March Chamber Connection

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March 2018



NDDOT Profile Thomas Sorel heads North Dakota Department of Transportation


Member Profile Kramer Agency


Outstanding Teacher of the Year Chamber accepting letters of recommendation for Outstanding Teacher of the Year

CHAMBER CONNECTION EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Ron Day.............................................................................................................................. Chair Molly Herrington ...................................................................................................... Chair-Elect Wayne Munson............................................................................................................ Secretary Nick Hacker..................................................................................................................Treasurer Brenda Nagel ............................................................................................................ Past Chair BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paul Brucker ...............Railway Credit Union Tracy Kindem ..........H.A. Thompson & Sons Ron Day ............Andeavor Mandan Refinery Kevin Magstadt ...................Kraus-Anderson Wayne Munson .................Indigo Signworks Dr. Blake Feil ....................Feil Orthodontics Heather Fried ..........Fried Financial Services Brenda Nagel ..................University of Mary Nick Hacker ..............ND Guaranty and Title Mike Nathe ............Bismarck Funeral Home Chad Hatzenbuhler ...Bank of North Dakota Lee Pierce ...............Al Fitterer Architect PC Jeff Herman ................................Petro Hunt Shannon Reichenberg ........Diversity Homes Jasper Schneider ..................................NISC Molly Herrington ....................................KLJ Russ Honeyman ....................Doosan Bobcat Garret Senger ..........MDU Resources Group Tyler Huck ............Schafer Financial Services Scott Staudinger ..............Cloverdale Foods Chris Jones ....ND Dept. of Human Services Valerie Weigel ....Basin Electric Power Coop Mitch Kaelbaerer .........................TransTrash Jennifer Wilson .....................Kirkwood Mall CHAMBER STAFF Brian Ritter ................................................................................................................. President David Leingang............................................................................ Community Growth Director Mary Masters................................................................................. Office Support Professional Ryan Parsons........................................................................................................Vice President Shay Peterson .................................................................. Membership Engagement Director Rebecca Rattei................................................................................ Communications Specialist Elliot Rust................................................................................................Chief Financial Officer Cathryn Sprynczynatyk Anderson ........................ Communications Specialist/ LBM Director AnneMarie Hansen ........................................................................ Marketing & Events Intern


Chamber Welcomes Peterson as Membership Director Chamber and BMDA Continue Restructure Discussions Spring Mixer is Around the Corner


Economic Outlook Forum March Membership Mixer: Proximal 50 Spring Mixer


President’s Corner

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Cover Story 4 Member Profile 10 Ask-A-Pro 24 Chamber Perks 26 Chamber Ribbon Cuttings 30 1640 Burnt Boat Drive, Bismarck, ND 58503 701.223.5660 • CONTACT INFORMATION Content: The Chamber - 701.223.5660

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2 | Chamber Connection

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President’s Corner


here’s a lot happening around the Chamber these days with new faces, new events and new developments regarding the potential organizational restructure with the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association (BMDA).

First, we have two new teammates here at the Chamber. Our new Chief Financial Officer Elliot Rust joined us in early-January bringing with him a great variety of experience having worked in both non-profit and public accounting fields. Later in the month, Shay Peterson started as our new Membership Engagement Director and she hasn’t wasted any time in becoming a key contributor for us gathering sponsorships, planning events and much more. We’re also working on a number of events as well. We recently held our first-ever Candidate Training Academy in partnership with the Bismarck-Mandan Home Builders Association and Bismarck-Mandan Board of Realtors. This event targeted those individuals interested in seeking public office by providing basic information about how to run a campaign and an opportunity to ask questions of people currently serving in an elected position. Around that same time, we hosted the first-ever “Planting the Seed: North Dakota Agriculture and its Impact on Bismarck-Mandan.” This information session is designed to educate members on the current state of North Dakota’s Agriculture Industry and it’s relation & tremendous impact on Bismarck-Mandan’s economy. And as you know, we continue discussions with the BMDA regarding a potential organizational restructure of both organizations. Previously, both the Chamber and BMDA Board of Directors voted to enter into discussions regarding a potential restructure and subsequently, to continue discussions focusing on how such a restructure would take place. To answer the question of how such a restructure would take place, a Finance Subcommittee has been tasked with developing recommendations as to how a restructured Chamber and BMDA may be funded while our Governance Subcommittee develops recommendations as to how a restructured BMDA and Chamber may be governed. These two Subcommittees have already met multiple times and they’re making great progress, but I want to make very clear that no final decisions as to whether or not to approve the restructure have been made. Should you ever have any questions regarding these developments or anything else, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. The Chamber is a membership organization first and foremost, so we want to make sure that we’re addressing your questions, comments or concerns whenever they arise.

- Brian Ritter President @bismanchamber

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By Cathryn Sprynczynatyk

When Gateway to Science starts construction on their new facility this spring, the mission isn’t just to serve Bismarck-Mandan. The mission is to be North Dakota’s statewide science center.

The new Gateway to Science center will be located at 1600 Canary Ave. in Bismarck, across from the MDU Resources Community Bowl.

“Our vision is to be the premier experience for hands-on science in the region,” said Beth Demke, Executive Director of Gateway to Science. Nearly half of all field trips to the science center come from outside Burleigh and Morton Counties. Gateway to Science attracts groups from northern South Dakota, eastern Montana, western Minnesota and all of North Dakota. During the 2013 legislative session, the State of North Dakota allocated $5 million for the construction of a new statewide science center, and Gateway to Science was chosen. At the time of publication, Gateway to Science was receiving construction bids for their new building with plans to break ground this spring. The new Gateway to Science center will be located at 1600 Canary Ave. in Bismarck, across from the MDU Resources Community Bowl. If all goes well, the new building will open in spring 2019. As a statewide science center, Gateway to Science strives to reflect the science, technology, engineering, and math that is happening in our state. As the staff is developing new exhibits for the proposed building, they are working with various industries to reflect the actual science that is happening every day in North Dakota. Two of those main scientific industries are energy and agriculture. Energy exhibits at Gateway to Science include oil, coal, wind and biomass fuels. Farming is a science intensive enterprise from preparing and monitoring fields to using drones to watch herds in the calving season. In the northeastern part of North Dakota, Unmanned Aerial Systems are emerging as a new industry. 4 | Chamber Connection

“By exposing kids to science at these early ages, it is going to get them interested in careers in science,” said Tim Lervick, President of the Gateway to Science Board of Directors. Gateway to Science is developing some of their new exhibits with exhibit services from Science Museum of Minnesota. Demke said they are telling the specific energy story of North Dakota. The staff brought in partners from the energy industry to accurately reflect the science happening in North Dakota. As the exhibits are being developed, the staff makes sure the pictures and visuals show actual places in North Dakota such as Coal Creek Station, not stock photography. “The energy story that we’re telling is the energy story of North Dakota,” Demke said. The North Dakota Ethanol Council was one industry group that Gateway to Science brought in when they were developing an exhibit on ethanol. The science center staff wanted to make sure they were telling the story of ethanol in North Dakota. “When we sat down with the folks from the Ethanol Council, we thought we knew what the story was going to be,” Demke said, “but (that conversation) turned things around, and it was a completely different story.” The location of Gateway to Science’s new building will help tell North Dakota’s science story. The new Gateway to Science center will overlook the Missouri River to the west and will be visible from I-94. Lesley Icenogle, Director of Development for Gateway to Science, said the new science center will be perfectly situated to see North Dakota science in action. From the science center, visitors will be able to see the Missouri River riparian area ecosystem, North Dakota’s energy corridor, Andeavor’s Mandan Refinery, Montana-Dakota Utilities’ Heskett Station, transportation on the BNSF railroad bridge, and a panoramic view of North Dakota’s weather. The proposed building will be 40,000 square feet. Phase 1 of construction will include main floor gallery exhibit to Science’s ethanol exhibit was developed through a partnership with space, an education wing, administration, back-of-house Gateway the North Dakota Ethanol Council. space with areas for exhibit maintenance, and the shell of a theater to be completed later on. $8.65 million has been raised toward the $20 million price tag for phase 1. Phase 2, which will depend on funds available, will increase the gallery space, finish the theater and add amenities such as a café, gift shop, and kitchen. The scope of the project for phase 1 has been reduced from its original $40 million price tag. The gallery space will be 2/3 the size of what was originally planned, and some areas will be left unfinished for later.


