YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE G N U O Y O TO A T R A T S O T . . . S S E N I S U B april 2018
Meet the 16 founders from the Young Entrepreneurs Academy
// APRIL 2018
30 YEA! The kids are the future, and there's no better proof of that than the FMWF Young Entrepreneurs Academy. Join us as we profile YEA! — the first and only program of its kind in North Dakota — and meet the local middle and high school students who will become the founders of tomorrow.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES 16 The Guy Who's Going to Make Downtown Moorhead Cool Again Derrick LaPoint - Downtown Moorhead, Inc. 20 Event Preview: Financial Planning Day Kurt Lysne - Moore Engineering Toby Krone - Moorhead Police Department Shane Cullen - Park Co. Realtors Paul Jarvis - United Capital Fargo Thomas Loegering - Wanzek Construction 22 5 Tips for Business Travel from Fargo Jared Kamrowski - Thrifty Traveler 26 Roberts Commons Retail Preview Josh Ulrich - Scoop N Dough Candy Co. Erica Meech - Pink Luxe Boutique 46 Oh, the Places We've Been! Dayna Del Val - The Arts Partnership 50 Wage-and-Hour Issues, Pt. 2 Kristy Albrecht and Beth Alvine - Fredrikson & Byron
55 8 Misconceptions About Running a Pawn Shop Ken Martin - Moorhead Exchange Station 59 Faces of Fargo Business Margot Peterson - The Fancy Dinosaur Chris Edgerley - Imagination Builders Kurt McSparron - the100, inc. 66 It Wasn't Always Like This: The Stage at Island Park Marisa Jackels - Tellwell 70 Creative Culture: Wanzek Construction's FistBump Randy Johnson, Rob Lee and Karen Tucker Wanzek Construction Phil Swan - Fargo Police Department
74 Tech Corner: The 3 Website Options Jared Finkelson - Giga-Green Technologies 76 March Business Events Calendar
Visit FargoInc.com for extended content covering Fargo-Moorhead's business community and articles from past issues of Fargo INC!
Things I Learned
While Serving as a YEA! Mentor And Why You Should Consider Mentoring, Too
1. You probably have more to offer than you think.
2. Kids approach problems differently than adults.
When Program Coordinator Katie Ralston first reached out to me about mentoring a YEA! student, in my head, I immediately started going through all the reasons it shouldn't be me:
This shows up most noticeably in the way kids tend to get less bogged down in the minutiae. To put it another way, they often do, in fact, see the forest for the trees.
"I'm a journalist. What do I know about starting and running a business?" "What if I give my student some terrible advice that sinks their idea?" "It's been a while since I've put that high school math education to use. I hope the financials aren't too challenging." What I realized within the first session, though, is that these kids aren't looking for some consultant to come in and help them maximize profits; they're looking for a partner and a sounding board. They just need someone who they can talk their ideas out with, who will challenge some of their assumptions, and who will provide support and encouragement when the self-doubt inevitably starts creeping in.
I think fellow YEA! mentor Jack Yakowicz put it best when talking about working with his own student. "I often get caught in the nuances of: What's our target demographic? How are we going to make this work? What are all the channels of advertising we should go through?," says the marketing manager at Office Sign Company. "With him, it was, 'I have a solid product. I believe in my talent. I'm going to sell things, and it's going to work.' That was really nice to see that approach and (see him) not be too worried about competition or other outside factors." I, too, learned a great deal throughout the program about my own tendency to try to find a problem for every solution.
3. This program is truly an investment in the local economy. If your first reaction to a program like YEA! is something like, "How cute. What a great experience to put on a college application," I think you'd be underestimating its true potential. A lot of these kids have real ideas with real potential, and while not all of the ideas will become full-fledged businesses, all it takes is one to become the next Great Plains Software, Discovery Benefits or RDO. Imagine for a second if our relatively minor investment in a program like YEA! produced a company that created hundreds or thousands of jobs in the metro and beyond. The value of YEA! isn't just in the experience these local kids get, which is valuable in and of itself, but also in what we as a community stand to gain if we put our money where our mouth is as champions of small business and entrepreneurship.
Thanks for reading,
Nate Mickelberg Editor, Fargo INC!
EDITORIAL BOARD We at Fargo INC! want to make sure our content is unbiased and fully reflects the FMWF business community. That's why we meet regularly with our six-member editorial board to discuss area business issues and trends and ensure we are living up to our core values.
FMWF Chamber of Commerce
Dakota Medical Foundation
FM Area Foundation
United Way of Cass-Clay
President and CEO
SVP of Finance and Entrepreneurial Development
Greater FM Economic Development Corporation
Moorhead Economic Development Authority
April 2018 Volume 3 Issue 4
Fargo INC! is published 12 times a year and is available at area businesses and online at FargoInc.com.
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Warmer days are ahead, and we can't wait to freshen up our homes. That's why we're celebrating with our All Things Spring local shopping guide. This month, we visited local furniture and home decor stores in FMWF to take inventory of their new arrivals. What we found at these stores were handmade, on-trend, and high-end products. You'll find exactly what you need to revitalize your state of mind and satisfy the desire to update your space for the season.
The Bison baseball and softball teams flee the freezing temperatures in Fargo to find warmer, more suitable playing weather every February and March. This year, they bring us along on their journeys from coast to coast. Kevin Folman and KK Leddy carry us inside the world of student-athlete life on the road and expose the challenges and fun they have while bouncing around the country with their teammates.
As Spring comes into full bloom we traveled around Fargo and Moorhead to visit the local breweries, distilleries and even a meadery. Fargo Monthly got a first-hand look at how your favorite craft beverages are made by the experts themselves. We also learned of new and exciting drinks, events and locations that will continue to peak the interest of any beer, wine and spirit connoisseur. So come along with us on Fargo Monthly's beer wine and spirits tour.
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When the Downtown Moorhead Inc. board was done reviewing the nearly 150 applicants from across the country who applied to be its first president, they still hadn't found "the one." Lucky for them, the one they were looking for was right across the river. Meet Derrick LaPoint, the guy tasked with doing what no one else has been able to: make downtown Moorhead cool again.
Derrick LaPoint: Where He's Been After an accomplished career with the University of North Dakota men's hockey team, LaPoint spent a couple years playing professional hockey on the East Coast. While extensive travel is part and parcel of being a pro athlete, he says life on the road wasn't all bad, as it gave him a chance to visit a lot of towns and cities and see what kinds of urban development were working and which weren't. "Most of the communities we went to had large downtown centers," says LaPoint, who, during this time, was perhaps unknowingly preparing for his second career. "Some were really good; some were really bad; some were really old; some were really modern. I got to see how different places were designed and what worked functionally and what didn't." After his hockey career ended due to injury, LaPoint ended up in Speedway, Indiana, a self-contained enclave within Indianapolis, gaining valuable hands-on experience working in city government. "I got to have my hands in everything in that town," says LaPoint, who landed the gig after emailing a number of municipalities in the area telling them he'd work for free in exchange for experience. "I wasn't just a coffee runner and didn't work on just one project. I got to work right underneath the city manager and did all sorts of stuff." After going back to school to complete a master's at his alma mater, both LaPoint and his wife eventually landed jobs in Fargo, she as a genetics counselor with Sanford Health and he in the newly created role of "Manager of Land Entitlement" with Fargobased hotel developer TMI Hospitality. "I was able to learn a lot and go to a lot of municipalities again and understand government," says LaPoint, who, in the position, worked with city governments to get hotels entitled.
For the last three years, LaPoint worked as a planner with the City of Fargo, focusing mainly on downtown issues such as incentive programs, parking and codes. "I have a pretty vast knowledge base of how urban centers work," says LaPoint, who adds that he's hoping downtown Moorhead is the beneficiary of the relationships he's built with local and national developers during his time in Fargo. "And while I didn't experience the 'lows' of Downtown Fargo, knowing where it was at and then watching it blossom and continue to grow was a good experience."
What Is Downtown Moorhead Inc.? • A group of private business leaders
and university presidents aiming to develop and change the perception of downtown Moorhead
• Funded 100% by private investment
Good for Downtown = Good for the City LaPoint says he and his team are looking to take advantage of what's become a nationwide trend of reviving and developing downtowns as a way to spur economic growth in cities. "When you have an urban center — and you do it correctly with a lot of people living down there; you have retail; you have offices — you can really build a large tax base in a relatively small area," LaPoint says. "And from a city planner's perspective, if you were going to start a brand new city and had limited funds, your dollar stretches a lot further if you concentrate that growth into a small, regional center rather than spreading all your infrastructure out throughout a community. If you think about Center Avenue, for example, you could service 50 businesses on one pipe, not to mention things like plow and fire services. It's just easier to manage."
A Community Vision While LaPoint says he has his own ideas for downtown Moorhead, he also understands it can't just be his or his board's vision; it has to be a community vision. "The opportunity we have is to really engage the citizens of Moorhead and ask where we want to go together," he says. "How do we all become proud of what's downtown and then be excited about it and utilize it? Because it should be an area that's open and available for everybody, not just the bar crowd or young people. It should be ages 8-80." LaPoint alludes to a number of studies that show it's not just Millennials gravitating toward downtowns but also older generations like the Baby Boomers. "They're moving out of their suburbs and coming into smaller areas," LaPoint says, "because they want to be somewhere where you can walk; you can bike; you can do pretty much everything in a short distance.
• In contrast to the Moorhead Business
Association and Moorhead EDA will focus exclusively on downtown Moorhead and its fringes
LaPoint says he's looking forward to building partnerships with not just Moorhead organizations such as the City of Moorhead, Moorhead EDA, and MBA, but also the Fargo-based Greater Fargo-Moorhead EDC. "Together, these groups can be a voice for positive change in downtown Moorhead," he says.
Downtown Moorhead Inc. Board Members • Dave Anderson - Sanford Health • Anne Blackhurst - Minnesota State
• Bill Craft - Concordia College • Peggy Kennedy - M State • Dave Hunstad - Moorhead Business
• Joe Watzke - Bell Bank
Clearing the Air on Incentives "When I was in Fargo, there was a lot of misinformation (about incentives)," LaPoint says. "(In Moorhead), it will really be about providing a clear, consistent message across the board. Incentives get such a bad rap in Fargo, but there's such a limited understanding of how those deals come about, what they actually are and how much people are really profiting from them." In that vein, the Moorhead Economic Development Authority has designated three "Urban Progress Zones" — Downtown, Near Downtown and Transitional — that will have different incentives available for businesses based on the zone they're in. LaPoint asks that developers contact himself or Moorhead Economic Development Authority Executive Director Cindy Graffeo for more information.
• Ted Horan - RDO • Marcia Pulczinski - Image Group
• Lisa Borgen - American Crystal Sugar • Mike Burns - Michael J. Burns
• Brandon Lunak - Moorhead Area
• Jon Riewer - Eventide • Steve D. Scheel - SCHEELS • Jade Rosenfeldt - Vogel Law Firm • Matt Leiseth - Hornbacher's
A rendering of the mixed-use building under construction at the corner of Eighth Street and Main Avenue in downtown Moorhead.
