Fargo INC! July 2021

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july 2021

TWO FRIENDS INFLUENCING PEOPLE The two new owners of Dale Carnegie ND & NW MN are driving BIG TIME results.

// JULY 2021




Sponsored Content: A COVID Checkup for Your Business


Sponsored Content: A Look Back At 50 Years In Business


Sponsored Content: Focus More on Your Bottom Line and Less on IT


Sponsored Content: AckermanEstvold: A New Name to Know in the Fargo-Moorhead Area


Sponsored Content: HansonRunsvold: Let Us Help You Honor Your Life Well Lived


Human Skills ar More Relevant Than Ever


Tips for Growing in North Dakota


What are Trademarks and When Should I Get One?


Awesome Foundation Grant Award Winner: Kindred Park Board/Kindred Public Library


The Value of Social Networks in the Workplace


Buying a Small Business


Ladyboss of the Month: Allison Lunde


Academic Insight


10 Questions With John Machacek: Red E


Events Calendar

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All our stories in one place

Business events calendar

Read all the past issues

Extra video content

E d i t o r ’s n o t e

Summer Is Here! T ruthfully, summer has been here for a while.

This year, we were blessed with unseasonably warm weather early on and I'm not going to complain about it one bit. For the business community, the beautiful weather can be a great thing. However, it can also serve as a distraction for your employees that find

themselves stuck in their cubicle throughout the day. It's pretty hard to get jazzed up for the 9 to 5 grind at a desk when all they can think about is kicking back and enjoying a nice margarita in the sun. So what can you do? My suggestion, help them get more of what they want.

One of my favorite things we do at Spotlight is summer hours. Everyone on the team has the option, in the summer, to work extra Monday through Thursday, so they can leave at noon on Fridays. That essentially gives us a threeday weekend and we all love it! In fact, If I had the option, I would try to get all my hours in Monday through Wednesday so I could have a four-day weekend in the summer.

I realize that this isn't an option for every industry, but, for us, it is quite nice and helps keep the summer work in the cubicle from becoming dull.

Brady Drake Fargo INC! Editor

Brady Drake, Fargo INC! Editor



KRISTINA HEINLANDIN Lead Content & Public Relations Strategist





Moore Holding Company

FM Area Foundation

FMWF Chamber of Commerce

Where is your desire for selfdevelopment originating? From the inside or the outside? Do you believe you need to make some changes? Are others telling you? Do you need to do it for a career goal? Or some combination of those?

Self-development is much more than formal trainings or learned skill sets. Selfdevelopment starts with self-reflection. Jim Collins talks about how leaders should look out the window and give credit for positive outcomes and in the mirror and take ownership of negative outcomes. First step, look into the mirror and ask yourself the tough questions. Tough questions like what hardskills and soft-skills will I need moving forward in my work and my life? Another great step (and the best advice I could ever give to anyone) is to find a mentor. Someone who can challenge you to be better, someone who isn’t afraid to be frank with you as well as guide you forward. The right mentor can be key in your personal and professional development. Our community has many places where you can find support and so many who are eager to help, you but only need to ask. So, get out and network in our great FM area.

Life is filled with countless opportunities to develop one’s personal skills and knowledge, and having that growth mindset will positively impact your life in ways that are hard to imagine. I have had the honor of meeting thousands of business, community and thought leaders in my life, and the most remarkable people are always developing themselves in all facets of their life. They are reading books to expand their minds, engaging with others to ask questions and learn from the wisdom and experiences of others, learning and applying new skills, pushing themselves physically and establishing healthy habits, and doing this all with intention and confidence. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner, and my personal development has built the foundation for who I am as a leader, mother and mentor. The great people in our FMWF community have taught me a lot in my time here, and I look forward to the opportunities that each day presents. The best investment that we can make is in ourselves and others.

President & CEO


Our team places a strong value on learning, finding new solutions, and growing personally in order to better serve and foster relationships with our small business owners. That is why, earlier this year, we started our very own Dakota Business Lending Book Club. An optional professional development opportunity for our employees, the book club gives members the space to come together and discuss books on a variety of meaningful topics that make them (and our entire team) better each and every day. Not only that, but it has allowed our team to learn more about each other, our strengths and weaknesses, and how we can better live our mission of joining others on their journey to success.

Dakota Business Lending


United Way of Cass-Clay

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi This quote from United Way volunteer Aimee Stone says it all: “Being involved with United Way has helped me build my confidence by providing training in leadership skills and by giving me plenty of opportunities to network and serve.” A quick Google search on this month’s theme of “selfdevelopment” leads to an overwhelming number of links to peruse, but the truth is, one of the best (and easiest!) ways to develop your skills and yourself is to serve your community. Our United Way School Supply Drive is in full swing and we invite you to take the lead in coordinating a supply drive for your workplace or organize a shopping trip to buy supplies for a child in need. Take the next step on your journey of selfimprovement – learn ways you can get involved with United Way at unitedwaycassclay.org – there is a place for you.


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If you’re looking for ways to connect and grow as a team, starting a book club could be a great place to start!

When you’re plotting the goals of your selfdevelopment, think about your purpose. Acknowledge where the trigger is originating. That will help you identify the tool that best moves you toward your goals. These days, the tools for self-development are everywhere. Be purposeful in your path by starting with effective self-examination.

President and CEO





Emerging Prairie

The Executives Club of Fargo - Moorhead

Greater FM Economic Development Corporation

The Nice Center

Why improve yourself? The better question is: Why not? The only downside to selfimprovement…it’s going to be hard. It’s going to require commitment, sacrifice, perseverance and grit, as they say.

With this issue’s theme on “self development”, I think of how the development is not just about someone try to improve but it’s also about the support mechanisms to help that person. Trying to totally go at it alone may not be as productive and timely.

Anyone can be an entrepreneur. Regardless of where you live or what you're doing, no one is better suited to solve problems that matter to you than you.

The same goes for entrepreneurs getting their businesses going. I see it a lot with my job. I encourage entrepreneurs to seek out and accept the resources, advice and connections (vs working on it alone) that are out there. It will take some effort and sometimes vulnerability, but there are plenty of people in this region willing to help.

Coming up with solutions for a problem is easier when we add constraints. Questions our team at The Nice Center often ask include: How can we make the smallest version of the solution? What would we do in the next five minutes, five days, five months to solve the problem? What would it look like with unlimited resources? What if we could only use what’s available in this room?

Director of Ecosystem

Everybody should focus on self improvement. These are a few of my favorite resources out there for continuous improvement. LinkedIN Learning: With courses in business, creative and technology, there are courses for everybody. altMBA: From the mind of Seth Godin, this is an intensive, 4-week online workshop that helped me level up and be a better leader. Work Life with Adam Grant: This podcast from organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to explore the science of making work not suck. TED Talks: Everybody should be aware of TED talks by now but I'm always watching a different one. (Simon Sinek's "How great leaders inspire action" was a real eye-opener for me)

Founder and Director

At a recent Executives’ Club Wednesday lunch, we discussed grit and the question: Is your level of grit determined by your genes or can it be cultivated through self-improvement? I argue that grit can be developed. I believe that the path of self-improvement is much easier once we’ve established a purpose. Once we have an overarching vision, inspiration, a dream of something greater, (with smaller, more-achievable goals along the way) we’re not as likely to become distracted or deterred by setbacks, challenges and plateaus that will inevitably occur. Self-improvement is meaningless if there is no reasoning behind it. Find your purpose. Seek significance. Develop your grit. Discover fulfillment.

Chief Innovation Officer

Check on the various links via our GFMEDC website to learn more - https://gfmedc. com/entrepreneurs/

Program Manager

But, how do you start?

Over the last year, we all learned we have more capacity to change than we thought we did. Whether in your professional role, your personal life or your volunteer service, using constraints allows you to create solutions and view challenges as opportunities.