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Chamber Connection | 5

FEATURE “We’ve changed the scope of the project to get the shovel in the ground sooner,” Demke said.

Nearly half of all field trips to the science center come from outside Burleigh and Morton Counties.

One area that hasn’t seen any reductions is the educational wing. Gateway to Science will build the fully planned educational wing including a laboratory classroom. “That’s a priority to get those classrooms up and running from the beginning,” Icenogle said. “We’re bursting at the seams with our summer camps and STEM programs.” The education wing will have a classroom that can be broken into multiple spaces with modular walls. The Frank Koch Laboratory Classroom will be named after the founding scientist of Gateway to Science.

Frank Koch was a chemistry professor at Bismarck State College. Gateway to Science was his vision 25 years ago. He worked on the formal side of scientific education, but he saw the need in the community for informal science. He saw students coming into the classroom who needed more, and he knew how to get that. Koch gathered local scientists and partnered with Junior Service League to found Gateway to Science. “What the school does is incredibly important, but stats say that kids are spending only 19 percent of their time in school,” Icenogle said, “so they have 80 percent of their time that is ripe and available.” That’s where Gateway to Science comes in making informal scientific experiences available. Icenogle said they want to start the pipeline as early as possible — getting kids interested in science from a young age to eventually pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. “To be able to attract and keep students involved in STEM jobs here in North Dakota is very important,” Demke said. “They don’t just come about that in high school; it starts happening at a young age. Every child is a natural born scientist. Every child wants to know about the world around them.” Lervick said that having facilities like Gateway to Science increases the quality of life in Bismarck-Mandan, particularly for new workforce moving to the community.

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Let’s show the world what we can do together. Day by day. Project by project. Together we’re building better places that bring the world closer.

The rotunda at Gateway to Science houses prototypes of the exhibits being developed for the new facility.

“(For businesses), I think we enhance the quality of life for their employees,” Lervick said. “Even though unemployment is low, it makes it more attractive for people from the outside to come and live when we have facilities and opportunities like Gateway to Science has to offer.” Icenogle and her family are an example of this. Her spouse is a doctor, and they moved to Bismarck-Mandan from outside the state. When moving to the community, Icenogle said people look at the quality of the school system as well as amenities like the science center, zoo and heritage center. “I found Gateway to Science within a month of moving here and liked what they did so much that I applied for a job,” Icenogle said. “People are looking for a vibrant, family-friendly community.”

Building a Better World for All of Us Engineers | Architects | Planners | Scientists • 701.354.7172 Gateway to Science is currently located at 1810 Schafer St., Bismarck.

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By Cathryn Sprynczynatyk

Q: What are your priorities as the new NDDOT Director? A: When I came here, I was pretty familiar with the Department of Transportation having worked on a lot of national committees and having interacted with (former Director) Grant Levi before me and Francis Ziegler before him. I kind of knew what the state’s challenges were after the oil boom.

Thomas Sorel was appointed Director of the North Dakota Department of Transportation in August 2017 by Gov. Doug Burgum. After five years in the private sector, the appointment brought Sorel back to the public sector that he had served for more than 30 years.

We have three initiatives moving forward.

1. Safety — I’m very passionate about safety. We launched Vision Zero a few weeks ago trying to get to zero fatalities. That’s one of my key initiatives.

Thomas Sorel

For the first 30 years of Sorel’s career, he worked for the United States Department of Transportation and moved all over the country. He helped plan for the winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 as the USDOT Olympic liaison. In Washington D.C., Sorel led a USDOT group overseeing mega projects like Boston’s Big Dig. Sorel was working for the Federal Highway Administration in Minnesota when the I-35W bridge collapsed in Minneapolis in August 2007. Sorel was eventually appointed as head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation by then-Governor Tim Pawlenty.

2. Innovation — It’s something I’m very passionate about it, particularly in a time when our financial situation is very different from a few years ago. There are a lot of disruptive technologies out there that we need to harness and take advantage of. 3. Leadership – The State of North Dakota in my mind has an opportunity to position itself as a national leader and develop everyone internally in this organization as a leader. We have this mantra that everyone is a leader internally within DOT. Part of my mantra is that you respect the past and build the future. When I came here, I respected tremendously what my predecessors had done and respected what my employees had done.

Q: You were previously head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Then, you went into private sector and now back into public sector. Why? A: I had some really good opportunities to do some unique things in the private sector. I ran the local AAA office in Minneapolis as President CEO of AAA Minneapolis. It was something new for me — roadside service, retail operation, insurance, a motor vehicle branch inside the office. I had unique opportunities in the engineering and consulting world. I helped KLJ start an office in Twin Cities ... When this opportunity came up, I realized the public sector is my passion. I enjoyed the private sector and learned a lot of things in the private sector, but serving the public service is my passion.

Photo of I-94 construction in Bismarck/Mandan in summer of 2017.

8 | Chamber Connection Q: What was Gov. Burgum’s vision for NDDOT appointed you as Director? Why did he pick you? A: He feels pretty strongly that the Main Street Initiative can be the impetus for a lot of economic development. He realizes transportation is a key to that — how our streets look and feel throughout these communities. When we talked about it when we first met, it was really a reflection of some of the work I’ve done in my past — ideas like Complete Streets and Context Sensitive Solutions ...

Complete Streets is essentially having streets in a downtown area that are accessible for pedestrians, bicyclists and may include bike lanes, a walkable city situation. They are ADA accessible. Parking is such in the streets that they’re not conflicting with the pedestrians, not conflicting with the bicyclists. All of these modes of transportation interact and work together as a complete street ...

Context Sensitive Solutions means that when we build a road, we build it within the context of the area that it’s in. If you’re building a bridge (in a rural area) across a waterway, how does it land on each side? Does the bridge mesh into the bluffs on one side and the community on the other side? It’s all about the context in which the project is in and that the solution matches the context — how we design our roads and bridges.

Q: What is the Vision Zero Traffic Safety Initiative? A: It’s the concept that there are four E’s of safety: engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency medical services. To make this work, all of those components have to work together. There have to be strong partnerships for them to work together. We’re starting to build this mantra that rather than just put out an engineering solution, “What’s the Vision Zero solution?” If we go to a crash site and there have been an abnormal number of crashes and potential fatalities there, we ask ourselves not only “How can we engineer this?” but also “How can we educate and have enforcement involved?” so that there is a true Vision Zero solution. Q: What would you like to communicate to the business community? A: I’m a big believer in the value of transportation and economic development. When I was in Minnesota, I created a transportation and economic development program, which was specifically started to work with the business community and leveraged the funds that they could contribute to transportation and leverage economic development. That’s the way I think, and I would welcome any input or ideas from the business community at any time. With a good transportation system, the economy can thrive. With a bad one, it won’t. I think it’s the lifeline of our communities, and it’s important that our transportation system be designed right to stimulate economic development. Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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From left to right: Mike Thomas, Jo Duffey, Sammi Enzminger, Sunny Berg, Pat Thomas, Kristina Messmer, Audriana Deckert & Justin Thomas.