Moorhead's Competitive Advantages LaPoint says that, in addition to Moorhead's competitiveness in the property tax arena and Minnesota's Border Cities property tax credit program, there are a number of other current and potential competitive advantages Moorhead has over its metro neighbors. "There's land available at a lower cost," he says. "And I think something that will eventually happen in Downtown Fargo is that costs will get so high that some people may get forced out. We have the ability in Moorhead to utilize that as a tool and use it as a way to get people in the door. "There's also tremendous opportunity with the green spaces along the riverfront. I think if there's a way to embrace the river and get people engaged — I'm thinking Woodlawn Park, Viking Park, the area down by American Crystal Sugar's offices — there are opportunities people can get on board with."
Have to Start Somewhere LaPoint says he hopes Center Avenue will eventually become Moorhead's Broadway, evidenced and jumpstarted by a couple of projects announced last year led by local developer and architect, Kevin Bartram. The old Moorhead armory and the adjacent Simon Warehouse building are planned to be converted into an events center and apartment complex, respectively. "Maybe these two projects are the catalyst for breaking down risk and coming into the community," says LaPoint, who adds that he's also excited by the progress of the new mixed-use building at the corner of Eighth Street and Main Avenue (rendering above). "I think it should tell a lot about where we have the potential to go. "For the longest time, there just wasn't anything being built in downtown Moorhead. So I think it's about the momentum, a little push of a ball that you just keep pushing and pushing until you get it rolling down the hill. I think it's a fun story to tell about some of the older buildings in downtown Moorhead." coming back to life."
More Residents, More Development One thing LaPoint says he intends to stress with investors and the community is the importance of getting more people actually living in downtown Moorhead. "If you can get more people living down there, eating at the restaurants, shopping at the mall, wanting to work there and do things, there is typically less of a barrier for developers to come in and develop," LaPoint says. "We also need to create a sense of community. The residential we do have is great — down by the riverfront, for example — and the core neighborhoods on either side, but that's definitely one thing I'll be working with the city on. Maybe we can even set a housing goal of a number of units we want to see in the next 5-10 years."
Downtown Moorhead Inc. Facebook.com/DowntownMoorhead
CHECK OUT FARGOINC.COM TO SEE WHY EACH OF THESE GUYS GOT INVOLVED.
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR FINANCIAL PLANNING DAY
Moorhead Police Department
United Capital Fargo
Park Co. Reators
Financial Planning Day F
or the second time in as many years, the FMWF Chamber of Commerce's Leadership program will be hosting Financial Planning Day, an opportunity for anyone in the metro to attend both oneon-one sessions with Certified Financial Planners, as well as topicspecific workshops on home buying, estate planning, and elder care, among others. An additional offering this year — and one of the reasons the event was moved to mid-April — is that there will also be local CPAs available to answer people's last-minute tax-related questions and clear up any confusion about the new tax bill. Who: Chamber of Commerce's Leadership FMWF (in partnership with the Foundation for Financial Planning) What: 2nd Annual Financial Planning Day • Four workshops: budgeting, estate planning, home buying and elder care/senior planning • Keynote speaker (TBD) • 30-minute one-on-one sessions with Certified Financial Planners and CPAs • Village Family Services booth for those in need
Should I Attend? • Do you want to learn how to budget better? • Are you looking at buying a home? • Are you going through the estate-planning process? • Are you changing jobs or starting a new benefits plan? • Can you typically not afford financial-planning services? • Are you going through a major life transition?
When: Saturday, April 14, 9 a.m. - noon (people can start arriving at 8:30 a.m. to register if they haven't already) Where: Barry Hall (NDSU), 811 2nd Ave. N, Fargo Why: A free event designed to give FMWF residents a chance to speak one-on-one with professional financial planners and address their financial questions at no cost. With people not always sure where to go for sound financial advice, this is a no-strings-attached way to do that at a one-day event.
Financial Planning Day GetAPlanNow.com
How: Registration is not required but likely necessary if you want to secure a one-on-one session with a CFP/CPA. Register and get more info at GetAPlanNow.com. FARGOINC.COM
5 Ways to Traveling from Fargo Hello, Fargo INC! readers! My name is Jared Kamrowski, and I'm the founder of a website called Thrifty Traveler. Thrifty Traveler helps people travel by taking advantage of flight deals and credit card reward programs. With my extensive experience traveling — specifically, my experience traveling out of Fargo — I wanted to share a few tips and tricks I've picked up over the years. BY Jared Kamrowski PHOTOS COURTESY OF Jared Kamrowski
Google Flights > Expedia/Priceline Google Flights is the only search tool you should be using to book your next flight. It’s more powerful than Expedia or Priceline, and Google Flights allows you to book directly through the airline. You can search up to five departure cities and five destinations at once, all while quickly breezing through the calendar feature to see daily prices for the next 11 months. One unique feature is the ability to set up Google Flights price alerts within each search. When prices drop, you’ll receive an email immediately alerting you to the change. While being flexible on travel dates will save you the most money — by traveling on Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday — many times, you don’t have the ability to be flexible with your travel. Using Google Flights price alerts will help you monitor fares before purchasing. I always recommend booking out as far as possible and avoiding purchasing flights within 30-45 days of departure, which is when prices typically double in price. Another time to avoid flying is during peak summer in June and July, as well as during the winter holidays.
Meet Jared Kamrowski
There are secret deals, but you have to know where to look. As I'm sure you're well aware, flights from Fargo generally don’t come cheap. The primary reason is a lack of competition. International flights can often exceed $1,500 to destinations in Europe or Asia. The good news, though, is that airlines frequently have secret, unadvertised sales. These unpublished sale fares are typically as low as $450 from Fargo to European destinations such as Amsterdam, Paris or Rome. At Thrifty Traveler, we find flash sales like these from the FM area every 30-60 days.
A born-and-raised Fargoan, Jared Kamrowski worked as a CPA with the FDIC before founding Thrifty Traveler. In fact, it's his time with the FDIC that lit the initial spark for his company. Traveling for work for weeks on end allowed Kamrowski to accumulate a significant amount of credit card rewards points, allowing him and his future wife to vacation all over the world despite a modest income. What initially started as a blog to help other people — including friends and family who were curious how the couple could afford their seemingly lavish lifestyle — take advantage of these rewards programs has now turned into a website and full-time career.
Websites like ours constantly track these flash sales, and we immediately alert subscribers when they pop up. Earlier this year, we posted fares from Fargo to Amsterdam for $468 round-trip and Fargo to Rome for $485 round-trip! The sales typically only last an hour or two, so it’s important to always book first and ask questions later. The U.S Department of Transportation allows you to cancel any flight within 24 hours if purchased directly through the airline, and this makes it easy to commit to a flight deal and then figure out if it will fit into your schedule. I know everyone in Fargo wants to fly from Hector International Airport, but many times, fares are much lower out of Minneapolis. At Thrifty Traveler, we feature daily domestic deals out of Minneapolis for $200 and international fares for less than $600.
"THE SALES TYPICALLY ONLY LAST AN HOUR OR TWO, SO IT'S IMPORTANT TO BOOK NOW AND ASK QUESTIONS LATER."
Drive a little. Save a lot. Typical fares from Fargo to Denver average $437 if you fly United round-trip. To save, snag a flight non-stop on United from Jamestown to Denver for only $225 round-trip every day of the year, including peak summer and holiday seasons. You can thank the Essential Air Service government program for those cheap, subsidized fares. Uncle Sam picks up the tab for part of the fare to ensure air service to small rural communities that normally wouldn’t have affordable daily flights. The Essential Air Service provides subsidized fares to nearly 160 communities nationwide. Similar subsidized service is available on Boutique Air from Thief River Falls to Minneapolis for $146 round-trip, as well as United service from Devils Lake to Denver for only $265 round-trip. Making a short drive to one of these nearby communities is an easy way to save on your next trip to Denver or Minneapolis. FARGOINC.COM
Look into co-branded credit cards.
How to Take Advantage of Thrifty Traveler • Sign up for their free daily newsletter, which has a more comprehensive list of both domestic and international flight deals. • Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for exclusive updates and announcements. • Follow them on Instagram, which alerts you to the daily Minneapolis flight deals.
If you travel a lot, check out Thrifty Traveler Premium.
Using points and miles earned from travel rewards credit cards is the cheapest way to fly out of Fargo. With the most routes out of Fargo flying Delta, I recommend picking up one of the Delta American Express co-branded credit cards. There are seven different personal and business Delta credit cards, and you can earn the sign-up bonus on each one, once per lifetime. With the average sign-up bonus being 60,000-70,000 Delta SkyMiles, it can be easy to rack up thousands of points in a short period of time. One of the unique uses of Delta SkyMiles is the "Pay with Miles" program that allows you to use SkyMiles (at $0.01 per point) to purchase actual cash fares. The only catch is that you must hold a co-branded American Express Delta credit card to take advantage of the “Pay with Miles” program. When Thrifty Traveler finds a cheap flight deal, you can save more with “Pay with Miles” than if you redeemed SkyMiles for a regular award ticket. Let’s say a flash sale pops up for flights from Fargo to Zurich on Delta for $450 round-trip; you could use 45,000 SkyMiles to pay for the trip instead of cash, and you still earn Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQMs) toward Delta status. This kind of approach is key to being a "Thrifty Traveler."
I realize you don’t have the time to be constantly searching for cheap fares, so if you are a frequent international traveler, the best way to find cheap fares out of Fargo or Minneapolis is with our Thrifty Traveler Premium service. For only $30 per year, we search 24/7 for the best international flight deals and immediately send them straight to your inbox. Being the first to know about these time-sensitive flight deals is essential to booking the cheapest flight possible. Premium emails are tailored to your location, which will only provide flight deals relevant to you. You’ll no longer have to sift through all the deals we put out in a day, and you’ll never have to worry about missing another incredible deal. The other difference will be that instead of only departing from one major U.S. city, many of the deals will be from 50-plus cities across the country. Even smaller regional airports such as Fargo, Grand Forks and Bismarck are covered. Our deals save our subscribers an average of $250 or more off normal-priced international fares.
Thrifty Traveler ThriftyTraveler.com
"I think we have a lot more restricting of business growth than we think. We like to think we're not very bureaucratic, but when you look at some of the tax and licensing laws, they're not very conducive." BRITTANY SICKLER Outreach and Partnership Strategist, U.S. Small Business Administration FARGOINC.COM
A RoCo Retail Preview With most of the Roberts Commons retail spaces set to open in Downtown Fargo this spring and summer, we wanted to give readers a look at what's to come. From a candy-and-cookie dough shop to a boutique to an art gallery, there will be something for every downtowner to check out during a night (or day) on the town.
550-5,500 square footage range for retail spaces
RENDERINGS COURTESY OF Kilbourne Group
450+ parking spaces
Roberts Street Block GRAB A BITE
Announcement coming soon! 655 2nd Ave. N
(SPACE AVAILABLE) 207 Roberts St. ~1,500 sq. ft.