JULY 2021 Volume 6 Issue 7

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

Publisher EDITORIAL Editorial Team Lead

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

Graphic Designer

Kim Cowles

Creative Strategist

Josiah Kopp

Contract Photographer Contributors

INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Videographers

Jeremy Albright Tom Kading, Brandi Malarkey, Josh Marineau, Paul Smith, McKenzie Schwark, Shontarius D. Aikens, John Machacek Nick Schommer nickschommer@spotlightmediafargo.com Tommy Uhlir

Business Development Associate

Kellen Feeney

Digital Marketing Lead

Emma Bonnet

Graphic Designer

Ben Buchanan

ADVERTISING VP of Business Development Sales Representative Sales Assistant Client Relations

Paul Hoefer Paul@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Al Anderson Zach Willis clientrelations@spotlightmediafargo.com

Client Relations Manager

Jenny Johnson

Client Relations Strategist

Cora Sather

Marketing Designer ADMINISTRATION VP of Human Resources Account Strategist DISTRIBUTION Delivery

Christy German Colleen Dreyer Cassie Wiste John Stuber

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

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

MEET OUR TEAM AT CORA - Client Relations

EMMA - Social Media

AL - Sales ZACH - Sales

JENNY - Client Relations TOMMY - Videography

BEN - Design

PAUL - Sales CHRISTY - Design

CASSIE - Admin

JOSIAH - Editorial

KIM - Design

JOHN - Distribution COLLEEN - HR & Operations

NICK - Digital Services KELLEN - Digital Services

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BRADY - Editorial

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

Founder, Spotlight


If you think back on your fondest childhood memories, there's a good chance most of them were formed at the park! As a child, parks are the perfect place to congregate with friends, form new relationships, or get lost in your imagination. As you grow, that doesn't change. What does change is your ability to see outside your immediate bubble. That transition into adolescence and eventually adulthood coincides with a realization that there are options outside of your single neighborhood park. Yes, there are other parks... and trails... and golf courses... and pools! All of which are wonderful to explore. While we can't highlight every single one of the hundreds of parks and facilities our three cities have to offer, we wanted to create this magazine as a way to inform and remind our community of a few of the crown jewels that the Fargo Park District, West Fargo Park District and Moorhead Parks & Recreation have available to get the young and old outside.

The Cultivate Conference, hosted by Grand Farm, is set to take place on July 15 and is an important event for agriculture in our area. As we look to feed a growing population, collaboration becomes ever more important. We must continue to push innovation between tech and agriculture. This conference will do just that by featuring topics such as software applications, precision agriculture drones, alternative farming methods and more. This year's event features a number of impressive speakers and groundbreaking innovations. Attendees will be treated to short talks, breakout sessions and a farmer's panel focusing on emerging technologies in agriculture. As a magazine, we want to provide a sneak peek for those that cannot attend as well as supplementary information for those who will be at the conference.


A COVID CHECKUP FOR YOUR BUSINESS As people and businesses start to emerge from the shadow of COVID-19 and its related economic fallout, we are constantly finding ways in which the business landscape has shifted. The coming year will continue to highlight the temporary and permanent changes to business as a result of the pandemic. That’s why now is a great time to revisit your business plan and processes. At Alerus, we have observed several trends affecting all types of businesses that should be carefully considered in future plans.

Supply chains need nurturing

Many international and domestic supply chains were disrupted by transportation restrictions, closures or work reductions at suppliers, and changes to demand. The double shot of reduced supply and increased home improvement spending has sent lumber prices through the roof, for example. Consider reevaluating supply chains, proactively monitor inventory levels, manage supplier relationships and or diversifying suppliers. This may increase costs but may help build a safety net against future disruptions.

Business continuity planning is crucial

Many business owners struggled with staffing during the pandemic. While we hope another widespread health crisis isn’t in the cards, the pandemic highlighted the importance of planning for the unexpected. A solid contingency plan can help keep a business operating smoothly if owners or key employees are unable to work for weeks or longer. Tactics include identifying backups, forging mutual support agreements, buying insurance to bridge a financial setback, and establishing a succession plan.

Cash flow projections can make all the difference

If you haven’t already, update your income and expenses and do your best to forecast what you expect in the near future and longer term. Anticipating cash demands can save you money and stress.

The pandemic may also have changed your business fundamentally – higher inventory requirements, slower collections, more sales online, or reduced space requirements, all impact cash flow. Even imperfect projections help you prepare for contingencies.

Equipping your business for a more digital future

Many businesses adapted to the pandemic by expanding their digital footprint – working from home, selling online, or shifting paperwork to e-delivery and digital signatures. For many, this paradigm shift in how work gets done is one they intend to stick with. But it still requires reassessing your business plan – you may need to budget for hardware upgrades, collaboration software, digital storage and servers, security consulting, or online transaction services.

Excess liquidity could mean opportunity

Due to scaled-back operations from the past year, lowinterest rates, and extra government stimulus money in the economy, some people and organizations may have more cash available than usual. We have seen a surge in merger and acquisition activity across industries as investors seek opportunities. If you’re considering selling your business in the next few years, it may be advantageous to accelerate the process, given the current market conditions. Have you run up against any of these changes and want to explore how to adapt? The business advisors at Alerus are ready to help. Alerus offers a range of business services to enable your transformation, and our advisors bring a wealth of insights from across industries that can help you adapt your business plan for what’s next. Talk to an Alerus advisor today. The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Alerus does not provide legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation.


A Look Back At 50 Years In Business Big dreams, a well thought out plan, a mission; these are all things that could be used to describe the efforts of a young business owner. However, the seed which sprouted Advanced Business Methods back in 1971 was more of an afterthought than anything else.


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Back in 1971, downtown Fargo was home to a store called Mr. Music Man. The owner of Mr. Music Man wanted to make copies, but couldn’t because nobody sold copiers in Fargo at the time. However, “Mr. Music Man” sold 3M background music systems and 3M was getting into the copier business. The Music man reached out to his distributor and brokered a deal. Rather than simply buying a copier, “Mr. Music Man” became a 3M copier dealer so he could have the copier he wanted at cost, with no real intentions of selling copiers as a main source of income.



Eventually, however, a number of business acquaintances became impressed with the capabilities of his copier and wanted to buy their own. Thus, a business was born. Sort of. “Mr. Music Man” wasn’t interested in doing copier sales, but he had a sales associate that was, Howard Schuh. The two split and Advanced Business Methods was formed as a copier dealer.

In 1976, Schuh built ABM’s current office on what was at the time, a very scarcely populated 13th Avenue in Fargo. In 1976, Schuh thought that 13th Avenue might become a pretty popular road, so he built on it.

Schuh’s prediction could not have been more right! Since their original office construction, 13th Avenue has blossomed into one of the busiest avenues in the city.


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A SPLIT AND A REUNION In 1981, Schuh sold the eastern portion of his business to Ken Retzer. At the time ABM had stores in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Minot.

This caused a bit of confusion for customers at the time as the eastern stores were Advanced Business Methods Inc. and the western stores were just Advanced Business Methods. “There was a lot of confusion between the separation of the store on both sides of the state.” said Sales Specialist Bob Stromberg. That confusion remained until 2008 when ABM sold its western stores back to ABM Inc. Since 2008, ABM has expanded to Dickinson and Williston, and has transitioned into an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2012.




I believe what sets us apart is the perfect mixture of a few things. First and foremost, our staff. We’re 100% employee owned, and have an average tenure of 17 years with our employees; we always want to make sure they are taken care of because we have found that same responsibility is turned around and given to our customers. Our staff members make a true commitment to their communities, no matter where they are within the State of North Dakota. Secondly, the flexibility of owning and operating our own leasing company allows us to give our customers our best pricing without including a third party and maintaining our customers' trust in our organization.


With the growth of our company to western North Dakota, we’ve been able to work closer with more and more North Dakota companies to help them in their expansion, not only in our region but by providing machines and services throughout the entire United States. That’s typically accomplished through our manufacturers that we represent or with other local dealers who we have met through the many national organizations that we’re a member of.


The first thing I strive to do is take care of the employees who work at Advanced Business Methods. I believe the cornerstone of a company comes from having employees who not only have a stake in the ownership of the company but also enjoy their jobs. When an employee enjoys their job, it shows up in the work they perform which results in happy customers.


In the coming years, I see growing leaps and bounds through the addition of more services offered to our customers, as well as the expansion of our footprint in Northwest Minnesota, North Dakota, Northern South Dakota and Eastern Montana.




West Fargo, ND 58078 Phone: 701.282.3151

GRAND FORKS 875 North 42nd St. Grand Forks, ND 58203 Phone: 701.746.0394

BISMARCK 4480 Coleman St. Bismarck, ND 58503 Phone: 701.250.0597

MINOT 905 21st Ave.SE Minot, ND 58701 Phone: 701.852.9746

DICKINSON 2674 Sims St Suite A Dickinson, ND 58601 Phone: 701.264.1127


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WEST FARGO 1515 13th Ave. East

ADVANCED BUSINESS METHODS TODAY Today, Advanced Business Methods has five main offices and in addition, has technicians based out of Bemidji, Devils Lake, Williston and Wahpeton. In total, ABM has 70+ employee/owners with an average tenure of 17 years. Sales Specialist Bob Stromberg joined the company 36 years ago and has had a front row seat to the evolution of ABM over that time... He was originally hired to sell typewriters after all. Now, almost every product sold at ABM has its own internal computer system. “Things have come so far from a technology standpoint,” said Stromberg. “Copiers used to all use liquid ink. It was dangerous and combustible. We’ve had to embrace technology as it evolves to survive in this market." That excitement coupled with a family-focused culture have kept Stromberg around all this time. "I think these key values of ABM are a couple of things that help people stay around for so long with us," said Stromberg. “That extended tenure has been really key in us building towards the future.”

