Fargo INC! January 2021

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// JANUARY 2021




Sponsored Content: These Companies Know The Importance of Giving Hearts Day


Sponsored Content: Shelter from the storm: What to look for in a financial institution during a crisis


Sponsored Content: Two Great Names in Banking Have Come Together. BlackridgeBANK is Now First Western Bank & Trust.


Family Fun


Why Should Growers Care About Grand Farm Working With Plug and Play


ERG Grant In Action


10 Things Leaders Need To Know To Navigate Organizational Change


Meet The New Editorial Board Members


7 Things You Can Do To Combat Your Desk Job


Opportunity Is Why Checkable Medical Is Coming To North Dakota


These Young Social Entrepreneurs Are Working To Bridge The Achievement Gap


Why You Should Get Involved With NDSU Women In Business


10 Question With John Machacek: Field of View


Learn More. Learn Often.


Academic Insight


Ladyboss of the Month: Dr. Wasifa Ahmad Hasan


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

Stressed out? Here are some tips.


f 2020 left you stressed out, you're not alone. This past year, has been challenging to many different people for many different reasons. From pandemic to social issues we've been through a lot lately. In all of it, I think many people have forgotten the importance of taking care

of themselves. While we joke about "quarantine weight" and often here the importance of mental health, I think I need to stress that self care really is important. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite things you can do to reduce stress. #1 If you're currently upset, tune out media until you're feeling better. Don't get me wrong, as a journalist, I will never say that the news isn't important. It is. However, if you're fearful, anxious, or sad about the current state of things, tuning into CNN to look at their COVID-19 death tracker might not be the best idea for you at that time. Instead take a few hours or AS LONG as you need

to decompress and refocus on you and what is currently going on in your life. And if you want to get away from that, read a book, go for a run or watch a lighthearted movie. #2 Cut down on the booze. Now, I'm not trying to take away from anyone's fun time. All people of age should have the right to indulge responsibly in their favorite beverage of choice. All I'm saying is that if you are stressed out and using alcohol to escape the stress, you might benefit from taking a different approach. Often times the best approach to dealing with anxiety and outside stressors is to meet them head on by sitting in the pain and

learning to accept things so you can grow from it. This can be more difficult to do if you're using substances to avoid problems. #3 Exercise Not only is exercise a great distraction, it's also just an easy way to improve the quality of your life. I could quote some study with data backing up the fact that exercise is good for you and good for managing stress, but I don't need to. We all know that exercise is good for our body and brains so

find some way to move that is enjoyable for you.

Brady Drake Brady Drake Fargo INC! Editor

Brady Drake, Fargo INC! Editor




United Way of Cass-Clay

Reaching out. It’s a philosophy we embrace and a call to action as we look forward to 2021. It’s also the name of our new United Way home which officially opened at the end of December. So many businesses and donors came together to build and support this community hub so that we could continue to help our neighbors most in need. We can’t wait to invite you to visit us when we’re able to bring our community together. Next time you're driving on Interstate 94, near 45th street, look to the South and you'll see our United Way sign lit up as a beacon of unity in bringing us together to reach out and create a better tomorrow for all of us.

President & CEO

Dakota Business Lending

Many people have been counting down the days until 2020 is officially over for quite some time. While we all wish that we could wake up on January 1, 2021 and things would be back to “normal”, we know that’s not the case. But regardless of what 2021 brings, the new year seems to always feel like a fresh start…a true “reset.” Like many in the past, 2021 will still be full of challenges and unknowns that are far beyond our control. Yet, so many of us feel that this fiscal reset gives us another chance to face the year better than ever before. Let’s “cheers” to 2021 and the renewed resilience, perseverance, and resolution that the new year brings!


Moore Holding Company

Fargo Kiwanis has hosted its annual Pancake Karnival for 62 years. People love it every February as a welcome celebration of community as we look forward to winter giving way to springtime. The best part is all the proceeds support programming for kids, from hunger to technology, mental health to dyslexia. The pandemic is giving our club the opportunity to do something different this year, while staying true to our history – pancakes and helping kids. Watch your various media channels for information about what Fargo Kiwanis has planned for February 2021.

Communications and Marketing Officer

Director of Ecosystem

The FM Area Foundation is excited to welcome our new Executive Director, Eric Wilkie, to the community foundation team. Eric has been a part of the Fargo-Moorhead community since 1997 and has been working in the nonprofit sector for 20 years. Before joining the FM Area Foundation, Eric held leadership positions at prominent nonprofits in our region. Eric is looking forward to helping inspire generosity among citizens and grow the impact of the community foundation. If you are looking for ways to do good and make a difference, reach out to us at the FM Area Foundation today.

There are few times in life you feel a seismic shift. High school graduation. My wedding day. Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 was another one. That was the day my daughter Alice Marion Jason was born.

FM Area Foundation

Emerging Prairie

The moment she arrived, my world was changed and I began to have a new focus on what's important. I began to think of our world and all the glaring problems we face. Over the last year, we've clearly had to face our realities and have reckoned with where we need to improve. I have very few answers to our problems but the one thing that's been obvious – but frighteningly overlooked – is the need for collaboration and innovation. Climate crises, growing population, polarizing politics, inequality, et. al. None are going to be solved alone. As 2020 made it extremely difficult to continue innovation as we know it, I'm excited what this year will hold. We're hard at work planning ahead for our Grand Farm season (May-October). We anticipate to host more than 60 events, host 100+ projects and make countless connections. If you're interested in getting involved in innovation or collaboration and solving problems, please reach out and let's see how we can create some positive change together. My daughter is counting on it.



SHANNON FULL President and CEO

Chief Innovation Officer

FMWF Chamber of Commerce

Greater FM Economic Development Corporation

It’s been a whirlwind first month in my new position as president and CEO of The Chamber. After weeks of active listening, I am beginning to fully realize the strengths and assets that exist in Fargo Moorhead West Fargo. I am also full of ideas and inspiration as I see the challenges and opportunities of this region.

Obviously, 2020 wasn’t what any of us expected if you go back to this same time one year ago. I’m feeling optimistic about 2021, but I’m also a glasshalf-full kind of person.

Some of the areas I am most passionate about lie in public policy, small business services, and workforce and talent. As we begin this new year, I will be looking to our members and the community for strategic partnerships and innovative ideas around how we can drive growth and prosperity for our region together. I am driven to look toward our collective goals and missions, with a mindset of abundance rather than competition. And I am so excited to seek new and diverse relationships and resources. Please, feel free to reach out to me anytime with your ideas and insights.

For the entrepreneurial ecosystem and other relationship strengthening, the limitation of in-person opportunities in 2020 was not great for fostering the vibe and magic that our region’s ecosystem is so good at generating. But, hopefully, the recent shifts in our ways of life will also bring a shift of innovation that may come with times like these. As for in-person events, in the meantime, while we all wait for when we can get back at it, let’s continue to do what we can to connect, learn, work, collaborate, give help, ask for help, etc. to keep the Fargo Moorhead mojo strong.

Founder and Director

The Executives Club of Fargo - Moorhead

2020 silver linings. Postpandemic, we’ve noticed that people are more appreciative of the little things in life; more likely to seize opportunities when presented; and, more likely to show and tell the important people in our lives how much they mean to us. February is about love. Webster’s defines love as “strong affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests”. Here, at The Executives’ Club of Fargo Moorhead, we love ideas, innovation and inspiration. We love honest, extraordinary and impactful conversations. We love giving back to our employees and our communities. We love making connections and building relationships. We love our Club Members and the incredible circle of friends and colleagues that make up the readership of Fargo INC! Business Magazine! with love, Kurt

KODEE FURST Program Manager

The Nice Center

No skill is more practical or needed in a changing world than entrepreneurship. As we celebrated and learned from 2020, we realized we can do more to fulfill our vision of entrepreneurship for all by scaling our focus on education, experience and equity. That's why we're excited to share our moonshot, the audacious, missiondriven goal we are working toward for the next half decade: By the end of 2025, The Nice Center will introduce entrepreneurship to 95% of North Dakota high school and university students, grades 9 through graduate school. As we like to say for short: 95x25 for ND students. We hope you’ll join us as we launch our next chapter.



As the smart machines we love get a little less artificial and a little more intelligent, we at uCodeGirl ask “how do we help ensure the pathways to future economic opportunities are accessible to all?” I strongly believe that early exposure to technical skills & entrepreneurial mindset can be the gateway for a girl to have an upward success, change the course of her career and her earning potential. I know I did. uCodeGirl has a proven track record of sustainably engaging girls with the state of the art tech opportunity and access to talented professional tech mentors so that they transcend boundaries and go on to study Computer Science and Computer Engineering in higher institutes. When you support the mission of uCodeGirl on Giving Hearts Day, Feb. 11, more girls will have the opportunity to bridge the gap between them and their full potential.



JANUARY 2021 Volume 6 Issue 1

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


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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.

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Just in time for Dakota Medical Foundation's Giving Hearts Day on February 11, Fargo Monthly is excited to dedicate a whole issue to the local non-profits and charities in our community. Read about different organizations and learn how they are making a positive impact on our community and those who live in it.

Much is made of the success North Dakota State has within the field of competition. Conference and national championships continue to take a rightful place at the forefront of our conversations. Occasionally, the term "student-athlete" gets lost in the shuffle as we are constantly praising the "athlete." Oftentimes, we fail to recognize that academics are held in incredibly high esteem at NDSU. This can be seen in cumulative GPAs and the copious amount of NDSU names on allacademic lists. When you arrive at North Dakota State, you are more than an "athlete." You are the definition of a "student-athlete."

Look For Us In February! Read all past issues at www.designandlivingmagazine.com

Look For Us In February! Read all past issues at futurefarmer.com




HAPPY HARRY'S, GHD BUSINESS PARTNER Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Happy Harry’s? We enjoy partnering with Giving Hearts Day since it is another opportunity to give back to the community that has supported us for over 75 years. This is just another great avenue for us to be able to extend our reach even more to our customers and surrounding communities. We have always been customer service driven not only in our stores but also outside of our doors. With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company choose to make such a strong commitment? Each year we donate to over 75 different organizations locally and in the surrounding communities. It has and always will be our mission to give back to the communities as they have shopped with us and supported us through all these years. Can you tell me about the GHD Wine and the giving campaign? This year we wanted to revisit a promotion we had done a couple of years ago. We selected a wine and ordered it specifically for the Giving Hearts Day Campaign this year. Greetings Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is our selection for this year’s campaign. It is definitely a wine that will not disappoint. It is a rich and supple Cabernet that has a lot of dark fruit layers which keep unwinding from start to finish, making it very versatile as a nice complement to a hearty meal or as a gift for that special friend. We started this campaign earlier than we had in previous years to give our holiday shoppers the opportunity to participate in this promotion. As a customer, you will be saving $6 off of the retail price, which in turn, Happy Harry’s will be donating $6 to Giving Hearts Day 2021. We call it our “Save $6, Give $6” campaign and feel it is a very easy way for people to indirectly donate to Giving Hearts Day and impact the lives of their neighbors. What is a cause that is important to your company? Happy Harry’s has always enjoyed supporting and engaging those organizations whose main focus is on the arts and culture to enhance the quality of life in our communities; to programs encouraging community development and to those dedicated to health and wellness. Are there any particular stories from GHD that get talked about around the office? Everyone from management all the way down to our part-time employees are always fascinated to see just a glimpse of how many organizations are out there, just in our region, who are doing good for those who need help.