70+ amenity apartments
Second Avenue Block
SIP SOME COFFEE
Young Blood Coffee Co. 623 2nd Ave. N Owners: Tim and Elisha Griffin What it is: A West Coast-inspired artisan coffee shop that offers brighter flavors, as well as teas, juices and hot chocolate. Previous location: NP Avenue in Downtown Fargo Expected opening date: April 2018
GRAB A QUICK LUNCH Power Plate Meals 621 2nd Ave. N
Announcement coming soon! 615 2nd Ave. N
Owners: Seth and Haylee Houkom What it is: Healthy, convenient, ready-to-eat meals for the person on the go. The menu rotates every two weeks, so there's always something new and fresh to try. Other locations: West and South Fargo; Grand Forks; Bismarck; Eagan, Minnesota Expected opening date: June 2018
25,000 employees work within a onemile radius of downtown
95 neighborhood Walk Score
220+ bicycle stalls
Scoop N Dough Candy Co. 206 Roberts Alley Owner: Josh Ulrich
A ROCO TIMELINE Nov. '15 Kilbourne Group is chosen from three local developers to develop an urbanscale, mixed-use building with a parking structure on Second Avenue North in Downtown Fargo. June '16 Phase I kicks off with the construction of a seven-story parking garage. June '17 Parking garage is completed. April '17 Construction begins on Phase II, the mixed-use building that will wrap the parking garage. April '18 Expected completion date for Phase II. Kilbourne Groups hands off to new retail tenants for individual fit-ups. 28
What it is: Sweets shop that will feature cookie dough, ice cream, caramel corn and old-fashioned candy for a first-of-its-kind downtown dessert option. The space will feature bar seating that faces directly into the alley, with the ability to open up the "garage door" for additional seating outside. Expected opening date: May 2018 Why he's excited about RoCO: "RoCo is something new for Fargo â&#x20AC;&#x201D; having something like that downtown where people can park, eat, go shopping and check out an art gallery. I like the alley concept, and it's a cool but small space that we can really take advantage of in the area. That was really what drew me to it. We looked at other spaces on Broadway; we looked at other spaces by West Acres; and we just felt like this is where the people are going to be."
ENJOY THE ART Ecce Gallery 208 Roberts Alley
Owner: Mark Weiler What it is: Fine-art dealer that's considered an exhibition focal point for local and regional artists. It serves as a springboard for emerging talent in the area and is a respected destination for established artists. Some featured artists: Bob Crowe, Meghan Duda, Dan Jones, Mike Marth, Kelli Nelson, Emma Beatrez, Andrew David Stark. Former locations: Broadway, Fourth Street in Downtown Fargo Expected opening date: April 2018 (opening reception: April 12, 7-9 p.m.)
13,000 total square feet of retail and food/ beverage space
16,000 residents live within a onemile radius of downtown
SHOP TILL YOU DROP Pink Luxe Boutique 214 Roberts Alley Owner: Erica Meech What it is: Mid-price-point boutique that offers simple, ready-to-wear fashion. Expected opening date: April 2018 Why she's excited about RoCo: "I was looking for (other) small, niche shops because that's what people want nowadays is that mom-and-pop shop experience."
Roberts Commons KilbourneGroup.com/Properties/ RobertsCommons
MEET THE 16 LOCAL MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS OF THE FMWF YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS A C A D E M Y , T H E O N LY PROGRAM OF ITS KIND IN T H E S TAT E . BY Nate Mickelberg PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul
A WORD FROM
YEA! PROGRAM C O O RD I N AT O R K AT I E R A L S T O N
first learned about the Young Entrepreneurs Academy in the spring of 2016 and instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it. The Chamber had just completed its first year with the program and was looking to hire a coordinator to run it. I’ve always had a passion for helping students develop the skills they need to achieve their goals, and I love that I get to do that every day in this role. I couldn’t do what I do, though, without the help of countless others throughout the community who have joined the YEA! team. Volunteers If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire city to help one start a business. I can’t say “thank you” enough to those who give their time to this program. The students would not have the experience they do without all of our volunteer guest speakers, field trip hosts, mentors and instructors.
Throughout the last three years, our lead instructor, Protosthetics' Josh Teigen, has become an essential part of the fiber that makes up our local YEA! program and has played an instrumental role in the students’ understanding of how to build and operate a business. This year, we also welcomed two new instructors to our class. Cornerstone Bank's Jeff Thomas and Abernathey Holdings' Andrew Abernathey shared the responsibility of leading the second segment of the program and helped the students crunch numbers, connect with community resources and finalize their business plans. Our instructors and mentors are our most valuable players. They work alongside the students, support them when they get stressed, celebrate milestones, introduce them to their networks and are some of the first customers when YEA! businesses launch. All of these individuals have a tremendous impact on our students. Community Partners We couldn’t have a youth program if we didn’t have students to fill it, and recruiting would be nearly impossible without support from our local schools. Many have given me the opportunity to speak to their students about YEA! This year alone, more than 2,500 area students in grades 6-12 learned about the program through presentations in their classrooms, which wouldn’t have happened if administrators, teachers and counselors didn’t believe in it. I appreciate their support of YEA! and am thankful for their partnership. YEA! has also received a lot of support from local businesses that recognize the value of offering this type of education to our young people. YEA! provides students with opportunities to develop 21st century skills that will help them achieve academic and professional success for years to come. Students Finally, and most importantly, we have some truly brilliant students in our
community. I know because I’ve had the privilege to work with them over the last two years. The students in YEA! are creative, innovative and dedicated. Some are musicians; some are athletes; some are actors; some work part-time jobs; and most are involved in at least one student organization at school. And they voluntarily add three hours of class time onto their week because they want to continue learning! Not all students enter YEA! with a business idea. In fact, most of our students form their ideas once they’re accepted into the program. From their interview to the investor panel competition to graduation, what these young people accomplish in less than a year is remarkable. Creating a business is not easy, and YEA! requires students to be extra resourceful as they work with limited funding. I’m filled with pride when I see students navigate obstacles, turn to one another for input and reach out to community members to help them accomplish their goals. We’ve had students partner with nonprofit organizations; work with engineers at Appareo Systems to create a prototype; one even emailed Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi and got a response! One of my favorite aspects of this program is watching the students create their own community within our classroom. We treat them like professionals, not kids, and they treat one another as colleagues. They range in age from 11-18, but you would never know it based on how they interact with each other. When I look at the students who have been a part of this academy, I can tell that the future of our community is in good hands. I’m inspired by the young entrepreneurs I’m lucky enough to work with and can’t wait to see what they accomplish with the skills they developed in YEA!
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy was started in 2004 at the University of Rochester in New York. Since that time, YEA! has grown nationally, and the FMWF Chamber of Commerce's YEA! program, which started in the fall of 2015, is the first and only of its kind in North Dakota. YEA! is a 30-week program that takes middle and high school students through the process of developing their own real businesses. From October through May, YEA! students meet at Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead and North Dakota State University and learn from local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs come from a variety of fields and teach the fundamentals of starting a business and provide valuable insight for the students to consider as they create their businesses. Students are also paired with area professionals who serve as mentors and who come into class for six weeks to help them finalize their business plans and prepare for their YEA! Investor Panel Shark Tank presentations. During the Investor Panel Shark Tank, students have five minutes to pitch their ideas and ask for real funding to help them launch their businesses. Although many may receive funding, only one business will be selected to advance to the national YEA! Saunders Scholars competition.
MENTOR: NATE MICKELBERG, FARGO INC!
MENTOR: GREGORY WALD, MOORE ENGINEERING
THE IDEA: NERDSPORT NerdSport's mission is to encourage, support, and celebrate young people involved in non-athletic competitions and activities. This will be done through an event-based platform with complementary content online.
Launching a business is not easy, but when you take it one step at a time, it becomes conquerable. My biggest challenge has been focusing on one idea and trying to start small and leave room to grow.
THE IDEA: KENNELBOTIX KennelBotix specializes in building the Kennelbot, which automates the cleaning process in humane societies and commercial kennels. It's installed into existing kennels, and at the push of a button, the Kennelbot cleans the kennel, start to finish. With the Kennelbot, more time can be directed toward the animals in shelters.
MY REALITY CHECK
Finding out how much my product was going to cost.
YEA! Fun Facts 34
DEREK J O H S AGE 18
TYLER N I E M I AGE 17
WEST FARGO HIGH SCHOOL
OAK GROVE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL
DISCOVERY MIDDLE SCHOOL
MENTOR: ADAM KUSLER, IMPLEMENTATION SPECIALISTS
MENTOR: TIFFANIE HONEYMAN, OPGO MARKETING
MENTOR: BETTY GRONNEBERG, UCODEGIRL
THE IDEA: DEV
THE IDEA: RED RIVER AUTO MARKETING
DEV is an affordable computer-building service that focuses on adding customized aspects. In addition, DEV looks to cooperate with local business by including them in the creation process, ensuring the perfect computer for the customer, regardless of purpose.
MY REALITY CHECK I found out very quickly that a business cannot involve a single person. Help from those who have offered has really aided in the process. I’ve learned from new worlds and have made new connections that promise to deliver when DEV becomes a reality. Now that I know it’s not acceptable to handle everything alone, I’m no longer afraid to search for help. This realization alone has driven my inspiration to continue.
total have graduated from the YEA! program.
THE IDEA: BRAINY LADIES
Red River Auto Marketing's purpose is fairly simple: We do social media management and marketing for car dealerships. Recently, there has been a push toward social media as a tool for marketing and a huge influx of social media marketers. To set ourselves apart, we focus only on car dealerships.
Brainy Ladies is an e-magazine that focuses on girls interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Brainy Ladies will help a daughter/ niece/special girl get interested in STEM, embrace their inner genius and have fun while doing it. Included with a one year, $15 bi-monthly subscription will be DIY videos, STEM projects and contests.
FAVORITE PART OF YEA!
RISKS/CHALLENGES/FAILURES The biggest challenge for me has been the public-speaking portion of the program. We haven’t done too much of it yet, but a lot of the program is built around public speaking, which is not one of my strong suits. However, we have been working on that through different workshops and other things, so I think, in the future, this won't be as much of an issue.
My favorite YEA! lesson was when we had a speaker come talk to us about our elevator speeches. I learned that I can talk really fast when reading an elevator speech and so can Ivy and Anna! I found that lesson to be important and fun because we got to pitch to our classmates and instructors right after the practice. I also learned that it can be a great learning experience writing about yourself and your business.
Nationally, more than
have launched through YEA! FARGOINC.COM
MEET A YEA! MENTOR
KRISTI ULRICH AND RAINI ENDICOTT
Kristi Ulrich Executive Director, Face it TOGETHER FM What they do: A community addictionmanagement organization that offers one-on-one and peer-to-peer coaching to addiction sufferers and their loved ones at no charge How she got involved w/ YEA!: Daughter, Sydney, was in inaugural YEA! class two years ago (and still runs her business, "Headbands for a Cure," to this day) How she most added value as a mentor: Business plan financials
Q + A WHAT DID YOUR STUDENT TEACH YOU THROUGHOUT THE EXPERIENCE? KU: Perserverance. Especially with myself right now, working in a new startup, it's very refreshing to see others believing in social entrepreneurship as well. We offer our services at no charge, and it's a challenge to bring in money so that we can provide. We raise money today so that we can help people tomorrow, and I think having that freshness of youth (reminds you) that anything is possible. WHY DO YOU THINK PROGRAMS LIKE YEA! ARE BENEFICIAL TO THE LARGER BUSINESS COMMUNITY? KU: I think it opens up eyes. There are a lot of great ideas with our youth, and it's an opportunity for the business community to listen to those ideas. And it gives value to the youth, from a standpoint of confidencebuilding. When my daughter did (YEA!) — she has some anxiety — she stood up and did her presentation, and it was no big deal. Engaged youth make for a healthy community, and it gives kids something to do. And we can take them seriously. They have great ideas; not all the ideas come from older people. So if we can get our youth engaged in the community, that's a really good thing. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A FELLOW PROFESSIONAL OR COMPANY THINKING ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED WITH YEA!? KU: Both the YEA! participant and you, as a businessperson, get something from it. It's not one-sided. And we can be wonderfully surprised by what these kids have to offer and what they can bring to the table. It's just a phenomenal program. The things (these kids) are doing don't always have to wait until college or after college.