MEMBER PROFILE Featuring Patrick Thomas Q: Tell us about yourself and your role within the organization. A: I am a graduate of Mayville State University and have been in Bismarck since 1989. My wife Candy and I have four children Justin, Jessica, McKayla and McKenzie. I have been at Kramer Agency since 2005 and serve as the Vice President and Manager. Q: Briefly tell us the history of Kramer Agency. A: The R.A. Kramer Agency was formed in the 1950s by R.A. Kramer, who was President of First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Bismarck. It was operated in conjunction with the savings and loan association by Mr. Kramer and his son, James P. Kramer, until 1963 when Jim bought the agency from his father and moved it to the Vogel Building. In 1973 it was incorporated and the name changed to Kramer Agency, Inc. Kramer Agency then joined forces with Warner and Company in 1982, and now we are in our new location at 812 Burlington Drive in Bismarck. 10 | Chamber Connection


Q: How has the growth of Bismarck-Mandan impacted Kramer Agency? A: With the growth of Bismarck-Mandan area has also brought growth within the Agency. The population growth provides the agency opportunities to partner with individuals as well as businesses. The growing community has provided opportunities for startup businesses and established companies alike. It has been our agency’s privilege to partner with people in our community to help protect their dreams and assets. Q: What industry trends are taking place? A: A heightened awareness and need for Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) and the dawn of a new age with Cyber Liability Insurance. Seemingly every day we learn of a new sexual harassment scandal or a large scale Cyber Breach. Q: Have there been any monumental changes in the industry that you’ve had to deal with? A: Yes! The term “Data Breach” didn’t even exist until the 1980s and wasn’t a household name until about 5 years ago when the retail giant Target was a victim. It is high priority for us to educate our customers on cybercrime and provide coverage options. While cybercrime in general is well known the specifics of cybercrime and the criminals that initiate these systems are not. A common misconception is that cybercriminals sit in a poorly lit room on computers and target only the largest of corporations when in fact it may be automated computer systems that are simply hunting cyberspace for the weakest system to attack regardless of the size of the business operating that database. Q: What does the future of Kramer Agency look like and the industry as a whole look like to you? A: I feel the future is very bright for the Kramer Agency. We have worked hard to develop a team of licensed insurance professionals. Through our commitment to invest in our employees’ continuing education we have developed a team that is prepared to assist the BismarckMandan Community through the years in a rapidly changing Insurance Industry. Q: Kramer Agency became a member in 1978, why do you continue to renew each year? A: We find that the Chamber has been an excellent advocate for businesses within the Bismarck-Mandan community. The Chamber has helped educate two of our staff members through their Leadership BismarckMandan program which has provided great opportunities for these individuals to network throughout the community with other business professionals. Our business is directly affected by the local economy and with the support of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber our community will continue to grow and prosper. A supportive Bismarck-Mandan Chamber promotes a healthy business community.

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1.800.642.6774 Chamber Connection | 11 A_CC07-0617 Field Member Ad Beam Half Page_Final.indd 1

7/10/17 4:50 PM






The BismarckMandan Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce Shay Peterson as the organization’s new Membership Engagement Director. Peterson was born and raised in Rapid City, South Dakota. She has Shay Peterson spent a lot of summers and holidays around Bismarck-Mandan because of family in the area which has made Bismarck feel like a second home. After finishing high school, Peterson attend University of Mary. She graduated in December 2017 with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Accounting. “I am excited to be a part of the Chamber team and am looking forward to doing my part to help the community grow,” said Peterson. When she’s not working, Peterson enjoys spending time outdoors and hiking. Her hobbies also include crocheting, video games, reading, and photography.

CHAMBER SEEKS SUPPORT FOR NOMINATED TEACHERS For 30 years, educators in Bismarck and Mandan have been receiving the Crystal Apple, which is a symbol for outstanding passion and accomplishment in the teaching field. Primary, secondary, or higher education teachers all qualify for this award by meeting the following requirements: 1. Nominees should have demonstrated a sense of dedication to their students and their profession. 2. Nominees should have demonstrated a spirit of classroom innovativeness.

3. Nominees should have the respect of their students, peers and the staff with whom they work. 4. Nominees must have at least 51% of their working time directed to student instruction.

Five winners of the Crystal Apple will be selected by the Excellence in Business and Education Committee, and are awarded at special surprise events. Those five awards go to a primary educator in both Bismarck and Mandan, a secondary educator in both BismarckMandan, and an individual from higher education institutions from around our area. But the work is not done yet! We need Students, parents, business professionals, principals, friends, and other teachers to submit letters of support and recommendation for the nominee of their choice. Please head over to,, to view the list of nominated educators and submit letters of support for those you think deserve the Crystal Apple. Letters of support must be received at The BismarckMandan Chamber of Commerce office by March 16th, 2018. They may be mailed to: 1640 Burnt Boat Drive, Bismarck, ND 58503; or emailed to dleingang@ Program Sponsor:

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The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and Bismarck-Mandan Development (BMDA) Board of Directors voted previously to enter into discussions regarding a potential restructure and subsequently, to continue discussions focusing on how such a restructure would take place. To answer the question of how such a restructure would take place, two subcommittees were formed consisting of representatives from the Chamber’s Board of Directors, the BMDA’s Board of Directors and business community. The Finance Subcommittee has been tasked with developing recommendations as to how a restructured Chamber and BMDA may be funded and develop a potential dues structure while the Goverance Subcommittee develops recommendations as to how a restructured BMDA and Chamber may be governed. Each Subcommittee has met multiple times, together and separately, in an effort to develop their recommendations regarding finance and governance. In addition, regular reports regarding their progress are made to each organization’s Board of Directors to ensure that leadership is aware of what’s being discussed and can offer input. Work will continue this Spring with additional meetings of both Subcommittees, regular reports to the Boards and efforts to gather input from a cross-section of the business community in an effort to ensure that any recommendation brought forward has been vetted to the greatest extent possible. While these Subcommittees have been tasked with developing recommendations for a restructured Chamber and BMDA, no final decisions as to whether or not to proceed with the restructure have been made. Any recommendations developed by the Subcommittees will be presented to each organization’s leadership who will take them under advisement before voting whether or not to restructure.


Not sure how tax reform affects your business? This legislation offers new opportunities for taxpayers, but proper tax planning is essential to gain the most benefit. Visiting can help you navigate the new tax landscape with up-to-date information and resources about tax reform. Start planning now to ensure the maximum benefit for you and your business.

What inspires you, inspires us. 701.255.1091 | Chamber Connection | 13





STARION BANK AND CHAMBER PRESENT ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FORUM In January, the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce distributed a survey to gauge business performance in the Bismarck- Mandan area. With an increased participation in this year’s survey, we are excited to present the results at this year’s Economic Outlook Forum.

ECONOMIC Outlook Forum

On Thursday, March 15th at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, join The Chamber and Starion Bank as we find out what factors are influencing our local and regional economy. Throughout this morning forum, guests will get a local, regional and national economic outlook. The agenda will include: KEYNOTE: THE MID-AMERICA ECONOMY AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE Ernie Goss, Ph. D., MacAllister Chair & Professor of Economics, Creighton University ECONOMIC SURVEY RESULTS Karel Sovak, Associate Professor of Business, University of Mary INDUSTRY PANEL DISCUSSION Sara Otte Coleman, Director-Tourism Division, North Dakota Department of Commerce Matt Reichert, Broker/Partner, Aspen Group LLP

Featured Keynote Speaker, Ernie Goss

Karel Sovak

To reserve a table for $425, please call Dave or Shay at the Chamber, 701-223-5660 or email dleingang@, Tickets for the event are $40.00 for Members and $50.00 for Non-Members before the event. $45.00 Members, and $55.00 for Non-Members the day of the event. To register for this event, please go to www.

Garret Senger, Executive VP Regulatory Affairs, Customer Service & Gas Supply, Montana Dakota Utilities

Presenting Sponsor:


Table Sponsors: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Capital Credit Union, Great River Energy, Liberty Business Systems, KX News, NISC, Starion Bank and University of Mary.

Matt Sagaser, Director of Innovation Accelerated, Doosan Bobcat North America

Tana Trotter, CEO of Proximal 50

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Gold Sponsors:


HUMAN SERVICES & LAW AND MEDIA DAY HUMAN SERVICES & LAW Human Services & Law Day was hosted at HIT, Inc. in Mandan. Mike Remboldt, CEO of HIT, Inc., gave a history of services for people with intellectual disabilities from the time when the state institution at Grafton was closed to today when HIT, Inc. provides day services, traumatic brain injury recovery, group homes, and more.

