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Have Women july 2017

Shattered the Glass Ceiling in Tech?


JULY 2017

CONTENTS COVER STORY 30 Have Women Shattered the Glass

Ceiling in Tech?

A high percentage of young girls show interest in tech and STEM fields, but when the time comes to choose a degree to pursue, they change their minds. Women have the desire and skills to greatly influence the tech community, along with a much-needed perspective. This month, we met up with local women in tech to discuss the cover-page question, as well as obstacles and possible solutions to the challenges facing women in the tech industry.

ADDITIONAL FEATURES 10 Editor's Note 11 Fargo INC! Editorial Advisory Board 20 A Day in the Life: Olivia Erickson 22 Find Your Why: Julie Peterson Klein 24 It Wasn't Always Like This: Family

Healthcare Center Marisa Jackels

28 TEDxFargo Speaker Preview 52 Dakota Drone Minute Brian Opp

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54 Photo Recap: Drone Focus Conference 58 Office Vibes: YWCA 64 Satellite Offices 71 The Startup Journey Josh Christy 75 Faces of Fargo Business Rebekah Scott Sarah Hanstad Charley Johnson 82 Giving Back Through Backpacks 86 My 2 Cents: Your Company's 3

Stories

Josh Hoper 88 Business Events Calendar

20

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Visit FargoInc.com for extended content covering Fargo-Moorhead's business community and articles from past editions of Fargo INC!

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JULY 2017


EDITOR'S NOTE

Farg

Guest Editorial

A New Experience Having previously worked at a newspaper before, I knew a little about the process of producing content on a regular basis, but it had been a few years. I'm thankful for the opportunity to again pursue a similar job but in a completely different way. Working with Fargo INC! has been a mix of joy, hard work and a desire to build confidence. This internship is more than a job. I genuinely care about the process, the product, and I work every day appreciating the people I collaborate with, both in interviews and the workplace. Helping people tell their stories is a life goal of mine. I love to listen to why they are passionate and put what they say in a format for others to read or hear. I always leave

Nate@SpotlightMediaFargo.com 10

JULY 2017

the conversations feeling inspired to pursue my own interests more wholeheartedly, and I want others to also have that experience. I look forward to continuing to reach this goal by connecting with people in the Fargo-Moorhead community through this platform. This month was full of great experiences and even better conversation. I had the opportunity to lead my first, and hopefully not last, roundtable discussion. Five local women in the tech industry joined us at the studio for a photo shoot with the discussion to follow, surrounded by food from Twist and beers from Drekker Brewing Company—thanks, guys! With our topic being specifically about women in the tech industry, as a staff, we decided that I should take the

NateMickelberg

lead, and I agreed. Our web editor, Samantha Stark, also joined in the conversation, giving input and adding questions as we went. I have a new-found love for doing interviews in the form of a roundtable. The pressure is off. Interviewees are able to forget about the camera and recording device and bounce ideas and questions off of each other. It feels less like an interview and more like a group of friends discussing their life experiences. I learned so much this month, about both women in the tech industry and what all goes into organizing this type of interview. I can't wait to do it again!

Kara Jeffers

Fargo INC! Editorial Intern

LinkedIn.com/In/NateMickelberg

Photo by Paul Flessland

I

started my internship with Fargo INC! at the end of March. I was in the middle of my final semester of college, working another job and directing a play with Theatre NDSU, which was nearing tech week. My plate was full, but I accepted the position and jumped in with as much energy as I could, and I'm glad I did.


go INC!'s

EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD We at Fargo INC! want to make sure our content is unbiased, accurate, and reflects the views and opinions of the FM business community. That's why we meet regularly with our six-member editorial board to discuss area business issues and trends and ensure that we are living up to our stated values.

CRAIG WHITNEY

President & CEO FMWF Chamber of Commerce

GREG TEHVEN

Executive Director & Cofounder Emerging Prairie

JOHN MACHACEK

SVP, Finance & Entrepreneurial Development Greater Fargo/Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC)

ANNA HANSON

President Moorhead Business Association (MBA)

PAT TRAYNOR

President & CEO Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF)

CINDY GRAFFEO

Executive Director Moorhead Economic Development Authority (EDA)

Special Adviser GWEN HOBERG

Chair, Communications Committee Moorhead Business Assocation (MBA)


July 2017

Volume 2 Issue 7

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

Publisher Mike Dragosavich

CREATIVE

Editorial Director Andrew Jason Editor Nate Mickelberg Editorial Intern Kara Jeffers Graphic Designers Sarah Geiger, Ryan Koehler, Matt Anderson

Photography J. Alan Paul Photography, Paul Flessland Contributors Marisa Jackels, Josh Christy, Brian Opp, Josh Hoper, Netrix IT staff

Copy Editors Erica Rapp, Andrew Jason Social Media Kara Jeffers Web Editor Samantha Stark Web/Digital Coordinator Huong Tran

ADVERTISING

Sales Manager Layne Hanson Marketing & Sales Tracy Nicholson, Paul Hoefer, Tank

McNamara, Jenny Johnson, Scott Rorvig

Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Sales Administrative Assistant Pam Mjoness Business Operations Manager Heather Hemingway Administrative Liz McLain Business Operation Interns Nick Hackl, Tatiana Hasbargen Accounting Intern Kyle Gliva

CIRCULATION

Distribution & Circulation Manager Seth Habhegger Delivery Hal Ecker, Nolan Kaml, Tom Wegner, Kent Hagen, Thomas White, Mitch Rapp

Fargo INC! is published by Spotlight Media LLC, Copyright 2017 Fargo INC! & FargoInc.com. All rights reserved. No parts of this periodical may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo INC!, and Spotlight Media LLC, is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on such information. Spotlight Media LLC, accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

Spotlight Media Inc. 15 Broadway N, Suite 500 Fargo, ND 58102 or Info@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)

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Meet the team MIKE

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Learn more about us at SpotlightMediaFargo.com


take a peek at spotlight media's Other Magazines

Escape to the Lakes Design & Living invites you to escape to the lakes with their highly anticipated "Lake Living" issue. They believe you deserve to sit on the beach with your toes in the sand, crack open a copy of the magazine and take a vacation as they road trip through the Land of 10,000 Lakes. During the tour, you'll visit stunning year-rounds, rustic fishing cabins, and quaint, lakeside boutiques. After flipping through these pages, you'll agree that life is better at the lake.

Fans Ask Questions NDSU Director of Athletics Matt Larsen answers questions from Bison Nation about the trendiest topics in college athletics, which includes a conversation about the budget, donations and whether or not NDSU should move up to the FBS if they are invited by a conference.

Pawsome Pets In their first-ever pet issue, Fargo Monthly took readers' frequently asked questions and topics to various animal experts in Fargo-Moorhead so that residents can be the best parents for their fur-ever friends and also help area animals in need. Whether you're a long-time pet owner or in the market for your fur-ever friend, you'll definitely benefit from all of these great tips and guidelines.


OLIVIA ERICKSON Photographer

Olivia Erickson is a Fargo-based photographer and the founder of a local nonprofit, Well Water Fargo, which focuses on outreach to women in the sex industry. Here's a snapshot of a recent weekend, including both a photography gig and an outreach for Well Water.

BEFORE

Erickson's afternoon consists of heading downtown to White House Co. to pick up a couch and some props for styled photo shoots on Sunday. With the help from her fiancé, Caleb, the couch is loaded into the car and hauled a few blocks over and up two flights of stairs to her studio. Afterward, the two go to the grocery store to buy a few final ingredients to make brownies for the Well Water outreach. "This outreach is a little unconventional," Erickson says. "Monthly, we bring in gifts, notes and treats to the local strip club. This is our way of building friendships with amazing people who are often overlooked and to sprinkle kindness in an unlikely place." We pick up with Erickson here. FRIDAY 7:30 P.M. The "mini team" of Emily, who is my co-leader, Caleb and I go over to Burning Hearts where they are hosting The Burn, a citywide worship event that happens about every other month. They’ve partnered with Well Water Fargo to pray and support us as we go out. 8:30 P.M. Get to the strip club and see our friends! We see the same employees as usual and are greeted by smiles, hugs and a few comments about how we’ve come to wreck their diets. The conversations are just like normal friends. 20

JULY 2017

9:30 P.M. We drive back to the church and I head home to rest and prep for tomorrow's wedding. Most weekends, I like to take it easy after outreach, but with wedding season being in full swing, the weekend is far from over! SATURDAY 7 A.M. Alarm goes off. I get all “wedding fancy” and pack my bag with the essentials—from extra batteries to bandaids (in case of emergencies). 9:15 A.M. I head out for coffee and breakfast downtown at Bernbaum’s with the planning team for a new young adult’s service at my church!

A TYPICAL 24 HRS PHOTOGRAPHY 9 HRS WELL WATER 4 HRS COMMUTE 1 HR EAT 2 HRS SLEEP 8 HRS

includes resting while watching "Parks and Recreation" in the background. I back up images and pull out a few favorites for previews.

10:45 A.M. I drive to the bride's apartment to take getting-ready photos. We then head to Orchard Glen for some outdoor photos before the ceremony.

AFTER

From this point on, my day is completely absorbed into the wedding, rolling with the slight tweaks in the timeline and helping move things along. After photographing dozens of celebrations of all sizes, traditions, and schedules, it comes naturally to plan our days to run smoothly while also remaining adaptable.

This hectic weekend for Erickson, though, isn't over yet. Her Sunday starts with volunteering at her church, Burning Hearts. She then has scheduled photography sessions in her studio, partnering with a makeup artist and vintage styling from White House Co.

8:00 P.M. I’m done with photography coverage, and it’s time to go home! My unwinding routine

Erickson is asleep by 11 p.m., never realizing how tired wedding days make her until she slows down at the end and sets her alarm for the next day.

After a full weekend, Erickson goes to bed early, getting some rest so she can wake up for a meeting Monday morning with a 2018 bride. She says, "the weekend is work and then the work week begins again!"


A DAY IN THE LIFE

TAKE

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Olivia Erickson Liv Photography LivPhotographs.com Hello.LivPhotos@Gmail.com Well Water Fargo WellWaterFargo.com WellWaterFargo@Gmail.com

FARGOINC.COM

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Find Your

WHY There's a well-known TED talk from motivational speaker Simon Sinek titled, "Find Your Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action." The premise of the 20-minute presentation is simple: People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe. So we're asking everyone we talk to now, "Why do you do what you do?"

“I was put on this Earth to serve others. My heart guides me, and I want to be a major contributor to making the world a better place. When I wake up in the morning, I ask myself, ‘How can I serve others today? How can I brighten someone’s day?’ I let God align all the opportunities. "I love helping others. It energizes me and makes my heart expand. As blessed as

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I am, I feel an obligation to help as many people as possible. That sense of obligation extends to my kids and making sure they grow up with pay-it-forward hearts. “I believe our only hope for the world is all of the random acts of kindness and pay-itforward opportunities to help others. They can truly change the world.” - Julie Peterson Klein


Get to Know

Julie Peterson Klein As Bell Bank’s chief culture officer, Julie Peterson Klein leads the companyculture and humanresources teams. Bell has repeatedly been recognized both regionally and nationally for being a top workplace, and its culture is a big reason for that. “It takes all 1,100plus people to create a culture," Peterson Klein says. "It’s every team member and how we treat each other. The little things matter most. We’re very intentional and focused in carrying out our values. My personal values align with the company’s values so I get to be myself 24/7/365, and that’s priceless." The first thing Peterson Klein does every morning is email every Bell employee on their birthday and anniversary. When her desk is piled with paperwork and major deadlines are looming, she still takes the time to stop and visit with employees, even if that means she’ll be working late to get the rest of her work done.

Julie Peterson Klein

EVP & Chief Culture Officer Bell Bank

“I take care of the people first and the workload second," she says. "At the end of my life, I want my headstone to read, 'There was nothing more she could do on this earth.'” FARGOINC.COM

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The facade of the Family Healthcare building, pre-renovation

f you're new to Fargo, there's something you should know: It wasn't always like this. We take for granted the bustling city center that Downtown has become—filled with trendy restaurants, farmers markets and charming buildings—but not all that long ago, the landscape was quite different. In partnership with our friends at Tellwell and Kilbourne Group, we'll be telling the

FAMILY HEALTHCARE

story of Downtown's transformation in a series focused on the pivotal projects and historic renovations that paved the way for what the area has now become. Each story will also have an accompanying mini-documentary that can be found on Kilbourne Group's blog: KilbourneGroup.com/News

Before there were family dentist appointments and annual check-ups, there were cars propped up on hoists, stacks upon stacks of printing paper, and bricked and boarded-up windows to keep the light out. BY Marisa Jackels PHOTOS COURTESY OF Kilbourne Group

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JULY 2017

This is just a glimpse into the life of Family

HealthCare’s home in Downtown Fargo, a prominent brick structure on Northern Pacific Avenue. Originally built in 1920 as the Pence Automobile Building, the Classical Revival-style building is now home to Family HealthCare, a family-oriented,


A History of the Building 1920

1934

Pence Automobile Company building opens in Fargo.