JOHN VAN LIS T ENBURG
PARK CHRISTIAN SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL
FARGO DAVIES HIGH SCHOOL
MENTOR: KIM HOESCHEN, XCEL ENERGY THE IDEA: SIMPLISTIC SOLUTIONS Simplistic Solutions is a company designed to find solutions to everyday problems people deal with. Our first project as a company is called the Airmigo and will help people who have allergic reactions to airborne allergens. Once the company grows, we will be attempting to tackle a problem that many people face and deal with daily: air pollution.
FAVORITE PART OF YEA! I personally liked the CEO roundtable where we got to hear from actual business owners about what they did when they started their businesses and how they failed and succeeded. I also like how we put an entire business plan together, step by step.
RISKS/CHALLENGES/FAILURES The risk of not "making it" makes you strive for it even more. It was a challenge to solve aspects of the business that we had no experience in, but we researched and learned that, as owners, we need to be able to do everything within the business.
of FMWF YEA! graduates are still running the businesses they developed in the program.
MEET THE KIDS HANNA S L AT E R
FARGO NORTH HIGH SCHOOL
BEN FRANKLIN MIDDLE SCHOOL
KINDRED HIGH SCHOOL
MENTOR: LUKE MCSHANE, FARGO PARK DISTRICT
MENTOR: SAMANTHA GUST, HOSPICE OF THE RED RIVER VALLEY
MENTOR: BEN KEEN, MCNEILUS STEEL
THE IDEA: LIFT (LEARN, INSPIRE, FOSTER & THRIVE)
THE IDEA: STOPPLEWORTH DEFENSE
LIFT is a symbolic fashion accessory that represents a commitment to empowering, or "lifting," women and young ladies. The accessory cannot be purchased; it must be earned by completing online training themed around actionable ways to support females. Graduates of the program can easily identify a network of supportive allies by the branded accessory they wear.
Stoppleworth Defense teaches selfdefense to students after the school day is over.
THE IDEA: PARADOX ARCHERY Paradox Archery is a pop-up archery range that focuses on affordable recreational archery. The business aims to get young kids and teens involved in a sport that is expensive and makes it affordable for people of average household income.
MY REALITY CHECK It takes a lot — and I mean A LOT — of time to build a business. And it takes hard work and dedication that not everyone possesses. It takes both an idea and work. What you put in is what you get out; that is super important to know.
FAVORITE PART OF YEA! Learning how to create a business that will change the world!
50 local business professionals volunteer each year with YEA!
RISKS/CHALLENGES/FAILURES The biggest possible failure for me is that my business goes belly up. That may seem really awful and terrifying, but one of the advantages of starting a business so young is that it doesn’t matter if you fail. You learn from your failure, and you’ve got the rest of your life to try again.
YEA! graduates have been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, Fox Business and ABC Nightly News. FARGOINC.COM
MEET THE KIDS AMEENA JOVONOVICH
SCOBIE B AT H I E
FARGO NORTH HIGH SCHOOL
FARGO NORTH HIGH SCHOOL
WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCOOL
MENTORS: BRIANNE HOFFMAN, DOOSAN BOBCAT AND SARA HANSTAD, WELLS FARGO
MENTOR: BLAYNE MAGDEFRAU, SCHEELS
MENTOR: KRISTI ULRICH, FACE IT TOGETHER FARGO-MOORHEAD
THE IDEA: BOOKS FOR TOMORROW Books For Tomorrow strives to help fill the economic gap that schools endure. By taking unused textbooks from high schools, universities, and libraries, Books For Tomorrow resells educational materials at a price affordable to schools in low-income areas in order to provide students with the best academic opportunities.
MY REALITY CHECK
My biggest reality check has been in both written and spoken form: Short and concise is always better than long and over-detailed.
THE IDEA: PHAT CAPS (PEOPLE HELP ALLEVIATE TRASH) PHAT Caps sells baseball hats created from entirely recycled and reused materials. 10 percent of all profits also get donated to Sierra Club, which is an environmental organization that works to help save the nature on our planet.
The Big Picture Project is a program designed to create an environment of empowerment and opportunity for women who have been, or are currently, incarcerated and remove the stigma surrounding those who have been incarcerated.
Finding suppliers for all the recycled materials I need to create the PHAT Caps hats has proven to be difficult. I have to research and compare different qualities of supplies to see which best fit the needs.
The FMWF YEA! program is the first and only one in North Dakota. 40
THE IDEA: BIG PICTURE PROJECT
Since I was very young, the plan was always to save the world. I didn’t know where or how I was going to start, but simply: I was going to do it all! It’s with that mindset where it was more of a challenge than anything to take this route. I never saw myself being a business owner because I felt I didn’t fit the idea of what a business owner was. It took some time to look past that notion and realize I’m doing this for a reason. I have the passion, and with that, the pieces can fall together if I work hard enough.
MSUM graphic design students helped create the logos, business cards and brochures for each FMWF YEA! business this year.
MEET A YEA! MENTOR
B L AY N E M A G D E F R A U A N D S C O B I E B AT H I E Blayne Magdefrau Assistant Store Leader, SCHEELS What they do: Fargo-based national clothing and sporting goods retailer How he got involved w/ YEA!: Chosen by SCHEELS team How he most added value as a mentor: Retail expertise in customer service and buying
Q + A WHAT DID YOUR STUDENT TEACH YOU THROUGHOUT THE EXPERIENCE? BM: One thing that was very eye-opening was how advanced (Scobie) was in running a business. The things I've learned the last 10 years working in retail versus some of the things that she (already knew) — Scobie's still a high school student, and it was very eye-opening how prepared she was. Maybe it was just her, but I'm guessing most of the students in the class were very prepared. WHY DO YOU THINK PROGRAMS LIKE YEA! ARE BENEFICIAL TO THE LARGER BUSINESS COMMUNITY? BM: Whether it's ownership or responsibility, I think this is such a great program to really show students what it truly does take —the sacrifices and everything that goes into running a business. And it's their own. What a valuable tool for them to have some reallife experience, where they can take that on to a different skill set in whatever they go on to do. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A FELLOW PROFESSIONAL OR COMPANY THINKING ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED WITH YEA!? BM: In my opinion, this is just as much for the mentors as it is for the students — to see not only what a great organization it is but to also be able to give back and keep in touch with what some of these students are capable of doing. It shows, both in our community and in general, that there are some very talented people out there, and it gives you a sense of hope. These kids are driven, and they're looking to make a difference, which I think is awesome.
MEET A YEA! MENTOR
JA C K YA KO W I C Z AND JACK MACHACEK
Jack Yakowicz Marketing Manager, Office Sign Company What they do: Custom sign company that produces professional office signs and interior signage How he got involved w/ YEA!: Office Sign Company has been involved with YEA! since its inception, both as a sponsor and a provider of mentors. How he most added value as a mentor: Organizational structure
Q + A WHAT DID YOUR STUDENT TEACH YOU THROUGHOUT THE EXPERIENCE? JY: To have fun in what you're doing. He kept things really light and had a pretty simple approach: I'm going to produce these boxes of art, and they're going to sell. And I think I often get caught in the nuances of: What's our target demographic? How are we going to make this work? What are all the channels of advertising we should go through? With him, it was, "I have a solid product. I believe in my talent. I'm going to sell things, and it's going to work." And that was really nice to see that approach and not be too worried about competition or other outside factors. WHY DO YOU THINK PROGRAMS LIKE YEA! ARE BENEFICIAL TO THE LARGER BUSINESS COMMUNITY? JY: I think it puts a little pressure on established businesses. When you see some of these kids and how young they are, how much energy they have, and all the great ideas they have, I think it puts pressure on other businesses to stay fresh, stay youthful and match that energy. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO A FELLOW PROFESSIONAL OR COMPANY THINKING ABOUT GETTING INVOLVED WITH YEA!? JY: I would definitely say it's worthwhile. I believe in the power of the organization to create opportunities that even I, when I was Jack's age, didn't have. I didn't even really start thinking about business until probably college or a couple years into college. YEA! gives them an opportunity at an early age to start thinking about their future and career path and constructing that path themselves. And I think that's just a huge leg-up for Fargo as a whole. Also, ideally, these kids will keep their businesses local and see them grow and flourish.
MEET THE KIDS JACK MACHACEK
OAK GROVE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL
MENTOR: JACK YAKOWICZ, OFFICE SIGN COMPANY THE IDEA: UNPROFESSIONAL Unprofessional creates and sells various types and styles of art that are affordable and appealing to a demographic less familiar with art. Unprofessional aims to be unintimidating and un-serious, while still creating something meaningful. It aims to be the Pauly Shore of the art community, if that makes sense.
FAVORITE PART OF YEA! The insight from people who have experience with small businesses and startups is extremely helpful and motivating. The social aspect of the program is also pretty fly; it's a great opportunity for connections.
WEST FARGO SHEYENNE HIGH SCHOOL
ABRIL A R C E AGE 17 WEST FARGO SHEYENNE HIGH SCHOOL
MENTOR: JOSH CHRISTY, CODELATION THE IDEA: ALLHERE AllHere is a local business that focuses on event advertising, along with features for further marketing. The app allows for event attendees to connect with one another while also staying informed about the event information. AllHere will also provide the opportunity for local businesses to advertise directly to the event attendees about deals and recommendations.
FAVORITE PART OF YEA! As a team, one of our favorite aspects of the YEA! Program was the chance to not only work with so many like-minded students who constantly support us but also to reach out and meet influential members of our business community in town. All of these people have helped us grow as entrepreneurs and encouraged us along the way. OUR REALITY CHECK The biggest reality check we’ve faced (so far) is that it’s important to make deadlines and stick to them. If you're not willing to put in the time, you won’t see the desired outcomes. Finding time was something we both struggled with initially, but now we are working even harder and are excited to see our final product interact with our customers and community.
YEA! is open to all FMWF middle and high school students, including those in surrounding towns. FARGOINC.COM
YEA! PRESENTING SPONSOR
The Cornerstone of YEA!
3 Thoughts on YEA!
As the FMWF Chamber of Commerce was looking for a presenting sponsor for YEA! when the program launched in 2015, President Craig Whitney's mind went to a local business that he knew was itself founded in the entrepreneurial tradition.
