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A look back at over 50 people featured this year! pg. 57

December 2020

Shannon Full Is

Ready To Lead The Way As President & CEO Of The FMWF Chamber

// DECEMBER 2020




SPONSORED CONTENT: These Companies Know the Importance of Giving Hearts Day


SPONSORED CONTENT: Six at 702 Celebrate 20 Years


SPONSORED CONTENT: Have you Heard of This Merger?


SPONSORED CONTENT: Creating Office Efficiencies With HR Technology


SPONSORED CONTENT: Making the Most of Your Generosity


SPONSORED CONTENT: Big Things on the Horizon


Get to Know Shannon Full


Faces of Fargo Business 2020


Best Pieces of Advice 2020


What's That Logo?


Engaging Your Workforce


Q&A With Steve Kruse


Hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE (Reset) in 2021


Ladyboss of the Month: Sara Mozingo


Agricultural Distress and Possible Solutions


How Small Businesses Can Budget for Success


10 Questions With John Machacek: PushSave


Academic Insight


Hindsight is 20/20


Events Calendar








All our stories in one place

Business events calendar

Read all the past issues

Extra video content

E d i t o r ’s n o t e

A Look Back at 2020


020 has been well... interesting? Actually, scratch that, for the most part it has completely sucked and most of you business owners out there know it. You and your business have faced challenges this past year that you couldn't even pretend to imagine. However, we here at Fargo INC! like to try and focus on the positive things. And our local business community still has a ton of positive things going on. This past year we covered a countless number of hard-working, passionate and innovative individuals, this magazine is a celebration of that.

In addition to introducing you to Shannon Full, the new President and CEO of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce and someone who will surely add to the list of hard-working, passionate and innovative people in the community, we took December to take a look back at 2020 in Fargo INC!

Brady Drake Brady Drake Fargo INC! Editor

Brady Drake, Fargo INC! Editor




United Way of Cass-Clay

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." African Proverb In this current state of distance from one another, finding new and meaningful ways to bring us together is what will propel our community forward. Keeping our teams and employees connected is paramount right now. As this month's article highlights, creating opportunities to give back has the ability to create connections among a team. I am inspired by the creativity of companies who are continuing to bring their teams together to support our community. When people experience the feeling of helping one another, it connects us in ways that transcend any challenge that is in front of us.

President & CEO

Dakota Business Lending

Our team has a tradition we like to do at the beginning of every staff meeting where we share our “Lil Wins” that we have had since the last time we met. These can be accomplishments or things you’re proud of – both personally and professionally – and can range anywhere from closing a sale at work, someone’s child aceing their math test, and anything in between! Our team finds this important because it forces us to stop, think back on the good that we have seen and done, and celebrate it…no matter how big or how small. As the year comes to a close, I encourage you to take some time to think of the “Lil Wins” you have had throughout this past year – no matter how small they may seem and be proud of them. This year has been tough on everyone and you deserve a chance to celebrate.


Moore Holding Company

Do you have a brilliant idea, but not the skills yet to execute it? Find a partner, a collaborator who already knows how to fill in the skill gap for you. That’s the premise behind Who Not How, by Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy. Spend your time performing the tasks that you are extraordinarily good at and uniquely positioned to perform. Then, form teams and find collaborators to do the things we could do with enough training (I mean, we are all brilliant, right?), but should not do. The authors encourage us to stop asking ourselves, “How can I do this?” and start asking, “Who can do this for me?”

Communications and Marketing Officer

VP of Finance and Operations

FM Area Foundation

FMWF Chamber of Commerce

At the FM Area Foundation, we want to send a big thank you to our community. It was a challenging year, but that did not stop us from coming together to lift each other up and to give back. Thank you to everyone who gave to the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, who set up funds to benefit people who are struggling, and to those who have been supporting the 90+ nonprofits in this year’s Caring Catalog. Thank you to the all the organizations doing important work every single day. We are grateful to be the community foundation serving the Cass-Clay area.

Small Business Saturday might be past us now – and I hope you scored some great local goods this year, however you shopped – but that doesn’t mean the holiday shopping season is over. As you think of what to give to your loved ones this Christmas, please don’t forget that keeping dollars in our own community makes a world of difference. Small businesses are critical to a local economy, and it’s up to each of us to support them when they need us more than ever. I also wanted to make sure you didn’t miss an upcoming opportunity that we just announced: a virtual legislative preview summit in advance of both Minnesota and North Dakota’s legislative sessions, as well as the next Congress. It’s important for our business community to hear from our elected officials and their plans to aid in the recovery of our economy. Don’t miss this chance to be a part of the dialogue on solutions to the challenges faced by businesses in our states. This event will be held over four days beginning December 14, and is open to all at no cost. Find more info and sign up at fmwfchamber.com. Lastly, our new CEO Shannon Full has just started. Stay tuned to hear more from her soon – and in this issue of Fargo INC!



Director of Ecosystem

Chief Innovation Officer

Emerging Prairie

Greater FM Economic Development Corporation

I've had a lot of meetings in the last couple weeks and I think we all know the monotony that comes from so many meetings, especially in the age of COVID and Zoom. However, these meetings have ranged from calls with NASA to robotics startups in England to companies in our own backyard doing innovative work I had no idea about.

Welcome to Fargo Moorhead, Shannon, as well as to your new role with The Chamber. You’re coming to a great community and here at the Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC, we look forward to continuing to work alongside The Chamber in our Fueling Our Future partnership, as well as collectively striving for continued economic growth, prosperity and community well-being.

I realized that I felt so energized after these meetings because we spent the entire time talking about ideas, problems and possibilities. After all, every business ultimately comes down to solving a problem. We often get so stuck in the minutiae (here's looking at every conversation I've ever had about insurance), we often forget about why we got into the business. We know this winter is going to be long and have a lot of COVID restrictions so let's get back to having conversations about ideas and possibilities.

If the Fargo Inc readers would like to hear more about the EDC’s work over the past year, I encourage you to register to attend our annual meeting on 12/10. We made it easy for you this year, with it being online, free and only 30 minutes! More info at greaterfmedc annualmeeting2020. eventbrite.com

Founder and Director

The Executives Club of Fargo - Moorhead

What a year it’s been. Darcy and Todd sold their PEO to David’s staffing agency. Brady’s company acquired Rob’s video production business; made an investment partnership with Wes’s IT company; AND formed a partnership with Patrick’s coaching firm – WOW! Jon’s engineering firm moved to a new space this month and Ben and Austin are getting close to completing their new headquarters. Rachael magically re-purposed a former car dealership into an INCREDIBLE home design showroom. Tom formed a new law practice. Ron and Bob both took a well-deserved step back from the day-to-day and hired outside CEOs. Lisa retired, Mark got involved with WE Fest once again, and Steve and Scott formed a new media partnership. What a year indeed! Oh…and these Executives, of whom we are so proud, also got a new clubhouse, Grindstone. Business News? We prefer “People News”.

KODEE FURST Program Manager

The Nice Center

Earlier this fall, The Nice Center partnered with The Impact Foundation and Emerging Prairie to power a social entrepreneur cohort. It’s a special kind of founder who tackles community problems and this cohort is gritty, brave and their hope for a better world is inspiring. Each week, these passionate individuals show up prepared to learn how to do more good and are working every day to make our communities better places for everyone. Thanks to the generous gifts of time and talent of leaders in our region, they’re learning from others who are further ahead in their journey and the progress they’ve made in a short amount of time is incredible. Whether tackling hunger, mentorship or accessible childcare, each member of the cohort is focused on bettering the lives of those they serve. This holiday season, we are especially grateful for them choosing to take the road less traveled and hope you can join us in cheering them on.



Open up the world of possibilities for your daughter this holiday season with gifts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) toys, STEM games and STEM learning opportunities. She can bring ideas to life in 3D using 3Doodler to make art in 3D. She is never too young to start training her own personal pet robot using A.I. Or she can immerse herself in engaging hands-on project-based and mentor-supported uCodeGirl virtual classes. Interactive games, scientific experiments, makers labs and virtual reality art and music can be a gateway to captivate girls' interest in STEM and is a perfect way to encourage planning, critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving. As the smart gadgets we love get a little less artificial and a little more intelligent, we at uCodeGirl ask “how do we ensure the pathways to future innovation and economic opportunities are accessible to her as well?” FARGOINC.COM


DECEMBER 2020 Volume 5 Issue 12

Fargo INC! is published 12 times a year and is available at area businesses and online at FargoInc.com.

Publisher EDITORIAL Editor

Mike Dragosavich Drago@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Brady Drake fargoinc@spotlightmediafargo.com

Graphic Designer

Kim Cowles

Creative Strategist

Josiah Kopp


INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Videographers Executive Sales Assistant Graphic Designer ADVERTISING VP of Business Development Sales Representative Senior Business Development Senior Leader of Digital Solutions

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United Way of Cass-Clay, Bethlehem Gronneberg, Ladyboss Midwest, Samuel Andre, Michael Raum, David Tibbals, Paul Smith, John Machacek, Shontarius D. Aikens and Dakota Business Lending Nick Schommer nickschommer@spotlightmediafargo.com Tommy Uhlir, Laura Alexander Kellen Feeney Ben Buchanan Paul Hoefer Paul@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Al Anderson Judy Schwark Brady Sprague

clientrelations@spotlightmediafargo.com Jenny Johnson Christy German Colleen Dreyer Cassie Wiste John Stuber

Fargo INC! is published by Spotlight LLC, Copyright 2020 Fargo INC! & FargoInc.com. All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo INC!, and Spotlight LLC, is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on such information. Spotlight LLC, accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

Spotlight LLC 15 Broadway N, Suite 500 Fargo, ND 58102 Info@SpotlightMediaFargo.com ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)


BRADY - Digital Solutions

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“We have been working with SWL for 8 years. They help us with HR practices, contracts, and other legal issues that come up. I love how progressive and proactive they are. They have always felt like a partner and not just a law firm we call when we need something.� MIKE DRAGOSAVICH

Founder, Spotlight


It's that time of year again. The time of year where family and friends come together to celebrate the holidays. In most cases, this celebration takes place at the table with no shortage of food and drink to consume. To honor that timeless tradition, we asked local chefs to provide some of their favorite holiday recipes for you to make at home. No longer will you have to scramble to figure out what to make for the holidays. Enjoy our Fargo-Moorhead cooking guide and help it guide you through your holiday at home.

In relation to the rest of the country, North Dakota is considered "small". Within this "small" state are towns and cities that were built on hard work. They have passed down the gift of hard work and perseverance from generation to generation, carrying these North Dakota towns into the future. The population may label them as "small town" North Dakota, but the life within these areas is anything but minuscule. North Dakota State seems to find top-tier student-athletes in these areas. With the value of hard work instilled in them, they consistently thrive in Fargo. They are the pride of the prairie.

'Tis the season for gift-giving and holiday decorating. The Design + Living shopping guide is your key to all things merry and local. Whether you're searching for that final gift or decking the halls of your home, we've got you covered. All of the items featured inside are from shops and boutiques in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo to keep your spending local and shopping effortless. There's no place like home for the holidays. Bring some extra joy into your home with our annual shopping guide.




SCHEELS, GIVING HEARTS BUSINESS SINCE 2008 (DIAMOND PARTNER) Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to SCHEELS? At SCHEELS, we give back. Giving Hearts Day is a FUN opportunity for us to support and reward organizations that have touched our lives! With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company feel it was important to commit at the diamond level? It is the single biggest fundraising event in our whole region. Our commitment to GHD wasn’t necessarily about supporting at a certain level, but supporting overall and being able to make an impact with multiple organizations during the campaign! Can you tell me about SCHEELS' involvement with the GHD Awards Ceremony for charities? We love being a part of the awards breakfast! It is an awesome way for our team to connect with the organizations that have been awarded our SCHEELS All On Board Award and congratulate them for hitting their goals. What is a cause that is important to your company? Part of our mission at SCHEELS is to “do good in our communities.” It would be impossible to narrow down a cause as there are so many local organizations that make Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo a great place to live, work and play. Are there any particular stories from GHD that get talked about around the office? Our team LOVES TNT’s Spin it to Give It cycling challenge. We have participated for the last three years together and each year we recruit more and more teams to spin and have fun. It becomes a fun internal competition as well. SCHEELS people are competitive! Another fun memory was announcing our partnership of the SCHEELS Shoes for Kids campaign last year. We had been working on solidifying a partnership with the Fargo Marathon to jump on board with their Shoes for Kids Campaign and it was awesome to make that announcement on Giving Hearts Day.