LEELA & LAVENDER, GHD BUSINESS PARTNER Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Leela & Lavender? Our mission at Leela & Lavender is to use business as a force for good. We believe in exciting and inspiring our teams and customers to go out of their way to contribute to our local communities. We believe in being the “spark” to create a purpose-driven culture for our teams. We are honored to watch our teams and customers “pay it forward”. With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company choose to make such a strong commitment? We believe in contributing to honor the potential of all the deserving charities that Giving Hearts partners with. Can you tell me about the company's giving campaign and why you feel it's important to donate a percentage of your sales around Giving Hearts Day? Leela & Lavender is driven to make a difference in our communities by inspiring a giving culture. We admire the passion invested in the Giving Hearts Day 24 hour local effort that has sparked such generous giving in ND and MN and want to be a part of this giving force.



What is a cause that is important to your company? Oh, there are so many! One that is near and dear to our hearts is Landon’s Light Foundation. While battling childhood cancer, Landon inspired faith, kindness, compassion and love for others in an entire community and beyond. We are honored to play a role in carrying on Landon’s legacy and to help families facing medical hardships. The foundation's mission of being the light and spreading kindness resonates so greatly with our teams at Leela & Lavender. Are there any particular stories from GHD that get talked about around the office? The Leela & Lavender teams get involved in Giving Hearts Day at the store level by surfacing up the charities that they have personal connections to, those are the charities that we donate to. It is always such a meaningful day when we have the opportunity to give. The teams are honored to be a part of the Giving Hearts Day fundraising and the impact to the community.

(Left) Brenda Radloff, Co-Manager Fargo Store and (Right) Paige Holman, Social Media Manager FARGOINC.COM



ROERS, GHD BUSINESS PARTNER Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Roers? Team members have the opportunity to choose to give to organizations that are near and dear to their hearts. These organizations may have helped one of us personally or a family member/friend when in need. Together those organizations are working hard to improve our community and better the lives of people of all ages. The opportunities Giving Hearts Day provides for the organizations is tremendous. Roers is proud to be a part of this day that is so impactful and help provide additional support to hundreds of organizations. With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company choose to make such a strong commitment? Giving back to the community is part of who Roers is. “Community” is one of our core values and it is more than a sign on our wall. Giving back and giving often is something that our team members truly embrace. At Roers, we have a Give and Grow Committee that empowers team members to participate in a variety of things throughout the year, two of them being volunteering quarterly and another being able to help select recipients of quarterly donations. We are extremely proud to be able to commit at the Gold Level for Giving Hearts Day. Why did Roers decide that it was important to volunteer quarterly? We want to do what we can to build success in the communities we serve. Being able to have our employees involved with organizations that need help through volunteering or monetary donations is something we feel is important. We enjoy the opportunity to work with multiple organizations of different sizes and with different needs. Volunteering is another way for us to live our core values and continue to enhance the culture we have at Roers. What is a cause that is important to your company? We give back to numerous organizations throughout the year, We do hold a United Way employee campaign which also gives back to hundreds of non-profits as well and we coordinate a quaterly volunteer activity. You’ll also find many team members volunteering during their own time with organizations they deem worthy. Are there any particular stories from GHD that get talked about around the office? We enjoy being involved in the special day. We do what we can to help promote the day, increase awareness and encourage others to participate. Besides encouraging employees to wear red on GHD, we have been involved in a stationary bike race and a jump-a-thon which have been highlights over the years.



GATEWAY CHEVROLET, GHD BUSINESS PARTNER Why is Giving Hearts Day so important to Gateway Chevrolet? Gateway Chevrolet has been a part of this community since 1982, and this community has given Gateway so much – from great customers to outstanding employees. Giving Hearts Day is an amazing way for us to give back to the community we value so much. With so many ways to get involved with GHD, why did your company choose to make such a strong commitment? We have seen the impact Giving Hearts Day has had in the community, and we love being able to be a part of that. From providing vehicles for Dakota Medical Foundation team to use, to donating monetarily and volunteering – there are so many ways to be involved and we try to take advantage of them all! Why does Gateway Chevrolet turn the dealership red around Giving Hearts Day? The more people that are aware of GHD and the impact it has on our community, the more people may be inspired to give, whether that is time through volunteering or monetarily. It is really about awareness – we want every person in the community to be aware of this awesome day and that is one way we can help with that.



What is a cause that is important to your company? Anytime we can contribute to this great community, that is a cause important to us. With a few hundred employees, we do not have one particular cause we focus on because there are so many causes that are important to our customers and employees, but food insecurity, homelessness and animal charities are some of the ones we routinely give to. Are there any particular stories from GHD that get talked about around the office? We always have a fun time around the dealership setting up signs and other materials in anticipation of Giving Hearts Day. We had a great time getting together at the dealership with some of the DMF team for a group photo (see above, photo taken Jan. 2020, preCOVID). To get involved with Giving Hearts Day, visit givingheartsday.org/ partners/businesses




Shelter from the storm:

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A FINANCIAL INSTITUTION DURING A CRISIS Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic has many of us feeling stressed. Many of us may be worried about one thing in particular: our financial situation. It’s during times like this that we depend on our financial institutions to help guide us through the storm. For many, our financial institutions are not living up to our expectations now that we need them most. Whether it is applying for a loan, updating a financial plan, or simply getting reassurance that money is safe, too many calls are not being returned, technology sometimes does not work as it should, and questions are going unanswered. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. More importantly, you have choices. If you are not receiving the level of service you expect and deserve, now is the time to explore your options. Ask the following questions before you entrust any bank or other institution with your hard-earned money and financial future.

Are they responsive when the going gets tough? Sure, every financial institution will claim to be responsive and make time to connect with you when all is swell in the world. However, it is during a crisis when true colors are shown. Is your financial institution proactively reaching out to you to ask how you are doing? Are your bankers and advisors calm and confident and reassuring? Are you even able to talk to an actual human being? If not, it may be time to seek out a new financial partner.

Do they have the services you need, now and in the future? The bright side of our current situation is that eventually it will end. The economy will recover and finances will be built back up. Knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel, ask yourself whether the financial institution you want to do business with will be able to meet your needs in the long run. Can it satisfy all of your personal banking needs? How about your investment and wealth management

Will they be there for the long haul? Make sure the financial institution you choose to do business with is financially strong and will be there for

needs? Maybe you have business banking needs? Does it offer robust digital solutions as well as in-person options?

you in the long run. How long has it been in business? Does it have a diversified revenue stream, or are all of its eggs

Use this time to assess both your current and future financial

in one basket? How has it weathered past crises (such as the

requirements. As your financial needs become more

great recession of 2008)? Do your research and give yourself

complex, it’s important to develop a relationship with the

the confidence to know your financial partner will be there

institutions that can meet you where you are now, and where

for you when you need it most.

you want to be. While our current situation can feel overwhelming, your financial institution should not be adding to the stress. Seek out a financial partner who has your back in good times and bad. At Alerus, we will be there for you when you need us most.





BLACKRIDGEBANK IS NOW FIRST WESTERN BANK & TRUST. BlackRidgeBANK has joined First Western Bank & Trust, a trusted name in banking for over 50 years. We’re the same great people you know and count on, now bringing you more financial products and services. Most importantly, we will continue to provide the local decision-making you have come to know and expect. First Western Bank & Trust is independently owned. We offer the very best in customer service. We service our mortgage loans in-house. We provide the latest in technology with online, mobile and text banking. We are part of the “BaZing” network offering hundreds of discounts at area businesses nationwide. At First Western, we take pride in the communities we serve and value the importance of giving back through charitable works. Our employees are actively involved with our service projects, sponsorships and worthy causes. As a long-time community bank in this region, we have been committed to helping people achieve their goals.

At First Western Bank & Trust, we’re not just here for you. We are you.

firstwestern.bank Member FDIC

855 26th Ave East, West Fargo, ND 58078 • firstwestern.bank


Football and banking have a lot more in common than you might think. Like experienced coaching, teamwork and trust. With the recent merger of First Western Bank & Trust and BlackRidgeBANK, you can count on their team to provide their customers with the best financial solutions available in a timely, professional manner. At First Western Bank & Trust, you can bank on us.

— Carson Wentz Pro Quarterback

855 26th Ave East, West Fargo, ND 58078 • firstwestern.bank

ABOUT FIRST WESTERN BANK & TRUST First Western Bank & Trust has been a community bank since 1964 when we opened in Minot, ND. Since then, we have added more locations in Minot, as well as in Bismarck, ND and Eden Prairie, MN. In October of 2019, we were joined by BlackRidgeBANK and all of its locations in North Dakota and Minnesota. We operate as a full-service financial center providing traditional banking products as well as trust services, all lines of insurance, leasing, and much more. Technology and innovation drive us to be industry leaders to provide premier products and services to our customers. We provide the advantages of a larger regional bank with the personalized local service of a small town bank. We believe that friendliness, sincerity, and a desire to help are the basis of good banking relations.