That extended average tenure has allowed ABM to maintain a quality of service over time that can not be topped by the larger distributors out there. They’ll work with you to learn your business needs and implement solutions for the long haul. They’ve been doing it for 50 years and will be doing it for at least 50 more. To learn more, visit abmnow.com

By Brady Drake

Photo by Josiah Kopp

Focus More on Your Bottom Line and Less on IT

(From left to right) Mike Steiner, Matt Olson, Loren Mendel and Brad Mendel


JULY 2021

When businesses don't have to worry about IT issues, they have more time and energy to focus on their bottom lines. It's that simple. What isn't simple, for most companies who staff their own IT person or department, is preventing technology problems from affecting employee productivity and data security. For companies looking to minimize interruptions and protect valuable information, High Plains Technology is a proven solution.


High Plains Technology Control Includes:

HPT can provide solutions for questions like: How does a business recover from ransomware without paying ransom? Or malware? What is the solution to recover deleted critical files and data either accidentally or with malice? How do you help poorly performing applications run faster to help employees be more productive? What security is needed for remote access? Am I backing up Microsoft 365 files like email, OneDrive, Teams and SharePoint as recommended by Microsoft? HPT can also provide project based solutions for servers, storage, data center, networking and PCs. Three of the biggest projects this year have been the roll out of 7,800 laptops with HPT White Glove Services over a few short weeks, rolling out of 1,500 Interactive Smart Boards, and re-signing a Fortune 100 company to managed and hosting services for their IBM AS/400 Power server and disaster recovery. However, perhaps the fastest growing trend in the industry, is the use of managed IT solutions. That’s where HPT can really shine for your organization. They bring to your business an understanding of the datacenter, disaster recovery solutions and are ready at a moment's notice. They also provide networking and desktops under their Control Managed Services solution. “It’s going that direction and it’s going that direction fast,” said Managing Partner Mike Steiner. “I think businesses are realizing that it’s much more advantageous to have an expert team at their disposal than to try to hire IT staff.” One of the more convenient parts about HPT’s managed services offerings is the ability to choose a solution that fits your business model.

Help Desk Unlimited help desk support performed by our local team of engineers, who have knowledge of your network. They are available to assist you remotely anytime during business hours. Account Manager Your dedicated account manager is your single point of contact with HPT. They will make recommendations to you and guide you through the changing landscape of technology. Network Monitoring HPT uses best in class technology to keep an eye on your network around the clock. Their proactive monitoring systems helps alleviate issues before they cause a disruption in your day to day operations. Device Maintenance HPT performs system updates, patches, definitions, security, etc. outside of your regular business hours. They will also help with third party software updates. Monthly Reporting Your monthly report will include an overall health score, security report, stability report and performance report. A compiled list of monthly tickets (open, closed, and in progress) from the help desk and onsite work. A thorough network assessment is performed as part of onboarding and each following month. Onsite Engineer Hours HPT includes hours every month or year to be used for onsite engineering. These hours can be used on projects, escalated help desk tickets, phone systems, training, installing new hardware, etc. Network Security HPT offers two robust security packages to keep your business safe and your data out of the wrong hands. HPT Secure is included in Premium Control. HPT Secure+ is included in Elite Control. Disaster Recovery/Data Backup HPT offers premium backup/disaster recovery options stored locally and in the cloud. Backup solutions include daily backup validation and virtual spin-up capabilities.

*There are a la carte options available to enhance the options listed below. FARGOINC.COM



HPT Server Control Package

HPT Desktop Control Package



Unlimited Tier 1 Help Desk 8-5, F-M Tier 2 Escalation (Remote or Onsite) Project Hours Control Account Management

Unlimited Tier 1 Help Desk 8-5, F-M Tier 2 Escalation (Remote or Onsite) Project Hours Control Account Management

Monthly Maintenance & Reports

Monthly Maintenance & Reports

Patch Management Network Monitoring & Response Windows Updates & Patches Server Reporting Management & Optimization Virus Scans & Removal Office 365 Support & Management Password Administration


Project Based Services

Enterprise-Class Anti Virus HPT Secure Security Package HPT Secure+ Security Package

Backup & Disaster Recovery Daily Backup Monitoring Server Backup

High Plains Technology offers project based services in addition to their managed IT services. These solutions are for clients who need help with a number of tasks in a specific period of time. Some of the common project based services offered by High Plains Technology are:

HPT Network Control Package

• • • • • •

Router Configuration & Changes ISP Liaison Firewall Management Security Advising & Planning VPN Support

PC upgrades and replacements Server upgrades Storage upgrades Firewall upgrades Network upgrades Imaging and deployment services

*Don't see something you need on this list? Reach out to Brad Mendel at 605-782-2190 or bmendel@ hplains.com


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Firmware Management FAAS (Firewall-As-A-Service) available by request

Patch Management Network Monitoring & Response Windows Updates & Patches Desktop Reporting Management & Optimization Virus Scans & Removal Office 365 Support & Management Password Administration


Enterprise-Class Anti Virus HPT Secure Security Package HPT Secure+ Security Package

Backup & Disaster Recovery Daily Backup Monitoring O365 Cloud-to-Cloud Backup Desktop Backup

HPT’s Control Managed Services, which can include cloud hosting for IBM iSeries and IBM Power Servers is ranked #21 worldwide by ChannelE2E and supports clients on all 7 continents. At #21, the HPT solution is the 1st on the list focused on these IBM servers and disaster recovery solutions! Customers of all sizes from small and medium to Fortune 100 and all industries including banking, healthcare, insurance and more have moved to the HPT solution.


HPT Security Packages

HPT Security Packages

HPT Secure

HPT Secure+

Password Compliance Enforcement Login Audit, Tracking & Account Lockout Disable Social Media Access 1-Click User Isolation Regulatory Compliance Reporting Local Admin Privilege Adjustments Blacklisted Application Monitoring

Data Theft Protection USB Wall Disable Personal Email Access Prevent Data Transfer To 3p Cloud Services

Password Compliance Enforcement Login Audit, Tracking & Account Lockout Disable Social Media Access 1-Click User Isolation Regulatory Compliance Reporting Local Admin Privilege Adjustments 3rd Party Spam Filtering Multi-Factor Authentication Blacklisted Application Monitoring

Data Theft Protection USB Wall Disable Personal Email Access Prevent Data Transfer To 3p Cloud Services

Email Security


Simulated Phishing Attacks User Based Targeting Simultaneous Ongoing Campaigns Monthly Reports End User Security Training O365 Cloud To Cloud Backup

For businesses on Microsoft or Office 365, are you getting the full value the dollars spent? Are you using tools like SharePoint for an intranet, policies and procedures and document control, and eliminating on-prem file servers and Active Directory that can save money and bring more employee productivity? Everything we do from a managed services standpoint is about employee productivity and security. If your managed service provider isn’t talking to you about both of these at a time when cyber crime has increased 300 percent during the pandemic, we would love to meet, learn about your business, and see how our solution would fit and help.” -Mike Steiner, Managing Partner

About High Plains Technology High Plains Technology was founded in 1992 and is a privately held technology solutions company, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Brad Mendel, Loren Mendel, Matt Olson and Mike Steiner are the Managing Partners in the company that provides fully integrated, handson and support-based offerings to both local and regional customers. Over the years, HPT has branched out to additional locations and is involved in and understands the uniqueness of our communities. One and done deals aren’t their business model. “It’s not just about supporting what a company has today, we want to help them build and improve going forward,” said Brad. “We’ll look at new technology with them, assess where their business is, plan the next steps and implement them moving forward. ” To learn more, visit hplains.com sales@hplains.com SD Office: (605)-323-2780 ND Office: (701)-271-1555 FARGOINC.COM




A New Name To Know In The Fargo-Moorhead Area There's a new name in town for engineering, architecture, and environmental services, Ackerman-Estvold. Founded in 2003 as a civil engineering firm, Ackerman-Estvold was started with the mission to serve the residents of northwestern North Dakota. They have done just that and more. Ackerman-Estvold has evolved into an 11 discipline firm with 60 employees serving the entire state of North Dakota and beyond. A Fargo location was added at the end of 2020. While, you may not know the name or work yet, you will soon!