EIDE BAILLY, GIVING HEARTS BUSINESS SINCE 2011 (DIAMOND PARTNER) Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Eide Bailly? At Eide Bailly, a core component of our culture lies in volunteering, giving back and supporting the communities we work in. Giving Hearts Day aligns with Eide Bailly’s mission to serve passionately and intelligently, and we are proud to give back to our communities in the Midwest and beyond. With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company feel it was important to commit at the diamond level? GHD has been important to Eide Bailly because it gives us the opportunity to inform our staff to get involved and focus on a wonderful opportunity to use their corporate responsibility company donation match. This past year we had over 90 staff members that used a portion or all their match. Their matches went to over 100 different non-profits. This shows that staff at Eide Bailly have such a wide range of personal interests in giving. I noticed Eide Bailly donates to a wide range of organizations, is supporting the community as a whole part of the company's mission? Eide Bailly takes pride in supporting our communities. Our mission to serve passionately and intelligently extends beyond client service to the communities in which we live, as illustrated by the paid volunteer hours and donation matching we offer our staff each year. Members of our firm are involved in many local charities, community outreach events and program. This passion to go the extra mile is also reflected in our firmwide culture statement.



What is a cause that is important to your company? Eide Bailly is a strong supporter of education and economic growth in our area. In addition, we try to support non-profits and organizations that our partners and staff are personally involved with. How long has your business been involved with GHD? Eide Bailly became more aware of this event and started participating in it around 2011. Since it has become more digital (GivingHeartsDay.org), it makes it easy for staff and businesses to participate in it. What is a cause that is important to your company? We have partnered with the Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley and Great Plains Food Bank for the past few years. They are both phenomenal organizations working with causes very near to our hearts. This year, we added partnerships with Henrik’s Heroes and Homeward Animal Shelter as well. As our team and our involvement in Giving Hearts Day has grown, we wanted to add more amazing charity partners that our employees personally felt connected to. Our Detroit Lakes office has been very involved in giving to the Boys and Girls Club of Detroit Lakes and Becker County Food Pantry as well. FARGOINC.COM




Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Strive Chiropractic? Giving back to the great communities we belong to has been a huge part of who we are since 2009. Through sponsoring local events and teams to raising money for great causes, we have committed to returning the love people have shown us. In 2017, we felt compelled to improve and increase our giving and knew the best opportunity to do so would be if we coordinated efforts with the Dakota Medical Foundation; therefore, The Strive Fund was born! We have been involved with Giving Hearts Day ever since and look forward to it every year. With the help of our unbelievable patients (our Strive family), we truly feel that we receive far more than we give every year! With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company feel it was important to commit at the platinum level? We had been already giving at what would be the platinum level for a few years so when the amazing people at DMF met with us to plan our 2020-2021 giving strategies, we jumped all in! The support and guidance we receive from everyone at DMF is phenomenal. I would highly suggest every business in the area find a way to get involved. Can you tell me about the Strive GIVEBACK Program? As COVID policies and precautions started to change the normal faceto-face ways we previously raised money, we knew we had to innovate. We created the Strive GIVEBACK Program to allow people to put their health first while helping one of our great partners at the same time. This program allows you to receive a new patient visit at Strive for our VIP card rate of $47 and we then will donate 100 percent of it to the partner of your choice! It is truly a WIN-WIN! Check out strive chiropractic.com/giveback for more info.



WHY IS GIVING IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS DOOSAN BOBCAT, GIVING HEARTS BUSINESS SINCE 2009 (PLATINUM PARTNER) Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Doosan Bobcat? At Doosan Bobcat, we have a long history of community involvement. We support the communities in which we live and work and encourage our employees to participate in charitable contributions or volunteerism. That’s why Giving Hearts Day is so important to us, we want to continue to support our communities in areas of greatest need.



With so many ways to get involved, why did your company feel it was important to get involved and support GHD charities? With our long-standing partnership with The Village Family Service Center, Giving Hearts Day is another example of giving back to worthwhile programs offered by The Village. Can you tell me about Doosan Cares Days? Once per year, thousands of Doosan Bobcat employees across the world participate in Doosan Day of Community Service events such as working at local food banks, school or medical facilities; painting or cleaning up local community centers; and performing construction tasks at a variety of charitable facilities and shelters. Our employees enjoy using our equipment and their talents to give back to our communities. What is a cause that is important to your company? We recently partnered with Wounded Warrior ProjectÂŽ to give away a new R-Series loader to a deserving veteran. It was an honor to give back to this veteran who served our country. We also donated 100 percent of the proceeds of scale models and co-branded shirts, mugs, and hats to Wounded Warrior Project. To get involved with Giving Hearts Day, visit givingheartsday.org/ partners/businesses FARGOINC.COM


Six at 702 Celebrate 20 Years 702 Communications began providing internet and phone services to the Fargo-Moorhead area back in 1999. Needless to say, technology has changed quite a lot since those days, but some of the faces providing to the community have not. Fargo INC! took a few moments to talk to six of the earliest 702 Communications employees to get their take on some career accomplishments as well as the biggest leaps they’ve seen the industry make over the past 20 years.

Rachel Weber, Customer Relations Manager Rachel sums it up best when reflecting on her career with 702 Communications. “My first job was porting telephone numbers for residential customers from other carriers over to 702. The promotional offer at the time was, ‘switch your local service and long distance to 702 and we will double the long-distance minutes.’ It’s funny to think back on it now. At that time, too, we were really excited about offering our customers 256K speed for DSL (internet) service. Keep in mind that this was a significant upgrade for customers that had dial-up service. Today, we can offer our customers Gig service! Evolving with our customers is fastpaced and exciting. I really enjoy the people I work with here at 702. There is a strong sense of team and it shows up in so many positive ways.”

Randy Farwell, Senior Sales Consultant The longest-tenured employee, Randy, started at 702 Communications on November 29, 1999. More than 20 years later, he continues to do direct sales. As he puts it, “From business band radio, pagers and cell phones, this gig brings it all together. When I first started, we had no real products — no sales process or price plans. We developed all of them and most are still in use today. Dial-up internet was the only option then, and now we sell Gigabit. The telephone line and phone book were all-important. Now, it’s the cloud. It never gets boring. We represent a fantastic product and company, and some very good people to work with.”



Jeff Abele, Hosted VoIP Installer Jeff joined 702 Communications just shy of 20 years ago, but we think it’s close enough to count. Specializing in phone technology, he notes the accelerated evolution. When asked what he felt to be his greatest accomplishment, Jeff replied, “Just trying to keep up with the technology in the last 20 years. (It) seems like it is always changing.” As an example, phone communication used to involve sound waves creating an electrical current sent along copper wires. Today, sound waves convert into 1s and 0s and travel near light speed along the thin glass of fiber optics. “I like what I do,” Jeff added, “(It’s) something different all the time.” No kidding.

Brian Crommett, CEO When Brian first walked in the door at 702 in 2000 as a temp, something clicked. “Getting in on the ground floor of a new company was exciting. We were building something from the ground-up. I really felt the sky was the limit.” As it turned out, he was right. As the company grew, so did Brian, moving from that temp position through customer service, helpdesk, sales and management, finally taking his place as CEO. “I’m lucky,” Crommett says. “There are a lot of talented people here. A lot of strong friendships, a lot of commitment.” Having hired more than a third of all employees in 702 Communications’ history, he continues to maintain the original values and entrepreneurial spirit as the company looks towards the future.


Mike Day, Operations Manager Mike started as an Outside Plant Technician and cites his biggest accomplishment as being able to move indoors in his current role as Operations Manager. Changing jobs to climb the ladder, so to speak, has become increasingly more common in recent years. We wanted to know why Mike went the traditional route and stayed loyal to a single company. “I have remained at 702 for numerous reasons. The biggest of them is that employees of this company are more than employees, they are more like family. The gentleman that started this company had family values and those values are still with us even though he has retired.”

Mark Olgard, Special Access Coordinator Back in February of 2000, as the world was still coming off the Y2K scare, Mark joined 702 Communications as a Customer Service Supervisor. Flash forward 20 years and Mark continues to provide customer support but in a new way. Moving into his current role, Mark works with wholesale customers; that is, helping other telecommunications companies across the country provide internet to their communities just like 702 Communications serves the Fargo-Moorhead region. “(It’s) just a great environment to work in. (702 Communications) has always been a forward-thinking company and also provides new opportunities and great benefits.”

What do the next 20 years bring? Considering the rate of innovation, it’s hard to predict that far in advance. But in the last year alone, 702 Communications proved it’s thinking ahead. Opening a Data Center last summer gives customers a secure way to connect, backup and store data. In January, 702 Communications acquired Computer Wrench to expand its managed services offering. This services-as-a-subscription model can help any business in the Fargo-Moorhead region bundle a wide variety of IT services from security to automation into a predictable monthly fee. Ask Randy about it or any 702 Communications employees who are on their own way to 20 years of service. 702 Main Ave Moorhead | 218.284.5702 | 702com.net



HAVE YOU HEARD OF THIS MERGER? On December 7, Border Bank will officially merge with Union State Bank, an institution that’s been in Fargo-Moorhead since 1973. The merger will help bring a size to the organization that will allow the company to offer expanded business services and expanded borrowing capacities. However, don’t expect the level of service to change at your trusted community bank. Border’s local business bankers; Kory Shae, Jordan Cook and Lori DeKeyser, still bring an extra level of personal service to the table when you work with them. 34



With this merger, Union State customers will experience the same exceptional service with greater access to capital.

Kory Shae

Business Development Director




I think the relationships you build with your business customers are extremely important. We want them to use us as a sounding board and a person who can challenge their ideas, but also be there to encourage and help them succeed."

“One of the things our business bankers do really well is develop that friendship with their clients so they can feel confident in calling almost 24/7,” said Border Bank CEO David Felch. “Our business bankers are very good at having a customer call and say, ‘You know what, I'm looking at another business opportunity, what do you think about this?’ Our business bankers work to almost become business partners without becoming business partners. We want our business bankers to have that relationship with customers so they don't feel like they're burdening us if they call after 5 p.m.” Felch has been a part of numerous mergers and acquisitions and feels confident this is one of the smoother ones he has ever undergone.



David Felch Border Bank CEO

“I feel very good about this, we've been through a couple of other mergers prior to this. The success of the merger really comes down to the staff and the staff retention. There are great employees at Union that are going to fit very well into the organization. In fact, there's going to be organizational changes that will be very positive for some of the employees as potential next career steps,” said Felch. “The beauty of mergers and acquisitions is the expertise that's brought to the table. Our business bankers have a pretty good finger on the pulse of what's going on. They develop valuable relationships. Hopefully, we can show customers that we have the expertise and we have the support behind what they're doing.”



202 Main Street N | PO Box 69 Badger, MN 56714 218-528-3255


605 Main Street | PO Box 1089 Baudette, MN 56623 218-634-3300

International Falls

1414 Highway 71 International Falls, MN 56649 218-283-5556

Middle River

150 Hill Avenue | PO Box 50 Middle River, MN 56737 218-222-3511



Coon Rapids

Thief River Falls

123 Main Street S Clearbrook, MN 56634 218-776-3151

9950 Foley Boulevard NW Coon Rapids, MN 55433 763-780-6600


4530 17th Avenue South Fargo, ND 58103 701-282-4598

Fargo Loan Production Office (LPO) 4660 Amber Valley Parkway S Fargo, ND 58104 701-532-2061

1083 Third Street NW | PO Box 40 Roseau, MN 56751 218-463-3888

1528 Highway 59 S | PO Box 599 Thief River Falls, MN 56701 218-681-8085


133 Main Street | PO Box 280 Greenbush, MN 56726 218-782-2151

For more information visit border.bank FARGOINC.COM




with HR Technology When a business reaches a certain size, it often adds dedicated human resources personnel. Unfortunately, these specialists often end up spending much of their time managing systems and babysitting data, instead of focusing on areas where they can do the most good. HR technology solutions can help businesses automate some basic functions, allowing HR professionals to focus on higherorder work. Called human capital management (HCM), this technology has been available for large enterprises for some time, but only recently became available for small businesses through new user-friendly and scalable offerings. So how could this technology help your business?

