Page 1

I'm definitely g doing the do Fargo run with the is Marathon th year.

I love strolling through rgo Downtown Fa at night! Swimming laps at the tic Hulbert Aqua e Center is th best!

I can't wait to see a show this at Bluestem summer.

There y are so man rants great restau ea. in the FM ar

I'm going ice e skating on th e downtown ic rink.

222 40th St. S


Fargo 58103



From the publisher




feel really proud of not only this publication but the community we live in. We could have made a 1,000-page magazine with all of the great things going on in the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo area. It's always a challenge to pick which direction to take with the content. Over the last year, I have been fortunate enough to travel all over the country and participate in publishing conferences and events. This is where I get to learn from other magazine publishers across the country. When I explain our community to these publishers and show them our publications, they are always in shock. I can name six publishers right now that want to fly to Fargo to see what all the hype is about. When I first published a magazine about Fargo eight years ago, that kind of response would never have happened elsewhere in the country. At the time, the consensus was that we still had some ways to go to become a leading city in the country at our size. However, now we get to mail out 93,000+ copies of this magazine. This is all 6 | 2018 |

Some things I would like for you to keep an eye out for this year:


in an effort to create more awareness for the fun to be had in our community. My goal is to challenge our community members to get out and try something different, break out of their routine and find excitement that opens up their minds. My motivation for starting a magazine about Fargo in 2009 was that people I knew were leaving Fargo by the dozens because they didn't believe there was enough leisure and entertainment. Well, look at us now. Thank you to everyone who made this magazine possible and thank you to everyone in the community for making my job so easy and fulfilling.

Mike Dragosavich Mike Dragosavich Publisher

Fargo was named 2017’s sixth safety city in America. Learn more at Fargo’s City News Room online.

The Great North Pole. A new Fargo charity providing gifts for children in the FM area during the holiday season.

2 Herd & Horns. As part owner, this is a shameless plug. Did you know you can book the 50+ person private room for no room charge? And, the restaurant is for all ages.

3 We are constantly working on updating, which is dedicated to all things local with things like all the drink specials in town, live music calendar, an extensive events calendar and much more.

4 Shout out to Betty Gronneberg who is leading the way for young women to break into the coding world.

5 As a huge downtown and urban lifestyle advocate, I think is doing a great job covering the downtown scene in both Fargo and Moorhead.

6 Emerging Prairie. Their events are continuing to provide a landscape for innovators, thinkers and doers. Check out TedXFargo, 1 Million Cups, 1 Million Thanks or any of their other events.

From the Editor

Will you be a part of




s I start a new story with my gorgeous fiancĂŠe, I have started to think about the Fargo-Moorhead area and what it means to me as we begin to plan our future lives together. And, as anybody will tell you, when I think of the FM area, I think of the people who make this community great. I think of people like Casey Absey, the owner of Blackbird Pizza in Downtown Fargo. Casey had a passion and saw a need in the community. After acting upon it, he now makes some of the best pizza in town.

The list goes on...

Or Daniel Granados, a man who was born in Pueblo, Colorado, was raised in Texas and Chicago and has settled in Fargo. He has been instrumental in the creation of the International Market Plaza, a truly oneof-a-kind market for new American entrepreneurs. Because of Daniel's unstoppable passion, the Plaza will continue to grow and become a pillar in our community.

Jill Frederick, a retired English Professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead who lived all around the world growing up but settled here. In her retirement, she is pursuing her passion for rescuing cats through Cat's Cradle.

Fargo By Fargo was created to be something unique. It's not just a magazine. It's a conversation. We, as much as possible, tried to step back and facilitate dialogue. We believe the story of the community is your story and we only want to share it. This is what you told us. This is what we talked about.

I could go on all day. These are the people who make up our community. However, they're not the only ones. Fargo-Moorhead-West

Throughout the last year, as we put this together, we had a conversation with hundreds of people. Conversations about

JJ Gordon, the Co-host of "It Takes 2" on KFGO, who's a life-long Fargo citizen and is pursuing his love of comedy through the improv group the LineBenders. Jimmy Chim, a plastic surgeon at Sanford, who could have moved anywhere in the country but chose Fargo because he wanted a safe spot to raise his kids. Patrick Kirby of Do Good Better Consulting who wants nothing more than to help nonprofits fundraise more effectively.

Fargo is not an entity. It is a conglomeration. A conglomeration of farmers, tech entrepreneurs, truck drivers, bankers, new Americans and a thousand other subsets of society.

what's right with Fargo, what's wrong with Fargo, what's delicious in Fargo. Everything. I challenge you. As you gather with your family and friends around the dinner table. What will your conversation about our community be? We don't want this conversation to be once a year. We want this conversation to happen every day. We want to hear from you. Tell us about your conversations and join our conversation.

Andrew Jason Andrew Jason

Editorial Director

Get Involved Join the conversation using #FargoByFargo 8 | 2018 |

Did you know that there are four escape rooms between Fargo and West Fargo? There's even one specifically for kids called Escape Jr. in West Fargo.

My Takeaways We don’t just want this magazine to be informative, we want it to be impactful. To prove that, here are five things I’m doing that I specifically learned about from this magazine. 1 The incredible history of Probstfield Farm. I’ll admit it, I never even heard of Probstfield Farm before Patrick Kirby told me about its rich history. Learn more on page 82. 2 The Emergency Food Pantry does a LOT of good for the community. With three fulltime employees, nearly 6,000 unduplicated households received nourishment from the 1,469,000 pounds of food distributed. 3 It’s amazing how much recruiting Sanford does. I found the conversation with Sanford recruiter Patty Absey fascinating. I agreed with her on many of the points of attracting people to the community and was surprised about what she said was the number one thing Fargo can do to be more attractive. Read more on page 46. 4 I need to eat at Cork N’ Cleaver more often. I confess. I rarely go to Cork N’ Cleaver but after JJ Gordon reminded me about how they’re a Fargo staple and their quality of food, I’m definitely getting there more often. 5 I’m going to check out the Hulbert Aquatic Center. One of my goals for 2018 is to swim more and I’m so excited to have an Olympic sized pool to swim laps in.

Contents 46 Selling Fargo As a recruiter for Sanford physicians, Patty Absey has the unique job of selling Fargo. We talk with her about why that job has been getting easier lately.

78 It Takes a Village Some of the loudest advocates for nonprofits are those heading up other nonprofits. That’s why we found nine nonprofit leaders to talk about how they give back.

54 Conversation with Doug Burgum After leaving a large footprint in Fargo, Governor Burgum has taken many of the lessons he learned from Fargo to the capitol in Bismarck.

90 The Fargo-Moorhead Tour Guides We asked some experts in various fields on how to get involved. So whether you’re looking to buy a home, support the arts, try a new meal or get in shape, they have a solution for you.

62 Breaking News! See these local media men and women in a way you’ve never seen them before. 70 Parenting FAQs We know. Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever have. Well, two local families answer some of the most frequently asked questions about parenting. 74 Finding a Home in Fargo Ben LeCompte and Steve Walker were household names on the Bison gridiron. Despite coming to NDSU for football and an education, they have decided to make FargoMoorhead their home.

Get In Touch 10 | 2018 |

104 The Future of our Community Charley Johnson. Kristi Huber. Bruce Grubb. These are just some of the people involved in our roundtable discussion about the future of our community. What can you learn from our farreaching conversation? 118 The Numbers Behind the Jobs Job Service ND takes us behind some of the numbers that make this one of the best job markets in the country. 124 What You Challenge Us to do this Year We hit the streets to ask you what’s your 2018 Fargo-Moorhead New Year’s resolution.

#FargoByFargo | 2018


Fargo By Fargo

We set out to tell the story of Fargo-Moorhead from the people who make it great. Eight individuals talk about what the community means to them. With topics ranging from civic responsibility to dining and nightlife, what can you learn from them?



Fargo won a nationwide competition aimed at creating innovative solutions for reducing energy consumption.




BYFARGO Publisher Mike Dragosavich


Editorial Director Andrew Jason

Graphic Designers Sarah Geiger, Matt Anderson Photographers Hillary Ehlen, J. Alan Paul Photography Contributors Kylee Seifert, Greg Tehven, Dayna Del Val, Erik Hatch, Sam Herder

Copy Editors Kara Jeffers, Sam Herder Content Strategist Sam Herder Social Media Kara Jeffers Web Team Samantha Stark, Huong Tran


Sales Manager Layne Hanson

Senior Sales Executive Ryan Courneya

Paul Hoefer

Sales Executives Scott Rorvig

Dan Helm

Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Sales Administrative Pam Mjoness Assistant Business Operations Larissa Kunde Assistant


Distribution & Nick Hackl Circulation Manager


Dakota Medical Foundation, FMCVB Staff and the entire FMWF community

Fargo By Fargo is published by Spotlight Media, LLC. Copyright 2018 Fargo By Fargo and Spotlight Media’s websites. All rights reserved. No parts of this periodical may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo By Fargo and Spotlight Media, 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 Media, LLC accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.


Spotlight Media Inc. 15 Broadway N, Suite 500 Fargo, ND 58102 or ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)

The People and the Company Behind Fargo By Fargo Some of the Spotlight Media staff volunteering at the United Way Day of Caring.

We pride ourselves on the fact that everything you see in the magazine is done in-house by our team of photographers, writers and designers. We have 12 employees dedicated to creatively telling the story of Fargo-Moorhead.

Spotlight Media, the publishing company behind Fargo By Fargo, was created with one idea in mind: create positive and impactful content that exposes the great things in our community. For the last six years, we have tried to do that with Fargo Monthly, Bison Illustrated, Fargo INC!, Design and Living Magazine and our various other publications. Like most startups, Spotlight began with an idea. Mike “Drago” Dragosavich became a household name in FargoMoorhead when he was a punter for NDSU. After a brief stint in the NFL, Dragosavich came back to Fargo and watched as all of his friends moved out of town because there wasn’t enough to do here. Well, he set out to prove them wrong. That’s when he started producing FM Spotlight, a small city magazine that was dedicated to what

was happening in the community. Throughout the last six years, we’ve started additional magazines and the team has grown to nearly 20 employees. However, the mission still remains the same: highlight the happenings of our exciting community. We created Fargo By Fargo because we wanted to see what sort of a positive impact we could create in the community. It’s not often that you have the chance to actually reach everybody in a community. This magazine was mailed out to every residential mailbox in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo. (That’s 93,000 mailboxes.) It was a daunting challenge for a small company like ours to pull off, but with a dedicated team of true-blooded Fargoans, Moorheadites and West Fargoans, we think we successfully pulled it off.

Here, Bison Illustrated editor Joe Kerlin and Fargo INC! editor Nate Mickelberg pose with awards won at the annual Minnesota Magazine Publishers Association. Last year, Fargo Monthly, Bison Illustrated, Fargo INC! and Design and Living Magazine all won a number of awards for quality content and design. Spotlight Media was also recognized as the top niche media company in the country at an annual conference.

Spotlight Media By The Numbers 12 | 2018 |

Fargo Police premiered the music video “Unity” featuring artist DPB and Officer Michael Bloom. View the video on Fargo PD’s website.

We are and What We Do Get to know us a little better as we take you behind the scenes at Spotlight Media.

Sales Rep Scott Rorvig and editorial intern Ethan Mickelson at Bison tailgating.

Fargo INC! Editor Nate Mickelberg tests the lighting before a photoshoot at Spotlight Media's new photo studio.

The whole staff got behind Giving Hearts Day. In fact, the entire cover story of the January Fargo INC! was about why businesses and nonprofits need to work together. With a young and energetic staff, we pride ourselves on a work hard, play hard mentality. After all, things can get stressful in a deadline business. That’s why we are always exploring and engaging in our community.

After years of dreaming about a full photo studio, we were finally able to make this a reality. Our brand new studio at our space at 15 Broadway N, Fargo has an almost 15 feet tall and 20 feet wide backdrop with some of the most up to date photography equipment in town. We hope to continue telling the stories of Fargo-Moorhead through gorgeous photography and design.

1.1 million

Number of magazines printed in 2017

The entire team helped put together the fourth annual Burgers, BBQ and Beer Festival. Last year, more than 1,500 people took over the Moorhead Mall Parking Ramp for one of the most delicious events in town.

More than


social media followers #FargoByFargo | 13

Meet the other mags

Bison Illustrated

Design & Living Magazine

Bison Illustrated is your number one source for all the behind the scenes action inside the North Dakota State University Athletic Department. With a creative twist and unique storytelling model, Bison Illustrated is here to collaborate with Bison Nation to provide a fresh avenue into NDSU Athletics for every fan in a growing Bison community. Every month, Bison Illustrated is developed for the passionate fan, the fan that can’t get enough of the Bison.

At Design & Living Magazine, we love to share local art, architecture, home decor, interior design and landscaping with our readers. Within our pages, we open the doors to the most interesting homes in the Red River Valley and introduce you to those who are responsible for enriching the cities of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo with their innovative, aesthetically pleasing designs. In 2018, we will host the fourth annual People's Choice Awards, which allow our readers to nominate and vote for who they consider to be best of the best in our local home industry.

What makes Bison Illustrated a must-read for anyone with a connection to NDSU is that it’s more than a sports publication. The magazine goes off the field with the biggest characters, student-athletes and coaches, in Fargo, to find out what they’re really like outside of the game. You can subscribe to the magazine at subscribe. Twitter: @bisonmag Instagram: bisonillustrated

4.5 million

Number of impressions on Spotlight Media’s various websites 14 | 2018 |

Design & Living is a local and national award-winning publication recognized by the National Federation of Press Women and the North Dakota Professional Communicators Association of North Dakota in 2015 and 2016. Design & Living also received a 2015 Silver Addy award.


Number of pages of original content created in 2017

SCORE, a group through the Small Business Administration, will give free business advice for people starting their own business. Go to for more info.

Fargo Monthly

Fargo INC!

Fargo Monthly is an award-winning publication dedicated to highlighting Fargo-Moorhead and what makes it a truly enjoyable place to live. You'll find stories related to the local dining scene, nightlife, arts, culture, events, guides, human interest pieces, what's new and more to keep you updated on our thriving community. Our mission is to show off what Fargo-Moorhead has to offer and the great people that are making it happen, all so that you can love the city you're in.

Fargo INC! is a monthly business magazine that covers all things business in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Each month, it covers a variety of topics, ranging from entrepreneurship and startups to business resources and general economic development. All of the coverage is presented in a fun, engaging and positive manner. A significant percentage of the magazines are mailed directly to business and nonprofit leaders across the Fargo metro. Twitter: @fargomonthly Instagram: fargomonthly

Fargo Monthly Wedding Issue Twitter: @fargoincmag

Join Fargo Monthly for its fourth annual wedding issue. This March, 15,000 copies of this special Fargo-Moorhead wedding guide will be distributed around Fargo-Moorhead. This once a year magazine will feature newly married locals talking about what they learned from their weddings. There will also be interviews with wedding experts, an extensive directory of wedding vendors and much more. You can also view last year's issue at


Number of residential mailboxes Fargo By Fargo is mailed to


Number of full-time employees at Spotlight Media #FargoByFargo | 15

Mike Dragosavich Publisher

Layne Hanson Sales Manager

Favorite hidden spot in town... This year was the first time I tried The VIP Room. What a cool place tucked under Main Ave in Downtown Fargo.

Favorite restaurant... The Cork ‘N Cleaver. Great steak and incredible atmosphere. A Fargo classic.

One communityspecific thing you’re going to do this year... I have been wanting to see a concert at the Sanctuary Event Center.

Meet the people who made Fargo By Fargo possible.

Sarah Geiger Designer

Nate Mickelberg Fargo INC! Editor

Favorite restaurant... Slurp Ramen.

Favorite restaurant... Tru Blu Social Club

Favorite hidden thing to do in town? VIP Room’s weekend brunch. Try their California Mary.

Huong Tran Digital Coordinator Favorite hidden spot in town... Underbrush Gallery in Fargo. They feature gorgeous artwork from both regional and national artists. One communityspecific thing you’re going to do this year... Attend one or more of Make Room’s watercolor painting or ceramic lessons. Dan Helm Sales Executive Favorite hidden spot in town... Peking Restaurant in West Fargo. They always have great service and the food is really good. Favorite hidden thing to do in town... The Fargo North Theatre productions are amazing.

16 | 2018 |

One Fargo specific thing you're going to do this year... I’ve always wanted to try curling. I’m hoping to get some friends together at the Fargo Curling Club and give it a try this year.

One communityspecific thing you're going to do this year... Go cross-country skiing at Edgewood.

Samantha Stark Web Editor

Sam Herder Content Strategist

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Shop for vintage items and antiques at the Now and Then Shoppe.

Favorite restaurant... Blarney Stone because of the many options on the menu.

Favorite restaurant... I can’t get enough sushi and Wasabi is definitely my go-to place for satisfying my cravings.

Pam Mjoness Sales Administrative Assistant Favorite hidden spot in town... Local outdoor hockey rinks One communityspecific thing you're going to do this year... I would love to take my entire family sledding at the Dike, just not when it's -40 out.

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Playing cornhole on the Brewtus Brickhouse patio.

Joe Kerlin Bison Illustrated Editor Favorite hidden spot in town... Green House Cafe Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Running through Rendezvous Park in West Fargo at sunset. It's beautiful.

The Fargo Forestry Department manages a growing inventory of 57,000 trees found on city right-of-way. Visit the Forestry Department at

Andrew Jason Editorial Director Favorite hidden spot in town... Kayaking the Red River in the summer. You can rent canoes and kayaks by the Hjemkomst Center on Tuesday nights and on the weekend. Favorite restaurant... Jade Dragon. Their pho is the best in town.

Matt Anderson Designer Favorite hidden spot in town... Ninth Hole at Oak Grove Frisbee Golf course.

Kara Jeffers Fargo Monthly Editor

Hillary Ehlen Staff Photographer

Favorite hidden spot in town... K's Bakery on University has a cute atmosphere and friendly staff.

Favorite hidden spot in town... Cold Fusion in the Black Building

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Fargo Pinball is a unique and nostalgic place to have fun with friends.

Becca Opp Design and Living Magazine Editor Favorite hidden spot in town... The gelato counter at Sweet Dreams Confections.

One communityspecific thing you’re going to do this year... Take a pole class at Zero Gravity.

Jesse Hoorelbeke Photographer Favorite hidden spot in town... Junkyard Brewery. It’s not that hidden but it brings a smaller crowd than some of the downtown bars and breweries.

One communityspecific thing you’re going to do this year... RIBFEST!!!

Favorite restaurant ... Luna

Scott Rorvig Sales Executive

Nick Hackl Distribution/ Circulation Manager

Larissa Kunde Business Operations Assistant

Favorite hidden spot in town... Tie between Front Street Taproom and Brewtus Brickhouse

Favorite hidden spot in town... It’s definitely not hidden, but The Fargo Theatre is my favorite. You can always find me there for their $5 Classic Film Series.

Favorite hidden spot in town... Island Park Basketball Court One community specific thing you're going to do this year... Streets Alive!

Favorite restaurant... Lucky’s 13

Favorite hidden spot in town... As a photographer, I love to find an angle or view of the town that most people don’t see in their everyday life.

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Horse races in the summer.

Jenny Johnson Client Relations Manager

Ryan Courneya Senior Sales Executive

Paul Hoefer Senior Sales Executive

Favorite hidden spot in town... Altony's Italian Cafe in Moorhead. You cannot beat the amount of great, authentic Italian food you receive.

Favorite hidden spot in town... Cracked Pepper

Favorite hidden spot in town... Knickerbocker Liquor Locker

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... We have fun going to Front Street Taproom for some local beer flights and a rousing game of Connect Four.

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Riding bike out on the trails near the Scheels Arena and stopping at one of the breweries along the path for a refreshing beverage.

Favorite hidden thing to do in town... Frisbee Golf at all the courses, especially Iwen Park

#FargoByFargo | 17

18 | 2018 | has a listing of all the drink specials in town, as well as all the live music and where you can play trivia.

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Jill Frederick Pg. 28

Anna Larson Pg. 24

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Amanda Wolf Pg. 20

Ashley Kunz Pg. 42

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Casey Absey Pg. 40

t to take Make a poin ls, l of the mura selfies at al e all am n d an s find have the kid re a b wery d bison, do of the painte ds, find out what ien tour with fr ly means. ormal” real N f o h rt o “N ically ta n our fa st Experience ! ty ci quirky

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Daniel Granados Pg. 29 Heather Hemingway Pg. 32

#FargoByFargo | 19

Meet the


AMANDA WOLF Photographer and Owner of Lemon Drops Photography Lived in Fargo for 16 years A LITTLE ABOUT AMANDA...

I am an energetic, mom of two and wife with a total Type A personality. I'm 100 percent a morning person as my daily to-do list is always too long for sleeping in. I have an internal need to be creative and I'm always looking for new ways to use this energy up, hence the reason I have too many hobbies to name.


Finding a new playground. When we have downtime, the kids and I pack a lunch and take off to explore a new one that we haven’t played on yet. On our way home, we pick a name for the park that represents our ONE FUN THING TO KNOW favorite thing about it.


Stroll through the Plains Art Museum and Underbrush Gallery to see what is new. We like to see all the local art. It is unbelievable what talent our community has to offer.

I love getting to say I am from Fargo-Moorhead. I think it is a privilege to be part of this great, growing community as we all have the same values and desires, no matter how big we get.

Practice my photography in and around the FM area from Downtown Fargo-Moorhead to the abundance of wildlife areas that have been created through the park districts along the Red River.


1. Harwood Legion Cosmic Bingo on Friday nights. This is bingo on steroids and beyond a good time for a Friday night. The black lights are on and daubers in full glow as old-time music videos play on the televisions. 2. Cross-country skiing or snowshoeing at the parks and golf courses during the winter. There are a number of locations throughout the FM area. 3. Orangetheory recently opened in Fargo and if you are looking for a great workout that will keep the calories burning, this is your ticket and the first class is free.

20 | 2018 |

The Fargo Street Department maintains approximately 34 miles of City sidewalk.

Even with two kids, Wolf stays fit by going to Core Fitness in Fargo.


Daniel Granados

Jill Frederick

Lance Morlock

Heather Hemingway

22 | 2018 |

Organizations in our community making a difference... The Immigrant Development Center helps new Americans and low-income people by giving them the tools, resources and guidance to become self-sufficient in starting their own business. They work together with Dakota Certified Development Corporation to help make it work. Dress for Success, the F5 Project and Minn-Kota PAAWS are three organizations that demonstrate, not just charitable thought, but action. The first two are all about helping people find their strengths, bringing them back into the mainstream of society and allowing them to do well in – and ultimately give back – to the community. PAAWS provides neuter-spay services to limited income households, helping to keep the number of unwanted animals down in the FargoMoorhead area.