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What have they done already? Ackerman-Estvold is responsible for a large number of public projects in the western half of North Dakota and will soon be contributing the same quality of work to our beautiful communities! Look at some of the projects their dedicated teams have created from design to completion

Centennial Pond/Perkett Ditch Minot, nd

4 Bears Water Park New Town, nd

Starting in 2016, Ackerman-Estvold provided architectural and site civil design for a water park containing a splash pad, lazy river, and water slide at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge.

NE Truck Reliever Route and Main Street Reconstruction New Town, nd

As part of the interior drainage analysis for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project, Ackerman-Estvold determined the City of Minot needed additional stormwater storage capacity. This to reduced the stormwater pump station size needed to handle runoff from a large rain during a flooding event. Through an in-depth alternatives analysis (and some outside-the-box thinking), Ackerman identified the opportunity, to convert Centennial Forest into Centennial Pond to create additional stormwater storage capacity. Ackerman-Estvold saw this conversion of Centennial Forest as an opportunity to not only serve as stormwater detention and retention pond, but also to create an amenity for the City of Minot.

The Ackerman-Estvold team began work on this project in 2006 and was intimately involved in the New Town Main Street and NE Truck Reliever Route Projects until the completion of both projects in 2014/2015. During the preliminary design of the Main Street project, western North Dakota exploded with oil activity and New Town found itself in the heart of the Bakken oil field development. Main Street in New Town quickly became the main thoroughfare connecting ND Highway 23 to both ND highway 1804 and the Four Bears Bridge crossing Lake Sakakawea. There was an imperative need to reduce

traffic on Main Street, and the New Town NE Truck Reliever Bypass project was advanced ahead of the Main Street project Ackerman-Estvold’s role included the traffic operations study, noise analysis, environmental permitting, righ-of-way design, roadway design, hydraulic analysis and drainage design, public involvement coordination included conducting public meetings, and overall project coordination of the design and environmental assessment of both projects.




Services Offered By Ackerman-Estvold • Architecture • Commercial • Education • Residential • Remodeling • Interior Design • Civil Engineering • Traffic & Transportation • Land Planning & Development • Municipal • Water Resource Engineering • Construction Engineering

Williams County Road 42 Bridge Replacement Williams County, nd

• Consulting • Engineering Consultation • Municipal Financing • Legislative Representation • Grant Writing • Capital Improvement Planning • Public Relations • Public Information • Marketing • Graphic Design • Web Development • Drone Technology • Visual and Thermal Aerial Inspections • Photogrammetric Mapping • Energy Audits • Digital Orthophotos • Digital Surface Models • Digital Terrain Models • Emergency Support • Wetland Delineation • Change Detection From Aerial Imagery


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In 2015, Williams County engaged AckermanEstvold to evaluate the replacement of the existing bridge on County Road 42 located 1.25 miles south of Epping, ND. Ackerman-Estvold designed this project to NDDOT standards and specifications and performed the construction engineering for this project. This $1.25 million bridge replacement project was completed in 2016.

due to the interior placement of ladders and piping, which help shield piping from weather, allow for pipe insulation, and protect against vandalism. The pedesphere design is sleek and simplistic with a smooth continuous exterior surface and was chosen for construction by the cities of Kenmare, Westhope, and Mohall.

Pedesphere Elevated Storage Tank Mohall, nd

Ackerman-Estvold has designed and administered the construction of several pedesphere style elevated storage tank for communities throughout the region. The pedesphere style tanks are popular

The three communities all faced a similar challenge of an aging water tower that was undersized for today’s standards. These cities all had existing water towers with an approximate volume of 50,000 gallons that were replaced with new elevated steel tanks with volumes ranging from 200,000 to 300,000 gallons. The capacity for these towers was driven by fire flow requirements that were determined during the design process. The design for these projects all required the existing tower to be operational until the new tower could be brought online. Once it was determined the newly constructed tower was functioning properly, the existing tower was demolished.


Services Offered By Ackerman-Estvold

A experienced Ackerman-Estvold employee since 2011, Arens has relocated back to Fargo, his old college stomping ground, to help serve the eastern half of the state.


• Environmental Services • Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments • Wetland Delineation • Ordinary High Water Mark Determinations • Biological Assessments • Wetland Mitigation Planning • US Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permitting • Asbestos Inspection


• GIS • Planning and Implementation • Data Development • Map Production • GPS Data Collection • Spatial Database Design • GIS Analysis • Web Applications • Programming • 3D Visualization & Analysis • County and Municipal GIS • School District GIS • Integration of Information Systems

I am a huge sports fan in general and a fan of NDSU. I try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible and love getting involved in the community.

We want to partner with those communities, get to know them and help answer their questions. We want to assist them with their concerns and issues they run into on a day-to-day basis. Whether their issues are water, sewer items or transportation, we can help them because we are a well-rounded engineering firm.

After graduating from NDSU in 2003 this is your first real "return" to the area, how have you and your family adjusted to the new surroundings?

Why do you think it's important to help those smaller communities?

It has been a bit of a struggle for our family with the COVID 19 pandemic. However, as things started to open back up, we have really found ourselves enjoying the parks around town and the activities in downtown. Getting involved in the community and participating in activities has been really great for our family.

What do you like about working for AckermanEstvold?

I like smaller company size. It allows me to be more involved in the dayto-day operations of the company. I get to know my co-workers and it feels like a family organization.

There is always a need, in those communities to replace deteriorating infrastructure. Commonly, the necessary funding isn't always available in smaller cities. We can help those communities find those funding sources and help guide them from ideation to project completion.

Why are those efforts personally important to you? One of my largest sources of pride is seeing improvements I helped develop at work in the community.

I understand the municipality projects are a big part of what Ackerman-Estvold does, correct?

Absolutely, we serve a number of city clients. There is always a need for engineers in those smaller cities which might not have them on staff.





Steve Eberle has been with Ackerman-Estvold since the beginning in 2003, and is the company's first employee!

Services Offered By Ackerman-Estvold • Surveying • Preliminary Surveying • Construction Surveying • Engineering and Topographic Surveying • Lot Surveys • Hydrographic Surveying • GPS Services (Geodetic Surveys) • Land Boundaries • Land Planning • High Precision Control Surveys • ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys • Drone Technology • Platting, Easements, Rightof-Way • As-Built Surveys • Oilfield Surveying/Services • Approved Evaluator of NGS OPUS-DB


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STEVE EBERLE-SENIOR CIVIL ENGINEER AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER I have to imagine, being the first employee, you have worked at multiple levels of the company, correct?

I have. I started with Ackerman-Estvold as a graduate engineer and worked my way through all aspects of the company including construction, design, municipal engineering, land development and transportation. As the organization grew, I was able to touch all of the pieces we acquired up along the way which was exciting. The experience allowed me to become a very well-rounded engineer and a valuable member of our team.

What do you do in your current role with AckermanEstvold?

In my current role, I am more of a firefighter, for lack of a better term, meaning I pitch in when needed. Much of what I do is working through the day-to-day operations and overseeing all of our various teams. We serve 11 different disciplines in the organization.

Making sure both of those disciplines have the appropriate resources, personnel and tools needed to run effectively is critical. I am also available to step in when someone needs assistance or help.

Why do you continue to stay with Ackerman-Estvold?

They have provided me with a lot of great opportunities. Now, It is time for me to help provide those opportunities to others.

How do you see Ackerman's municipality work impacting the Fargo-Moorhead area?

Municipal engineering was one of the founding sectors of the company. It is such a part of our company; our founders had a deep desire to help our area rural communities who may not be able to staff a full-time public works department or engineer. A lot of the infrastructure in those smaller cities have run their course and are ready for replacement; we want to be an advocate for them in maintaining and growing their city.


Hanson-Runsvold Let Us Help You Honor Your Life Well Lived

ife, like any good story, has a beginning, a middle and an end. Hanson-Runsvold Funeral Home makes every effort to honor each stage in a person’s unique journey and focuses a great deal of time in the area of preplanning to help families we serve prepare for life’s final chapter. Their team has been serving the FargoMoorhead community for over 100 years. So, when Gen Eidem started thinking about preplanning, their team was the obvious and only choice for her. “I chose Hanson-Runsvold because they're like family to me, and if you work with them, that’s exactly how you are treated — like family.” – Gen

Gen Eidem Fa rgo /F l o r id a 44

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Most people don’t want to think about the time when they are gone. It brings a mix of emotions. The team at Hanson-Runsvold genuinely understands this. They ask the necessary questions to help guide you through things you may have already thought of and also things you may not have, with the ultimate goal of exceeding your expectations.


