Bis-Man INC! February 2024

Page 1

Turning Obstacles Into Opportunities P.50

February 2024 //

Lead The Way With A DBA P.70

Navigating The Winter Slowdown P.74

A Bismarck-Mandan Business Magazine


// FEBRUARY 2024






Ask The Expert: What's The Best Defense Against Ransomware


A Journey Through Time


H.A. Thompson & Sons


Peacock Alley


Faulkner's Market


Ohm's Cafe


Bismarck Big Boy


Turning Obstacles into Opportunities


How The Mandan Tennis Center Went From Unlikely Dream to Reality


Paving The Way for Progress in 2024!


Lead The Way with a DBA


Navigating The Winter Slowdown


Women You Should Know: Lynae Hanson

LIKE OUR CONTENT? Check out our website at BISMANINC.COM


FEBRUARY 2024 Volume 3 Issue 2

Bis-Man INC! is published monthly and is available at area businesses and online at

Publisher Mike Dragosavich EDITORIAL Editorial Team Lead Brady Drake Editors Geneva Nodland, Grant Ayers Art Director Kim Cowles Editorial Graphic Designer Ty Betts Creative Strategist Josiah Kopp Contributors Ladyboss Lifestyle, University of Mary, Pavewise, VBOC of the Dakotas INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Business Development Associate Videographer Director of Creative Strategies Graphic Designer Web Developer

Nick Schommer Kellen Feeney Tommy Uhlir Megan Suedbeck Ben Buchanan Austin Smith

ADVERTISING VP of Business Development Paul Hoefer Sales Representative Al Anderson Sales & Marketing Advisor Tori Helland Business Development Representative Austin Cuka Client Relations Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Marketing Coordinator Jessica Mullen Operations Assistant Miranda Knudson DISTRIBUTION Delivery John Stuber

Bis-Man INC! is published by Spotlight LLC, Copyright 2024 Bis-Man INC! & All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Bis-Man INC!, and Spotlight LLC, is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on such information. Spotlight LLC, accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

Spotlight, LLC 4609 33rd Ave S Suite #304 Fargo, ND 58104 or ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)

Editor's Note:

HISTORY RUNS DEEP IN BISMARCK-MANDAN ello, Bis-Man INC! readers. This month, we're taking a little trip down memory lane and diving into the stories that make our community privileged to be truly unique. It's a privilege to bring you closer to the heart of Bismarck-Mandan, celebrating the businesses that have stood the test of time and have become more than just places to shop or eat— they're a part of our collective history. This month, we're shining a light on some of the longstanding legends around town, like H.A. Thompson & Sons, Peacock Alley, and Ohm's Cafe, among others. These aren't just businesses; they're institutions that have grown with us, offering lessons in resilience and the power of sticking it out through thick and thin over the decades. But don't think that we're just looking back. We're also turning the spotlight on the now and the new—introducing you to the movers and shakers who are making their mark today. I hope these stories resonate with you as much as they have with me. Whether you're a business veteran, dreaming up your next big idea, or just someone who loves calling Bismarck-Mandan home, there's a piece of this issue that's meant for you. Let's take a moment to appreciate where we've come from, celebrate where we are, and get excited about where we're going. It's the stories of our past that lay the groundwork for our future, and I'm here for all of it—every step of the way. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

Warmest regards,

Bis-Man INC! Editor







By NorthStar Technology Group

ansomware is a type of malicious software that is designed to block access to a device or network until the victim pays the attacker money. The ransomware encrypts the files, making them unusable. In the late 1980s, cyber attacks started as a simple virus spread through floppy discs, but now cybercrime has evolved into a billion-dollar industry. New security measures exist, but ransomware groups are constantly evolving to adapt to them. They are relentless and find new ways to extort victims. As long as they keep successfully getting businesses to pay up, attacks will only continue to increase and expand. Luckily, there’s good news. With proper preparations, you can minimize the risk of a ransomware attack on your organization and mitigate the impacts if an attack does occur. Read on to explore the best defense against ransomware and learn practical steps you can take today to start protecting your business.



Best Practices and Precautions The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends the following precautions to protect against ransomware:

Regularly update software and operating systems with the latest patches. One of the easiest and most effective measures against ransomware is updating your software and operating systems regularly with the latest patches. Cybercriminals often target outdated applications and systems. Keeping your systems up to date ensures that security gaps and vulnerabilities are patched, which makes it much more difficult for attackers to find a way in.

Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails. Phishing emails are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick users into clicking on malicious links or downloading

infected attachments. It’s essential to verify the sender and email content before clicking links or downloading files. If you ever receive an email from an unknown sender or a source you don’t recognize, it’s best to delete it immediately and warn your colleagues.

Back up data regularly on a separate device and store it offline. Regularly backing up your data is a crucial step in minimizing the risk of losing it to ransomware. Keeping a copy of your data on a separate device and storing it offline will help you recover your data after a ransomware attack. It’s also extremely important to regularly test your backup system to ensure the data can be restored when needed.

Follow safe practices when using devices that connect to the internet. Safe practices when using devices that connect to the internet include: » Avoiding public Wi-Fi networks » Not downloading files from untrusted sources » Ensuring your firewall is turned on You should also ensure that your device has up-to-date antivirus software installed and that you use a secure web browser.

In addition to these measures, there are several other best practices that you can adopt to protect against ransomware: » Anti-phishing and email security protocols and tools: These can include email filters that can help block malicious emails before they reach your inbox. » Security awareness training: Regular security awareness training can help educate your employees to identify and avoid phishing emails and other common cyber threats. » Vulnerability scanning: Routine scanning can help identify vulnerabilities in your systems and applications before attackers can exploit them. » Automated patch management: Automating patch management eliminates the need for manual checks for outdated software/ systems, saving time and ensuring your systems are consistently up-todate and secure.

segments to limit the spread of malware in the event of an attack. » Identity and access management (IAM): IAM helps manage user access to your systems and applications, ensuring users only have the access they need to perform their roles. » Strong password policies and good password hygiene: This involves implementing password policies that require users to create strong, unique passwords and regularly change them.

Partner to Succeed By partnering with an experienced IT service provider like NorthStar Technology Group, you can have a team of cybersecurity experts on your side keeping your data safe. We can help you implement and maintain best practices, tools, and technologies to protect your organization against ransomware.

» Endpoint detection and response (EDR): EDR focuses on monitoring endpoints, such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices, for suspicious activity and responding to any detected threats. » Network monitoring: This involves monitoring your network for suspicious activity and responding to any detected threats. » Network segmentation: Segmentation means dividing your network into smaller, more secure

Give yourself peace of mind. Contact us today to start securing your business against attacks. /NorthStarTG


866-337-9096 @NorthStarTechno






A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME CHECK OUT SOME OF THE OLDEST BUSINESSES OF BISMARCK-MANDAN! ccording to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% fail during the first 5 years, and 65% fail during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. This fact exemplifies the great strides that many businesses in the Bismarck-Mandan community have made over decades of community support. There's something special about these places; it's not just about the museums. Our history is woven into the fabric of our oldest businesses, the true cornerstones of our community. Just think about it for a moment: from the restaurants to the family-run markets, these businesses have seen it all. They've braved countless challenges and come out stronger on the other side. They're not just old; they're timeless, adapting and thriving through the years. This month, I had the wonderful opportunity to chat with various businesses in the BismarckMandan area. We took a nostalgic journey, exploring their beginnings, their role in the community, and so much more. It was like stepping back in time but seeing how far we've come. Let's tip our hats to these historic businesses that have stood the test of time!





H.A. THOMPSON & SONS EST. 1908 H. A. Thompson & Sons is an HVAC contractor that provides commercial HVAC services throughout North Dakota. The company was founded in 1908, an impressive 116 years ago, by Harry A. Thompson. While they've made immeasurable contributions to the Bismarck-Mandan community for over a century, the company is showing no signs of slowing down. I had the pleasure of connecting with Mark Thompson, Owner and President of H. A. Thompson & Sons, as well as a grandson of the original founder, to discuss the business' growth, keeping the company within the family, notable projects they've had a hand in, and much more.




DID YOU KNOW? H. A. Thompson & Sons celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2008, a true accomplishment for any business to celebrate!

THEIR STORY The story of H. A. Thompson & Sons, begins with the journey of Harry Abbott Thompson. Harry, Mark's grandfather, alongside his father Isaac Woodman Thompson and family, left Lewiston, ME, and settled near Menoken, ND, in 1885. By 1895, Harry had made his way to Bismarck, finding employment in a hardware store. It was there that he identified a gap in the market for plumbing and heating services, which would eventually lead to the birth of the family business. Harry, marrying in 1896, welcomed three children into the world: Mary, Bernard, and Mark's father, Harry Abbott Thompson II, who was born in 1908, marking the same year Harry Thompson I officially launched H. A. Thompson & Sons. Harry A. Thompson I wasn’t just a businessman; he also devoted himself to public service. From 1901, he served as Bismarck’s first paid fire chief

until his passing in 1935. His tenure was briefly interrupted for eight years while he served on the city commission. Following Mark's grandfather's death in 1935, the leadership of the company passed to his father, Harry Abbott Thompson II, and his brother Bernard. Under their stewardship, the business not only weathered the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II but also came out stronger on the other side. A significant milestone was in 1954 when the company won the bid for the mechanical construction of the Provident Life Insurance Company building, a project that heralded a new era focused predominantly on commercial construction for H.A. Thompson & Sons. By 1961, the company's growth was evident, boasting a fleet of 10 trucks, as they expanded their influence and capabilities in the Bismarck-Mandan region.