City directory indicates Vincent-Kelly as the primary tenant selling vehicle brands Plymouth and Dodge.

primary-care clinic that provides a variety of medical services and sees thousands of people come through it each week. Turning an old auto factory into a polished clinic and office space was no easy task, though. It was a collective journey that's now woven into the fabric of Fargo’s story. And one might say that it all started with ... bats.

open up. It was uncomfortable, and it certainly wasn’t conducive to the healing that's supposed to take place at a healthcare clinic. “I felt like I had to treat all these other things in addition to the medical problems,” says Dr. Napoleon Espejo, the center's medical director. “It was not the best place for healing.”

Yes, that kind of bat. Before Family HealthCare had a new home, one clinic was in the basement of a church that often had no electricity and sometimes unexpected furry friends.

As a result, the leadership team of Family HealthCare was always on the hunt for new space, but they never expected to find it in the former Pence Building that had sat vacant for decades.

“We had bugs, we had bats and, we had no running water,” says Kim Seeb, director of homeless health services at Family Healthcare.

“It was a Cadillac," says Fargo Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney, who was the director of the board Family HealthCare at the time. "It was, ‘Holy cow. Look at all this space, and look at all the things you could do with it.'"

“And we didn’t have any windows so if the power went out, you couldn’t see a thing,” adds Clinical Director Lynelle Huseby. The spaces were small and crowded, often with patients lined up shoulder to shoulder as they waited for a room to

When they first began to look at the building, though, it was still a dark, empty, 56,000-square-foot warehouse. Kilbourne Group Project Manager Mark Johnson described it as “the way you might imagine a scary movie.”


A History of the Building 1938

1948

1960s

Dakota Tractor & Equipment Company occupies building.

The building becomes home to J.A. Ficek & Co., a wholesale and retail establishment, selling Goodyear Tires, among other items. Shortly after this time, it becomes Reinhard Brothers, also known as The House of Reinhard, a household appliance and automotive supply seller.

Reinhard Brothers and Central Auto Supply occupy building.

The original architecture had been obscured, and the adjoining buildings were so decrepit that tenants worried about stepping through the floor on the second story. Given what it was, it was hard to imagine what it could be—not to mention the funds it would cost to renovate such a space.

“Any time you can preserve a building of this age, it gives you history for the community.”

“When we first looked at the building and looked at all the challenges it had, we thought we would never be able to afford it," says Mayor Mahoney. "We would never be able to see it come to fruition." But they knew a team that could do it. Fargo-based commercial-development firm Kilbourne Group had already purchased the former warehouse/ showroom in 2007, as well as the three adjacent buildings to ensure they would be preserved. The Pence Warehouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and Kilbourne Group Founder and current North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum knew it could be a perfect

BUSINESS

WISDOM

JULY 2017

And with the success of Renaissance Hall under their belt, they had the right team to revitalize an eyesore of a building.

Together, the leadership of Kilbourne Group and Family HealthCare met to discuss how to cover costs. What emerged was one of the most elaborate, creative funding models ever seen in Fargo's history. “I give it credit that our consultants came in, and Patricia Patron (then-CEO of Family HealthCare) worked very hard with everybody,” says Mayor Mahoney. “And through what I like to call 'inventive engineering,' or financing, we were able to come up with a way of getting this building.” In short, it was a model that combined historic tax credits with new-market tax credits, in addition to a highly competitive grant that Family HealthCare applied for. Kilbourne Group hired architects to

"Give employees the glory because you don't need that." BRADY NASH CEO, BNG Team

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candidate for realestate resuscitation. Or a large healthcare operation.


1994

2007

2008

2011

Fargo Forum announces building's inclusion on the National Registrar of Historic Places. It was noted that when Richtman's Printing took over the building in 1990, it had been unoccupied for 12 years (1978-1990).

Richtman's owned and operated the building until they moved their business to southwest Fargo and sold the building to commercial development firm, Kilbourne Group.

Kilbourne Group takes over ownership.

Family HealthCare completes purchase of property in June.

meetings and homeless health, all under one roof. “Consolidating helps bring all the patients to one place and creates the sense of a medical home,” says Family HealthCare CEO Pat Gulbranson. "Many of Family HealthCare’s patients are underinsured or uninsured. Particularly in the homeless health clinic, it's important the the guests feel respected, and the new building helped them achieve that sense of dignity," says Seeb. “It's a place that they all respect as their space," she says. "It's a safe place for them to go that's beautiful and clean and doesn’t look like a 'poor person’s' clinic. They’re very receptive to that.”

provide detailed plans of what the new space would look like and how it would be used to increase Family HealthCare’s services. Family HealthCare was one of only two clinics in the region to receive the grant. In 2011, Kilbourne Group sold the building to Family HealthCare for just under $1.5 million. Then, led by the project's construction manager, Dennis Olson, and the team at Michael J. Burns Architects, they began to transform the old warehouse into something new. “It becomes a challenge to take what was once a warehouse and turn it into something you feel proud of,” Olson says. “The westerly side was really in the toughest shape. It had been a hotel, then possibly apartments. For us, it was a matter of demolishing, cleaning it, tearing up the floors, and putting them back down to get to the point of reconstruction into an office setup."

The windows were re-opened and reinstalled the same way they had been decades ago. The original maplewood floors were re-sanded and polished to look like new. Wonderful details such as the terrazzo floors, a pink-marble staircase with metal-and-wood balustrade, and a backdrop of the original glazed brick from the building all helped recreate the original beauty. Even old enseignements on the building were repainted in order to preserve the historic integrity. Slowly but surely, the concrete-and-masonry structure began to breathe again with new light and life. By 2012, Family HealthCare had opened its doors. The new facility enabled them to go from roughly a dozen exam rooms to more than 30, serving thousands more patients per week than was possible before. They were also able to consolidate their services into one building rather than multiple buildings, providing dental and medical care, physical therapy, provider

The addition of a large healthcare clinic has also brought new life to a part of Fargo that, for decades, was simply empty buildings. It’s located near a bus stop, making healthcare easily accessible for families living in nearby neighborhoods. Now, NP Avenue is home to many other new businesses and can be seen bustling with people every day. “Any time you can preserve a building of this age, it gives you history for the community,” says Dennis Olson. “In 1967, Downtown was really ... dying. Now, it’s a whole different ball game. It’s exciting to be here.” TAKE

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Tellwell WeTellwell.com

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Mark Hurlburt

MONTHLY SPEAKER PREVIEW

In partnership with Emerging Prairie, we'll be bringing you a preview of speakers who will be presenting at TEDxFargo in July. From en ESPN anchor to a former submarine commander tho the founder of Blade Tech Week, this year's event is sure to have something for everyone. TEDxFargo Thursday, July 27 Fargo Civic Center 207 4th St. N, Fargo For more information, visit TEDXFargo.com

As the chief strategy officer at The Nerdery, Mark Hurlburt was an early advocate of the company’s exploration of partnering with agencies to handle the interactive needs of their end clients. The agency-partner program has helped to fuel the growth that has earned The Nerdery its ranking on the Inc. 5000 list for four consecutive years and has made The Nerdery among the top 20 fastest-growing companies in Minnesota.

Before building The Nerdery's brand, Hurlburt spent his time coding, designing and occasionally zookeeping. Mark is a graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, with additional studies at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

As an advocate for a strong company culture, Hurlburt helped to build the working environment that has been voted as the best place to work in the Twin Cities for two consecutive years by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Mert Iseri Mert Iseri is the young turk of design. His journey started off in Istanbul, Turkey, and changed course completely once he arrived at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He's the cofounder of Design for America, a national initiative among college students to use design thinking for social impact in their communities. Iseri has seen the organization grow from three friends in his apartment to thousands across nearly 40 campuses. He is also fortunate enough to have "the best job in the world" as CEO of SwipeSense, aiming to eliminate hospital-acquired Infections from 28

JULY 2017

Anish Shroff

U.S. hospitals and beyond. Based out of Chicago, he's an energetic speaker who likes to stir things up, presenting at conferences such as TEDActive, CUSP, Design: Chicago and many others.

Anish Shroff is a studio host, anchor, and play-by-play commentator for college sports, including lacrosse, football, basketball and baseball.

Felicia Hatcher Globally sought-after speaker, author, and "kickass" mother Felecia Hatcher is a White House-awardwinning entrepreneur and the cofounder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week.

Shroff joined ESPN in January 2008 as an anchor and studio host for ESPNEWS, ESPN’s 24-hour sports news network. He has previously hosted College Football Live and Goal Line, along with select college football studio shows during the year.


Stuart Munsch Stuart Munsch was raised in small towns in North Dakota and has had a long career in the U.S. Navy. He's a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and, as a Rhodes Scholar, Oxford University in England. Munsch has deployed around the world and has commanded a squadron of submarines and our largest overseas submarine command that spanned from the Suez Canal to the International Date Line. Ashore, he's had several Pentagon assignments, including twice serving as a military assistant to the deputy secretary of defense,

Ali Fadlallah Ali Fadlallah is a musician, writer, and social entrepreneur from Dearborn, Michigan, and a Lebanese MuslimAmerican. He recently earned a doctorate in education leadership from Harvard University, as well as an MBA from Emory University. and, as a White House fellow, a special assistant to the secretary of agriculture. He's presently a rear admiral and serves on the Navy staff in the operations, plans and strategy office. The son of teachers, education and leadership have always remained important to Munsch, and he still feels most at home when he is on the prairie.

Dr. Donna Lynne

Natesho Ulow Nastesho Ulow, a soon-tobe high school senior, has traveled throughout East Africa, specifically Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. In her travels, she became fluent in multiple languages such as Somali, Swahili and English. Leaving Africa in 2012, her strong roots in culture followed her to America, where she went to middle school in North Carolina. After a year, her family picked up everything again and moved to Fargo. In Fargo, Ulow became passionate about community involvement so she joined programs that let her go out into the community and make a difference.

Dr. Donna Lynne is widely respected as both a leader in the private sector and an expert in the health field. Prior to assuming her roles in Colorado state government, Dr. Lynne served as the executive vice president of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and as group president responsible for its Colorado, Pacific Northwest and Hawaii regions—overseeing an $8 billion budget, nearly 1.5 million members and 16,000 employees.

Fadlallah runs Rima Records, an independent record label that supports top performers in the music industry who

Kevin Wang Kevin Wang has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California - Berkeley and a graduate degree in education from Harvard University in Atlanta He built and taught a computer science program for three years at a San

are passionate about social change and top reformers in the education sector who are passionate about careerfocused schooling within arts, media and entertainment.

Francisco Bay Area high school and was a member of the MIT Teacher Education Program‘s StarLogo programming language team, a teaching fellow for Harvard CS1, and held engineering fellow positions at Lockheed Martin and Toyota. Wang was a software engineer in the Microsoft Office 365 group when, in 2009, he founded TEALS, an industrywide pro bono program that helps high schools build and grow sustainable computer science programs. He now runs TEALS full time, generously supported by Microsoft Philanthropies. He spends what little free time he has trying to not be outsmarted by his dog while watching British, panel-quiz shows.

Wendy Guilles Wendy Guillies is the president and chief executive officer of the Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. with more than $2 billion in assets. Before becoming CEO, she played an instrumental role in building the foundation's reputation as a thought leader and innovator in its fields. FARGOINC.COM

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Have Women Shattered the

From left to right: Kailee Gray, Shannon Wiedman, Betty Gronneberg, Madison Christensen, Megan Otto

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It's the question no one can seem to answer definitively: Why aren't more girls going into high-tech fields? Despite making up more than half the professional workforce and more than half of students on college campuses, women still haven't penetrated the industries of tomorrow in equal numbers. We assembled a roundtable of five FM-area women working in tech to try and figure out why.

Glass Ceiling in Tech? A Roundtable Moderated by Kara Jeffers, Fargo INC! Editorial Intern, & Samantha Stark, Spotlight Media Web Editor 31


Moderators

PROMPT 1 Nearly 60 percent of professionals in the U.S. are women, yet only 25 percent of computing occupations and 20

Kara Jeffers

Fargo INC! Editorial Intern

percent of Fortune 100 CIO jobs are held by them. How do you explain this gap? Shannon Wiedman: One of the theories that I think is really interesting is that in 1984, a lot of personal computers were entering people’s homes. A lot of the advertising was really focused around males, and tech was a "dude thing." It was sold that way. Because before 1984, there were a lot more women involved in computer science. And in '84, the numbers started to drop, and they're still dropping.