Greater productivity Many of today’s intelligent software and cloud solutions can handle routine tasks faster and more efficiently than their human counterparts. This allows HR professionals to focus on strategic planning and the needs of personnel – creating staffing plans, supporting employees, overseeing hiring, and creating employee satisfaction initiatives.

Increased employee engagement A key component of HCM is that employees are empowered to play an active role in managing their

Reduced risk of errors It all starts with payroll. It’s the most fundamental human resources function of a business. But the right HCM payroll solution can amplify the function - helping employees maximize their paycheck with automatic contributions to benefit programs, automatic transfers, and more. Payroll also houses key data needed by many other HR systems. The integrated nature of HCM means core data is shared, so you can access payroll, time and labor, and HR from one system, reducing the chance for data entry errors.

information and customizing their benefits packages. Using a secure login, employees can update personal information (such as changing their address or adding a new dependent), confirm, and edit information on file, with fewer steps and no paperwork. The system can also introduce tools such as retirement benefits management programs, enabling them to take a more active role in planning for their future without requiring HR’s assistance. Businesses often perceive a need, but may not realize the

Streamlined vendor management

need is rooted in something more fundamental. If your

Many employers are offering more and better benefits to

business could benefit from retirement or health plans that

stand out when hiring and to retain quality employees.

are easier to use, the real need may be for an HCM system

HR managers must also evaluate and manage vendors for

which simplifies the benefit program but also provides other

payroll, retirement, health care, and insurance. An HCM

efficiencies and perks.

solution can merge all these core functions into one package. That means fewer vendors to manage, a central point of

Now that HCM solutions are turnkey enough to fit smaller

contact, and a business advisor who understands the full

organizations, now may be the right time to contact Alerus

picture of your payroll and benefits offering.

and learn if our HCM system is right for your business.




Making the Most of Your Generosity (Left to Right) DMF Executive Director Pat Traynor, Western State Bank Market President Dan Jacobson, Eyecare Associates Co-owner Dr. Barbra Brookshire and Lend A Hand Up Director Jeana Peinovich


edical crisis is the leading cause of bankruptcy – but it doesn’t have to be. Lend A Hand Up is a local nonprofit that helps community members burdened by medical expenses. By offering free and comprehensive resources, fundraising champions are empowered and generosity is enhanced. Whether you want to host or support a fundraiser for a coworker, family member or friend, your gifts go further with Lend A Hand Up. Unlike other crowdfunding sites, Lend A Hand Up doesn’t profit from your generosity. Whereas, most giving platforms solicit tips or keep a percentage of funds raised (10-20% on average), Lend A Hand Up doesn’t take away from the giving process. Instead of adding charges, Lend A Hand Up adds value. Through its unique boost platform, gifts made through lendahandup.org increase by 20%. By boosting your gift 20% without deducting fees or tips, this can amount to a 40%

difference in what the family receives. Since Dakota Medical Foundation manages all the administrative fees for Lend A Hand Up, 100% of gifts help families. Whereas many donors direct their gift to a specific individual/ family fund, many businesses donate to the program itself. Gifts to the program are tax-deductible and spread out to help many families. This is what supplements the boost. Western State Bank is one of Lend A Hand Up’s boost sponsors. Like many, they make their annual donation on Giving Hearts Day. Eyecare Associates, another longterm program sponsor, makes their gift at year-end in coordination with their staff holiday celebration. Since many on their team have been actively involved in benefits supporting local families, their year-end gift is a meaningful way to support the program’s giving capacity in the new year. Since hosting in-person benefits isn’t a current option and needs are amplified, program

gifts go a long way toward helping others. Jeana Peinovich, Lend A Hand Up Program Director states, “Whether you direct a gift to an individual-family fund or contribute to the program, your generosity will help families close to your home and heart. As a caring community, giving is so much more than just financial help. Your support brings hope.” 365 days a year, Lend A Hand Up offers giving opportunities on its website. Whether you start a fundraiser or support an existing one, the program will literally uplift your gift. DMF Executive Director Pat Traynor states, “Lend A Hand Up brings out the best in everyone. The program’s resources inspire and enhance the efforts of a caring community coming together to help their neighbors.” Learn more about current fundraisers or start a new one by visiting lendahandup.org, or call Jeana at 701.356.2661

Giving Platform

Gift Amount



Total Charged

Net Gift







Lend A Hand Up








Big Things On The Horizon: What’s In Store For Downtown In 2021


Our downtown is the heart of our city and any of the 40 team members that work for Kilbourne Group will tell you that they infinitely love our downtown. Mike Allmendinger, President of Kilbourne Group, has been in Fargo since 1992. During that time, he attended NDSU, raised a family and built a career. “I love Fargo,” Allmendinger said. “We never have a shortage of something to do here.” He’s right, there is absolutely no shortage of things to do in downtown Fargo. You can get a drink, see a movie or a concert, ice skate, shop and that’s just to name a few! That vibrancy is the direct result of teams, like Kilbourne Group, investing in a shared vision. “I was inspired 25 years ago when I went to my first public input event downtown,” Allmendinger said. “There was such a diverse group of community members showing up with ideas of how to renovate downtown Fargo. But the one thing they all had in common was they wanted to make Fargo better.” Since that event, downtown Fargo has undergone some pretty drastic changes and it’s about to undergo even more with $200 million in projects currently under construction by Kilbourne Group.




Mike Allmendinger President

We are grateful for the hundreds of community members that are invested into Downtown Fargo. Their investment is making the community vision happen and Kilbourne Group is honored to manage their investment and the projects. We currently have an exciting opportunity for an investment into four downtown projects.� FARGOINC.COM



Block 9

Block 9 is almost finished and it’s going to be the crown jewel of downtown Fargo. Developed in a partnership with the R.D. Offutt Company, the mixed-use tower is replacing what was a surface parking lot for the past 43 years. Mike Peschel Managing Broker

The R.D. Offutt Company’s relocation to Block 9 signals a gigantic investment in downtown Fargo. It’s a giant lift for downtown.”

The building will serve as a headquarters for hundreds of team members as soon as early 2021 and the rest of the project, which will include ground-floor retail, a boutique hotel, a restaurant and residential condominiums, will be fully online later in the year. The project will also include a community plaza called Broadway Square which is over half an acre in size. The plaza will have seasonal amenities such as a skating rink, a splash pad, vendor spaces, a band shell for live performances and a large video screen that will make the space, “the living room of downtown,” according to Kilbourne Group’s VP of Development and Construction Keith Leier. According to estimates by Kilbourne Group, the space could attract as many as 600,000 people to the space per year and host over 150 plus events in the first year.



Adrienne Olson VP of Communications and Marketing

It may seem like Block 9 went up overnight to a lot of people because it wasn't that long ago when we broke ground. However, the project is the result of 10 years worth of planning, cooperation, partnerships, pivoting and changing.”




Rendering by JLG Architects

The mixed use Mercantile project on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Broadway is set to be a great addition to our city. The $35 million project is being developed as part of a public-private partnership with The City of Fargo, Kilbourne Group and Tom and Kari Smith, owners of the Great Northern Bicycle company. When completed, the space will include 367 public parking spaces, 100 apartments, six for-sale condominiums, ground floor retail space for multiple new businesses, and a substation for the Fargo Police Department. The parking garage is complete and the rest of the project is set to be done in early 2022.

Rendering by TL Stroh Architects

Keith Leier VP of Development and Construction

After nearly 45 years as a surface parking lot, the Kesler project is set to spruce up the block between 1st Avenue North and 2nd Avenue North. The space will offer a twolevel (one underground) 69-stall parking ramp, 9,000 square feet of first floor retail and 109 apartments to bring even more folks downtown. Kesler, along with the adjacent Black Building and the Stone Building, will help activate this block of Roberts Alley.

When we look at our projects, we don’t just look to see if it’s a viable project from the nuts and bolts of an investment

Downtown Fargo parking

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community, how it can

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secure your spot!

Tour these projects by drone at KilbourneGroup.com FARGOINC.COM



The Landing

Rendering by JLG Architects

Jamie Hager VP of Asset Management

The Landing at 1001 NP is a $30 million mixed-use development at 1001 Northern Pacific Avenue in downtown Fargo. The space will include 154 apartment units (with a mix of studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedrooms),

Customer service and continuous improvement in operations are both critical for a great customer experience. We think about the experience our customers will have in the Downtown neighborhood; this includes people living Downtown, working and shopping Downtown, and also visiting the new Jasper Hotel.�



To find your new apartment in downtown Fargo, or the perfect space for your office, retail or restaurant, visit kilbournegroup.com

217 parking stalls, 5,000 square feet of restaurant space on the ground floor with a large outdoor patio and five two-story walk-up units with private entrances.



The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce has its new President and CEO, Shannon Full. Full comes to the community with 21 years of experience, most recently she was the President and CEO of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce.



ull’s path to our community began in a small town in northwest Wisconsin called Grantsburg which currently has a population of 1,343 “I grew up in a very typical midwest family,” said Full. During her youth, Full quickly learned the value of work and giving 110%. At the age of 13, she began working in her grandfather’s machine shop. In high school,

she participated in sports while also having a part-time job. “A really strong work ethic was instilled in me from a very early age,” said Full. After high school, Full attended college at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and majored in mass communications and business. She also was a corporate trainer for Applebees, where she opened new stores and trained team members. During her last year of college, she was the backstage manager for Country Jam USA.

About the FMWF Chamber of Commerce T h e Fa r g o M o o r h e a d We s t Fa r g o C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e i s a b i - s t a t e , r e g i o n a l fe d e r a t i o n of over 2,000 private, public and non-profit member organizations representing more than 109,000 people. The largest local chamber in North Dakota and Minnesota, T h e C h a m b e r a d v o c a t e s fo r a s t r o n g metropolitan community and supports the interests of its members, which are located in Cass and Clay Counties and beyond.

The political scene in this country is very fragmented right now. The chambers that are having success around this country are galvanizing around a sensible middle. That’s a philosophy that I bring to the table.

“That gave me a lot of insight into the business world and the process of hosting massive events,” said Full. “I found out I really liked volunteer management and the event side of things.” At the same time she was coaching a 16 and under volleyball team. “Coaching and investing in people is a love of mine,” said Full. After college, Full moved to Minneapolis to help open a bar facility that included three indoor volleyball courts. “That experience really melded my love of sports and hospitality together,” said Full. “As a new business, the first thing we did was join the Chamber of Commerce, which was my first encounter with a chamber.” Full hasn’t looked back since that first exposure to the Chamber. Soon, after Full started volunteering at the Chamber and eventually joined the Board of Directors at the age of 22. She was then approached by the head exec who said they were going to resign and told her she should apply to take over the position. Initially, Full says she didn’t feel ready or qualified in the slightest. But the exec

took her under her wing for six months of mentorship and at the age of 24, Full got her first President/CEO job, running the Fridley Chamber.

Her introduction to Cedar Rapids came just two months after disastrous floods caused $6 billion in damage to the city with 5,400 homes and 1,200 businesses lost.

During her time there, the Chamber expanded from one community to eight communities and about 200 members to about 1,300 members. It is now known as the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce.

“There was just something that spoke to my heart about making an impact,” said Full. “When I got on the ground, I was sold.”

“It was a really great experience, but I tell people I hit a point where I was single and sick of winter so I wanted to try something new,” said Full. She found warmer weather after being recruited to run a 16-community Chamber in Melbourne, Florida. Full describes the community as being highly diverse and very immersed in military affairs.