Now Serving These Communities: • Alexandria, MN • Carlos, MN • Fargo, ND • Nisswa, MN

• Baxter, MN • Crosslake, MN • Miltona, MN • West Fargo, ND

• Bismarck, ND • Eden Prairie, MN • Minot, ND

855 26th Ave East, West Fargo, ND 58078 • firstwestern.bank


WE OFFER A FULL RANGE OF FINANCIAL PRODUCTS Personal Banking Personal Banking with us is about hometown service with local bankers that know your community. It’s about banking the way you live and getting convenient access to your money the way you want it. It’s about working with people who care about your financial future and planning for the road ahead. Checking & Savings Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, CDs / IRAs, Credit Cards, Personal Lending, Online Banking, Remote Deposit, Construction loans, Home equity loans, Home equity lines of credit

Mortgage Loans Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions you’ll ever make. When you need financing to make your dream home a reality, we are here for you with local decisionmaking and local loan servicing. We offer all types of mortgage loans including: Conventional loans, FHA loans, VA loans, First time home buyer loans

855 26th Ave East, West Fargo, ND 58078 • firstwestern.bank


Trust Services You can invest comfortably with our experienced and tenured Trust Department staff. Financial security and wealth management are an integral part of how we help families benefit from their resources now and in the years to come. All of our personal trust services are delivered on a local level with a goal of providing you the piece of mind you seek. You can count on it. Asset / Investment Management, Employer-Provided Retirement Plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), Personal Trust & Investment Services

Business Banking Whether you are a new or seasoned entrepreneur, our business bankers and lenders have the expertise to provide solutions for you. From small business lending to specialized business products and services, all decisions are made locally. No business is too small or too large for us. Business Accounts, Business Financing, Credit Cards, Cash Management

Ag Banking Our Ag Lending staff understands the financial constraints placed on our local farmers and ranchers. Your expenses are paid at retail and your income is at wholesale. You put in the long hours and the late nights because your operation is your way of life. For over 40 years, we have been there with you. We offer a variety of ag financing solutions in-house or jointly with the Farm Services Agency and Bank of North Dakota. Annual Operating Loans and Lines of Credit, Livestock Purchases, Ag Machinery / Equipment Purchases, Farm Infrastructure, Ag Real Estate, Crop Hail Insurance *Insurance products and services are offered through First Western Insurance.

855 26th Ave East, West Fargo, ND 58078 • firstwestern.bank

Doug Restemayer

President and CEO


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hile Doug still maintains that he is a long way from retirement at the age of 62, Bill’s return to the family business may just be part of a succession plan that’s slowly in the works. “For me it’s very gratifying to have my son come back,” said Doug who has a second son, Max, who is working in his first year at Anheuser-Busch. “There’s the possibility that he could come back down the line as well which would be a father’s dream, to have both his boys in the business.” To Doug, who at the time of joining D-S Beverages was in the midst of a 15-year career at Target, much of this journey has seemed like destiny. “I think it was destiny because, at Target, my boss was the VP of Logistics and his next-door neighbor was the man at AnheuserBusch who would decide if I could become the Equity Agreement Manager for Anheuser-Busch to run D-S Beverages,” said Doug.

At D-S Beverages, 91 percent of their business comes from distributing Anheuser-Busch products. In order to be an AnheuserBusch distributor, there needs to be what’s called an Equity Agreement Manager in place. Don Setter was originally the Equity Agreement Manager. Doug became the Equity Agreement Manager during his transition into leadership. His hope is that Bill can eventually take on that same role. "We have 60 suppliers but one is 91 percent of our business. So, it's imperative to get their approval on who is going to run the business," said Doug. However, for now, Bill will spend the majority of his time learning the business, starting with making deliveries in the trucks. He does have some hands-on familiarity - during summer breaks from college Bill worked on the trucks and as a night loader at D-S. During that time, he says that he worked alongside a lot of people that are still at the business today.

distribution, logistics and finance from his time at Target, but he had to learn the business. This learning curve was straightened with hours on the truck and in the warehouse. “We love what we do and it's apparent in every aspect of what we do,” said Doug. “What we do is just not that easy. We have 1,200 retailers. We have 2,600 different items that we carry. It’s becoming a pretty complicated business and the stuff we are lugging around (kegs are about 160 lbs) is pretty heavy. It’s hard work but, at the end of the day, people still love what they do.” The father son duo both admit that Bill’s situation is a bit different than the one that Doug walked into. Doug was handed the keys to the business after about six months, Bill will wait much longer. However, beyond this difference is one key similarity between both successions—the focus on culture.

Doug went through similar training when he first arrived at D-S Beverage, saying “the best way to learn is on the front lines.” He had experience in FARGOINC.COM


Doug and his wife Connie at a company family function.


re at


“It was great because Don pretty much gave me the keys from the start when I got to the business,” said Doug. “We did a lot of talking - some about the business, but mostly about life. I learned more about life during those times than I probably did about the business itself. Those life lessons revolved around how to treat people, Don was a master at that.” While Doug hasn’t applied everything that he saw Don do or everything that he heard Don say (he doesn’t expect Bill to do the same either), there are quite a few key aspects of the culture that have stayed the same throughout the years: • Family culture • Solid values • Care for teammates • Care for retailers • Care for the community “One of the best ways that I learn is by watching other people. I watched Don pretty closely. He had a way of holding people accountable, but he also had a way of making people feel very good about themselves and their contribution to the company.”


“Over half of my job is thinking about our culture,” said Doug. “How are the teammates doing, how are their families doing, what are we going to do to celebrate our successes. People aren’t going to do a good job if they don’t like where they work and who they work with.” CULTURE

It has to start with the leader and what values they have and what values they want pushed down to the organization.

Doug and the team at D-S Beverages have worked to drive that culture with team outings: Redhawks games, overnight trips to the twin cities JANUARY 2021

for Twins or Wild Games, and, of course, having beers after work.


It’s one thing to create a mission statement saying what a company’s culture is, it’s another to actually drive and develop that culture.



In addition to these celebrations, Doug says that hiring the right people is a key part of maintaining a strong culture. Employees can learn how to do the job, but they can’t easily change who they are.

Doug maintains one way to make sure a prospective employee fits our culture is through the interview process. But the most important aspect is that employees that join D-S Beverages are actually brought into the company by an employee who thinks they would be a good fit.

I’d say the thing that is most important to me is the culture of our company. I think that culture is the key to the success we’ve had. That culture was created by my father-in-law. It’s a family culture based on very solid values. We care about our teammates, we care about our retailers and we care about our community.”

B S D-

h a C r s i e t g i e a s r : e v e

Pay-it-forward- Each employee gets $1,000 to donate to a cause. It could be a charity or even a person who is having a hard time “It has been pretty gratifying for me to see how our team responds and teams up for this program,” said Doug. “They’ve had several instances where employees will pool funds together to make a more significant impact to a singular cause. Last year $20,000 was contributed to a single family of a fallen military member.”

Breast Cancer Awareness in October- D-S contributes to Essentia Health Foundation. Folds of Honor- A charity set up to provide scholarships to children of fallen or injured soldiers.



don setter

Expansion In 2021, D-S Beverages will be adding 20,000 sq. ft. to its 105,000 sq. ft. building. The addition will expand the number of loading docks from four to eight and will provide more storage space for beer, spirits and alcoholic products. This will be the fifth expansion of the building that was built in 1946 by the Minn-Kota Company to build trolling motors. The original building was just 33,000 sq. ft. 42


Of course, none of the great culture or community impact that D-S Beverages is responsible for today would have been possible without the founder, Don Setter. Setter, who acquired what is now D-S Beverages in 1968. He brought a passion to the business that earned him the nickname ‘budman’. “You would’ve thought there was actual Budweiser in his veins based on how passionate he was about D-S Beverages,” said Bill.

is returning to Fargo after having spent seven years in the beer industry. “Once I turned 30, I was starting to miss Fargo. Thankfully, I was able to convince my wife to take a leap of faith and move here. It’s really important to me to be involved with the family company which is such a big part of the community here in Fargo. My grandfather meant a lot to me and it means a lot to me to work for this company.”

“He never really retired,” said Doug. “Until he became ill he was very involved in the business.” Setter passed away in 2016 but his legacy clearly lives on in the business and in the community which is a big reason for Bill coming back. “It means so much to be able to come home and be involved in the family business,” said Bill who

“Building a culture is also about winning. I’m a competitive person and I like to win.” -Doug Restemayer


This year, D-S Beverages just became the third wholesaler ever to win its fifth Gold Ambassador Of Excellence award from Anheuser-Busch. This is their fifth straight. After you have three you are an "Ambassador of Excellence" and

your company receives a trophy known as a "Big Jake". Of the 450 Anheuser-Busch wholesalers only ten currently have that distinction. In 2018, D-S Beverages was the national champion of those 450 wholesalers. “That was one of the big highlights of my career,” said Doug



Why Should Growers Care About Grand Farm Working with Plug and Play By Brady Drake

Brian Carroll

Director Of Grand Farm Felipe Gonzalez

Plug and Play Director of North Dakota Agtech

Plug and Play

Corporate Partners

the world’s largest accelerator based in Silicon Valley, added a new agtech location in Fargo this year in a partnership with Grand Farm to push innovation forward. Plug and Play is an early investor and accelerator for startups. The magic happens when Plug and Play enters a vertical and helps corporate partners solve pain points and drive innovation by connecting them with startups. Plug and Play,

Plug and Play currently has 13 startups they are bringing to the area as part of their efforts with Grand Farm. The 13 companies were whittled down from a list of thousands and refined through a Shark Tank-like event before finally being confirmed as part of the cohort. To learn more about the partnership, we sat down with the Director of Grand Farm, Brian Carroll, and Plug and Play’s Director of North Dakota Agtech, Felipe Gonzalez.



How are Plug and Play and

Grand Farm collaborating? Brian:

Plug and Play and the Grand Farm are connected in two specific areas. The first connection is in ecosystem development. At Grand Farm, we have strong regional connections, but Plug and Play will be able to connect us over time on a national and global level. We're having engagements now with companies in Australia, Brazil, Canada and elsewhere. The other main area that we have is the innovation platform. We identified with Grand Farm that innovation will be central to a lot of the work that we want to do. This is our opportunity to work with large organizations, companies, startups and researchers and do it in a collaborative way. Felipe:

We came to Fargo to be connected to the Grand Farm. We are the big accelerator company that can bring startups into Grand Farm's test site. We want to feed as many technology startups to Grand Farm so they can be tested. We want to try to be global, and bring a global aspect to Grand Farm. We have 30 offices around the world

and run 50 acceleration programs around the world. Our plan is to be connected to all these ecosystems around the world and build a bridge to Grand Farm.


Is this Plug and Play s first venture into the agtech space? Felipe:

We started one that is a little bit of an agtech focus in Brazil, but it's not 100 percent. Our efforts here are the first full agtech vertical with 100 percent dedication to agriculture technologies. We’re really excited to dive into this industry as an investor. One of the ways that we make our money is by investing in companies. We didn't know too much about agriculture, and we want to be part of that more because we know the importance of it.