Samantha Stark

Spotlight Media Web Editor

I’ve done a lot of research myself looking back on ads during that time, and it’s so interesting to see. If women were in the ads, they were using their bodies to sell the tech. There would be women literally on computers selling it, and it’s like, come on! Megan Otto: Also, the movies of that era like Weird Science and all those little teenage boys building computers... Betty Gronneberg: I read somewhere about how the mid-'80s were not only the introduction of personal computers into the home but how that amounted to playing a lot of video games, too. And it would be boys playing them.

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Madison Christensen: I think a lot of it does go back to the advertising around that time period. And it’s gotten a lot better now, but I think girls—like the media they would see—were focused on perfection or being pretty, and guys were raised to take risks. Growing up, that makes you less likely to take risks, makes you scared of failure and makes you not want to ask questions because you don’t want to be wrong. Gronneberg: Research shows that girls get excited early on in elementary school but that they lose interest in middle school, where friends are important and the perception is that computer science is a boy’s club. And then they feel like they can’t do it, which is sad because women are rockstars! Kara Jeffers: I took programming classes in high school, and, since it was a small school, it was either me by myself in the class with the teacher or it was me and one or two other girls. And I was really interested in it, but then that interest kind of dwindled. And I don't really know why. Kailee Gray: I think it’s hard when you’re surrounded by people who don’t look like you when you’re doing something really difficult. You already feel like a fish out of water, and it’s challenging. It becomes a little overwhelming. Otto: And when so few females are in a field, younger girls don’t see them. And so they don’t associate themselves with that career, or they don’t even think it’s a possibility. It doesn’t even come to their mind. I know it didn’t come to my mind at all. I remember thinking my options were "normal"—like teaching, nursing, all these things that “normal” women do. And that’s what I thought was normal. And it’s weird because all these (tech) careers are out there, but you just don’t know about them until someone tells you about them or you see people doing them. Gronneberg: Yes, it's about those inspiring role models who girls can see themselves in. And it's getting better.


TV shows now have girls coding and girls doing things in science, and that has a huge, positive cultural impact— access to information, to opportunity, to exposure. Girls have said to me, "I wish I knew about this early on. It would have helped me with expensive mistakes and changing majors in college." Christensen: Which I think is great. Now, there are so many learning tools that are free, but when you think about 10 years ago, that would be a stressful decision: "I don’t know if I’ll like this. But I want to try it. But I don’t want to waste my time." For me, it was a hard decision whether to do something technical or go into marketing, and I was like, "I’ll just teach myself." But if I had something like that in middle school, I probably would’ve gone the full-blown tech route. Otto: And it’s so hard to even know what computer science is before you’re into it. You can work at a creative agency, and it’s a lot of fun things if that’s what you like. That's computer science. Being in tech is not all being hidden in a basement and drinking Mountain Dew and eating pizza. You can have fun, spend time outdoors, enjoy people. Christensen: A lot of people think computer science is black and white. They think it’s just sitting there writing code all day, but there’s so much more to it. Gronneberg: We're entering the fourth industrial revolution, where technology is not just a tool but a way of life. It’s artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, genetic modification. Everything we do and the way we do it, as well as and the way we think and behave, will be dictated by technological advances. Knowing computer science or learning how to code will be as foundational as biology. You don’t necessarily have to be a biologist, but you should know how your body works. And, of course, if you’re interested, you can go further into it. I know that's what we try to do (at uCodeGirl) is expose girls to it so that they can see what it is and unpack it a little bit.


PROMPT 2 As of 2015, nearly 60 percent of all bachelor's degree recipients were women, but less than 20 percent of those degrees were in computer and information sciences. It seems it’s not necessarily a lack of opportunity, then, but rather different choices being made by college-aged women. Wiedman: I think Kailee mentioned before about not being around people who look like you and how tough it can be not seeing any of your gender in a specific place. Camaraderie can form that you feel like you’re not a part of. Or you don’t have the confidence to jump in. Or you just sort of feel like the odd one out. Gronneberg: Confidence is a learned behavior, and statistics show that,

from elementary to middle school, confidence drops sharply for young girls as they mature into their teenage years. Going into a room full of boys and doing Science Olympiad or Lego robotics takes a lot of courage just for you to say, "ll do it. I'll dare to be different." And being the only one is awesome, but it’s really tough. When I was studying computer science in college, there were two female students, and the rest were boys. And it was hard. We were excited but intimidated. With the boys, you just don’t see that hesitation. They just go do it. It's about getting out of your shell and asking questions and working together. And women, we hold back most of the time. Otto: There’s this phenomenon where, when men and women see a job description, men will look at the list of necessary skills, and if they have 40-50 percent of them, they’ll apply for the job. And go in there with confidence. Where women have to have 100 percent of them, if not more—like "Oh, I can easily do this job"—to even apply. But you just have to go into it knowing that you can learn on the job. I think being open to learning can get you a lot more opportunities than thinking you know everything. Women just tend to be over-prepared for things.

Madison Christensen Design & Marketing Web Developer Intelligent InSites

In 20 years, the workforce will look like… It’s not necessarily what I want it to look like but how I want it to feel. I want women to be able to fight for what they believe in, challenge themselves and get to where they want to be without the feeling of hesitation.

Also, you're already sticking out like a sore thumb, and then when you do say something, it’s judged more. Or at least you feel like it’s judged more. Christensen: You’re less likely to ask questions because you don’t want to be wrong. Jeffers: Or you say it once, and it failed that one time so you’re never going to say it again. Otto: I do think it helps to have a buddy system. It’s definitely helped Shannon and me. Working at the same place,

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we have that support system—having someone who’s like, "Just go for it," and encouraging each other.

More than 1 million computing-related job openings are expected by 2024.

I think it helps to have that network of women in tech. There are so few of us here, but just connecting so you can support each other and encourage each other along the way helps a ton. Because if you’re in this alone, it’s so much harder. Christensen: And, honestly, the best ideas come out through collaboration where you’re just spinning random ideas anyway. Samantha Stark: When I was growing up, my mother was an engineer, and she was one of very few. She'd come home and always talk to me about how, since she was a minority, she had to speak louder than men. The problem, though, is that when a woman does show dominance or any type of courage, sometimes that can become discouraging to men, and they can become intimidated by you. I always think of that because even though we’re told that we have to work twice as hard to get where we want to be compared to men, we can be pushed down whenever we are showing that courage or that confidence. Otto: “She’s bossy.” Christensen: “She thinks she knows it all.” Stark: You start to feel like, “Well, I’m not being heard, and why, when I’m trying to be heard, am I being cut down again?" Wiedman: My mom's in a maledominated industry, too—internet and phone-systems cabling. Maybe there’s a reason we’re all here right now. We had those people in our families, and that makes a difference. Having that person at home who will encourage you to do those things. My dad was a geek. We always had a computer. Christensen: My dad was a tech guy, too. And my brother.

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Wiedman: Yeah, if you have those things at home to play with and you’re not discouraged from doing it, that’s what got me interested. Just having it there was a good first step. Gronneberg: For me, I’m an immigrant so I’m already different. I speak differently, and I went into tech, this maledominated area. Typically, one of two things happens. Either you leave because you hate it, or you try to adjust. So that’s what I did. I adjusted I tried to code and play games with the guys. As we've mentioned, guys bond much more, and they go out for beer and things like that. And I don’t do that. So you get left out. It's about more than just the actual work, too. It’s having that camaraderie. You can only talk code so much. Otto: I think a lot of companies rely on the normal activities of employee bonding. Like going out for beers or going to a game or something. And those tend to be things males do. And for women—and men, too—who have kids at home, it’s hard to go out after work for drinks when you have to go pick up your child and you have those responsibilities. You can miss out on all those valuable bonding experiences. Jeffers: Do you, as women, feel the pressure then to ever change your personality to be more masculine? Gray: I’m working on becoming more confident with my coding and talking to my male coworkers about code. And I think I need to change in that direction, but it’s a good thing. Christensen: I think it’s not only conforming to what they’re like, though. It’s getting more confident in the skill set you have. Otto: And getting them used to being around someone else, someone new. Like yes, I’m different than you, but that’s okay. You have to get used to this.


Kailee Gray Web Developer FBS

In 20 years, the workforce will look like... A lot more women in tech. Get ready.

PROMPT 3 Instead of viewing one's minority status in an organization as a negative, should more women view it as an asset? Wiedman: We bring something else to the table, and I think that’s important. It's about staying true to who you are and not changing, but you do have to be adaptable, too. It has to work both ways. Ultimately, it just depends on what situation you’re in, but I think, in general, it's good to just be welcoming to people who are different than you, whether it's someone new to the coding or tech industry or whatever it is. Gronneberg: Yes, it is an asset. A varied perspective is a good thing—whether in development, the design process or the boardroom.

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Otto: I remember a story I was reading about a car company that was testing airbags, and they only had men on the engineering team. The airbags worked fine, and then they put it out to production, and women died because the airbags were built to the standard male body size. Wiedman: It’s so important in tech, specifically, because there are so many applications and so many things that are being built. To have that diversity on a team is so important. Do you all remember the little paper clip in Microsoft Word that would pop up and say, "You need to do this!"? Clippy was his name. When they were developing that, I don't believe they had any females on the team, and after it launched, people were like, "Why do I have this thing looking down on me all the time?" It seemed really intimidating. And then they brought in a female perspective, and it was just a different way of how they were seeing it as opposed to how males were seeing it. Diversity forms the most rounded opinion on things. Jeffers: So how do you encourage companies that might want this diversity but don’t think that not having enough women in tech is an issue? Gronneberg: I think a lot more companies—whether it's Google,


Less than 50 percent of tech jobs could be filled by U.S. computing bachelor's degree Microsoft or others— are realizing the importance of the diversity of ideas. Even at an early age—all the way down to middle school—the NFL starts recruiting players. Tech companies have to think the same way and cultivate those opportunities. Right now, there are more than 500,000 open computing jobs, and last year, only 40,000 people graduated in computer science. There’s going to be exponential growth in all areas of tech, and we simply don't have the resources—boys or girls. Plus, girls are increasingly left behind by not having that exposure early on. Otto: I think the hardest part is that companies are trying to get women, but they just aren’t there. Then, when they are and a woman is hired, sometimes they’re presented with that masculine culture and are kind of chased out. And that can be the hardest part. Like they went through all the efforts of getting there, and then they get there and are treated unfairly. I also think a lot of companies just aren’t ready for (women) quite yet. They need to have these policies in place of inclusion and steps where, if X doesn’t happen, here’s what’s going to happen. And they actually have to follow through with what their ideals are.

changes we've talked about already: inclusion and bonding of employees and making sure guys in the company know that women can code, too. Everyone has to have that same mindset. If you hire someone who thinks that women can’t do something, it’s just going to infect the company and create a bad environment.

recipients by 2024.

Christensen: I think that when somebody new comes in, you need to take a step back and remind everyone, "We’re all here for a common goal of completing something." And when you set aside everyone’s differences, you can work together and people really mesh. It doesn’t matter who’s doing what better. If somebody only sort of knows how to do something but they’re still helping, it can be huge for the project. Gray: It’s better for the company’s bottom line when there are more women involved, too. If nothing else, we should be making companies aware of that so that at least their bottom line is going to be stronger if they hire us. Jeffers: A lot of the articles I was reading to prepare for this discussion said women, as the whole, are more creative, more productive, and make better products. Well then why aren’t companies hiring them?

A lot of that is policy changes or culture

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Megan Otto

Cofounder Girl Develop It Fargo Senior Visual Designer CoSchedule The one thing I would change about the tech world is... More empathy. Empathy will not only help you do your job by creating tech with a better understanding of the user, it will also help in every interaction you have with coworkers, bosses and clients. Understanding where people are coming from and what lens they're viewing the world through will give you a new perspective on every individual, situation or challenge.

PROMPT 4 "Unconscious bias" is a term that gets thrown around a lot with regard to this topic. What role do you think it plays? Otto: The micro tendencies are definitely real. You tend to notice them more when you’re working. I've noticed before that, in a meeting with a male coworker, we'll be talking about a project, and it's fine. But then I'll overhear him in another meeting where it’s him and another male. And its like, "Yeah, dude, let’s do it like this." It’s just more open and more free. They just collaborate and get things done on a more free, almost better, level because they’re so open with each other. Jeffers: That really is a hard thing because you do have to know you’re doing it. And it's not that you’re being an awful person. If you recognize it and want to change, you can move forward.