The Dorothy Day Food Pantry. This organization helps to supply food to many of those in need. I volunteered there through my church for many years, and it always puts a smile on my face to see the positive impact this organization has on our community. They make a difference each day and truly show how easy it is to make a positive impact in the community.

The United Way of CassClay has extensive reach through their programs, events and fundraisers. Successful marketing, community recognition and workplace involvement make them a well-known organization that is able to make a significant impact on the community.

The Red River Zoo houses roughly 90 species from around the world.

Two charity events you can't miss...

The United Way back to school supply drive and food drive charity events would have to be the ones I can't miss because I feel they are for a really good cause. I tend to participate in smaller charitable events for Cats Cradle throughout the year, though we also try to do a larger annual event as well (last year's theme was "Rock the Cradle" and featured a drag competition). Just recently, Cats Cradle was the recipient of a Gordman's fundraiser; we received 10 percent of all sales one evening from 5 to 10 p.m. Since we're funded exclusively by donations, fundraising and adoption fees, these events are crucial for us.

My family loves participating in the event Lend a Hand "Bowlin' for the Colon." After my dad passed away from colon cancer in 2016, we feel this charity can help to make a difference in the lives of those struggling with this disease. We hope to help pay it forward for all the community support we received during our hard times. This event entails bowling, raffles, silent auction basket and many more things. It's a yearly event that I highly suggest. The Special Olympics. This is an amazing event that allows for individuals with special needs to compete, enjoy and celebrate. I have worked it for many years and have a deep passion for it. My aunt is special needs and seeing how joyful she is for these types of events is incredible and something very important to my family.

Wish Fast is a Superhero 3k, 5k and 10k in May to benefit Make-AWish ND that we participate in each year. Everyone is encouraged to dress as a superhero for the event and villains are scattered throughout Lindenwood Park. With music, food and prizes, it is fun for the entire family, even the dog. (This year’s event will take place on Saturday, May 5.) GiGi's Playhouse Fargo Walk & Festival in October benefits GiGi's Playhouse Fargo, which is a Down Syndrome Achievement Center. They offer multiple programs that assist with development in fine motor, gross motor, speech and language, social, academic and family involvement skills. The event itself is a fun-for-the-wholefamily fun walk and festival with music, face-painting and more.


One specific thing people can do to help our community...

I believe one specific thing people can do to help their community could be to have more diversity awareness being either through different kinds of events in showing how we all as a community have much more similarities then what we first thought.

Find a cause that's close to their hearts and volunteer, whether it's animal rescue, historical preservation, working at the local food banks, working with new Americans, there are lots of worthwhile causes that always need a hand.

I think the biggest way to support a thriving community is to get out and volunteer. It has changed my life and outlook on many things and will greatly impact yours. The people you meet and the difference you will make is unbelievable and it's so easy to get involved. There are volunteer organizations everywhere that love new volunteers.

Make time to be kind. I recommend everyone read "Kindness is Contagious" by Nicole Phillips. It's too easy to get caught up in our daily hectic schedules or make ourselves feel overwhelmed and stretched thin with our to-do lists. Make time to volunteer at one of the many great organizations in the area. For example, making dinner at the Ronald McDonald House only takes a few hours. Or take less than a minute to make eye contact with and smile at someone, assist an elderly person to load their groceries into their vehicle and then return the cart for them. These simple things that only require us to make the time and effort go a long way.

One thing we can all do to become a better community... I believe one thing we can all do to become a better community is to get out of our comfort zone by learning more about new Americans and their cultures. It will take some time but I believe that's a start in uniting everyone. A great way to do this is by getting involved with Welcoming Week every September. You can learn more at

Remember that we have all come here from other places. Since we are all here now, we need to be kind to one another and work together to make FargoMoorhead everything it can and should be.

Notice the great impact these organizations are having around us and be thankful for what they are doing. A smile, "thank you" and a helping hand could go the longest way. It will strengthen us as a whole and help us to thrive.

Empathy. Learn it, develop it, encourage it, demonstrate it, practice it. It's about putting ourselves in the place of others and trying to understand their point of view. It opens our minds, improves communication and is relevant in any situation. Differences can divide our community, but with empathy and compassion, the differences can strengthen and unite us ... regardless of age, industry, class, politics, religion, marital status, culture or gender. #FargoByFargo | 23

Meet the


ANNA LARSON Corporate Writer at Eide Bailly LLP Lived in Fargo her entire life A LITTLE ABOUT ANNA...

I’m a Fargo native who’s liked tater tot hotdish since before it was cool (corn, no cheese). I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up so for now, I’m a writer. I know my purpose is to better the world however I can. I live downtown with my kitty, Eva, and you could say I’m a cat lady. I like to share my life and all #happythings on Instagram as @msannagrace.


In my free time, I try to slow down as much as possible so I love long coffee dates with friends. So much community happens because of coffee. My favorite places right now are Stumbeano’s and Young Blood because, obviously, the coffee is amazing, but more than that, the owners and staff ONE FUN THING TO are warm and inviting. You feel like KNOW ABOUT ANNA... you’re home. I'm an NDSU graduate but I've only been to two Bison I also love to shop downtown and football games (or any at West Acres. It’s a luxury to have sporting event) ever. time to browse and chat. I say chat because I’ve gotten to know so many people who work at the places I shop. That is what I love about Fargo-Moorhead — you make new friends all the time!


1. Incredible food, awesome service, cheese. Luna is tucked away on University Drive in a strip mall — but it’s a top-notch dining experience. (Cool fact: If you like a wine or bubbly on their list, you can pop over to Bernie’s next door and buy a bottle before you head home.) 2. When I want to wander and shop, I head to the Moorhead Antique Mall. It’s huge and full of vintage and upcycled items. I love knowing there’s a story behind every single thing. (Cool fact: They host events and sales throughout the year, like a summer flea market.) 3. When you stroll Downtown Fargo, you’re bound to have an, “Oh I didn’t know that was here!” moment. It’s not “hidden” but there’s always something new to see, do, buy or eat! (Cool fact: Alpacas and reindeer have given Downtown Fargo a thumbs-up (thanks Unglued and Red River Market!))

24 | 2018 |

The City of Fargo uses an emergency notification system called CodeRED to share information quickly with residents.

Larson at Luna enjoying a cheese plate with prairie breeze, fromage d'affinois and 4-year aged gouda cheese and a caramel café miel.


Ashley Kunz

Your favorite good deal for a drink or food in town... If I'm looking for good food and drinks at a great price, I go to Lucky's 13 Pub. They have the most amazing nachos and different drink specials every day. On Friday and Saturday nights, they also have live music.

Shotgun Sally's has $5 burger baskets all day long on Tuesdays, in addition to $3 tall domestic taps and $5 tall craft beers, which makes a great excuse to sit on their patio beside the fire pit with a few friends.

Amanda Wolf

Anna Larson

Luna has half-priced bubbly on Wednesday nights and half-price cheese plates during happy hour. It’s an awesome way to try a new bottle and enjoy some fantastic cheese without breaking the bank.

Your favorite breakfast in town...

The Rumchata French Toast from The Boiler Room is delicious. I love the banana butter sauce on it. It's sweet but not too sweet. It also comes with fruit and cheesy tots so it's really filling.

Deaner's Diner in West Fargo as I love a small local cafe with eggs served the way you want them, crispy hash browns and it comes with a variety of toast options. It reminds me of my small hometown cafe.

Bernbaum’s has the tastiest quiche and other homemade goodness that start your day off on a high note. Like other places I’ve talked about, it’s not just the food. It’s also the owner and staff who make it special. I can’t eat gluten so I’m jealous of all the people who can eat the bagels.

Avocado Fresh Fruit Boba from Teaberry

Lance Morlock

26 | 2018 |

One of my favorite locations in town is Teaberry. It's a great hangout place offering games and great drinks. I love the Aloe Water there but their smoothies are to die for. It's a quality establishment and a very hot spot downtown.

The new Drunken Noodle opening at 414 Broadway will feature a rooftop patio.

Sandy's Donuts! Their donuts are outstanding and always a delicious treat in the morning. My favorite donut is the Cookies-n-Cream. The service is so great. You can tell that every employee enjoys their job as you are embraced with large smiles when you walk in the door.


Your favorite lunch in town... I usually don't have much time for lunch so if I'm out, I'll grab a sandwich or something from the deli at Hornbacher's.

Don’t cha know? Hornbacher’s deli has a wide-assortment of readyto-go food, including freshly made sushi.

Vinyl Taco is a lunch must with their variety of Mexican foods but my personal favorite is the Crispy Chicken and Mango Taco that has just the right amount of sweetness to it. The atmosphere is also super fun and gives a much-needed mini break for the everyday grind of work.

Mi Familia Taco Co. just opened, and it's like a more laid-back Juano's, for people who remember when it was open downtown. I was a server there during college so I was stoked to learn my favorite flavors were back. I like the enchilada with veggies and ranchero sauce. Lots of ranchero.

I really enjoy the lunch options at Nichole's Fine Pastry. They have many soup and sandwich options that are just outstanding and then after you can go to the other side of the restaurant to get a sweet treat. The individuals who work there are so caring and generally care for the people in the store.

Your favorite dinner in town...

We cook at home a lot but if we are going to go out for dinner as a family, we will usually go to Mexican Village or Doolittles. At both places, we usually have good service, large portions so we have leftovers and it's a pretty good value. I absolutely love Toasted Frog in Downtown Fargo. It is an all-out win on date night or an evening out with the girls and no matter who or what we are celebrating, the fried pickles are ordered every time. For the main entrée, I love their fish tacos. It’s the perfect amount of flavor. I even eat mine without the tortillas. So get dressed up and get over to Toasted Frog.

I love Jade Dragon for pho, and Luna and Mezzaluna for nice long dinners. Luna’s menu is always different but I love when they do glutenfree fried chicken, gnocchi, really, anything. I love it all! At Mezzaluna, it’s the burger, which surprises some people. Of course, the whole menu is great but their burger just hits the spot.

I am obsessed with Blackbird. It is so tasty and in such a great location. My favorite pizza from there is the Lumberjack. It gives you breakfast and dinner all in one, with an egg and syrup. The service is amazing, super fast and everything on their menu is perfected and tastes amazing.

Your favorite place to go out for a drink...

I tend to go to Dempsey's or Sidestreet for the live music. I only drink Captain Morgan so my drinks taste pretty good anywhere.

Drekker Brewing Co. is by far a must when exploring downtown. It's industrial details keep you exploring for more in addition to wanting to try all their local brews. I personally love their home-brewed root beer that has extra froth on the top and is more flavorful than any root beer I have ever tried.

Both Toasted Frog and Mezzaluna have friendly, knowledgeable bartenders. At Toasted Frog, I like their featured drinks — anything interesting with whiskey usually draws me in. Lately, at Mezzaluna, I’ve just been letting the bartender make me something. One of them knows my tastes and never misses the mark. Negronis or vodka martinis with olives are my go-to drinks. I’ll try anything that sounds inventive and not too sweet.

My favorite coffee place is 20 Below. I love it here, their service is amazing and the shop itself is so welcoming. Their slogan is "Quality Coffee + Genuine Community" and they do an amazing job. I love anything off their menu and the sense of community you feel when walking through the door is incredible. #FargoByFargo | 27

Meet the


JILL FREDERICK Professor of English at Minnesota State University Moorhead who retired last May Lived in Fargo for 25 years A LITTLE ABOUT JILL...

My family moved all over the world when I was growing up, both Asia and Europe, so I've been fortunate to see lots of extraordinary places, like the Taj Mahal and the Parthenon. Fargo-Moorhead has been home to me and my husband for 25 years, the longest either of us has ever lived in one spot, and we have come to love it here. As a co-founder of Cats Cradle Shelter, a cat rescue in Fargo, much of my time is happily spent with shelter activities.


I enjoy just wandering Downtown Fargo. There’s always something new to see, a new place to have a meal, a new place to shop.


It may sound a little odd, but I like the back alleys in Fargo, both in the downtown area and the ones that run behind neighborhood houses. They seem to have secrets. For instance, right behind Cats Cradle, someone has stenciled the likeness of a World War I soldier on the building wall. The merry-go-round pavilion at the Red River Zoo has a lot of charm. And there’s a view to the North from the bridge on 12th Avenue North in Fargo that ought to be on a postcard: it looks out over a sweep of land and railroad tracks and sky that makes me think about what this part of the country would have been like in its earlier days.

28 | 2018 |

The Fargo Engineering Department coordinates upwards of $150 million of construction activity per year.

Frederick is one of the cofounders of Cat's Cradle. This nonprofit is a no-kill shelter that is funded 100 percent by donations, fundraising and adoption fees. Go to for more information.

Meet the



Team Lead at John Deere Electronics Lived in Fargo for 35 years


I was born in Pueblo, Colorado, was raised in Texas and Chicago (back and forth) but have lived most of my life in the FM area. I came from a family of migrant workers who would travel from state-to-state in search of the seasonal work and that's how I got introduced to the sugar beet fields in Grafton, N.D. I've been working for a John Deere Company in Fargo for 12 years already. I have an AAS degree in Graphic Design Technology and I'm in the process of opening a taco shop business within the International Market Plaza on Main Avenue here in Fargo.


• Go to Plains Art Museum. • Check out Bonanzaville • Go watch a RedHawks game at the Newman Outdoor Field.



I am very active in the church community. I find it very rewarding to be able to try to make a difference, not only in our community but hopefully even in this world.

I like to go fishing at the Red River by the Dike West Park and check out the farmer’s market there in the summer. I also like to go to the Red River Zoo. The reason why I like to do these things is that, after a very busy life, I like to step back and relax a little.

Don’t cha know? Plains Art Museum offers free general admission.

Granados is at the International Market Plaza on Main Ave. in Fargo. This plaza is made up of 24 businesses ranging from ethnic marketplaces to small grocery stores to an auto shop. The space is run by the Immigrant Development Center and Granados was integral to getting the project off the ground. With plans of remodeling, the plaza offers a chance for new Americans to affordably pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship. In fact, Granados plans on opening up a small restaurant in the plaza in 2018. #FargoByFargo | 29

BUSINESS Business groups and organizations you're involved with...

Ashley Kunz

Daniel Granados

The Arts Partnership and Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists. Both of these organizations work very hard to support, promote and provide opportunities for local artists. They have proved to be invaluable, especially when I first started my career. They have provided resources, information and opportunities to make connections to other artists and collectors.

I'm involved with the Immigrant Development Center who connected me to Dakota Certified Development organization who then connected me with Kiva Zip, which is a nonprofit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs like me. I like these groups because they have helped me get loans from each one of them.

Don’t cha know? Kiva is a nonprofit that expands access to capital for entrepreneurs around the world. More than 2.5 million people have raised over $1 billion on Kiva.

The Downtown Community Partnership keeps things active downtown. I think they are a big part of downtown's success.

Your favorite networking event in Fargo-Moorhead... I love going to museum and gallery receptions to network. There are always a lot of artists in attendance along with collectors, curators, art supporters and appreciators. There is usually live music, food, drinks and it's a very welcoming environment.

My favorite networking event in Fargo-Moorhead is the Entrepreneurial Training that the Immigrant Development Center has held. I really like this networking event because it gives me many tools and connections that I'll be needing for starting up my own business soon.

Owning a restaurant is a networking event.

Casey Absey

Heather Hemingway

30 | 2018 |

The Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber is a great organization that has a variety of events, programs and training opportunities. It is great for networking and professional development. The staff is client-focused and dedicated to enriching the experience of the members as much as they can.

You can stay up to date on all the current news of the diversion at

It is once a year (in January), and technically a recognition event instead of a networking event, but 1 Million Thanks by Emerging Prairie helped me learn more about what's happening in Fargo and who is making a statement in the area. Each Wednesday morning throughout the year, Emerging Prairie hosts 1 Million Cups events that are educational, thoughtprovoking and also fantastic networking opportunities.


A company in town that you admire... There are so many but the first one that came to mind is TMI Hospitality. I had an art residency through them last year and as part of the residency, I had the opportunity to meet with a large group of their employees to talk about how art ties into everyday life and I did a small art project with them. Their employees were so nice and it was obvious by the way they talked that they loved working there. TMI invests in their employees by providing opportunities for growth and development and they are very active in supporting the community by volunteering time and donating.

I admire Hobby Lobby in Fargo and what they stand for on morals and principles.

Don’t cha know? The owners of Hobby Lobby are known for their Christian beliefs that went to the Supreme Court a couple years ago saying that the family-owned business does not have to offer their employees contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the owners’ religious beliefs.

Bert and Klaus Meyer. They own and operate Würst Bier Hall and Dempsey’s. They have always been very open with advice and help. They have a great product and obviously create a great work environment.

Without a doubt, Unseen. The work they do is life-saving; they assist nonprofits to fight human trafficking, care for orphans and raise support and awareness.

A specific public policy in our community that you would like to see changed...

I think our community could do a better job of creating more and better options for affordable housing.

Legalizing the use of medical marijuana ONLY for those who really need it to get well would be great, especially for those extremely sick kids.

I think downtown is becoming a bit too gentrified. I like a mix of high end and low end all right next to each other. Way more interesting than a homogeneous culture.

Funding for public schools and youth programs. The education and safety of children, in my opinion, should be priorities. Unseen is a local organization that I recently was made aware of that works with other organizations fighting human-trafficking. Programs that help at-risk children and vulnerable people in our communities are important but require dedicated resources and funding. Increased community awareness and involvement might be low-cost options to take a step in the right direction.

The next industry to boom in our community...

Online shopping is huge and it will continue to be going forward. I think we will be seeing more of an online presence from the small, local businesses in our area in the near future.

John Deere Electronics Solutions is booming in our community as the demand is so high that John Deere can't keep up with maintaining steady employees because they move on to higher wages. That's where North Dakota needs to improve upon changing the minimum wage.

I think the local chef owned and operated restaurant is booming in larger communities and could grow in Fargo.

I believe that the technology and research industries will continue to grow here, we have started to make some noise, but I think we are far from hitting a plateau. I cannot say enough about what the organization Emerging Prairie is doing for our city and community. They are forward-thinking, innovative and communityfocused. They are the pulse of what is happening in our area and what our future looks like.

#FargoByFargo | 31

Meet the



Anytime Mortgage, Director of Operations Live in Fargo-Moorhead for 25 years A LITTLE ABOUT HEATHER...

I am originally from New Ulm, Minn. I moved to Fargo to attend North Dakota State University with my then boyfriend/now husband, Josh. We never left Fargo-Moorhead and now have two daughters, Piper (12) and Kasey (7). Although my comfort zone is at home reading a book, I have come to appreciate meeting new people and learning new things. The Fargo area has a lot to offer and I enjoy making lists of things that I hope to do sooner rather than later like skydive at Fargo Skydive or go to the shooting range at Bill's Gun Shop.


I believe that not enough people know how fantastic our public libraries are. Not just Fargo, but also Moorhead and West Fargo. Did you know that you can do activities like Crafternoons, build a fairy house or do beginner yoga at the different locations around town? I love that they are accessible by city bus and that a library card and most events are free-of-charge. The Park Districts are also great resources for events and activities like Awesome Art Afternoons, but one of my favorites that may not be well known yet is that they offer kayak and bike rentals in Fargo.


NDSU Bison Athletic events have to top my list. There is a feeling of family and an energy that is special. #BisonFamily and #BisonPride aren’t just tags for social media, they’re genuine. My daughters and I enjoy finding small, locallyowned shops in the area. Places like Red River Coffee is one of their favorite spots to have a cookie, hot chocolate or a “mocktail” and to play board games together. We are saddened to hear that Josie’s is closing, I encourage everyone to find a small, locallyowned business to add to your “favorites” list of places to frequent. I cherish the simple together time that these places enable us to have. If my husband and I have an opportunity to get out for a night, we will always choose live music. We frequent Pickled Parrot and Shotgun Sally’s, but the Windbreak, Sidestreet, Lucky’s 13 and so many others are also great options.

32 | 2018 |

Hemingway in NDSU’s gorgeous Renaissance Hall that was once a farm implement warehouse and dealership.

The City of Fargo storm system is comprised of more than 510 miles of pipe. Laid out in a straight line, it could stretch from Fargo to Milwaukee.


Your favorite running/ hiking/biking trail...

The Gym you belong to...

Anytime Fitness. I like it because it's open 24/7, it has a lot of options and is a clean facility.

I love the trail that runs from Brunsdale Park on 17th street and 27th avenue in and heads south in south Fargo. I have a lot of good memories riding bike on that trail.

Ashley Kunz

Amanda Wolf

Jill Frederick

Lance Morlock

34 | 2018 |

Core Fitness in Fargo. I have been a member of this gym for about five years. At first, the reason I started at this gym was proximity to my work but since starting, I have come to love the atmosphere of the gym and that they know my name when I walk through the door. They also offer a variety of classes as part of my membership and have personal trainers on staff, which I highly recommend if you are ready to take your fitness to the next level.

I have been working out at EHP CrossFit in Moorhead for about three years now and factoring in for age, I'm as fit as I've ever been in my life. The coaches there are second to none: all of them are so encouraging and professional in their approach to training, always paying really close attention to members' fitness levels and abilities and bringing out the best in people. There is a real sense of community among the members and coaches which I especially appreciate.

Karla Sorum, owner of EHP CrossFit.

I belong to Planet Fitness. The gym is so clean and updated. It is also such a great place as far as the people you meet. Everyone there is so happy and it is a great environment to be in.

I enjoy the trails through Lindenwood Park, which also cross over into Moorhead because of the abundance of trees and variety of hills. I always know I will be getting in a good workout when I go there and also feel safe throughout the park.

I don't do much running anymore, but I've always enjoyed the river path as it winds its way along the Red. It's fun to go back and forth across the pedestrian bridges and watch the water move along the banks.

I love the trails in Gooseberry Park. They have outstanding trails deep in the trees and it’s so peaceful. Nothing beats a warm summer day biking with your friends.

You can take classes like intro to hand-built ceramics, creative journaling or embroidered foliage at Make Room in Downtown Fargo.


Your favorite place for a healthy meal...

If I'm looking for a healthy meal, I usually go to Hu Hot. I can put all the veggies I want in my dish and customize my meal however I want and it always tastes delicious. Tropical Smoothie Cafe is my go to when on the go and I need something to keep me energized. I love their Detox Island Green smoothie, which I usually pair with a banana after my workouts.

Nichole's has healthy salads and sandwiches, and then I can undermine my good intentions with some of their gelato, which is exceptional.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is a really great healthy option. They have great smoothies that are super healthy and super delicious wraps and sandwiches.

Your favorite healthy activity...

My favorite would be swimming. Our summer season is so short but I really enjoy every minute in the water in the summer.

I enjoy taking part in the Fargo Wonder Woman monthly events where I get to meet other women within the community that have the same fitness goals and are from all different types of work.