1. We have a soft spot for entrepreneurs.
"Unlike some other banks, Cornerstone Bank was originally founded for entrepreneurial families in the FargoMoorhead market," says Cornerstone Market President Jeff Thomas, who got to know Whitney well during his time as chair of the Chamber board in 2010-11. "So this program really struck a chord with us. "As an organization, one of our values is that we value our role as neighbors and contributors, and that contributing is not just in the form of money; it's also volunteer efforts. So from the beginning, I myself have either mentored or served as an instructor, and some others in the bank have also mentored students along the way."
"On a daily basis, we're working with entrepreneurs in the communities that we do business in to help them be successful. And if you look at the statistics, most businesses are small businesses. They aren't employing hundreds of people; they're employing handfuls of people. And those businesses can create a great life not just for the owners but for their team members. "Our belief is that the best ideas, best products, and best services come from those people who are trying to solve problems and explore things that others haven't. So with a program like this, where you have young minds really starting to critically think about how to make our community and region a better place with the products and services they have, we think that's cool. We have a soft spot for entrepreneurs." 2. These kids are real-life success stories.
Jeff Thomas is the market president for FMWF at Cornerstone Bank. Thomas has served as both a YEA! instructor and as a mentor since the program's inception three years ago.
"I mentored a girl named Joanna Lin last year, and just last month I believe, she started selling her ECOPOTZ at Baker (Garden in Fargo). She really went back and forth struggling with whether or not she thought she had a good business plan, struggled with the thought of whether this is something she really wanted to bring to market, and a year later, she's brought it to market." 3. FMWF business community: Join us! "The program is popular, and it continues to grow in popularity, but I wish we had the ability to get more kids involved and get the word out to more families about the things this program can do to help shape their kids. I would hope we could find a better way to help the business community promote it."
FRIENDS OF YEA!
YEA! INVESTOR PANEL SHARK TANK When: Tuesday, April 10, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Where: Gaede Stage, Minnesota State University Moorhead 1104 7th Ave. S, Moorhead Cost: Free but registration required at FMWFChamber.com
For more information on YEA! and to learn how you or a student can get involved, visit FMWFChamber.com/YEA or contact Program Coordinator Katie Ralston at KRalston@ FMWFChamber.com or 218-233-1100.
Oh, s e c a l P e th ! n e e B e v ’ We Each month, The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val contributes a monthly column that explores the ways the local arts and business communities can work together to create opportunities and add value to the FMWF metro.
ast summer, The Arts Partnership was awarded a grant from the Consensus Council in Bismarck to take a number of trips around the country to meet with arts, chamber, economic, business, and government leaders to talk about how the arts are serving the needs of those and other sectors. As you will see from the timeline of these trips, many of them were unexpected opportunities that we turned into highly successful learning tours, and because we had this travel grant, we were able to say yes over and over again. We learned a massive amount about how other communities are utilizing the arts sector to benefit their needs, all of which are very much like our own needs here in the Fargo metro: attracting and retaining businesses and employees, adding to the overall economic pool and defining culture. BY Dayna Del Val PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul and courtesy of Dayna Del Val
August 201 7 St. Paul, MN Our team traveled to meet with Springboard for the Arts. We talked about their Irrigate program, which utilized artists to activate the businesses affected by the construction of a light rail. Using artists to problem-solve that interruption meant that a number of independent restaurants and other businesses didn’t go out of business while under intense construction. Des Moines, IA Where in June of last year, TAP awarded $10,000 to the FM Symphony Orchestra — the largest grant we've ever given — Bravo, an organization similar to TAP, annually awards their symphony $250,000. That is gamechanging support, the kind that allows for hiring enough staff, paying staff and musicians a competitive wage, and creating inventive programming, among so many other things. We also met with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, the umbrella organization for the multiple chamber organizations in the region, and discussed with its leaders the immense value of the arts to their economic success and growth as a region over the past 20 years.
An artistdesigned bathroom at the Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan
November 201 7 October 201 7 Phoenix, AZ I attended the CEOs for Cities conference, which was outstanding. I was the only attendee from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota and the only arts advocate in a room full of mostly elected officials and economic leaders. Because there are a number of similarities between our communities, the mayor of Topeka, Kansas, and his team took me out for dinner one night. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a strong working relationship with their arts council, so it was interesting for us to learn from one another about how our sectors can better work together to advance both our needs. I also toured Phoenix's arts district with a fellow arts leader and was reminded that if we want to see change in our communities, we are the leaders to enact that change.
Kalamazoo, MI In Kalamazoo, I relied on Jack Hopkins, a consultant whom the FM Area Foundation brought in a few years ago to look into developing downtown Moorhead. Jack and I had hit it off when we met in Fargo, and he happily agreed to help gather a number of interesting people together. We attended a Kiwanis lunch, met a number of community leaders and had a gathering with the Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo in a restored downtown building that had previously been a multi-story department store and now serves as a multi-purpose arts office and performing space. We toured Park Trades Center, a 140,000-squarefoot former factory that is now one of the largest creative communities of artists, artisans, designers, entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Midwest. The highlight of that trip was meeting the Park Trades Center developer. We met in the pub of a mixed-used building that he restored and talked about how the "cool factor" and value of the high-end condos, offices and stores effectively subsidize the Center. Wisconsin (Milwaukee and Sheboygan) In addition to an afternoon trip to the astonishing piece of architecture that is the Milwaukee Art Museum, we toured the John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, meeting with leaders from the Kohler Foundation who talked about their relationship to the museum and other arts organizations in the area.
At the Vigeland Park sculpture park in Oslo, Norway
February 2018 Norway (Halden, Moss and Lillehammer) Joining a team of area leaders invested in alternative energy, electric vehicles and drone technology, I was invited to Norway by former Fargo City Commissioner Mike Williams. It might seem like a weird mix, but the trip, as Mike explained it, was really about creating a better community.
In Washington, D.C., for Americans for the Arts "Arts Advocacy Day"
March 2018 Omaha, NE After meeting with a number of economic and tourism leaders to talk about their particular model of arts support, I learned that they have incredible financial backing from many of the Fortune 500 companies and foundations in the city. Visit Omaha invests heavily in the arts because the arts fill their hotels, and their chamber president is board chair of the city's opera, Opera Omaha. In short, Omaha businesses understand that when they invest in the arts with their time, dollars and presence, they're better off as businesses. Washington, D.C. I was recently invited by Americans for the Arts to be the state captain for Arts Advocacy Day. Breakout sessions included "The Arts and Mental and Physical Healthcare," an area in which we are definitely interested in being more active. I also connected with arts leaders from all over the country and had great conversations with staffers in both North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s and North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer’s offices.
I spent a lot of time with other leaders and learned about many new things but also arranged my own meetings with Arts Council Norway, the equivalent to our National Endowment for the Arts. I met with various artists, toured a number of museums and cultural organizations, and spent time with leaders from the American College of Norway. My biggest takeaway from Norway was that they are astonishingly community-centered in their development. Where we have an individualistic approach to getting ahead, they think about what will make the life of the community better. It's a wonderful system and one I hope we can lean more toward. I was also inspired by the way that the arts are interwoven into everything: new technology, development, cultural design and more.
You might be thinking, "There’s no way they did all that travel on one grant, but as a prominent businessman said to me recently, “TAP does more to stretch a dollar than almost any organization I have ever seen.” I stayed with friends in many of these places — in Norway, many of my meals were paid for by the companies I was traveling with — and I ate heartily at the free breakfasts when I did stay in hotels. And you know what? The money’s still not gone! We’re planning either one more road trip or to bring in one of the people I met along the way to be an outside expert to meet with our local leaders on how they are looking at the arts as a positive asset to their work in their hometown. Either way, this has been a transformational series of trips, and I can already see how much of what I have learned and observed is informing the conversations I am having locally and bringing about positive change for the arts sector and the larger community, too. The Arts Partnership TheArtspartnership.net
The 10 Most Costly Wage-andHour Mistakes PT. 2/2
couple months ago, we started a discussion about the top 10 wage-and-hour mistakes we see in our practice. We covered the first five mistakes we often encounter when working with our clients, including classifying independent contractors, distinguishing between exempt and non-exempt positions, and compensating employees for training, among others.
More often than not, the scenario we face is that an employer tries to pay its employees fairly but makes a minor technical mistake — or a wrong assumption — and that mistake ends up costing the business thousands of dollars or more. In 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor found more than $270 million in back wages for more than 240,000 employees. That is $740,000 in back wages collected per day from employers, and that, of course, does not include the substantial amounts paid by employers in wage-and-hour litigation matters. While these numbers are troubling,
BY Kristy Albrecht and Beth Alvine PHOTOS COURTESY OF Fredrikson & Byron Law Firm
the good news is that most wage-and-hour mistakes are avoidable on the front end when you know the applicable standards. One of the most challenging wage-andhour issues employers face is, essentially: What is work? Of course, an employee must be paid for the time they work, but what counts as “work” time? Do employees need to be paid for on-call time? During rest breaks? What about meal periods? If an employee travels for work, is that work time? What about drive time? Here, we take a closer look at these questions and more.
Meet the Attorneys Kristy Albrecht
is a shareholder and member of the employment-and-labor, litigation, transportation and appellate groups with Fredrikson & Byron law firm. She advises employers on a variety of employment law issues, including hiring, firing, discipline, employee leave and accommodation laws, employee handbooks, drug and alcohol policies and separation agreements. She can be reached at KAlbrecht@FredLaw.com.
is an associate with Fredrikson & Byron law firm in Fargo and a member of the employment-and-labor and business-advisory services groups. She advises and represents employers on employment and labor issues, including terminations, wage and hour compliance, drug and alcohol testing and policies, employee leave and accommodation strategies, and employer programs and policies. She can be reached at EAlvine@ FredLaw.com.
7. FAILING TO PAY FOR TRAVEL TIME In today’s workplace, travel for work is common and often expected. Unfortunately, travel time is also one of the most complex wage-and-hour issues for employers. In a typical workday, most employees leave their home in the morning, go to work and drive home after work. That usual commute time is not paid work time. However, if an employee goes to work and then travels during the workday for business, that time spent traveling during the workday is paid work time.
6. FAILING TO PROPERLY PAY REST BREAKS AND MEAL PERIODS Federal law does not require meal or rest breaks. However, bona fide meal breaks, where an employee is not interrupted and is completely relieved from duty, may be unpaid. Generally, these meal breaks are at least 30 minutes. Under North Dakota law, any employee who works a shift exceeding five hours must have an unpaid 30-minute, uninterrupted meal break. If an employer provides other breaks to employees such as coffee breaks, those breaks must be paid if they are less than 30 minutes. We once received a call from an employer who asked about whether its employees could waive their lunch breaks. In other words, can employers allow their employees to work through their meal breaks? The answer is yes; it is possible to waive a meal break. However, we recommend having good documentation of the waiver.
Additionally, if an employee travels somewhere for work that requires an overnight stay, employers generally need to pay the travel time if the travel occurs during the employee’s regular work hours. This applies regardless of what day of the week the employee travels. Other rules
may also obligate employers to pay for travel time, depending on various circumstances. For example, what if the employer provides a company vehicle? Does that make the commute time compensable? As is frequently the case, the answer is: it depends. We recently had a client receive a challenge on a commute-time issue, where the company provided company vehicles to its employees. We successfully defended that case, largely because the company did not require employees to drive company vehicles to the worksite, and the employees were not transporting equipment for the company in the vehicles. In other words, employee use of company vehicles was simply a perk, and that perk did not convert commute time into work time.