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But people tend to be so proud that it quickly turns into, "No, I’m not doing anything wrong. I would never treat someone like that." And it's like, well you may think you wouldn’t and you may not want to, but it’s still that … Otto: … unconscious bias. And that goes for all genders. At Girl Develop It, we have a summit every year where all the chapter leaders get together. Our whole theme of this past one was unconscious bias and how to get over it. They brought in a professional who taught us about it, and it's crazy. It’s like, who do you want to hire? The person who you can get along with in the office and be friends with or the person who will get the job done best? Most people are like, "Obviously the person who can get the job done best," but in the interview process, who are you more likely to end up hiring? Wiedman: The reminds me of the résumé test. They sent out the same résumé to different job openings, and the only difference on it was the name­—male or female. In the test, males were more likely to get called in for an interview than the females, even though the name was the only difference on the résumé. That’s crazy. That’s unconscious bias, and it's something we all do. That’s one thing where it's like: Just be aware this is a thing. I think that's step one.


PROMPT 5 How can men be better allies? Wiedman: We need men as allies to hlep with this because otherwise we're not going to get anywhere. I know I have allies at work because I talk about this stuff a lot. But they have me to talk to about it, and I've opened their eyes to stuff. Sometimes, they'll say something, and I'll be like, "You can’t say that!" And I'm friends with them so I’m comfortable doing that, where some people maybe wouldn't be. But I can tell they’re on our side. If they hear something, they’re correcting it. They're the ones who are helping us. Otto: It can’t be an "us vs. them" thing, though. It has to be everyone working toward one goal. And I think everyone wants to get there, but they don’t know what they’re doing, and they don’t know how it’s affecting women, in particular, in this field. It's just about having an open, honest conversation and being open to new ideas. Stark: In tech, there’s obviously a large percentage of men who are managers and bosses. So when you're a woman, you need your male coworker to be there to ask them, "Do you see what I’m seeing? They wouldn’t treat you this way. If you were in this situation, they wouldn’t have done that." And it’s not always a huge thing. It can just be minor differences. But it's helpful to be able to ask someone else, "Was I out of line? Would they have treated you that way? Am I throwing up the feminist flag too early?" Because a lot of times, I don’t think so. Christensen: I have an example.

A while ago, I had something wrong with my car’s vent actuator so I did a bunch of research and printed out where to get the part I needed because I wasn't going to pay $1,000 to get it fixed. So I go to the store, and this guy comes up and asks, "Um, can I help you? You look lost." And I said, "No, actually, I’m good. I know what I’m looking for." And he was taken aback by that. I was like, "I know what I’m doing here. I’m looking for this part." And he goes, "Oh wow, you actually did your research. I’m really impressed. I’ve never seen a girl do this. My wife wouldn’t even know where to start with that." I very much expected it, and I could tell all the guys at the front counter were like, "Why is she walking to that aisle right now? Does she know what she’s doing?" I got my stuff and left and just thought to myself, "That should not happen." He should’ve just said, "Oh, awesome, I’ll help you find this part." Gronneberg: Yes, those first impressions are really important, and I don’t really know how to change it, but I get that a lot, too. When I go into a room and introduce myself and say I’m a software engineer, people will ask, "Are you really?" Otto: My mom is a civil engineer, and she always goes to these civil engineering conferences. They’ll be sitting at a table, and people will walk up to my dad and say, "Hi, which company are you with?" And he'll be like, "Uh, my wife." Everyone just assumes so much. Gronneberg: A couple years ago, there was a Twitter hashtag that became very popular, #ILookLikeAnEngineer. And it was partly because, in New York City, this software company who was

trying to recruit more female engineers hired this great-looking engineer to be the model for the ad, and everyone was like, "No way, they hired a model. She’s so beautiful. She can't be an engineer." Wiedman: Right, because we’re all ugly! Gronneberg: It goes back to that slowmoving perception of computer science and coding, that you have to have your hair a certain way and basically look like a man to be considered intelligent and prove that you can do this stuff. Otto: It’s interesting. Your coworkers know what you’re talking about. It’s the people who haven’t heard any of this before who are still doing it. Stark: I think we just want men to take a step back and understand that just because it’s not happening to you and you don’t see it every single day and aren't encountering it doesn’t mean that you might not be overlooking it. Wiedman: We don’t hate men. Stark: Yeah, exactly. Being a feminist doesn’t mean you hate men. It doesn’t mean that you’re against them. It doesn’t mean that every single man is against women. It’s a collaborative movement of accepting that we all just want to be treated the same. Gray: I’m new to my company, I’m new to programming, and I work with all men in the programming department. And I get so much help, they include me, they invite me to lunch and they’re awesome. But then I take a step back and panic and am like, "Oh no, is this because I’m a woman?" They’re treating me really well. If I were a man, would they be? Is this okay? I don’t know. Wiedman: But even if they are, they’re taking the extra step to include you.

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PROMPT 6 Do you think gender norms play a role in steering women down Only 25 percent of professional computing occupations in the U.S. are held by women.

certain paths, even from an early age? Stark: When I was younger, even though my mom was a female engineer, I still got the typical "girl" toys. And whenever I wanted to play with Legos, it was always my brothers'. As you all probably know, there's this movement right now to make "girl" toys more like the kinds of toys boys play with—Legos, building things, etc. I'm curious what all of your upbringings were like. Did your parents give you STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) toys or Legos? Do you think something like this could help? Gray: For me, I started studying math before I went into programming. So I’ve always been super into math, and when I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. I had dolls, but I mostly just wanted to play cards with my grandma and grandpa. And I think that helped me, just playing cards and doing different kinds of things.


Wiedman: I was blessed that I had a brother because I could play with all of his toys. My favorite childhood toy was one of his toys, and it was a circuit board. There were these wires, and you'd connect them and would make the board do things—like turn a light on or make a noise or whatever. I loved that toy a lot, and when I think about coding, I always come back to that. Because it was about connecting things to make them work, and it was cool. I do think the toy thing is huge for kids. One of the original cofounders of the national Girl Develop It created a toy, a programmable bracelet called Jewelbots. And you get them with your friends—Megan and I have them—but they’re really aimed at kids. I think we need more of that stuff. And it doesn’t have to be all about coding a bracelet to do something. It can be anything. It can be just making the toys we played with as kids a more neutral space so girls don’t feel intimidated. Because people, when they’re buying toys for kids, they're going where they think they should go to buy them. Gronneberg: I also think society sends mixed messages to girls. When they’re born, we color code them blue and pink, and then encourage them to play with pink toys. It’s all decided for you. Playing with "boy" toys doesn’t need to take away from our female instinct of being nurturing either. The reason

we play with a doll is because we want to nurture it. But what Legos, for example, do is give you the time and concentration to keep doing and failing and combining things in a different way. It's creating that same thing for girls, and it's awesome because it gives them a sequenced kind of work that they don’t normally do because they think it’s for "boy toys". Otto: I think it's about the parents a lot, too, to encourage them to do it. I got a GoldieBlox toy for a relative, and unfortunately, the father was like, "Oh, you won’t like that. It’s too much work."

Shannon Wiedman Cofounder Girl Develop It Fargo Product Design Director CoSchedule Being a woman in tech means . . . Being a bad-ass tech nerdette.

Luckily, the mother helped her put it together, but it was just so disheartening to hear, "Oh, you wont like that. Go play with a doll or a simple toy." Its like, no, she will like this, and I’ll do it with her if it takes that. Jeffers: Even though my mom and dad were both engineers, a lot of the encouragement for me to play with things like that came from my dad—not that my mom discouraged it at all. I'm just realizing, though, how blessed I was to have parents who encouraged me and how different it would be if I hadn’t. And I’m sure that’s where a lot of these girls are coming from is a situation of less support.

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Nearly 60 percent of 2015 bachelor's degree recipients were women, yet fewer than 20 percent of computer and information sciences degree recipients were women.

PROMPT 7 How important are visible and accessible role models to young girls in tech? Otto: Having programs like Girl Develop It and uCodeGirl working together— uCodeGirl getting younger girls involved and Girl Develop It teaching adult women—is tremendous, and it's happening in many other cities as well. Gronneberg: It’s so important that we have accessible women we can approach. When we started uCodeGirl, it was important to not just have a summer camp or after-school program. We also wanted to support them by creating a year-long STEM mentorship program and find area women in STEM—female tech leaders, women professors in math and science, etc. And we already have close to 30 women who have said "yes." Combining the young girls with these women who can not only give them skills but also share how they got to where they are and their experiences really helps build that community for the girls. And then, when the girls graduate, they can be mentors and the next

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generation can see themselves in that ecosystem. Gray: Yeah, it's great to not only give them that mentorship while they are kids but then also have a community to support them when they actually get out there and on the job is really important. Christensen: I was surrounded by awesome people who pushed me, and I think that everyone needs that. Not everyone gets that. I was fortunate to have a brother who reminded me, "You don’t need to do what your friends are doing. Do what you want to do. Go and learn this. You can do it." Gronneberg: Especially when you don’t yet believe in yourself, it just takes someone to say, "I see you have the talent. You are good." Gray: And you really only need that one person. It’s just like if someone believes in you, it makes a difference. Otto: And that's not just valuable at a young age, either. You need that as an adult, too. Wiedman: I was just going to say that I don’t know where I would be or if I would have started a Girl Develop It chapter if it hadn’t been for Megan. I probably wouldn’t have done it if I hadn’t had someone else pushing me to. I didn’t even know how to code at that point. I didn’t know anything. I was just like, “I want to do this!”


Betty Gronneberg

Founder & Executive Director uCodeGirl

My female role model in tech is . . . I have a few, but my favorites are Ada Lovelace, who wrote the first algorithm for a computer by hand in 1842, and Katherine Johnson. She was a NASA mathematician who received the nation's highest civilian honor. The movie "Hidden Figures" tells her story and the story of others who were computers—when computers wore skirts.

PROMPT 8

not, technology is not waiting for us.

One encouraging

Otto: I think we should always shoot for 50-50, but it can be hard to tell what the real numbers are when you're so in the depths of it. And we aren’t at a global level. We’re just affecting Fargo. So what we look at is individual people.

stat is that the percentage of women earning computerscience degrees is up nearly 20 percent since the late '80s. Is it enough to see incremental improvements? Otto: Of course. It’s encouraging to see anything. Gronneberg: I think the world is realizing we don’t have enough resources in hard science, and whether we like it or

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It’s just so fun to see a girl come back for her second event and be so excited and want to continue learning. That's the exciting thing for us. That makes us feel like we're making a difference. Christensen: Rather than just reaching for a number, I think it's about people going into what they truly want to do and not holding back from challenges and really embracing what they're passionate about. Gronneberg: We had a young girl who took the class last summer, and now she's bringing her sister who's actually older than her. And we're so happy. They hear about uCodeGirl in the community, and they say, "I’m going to do this. I’m going to build an app. I'm going to learn to code." And that's the underlying confidence and empowerment framework we're shooting for.


PROMPT 9

in the community, and that's huge.

Can a culture shift

Stark: I feel like just having you all here—women who are actively trying to increase the number of women in tech and STEM fields in the FM area— shows that growth.

happen when there are still fewer women in tech? Otto: With this issue becoming more prominent, I think it is happening. It feels like everyone is talking about it so it's bound to happen. It’s just a process. It’ll take time.

There are so many young women who have already chosen a field and say, "I didn’t know there was an opportunity to be in tech." You can see the cultural change. We have to continue to push, though, and not give up. Just because you’re starting to see a change doesn't mean you can take a step back.

Gray: Yeah, it would probably be easier if there were more women, and maybe things would progress faster, but it seems like the community is interested in a change.

The few women who are in it want more. Women in their fields. So even though there is a small number, they're saying, “We want more women. What can we do to show friends and younger women that they're welcome here?”

Jeffers: Do you think Fargo is ahead of its time in that way?

Gray: We just need to make more people aware that we’re here.

Gray: I think yes and no. If you consider the numbers in my workplace, it’s hard when the numbers are just not there. It seems like Fargo has much lower numbers, as far as women go, but we do have these other great opportunities

Otto: Another thing that can be hard is when people say they just want to get the best people for the job, and what if women aren’t the best? But they could be. You just need to train them. You hire the person, not the job.


A little more than 25 percent of those in the computing workforce in 2016 were women. Five percent of these women were Asian, and another five percent were African-American or Hispanic.

PROMPT 10 What advice would you all give to parents or teachers of kids who have an interest in tech? Christensen: I think you can’t know until you try, and why not try to learn the basics of a bunch of stuff, see what you really like and then try to excel in that?

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uCodeGirl UCodeGirl.org

Girl Develop It Fargo GirlDevelopIt.com/Chapters/Fargo 50

Gray: Have as many role models being visible as possible. Betty mentioned several names—Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper—and I think we're not aware enough of those women who made really incredible contributions. When we think about people in tech, generally, we think about men like Steve Jobs. But if we can expose these girls and even ourselves to women who have done big things, it’s really helpful.