CONTINUED Photo Courtesy of Sanford Health


Harry Abbott Thompson, Former Owner of H. A. Thompson & Sons

Harry A. Thompson, II, Former Owner of H. A. Thompson & Sons

Mark's father managed the company for four decades, leading it until 1975, when he passed the reigns to his sons, Mark and Harry Abbott “Tom” Thompson. Mark joined the company in 1975, fresh from his service in the Air Force, becoming the 23rd employee. The late 1970s were a period of significant growth for Bismarck, spurred by flourishing farm prices, the construction of coal-fired power plants, and the burgeoning oil industry. Predictions of Bismarck's rapid expansion to a population of 200,000 by 2000 fueled construction throughout the area. The company's journey took an exciting turn in 1991 when they were approached by a representative of the Linc Corporation from Pittsburgh, PA. This meeting led H.A. Thompson & Sons to join as a franchise in the HVAC preventive maintenance enterprise, marking a strategic

Mark W. Thompson, Owner and President of H. A. Thompson & Sons

shift towards a more stable and consistent business model, moving away from the unpredictable nature of commercial construction. The legacy of H. A. Thompson & Sons continued to flourish with the involvement of the fourth generation of the family. In 2013 and 2014, Mark's daughters, Jennifer Thompson and Tracy Kindem joined the business, followed by his nephew, Louis Hart. Over the past 33 years, H. A. Thompson & Sons has expanded its HVAC preventive maintenance division from just 1 technician to a robust team of 46. While embracing this new direction, the company has maintained its commitment to commercial construction, ensuring that H. A. Thompson & Sons remains a versatile and dynamic presence in Bismarck's business landscape.

WORDS OF ADVICE FROM MARK THOMPSON • For a family business to have longevity, each generation must produce an heir that not only is desirous of leading the company but also capable. All businesses are difficult to make and keep successful over a long period of time, and those difficulties are multiplied in family businesses, so work every day to the best that you can be. • As with all businesses, satisfied customers are the best way to survive. We have always taken that very seriously and try our hardest to deliver.



• Once reliable, hard-working employees are attracted, hired, and trained, make sure to care for them and reward them to help ensure they will stay with you and support your mission. • Don't underestimate the need to create a positive image, not just through good work and credibility, but to always give back to the communities you serve. Philanthropy is a very large part of who we are!




DID YOU KNOW? Q: HOW HAS H. A. THOMPSON & SONS ADAPTED TO CHANGING TIMES? A: Our business has seen great change over the past 116 years, both in the equipment we install and the equipment we utilize in our work. We've seen significant changes and growth between the introduction of air conditioning in the 1950s, the push to high efficiency in the 1970s and beyond, the predominance of electronics and digital controls, as well as the evolution of products and systems to improve indoor air quality with the COVID-19 pandemic's need to purify the air that we live and work in. Part of our success in keeping up with all the changes is to forever remain heavily involved with our trade associations (local, state, and national), and be active participants at conferences and seminars that keep us informed of the latest and greatest equipment and systems. We have fostered close relationships with manufacturers' reps who have come to us with changes and improvements in their products. In addition, through franchise relationships, we're in close contact with many of our peers around the country and often share new developments and best practices. In any



According to a study conducted by Cornell Johnson, only 4 out of 10,000 family business start-ups survive to the 4th generation, making H. A. Thompson and Sons' business feats all the more impressive!

given year, we send 15-20 of our employees to specialized trainings and seminars across the United States. We invest a significant amount in keeping our employees and company on the tip of the spear in our industry.

Q: WHAT'S NEXT FOR H. A. THOMPSON & SONS? A: To continue much the same as we have for decades— providing quality work and producing customer satisfaction. Our goal has always been to provide great employees with a rewarding career, not just a job, and we have been blessed to have many long-time employees going to work every day helping us deliver on our promises. We have realized that with our success, we can help make lives better for many people, and we hope to continue to build on our philanthropic efforts in the years to come.


Some of the buildings that H. A. Thompson & Sons has performed work on over the years include: • The Bismarck Events Center Expo Additions • Bismarck High School • Bismarck's Provident Building • The piping work on the first power plant, UPA-CPA in Stanton, North Dakota • Conversion of 65 buildings in downtown Bismarck from central steam heating (from a steam generating plant) to individual gas-fired boilers in each building • Construction of Kirkwood Mall (when helicopters were brought in to set the roof-top units in place!) • The 1983 addition and renovation of Bismarck's Sanford Medical Center (Medcenter One at the time of construction) • The North Dakota Heritage Center • The Montana Dakota Utilities Headquarters Building

701-223-3393 /HAThompsonAndSons 911 S 9th St, Bismarck, ND 58504

• The BSC Aquatic & Wellness Center • The BSC Polytechnic Building • First International Bank and Trust • North Dakota's Gateway to Science • Missouri Slope Lutheran Care Center





DID YOU KNOW? In the 91 years of Peacock Alley's existence, the business has only transitioned through five ownerships!

When it first welcomed guests, the Patterson Hotel was a marvel in Bismarck. Standing seven stories high with 150 rooms, it was the tallest building in the city until 1934, overshadowed only by the completion of the new North Dakota State Capitol. The hotel's founder, Edward Patterson, wasn't just a businessman; his passion for amateur boxing brought legendary figures like Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey, and Joe Louis to its doors. The hotel's prestige was further highlighted by visits from several US Presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson.

had an intricate alarm system to deter unwanted visitors. It was also a center for illegal gambling and rumored to have facilitated other illicit activities. There were whispers about an underground tunnel linking the hotel to the nearby train depot, adding to its mystique. After the passing of Rose Patterson, the building faced tough times, ending hotel operations in the late 1970s. It was nearly demolished in the early 1980s but was saved and repurposed in 1984, transforming from 212 hotel rooms into 117 senior housing apartments. This closure and subsequent reopening marked a new chapter for the establishment, often referred to by the Zimmermans as 'Peacock 2.0.'

The Patterson Hotel had its share of secrets, too. During Prohibition, it clandestinely served alcohol and reportedly




PEACOCK ALLEY EST. 1933 The Peacock Alley American Grill and Bar, a notable piece of Bismarck's history, opened its doors in 1933, right at the close of Prohibition. It found its home in the Patterson Hotel, an establishment renowned for its luxury and as a hub for the Non-Partisan League. Notably, the construction of the hotel stretched over two decades, marking it as a significant landmark in Bismarck. The hotel, especially popular among politicians, saw its lobby transform into the current site of the Peacock Alley Bar, which originally opened on New Year's Day, 1911.

Q: HOW HAS PEACOCK ALLEY ADJUSTED TO CHANGING TIMES OVER THE YEARS TO REMAIN RELEVANT AND SUCCESSFUL TODAY? A: As most people know, most restaurants have a very short lifespan, with most closing within the first three years. To be around since 1933 is pretty amazing, and it says a lot more about the community than it does about anything. We're at the cornerstone of downtown Bismarck and we know that this area has changed so much over the decades. Peacock Alley has gone through the end of The Great Depression, recessions, business booms, and so much more, yet it's still going strong all these years later. In the last 14 years that my wife [Melodie Zimmerman] and I have owned Peacock Alley, we've tried to adapt to trends that we see in other



successful areas, such as different drink specials and other new additions, but we still keep the classics at all times. We try to keep ourselves unique in what we do without being over the top in terms of portions and prices like other restaurants across the country. We try to give customers a big value in their meals while still keeping true to our core values, which is serving the highest-quality ingredients at the best price that we can.

Q: ARE YOU LOOKING AT TRENDS NATIONWIDE OR ACROSS THE GLOBE? A: In my past life, I spent a lot of time traveling in different cities and communities across Europe and the United States. I could see this hunger starting to catch in people wanting to go downtown, park once, and experience the community. A city's downtown is like the lifeblood of a community that shows just how vibrant they are. We wanted to capture that feeling, which is what we've been continuously working on for the last 14 years.



A: Peacock Alley has always been proud to be a political hub. I heard a quote from the late Bob Stenehjem, the former North Dakota Senate Majority Leader, who said "The Capitol is where the votes are cast, but the work prior to that is done at Peacock Alley." A lot of deal-making is done outside of the Bismarck Capitol, but we've always represented ourselves as an environment that caters to both political sides by playing the neutral ground. We've had visitors and politicians from all over the world come to Bismarck, especially during the last oil boom. It's always an eye-opening experience to see their take on what we have in our community.

Q: LOOKING AHEAD, DOES PEACOCK ALLEY HAVE ANY SPECIFIC PLANS OR ASPIRATIONS MOVING FORWARD? A: We're always riding the waves and continuing to do what we do best. KLG Engineering recently moved to downtown Bismarck, which is going to be huge for businesses downtown with more employees in the office and going out for business lunches and other meetings during the daytime. With more apartments being built as well, we're thinking that 2024 is going to be a huge year of people coming back downtown more often.



DID YOU KNOW? Peacock Alley has served four United States Presidents over the years! • Theodore Roosevelt (26th president of the United States, 1901-1909) • Calvin Coolidge (30th president of the United States, 1923-1929) • John F. Kennedy (35th president of the United States, 1961-1963) • Lyndon B. Johnson (36th president of the United States, 1963-1969)

A STORY OF INSPIRATION "As long as I can remember, we've had a picture up at Peacock Alley of four men standing in front of the firehouse, with one of them on a motorcycle. One day, two women were sitting at the table that that picture hung in front of during lunch. There were plenty of other tables available, but when a group came in for lunch, they requested to wait for that specific table to clear, which I found a bit odd. I politely asked them why they wanted that specific table, and they told me that the man on the motorcycle was their father. They told me that having moved apart, they come back to Peacock Alley every year to have lunch in front of that picture. It brought a tear to my eye immediately. That was when I realized that I wasn't just running a restaurant or bar; I was running something truly important to the fabric of this community and who we are, and I have to be a great steward of that. So the personal responsibility for this business has become much bigger than I ever could have imagined." - Dale Zimmerman, Co-Owner of Peacock Alley






Q: WHAT DOES THE HISTORY BEHIND PEACOCK ALLEY MEAN TO YOU? A: I've always thought that Peacock Alley has a great location and history, but I never truly understood how much this history plays into people's memories until [Melodie and I] became more cemented in our roles as owners. It's an unbelievable eye-opening experience to see people who are in their 70s and 80s come in and talk about how they were fond of visiting as children. Senator Conrad, a former United States Senator, has said that he used to spend every Sunday in Peacock Alley and the Patterson building visiting his grandma. There are so many stories of connection that people have fond memories of people getting engaged, celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, and so many other things, and I'm sure there'll be plenty more stories to be made over the years to come.