Bismarck City Commissioner Nancy Guy gave an update on emergency homeless sheltering in Bismarck. After the emergency shelter closed, United Way Leadership Bismarck-Mandan toured the studios of KFYR-TV and West Dakota Fox in a stepped into the breach, but that’s not a tour series of downtown media sites for Media Day. long-term solution. Just after Christmas, Commissioner Guy gathered a meeting of all political subdivisions involved, including Bismarck, Mandan, Burleigh County, Morton OUR MANY THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING: County, the Native American Development Center, and Presenting Sponsor others. Guy said government, community leaders, the service community, and faith communities all need to be involved in the long-term solution. Gold Sponsor: MEDIA DAY Media Day was hosted at Starion’s downtown Bismarck location giving the class the opportunity to tour Program Sponsors: downtown media sites. The class toured Dakota Media Access, KFYR TV and West Dakota Fox, and MOJO and Big Rig Radio. Human Services & Law Co-Chairs: Jason Matthews of JM Strategies spoke on “The Janelle Moos — CAWS ND Business Side of Media.” Matthews talked about a Amber Haman — HIT, Inc. recent conversation with newspaper publisher who Erin Green-Grom — Sanford Health Foundation stated that 15 years ago 50 percent of the newspaper’s revenue was from advertising. Today, it’s 20 percent. In Media Day Co-Chairs: the past, Matthews said Bismarck-Mandan journalists Trish Helgeson — Starion Bank in TV, print, and radio were long-term reporters who Tammy Langerud — Basin Electric Power Cooperative knew the community and with whom communications professionals established relationships. Today, Breakfast/Lunch Sponsors: journalists in our area often work in our market for two Sanford Health (Human Services & Law Day) years. On the positive side, social media has given HIT, Inc. (Human Services & Law Day) unprecedented access to target demographics. If Agency MABU (Media Day) a company wants to advertise to 40-year-old single Starion Bank (Media Day) women who love cats, they can target 40-year-old single women who love cats. BASIN ELECTRIC POWER COOPERATIVE A Touchstone Energy Cooperative ®

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SPRING MIXER IS AROUND THE CORNER Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your business by participating in the 18th Annual Spring Mixer scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center from 5:00pm – 7:30pm. Hundreds ofpeople are anticipated to browse nearly 70 member booth displays. Attendees have the opportunity to network and learn about local businesses and also the chance to win door prizes. So join us for a wonderful evening with your coworkers sampling an excellent spread of hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Also, it’s time to get creative! We will be doing a contest again for the best decorated Spring Mixer booth! If voted number one by attendees and participants’, you’ll receive a free booth space at the Chamber Holiday Mixer in December. The Spring Mixer provides Chamber members the chance to present their products and services in an inviting way. The $300 investment includes four event tickets, exposure to hundreds of potential customers, promotional mention in the Chamberlink email, Chamber Connection publication, Chamber Website, social media outlets and event signage. For more information, contact Shay at 701-223-5660 or email Don’t wait and miss out on a booth space!

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Registration for Lemonade Day BismarckMandan will open in April. This program is a free, fun, experiential learning program that teaches kids how to start, B I S M A R C K - M A N D A N own and operate their very own business — a lemonade stand. Once registered, you will be included in all Lemonade Day communications that will keep you and your entrepreneur up to date on backpack/workbook pickups, and tips and tricks for running a successful business. With growing interest in the program, and over 350 entrepreneurs who participated last year making an average profit of $220 in six hours, it’s safe to say that this summer, June 16th, Bismarck-Mandan will have more Lemonade than they know what to do with. The question is; will you be a part of the fun this year? Registration opens up in April. To learn more go to or call David Leingang with the Chamber at 701-223-5660, or email him at MAIN SQUEEZE SPONSOR:



LEMON HEAD SPONSORS: American Bank Center, Bartlett & West, Exploring Leadership Soulutions, First Western Bank & Trust, Northern Improvement, University of Mary @bismanlemonadeday

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ECONOMIC Outlook Forum


Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018 Location: Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center 800 S. 3rd Street, Bismarck Time: 7:00AM - 11:30AM Admission: $40.00 for Chamber Members $50.00 for General Admission Presenting Sponsor:

In January, the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce distributed their sixth survey to gauge business performance in the Bismarck- Mandan area. With an increased participation in this year’s survey, we are excited to present the results at this year’s Economic Outlook Forum. On Thursday, March 15th at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, join The Chamber and Starion Bank as we find out what factors are influencing our local and regional economy. Throughout this morning forum, guests will get a local, regional and national economic outlook. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear from experts in their industries, listen to a variety of panelists, and see the valuable survey data firsthand. The Economic Outlook Forum will also feature the Industry Panel, as well as the Entrepreneurship Panel. To reserve a table for $425, please call Dave at the Chamber, 701-223-5660 or email dleingang@ The cost to attend this event is $40.00 for Chamber Members and $50.00 for General Admission. On the day of the event, ticket prices increase to $45.00 for Chamber Members and $55 for General Admission.

18 | Chamber Connection


Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018 Location: Proximal 50 (new location) Corner of Broadway and Mandan Street Time: 4:30PM - 6:30PM Admission: Free to Attend Chamber members are invited to attend this month’s Membership Mixer hosted by Proximal50 on the corner of Broadway and Mandan Street in Bismarck on Thursday, March 22nd from 4:30pm – 6:30pm. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience how Proximal50 is changing the game when it comes to health and wellness! Mixers are free to attend, and anyone that works for a business member is welcome to come network and enjoy some delicious food and refreshments. RSVP’s are appreciated and can be made by emailing David at or by contacting the Chamber at 701-223-5660.



Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 Location: Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center 800 S. 3rd Street, Bismarck Time: 5:00PM - 7:30PM Admission: $5.00 plus a Business Card

Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018 Location: Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge 1199 900 S. Washington Street, Bismarck Time: 4:30PM - 6:30PM Admission: Free to Attend

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your business by participating in the 18th Annual Spring Mixer scheduled for Thursday, April 3rd at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center from 5:00pm – 7:30pm. Hundreds of people are anticipated to browse nearly 70 member booth displays. Attendees have the opportunity to network and learn about local businesses and also, the chance to win door prizes. So join us for a wonderful evening with your co-workers sampling an excellent spread of hors d’oeuvres and beverages.

Chamber members are invited to attend April’s Membership Mixer hosted by Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge 1199 at 900 S. Washington Street on Thursday, April 12th from 4:30pm – 6:30pm. Don’t miss this opportunity to network and connect with other Chamber members in the Lodge’s beautiful gathering space!

Also, it’s time to get creative! We will be doing a contest again for the best decorated Spring Mixer booth! If voted number one by attendees and participants’, you’ll receive a free booth space at the Chamber Holiday Mixer in December. The Spring Mixer provides Chamber members the chance to present their products and services in an inviting way. The $300 investment includes four event tickets, exposure to hundreds of potential customers, promotional mention in the Chamberlink email, Chamber Connection publication, Chamber Website, social media outlets and event signage. For more information, contact Shay at the 701-2235660 or email Don’t wait and miss out on a booth space!

Mixers are free to attend, and anyone that works for a business member is welcome to come network and enjoy some delicious food and refreshments. RSVP’s are appreciated and can be made by emailing David at or by contacting the Chamber at 701-223-5660.




