about his many days and nights managing and bringing to life his vision for the Moose, the more his comments drift away from ovens, bar designs or menus. When he talks about Boppre and Sheppard, there seems to be a sense of quiet pride and confidence related to his business acumen, an unabashed celebration of his new reality that doesn’t involve long nights or rush hours, and the one thing that is never really said by Homstad, but clearly expected and understood. Homstad might be a realist in how he trained others and looked at the business, but he is also a bit sad that his days of doing what he set out to do are essentially over. The thing is, if you know Dave or you don’t know Dave, it is obvious that one thing can be said regardless: he’ll be back. That is the thing about the Moose, he says. It’s great because people always come back. The food is exceptional, he argues, along with the décor and the drinks. But all that can change, he also admits. It’s not the seats or the booths, he explains, it’s the people in them that matter. Of all the things Homstad says he’ll miss after running an iconic place for so long, it is just that. “I think I’ll miss the people the most.”



Run Your Kitchen Like A Head Chef

With six kids at home, Sheppard says his favorite dish to make is anything everyone at the table will like. (Lately that has been Asian style noodles). To run a kitchen like a pro, he has these basic tips:



n n

Use the best ingredients you can get. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll focus more and the result will be noticeable. Make the food with love. Think of a carrot, for example. In a well-made stew, all the carrots are sliced the same size and they all cook evenly that way. If you print out a recipe, pay attention to the details. Bring some passion to the kitchen. The experience of cooking is about more than just the food.

Secrets of Service

Boppre has a sharp eye for great service. When he eats at places other than the Moose, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always watching. These are his staples: 36 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 5 2019

n n n n

Always have a smile Anticipate guest needs Think of extra plates Think of refills

n n n n

Always pre-bus tables Focus on accuracy of guest order Participate in teamwork Help out other tables

pre and Sheppard both agree retaining any type of Homstad presence in the business is a good thing. “Dave has been a guiding light and mentor. This is the first place I really learned how to run a restaurant,” Sheppard says. Boppre agrees. “I feel like I’ve graduated. Now I’m excited to see what this place can become.” The plan for the future isn’t so much set in stone as it is a basic mantra to apply in future decisions. The new owners believe in staying on, and just ahead of trends—from their menu changes to their cooking infrastructure in the kitchen. “The industry is always changing,” Boppre notes. “But we aren’t afraid to adapt while providing the mainstay service and quality product we are known for.” According to Sheppard, future plans could include an expansion of space at the existing eatery. It might also entail branching out and opening up new options, like a kick-butt sandwich shop (an example offered by Sheppard). Neither Boppre or Sheppard are scared of screwing up what Homstad has established. They were trained how to run his Blue Moose. Now it’s time to run their version. Although it seems contradictory, their plan for the future—to make changes without changing—makes sense in some magical way. Afterall, that is the thing about the Moose. From the literal blue sculpture of a moose at the front entrance, to the view of the Red River, to the décor, to the expansive menu to the people like Boppre and Shepard, it is all magical and famous in a way that is tough to describe. The popular slogan used by the marketing team at the Moose actually makes sense in a way. It sure is, as the phrase indicates, “A place in East Grand Forks.” With the know-how, energy and excitement needed to usher the bar and grill into a new era, it might actually be more accurate to change the slogan. As far as Boppre and Sheppard are concerned, it will not just be “a” place, but instead, “thee” place. G



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ART & CULTURE // Photos by Nicole Ashley Photography & Manstrom Photography

Arriving with

Style Brooke Conlin is at a crossroads. For Conlin, it’s a great place to be—she’s put some life-changing health battles in the rear view and now she’s staring down what appear to be an endless number of paths that will take her to the events and activities she loves. An event director at the University of North Dakota during part of the workweek, Conlin is also the visionary behind a sought-after styling, floral and events company called, Brooke Floral. Booking Brooke can be tough, but for those that do attain Conlin for a wedding, gala or other unique event, the outcome is always “beautiful” as her clients have said on several social media platforms, or “memorable,” as Conlin herself describes from input she’s received from clients.





We spent an afternoon with Conlin to discuss her efforts in managing the decisions linked to a floral and styling business, how to make any style memorable, and where she thinks trends in floral or events will take her. “I like to not be ordinary,” Conlin says, the rim of her turtle shell eye glasses lifting a bit when she smiles after speaking. “I have very creative ideas.” The ideas all started during her days working in the flower department at Leevers, a grocery chain that once had a presence in Grand Forks. Years later, she helped organize and style her cousin’s wedding and now, just a few years later, she has one of the most thriving and in-demand businesses of its kind in the entire region. She’s styled weddings in the areas you’d expect, North Dakota and Minnesota, but she’s also ran events in Kansas, Arizona, Colorado and others. Recently, she’s been running Blooms + Brews at Rhombus Brewing Co., allowing participants to experiment and pretend to do what Conlin does with the type and quality of floral and greenery


Conlin’s Belles of Ireland because they are different. “I like wildflowers. I’d take poppies over roses.” The texture of assorted greenery is both beautiful and legit for any occasion, she says.