"I learned at a young age to retain what you have, because the next one might not be as good. We take that perspective with our employees by nurturing, training, and catering to the ones that we have, rather than always looking for the next one. We've been blessed with people who have worked with us for many, many decades. The only problem that we'll face is when they retire, as that's when we'll have to dive back into the employee pool and find some more hard workers to train, but these people will be hard to replace." - Dale Zimmerman, Co-Owner of Peacock Alley



422 E Main Ave

Bismarck, ND 58501



FAULKNER'S MARKET EST. 1943 Faulkner's Market was founded by Dennis and Hattie Faulkner, a young couple from Sauk Centre, MN. The market began its journey in the fall of 1943 amidst the challenges of the Great Depression, when the Faulkners brought their dream to life, starting with a humble vegetable garden. Through years of hard work, including overcoming natural disasters and personal setbacks, Faulkner's Market has evolved into a beloved community staple. Today, under the stewardship of Mark and Lynette Dagley, the market continues to embody the spirit and values of its founders. As Faulkner's Market prepares to open its doors for the 2024 season, I had the pleasure of connecting with current owners Mark and Lynette, as well as former owner Elaine Faulkner Willenbring, to discuss its rich history, the legacy left by the Faulkners, and the market's enduring impact on the community.




THEIR STORY Below is the story of Faulkner's Market's origins. This account was previously provided directly by Elaine Faulkner Willenbring of Mandan, who is one of the daughters of the original founders. The story begins with the Faulkner's, 37-year-old Dennis and 27-year-old Hattie, coming to Mandan from Sauk Centre, MN, on their honeymoon during the fall of 1937. The couple had known each other for several years but delayed their marriage to save a little money. However, with the Depression's end nowhere in sight, they opted to marry with a small "nest egg" in hand and began their life together out west. At the time, Dennis was a trucker and hauled vegetables and fruit out of the Minneapolis area, often stopping at Mandan, before continuing his route. He always liked Mandan because the people there were so friendly. He thought Mandan would be a great place to raise a family. Using their small savings to set up a starter home, the newlyweds rented a house in rural Mandan. Dennis continued trucking, but the money was so scarce that the couple could not even afford the three cents necessary to mail a Christmas card back to Hattie's parents during that first Christmas out west. So, by spring, for extra income, Hattie began a vegetable garden and sold produce to Mandan residents and stores, while Dennis continued his trucking route. By 1942, with Dennis out of the trucking business due to failing eyesight, the Faulkners had saved enough money to purchase approximately 10 acres of land on the west end of Highway 10, connecting the Memorial Bridge to Mandan. The couple later rented other parcels from the railroad and from the Sylvester family, which became Faulkner's Market. Buildings included a small barn, a shed or two, and eventually a small house, built by Dennis and a cousin, which was moved next to the store, where the couple eventually raised seven children, six daughters, and one son. Faulkner's Market officially opened in the spring of 1943, and business was fantastic due to its location next to the busy highway. But, in order to make ends meet for their growing family, the Faulkners operated a small

grocery store at the market building and even sold Christmas trees and fireworks. Flooding from the Missouri River was always a springtime threat for those living along the highway, but none were as devastating as the one in 1952. Because the house was built on a higher foundation than the market building, the muddy river water filled the market's basement, while the shop itself was completely inundated. The family moved into Mandan during this period, which, according to their daughter Elaine, the children thought was a wonderful idea because they got to be "city kids" for a couple of weeks. As the water receded, the family members went back to their home. It was a sad day for the Faulkner's when they saw the dirty water and mud, as well as the stinking garbage, which had enveloped nearly all the buildings, inside and out. The cleanup was an exhausting job for the entire family, but especially for Hattie and Dennis who worked at it every day while the children were in school. As horrible as the 1952 flooding was, at least one very good thing happened that year as a result of all that extra moisture in the soil. The Faulkners enjoyed their biggest vegetable crop ever! The opening of the Garrison Dam in 1954 assured that such flooding from the Missouri River would never again occur on The Strip, and many good years followed for Faulkner's Market. After Dennis died in 1966, Hattie was determined to continue with the Market, but more changes came in 1975 when the city of Mandan annexed the entire "strip" from Mandan to the Memorial Bridge. Many flooddamaged buildings in the area were condemned and demolished, including the old Faulkner's Market building. Another much-improved and larger metal building was soon constructed on the same site. Daughter Elaine bought the property after the death of her mother in 1993 and she continues the family tradition from April through June of each year, with the assistance of her husband, Roys, and a few part-time helpers. A greenhouse was also added to the back of the building in 2003, and Roys assisted in tripling the market's size during their time of ownership. When asked why, after 65 years, she has continued the Faulkner's Market, Elaine said, "I've simply loved watching plants grow but, just like my parents, I simply enjoy seeing these loyal customers return year after year, along with their children and now their grandchildren."






DID YOU KNOW? Faulkner's Market's motto is “Sow Generously-Reap Generously,” which they put on all of their seed packets.

A NEW ERA FOR FAULKNER'S MARKET Mark and Lynette Dagley, the current owners of Faulkner's Market, became acquaintances with Elaine and Roys Willenbring over decades of supporting the business. "We've patronized their store since the mid-eighties," Mark said. "Around 2008, Elaine mentioned to us the opportunity to grow and supply her with vegetable starts that we could sell at the store. It was a chance for us to make a little extra cash and utilize our large garden space out on our country farmstead." After a few years, Elaine mentioned to the Dagleys that she was planning her exit strategy from the business and was looking for someone who she felt could continue the store. While she had offers to purchase Faulkner's Market from those who wanted to raze the business and put it in storage facilities, she didn't have the heart to do this to her historic and familial homeplace, where most of her memories were forged. Bismarck-Mandan “needed to have a bulk seed store for the community.” It was her passion to preserve that for her customer friends and future gardeners for years to come.



"After we promised to continue the Market, Elaine and Roys sold us Faulkner’s Market in November of 2011, and we've had 12 successful years of operating the store," the Dagleys said. "Faulkner’s Market has had such a great reputation and name over the years, that we could not even think of changing the name of it. Besides it is in the hearts of the people who always have known it as Faulkner’s Market. Our first two years were under the watchful eye of Elaine, who showed us the ropes and walked us through all the aspects of the business." Since taking over the business for Elaine and Roys, the Dagleys have concentrated on giving sound garden advice, value, and variety to customers both old and new. Around this time, the general public was becoming more health-conscious about what they were putting in their bodies, with an increased focus on homegrown organic foods, according to the Dagleys. Despite home gardening making a comeback over the years, the business has continued to grow.



"Ben, our son, and Hannah, his wife, expressed interest in the store," the Dagleys said. "They have been managing the store since about 2015 with ever-increasing involvement. We want to maintain a small, hometown, customer-driven business that our friends, the public, find to be welcoming, homey, and helpful." In April of 2018, Faulkner's Market faced a tragic fire that had completely destroyed the 150' greenhouse, which was fully stocked for the season. The Dagleys, not wanting their customers to be disappointed at the beginning of their season, replanted tomatoes and peppers immediately, while Ben outsourced more products from other greenhouses. "[Ben] and the crew even quickly built another greenhouse behind the store amidst all his other duties," the Dagleys said. "It was amazing the support from all our customer friends who rallied around us. They even hosted a pie auction fundraiser to help us recover."



Over the last several years, the team at Faulkner's Market has been adding more temporary greenhouses to accommodate the ever-growing need in the BismarckMandan region. "We have customers from all over North Dakota and surrounding states," the Dagleys said. "Customers make sure to stop by whenever they need to come to Bismarck for checkups, shopping, or any other reason. Of course, during garden season, coming to Faulkner’s is a reason in itself." Now, the team is actively involved in seed germination testing, packaging bulk seeds, permitting and erecting temporary greenhouses, and growing onions, petunias, marigolds, and more for a promising season ahead. Faulkner's Market opens for the season on April 1, 2024.



701-663-9223 /FaulknersMarket

2309 Memorial Hwy Mandan, ND 58554



OHM'S CAFE (1946)


OHM'S CAFE EST. 1946 Since Ohm's Cafe's opening in 1946, this family-owned eatery has not only provided a cozy gathering space for the locals but has also become a landmark in the ever-changing landscape of the food industry. In this article, we delve into the story of Ohm's Cafe, exploring its journey through the decades, the challenges it has overcome, and the factors contributing to its remarkable longevity.




THE BEGINNING OF OHM'S JOURNEY Ohm's Cafe first opened its doors in 1946, marking the start of a legacy that would span over seven decades to date. Casey Keller, the current owner, states that her grandparents bought Ohm's Cafe from the previous owners, the Schaefer's, around 1996. Passing the business from one family to another means more to Keller than it may to other business owners in the community. "I think the fact that it has always been family-owned separates Ohm's Cafe from a lot of businesses in the Bismarck-Mandan community," Keller said. "Not just our family personally, but each ownership has consisted of family members working together with one another and keeping that family aspect close to the core of the business' values." This familial involvement extends beyond mere management; it's about preserving a legacy. "To this day, my grandmother comes in when we're closed and makes the cheese buttons and more, which makes work coming to that much more meaningful, and the fact that it's been like that for generations in this building is so special," Keller said. This handover of the baton from one family to another exemplifies a tradition of community and continuity that is central to Ohm's Cafe's identity. Casey's personal journey with Ohm's Cafe showcases the deep-rooted connections that Ohm's Cafe fosters within the Bismarck-Mandan community. Having been involved with the cafe since the young age of 12, Casey's life has been intricately woven with the cafe's history. "I've been working on and off for Ohm's Cafe since I was 12 years old, which will make it 2 decades this year," Keller said. This long-standing relationship with the cafe highlights the depth of commitment and passion that drives Ohm's Cafe forward.