During Emerging Prairie s

grower roundtables this year, one of the big complaints

that we heard was that a lot of the companies that are

doing innovation in agtech

are on the coasts, especially Why should growers care

Once COVID is over, and the

to Fargo?

to come to Fargo, what will

about Plug and Play coming


When we first came up with the Grand Farm concept, we broke our roadmap down into five strategic areas. 1. Ecosystem 2. Innovation 3. Makerspace 4. Accelerated Learning 5. Policy and Governance There are some amazing startups that are being introduced into this area. There's a whole bunch of different great startup companies within this region. But we're considering what it would look like if we were able to create some additional capabilities around venture capital that would allow our Grand Farm partners to have an opportunity to invest in some of these great companies that are coming out here.

startups are actually able

that mean for Fargo and the region? Brian:

This will really help amplify the events we already have like 1 Million Cups, Cultivate Conference, Autonomous Nation, TEDx and Prairie Capital Summit. As we move forward, we will be able to create additional events and programming as the startups come here. We'll be able to match them with venture capital firms. We will be able to create opportunities for all the startups and organizations to work together in a collaborative way. This will really bring a lot of focus, energy and attention into this region and really connect us to the broader ecosystem that we described earlier. Felipe:

Emerging Prairie is the best at getting people together at local events. We're the best at connecting people globally. We like to collaborate between verticals, industries, companies, startups and investors. That’s the plan for Fargo in the future.

in Silicon Valley. Why is it

important for Silicon Valley companies to actually have

boots on the ground here in an agricultural hotspot like Fargo? Felipe:

Honestly, Silicon Valley and the east coast don't know anything about agriculture. We ourselves didn't know much until we moved here. I tell all the startups that come through that if they think New York or Silicon Valley is the place to be because that's where the money is, they’re wrong. I think these startups should be here in the Midwest and working close with the farmers. Having these startups here is a great opportunity for them to learn a little bit more about the growers. It's a game changer for startups. Whenever we start to build an ecosystem that is local, with a lot of startups coming over here, the money starts to flow this way as well. To get involved, contact brian@emergingprairie.com



By Brady Drake Photos by Nolan Schmidt

On Wednesday, August 12, the North Dakota Department of Commerce opened the application period for the Economic Resiliency Grant program. The grant was designed to provide funding to companies for business improvements to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection and instill consumer confidence in the marketplace. One of the companies that submitted an application for the program was Men’s Hair Co., a haircut and grooming company with locations in Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead, Bismarck and Grand Forks. Men’s Hair Co. volunteered to close its doors on March 20, 2020, at the onset of the pandemic. On the 27th, Governor Doug Burgum put an executive order in place to close all salons, the order lasted until May 4. Men’s Hair Co. reopened on May 11. “We took that extra week because we wanted to reassure our team of our new process,” said Co-Owner Troy Rinehardt. “We also wanted to disinfect our stores from top to bottom, including the floors.” “With the guidance of contact tracing we have yet had a transmission from a customer to stylist, or stylists to stylists, or stylists to customer,” said Rinehardt. “That's something that we at men's hair companies are very proud of.” 48


Troy Rinehardt Men’s Hair Co. Co-Owner



Masks are required for employees and customers. What was the process like trying to get the grant? The process was pretty smooth, given how fast they had to come up with it, how fast they processed it and how fast the funds got placed out. The Department of Commerce had PowerPoints that detailed expectations and what kinds of expenses could be used for reimbursement. It was time-consuming because we had a lot of receipts instead of quotes for future purchases. The Department of Commerce did a phenomenal job. What did you use the grant for? Over 60 percent of our total funds were used to reimburse purchases. When we reopened, we didn't hold back on trying to make it as safe as possible for our staff and our customers. If you don’t have a staff that feels safe coming back to work, it’s going to be tough to reopen. The same goes for the customers. We took a lot of the steps to make our business as safe as possible without knowing that this grant was going to be available. 50


At the beginning of the pandemic, it was really difficult to get your hands on masks, disinfectants and face shields. Thankfully, we were able to use the shutdown to get our hands on all of those things. Now, we have face masks available for staff and customers. We’ve also done little things like adding soap dispensers to each station so that our employees can wash their hands between each client. Our store layouts were already built for social distancing with semi-private stations and with the ERG Grant we added plexiglass guards between each of our stations and in front of our receptionists to give our customers and team a safe environment. Because of the grant, we were able to stock up on disinfectant because we go through so much each month due to our new cleaning process. We were also able to upgrade our POS system to include contactless payment. We are extremely grateful for this grant but just as grateful to be a small family-owned business in North Dakota!

If you walk in the door, expect to have your temperature taken.

Men’s Hair Co. installed dividers between every station.

The disinfectant used at Men’s Hair Co. has a 30 second kill time.

How many of those steps that you took were required? The Board of Cosmetology, pre-pandemic, required us to have a sanitary environment but the state added to that expectation which we embraced. Some of the requirements to reopen were waiting areas to have physical distancing. Our team was required to wear masks, wash hands between clients and develop a cleaning process that would be more in-depth after each client. We also added more time to each appointment to allow our team time to complete their services and properly disinfect all surfaces that a customer comes in contact with. We also take temperatures of each team member prior to clocking in as well as each client. So not knowing that you're going to get reimbursed, why was it so important to you to take those extra steps? Safety period. We wanted to be the safest in the industry. We took it as seriously as we could and recognized early on that our team and customers needed to feel safe in order for our team to come back to work and our customers to patron us! FARGOINC.COM



By Robert Jones, EAP Trainer, The Village Family Service Center


Things Leaders Need To Know To Navigate Organizational Change 54


nglish author Arnold Bennett said, “Any change, even change for the better, is always accompanied by discomfort.â€? Change is hard because it forces us out of our comfort zone and challenges us in ways that we are not used to. It is for this reason that people struggle with change, which can affect an organization's ability to grow, refocus and even stay in business. There can be a misperception that organizations evolve, but that is not the case. Instead, organizational cĂ…hange comes from the people in the organization. Change in an organization comes for the experiences that people have and how people handle the change. Since change comes for people there is also the need to recognize that all changes have the potential for creating a sense of loss or opportunity. Whether it is a new member of a team, a company merger, or downsizing, our reactions to the change is a direct result of our emotions. As leaders, we need to play a role in helping to manage emotions in an effective manner that can help people move forward.

The following are ways that leaders can help staff to navigate the change process: 1. Allow time to accept The nature of leadership allows us the ability to be in the know when change is coming, this allows us more time to prepare and accept the impending change. Often the frontline staff are the last to know and there is an expectation that they should just accept it in that moment. In most cases, navigating change is like grieving. People involved in the change process are going to run the gambit of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and hopefully get to the feeling of acceptance. All employees need to have the ability to navigate the grieving process. 2. Accept that people will resist Anger and bargaining are two significant parts of the grieving process and there may be the perception that this is resistance. The anger and bargaining that someone is presenting may not be coming from a place of malice but a place of grieving. Listening to the resistance can bring about new ideas and new perceptions. 3. Understand their emotions As people move through the change process, recognize that there are going to be a variety of feelings and emotions that are going to rise to the surface. These emotions are going to present potential obstacles if we as leaders do not take the opportunity to understand how people are feeling. 4. Get people to talk Open active lines of communication that flow from supervisors to frontline workers and vice versa. Being open and transparent about what is happening can demonstrate that you truly care for the well being of your staff by understanding what they are going through, their concerns, and doing what you can to help. When organizations do not effectively communicate change, rumors and innuendos can start to challenge the change and slow the process. 5. Establish short term goals One of the primary goals of navigating change is to get leaders and staff to buy into the change. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is to create small goals. The creation of small and easily attainable goals can create wins and successes for the people and the organization. These wins can boost the morale of the participants and create a clearer vision of what the change can produce for the individuals and the organization.



6. Remind people of the goals Change is going to bring about distractions and misinformation, because people will be trying to maintain a sense of control. Often, people will revert to old ways or struggle to adapt to a new approach. As the leader facilitating this change there is a need to make sure we keep people focused on both the long and especially the short-term goals. We need to present a clear image of the big picture so people do not focus on their individual short-term goal. 7. Meet frequently Changing situations is not the time to limit interactions, it is a time to spend more time meeting with your staff both formally and informally. Formal meetings are the time to establish and remind people of the short-term goals. It is your opportunity to address issues in front of the entire group or to set aside time for one on one dialogue. Recognize there is value in conducting meetings with purpose as opposed to just having meetings for meeting sake. Keep the formal meeting focused on the organization. Informal meetings are great opportunities for you to drop in on an employee and see how they are doing emotionally. These informal meetings allow you the opportunity to have trust building conversations which will aid in creating buy in for the changes happening in the organization. 8. Facilitate transparent communication One of our biggest goals in facilitating this change is to make sure that people know that they can come to you with questions. One of the greatest struggles with change is that it can lead to rumors and innuendos which can debilitate the culture of an organization. If staff do not feel like they are in the know, they will fill in the blanks with their own ideas and these tend to lean more to the negative than the positive. Your staff needs to know that they can come to you to seek accurate information at any time. 9. Connect the new reality to the mission and the purpose of the organization New leadership brings a new reality, and that new reality will create uncertainty. In the beginning of the change, make sure people understand the mission and the purpose of the organization, especially if there have been changes. Make sure that the staff understands the potential changes and how these changes could affect them moving forward. Finally, as decisions are being made, it is important that the staff see the connection between the changes



and the mission and purpose. If the employees do not see this connection it will create feelings of uncertainty and ambiguity that will erode the trust they have in leadership. 10. Celebrate and congratulate people on successes A significant part of navigating the tumultuous time of change is to help staff buy into the change. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to acknowledge and celebrate successes. One of the reasons for creating the opportunities for small wins is to make the opportunity for wins easier. If people find success it can become much easier. By congratulating people on a success, it also demonstrates that as the organizational leader you are valuing the employee and the work that they do. Every person is looking for the opportunity to feel valued and by creating that sense of value through organizational and personal success, you are creating a sense of belonging. Which will help to empower the staff member to understand and move through the change. All change, whether it is a change in ownership, a change in management, or a change in a colleague can bring about feelings of uncertainty, fear and create conflict. People are going to navigate this change at different rates, with different emotions and in different manners. That is okay. As leaders, we need to find ways to help people navigate this change in a manner that will benefit the organization as well as the staff. It will be challenging, but by successfully navigating this storm brought about by change, your organization can come out stronger in the end.


Bethlehem Gronneberg Founder and CEO of uCodeGirl



Kodee Furst Programs Manager , The Nice Center at NDSU

Here at Fargo INC!, we push hard every month to put out great and useful content for our readers. Without the help of our editorial board, this would be much more difficult. Recently, we made two amazing additions to our board: Kodee Furst and Bethlehem Gronneberg. We want you to learn a little bit more about them. FARGOINC.COM


meet the new editorial board members


Kodee Furst is a Programs Manager at The Nice Center at NDSU where she supports the organization's mission of entrepreneurship for all. Previously, she co-founded and served as the Managing Partner of Annie Capital, a fund that invested in the power of women entrepreneurs through funding, education and community development. Her life's focus is grounded in supporting women and solving big problems. She currently serves on the Boards for North Dakota’s LIFT Fund, Emerging Prairie and CTB and is a Founding Partner for North Dakota's Women's Entrepreneurship Week. After graduating from NDSU, she moved out of state and traveled across the country, but found her way back to North Dakota in 2015. She resides in Dickinson with her husband, Matt, and their son, Dane.