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Chamber Connection | 19






Kirkwood Mall, owned and The south entrance to Kirkwood Mall will receive a face lift to enhance accessibility to the property. operated by CBL Properties, debuted its renovation plans during a media event that included comments from Brian Ritter, Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce President, and Keith Grotewald, owner of Lee’s Hallmark, a Kirkwood Mall tenant for over 47 years. The renovation will impact the entire common area space of the 848,102-squarefoot property and will include a “These renovations provide a new atmosphere, modern complete redesign of both public restrooms as well as a facelift to the south entrance. The project is scheduled design, and features to provide experiences that go beyond shopping,” explains Kirkwood Mall General to begin February 21, 2018, with work scheduled Manager Jennifer Wilson. The renovation builds on overnight to allow the center to offer uninterrupted a recent update to the center’s lighting which, upon business operations. completion, will provide a much brighter atmosphere for guests and be more energy efficient. Specifically, the renovation will transform the property’s corridors to approximately 70% porcelain tile and 30% carpet. The carpet will be strategically placed in the north, south and main corridors to house new soft seating furniture, live plants, and tables. FINAL DESIGN PACKAGE 05 SEPTEMBER 2017




Crystal D. Overby, DDS • James A. Nelson, DDS • Kristin R. Schoch, DDS

1700 E. Interstate Ave, Bismarck 701-222-GRIN • 20 | Chamber Connection


The new look pulls colors and textures from nature to provide a neutral and sustainable design. Infusing modern elements along with the more neutral selections will provide a trendy and energetic environment for all demographics. “Our mission is to provide a convenient shopping experience for everyone. The renovation is really focused on providing a more comfortable venue for the community to not only shop but also to work and to gather socially,” continues Wilson. The property’s two public restrooms, both located in the main corridor, will undergo a complete renovation to update the facilities and provide better accessibility. The restrooms will remain ADA compliant and include family friendly elements like changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms. Work on the restrooms will require closure, starting with the south corridor restroom in February. One public restroom will be available at all times during the project. The south entrance to Kirkwood Mall will also receive a facelift to enhance accessibility to the property. The parking lot underwent a renovation in 2016 to include a ring road and landscaping which has increased traffic to the building from the south side. Adding signage, lighting, outdoor seating and decorative elements will better identify this entrance as the property’s primary south entrance. The renovation is expected to be complete in fall 2018 and will require some short-term tenant relocations. The community should follow the progression on Kirkwood Mall’s website and social media.




D 4


BENCHMARK MORTGAGE SERVICES NOW AVAILABLE IN CORNERSTONE BANK Benchmark is one of the Nation’s Fastest Growing Mortgage Companies and now their services are available in North and South Dakota at Cornerstone Bank locations. The same mortgage lenders you have come to enjoy working with at Cornerstone Bank are still in the same Cornerstone Bank building, but now they are Benchmark Mortgage Loan Officers with more than 250 unique loan programs to suit your personal situation. They also have robust technology and quick turnaround times to continue to provide exceptional customer service. For over 19 years, Benchmark has been setting the industry standard. They have taken a different approach to the changes and challenges that the mortgage industry faces. Their approach to serving customers is refreshing: they are dynamic, yet focused. Benchmark owes their success to a sound business model and ethical standard based on their Benchmark Core Values including providing personal service, competitive rates, and efficient loan processing. Benchmark was founded on the principle of customer centricity with service that exceeds expectations. Their tried and true philosophy has earned them the following recognition: • Inc 500 Fastest Growing Companies for 2004 • Entrepreneur Magazine’s “HOT 500 List of the Fastest Growing Companies in America” in 2007 • Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies for 2008 • The prestigious Dallas 100 list for 2013

CHI ST. ALEXIUS HEALTH’S AUXILIARY DONATES TO MEDICAL CENTER CHI St. Alexius Health’s Auxiliary presented the Medical Center with a $25,000 donation during the Auxiliary’s annual business meeting. The Auxiliary is comprised of 53 members, who host several fundraisers a year and volunteer their time to run the hospital’s gift shop. “The Auxiliary members work tirelessly year-round to help patients and visitors at CHI St. Alexius Health,” said Tanya Olheiser, Coordinator of Volunteer Services. “Each member generously adds their time and talents and this donation is an incredible testament to their dedication to helping the Medical Center.” In 2017, some items purchased through funds donated by the Auxiliary include wheel chairs, a power exam chair, an addition for the Gift of Life wall, and baby news discharge books.

Benchmark Mortgage and Cornerstone Bank share similar core values, making this a great situation for customers. Just as Cornerstone Bank values their role as neighbors and contributors, Benchmark also believes in giving back and United States veterans are their focus. They hold fundraisers as a corporation and through their branches, to help improve the lives of individual veterans. | 701.250.9696 | 3521 Memorial Hwy, Mandan

Chamber Connection | 21





GREAT PLAINS FOOD BANK RECEIVES $50,000 GRANT FROM WALMART FOUNDATION The Great Plains Food Bank has received a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to bolster its efforts to combat childhood hunger across North Dakota and western Minnesota. Specifically, the grant will help expand the hunger-relief organization’s BackPack Program, Youth Summer Meals Program and School Pantry Program. “Helping to fight childhood hunger is among our top priorities at the Great Plains Food Bank,” said Steve Sellent, CEO, Great Plains Food Bank. “This grant will make a big difference for many children unsure where their next meal is coming from. We thank Walmart for their continued strong support and commitment in the fight to end hunger.”

During the school year, more than 33,000 children across North Dakota qualify for and greatly rely on the federal free and reduced lunch program to meet their daily nutritional needs. During the school year, the Great Plains Food Bank BackPack Program provides meals and snacks to help children get through the weekend, when nutritious food may not be readily available. The Youth Summer Meals Program offers a lunch option during the summer months and the School Pantry Program offers resources for food assistance directly inside schools and other locations. “Local nonprofits like the Great Plains Food Bank have a significant and positive impact on the communities they serve by providing programs that aid in the well-being and improvement of North Dakotans in need,” said Matt Armiger, Walmart regional general manager. “We are proud to support this organization in their efforts to fight childhood hunger and provide assistance to those who need it most.”

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22 | Chamber Connection


Dakota Certified Development Corporation is proud to announce that, as of January 1, 2018, they are Dakota Business Lending. This name change, along with the completion of their new headquarters in South Fargo, brings many exciting opportunities for Dakota Business Lending as they enter the new year and continue to refresh and build upon their existing brand of 35 years.

These new and exciting changes came with the support and encouragement of the nine members who serve on Dakota Certified Development Corporation’s Board of Directors. Among them is Lori Gabriel of Mandan, ND. Gabriel brings years of experience with loan workout situations from working with both agricultural and commercial lending clients. This involvement has given her a greater understanding of the value of economic development programs like the ones that Dakota Certified Development Corporation offers for the benefit of small business owners and community involvement. Construction for the new headquarters began in early June of 2017. This 5,800 square foot facility will provide Dakota Business Lending with an open, flexible, and collaborative environment that helps them better serve their clients and get them the financing they need exactly when they need it.

Their new name represents their past 35 years’ worth of experience partnering with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and lenders, all the while enhancing their identity and differentiating themselves in order to resonate with their customers. Most importantly, it will continue to build upon the legacy they have created and add to their story of telling others who they are. “This name change will create visual identity and remembrance, expand our reach, and convey to our small business community and lending partners what we are all about in a very meaningful way,” continued Dusek. “We chose this new name to reflect more of what we do while, at the same time, paying tribute to elements of the previous name and history.” Dakota Business Lending started off 2018 strong with the name and location change. The team is excited for these forward-looking changes and confident in their ability to better serve their customers and partners moving forward. Dakota Business Lending will continue to send updates and details to their partners, lenders, and borrowers as these changes are implemented, and encourage you to stop in and see them at their new location!

“We believe working in an open environment not only strengthens the connection between our team members,” explained Dakota Business Lending’s President and CEO, Steve Dusek. “It also encourages collaboration, which ensures that our staff is constantly thinking outside the box to come up with innovative and creative lending solutions to better serve our clients.” The new building will have room for communication and sharing of ideas among staff and clients. Dakota Business Lending has utilized as many of their current and previous borrowers in the construction of this new facility, giving the space a unique connection to the root of their brand and building upon their mission to create partnerships for life. Gabriel, along with the other Board of Directors and staff at Dakota Business Lending, saw this location change as an ideal opportunity to refresh their brand and make a name change as well. Just as they had “outlived” their current lease space, they felt they had also “outlived” their brand and DCDC acronym.