During that recovery process, Full says she saw different groups all working together, Democrats and Republicans, laborers and professionals, and everyone in between. “That taught me a lot about how in the face of adversity, what a diverse and unlikely group of folks working together are capable of,” said Full. From there, Full headed to Appleton, Wisconsin and then Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“This is a passion of mine that I haven’t really had the chance to do a lot with,” said Full. “I’m excited for the opportunity to be more involved with this. I have the utmost respect for our military personnel.” However, she eventually missed the sense of community found in the Midwest, leading her to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as part of her next stop.



Economic and workforce development are t h e f u t u r e o f o u r c o m m u n i t y, a n d t h i s i s a


very strong passion area for me."

What excites you most about Fargo? There’s a lot that excites me about Fargo. The first thing that drew me to this position is the community. My husband and I were very impressed and pleasantly surprised by this community when we came to visit. The visible demonstrations that you see are around collaboration, philanthropic giving and supporting of community members. The diversity of business is a very appealing piece as well. There’s something to be said about a very stable economy in very unstable times. Many people ask me, ‘Why on earth would you move in the midst of a pandemic?’ But I believe that when opportunity knocks, you open the door and you take on those opportunities. There’s a vibe about Fargo that is extremely appealing. The Chamber was also a huge reason to come to Fargo. At numerous regional conferences, I remember seeing Craig Whitney and Jim Parsons talk about the significant programs that the FMWF Chamber has. The Chamber also has strong programs and makes a significant impact in public policy, military affairs, talent and workforce initiatives, and more.



What are you looking to change when you get here? I think it’s way too early to tell what I would be looking to change. My leadership style is very much a catalytic leader so I am a change agent. However, I’ve also learned over 20 years that listening to those that have set the foundation and gathering insight from different stakeholders will be very important for gaining trust and respect. I want to build on our greatest strengths while also bringing new innovative ideas to the table. With your event background, how do you plan on tackling the challenges of holding a successful event during the pandemic? We’re seeing really dynamic events across the country that are hybrid and ones that are virtual as well. I’m really optimistic about leaning into some of those practices that have worked for other chambers and other businesses that have figured this out. I think the way that we deliver events and programs in the future will be very different in the future, but one thing is for certain,

Things That are Important to Shannon:

people want to gather, they want to build relationships and they want connection, so we will continue to deliver on those needs.

• C p • A w

What else should people know about you? Do you have any hobbies or anything else you would like to share?

ollaborative publicrivate partnerships focus on a talented orkforce

• Public policy

I have a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old, so my hobbies are much more their hobbies than they are mine. However, my husband and I are big outdoors people. We love to play golf, and go boating. We really just like to spend time with our kids, and it is a very rewarding time to see them starting to find hobbies that they love. They’re starting to explore sports, and they already love golfing, fishing, and boating which may have been influenced by us. I also love entertaining and look forward to creating a strong social network here in our new community.

People should also know that I describe myself as having a strong balance of grace and grit. I strive to give people grace and understand them, but I also have the grit to make tough decisions. What does the Chamber of Commerce mean to you as a leader? The Chamber of Commerce is so much more than a membership, pro-business organization. It really is all about growth and prosperity. The Chamber is a catalyst for growth and prosperity as we promote and protect businesses, invest in people and inspire the future. It is essential for us to be able to compete in a global marketplace. We need to lean into our differentiators and tackle some of the tough issues to help us be even more competitive. We need to work together collaboratively to focus on this common goal.

In 2020 we had the pleasure of speaking to an assortment of brilliant, creative and hard-working business professionals. In order to properly celebrate them, we decided to take a look back at many of the great photos we took in 2020. FARGOINC.COM






































Stuff You Should Know Short Stuff: Fruit Flies, Why? - 3:00

TED Radio Hour Warped Reality - 33:00

The Dave Ramsey Show Should I Buy a Car for Ride-Sharing? - 40:00

Armchair Expert Dr. Drew - 1:21:00



Wishing You & Yours HOLIDAY CHEER WITH GRATITUDE FROM ALL OF US AT GOLDMARK COMMERCIAL goldmarkcommercial.com 701.235.2900

1711 Gold Drive, Suite 130 Fargo, ND 58103 commercialinfo@goldmark.com

Best Pieces of Advice 2020

Good advice is like good music, you should listen to it. We here at Fargo INC have been fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a lot of good advice from some of the best minds in our business community. There is rarely an interview we do where we don't ask 'what advice do you have for other business owners.' In celebration of this, here is some of the best business advice we received in 2020. 86


"Listen and communicate to your employees. Everyone wants to have input and contribute to the work that they do. Provide your staff the ability to give their opinions and thoughts on how to grow as an organization and they will become invested in the work they are doing. If you say you're going to follow up on something, follow up and then let the employee know what you did so they feel that the company takes action on feedback." -Kayla Linn, Vice President of People and Culture at Eventide

"Be better than your competition at what's important to your customers." -Governor Doug Burgum on improving direct sales

"Communication is key, especially in uncertain times. When your first reaction is to wait until you know more, you need to be honest with your team members about what you do know and what you don't." -Steve Hallstrom, Flag Family Media/Fieldstone Group



"You need to be prepared to say yes when it scares you. You need to be willing to work hard, and you need to have mentors." -Michelle Kommer, former Commissioner of Commerce and current Owner of HighRoad Partners

"Set a goal each week to meet one new person from our community and have a virtual meeting or coffee with them. Focus on someone that may not be in your normal sphere of connections. It's easier than it sounds — volunteering is a great place to start! You just have to make the effort. In one year, you will make 52 new connections and exponentially expand your network and perspectives of the community!" -Kristi Huber, President and CEO of the United Way of Cass-Clay

"Life requires an investment in your fellow man. What mean by that is you have to engage with each other. For me, that meant building relationships with the people I worked with and the people I worked for. I didn't do that via text. I didn't do that via Twitter. I did it via oneon-one conversations. I still think that is probably the biggest advantage that those who are good at it have over others. The ability to develop relationships and the ability to develop trust are very important." -Dave St. Peter, President and CEO of the Minnesota Twins 88


"Setting people up for success sets your business up for success. If you have a great employee that isn't doing great, look at what they are great at and what they enjoy doing and put them in a position to do that. Then, find people to fill in the areas that are left. Have an accounting manager that is amazing at accounting, strategy and process development but hates managing people? Then create a role that uses those skills to the maximum and find someone that loves the people management side. You end up with super productive, happy team members that are fired up to do their jobs every day versus a great employee who is bad at, dislikes or just avoids core parts of their job. Nothing says you have to stay in the organizational chart boxes." -Sarah Koustrop, Chief Strategy Officer at National Hospitality Services

"Get a password manager! The average person today has over 100 unique logins/passwords they have to track. As a bookkeeper, I have different logins for every client and a password manager makes it easy to organize, keep track of them all and keep them more secure than a spreadsheet or piece of paper." -Maddie Schultz, Owner, Blue Cypher Bookkeeping

"Look closely at social media and identify areas that are beneficial for you and your business, as well as those that are draining your energy. Cut the draining ones out of your life. The reduction of mental noise will be immensely helpful in staying focused on what matters." -Peter Schott, CEO and Co-Founder, Genesis Feed Technologies



t a h T s ' t a Wh Think you know the logos of local organizations?


What if you could only see a sliver of them? Here you can test your knowledge of some of the most recognizable brands in the Fargo metro...




#6 #6 Red River Zoo

#7 Swanson Health Products

#8 The Toasted Frog

#9 Concordia College

#10 PRx Performance DECEMBER 2020

#5 Kilbourne Group


#4 Hornbacher's


#3 Emerging Prairie



#1 Fargo Force

#2 High Point Networks

#10 #9 #8 #7

United Way of Cass-Clay works every day to harness the power of community across Cass and Clay Counties — resulting in a better tomorrow for everyone. The organization improves lives by activating resources to solve complex community issues and create lasting social change.

Contributed by United Way of Cass-Clay

ENGAGING YOUR WORKFORCE: How United Way Is Collaborating with Local Leaders to Promote Employee Engagement 92


Kristi Huber, President & CEO of United Way of Cass-Clay, at the 2020 United Way School Supply Drive with Brian Sherrod, local news reporter. Each year, United Way coordinates the drive to provide backpacks and school supplies to families - this year, 6,040 backpacks full of supplies were provided to students in need.

What United Way does • Activate the Community- We have a unique ability to connect partners and resources to solve complex community issues. • Invest Strategically- We innovate the way people, organizations and systems work together to solve the most pressing complex problems in our community through our Bold Goals to reduce hunger and homelessenss, prepare children to succeed, help people be independent and ultimately lift families out of poverty. • Empower Volunteers-We rally a community of change-makers to build connections, develop talents and make a meaningful difference.

• Ignite Social Innovation-We inspire the community to invest in everyone's tomorrow. That's the Power of Community. Realized.

Homelessness is one of the biggest challenges our community faces, and with your help, United Way is working to solve this challenge.

United Way of Cass-Clay identifies the biggest challenges in our community, brings people together to develop solutions and rallies the community to provide the resources needed to create change.

• On any given night here in our local community, 1,022 people are homeless.

But don’t just take our word for it. We sat down with four community pillars to learn more about the power of community.

• Two out of five people who are homeless have a chronic health condition.

• Of the individuals who are homeless in our community, 23% are children.

• United Way is rallying the community to provide the resources to invest in Housing Stability Specialists which will focus on preventing homelessness for 90% of children and families by 2023.

• Practice Stewardship- We ensure resources entrusted to us are invested efficiently and responsibly, with a focus on results.



A large group of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota employees ready to volunteer for United Way last fall.

Facts about Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND): • #1 Most Engaged Workplace on the 2019 United Way Top 25 Most Engaged Workplaces list • #8 on the 2019 United Way Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces • Winner of the 2019 United Way LIVE UNITED Leader of the Year Award • Over 336 employees made an investment in United Way during their campaign last year with over 55 serving as Emerging Leaders and Leaders in Giving



• BCBSND Emerging Leaders are actively taking part in the volunteering, networking and skill-building events throughout the year • BCBSND hosted two Eat United Food Truck Feed events in 2019 where hundreds of community members came together to support United Way • The BCBSND and Marvin United Way 5K event engaged more than 100 runners and raised over $2,700; employees, families and friends enjoyed a morning filled with energy, enthusiasm, and good company


With Dan Conrad, President & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota

How has United Way played a role in developing your workplace culture? Our partnership with United Way has provided an amazing avenue for our team to get outside of our walls and volunteer in the communities we serve. United Way has helped us see our communities through a new perspective, learn about the community issues that impact our daily lives and the health of our customers, and then gives us ways to take action to create change in our communities. How has prioritizing giving back to the community impacted your ability to recruit and retain/engage your employees? One of the number one issues we’re all facing as businesses, is finding talented employees and then keeping them – workforce development and hiring are at the forefront and on the minds of so many of us as leaders. United Way gives us a way to attract the kind of workforce that we need at our company. When potential employees see photos of our employees giving back, having fun while helping people, getting to go out and about in the community at United Way events, it signals to them that our company values volunteerism, that our company doesn’t just “talk the talk” we “walk the walk” when it comes to giving employees opportunities to serve their community.

Dan Conrad, President & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota at the corporate office in Fargo in front of some of the photos captured of employees volunteering and giving back to our community.

You were recently named the #1 Most Engaged Workplace on United Way’s Top 50 Most Engaged Workplaces list – how does this benefit your company/what does this mean to you? I think it signals to our current and prospective employees that we care about the communities we live in and the members we serve. As an integral part of our community, we’re proud to be able to do our part.

enduring part of our culture is that it grew from within our team, as opposed to being a leadership-driven initiative. We empowered our employees to take the lead and our “BlueSquad” committee has done an amazing job. United Way has been a terrific partner for those employee-led efforts and provides so much support and guidance to our teams in how to impactfully give back.

What is one tip you would share with other business leaders about how to engage employees within their community? One factor that has made volunteerism and community engagement such an




With Matt Leiseth, President of Hornbacher’s

Facts about Hornbacher’s: • #10 on the 2019 United Way Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces

Matt Leiseth, President of Hornbacher’s and Volunteer on the United Way of Cass-Clay Board of Trustees.