Arranging The


When it comes to making memorable events with a style that has a once-in-a-lifetime look, Conlin follows a pattern. // Coffee date with the client for a vision, colors ideas and inspiration ideas (she drinks a lot of coffee) // Recalibrate the client's vision with hers (typically starts on the car ride home). Clients often feel restrained by the location, she says. “We can do and get anything here in North Dakota. Access isn’t an issue.” // Provide client visuals and general costs. “Most clients don’t know how much things cost on the high or low end,” she says. // Finalize the main elements of the event, always starting with the client's dream scenario. // Place an order for flower stems and greenery two weeks out from event. Flowers come two to three days in advance. Work at her home studio to arrange bouquets. Spend late nights stressing over the tiniest details. // Spend the pre-arranged time making a beautiful vision become a reality. Even if there is a blizzard, like there was once for an event Conlin was in charge of in Fargo, things always find a way to get done and look memorable. 44 GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 5 2019

most amateurs would never be able to get their hands on. She doesn’t operate under a brick and mortar shop, although someday it’s possible we’ll see a unique events space with the “Brooke,” logo on it. “With any event, it is just so special to be a part of something that is memorable for so many people,” she says. “I’ll never get used to that.”

Her creative gene seems to show up the strongest, even though other health issues have presented challenges. For several years, Conlin battled extreme endometriosis that was debilitating to a normal, routine day. The physical and mental struggles linked to the minimally understood, wildly harmful disease actually helped bring out the

best in Conlin’s style abilities. During extreme times of pain (Conlin was the first in the state to ever have a hightech surgery performed to treat her endometriosis) she turned to styling to take her mind off the pressure inside her. The result of all that focus is an undeniable mix of taste, affinity for the different and next-up color choices that has allowed Conlin

the luxury to second guess why she spends any time during the week doing anything other than what she loves, and gets paid, to do through Brooke. Conlin is a bit shy about explaining why or how she believes she can inspire others, but when she does break it down it’s hard not to like her message. Everyone’s reality in life is different, she explains. Some people will understand what you might be going through and others won’t, but either way, we all have the choice to find a path away from that mental trap that works only when we focus on what we don’t have, instead of what we do have or what we could. Conlin has done that and the result is apparent in every event or floral arrangement she is involved with. There is an easily recognizable look to it all, a sense of wonder and positivity to it, sort of like the kind that swells up inside of you when are standing at that crossroads (real or not) and every way you look seems to be a beautiful direction to take.



Trends in

Weddings and Events

According to Conlin, greenery is popular, and more people are looking for greenage over flowers. People are also moving back to color after a long stint focused on single color pallets used to guide a style. Conlin believes her style has an urban feel. G




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America’s UAS Proving Ground From Washington D.C. to the Silicon Valley, policymakers, investors, technology manufacturers and household names like UPS and are watching and waiting to see what Grand Forks does next. Companies you’ve never heard of have spent time in the region just for the chance to mingle with the main players here. Government offi-

cials at all levels had made special plane stops and speaking engagements just to say they’ve been a part of the unique activities taking place in and around the city. Some national news chains have called the region the Silidrone Valley. Without a doubt, Grand Forks has cemented its place as the leading starting point in unmanned aircraft systems testing, policymaking, industry advancements and the type of widespread collaboration responsible for moving the industry forward. The airspace is vast. The ideas are big. And, the achievements in getting things done versus talking about what could be done, are weighted towards the achievements. As the unmanned industry continues to evolve, here is what you need to know about your region’s place in the worldwide conversation on drones and why you are living in America’s UAS proving grounds.


Leadership From The Top For the past decade, North Dakota’s Congressional delegation has played a dominant role in ensuring North Dakota’s place as a national UAS leader. Senator John Hoeven has helped educate outside industry and inspire organizations of all kinds to invest time, money and resources into UAS-related work in the state. Senator Kevin Cramer has championed the state to Washington, D.C. in a meaningful and results-driven way. The Governor’s office has provided a vision for future development including beyond visual line of sight operations, a long-time hurdle holding back the true impact of regular commercial drone flights. Leaders from Grand Forks entities including Bruce Gjovig, Berry Wilfhart, Keith Lund, Terry Sando, Brandon Baumbach and several others, have also helped spread the message and opportunity for UAS work to those in and outside the region.

Only At Grand Sky The Grand Sky commercial UAS business park west of Grand Forks on U.S. Highway 2 is unrivaled in the world. Others have tried to claim the same offerings as Grand Sky, but none have actually performed the type of historic flights or daily operations that Grand Sky has. The facility houses two of the largest UAS manufacturers in the world, which equates to having Ford and Chevy sharing a parking lot. The Grand Sky development team will continue to add tenants. In the meantime, the Thomas Swoyer led venture will also begin commercial drone operations. The team recently formed an agreement to own and operate a major fixed wing optionally manned aircraft, that until the agreement had never been a possibility.