Chamber Connection | 23





Ask a Pro with







1003 Gateway Ave, Bismarck, ND 58503 701-250-0728


been around for a while; you can think of it as a modern day QR code that actually enhances the content you experience around you. AR allows us to superimpose audio, video, imagery and more, over traditional content, using a cell phone or tablet. MABU has already created print ads incorporating fun video to further enrich the message.

Location-based AR uses GPS to reach a device based on its specific location. Content displays when you reach your destination, which is how Pokemon Go works. Imagine visiting a historic site which reveals a 3D version of how that location may have looked back in the day. Ikea uses object- based AR for their online catalog which takes this a step further. You can see exactly how a couch or an area rug fits into you own personal space.


500 N 8th Street, Bismarck, ND 58501 701-222-6100


cancerous or even pre-cancerous. The precancerous polyp which can turn into a cancer is called an adenoma and usually the larger the size of a polyp, the greater the chance that there may be cancer or pre-cancerous cells. Since it’s hard to determine the exact nature of a polyp, polyps found during colonoscopies are removed and sent to the lab for a microscopic analysis. Most polyps do not produce any symptoms, which is why screening is so important.

In the early stages of colorectal cancer, symptoms may be minimal, or not present at all. Some changes that may be considered colon cancer signs include: change in frequency of bowel movements, constipation, loose stools, blood in stools, or abdominal pain. People with an average risk of colon In essence, AR delivers an immersive experience which creates a more inviting cancer should consider screening at and engaging experience for the viewer. age 50, but people with an increased risk, such as family history of colon cancer should consider screening sooner. African-Americans and NativeAmericans may consider beginning colon cancer screening at age 45.

24 | Chamber Connection


120 W Thayer, Bismarck, ND 58501 701-751-6477

Q: WHAT IS ALL INCLUDED IN CLOSING COSTS? A: Realtors and lenders get asked this

question a lot! First, it has to do with the type of loan, whether you are buying or selling and the type of property you are purchasing. Here is run down that may help you answer this question: 1. Title Fees - This stems from transferring title, the title company researches to make sure you are getting a clean title lawyer fees and drawings for utility easements. The title company may have title insurance included in these fees as well-new construction has been known to receive liens a year later and title insurance helps protect consumers. 2. Escrow - Your lender will generally require a year of homeowners insurance and taxes as a “pre-paid”. That is held in escrow and paid by the lender at the beginning of the year. 3. Lender fees - These fees will generally include your appraisal (and third party fees) to make sure your home priced appropriately. Lenders also check flood zone for property and credit reports and research that to make sure they are lending within your income limits. And lenders will also have an origination fee to make sure you get the best possible rate and terms! 4. Loan pay off-This is included if you are the seller. The title company will pay off your current mortgage,, secondary mortgage, leans or judgments. Never be afraid to ask your lender or Realtor® for a list of the closing costs and you will get a good faith estimate at the beginning of your transaction from your lender!

Ask a Pro with


Bismarck • Mandan, ND 58554 701-751-7060




1100 57th Ave NW, Bismarck, ND 58503 701-258-1944




2603 E Broadway Ave, Bismarck, ND 58501 701-323-5222

Q: WHAT IS A BACKGROUND CHECK? A: A background check is the process

of creating a report on an individual’s criminal, commercial and financial records. A background check is usually increasingly popular because they allow requested by employers during a prethe bride and groom more opportunity employment screening for positions to interact over a longer event rather that require trust or security clearance. than a few hours at a reception. Quality The report can help confirm information time is a lot more doable-especially When it comes to up-front costs, If you’re found on a resume and provide a way when everybody stays at the same resort. financing it, the bank will probably to judge a job candidate’s character Below you will find our top five tried request a down payment. The amount in order to identify hiring risks. A and true tips for destination wedding of the down payment is usually based background check helps ensure the planning. on the lender’s requirements and safety and security of all employees. your credit score. Leases often do not 1. Work with an experienced The specific information included in a require any type of a down payment. destination wedding travel agent. background check depends on what All you usually have to pay is the first 2. Embrace your beautiful surroundings month’s payment, a security deposit, the information an employer wants. More to save on decorations. acquisition fee and other fees and taxes. extensive background checks might be required for jobs in professions like 3. Understand and educate yourself on But, as with a purchase, if you want to law enforcement. Background checks lower your monthly payments you can resort incentives and promotions as typically include details about criminal they can provide huge savings in the always pay more upfront. records, citizenship or legal working end. The future value of your vehicle, if you status, litigation records, driving and purchase it, just depends on how well 4. Include a group experience as a gift vehicle records, drugs tests, education or for your guests to book into if they you maintain it. With most leases you and employment records. don’t end up owning it, so you don’t choose. end up selling it. That’s the financial 5. Don’t over plan your week but have a institution’s job. Although you may plan in mind! have mileage limits and wear and tear As a destination bride myself I guidelines to keep in mind! These are am confident we have the on-site some of the main differences between experience to plan your dream buying and leasing a vehicle. destination wedding. I can honestly say I am so happy I chose a destination wedding and think you will be too! for the entire cost of the vehicle - your vehicle is 100% yours. When you lease a vehicle, you pay for only a portion of the vehicle’s cost, which is the part you use during the time you are driving it.

Chamber Connection | 25






Wald Named Advisor of the Year for 2017

David Wald of Bismarck has been named Advisor of the Year for 2017 by Securian Financial Advisors of North Dakota. This award is given to the advisor based upon his production and service to his clients. Wald is a Koller Named CHI David Wald Financial Advisor with Securian St. Alexius Health’s Financial Advisors of ND, Inc. He Vice President of the has been with the firm since August 2008. Physician Enterprise In addition to his professional successes, Wald is committed to community service and gives back CHI St. Alexius Health in many ways. He serves as Chairman of the Board Bismarck announces Ms. for Easter Seals/Goodwill of North Dakota, Board Carol Koller as Vice President Carol Koller Member for Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation, of Physician Enterprise. Ms. and as President of the Board for Dakota West Arts Koller will have operational Council, which provides support and funding to responsibilities for the clinic practices within the arts organizations. He is also Past President for the organization as well as future development of the National Association of Insurance and Financial physician enterprise within CHI St. Alexius Health. Advisors Missouri Slope Chapter. Wald resides in Ms. Koller brings more than twenty-five years of healthcare leadership to this role where she has spent Bismarck with his wife, Angella, and two young the past eighteen years in various leadership positions daughters. for Aurora Health Centers. She received a Bachelor First Western Bank of Business Administration, Human Resources and & Trust Promotes Marketing from University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Johnson Wis., and earned a Master of Arts in Health Care Administration from University of Iowa, Ms. Koller Carin Johnson has been is certified as a medical practice executive and is a promoted to CSR/Teller member of the American College of Medical Practice Manager at First Western Bank Executives. & Trust in our Bismarck location. Carin Johnson Johnson moved to Bismarck LaBere Joins Fireside Office Solutions from Oregon in October of 2016. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fireside Office Solutions has hired Tabetha Business Administration from Trinity Bible College in LaBere for Interior Furniture Sales. LaBere is a Ellendale, ND. Johnson comes to us with over 12 years native of Hoople, North Dakota and a graduate of banking experience from Umpqua Bank and she from the University of North Dakota with a degree is a member of the Young Professionals of Bismarck. in marketing. LaBere has more than seven years of sales experience in non-profit and retail. She will be working with customers throughout the Bismarck and Mandan area.