8. NOT APPROPRIATELY TRACKING (ALL) HOURS WORKED In an increasingly mobile world, effectively tracking all hours worked for employees has become a challenge. We have seen employers simply pay based on the shift schedule or have their employees merely state on their timesheets their total hours for each workday. In other cases, the employees wrote the same amount of time every day, basically echoing the shift schedule. The risk in these practices is that the employer’s records may not accurately reflect actual hours worked. In that situation, the employer is vulnerable to an “off the clock” lawsuit for unpaid wages.
We recommend requiring employees to record the start and end times of all shifts and meal breaks. Further, employers should train their employees to record all their time and should also require (them) to certify the accuracy of their timesheets. Remember, the wage-and-hour laws require that employers compensate employees for all hours actually worked, regardless of whether the time was authorized.
9. FAILING TO PAY FOR TIME SPENT ON CALL Most employers know they have to pay their employees for the work they perform. But what about when employees are on call? Do employees need to be compensated if they are on standby or waiting to work? The answer, again, is that it depends. This issue is governed by a multifactor test, and specific answers may depend on granular details. Some questions we ask are: 1. Is the employee required to be on
the job premises?
2. What are the geographic
restrictions on the employee’s movements? 3. How often is the employee actually called in? 4. Can an on-call employee easily trade responsibilities with a coworker? 5. Is the employee allowed to use his or her time freely while on call? Ultimately, the answer depends on whether a court or an agency would
10. MISCLASSIFYING EMPLOYEES AS INTERNS
find that the employee is “engaged to wait” or “waiting to be engaged.” For example, we had an employer who had certain employees carry a cell phone to respond to any emergencies on the business premises over the weekend. Employees could answer calls within 30 minutes and had the ability to trade responsibilities with other coworkers. Additionally, the employees were not geographically restricted to the Fargo-Moorhead area and could travel up to 90 minutes away. In that case, we concluded the on-call time was likely not compensable. Though, of course, once the employee is called and is handling a situation, the employee is working and needs to be compensated accordingly. As you can see, whether on-call time needs to be paid is quite fact-specific. As a general rule of thumb, though, the more restricted the employee is while on-call, the more likely the oncall time is compensable work time.
On its website, The U.S. Department of Labor now offers a seven-factor test in determining whether someone is an intern. Check it out at DoL.gov
Unpaid internships have been a hot topic for investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor. True interns are not employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and may be unpaid. In early 2018, the Department of Labor set a new seven-factor test for whether an individual is truly an “intern.” The test essentially turns on whether the “primary beneficiary” of the internship is the company or the student. If, as a whole, the company is the primary beneficiary of the 52
relationship, then the internship must be paid, and the intern is entitled to minimum wage and overtime protections. As always, working with your legal counsel and getting the details correct on the front end can prevent many of these common mistakes. If you have any wage-and-hour questions, we would welcome the chance to work with you through these tough issues. Please feel free to reach out to us for more information.
Fredrikson & Byron Law Firm will be offering a half-day wage-and-hour seminar at the Holiday Inn Fargo on Thursday, April 19. Visit FredLaw. com/WageAndHour for details.
Fredrikson & Byron FredLaw.com 701-237-8200 51 Broadway N, Fargo
BY Sam Herder PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul
8 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT
Running a Pawn Shop Ken Martin is the owner of the Exchange Station, a pawn shop he opened in Moorhead more than 35 years ago.
hen it comes to pawn shops, most people's minds go to what they see on TV shows like "Pawn Stars." But that's not always realistic, says Ken Martin, who's owned Moorhead's Exchange Station for more than 35 years. Martin talks misconceptions about pawn shops and some of the most interesting items he's seen brought into his store over the years.
"Most people don't understand that we hold purchased items for a minimum of 30 days and loans for a minimum of 60 days. This helps calm the newcomer's worry that items may be stolen."
Unique Items Martin Has Seen in Store
1973 red Cadillac convertible
We don't buy stolen items.
"We deter it with the requirement of photo ID and by taking an actual picture of the customer pawning the item. Coupled with our video recording of the entire transaction and signed pawn ticket, very few people even attempt it."
Taxidermy on animals such as a watusi, crocodile, bison and cougar
Unique Items Martin Has Seen in Store
More than 400 guns
Nearly 30,000 albums obtained from a storage unit
We don't buy broken items.
We all borrow money in many different forms.
"We do our best to test each product that comes in the door. Then, we guarantee most products for 30 days."
"Mortgage for a house, financing for a car, credit cards for emergencies or Christmas shopping — it's time to stop looking at pawn stores as a 'lower' form of borrowing money. "Most pawn stores have honest, clear terms to show how much it will cost to pay back what you borrow. Pawn stores are the original lender. If you decide not to repay the loan, we just keep the collateral while still welcoming you back if you ever need to borrow again. No harm, no foul."
It’s not anything like what you see on TV!
"Gone is the image of old Hollywood. We have a large, bright, welcoming atmosphere.
Jewelry, old and new
"Nor is it anything like current reality TV. We loan on or buy mostly modern, standard consumer goods: jewelry, electronics, musical instruments and tools that you may be looking to buy on a daily basis. We still have some unique items thrown in, though, such as a 50-year-old steel guitar."
"We sell new furniture, as well as electronic, audio and music accessories."
"We don't give out any of your information over the phone without your permission, and you may also request that we meet in a private setting to keep our discussion of the transaction private and confidential."
More than just a pawn shop"
"The Exchange Station is also where we house our office for MIG Self Storage and MIG Properties."
"No matter the industry, job knowledge can be learned. The harder things to learn are attitude and behaviors." MANDIE BEGIN Total Rewards Manager, Doosan Bobcat
We don’t just sell used goods.
FARGO BUSINESS We like to think of the Fargo business community as a giant puzzle and the people who comprise it as the different but equally essential pieces. Take one person, one company, or one industry away, and the picture becomes incomplete. Faces of Fargo Business is our chance to piece that puzzle together each month and celebrate the countless people who make this such a great place to work.
MARGOT PETERSON Owner
The Fancy Dinosaur
hen Margot Peterson was a high schooler in suburban Chicago, she started to sound like a raptor.
"My Tourette syndrome began with vocal tics," says Peterson, who's one of the rare people who developed the motorand-vocal tic disorder after childhood. "As it progressed in college, I began saying words, and one of them was 'rawr' â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no joke! My brother encouraged me to embrace it and follow up my word-tics with a sentence and make into a joke. By joking about what made me different, people felt at ease â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like they were in on the joke with me." Since then, Peterson's tics have gotten a lot less frequent, and in the spirit of fully embracing her connection to dinosaurs, she named her side hustle after them. A senior communications specialist with Sanford Health by day, by night, Peterson moonlights as the founder of The Fancy Dinosaur, a
modern wreath-making and home decor business that she operates out of her home. And why wreaths? (Beside the obvious of living in a place that looks like Christmas yearround) "Your front door is the first impression for friends and family who visit," explains Peterson, who, in true Millennial fashion, has worked a side job alongside all three of the full-time jobs she's held since graduating college. "You open the door and let them in literally and figuratively." She concedes that things can get a bit hectic at times, trying to balance buying supplies, shooting product photos, and creating custom orders in addition to her day job, but she says she's careful not to put too much pressure on the business or herself. "I think it's important to share with others that a small
The Fancy Dinosaur TheFancyDinosaur.Etsy.com
business can be what you want it to be," says Peterson, who says the FM area is a highly supportive place for businesses of any size. "If you want to grow to be a large company, that's an awesome goal, and you should go for it! But if you want to have a fun hobby that creates some extra income, that's just as commendable." One of the effects of starting her company, Peterson says, is how much more aware and intentional she's become about supporting local makers and shops. "There are some incredibly talented people in our community who make amazing things," she says. "When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re looking for a gift or something to treat yourself, I encourage you to look up local makers and shops first. And if you know a maker, see who they're following. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find a whole new world of businesses right here in town."
KURT MCSPARRON Founder
the 100, inc.
or Kurt McSparron, there are two things that set apart self-made, successful people:
1) Who they know 2) Their ability to maximize the value of those relationships "Networking is vital to success and practiced daily in every business circle," explains McSparron, the founder of the100, inc., a local business, leadership and growth initiative founded in 2016 for the sole purpose of helping alleviate the pressures of life at the top, "but relatively few executives are actually good at it. Too many people mistake activity for productivity." This networking gap is one of the main reasons McSparron thought the Fargo metro needed a group like the100 and says that if you're an FMWF executive, everything and everyone you need comprises the100's membership. It's a true
the100, inc. the100.online
executive's resource network, as he puts it. And who better to lead such a diverse network of presidents, CEOs and executive directors than a self-described "vocational nomad" who's held more than 25 jobs over the course of his life, ranging from agriculture to manufacturing and seemingly everything in between? "From the menial to management and ownership, from Fortune 500 companies and national nonprofits to the largest privately held and smallest startups, it has all led to this culmination of my career and the founding of the100," McSparron says. McSparron spends the majority of his days meeting with area business leaders, listening to issues and ideas, and making referrals and introductions â&#x20AC;&#x201D; all for the purpose of trying to making someoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s day easier
and more profitable, he says. "Our wealth as a nation begins on Main Street, USA, in the hands of nearly 30 million private business owners," he says. "Anything I can do to contribute to their success and play a small role in, I will." Inspired by the success of the group's inaugural flagship event, Executive Expo, this past January, McSparron is setting his sights toward continuing to expand the100's influence locally and facilitating more of the connections he's so passionate about. "We would like to see a broader scale and new ideas for collaboration between area businesses, business organizations, business-related nonprofits and educational communities," he says. "Locally, we do a good job, but we can always do better. We can consistently do a great job!"
CHRIS EDGERLEY Founder
or Chris Edgerley, the path to economic and cultural development is pretty straightforward.
"If we can bring together the change-makers and make sure the town they live in, the company they work for or do business with, and the people they are surrounded by believe in Fargo, then we can grow together toward a future where no one leaves Fargo because they think they can’t build their dreams here," says Edgerley, an experiential design fellow at Emerging Prairie. "Believe deeply that Fargo can be the best place in the world to live, and bring it to everything you do. That alone will strengthen our ecosystem." The Rhode Island native —
who was recruited to Fargo by Emerging Prairie Executive Director Greg Tehven — will call Fargo home for the next eight months as he manages the Prairie Den coworking space downtown and works alongside the EP team on a variety of of projects. Edgerley, who says he's excited to immerse himself in "such a loving and purposeful community," dropped out of college a couple years ago after becoming disenchanted with what he sees as an educational system that deprives young people of their creativity and joy and says he is instead building a school that he himself wants to be a part of. "The university system and our ideas of success keep me up at night," says Edgerley, who's creating an alternative, experiential- and portfolio-
Imagination Builders Imagination.Builders
based educational program through his company, Imagination Builders. Imagination Builders, he says, is working to change the education paradigm from a question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to “Why do you get out of bed in morning?” "Millions of children are deeply depressed with no reason to get out of bed in the morning," says the gregarious 21-year-old, who's also currently writing a book called "Nurturing Normal." "Suicide is on the rise in my generation, and it's not their fault but rather the fault of systems we continue to overlook. It's driving us directly to turmoil, if we aren’t already there. I believe our lives should be worth living, so I help liberate people from ideas of the world that limit their ability to love it."
f you’re new to Fargo, there’s something you should know: It wasn’t always like this. We take for granted the bustling city center that downtown has become — filled with trendy restaurants, farmers markets and charming buildings — but not all that long ago, the landscape was quite different. In partnership with our friends at Tellwell and Kilbourne Group, this month, we wrap up an eight-part series that has told the story of Downtown Fargo’s transformation by focusing on the pivotal projects and historic renovations that have paved the way for what the neighborhood has become.