Emerging Prairie’s 2020 Dr. David Wells Belief Award for support of entrepreneurs 60


meet the new editorial board members

What is your favorite thing about your professional life? Entrepreneurs will solve the hardest problems we face in our communities, schools and companies. It's easy to champion the grit, hustle and resilience of those working to solve big problems and it’s an incredible privilege to help students of all ages see entrepreneurship as a possibility.

What are some books or podcasts you recommend people check out? • Zilch - The Power of Zero in Business by Nancy Lublin

Three unique facts about Kodee Furst:

• Playing Big by Tara Mohr

1. I lived out of my suitcase for a year facilitating leadership development across the United States. 2. I grew up on a ranch in southwestern North Dakota. 3. I’ve worked in non-profit, small business, corporate, startup and now higher ed.

• Step Back From the Baggage Claim by Jason Barger

What are some of your favorite things about the FargoMoorhead area? There’s an energy around entrepreneurship that’s contagious — people genuinely want to see others succeed and the ecosystem continues to grow and evolve to make room for more. The creative scene, commitment to progress and willingness to make big bets happening in Fargo-Moorhead is easy to cheer for. If you weren't working in your current profession, what would you be doing? Hard to say, but probably consulting on a combination of growth, strategy and leadership. What are some things you like to do in your spare time? Spend time with family, friends and our growing kids, unplug with a good game night, and in a non-COVID world, travel!

If you could change or impact one thing in our business community, what would it be? There’s a lot to be proud of and a number of incredible resource partners that are already showing up to help all entrepreneurs succeed. But, when we think about big challenges like paid parental leave, the pay equity gap and the current female jobs recession, we need more women building scalable companies — not to scale for the sake of a big exit or press (nothing wrong with either!), but to be in a position of creating jobs, influencing workforce policy and creating independence. Why work with Fargo INC? Fargo INC! is an important voice for our region. The stories it tells help craft the narrative of what business means in FargoMoorhead and inspires countless others to know that they can start here, too. What are three business tips you can give? 1. Fall in love with your problem, not your solution. 2. Your calendar doesn’t determine your worth. 3. Surround yourself with a circle that wants you to win. FARGOINC.COM


meet the new editorial board members


Bethlehem Gronneberg is a Software Engineer, an inspirational speaker, an educator and a social entrepreneur with a vision to exponentially expand the inclusion of diverse voices in the technology workforce. Gronneberg is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of uCodeGirl, a non-profit designed to inspire, engage and equip teen girls so that they can confidently choose to forge a pathway to technology careers. Bethlehem is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Software Engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Bethlehem holds a Master of Science degree in Software Engineering from NDSU. A webmaster job for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) started her technology career. After 20+ years in the software industry as a Software Engineer, Sr. Software Engineer, and Software Engineering Manager, Bethlehem has focused her career to be a social entrepreneur as an advocate for women in technology. Gronneberg is also a recipient of the prestigious Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship. Bethlehem is committed to bringing the real-world experience of software development to 62


classrooms as a Computer Science instructor, most recently at NDSU. Bethlehem is committed to a world where the people who create and build technology products and services mirror the people and societies for which they create and build. Gronneberg’s efforts in sparking curiosity and intellect with young women had been commended by the United States Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota who invited Bethlehem to be a guest of honor to attend the 2019 State of the Union address of the United States of America.


2018 YWCA Cass Clay Women of the Year in Science and Technology 2018 Exceptional Women Leader by the World Economic Forum Emerging Prairie's 1 Million Thanks Belief Award Finalist for the 2019 GlobalMindED Inclusive Leader Award

meet the new editorial board members

BUYING RE AL E STATE F OR YOUR BUSINE SS ? What is your favorite thing about your professional life?

We Can Help

Inspiring and equipping young women to pursue Computer Science as a career option. Three unique facts about Bethlehem Gronneberg: 1. I am committed to lifelong learning and therefore am working on my Ph.D. in Software Engineering. 2. I am intensely passionate about empowering girls to explore their possibilities. 3. I love to cook and I love spicy dishes. What are some of your favorite things about the Fargo-Moorhead area? The vibrant entrepreneurial community. I also love the growing diversity in restaurant choices in our community. Our family enjoys the outdoors. We use the many neighborhood spaces and parks for short and long walks, jogging and biking. If you weren't working in your current profession, what would you be doing? I would become a writer. Writing, like all forms of art, is ultimately about expression. I write to make sense of the thoughts in my head and to bring out parts of myself into something tangible. What are some things you like to do in your spare time? Read. Cook. Jog. Bike. Travel. What are some media recommendations you have for others? • How I Built This by Guy Raz

Contact Robby or Mac for your Commercial Loan needs • Wallstreet Journal The Future of Everything Podcast

• Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Liz Wiseman and Greg McKeown

Hawley (218) 483-3361 Moorhead (218) 233-2544 valleypremierbank.com


S G N I H 7T

n a C You o T o D t a b Com B O J K S E D YOUR

By Karla Wolford

You sit at a computer all day… every day. Your body is aching, your brain is exhausted and you are paying for it. You know your posture isn’t the best, but sitting properly is so tiring. You may even be working from home since COVID hit and your workstation is far from ideal. Here are the top 7 things you can do to combat your desk job and live a healthier life starting TODAY!




Find a way to exercise 30 minutes every day.

Walking is great, but if you can raise your heart rate more than 70-80% of your max heart rate for 30 minutes a day, you will combat risks of obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and improve your mental and emotional health. In order to calculate your theoretical max heart rate, take 220 −your age. Then find what 70-80% of that number is. That is where you need your heart rate to get these effects!


Karla Wolford is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a Level 1&2 certified CrossFit Trainer, and a Level 2 USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. She is also the founder of Elevate Human Potential and EHP Performance, Inc in Moorhead, Minnesota. In 2019, she placed 16th in the United States and 25th in the world in the women age 35-39 division for CrossFit.

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The Doorway Stretch


Drink your bodyweight in ounces of water per day.

Wall Angels Keep your lower back, upper back, head and back of arms and wrists are on the wall while moving your arms up and down slowly.

This is as simple as it sounds. Every time you get up from your desk and walk through a doorway, grab both sides of that doorway in three different positions and stretch for 30 seconds per position. This helps to reset your bad posture and stretch out your muscles on the front of your body. Adequate opening of the chest is imperative for good posture, proper breathing, and full shoulder range of motion.

Don’t arch your back.

Hydration is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health and so many people are not hydrated. If you weigh 150lbs, try to drink 150oz of water per day. This is not coffee, sugary drinks, or other beverages, but plain old water. If your bodyweight seems daunting, start with 50 percent of it and work your way up from there. Water helps your cardiovascular health, helps you maintain healthy skin, allows for your muscles and joints to work better and it helps cleanse your body inside and out. Keep your favorite mug next to you and every time you get up to fill it, make sure you do the doorway stretch!



For every 55 minutes you are at your desk, you should move for five minutes. Not everyone’s office environment is conducive for a mini-workout, but here are some ideas: • Do 50 burpees (This will hit you like a triple espresso!) • Every minute on the minute for five minutes, complete 10 squats. • Take a quick break and walk up and down the stairs for 5 minutes (stretch out your shoulders while you are at it). • Do some wall angels (description below). • Stand up and do some lunges (go down as far as you can in your body’s mobility or your work space limitations) • Do hip circles for 5 minutes.



Send your hips back first, keep your weight in your heels, keep your knees out and keep your chest up.

Proper Squat Form

lunges Bend both kneed to 90 degrees with your front knee over your front ankle.


20/20/20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Did you know that if you only stare at a screen that is a couple of feet away from your eyes, you start to limit how far your eyes can see? Screen time provokes nasty headaches and much of these are due to posture and eye pain, so using the 20/20/20 rule will help you to minimize these effects.


Fresh Air

Every day at your lunch break, spend at least 5 minutes outside. The more the better. Sitting in buildings and breathing in the same stagnant air will cause you to feel tired and groggy. No matter what the temperature, gear up or down and make fresh air a habit. This will also help your mental health. Getting outside will help decrease the effects of depression and especially seasonal affective disorder.

Don’t let your knee cave in.

If you have a difficult time keeping your chest up, grab around your thumb like in the picture and keep your arms extended out as you sink into your squat. This should help keep your chest up and your back flat.


bonus tip!


Do wall angels.

This seems like a strange thing to do, but go into half squat so your lower back, upper back, head and back of arms and wrists are on the wall (looking like a goal post). Move your arms up and down slowly, not allowing anything to move away from the wall. Keep pressing your hands and arms into the wall the entire time. This works many posterior chain muscles while stretching out the front side of your body. This exercise is surely going to give you a piece of humble pie, but you will thank me for it later!



Opportunity Is Why Checkable Medical Is Coming To North Dakota!

uring my first month working for this magazine, we ran a two-page spread titled Why North Dakota? which highlighted North Dakota’s favorable national rankings in business, hard work, poverty rates, economic prospects and more. However, for one new business coming to the plains, Checkable Medical, the question of ‘Why North Dakota?’ can be answered with one word: opportunity. 68


By Brady Drake

The opportunity that Checkable Medical is seizing with a relocation from the Twin Cities to Fargo is an opportunity for increased access to capital. “There really is no place like North Dakota when it comes to funding, business connections and community,” said Post. The company has already been awarded $600,000 through the Innovation Technology Loan Fund (LIFT) and $40,000 through the CARES Act and is currently privately raising her Seed round of $2MM. Why all the buzz? Checkable Medical offers at-home strep tests as well as at home antibody tests for COVID-19, the virus we, unfortunately, are all too familiar with. Checkable Medical’s CEO, Patty Post, says that the test can give results in 10 minutes as to whether or not the individual being tested has neutralizing antibodies for the COVID-19 virus. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, the neutralizing antibodies are a subgroup of antibodies that may inactivate the virus, meaning a person who tests positive for the antibodies had COVID-19 and may be at a reduced risk of infection and a reduced risk of spreading the virus to others.

Why should Fargo INC! Readers care?

Because everyone should care! Knowing whether or not you or someone you know has had COVID can help make decisions as far as whether or not to socially gather. The knowledge could also be used to confirm that a transmission has taken place in a case where the individual is experiencing residual symptoms and seeking treatment for those symptoms. “Being able to do the two tests at home is really important,” said Post. “People won’t have to take off time for work. The working mom or the working dad can test their kid at home and get their medication filled and know whether or not the kid has strep immediately instead of missing a day of work.” Post knows the importance of this all too well. After having her first child at the early age of 23 (she now has three) she fully embraced the title ‘mompreneur.’ During Post’s 15 years working in medical devices, she always had something on the side, whether that was her publishing company for math books or an e-commerce yoga business, she always managed to find time for something while marketing capital and surgical equipment to hospitals and physicians. However, she went full-time on Checkable in May of 2019 and hasn’t looked back.