Ha nso n- Runsvold Funera l H o me 215 7th St S, Fargo, ND 58103

Preplanning allows you to communicate your passions, culture, lifestyle, and budget, in a comfortable and relaxed setting. And you don’t need to make all of the decisions at once. Getting the process started is the most important step. “My children are grateful I turned the arrangements over to Hanson-Runsvold. It’s comforting for them and me. I decided I wanted to prepay my funeral to make it easier for my children when I pass on. None of them live near me as I now reside in Florida and having most of the planning done will make it easier for them. That was very important to me. Since if/when I cross over that bridge, and I'm not close to my funeral home, I was reassured that my children simply need to call Hanson-Runsvold and they will take care of everything. That is very, very reassuring. No matter where you are when you pass, they handle it all.” – Gen

A common question is when is a good time to start the preplanning process? The answer is any time. Because life is full of many unknowns and death never comes at a perfect time, having your final wishes in the hands of a team that will celebrate your life with grace and dignity, exactly as you want it, provides a sense of solace. Another benefit to preplanning is having the ability to set aside funds into a funeral policy to pay for your services when the time comes. Hanson-Runsvold helps to set up this policy in a way that protects your assets while ensuring that your family won’t be burdened with those expenses. The entire process is about peace of mind for all.

Throughout the last century of serving the Fargo-Moorhead community and beyond, the compassionate team at HansonRunsvold Funeral Home has been helping to walk families through the most difficult experiences they’ve faced. They also understand that there is no time better than the present to plan ahead, which is why their free preplanning services are available both online and in-person. To find out how you can start the preplanning process, visit www.hansonrunsvold.com or call (701)232-3222.

“My advice to anyone: Just do It! It makes perfect sense for many reasons...first of which is peace of mind. The process was extremely easy. I felt comfortable and comforted the entire time. And, I know that if any of my wishes change as time goes by, they are only a quick call away.” – Gen



(Left to Right) Bethany Berkeley,

Alison Molony, Erica Johnsrud and Katie Munion


JULY 2021

HUMAN SKILLS ARE MORE RELEVANT THAN EVER And Dale Carnegie Training of ND Northwest MN is here, upskilling and re-humanizing your workforce to take on the unexpected.

This is the most relevant Dale Carnegie has been in 100 years, and research backs it up. With the changing marketplace, increased focus on automation and AI, and teams coming together face-to-face again, interpersonal and people skills are more vital than ever to achieve a competitive edge and build a healthy, adaptable, high performing workforce. By Brady Drake Photos by Jeremy Albright



WHO WAS DALE CARNEGIE? years after his death, Dale Carnegie remains one of the most influential figures in the development field. His books, courses, and programs have stood the test of time. Perhaps, his most recognizable work is How to Win Friends and Influence People, which has maintained a prominent presence throughout the world and was one of the first books to make 50

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the connection between people skills and business results. With over 100 years of success, over 200 offices and 8 million graduates around the world, today’s Dale Carnegie Trainings continue to innovate and adapt with the times, putting a new spin on the same tried and true principles and practices that propelled Carnegie to international success.

hink about it. Zoom calls are being replaced with in-person lunches, conference calls are being replaced with conference rooms and there’s no longer a need to have that Tiger King themed .jpeg ready to roll as a virtual background. In the wake of all these changes, the opportunity to differentiate yourself in a world that is yearning for strong personal connection remains. There’s no question that we as people are social creatures. To be truly happy and healthy, we need connection with friends, family, significant others and our coworkers, clients and business partners. However, over the last couple of decades, we have become increasingly cutoff from those around us; phones, tablets and televisions have served as the largest blockades and the COVID-19 pandemic greatly fortified the walls keeping us apart. For those in the business community, unless addressed, these rising barricades and associated stressors really damage bottom lines. The new Co-Owners of Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN, Bethany Berkeley and Katie Munion were in the business prepandemic and are still here, stronger than ever to help make sure this transition back to REAL normalcy positions their clients to be more proactive, versatile, innovative, and healthy for the long-run.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS There are many different formats and options for training solutions. Here’s the rundown:


2. 3. 4.

The Dale Carnegie Course: focused on building relationships, interpersonal skills, communication, confidence, selling ideas, and managing stress.

Leadership Training for Results: designed for executive and senior level leaders to step back from the weeds and elevate strategy and performance outcomes through their teams.


One of the most notable Dale Carnegie graduates is Warren Buffet, who still attributes his success to Dale Carnegie Training and the only ‘diploma’ displayed on his office wall is his graduation certificate from the program. 52

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Develop Your Leadership Potential: for people new to leadership roles or emerging leaders to prepare them for success through enhanced selfawareness and skills to navigate the tough conversations, team toxicity, and bring out the best on their teams as influencers.

High Impact Presentations: focused on the art of storytelling, presence, and elevating the ability to communicate authentically in the most memorable and compelling way for any audience (think leading a meeting, presenting to clients, and even speaking on a stage).

These programs are all open to the public, welcoming participants across industries delivered in two-day, three-day, three-week or eight-week formats multiple times per year most commonly in Fargo, Grand Forks,

Minot, Dickinson, Bismarck and Morris. The local team graduated nearly 30 programs during the pandemic and the courses continue to sell out - registrations are already being secured for programs starting this fall.

In House Training and Customized Solutions

clients is versatile - in some cases, we’re facilitating the Dale Carnegie Course in-house with a team onsite at a client’s location using industry lingo and real workplace scenarios for skill development. In other cases, we’re learning the internal acronyms and language in-depth along with the cultural nuances, organizational structure, and team dynamics before we facilitate. This allows us to become more fluent, connect more efficiently and deliver the most relevant experience,” explained Berkeley.

Even before bringing in the facilitator(s) to deliver the training, they take the time to collaborate, evaluate, and align on the vision for performance outcomes and business results.They often walk alongside learning and development departments and human resources to hit the mark - they are not replacing resources, rather enhancing capacity and results through their expertise. The length of these programs varies from business to business; however, the majority of in-house training is built in a time-phased format to ensure teams can practice skills between sessions which are typically scheduled for a minimum of 2-hours and delivered either weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The format and length of the solution is specific to each client’s current needs, investment range, and staffing demands. “Our level of content and delivery customization for

Live Online Options The live online options available through Dale Carnegie are a microcosm of what makes the 21st century beautiful. Through the power of technology, Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN allows users to participate in courses in an interactive, online setting either on demand or in the moment with a certified trainer and other participants. The majority of what can be delivered in person is also available online.

WHAT IS DALE CARNEGIE TRAINING OF ND AND NORTHWEST MN? Dale Carnegie Training of ND and Northwest MN is one of the 200+ locally owned franchises around the world and they’re headquartered right here in Fargo, going strong for close to 20 years.They are equipped with full and part-time team members along with contracted certified trainers located around the state.




Bethany Berkeley


We are the only ACCET (Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training) and ISO 9000 certified training company focused on training and development 100 percent of the time as a business. This means our programs have been vetted and approved for continuing education credits and our trainers are held to the highest standard for quality.



Mike Dragosavich Founder and CEO Spotlight

We don’t do anything else, we know our lane and believe if we add additional elements to our business like recruiting or EOS, our quality will be diminished and we can’t be the best at what we do if we’re focused in too many places.





Katie Munion

Shawn Peterson CEO

Liberty Business Systems


We incorporate ROI and Innovation projects in our programs to bridge the gap between people skills and business outcomes. We leverage a rigorous feedback tool to measure voice of the customer and net promoter scores, are ranked and held accountable by Dale Carnegie & Associates and are required to get recertified every three years. It is a requirement that all Dale Carnegie facilitators go through an intensive certification process and that they participate in the courses themselves, learn under a certified trainer, and pass each stage exceeding quality standards. We deliver refresher sessions for annual partners to ensure the results are sustained. We are not a one-and-done training provider - we work diligently to provide real results and transformation through our unique facilitation methodology, assessments, content and expertise.



Sarah West Owner

Light Consulting & Coaching 56

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According to Deloitte Global’s 2020 Readiness Report, The Fourth Industrial Revolution: At the intersection of readiness and responsibility, preparing workers to meet the demands of Industry 4.0 continues to be a fundamental business challenge. While many human skills are often considered to be innate traits, these vital skills can actually be taught. According to a Harvard research study, for example, social-emotional, noncognitive skills are malleable into adulthood and can be developed with the right resources, environment, and incentives. Based on the global research from Dale Carnegie and Associates, we know relationships are THE factor to create the competitive advantage in the marketplace. In fact, our research indicates about 70 percent of consumers make purchasing decisions based on who they like, respect and trust. Client experience is everything. In addition, research consistently demonstrates when a workforce feels confident, connected, and valued retention rates increase, performance elevates, and profitability goes up.