A Local Arts Treasure Amidst the bustle of Fourth Street South in Downtown Fargo, there's a standalone building that's been catching the eye of passersby for years.
Marisa Jackels is the lead storyteller at Tellwell, a social-media agency in Fargo. BY Marisa Jackels PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen and courtesy of FMCT
The Stage at Island Park pavilion is a bright hexagon of tall windows that shines like a lighthouse from the trees. It can take on many looks — for Valentine’s Day, the lights gleam red. On Christmas, red and green. During parties, it's seen filled with men and women dressed to the nines, and summer camp fills the space with curious kids. When a Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre show is taking place onstage, the pavilion is alive with glittering lights and guests. No matter the occasion, it’s a clear sign to those driving by: There’s something magical happening here. “As soon as you walk in the door, you can tell this is someplace special,” says the
THE STAGE AT ISLAND PARK theatre's executive director, Eloise Breikjern. But it wasn’t always this way. When the pavilion was first constructed, it was an open-air wooden gazebo built with the intention of integrating with the surrounding Island Park. While this was pleasant during the summer, it was unable to be used as an active space for most of the year. “I remember when there were birds in the top of it, and you’d have to kind of watch when you walked in, depending on what season it was,” Breikjern recalls with a laugh. During this time, the FMCT board was developing a long-term plan to continue the growth of the community theatre, and an important early step was to turn the gazebo entrance into something that could be used year-round.
sees it as a testament to the community and the commitment to growing the local arts scene. “We wanted it to become a cornerstone of our facility,” says Rick Stenseth, fundraising director and wearer-of-many-hats at the theatre for more than three decades. It was just the type of project that Katherine Kilbourne Burgum, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's late mother, would have loved. Throughout her life, Katherine was a passionate arts advocate and nurtured a love of the arts in her children. As part of her legacy, Katherine created the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Trust as a vehicle to further her commitment to investing in philanthropic endeavors in the FM community. Gov. Burgum found the FMCT mission in alignment with his mother's commitment to the arts and brought the project for consideration by the family members who manage the trust. But he didn't just want to provide a monetary investment to FMCT; he wanted it to be strategic. When he looked at the pavilion plans , he knew it would be a meaningful renovation to draw more traffic to The Stage. “(Burgum) wants to see growth," Stenseth says. "He doesn’t want to just put a new coat of paint on. He looked at all the different things we wanted to do, and this was his first choice, to draw attention to our organization and our location and help us reach our long-term goals." The final product, the Katherine Kilbourne Burgum Pavilion, was finished in 2011. It
wasn’t long before its presence began to attract more attention to the theatre. “We get a lot of people coming in who say, ‘I didn’t even know this place was here,'" Stenseth says. “And one of the things that made them stop was seeing the pavilion." The Stage: A Cultural Kickstarter The idea for a community theater, which is now one of FM's oldest landmarks, was sparked in 1941, the brainchild of a group of city leaders who wanted to ignite the local arts scene. “There was no art in the community," Stenseth says. "Many of the galleries and school programs now, they didn’t exist then. Community members were looking for a way to involve art in the community.” In 1963, the first theatre building was put together at no cost to the community. Labor was provided by labor unions, and materials were donated by local businesses. “It was kind of like a barn-raising,” Stenseth says. “It became even more of a community place.” It’s a foundation that has influenced the connection between the community and the theater from then until now, 70 years later. “That’s amazing for a community theater to stay intact that long,” says Breikjern, who
Adam Pankow, artistic director at FMCT, has seen this hold true throughout his life growing up in Fargo-Moorhead. "It’s actually a little unfathomable that a community as modestly sized as this is able to support so much art and really quality art as well, whether it’s visual or performance,” Pankow says. "This town is truly a cultural oasis." Pankow performed in his first theater production at age 12 on the FMCT stage, falling in love with theater and the theater community, particularly its unique ability as an art form to both entertain guests and challenge their thinking. Now, as artistic director, he is continuing the magic of theater in the upcoming year — a full one, with ten shows planned for the 2018 season. But you’ll find more than thoughtprovoking shows on the stage. As a community theater, the pavilion is often filled with other events such as 1 Million Cups, parties, educational classes, even weddings. It’s filled with the life of a community, and that’s exactly the way it should be, Breikjern says. “When you come in this building, it’s your friends and neighbors who are here,” she says. “So come visit us. Come through the doors, and see what it’s all about.” The Stage at Island Park 333 4th St. S, Fargo
Wanzek Fist Bump
s more and more organizations have realized the value â&#x20AC;&#x201D; both economic and otherwise â&#x20AC;&#x201D; of cultivating a particular culture at their company, it's also become more difficult to set yourself apart. That's why, whenever we come across a business that's doing something truly unique, we're going to bring it to you in our new "Creative Culture" segment.
This month, we take a look at West Fargo-based construction company Wanzek Construction, which is using a combination of new technology, teammember feedback and outside input to create a cultural offering that might offer some insight into the technology-driven future of employee engagement. 70
BY Nate Mickelberg PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen and courtesy of Wanzek Construction GRAPHIC COURTESY OF Wanzek Construction
An Overview The Challenge
After sending out an employee engagement survey in 2016, Wanzek leadership gleaned a number of things, but a few things moved to the top of their to-do list:
Wanzek partnered with a five-person team of MBA students from the North Dakota State University College of Business to figure out how to tackle some of these internal employee-engagement and -recognition challenges.
• Find a way to better engage employees. • Develop a more formalized system for
• Figure out how to knock down silos among
the company's different levels, divisions and departments.
To get a better sense of the company and gain some better insight into its gaps, over the course of a semester, the MBA team spent time and conducted interviews with not only Wanzek leadership but also 15 Wanzek employees from a variety of levels and departments. To help push engagement from the VP level to the "clay layer" and create a culture of accountability that shows employees how direct an impact they have on the company's results, the MBA team provided insight and feedback to the Wanzek team, which then developed a new feature — called a "Wanzek FistBump" — within its existing internal company app.
What the Team Is Saying
Executive Vice President
Vice President of Corporate Services
"We want to recognize employees for going above and beyond on a daily basis. We want to tell our employees how much we appreciate their efforts and give them a simple format where they can (provide recognition) instantaneously after it's happened, so they don't forget about it.
"My generation got their recognition every two weeks when they got their paycheck. The younger generations, though, have gotten feedback about their performance every day since they were 3 years old. Whether it's through school or on social media, they're always measuring their performance. And so as they've come into the workplace, we've had to step it up a notch in terms of how we're providing recognition."
"It's the little things, not the huge things, that make up culture, and somebody going above and beyond for somebody else and instantly getting recognized for it breeds that culture."
What the Team Is Saying
Director of Corporate Services Projects
Wind Technician - SPRAT 1
Renewable Services Technical Director
"With the FistBump, we can give more feedback to our team members more often, and that recognition can come from any level and any division within the company, which is powerful and unifying."
"It's a platform that fuses our team together, providing an avenue to feel connected, supported and heard as we all tackle our projects. It's a reminder that we're a part of something greater, and the encouragement and acknowledgment that stems from the app inspires me to stay on track and (reminds me) that our hard work and sacrifices are acknowledged."
"A technician who is 300 feet in the air at the top of a wind turbine in Wyoming can be instantly recognized by another Wanzek team member who is working in Iowa."
Wanzek FistBump The Inspiration One of the members of the NDSU MBA team, Phil Swan, is also a financial crimes detective with the Fargo Police Department.
Fargo Police Department Detective Phil Swan (second from left) and Wanzek Construction Renewable Services Technical Director Karen Tucker (middle) were two of the five MBA team members who helped Wanzek Construction develop its FistBump employee-recognition feature.
When brainstorming ideas with his team about some potential ideas for Wanzek, he naturally thought of a recently implemented employee-recognition system at the FPD. "One of the things our department wanted to do was get better at communicating all the little things done every single day by anyone from supervisors to officers," says Swan, who says he began to realize the
"In my head, it kind of clicked: The police department is similar in nature to Wanzek in the fact that we're both spread out all the time (Wanzek at job sites)," Swan says. "Very rarely are our officers at the police station." Using the MBA team's input and using the FPD program as a jumping-off point, the Wanzek team was then able to create a solution unique to their own needs.
"We all know why a company should figure out their 'why.' But unless they're willing to make the commitment to what they figure out, it's just a work project and won't make any meaningful change." STEVE M. SCHEEL CEO, SCHEELS
amount of similarity and overlap between the FPD and Wanzek.
How It Works 1. Pick a Wanzek employee. 2. Thank them for living one of Wanzek's
six core beliefs and/or going above and beyond the call of duty. 3. Just like on social media, you can tag people and add additional comments to the FistBump itself. 4. Other Wanzek employees receive an alert/push notification about the FistBump. The FistBump is a kind of digital thank you note that any of Wanzek's approximately 1,000 employees are able to see and
comment on (in addition to the person it's directed at, of course). This allows Wanzek team members â&#x20AC;&#x201D; regardless of title or department â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to recognize one another for living the company's core values or going above and beyond their stated job requirements. "The idea behind a fist bump is that it's cross-generational, and it's cross-cultural," says Wanzek Vice President of Corporate Services Randy Johnson. "I think everybody understands what to do if you put your fist up. It's pretty universal."
Wanzek Construction Wanzek.com
WHAT KIND OF
WEBSITE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? Let's Look at 3 Options One of the first steps to starting a business in 2018 is hanging out your digital shingle, i.e. building a website. Unlike the old days when you had to go out and buy a copy of "Building Websites for Dummies," there are a lot more options today. This month, we take a look at the three broad categories of websites that range from drag-and-drop design to coding everything from scratch.
Website Builders CHECK OUT
usability scalability customizability
By Jared Finkelson Photography by Hillary Ehlen
Jared Finkelson is a business development and CRM consultant with Giga-Green Technologies.
Website builders are the simplest way to create a website quickly. These services host your website and provide a variety of templates and themes. From there, you can use their drag-and drop-tools to customize your website to your specific needs. That said, the degree of customization is limited, and you are entirely dependent on the specific service you are using to add new features.
Also, because website builders are intended for small businesses, they aren't very scalable. If your website starts to get too big or you need unsupported features, these webs sites are also the least portable, i.e., there is no good way to switch services without starting from scratch.
Who it's for: If you need is a simple business or e-commerce website with no immediate plans to scale, this may be the best option for you.