How did employee morale and culture play a role in your experience these last few months throughout the challenges of the pandemic? When faced with a crisis like our current pandemic, employee morale will naturally be strained. Culture made all the difference. The teams have always supported each other through holidays, blizzards, floods, and family emergencies. They continue to support each other to make sure the work gets done here and they can take care of family at home. As a business leader, you see how today’s students are tomorrow’s potential employees. What can we do to support students, so they are able to take the jobs we need to fill someday? Many students are today’s employees! Knowing some students need to work to help support the family magnifies the work of United Way. Ensuring we provide access



• Coordinated the Hornbacher’s Gobble It Up for United Way lunch event for that past 13 years which has raised nearly $300,000 for United Way • Matt serves as a Volunteer Board of Trustees Member at United Way of Cass-Clay

to learning through the United Way School Supply Drive is important to our workforce and our community. For example, this year United Way made sure that more than 6,000 students had a backpack and school supplies to start school this year – despite the pandemic, United Way made this happen for students and also helped ease the burden for parents who are in need and struggling to make ends meet. As employers, this impacts us all. Kids are ready for school and parents have the support they need.

of all. When we all share in the success of others, that is when we will win. Each year, our employees look forward to United Way events and I can see the passion they have for making the events successful.

It has been said that events like “Hornbacher’s Gobble It Up for United Way $5 Lunch are “more than turkey sandwiches” – why is taking the time to involve your employees in this event important to your business?

Grocery stores are an essential business that impact all of us, regardless of business sector, income, age, race, etc. - what have you learned about the community working in this sector?

We are blessed in the Fargo-Moorhead community to have many businesses leading the way, but this is not enough. We all must come together as individuals giving our time, talent and treasure for the good

The grocery store may be one of the last great melting pots in the United States. No matter where you were born, the neighborhood you live in or who you voted for, we all come together when we shop.

I see our Store Directors rally our employees, and I see our employees truly enjoying the chance to be a part of something that is bigger than our store, and our company. That excitement carries over into how they do their job every day and makes me proud of our employees.


With Chris Barta, Senior Director of Operations Marvin

Facts about Marvin: • Marvin was just named to the 2020 Top 50 Best Places to Work • #8 Most Engaged Workplace on the United Way Top 25 Most Engaged Workplaces list • #14 on the 2019 United Way Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces • Chris serves as the 2020 United Way Volunteer Campaign Chair

Chris Barta, Senior Director of Operations for Marvin and 2020 United Way Volunteer Campaign Chair.

Marvin was just named to the 2020 Top 50 Best Places to Work - how has your partnership with United Way impacted this?

As the 2020 Campaign Chair, what is one thing you have learned about our community that many others may not know?

Marvin is proud to be a part of the Top 50 Best Places to work and we know that one of the factors of being a great place to work is the opportunity to give back to your community.

Until I started working with the United Way in my role as Volunteer Campaign Chair, I had no idea about the number of students who are homeless in our community.

Our partnership with United Way gives our employees so many opportunities to give back, volunteer, and learn about the needs that exist in our community. United Way events give employees a chance to connect with one another and be engaged with their community, and those are all factors as to how employees feel about their work and their workplace. United Way helps us to create a great place to work, and is an integral partner for us.

have seen anything like the pandemic. It is changing us. Our jobs. Our routines. Our families. Our social habits. Our days look dramatically different than what they looked like even a few months ago. In this time of change, I see people simplifying. I see people caring for one another. I see people identifying what is most important. I see people going above and beyond.

If I were to poll Fargo INC readers, I wonder how many of you would say that you were aware that there are actually full-time staff members for Fargo Public Schools who are “Homeless Liaisons” and their roles are designed to help students who are homeless. We know this has been a challenging year for business leaders and employees - how can giving back play a role? I like to talk about this being a challenge and an opportunity. None of us in our lifetime




With Kristi Huber, President & CEO of United Way of Cass-Clay

Why is it important for business leaders to collaborate with organizations like United Way?

Kristi Huber, President & CEO of United Way of Cass-Clay at the construction site of the future home of United Way located at 4351 23rd Ave South in Fargo and set to open in December 21.

What is one piece of insight/advice you could share about how businesses can boost morale during these challenging times for our community? Today more than ever, companies are recognizing how important it is for employees to feel connected not only to their employers but also to their teammates. We have heard from many companies this fall how their United Way campaigns successfully bolstered the morale of their employees because of the fun, virtual events they were able to host even though the workforce was remote. From online games of Bingo, to company versus company challenges, to inviting local celebrity Myles Montplaisir, “You Betcha Guy” to help rally the attention and spirits of team members and highlight the importance of supporting the elevated community needs during the pandemic. In times like these, we know that time and focus are some of our greatest assets. However, when companies invest time and focus on creating events and opportunities for team members to connect and give back, the return on investment greatly impacts the company culture, employee morale and overall health of your company.



What research exists that points toward the benefits of giving back and volunteerism? Much of the most recent research has focused on how leaders can most effectively build resiliency within their organizations and best position their teams for waves of change that continue to impact their companies. Trust is one of the key factors in building resiliency as well as employee confidence and customer loyalty. According to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer’s May report, 38% of global respondents believe that business is “doing well or very well” at putting people before profits and that just 51% of millennials believe that business is a force for good. Statistics like this highlight how important it is for companies to differentiate themselves by actively supporting the community by giving back, making it convenient for their employees to give through an ongoing payroll deduction as well encouraging teams or departments to participate in engagement opportunities together like packing backpacks for the United Way School Supply Drive. As companies look to recruit their up-andcoming leaders, the millennial workforce will continue to look to align their talent with organizations that prioritize social impact as well as bottom-line success.

I feel fortunate to be able to collaborate with some of our community’s most talented leaders. It is one of my favorite aspects of my role with United Way. I’m grateful for the valuable perspectives that I gain from each and every conversation and project that we work on together. I believe the same thing can be said for community leaders that take time to work with United Way and other nonprofits. They gain a deeper connection to the community and unique challenges that they might not have been aware of. Leaders that connected to their community are also more in tune with their workforce and we all know that a company’s strength greatly depends on their team. Lastly, I know that leaders who collaborate with organizations like the United Way have a lot more fun! When leaders take the time to volunteer and immerse themselves in the community, this creates more moments to relate and connect with employees, and opportunities to have a shared experience with employees from all levels in the company creating cohesiveness and shared understanding. Our team works very hard to inspire others with creativity while at the same time we work to provide meaningful volunteer experiences. This summer we had several CEOs working with us to fill and distribute backpacks for our School Supply Drive. Each leader commented on what an incredible experience it was to be able to help prepare our community’s kids for success. To learn more, visit unitedwaycassclay.org

With Steve Kruse, Owner of One Herd

By bRAdy drake Photos by J. Alan Paul Photography and Hillary ehlen

In 2013, our Owner of Spotlight Media, Mike Dragosavich, founded One Herd with mission of creating a community around the clothing brand. The former NDSU punter did so by donating a portion of revenue to area charities for every purchased product. In the fall of 2019, Steve Kruse took over the business, giving him a unique perspective on what it's like to run a business that he acquired. 100


Steve Kruse

Owner One Herd Clothing



What is it like taking over a company?

Taking over an existing business will save you money because it's already established and people already know about the business. also, you don't have all the startup costs associated with starting your own business from the ground up. How did you work to make that transition as smooth as possible?

Mike, the previous owner, was there for guidance and support during the first couple of critical months in case anything went wrong.

If you could give advice to anyone planning on doing something similar, what would you tell them?

Do your homework before making a purchase on an existing business. You don't want to purchase a business that is running in the negative or that doesn't sell what customers want to buy. Develop a plan. See where the current business' strengths and weaknesses are to find out what changes need to be made. Ask for a transition period. Asking for a transition period will ensure that you learn all you can from the current owner. What is One Herd's mission?

Our mission is to extend the spirit of the North Dakota State Bison on to anyone who wants to be a part of the great tradition, eaning people all over the country! The name "One Herd" isn't just a catchphrase, it's a symbol. What it symbolizes is the fact that we are all in it together. No one is alone. Especially in Bison Nation. We want everyone who is associated with One Herd to adopt a teamwork and family mentality. We encourage all to find a way to help someone out that needs a hand. What percentage of your revenue is derived from online sales?

Currently, it is 98 percent. That would be different, in normal times. What I mean by that is that I also operate a mobile retail trailer that we weren't able to utilize much as I would like because most events I would like to bring it to were canceled.



What platform do you use for e-commerce?

Shopify. It is a platform that makes it fairly simple for even a novice like me to update and make changes to the site. What tips do you have for people trying to better their e-commerce business?

Get an expert opinion on what changes and updates should be made. They can also help you out by highlighting anything critical that might be missing on your website. If you don't feel comfortable making the changes, hire an expert. Find companies that fit your business model for dropshipping. The less inventory you have to physically handle and carry yourself means less of cash investment in inventory. Find your niche and differentiate yourself from your competition. How do you drive people to your website?

Mainly through social media posts, print, and also by sending emails to our subscribers.

I know that you maintain an in-person shopping location, do you think that's important for your brand?

As I mentioned earlier, we do have a pop-up shop that we were able to have on Broadway in Downtown Fargo for about three weeks this Fall. I wish it could have been longer, but in 2020 we've all needed to make adjustments to our business model. The pop-up shop is very important to building our brand. It allows our customers to put a face with One Herd and also shows that we truly are a local business.



Bethlehem Gronneberg Founder and CEO, uCodeGirl | Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow | PhD Candidate | Lecturer of Computer Science | YWCA Woman of the Year in Science and Technology


“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” -J.P. Morgan We will soon usher in 2021— it is a new dawn, it is a new year and a new opportunity to hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete (reset) on our old and not so productive habits. Historically though, staying the course on a new plan hasn’t always been a smooth journey. In fact, according to the U.S. News & World Report, 80 percent of our new aspirations chronicled as resolutions in January are quickly abandoned by February or shortly thereafter. What could potentially be a game changer, in this day and age, is the plethora of technological resources at your disposal to strategize and tackle your set goals. You don’t have to go it alone anymore. An increasingly diverse array of tech tools ranging from specifically targeted apps, 104


About uCodeGirl

The vision of uCodeGirl is to inspire and equip young women to become the future face of innovation in technology. uCodeGirl is uniquely designed to inspire, engage and equip young women with computational design thinking skills, leadership traits, and an entrepreneurial mindset. uCodeGirl strives to remove roadblocks and bridge the gender gap in technology so that young women can confidently pursue opportunities suitable for the 21st century. By building confidence, enhancing skill sets and tapping into their intellect and curiosity, uCodeGirl helps young women chart a pathway to the T of STEM careers. More information here: www.ucodegirl.org | @ucodegirl |


wearables, virtual reality mediums, digital assistants supported by Artificial Intelligence, accountability partners such as notifications, scheduled reminders and social media peer groups use Richard Thaler’s nudge theory to help us act in the broader sense of our self-interest. Here is a list of four GoTos I compiled to help us stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong as we adjust to our new normal and strife to be a force for good. 1. Habit Changer Apps: Maybe you used a swear jar before to kick your bad habit or had a friend call you when you skipped the gym. These eye catching, easy to use and customizable habit tracking apps can be your commitment to reach your goals. stickK is designed by behavioral economists from Yale University to help you kick unwanted habits or keep a new one by depositing money to be sent to a friend, a foe or a charity of your choice everytime you fail to keep your goal (kinda like a swear jar). Made for both iOS and Android devices, it is also available on wearable devices like Apple Watch. Popular in 2020 were Habitica, Streaks, Momentum, Coach.me, Habitshare and 42 Goals. 2. Re-skilling, Up-skilling Tools for Employment: With unemployment soaring amid COVID-19 and no sight of relief in close range, training individuals to adopt an entirely new skillset or transition to a tech career of employment has taken center stage. Even though one of the highest sought after skills remains technological, it is not for everyone. My Next Move: O*Net Interest Profiler, What Career Is Right For Me: Career Aptitude Test, CareerExplorer: Career Test and Self-Directed Search are some of the sites compiled by muse.com to help you assess your skills, strengths, preferences, recommend possible future careers and growth opportunities. Whether you have unique talents to share, are looking for ways to make extra money or you have to step away from your 9 to 5 corporate job, there are online marketplace dedicated

for freelancers in gig economy such as fiverr, Upwork, Simply Hired, Toptal, PeoplePerHour and TaskRabbit. 3. Self-Care Gadgets: Practicing mindfulness, staying Zen, and alleviating stress is necessary for this season of uncertainty and this unpredictable world. When the good old stress ball or fidget spinner is just not enough, wearable technology comes to the rescue. The Sona bracelet wants to “train your resilience to stress” and has five resonance breathing meditation sessions to keep you focused and calm. The company says it keeps tabs on your overall stress levels through monitoring your heart rate and physical activity. There are a spectrum of wearables such as The Pip that uses the pores on your fingertips to detect stress signals and convert them into visualizations on your phone so that you are self-aware and regulate your activities. Thync was developed by a team of neuroscientists from MIT, Harvard and Stanford and employs electronic pulses to stimulate your brain to elevate your mood and lower your stress. Apps like Calm or Headspace offer guided meditation lessons. 4. Sticking to Budget: Save a little more this year. Using apps like Mint and EveryDollar helps you stay on budget by automatically importing your spending transactions and tracking against your savings. There are also AI-powered personal financial apps that combine artificial intelligence and behavioural science like Cleo, Eva Money, and Olivia. ai. Robinhood is great for managing stock portfolios and Qapital is great to save money towards goals and “fund your future”. 5.Read More with Libby: You already know about Kindle, Audible, Goodreads and Hoopla as great tools to get your read on. But did you know about Libby? You can use your phone or favorite reading medicum to access thousands of ebooks and audiobooks for free, right from your local library.