ADAPTING TO CHANGING TIMES Throughout its history, Ohm's Cafe has seen its fair share of changes, adapting to the evolving needs of its customers while maintaining its core essence. "Since reopening on January 10 after some recent updating and remodeling, we've added liquor sales to the business to get a bit more of a dinner crowd through the doors," Keller said. "Other than that, we're still doing breakfast all day and offering Ohm's Cafe's same great specials, soups, desserts, and much more!" This addition aims to broaden the cafe's appeal, inviting a new demographic while still serving its long-standing customers with the same beloved breakfast specials and homemade desserts.

OHM'S CAFE (1946)




Despite these changes, Casey emphasizes the importance of maintaining the cafe's familiar atmosphere. "We're not trying to change the feel of the place at all. We like how everything has been running and since reopening, it's all gone over very well so far," Keller said. This balance between innovation and tradition in Ohm's Cafe allows it to remain a beloved spot for both old and new patrons.

The intertwining of tradition and change is a delicate balance that Ohm's Cafe has pursued over the years. While the cafe has undergone physical remodeling and menu expansions, the essence of what makes Ohm's a beloved community spot remains untouched. "We plan on keeping that classic family atmosphere that Ohm's Cafe has always been proud to have," Keller said.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Ohm's Cafe extends its influence beyond the confines of its four walls. As a business deeply rooted in the Mandan community, it plays a role in local events and activities among regulars. The cafe has become a go-to spot for local gatherings, whether it's a morning meet-up among friends or an impromptu family dinner.



"Our regulars have been coming in here because of the older generations and their families, so we're hoping to reignite that spark again with generations to come," Keller said.

OHM'S CAFE (1946)



DID YOU KNOW? Ohm's Cafe originally began as a potato chip factory that transitioned into a Bismarck-Mandan staple cafe!

LOOKING TOWARDS THE FUTURE: OHM'S CAFE'S VISION As Ohm's Cafe moves forward, there's a palpable sense of optimism about the future. "My fiancé and I, who recently took over the business, are very excited about the future of Ohm's Cafe," Keller said.

"I know how things have run and will continue to run, and we plan on keeping that classic family atmosphere that Ohm's Cafe has always been proud to have. Furthermore, we plan to continue offering our classic dishes and specials that our customers have loved for years."

The cafe prides itself on its home-cooked meals and the intimate, familial atmosphere it offers. "This year, I will have been involved in the business for twenty years, so keeping it in the family means a lot to me," Keller said.

BUILDING A LEGACY ON COMMUNITY TIES Looking ahead, Ohm's Cafe aims to strengthen its ties with the Mandan community. This involves not only serving great food but also being an integral part of the community's fabric. Whether it's through local events, collaborations with other businesses, or simply being a place where people can come together, Ohm's intends to reinforce its role as a community dining hub. From its humble beginnings in 1946 to its current status as a beloved local landmark, the cafe has woven itself into the tapestry of Mandan's history. Under the stewardship of Keller, Ohm's Cafe is poised to continue its legacy, blending the rich traditions of the past with the vibrant possibilities of the future. As Casey puts it, "That's what pushes us forward and makes coming in every day an exciting time."



In Ohm's Cafe, the community of Mandan has not just a restaurant, but a living piece of its history, continually evolving and growing with each passing year.

OHM'S CAFE 701-663-8245 /OhmsCafe 808 W Main St, Mandan, ND 58554



BISMARCK BIG BOY EST. 1954 Big Boy has been a staple in the Bismarck-Mandan community since its early days, opening in 1954. Over the years, Big Boy in Bismarck has become a local favorite, blending classic tastes with unforgettable memories. Like the mighty Missouri River that flows through Bismarck, Big Boy has witnessed the ebb and flow of the city’s history, becoming an integral part of the community's fabric. It's more than just a restaurant; it's a part of Bismarck's history. I had the pleasure of connecting with some of the team behind Bismarck's Big Boy, including Don Brandt, Bismarck's Big Boy Manager, who's celebrating 40 incredible years with Big Boy this February. We discussed the business's early history, some of the most memorable milestones for the restaurant over the past seven decades, and what's next for Big Boy in Bismarck.




DID YOU KNOW? Other regional locations of Big Boy once also existed in downtown Bismarck, Fargo, Minot, Dickinson, and Medora, but the original Bismarck restaurant remains the sole survivor today.

THE ORIGINS OF BIG BOY: A DREAM REALIZED The Big Boy story in Bismarck began with Harley McDowell's vision. After experiencing a Big Boy restaurant on a business trip, McDowell was inspired to bring this unique dining concept back to Bismarck. His entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there; he also became the fourth franchisee of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in the same year, ultimately forming a close friendship with “Colonel” Harland Sanders.

McDowell’s legacy was carried forward by Stan and Bonnie Rothenberger, who purchased Big Boy in 1978. McDowell, impressed by the Rothenbergers reputation for honest business and quality food service, chose them over other higher bidders.

BIG BOY TODAY Fast forward to 2017, Chad Wachter, a lifelong resident and fan of Big Boy, took over the reins. Since Wachter transitioned to ownership, the restaurant has seen several improvements, such as a more navigable menu board, an additional drive-through exit, and outdoor picnic benches for summer dining. “There is no reason to mess with perfection. We are proud to be part of many memories that center around family and food," Wachter said.

Big Boy's distinctiveness is not just in its menu, but also in its format. As Andersen points out, Big Boy in Bismarck is unique for being the only establishment in the chain with a drive-thru and no indoor seating, offering fried chicken exclusively at the Bismarck location—a nod to McDowell's association with KFC.





DID YOU KNOW? Bismarck's Big Boy was the first drivethrough restaurant in Bismarck-Mandan!

CONTINUING THE LEGACY: A BLEND OF OLD AND NEW Don Brandt, the current manager of Big Boy, emphasizes the importance of consistency and tradition. “The menu hasn’t changed over the years," Brandt said. "We have added some items, but the original ones are still there. Grandparents can treat their grandkids to a hot & tot that they themselves enjoyed as children." But Big Boy isn’t just about food; it’s about the experience and the nostalgia it evokes. “It’s more about the nostalgia

of home than the idea of visiting," Brandt said. "Everyone who grew up here has some memory of Big Boy, from parents bringing their kids to Big Boy for a treat, or out-of-town customers coming to get pizza burgers. Customers often order frozen burgers to take back home with them. As out-of-towners oftentimes come back to visit family, they often leave the airport and come through our line, joking with us that they come to see us before family."

MEMORABLE MILESTONES: CELEBRATING THE COMMUNITY SPIRIT Big Boy’s journey is dotted with memorable moments that mirror the community's own story. From celebrating its 65th anniversary with a $0.65 pizza burger special to catering past events for governors, Big Boy has been an active participant in Bismarck’s social landscape. Brandt recalls the area's flood as a particularly challenging yet defining moment, highlighting the community’s reliance on and support for Big Boy during tough times.



"The flood around 2010 was a very memorable time for everyone," Brandt said. "Big Boy was in high demand because we are a restaurant where you can pick up large amounts of food. Besides being very short-staffed, the line would extend far down Main Street. Customers were encouraged to call with their large orders of burgers when arriving at the back of the line so that by the time they were at the front, the staff would have a head start on the food."


"THE BIG BOY STATUE USED TO BE STOLEN ALL THE TIME AS A 'SENIOR PRANK.' THEY WOULD COME TO WORK AND FIND THE STATUE HAD BEEN STOLEN, AND LATER IT WOULD BE FOUND IN FRONT OF BISMARCK HIGH SCHOOL." - DON BRANDT, BISMARCK BIG BOY MANAGER Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic brought its own set of challenges and opportunities. “The second everything shut down, our business increased," Brandt said. "The employees all put in many hours as there wasn’t much else to do at the time, and our line was nonstop. Everyone had

a good attitude as schools and everything else had shut down, so it gave many of our high school staff members a chance to get out and be around people." This further highlights how Big Boy became a hub for the community during these uncertain times.

A COMMUNITY ICON: MORE THAN JUST FOOD Big Boy has become a community icon and a place where generations of families have created lasting memories. Don Brandt shares heartwarming stories of customers who reminisce about their life events, from proposals to teenage hangouts in the parking lot, emphasizing that Big Boy is a part of the community’s collective memory. "Customers often come through the line and reminisce about their own memories, such as proposals, and hanging out in the parking lot as teenagers. You can nightly still find teenagers in our parking lot," Brandt said. This deep-rooted connection is further evidenced by Big Boy's involvement in local events. The restaurant's participation in the 4th of July parade, with staff members

and the iconic Big Boy mascot distributing free drink coupons, as well as catering for local events, including notable figures and celebrations, further cement Big Boy's role as a community leader and gatherer. To increase its community outreach, Bismarck's Big Boy also occasionally operates out of a traveling food truck. "Our first food truck event in Fargo had our highest sales up to that date out of our food truck," Brandt said. "People waited for over an hour to get pizza burgers, fries, and gravy when the line wrapped around the corner and down the block. Every time our food truck pulls into any town, it’s like the circus has come. Kids wave at us like we're famous, and people line up long before we're even open and serving."