26 | Chamber Connection

Chamberlain and Garden Join Odney

Odney is proud to announce the hiring of Meghann Chamberlain as an account executive and Pami Garden as an accountant. Meghann Chamberlain As an account executive, Chamberlain is responsible for helping manage clientrelated projects, including ad development, media buys, public relations and social media, websites, and other marketing/communication strategies. Chamberlain has Pami Garden eight years of experience marketing and advertising, most recently with the national firm Goodway Group where she served as a digital media coordinator. Prior to that, Chamberlain had served in several roles at Odney, including digital media strategist and social media coordinator. She is a graduate of University of Mary, and lives with her husband and two children in Mandan. Garden joins Odney with a background in international bank finance, having worked for several financial institutions in the United Kingdom, including Rothschild, Intermediate Capital Group, Bank of Scotland Treasury Services – Lloyd’s Banking Group, The Bank of New York Mellon, Deutsche Bank, and Citigroup. Prior to that, Garden served as financial analyst for MDU Resources Group and a staff accountant for Ernst & Young and Deloitte. At Odney, Garden will lead the agency’s accounting and financial services team. A Kenmare, N.D., native, she is a graduate of University of North Dakota and lives in Bismarck. North Dakota Water Welcomes New Staff

Armstrong named Western Region General Superintendent at Consolidated Construction Company

Doug Armstrong

Lance Gaebe, Marina Jyring and Brittany Jasper have joined North Dakota Water organizations. Lance Gaebe will represent the North Dakota Irrigation Association (NDIA). Gaebe brings more than 25 years of experience working with state and federal officials. Gaebe served as the North Dakota Commissioner of University and School Lands for seven years, was a senior advisor to former Marina Jyring Gov. Hoeven for 10 years in energy, water and agriculture, and prior to that provided association management services, being the executive officer for several statewide agricultural organizations. Gaebe holds bachelor of science and master of business Brittany Jasper administration degrees from North Dakota State University. Marina Jyring joined the North Dakota Water Education Foundation (NDWEF) as the new editor of the North Dakota Water magazine. Jyring will provide coordination, writing and editing for the magazine. Jyring holds bachelor of science degrees in integrated advertising and public relations and photojournalism from Minnesota State University Moorhead and brings experience in writing, copy editing, photography, design and advertising. Brittany Jasper will be the director of government affairs for the North Dakota Water Users Association (NDWUA). Jasper will provide project coordination, event planning, communications and membership support. She has an extensive background working with statewide organizations and had served as the membership services manager for the North Dakota Petroleum Council since 2012. Jasper holds an associate degree in arts in business, associate degree in applied science in process plant technology and bachelor of applied science degree in energy management from Bismarck State College.

Consolidated Construction Co., Inc. welcomes Doug Armstrong to the position of Western Region General Superintendent Lance Gaebe for the full-service design/ build firm in Bismarck. Armstrong is being promoted from his previous role as a site superintendent within the

company. In his new role, Armstrong will manage and lead all the firm’s field operations in the Western Region, which includes North and South Dakota. He is charged with coordinating all personnel, equipment and project scheduling in the region. Armstrong will often be visiting job sites in person to oversee the company is meeting its standards for quality, safety, and costeffectiveness. With more than 40 years of experience in the construction industry and expertise in large-scale construction projects, Armstrong has been a valuable member of the Consolidated Construction team. In his previous role as on-site superintendent, he skillfully managed daily operations. He and his wife, Terry, will soon relocate to Bismarck to oversee the rapidly growing body of work in the Western Region.

Kupper ChevroletSubaru hires Sales and Leasing Consultants and a Service Coordinator

Taylor Aadnes has recently joined the Kupper Subaru Taylor Aadnes team as a Sales and Leasing Consultant. Taylor was born and raised in Bismarck ND. He enjoys snowboarding, cars, and meeting new people. He comes to Kupper Chevrolet with previous customer and sales experience. Greg Mcleod Greg Mcleod has recently joined Kupper Chevrolet as a Sales and Leasing Consultant. With his previous management experience Greg is excited to begin his new role as a Sales and Leasing Consultant. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his two grandsons Nick Morgan and playing pool. Justin Mundahl Also joining the Kupper Chevrolet team as a Service Coordinator is Nick Morgan. When he’s not at work nick enjoys spending time with his friends, working out, and participating in activities at his church. In the next few months, he plans on going sky diving and bungee jumping and taking a trip to New Zealand.

Jennifer Thacker

Mundahl and Thacker Join Bianco Realty

Bianco Realty is excited to announce the newest REALTORS® to join their professional Real Estate Team: Justin Mundahl and Jennifer Thacker. Mundahl and Thacker look forward to helping clients with their Real Estate needs, achieving their dream of home ownership and providing a Tradition of Excellence!

Fridley Named Interim Vice President of Operations

Fred Fridley has been named interim vice president of operations for the Bismarck Region of Sanford Health. During Fred’s five years at Sanford Health he has demonstrated exceptional Fred Fridley leadership and has positioned Sanford as a prominent partner in the communities it serves. Fred is a native of Watford City. Prior to joining Sanford Health in 2012, he was the women’s head basketball coach at the University of Mary in Bismarck. In his new role, Fred will oversee day-to-day operations, focus on strategic planning and direct operations of the health care system to support growth and access.

Binstock and Leno join American Trust Center

American Insurance Center enthusiastically welcomes Derek Binstock to their team as a Commercial Lines Producer. Derek Binstock In his new role, Binstock will generate new accounts and provide outstanding customer service to current and new customers alike. He will also inform customers on gaps in coverage and advise them to ensure adequate coverage is met to their satisfaction. Luke Leno Binstock holds his series 7, series 66, life and health certifications along with an Associate’s degree from Bismarck State College and University of Mary. He enjoys being involved with the activities and events of Light of Christ Schools. American Trust Center is delighted to introduce Luke Leno as their newest Trust Officer in Bismarck. Leno will be responsible for developing new business, enhancing existing relationships and contributing to the overall mission of the Trust company by providing unparalleled customer care. Leno previously worked in a similar capacity at Dakota Community Bank & Trust, his experience and ability to take challenges head on makes him an ideal addition to the American Trust Center team. He graduated from Dickinson State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication, and enjoys following the success of his alma mater as well as other local sports teams.

Chamber Connection | 27


First International Bank & Trust Welcomes Daffinrud



First International Bank & Trust (FIB&T) is proud to welcome our new Private Banker, Renee Daffinrud. Daffinrud comes to FIB&T with over 30 years of banking experience and will expand the services offered in Renee Daffinrud Bismarck-Mandan to include Private Banking. Daffinrud is an active member of the BismarckMandan community serving as a committee member of the Advisory Board of the Bismarck Cancer Center; a committee member for Sanford Health’s Savor the Flavor; an Executive team member for the American Heart Association – Go Red For Woman event; the Secretary for the Zion Lutheran Church Foundation Board; and a member of the Stewardship Board at Zion Lutheran Church.


Larson Enters Mandan City Commission Race

Amber Larson, 37, senior marketing manager at Bartlett & West and co-owner of Larson’s Tattooing, has announced her intent to run for one of two Amber Larson open seats on the Mandan City Commission. Larson has actively supported Mandan organizations for the past three years, including working directly with the Mandan Progress Organization to plan and orchestrate the “Touch A Truck” event and serving on the Mandan Architectural Review Commission. She is also a graduate of the Bismarck Women’s Leadership Program, a current participant in the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Bismarck-Mandan program and a volunteer for several health and human services groups. She has lived in Mandan for 11 years, and spent most of her life prior to moving to Mandan living in Bianco Realty Sales Awards Bismarck. Larson holds a bachelor’s degree in mass Bianco Realty has named Shirley Thomas and Amber Sandness “REALTORS® of the Month”! Thomas communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and a master’s degree in Strategic and Sandness had the most closed sales at Bianco Leadership from University of Mary. She and her Realty for the month of January 2018. Thomas has been a licensed REALTOR® since 2001 and Sandness husband, Jon, have one daughter in the Mandan Public School system and active in gymnastics. has been a licensed REALTOR® since 2010.