Don’t cha know? Fargo Wonder Woman by Kylee Seifert - Kai Fit, unites fierce women of the FargoMoorhead and surrounding areas, through healthminded events, happy hours, meet-ups and other local happenings. You can find them on Facebook.

All my healthy activities revolve around EHP CrossFit, whether it's a standard workout or a friendly competition fundraiser, like the recent EHP-sponsored "Barbells for Empowerment," which donated the proceeds to Dress for Success.

I love biking. It is such an easy way to pass time and spend some quality time outdoors. I love seeing everyone out and about walking dogs, biking and running on a nice warm day.

How you like to stay fit in -30 below weather...

I would just go to the gym. -30 below is way too cold to be outside. As far as recommendations go, I would love to see some heat lamps outside in popular pedestrian areas.

There are free walking tracks at Fargo South and West Fargo High that are indoors and a great option to get out and move during those cold winter months. If not an annual member of a gym, there might be options to pay by the month such as Orangetheory.

Personally, I like winter in the abstract but I don't necessarily want to be outside in it. Since I train at EHP all year-round, cold temperatures don't make much difference to my activity level. One of these years, I'm going to try cross-country skiing.

Personally, I find going to the gym to be useful, but I also know my friends and I get quite the workout sledding in the winter months. We like to take advantage of the snow rather than complain about it, and sledding is one of the most fun things to do in the snow. #FargoByFargo | 35

Meet the


LANCE MORLOCK Senior at Moorhead High School and works at GiGi's Cupcakes Lived in Moorhead his entire life A LITTLE ABOUT LANCE...

My name is Lance Morlock and I'm a senior at Moorhead High School. I have been participating in local theatre since I was young and am very grateful for how many outstanding theatre programs we have in the area. During the school year, I also compete on the Moorhead Speech Team. I am my school's Key Club and Garden Club President and love getting to help out the community in these clubs.


In Downtown Fargo, there are many bike rental stations. One of my favorite things to do is call a couple of friends and spend an afternoon biking around and discovering new places in our community I hadn’t yet seen before. I really love attending special movie showings at the Fargo Theatre. My absolute favorite is the October Rocky Horror Picture Showing. My friends and I get out our costumes and have a night of fun.

I also love antique shopping. Throughout the years, I have discovered many ONE FUN THING different antique shops. My TO KNOW ABOUT absolute favorite is FM Antiques LANCE... and Repurposed Market. They I was lucky enough to grow up have two locations, one in in a community that valued my Fargo and one located in the passions. At a young age, I fell in Moorhead Center Mall. The love with the arts and it has been stores are filled with interesting exciting over the years to see the antiques, at very affordable community support local art prices. and help our programs to flourish.


In Downtown Fargo, there is a wall that is open for artists to make their mark. It’s a colorful representation of our community and the talent within it. Although they aren’t very hidden, escape rooms within our community are so fun. There are a few different locations that are always changing and offering new challenges. I love getting some friends together and spending an hour with them problem-solving and trying to work our way out of a locked room.

36 | 2018 |

The City maintains 13,000 inlets, 7,000 manholes, 74 lift stations and 510 miles of storm sewer pipe.

Morlock in front of the graffiti wall behind the Forum building. This wall is open to anyone from around the community to create their own artwork.


Three places you would take someone who is visiting Fargo for the first time...

Two places you take your family and friends when they come to visit...

A concert or show at Bluestem, Dempsey's or Sanctuary Events Center. Plains Art Museum. The museum always has interesting exhibits and often times has events and hands-on activities. Get dessert. I would take them to Nichole's Fine Pastry to try all the sweet treats like the Chocolate Feuilletine Cake or Crème Brûlée.

Everyone has such different ideas for having a good time so I'm always willing to cater to their interests. Usually, I would take them out to dinner, go shopping and take them to see a show or listen to live music.

Ashley Kunz

Amanda Wolf

Scheels and ride the Ferris wheel, take in the bowling alley and have some lunch because it truly is more than just a store. Walk down Broadway with a delicious tea in hand from Teaberry and explore all the local art, shop at Kindred People, spend too many hours in Unglued and Zandbroz and finish up at Rosey's with a mojito and grilled cheese sandwich. Fargo Force hockey game but get there early for the beer special, a little sports memorabilia shopping and snacks for the game.

Anna Larson

Downtown Fargo: I would give them a tour of downtown while stopping to drink coffee, eat, shop and talk to people. They would definitely need a treat from Nichole’s Fine Pastry and a photo in front of the iconic Fargo Theatre sign. Hjemkomst Center: I grew up going there all the time, and I think it’s a very FM thing to do. I would show them the Norwegian Viking church and Viking ship inside so they understand why uffda is a saying here. A Don’t cha know? farm: Agriculture is so important in our Doubting Thomas Farms is a community, and you’d be surprised at fifth generation farm that is how many people haven’t visited a farm. open to tours. Learn more at I would take them to Doubting Thomas Farms, where they’d learn a lot and meet some cute chickens, dogs and sheep.

Lance Morlock

On a walk of Downtown Fargo. There are people from all walks of life enjoying what the city has to offer. It's such a fun place to be, especially around the holiday season. The streets are filled with happy people, often a parade or two, and usually beautiful lights. Hjemkomst Center. It is home to one very large ship. I love going here to check out new exhibits and I think it would be very interesting to a newcomer. The Fargodome. It is the biggest community center in town. Year round it is filled with people at different community events. Whether it is a concert, football game, nonprofit event, it is one of the largest and most versatile locations in Fargo.

38 | 2018 |

Fargo Online Rummage Sale is a Facebook group that has more than 17,000 members who post items for sale.

Bison Tailgating is by far a sight to see and a party to participate in from the food, drinks and entertainment, but you better have some green and gold to wear. Shotgun Sally's because I love the country style, they have amazing food and one of the best patios to relax on after a full day of shopping at West Acres Mall. And if there is a band playing, we will be back to kick up our boots come evening.

When my sister visits from Iowa, we usually spend a Saturday downtown shopping and strolling. Then, our family will have dinner at Mango’s. I have to get the queso because it’s the best. We love that place.

I would invite them to see a Moorhead High Theatre Production. I have been in the Moorhead Theatre Program for four years and it is a truly magical and special program. It is nothing like any program I've ever worked with and each show is so fun to perform and I love when the community gets to share the magic with us. I would bring them to an escape room. They are super fun and allow for great quality time. Each room is specially designed to work as a team building exercise and it's a fun challenge everyone should get to experience.


Your favorite way to spend a Saturday in Fargo...

Your favorite spot to see live music...

Depending on what's going on in town, I would choose either Sanctuary Events Center, Bluestem, the Aquarium or Sidestreet. I enjoy these venues because they are a good size but still feel intimate.

Bluestem Amphitheater because there isn't a bad seat in the house and you get to be outside. For either a concert or Trollwood Performing Arts production, this is a must do on your summer plans list.

Bluestem Amphitheater in Moorhead is an incredible place to see live music. You’re outside so that just adds to the experience. I like watching the sunset and taking it all in. Sanctuary Events downtown is awesome, too. It’s a smaller venue so shows feel more intimate.

The Fargodome. It is such an amazing center to hold events. The energy in the room is crazy.

Some of the big acts coming to the Fargodome this year include Kevin Hart, Avenged Sevenfold, Jim Gaffigan and Ed Sheeran.

I like to start by sleeping in. Then I get coffee at either Caribou or Moxie Java. I would go shopping either downtown or at West Acres then have dinner with my friends in the evening. After dinner, we like to find a place to play darts or pool, listen to a live band and have some drinks.

Getting dressed up and going downtown is always a treat and there is so much to offer from dining, entertainment to dancing. I would start with apps at Toasted Frog, then off to Old Broadway for dinner, which has smothered mushrooms my husband raves about and ending the night at the Pickled Parrot dancing until my feet hurt.

My favorite way to spend Saturday here is to wake up early and run and then meet up with friends for coffee and brunch. After that, I love to walk around if I am downtown, check out an event or go home for a nap. I’ll spend extra time getting ready for the night and usually meet my friends for dinner and then go out downtown. Have you noticed I love downtown Fargo?!

On a Saturday, I like to start my day early and do as many things as I can. It usually involves friends. I love going out shopping at local stores, eating at interesting restaurants, getting involved in any local events or volunteering at local organizations. There are so many things in the community, and each day brings new opportunities.

#FargoByFargo | 39

Don’t cha know? Tochi Products is a local store that sells everything from natural and organic bulk product, international foods, beer and wine brewing supplies, vitamins and supplements, herbs and spices, coffee and more.

Meet the


CASEY ABSEY Owner and Operator at Blackbird Woodfire Lived in Fargo most of his life A LITTLE ABOUT CASEY...

My name is Casey Absey. I own and operate Blackbird Woodfire. I am all about family, friends and good food. Oh, and maybe a beer or two.


Downtown! I have lived just south of downtown for more than 18 years and am all about the vibe and experience of downtown.


Starting up Blackbird was like a rebirth for me. It's funny how your life experiences can come together and you suddenly realize why you have been doing what you do. It makes you look at the future a lot differently. Oh, and my favorite pizza is sausage.


Mosey through the aisles at Tochi Products and Asian market. I love to look through the cookbooks at the library. Thick cut Falls Bakery Dakota bread and coffee for a morning treat from Stumbeano’s.

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Casey in front of the woodfire oven at Blackbird pizza. He calculated they made more than 28,000 pizzas last year.

The Fargo Public Library has a collection of more than 165,000 books, 10,000 DVDs and many other physical and electronic resources. Visit for more information.

Ashley is photographed at Nichole's Fine Pastry in front of one her paintings, which were on display through January. She is enjoying a chocolate peanut butter crunch cake. You can learn more about Ashley's work at

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Fargo has more than 23,000 houses, twin homes and condos and more than 24,000 apartments located in 38 distinct residential neighborhoods.

Meet the


ASHLEY KUNZ Self-employed as an Abstract Painter Lived in Fargo for 32 years A LITTLE ABOUT ASHLEY...

I am passionate about art in all forms and try to support local art whenever I can by attending gallery receptions, going to plays and checking out local bands. My family and friends are also very important to me and I enjoy spending time with the people I love. In my free time, I enjoy shopping, painting, reading and singing karaoke in my basement.


One of my favorite things to do is to walk down Appletree Lane in ONE Moorhead in the spring when THING ASHLEY the crab apple trees are in BELIEVES... bloom. For a few days in I’m proud to call FargoMay, that street looks like Moorhead my home. Our city is it came out of a fairy tale. growing and changing and we should embrace the positive changes and I also love walking around work together to fix the things we Downtown Fargo to see aren’t happy with. I believe we have all the little pieces of an opportunity every day to make hidden art. From the small an impact and I strive to spread murals on the sidewalk to positivity and try to help the painted dumpsters, there others when I am is an immeasurable amount of able. passion put into those tiny details. We have an extremely active arts scene in Fargo-Moorhead. There are several free or low-cost public events almost every week at places like the Plains Art Museum, APT, A Creative Incubator, Unglued or Make Room. Most opening receptions at galleries are free and open to the public as well.


I love going to Downtown Fargo to shop. There are so many unique shops where I can find handmade gifts, clothing, local art, fresh, local produce and more. I am passionate about shopping local so downtown is usually a good choice. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends listening to live music or going to a play.


Your favorite weekend getaway spot...

We love the Perham area because it is very family oriented with turtle races, great small town shopping, Zorbaz and, of course, relaxing evenings on the lake.

Being originally from Minnesota, I am a lakes person so every chance we get, we go to the lake and Perham is one of our favorite destinations as the lakes have just the right amount of fishing and boating. Wednesdays in the summer are turtle Races, which is a childhood must do.

If I can get away from Fargo, Smoky Hills State Forest near Park Rapids, Minn., is so pretty, especially in the fall. My parents used to take my two siblings and me there every year for a day trip, so I have memories attached to that place.

After you do the nature thing in the forest, it's fun to drive into Park Rapids and check out the cute shops and get a bite to eat. The Good Life Cafe has gluten-free and vegan options, which I didn't expect—so awesome

Amanda Wolf

Anna Larson

Jill Frederick

Heather Hemingway

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What you like to do in this spot...

I like to drive out to Fort Ransom because the landscape changes so dramatically from the flat plains around Fargo. All of a sudden, there are hills and valleys and the town nestles down next to the Sheyenne River.

Winnipeg is fun and adds a bit of excitement because it's technically a different country. The people are welcoming and the city itself reminds me a lot of Fargo.

It's a tiny place, so a hamburger and a beer at the Old Mill Grill, then a walk out into the surrounding countryside is a good way to spend an afternoon. Though there's not much left of it, I like to wander around the old fort's historical site.

Wherever we go, we try to find out where the locals hang out. We enjoy smaller, locallyowned shops and bars.

Sworn Fargo Police Officers patrolled 48.2 square miles, serving 118,523 (2015) citizens and responded to 78,764 calls for service in 2016.


Your favorite spot to get your fix of nature in...

Explore Minnesota

Maplewood State Park is just about an hour away and the perfect destination to pop up the tent and grab a canoe and just float and take in all of the beauty all around. They have great trails too.

I love running by the river in way north Fargo by the old Trollwood Park. I remember when that park was vibrant and hosted craft fairs, plays and lots of other events. Now, it’s quiet but I still love it. Running past the “Yellowbrick Road” makes me happy because “The Wizard of Oz” is my favorite movie, and I’ve been coming to walk that little yellow road since I was a kid. It’s also very peaceful once you get into the trees on the other side of the river. I usually see animals, too, like cats, deer, turtles and eagles.

It's easy in Fargo-Moorhead to get a nature fix – along the river, especially by Dike East to watch the spillway or any one of the parks (Gooseberry is one of my favorites). My backyard can do it too: one year about three dozen wild turkeys settled down there for about a week. I missed them when they finally left.

Your favorite urban weekend getaway spot...

We love getting to Duluth. Even the drive over is so beautiful it's a vacation the second we get in the car. When there, we take in the aquarium, the ship tours if there are any, watch the drawbridge go up and down for the massive ships and, of course, grab a coffee to walk the cobblestone paths of downtown.

Minneapolis is great for a quick weekend Carol Kasper getaway. I like to stay downtown wherever my Priceline bid ends up (I always pick a high star level and see how low I can go). I go to Southdale Center and the Shops at West End in St. Louis Park (Anthropologie!) to get my shopping fix. Downtown, I really like MartinPatrick3 even though it's a men's store. Their selection of candles and travel items is impeccable. After that, it's all about food. So many new restaurants open all the time so it's hard to pick a favorite. I like to swing into Patisserie 46 for macarons and Pat's Tap for brunch (great coffee and cocktails, no matter the time of day). On my way back to Fargo, I hit up Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for goodies to bring home.

My husband is pretty much a homebody, so we tend to staycation. I have enjoyed weekends in Duluth, though, and can happily sit and watch Lake Superior all day. It's so big, it's like an inland sea. Alyssa Hei

Being from southern Minnesota, I do tend to miss the valleys, trees and water. Lindenwood or Gooseberry Parks are convenient and do the trick when I need the comfort of trees and a river. MB Johnson Park in Moorhead is a little further away, but worth the drive. You have to see it in fall.

Waterparks, any of them. Unfortunately, Fargo doesn't have a waterpark, so we like to go to any of the surrounding ones (South Dakota, Grand Don’t cha know? Seven Clans Casino in Thief Forks, Wahpeton, River Falls, Minn. has a fun Minnesota, etc.) for waterpark that the kids will enjoy while the casino offers quick getaways. plenty of entertainment for the parents.

#FargoByFargo | 45

Selling Patty Absey is in the business of selling Fargo. As the Manager of Physician Recruiting for the Fargo North Region at Sanford, her team and her are responsible for making sure that Sanford has enough physicians. With this unique position, we talked with her about how easy it is to attract people to the community, how much easier her job has gotten in the last several years and, ultimately, what the FM area can do better to attract more people.

BY Andrew Jason | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

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Did you know the Sanford Health Athletic Complex was built for $50 million? It was 100 percent privately funded without one cent coming from taxpayers.

Q&A Take me through your job and what it entails. I would say that recruiting is a lot of marketing. It’s a people skills job. We’re trying to connect and build relationships with providers out there. As far as sourcing, that’s our biggest responsibility. We can’t just put an ad out there in the Fargo Forum or the professional journals. We really have to double-time it to source candidates. That would be true, not just for a place like Fargo. Minneapolis finds itself in the same boat working hard to source candidates.

Patty Absey

Manager of Physician Recruiting for the Fargo North Region

Certainly, when you’re speaking to primary care – that would be family medicine, internal med, psychiatry – you really have to be more creative and work a little bit harder to source them anywhere in the country, but we’re more off the beaten path. We have a rural component. We have a big winter component. We have to be more creative.


How we do that is, we do a lot Sanford Physician of emailing. Recruiting office averages Physicians 25 provider site visits per will sign up month and about half of these are local and the on practice other half are from opportunity out of state. websites. Because we pay a subscription to these sites, we’ll see their profile come through. The algorithm really narrows it down. We’re only seeing candidates that might be interested in our area or #FargoByFargo | 47

The hospital is 11-stories, 1-millionsquare feet and has 15,936 light fixtures and 5.9 million feet of wire.

114 All the patient rooms in the new Sanford Medical Center are now private rooms.

Biggest recruiting needs Primary Care Family Medicine Clinical Internal Medicine doctors Psychiatry Psychologists

In 2017, Sanford Physician Recruiting signed 114 providers. This includes physicians, as well as advanced practice providers, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

practice. They’ve listed North Dakota or Minnesota as a location preference, in-patient work vs. outpatient work. When we see the match, we email them.

We also go to career fairs and national conferences. I did go to the GI Conference in Orlando. I spent three days in a booth talking to folks. I did get two leads there so that’s well worth it. A couple months before that, I was at another GI Conference also in Orlando. I met a gentleman who’s in the military and is from Fargo. He wants to come next summer after he does his 20 years, he’s retiring. The best stick to a position is when you’re employing somebody with ties to the area. However, we’ve been very successful at recruiting

folks who get here and stay.

How directly tied is the success of the community in making your job easier? It’s huge. Normally, it’s not hard to sell Sanford. Honestly, we bring physicians in and Sanford sells itself. We’re a bigger organization with the tier of research and lots of resources and specialists that they can mentor under. The harder point is the area and even if they have a tie to the area, if that significant other or spouse doesn’t like it here, it doesn’t matter how good Sanford or the community is, you need the significant other’s buy-in. As far as community, we hear it all the time. When you’re bringing people

in who haven’t been to Fargo ever or maybe they interviewed for a residency program here 10-15 years ago and they haven’t been here recently, they come here and they’re impressed. People are impressed with Fargo. Frequently, they have a significant other and you need that buy-in too. That’s the hardest thing. What does that new medical center mean for you, Sanford and Fargo in general? It’s a lot of wow factor. Typically, you end your day there. They’ve talked to so many people throughout the day and I’ve been chatting up Fargo. I’ve been telling them stats, telling them our student population from September to May. They’ll be standing in the elevator and they’ll #FargoByFargo | 49

This is the only levelone trauma center between Minneapolis and Washington.

80% Roughly, 80 percent of new hires are doctors in training.

look around and they’re like, ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been in a brand new hospital.’ I think I hear it from all of them. They’re like, ‘I’ve been in a new wing. I’ve been in a remodeled hospital. Never in a brand new hospital, though.’ What it means for us is, our five-year growth is looking like it’s growing a great deal every year. It means, we have a lot of job stability for recruiting for the next couple years. What’s the most common reason doctors aren’t coming? And what can Fargo do to make your job easier? If we talk about community not being a fit, I would say that weather is a strong player in that. We are very candid with the candidates 50 | 2018 |

about our weather. We let them know straight up that, ‘Fargo is only a place for you if you like four seasons.’ Another reason is it’s too far from where their family or other friends are. Honestly, for candidates themselves, it’s not as hard of a sell. It’s a great organization to work for. That significant other is huge, though. The spouse might not agree that this is the place for them. You know what’s really helpful in Fargo that is very impressive to candidates? Hector Airport. Easy in, easy out. Direct flights to Chicago, Minneapolis and other cities. Plus, we have Allegiant going to Florida, Mesa, Las Vegas. If we could get another couple of key cities on there, that’s huge. People want to be able

The kiosks in the new hospital show you an interactive map to get around the hospital and even allow you to print off maps.

to make fewer connecting flights. Housing isn’t inexpensive here. We hear it all the time from candidates. ‘My wife and I were looking at Zillow and your housing prices aren’t as inexpensive as we thought.’ You have to really balance when you tell somebody about the cost of living here. You have to focus on some of these things that are lower like insurance, car insurance, taxes. You’re going to pay the same around here as you are in the greater

The Fargo Public Works Department maintains snow removal of 2,069 lane miles of road, 380 alleys and 158 cul-de-sacs.

Don’t cha know? Last year, the Fargo Airport’s total passenger count was 787,927, a -0.2 percent decrease from 2016, which had 789,182 total passengers.

All operating rooms are integrated, meaning surgeons can talk to other specialists during surgery.


Don’t cha know? has an extensive listing of all the businesses, events and news about Downtown Fargo.

Midwest. As shows a Currently recruiting you get down in little more for 80 additional Texas in some commitment. positions. of that warmer If they are climate where going to bring maybe a lot more their three kids, folks are looking at, we love that. We’ll they have lower housing bring the whole family in. prices. We coordinate all their travel. Planes, trains and I can’t stress enough, automobiles. We coordinate folks who come here and airfare, rental car, if they have never been here, want to rent a car, hotel. they’re always impressed We strongly encourage a with Fargo. If I could have community tour. All of it is anything that’s tangible – I voluntary. can’t take away the wind or 30 below – the more When they’re on the destinations our airport community tour, it’s tailored flies to, the more accessible to what they’re interested we’ll be. in. If you have a single person coming in, they don’t want to hear about While each recruiting visit schools normally. They’re is tailored specifically like, ‘Yeah. I’m not there. to the interests of the I’m not buying a big house. physician being recruited, I want to see some condos. Absey takes us through a I like the idea of living typical recruiting visit. downtown.’ Or, ‘I know if I We like them, if they were to take a position with have one, to bring their Sanford, I’ll be at the new significant other. That medical center so I kind

of want to see higher-end rentals in that neck of the woods.’ I would say we drive everyone around downtown. We do hit historic eighth street when we’re going between campuses. We do try and show them some of the old, some of the newer neighborhoods, especially if it’s family, we’re doing that southwest area by Costco. It’s beautiful parks with nice new houses. If that’s what they’re into. It’s really tailored to them. We take them by the Microsoft campus. That’s a big seller. People are completely floored that we have the number two Microsoft office in town. They never even heard of that. That’s a big wow factor. We take them by NDSU and talk about the grassroots tech companies that have started in Fargo. #FargoByFargo | 51

Hillary Ehlen

Thoughts from a new resident Doctor Jimmy Chim is a plastic surgeon at Sanford who moved from Florida a couple of months ago. Here are his initials thoughts on the community.