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself.


A. Hi! I’m Sara. I’m the owner of Icehouse Fit. I opened Icehouse Fit over five years ago with my business partner at the time. I have been coaching fitness for almost 10 years, starting in Minneapolis and then opening Icehouse Fit in Fargo. My mission is to be at the forefront of health and fitness. I really believe that fitness is underrated in our society and only recently, with a global pandemic, are people starting to really look at their health and how that can affect their future. I want to transform that, I want people to have a professional coach to help them. Whether they need help to lose some weight, to be able to move without pain, or to build healthy habits so they can continue to do the things they love. I want to help people invest in their health so they can live the fittest years of their life. Q. How did you get involved in your work? A.I grew up playing all kinds of sports. I played five sports in high school and was fortunate enough to play basketball in college. After I graduated, I struggled a bit with the loss of my team. I have been a team sport athlete most of my life and losing that really affected me, I gained weight and I didn’t understand how nutrition worked without three hours of practice. It was rough for a bit. I was invited to a CrossFit class in 2011 and I fell in love. It had the energy and passion that I felt playing basketball. I knew, almost instantly, I wanted to coach in a gym. I made that a reality two years later and was able to make owning a gym a reality two years after that. Icehouse Fit has since left the CrossFit world and we have transitioned to a more goals-focused gym. It is a place where we can really meet people where they are in their fitness journey and help

Two days before having to shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions, Sara Mozingo bought out her business partner. It was inconvenient timing, but Sara is first and foremost a coach who looks out for her team. She spoke with us about keeping her fitness center afloat during COVID, how to stay healthy amidst a global pandemic, and the importance of finding a really good coach, or two, or three. 106


them make progress and see results by focusing on their fitness, nutrition, mindset and recovery. Q. Gyms and fitness studios have been hit especially hard during the pandemic. How have you been able to pivot and keep your head above water? A. We had a unique experience in that I bought out my business partner two days before we closed down because of COVID-19 in March. We were able to sit down as a staff and really rework our business model. We asked ourselves, ‘how can we add value to our members?’ ‘How can we really help each person achieve their individual goals?’ ‘Is there a way we can help people get out of those everyday aches and pains that keep them from working out?’ What we came up with was a very personalized approach to fitness. We kept the group class model because it is really fun to workout with your friends in class, and added customized workout programming to it. This personalized approach gave us several ways to serve our members. We can help members that come to the gym through group class, one-on-one training or we can even help members that aren’t comfortable coming to the gym with at-home workout plans. We have also placed a lot of focus on reaching out to our members personally to ensure that they’re staying healthy through this all. Q. Health is at the forefront of everyone's minds right now. How are mental and physical health closely connected? A. This is something we love to talk about at Icehouse Fit. I really believe that the mental gains happen before the physical gains do. There are thousands of studies out there

about how exercise releases endorphins and can help with anxiety, depression and in a host of other mental health areas. What we talk a lot about in our classes and oneon-ones is about how our thoughts can deeply affect our reactions. We also take all of our clients through something called the Positivity Tree, because we want to focus on the good things people are doing in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and recovery. Q. Who inspires you? A. Lots of people inspire me. Our clients at Icehouse Fit inspire me daily with their work ethic and how they show up for themselves every day. My Mom inspires me, she’s a fierce lady. My wife Ashley inspires me with her creativity and her drive to make the world a better place. Our coaches at Icehouse and their relentless effort to be the best at their craft inspires me. My personal coaches, as entrepreneurs they keep crushing it in their fields. In the fitness space, Dana Lynn Bailey and Tia Clare Toomey and all the women in strength sports that are fighting for a seat at the table. They show up everyday in a very male-dominated arena and their voices are being heard. Q. How are you taking care of yourself right now? A. I really believe in the power of having a coach so I have three currently. I have a fitness coach that helps me with my nutrition and accountability to workouts. Even as a gym owner I know the struggle of getting to the gym! I have a business/life coach that helps me dream big and keep moving forward and take big leaps even in unknown times. We also have a business coach at Icehouse that helps keep us accountable and helps us lead the charge

into making gym spaces the health care clinic of the future. Q. For those who feel like they've lost touch with their health throughout the pandemic, what do you suggest as the first step to getting back in control? A. Start asking yourself questions. ‘Why do you want to start?’ Dig deep for that answer. Once you know that, it will make the journey easier when you don’t want to do the thing you need to do. Start with the lowest hanging fruit, for example; do you drink soda? Start by cutting that down till it’s not a thing you do anymore. Do you eat out every meal or does every meal come from a box? Learn how to cook one meal, with all real food, and sub one meal at a time until you are cooking at home more than you are eating out. Small changes over time. If you are really overwhelmed with making those changes, find a coach that can help you. Q. What do you think women need most right now? A. To be heard and to take a moment for themselves. Women are doing crazy hard work right now, and all the moms out there are doing double that! Living in a COVID-19 world is not easy and women are showing up every day, taking care of their families, homeschooling kids and doing their day jobs at the same time. Take the time you need for you, give yourself some love so you can continue to show up like you have been.




HOW NORTH DAKOTA’S FARMERS CAN SOW SEEDS FOR A FINANCIAL TURNAROUND By Samuel Andre, Michael Raum and David Tibbals Photo provided by Fredrikson & Byron


hile the rest of the nation’s economy has taken a hit on the chin with this year’s continued COVID-19 pandemic, it has been seemingly forgotten that America’s farmers had been nearly down for the count for the past four years. From the Red River Valley and beyond, many of North Dakota’s surrounding farms have faced increasingly uncertain futures first prompted by the beginning of the nation’s trade war with China. With exports of soybeans and other crops decreasing by as much as 6 percent, many of North Dakota’s farmers have been forced to take the extreme measure of hoarding their crops in hopes of a rebound in prices instead of selling at a current loss.

Fredrikson & Byron Attorney Michael Raum focuses his practice on commercial law, with a specific emphasis on tax matters. He works with public and privately-held companies on business transactions, including structuring, financing and advising on general corporate matters. He can be reached at mraum@fredlaw.com.

Although North Dakota farmers had only filed three Chapter 12 farm bankruptcies from September 2018 through September 2019, bankruptcies amongst the Midwest’s farmers have increased by 13 percent compared to prior years, their highest point in the last decade. With farmers’ debts reaching all-time highs, and there being no end in sight to the U.S.China trade war, North Dakota’s farmers are facing a critical period in their financial

distress. Depending on those farmers’ next steps, North Dakota may either witness a remarkable rebound of its agriculture industry or a downward spiral into bankruptcy oblivion. Thankfully, North Dakota farmers have multiple options at their disposal to avert any impending financial crises and face tomorrow on steadier fiscal footing. Among others, farmers can take the following steps in an attempt to survive the current financial times: 1. Financially assess your current situation. Before taking any affirmative actions to deal with their debts, farmers should first honestly assess their current finances. Any such assessment should include the creation of accurate financial statements that can be used to evaluate the farmer’s current financial condition, including a complete list of the farmer’s liabilities and an honest budget going forward. This information is critical in addressing any problems with the farmer’s lenders and to creating a realistic solution to address financial problems before they become bigger catastrophes. While this assessment requires some personal and honest introspection — difficult for any person — this is one of the most important first steps and prepares the farmer to choose the best possible course



of action to tackle his or her financial distress. In contrast, inflating the value of assets on financial statements, guessing at the amount of crops on hand, or being overly optimistic with the numbers will create problems going forward.

David Tibbals is an associate at Fredrikson who assists clients with a variety of commercial, corporate, and state and local tax law matters. He can be reached at dtibbals@fredlaw.com.

Associate Samuel Andre’s practice focuses on corporate restructuring, creditors’ remedies, bankruptcy and commercial litigation. He is a member of Fredrikson’s Bankruptcy, Restructuring and Workouts Practice Group in Minneapolis. He can be reached at sandre@fredlaw.com.

2. Try negotiating with lenders and creditors. After assessing their current finances, one of the first actions a farmer should take to address their financial distress should be to continue to negotiate with his or her lenders and creditors in an attempt to avoid any need to file for bankruptcy. During these negotiations, the farmer may agree to: a modified payment plan under which he or she could make payments over time instead of on any original payment terms, to the sale of certain equipment or unused real estate to earn cash with which to pay off parts of his or her debts, or enter into a forbearance agreement under which the lender or creditor may agree to stop from collecting on debts for a short period of time while the farmer searches for new financing. Through each of these efforts, a farmer can gain at least a short period of respite from debt collection. However, before agreeing to anything with a lender or creditor, any such agreement should be in writing, and the farmer should obtain and review all of the terms of the agreement in order to fully understand his or her rights. 3. As a last resort, file for bankruptcy. Where all other efforts fail, a farmer can weigh the nuclear option of filing for bankruptcy. In a bankruptcy case, an automatic stay is put in place that immediately stops all collection efforts by the farmer’s lenders and creditors and any other actions affecting the property of the



bankruptcy estate (which consists of the real property and assets of the farmer). A bankruptcy case under Chapter 11 or Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code lets the farmer keep operating his or her farm while attempting to reorganize the farm’s finances and debts and avoid a liquidation or foreclosure that would end the farm’s business operations. A farmer’s reorganization will need to satisfy certain requirements, and the cost of a bankruptcy case can be expensive due to administrative costs, making bankruptcy a drastic decision and one that should normally be saved as a last resort in order to save a farming business in a Hail Mary effort. 4. When in doubt, consult with experts. Farmers should not be expected to be experts on how to deal with their financial distress. Instead, lawyers, accountants, or business professionals with expertise in negotiating troubled loans, workouts, and bankruptcy will be willing to consult and provide affordable options for providing assistance, and many do not charge for an initial consultation. At the very least, it can be critical to talk with a trusted financial adviser on how to confront problems with a lender or other creditors. While the lingering effects of the nation’s trade war continue to cause potential problems for North Dakota’s farmers, these hard-working citizens of the state have tried-and-true options for facing those problems head on. By understanding those options, these farmers cannot only survive the current economic climate, but thrive.


Can Budget For Success


BY Paul Smith, ND SBDC f small businesses have learned one lesson during the past nine months, it has been the critical importance of having a system and processes in place to manage and monitor their financial resources to ensure sufficient cash flow to fund ongoing operations, recovery and growth.