Lee To Run For Bismarck School Board

Jon Lee, owner and founder of Bread Poets in Bismarck, is announcing his candidacy for one of three open spots on the Jon Lee Bismarck Public School Board. Lee, who currently serves on the school board, looks to build on the foundation he has laid within the district as a fiscally responsible advocate for kids, a committed liaison for parents, a champion for teachers and a staunch supporter of the local community. Lee and his wife Juanita have three children currently enrolled in Bismarck Public Schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. “More than anything, my family has shaped my interest in education,” Lee says. His father, Dr. David Lee, is a longtime educator and administrator in North Dakota and was employed for many years at the Department of Public Instruction. Lee grew up in Bismarck, attending Northridge Elementary and Hughes Junior High. He is also a proud graduate of North Dakota State University holding a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in business.

MARCH LIVE GOVERNMENT MEETINGS Televised on Government Access, cable channel 2 & 602 HD.

Broadcast on KDAK 102.5 FM radio. Streamed online at

Thurs, 1st

5:00 pm Bismarck Board of Adjustment

Mon, 5 th

5:00 pm Burleigh County Commission 5:30 pm Mandan School Board*

Tues, 6 th

5:30 pm Mandan City Commission

Tues, 20th 1:00 pm Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Board 5:30 pm Mandan City Commission Mon, 26th 5:15 pm Bismarck School Board 5:30 pm Mandan Planning & Zoning Commission*

Mon, 12th Tues, 13th

5:15 pm Bismarck School Board 5:30 pm Mandan Park Board*

Tues, 27 th

5:15 pm Bismarck City Commission 5:30 pm Morton County Commission*

5:15 pm Bismarck City Commission

Wed, 28th

5:00 pm Bismarck Planning Commission

Wed, 14 th 8:00 am Burleigh County Water Resource District 5:15 pm Burleigh County Planning Commission Thurs, 15th 5:15 pm Bismarck Park Board 5:30 pm Morton County Commission* Mon, 19th

5:00 pm Burleigh County Commission 5:30 pm Mandan School Board*

28 | Chamber Connection

Meetings are replayed several times on the Government Access channel and are available for viewing online (Watch on Demand) at * Delayed Playback

Welcome new members

The Chamber of Commerce encourages all members to do business with each other. The following companies and organizations have recently made an important investment in their business by joining the Chamber. Please consider them for your professional and personal needs. To find a complete listing of Chamber members, view the Member Directory online at

VW Digital Marketing Wishek, ND Vernon Wanner (701) 329-0789 Digital marketing services including Facebook advertising, Google Business pages, search engine optimization (SEO), and Wordpress Website development. Nationwide Expos 3600 E 40th Ave. Denver, CO Jon Lewis (800) 201-4663 Guild Mortgage 4501 Coleman Street Suite 102 Bismarck, ND Tracy Roberts (701) 204-0398 Guild Mortgage is a leading independent mortgage lender in the United States, specializing in residential home loans.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit 4524 Memorial Hwy #103 Mandan, ND Amanda Babb-Zachmeier (701) 663-4227 We are passionate about the art of great barbecue! Dine in, take out or cater. Choose from our seven meats, 12 different sides and unique sauces. Kids eat free on Sundays. We have cold beer on tap, free ice cream and a large meeting room space. Comfort Products Distributing LLC 1340 Airport Road Bismarck, ND Steven Miller (701) 226-1920 Wholesale distribution of Carrier, Bryant and Payne heating & cooling products to heating & cooling contractors.

Treasure Sellers 1019 N 1st Street Bismarck, ND Lori Layton (701) 391-8260 Treasure Seller’s will sort, stage, price, and sell your treasures. A member of the American Society of Estate Liquidators. Legal Shield 2213 12th Ave. SE Mandan, ND David Stephens (701) 400-8414 Legal Shield offers a portfolio of legal and identity theft services protecting families, small businesses and commercial drivers legal rights and identities on an individual and voluntary group basis.

Chamber Connection | 29

Ribbon Cuttings

Ribbon cuttings are conducted by a committee of Chamber volunteers called Ambassadors. Businesses qualify for a ribbon cutting if they open, move, and remodel, are under new ownership, change their name, or offer a new product or service. To schedule a ribbon cutting, please call 701-223-5660.


DICKEY’S BBQ PIT Amanda Babb Zachmeier, Owner, at her new business on 4524 Memorial Highway #103 Mandan. 701-663-4227. Member.


Gwen Beckler at their name dedication located inside Edgewood Vista Mandan located at 2801 39th Avenue SE in Mandan. 701-663-5664. Member.


Aaron Jahner at their new facility on 3219 Rock Island Place in Bismarck. 701-258-6060. Member.

Marty Lee, Owner, at his new business on 208 East Main Avenue. 701-751-3624

THE {FULL} LIFE AWAITS AT TOUCHMARK! Choose a move that fits your needs.

“All the conveniences of home are right here! Our home is the ideal location for socializing, and the optimistic attitudes brighten our day!” —Bobbe & Dick Green, 6 years living at Touchmark

New Independent Living and Memory Care Homes Now Open! Single-family Homes & Apartments • Health & Fitness Club Independent Living • Assisted Living • Memory Support • Memory Care

Learn more or schedule a tour: 701-557-9289 • TO U C H M ARK ON W E ST C E NT URY 1000 West Century Avenue • Bismarck, ND 58503 • 1716058 © Touchmark, LCC, all rights reserved

30 | Chamber Connection


GET IN THE GAME AND BRING YOUR MESSAGE TO PASSIONATE SPORTS FANS. Sports fans are dedicated and loyal – and they make time for what they like. In fact, 93% of fans watch their favorite teams live.1 These are the customers you want to reach. With regional and national basketball tournaments right around the corner, now is the time to get into the action and grow your business’s fanbase.

READY TO MIDCO? LET’S GO. • 1.800.888.1300 © 2018 Midcontinent Communications. All rights reserved. 1 Source: Nielsen Npower, 1/4/16-5/16.

Bismarck-Mandan ChamberConnection 1640 Burnt Boat Drive Bismarck, ND 58503

Upcoming Chamber Events



ECONOMIC Date: Thursday, March 15, 2018 • Time: 7:00am - 11:30am Outlook Forum

Outlook Forum

Location: Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center – 800 S. 3rd Street, Bismarck

MARCH MEMBERSHIP MIXER: PROXIMAL 50 Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018 • Time: 4:30pm - 6:30pm Location: Proximal 50 (new location) – Corner of Bdwy & Mandan St, Bismarck

Presented by: Join the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce for our half-day seminar featuring panels of professionals, in a variety of different industries that will discuss Bismarck-Mandan’s business performance.

CHAMBER SPRING MIXER Date: Tuesday, April 3, 2018 • Time: 5:00pm - 7:30pm Location: Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center – 800 S. 3rd Street, Bismarck

The Chamber

APRIL MEMBERSHIP MIXER: BISMARCK-MANDAN ELKS LODGE Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018 • Time: 4:30pm - 6:30pm Location: Bismarck-Mandan Elks Lodge – 900 S. Washington St, Bismarck


LEADERSHIP BISMARCK-MANDAN PROJECT PRESENTATIONS Date: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 • Time: 8:30am - 12:00pm Location: Chamber of Commerce –1640 Burnt Boat Drive, Bismarck

Thursday, March 15, 2018

LEADERSHIP BISMARCK-MANDAN GRADUATION LUNCHEON Date: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 • Time: 11:30am - 1:00pm Location: Baymont Inn & Suites –2611 Old Red Trail NW, Mandan

Purchase tickets online at

Prairie Business magazine

50 Best Places to Work honoree

Starion Bank is a full-service bank known for providing local leadership, personalized service and community loyalty. We are here for you and will work passionately for you. That’s how Starion Bank takes you farther.

Three-time Top 10 Employer by the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network

Missouri Slope Areawide United Way

Five-star rating

Seven-time recipient of the ND

Recognized as

“Best of the Best”

Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center 7:00am - 11:30am

by Independent Banker magazine

from BauerFinancial

Top Contributor

SBA Director’s Award

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