Background Chim grew up in Maryland and went to medical school in Baltimore. From there, he went to Oregon for six years of general surgery. After that, he went to Montreal for a year to do plastic surgery and then decided to complete his training in plastic surgery in Miami. He currently lives in Fargo with his three kids, Genna (1), Quinn (3) and Nora (6) and his wife Taylor.

How he ended up in Fargo… “After living in Montreal, Miami and a couple of other big cities, my wife and I were tired of the big city life. We were tired of people being rude, tired of the traffic and we didn’t see ourselves raising our kids in the big city anymore. “We were looking for a smaller town when I was looking for a job. I have a good friend here who’s name is Matt Miller, he’s with the ear, nose and throat department at Sanford. A job opened up so we came out and visited. We really liked the community; it’s more like a small city. More than anything, we liked the people here. It was a world of difference compared to some of the cities we were in.” What attracted him to the community… “One of the big things for Sanford was the medical center. It’s quite remarkable. You wouldn’t expect such a state-of-theart and large medical center in a small community like this. I got shown around town in terms of real estate. We went through downtown. Those are common areas you hang around a lot.” What attracted him to Sanford… “I’ve worked in Canada, I’ve

worked on both coasts, in Haiti and on mission trips, at the end of the day, it’s really about the people. You can be in the middle of nowhere and have no resources whatsoever but if you have good people, then you can get the job done and really take care of patients. That’s what I really felt strongly about in terms of this institution is that the people here are of the utmost highest quality. You can tell that everybody works hard and takes pride in their work and wants to provide the best care possible for our patients.” What his kids and wife think about the community... “They enjoy it quite a bit. They’re making a lot of friends in school and it’s a real easy community to get around in and get things done. You would think that coming to a small town, you would have to order a lot of stuff or maybe even go to the cities, but we really haven’t had to do anything too crazy. Everything we want is right here.” His hotspots… “When it’s warmer, we love to go downtown. We love going to the Red River Market. I think we went to the farmer’s market probably every weekend. Downtown is so nice and quaint that you can walk through and have a great time. Running into people you know and work with. You feel safe. “In terms of where we eat, we sort of eat all over. One of the nice things that surprised me when I moved here is that there are a lot of really high-quality restaurants. Just a few

Cioppino Risotto (California Italian seafood stew served with parmesan risotto) from Tru Blu Social Club.

blocks from my house is Tru Blu Social Club. My daughter loves going there because it’s fancy and makes her feel special. Me and my wife like to frequent Mezzaluna or Luna here on University or Maxwell’s, which is right down the street from us.” His thoughts on the school district… “My six year old (Nora) is at Osgood Kindergarten Center. Next year, she’ll be at Freedom Elementary School. My son is in one of the private Montessori schools right now. “It’s been very nice. She’s obviously learning a lot. She’s making good friends. Compared to where I came from in Miami, people were lucky to get their kids in a four out of 10 school. It’s great to be in an area where all the schools are eight or nine out of 10. “I grew up in an area where there were great public schools. I didn’t know how valuable that was growing up. Having moved around quite a lot, you see that not every community values their public school system as much as Fargo does.” #FargoByFargo | 53


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If you go to and search by Fargo, you can find meetups that range from Red River Valley Outdoors to Fargo-Moorhead Animal Rights.

Photo of Governor Burgum taken for the October 2016 Fargo INC! J. Alan Paul Photography

#FargoByFargo | 55


ast December, Governor Burgum officially celebrated one year in the role. The Arthur, N.D., native spent most of his adult life in Fargo. This time obviously had a lasting impact on him that he’s brought to the governor’s office. We met with Governor Burgum to discuss what he’s taken from his time in Fargo, how the rest of North Dakota feels about the Main Street Initiative and what’s the status of the diversion. You've obviously taken a lot from your experience in Fargo to the governor's office. What exactly did you learn from Fargo that you're applying state-wide?

Courtesy of City of Fargo Engineering Department

The Black Building first opened in the 1930s. It was opened as a Sears and had six floors of offices. It was actually featured in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” newspaper because the Black Building was actually white. It was named after George M. Black who first owned the property.

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My dad was born in Arthur at home in 1917. My mom was born in 1915. World War II got in the way of them having a family so they were quite old when they had kids. It sort of skipped a generation. It’s sort of unusual to have a 41, going on 42-year-old mother back in those days. What that meant though was that my mom graduated from NDSU in ’37, which meant she graduated from high school in ’33. She was a Fargo girl and she grew up at 1114 N. 4th Street, a house that’s still there just north of Sanford. They had one high school, the Central High School, which was down on the block where the juvenile center is

Cass County has an unemployment rate of 2.2 percent.

across from the courthouse. There were a courthouse, jail and Central High School all in that same civic area down there. She went to school. She walked, rode her bike or, in those days, they had the trolley. If it was cold, they’d sometimes spend a dime or whatever it was to ride the trolley. She grew up during a time when it (downtown) was very vibrant. Even when the Great Depression was happening, the Black Building was being built. You fast-forward 40-some years to when I was in high school and I’m coming into the Black Building once a month to get my braces tightened by Dr. Slovinski who was an orthodontist in the Black Building. I’m driving in from Arthur. That was the time they were starting to have the decline of downtowns – the interstate system is built, things start moving out to the edge.

Even though she’s been in Arthur for decades and decades by that point in time and was very engaged in Arthur, she still had this childhood memory of vibrant Fargo in the '20s and '30s when she was at NDSU. That’s where she met my dad. When a store closed on Broadway, for her, it was a personal thing because she would say, ‘When we were cold and walking home in the wintertime, they’d let us step in and warm up.” There was manufacturing going on downtown. There are very few remnants of that left. There’s only a couple of actual manufacturing – the steel plant and the guys who are doing the wood frame manufacturing west of NDSU downtown. Downtown was full of actual, what you would think of, as value added manufacturing jobs. You had the civics elements with city hall, all the faith-based – there was no such thing as suburban churches, all the churches were downtown. You had, basically, everything happening in one spot. Then you had youth and adults and all kinds of mixes of people and income, new Americans. She grew up in a Downtown Fargo that was super vibrant. I think she helped me understand from a perspective directly from those trips to the orthodontists that the Downtown Fargo is in

Governor Burgum was sworn in last December.

Courtesy of the Governor’s office

decline and this is what it was.

When Burgum first joined Great Plains Software, which was eventually sold to Microsoft, they opened up their location that is now the Microsoft office in South Fargo. Burgum has since been quoted as saying that he wishes he opened up their corporate headquarters in Downtown Fargo.

I must have sort of buried that seed away and went off and got involved in tech and software. I wasn’t really thinking about the economics of cities. We had in our mind an idea that was around Apple, Silicon Valley and suburban. The word corporate campus meant that we needed to have childcare and workout facility, our own library, big cafeteria facilities, meeting rooms and all of the little things you have to do to support yourself when you’re self-contained. Of course, you fast forward to today and many of the tech companies that build campuses are scrambling to build office space in the core of downtown. Whether it’s Microsoft opening up a space in Downtown Seattle, Amazon, Twitter, Uber, Atlassian. When they’re looking for space, they’re looking for space that’s in an urban center and in the core of downtown, not the suburban model because that’s where the

jobs want to go. When you do that, then you’re using the vibrant downtown as all the corporate amenities that you might have built if you were doing a suburban campus. You’re seeing this move back to the core. It’s sort of a back to the future thing. When you say, ‘What has Fargo taught me?’ Part of what Fargo has taught me is a little bit about what my mom taught me from the '20s and '30s. I’ve got an understanding that that was a model that also really worked for taxpayers because when you have mixed-use concentrated on a small amount of infrastructure, it’s easier for fire, police, all of the things that taxpayers pay for – fewer water towers, less of everything. This idea that financial solvency and having a smart infrastructure that’s easy on the taxpayer, those designs existed. It’s just a question of getting back to those designs that we’ve had years ago.

But, it also ties back to what I talked about with these corporate headquarters. It also teaches me that if we want to solve workforce issues, we have to have vibrant communities where we can attract young talent to move to, we can be attractive to people who have families and want to put their roots down. It’s also that you have to be attractive to the retiring baby boomers because that’s part of the workforce. If everybody hits 55 and decides they want to go to a sand state – sand states being California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas or Florida. That’s another leakage on the workforce. Here we are as a state with about 13,000 jobs open, one thing I saw was that there were 5,000 or 6,000 or more jobs open in the Fargo metro area. A big portion of the jobs open in the state are in the Fargo metro. We need to make sure that we have communities that can retract and retain a 21st-century workforce. Fargo has done a lot of #FargoByFargo | 57

Originally from Arthur, North Dakota, Governor Burgum was honored with the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award in 2009.

In February, the state of North Dakota hosted its first ever Main Street ND Summit, which saw three national speakers come to Bismarck and talk about the importance of vibrant downtowns. This conference saw representatives from 30 communities in North Dakota attending. You can learn more about the Main Street Initiative at

Courtesy of the Governor’s office

the things that make it attractive for capital and make it attractive for an organization like Sanford to invest $500 million into a new facility and add thousands of jobs. There are elements that have to be in place for people to make those kinds of investments. Microsoft adding hundreds of new jobs or John Deere having what they’re doing with 800 some employees. Plus, all

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the entrepreneurs in the tech community. It all ties together. I would say that when I see Fargo on these lists with Austin and Seattle, as 10 cities that are attracting millennials, I think that is a super important sign for North Dakota’s economic future. The jobs for 21stcentury is not so much state by state but city by city. You have to have the right framework within a positive

business plan in the state, but, at the end of the day, corporate headquarters choose a city within the framework of the state. If somebody chooses where to live, they might choose the city, even more than the state. We have to have vibrant communities and cities if we’re going to be competitive. It’s a long answer to what’s Fargo taught me. It’s essential to

The FM Symphony is doing a show called Sunny Getaway on March 17 - 18 that will be dedicated to playing music that evokes warmth and the sun.

our competitiveness as a state in the new economy. With the Main Street Initiative, it’s often Fargo and the rest of North Dakota’s agricultural background and rural setting. How are other cities in the rest of the state adopting the main street philosophy? You mentioned the rural economy, something that we’ve had since the 1900s, the agriculture in our state has been so productive. We’re producing record amounts of everything. We rank in the top five states by production for more than 10 crops. We’re doing that with fewer and fewer people all the time. Part of the reason farm size has gotten larger and farm families have gotten smaller, those are the demographics of productivity. American farmers and North Dakota farmers, in particular, are super efficient. We continue to have this demographic challenge where there have been fewer and fewer jobs in the rural areas but that’s not a new thing. That’s been going on since the 1900s. As we continue to see the metro areas continue to grow more than most of the rural areas, we still need to have communities across the state that can act as those market centers that can support those rural areas. We need a network

According to the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, North Dakota leads the nation in the production of key varieties of dry edible beans, canola, flaxseed, honey, peas, sunflower and varieties of wheat. In 2016, there were 1,312 farms operated in North Dakota and 39.1 million acres were farmed.

of complementary vibrant communities across the state. We’re not talking thousands of communities. There’s less than 60, I think it’s 55 communities, that have more than 1,000 people. I got a chance to get to every single one of them during the campaign, plus all the county seats, and we have a number of county seats that have less than 1,000 people. I think we’re down to about 178 school districts. Everybody has a unique set of assets and a unique set of interests on what they want to do. Some of those assets in the community and some of the surrounding areas in the rural areas have great natural resources, not just farming, but hunting, fishing, outdoors and access to all the beautiful places in our state. That’s very appealing to some people. Everybody has to build on their strengths.

Two of the biggest problems facing FargoMoorhead are workforce and the diversion. You’ve

Talks between Governor Burgum and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton concluded in December. However, after this interview occurred, a report was released to the Diversion Authority that hoped to seek solutions to many of the problems originally faced with the diversion plan. As of this writing, there were no concrete plans on how to proceed. The Governor’s office reports that the diversion would protect $4.35 billion in annual non-farm wages, more than $2.77 billion in annual taxable sales and $14 billion in property value. To read the full report, go to

been meeting with Governor Dayton. Give us an update on where everything is at and where it was left off. The project was stalled. It was seven or eight years of effort and funding secured and fantastic support from the local communities, in terms of voting and infrastructure sales taxes and achieving federal authorization, which was a huge hurdle to get included in federal spending bills. It was huge financial support from the state of North Dakota, financial support from the state of Minnesota. All of that was a big effort and heroic achievement. At the end of the day, we came up short of having a permit from the Minnesota DNR and the whole project just stalled with so much at stake. We do have the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo-Dilworth-Bora, the whole area's, support. This is a huge economic engine for this region. This is very important for the state of North Dakota. Cass County has about 17 percent of the sales tax in the state and probably close to that in the number of jobs. If you take a look at the assets that have been put publicly, whether it’s an entire university or whether it’s Sanford’s new hospital, Essentia’s new expansion, take anything there and you’ve got one of the largest property tax basis in the region and all of it, by the nature of geography, it’s all in the floodplain at some point. The whole city is basically in the floodplain, including West Fargo if we have the big one. What people found out in Grand Forks is that it’s not just living along the river in the low spots,

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Courtesy of the Governor’s office

you lose the city and the infrastructure. Grand Forks' population, I think, is finally past where it was in 1997. It was catastrophic in terms of billions of dollars of economic loss and damage. It’s an unacceptable risk for the state and region to not have flood protection. I think there’s a general agreement on the need for flood protection and, obviously, the public supports it by passing the votes but it's trying to navigate the politics of permitting. With this process this fall and with the strong support of Governor Dayton, we named eight people from North Dakota and eight people from Minnesota and we met with five fullday meetings. Everybody attended every meeting. The governor from Minnesota was at every meeting the whole day and he brought with him the head of

the DNR, the deputy, the engineer so we had really strong engagement of people from all sides. What we were trying to achieve was collaboration versus litigation, I guess would be the headline. We had a bunch of people in the room who all agreed to stop the legal action against each other and get around a table and talk about solutions. We made some really good progress during those meetings. We’re going to issue a final report soon from that. What’s been even more exciting is that, since we’ve wrapped up our final meeting in mid December, a technical advisory group, which was an offshoot of that, has continued to take the input from the task force and I think is making really good progress of coming up with a solution with the engineering changes that

The City of Fargo has all in one recycling to allow residents to deposit all recycling items in one bin. Learn more at

would allow us to meet the Taskforce objectives, which were getting certifiable, 100 percent flood protection.

Governor Burgum’s mom grew up in Fargo in the 1920s when Downtown Fargo was strong and vibrant. That philosophy of a strong downtown has effected his professional life.

Whether you’re looking for help with starting a business, financial assistance, addiction or a number of other of topics, the state of North Dakota has a number of resources available to its citizens. Spend some time perusing and you’ll probably find some resources you did not know existed.

The key when I say certifiable is that would be in the eyes of FEMA because without that, we could have more than 10,000 homeowners in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo that would be buying flood insurance at four grand a year or higher. Now that we’ve had both Harvey and the Florida hurricane, the federal flood insurance is so tapped out, if they’re going to raise their rates actuarially sound, you could see rates being $4,000 on a $200,000 house annually. That could double if they wanted to make it actuarially sound and not subsidize it. Even without a flood, the flood insurance could kill the housing market in a community where we’ve got 6,000 or 7,000 jobs. The risk isn’t just the flood. The risk is the economic catastrophe that goes along without having flood protection. There is no high ground. It’s not a, ‘Let’s all move up on the hill.’ This is, essentially, the majority of the metro area is in the floodplain. It’s paramount that we come up with a solution. This Taskforce, the technical advisory group is making really strong progress and I think we’re going to see some information from them in the coming

weeks that would actually allow us to have the 100year flood protection. It’s certifiable, we maintain federal authorization and we manage the downstream and upstream impacts, we get water off of Minnesota, we get water out of Wilkin and Richland counties. We sort of solved all the objectives we set out to do, which was the act of the impossible because, in some ways, it was impossible to solve all of these equations simultaneously. I’m optimistic that we’re going to get there and get this project moving again.

problems that face North Dakota.

On another note, it amazes me how much resources are out there for the citizens of North Dakota, being relatively new to the government and politics, have you discovered any resources that the state offers to entrepreneurs or whatever the sector might be until you took the office? Given my long tenure in the private sector and given the fact that for 33 years, I was either building companies, attracting capital and hiring people. I had a pretty good sense of all the different tools that were available. I think that North Dakota and a number of programs that exist through either the Department of Commerce or through the Bank of North Dakota, there’s a lot of solutions or programs that have been created to solve

Both of those things are a little bit scarce, but one of the things that have been proven by other entrepreneurs is that if you got a great business idea, you can not only attract people to stay here, you can attract people to move back to North Dakota or to move from someplace else to North Dakota because the quality of life that we have here.

One of the classic problems we have in North Dakota is lack of capital. We have great people with great ideas and they end up leaving the state because they can’t get the capital in order to pursue their idea. Then, there are some cases where we’ve had regulations that would prevent the formation of capital and we need to keep chipping away at because we want to make sure that entrepreneurs and innovators, if they want to build a company here, they need talent and you need capital.

Again, attracting capital and people are always something that we need to keep focused on. We also don’t do anything that restricts the private sector from just operating and having those two mechanisms work well at all times.

#FargoByFargo | 61

Alison Voorhees KVRR

kristi larson KVly

doug hamilton prairie public broadcasting


BY Andrew Jason PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen and J. Alan Paul Photography

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Fargo-Moorhead has a

great dining scene.

Stampede is a group of young entrepreneurs who meet up on a monthly basis. Learn more at

ashley thornberg prairie public broadcasting


riley miller wday

jj gordon kfgo

This is not fake news. There are few people in town who have their ear to the ground more than local reporters. That’s why we went to several news anchors and radio personalities to ask them one hard-hitting question: Where’s the best place in town to go eat?

NEWS! NEWS #FargoByFargo | 63


Brickhouse Tavern FAVORITE DISH

Of course, I love to start with the wonton wrapped deep fried pickles. (YUMMM!) But then I always go for one of two items: pizza or the mile high brisket sandwich. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? I love digging into this giant sandwich. They pile on the juicy beef brisket smothered in BBQ sauce perfectly on a toasted bun. Every bite satisfies your craving for smokey meat and delicious sauce. And, pickle lovers listen up. This appetizer is a big dill. The wonton wrapped deep fried pickles are a great way to kick off your meal. The pickle is partnered with swiss cheese before being wrapped in a wonton skin and lightly fried. When placed on your table, the wonton is crisp, the cheese is melted and the pickle keeps its crunch. Definitely, a must-have menu item.

BIO I have been working in the news business for six years and I love how it brings so many new moments. I'm always up for an adventure that my job gives me every day. Sometimes, I'm riding in an airplane, then I'm jumping on a trampoline or petting a zoo animal. One of my favorite things is meeting new people, hearing and sharing their stories, especially if they are people who love pickles! 64 | 2018 | has an extensive calendar of all the business events in town.


Blackbird Woodfire FAVORITE DISH

The BLT pizza WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? I’m in love with anything and everything centered around a BLT, so this is perfect for me. It’s made with Harissa aioli, smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes and topped with fig balsamic mixed greens. To make the meal even better, I always order their wedge salad with smoked bacon, crumbled gorgonzola and walnuts as a starter. It all tastes fresh while I still feel like I’m indulging

BIO I’m an evening anchor and producer for KVRR Local News at 6 and 9 p.m. I’ve been at the anchor desk for nearly three years. I started at the local FOX station eight years ago as a production assistant. I’m a true Minnesota girl. I was born and raised in Appleton before moving to Moorhead to attend college at MSUM where I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. My family, friends and co-workers know me for my obsession with food and trying out new restaurants, especially locally. #FargoByFargo | 65


Everest Tikka House in the Moorhead Center Mall FAVORITE DISH


Don't make me choose just one! But I have to say I can put down an absurd amount of momos. And I can't leave without a mango lassi. However, my absolute favorite way to eat from Tikka is to have it delivered to Moorhead's Junkyard Brewing. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? Great flavor, great service, easy to bike to.

BIO I'm a radio host and producer at Prairie Public Broadcasting and will interview anyone with a passion. I've been strapped into a jet-powered U-haul, co-piloted a stunt plane, flown through a solar eclipse and had a tarantula make a nest in my hair, all in the name of a good story. I started my career teaching and writing outside of Paris. Though I'm no longer in France, a piece of my soul will always be. I enjoy traveling, experimenting with food, refinishing wood and pretending to be good at dancing. 66 | 2018 |

The Fargo Film Festival is happening March 20-24. Learn about this event at


I favor Mezzaluna for downtown dining, Rosey's Bistro for a taste of Broadway and Doolittle's for my neighborhood nosh. FAVORITE DISH My favorite Mezzaluna dish is often the chef's specialty for the evening. I like a little adventure. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? As a member of the Mezzalunatics, I can testify to the quality of the Happy Hour. It's the best deal in town – but it's only an hour.

BIO I've been on the air in FargoMoorhead for a while. My first gig was on campus radio at Moorhead State in 1967. I spent a few years as a reporter, producer and anchor at KXJB-TV (CBS) and three stints at KTHI-TV (now KVLY) ending in 1995. In the mid-80s, I hosted "Morning Edition in the Twin Cities" for Minnesota Public Radio and since 2012, I've been the host of "Main Street" at 3 p.m. on weekday afternoons for Prairie Public's radio network. From 1997 to 2011, I was an administrator at MSU Moorhead and I served on the president's cabinet with duties that included managing the foundation and alumni relations and marketing and public relations. I've been a member of Actors' Equity since 1974 and have performed roles in Fargo-Moorhead for Theatre B, FMCT, Music Theater Fargo-Moorhead, MSU Moorhead and others. I've been a voice-over artist since 1972. #FargoByFargo | 67


Reese and Riley's FAVORITE DISH

sunday brunch I love their bottomless Sunday Brunch. It has such a variety of foods, and you can try different olive oils to give your food a unique twist. The quality of the food is great, and the staff is so friendly. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? I love the restaurant because the food is delicious, and because of the name (my name is Riley, obviously, and my little sister's name is Reese!)

BIO I am a Kentucky native and came to Fargo in 2016 after graduating from the University of Kentucky with a Broadcast Journalism degree. I started working as a reporter at WDAY, then I began anchoring First News last January. I love cheering on the Kentucky Wildcats and the Nashville Predators. My hobbies include yoga, Pilates, running and playing with my sweet chihuahua, Ruby. 68 | 2018 |

The City currently operates 74 storm sewer lift stations to help convey stormwater.