Christensen: Like the movie about the women at NASA, Hidden Figures. Why didn't people know their names? Gronneberg: It's about knowing the shoulders we stand on so it’s not unfamiliar territory. Women and girls have been there before. Also, we need to be building that community and cohort of girls so they can understand that, yes, friends are important, but they can also be interested in cool things together— doing something like designing a t-shirt that lights up. We need to make technology fun as an entry point. Because adding more women means more solutions. Otto: My best advice would be for parents and teachers to try it, too. Just having some understanding of what you’re trying to tell your kids to learn. Why should they listen to you if you don’t know anything about it either? Be that role model for them. Kids already look to their parents as their No. 1 role models so if they’re trying something new and seeing you do it, I think that would encourage them to do it a lot more.


Brian Opp Aerospace Business Development Manager North Dakota Department of Commerce

Dakota Drone Minute I A Stroll Down (Drone-Focus) Memory Lane w/ Brian Opp

BY Brian Opp PHOTO BY Paul Flessland

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JULY 2017

n this monthly look at the UAS (unmanned aerial systems) industry in North Dakota, we'll be featuring guest writers, event recaps, and interviews with drone decisionmakers. This month, North Dakota Department of Commerce Aerospace Business Development Manager Brian Opp will be providing some quick thoughts on the evolution of Emerging Prairie's Drone Focus Conference. One of a small number of people who have attended the conference all three years since its inception in 2015, Opp has a unique perspective on an event that's fast-becoming a can't miss in the industry.


Year 1 2015

·· It's amazing to think the

first edition of Drone Focus Conference was put together and promoted in a matter of weeks during spring 2015.

·· The event was held at

the Fargo Jet Center in a new airplane hangar and was really made possible by the graciousness and encouragement of its president and cofounder, Jim Sweeney.

·· With around 125 people

Year 3 2017

·· If Drone Focus 2016 was

“bigger and better," what would the 2017 version look like? Let’s just say Emerging Prairie took things to a whole new level in 2017.

·· The event was held in

the Fargo Civic Center, which enabled continued attendance growth, exhibit spaces, and easy access to Downtown locations, where attendees attended breakout sessions and slipped away to lunches at locations such as the HoDo and Boiler Room.

turning out, the conference was well-received. The attendees, as well as the speakers, very much had a regional flavor, mostly hailing from Fargo and the surrounding area.

·· After the event, it was clear there was an appetite in Fargo for this sort of thing. Drone Focus' focus on commercial applications— and mere willingness to openly refer to the technology as “drones”— helped it to carve out its own unique place in North Dakota’s UAS ecosystem.

·· Emerging Prairie saw the

vision and made it happen in 2015, setting the stage for future Drone Focus Conferences.

·· Walking up to the

registration table in the lobby of the Fargo Civic was pretty standard for conference-goers. It was upon entering the arena when you said to yourself “Whoa!” There was music, colorful lighting and even a smoke machine creating an atmosphere of excitement within the arena.

·· Drone Focus 2017 came

out swinging. Before the first networking break, we heard from heavyweights U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.), North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and U.S. Sec. of Transportation Elaine Chao.

·· Sec. Chao’s

participation was a huge accomplishment for the conference. It made national headlines, and the side meetings she held with key

Year 2 2016

·· “Bigger and better” is the phrase that I think best describes Drone Focus 2016.

·· Following the success of

2015's event, Emerging Prairie was all in on a 2016 conference and began planning and marketing efforts for an event that would attract people from around the country.

·· This second iteration of

Drone Focus was held at The Stage at Island Park, which provided a still-intimate setting while simultaneously allowing the event to scale up in size and scope.

North Dakota stakeholders added tremendous value to her time in Fargo.

·· Somewhere along the way, Sen. Hoeven became a friend of Emerging Prairie and graciously offered a helping hand to Drone Focus. This is fitting since North Dakota’s focus on drones was established under his governorship.

·· Thanks to National Day

Calendar, May 31 officially became known as National Autonomous Vehicle Day—a fitting touch for a drone conference.

·· North Dakota’s Northern

Plains UAS Test Site and Grand Sky business park touted the state’s emerging capabilities in Beyondvisual-line-of-Sight UAS

·· And grow it did. Attendance more than doubled from 2015 to 2016.

·· Exciting speakers from

NASA, academia and private industry joined attendees. Case in point: speaker JD Claridge is the president and CEO of a company called xCraft, which appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank. xCraft didn’t just appear on the show, it was funded … by all of the sharks!

·· The format was fast-paced

and exciting. Elevator pitches and shorter, TEDxstyle presentations replaced drawn-out technical sessions typical of industry conferences. The net result was a fun program that placed tons of digestible information in the hands of attendees.

flight operations, capabilities that are truly valuable to industry and provide a unique draw to attract companies to the state.

·· A state accustomed to

encouraging more UAS activity, advancement and business growth took a new step. Gov. Burgum announced the formation of a Counter-UAS Task Force in North Dakota.

·· For the first time, the

conference became a truly global affair, attracting attendees and speakers from as far away as Norway, Israel and Rwanda.

·· The Drone Film Festival

was a fun addition, lacing in an element of awe and wonder at strategic points throughout the agenda. FARGOINC.COM

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PHOTO RECAP:

DRONE FOCUS CONFERENCE

he third annual Drone Focus Conference, exceeded 600 attendees and featured more than 55 speakers from around the nation. Those participating represented nearly 30 states, 8 countries and almost 300 companies from across the UAV and unmanned systems industry.

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Brevan Jorgenson discussed with the audience how he turned his 2016 Honda Civic into a "Level Two" autonomous vehicle. Jorgenson is a student at the University of Nebraska Omaha, majoring in information technology innovation and management information systems. He's also a technical consultant at UNO in the College of Business Administration.

Marlo Anderson, the founder of National Day Calendar, officially announced at the opening session that May 31 will henceforth be known as National Autonomous Vehicle Day.

Sen. John Hoeven (N.D.), U.S. Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum speak about the advantages of using drones in emergency situations as a tornado simulation plays on the screen. FARGOINC.COM

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Eric Rutayisire, middle, and Teddy Segore, right, pose for a photo with Jason Pearson, regional sales manager of RDO Integrated Controls. Rutayisire is the CEO and founder of Charis Unmanned Aerial Solutions, based in Rwanda, Africa. Segore is the technical director/certified pilot with Charis. He is the first and only internationally certified drone pilot in Rwanda. Networking is a fun part of a convention atmosphere, and conversation fills the breaks between sessions.

BUSINESS

WISDOM

“10 years ago, all an entrepreneur really needed was a desk, an internet connection and a computer. The question we’re asking is: Is that still the formula?” CINDY GRAFFEO Executive Director, Moorhead Economic Development Authority

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Elaine Chao U.S. Secretary of Transportation

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao shares her vision for the UAS industry during the opening session of Drone Focus.


OFFICE VIB E S

YWCA Emergency Shelter A

behind-the-scenes look at the YWCA Cass Clay provided an eye-opening look at the depth of services available to women and children in the FM community.

BY Nate Mickelberg PHOTOS BY Paul Flessland 58

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Erin Prochnow CEO YWCA Cass Clay

Julie Haugen

Associate Executive Director YWCA Cass Clay


• Largest shelter in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota serving women and children • Has a community space that a number of nonprofits use, including the YWCA itself

2016 Numbers

• Has a licensed childcare center • Is a 45-day shelter but offers extensions to women who need them

Women and children seek YWCA services due to: Domestic violence: 853 (62%) Homelessness: 495 (36%) Other crisis situations: 28 (2%)

When you work with as vulnerable a population as the YWCA does, security is of the utmost importance. When a consultation a couple years ago with experts from both the Department of Homeland Security and North Dakota Safety Council revealed some weak points in the building's lobby, they made a number of improvements, including installing bullet-resistant materials and

additional safety features. "At no time does our staff necessarily have to be in contact," Prochnow says. "And that's not becuase we don't want to be in contact with folks. We just want to protect our people because it was identified to us that this was one of our vulnerable areas. And so we’ve tightened up that vulnerable area."

Of the nearly 1,400 served: Children: 49% Women: 51%

Geographic area served: Cass County: 70% Clay County: 10% Outlying Minnesota: 8% Outlying North Dakota: 7% Other: 5%

Prochnow says that, according to food-bank studies, the main reason people don’t seek food is that they’re ashamed and embarrassed. What the YWCA has done, then, is made the pick-up process as simple and inconspicuous as possible by keeping the food at the front of the building.

They rely heavily on community volunteers to help package food boxes and may other things. Additionally, YWCA staff actually processes donations during the night in order to pull the more urgently needed items out and get them into donation boxes.

"We’re best known as a shelter," Haugen says, adding that they actually hand out 115 food boxes each week to those in need. "When people think of the YWCA, they think shelter. But there are a number of other things people maybe don’t realize we offer. We’re so much more than a shelter, providing a whole continuum of services." "That's for folks not needing shelter but who might find themselves in a situation where they’re one paycheck away from a catastrophic event," Prochnow explains. "If we can help prevent that, we will." FARGOINC.COM

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Once someone is into the shelter and safe and secure, they get assigned a shelter advocate, which is essentially a case manager, and they work on goals and plans with them. Angela Daly Shelter Services Director

Everyone who calls the shelter gets through to an intake line, Shelter Director Angela Daly says. From there, a YWCA staff member performs an assessment, determines the severity of the situation and if there's space in the shelter at that time, and figures out what services are needed. “We never just say, ‘Nope, sorry, we’re full,’" Daly says. "Because we want to get the whole story and all the information. We sometimes even get men who call us, and even though we don’t house them, we want to get them the proper information and the best resources in the community we can.”

Daly stresses that while they are there to figure out their housing situation, it isn't the ultimate goal. "They're here to set other

goals," she says. "Maybe their social supports aren’t up to par, maybe they're on a fixed income and collect Social Security or disability. They meet with our education-andemployment coordinator to work on those needs. We do a series of assessments to gauge where people are at when they get here and where they’re at on that journey along the way."

2016 Numbers

Demographics African American: 33% White/Caucasian: 33% Native American: 21% Multiracial/Other: 8% Hispanic: 3% Asian/Pacific Islander: 2%


“Ultimately, we should be trying to divert people," Daly says. "If they have a safe, alternative place to go, they should be staying there versus coming to the shelter. But everybody is so different. It’s not a cookie-cutter approach." "We have residents who are filling out housing applications, working on getting better-paying jobs, working on paying off some debt. Sometimes, we have people here who have been in such a controlling situation that they haven’t been able to make a decision for themselves (for a long time). We even have a licensed salon. Think about when you get a haircut. How do you feel? We have so many women who haven’t been allowed to cut their hair or style it in a way they want."

Gate City Bank has been one of the YWCA's biggest supporters for a number of years—financial and otherwise—a couple years ago even donating a computer lab that all residents have access to.


It will probably come as little surprise, but study after study shows that homeless kids are more likely to be behind and struggle in school. The YWCA's Study Buddies is an after-school program that allows kids in that situation to catch up and get to where they need to be developmentally as much as possible in their time at the Shelter. “The kids we serve have often witnessed things most of us can't imagine," says Haugen, who adds that the kids have access to board games, TV, books, outside time, and arts and crafts. "In terms of seeing their mom abused or

being abused themselves. The trauma they’ve experienced is significant so we try to help address that as much as we can. And then we also try to help them have what many of us would consider a typical childhood of fun—going to the pool, going to a RedHawks game, things like that.”

Amanda Peou Homeless Student Resource Coordinator

2016 Numbers

“When the building was being built," Prochnow says, "one of the things we were looking for was a space for women to be able to prepare food on their own. As with many of our homes, it's one of the most-used parts of the shelter." Each person in the shelter gets assigned a cabinet in which to store their food and are also provided access to a large pantry, if needed.

One of the many essential services the shelter offers is an on-site, licensed childcare center for moms to utilize free of charge. Different from the YWCA's North Fargo childcare facility, the shelter's version is more of a drop-in daycare center. “This is a great resource to be able to provide women," Haugen says. "As you can imagine, when they're getting back on their feet, they need to know there’s a safe place for their kids to be when they’re out doing whatever it is they want to do in the world. And childcare and transportation are the two biggest barriers women face when becoming independent.” 62

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Nearly 24,000 nights of shelter

More than 6,000 food baskets

42 Days Average shelter stay for women and children


Both on site and throughout the community, the YWCA currently has 32 apartments that they either own or lease to residents and, through a partnership with West Fargo's Lutheran Church of the Cross, are currently exploring possibility of adding another 30 units. Housing Director Karen Carlson, who also happens to be the the YWCA's longest-serving employee at 22 years, gave us a short tour of one of the homes. YWCA's Supportive Housing Program has been nationally

recognized by the Office of the President of the United States as operating one of the best programs in the country.