Patty Post

CEO Checkable Medical

HOW THE TESTS WORK STREP TEST Scan the QR code on the box, it will take you to our digital platform that will train you how to take your child’s throat sample and guide you through running the test. If positive, snap a picture of the results and you’ll be connected through to our telemedicine platform for a treatment plan that you can pick up at your local pharmacy. If negative, stay home and snuggle, you avoided an unnecessary trip to into the clinic. COVID-19 ANTIBODY TEST This is a finger stick test. Scan the QR code and you'll get directions on how to take the test. If you're positive, you know that you've gone through it, you have the antibodies. If you're negative, you'll know that, if I have symptoms, you should go get the PCR or antigen test to confirm if you have the virus or not.

How did Post decide to start Checkable Medical?

“I had a few different occasions where all three of my kids had sore throats, sometimes they had the infection and other times it was a wasted visit as they has a viral infection,” said Post. “There was one time when two of them had tested positive and the third was having symptoms. I called our pediatrician to see if she would give me the prescription since my son had tested positive earlier in the week but we needed a positive test in order to prescribe.” Group A Strep is highly contagious, when one person in the family has it it’s likely the other kids have it too. Being told to go in for a test was frustrating and time consuming. Post looked on Amazon and they actually had a rapid test for sale, leaving her to wonder ‘why is this even available on amazon?’ She then noticed there were actually a large number of different tests available on Amazon through third party resellers, showing her there was a big-time market opportunity. From there, Post spent the next nine months researching the path to approval, sales channels, who would buy the product and what she needed to do to make the product unique and make parents feel confident in buying it. Post and her company are working to set themselves apart and raise the bar by becoming the first FDA approved OTC rapid strep test, forcing the illegally marketed products off the market. They are also working to be the first OTC cleared rapid antibody test, expecting to receive that approval in the first quarter of 2021. Though the tests aren’t yet available you can visit checkablemedical.com or email info@checkablemedical.com to learn more.



These Young Social Entrepreneurs Are

Working To Bridge The Achievement Gap According to the 2012 ND Point in Time Survey, 20 percent of Fargo’s homeless population is under the age of 18. Two recent college graduates, Nadia Mitchell of NDSU and Sean Feeney of Concordia College, are working to mitigate the adverse effects that the instability of homelessness and other factors can have on children through their nonprofit that launches its pilot program in January, Be Bold.


The two social entrepreneurs came together during their time in school. Mitchell wanted to start a mentoring program for homeless students and Feeney was already mentoring students in the area, but it was Feeney’s preparation for a scholarship application that really got the ball rolling towards forming an organization. Feeney didn’t know Mitchell when he started researching the achievement gap in Minnesota for the Phillips Scholars Program, a scholarship fund designed to support and help those who intend to dedicate a portion of their lives to community service implement their projects. Feeney didn’t end up pursuing the scholarship in the end, but he did find a pursuit.

By Brady Drake


Be Bold’s pilot program will pair area college students with the most at-risk students from Cheney Middle School in West Fargo for one hour per week mentoring sessions. Mitchell, who is set to accept a full-time position with United Health Group in Minneapolis this coming June, says that they’re starting their search for passionate individuals with social work and education majors but stresses that anyone can be involved. Mitchell graduated with a degree in business administration and Feeney is a mathematical finance and computer science graduate who is looking to study quantum physics in graduate school.

Achievement gap- observed persistent disparities in measures of educational performance among subgroups of U.S. students, especially groups defined by socioeconomic status, race/ ethnicity and gender.

Nadia Mitchell Photo by Angel Banna

One study estimates that the human potential lost as a result of the educational achievement gap is the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession. *“The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools,” McKinsey & Company, Social Sector Office, 2009)

“Growing up in Minneapolis, I have seen homelessness every day of my life,” said Mitchell. “There's literally a whole bridge where we have tents lined up. It has always angered me because we call this country the best country in the world, but we have people who are homeless. I don't think anyone should be homeless in this country. It just doesn't make any sense to me.” “There weren't a lot of people in my life that I felt like I could look up to,” said Feeney whose mom passed away when he was 18 years old. “I went for a stretch of my life where there wasn't really any adult in my life that I could look up to or that was there for me. I wanted to offer that opportunity to kids in the achievement gap.”

Sean fEENEY Photo by Aya Al Shakarchi

“During the research, someone I knew at the financial aid office said, ‘you should go down to the local homeless shelter to see what they see and what they think about the achievement gap,’” said Feeney, who currently works for Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Representative. What Feeney noticed when he took up that advice was that the achievement gap was simply the outcome. The real problem was the inputs causing the achievement gap like a lack of stability at home, a lack of positive role models, or living in a homeless shelter for six months of the school year. “It’s not their fault. It’s just their home life,” said Feeney. Around the same time of coming to that realization, Feeney was also told by a volunteer at an organization that one way to make a big impact was by mentoring some kids. And while he did start mentoring and making an impact, he realized that the mentorship program itself could’ve used a bit more structure. “I got a background check and after that, it was like, ‘here you go’ they give you the kids and it’s up to you to figure out what to do with them,” said Feeney. Through mutual connections, Feeney was eventually introduced to Scott Meyer, the Ozbun Executive Director of Entrepreneurship at NDSU. Meyer then introduced Feeney to Mitchell, describing her as “a girl who is really interested in social entrepreneurship.” And, Be Bold was essentially born from there out of a discussion over coffee.

As they started to develop their program, Feeney and Mitchell interviewed organizations throughout the Fargo Moorhead area that were already doing mentorship programs in order to learn more about how to best help children. After the interviews, the duo came to the belief that pairing the at-risk students with college students would be a great way to give the students someone to look up to while tapping a market for volunteers that wasn’t currently being used on a large scale. “We’re trying to help by giving them someone to look up to so they know they can make it there as well,” said Mitchell. “Going through the schools to find the at-risk students is really important because you can’t help every kid that is homeless just by working through one homeless shelter, they don’t all go there,” said Feeney. “However, they do all go to school and the schools have access to the information on who is at risk or homeless.” Mitchell and Feeney also have taken advantage of their time with a social entrepreneur cohort at Emerging Prairie and say they would be nowhere without the help of Greg Tehven or Scott Meyer. While they were both still in school, they were named finalists of the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge. For now, the mentorship sessions will be done via zoom due to the pandemic. However, Feeney and Mitchell are both hopeful that the program will have a profound impact on the children. “They know on this day, at this hour, they’re going to get to talk to this person,” said Mitchell “They know they can tell them anything and it will be fine. They can voice all of their fears, concerns and my happy moments.” If you know someone who would make a good mentor or if you would like to donate to the cause contact Nadia Mitchell at nadia.mitchell.1@ndsu.edu or Sean Feeney at sfeeney@cord.edu



Why You Should Get Involved With NDSU Women In Business By Brady Drake Photos by Nolan Schmidt and Dan Francis

When we attended a Women In Business, meeting they were working on putting letters for The Letter Project, a faith-based nonprofit organization where volunteers write letters to girls around the world who are in need of extra love and support.

Our business community is lucky to have so many great institutions of education right in our backyard, providing us with a great talent pool of young professionals to pull from. However, with their hometowns, the Twin Cities and other major metropolitan areas pulling at the very same talent pool, it’s important to start recruiting early on in the process. One way to do so is by getting involved with NDSU’s student-run club, NDSU Women In Business. The club, which meets every Thursday at 6 p.m., partners with local businesses, giving them the opportunity to hear from impactful speakers and network for career opportunities. They have already worked with the likes of these business leaders in the community: SCHEELS, Doosan Bobcat, Bell Bank, Eide Bailly and Discovery Benefits. Why haven’t you? FARGOINC.COM


Megan Fletcher 2021 President

Hannah Lange Cofounder

In just two short years since being founded, 50 percent of the group’s executive team has landed internships through connections they have made with the club. And why wouldn’t you want to have them on your team? • 70 percent of members are on the dean’s list • Member is the Ethics Challenge Champion • Member is the NDSU Accounting Student of the Year • Multiple members will be graduating early The club was originally founded in 2018 by Hannah Langle and Sammi Wojcik in order to “create a community of women who inspire and support each other in their careers.” Both graduated, Lange is now a Venture and Finance Analyst for the North Dakota Department of Commerce and Wojcik is High Yield Municipal Credit Analyst for Piper Sandler. The two actually saw the need for the club while participating in a different club, Bison Fund, a student run investment fund. While participating in the club, Lange and Wojcik noticed they were the only two women in the club. So, they set out to provide a solution and give women at NDSU an opportunity to get involved. “I just think it's really important, especially in today's day and age to really support other women,” said Lange. “It’s really important to create an environment that allows women to have those networking experiences that are very beneficial.”



Sammi Wojcik Cofounder

“The confidence that women have gotten through this organization is awesome to see, said Wojcik. “These students are now reaching out to business professionals in the community and making those relationships that they otherwise wouldn't have.” In addition to hearing from speakers and networking at their bi-weekly meetings every Thursday at 6 p.m., the group will also volunteer. Over the last two years, the group has combined 50 hours of volunteer time which has included, among other things: • Helping at least 15 children get blankets that they can use in their time in the hospital • Connecting with at least 15 elderly women over conversation and manicures • Involvement with The Letter Project allowed club members to connect with Girls all over America who are in need of advice or encouragement • Helping provide food, clothing, and presents through The Great North Pole If you are interested in getting involved, email megan.fletcher@ndsu.edu.

We are always looking for people or businesses to host networking events/volunteer opportunities, speak at our meetings, and give tours of their place of business for our members. If that sounds like something you are interested in feel free to reach out to me over LinkedIn, or directly by emailing megan. fletcher@ndsu.edu.” -Megan Fletcher, 2021 President of NDSU Women In Business FARGOINC.COM






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 Field of View’s CEO, David Dvorak.

1 Tell us your Field of View elevator pitch? Field of View is an aerial mapping technology company located in Fargo, ND. We make GeoSnap systems, high-end camera triggering and geotagging devices that help professional drone operators to out-map their competition. Our GeoSnap systems use their built-in GPS receiver to record the precise latitude, longitude, and altitude of each image captured during an aerial mapping mission. These geotagged images get fed into specialized software that creates detailed aerial maps that are highly valued in surveying, construction, mining, forestry, and agriculture. We use our products, and our 10 years of industry experience, to help customers efficiently produce the highest quality aerial maps possible.

2 You offer a premium product in a niche field (aerial mapping). How does Field of View stand out to drive sales? Customers find us when they are searching for a way to geotag or trigger their dronemounted cameras (a 61 megapixel Sony camera for example). They may have even tried a competitor's product, but ended up having issues with it. The reliability of our GeoSnap systems, along with our extensive mapping and integration experience, is what attracts new customers and keeps existing customers coming back.