Let me tell you, there is no ‘checking-out' during a Dale Carnegie experience! We expand comfort zones with intention. Our certified trainers combine facilitated exercises, individual presentations, situational coaching, real-time feedback and peer recognition in each program. We work to ensure a real measurable outcome is achieved for our partners and trainers are selected for projects and programs based on their unique talents and industry expertise. Our training programs, on any platform, are not presentational. Participants practice skills in the moment, unplug, think on their feet, and collaborate with one another in a dynamic, challenging, and psychologically safe environment.

Kurt McSparron Founder and Director The Executives' Club of Fargo-Moorhead



Barry Gruchow Owner

Halberstadts's Downtown Fargo


We have a strong brand and history of success behind us. We continue to leverage content and research proven to drive results and while many franchises are considered ‘out of the box’ and disconnected across industries, we aren’t. The recipe for success looks different for each client and we have the capacity and ingredients to make it happen.

WHAT THE CLIENTS THINK The thing that I loved about Dale Carnegie the most was they’re right there with you. There’s no, ‘here is the information, go practice it on your own.’ There’s structure to everything and they’re very intentional with the way they walk you through things.” -Jay Evans, Founder and CEO of Off Color Media and Participant In The High Impact Presentations Program

It really flips your way of thinking… It’s a good experience and a good learning experience that helps you build yourself professionally and personally.” -The Great Plains Transport team after participating in a in-house session


They’ve been through the programs themselves, use tested and proven content, and are the only training company dedicated to facilitating business results through people 100 percent of the time. The majority owner, Bethany, says there are no competitors locally. Why? Because each provider has a different focus and in our development space, no one can match the rigorous certification standards for trainers, proven deliverables, and time-tested results.

owever, Berkeley and Munion found themselves greatly impacted by Dale Carnegie Trainings long before employment or ownership. Munion’s first exposure came when she was working at Eide Bailly Technology Consulting. Luck would have it her boss moved her around a corner at the office and next to the two women who owned Dale Carnegie at the time. “That proximity really helped pique my interest in helping to develop people in the things that they are passionate about,” said Munion. “I thought, 'I should do this someday,' and it really prompted me to start taking the Dale Carnegie courses and going through the certification process.” FARGOINC.COM



Eventually she did and found herself working on the team as a contract certified trainer, leveraging past experiences in recruiting and professional services to make a translatable impact and truly found her passion. Berkeley’s first exposure also came by chance. She was exposed to the power of Dale Carnegie during her participation in the United Way's 35 Under 35 training program after relocating to Fargo, ND from Austin, TX. Both of the previous owners, Tonya Stende and Tamara Anderson, were guest speakers,” said Berkeley.


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“They made us go through all of these crazy interactive exercises. I was uncomfortable, but, pushed in the right ways and it really resonated with me. I worked with Tonya on a campaign for the United Way when she was the Chair. She gave me some seriously eye-opening 1:1 coaching on speaking before I took stage in front of over 700 people at the United Way Cass Clay’s annual campaign kickoff. I was more confident, prepared, and authentic as a result….and then recruited me shortly thereafter. She practiced Dale Carnegie's principles and influenced me right on the spot.”

Bethany joined the team as a consultant to drive revenue and build lasting relationships with clients. She moved from a consulting role to leading Business Development for the territory and acquired equity after the previous owners sold the business. When she returned from maternity leave after the initial onset of COVID-19, her previous business partner who she also credits to her success, Jay Peltier, was ready to explore other entrepreneurial ventures. She knew she wanted to purchase and protect the business quality and availability in our communities, but didn’t want to without the additional perspective and talents she saw in



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Katie Munion. Their passion and commitment was worth it and they went for the purchase..in the middle of a pandemic. “It was pretty crazy buying a people business in the middle of a pandemic,” said majority owner, Berkeley. “What’s more, Katie was in Utah when the opportunity first came for her to join us to lead training and quality. We just had a great connection when we were working together and complement each other in the best of ways. Katie demonstrates the standard of Dale Carnegie and I am in awe of her talents. Ultimately, after she joined us pre-pandemic full-time, I essentially ‘proposed’ for her to join me in a business marriage”, Bethany laughed. Our hands were shaking as we wrote the checks at the bank to open our business accounts, knowing we may not be successful with all factors at play working against us. We really believe in what we do and the transformational outcomes we witness firsthand, time and time again, and were compelled to go all-in to keep Dale Carnegie training alive in our communities and for our clients. They should, Dale Carnegie Training is more relevant than ever. Visit northdakota. dalecarnegie.com to learn more.

Tips For Growing in North Dakota By Brady Drake

Our state has a lot to offer, from the rolling hills in the western side of the state to the fertile farmland that can be found all along the Red River Valley, we've got things pretty good. However, sometimes we forget just how amazing some of the products produced here really are. For a quick reminder, we chose to highlight some great Pride of Dakota products and asked those companies for a few tips on how to grow in our great state. 64

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Jumbos Sloppy Joe Sauce From The Jumbo's Website: In the 1950s, a connoisseur of fantastic flavor named ‘Jumbo Jim’ made waves in the town of Mandan, North Dakota, by offering a Sloppy Joe at his Drive-In that kept customers clamoring for more. Children and adults alike offered their votes of approval as this sauce became a sensation in the state capital’s sister city. Today, the sauce is available at your local grocer or on the Jumbo's website in a 14-oz jar, bringing Jumbo’s classic, unbeatable taste directly into your home.

3 Tips 1. Never miss a chance to tell your story. 2. Find allies – We’ve been very blessed to have some strong influencers, including Jay Thomas from WDAY become fans and friends along the way. 3. Adapt and market constantly.

What are Pride of Dakota Products? Pride of Dakota was created in 1985 by former Commissioner of Agriculture Kent Jones to create a state brand that would designate products as “made in North Dakota.”

Cottonwood Cider House From The Cottonwood Cider House Website: ND’s first Cidery, Cottonwood Cider House crafts its cider from apples grown by Cottonwood Farm. Located by Ayr, ND, Cottonwood Farm is a fourth-generation family-owned farm and ND’s largest commercial organic mixed fruit orchard.

Photos by Stacy Nelson-Heising

3 Tips 1. We go above and beyond to promote our product. Part of this is making an effort to learn about our customers and spend time with each one. After all, they are choosing to spend their time and money on our cider. That’s a bid deal to us. We remember the names of as many people as we can. We want people to know that we appreciate them. 2. Have a unique product. We are always coming up with new ideas for different ciders. People like to have variety and new ciders to choose from. 3. Believe in your product and educate your team members about your product. We are the best people to sell our cider. Every Cottonwood Cider House employee learns about the cider making process from apple picking to how our cider is made.

Four Families Pasta From The Four Families Pasta Website: Four Families Penne Pasta is a high fiber pasta that is not only a healthy alternative but also helps animals in need.

3 Tips 1. Find trends in what customers are asking for and provide that service. 2. Get the word out to as many people as possible. Utilize all the social media outlets.

Today, more than 500 member companies – ranging in size from large companies with more than 100 employees to “mom-and-pop” operations – are part of the program. Members include food and beverage companies, manufacturers, publishers, artisans, gift manufacturers and service providers. Associate members, such as commodity groups, government agencies, educational institutions and retailers, also support the program.

3. Take pride in your business and the products you are selling.



HomeSpun Chick From The HomeSpun Chick Website: Our handcrafted goat soaps and lotions are created in our studio with love and quality ingredients going into each batch. Our goat milk is graciously given to us by our nanny goats, Rosie, Chloe, Alyce and Dotty. They are free range goats with a diet of only the best offerings the farm produces. After each milking, we strain the raw milk to remove any impurities and freeze it immediately. It is not processed in any way so as to retain the healthy qualities of the milk and cream.

3 Tips

1. Always be yourself and be true to yourself. Do not compromise yourself or your beliefs. Be honest with yourself and others in all you do, show kindness to everyone you meet, 2. Do not be afraid to fail. Trying new ways of doing things, new ideas, new anything - there is always a risk of failure - not everything you do will be a success. Be willing to not only fail, but learn from the failure and get right back up and take another risk, or try another idea - when you stop learning you stop living. 3. Ask for Help. You cannot be everything to everyone, you have strengths and weaknesses - excel in your strengths, ask for help in your weaknesses. Asking for help is not a weakness but a strength as you are acknowledging you need help and that takes guts!