Content Management Systems CHECK OUT
usability scalability customizability
Content management systems are the most popular way to create a website today because they provide many of the features of website builders but are much more customizable. Plus, there is a huge developer community (especially for WordPress), meaning there is a third-party solution for virtually every scenario. The downside is that the initial
Content management systems are designed for use by non-technical users, so you can train your staff to update website content.
set up and website creation is more difficult. If you have a technical background, or are ambitious, you should be able to set up a basic website with patience and a lot of Googling. Or you can hire a web designer to create the initial website and then run with it. You can easily update products, company details, contact information, add blog posts and a whole lot more.
Who it's for: If you need a business or e-commerce website and you have plans to grow, this is probably the best choice.
Web Frameworks CHECK OUT
usability scalability customizability
Web frameworks allow for essentially unlimited customization, scalability, and features, but you have to build it yourself (or hire a developer to do it for you). The web
framework you choose â&#x20AC;&#x201D; along with open-source tools such as Bootstrap â&#x20AC;&#x201D; will do a lot of the work for you, but this option is still a lot of work.
Who it's for: You should really only consider this option if you require something highly customized or you are building a completely new web product.
Giga-Green Technologies Giga-Green.com 701-630-7188
APRIL 3 Community Safety Update 7:30 - 9 a.m.
With our metro area on the grow, safety continues to play a vital role in the conversation. Join to hear the latest community safety update from Moorhead Police Chief David Ebinger Chief, West Fargo Police Chief Heith Janke and Fargo Police Chief David Todd. The three of them will share information on some of the most pressing issues we face within our communities and how we can work to combat them. Registration (includes breakfast) Chamber Members • $30 in advance • $35 at the door Non-Members • $40 in advance • $45 at the door
David Ebinger David Todd
FMWFChamber.com Courtyard by Marriott 1080 28th Ave. S, Moorhead
APRIL 6-7 Innovate ND Proving Ground Boot Camp 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
APRIL 5 ProfessionallyPaired 3 - 7 p.m.
Have you ever wanted to give back but were unsure what to do or how to do it? ProfessionallyPaired is an event to help connect business or individuals looking to get more involved in the community. There will be several nonprofits from the FM area that are currently looking for projectbased or long-term volunteers and board members. .
Innovate ND, a statewide program that assists entrepreneurs in developing business ideas is hosting a series of "Proving Ground Boot Camps." The Innovate ND program can also provide up to $24,000 for North Dakota startups that are innovative and scalable in a large regional, national or international market. These funds can be used to create your business plan, prototype development, coaching and consulting, and marketing assistance. To enroll and for more info, visit the website. InnovateND.com
Drekker Brewing Co. 630 1st Ave. N, Suite 6, Fargo
McGovern Alumni Center (NDSU) 1241 N. University Drive, Fargo
APRIL 11 APRIL 10 YEA! Investor Panel Shark Tank 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Over the past five months, Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) students have developed business ideas, conducted market research, learned from guest speakers and worked with mentors to write their business plans. Now, they will have five minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of local investors and will ask for funding to help them launch their businesses. This competition is like watching a live taping of ABC’s Shark Tank, only the entrepreneurs are younger and the investors are familiar faces from our community. The winner of this event will advance to a regional semi-final competition in Rochester, New York. This event is free, but registration is required. FMWFChamber.com Gaede Stage - Minnesota State University Moorhead 1104 7th Ave. S, Moorhead
APRIL 11 Engaging on Twitter for HR Professionals 1 - 3 p.m.
Workplace Wellness That Makes a Difference 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Workplaces face an unprecedented opportunity to optimize the health and engagement of their employees while achieving sustainable benefits to their overall performance. Comprehensive workplace wellness programs that work can make the difference. Join a panel of local workplace-wellness professionals as they share their expertise in foundational best practices, how culture plays a role in garnering employee engagement and 99-plus
FMWFChamber.com Holiday Inn 3803 13th Ave. S, Fargo
Work through an idea over 54 hours. Techstars Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities. Share ideas, form teams and maybe even launch startups! Startup Weekend Fargo 2018 will continue to be the region's most impactful entrepreneurial event.
2903 15th St. S, Moorhead
Registration (includes lunch) Chamber Members • $30 in advance • $35 at the door Non-Members • $40 in advance • $45 at the door
Startup Weekend Fargo
Registration • $45 CCRI
This training qualifies for 2 CPE credits for the ND CPA Society.
Some changes to the sixth year of Startup Weekend: • Cozier: Will be hosted at the downtown Prairie Den coworking space versus the last several years at the super-spacious universities. • Size: Participant size has varied over the years, and this year they're capping it at 50. • Theme: This year, they've added a theme: community. Pitches will ideally be focused on building or improving community. • Sunday activities: Sunday presentations will occur at downtown's Sanctuary Events Center, and they will also have the post-party there.
Not sure what to tweet? Or tweeting and feeling like you get … crickets? Start tweeting with purpose and in a voice that sounds like YOU. Hosted by Next Action Digital, you'll learn how you can share content from your organization by adding your own voice. There will also be prompts that will help you recognize the moments that tell your story or share your expertise. Most importantly, you'll cover the basics of starting real conversations on Twitter. After all, mentions = love.
wellness program suggestions to get started or re-energize your programs.
The Prairie Den 122 1/2 Broadway N, Fargo
APRIL 17 AAF-ND Monthly Speaker Luncheon: How to Prove the Value of Creativity with Science 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
One of the endless debates in advertising is if creative ideas work better. Art versus science. Brand versus direct. Some think that creative ideas are just marketing fluff. In this presentation, Adam Morgan will use hard science to prove why creative ideas are better for the bottom line, so you can finally convince your clients or stakeholders to believe in the value of design. AAF-ND.org/Events Delta by Marriott 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
APRIL 18 the100, inc.'s Rethink Brainstorming 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
The third Wednesday of each month, Fargo-area professionals come together for a conversation specifically designed to address the unique challenges of life at the top. Thought-provoking topics are discussed in an open forum led by fellow private-business owners, entrepreneurs and executives. The events are open to all area business owners and executives. This month's panel features Codelation's Josh Christy, Master Networks' Jodee Bock, and Varistar's Andy Rodgers and will focus on: Brainstorming is a classic method for getting a group to generate ideas. A topic is suggested, people speak up with their ideas and suggestions and someone writes them down. The technique is so commonly used and assumed to work, you might be surprised to learn that research shows this technique is actually not effective. So the question is: How can we upgrade brainstorming to better access the wisdom of our group? Registration (RSVP required) • $50 (includes lunch)
APRIL 19 Business After Hours 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.
Business After Hours continues to set records as the region’s largest networking event. Booth space is often sold out, and attendees can connect with their peers and exhibitors ranging from cell phone companies to financial institutions and more. Join for a great time over apps, networking and fun! Be the Social Superstar! Bring your top Twitter, Instagram and Facebook games because the FMWF Chamber of Commerce will be on the lookout for our favorite post from the event. Just post using #FMWFBAH at the event to be in the running for Social Superstar. The chosen post will be featured in The Bridge and online and gets exclusive bragging rights. Registration (includes apps and two drink tickets) • $25 if you register prior to midnight the Wednesday before • $35 all registrations after midnight FMWFChamber.com Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
The100.online/Calendar Avalon Events Center 2525 9th Ave. S, Fargo
APRIL 24 Unlock Your Full Potential
APRIL 19 56560 Annual Celebration 5:15 - 8:30 pm
The primary goal of the 56560 Annual Celebration is to celebrate all that Moorhead businesses have achieved in the last 12 months — whether it's meeting a sales goal, adding a new customer base, increasing staff size, improving customer relations or winning an award. Keynote speaker will be Dan Meyer, a motivational speaker and entertainer who's appeared on America's Got Talent and Ripley's Believe It or Not.
Kara Jorvig is driven to help others unlock their full potential. An expert in her field, she has developed tools and strategies that help people recognize opportunities to grow in their current positions and discover paths to achieve their career goals. Jorvig's career journey has taught her how to overcome challenges and develop resiliency, which she will share from a personal perspective and as the leader of a dynamic team. She will give attendees a powerful new perspective on how to make the most of their career paths while having fun and being intentional. Please consider bringing peanut butter or snack items to donate to the Fargo Public Schools Foundation to support the students who utilize the Fargo South Bruin Food Pantry.
Registration • $55 - $2,500
Registration Chamber Members • $25 in advance • $30 at the door Non-Members • $35 in advance • $40 at the door
Courtyard by Marriott 1080 28th Ave. S, Moorhead
DoubleTree by Hilton 825 East Beaton Dr, West Fargo
APRIL 24-JUNE 19 CO.STARTERS Spring Course
Starts Tuesday, April 24 (every week for nine weeks)
CO.STARTERS is a nine-week business development program that helps aspiring entrepreneurs put ideas into action and turn a passion into a sustainable and thriving small business. Registration • $500, which includes: • Course materials • Professional course facilitator with office hours to address your business-development needs • Access to a list of members of the business community who are ready to meet with students • Small-business resources • Discounted membership at the Prairie Den during the course Folkways.co/Costarters The Prairie Den 122 1/2 Broadway N, Fargo
APRIL 25 Treat Your Team Luncheon 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Celebrate your staff, and honor those who make the workplace easier and more organized. Treat your staff to lunch at the annual Treat Your Team Luncheon on Administrative Professional Day. You can enjoy a great buffet and a relaxing atmosphere without the wait. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!). Seating is limited, so register early. Registration (includes tax and gratuity) • $20 per person Reservations, cancellations and refunds are accepted until noon the day prior to event FMWFChamber.com The Boiler Room 210 Broadway North, Suite 90, Fargo Maxwells 1380 9th St. E, West Fargo
NDPC.org NDSU Alumni Center 1241 N. University Drive, Fargo
Thursday, May 24
Drone Focus Conference May 30-31
Thursday, July 26
LOCAL BUSINESS MEETUPS More information for most meetups can be found at Meetup.com.
• Blockchain Meetup • Cass-Clay Subcontractor Sales • Geek Meet FM • Girl Develop It • Fargo 3D Printing Meetup • Fargo Cashflow Game Night • Fargo Entrepreneurship Meetup • Fargo Virtual Reality Meetup • Fargo-Moorhead Content
NDPC Spring Conference
Registration • $125 for full conference
& Marketing Meetup
Each year, the North Dakota Professional Communicators hosts a conference for its members, as well as nonmembers, to assist with professional development and equip marketing and communications professionals with the skills and resources necessary to produce successful messages. Social media and digital marketing expert Corey Perlman will keynote the conference. His keynote address is titled "Social Media Engagement: Myths, Musts and a Method to the Madness!"
DOWN THE ROAD
APRIL 30 YWCA Women of the Year 5:30 - 9 p.m.
Since 1973, the YWCA has been shining a spotlight on exceptional women. They are leaders, mentors, visionaries and heroes. Help them highlight women who shape the Fargo-Moorhead community through their passion, service and significant achievements at this widely celebrated event.
• The Fargo-Moorhead Real Estate Investing Meetup
• Master Networks – Fargo Business Referral Group
• Mobile Meetup Fargo • Moorhead Entrepreneurship Meetup
• Prairie Dawg Drupal • Red River Valley Big Data –
Midwest Big Data Hub Meetup
Registration • $80 - $1,000
• Stampede: A Meetup for the
• YMCA Brighter Futures
Delta by Marriott 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
Young, Determined & Restless