THE ROAD AHEAD: FUTURE ASPIRATIONS AND CHALLENGES Looking to the future, Big Boy in Bismarck has plans for expansion and modernization. Brandt discussed the potential of opening another Big Boy in key North Dakota cities such as Fargo, Jamestown, Dickinson, and Minot, as well as enhancing their presence through consistent food truck visits. However, with expansion comes the challenge of preserving the authenticity of Big Boy’s offerings. "Being able to keep the traditions and flavors of Big Boy true to what they have always been is important to us," Brandt said. "Many hours are spent making sure that new products have the same flavor profile as the old." The restaurant's focus on customer satisfaction is evident in the way it addresses feedback and concerns. “Our most important job has always been making sure our recipes stay the same, and our customers are happy,” Brandt said. "We spend many hours every year looking into every customer complaint and every menu item flavor profile to ensure the consistency we have always had,” Brandt said. This attention to detail and commitment to excellence have helped Big Boy maintain its reputation as a beloved eatery.

Moreover, adapting to new technology, such as delivery and mobile ordering, is on the horizon for Big Boy. Keeping pace with the latest and greatest dining trends while holding on to its traditional roots will be a delicate balance to strike for Big Boy in the coming years. From Harley McDowell’s initial vision to the current stewardship under Chad Wachter, Big Boy has navigated the challenges of time while maintaining its core values. As Wachter, Brandt, and the rest of the Big Boy team continue their journey, it remains a cherished part of Bismarck’s culinary and cultural heritage, a place where every meal is a slice of history served with a side of memories.



2511 E Main Ave


Bismarck, ND 58501

As we wrap up our journey through the storied streets of Bismarck-Mandan, it's hard not to feel a deep connection with these time-honored businesses. Each one tells a story of endurance, adaptability, and a warm, unwavering spirit that's just so classically us. They remind us, in their own quiet way, that amidst the whirlwind of rotating businesses, the truest forms of dedication, top-notch quality, and heartfelt service to our neighbors never go out of style.



By Grant Ayers |

Courtesy of Lifestyle Chiropractic

Turning Obstacles

into Opportunities Dr. Sandee Funk's Path to Wellness Entrepreneurship r. Sandee Funk, DC is the founder and owner of Lifestyle Chiropractic, a wellness chiropractic care center in Bismarck. While her journey has led her to proudly operate two physical locations and make a positive impact on many people that have worked with her, it didn’t happen overnight. In this article, we'll learn Dr. Funk’s story behind Lifestyle Chiropractic and explore her journey from operating out of her apartment, to traveling to clients, to owning the same storefront that inspired her to venture into the world of chiropractic care.



Dr. Sandee Funk, DC is the founder and owner of Lifestyle Chiropractic, a wellness chiropractic care center in Bismarck. While her journey has led her to proudly operate two physical locations and make a positive impact on many people that have worked with her, it didn’t happen overnight. In this article, we dive into Dr. Funk’s story behind Lifestyle Chiropractic and explore her journey from operating out of her apartment, to traveling to clients, to owning the same storefront that inspired her to venture into the world of chiropractic care.



Meet The Lifestyle Family!

In 2011, against the backdrop of an oil boom out west, Dr. Sandee Funk set out on a journey that would eventually shape her life and career today. Launching her own business, originally named Hometown Wellness, in the heart of her hometown Hebron, ND, marked the beginning of a new path for her. After relocating from South Carolina back to Hebron, she faced unexpected housing scarcity due to the booming oil industry. Yet, undeterred by this obstacle, she managed to secure a modest two-bedroom apartment that would serve as the starting point for her practice. With a portable table and chair as her tools and a growing family by her side, she began welcoming clients seeking wellness and healing. It wasn't long before word spread within the community, and even before formally establishing her practice, people who knew Dr. Funk started



approaching her for assistance. Operating the growing business from her home posed its own set of challenges, as she soon became notified that she could no longer operate Hometown Wellness out of her apartment. This prompted her to temporarily offer services at clients' homes so that she could get her business off the ground and into a storefront. This determination is what led her to be able to provide a dedicated, professional space for her practice to grow in Hebron. Funk’s childhood memories and career goals merged when a particular house on Main Street in Hebron, a place that she had admired since she was a child, became available. With an attached area for business, it was a dream come true for Funk. As her practice in Hebron continued to flourish, another chapter of growth unfolded for her. Funk’s

Funk's Inspiring Origins into Chiropractic Care During her undergraduate years at the University of Mary in Bismarck, her aspirations initially revolved around a future of becoming a medical doctor. Her trajectory was on course for the MCAT, the gateway to medical school, but things changed. Expecting her first child and grappling with back pain and other pregnancy-induced discomforts, she decided to visit a chiropractor local to the Bismarck area, Dr. Amanda Messer, for relief. “Dr. Messer did an exceptional job of educating me about chiropractic care, its impact on the nervous system, and how it essentially governs and influences the body. This was the first time someone had explained it so clearly to me. I was captivated, considering my inherent inclination towards natural approaches, I thought, 'This is it.' I returned home and researched the prerequisites for chiropractic school. Surprisingly, they were identical to those for medical school. I made an abrupt 180-degree turn and shifted my focus to applying for chiropractic school.”

son's involvement in Bismarck sports led to frequent travel between the two cities. Reflecting on her own history of constantly traveling back and forth between Hebron and Bismarck years before, she made the decision to relocate to Bismarck while maintaining the Hebron office. This move allowed her to split her time between the two locations, as she dedicated two days to Hebron and three days to Bismarck each week. This balance propelled her further, and gradually, her presence expanded in both locations. Today, the Hebron office continues to operate, welcoming clients one day a week, while the Bismarck office thrives with a five-day-a-week schedule. The growth didn't stop there; she collaborated with a licensed master esthetician, other chiropractors, a licensed massage therapist, and others in the Bismarck office, to create a holistic and well-rounded wellness experience for her clients. Equipped with a new team and new location, Dr. Funk rebranded to Lifestyle Chiropractic. Rather than taking a jack-of-all-trades approach, Dr. Sandee has grown her team to include some of the most insightful and trained people in their respective fields in the area. Lifestyle Chiropractic team also rents out space to others in specialized fields, such as homeopathic medicine. “While some of those practices are separate from our office, I consider everyone a part of our Lifestyle family. Whether they’re here one day a week or every day, we’re a tight-knit group and family,” Dr. Funk said.

What is Homeopathic Medicine, or Homeopathy? “Homeopathy is a medical system based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Those who practice it use tiny amounts of natural substances, like plants and minerals. They believe these stimulate the healing process. It was developed in the late 1700s in Germany. It’s common in many European countries, but it’s not quite as popular in the United States.” - WebMD



Meet The Lifestyle Chiropractic Team Dr. Sandee Funk DC

Dr. Timothy Nagel DC


Licensed Massage Therapist


Coaching, Energy Work, and Homeopathy


Bismarck Office Manager

Dr. Sandee looks forward to growing her team if the opportunity is right. “I don’t always have the perfect plan, but when I hear, know, and feel the right direction, I recognize it," she said. "We're in the process of determining what to do with our available space,




Licensed Master Esthetician


Hebron Office Manager

whether we introduce a different healthcare branch to add to the 'lifestyle,' or if we add another chiropractor. We’re constantly growing as we try to make a great impact on the people here.”

Dr. Sandee and her boys.

A Q&A with Dr. Sandee Funk, DC Q: You mentioned having three boys. How do you manage a work-life balance between them and your work in both Hebron and Bismarck? A: I don’t know how much time I truly get to relax, but I’m super thankful that I have this job where I can take care of my children and also make a difference in other people’s lives. Not many jobs have the flexibility that I have, which I’m grateful for. I have a 20-year-old, a 12-year-old, and an 11-year-old who are all very active in sports and activities and so on. I’m there if I need to make it to their activities or be out of the office for a bit to help them. It’s really important for me to be there for them, whether it’s practices, summer camps, or anything else. My 20-year-old helped me out with the younger boys over the summer before he went to college in Grand Forks, so I couldn't do what I do without the people that I have around me.

Q: There are numerous chiropractors in North Dakota, particularly in the Bismarck-Mandan area. How do you and Lifestyle Chiropractic distinguish yourselves and establish a more significant presence as a trusted partner of the community? A: We all approach things a little differently, and none of us are exactly the same. I believe we each have our place. Instead, I see the potential for collaboration. By coming together, we can provide better care to the many individuals who could benefit from our services. In general, my focus is on overall health. People often come to me in pain or with specific symptoms, but I strive to educate them about chiropractic care, the nervous



Lifestyle Chiropractic Office Shot

system, and the holistic principles I learned when I first received care. Our name, Lifestyle Chiropractic, shows the interconnectedness of different lifestyle factors and health. Chiropractic care is a vital part of overall wellness, alongside good nutrition, restful sleep, regular exercise, and more. To get true wellness, we have to address all of these different components rather than concentrating on one.

to be done, I’m going to get it done right away. I feel like that’s a bit of a North Dakota mindset in general. My dad was a farmer and rancher and has probably always been the hardest-working person that I know, and he gave me that mindset. We get stuff done, and we go on with life.

Also, we take a highly relationship-oriented approach. We’re happy to assist anyone in any way we can. That's a significant part of what we do—being there for patients at every level where we can provide assistance.

A: Listening to other people's stories. When they share how well they're doing, and the testimonials about the care they've received, it's truly amazing to hear. Sometimes, it's even difficult to believe that these experiences are real. Knowing that I've made a positive impact on someone's life in these ways is incredibly rewarding; that's the sweet stuff right there.

Q: What has been the hardest challenge in your journey as a business owner to date? A: I believe that the hardest piece is just to never give up. As a business professional, we all have bad days sometimes and you question if it’s worth it to put in all this work. But I can’t think of another job that would allow me to do what I do, be there for my kids, and make a difference in other people’s lives, so it’s worth it even when the work becomes a lot. I’ve always had the mindset that if something needs



Q: What brings you the greatest satisfaction?