A budgeting process is foundational for sound business management, growth and long-term sustainability. Here is a practical five-step budgeting process, which you can implement to make your business more resilient, especially in times of challenging and uncertain economic conditions. 1. Have a Written Plan The first step in the budgeting process is having a written plan. Like most aspects of an organization, budgeting should be driven by the mission (what we do), the vision (what we are trying to accomplish) and the strategy (the steps to get there). A strategic plan is simply a tool and road map, which lays out how the organization plans to advance its mission and work toward its vision. Organizations that stay focused on their plan know where to allocate their financial resources and, just as important, where not to spend money.

Paul Smith is Fargo Center Director of the ND Small Business Development Centers (ND SBDC). The ND SBDC helps North Dakota small business owners to start, manage and grow their companies through providing free, professional business advising services, technical assistance and training in a range of areas such as business planning, market research and financial analysis. Last year, the program assisted more than 1,300 unique clients through nine service centers located across the State. The Fargo Center is located in the NDSU Research and Technology Park Incubator. For more information, please visit ndsbdc.org or paul@ndsbdc.org



2. Develop Annual Business Goals Annual business goals should align with the priorities and initiatives outlined in the strategic plan. These goals should drive the budget so company resources are used to support the organizational strategy. The budget provides the financial resources to achieve its goals. For example, if a business goal is to achieve a 20 percent growth in online sales, develop a new product or service, or expand its facility, there must be dollars budgeted and allocated for these purposes. Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. And there should be accountability for achieving the goals. 3. Develop Annual Budget Prepare a 12-month projected income statement and cash flow forecast. Some companies also use a rolling 13-week cash flow forecast, especially if the business experiences significant swings in revenue. While profitability is an important measure of success, cash will determine the survival of the business and capacity for growth. Because a budget or forecast is future-oriented, it is impossible to predict all the variables which may affect the company during the coming year; 2020 is a dramatic illustration of this point. However, a budget can and should be based on sound, realistic, well-informed assumptions. Historical financial performance is usually a good starting point and basis for budgeting. The forecast should include: - Projected revenue. This is typically the most challenging area to forecast. Projected growth should reflect organizational goals. (for example, increase sales by 15%). - Fixed costs. Projecting fixed operating expenses involves looking at the monthly predictable costs that do not change and are typically the easiest to accurately forecast. Fixed costs include payroll, rent, utilities, insurance costs, etc. Be sure to account for new hires and include at least a modest increase in fixed costs due to inflation (typically 2-4%). - Variable costs. These are costs that fluctuate from month to month and are usually directly linked to sales. Common variable costs include inventory, direct labor, supplies and shipping. These expense line items can appear on the profit & loss statement under cost of goods or operating expenses. It is important to separate variable from fixed costs to get an accurate picture of your true COGS and gross profit margin when doing analysis. Whether these expenses are categorized under COGS or operating expenses, be consistent. - Projected costs for projects linked with the goals. For example, if the company aims to increase sales by 15%, costs associated with the increased sales (additional staff, marketing, travel, etc) should be included in the budget. -Every organization should have a pre-tax net income goal to allow sufficient profit margin to be reinvested in the operations and growth of the business (retained earnings), or as returns for the business owner or investors. Healthy profit margins are one indicator of an organization’s strength.

4. Review and Evaluate Results The owner and/or leadership team should monitor performance by reviewing company financial statements on a monthly basis. Look at how the company performed in the areas below compared to the budgeted amount, previous period and the same period the previous year (horizontal analysis):

5. Make Adjustments Use your variance analysis to make adjustments in your budget where needed and create a more accurate forecast for the remainder of the year. It is important to go through this process every month, rather than waiting until the end of the year, so there can be course corrections or modifications to the budget if needed.

• Income statement - change in sales, COGS, gross profit margin, expenses, net income. • Balance sheet - change in cash, accounts receivable, inventory, loans or lines of credit, accounts payable, retained earnings.

1. Plan

• Cash flow statement – Change in cash position. Then, look at the percentage of each component in relationship to the total within that financial report. This ‘vertical analysis’ can often provide even more valuable information than looking at the dollar amounts. For example, each item on the income statement should be stated as a percent of sales. (example: Gross profit margin as % of sales).

2. Set Goals

5. Adjust

For the balance sheet, look at cash, inventory and accounts receivable as a percentage of total assets (example: Accounts receivable as % of total assets). Items under liabilities and equity should be stated as a percentage of total liabilities and equity (example: Accounts payable as % of total liabilities + equity). The company should also look at its performance vs. industry benchmarks at least annually. Be sure you are comparing your company to similar size companies in the same industry (NAICS code). Also, be sure you are getting your industry data from reputable sources such as Bizminer, Vertical IQ or IBISWorld.

4. Review

3. Budget

Note any significant variances – both in both dollar and percentage amounts. A large percentage change could be insignificant in terms of dollars. Conversely, a small percentage change could mean tens of thousands of dollars over or under budget.

Summary Good budgeting processes can help develop and advance an organization, while sloppy budgeting and monitoring can affect its longterm financial health and viability.

Pay particular attention to those areas that affect cash flow such as accounts receivable days, inventory turnover and short-term debt. The more cash that is tied up in receivables, inventory and debt service, the less cash you have available for running your business.

The beginning of the New Year is a great time to put a disciplined process in place for planning, setting goals, budgeting, monitoring, and making adjustments where needed to make your company more resilient, especially in challenging times.

It is important to understand what is causing the variance and whether it is good or bad for your company. Variances can be due to a variety of factors such as inaccurate budgeting, changes in the economy or local market, changes in costs or more/less efficient operations.

Finally, make sure you have outside advisors on your team. If you need assistance or have questions, please seek out help from the ND SBDC or another local SBA resource partner such as SCORE, ND Women’s Business Center, or Veteran’s Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas (VBOC).

A great method for doing variance analysis is to use dashboards or dynamic spreadsheets. You can use conditional formatting and color coding to zero in on the most important areas.






1 Tell us your PushSave elevator pitch?


ohn Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past seven years. He knows their ups, their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them. Here are John Machacek’s 10 questions for PushSave’s Founder Mark Teckenburg.

PushSave is the only customized mobile coupon book in the market. PushSave brings the discount card or printed our coupon book to your phone and the best part – every customer gets to create their own personalized mobile book by selecting their favorite merchants from a list of local businesses. PushSave is designed specifically for fundraising, which in today’s world is ideal as it is a contactless and community-driven fundraiser.

2 What inspired you to start this app? I have four children and we have done just about every fundraiser you can imagine – including a pizza fundraiser where we had to deliver pizzas in the cold of winter. I thought there has to be an easier way. With my love for marketing and technology and passion for youth activities, the idea to bring technology to an archaic industry and simplify the process was born. We are also on a mission to ensure every child can participate in an activity and not be denied because they can’t afford it!

BY John Machacek 116


3 Who are the typical groups that use PushSave as a fundraiser?

About John: John Machacek helps local startups through his role as Chief Innovation Officer at the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation. Prior to his position with the GFMEDC, Machacek was the VP of Finance & Operations at United Way of Cass-Clay and a business banker at U.S. Bank.

We have groups ranging from elementary school PTA’s, to middle school and high school music departments, high school teams, boy scouts, youth sports clubs and faith-based groups raising money for mission trips. We’ve had groups of 500+ kids down to 5 kids. PushSave really is ideal for any group raising money for a particular cause such as participation fee reduction, equipment or a class trip.

4 Is the PushSave app for local fundraisers? Regional? National? PushSave started locally here in Fargo but has since grown nationally. We have fundraising happening all across the country all year long. It is exciting for us to see people in Georgia buying PushSave to support their local high school volleyball team or a music department in Virginia raising money for a trip or California for their dance team. With PushSave, a student right here in Fargo can promote their local fundraiser to Uncle Joe who lives in Phoenix AZ. Uncle Joe will find merchants and build his book where he lives! We have taken a local discount card fundraiser and have made it national with nearly 40,000 merchants all across the country.



Mark Teckenburg Founder of PushSave Photo by Nolan Schmidt



5 With the markets all over the country, that makes me wonder about how you, as the app provider, logistically and efficiently connect with these retailers to have their coupons. How has that been? While we do have our own network of merchants in the region, we also have partnerships with merchant content providers who feed their coupon offerings through our system nationwide. This enables PushSave to have a national footprint in order to work with our network of more than 600,000 teams and reach 50 million consumers.

6 I know that you try to operate as efficiently and lean as you can. Do you have any good recommendations for how you do this? We have a core leadership team with strengths and key areas of expertise to drive our business forward. To run lean, we have an expanded level of support resources external to PushSave who also serve key roles. For example, we outsource our product development team through Network Center and our customer service team is driven by Solugenix (formally SEI). We can leverage these external resources on a variable expenses basis in order to manage growth.

7 Do you keep track of how much money PushSave has saved their users or how much the average person saves? Analytics is a key component for us to measure our performance. We track total savings of all of our customers nationwide, which is nearly two million dollars today along with how much each group earns through their PushSave Fundraiser. We are always looking for ways to drive these results up and bring the optimum value to the market.

8 If you could go back in time to Mark from a few years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself? Mark, whatever you think it’s going to cost, double it! Mark, whatever you think you are going to sell, cut it in half. Lastly, Mark, however long you think it’s going to take to become profitable – double it. Build your plan and budget around that. But then Mark, do whatever you can to prove yourself wrong and go crush it!

9 How has COVID-19 impacted your operations, for good or bad? COVID-19 has created a lot of challenges for us, but the biggest challenge has been the lack of youth activities thus the lack of fundraisers being run. We estimate the fundraising industry to be down 65 percent nationwide. However, COVID-19 has also created the opportunity for PushSave to fully exploit one of our key value propositions – the fact that we are contactless! Our fundraisers are all virtual and can be run from a smartphone, thus avoiding the need to go door to door or hand out any products or cash. In the long run, we believe the youth fundraising landscape has changed in our favor.

10 What can we do as a community to help PushSave succeed? Fargo is an active, vibrant community with many great startups. It’s been difficult to find available talent to help us grow. We want to expand our core team and we are always looking for the right folks to join our core team and be a part of building a nationally recognized brand. We also love when people follow us on social media and help us share our story with friends and family across the country.



Academic Insight


n today’s society, it is becoming more important to be better managers of organizational resources. For this month’s article, I want to focus on the organizational resource that oftentimes gets overlooked and is not valued until it is gone. That resource is the tacit knowledge within an organization. Tacit knowledge is defined as the experience or expertise accumulated over time that resides in a person’s mind. To illustrate this, look no further than to two of my favorite films in the Star Trek movie franchise – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984). For those of you who haven’t seen these

BY Shontarius D. Aikens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management at Offutt School of Business at Concordia College 120



Live Long and Prosper: The Importance of Knowledge Sharing in Organizations films, let me describe the scenario as depicted in the movie scenes: The USS Enterprise is on the brink of being destroyed in space by a nearby explosion unless they can repair the starship’s warp drive that was damaged in battle. Spock, a Vulcan, takes it upon himself to repair the warp drive, which will expose him to radiation thus resulting in his death. But before doing so, Spock performs a Vulcan mind meld on his colleague Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy, which enables Spock to transfer his living spirit, or katra, to another being. In the sequel film, Admiral James T. Kirk learned from Sarek, the Vulcan Ambassador to the United Federation of Planets and Spock’s father, that the katra contains a Vulcan’s essence (i.e. who they are and everything that they know

and have learned). And in the Vulcan culture, the transferring of one’s katra to another being is done when they sense that their death is near. Otherwise, if not transferred, that knowledge or katra will be forever lost. While these movie scenes are wonderful science fiction, the problem of lost knowledge within organizations is actually very real. Consider the following quote from The eLearning Coach, Connie Malamed: “…when people with expertise leave a job, the organization often loses critical tacit knowledge because it was not passed on to others. This knowledge gap can be costly and time-consuming or impossible to replace. Organizations need ways to