House cut prime rib WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? Stepping into the Cork N' Cleaver is like traveling back in time to an era where a steak doesn't come out of a microwave – it's cooked to perfection over a flame or slow roasted in an oven dedicated to sealing in a delicious flavor. The House Cut, with a doneness of Medium, is the perfect delight for my appetite. Add that famous salad bar and a Red River Valley Baked Potato and you have the same meal my mom and dad enjoyed when they were my age. Timeless.

BIO I was born and raised in Fargo and have never met a brunch I didn't like. During the day, I’m a co-host of "It Takes 2" on KFGO – The Mighty 790. When not on the airwaves, you can find me entertaining across the region as a member of The LineBenders Comedy Troupe. #FargoByFargo | 69

Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Fargo

Families Ask Questions We hear your questions parents! While there are countless resources online and in books for parenting, sometimes you’re left scratching your head about some of those pesky parenting problems. Well, we heard you and we hope to finally answer some of those pesky questions. Two local couples tell us how they’ve handled some of these common problems. BY ANDREW JASON PHOTOS BY HILLARY EHLEN

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Folkways does regular walking tours of Downtown Fargo that they will tailor to your interests. Sign up for a tour at

Parenting FAQS

Kara and Brian Jorvig It’s a Friday night, we want to go out for a nice family meal and we want to go somewhere family-friendly but that still will be fun for us parents. Where do we go? Tacos Trompo is one of our newest favorites. They have great authentic Mexican food and options for everyone in our family. It’s a local business, Don’t cha know? which we Tacos Trompo is a new restaurant like to located at 4265 support, and 45th St. S., Fargo a little taste that serves street food-style of Mexico on tacos, Mexican a cold winter sandwiches and day does platters. wonders. For something more interactive, Osaka is another go-to. Our kids love watching the Hibachi chefs do their tricks and it’s always a delicious and entertaining meal.

The kids are restless and we want to get outside and check out a new park that we haven’t explored. What do you recommend? One of our favorite things to do is to bike from Lindenwood Park to downtown. Since we live in South Fargo, we pack up our bikes and drive to Lindenwood to get started. The winding path along the Red River and rapids are beautiful, we ride into Island Park, lock up our bikes on Broadway and go explore. A great stop for lunch or dinner is the Rhombus Guys rooftop, where you can relax for a bit before working off the pizza on your bike ride back. We’re expecting our kid and we’re looking at daycare

Kara and Brian Jorvig, Owners of Allegro Group, with their two kids Kiah (7-years old) and Anika (5-years old) posing at one of their favorite family-friendly restaurants Rhombus Guys. Here, all the booths are covered in paper and come equipped with crayons so your kids can draw all over the tables.

centers in town. How in the world do I find affordable childcare? We were blessed to have found an amazing home daycare through a referral. Ask friends and co-workers about their experiences and then get on waiting lists right away.

My kids and I are looking for ways to get more involved in the community. What are some ways we can volunteer as a family? Our kids have enjoyed spending a Saturday afternoon volunteering at a nursing home. For us, it has been a great opportunity to spend time with a loved one while helping brighten the days of other residents as Don’t cha know? Every Tuesday at the Marcus well.

Theaters in town, you can get $5 movie tickets, which includes a free 46 oz. popcorn for Magical Movie Rewards Members and $2 hot dogs and candy.

It’s -20 below outside, we’re restless and

want to go do something but that’s not expensive. Where and what should we go do? You can’t beat $5 Tuesdays at the Century movie theatre. I want to introduce my kids to more arts and cultures. What’s the best way to do that in the FM area? Are there certain galleries or shows that are kid friendly? Our family loves music so we enjoy attending the annual Trollwood musical and high school performances at Davies and Oak Grove. Our kids have also participated in summer camps that teach life-long skills through performing and being exposed to music and theater. The young talent in this community is amazing and the people leading the programs do a wonderful job.

#FargoByFargo | 71

Brant and Cortney Whaley and their two kids, Augustus (2.5-years old) and Reginald (4-months old) at the Fercho YMCA where Cortney is the Early Learning Center Site Director at Fercho.

Parenting FAQS

Cortney and Brant Whaley We’re looking to get our kids in some summer programs, but there are so many options in town. Do you have any recommendations on how to choose and what are worth our time? We absolutely recommend the summer programs at the YMCA. They have so many options for all different ages, and the best part is that the programs continue throughout the school year and they are affordable. We can keep our children active all year round in a familiar setting. They have loved their teachers and the families that we have participated with. The YMCA also has a scholarship program so that all children can participate, no matter what their financial background looks like. It truly is a positive and uplifting community.

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Help! I’m struggling to find the time to workout with my busy life. Do you have any recommendations on how I can find time to workout and make sure my kid has something to do? This is such a never-ending battle with any person, we feel you. The YMCA has great fun and engaging group fitness classes. They have both land and water classes. You can workout while your children are well cared for in the PlayTown (a super fun and engaging “village” type setting – they even have their own little grocery store). Now finding the time is a different story – we have to actually “schedule” our workout time or it just doesn’t seem to happen. We are sure to hold each other accountable by entering it into our family calendar. So when one of us gets the text, “How was your

PlayTown at the YMCA workout?” from the other, we send a good ol’ selfie while getting our sweat on at the gym. It’s Saturday night and I have a 2 1/2-year-old and a 4-month-old. Where’s a good family-friendly spot to go out to eat? We have recently discovered Mango’s restaurant on Main Avenue in Fargo. We ate there after a long work day and picking the kids up from daycare. We got there, sat down, ordered and received our food in less than 20 minutes. When dining out with the kids, we look for quick, delicious and

Kipp Harris Realtors does a monthly first-time homebuyer class for anyone looking to learn the ins and outs of home buying.

friendly. Mango’s has all three. I want to make sure I get my child involved in physical activity at a young age. What do you recommend for kids and what’s the earliest I can get them started? We started swimming lessons right away at 6 months with our oldest. We plan to do the same with our baby when he is 6 months. We chose to do swimming lessons at the YMCA because of the wide variety time slots, and even more important, the warmth of the pool. We never were concerned about our babies


YMCA pool being too cold in the YMCA’s small pool – it’s just the perfect set-up for swimming lessons for kids. I want to instill the importance of giving back in my kids. What’s a good way we can give back as a family? For us, giving back to the community helps build a humble and thankful person. Meals on Wheels here in the Fargo area is a great way to get our children involved. The friends that we deliver meals to absolutely love to see the children’s smiling faces, they get a hot meal delivered to them and our children get to experience the importance of helping others. We talk about how we have friends that help our family, and it is important to pass that on to others. Any recommendations on family-friendly events we should attend this year? Healthy Kids Day! This is one of our favorite events to

up at the member services desk or by registering online. You bring your children on that day, they stay and participate in swimming, Kids’ Gym, PlayTown, Xerzone and they’re even fed supper. But get this – it’s not pizza and pop. It’s a healthy nutritional meal. The program is from 4-7:30 p.m. so that is enough time for dinner, a movie, shopping, house cleaning or even just to take a breath. It’s important to me to expose my kids to new attend as a family. Healthy experiences. Do you have Kids Day is a powerful any suggestions on how we reminder not to let children can step out of our bubble idle away their summer and experience new cultures days. Instead, we want to or things to do as a family? focus on charging them The best way to experience up with enthusiasm for culture – put down the themselves, their potential electronics and get outside. and making it their best Visit downtown shops and summer ever by keeping restaurants, attend the them active and learning. Island Park events, go to A few more favorites are Rheault Farms events, try the Midwest Kidfest and new churches and visit the Fargo Police Annual with someone you wouldn’t Community Picnic. normally visit with. There is a lot of knowledge and My husband and I need a diversity here in Fargo, and date night. Do you have any by befriending someone – ideas on ways our kid can and teaching our children participate in something how to befriend – we can fun but will give us a couple learn a lot and enjoy the of hours of alone time? many cultures that live in The YMCA has an awesome our area. When children program called “Parent’s ask why someone does Night Out.” They have this something differently and if program once a month on a you’re not sure – then teach Saturday and how it works your children it’s ok to ask is this: You register your others questions. When we children for dig into the the program people of our (there are community, multiple we will quickly Don’t cha know? children realize that This year’s Midwest Kidfest discounts) by will be on Friday, June 15 at our children signing them Island Park.

are growing up with some pretty cool people and experiences. It’s January and freezing outside but we still want to get out of the house. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do to be active? The YMCA has some great areas to stay active during the cold winter months. We like to visit the PlayTown (there is one at Fercho and one at Schlossman), the Xerzone and Kids’ Gym at Fercho and the Climbing Wall and Play Loft at Schlossman. Both of the YMCA facilities also have basketball gyms where we can go and run around. Also, the new Aquatic Center at the Fercho YMCA is simply fantastic. They have three pools, one of them being a zero-depth entry pool. We want to discover a new park in town. Any suggestions? One of our favorite parks to go to is what our toddler calls “dinosaur park.” It’s actually called Elephant/ Percy Godwin Park on 19th Ave., but we prefer to call it dinosaur park. I mean, it does have a purple dinosaur in it after all. How can I hear about other family events going on in the FM area? We gather most of our info from online sources. One of our favorites is the Facebook page Fargo/ Moorhead Children’s Activity Page. We also will use the Fargo Park District event calendar found online.

#FargoByFargo | 73

FINDING A HOME Favorite Restaurants

Lucky's 13, Maxwells, Spitfire and ChickFil-A


BEN LECOMPTE Hometown Barrington, Illinois NDSU career (2011-2015) Two-time FCS All-American and three-time All-Missouri Valley Football Conference punter who graduated as the NDSU and Missouri Valley Football Conference career leader with a 44.55 punting average. Place of Employment Discovery Benefits Job Title Northeast Region Sales Director

QUESTION #1 The first time I visited Fargo, I was surprised, to be honest. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I had this incorrect notion that Fargo was just a freezing cold little town somewhere in North Dakota. It proved me wrong. I got here for my official visit, everyone from the airport employees to a stranger at Scheels was genuinely nice, the town was bigger than I expected and I legitimately thought, “Well, I haven’t seen anything football yet but I can totally make this work.” It just felt right. I loved it.

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Green House Café is one of North Dakota’s completely only vegan restaurants.



orth Dakota State football’s recruiting footprint starts with North Dakota and Minnesota. However, players from several states make up the past and current rosters, though, from Wisconsin, Nebraska, Illinois and Florida. They come to Fargo to play football and get an education. But some turned it into their home. We talked to two former players who traveled a long way from home to go to NDSU and decided to stay after their career was over.

Favorite Restaurants

Divot's for Breakfast, Herd & Horns for lunch, Spitfire for dinner

STEVE WALKER Hometown Lockport, Illinois NDSU career (2003-2007) Led the Bison to a 20-2 record in his last two years as the quarterback and ranks No. 2 in NDSU career passing attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. Place of Employment Gate City Insurance Agency Job Title Agency Manager

FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF FARGO... My first trip to Fargo was in early January of my senior year of high school. It was freezing cold, but the atmosphere around the football team during my visit, the campus personnel that I met and the community were very warm and welcoming. Fargo was my third official visit during my recruiting process of finding a college, and throughout the visit, I kept getting more impressed and feeling that I wanted to make NDSU and Fargo the next phase of my life. When I first moved up here, my plan was to be at NDSU for five years and then move back to Illinois where I grew up, but after my first 18 months of being in Fargo, I knew this was now home. #FargoByFargo | 75

QUESTION #2 Favorite Store Scheels

I wouldn’t say change. You just realize that some of the things you hear about North Dakota and Fargo are a bit exaggerated, except the cold. The one thing that changed was my opinion on staying. I always told myself, the minute I was done playing I would go home, that it wasn’t for everyone. The longer I lived here, the more I grew to love it and couldn’t walk away.

Favorite Bars Brickhouse Tavern and Bulldog Tap

QUESTION #3 It was pretty early on.. When I was choosing a school, I had a checklist and one of the things on the list was regarding the community and the town the school was in. Sure, I was committing to play football, but I wanted to make sure that if football didn’t work or if I was presented with opportunities after school in Fargo, I could see myself living here. So the first time I came here, I just kind of knew. It had that right feeling. I remember looking at my dad and saying, “Hey, this is it. I’m going to commit.” Living here through college just reinforced what I initially thought.

QUESTION #4 I would say I learned how great of a town Fargo is for starting a career and life after football. It looks good in your head but then experiencing it is something else. There’s so much opportunity for work, affordable, growing surroundings – like the West Fargo area – great schools and tons of stuff to do. Additionally, I would say things I learned about Fargo and experienced while playing were reinforced after my playing career. For example, the people are one of a kind. Everyone is so genuinely nice. Whether they know the Bison roster from 1 to 99 or have never heard of you before, the people are incredible. It makes living in Fargo truly unique.


BEN LECOMPTE 76 | 2018 |

This question is nearly impossible to answer. I will forever be indebted to Fargo. I came here in 2011 to pursue a childhood dream. Fargo was there for me through it all. It gave me NDSU and football, which was a family that was there for me through everything. It was a safe haven when my parents were battling illness and I couldn’t be there with them. It picked me up when I was down, and kept me grounded when things were getting very high with the football program. Most importantly, it introduced me to my best friend and the love of my life, my wife Katie and her amazing family. I cannot wait to start a family of my own here in Fargo.

The FARGODOME sits on over 50 acres with a total building area of 466,000 square feet.

HAS YOUR PERCEPTION OF FARGO CHANGED? From day one, I knew Fargo was a special place, but the longer I live here, and after leaving for a couple years for a career opportunity, it is easy to say that Fargo has some of the greatest people around and is one of the top places to raise a family. I have been married for nine years to Katie and have two young boys, Kellen who is 5.5 years old and Briggs who is almost 2, and there is not a better place to call home and be part of the community.


Favorite Store Scheels

Favorite Bars

Chubs and Herd & Horns

Shortly after coming to Fargo, I realized that this was home. During college, I met my wife, who is from Fargo and also wanted to stay in the area, so it was an easy decision. Family has always been a very important part of my life and I cannot think of a better place to raise our two young boys. The community is great, and the education is fantastic to raise a family. I am also very lucky to work with Gate City, a company that cares about customers, employees and our communities. I know that when I go to work every day, I am able to make a difference in people’s lives, and then get to go home to a great family of my own.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN AFTER GRADUATING? I realized more that Fargo is not only a great college town but more importantly a great community. As I continue to grow as a professional and a parent, I know there is no better place to be than in Fargo. There are always opportunities to do things around the town, and we are also close enough to other communities for when we want to get out of town. I have lived other places, but the sense of community that Fargo has is unmatched.

WHAT DOES FARGO MEAN TO YOU? Fargo is home. I was not born and raised here, however, Fargo is where I now call home and am proud to do so. In the 15 years I have lived in Fargo, the town and North Dakota State University have brought many opportunities my way which I am very grateful for. I graduated with a quality education and many great experiences on and off the football field. I am married with two boys who keep us busy and full of joy every day. I work with a company based out of Fargo that values not only their customers and communities but also their employees. Fargo has done so many great things for me, and I hope that I can be just as impactful back as I have benefited.

STEVE WALKER #FargoByFargo | 77

It Takes a

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Once a month, the Fargo Theatre shows a classic movie for $5. On March 15, you can see “The Wizard of Oz” for $5.

It might sound obvious, but the largest champions for nonprofits are often those involved with nonprofits. That is why we teamed up with Dakota Medical Foundation to find 10 local nonprofit leaders to ask them what nonprofit is making a difference in our community. It’s a clichÊ, but these leaders prove that it does take a village.

By Andrew Jason Photography by Hillary Ehlen

#FargoByFargo | 79

Haylee Thompson is the Program Director at Red River Dance & Performing Company


Q&A Why she supports this organization... We believe in providing dance education to all ages and abilities and support the mission of Gigi’s Playhouse. How this organization has made an impact in the community... Gigi’s Playhouse has impacted the FM community in many ways, including planning events and programming for children and adults with Downs

Syndrome. The best part about it all is that it is all 100 percent free to families. How you can get involved... People can always get involved with Gigi’s Playhouse by making a donation to their wish list. There’s always a need for financial support with the organization since everything they provide is free to the community. They are constantly looking to bring in new experiences


Gigi’s Playhouse offers programs for all ages. They also offer a literacy program that was developed specifically for learners with Downs Syndrome.

GET INVOLVED 80 | 2018 |

for their members and love when other organizations reach out. Whatever people want, they will do. Nonprofits are important to the community because... Nonprofit organizations are essential to our quality of life from the programs they provide to the positive economic impact it brings to communities. It’s amazing how many great health benefits there are when we give back. Giving back has been proven to increase self-esteem, lower stress levels and more. Giving back also teaches us compassion within ourselves and it has the power to strengthen our community. Find a cause you truly care about and get involved. You will find it rewarding to see the direct impact you are making right here in our community.

Haylee Thompson was born and raised in Willmar, Minnesota. She graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2011 with a Major in Exercise Science and a Minor in Theatre Dance. Haylee has been the Program Director at Red River Dance & Performing Company for the past six years. She enjoys working with other local artists and nonprofit organizations to help strengthen the FargoMoorhead community. Haylee is enthusiastic about spreading the joy of dance to people of all ages, abilities and demographics. Her mission in life is to make a positive impact in the lives of others by using dance as a tool.

Did you know that Fargo has its own opera company? On March 18-20, they’re presenting an opera all about speed dating called “Speed Dating Tonight!”

Patrick Kirby is the Founder of Do Good Better Consulting and a believer that “we’ve always done it this way” is the most dangerous phrase in the English language.

Q&A Why he supports this organization… I love the idea of making the Probstfield Farm a needto-get-there destination for foodies, families and history buffs. The fact we have this incredibly historically significant building in our backyard with an intimate connection to the beginning of the Fargo-Moorhead area is just amazing. How this organization has made an impact in the community... Not only is Probstfield Farm a great place to learn about our history, but they actively pursue and educate about sustainable and organic farming. As someone who does not have a lick of experience in agriculture, it is fascinating to learn through this organization

about the importance this family had on making the Red River Valley a farming destination to early settlers. How you can get involved... Come for a visit, rent a plot of land to farm, buy a ticket to a fundraiser or join the countless individuals who get their pumpkins for the fall at their Pumpkin Patch. The Probstfield Farm is one

of the hidden gems of an organization here in the FM area. Nonprofits are important to the community because... The FM area is one of the most generous, giving and loving communities I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of. We rally around families who have tragedies strike them. We

pool our resources for one of the largest giving days in the US. We leverage our connections to make sure organizations serving those that need a hand-up are funded. We’ve learned as a community that giving feels good, and staying on the sidelines when it comes to giving isn’t an option but a duty we enjoy participating in.


Randolph Probstfield and his family’s story reads like a “New York Times” Best Selling Fiction Novel about how the West was won. This guy, right off the boat from Germany joins a lumbering crew, travels all over North and Central America and ends up being the first settler in the Red River Valley. He was an agent for the Hudson Bay trading company, survived the “Sioux Uprising,” experimented with farming and told the US Government what crops grew well in this area, built schools and roads with his bare hands and was an elected state senator. GET INVOLVED 82 | 2018 |

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy through the Chamber takes high schoolers and puts them in a Shark Tank type competition.

Lisa Klabunde is the Executive Director of Pledge to Protect Coalition to End Child Sexual Abuse


Q&A Why she supports this organization… I believe that every child deserves to have a cheerleader in their life to encourage their passions, foster confidence and remind them that they are important. This is why my heart is connected to BIO Girls. BIO Girls fosters the ideals of self-worth, compassion and servant leadership. I think every young girl benefits from feeling like they are part of something bigger than themselves. How this organization has made an impact in the community... Have you ever been to the 5K race during the Fargo Marathon? If you haven’t, go and you will see how BIO Girls impacts this

community. You will see a long trail of young girls and their mentors, dressed alike, cheering each other on, and smiling from ear to ear. They are given the chance to overcome physical and mental challenges to feel the power of accomplishment and personal strength. It will warm the heart of any race-goer along with every Bio Girl. How you can get involved... You don’t have to be a runner to be a mentor. Check out how you can volunteer or give at What she’d like to say in regards to giving back... Be well in your current ability to support nonprofits. All of our giving

paths look different and your commitment to a nonprofit has to fit with your lifestyle. Some of us have a family schedule that is filled to the brim, and others may have ample time and resources to give. We can’t all give in the same ways, but we all can do something. Give back in a way that doesn’t take away from the amount of time you spend with family; rather, it enhances it.

Lisa Klabunde leads the Pledge to Protect Coalition to end child sexual abuse in Cass and Clay counties, a movement powered by the action of every adult in our community. She is passionate about the health and well-being of all youth, including her own son who has been a complete blessing to her and her husband, Jerod.


BIO Girls is for any young girl. It is not a running club, rather running is used as a vehicle to help set and achieve goals, inspire teamwork and experience success.

GET INVOLVED #FargoByFargo | 83

Pete Christopher is the Resource Development and Marketing Manager of Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity


Q&A Why he supports this organization… My family supports this mission because my nephew had a kidney transplant when he was 4 and his family was able to stay in a Ronald McDonald House. Because the Ronald McDonald House was so close to the hospital, my brother (the donor) was able to stay close and visit his son daily without having the stress of finding and paying for lodging, food and travel. Plus, my wife is the Executive Director of the Fargo house. How this organization has made an impact in the community... There are thousands of kids who are dealing with some sort of medical issue. With the quality of our local care

facilities, many of those kids do not live in the area. Because of the Ronald McDonald House, these kids can have their families close, which will help them heal faster. The Ronald McDonald House also lessens the financial stress on the families. If kids are dealing with things like cancer, they could be in the hospital for months, which would put a huge financial burden on a family, if they had to stay in a hotel. How you can get involved... Beyond financial support, they are always looking for volunteers to cook for guests. A home-cooked meal is always welcomed by the families staying at the house. Nonprofits are important to

the community because... There are some amazing nonprofits in the area, most of which would not exist without the financial support of the everyday citizen. By finding and supporting nonprofits that have missions that are meaningful to you, you’ll find that supporting them will bring you great joy.

Pete grew up in Dawson, Minn. and came to this area in 1995 to attend Concordia College. He has been a volunteer and Board Member for both the Detroit Lakes and Fargo-Moorhead Habitat affiliate and on staff for nearly four years.


People should really know how great the need is for the Ronald McDonald House. Last year, they had to turn away nearly 80 families. With the success and growth of our local medical facilities, the need is only going to go up. With financial support, they will be able to expand their operations and serve more families.

GET INVOLVED 84 | 2018 |

You can support 4 Luv of Dog Rescue by subscribing to BarkBox, a subscription site that will mail you a box full of goodies for your dog. Just enter 4LUVOFDOG at checkout.