Q: Do any of those success stories with a positive impact come to mind? A: People obviously don’t share everything with me right away, but I’ve been working with one lady specifically who’s shared her story with me on how she’s been impacted. She had COVID, and then long-haul post-COVID symptoms that

How do you most commonly meet new clients in your practice? “Our primary method for meeting new patients is through referrals. I'm also part of a BNI networking group here in Bismarck, which has been incredibly valuable for building relationships with other business professionals. Word-of-mouth referrals and our involvement in the BNI group are the two primary ways of meeting new people.”

were horrible. She felt like she was going to die, and she started planning her funeral with her children because she didn’t think that she would make it through. She couldn’t function, and she was having really horrible back pain, headaches, and just not being able to live her life. Eventually, she told me that, at first, she felt hopeless and that nothing could ever get her back to normal again. But within the first week, she was so surprised at how much better she felt and that her back didn’t hurt nearly as much. We’ve just really helped her function and now she’s able to do tasks like paint the ceiling and mow the lawn. That’s one of the more recent examples of significantly impacting someone, and there aren’t many better feelings than that.

Q: What advice would you offer not only to fellow chiropractors, but other business owners, particularly in the Bismarck-Mandan area? A: Creating a support system goes a long way for anyone. Having people around you that support you and give you professional advice has been crucial for me. Personally, I’ve grown and loved my time spent with the BNI group in the area, and I can’t emphasize enough how much a support network can push you forward in the business community.

Lifestyle Chiropractic & Wellness - Bismarck 701-222-6382 /LifestyleChiro.Bis 535 S 7th St (Located in the Southridge Center) Bismarck, ND 58504

Lifestyle Chiropractic & Wellness - Hebron 701-878-4300 /LifestyleChiro.Bis 725 Main St Hebron, ND 58638

HOW THE MANDAN TENNIS CENTER WENT FROM UNLIKELY DREAM TO REALITY holy-buckets-we-might-actually-getit-done levels of possibility in 2021, had lost its momentum.

In September of 2021, Tracy Porter was disappointed. The project he had spent hundreds of hours on—an indoor tennis and pickleball facility designed for more access to play for the Bismarck-Mandan community—had been canned. Denied. Shot down. Put on the chopping block. This project, which had gone from piein-the-sky, if-we-had-a-magic-genie levels of possibility in 2019-2020 to

After creating a business model and finance structure that would place the facility’s financial responsibility on sponsorships, user fees, and private funding, and after making proposals that had support from the Mandan Park District and Mandan School District, there was one problem: there was nowhere to put it. The

facility’s location was crucial because it needed to be easily accessible for both Bismarck and Mandan residents, but no unoccupied Park District property fit the description. User groups of other possible locations met Tracy’s requests with polite messages of, “Thanks, but no.” So it was done—a good try, a good idea, a valiant effort—but it was done. Enter Bob Kupper. The former car dealership entrepreneur and community-minded property owner had a meeting scheduled with Cole Higlin, Mandan Park District Executive Director, to discuss the Park District’s recent purchase of



land for the construction of a parking lot just East of the Starion Sports Complex (SSC). As the neighboring landowner, the Park District would be selling some of what they had originally purchased to Kupper because they did not need a large amount for the new parking lot. Offhandedly, Cole mentioned that Tracy Porter had this tennis and pickleball project that was going to fizzle out because they couldn’t find a location, and Bob didn’t think twice: he donated two acres of land back to the Park District—enough to build the Mandan Tennis Center—attached to the SSC parking lot. Just like that, the project was back.

To understand Tracy’s motivation to coordinate this project at all is to understand his entire background and professional career. A lifelong resident of Mandan, Tracy has always aimed to better the community in whatever manner was available to him at the time. As a young adult, Tracy coached youth basketball and baseball teams at a variety of ages and abilities. In 1998, he was elected to the Mandan Park Board and served on it for 16 years. During that time, he was able to advocate for a variety of projects that enhanced the community. He also was able to observe how large wellness facility projects were proposed, and importantly, how difficult it was to agree to construct a facility when the Park District (and therefore the community-atlarge) was footing the entire bill. As working professionals, both Tracy

and his wife Jane spent over 30 years immersed in the finances of the cooperative organizations (Tracy at NISC and Jane at NDAREC) for which they worked, and a foundational principle of cooperatives is Concern for Community. Recently, Tracy was a recipient of the University of Mary Alumni Harold Schafer Leadership Award, which places at its heart the importance of Servant Leadership, particularly to one’s community and the people in it. So it’s been community, community, and community from the beginning. That’s all great, one might say, but what does it have to do with tennis and pickleball? Well, they’re secondary, but they’re related. Tracy picked up tennis in high school and had some success with it, but he saw it as a supplement to his other sports—not something on which he felt he should spend a lot of time. Fast forward, and Tracy and Jane’s children, Jacey and Erik, took an interest in tennis at an early age. As a family, the Porters became immersed in the tennis community

and the people that comprised it. Tracy and Jane became fans, coaches, and volunteers, and both Jacey and Erik continued their playing careers through high school and into college, both have continued their involvement as adults; Jacey is the Head Mandan Middle School girls’ tennis coach, and Erik is the Assistant Coach at Mandan High School and the University of Mary. In fact, in 2022, the family’s involvement in the game grew so much that the Porter Family was named the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section Family of the Year. Nevertheless, season after season, tournament after tournament, and conversation after conversation, two things became clear to them: tennis is a fun game to play, and the community ought to have more fun opportunities to play it. When pickleball became the fastestgrowing sport in America several years ago, it was like icing on the cake; now, there was another great opportunity to play an accessible game with family and friends.




Center LLC, a nonprofit that would manage and operate the facility; the Mandan Park District would own the facility and lease it to Mandan Tennis Center LLC; and the monthly lease payment from the Mandan Tennis Center to the Park District would be equal to the amount of the monthly payment on the Park District’s

Even with the most communityminded intentions, however, for this project to work, it needed to be realistic. Tracy knew going in that such a specialized facility, one that only provided one category of recreation (racquet sports), wouldn’t interest the Park District since there are so many other user groups who need facilities, too. As a result, Tracy created the following business plan: he and his family would create Mandan Tennis



construction loan. Admittedly, agreeing to this took quite a bit of forward-thinking from Park District leadership. They understood the motivations for this project and worked with Tracy to craft a plan that would allow the facility to launch without placing undue strain on the Park District. From there, the conversation got practical. The engineering and design firm Kadrmas, Lee, and Jackson (KLJ) won the design bid; Northwest Contracting won the construction bid with Electric Systems and Central Mechanical as the primary subcontractors; and a company out of Minneapolis called Yeadon won the bid for supplying the facility’s air-supported dome. These groups organized and coordinated their projects so efficiently that, six months after breaking ground, the facility was open to the public. At a time when supply chain issues were affecting several aspects of the construction process, this was truly an impressive feat. The teams settled on a 41,600 sq. ft. facility that would contain 6 indoor tennis courts and up to 10 indoor pickleball courts.

During the construction process, a question came up several times: “Why the bubble?” It’s pretty straightforward. It was by far the least expensive construction material, and it was by far the fastest method of construction available. In fact, the team from Yeadon inflated the entire dome in an afternoon. When it came time to furnish the facility, it was very important to Tracy and Co. that the tennis center set itself apart from other facilities like it in the region. This led to investments in electronic scoreboards on each court, cameras and speakers on each court, and a unique Wall of Champions display in the lobby that features North Dakota Boys’ and Girls’ high school West Region Champions and local State Champions.

The Mandan Tennis Center is approaching its 1st anniversary of opening to the public. In that time, it’s been able to open its doors to a wide variety of people. It has hosted collegiate tennis matches between



the University of Mary, Minnesota State University Moorhead, the University of Sioux Falls, and Augustana University. It has also hosted ND West Region high school tournaments for boys' and girls’ tennis. It helped host three competitive summer tennis tournaments that saw entries from all over the upper Midwest. It has hosted 3 local tennis and pickleball tournaments with over 400 combined entrants. And, crucially, it’s welcomed people from all over Bismarck-Mandan for its youth and adult programming.

It’s one thing to note the year’s highlights, though, and it’s another to emphasize the consistency. A typical week at the Mandan Tennis Center incorporates a little bit of everything: there’s evening drop-in pickleball one night, and there’s an Introduction to Pickleball class one night and a Pickleball league on another. There are youth tennis lessons after school and a tennis league for competitive players on Sundays. There’s a budding

Saturday tennis group that mixes adults and high schoolers, and there are pickleball groups that play in the mornings anytime as early as 5:30 a.m.. There’s even an evening of Smash Tennis, which is a hybrid game that Tracy and Erik created using a variety of equipment and rules from other games. Together, they’re working on creating an ecosystem of fun offerings for people of all ages and abilities.

Nearly two years to the day after Cole Higlin’s fateful conversation with Bob Kupper, the Mandan Tennis Center hosted the 2023 Boys’ High School West Region Tennis Tournament. It was the first time Mandan had ever hosted the boys’ tournament. Over 250 players and spectators came to the facility to support their friends, family, and teammates. But for Tracy Porter and his family, it’s not about the big events. They’re great, certainly, and the facility will continue to host them, but the real joy-giver of the facility is simply people playing. Their goals are simple: introduce and re-introduce kids and adults to tennis and pickleball; encourage kids and adults to participate in lessons, leagues, and local tournaments; and encourage good wellness habits through the exercise that tennis and pickleball provide. Above all, they want to share and promote these games that are great for families and great for friends.

The Mandan Tennis Center is open to anyone for personal or group play—on their schedule, their plans, and their fun.

Reach them at or



A N U P D AT E F R O M PAV E W I S E Bryce Wuori CEO/co-founder

Brittany Wuori COO/co-founder

Step into the fascinating world of Pavewise, an upand-coming asphalt software startup that's on the path to success! In this monthly feature, we'll be right there alongside Pavewise, cheering them on as they grow and face various challenges. From their victories to the obstacles they encounter, we'll witness it all. Get ready to be inspired by their journey as they strive to make a difference in the asphalt industry. Join us as we explore their exciting story and how they navigate their way to the top!