To submit questions you would like answered in future editions of “Academic Insight”. Email Dr. Aikens at: saikens@cord.edu

glean and disseminate the tacit knowledge of experts for their own preservation. Tacit knowledge transmission is essential to an organization’s future success.” While scholars in the area of knowledge management express the importance of knowledge sharing in organizations, they also recognize the difficulties in making that happen. While there are a variety of reasons, I’ll focus on the three most prominent issues. First, it can be quite difficult to identify, to measure, or to really understand the true value of the amount of tacit knowledge within an organization. An individual with a specific set of skills and expertise may not view their own knowledge as valuable but rather just common wisdom and know-how. Second, it can be prohibitive, time-consuming, and flat out impossible for a person to take time away from their job responsibilities to just sit down and share everything that they know. Third, some individuals within organizations may intentionally choose not to share their knowledge and experience with others as a way to preserve their standing, value, or employment within the organization. Management scholars suggest that knowledge is the most critical resource of an organization that leads to production and value. And if tacit knowledge sharing is so important for organizations, what

can organizations do to make this process happen? Several best practices are presented below. • The OPPTY Process: This deep mentoring process was described by Dorothy Leonard, Gavin Barton and Michelle Barton in a Harvard Business Review magazine article titled Make Yourself an Expert. The OPPTY method is an acronym that stands for Observation, Practice, Partnering and Joint Problem solving, and Taking Responsibility. In this process, tacit knowledge is transferred over time with another individual through socialization, which is considered by management scholars as the ideal way for tacit knowledge to be shared. The authors found that experts were more than willing to share their knowledge when individuals intrinsically valued one-on-one coaching and if they received praise and recognition for their efforts. I highly recommend reading this article to determine if the OPPTY process could be implemented in your organization. • Make knowledge sharing a formal practice within the organization: Research indicates that an organization’s culture is a big factor that either encourages or discourages knowledge sharing. Several sources suggest making knowledge sharing a formal practice within the organization. This can be done by making

knowledge sharing a component of performance evaluations, requiring employees to update documents on a quarterly basis, and creating a formal knowledge exchange policy that would be required for employees leaving the organization. • Extrinsic Rewards: This best practice involves providing financial rewards, special employee benefits and recognition and acknowledgement for those individuals who are actively contributing to the knowledge sharing process. For example, an individual would receive a reward if the individual is actively involved in creating journals or notes in an attempt to convert tacit knowledge (what’s in their mind) to explicit knowledge (written documentation, procedures, etc.). To encourage more participation, some have suggested the use of gamification which would entail giving recognition to those individuals who are the most active within the organization when it comes to knowledge sharing activities. I hope this information will be of benefit to your organization. In closing (and in the spirit of the traditional Vulcan farewell message and salute): May your organization Live Long and Prosper through active and ongoing knowledge sharing.



Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Steve Dusek

President & CEO Dakota Business Lending



IS 20/20


hey say that “hindsight is 20/20”, and there could not be a better phrase to describe this past year. Looking back at 2020, there may be some things we could have done differently, some things we see in a whole new light, and even some things we wish we could try again. Whatever the case, many of us see and know much more now than we did just twelve months ago. So, what do we do with this hindsight information? Like the end of any year, it is time to look back, reflect and pick apart some of those lessons we have learned that will help us have 20/20 vision moving forward. Here’s just a few that our team will be bringing with us into 2021: 1. Focus on What You Know – When we woke up on January 1, 2020, we had no idea that this year was going to take us by storm… a storm filled with challenges, obstacles and so many unknowns. But if there is one thing we have learned, it is how to make decisions in



the midst of those unknowns as best as we can. By focusing on what we know at the time and making more frequent short-term decisions, we have been able to navigate these uncharted waters one step at a time. 2. Adapt. Adapt. And Adapt Some More – Making decisions in the midst of the unknowns is one thing, but facing the changes that come with it can be even harder to navigate. It seems like every day brought a new challenge this past year, forcing us to shift the way we do things and change our plans over and over. And just when it seemed like we may be starting to gain some ground and find some stability, something changed and we were forced to adapt… again. We have all grown in our ability to adapt this year and learned just how critical it is to stay on your toes, especially in unprecedented times such as these. 3. Take It One Day at a Time – 2020 brought something new every single day. Whether its new updates, new regulations, or new changes, this uncertainty and instability can be exhausting. Our team has learned to focus on these things as they come and take them one day at a time, providing us the space needed to adapt and make any necessary changes along the way. 4. We Are All in This Together – Regardless of the current situation and any challenges and unknowns it may bring, 2020 has proven to our team, our community, and our state that we truly are “all in this together.” Knowing that we are not alone and that we can depend on one another for support and guidance provides us great comfort and pride as we move forward into a new year… together. No matter what 2021 may bring, we believe that the lessons we have learned throughout this past year provide great value as we prepare for the coming year. We hope that, like us, your team takes the time to sit down and reflect on what hindsight 2020 may have brought for you and use it to move forward better and stronger than ever before. And remember, we are #InThisTogetherND.




Fargo Events

DECEMBER 9 How to Diagnose and Solve Performance Issues in Your Workplace

Wednesday, December 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you work with people, chances are you have encountered your share of performance issues. There likely isn’t a workplace without them. It may even seem like you are addressing the same performance issue over and over. Maybe you have thrown multiple resources, like money, people, consultants, training and the like at a problem only for it to reappear. Let’s stop the madness! There is a way that you can systematically identify, diagnose and address these issues for good. Join Chamber Business Training session where we will focus on not only how to accurately identify performance issues and gaps, but also match them to one of the six major influences of performance problems. Using that information, we will discuss how to match the problem to the best solutions. You will find out how a shift in thinking and the application of a specific process can save the pain of recurring performance issues in increase your team and organization’s effectiveness. fmwfchamber.com

DECEMBER 15 Chamber 101: Connect. Engage Maximize. Tuesday, December 15 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

If you’re not familiar with The Chamber, are a new member, new contact, new hire, or just want to re-engage with The Chamber, this session is for you! Chamber 101 is a laid-back discussion designed to share some of the great benefits of Chamber membership and what opportunities exist that you need to know. No need to dress in business attire; we welcome you to come as you are! The Chamber's Office 202 First Avenue North, Moorhead fmwfchamber.com

DECEMBER 16 Discuss, Connect & Reflect: The Will to Change Podcast Wednesday, December 16 from noon to 1 p.m.

Join the kickoff of another Discuss, Connect & Reflect, this time featuring a podcast! For the first time, we are excited to highlight a podcast, giving those of you who are busy or just prefer to listen to a podcast over 124


reading a book an opportunity to join the conversations! Please listen to episode 13 of “The Will to Change: Uncovering True Stories of Diversity & Inclusion” by December 16, and come prepared to have a great conversation! fmwfchamber.com

YPN Scavenger Hunt

Wednesday, December 16 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

YPN is hosting another virtual social! This time, there will be a fun and creative scavenger hunt to keep everyone entertained while connecting with other young professionals. Put your MacGyver hats on and get ready for a fun virtual networking event. Zoom link will be sent to attendees after registration. fmwfchamber.com

DECEMBER 17 Chamber 101: Connect. Engage Maximize. Tuesday, December 17 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

If you’re not familiar with The Chamber, are a new member, new contact, new hire, or just want to re-engage with The Chamber, this

session is for you! Chamber 101 is a laid-back discussion designed to share some of the great benefits of Chamber membership and what opportunities exist that you need to know. No need to dress in business attire; we welcome you to come as you are! fmwfchamber.com

DECEMBER 17 December Book Club: "Get Out of Your Head" by Jennie Allen Thursday, December 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join YPN to transform emotions and outlook by taking control of your thoughts. End 2020 by blocking out all the negativity that exists in your mind and jump into 2021 with a more positive outlook! "Get Out of Your Head" is a New York Times bestseller. Zoom link will be sent to attendees after registration. fmwfchamber.com



Fargo Events



Networking Before 9

State of the Cities 2021

Join Professional of Color's first entirely virtual Zoom networking event! Through utilizing Zoom's technology, POC is excited to host Networking Before 9 in a way that will allow you to have great conversation while getting to know everyone on the call! This is going to be a networking event you don't want to miss! Make sure to have your coffee cup full and yourself ready for great conversations and great people!

Join the annual event that brings our community together to ask questions of our local city's leaders and talk about our region's growth, goals and priorities. Where are we headed? What challenges do we face and what successes can we celebrate? Our local mayors will represent their cities to provide updates, including Mayor Kory Peterson in Horace, Mayor Bernie Dardis in West Fargo, Mayor Johnathan Judd in Moorhead, Mayor Tim Mahoney in Fargo and Mayor Chad Olson in Dilworth. Don't miss out on this communitywide conversation.

Friday, December 18 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.


Thursday, January 14 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.


DECEMBER 9 From Tribulation to Triumph: Local Stories of Success Tuesday, December 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sometimes life throws you a curveball. Sometimes, that ball turns your life upside down and shakes everything you thought you knew. Sometimes, you silently struggle through a battle that no one else even knows you're fighting. No matter what trials you've faced, there is hope. At this special session of Women Connect, a panel of local women who have overcome the odds will share their inspirational stories of success, survival and pushing on. Listen in to hear how you too can triumph over tragedy and persevere through anything life throws your way. This community of empowered women will touch your heart, and inspire courage to find your strength and power, and provide tools and tips to lead into a new year with purpose and positivity. After each panelist tells their story, there will be time for questions from attendees. fmwfchamber.com




CALENDAR DECEMBER 3 LinkUP: Virtual Family Feud December 3 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Chamber EDC invites you to our next LinkUp event on Thursday, December 3rd. Get your coworkers together and join us for a friendly game of virtual Family Feud via Zoom. bismarckmandan.com

DECEMBER 8 Business Development Series December 2020 December 8 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Thursday, November 12 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. We’ve all been there… Whether calling a business or walking in, we’ve experienced less than stellar customer service. While as the customer, it can be incredibly frustrating, as the employer, it is disheartening. But with all of the changes in the last year regarding how business is done and challenges in staffing, it is tough enough to keep employees, let alone have time to keep the customer service at the expected level. Join the virtual Business Development Series: Customer Service – Define, Equip & Motivate and learn from these panelist members as they share how to establish a culture of customer service, train your team and keep motivation consistent in the workplace: • Shaneille Ulmer, Marketing Director, Bismarck Motor Company • Duane Boeder, Branch Manager, Advanced Business Methods bismarckmandan.com

Bismarck JANUARY 12 Business Development Series - Dale Carnegie's "Uncovering Leadership Blind Spots"

Tuesday, January 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Only 17% of employees are satisfied in their job. And 45% of employees are planning on leaving their job in the next 12 months. How can you turn those numbers around? Are there “blind spots” that you, as a leader are missing that could drive employee retention and satisfaction? Don't miss out on Dale Carnegie’s Uncovering Leadership Blind Spots: Discovering the Pathway to Motivating Your Employees Business Brief - Reserve Your Seat Today! Start to identify your organization’s leadership performance gaps with this Business Development Series at a discounted rate for members! This event has been approved for 2 SHRM PDCs and 2 HRCI HR credits. Bismarckmandan.com

Grand Forks DECEMBER 8 Business Builders Webinar: Business Plan Review, Getting Ready for the New Year!

Tuesday, December 8 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Did you know business planning makes newly formed businesses 60% more likely to succeed or that companies with a business plan grow 30% faster than a company without a plan? For every business and every stage, business planning creates success. Steve Moser and Marlan Helgeson, SCORE mentors, will cover all of the pieces of a business plan, explaining how it is done and how to update yours annually. gochamber.org

DECEMBER 15 Business Builders Webinar: What's the Score? Credit Reports and Scores at a Glance Tuesday, December 15 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Your credit report is a record of how you manage and repay debt. Credit scores are calculated based on what your credit report shows over time. Knowing what’s on your report and how that information can affect your credit score is critical to personal and business financial planning. This presentation explains how information is reported, how scores are calculated, and what you can do to improve your credit score. The better the credit score you have, the more likely you are to be able to get personal or business financing at the best rates and terms. Business Builders Workshops bring entrepreneurs and industry specialists together to answer real questions that small businesses face. They are proudly brought to you as a collaborated effort of SBA resource partners: we are here to serve you! gochamber.org



Profile for Spotlight

Fargo INC! December 2020  

It's said too much around here and sounds cheesy, but the people really are what sets Fargo apart. In this month's magazine, we introduce yo...

Fargo INC! December 2020  

It's said too much around here and sounds cheesy, but the people really are what sets Fargo apart. In this month's magazine, we introduce yo...