On site, there are three buildings dedicated to housing, all of which were provided and renovated by the Sisters of Presentation convent, which sits adjacent to the Emergency Shelter: • A six-plex • This building is for transitional housing. Women can stay in these units for up to two years. • Two additional transitional housing units • Four permanent supportive housing units • These are reserved for women and children to stay in for as long as they need and with whatever amount of support they feel they need. “When someone comes in," Carlson says, "we want to make sure that we’re helping them to focus and ensure their basic needs are provided. Oftentimes, we’re working on employment, skills training and educational opportunities they might want to consider. A lot of them might

Karen Carlson Housing Director come in with debt they’ve incurred so we’re working on helping them to develop budgets and pay down those debts.” All families coming into the program are provided welcome baskets donated by the community. Not everyone would be excited to receive a screwdriver, but if you haven't ever had one, it makes a difference. TAKE

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YWCA Cass Clay YWCACassClay.org


What to Know Before Launching a

Satellite Office Whether it's meetings, outsourced projects, or consulting services, ever-increasing amounts of professional work are being done remotely. Netrix IT, an Eagan, Minnesota-based, IT-solutions company, understands this better than most, as they operate a satellite office right here in Fargo.

We asked them if they had any sage advice for fellow companies that might be thinking about expanding operations beyond their ZIP code. Here's what they came up with.

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The Opportunities & Challenges of Satellite Offices + Opportunity + Our team structure gives our employees the ability to work with clients in both the Twin Cities and the Fargo markets. This opportunity gives our team the chance to learn new things and constantly grow.

+ Opportunity + By having two separate offices and with our leadership team located in the corporate office in Eagan, we have been forced to improve our communication both internally and with our clients.

+ Opportunity + We’ve provided our team with the tools to divide and conquer. By spreading out our resources and establishing subject-matter experts, we've become much more efficient at multitasking.

One thing that's helped us with this process is becoming a Traction EOS (entrepreneurial operating system) company. Traction ensures that we are transparent, thorough and have strong documentation.


BY Netrix IT staff PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography and courtesy of Netrix IT

- Challenge It’s always easier to have a conversation face to face. Email communication is easier to push to the side. Our management and leadership teams are constantly working on adding in face to face time with our team in Fargo to ensure that we can overcome pitfalls of email communication.

- Challenge Our clients love to see and meet the people they are working with. Because we service our clients as a team, a Fargo technician could be servicing a Minneapolis client or vice versa. We make it a top priority to establish as much face time as possible with our clients and to add a personal touch to an industry that often feels abstract.


How We Overcome & Avoid the Challenges

1. Technology ·· As a technology company, we

use technology to leverage our productivity and communication between our two offices.

·· We have large TV monitors that

show a live stream into our other office, giving our team the ability to “see” their peers daily.

·· We stay in constant contact with

each other by using Skype for Business and run 75 percent of our meetings through a Skype for Business video.

·· We have mandatory meetings

for each department on a weekly basis. We host these meetings via Skype for Business, and it’s our weekly opportunity to all sit together and strategize for the week.

·· Our director of technology

spent four years working in our Fargo office before joining our leadership team and moving to Eagan two years ago. He has instilled the importance of having as much face-to-face interaction with our Fargo team and clients as possible. As a leadership member, he ensures that either he or one of our owners is in the Fargo office on a monthly basis.


Who Is Netrix IT? Founded in Eagan, Minnesota, in January 2002 by Mike Blom and Patty Krieger, Netrix IT is an IT-solutions company delivering managed services, consulting and outsourced technology services. With a remote office in Fargo, they were one of the first providers to market in both locations a fully comprehensive, functional, managed-service solution to their clients. They've partnered with clients that recognize technology as a competitive advantage in their marketplace and demand the most out of their technology investments.

Thoughts from the Team "Our conference rooms are set up with webcams that make it look like we’re all sitting around one long table. Our weekly NOC (network operations center) meetings are where we come together to discuss new initiatives, give kudos, tackle problems as a team and come up with solutions or action items to be followed up on the next week." Jennifer Henney NOC Supervisor - Eagan Office


2. Culture ·· We have an annual offsite

meeting to bring the entire staff together. This gives us the opportunity to plan for the upcoming year and create time for our team to build strong relationships with their peers.

·· We work as one team between two offices and find ways to bridge the gap by having our employees visit each other’s offices on a regular basis.

Thoughts from the Team "We’re able to preserve close relationships day to day through the communication tools we use. We have TVs with live camera feeds from each office so we can see everyone. This helps us in not only seeing who is available at their desk but also gives the feeling of one, cohesive office. We also use chats to communicate quickly in order to get the answers we need." Serena Hagel Senior Technician - Fargo Office

·· As a family-oriented business,

we're more than just coworkers. Many of our employees have young children and have formed lifelong friendships with their Netrix IT family.

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Netrix IT NetrixIT.com

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in the community to bring our team together to give back. Just recently in Fargo, we came together as a team to help support one of our schools. We cleared out old equipment they no longer needed and then all went out to dinner afterward.

·· It's important to us to be as

involved in the Fargo community as possible. We're Chamber members and frequently participate in Women Connect.

·· Beer thirty, massage chairs and a popcorn machine don't hurt either.

3. Attitude ·· 10-15 years ago, most

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·· We find ways to get involved

employers thought you needed to see your staff daily to effectively run a business. We've been a leader in evolving this mindset and accepting the idea of staying connected virtually and working remotely.

·· In addition to our staff in Fargo,

all of our employees have the ability to work remotely. For us, it’s less about working 8-5. At the end of the day, we need to take care of the client. Our team is given the freedom of flexibility within their schedule, as long as the job gets done right.

“There are so many distractions, so many things that feel like they're priority No. 1. And when everything is a priority, nothing is.” JOSH CHRISTY Founder, Codelation FARGOINC.COM

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A

B L O G

The Startup Journey By Josh Christy

Photo by Paul Flessland Graphics courtesy of Josh Christy

What I've Learned about

Passive Revenue

A

fter more than a decade working in design and software and founding multiple businesses and products, Codelation Founder Josh Christy understands one thing above all else: The world of entrepreneurship is lonely, but it doesn't have to be.

That's why he started a blog, to not only help fellow CEOs and owners step around some of the holes he's fallen into but, perhaps more importantly, to help them discover (or rediscover) their "why." The "why," he believes, is what will keep you grounded during those highest highs and what will pull you out of those lowest lows.

Anyone who's had a service-based consultancy for long enough has chased the idea of passive revenue. Not having to financially start from zero every month is an amazing feeling that allows you to sleep better at night. As a consultancy, our business relies on us hitting a certain number of hours billed each day, week and month.

If we estimate a project wrong, we either have to eat the cost of it or have that dreaded conversation with the client about how we calculated wrong and now their budget is in jeopardy. After getting burned on a few—or a lot—of over-budget projects, we naturally begin to look over the fence and see that the grass appears to be greener. We start to chase the idea of a product or

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educational course—sometimes with blind ambition.

features, chasing expired credit cards ... the list goes on and on.

When most people talk about passive revenue within a consulting practice, especially within the software space, we usually think about up-charging for hosting, re-marketing a related service or creating a product to sell into a different market.

Most of the time, a successful product isn’t about the product but more about the marketing and sales. So why not leverage the audience you already have into buying more from you?

While creating hosting revenue and other added-value services seems to make sense, I still recommend against it as now you have the support headaches. Why not just hand off the hosting to a company that specializes in it and offers 24/7 support? Is the extra $50 per customer per month worth the potential hassle? Selling into a new market is something I’ve done more than once, and I've paid the price for it. What we don’t realize is how important a captive audience is. If you have an engaged group of people who is listening and willing to purchase from you, it's way more valuable than a product. Once you have an audience, you can launch anything you want. So why are we trying to build a new audience around a new product that doesn’t exist yet? For example, we created a staffscheduling solution for the restaurant industry about three years ago. It was a better version of what existed in the market at the time, but we underestimated how difficult the sales cycle would be. We were trying to sell to someone who was extremely busy and didn’t see the value in switching from what they currently were doing. What we also didn’t realize is that creating something people will rely upon really isn’t a passive revenue stream. You can’t sell it, and that's the end of the transaction. They require ongoing support, the addition of

BUSINESS

WISDOM

“We all need a healthy awareness of our gaps, but understanding our natural talents allows us to develop quicker, appreciate other’s strengths and improve performance.” SUSAN LENSCH Communications Specialist, John Deere Electronic Solutions

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So where does that leave us? Is it a good idea or no? I think it all goes back to the notion of the get-rich-quick infomercials we've always seen on late-night TV. We want that magic bullet to solve our cash-flow issues and want to set it and forget it. So instead of chasing that elusive idea of passive revenue, why not focus on value-added services and partnerships? Here are five things we are currently working on in our business to help grow our team and bottom line:

"If you start with a real problem versus starting with a goal of revenue, you might just make something of value."

Focus on creating value over passive income. If you start with a real problem versus starting with a goal of revenue, you might just make something of value. Plus, it's less likely to be abandoned later when things are tough if you are just in it for the money. Find partnerships with businesses that have similar clients. As an example, if you run a carpetcleaning business, could you partner up with companies that paint and combine sales efforts to apartment-complex owners? It might be more attractive for them to call one person and get everything done at once versus coordinating multiple vendors. Client Retainers One of the reasons most of us in the consulting space go after a product or passive revenue stream is to smooth out the peaks and valleys of our cash flow. Another way to do this is to find a way to offer a retainer to your clients so that you have more predictable revenue coming each month. Take a look at your customer list and find those that who done recurring work with you over the last six months. See if you could offer them a guaranteed spot on the calendar each week or month at a slightly reduced rate. Productize your services Productizing your services works well if it's tough to differentiate your business from the competitors. It may be as simple

as changing how you engage with your leads. If your competitors force them to contact you first to start the conversation, could you put your pricing and strategy out on your website for more of a selfservice option? You will probably get fewer leads coming in, but they are far more likely to engage as they have seen the process and the pricing. Get a foot in the door We’ve discovered that there are a limited number of people who 1) have $40,000 to put toward a software idea and 2) are willing to spend that much money on something. What we have found success in is helping them to create the strategy for their project at a very low price point. Working closely on the business roadmap with our customer helps demonstrate our knowledge and build trust before committing to the overall project. At the end of the day, there are many ways to grow your business, and a passive revenue stream might fit well. Don’t forget to validate the idea before spending resources on it, though. Hopefully you give one of the ideas above a try. I’d love to hear what has worked well for you!

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To get Josh's new blog posts sent directly to your email or to read past posts, visit JoshChristy.com/Blog

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Faces of

FARGO BUSINESS We like to think of the Fargo business community as a giant puzzle and the people who comprise it as the different but equally essential pieces. Take one person, one company, or one industry away, and the picture becomes incomplete. Faces of Fargo Business is our chance to piece that puzzle together each month and celebrate the countless people who make this such a great place to work.

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I

n 2005, Sara Hanstad was at a unique crossroads.

She'd just spent the last decade-plus of her life traveling to some of the most picturesque places in the world as a professional snowboarder, and it was time to figure out what was next. So she went back to school— three times, in fact, for a bachelor's, Juris Doctor and master's—and, in 2013, landed a job with Wells Fargo. Originally from Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Hanstad did the extreme sports thing for a dozen years hanging up her board at age 28. Now, she spends her days working as a business relationship manager in Wells Fargo's Downtown Fargo office. "I think I have the most amazing job because I spend all day making people happy," says Hanstad, who says her career goal is to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. "I’m reassuring business owners that financial decisions they're making are fiscally prudent, and I get to make my clients feel as important as they are by spoiling them a little, too. Because they are my clients after all. "From a more personal perspective, I'm so lucky

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SARA HANSTAD Business Relationship Manager Wells Fargo to work for a company that lets me be me out in the community. I’m able to be active in things I’m passionate about, and it’s not lost on me that my employer’s vision and values are what make that possible." One of the things she's passionate about—in fact, the thing she says she's most passionate about—is working with rescue dogs. "My parents live year-round in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, so I travel there quite a bit throughout the year. When I’m there, my absolute favorite place to be is called Isla Animals, which is the local dog rescue," says Hanstad, who, along with her husband, Trevor, is the mom to four rescues herself. "It's where I volunteer almost every day. Dogs are a huge part of my life, and they have a big part of my heart. Dogs and dogrelated causes are always at

the top of my priority list." Something else that's been making its way up that list is an issue that impacts far too many not just in this area but across the country. "I'm becoming more and more involved with helping to fight addiction in the FM community," says Hanstad, who stays active with the Fargo Community Coalition, a teen-focused anti-addiction group. "Addiction is something that's had a profound effect on my family, and, as a result, is something I’m very passionate about. Hanstad says she keeps her schedule full with a variety of causes and wouldn't have it any other way. "I think the Fargo community is incredibly giving, and I hope to be a contributing part of that for many years to come," she says.