Kellie Albrecht is the Community Engagement Coordinator at The Village Family Service Center


Q&A Why she supports this organization… I truly believe in the work that Big Brothers Big Sisters does. The simple idea of matching a youth who needs a little extra guidance and support with an adult who wants to give back makes such a difference in the lives of everyone involved. It is a time-tested program with amazing outcomes. To say it plainly, it just works. How this organization has made an impact in the community... The outcomes that are measured through this program are amazing. The children who are matched with a Big (we call them Littles) have higher self-

esteem, an improved sense of future, better academic performance and attitudes toward school and better relationships with family and friends. How you can get involved... Become a Big. It’s a pretty simple process and the experience is so rewarding. Just call 701-451-4877 or email jdiede@thevillagefamily. org for more information. You can also fill out a volunteer inquiry form at Nonprofits are important to the community because... We live in such a unique place. This community has so many resources for the various needs of our

residents and, in return, they give back generously. Our area nonprofits are working hard to make life better and there are always opportunities to give of our time, talent and resources. I also love teaching the next generation about volunteerism and involvement in philanthropy. It is so awesome to see kids involved in giving back.

Kellie is a wife, mom of one, dog mom of two, casual runner and a Disney fanatic. She has a BS from Valley City State and an MBA from UMary. She admits she works at The Village because she knows she’s doing her part to make the world a little better.


Right now, there are more than 50 kids on a waiting list to be matched with a Big, and the wait can be as long as two years. By volunteering and donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters, more kids can be matched with a mentor.

GET INVOLVED #FargoByFargo | 85

Gerri Leach is the Executive Director at Jail Chaplains


Q&A Why she supports this organization… My husband, Gene and I have a long relationship with the Emergency Food Pantry. He volunteered there while attending NDSU back in the ‘80s. It was during that time he came to realize they were always short on eggs. Fast forward several years, we are living on a farmstead with a small flock of chickens. We started the tradition of delivering eggs to the Pantry each Friday. In addition to farm fresh eggs, we enjoy sharing from the bounty of fresh veggies from our garden. How this organization has made an impact in the community... The Emergency Food Pantry is a major safety net for many individuals and families who find themselves in situations 86 | 2018 |

they never expected. I currently serve as the Executive Director for Jail Chaplains. We frequently are working with men and women who come out of the correctional system with nothing. Having the Emergency Food Pantry to help our friends out with food as they seek employment and get started on a path of healthier life choices is a great blessing. The Emergency Food Pantry distributed nearly 1.5 million pounds of food in 2016. What if the Pantry had not been there? How you can get involved... Consider calling the Emergency Food Pantry to arrange a time to volunteer and then invite three or four of your friends and go volunteer together.

Nonprofits are important to the community because... Giving is good for you mentally, spiritually and physically, and it doesn’t matter if you are giving of your time, talent or treasure. Fargo-Moorhead is blessed with a wide variety of awesome nonprofits, which make our community a great place to live.

Gerri worked for a regional seed company for 27 years before leaving the for-profit business world. Her nonprofit career started at The Salvation Army where she served as the Community Relations Director and Volunteer Coordinator. She has served as the Executive Director for Jail Chaplains for nearly six years.


The Emergency Food Pantry has three full-time employees. This team manages a team of 1,900 volunteers who invested 24,070 hours in 2016. Those hours are the equivalent of 11.5 full-time staff. Nearly 6,000 unduplicated households received nourishment from the 1,469,000 pounds of food distributed. GET INVOLVED

There are four disc golf parks (Iwen Park, Oak Grove Park, Trollwood Park and Woodlawn Park) in the FM area.

Billi Jo Zielinski is the President and CEO of MakeA-Wish North Dakota


Q&A Why she supports this organization… Respect for the arts is a priority of mine. I support The Arts Partnership because of the group’s drive to systemically enhance the way our community understands and engages with art. Art matters and The Arts Partnership works to ensure that artists are valued as professionals. How this organization has made an impact in the community... One of the most fun programs The Arts Partnership operates and hosts is their Community Supported Art program. Modeled after the Community Supported Agriculture program, the CSA operates under the goals of being local, sustainable and community-driven. One final example is how Make-

A-Wish partnered with TAP at their creative incubator space, APT. That space is meant to help the larger community collide with the arts, and we certainly found that to be true when Logan’s wish to have an art show for family and friends became a reality in August. How you can get involved... People can get involved with The Arts Partnership through their CSA. There are a few shares left for

the 2018 season, join in TAP events like ChalkFest and support the arts. Nonprofits are important to the community because... Nonprofits like Make-A-Wish and The Arts Partnership depend on people being involved in their missions by volunteering time, talent or treasures. We realize that life is busy, but by giving back to organizations like ours, you not only provide joy, you receive joy.

A self-described “Jill of all trades,” Billi Jo Zielinski has over 25 years of volunteer and professional experience with a wellrounded background in business, government and nonprofit sectors. For the last four years, she has had the privilege of leading the Make-A-Wish North Dakota team who together, create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. She is also a proud mom.


The Arts Partnership does so much work in the community and they do so with a staff of 3.5 full-time employees and an extremely lean budget. Imagine what they could do if they had increased investment – award larger grants to artists, be an even louder amplifier for the value of the arts, grow impactful programs like the CSA and ChalkFest and more.


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Brian Arett is the Director of Fargo Park District/Valley Senior Services


Q&A Why he supports this organization… I support Community of Care because they are an agency designed to assist the senior citizens of rural Cass County to remain in their homes as long as safely possible. This mission is very similar to the mission of Valley Senior Services and one that I think is critically important for us all as our society ages. We need to develop systems that assist our senior citizen population to maintain independence. How this organization has made an impact in the community... Community of Care serves as a one-stop service center for the seniors of rural Cass County – a place they can reach out to if they need information on services

available to assist them to live independently. Services they provide include transportation, assistance with applying for Medicare Part D, Faith Community Nurse support, Bone Builder exercise classes, blood pressure screening and outreach services. How you can get involved... Volunteer to provide transportation for seniors in rural Cass County.

Nonprofits are important to the community because... I believe that part of living in a community is giving back to that community through donations of time, talent and treasure. There are hundreds of nonprofit organizations in our community providing services to young and old. Find one, or more than one, that touches your heart and reach out to that organization as a way of helping our community.

Brian was born and grew up in Moorhead, received a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead and a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Minnesota. He has worked with Valley Senior Services, which is a program of the Fargo Park District since 1979 and has been the Director for VSS since 1989.


Many people do not even realize that Community of Care exists. They are based out of Casselton and Arthur, N.D., so it’s fairly remote to most in the metro area. They are the “go to” organization for those interested in helping to provide support to senior citizens living in rural Cass County.

GET INVOLVED #FargoByFargo | 89


Tour Guides As our city grows, it can be hard to keep up with all of the ever-changing information. That’s why we found five experts in different fields to guide you on your way so you can make the most of our community. Come along with us as we journey through the city with our FM Tour Guides. Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography & Hillary Ehlen

90 | 2018 |

Did you know that there are seven breweries in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo?



ARTS Dayna Del Val


BUSINESS Greg Tehven

#FargoByFargo | 91

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Zero Gravity Fitness

This is one of my favorite places to go in Fargo. Not only can you get a great, unique workout but it’s also a great place to improve your confidence and body image. The gals at Zero Gravity provide pole fitness class, aerial Yoga, Yoga, Xabeat and Barre classes. They inspire their members to enjoy the movement of their bodies and have fun while working out. This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone. Trust me when I say you won’t regret it.

From pole dancing to mountain biking, Fargo-Moorhead offers a lot of options for your new workout. BY Kylee Seifert

Kylee Seifert is a Health and Nutrition Coach determined to help women reawaken their self-love through mindset, nutrition and movement. She is a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and NANP Board Certified. Find out more about her online programs and one-on-one coaching at You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

The Dike East

While I love to get in the gym and throw around some weights, when it’s 75 degrees and sunny out, the last thing I want to do is be inside. A great way to soak up the short Fargo summer air is to run outside. Better yet, run hills outside. Where can you find hills to huff and puff up in this flat land, you ask? The Dike East! This is the perfect hill for sprinting up and then walking back down. Guaranteed to get you sweating and be gentle on your joints. No membership required either.

Crossfit 701

If you’re looking for a community to keep you accountable, Crossfit 701 is a great place to start. Crossfit 701 provides its members with full classes and workouts that are great for any level of fitness. The best part, the other members will keep you accountable and ensure you reach your goals. Crossfit gyms are hands down a great way to meet new friends and like-minded individuals. (Other local Crossfit gyms include Crossfit EHP, Crossfit Fargo, Crossfit Icehouse and Sheyenne River Crossfit.)

MB Johnson Park

MB Johnson Park is truly a hidden gem in FargoMoorhead. In this park, you can find single track trails for biking, cross-country skiing trails and miles of walking trails. It’s a great way to get outside in any season and capture some fresh air right along the river. I personally love getting lost in the trees and exploring what feels like a forest right in town.

Fargo Brewing Company

In a dream world, fitness and beer would go hand in hand. Oh wait, they do at Fargo Brewing Company! Fargo Brewing Company hosts various fitness “on tap” type events ranging from bootcamp to Yoga to Zumba and beyond. Looking for a running group to keep you accountable? Each Tuesday night, Fargo Brewing Company has a running crew that meets for a run around town and a post-running beer. A great way to mingle with other runners and keep yourself accountable. There are routes for beginner runners, as well as seasoned. 92 | 2018 |

Power Plates Meals

Sometimes life gets busy and you don’t have time to food prep. When that happens, Power Plate Meals has your back. I love referring my clients to Power Plate Meals to ensure they get a nutritious, healthy meal that will keep them on track with their goals. They have a great menu and are always rotating it out to ensure you can try something new each time you grab a Power Plate Meal.

The Comedy University is a new venue that the improv group, The LineBenders opened up at 1535 University S. Dr. Fargo.

Fargo Wonder Woman

This Facebook Group connects like-minded women through free monthly health and fitness events. Each month, this group meets at a different location in the FM area to try out what they have to offer and meet new friends. Past events have been held at Zero Gravity Fitness, Crossfit Fargo, Make Room, Crossfit EHP, Orangetheory, SolidCore and Core Fitness. Find this group on Facebook by searching, “Fargo Wonder Woman.”

Crossfit Icehouse

Crossfit Icehouse offers more than just Crossfit classes. They have just launched a new program called “Flux” that hybrids yoga and Crossfit for a great booty kicking, fun workout. This class is for all levels of fitness and is great for anyone looking into finding a fitness routine to stick to.

Inspired Health & Wellness Spa

New to the FM area, Inspired Health Spa has a one of a kind “Salt Cave.” They also offer yoga, massage and a float room. This is a great way to work on preventative health and enjoy the process. With so many goodies under one roof, Inspired Health & Wellness Spa is a great way to kick off a journey back to health.


Another place that provides an amazing community is Orangetheory. I can say from experience that Orangetheory brings the fun back into a challenging workout but also is great for all fitness levels. If you’re looking for a community to keep you accountable and a wide schedule of class times, Orangetheory has you covered. The welcoming staff and members will most definitely keep you coming back for more and improving on your goals.

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The Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitor's Bureau's job is to promote everything our community has to offer. Their 10 staff are extremely keyed in on what's happening. That's why we went to ask them where's the best restaurant in town. Here's what they had to say. BY FMCVB Team

Rachel Williams

Housing & Sports Services Manager

ROSEY’S BISTRO Favorite dish... Snobby Frenchman Why do you love this restaurant? Grilled cheese, need I say more? What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? They have happy hour specials!

Mallari Ackerman Director of Sales

THE TOASTED FROG Favorite dish... Fried Cheesy Pickles and a Nutty Raspberry Martini

Andi Thoreson Director of Marketing

VINYL TACO Favorite dish... Chicken Tinga and Crispy Fish tacos... with a margarita, of course. Why do you love this restaurant? Fun atmosphere, awesome tacos, great music.

Why do you love this restaurant? No matter the occasion, the Toasted Frog has the atmosphere for it all. Date night, ladies night or just a drink at the bar, you’ll find something on the menu to satisfy any appetite. What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? Get a front seat to watch the action in the kitchen. There are six seats at the Chef’s Bar where you can watch your meal be prepared. However, you must be 21 to enter.

What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? They own the rights to “More cowbell.” The cowbells on their menu represent heat levels, so saying the phrase “I need more cowbell” makes perfect sense at Vinyl Taco.

94 | 2018 |

The 2018 Mainstage Musical at Trollwood Performing Arts is “Hello Dolly.” It will run from July 12-14, 18-21 and 24-28.

Tom Hanson Business Manager

WASABI Favorite dish... Crunch Munch Why do you love this restaurant? My wife introduced me to Sushi and it immediately became my favorite food. We went on dates to Wasabi all through college and on Valentine’s Day 2011, I asked the restaurant to remain open just for us to have a private sushi date – and that’s when I proposed!

David Hanson

Multimedia Production Specialist


Is there anything about the restaurant that you think the average citizen doesn’t know about? On their original menu when they had just opened, they misspelled “Asparagus” as “Aparagus.” My wife and I still call it “aparagus” whenever we have it.

Stephonie Broughton

Sports & Events Manager

FRANK’S LOUNGE Favorite dish... Taco Lavosh Why do you love this restaurant? The atmosphere and food are always on point. The servers are fantastic too. Is there anything about the restaurant that you think the average citizen doesn’t know about? When Frank’s Lounge opened, it brought back that signature Pink Pussycat Lounge neon sign that hangs inside now and is a piece of Fargo history from the original 1960’s Pink Pussycat Lounge in Downtown Fargo.

Favorite dish... Cajun Chicken Ranch with a big ‘ol pile of fries. Why do you love this restaurant? The service is fast, the food is mouth-watering, and it’s fun to watch them whip up your sandwich on the grill. What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? Maybe that we have four of them in our community. I didn’t know that for the longest time. I knew about the one on 19th and in Moorhead. I didn’t realize there are also locations on 13th and 25th!

96 | 2018 |

The Hulbert Aquatic Center offers open and lap swim. You can purchase either a day pass or season passes.

Danni Riley

Visitor Center Manager

ACAPULCO MEXICAN RESTAURANT Favorite dish... Seafood Enchiladas and you can’t beat their complimentary chips and homemade salsa.

Kali Mork

Director of Sports

LUCKY’S 13 Favorite dish... The turkey wild rice soup and their chips are always on point. Why do you love this restaurant? I haven’t ever had a meal there that I haven’t liked, it has a neat environment, whether I’m there with my husband, friends, work lunch or kids and it is always fairly quick. What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? I didn’t know for a long time that they served breakfast on the weekends. Who doesn’t like French Toast coated in Captain Crunch?

Why do you love this restaurant? I think this is the best and most authentic Mexican restaurant in the Fargo area. The atmosphere is so fun with all the colorful decorations and the patio in the front is a nice option in the summer.

Charley Johnson President/CEO

RUSTICA Favorite dish... The Haole Pizza (without jalapeños) Why do you love this restaurant? Casual on one side, fine dining on the other and a great place to just sit at the bar and have a cocktail. What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? I think a lot of “average citizens” might not even know where it is.

Sarah Kasin Account Manager

THE SHACK ON BROADWAY Favorite dish... Morning: #3 breakfast combo Night: Spaghetti with a salad with French dressing (they make it inhouse…so good) Appetizer: Spicy CHIC’N O’s with sweet and sour Why do you love this restaurant? Tasty comfort food, fast service, great prices, home-town atmosphere What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? Chocolate Cake Wednesdays! Need I say more?

What should we know about this restaurant that we don’t? They offer great lunch prices, including one random lunch plate for $5 every day. #FargoByFargo | 97

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No matter what stage of life you're in, there are plenty of ways for you to get involved in the arts community.


BY Dayna Del Val Dayna Del Val is the president and CEO of The Arts Partnership. This is an organization dedicated to cultivating the arts in Fargo-Moorhead.

Date Night Singles 1. Audition for a play or volunteer for an off-stage role at one of the many theatre companies, including the FM Community Theatre, Theatre B and Tin Roof Theatre. 2. Sign up for a maker class with Make Room or Unglued. This is an excellent way to meet new people, have a great evening and go home with something you created yourself.

1. Schedule a couples’ clay class at Plains Art Museum. It’s not about being comfortable with ceramic-making, it’s about spending concentrated time together on a project that you take home to remember that shared time. And because it involves communication, you can connect throughout the entire process. 2. Research the artists who are currently showing at a local gallery or museum. If you go to an art opening, there are typically drinks and simple hors d’oeuvres. It’s a great way to, again, connect in an environment where you can talk, ask questions and get to know each other or to learn something new together.

Photo courtesy of Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre

Special Needs 1. The FM Community Theatre is presenting their first sensory-friendly performance this year. The production is specifically created to allow for conversation from the audience, appropriate lighting and sound and a quiet space if anyone just needs to get away for awhile. 2. Nearly all of the theatres in the Metro have a performance that utilizes audio description for the visually impaired, as well as a sign-language performance to ensure that people of all needs can enjoy live theatre.

Family 1. The high schools, colleges and many of the communitywide theatre programs produce a number of familyfriendly productions every year. It can be thrilling for children to see their friends and neighbors performing on stage. And a great family alternative to a movie night. 2. The Creative Plains Foundation offers multiple free art-making events that encourage parents and children to create art together. 98 | 2018 |

Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography

Children 1. Plains Art Museum and the park districts offer lots of kids art-making programs, many of which are free. When children are treated like artists, they believe they are artists, and that’s a powerful thing. 2. There are two youth symphonies, multiple children’s choirs, a number of community-wide youth theatre programs, ballet and other dance programs. Many of these programs have scholarships available to ensure that everyone who wants to participate can.

Don’t cha know? The Creative Plains Foundation has a ton of different familyfriendly events. You can learn more at

Twenty Below has a community potluck over the noon hour that anybody is invited to attend.

Retirees 1. Did you ever play a band instrument? Would you love to get back to that? The FM Golden Notes New Horizon Band might be just the thing for you. There is also an opportunity to audition for the Lake Agassiz Concert Band, as well as the FM Choral Artists, the Master Chorale of FM and the Gay Men’s Chorus. 2. There are a number of hobby clubs that welcome people to join at any stage, including the Red River Watercolor Society, The Fine Arts Club, The Red River Valley Wood Carvers, the FM Visual Artists, the FM Area Music Club, the Quilter’s Guild of ND and more.

Business 1. Instead of always doing sports-themed team building activities for your employees, consider purchasing a block of tickets to a performance. Schedule dessert after so that you have time to talk about the performance and some work-related topics in a relaxed environment, and you will get the same communitybuilding that comes from a day spent on the links.

Recruits 1. There’s a real fear from those who aren’t from the Metro about what there will be to do if they move to this community. The arts and culture activities, programs and facilities are a very real benefit to moving here, but you, as the recruiter, need to be able to connect people to those opportunities. The easiest way to know about what’s going on in the arts is to sign up for The Arts Partnership’s weekly newsletter ( 2. The Arts Partnership is working with local HR professionals to develop packages for recruits and new hires that will welcome them to the arts in the community. Keep a watch out for more on that later this year. In the meantime, if you have a recruit who is interested specifically in learning more about the arts, get them in touch with our office; we’re happy to talk through all that is going on and to tout what an amazing community this is.

2. Invest in the Corporate Artist in Residence program offered through The Arts Partnership. We hang art from a local artist that lives in your space for a period of time, and that artist engages with your employees a number of times to shift the lens of how work is done. For example, a photographer talks about how she frames her landscapes and then employees use a paper frame and shoot images inside their office. This helps them think about what to prioritize, what to focus on and how to drill down on something very specific. All good skills to think about, regardless of a job title. Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography


New Americans 1. Put Pangea at the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County on your calendar for November, as that’s a great place to encounter the many cultures, including their food, music and art, that call the Metro home.

2. Connect with The World in Fargo Moorhead on Facebook, a photography project aimed at introducing new Americans and immigrants of the Metro to the larger community. People are harder to ignore or dislike when we get to know them, their stories, their likes and dislikes and more.

Out of Town Visitors 1. A visit to the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County is an absolute must. Where else will you find a real Viking ship? And the additional programming going on inside the HSCSS is always high quality, approachable and connected to the Valley. It’s a great way to introduce our history to your guests and learn a little something new yourself. 2. The historic Fargo Theatre is a must-see attraction in the Metro. Built in 1926, this theatre was fully restored and now has a second auditorium. Both theatres play movies, and host live music and other performances, and then there’s the picture-perfect marquee to add to your travel photos.

#FargoByFargo | 99

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10 Things to know about the FM Real Estate Market BY Erik Hatch


In the last 20 years, our community has only seen a depreciation of property values two different years (2008 and 2011). These 'bumps' were to the tune of

The FM area hasn't ridden the roller coaster of big ups and big downs, much like the rest of the country. We, more or less, are like the train that goes around the



(odorless, colorless gas that comes from the uranium in our soil) level are surprisingly high in the Red River Valley - and subsequently, in our homes. Consider testing and mitigation (when necessary) to lessen the harmful effects from prolonged exposure.

100 | 2018 |

The average sales price in Moorhead was $201,195. And the average sales price in West Fargo was $268.671.

The average sales price in the FM area for 2017 is $224,218. This is up


Location matters! If


you own a home that backs to a pond, river, park, golf course or green space you'll undoubtedly have a more valuable property.

from the previous year (the federal government wants 4-5 percent annual appreciation increases).


7 Ten years ago, the average sales price was $153,395. 2,948 homes sold that year. In 2017,

it is likely that you may see a tougher ride. The market, in that price range, is more saturated with buyers than it is available homes for sale.

sold in the FM area.


Special assessments

can drastically impact your monthly payment. Be sure to work with your lender and Realtor to figure just how much this "second tax" will cost you. And note that special assessments aren't unique to just new construction.

Fargo Parks has more than 2,100 acres of land and offers more than 1,000 programs and more than 70 special events.

If you're buying a home under


4,198 homes

amusement park.



There’s so much to know about the real estate market, it’s impossible to keep up. Erik Hatch, owner of Hatch Realty, fills us in on the 10 things you need to know about the Fargo-Moorhead real estate market.

-1.9% and -1.13%. 5

In 2017 the average sales price in Fargo was


If you're buying a home over


you can expect to find ample choices and options. The market has close to 12 months of inventory in this higher price range.

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In business, it can often feel like you're on your own. Greg Tehven, an entrepreneur advocate and one of the founders of Emerging Prairie, has several tips on how to solve some of business' toughest problems. BY Greg Tehven Greg Tehven is an entrepreneur advocate and one of the founders of Emerging Prairie.

So you need an idea...

So you need some funds... North Dakota is a special place when it comes to finding resources. The North Dakota Department of Commerce has their Innovate ND program that grants cash and provides bootcamps. You can also explore the Bank of North Dakota’s programs that support entrepreneurs. Raising funds from angel investors and venture capital can be difficult, yet building a robust network of investors is possible. Look to Myriad Mobile and CoSchedule as organizations that have navigated the system well.