Gary Ussery



s we say goodbye to an exceptional year, we are excited to enter 2024 with a dedication to innovation and excellence in asphalt paving technology. The past year has been a testament to our resilience and adaptability, and as we navigate the road ahead, our focus remains firmly on advancing the landscape of infrastructure.

Reflecting on the ups and downs of the past year, let's pave the way for a brighter, more sustainable future together. Wishing you a happy new year filled with innovation, progress, and smooth roads ahead!

Pavewise, pioneering in paving solutions, has been selected as a finalist for the prestigious SXSW Pitch 2024, in the Smart Cities, Transportation & Sustainability category. Out of 670 applicants, it's among the 45 finalists, showcasing its innovative webbased software at the SXSW® Conference & Festivals from March 8 – 16, 2024. This recognition highlights Pavewise's impact in enhancing productivity and project quality in the asphalt paving industry. In 2023, Pavewise successfully assisted in managing over $13 million in paving projects across the United States.

Provided by Pavewise

We are the first intelligent construction software built for improving asphalt paving efficiencies and profits.



Provided by Pavewise



• We're always looking for connections with state DOTs and Infrastructure Agencies.

• Travel takes up a substantial amount of time and energy.

• We're looking to connect with any paving contractors or asphalt professionals.


• We are searching for an Intern or part-time Office Assistant. To obtain more info on this job opening, check our website here:

RECENT HIGHLIGHTS • Bryce and Michael had a busy month attending three expos: the Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Expo & Conference in Virginia, the 2023 APAI Winter Conference and Expo in Indiana, and the 2023 Florida Asphalt Expo. Key takeaways: • Pavewise is applicable to other verticals outside of asphalt paving including: Concrete, Dirt, and Municipalities and DOTs (i.e. patching crews and other maintenance activities). • The QC area is in need of some help; we are working on creating some tertiary solutions for that space and offering a more comprehensive solution for small to midsized crews. • We learned about more software solutions available and confirmed that NONE of them are accounting for weather in their solution. • Bryce was featured in the Digital Executive podcast with Coruzant Technologies. He also participated in a podcast with AEC Engineering and Technology on 12/11 and First Customers with Paris Vega on 12/14. Links to these podcasts are on the way!



THE PRODUCT • Introduced an overhauled File Upload management system, allowing for bulk file uploads, custom file categories, and a new Files section to enable users to find and manage any company file in a single location. • Integrated AI into the file management system to allow for automatic file categorization and assigning to paving projects. • Updated map functionality to allow for easy sharing of project haul routes via text, email, etc. • Check out our app for a free trial today a

Provided by Pavewise

KPIS/CORE METRICS • Tons: 148,210 tons of roads were managed through the Pavewise app in 2023. • Users: 48 • Pipeline: currently 9,613 leads in the CRM

UPCOMING EVENTS • 2024 Dapa Conference in Deadwood, SD* *Newly added back in below the Upcoming Events list

• National Pavement Expo 2024 in Tampa, FL • Pave X 2024 in San Antonio, TX • 51st Rocky Mountain Asphalt Conference 2024 in Denver, CO • 2024 Utah Asphalt Conference in Sandy, UT* • 2024 North Dakota Transportation Conference in Bismarck, ND* • World of Asphalt 2024 in Nashville, TN • 2024 SXSW in Austin, TX

KUDOS • Thank you to Joelle and Malorie with gener8tor on their recruiting efforts! • Thank you to Lindsay for the 2024 budget planning guidance!

• Thank you to Sandra for public relations help and guidance in preparing for World of Asphalt!


Happy New Year, Brittany Wuori, COO & Bryce Wuori, CEO



Marby Hogen (right) expressed earnest gratitude for her faculty mentors' unfailing guidance and support. "They've all been fantastic," Hogen said. "Writing a dissertation isn't an easy thing to do, so I'm lucky to have such a great support system."


HEAR FROM TWO AREA PROFESSIONALS ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARY’S ONLINE DOCTOR OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROGRAM By Christian Weber, University of Mary Writing and Communications Specialist Courtesy of Mike McCleary, University of Mary Photographer

"W 70


hen you think about it, three years is a long time. But it’s gone by so fast. I’ve enjoyed this experience immensely—making new connections with fantastic people, broadening my skillset and knowledge base, and working with outstanding faculty wo are accessible, knowledgeable, and supportive, all while gaining an edge in a volatile industry. It’s been a terrific experience all around.”

So said Marby Hogen, a full-time pharmaceutical sales representative in the process of earning her Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Mary’s Gary Tharaldson School of Business. Founded by the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery in 1959, the University of Mary exists to equip both traditional and adult learners for successful careers and fulfilling lives. The university’s everexpanding catalog of degree offerings includes nearly 60 undergraduate majors, 17 master’s degrees, and 6 doctoral programs. The Gary Tharaldson School of Business (GTSB), whose hotelier namesake holds the title of North Dakota’s only billionaire, integrates skills-focused classroom instruction with values-centered formation, one-on-one mentorship, and real-world learning experiences. Launched in January 2022, GTSB’s fully online DBA pathway exemplifies, according to program coordinator Dr. Jeff Moser, “our mission as a school is to form the whole student into an outstanding servant leader ready to make a genuine difference in the service of the common good.” Marby first came to the University of Mary in the 1990s as a freshman literature major on a theatre scholarship. “Pursuing

higher education has always been important to me,” she said. “I’ve always believed that education is something that lasts for life, something no one can take away from you.” By the time Marby graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in English four years later, this conviction of hers had only deepened. “I wanted to take the next step,” she recalled. “I’d always felt that business was everything—every field has something to do with business. So I decided to go for a master’s in management. Mary didn’t offer an MBA at the time, but I loved being on campus and wanted to stay for my graduate degree. That degree has translated into many, many opportunities for me.” One of the most pivotal of those opportunities arose 22 years ago when Marby accepted her first sales position at a pharmaceutical company. Today, she advocates for people with diabetes, helping them collaborate with their providers to devise and implement effective, affordable treatment regimens. “I let patients know about great medications that will help them get their weight and A1C under control and reduce their cardiovascular risk,” she said. “Supporting people in that way brings me a lot of joy.”

Marby Hogen, who plans to complete her doctoral studies next spring, serves people with diabetes in her capacity as a pharmaceutical sales representative.





To position herself for further leadership opportunities in this vital area of expertise, Marby enrolled in the University of Mary’s DBA program. “Along with contributing to my sense of purpose and meaning in life, this path I’ve taken has been huge in terms of my career trajectory. Having a DBA shows that you’re so dedicated to what you do and so committed to your professional development that you spent three or more years becoming an expert in your area and challenging yourself to grow as a leader.” A member of the program’s inaugural cohort, Marby expects to complete her dissertation and earn her doctorate this year. Her research interests reflect her heartfelt concern for people who struggle with weight and blood sugar

control. “In my dissertation, I’m looking at the economic impact of obesity in the workplace,” she shared. “We have a serious health crisis in the United States—70% of our population is either overweight or obese. So I wanted to do my part to bring attention to how employers can help their employees prioritize their health and well-being.” As for her post-graduation goals? “I love my work in pharmaceuticals with patients with diabetes. But in addition to that, I’ve always enjoyed teaching and mentoring, so that might be an opportunity in the future. There are so many incredible people at the University of Mary who have shown me the difference higher education can make, and I’d be honored to give back in that way.”

August Taylor, NISC Talent Acquisition Associate



August Taylor works with the Mandan branch of the National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) as a talent acquisition associate, recruiting for a broad range of roles and cofacilitating biweekly onboarding sessions. His Master of Business Administration (MBA) coursework at the Gary Tharaldson School of Business sparked his interest in human resources management. “At NISC, recruiting is under our HR umbrella, what we call ‘people services.’ Plus, being familiar with policy and knowing the rules of the game has always appealed to me, so that’s why I focused on HR as I was getting my MBA. Having that background has made a massive difference for me in my current position.”

An employee of the National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), August Taylor (center) scouts talent for both "technical and non-technical" positions at the organization's Mandan location.

Only a few months after earning his MBA, August opened his inbox to find an opportune invitation. “[Dean of the Gary Tharaldson School of Business] Karel Sovak reached out to me when the DBA was launched. I had just finished my MBA, and I wanted to get a terminal degree, but I didn’t know the opportunity would come so soon. Ultimately, Karel’s pitch drew me in, and the timing was right for me and my family.” For August, the program’s flexibility makes it an ideal choice for working professionals who prioritize family time. “The program’s really designed for someone who’s already set in their career. To be able to work full-time,

spend evenings with my wife and son, and then reach my educational goals at the same time has been such a big factor for me,” he said. “Along with that, I can weave what I do at NSIC during the day into my coursework at night, the same way my professors relate their real-world experience to what they’re teaching. I love making those connections.” Accordingly, like Marby’s, August’s dissertation research relates directly to his day-to-day work. “So many of our employees work from home,” he said. “I’m interested in how the sense of belonging differs between in-office and virtual employees in our organization and how feeling like you

belong affects your job satisfaction. We already do an employee survey every year, so I have all the tools I need.” “I’m going to compare us to other tech companies our size and see if there’s a correlation,” he added, his face lighting up. “I’m really excited to see how things work out.” To learn more or inquire about the University of Mary’s Doctor of Business Administration program, please visit online



Navigating the Winter Slowdown A Survival Guide for Small Businesses in North Dakota By Julie Hinker, VBOC of The Dakotas Director Photo Courtesy of VBOC of the Dakotas

About the VBOC The Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has 22 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as VBOCs.


As winter descends upon the plains of North Dakota, small businesses often find themselves grappling with a unique set of challenges. The harsh weather conditions, coupled with a potential slowdown in consumer activity, can pose obstacles to the prosperity of local businesses. In this article, we'll explore a Winter Slowdown Survival Guide tailored specifically for your small business in North Dakota, offering practical advice to not only weather the winter months but also to flourish during this seasonal lull. North Dakota's winters are notorious for their frigid temperatures, heavy snowfall, and icy conditions. It's crucial for small business owners to anticipate the impact of these weather challenges on customer behavior and operational efficiency.