Uncle Charlie's Gourmet Snacks From The Uncle Charlie's Gourmet Snacks Website: Charlie's Chow takes snacking to a whole new level with unique gourmet flavors on a classic Midwestern treat. By focusing on making small batches from scratch, we pour our hearts into crafting exceptional flavors for those that seek a homemade snack experience. With fun flavors that buck tradition for extraordinary snacking, it is our mission to make parties more celebratory, watching TV shows more munchable, simply giving snackers that chance to enjoy our special flavors any time they desire.

3 Tips 1. Be Creative "color outside the lines." No one ever changes the world by doing what everyone else has done. Tap into that part of you that only you can present to the world and embrace your uniqueness. As an entrepreneur, you are already different. Embrace it. 2. Balance Transparency vs. Mystique. These days, customers demand transparency. They want to know who? What? When? Where? Why? The trick is to be transparent but still maintain an air of mysticism.

Overexposure can cause people to get tired of you, but customers still want to feel like they know you and your company intimately. So give them access, but always keep them on the edge of their seats, anticipating what's next for your company. 3. Be mutable. Every company runs into hiccups. Be able and willing to pivot if need be. Never be so enamored with your original idea that you're not willing to make changes or update your idea. Ideas evolve, be willing to grow with them.



Dakota Don’s Artisan Waffles From Dakota the Dakota Don's Artisan Waffles Website: Hi, I'm Dakota Don. ​ My waffle mix offers an easy to make waffle that tastes like a homemade gourmet product for an enhanced food experience or special event. ​ There hasn’t been a demand for a different waffle because there hasn’t been a credible alternative. DDAW mix is blended specifically for the waffle iron and achieves a significantly better taste and texture.

3 Tips 1. Use mentoring resources like SCORE and InnovateND. The progress of Dakota Don’s Artisan Waffles can be linked to guidance from mentors and programs available to new ND companies. My SCORE mentors and my InnovateND advisor provided objective and unbiased perspectives in regular meetings. Our discussions helped me establish and evaluate goals, set guidelines and meet deadlines. Their experience with the larger business community and contacts available were key to the progress I have made.

of product acceptance and the financial cost of moving DDAW forward. The product survey and the timeline of the grant allowed me to better understand and direct my efforts. The pandemic slowed down the process of marketing the DDAW mix but may have helped by allowing a more “organic” development of the product. 3. Get the input of friends and family. I honored relentless encouragement from friends and family to share the famous waffle that I made them for over 25 years. One friend’s son, now an adult, named them legendary.

2. Pursue available grants. The two relatively small grants that InnovateND provided, gave me a more realistic view

LaShe Naturals From The LaShe Naturals Website: LaShe Naturals offers help to people who deal with difficult natural health problems every day. Muscle Aches, Back Pain, Leg Cramps, Menstrual Cramps and Chest Congestion create sleepless nights and uncomfortable days. Smelly shoes and other embarrassing sports related aromas. Our products are made with pure all natural ingredients.

3 Tips 1. Join Pride of Dakota and use the resources they provide. Attend shows, educational training and talk to other members for advice. 2. In order to have your products available to sell you must develop a dependable supply chain for your ingredients and packaging. Learn the habits of your supply 68

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chain so you know how far out you need to order. Most of the companies we purchase from ship quickly, but, one essential item can hold up everything. This has been doubly important during the past year. 3. Create a website and establish your shipping methods.

Krampade From The Krampade Website: Krampade products are a high potassium electrolyte powder, replacing potassium lost in muscles and body through everyday activity. Our products help stop and prevent cramping, but also enhances performance, speeds recovery after activity, and reduces fatigue, all while optimizing your hydration.

3 Tips 1. Interact with your local EDC office 2. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong in ND and the State supports this 3. Grow our own businesses here.

From The Steep Me a Cup of Tea Website: Steep Me A Cup of Tea is a trendy shop serving hot and iced beverages made by fusion. This trendy shop will keep your taste buds excited with over 100 different kinds of loose tea that will exceed all tea lover’s expectations. We love local artists and their handmade products which is why we offer our venue to market their products to our customers.

Steep Me a Cup OF TEA

3 Tips 1. 1000% quality customer service makes all the difference! 2. Have a superior product for the money! 3. Have passion and integrity in your product!


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What are Trademarks and When Should I get one?

By Tom Kading

A Trademark is a name, symbol, or device that identifies the source of a product or service. Registering your Trademark provides some distinct benefits in protecting your brand. Trademarks protect a brand in all 50 states when filed in the United States.

3. Risk of Infringement Disputes. Even if you don't register a Trademark, you still may have common law Trademark rights. This doesn't mean someone else in another state is aware of your business and won't file a federal Trademark for the same name. Even though such a person could not stop you from using your brand in your geography, it could still distract you from focusing on your business. Filing a Trademark can sometimes be a method to preempt this scenario. For example, let's say you do business in North Dakota and Minnesota but have never filed for a Trademark with the USPTO. Now So why would a small business owner let's say someone in Florida decides to start a business in the same name want to incur the time and expense and is unaware of your business. Suppose the person in Florida decides to file and obtain a Trademark with to file for a federal Trademark and the application is granted to the the United States Patent & Trademark person. In that case, that person could potentially have a Trademark Office (USPTO)? Most small businesses on your business name, despite you being the first to use it. Now you start by filing with the Secretary of State still fully have the right to use the name in the geography in which to form a LLC, Corporation, or other you do business, but expanding may require hiring an attorney to entity type. In this article, I will lay out the determine how you can move forward without causing infringement top four reasons to Trademark a business accusations. Further, the Florida person might also later discover name or a logo. your business and make allegations of infringement. In either case, you will likely have to spend some money on an attorney to sort 1. Growth. The first and most common out the potential allegations of infringement. Hiring an attorney reason a business should consider after the fact will likely be more costly than what it would take to a Trademark is when the business is file for a Trademark. anticipating that it may grow beyond the state where it first started. Filing a Trademark 4.Website URL. One rarely known Trademark benefit is ensures that you have rights to the name the ability to keep third parties from holding onto domain or logo in states and geographies across the names that reflect your brand and "holding them hostage" country. For example, let's say you file a LLC in for excessive prices. The Internet Corporation for Assigned North Dakota but plan to grow into Minnesota Names and Numbers (ICANN) has a Uniform Domain-Name and South Dakota. Someone else in Minnesota Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). Suppose someone else or South Dakota could start a business under is using a URL that is confusingly similar to your Trademark. the same name after filing for your LLC in North In that case, the World Intellectual Property Organization Dakota. There is nothing legally (unless you have (WIPO) has a process which you can use to enforce the Trademark rights) stopping someone in another terms of UDRP and reclaim the disputed URL for a state from starting a business with the same name. reasonable cost. For most URLs this process can apply. If someone did this, it would prohibit you from using your brand in that state. The person in the other Fargo Patent & Business Law is an intellectual property state may start the business with the same name and business law firm. If you have questions about completely in good faith. If you want to stop people Trademarks, other intellectual property, or other business in other states from using the name, you should file a issues, we are always happy to talk to you. federal trademark. The information provided in this article does not 2. Competitive Industry. Suppose your business is in and is not intended to constitute legal advice. All a competitive industry in which there are many similar information, content, and material is for general brands. In that case, it is not uncommon where one brand informational or educational purposes only. is so similar to another such that there may be allegations Information provided may not be the most up-toof infringement. An example of this may be when one date legal information, and it is recommended that company's logo is similar to another company's logo within readers contact their attorney to obtain advice on the industry. For example, let's say you own an optometry any particular legal matter. practice and do business only in Fargo. Further, let's say that your logo incorporates the shape of a set of eyeglasses. A competitor in Fargo may also decide to use a logo with a similar-looking set of eyeglasses. Having filed a Trademark makes it much easier to stop your competitor from using that logo, which may be confusingly similar. If you don't have a registered Trademark, you may still have common law Trademark rights, but it is typically harder to enforce such rights.







JULY 2021

At first glance, reading books and physical fitness may seem mutually exclusive. This year, however, the Kindred Park Board and the Kindred Public Library are joining forces to demonstrate that pairing exercise and literacy can provide a fun and unique community experience. “With Covid last year a lot more people got out walking and wandering the parks,” states Michael Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation in Kindred, ND. “We wanted to do something to keep that momentum going.” In researching and exploring options to bring to his community, Brown learned about an initiative called StoryWalks®. The original StoryWalk® project was

created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, Vt., and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library to promote literacy by using a series of mobile signs designed to connect reading and learning with physical activity. “It looked like a fun, familyfriendly activity. Our library has been doing such an unbelievable job with their programming, this was a great opportunity to team up to bring more things to our community and get people outside.” Jennifer Guzik, of the Kindred Public Library board, agrees. “This is the first big project we’ve partnered on with the Park Board, and we are so excited. We were aware of StoryWalks®, there have even been some set up in

The Cass Clay chapter of the Awesome Foundation awards a $1,000 gift each month for awesome ideas of all sorts. Grant recipients do not need to be associated with a nonprofit. Applications can be made at awesomefoundation. org/en/chapters/cassclay.