Faces of

Fargo Business

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Faces of

Fargo Business

REBEKAH E SCOTT

ntrepreneurs are nothing if not resourceful.

When Rebekah Scott was launching her handbagand-accessory business in the early 2000s, she was having trouble getting going. So she improvised.

Owner & Designer Rebekah Scott Designs

"I knew I needed fabric to sell some purses but didn’t have any cash flow," says Scott, owner of the eponymous Rebekah Scott Designs based out of Valley Springs, South Dakota, a small town about 20 miles northeast of Sioux Falls. "So I paced around thinking of various solutions and one thought came to mind, 'I have really cute curtains!' And there I was, cutting my curtains into handbags!" Fast forward nearly 15 years, and Scott is not only running a thriving e-commerce business with a staff of 20, she also hosts a weekly podcast and even wrote a book, "Equipped to Execute: Guiding Moms To Joyfully Impact Family and Business." If the title's a bit of a mouthful, it's instructive in understanding what motivated Scott to start her company in the first place.

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Rebekah Scott Designs ShopRSD.com

"I wanted to stay home, raise my babies, and sew in my happy place," says Scott, who's been sewing since she was four years old and using Kleenexes and a stapler to create things for her Barbies. "And I wanted to offer that opportunity to other women trying to navigate the minefield

of motherhood and career. I wanted to prove you can do both roles together." Along with her team of fellow work-from-home moms, Scott refers to herself as a "momtrepreneur." "We employ women eager to work and sew good seeds in a growing America," says Scott, who returns repeatedly to this metaphor of seeds and growth. "With good water, plenty of help, and continued support from good roots, Rebekah Scott Designs became a federally trademarked direct-sales brand. "Each year, the seeds have taken on new sprouts—new employees who have helped us create more and more variety for our customers and helped us do it better and more efficiently." Scott says that while she remains in awe of what she and her team have built over the past decade and a half, it's her four little ones that keep her grounded and reminded of what this is all about. "They continue to inspire me, put smiles on my heart and allow me the grace to balance all the roles I've been blessed with," she says. For the seventh year running, you can catch Rebekah Scott Designs at the Fargo Street Fair July 13-15.

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CHARLEY JOHNSON President & CEO Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau

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Faces of

Fargo Business

C

harley Johnson has played an active role in the FM area for years. From a career in broadcasting to becoming the head of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, he says he's thankful for the opportunities to see this community blossom and grow. Johnson graduated from Concordia College in the early '70s and began his career in broadcasting at a Grand Forks radio station. Soon after, he moved to Fargo, where he had a job at KQWB Radio. "The following summer, I started working in the news department at KXJB Channel 4 and ended up working the next 36 years as an anchor, news director and eventually general manager of Channels four and 11," Johnson says. In 2010, after five ownership changes and 15 years, Johnson left those stations. He took about six months off and returned to television news as a co-anchor and producer of the 6 and 10 p.m. news at WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks, commuting

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more than 160 miles each day. "After 18 months of commuting to Grand Forks four days a week, I was kind of surprised to be the successful applicant for president of the CVB," Johnson says. June 2012 marked the start of this position and the beginning of a new career for him. At the CVB, Johnson, along with the full- and part-time staff, are responsible for marketing Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo as a destination to visitors of all kinds, from all over the region and the world. And when he says "all kinds," he means it. They focus on everyone: individuals, couples, families, tour groups, meetings, sports tourists, and international travelers, among others "We work hard to attract them all," Johnson says. In order to host all of these people, the CVB Board and the Fargo Dome Authority are currently working to promote the idea of building a convention center in Fargo.

"We recently revealed the results of a study that looked at pros, cons and costs associated with four samples sites for such a facility," Johnson says, "and we hope it will promote an active discussion that could lead to a real project soon." As Fargo continues to develop and brings in more people—not just traveling here but moving here—Johnson continues to be thankful for this area. "I've had the privilege of living in this community long enough to see it grow from a small city to a thriving, vibrant, and increasingly diverse metropolitan area," he says. "For the first 35 years, I was lucky enough to have a reporter's frontrow seat to all that was happening here, and I relished every minute of it," Johnson says. "Now I've been given the unusual opportunity—so late in life—to start a new career, which allows me to be involved in some of what's happening in that community. I don't take that for granted."

Outside of the CVB Johnson is a member and current chair of the Moorhead Economic Development Authority, a multi-year United Way "Campaign Cabinet" volunteer, an usher at Trinity Lutheran Church in Moorhead and is again helping with fundraising for his upcoming Concordia College homecoming anniversary year. Along with his wife and a few friends, Johnson is in a band. They call themselves the "Moving Parts" and play Americana music at the Troll Bar in the Sons of Norway. He also has three children and five grandchildren, including two sets of twins, saying, "I could probably include the grandchildren in the 'extracurricular' category as well."

Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau FargoMoorhead.org

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Trevor Klein

Fargo Store Leader SCHEELS

Giving Back W/ BACKPACKS 12 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT THE UNITED WAY OF CASS-CLAY SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE

Bill Nelson

Michelle Killoran

CFO & VP of Finance SCHEELS

Kristi Huber

President United Way of Cass-Clay

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BY Kristina Hein, Marketing Director, United Way of Cass-Clay | PHOTOS BY J. Alan Paul Photography & courtesy of United Way of Cass-Clay

President SCHEELS


I

MAGINE walking into third grade for the first day of school. The little boy next to you on the bus has a brand-new Superman backpack, and he pulls a few pencils out of the pocket of his new pair of jeans. The little girl across the aisle has a sparkly, pink backpack and is sporting equally sparkly, white shoes. You look down at your lap and try to hide your backpack, which is a crumpled, white, plastic grocery bag with a nearly empty notebook and a few short pencils. You tuck your feet up under the seat so they don’t see your

tennis shoes with the holes in them and the laces that aren’t long enough. You rush off the bus and keep your head down, looking at the sidewalk as you walk sheepishly into the doors of the school to find your classroom, hoping no one notices you. How would this scene be different if you had a new backpack you could be proud of? Would you hold your head high and confident as you walked into school? Ready to meet new friends? Ready to take on the activities and homework your teacher would assign?

SCHEELS CFO & VP of Finance Michelle Killoran volunteers at the United Way School Supply Drive with her husband, Nick, and daughters.

MORE THAN 25,000 PEOPLE IN CASS AND CLAY COUNTIES LIVE IN POVERTY. That could fill SCHEELS Arena four times! One in nine local children under the age of 17 lives in poverty. That’s 5,500 kids.

SCHEELS DONATES HUNDREDS OF BACKPACKS EACH YEAR. This year, SCHEELS will donate 400 backpacks to middle school and high-school students. These high-quality backpacks are always the backpacks that go quickly when families come to the FargoDome to receive their supplies. "We take pride in being able to improve the lives of others," says SCHEELS Fargo Store Leader Trevor Klein. "That's why we donate our time, energy and resources to United Way projects like the School Supply Drive. We see the direct impact it has on our community."

THE NEED IS GREAT. Based on school data, we know that more than 10,000 K-12 students in Cass and Clay Counties access free- and reducedlunch programs. We also know that there are more than 5,500 children living in poverty in this very community. These families are often making choices about whether to pay their bills or buy new school supplies and clothes for their children going back to school. Last year, nearly 80 percent of the students who received supplies self-reported being enrolled in a free- and reducedlunch program. This community program is impacting families in need. FARGOINC.COM

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THE BIGGEST NEED ISN’T IN OUR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS. One of the most surprising facts about the School Supply Drive is that it primarily serves elementary-school kids, but there is a great need for school supplies for middle- and high-school students as well. Last year, half the backpacks—nearly 3,000 of them—went to help kids in middle school and high school.

MORE THAN 500 VOLUNTEERS FROM 90 LOCAL BUSINESSES PARTICIPATED LAST YEAR. ENGAGED EMPLOYEES = BETTER CORPORATE CULTURE. Imagine what a heap of 5,000 empty backpacks looks like. Now imagine how many volunteers it takes to fill each one with all of the notebooks, pencils, crayons and markers needed. Many local businesses choose the School Supply Drive as an opportunity for team development and to build camaraderie among their coworkers and leadership teams. As many workplaces seek ways to build a good culture at their workplace, the School Supply Drive is a way for employees to give back together by organizing a supply drive in the lobby of their workplace or going shopping together to buy supplies to donate.

EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL IN FARGO, WEST FARGO AND MOORHEAD HAD STUDENTS WHO RECEIVED SCHOOL SUPPLIES FROM UNITED WAY LAST YEAR. More than 65 schools throughout Cass and Clay counties received supplies last year and had students walk through their doors with the supplies they need to succeed. 84

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KIDS CAN VOLUNTEER, TOO! For many parents, the United Way School Supply Drive is an opportunity to teach their own children to be aware that not all kids are as fortunate as they are when it comes to the opportunity to go back-to-school shopping and load up on supplies and cool new clothes. “My husband and I volunteer for the School Supply Drive with our three young girls because we want to show them that not all families are as fortunate as ours,” says Michelle Killoran, CFO and VP of finance at SCHEELS. “Going to the FargoDome to pack and organize supplies gives our girls the opportunity to give back to the students they see every day at school."

IT COSTS ABOUT $20 FOR UNITED WAY TO EQUIP ONE CHILD WITH A BACKPACK AND SET OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES.

NEARLY 6,000 STUDENTS WERE IMPACTED LAST YEAR, WITH THE MAJORITY IN GRADES 3-5. Grades K-2: 1,494 students Grades 3-5: 1,504 students Grades 6-8: 1,405 students Grades 9-12: 1,451 students

While we are grateful for all of the donations we receive, the way to make the biggest impact is to donate financially. Because of relationships and partnerships we have in the community, United Way is able to leverage the dollars people give by buying supplies in bulk. Giving financially means helping more kids.


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What THE SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE IMPACTS OUR TEACHERS, TOO. “The teachers, counselors and staff in our schools have enormous hearts," says Rachel Lerum, a counselor at Horizon Middle School in Moorhead. "We have stashes of supplies that we purchase out of our own pockets for students, but when kids come to school with supplies from United Way, students in need don’t have to wait until we, as a staff, figure out that they need something. It eliminates the barrier of students needing to seek support and ask for supplies at school, which can be so shameful for many kids."

19th Annual United Way School Supply Drive

Who Any K-12 student attending school in Cass or Clay County is eligible to receive a backpack and supplies at the FargoDome on: • Saturday, August 5, 8 - 11:30 a.m. • Tuesday, August 8, 4 - 7 p.m. Registration forms available at the door and online. Please bring a form of ID for each child.

When Donate supplies July 11-28, volunteer July 24-August 8, receive supplies August 5 & August 8

Where POVERTY IS A CYCLE. A STUDENT WHO DOESN'T GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL IS TWO TIMES MORE LIKELY TO LIVE IN POVERTY THROUGHOUT ADULTHOOD.

UNITED WAY SEES THE SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE AS A WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY. MORE SCHOOL SUPPLIES = A BETTERPREPARED FUTURE WORKFORCE.

Having school supplies is one of the first steps to giving students the tools and confidence they need to succeed. If we as a community can prepare young people for the right path to success, we can stop the cycle of poverty and allow young people to grow into successful adults.

“In our community, with regard to workforce, we are all trying to find great people to work at our businesses and organizations," says Sherri Schmidt, corporate marketing, SCHEELS, "It makes sense to provide every opportunity for our youth to be successful because they are our future leaders and employees."

Make a financial donation online at UnitedWayCassClay.org or drop off donations at: • FargoDome • Family Wellness • First International Bank & Trust • All Gate City Bank locations • Great North Insurance • Moorhead Center Mall • All Walmart locations • West Acres

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My 2 cents ON YOUR BOTTOM LINE

I

ABOUT ME

BY Josh Hoper • PHOTO BY Paul Flessland

t's been an interesting personal and professional journey that has brought me to where I am today. I've seen a mix of big wins and colossal failures. I've been a part of giant corporations and have been a solopreneur. I've known the pain of being miscast in roles and the joy of finding the right fit. I've been very bored and very challenged. I've felt extremely isolated and very well connected. I've learned a lot about other people and a lot about myself along the way. My current primary work is providing business consulting for small, commercial companies—up to about $20 million in annual revenue—local nonprofits, and, more recently, the public sector such as city government. What will follow in both this article and future ones are lessons I've learned along the way. I'd like to share some fundamental things that reflect my overall business philosophy and some lessons that I think are worth repeating. Let’s start with a high-level view of the way I see business. We'll dive into some of the specifics down the road.