BY John Machacek PHOTO BY Hillary Ehlen



3 You started Field of View while in college and while the drone industry was in its infancy. What made you start Field of View? When I was a sophomore at the University of North Dakota, I was hired by the school’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Engineering lab to help develop camera systems and fly their drones. It was essentially my dream job, and I had lots of freedom. It made me dread the idea of getting a real job after graduation. While I was still a student, I saw an opportunity to apply my acquired knowledge of drones and aerial imaging to the region’s expansive ag industry. In 2010, I took a leap and founded Field of View with the original goal of providing aerial mapping services to farmers. We now focus on selling hardware and software that helps professional drone operators produce high-quality aerial maps.

About John: John Machacek has been helping local startups with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation since 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.

4 Now that it’s about 10 years later, what differences in the drone industry have you noticed? 10 years ago, you needed to be an expert in rcairplanes, control electronics, cameras, mapping software, and troubleshooting to produce anything useful with a drone. The technology has advanced so much that novice drone operators can now produce basic aerial maps with ease. This technological advancement has helped drones to become a common and required tool for companies across a wide variety of industries. Since drones have become so instrumental, there has been a big push recently to make them more reliable to help prevent costly downtime.





North Dakota has invested heavily into UAS (drone) infrastructure and support. Do you feel there are advantages to you being located in Fargo or North Dakota? Field of View would not exist had it not been for North Dakota’s early investment in Unmanned Aircraft Systems. When I enrolled at UND to pursue my degree in mechanical engineering, I had zero intentions of staying in North Dakota and starting my own business. The excitement of being part of a brandnew industry and seeing North Dakota put real dollars into UAS research and infrastructure made me want to stay. On top of this, there were excellent programs, such as Innovate ND, that provided the guidance and funds I needed to help start my business.



(Left) John Machacek and (Right) David Dvorak, CEO of Field of View Photo by Nolan Schmidt

In my role in our entrepreneurial ecosystem, I hear about (and witness firsthand!) our region’s level of access and collaboration. Do you have a nice example you can share? One of our customers started having issues with a faulty connector inside our product. I was expressing my exasperation to the manager and director of NDSU Technology Incubator. They said I should talk to the president of ComDel Innovation (a design and manufacturing company), who happened to be in the building at the time. After explaining the problem, he immediately put me in touch with a circuit board assembly company that could perform the complicated task of swapping out the connectors for us. I went from having a major problem, to a solution, all in about an hour thanks to the willingness of these individuals to leverage their network on my behalf. This is just one of many examples of how people in the region are extraordinarily willing to help eachother out.

7 I recall you telling me your first big order was a bit daunting but now that you’ve had more volume manufacturing experience, big orders bring you excitement and joy. What are you doing differently now compared to then to be more at ease? We normally sell, assemble, and test our GeoSnap products in small batches (1-5 units at a time). In the fall of 2018, we had a customer put in an order for 50 units of our GeoSnap PPK product that was still in development at the time. Initially, we were overwhelmed. The experience certainly made us come to value reliable vendors, appropriate tools and organization, documented procedures, and having a design that is straight-forward to assemble. We have since designed our products and processes to be scalable, meaning we now welcome large orders without hesitation.

8 Over the last couple years, I’ve heard you give praise and credit to your employees. As a small manufacturer, how important is it to find and balance the right team? When you have a small team, each person’s attitude and contributions have a very direct impact on company performance, so it is extra important to have the right people. Our Operations Manager and Systems Engineer, Tyler ToepkeFloyd, brings incredible amounts of energy and productivity. Brent Johnson, our Embedded Systems Engineer, tackles every problem thrown at him with a positive attitude. Our most recent hire, Simon Kroll, is a NDSU computer engineering freshman who has already written production code for us. Having a solid team makes all the other challenges a small business faces so much more manageable.

9 If you could go back in time to David from a few years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself? I am an engineer first and an entrepreneur second. This means I have spent more of my time thinking about solutions to technical problems than sales, marketing, etc. Obviously, these business aspects are extremely critical, so the simple advice to myself would be: take a break from imagining the next great aerial mapping gadget and make a Facebook post or do that cold call…or at least take the time to hire someone who can do these things for you!

10 What can we do as a community to help Field of View succeed? We typically hire NDSU interns with the hope that they will be a good fit and stay with our company long-term. Many of these interns do not have plans to make Fargo their home after graduation, but this is what we end-up asking them to do. The Fargo-Moorhead community has done a great job in making this area attractive to young people...my ask is that the community doubles down on this effort. We can’t control the weather, but it makes my employees happy when they can look at an events calendar for an upcoming weekend and see dozens of attractive events and activities.



Change is the constant in the tech industry. Podcasts are a great way to stay current, stretch your thought processes and expand your horizon. It can be overwhelming to sift through the great many podcasts out there in the tech happenings space. Podcasts that deliver the right amount of expertise with engaging hosts, will get you hooked and help you understand what is new and innovative for your industry. Here are a few favorites and the reason to enjoy them.



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 |


Bethlehem Gronneberg Founder and CEO, uCodeGirl | Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow | PhD Candidate | Lecturer of Computer Science

1. How I Built This is a personal favorite. Inspiring, engaging and resourceful stories of world’s best known innovators, entrepreneurs and visionaries. Since its kickoff in 2016, NPR’s Guy Raz has unravelled hundreds of candid human stories packed with lessons in ingenuity, resilience and grit behind the most successful companies and the people who power them. You get bite sized business insights and lessons from experienced talent in the industry, from the founders of Five Guys, Airbnb, Kickstarter, Lyft, LinkedIn, Slack, DoorDash, Angie’s List and Yelp, just to name a few. 2. Startup Chat: Unfiltered insights and actionable advice is what the hosts, serial founders, Steli and Hinton, promise with their twice a week episodes. Each episode has startup and business ideas that can be applied to any sized business. The style of the conversations and the degree of transparency of the hosts makes for engaging and digestible information

for their listeners. For more podcasts on accelerating a start up, funding a startup, or to learn the ABC’s of a startup, check out the podcast by Y Combinator Startup School and This Week in Startups (TWiS) run by angel investor and entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. 3. TechTrends by JPMorgan Chase: With sharp speakers and great topics like “Using design thinking to understand your clients and their needs”, “How to stay ahead of cybersecurity changes in crisis”, “how to build business resilience” and “from mockup to mobile app - how to build a successful product”, TechTrends unpacks emerging tech trends impacting every industry with a great take away points. Great for fintech space and key decision-makers.

Harvard Business Review. Other less formal podcasts that blend the everyday with tech tools to renovate your productivity, refine your team communication, tools to overcome constraints and barriers are Reply All and Back to Work. 5. Breaking Into Startups: An amazing collection of stories of people who broke into the tech industry from non-tech backgrounds. It is like getting a backstage pass to insightful, tried and true learning experiences of people who have already made the career transitions to become thought leaders reshaping the future of innovation in technology.

4. HBR IdeaCast: a very well curated weekly podcast on the intersection of leadership, business and technology by FARGOINC.COM


Academic Insight


here is so much talk about the importance of managers having a business trends awareness skillset in order to help their organizations adapt to changes in the marketplace. While I agree that this is important, I also believe that non-managers should develop this competency as well. Given that, I pondered the question: “Is there a way to create a system in which all individuals in an organization (managers and non-managers) could be actively engaged in identifying emerging business trends? After reviewing the literature on this topic, I’d like to propose a four step system that could be implemented in your organizations.

BY Shontarius D. Aikens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management at Offutt School of Business at Concordia College 86



Identifying Emerging Business Trends: A Shared Responsibility for Managers and NonManagers STEP 1: Identify and Prioritize Environmental Categories Strategy scholars and practitioners suggest two things that are needed to detect emerging business trends. First, knowing the current stage of an industry’s life cycle. Over time, every industry progresses through four stages: Introduction, Growth, Maturity, and Decline. Second, after identifying the life cycle stage of the industry, having a deeper understanding of the external factors that shape the industry. External factors can be classified into the following general environmental categories: • Complementary products or services: “Products or services that can be used in tandem with those from another industry.” • Technological Change: “New

products, new processes, new materials.” • General Economic Conditions: “Economic growth, interest rates, inflation.” • Population demographics: “Changes in population, age, gender, ethnicity, income distribution.” • Ecological/natural environment: “Changes to the physical environment.” • Global competitive forces: “The ease (or difficulty) of doing business across national borders.” • Political, legal, and regulatory forces: “Laws, regulations, political processes.” • Social/cultural Forces: “Cultural values and attitudes which can often affect the other environmental categories” To get started, executive leadership could prioritize and rank the

Speaking Your Business Language for 45 Years Ser ving the Upper Midwest

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

categories above based on a) relevance to the industry in which the organization operates, b) greatest impact on the industry, and c) most likely to change or shift in the near future STEP 2: Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) Strategy scholars and practitioners also suggest that in addition recognizing and keeping abreast with changes in the environment, it is also important to determine the direction of those changes and the possible effects. Keeping up with changes and occurrences in the business environment can be a very challenging task. Because of this, I recommend engaging all employees in this process. This can be accomplished by creating employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs can be effective in helping organizations improve an organization’s leadership development process, tackle company-wide challenges, and keeping leaders in the know about issues. As part of this system, an ERG could be created for each environmental category, and employees could choose to be a part of the ERG most interesting to them. The key activity for each member is to collect information on events/occurrences germane to their assigned environmental category and to make some insights and recommendations. To streamline the process, an organization could create a brief standardized online form that employees could use to submit their information and responses to the following questions: 1) What is the

event/occurrence? (Include a short 1-2 sentence description and include a website link/reference if available); 2) Why is this event/occurrence important to our organization? (i.e. Does this event/occurrence work to our advantage/disadvantage); 3) What is the level of urgency of this occurrence? (i.e. Immediate concern or a future concern); 4) What should our response be? (List 2-3 ideas). While each member of the ERG completes this on an individual basis and submits the information online, all of that data and information is collected and stored in a central location for retrieval. Members within an ERG could decide to meet as a group to discuss their collective findings. STEP 3: Conduct Business Trends Meetings The image of a jigsaw puzzle can only be complete when all the puzzle pieces are joined together. Likewise, assembling all ERGs together for a monthly Business Trends meeting helps all employees to see the bigger picture of external factors affecting the industry and the organization. During this meeting, each ERG shares the most important occurrences and insights they have previously identified. After each group presents, a facilitator points out any emerging themes which might lead to a larger group discussion or suggestions for additional things to look out for in preparation for the next Business Trends meeting. The key benefit from this process is that if the organization encounters an unexpected situation in which

a business pivot needs to occur, the organization is positioning themselves to do it at a faster pace given the groundwork, insights, and knowledge already available to better inform top level decision makers. STEP 4: Store Information and Insights into a Knowledge Management System In the December 2020 issue of Fargo INC!, I discussed the idea of making knowledge sharing a formal practice within organizations. In order to share knowledge and insights, it would be important to have a place to store it for easy retrieval when needed. This is where your organization’s knowledge management system comes into play. Simply put, a knowledge management system can be anything that your organization uses to assist in storing, organizing, and retrieving information. Given that your organization is capturing valuable explicit and tacit knowledge to be used to make strategic decisions, security measures should be implemented to guard against unauthorized access to your organization’s internal knowledge base. I hope you find these guidelines and recommendations beneficial to your organizations. Best wishes for a great start in the year 2021.