Hi nk er

otas Director e Dak

Juli e

Diversify Product and Service Offerings


f Th Co

To counteract the potential decline in demand for specific products or services during winter, small businesses should embrace diversification. Introducing seasonal promotions, creating winter-specific packages, or exploring complementary products that align with the needs of the customer base during colder months can be instrumental. This not only attracts new customers but also retains existing ones by providing relevant solutions to their seasonal requirements.

Enhance Online Presence North Dakota's winters, characterized by freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall, often result in residents staying indoors. For small businesses, this shift in behavior underscores the critical importance of a robust online presence. The foundation of a strong online presence begins with a user-friendly website. In the digital era, consumers often turn to the internet to research products and services. Small businesses in North Dakota should invest in creating a website that not only showcases their offerings but is also easy to navigate. Ensure that essential information, such as contact details, product/service descriptions, and business hours, is readily accessible and most importantly, up to date. A mobile-responsive design is vital, considering the prevalence of smartphone use. To stand out in the crowded digital space, businesses must optimize their online presence for search engines. Implementing search engine optimization (SEO) strategies improves the visibility of a website in search engine results. This involves incorporating relevant keywords, creating quality content, and enhancing the website's overall structure. For North Dakota businesses, local SEO is particularly valuable,

helping them connect with residents specifically searching for products or services within the state. One of the advantages of a robust online presence is the ability to run exclusive promotions tailored for the digital audience. During the slower winter period, businesses can strategically design online promotions to stimulate digital sales. This could include limited-time discounts, bundled offers, or online-only product releases. Effectively promoting these exclusive deals through the website and social media channels can drive traffic to the online platform and help offset potential declines in in-store sales.

Create Winter-Specific Marketing Campaigns To create effective winter-specific marketing campaigns in North Dakota, you must understand the seasonal sentiments of the community. Acknowledge the challenges and preferences that residents face during the winter months. This understanding serves as the foundation for crafting messages that resonate with



the locals. Conduct surveys or gather feedback through social media to gain insights into what customers are looking for during the winter season. Tailor your marketing campaigns to showcase products or services that are particularly relevant during winter. For instance, if your business offers snow removal services, winter clothing, or comfort foods, emphasize these offerings in your marketing materials. Emphasize how your products or services can make the winter experience more comfortable, convenient, or enjoyable for customers. Use engaging visuals and compelling storytelling to bring these offerings to life in your advertisements. Entice customers with winterspecific promotions and discounts. Whether it's a "Winter Warm-Up Sale" or a "Snow Day Special," create captivating offers that align with the season. Consider bundling products or services to provide added value. Limited-time promotions can create a sense of urgency, encouraging customers to take advantage of the special offers during the winter months.



Leverage social media platforms to engage with your audience during the winter season. Share behindthe-scenes glimpses of how your business prepares for winter. Social media is a great place to weave in humor and add a light-hearted touch. You can also highlight customer stories related to your products or services and run interactive campaigns or contests with winter-themed prizes. Encourage user-generated content by asking customers to share their winter experiences with your brand.

Collaborate with Local Businesses Identify local businesses that complement your products or services. For example, if you own a boutique clothing store, consider collaborating with a local spa for joint promotions. If you provide snow removal services, partner with a local coffee shop for cross-promotions. The key is to find businesses that share a target audience but offer different products or services.

Work with your collaborative partners to create cross-promotions and joint events. This could involve bundling products or services for a special discount when purchased together. Organize joint events, such as pop-up markets or community workshops, where both businesses can showcase their offerings. These collaborative efforts not only attract a broader audience but also create a sense of excitement and community involvement. Coordinate marketing efforts with your collaborative partners to maximize impact. Share promotional materials, co-create content, and cross-promote on each other's social media platforms. This shared approach amplifies the reach of your marketing messages and introduces your business to new customers through the networks of your collaborative partners. Collaborating with local businesses goes beyond the transactional aspect; it fosters a sense of community support. Engage in joint community initiatives, sponsor local events together, or participate in charitable endeavors. This not only enhances your brand's reputation but also

creates a positive perception of your business as one that actively contributes to the well-being of the local community. Nurture long-term relationships with your collaborative partners. Regularly assess the effectiveness of your joint efforts, seek feedback, and adapt your strategies accordingly. As trust and mutual understanding grow, these collaborations can evolve into enduring partnerships that benefit both businesses over the long term. Building a network of supportive local businesses contributes to the overall resilience of the community during slower business periods.

Invest in Employee Morale The winter months bring not only colder temperatures but also a potential chill in employee morale. Recognizing the impact of weather and seasonal changes on team spirits is crucial for small businesses. Proactive measures to boost morale can significantly contribute to maintaining a positive and motivated workforce. Organizing team-building activities is an excellent way to foster camaraderie and strengthen the bond among team members. This could range from indoor activities like workshops or games to off-site events that provide a change of scenery. Offering incentives for high performance is another effective strategy. Consider implementing recognition programs, employee of

the month awards, or bonuses tied to achieving specific goals. This not only acknowledges individual contributions but also creates a culture of healthy competition and motivation within the team. Recognizing the hard work of your staff is equally vital. A simple expression of gratitude, whether through personalized notes, public acknowledgment in meetings, or small tokens of appreciation, goes a long way in boosting morale and reinforcing the value of each team member. Consider organizing seasonal events or festivities to break the monotony of the winter months. Whether it's a holiday party, a themed luncheon, or a casual gathering, creating opportunities for socialization and relaxation can uplift spirits. Additionally, maintaining open communication channels where employees feel heard and valued contributes significantly to a positive work environment. Regular checkins, feedback sessions, and forums for expressing concerns help foster a supportive atmosphere during the potentially challenging winter season.

With a proactive approach and a focus on adapting to the seasonal changes, North Dakota's small businesses can turn the winter months into a period of growth and resilience. Stay warmand stay strong!

VBOC of the Dakotas 701-738-4850 /dakotasvboc @DakotasVBOC 4200 James Ray Dr Grand Forks, ND

While the winter months in North Dakota present unique challenges for small businesses, they also offer opportunities for innovation, community engagement, and strategic planning. Through diversifying your offerings, boosting your online presence, fostering collaborations with other businesses, and investing in your employees, your small business can endure and prosper during the winter slowdown.



Photo Provided by Lynae Hanson

Women You Should Know

Lynae Hanson




By Arielle Windham Empowered by Ladyboss Lifestyle In the art world where leadership roles, like executive director, are often dominated by men, one woman is breaking barriers and paving the way for others. Meet Lynae Hanson, the fearless female gallery director and executive director of the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association. In a candid conversation, she shares her unique journey, challenges, and the empowering lessons she's learned along the way. "It's rare. There are very few female executive directors, not just in the art world, but in other nonprofit sectors as well," she admits, acknowledging the underrepresentation of women in top leadership positions. Despite the challenges, she emphasizes the importance of confidence and assertiveness, urging women not to sell themselves short.

Being adaptable and accepting challenges Before stepping into the art world, Hanson served as an assistant director at the North Dakota Safety Council. Reflecting on her journey, she mentions starting as a marketing person and gradually donning multiple hats. Working in a nonprofit, she learned the value of adaptability and taking on new challenges. Transitioning into her role as the executive director of the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association, Hanson emphasizes the diverse responsibilities she manages daily, from shoveling snow to public speaking and grant writing. Her experience at the nonprofit equipped her with the skills needed to run a successful art organization. The Bismarck Art and Galleries Association, under Hanson's leadership, thrives with a massive membership base and a dedicated volunteer group. The gallery hosts two exhibits every month, showcasing a mix of member and main gallery exhibits, group shows, and student art exhibits. The association also features a gallery store, classrooms for adult art classes, and an event space.

Art brings shared experiences Hanson passionately speaks about the importance of art in the community. As an artist, she feels strongly that art has a role in attracting tourism and helping foster a vibrant community. “The big, shared experience of viewing and experiencing art as the artist intended is special. You get to meet the artist; you get to hear their reasons why they created what they created or what their background is. And it helps you understand the images they portrayed or the pieces they've created. It truly is unique,” Hanson said. Art also brings a calming effect, both for viewers and creators. Hanson mentioned, “When you walk into the gallery, you kind of feel yourself take a breath, you feel your heart rate sort of slow down a little bit and you're just walking around and experiencing the art. It's also an equally calming, I would say, therapeutic thing for the creator. This experience of releasing some of the things you've been feeling or thinking about and putting them into your work. There is a lot of value in that.” With this goal in mind, Hanson

chooses art for the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association which draws viewers to not only appreciate but get excited about the artwork.

Success is all about passion and courage Beyond her professional life, Hanson juggles personal and artistic pursuits. She shares her secret to finding balance, emphasizing the significance of having a dedicated studio space. Balancing the planner and free-spirited artist within herself, she advises others to do what they love, and success will follow. For Hanson, success as an artist is the dream of having a gallery exhibit, a moment of arrival where all your works are showcased together. She cherishes the feeling of seeing her creations hanging together in a room, a testament to her dedication and passion. Art is a form of vulnerability. Putting yourself on display for the world to see takes courage. It’s important to recognize and affirm that the competitive nature of one's creative journey can be difficult but can also be done.

Don’t be afraid to break barriers to get to your dream As a woman thriving in both the art and business realms, Hanson acknowledges the challenges but finds strength in her love for what she does. Every reception is a testament to her commitment, as she takes a deep breath and speaks passionately in front of an audience, unapologetically sharing her love for art and her role as an executive director. In Hanson's journey, we find a perfect blend of skills, passion, and perseverance–a story that inspires and empowers women to break through barriers and pursue their dreams in any field they choose.

Bismarck Art and Galleries Association 701-223-5986 /BAGABismarck @BAGABismarck 422 E Front Ave, Bismarck, ND 58504



Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.