There are three stories that are generally part of every organization. Put together, they tell me everything I need to know. The healthiest companies are those that deeply understand all three. They have a clear view of the picture these stories are painting. Healthy companies are led by people who understand why it's important to have a clear understanding and ability to manage all three of these stories. History is littered with failed organizations that ignored one or more of these stories or didn't have a clear view of any of them. I think of these stories much like I think about the legs of a three-legged stool. No one leg is necessarily more important than the others, but it becomes quite noticeable when one of the legs doesn't carry its share of the weight.

What He'll Be Writing About The founder and executive advisor of ABS Fargo, Josh Hoper is a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades. Whether it's shedding some lights on the nitty-gritty financials or providing practical advice to the newest of new business owners, his experience in a wide variety of roles and industries gives him a unique perspective that all types of Fargo INC! readers should find useful. 86

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Story #1

What Your Organization Says About Itself One of these stories comes from within an organization. It's the message contained in every sales presentation, it’s included in every marketing piece you produce, and it's the story that comes out of the mouths of every sales, marketing and service person in the organization. It's also the story that every employee is told about how the company works, what the company stands for and what is expected of them. This message includes the honest reflection of where a company is at on its journey and the aspirations of where it's headed. There are internal and external components, and I often refer to it as an orgnanization’s messaging.

Story #2

What Other People Are Saying This story is authored by people outside your organization. It includes everything that is said about your company, products, services, people and the experiences your company provides to people who interact with it. It's not just your clients and customers who are telling this story. Prospects who have interacted with you and vendors and suppliers who work with you also have a story to tell about you. So do your neighbors and everyone in the communities you serve. And don't forget all the former employees who have worked for you at one time or another. They have a story to tell, too.

BUSINESS

WISDOM

History is littered with failed organizations that ignored one or more of these stories or didn't have a clear view of any of them. The story is contained in the feedback they give you directly, but perhaps more importantly, this story is most often told to others out of your earshot. I often refer to this story as your organization's brand.

Story #3

What Your Financial Statements Say The first two stories I mentioned are subjective and can have many variations depending on who is telling it. The third story, if done properly, is completely objective. Various parts of the financial statements tell different parts of the story. I don't like to generally rank one particular report as "more important" than the rest. Each organization has its own unique circumstance that determines which of the reports are most important for the short-, medium- and long-term health of the enterprise. You might've heard before that economics is the study of people's decision-making patterns. Financial

statements are written in a language that describes those patterns for a particular business. Once you read enough different financial statements, it becomes easier to see the story they tell. Which of these stories is taking center stage in your business? Is there harmony between all three of these stories? I challenge my clients and I challenge you to get clear about which of these legs of the stool, if any, isn't holding its share of the weight. Most of what I've learned over the last couple decades fits somewhere in one of the three stories. I'll write about a variety of things that relate to one or more of these stories. Next month, I'll share some thoughts on why it's important to understand values and purpose and how that understanding can translate into business success. TAKE

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Josh Hoper ABS Fargo ABSolutionsUS.com

“Project-based learning takes students outside the classroom walls and into actual boardrooms, studios and laboratories where they can begin to cultivate a passion.” COURTLAND MILLER Market Research Analyst, Kilbourne Group FARGOINC.COM

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JULY 11 STATE OF THE MILITARY

BUSINESS EVENTS

CALENDAR

Tuesday, 7:30 - 9 a.m.

We are fortunate to have such important military operations here in Fargo-MoorheadWest Fargo, with the Air National Guard, the Happy Hooligans and the Army National Guard. These airmen and soldiers are essential not only to national defense but across the state in times of crisis and natural disaster. With deployments happening and changes taking place, it's important that community members are informed so we can best support our coworkers, friends and family who serve.

JULY 2017

FMWFChamber.com Courtyard by Marriott Fargo-Moorhead 1080 28th Ave. S, Moorhead

Please join the FMWF Chamber as they host Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjuntant general for the state of North Dakota, as he shares an update on the current happenings for military men and women in North Dakota.

Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann

JULY 11

SERVING CUSTOMERS IN A DIGITAL WORLD Tuesday, 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

We live in an age where we rely heavily on technology for communication­—email, instant messenger, social media, web applications and more. But our customers are still human. How do we put that human touch on the service we provide despite our digital delivery? Join a panel of customer service enthusiasts from a variety of area organizations as they share their tips, tricks and what the've learned about providing excellent customer service in a digital world. You'll hear from Mark Youngblood, vice president of user experience for Discovery Benefits; Becky Moch, director of the office of patient experience, MSSL, BSN, RN, for Sanford Health; and Deanne Trieglaff, online correspondence supervisor for Swanson Health Products. This training qualifies for two CPE credits for the ND CPA Society.

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Registration (includes breakfast) • $30 Chamber members, in advance • $35 Chamber members, at the door • $40 Non-members, in advance • $45 Non-members, at the door

Mark Youngblood

Registration (includes lunch) • $27 Chamber members, in advance • $32 Chamber members, at the door • $40 Non-members, in advance • $45 Non-members, at the door FMWFChamber.com Holiday Inn 3803 13th Ave. S, Fargo

Deanne Trieglaff

#FMWFTraining

Becky Moch


JULY 12

#FMWFGolf

CHAMBER CHALLENGE GOLF OUTING Wednesday, 12:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Yo ho ho, it’s time to grab ye clubs because the Chamber Challenge Golf Outing will be a swashbuckling good time. Hit the green with yer mateys for a fun, pirate-themed day of golf and networking. Awards are given for men’s and women’s team best score, individual prizes for closest to the pin and longest drive, best themed tee-box sponsor and best-themed-dressed team. Entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, and food and drinks (provided by sponsors) on the course; 19th Hole happy-hour social; on-course contests; and giveaways from sponsors. Throughout the event, there will be activities from sponsors at various holes. Whether you win booty or not, stick around after the tournament and glug some grog at the clubhouse! INDIVIDUAL RATES Don’t have a team of four? Register an individual, and the Chamber can pair you up with other players. It’s a great way to build relationships and your network. On or Before June 2 • $120 Per golfer, Chamber member • $150 Non-members After June 2 • $145 Per Golfer, Chamber member • $175 Non-Members

TEAM RATES Get your clients, coworkers, and friends together, and network the afternoon away on the golf course with a four-person team. On or Before June 2 • $460 Foursome, Chamber members • $600 Non-members After June 2 • $560 Foursome, Chamber members • $700 Non-members

FMWFChamber.com Edgewood Golf Course 19 Golf Course Road, Fargo

JULY 17 FARGO REV-UP GROUP Monday, 9 - 11 a.m.

Leave with an understanding of the fundraising assessment report and a draft plan to communicate your results and fundraising plan to your team and board members. Event is free. About the Organizer Here for you, the Impact Institute works to expand the results of charity organizations through assessment, training, and coaching, particularly around fundraising. They teach a proven system for fundraising and foster a network of organizations that share ideas and best practices that result in leaders increasing their impact exponentially.

Register at EventBrite.com Dakota Medical Foundation (DMF) 4141 28th Ave. S, Fargo


JULY 18 WOMEN CREATING A NEW WORLD THROUGH FEARLESS AND PASSIONATE LEADERSHIP Tuesday, 3:30 - 5 p.m.

How do you answer the call of leadership, embrace your power as a woman leader and live a fulfilling life at the same time? Whether you're a woman who's been in a leadership role for some time, an emerging leader, or a woman thinking about stepping into a leadership role, this session is for you. We're living in extraordinary times. Women, are not only being asked, but are expected, to step into numerous leadership roles like never before. It's crucial that they answer the call of

leadership and take their place at the table, the boardroom, the corner office, or lead from wherever they are. About the Speaker Nukhet Hendricks, women’s leadership coach, founder of She Leads Fearlessly, and executive director of Homeward Animal Shelter, is originally from Turkey and has been calling Fargo home since 1990 as a naturalized citizen. Please consider bringing school supplies to donate to the United Way. Registration • $25 Chamber members, in advance • $30 Chamber members, at the door • $35 Non-members, in advance • $40 Non-members, at the door FMWFChamber.com Sanctuary Events Center 670 4th Ave. N, Fargo

#FMWFWC

Nukhet Hendricks

JULY 19 OFF THE CLOCK: A TEE PARTY Wednesday, 5:15 - 7:30 p.m.

No need to be Tiger Woods to join in on the fun! The July Young Professionals Network (YPN) Off the Clock will be held at the Moorhead Country Club, where they will be also hosting a putting contest. Come for networking, putting or both. Golf experience not required but fun is! This event is free, but registration is required. FMWFChamber.com Moorhead Country Club 2101 River Drive N, Moorhead


DOWN THE ROAD BUSINESS AFTER HOURS

JULY 27

Thursday, August 17, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

TEDXFARGO 2017

Holiday Inn 3803 13th Ave. S, Fargo

Thursday, July 27

The TEDxFargo team is crafting the eighth TEDxFargo event in our community—a day full of ideas and experiences to bring a world-class event to our community. From the stage, you’ll hear more than 20 national and global thought leaders sharing ideas worth spreading to help solve challenges and create possibilities. Most talks will be 12 minutes or less, giving you the chance to try on many ideas during the day to see what sticks, what resonates and what ideas you want to help move into action. They want to be solutions-oriented, believing that ideas can help solve challenges and create possibilities. So they're asking, “What are you for?” Included with your TEDxFargo ticket: • Locally roasted coffee and iced coffee • Snacks and beverages during breaks • Lunch crafted by local chefs • Optional morning adventures • Ideas. Lots of ideas. Tickets • $90 Early Bird (on sale through May 31) • $100 General Admission (on sale June 1 - 30) • $125 Late Registration (on sale July 1 - 26) • $50 Student Tickets Group Tickets • $85 5 - 14 tickets • $80 15 - 29 tickets • $75 30+ tickets

CART SUMMIT

September 28 - 29

JULY 31 - AUGUST 4 VIDEO GAME DESIGN CAMP

Monday, July 31, 2017, 9:00 a.m. - Friday, August 4, 3 p.m. In the few years that have passed, computer systems have become friendlier to use, making it easier for younger students and inexperienced game designers a chance to program their own games. In this four-and-a-half-day game camp, students will be introduced to what makes a good game, creating first a layout of a story for their game, making music for their game, practicing basic programming techniques for game design, and then building and playing each other’s games. It will wrap up with a parent showcase on Friday. Snacks will be provided, but students will need to bring their own lunch. Register at EventBrite.com Cost • $200 InspireInnovationLab.org Inspire Innovation Lab 423 Main Ave., Moorhead

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES 2017 SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE July 25 - August 8

Each summer, United Way Cass Clay coordinates the annual School Supply Drive to equip thousands of local K-12 students with the backpacks and supplies they need to succeed in school. In 2016, nearly 6,000 students were equipped with school supplies. Each year, volunteers and donations are needed. Registration opens in July. Week One Volunteers Volunteers must be at least six years of age or

CartSummit.com Location TB

MONTHLY MEETUPS* ··Bitcoin Meetup ··Cass-Clay Subcontractor Sales & Marketing Meetup ··Geek Meet FM ··Girl Develop It ··Fargo 3D Printing Meetup ··Fargo Cashflow Game Night ··Fargo Entrepreneurship Meetup ··Fargo Virtual Reality Meetup ··Fargo-Moorhead Content Strategy ··The Fargo-Moorhead Real Estate Investing Meetup ··Master Networks – Fargo Business Referral Group ··Mobile Meetup Fargo ··Moorhead Entrepreneurship Meetup ··Prairie Dawg Drupal

older and accompanied by an adult. Week Two Volunteers Volunteers must be at least six years of age or older and accompanied by an adult. Distribution Volunteers All volunteers for distribution must be 18 years of age or older.

··Red River Valley Big Data – Midwest Big Data Hub Meetup *All meetups above (except Bitcoin Meetup) can be found at Meetup. com/Cities/US/58102. If interested in the Bitcoin Meetup, please contact ALarson@MyriadMobile.com

For questions, please email SchoolSupplyDrive@UnitedWayCassClay. org

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Profile for Spotlight

Fargo INC! July 2017  

It's the question no one can seem to answer definitively: Why aren't more girls going into high-tech fields? We assembled a panel of five FM...

Fargo INC! July 2017  

It's the question no one can seem to answer definitively: Why aren't more girls going into high-tech fields? We assembled a panel of five FM...