TED has been driving ideas worth spreading since the 1980s. If you are feeling stuck or need some inspiration, check out TED talks on YouTube to explore new concepts from brilliant folks. Better yet, attend a live TEDx event in Fargo, Brookings, Grand Forks or Bismarck.


So you are feeling alone... Fargo Moorhead is growing with selforganized groups that are gathering to discuss new technology and concepts. Get involved with the Fargo Bitcoin meet up or Girl Develop It. Stop by 1 Million Cups Fargo, the largest 1MC in the nation, every Wednesday morning to hear from emerging companies. Watch Emerging Prairie’s website for a listing of events or check out Stampede, a gathering for young entrepreneurs. Folkways hosts CoStarter programs to help with business development and coaching, and provides a fantastic opportunity to meet other business owners. 102 | 2018 | has a listing of many of the nonprofits in town. You can sort by category of nonprofits to find the perfect way to volunteer.

So you need space... If you’ve outgrown the coffee shop scene, there are plenty of places to launch your business. If you are looking for flexible pricing with short leases, the Prairie Den downtown could be a great option. If you need a door and private space, NDSU’s Research and Tech Park Incubator could make a great home. If you are looking for a more professional office space, Regus could be your new home in South Fargo.


So you are looking for something to read...

So you want to get connected... There are a growing number of retreats and conferences being hosted. Makewell offers fantastic gatherings for artists and makers. Folkways brings together the most eclectic Farmer’s Market in the region. Unglued hosts an adult summer camp. Emerging Prairie has three highlights to consider: Cultivate, Drone Focus Con and Founder’s Only Retreat. All of these gatherings connect folks from diverse backgrounds helping folks build their network.

The two books that made the biggest impact on me in 2017 were: The Hard Things about the Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz and Shoe Dog: A memoir by the Creator of Nike. Both books gave tangible advice and encouragement as well as some fascinating stories of grit and dedication.

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Charley Johnson

President & CEO, FM Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau and Chair of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority

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Kristi Huber

President of United Way of Cass-Clay

Bruce Grubb

Fargo City Administrator

The FM RedHawks has a long list of players whose contracts were sold to major league organizations. Go to for a full listing of players.

There’s a lot of opportunity and uncertainty in Fargo-Moorhead’s future. It’s a good thing that there are smart, passionate and eager people working to solve some of the area’s biggest problems. While these people may be at the forefront of the discussions, it is not their responsibility to solve all of our problems. As a community, we need to all step forward. So, here’s what they have to think about the future of our community, what can you do to make our region the best place to live? By Andrew Jason Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography This interview was conducted toward the end of 2017.

Andy Maus

Director & CEO, Plains Art Museum

Susan Jarvis

Sanford Fargo Vice President of Operations

Jim Parsons

Vice President of Finance/Operations

Tim Beaton

Executive Director, Fargo Moorhead Area Foundation

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Andy Maus: I think if you could summarize where Fargo is in 2018 and beyond, I think it’s going to be marked by continued growth. That seems to be what we’re talking about. Growth downtown. West Fargo is growing tremendously. As Charley said, Moorhead sometimes doesn’t get the attention it deserves for its growth.

In 2018, what does the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo area look like?

Charley Johnson: In Downtown Fargo, City Hall is going to open in April 2018. We’ll tear down the old city hall and that quad will start to take some sort of shape. I think Downtown will continue to evolve in Fargo. In Moorhead, I think you’re going to see a lot of progress as well. Construction is already underway at the 8th and Main project, which is a huge improvement for that city – our city. It’s going to be the corporate home of Eventide and it’s a mixeduse building, which everyone loves in this day and age because it livens up the block. It’s a very important intersection in Moorhead so it’s going to be wonderful to have some new life there with some retail. West Fargo has a number of projects underway too. I think you’re going to see there’s no end to development around here in all three of our cities. Jim Parsons: The revitalization of Sheyenne Street. I’ve been a longtime resident of West Fargo and Sheyenne Street was the hub back in the day. That’s their focus to revitalize that area. You’ve got that high rise that’s going to expand out. It’ll go from deterioration to prosperity along with the convention center they’re going to build. Charley Johnson: West Fargo’s plans for a convention and visitor’s space at the fairground, I think it’s moving forward. 106 | 2018 |

The City of Fargo bought the Mid-America Steel along Main Ave. in Fargo. This site offers a way to further connect Fargo-Moorhead and fully utilize the riverfront.

Everybody knows about developments happening in Fargo, but back to Moorhead, there’s also the development of the new downtown business association there. I think you’ll see a great cooperative effort of the EDA, which I’m part of, and that new business organization and the Moorhead Business Association, which represents businesses all over the city. There’s going to be a real strong push to liven up downtown Moorhead, especially, I hope, with how it links in with Downtown Fargo. I don’t know when the redevelopment of the Mid-America Steel site is going to happen. It’s still a year or two away I suspect because they have to move. Once that’s redeveloped, I see that as a huge key to connecting the two downtowns. Whatever’s in

In 2017, 787,927 passengers came through Hector International Airport.

there, assuming it’s mixeduse, you walk out of that main level of that building on what is NP and then leads into Center Avenue, I think you’re just as close to Broadway as you are to the old FM Hotel Building, which is the US Bank building by the Moorhead Center Mall. I think that’s a real key. Bruce Grubb: I’m here representing the City of Fargo, but from Fargo’s perspective, it’s not all about Downtown. However, one of the things that they identified in there as one of Downtown's biggest opportunities, as Charley said, was that MidAmerica Steel operation being relocated to the Northside industrial park. There’s a little gem sitting in there because of its location. There are a lot of opportunities to closer connect the cities of Fargo and Moorhead.

Kristi Huber: I’m excited for the schools as well. We’re at a cusp of leadership change. For the schools, I think our leaders have done an extraordinary job of getting us in a position to take the next step with programs that they’ve brought into schools, looking into the needs of the students with the student wellness facilitators work that’s being done there. They are our future and future in the workforce for our community as well. Susan Jarvis: From the healthcare standpoint, you'll see continued growth from us. You'll see additional things taking place on the new campus and expansion of services. Just in response to the growth that we're seeing in the community to meet those needs. Two really big things coming up is the expansion of the South University campus for the orthopedic center of excellence. We're really consolidating our orthopedic services to that campus and we have an orthopedic residency starting next year. We're really excited about getting everything ortho to that campus. At the downtown campus, we're in the beginning stages of an expansion of the Roger Maris Cancer Center. Again, just an extension of services, providers and space that we're going to be able to use now that

we've vacated a good bit of the space at the Broadway Medical Center. Our goal at the new medical center is to get a medical office building out there. We've got a really small clinic out there. It's basically all hospital. The next part of our strategic plan is to move most of our downtown clinics out to the new medical center, with the exception of oncology and some of the other clinics. Tim Beaton: I have a question, rather than an answer to that. When do we start looking at downtown as no longer downtown but actually North Fargo where the center of the population has moved to? Going to the city of Fargo, how far west and south does the city of Fargo go and where is West Fargo? Moorhead has a containment of their growth. I grew up here and I watched the sprawl go all the way down the river to the far end. The question is, when does the infrastructure create such a problem that Fargo can no longer go farther south? Bruce Grubb: From Fargo's perspective, growth is good. It's like former NDSU coach Don Morton said about the Bison each week, you either get better or you get worse. You don't stay the same. Smart growth is important though. We've probably made some not real great decisions with extreme extension of infrastructure and services to people. We're trying to learn from our mistakes. Obviously, one of the biggest issues on our plate in 2018 is permanent flood protection. Everybody knows that. The two governors are meeting right now trying to come up with a permanent flood

Susan Jarvis

Sanford Fargo Vice President of Operations

What’s your take on our community going into 2018? We are a growing, dynamic community with so much potential and opportunity. I am excited to be a part of this great community. Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? Being in the healthcare environment, I am so proud of the impact that Sanford has had on the healthcare offerings here in Fargo. The merger between MeritCare and Sanford several years ago was the beginning of an expansion of services and keeping health care close to home. So Denny Sanford, Paul Richard and now Nate White have been, and are, integral to the growth in healthcare in Fargo. I am also privileged to be a member of the United Way Board of Directors and have a great respect for Kristi Huber, who is advocating for making this community better every day. Joel Vettel is also on the United Way Board of Directors with me, and he is doing great things for Fargo. What’s your favorite hotspot in Fargo? I love to go downtown. I especially love Würst, Vinyl

Taco, Dempsey’s, Mezzaluna and the HoDo. What does FMWF area mean to you? Fargo means community to me. People care about each other and the community, and I love that about Fargo. In 2018, my FM resolution is... Continue to focus on providing great health care and expanding health care services to the community we serve. The moment I first fell in love with Fargo was... When I came in to interview for a position at Sanford almost eight years ago, I knew nothing about the community or Sanford. I interviewed really on a whim but quickly fell in love with both Fargo and Sanford. Fargo reminds me very much of the community on the southside of Atlanta where I grew up – everyone cared about each other and believed in the community. And to have the opportunity to come here, be integral in the building of a brand new medical center (which is a once in a lifetime opportunity) and be a part of the expansion of the great services we offer has been amazing.

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protection solution. That will dictate our future in a lot of ways. I think that's obvious to everybody. We're really hopeful.

If the word of 2018 is growth, and that's apparently been the word of the last couple years, my question is, how are we doing with the workforce problem?

Charley Johnson

President & CEO, FM Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau and Chair of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority

What’s your favorite hotspot? Rustica What’s your take on our community going into 2018? Continued growth should be maximized by real collaboration among all stakeholders, community (FMWF) wide. Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? There are many who make their marks in different ways, so it’s hard to single anyone out. If I have to pick a few, I would include (in no particular order) Dayna Del Val for her tireless advocacy on behalf of the arts, Pastor Sue Koesterman and her staff at Churches United for taking care of those who need help the most, Greg Tehven at Emerging Prairie for relentless promotion of our communities

and Del Rae Williams for her even-handed approach to leadership in Moorhead. What does FMWF area mean to you? Fargo, to me, means all three of our cities and together they mean home in a very personal way. In 2018, my FM resolution is... to be more intentional about finding ways to improve the economy and way of life in our towns. The moment I first fell in love with Fargo was... When I was home in Hastings, Minnesota, for Christmas my freshman year at Concordia. By New Year’s Eve, I realized that I couldn’t wait to get back to school in FM. It was a huge turning point for a previously homesick 18-year old.

Kristi Huber: I think if you want another word, collaboration is going to be the key to solving some of the biggest challenges. We're excited about the idea of making sure we're providing the right opportunity to the right individual at the right time. One of the things that we have been working on is a collaboration with M State and Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership. M State has welding training and Lakes and Prairies has people who need to access the training and what was missing was the case management support, which United Way was able to support. We are identifying the gaps and putting resources to those gaps. Tim Beaton: There's a great deal of emphasis in terms of what I look at as the upper 55 percent of the jobs that are here and filling them and educating these people. What we're missing is that 45 percent of those jobs that pay very low wages. We simply don't have enough people to fill those jobs. The question is, where are they going to come from and who has the will to make that happen? As part of that, it's the childcare costs and the lack of childcare and the housing costs and transportation costs, how are we going to attract people to come

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The Fargo Schools District has 23 buildings, ranging from elementary to alternative high school, and has 11,208 students.

and fill the jobs? Anyone has been in a restaurant, grocery store, you name it and there's a lack of staff there to take care of you. Andy Maus: I've been to so many meetings and discussions over the years where we've identified that there's a workforce gap in Fargo. The gap has been well established. When do we actually talk about investing in Fargo to fill that gap? We know the jobs are there. The job creators are doing their job. How are we going to create the kind of Fargo that is going to attract people to want to live here? People are choosing where they're going to live. They're working there but they're choosing where they want to live. How are we going to do that? I feel like other people are doing a better job of telling Fargo's story than we are. We have the ‘Boston Globe’, ‘Midwestern Living’, ‘LA Times’ coming to Fargo. ‘Oh, it's actually really creative and hip.’ As if their interaction with Fargo is only through the TV show and movie – this desolate place where everybody puts each other in woodchippers. When do we actually begin to embrace the fact that it’s,

Tim Beaton

Executive Director, Fargo Moorhead Area Foundation

What’s your take on our community going into 2018? Successful, optimistic, aggressive (in a good way!) but myopic when it comes to some of the problems that still exist. Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? The staff, boards and volunteers who are part of the nonprofit organizations that serve this community. Some individuals are making a big difference, others something more modest. All the efforts

by these people make this a better community. What’s your favorite hotspot? Lot E, West Side of the Fargodome during tailgating. What does FMWF area mean to you? Home. I was born here, lived away for a while but came back. In 2018, my FM resolution is... Become more involved at a higher level. Speak out/up more.

Through a collaboration between United Way, M State and Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership, they are assisting with training in welding, certified production technician and Certified nursing assistant. You can learn more about the program by watching a video at

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in my view, going to be arts and culture that drives this workforce gap issue? It's going to create a lot more investment, but before we invest, it's going to create the realization that's what Fargo is. Kristi Huber: I think a big part of that Andy is that we need to be a welcoming community. Are we maximizing the people we have in the community and do they have the skills or do they need the skills in order to fill those workforce gaps? I think you're right. The arts do play a part in that overall. Andy Maus: We have more jobs than people. We need to attract more people. Kristi Huber: Absolutely. We need to be a community that welcomes everyone. Charley Johnson: I think the one thing I discovered being a member of the workforce collaborative is that it's a daunting task to try and solve this problem. We are not the only ones. Minneapolis-St. Paul is going through the same thing. Everyone is going through the same problem. There aren't enough workers, especially in our upper midwest cities, that can fill those jobs. The key is, how do we convince them this is a great place to live? Arts and culture? I'm 100 percent with you. I wish we could find some sort of way to find some sort of taxing mechanism that we could support the Arts Partnership and all of the arts to bump that budget. We know it 110 | 2018 |

“I think everything revolves around the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo region. Whatever gets constructed or built in one of those cities is generally good all for all three of us.” – Charley Johnson pays off. Our friend Dayna Del Val always talks about what a great place Des Moines is. They have a seven percent lodging tax and I think the arts group gets one and a half of those seven pennies. That's a huge amount of money in a town like that. I'm fully supportive of a performing arts center. I think that's going to really help bring more of that culture to the forefront. I fully support the public art plan. I think we need to convince the businesses in this community to accept the fact that arts and culture are as important to them as they are to those of us who are sitting at this table. That's how they're going to fill those jobs. There's maybe one other tiny little thing: they might need to pay a little more. I'm the one who gets to say that. I think that's one of the things we discovered in the workforce study, especially if you're talking about the 45 percent of the jobs, which are entry level. Nobody can

live on $13/hour, especially if they have a family with childcare, single mothers. Tim Beaton: You look at it as the shortage of childcare, affordable housing, we can probably fix several of those things. That still doesn't guarantee that we can bring people in from someplace. They're not going to come in busloads from Denver or Omaha because they want to earn $13/hour. Somehow or other, there has to be an influx of folks from someplace else. We've danced around this issue and we continue to dance around this issue. The history of the United States is that folks come from someplace else and they take less than stellar jobs but they advance and they become part of whatever else it is. The Johnsons and Beatons, at some point in time, we were immigrants. I think the guy's name was Jim Paulson. He's an economist that's brought in every year. He was asked the question a couple of years ago about how to solve the workforce

issue in America. He said, ‘There's only one way to do it and that's to reopen Ellis Island. We are not having enough kids here to populate the jobs. We're doing a great job of building jobs, contrary to what we thought 30 years ago, but we're not having enough kids to fill those jobs.’

I'm curious to hear your thoughts, Susan. Staffing has to be one of Sanford's biggest struggles.

Susan Jarvis: Yeah. I think Kristi said the second word that is important as we work on the workforce issues and that's collaboration. At Sanford, to open the new medical center, we had to hire 600 new staff. Most of those were lower paying positions. We have targeted other areas of the country. We've gone out and recruited in other areas of the country. Kristi Huber: One of the things with the workforce collaborative that we have at M State and Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership is where Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership provides a case manager who helps assist individuals who may not have the skills in our community right now but they want to be a CNA. We knew there was a need for that. It's been so exciting because, beyond getting the CNA classes and skills, they have built a community with their cohort and to see that community building is huge. It was social capital that they didn't have prior to going into that program. Also, it's solving the needs of one of our biggest medical employers in the community. How do we look at the gaps differently? And how do we look at partners that we may haven't tapped into to

ValleyCon is the largest festival of popular culture between Minneapolis and Seattle. This year’s event will be happening Oct. 19-21.

say, 'All options are on the table. We've got the pieces. It's about either putting the resources – like this case manager that works directly with the individuals. It's incredible because some of the individuals' biggest challenges are getting to class. The case manager will be their cheerleader so they make it through the program and now that they have graduated and passed their test, there's a whole new opportunity beyond a $10 an hour job and there’s a career path. Tim Beaton: Something we haven't tapped into as we talk about this is that money is the mother's milk of making all this happen. If you take a look at all the banks and brokerage companies throughout the community, this is an extremely wealthy community. Somehow, there has to be the will of the institutions and the individuals who are involved in that to make the change. We talk collaboration, creativity and I would throw will as being the third thing that has to take place in this community. Andy Maus: Are there cities or communities like Fargo in the U.S. that are wellknown for being welcoming of others and as places of opportunity? Susan Jarvis: We looked at some of that – and it's been a couple of years now – with the attract subgroup. There were a few – I'd have to go back and look at what we looked at. We came up with the idea of the clearinghouse of what you're working on. What we found, at Sanford, is that people come into the community, they don't know what the community has to offer. Say they're interested in the arts, where do they go to find that?

Bruce Grubb

Fargo City Administrator

What’s your take on our community going into 2018? We have a wonderful place to live, work and play. Due to our low unemployment rate, the labor and workforce shortage is an issue that we would like to try and address in the near future. Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? In my line of work, I realize the necessity of a team effort to create a great community. We are fortunate to have so many willing to dedicate time and effort to ensure we maintain a great quality of life. What’s your favorite hotspot? Not to be evasive, but I truly don’t have a single favorite place. One of the things I like about our area is the variety of entertainment, restaurants, sporting events, art activities, etc.

What does FMWF area mean to you? It means home to me. Not just my home, but my children (as they are starting their own careers) want to stay here to live and work. Also, my nieces and nephews are starting their careers and several have chosen to live and work here. It wasn’t the only option they had, it was the option they chose. In 2018, my FM resolution is? Get out and see more of what we have to offer here. Professionally, do a better job of listening to the community and improve workflow management and prioritization. The moment I first fell in love with Fargo? That occurred in 1977 when I came to Fargo to attend North Dakota Boys State. We were housed on the campus of NDSU and I developed lifelong friendships with students from Fargo North, Fargo South, Shanley and Oak Grove.

Charley Johnson: There #FargoByFargo | 111

is finally a website under construction after the first of the year. Kristi Huber: It's a very wide platform. There's a lot of information. I think part of it is when you talk about attracting other people, it's about all of our community members sending out the link, sharing this and being active in sharing this. How do we each feel ownership of how we need to take that step and invite others?

Andy Maus

Director & CEO, Plains Art Museum

What’s your take on our community going into 2018? The story of Fargo over the last 10 years as reported by the ‘LA Times’, ‘Boston Globe’, ‘Midwestern Living’ and others can be summarized by saying, “Wow! Fargo is not what we thought… it’s hip and creative!” Going into 2018, we need to be more assertive and intentional about telling our story as the cultural center of our region. Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? In communities like Fargo, philanthropy makes the biggest difference and there are so many great people, it is hard to narrow it down. Kilbourne Group, architects and designers like Chris Hawley, Craig Helenske and others; and thoughtful city planners like Nichole Crutchfield are influencing our environment in great ways. Linda Boyd, Dayna Del Val, the good people at Folkways and others in the creative community are moving Fargo’s cultural story forward with remarkable resourcefulness. And, we can’t forget people like Greg Tehven at Emerging

Prairie and others who are making Fargo the region’s next tech and entrepreneurial center. What’s your favorite hotspot? Downtown Fargo is the number one reason to live in the metro. It is truly amazing what we have accomplished in such a short time. My favorite places to get a cup of coffee are 20 Below Coffee Co. and Young Blood Coffee Co. My favorite place to get lunch is Bernbaum’s. It’s a funky place and Andrea Baumgartner is a culinary artist. In 2018, my FM resolution is... To be the best community leader and father that I can be to my two boys. The moment I first fell in love with Fargo was... When I started working at Plains Art Museum in college, which was about 18 years ago now, the Museum showed me what an art museum could be and introduced me to a career in the arts that I have so much gratitude for. There are so many traits about the Museum that could really only exist here in Fargo.

Charley Johnson: A website is no good if people don't share it and know about it. We go through that discussion all the time at the CVB because we're always trying to distribute all this information we have. How do we distribute them? If videos just sit and live on YouTube and nobody knows exactly where to find them. Now we have to distribute that. Jim Parsons: We've got 30,000 college students. Those are the ones that we need to make it happen. They’re the ones that will share because they're not from here. We have our leadership class from last year. There are seven groups that put things together. One of them was called Experience Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo where they're trying to tap into the university college students. It’s starting small to get the college students to understand FargoMoorhead and the business community and keep them here. What they found out is that the majority of times, they're stuck in the university system. They got their own community but they don't understand the broader side of the community. Kristi Huber: The thing I'm hearing over and over from employers is that when they have their younger workforce who are coming

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The stable that now houses Wild Terra Cidery was built sometime between 1905 and 1910.

in and they're interviewing them, I don't know if you've had this experience, but we've hired some younger individuals and they want to interview you and they want to know what does your organization do to engage in the community. What does your company do to support volunteerism and giving back? That's a part of what makes them want to be part of a community. We started an Emerging Leaders program, which people from the community can self-select in. Anybody who's around the age of 40, to be able to give them an opportunity to network, but also beyond networking, serve together. Last year, we had more than 400 people who signed up. This year, we're expecting close to 700. This is a movement within the community. I think a big piece that will build community and work towards that welcomingness. People want to be a part of something. I hear this over and over again. How do I get involved? Where do I get involved? This is a hard community to break into. Andy Maus: If we're relying on two organizations – the Chamber and the CVB – to share the story of everything that happens in Fargo, then we're doing it wrong. It's all of our responsibility. Kristi Huber: It's not just one organization at a time. The big issues are not going to happen with one organization doing something for it. It is going to be multiple organizations, multiple leaders, multiple people who are the doers coming together to make it happen. It's more complex than just listing them out. Then you get the duplication of efforts across all the different areas. That's why this collaboration piece is crucial.