Startups Turned Staples At any given time, Grand Forks boasts several UAS startups that are pushing the boundaries of the known industry. Companies like Sky Skopes and ISight RPV Services have already graduated from startup to industry staple. Both operate across the country with multiple drone pilot teams working on everything from wind turbine inspections to methane detection services for oil and gas operators. Sky Skopes was recently named one of the best services in the world. The pipeline of new companies looking to emulate Matt Dunlevy and his team at Sky Skopes is long and promising.

Connection To Defense


The presence of defense-related UAS operations in the Grand Forks region is only growing. The Grand Forks U.S. Air Force Base recently received a new designation as the epicenter for Global Hawk operations. The operations help with global reconnaissance and surveillance, all based out of the region. General Atomics is continually growing thanks to a remotely piloted aircraft training station that trains pilots from around the world how to use the General Atomics-designed drone.

Nearly Unlimited Testing The Northern Plains UAS Test Site team based in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has been responsible for more major industry testing milestones than any other major group in the industry. The team works with the biggest names in aerospace, from NASA to publiclytraded AeroVironment to Xcel Energy. The team has helped the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration write the rules for commercial operations and shown the country several examples (through actual flights) of what commercial activity will or could look like someday. At the University of North Dakota, the UAS team is continuing its reputation as a leading provider of pilots, personnel and experts on all things UAS-related. The program is robust as always and the graduates are in high-demand.

Eyes On The Region For the past 13 years, the UAS Summit in Grand Forks has attracted major leaders from government and industry to the city for a UAS-themed event. Researchers, policymakers, entrepreneurs and end-users network for hours each day, taking in presentations and sessions regarding the state of UAS at the time and where the industry can go. This year, the head of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force were on the agenda, along with prominent leaders from the tech and the UAS world.



Know Your Drone Typically classified into one of three categories, regional testing and commercial operations happen every day with each type of unmanned aircraft system.

Multirotors Designed for short flights up to 45 minutes, these electric-powered systems are great for vertical lift off operations needed for photo imagery or other sensor-based work, achievable by a platform that can hold up to five pounds worth of payload (cameras, sensors, etc.) for 30 minutes. Most multirotor operations in the area are for photogrammetry, surveying and inspection. Of course, in the world of drones, there are several other uses being tested and tried on a daily basis.

Medium Altitude, Long Endurance Built for flight durations lasting multiple hours, these systems feature a robust set of ground control communication equipment, hybrid motors capable of gas or electric power and the payload capacity to carry cameras, sensor or packages worth more than the drone themselves. In the region, testing with the units has shown how beyond visual line of sight flights can happen and how long stretches of power lines or pipelines can be monitored during a single flight.

High Altitude, Long Endurance The highest flying, longest running drones in the sky today, these high-altitude longendurance platforms are used by government and other major institutions. The Global Hawk is the king of all HALE platforms. Facebook and others are working to design solar-powered drones that fly in the upper atmosphere for months on end, all to supply internet to the masses. G



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EXPECTING THE UNEXPECTED Kari Rivard shares her experience with Dr. Collette Lessard and Altru’s Obstetrics and Gynecology team. At 20 weeks and 6 days, while carrying her second daughter, the unexpected happened. Kari Rivard’s water broke—much too soon. “I called Altru and was told to come in right away,” shares Kari. At her check-up, Kari realized if she stayed pregnant with her water broke, there was a serious risk of infection. If she delivered now, it was too early. She and her husband, Kent, went to the Mayo Clinic soon after, where they spent several days. Kari showed no more signs of leaking amniotic fluid, so returned home. “Ultrasounds continued to be reassuring,” shares Dr. Lessard. “The Rivards were sent home with the diagnosis of previable preterm premature rupture of membranes. Management involves close outpatient monitoring until viability is reached (23-24 weeks) and then admission to the hospital for the remainder of the pregnancy.” more »LIFESTYLE Learn MAGAZINE // ISSUE 5 2019 60 GRAND

“Dr. Lessard stayed in touch with us often,” explains Kari. “We felt so well cared for during this stressful time.” “I had some bleeding, and it got worse that weekend,” shares Kari. It was a small placenta abruption. “I completely trusted the team, so I decided to stay at Altru,” shares Kari. “The fourth-floor staff was amazing. They got to know our family so well.” Forty-five days later, on the morning of December 20, Kari woke up with contractions— now at 28 weeks and five days. Less than sixty minutes later, baby girl Kaelynn was safely delivered via c-section, weighing in at 3 pounds, 6 ounces. Kaelynn spent another seven weeks in Altru’s NICU. Reflecting back on her pregnancy and delivery experiences at Altru, Kari shares, “I will always remember how much everyone cared. Not only Dr. Lessard, but everyone, from the cleaning crew to the nurses knowing us by name. It meant a lot.”

Profile for BBI International

Issue 5, 2019 - GRAND Lifestyle Magazine  

The best of the Grand Cities magazine.

Issue 5, 2019 - GRAND Lifestyle Magazine  

The best of the Grand Cities magazine.

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