Dr. Wasifa Ahmad Hasan INFLUENCER

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. A. I am a dentist turned full-time blogger/ influencer sharing tips on how to live a beautiful and happy life with a chronic illness. I feature and review skincare, hair care and makeup products and have been bringing the best options to my audience for the last 10 years. Currently, I am writing for Area Woman Magazine, Fargo Mom and consulting for the winners of the North Dakota International Pageant. I also represent North Dakota as an Ulta Beauty Collective Influencer. Q. How did you get involved in your work? A.It started without any plan or direction 10 years ago. I was diagnosed with my chronic illness when I was a dentistry student. I needed an outlet to share my frustrations and fears, and gather support. So I started blogging. At first, it was more about sharing my personal experience about this illness, my mental health and my struggles. Gradually I received positive feedback and people were starting to share their stories and relate to my stories. I became an online voice for people, especially for women with chronic illnesses. I started learning about beauty and makeup from experts, and looked for ways to make a beauty-related process easier for my audience. It just grew naturally and the blog became a complete female lifestyle website. Brands started to notice my work and approached me to work with them. It was at that time I realized that I could be a full-time blogger and leave my job as a dentist. So after moving to North Dakota six years ago,

Dr. Wasifa Ahmad Hasan certainly did not take the usual road to becoming a beauty influencer (if there even is such a thing?) She spoke with us about the switch from dentistry to blogging, the importance of being patient with people living with chronic illness and why women should team up in 2021. By McKenzie Schwark, Ladyboss Midwest 90


I focused completely on building my brand and work as a social media influencer. Q. What do you wish people understood better about chronic illness? A. Chronic illness comes with a stigma. Lack of knowledge, communication, and failure to sympathize can cause misunderstanding and a negative mindset. First of all, we need to educate ourselves about the disease, we or our loved ones are fighting. Sometimes people just need to talk, without the fear of judgment. When we talk and open a dialogue, it enlightens us and removes the stigma. For those suffering from chronic illness — I understand that it’s difficult and takes a huge toll on mental health, but it’s not the end of the world. You can and will live a seemingly normal life, regardless of the pain, shortcomings and heartbreaks. You just need to find your normal and have a positive mindset. It took me 15+ years to come to terms with my illness, if I can do it, you can too! For those who are caring for someone with chronic illness or would like to know more about it, please be patient with us! We have our normal days, bad days and very bad days and we are already struggling. Is something bothering you? Talk to us, share your feelings. Q. And what about mental health?

the illness, my mental health was suffering, and I became distant, quiet, and full of self-destructive thoughts. I struggled with my peers, my relationships, my career, but gradually time and positive encouragement from my family helped me out of the situation. Am I out of that depression period? I would say 70% because there are days when my illness casts a black net over my positivity, and all I want to do is give up. But my family is always there to pull me back. And I believe everyone should have that special someone who can be their light in the darkness. Q. What does self-care mean to you? A. Self-care means talking to someone who understands me, using my favorite perfume without any reason, taking a shower or bath for more than 10 minutes, listening to the songs of my teenage years and singing them out loud, indulging in my favorite dish without thinking about the weight.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently? A. We don’t know what the other person is going through, so stop lashing out, calm yourself and listen. Can you relate to what that person is saying? If yes, then start having a constructive conversation. If you can not relate, then move away. Q. What do you think women need right now? A. Women need to believe in themselves and stop competing with each other. We can only go ahead one or two steps by ourselves, but if we team up and help each other in a meaningful way, we can grow and thrive. For more from Wasifa, check out sifascorner.com and @sifascorner on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.

Q. How can women take better care of themselves in 2021? A. Stop criticizing and start loving yourself. The flaws you can see in the mirror make you unique and beautiful. Go out for a walk, invest in good skincare products, use a face mask every week and use a silk pillowcase. It may sound unrelated but it’s worth it!

A. From my personal experience, mental health and physical health are interrelated. After my diagnosis and in the initial years of






Fargo Events

JANUARY 20 Working With the Painfully Self Un-Aware

Wednesday, January 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. We all know that person. They walk into a room and blurt out whatever is on their mind with no regard for their audience. Or the person who refuses to accept feedback. Or the person who thinks their work is the absolute best when everyone knows it’s just mediocre (if that!). Or the person who just has no friggin’ clue. Awkward! It’s downright painful, and seeing the un-self-aware sends you ducking into an empty conference room whenever you see them coming. Should you really need to invoke military-like stealth hiding techniques in your own workplace to avoid the person who doesn’t realize how loud they talk about inappropriate subject matters? No, you should not. fmwfchamber.com

JANUARY 19 Virtual Discuss, Connect & Reflect: Podcast Edition Tuesday, January 19 from noon to 1 p.m.

Join the POC as they continue with the podcast trend for another Discuss, Connect & Reflect! Please listen to episode 117 of The Will to Change Podcast: Infusing the Agency with Empathy by the 19th and be ready to discuss! fmwfchamber.com

JANUARY 21 YPN Virtual Game Night

Finding Joy in the Muck

YPN is hosting game night, virtually! Register for a great night of networking while playing one of your favorite board games over Zoom. Games that will be played are Scattergories, charades, Zoom Background I-Spy and Boggle. Indicate in the comments when registering which room you would like to be in!

In a time where your attention is being pulled in all directions – primarily negative, take a moment to create and find joy – an attitude that defies circumstance – in the ordinary.

Thursday, January 21 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.


JANUARY 20 YPN Book Club: Ted Talk Edition Wednesday, January 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Join YPN for their monthly book club. This month, they are switching things up a bit! Instead of reading a book to start the year, we will be having a discussion around Simon Sinek's "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" TED Talk. fmwfchamber.com

JANUARY 22 Networking Before 9

Friday, January 22 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Join us for another Professionals of Color entirely virtual Zoom Networking Before 9! Through utilizing Zoom’s breakout room options, you’ll be able to have multiple great conversations in smaller groups to get to know everyone on the call. This will be another networking event you won’t want to miss. fmwfchamber.com



JANUARY 26 Tuesday, January 26 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

After a year of like 2020, it’s easy to get in a rut of pessimism. How can finding what motivates you keep you enthusiastically contributing at work and at home? In this session, you’ll be encouraged to take your ordinary to extraordinary, in the easiest way possible! Let’s find joy in each day during a hard time so we can continue to find joy in each day when it’s over – creating a ripple effect of good in our world. fmwfchamber.com



Fargo Events

FEBRUARY 10 Radically Candid Leadership: A New Approach to Management

Wednesday, February 10 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Believe it or not, it?s not so much about the role or even the compensation that often results in employees choosing to move on from their current positions. Ineffective communication, poor management and lack of trust are just a few of the top reasons leaders and managers lose team members in the professional workplace. So, as a supervisor, how can you more closely connect with and tune in to your employees? needs and desires while still challenging them and bringing out their best? fmwfchamber.com



FM Diversion: Progess and Priorities

Virtual Chamber 101: Connect. Engage. Maximize.

Join February’s Eggs & Issues to hear from the leaders of the FM Area Diversion Project. With construction underway, spring legislative sessions in both North Dakota and Minnesota, and a settlement agreement decided upon, there is so much to discuss about this largescale flood protection project. Every month at Eggs & Issues, you can expect to hear from local experts sharing what you need to know about timely issues affecting us all.

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

Tuesday, February 2 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.


FEBRUARY 16 Virtual Chamber 101: Connect. Engage. Maximize. Tuesday, February 16 at 4 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 us, 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. Here, Casey Sanders, The Chamber’s manager of membership, will walk you through events, programs, discounts, online tools and more, so you can begin maximizing your membership right away. It’s great way to introduce new faces to what we have available, or to simply say hello and meet fellow business professionals. fmwfchamber.com

Thursday, February 18 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Here, Casey Sanders, The Chamber’s manager of membership, will walk you through events, programs, discounts, online tools and more, so you can begin maximizing your membership right away. It’s great way to introduce new faces to what we have available, or to simply say hello and meet fellow business professionals. fmwfchamber.com

FEBRUARY 18 Economic Outlook Luncheon 2021 Thursday, February 18 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

The Economic Outlook Luncheon is an opportunity to learn about global economic trends and examine the local landscape and factors that keep us competitive. From workforce issues to regulation and the outlook for the future, speakers discuss the impact of the national and regional economy as well as local trends. Each February, the Economic Outlook Luncheon offers a look into the various factors

affecting the regional economy, covering topics such as energy exploration, workforce availability, technology, entrepreneurism and health care, plus how global and local trends affect our business community. fmwfchamber.com

FEBRUARY 23 Paralyzed by Perfect

Tuesday, February 23 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Confucius once said, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” Yet, why do so many women feel confined by our world’s definition of perfect? Why are we so afraid of putting something imperfect into the universe? Perfectionism has haunted Kelsey’s personal and professional life for ever since she can remember. When she was in third grade, Kelsey’s parents went to a parent-teacher conference expecting a glowing review. Instead, her teacher expressed a deep concern: “Kelsey spends too much time perfecting every assignment. This behavior could profoundly impact her education and may keep her from reaching her full potential.” From that day forward, Kelsey’s teachers and parents worked diligently to help her overcome her fear of failure while still pursuing excellence. She has learned simple strategies that have helped her in her personal and professional journey. Kelsey’s goal is to motivate women to overcome their fear of failure as they strive for excellence. fmwfchamber.com






Grand Forks FEBRUARY 9 Business Builders Webinar - The Importance of Having a BAIL Team Tuesday, February 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

JANUARY 26 Business Development Series Tax Preparation Tips & Tricks for Business Tuesday, January 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. bismarckmandan.com



Have you ever felt alone in the entrepreneurial process? Do you feel like you have to do everything yourself? Let us help BAIL you out. A BAIL team is an acronym that stands for a banker, accountant, insurance agent, and a legal team. Having a BAIL team behind you will make your business work for you instead of the other way around. Let's talk about the benefits of having a BAIL Team and how to find one that works for you. gochamber.org

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