Andy Maus: I have another Tim Beaton question and that is what differentiates Fargo from other smaller mid-size cities in the U.S.? There could be a key there. We have a diversified economy so it's not like we're Rochester, Minnesota. We have a great health care system but we also have great lots of other stuff. It's more complicated but it also may help with the key as far as how we communicate our great city. Tim Beaton: Part of it, I think, is there are 30,000 students who are in this town. This is a vibrant community as a result of that. Having lived in some other places that don't have a college in the town, there's an entirely different mentality here about, "Let's make it happen." You see it, you feel it. Whether that's football at NDSU, theatre at Concordia and MSUM, it's all there. There's a different atmosphere and I think that's a sellable point for this community. Come here and be young. That is a step-up. "You want to move to a community where you can grow with the community, here's your chance?”

Andy Maus: We do have youth. The youth of Fargo is a unique trait. Jim Parsons: Which has changed. It wasn't that way. That was the worry that we were aging out and we wouldn't have enough people. Susan Jarvis: Our easiest recruitment for physician positions is people who grew up here, went off to medical school and come back because they want to raise their families here. Charley Johnson: I think one of the keys to the workforce problem is tapping into the colleges and the alumni basis who are 10-15 years out and saying, "Look at the opportunities back here. It's not the same when you were here."

Where are we growing, how are we growing and are we growing in the right direction? How is the city is thinking about everything that will be happening with technology, including is a collaboration between many different organizations in town because of the workforce study. The site is full of information for people considering relocating to the FM area but is also has info for current residents and students. The site has information on working, learning and living in the region.

automation, the future of the automobile and how is that factoring into the way the city is growing?

Bruce Grubb: We have our sights on the introduction of autonomous vehicles and transportation already. Right now, there's an effort to attract the drone industry to the Fargo-Grand Forks corridor, whether it's R&D, manufacturing. There's a big opportunity there. This past summer at the Civic Center downtown, we hosted TEDx. I don't know if you've ever been to one of those but it's really interesting entrepreneurial thinkers there. And the first ever Drone Focus Conference, we got Elaine Chao, the Secretary of Transportation at the national level. From an infrastructure standpoint, I'm an engineer by trade. I deal with sewer and water pipes and that kind of stuff. I think we positioned ourselves for whatever permanent flood protection can deliver. You've probably heard that we've started to regionalize and partnered up with West Fargo, which was a land-breaking idea that Fargo and West Fargo can work together. I think that whole concept of regional assets to share and use is such a mind shift of our little area. We’re even speaking with the City of Moorhead. They're a separate state and their own separate deal. We worry about flooding but the drought is as big as a flood to me as an engineer. Who knows? We might be going into a real dry cycle. We've done all sorts of studies that have shown that the Red River Valley is in big time trouble if a Dirty 30s type drought comes back. #FargoByFargo | 113

Kristi Huber

President of United Way of Cass-Clay Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? I’m so proud of our United Way of Cass-Clay team. Every day, they bring their energy and enthusiasm to help inspire and engage our community to be its best. I would also lift up our more than 3,500 United Way volunteers who give of their time and talent to help children, senior citizens and families in need to have a better life. These are people who make a conscious effort to be kind and generous. What’s your favorite hotspot in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo? Who else can say that in 2018, they will host Ed Sheeran, the Fargo Marathon, Disney on Ice, PRCA Championship Rodeo, Monster Jam, NDSU Bison Football and the United Way of Cass-Clay School Supply Drive? The Fargodome is officially one of the best spots for community entertainment and large-scale community building events. Our team is grateful to partner with the Fargodome to mobilize over 500 volunteers each year to fill and distribute over 5,800 backpacks with school supplies to families each August. What does the FMWF area mean to you? In the book, “Community, the Structure of Belonging” by 114 | 2018 |

Peter Block, he talks about the fact that we are “in community” each time we find a place where we belong. I feel a deep connection to this place and especially the people who live here because I have made the choice to make this my home. I believe that for those who feel connected in this way, they have a responsibility to build and nurture it. The moment I first fell in love with Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo was... Before joining the United Way team, I was first a volunteer for the organization. I remember attending the United Way Annual Meeting in 2011 and sitting among the other volunteers and community members and having the realization that I knew more than just the names of the people around me, I knew them because I had served alongside them. There is a special bond that is formed with people that you volunteer with. It was at that moment that I had a glimpse of the potential of what this group could accomplish within our community by focusing our efforts together. I remember feeling that I had found a place where I had more than just acquaintances, I had friendships and I could use my energy and talent to improve the lives of others.

We're working on something called the Red River Valley Water Supply Project to get the Missouri River water over here. We're trying to partner with Moorhead because they're on the Red River as well. Water is life. I think we've positioned ourselves well from an infrastructure standpoint. I'm not bragging here, but we're in a really good place to deal with growth, deal with higher density type land uses. All those types of things. We have a $120 million water treatment plant expansion that we're just completing now. Next year, we'll be starting a wastewater expansion project. Guess what? We regionalized with West Fargo and Horace and we're speaking with Mapleton and Kindred right now. Kristi Huber: Thank you, Bruce. I never thought of water treatment as cool but now I do. Bruce Grubb: The only way the regionalization is going to work is it has to be good for everybody participating in the region. Charley Johnson: I think everything revolves around the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo region. Whatever gets constructed or built in one of those cities is generally good all for all three of us. I was just at the opening event of the Hulbert Aquatic Center in West Fargo. That's a fabulous world-class facility that's going to allow events to come here that would never have dreamt of coming here before. It's an Olympic swimming pool for swimming and diving. It's probably one of the fastest pools in the world because of its design and it has seating for 1,100 people. Scheels Arena was the same way. All of these things that there’s sometimes controversy surrounding them, my view on that

The Legacy Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit that aims to help teenagers graduate from high school. Learn more at

do here. Say, this is a great place to live and if I don’t know what to do, I bet I can help you find it.

is, ‘Get over it!’ Look at what a gem you have in this community with that Scheels Arena, especially now that there are two sheets of ice. What world would you have been told to go away to if 15 years ago, you said, ‘Someday, the Division I West Regional Hockey Championships will be held in Fargo.’ Everyone would have said you’re kidding. We don’t have a hockey team or an arena. Bluestem in Moorhead, another fabulous gem that had controversy surrounding it. Stop carping about it and get with the program. What a great thing it was when they finally struck a deal with Jade Presents and now there are concerts in there sometimes twice a week. Sports, arts and cultures, we have all these great gems. Stop thinking about it in terms of Moorhead and Fargo, every city has something. I just named three different things in three different cities. These are fabulous things and people should understand that this is a regional approach. They all bring people to our cities. Jim Parsons: That comes

116 | 2018 |

The average age of Fargo is 33 and 28 in Moorhead.

back to West Fargo-Fargo, Moorhead-Fargo, whatever. There’s a group of people pitted against each other. Now that’s changed. It’s the dynamics of people. I look at West Fargo and the controversy over the schools. I’m a Packer. I went to school there. How many times did the new school get shut down just because they didn’t want to lose their identity? Who suffered? It was 800 plus kids. What took the change was the new people that moved here because of the development.

What do you want to say to the community and what do you want them to act on in 2018? Charley Johnson: I think there’s way more

collaboration going on in this community that people don’t understand. That’s one of the things I would like to tell people. Get involved because there is tremendous collaboration happening in this community and people should engage with that. People should take an interest in how their community grows. Think in terms of the fact that progress is important for every community. We’re not looking to become Detroit, Michigan, or even Minneapolis-St. Paul, but progress is important to a community to keep it healthy. People should get involved in that and become ambassadors for your own community. At the very least, help spread the word when people ask you. Don’t say there’s nothing to

Kristi Huber: Going back to being more welcoming, is that each year in November, we do United Acts of Kindness. It’s not meant just to be about promoting United Way. It’s meant to be a tool for the community that for one day, everybody keeps top of mind how important it is to do something for somebody else, regardless of what they would get back to them. It’s about building community and being welcoming through that. How do we take that and make United Acts of Kindness every day? How do we make that as part of the norm? The true differentiator that we can provide to people who move to our community and will draw more people is the strength and generosity of our community and the willingness to be a great neighbor for each other. Andy Maus: I think great cities are built on people who are really invested and care about that city. My call to action would be to participate in something, whatever that is. My wife and I have two boys and we would go to the humane society and just play with the animals. We love animals. It’s therapeutic but it’s also part of our community, it’s something

Startup Weekend Fargo is a weekend-long event where teams try to create a company in 54 hours. This year’s will be April 13-15.

we can do. I think the more activated people are, the more long-term investment you see in cities. Bruce Grubb: As the local government employee, most of what I hear about is what’s wrong with our community. That’s human nature. I happen to know because I also live here that there’s far more good than there is wrong. I would ask your readers in 2018 to take the time to talk to somebody about the good going on here. There’s all this going on but nobody’s talking about it. Susan Jarvis: I would like to tell people that the winters aren’t as bad as people think. Quit complaining about the winters because they’re really fun. I would also ask people to take a step back and really appreciate what we have here and share it. Jim Parsons: Develop a passion. Dayna (Del Val of the Arts Partnership) has a passion. You hear her talking about it all the time. She’s developed a passion for what she does and she wants to make a difference in the community. That’s the only way that something is going to happen. You have to have a passion and then follow through on it. We start 20 different things and we don’t follow through on them because we maybe lose the passion. Continue the passion. Tim Beaton: Get involved and whether that involvement is to support something that you really enjoy and it’s marvelous for this community–the arts, theatre. Or, if you sense that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, get involved. Don’t stand back and just be a spectator to that. Become part of it.

Jim Parsons

Vice President of Finance/Operations

What’s your take on our community going into 2018? Because of the amazing people in this community, we will continue to grow. I’m excited to find new ways our metro can collaborate to do this. Who are some of the people making the greatest difference in the community? There are numerous figures in this community working to make FMWF a better place. One that comes to mind is Bernie Dardis because of his gracious heart and demonstrated leadership in both his personal and professional life. What’s your favorite hotspot in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo? There are so many great places and businesses in this town, it is hard to pick just one favorite. Oftentimes, you

can find me at any football field or gymnasium where my son is playing sports. Around the office, we’re frequenters of the famous Sandy’s Donuts. What does the FMWF area mean to you? There is an incredible sense of community here, where we truly care about others. In 2018, my FMWF resolution is... To make a difference in the lives of my family and the people around me. The moment I first fell in love with Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo was... After I started working at The Chamber 17-plus years ago. It opened my eyes to what was happening in our community and provided a great place for my family to be, with endless opportunities.

#FargoByFargo | 117


12.8% 8,496 -2.2 17.8%


6,956 15.3 6,700 -24

9.2% 6,700 24.2% 403 8,647 10,442 15.5 8.6% 2024 18.6 86



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505 13.5% 15,486 60 s



4.9% -8.3

68.3% 17.8 2.66% 905 186


82.1% 6,946 2.35 8,806 4.3


3,486 1.8 41.8% 14,163 6%

9.8 6,204 8.25 68%


34% 55,126 -4.2 9198 82,310 96 118 | 2018 |

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14.2 1,334 68.7

Yeobo Sweet Shop is a small candy store tucked away in the back of Unglued that features more than 60 bins of yummy goodness.



-43.6 1,119 5,102 55


W orkforce


In 2015, a workforce study was conducted in the FargoMoorhead area and discovered that, at the time, there were 6,700 current job openings and in the next five years, that number was projected to increase to 30,000.

1 88.1 12.2% 9.2%

Carey Fry

Workforce Center Manager in Fargo

J 2,356

% 8,410 16% 1,480 8.9% 23 84.3 18

obs. Is there a more buzzword in politics these days? No matter how divisive things become, there is one thing that all politicians and political parties can agree on: Jobs are a good thing. If that is the case, the FM area is the land of milk and honey. As we’re about to explore, Job Service, a state entity dedicated to examining and improving the job market for the public and businesses, has their finger on the pulse on how things are going in the job market. That’s why we talked to Carey Fry, the Workforce Center Manager in Fargo for Job Service about the numbers behind the jobs in Fargo-Moorhead.

“Examples include creating a community that is an attractive and fun place to live and work. Fargo’s Frostival event, which takes a stab at showing off the fun in Fargo-Moorhead’s winters is one example. Another example is growing a pipeline of workers from our local k-12 students and keeping them here after they graduate through programs like manufacturing day, an event held each October with the FM schools to introduce students to good careers in the manufacturing industry. Additional work has been done in the areas of expanding childcare, creating affordable housing and retaining college students.” - Carey Fry


624 13,483 98

Number of employees in FM



Average annual wage in FM

National Average annual wage



BY Andrew Jason

0.65 -2.3


Unemployment rate in Cass County

Hillary Ehlen


“Workforce is a national problem, so Fargo-Moorhead is competing with the rest of the nation for qualified workers. Fargo-Moorhead has done a fantastic job of addressing this issue. Starting with a comprehensive workforce study that was initiated by the GFMEDC, but completed in conjunction with many community entities a few years back. Since that time, work has been done to improve our community’s ability to attract, grow and retain the workforce.


Number of open jobs in Cass County #FargoByFargo | 119

E merging Industries While many industries are seeing growth, there are a select few that continue to see the quickest growth. However, according to Fry, there is one occupation that stands out above all the rest: registered nurses. “In healthcare, there’s such an overwhelming need for all of healthcare, but, specifically, registered nurses. Not just FargoMoorhead is facing that but if you drove down to Kansas City, the same thing would be going on. That’s nationwide. The new construction at Essentia and Sanford definitely add on to that. “I have a child in high school right now and if I could get her to go and become a registered nurse, I would be super happy because I’d know she’d have a good job for long term. It would be an awesome career choice for her. Will she listen to me? Probably not. That’s where I would steer a youngster.” - Carey Fry

quickest growing occupations

1. Registered Nurses 2014 estimated employment: 8,392 2024 projected employment: 10,442 Percent change: 24.4

3. Nursing Assistants 2014 estimated employment: 7,163 2024 projected employment: 8,647 Percent change: 20.7

5. Combined Food Preparation & Serving Workers 2014 estimated employment: 7,211 2024 projected employment: 8,496 Percent change: 17.8

7. Janitors/Cleaners

Exc. Maids & Housekeeping Workers 2014 estimated employment: 7,686 2024 projected employment: 8,790 Percent change: 14.4

9. Waiters and Waitresses

2014 estimated employment: 7,616 2024 projected employment: 8,316 Percent change: 9.2 120 | 2018 |

2. Retail Salespersons 2014 estimated employment: 14,163 2024 projected employment: 15,980 Percent change: 12.8

U pward mobility Upward mobility is defined as going from one social class to another. For example, if you start as an LPN but work your way up to an RN or to a management role, that is defined as upward mobility. Historically, this hasn’t been tracked through Job Service, but Fry is excited that the state of North Dakota has started tracking that information. “We are currently not tracking upward mobility. One thing that we’ve recently started tracking though is college graduates in the state of North Dakota. Where do they go? Do they stay in that field? How much are they earning? ... That kind of gives us an idea. Let’s say that somebody graduates from NDSCS with an LPN. We started tracking this last year. Three years from now, we can see, is this person still an LPN or is this person an RN or doing something completely different? ... There’s always been such an outmigration from North Dakota. We have great schools, we train people and then, a lot of times, they leave. At some point, they sometimes come back. It will be interesting to see where they go, if they come back, what they’re doing. I’m looking forward to that data.” – Carey Fry

In demand occupations

If you are looking for upward mobility, a good spot to start looking is at in-demand occupations. This is just a small list pulled from different industries. The full list can be found at

4. Personal Care Aides 2014 estimated employment: 4,665 2024 projected employment: 6,126 Percent change: 31.3

6. Customer Service Representatives 2014 estimated employment: 6,956 2024 projected employment: 8,086 Percent change: 16.2

8. Childcare Workers 2014 estimated employment: 4,870 2024 projected employment: 5,617 Percent change: 15.3

10. Accountants and Auditors 2014 estimated employment: 4,183 2024 projected employment: 4,830 Percent change: 15.5


Bus and truck mechanic Heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver

Engineering and Architecture

Civil engineer Landscape architect

Information Technology

Computer system analyst Web developer


Elementary and middle school teacher Special education teacher (K-12)

The Fargo Traffic Engineering Department operates 177 traffic signals and school/pedestrian flashers within city limits.

Social Services

Child, family and school social worker Mental health counselor


Anesthesiologist Exercise physiologist


Financial analyst Tax preparer

Skilled Trade

Carpenter Sheet metal worker

r esources We could fill a whole magazine with all the different resources that Job Service offers but below is a small sampling of things, as well as some other resources through different organizations.

Cass County’s 10 largest employers 1. Sanford Health

2. North Dakota State University 3. Noridian Mutual Insurance Company 4. Fargo Public School 5. Essentia Health 6. City of Fargo 7. US Bank 8. West Fargo Public School District 9. VA Medical Center 10. Microsoft

“Anybody who is looking for any kind of assistance with career or employment should come to Job Service. At the same time, any business that’s looking for employees should definitely connect with Job Service. We have the largest database of jobs in the state of North Dakota. We can spider in from every other website out there. Even if an employer doesn’t directly post on our website, we’re spidering in those jobs that are posted on their individual websites and other job banks. That’s a huge plus for both applicants, the general public who are looking for a job or a different job and then businesses that are looking for employees. “One thing that I always keep in mind is that we are trying to do good things for the community as a whole, be that bridge between employers and employees and get them together so we can be a resource for everybody when it comes to employment.” - Carey Fry

Job Service

From job postings to resume assistance and interviewing assistance to Veterans employment services and much more, Job Service offers many different services for individuals and businesses. For the full listing of all their resources, go to

RU Ready ND

A site with career planning, self-assessment tests, preparation for college and high school and much more. Go to for more information.


The Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation works with K-12, higher education and industries to ensure a strong talent pipeline, as well as making sure the community is prosperous. Learn more at

Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce is an organization that represents 2,100 private, public and nonprofit member firms representing more than 109,000 people and has a number of resources and educational events. Go to for more info.

Moorhead Workforce Center

Aimed at businesses and individuals, the Moorhead Workforce Center offers a number of events and other resources for job seekers. Go to for more information.

Adult Learning Centers

Offering programs like GED, English as a second language, career-related training, driver’s education and other services, more info can be learned at

Vocational Rehabilitation

The vocational rehabilitation’s mission is to assist North Dakotans with disabilities to improve their employment opportunities and to assist North Dakota businesses in finding solutions to their disability-related issues. Go to for more information.

FM Ride Source

This program offers transportation options for people with disabilities and those over age 60. Learn more at

#FargoByFargo | 123


You Challenge Us To Do This Year

There’s so much to do in the FM community that it can be challenging to set your new year’s resolutions. Well, to help you out, we hit the streets, and the coffee shops, to ask you what your Fargo-Moorhead new year’s resolutions are. Here’s what you had to say.

Gretchen Ehlen

Sarah Strong

Owner of Cold Fusion From Fargo

Keeper of the Beans at Twenty Below Coffee From Glyndon, Minn.

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“My resolution is to spend more time at the Fargo Library and read or write letters more often.”

“I would love to do something with TEDx. I’m going to get more involved with TEDxFargo.

This year’s TEDx is July 26.

Grant Johnson Gate City Bank From Bemidji, Minn.

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“Volunteer more and be more a part of the community. I’ve been really slacking since leaving college. I used to be really involved in the marksmanship community.”

124 | 2018 |

At, you can view a list of many different ways you can get involved in the community.

NDSU football's six FCS National Championships is tied for the most in the subdivision.

Don’t cha know?

There are more than 100 parks in just Fargo alone.

Danae Moran

Social media guru at 20 Below Coffee From Barnesville, Minn.

Nicole Mendoza Wedding Photographer From Fargo. “I’m a ’96 blizzard baby. I survived the blizzard of 1996.”

Fargo New Year’s resolution… Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“In 2018, I want to explore more of Fargo’s parks and see what’s out there. We go to the ones that are close to our house but there are probably a lot of hidden unique spots that I don’t know about.”

“I’m moving to Rome, but with the time I have left in Fargo, what I want to do is go ice skating downtown because that’s one of my absolute favorite things to do, especially in Fargo when the lights are nice, they’re on, the sky is dark and there’s that perfect family moment where you’re all ice skating around in a circle.”

Don’t cha know?

Ben Nash Social Security Administration From Colfax, N.D.

There’s a viral campaign called #doitalldowntown to promote the fact that you can get anything you need in the course of a day in downtown.

Don’t cha know?

The Fargo Library has a collection of more than 165,000 books, 10,000 DVDs and three different locations.

Hillary Ehlen

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“To seek wonder and I would like to read 25 books next year. I got 19 books this year so I have a long way to go.”

Julie Robbins

Owner of Fowler’s Heritage Company From Fargo

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“To get out in the community, shop downtown and have my face out there more in the stores and say, ‘Hey, I’m Julie’ and try and be more community involved.” #FargoByFargo | 125

Don’t cha know?

The YMCA offers swim lessons for children as young as 6-months old.

Riley Mack Barista at Twenty Below Coffee From Duluth, Minn.

Marnie Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“I want to be an active mom. I want to take her to Frostival. There are swimming lessons that we hope to go to at the Y. There’s a lot of wonderful stuff going on in the summer like the art fairs.”

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“Have a few global experiences and see what’s out there. I haven’t really been outside of the midwest so I’m looking to broaden my horizons. But, I’ll always come back to Fargo. However, any of the new cultural experiences I can experience here in my hometown, I definitely take advantage of that. Fargo has a lot to offer and it’s definitely growing in its cultural expansion.”

Mike Balter

Don’t cha know?

The FM area has more than 50 different ethnic restaurants. If you go to, you’ll find an almost extensive list of restaurants in town that you can sort by cuisine types.

Social Security Administration From Milwaukee

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“Do some ice skating outside at the Downtown rink. I’ve never done it.”

Chicken shawarma, basmati rice and sweet and spicy chicken from Madina Cuisine

Mike Moran Owner of Twenty Below Coffee From the Twin Cities Like downtownonice to stay up to date on all the action at the Downtown ice rink.

126 | 2018 |

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“I’ve been thinking more about rubbing elbows with people on more of a regular basis. Sitting down next to people, either in the bar or other places around town and being more intentional with people.”

The Street Department is responsible for maintaining over 23,000 signs within the city limits.

Jessica Howard 20 Below Coffee From Moorhead

Fargo New Year’s resolution…

“Go kayaking down by the Hjemkomst Center in the summer. I love kayaking.”

You can rent canoes and kayaks down by the Hjemkomst Center to take out on the Red River. Go to to learn more.

Fargo by Fargo 2018  

Spotlight Media's second annual Fargo By Fargo. Get an inside look at the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo as we talk to hundreds of people to...

Fargo by Fargo 2018  

Spotlight Media's second annual Fargo By Fargo. Get an inside look at the Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo as we talk to hundreds of people to...