Fargo, and it seemed a great project for us. I love making use of our walking trails to pair literacy and exercise.” Both entities brought their areas of expertise to the table in figuring out the logistics of bringing the project to their community; the Park Board taking on the task of constructing mobile signs that would brave the North Dakota elements and make the project possible, and the Library choosing books that would be interactive, yet without so much text as to be burdensome as people moved through the community. “Our first book is Bird Watch, by Christie Matheson. It’s a great book with birds hidden in the pictures. You can read the text, or look for the birds—it can be as interactive as you want it to be,” says Guzik. Despite their obvious enthusiasm, it wasn’t initially clear if the Park Board and the Library would able to bring the initiative to their area, as neither had a budget for such a project. However, the Kindred Public Library was able to obtain a Library Vision Summer Grant from the North Dakota State Library to cover the cost of books, as well as a laminator to assist with the signage, and the Kindred Park Board applied for a grant from the local chapter of the Awesome Foundation. In full support of the project, the Cass Clay chapter of the Awesome

Foundation designated the Kindred Park Board as their May 2021 grantee, and gifted them with $1000 toward the construction of the signs that would be used throughout the community. With sign installation secured, the Kindred StoryWalk® is now showcasing Bird Watch throughout the Kindred Park system. “There are clear signs with arrows for people who wander, but there is also a map available, both at the library and on our website. The walk starts at one of our Free Little Libraries and winds its way along the park, along the bike path, by the softball field. People can ride bikes, jog, or stroller their kids. There are over twenty different displays, and many stopping spots along the way for people to take a break. It really is self-paced, people can get out of it what works for them.” Brown says with enthusiasm. “It’s a fun way to encourage people of all ages to read, move, and enjoy the outdoors.” While the Kindred Park Board has many thoughts and plans for providing different opportunities to promote health and recreation to their community, they are also appreciative of the reusable aspect of the StoryWalk® project, allowing them to utilize the same resources for multiple different experiences.

“Because the signs are mobile they afford us the opportunity to create a new experience each and every time with new trails and new texts offered to our residents. This fall we will do a different location, with different winding roads. And moving into next year, there is so much possibility to explore different ways to get around town, maybe have a downtown walk,” says Brown. Possible future books and paths may still be under consideration, but the Kindred Park Board and the Kindred Public Library already have their fall plan in place. They will be showcasing Our Great Big Backyard, by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, a book that is also part of the Reading Road Trip USA Kindred summer reading program. “We are so excited to be able to do this,” Guzik says, the smile clear in her voice. “All ages and families can explore nature and literacy together. And this is something that isn’t just for Kindred. This is something people from the surrounding towns can also enjoy. We welcome anyone who wants to participate.”



The Power of Social Networks in the Workplace 76

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When I talk to managers and leaders, they are surprised to learn that the most influential people in the organization are typically not those at the top of the formal organization chart. Employees often have more influence than the boss. This is because the most influential people are often those with the most friend- or work-ties in the organization, not those with the best parking space or corner office. In my experience, supervisors and executives often have below average number of social ties (yet believe they are more central than they really are). When considering who is a leader in the organization, it is important to look at who is the most central socially—that is where you find the true influencers. This influence some wield outside a formal role such as manager or supervisor is explained by the science of social networks, which is the study of socially connected things—such as friends, collaborators, or co-workers. It can help us understand why social relationships lead to influence but also tells us why social relationships are so valuable at work for other things, such as performance and creativity. I use social network analysis to study relationships in organizations and how those social ties provide benefits to individuals, teams, and the organization as a whole. A basic understanding of social networks can help you as an employee or as a leader become more thoughtful about work ties, enhance your (and others) influence at work, and increase benefits and opportunities for yourself and the workplace. If you were asked what the most important factor is in predicting work performance what would you say? Most people mention traits such as personality, intelligence, or skill. It’s surprising to managers and leaders to learn that your set of personal relationships at work can have just as much

or even more impact on work performance than individual traits. In the workplace, each person’s set of relationship ties—such as friendships— hold a unique position in the broader net of the overall social network. Your position in this network provides advantages at work and are a source of influence in the organization. Let me explain. Think of it this way: each tie you have is a pathway to spread and gain information and knowledge. If you have more ties, you receive and send information more quickly than those with fewer ties. When you are more central to the social network and have more access to others in the network, you have greater influence. The research is clear that people with more ties perform better than people with fewer ties. You are also more likely to have creative or innovative ideas, get promoted, and be considered powerful. This is because you draw upon more sources of information, have more access to others’ advice, ideas, and support, and generally find more opportunities to learn and share knowledge. Having a lot of ties in your social network doesn’t just benefit you, it can benefit your team or organization as well. When many people are connected on a team or organization, with few bottlenecks or isolated groups, information flows freely and quickly, knowledge is more readily shared, and influence is not concentrated in one or two individuals. By connecting to others, you also become a rich resource of information to them. As more people connect with each other, the entire organization experiences increased collaboration, information sharing, and knowledge growth. Social networks are a critical, but often overlooked key to understanding high performing individuals and organizations.

Here are a few basic ideas for employees and leaders to consider when thinking about social networks at work. 1. Build your network: Having more ties is generally better. Being more central (i.e., having more friends or collaborators) provides more benefits—connect with others and encourage others connecting with you. Meet people! 2. Build a diverse network: Try to reach out to people in different areas of the organization or who have a different perspective. These are often the source of fresh and creative ideas. We tend to connect with people similar to ourselves, this is normal, but having a diverse network pays dividends. Explore and diversify your relationships. 3. Connect others: Building your network is not just about influence and performance, it’s about helping others as well. The mutual benefit of social networks is a critical aspect of its power—the more you connect, the more others are connected to you, and the more the organization benefits. Connected organizations and teams perform better!

Josh Marineau, Associate Professor of Management at North Dakota State, has had research published in Social Networks, Group & Organization Management, andJournal of Business and Psychology. He has presented his research at academic conferences around the world, most recently at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL, and at the International Network for Social Network Analysis Annual Meeting in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Buying a


f you visit SKripts Pharmacy in the West Fargo Costco store, chances are you’ll find Trisha Oss busy answering customer questions, filling a prescription or helping a coworker. A graduate of the NDSU School of Pharmacy, Trisha has worked at SKripts since 2013 and is one of 3 licensed pharmacists and 11 employees at the independently-owned pharmacy.

will turn over in the next decade.

When she learned in late 2020 of the owner’s plans to sell, Trisha began to explore the possibility of buying the business. In May, 2021, after obtaining assistance from the ND Small Business Development Centers in Fargo (ND SBDC), her accountant and attorney, and securing a commercial loan through her bank (Alerus), her dream of becoming a business owner became a reality.

Take into account your interests, skills, and experience. Look for a small business that dovetails with what you are already doing. For example, if you’ve been a manager at a restaurant for a number of years, it could make sense to own your own restaurant.

BY Paul Smith

Every year, more than a half-million businesses like SKripts change hands, and that number is expected to skyrocket as millions of baby boomers retire and sell their businesses. It has been estimated that up to seven of ten small businesses in ND



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One advantage of buying an existing business (or a franchise) is you have the opportunity to become a business owner while avoiding some of the pain points and costs of starting a new business. But the journey can be long and complex. If you’re looking at buying a business, here are some things to consider: Step 1: Determine what type of business you want to buy

Step 2: Search for businesses that are for sale There are many ways to find businesses for sale that fit your criteria. These include: • Online business marketplaces such as BizBuySell.com • Craigslist ads • Classified newspaper ads under “Businesses for Sale”

• Asking people in your network • Consulting a business broker Step 3: Understand why an existing business is up for sale There are many reasons why a business owner might put their business up for sale such as retirement. If you’re considering buying a business, you’ll want to know exactly why the current owner is looking at selling. Find out as much as you can about the existing business's history, strengths, challenges, and opportunities. If possible, speak with existing customers and employees. Step 4: Narrow the field Determine the best option among several different businesses. Typically, the best choice is the business that aligns closest with your area of interest, goals, budget and resources. Step 5: Do your due diligence Due diligence is the process of gathering as much information as you can before buying a business. At this point, it’s often helpful to have an accountant and/or business advisor

with a background in finance to help analyze the financial information. Before you can begin, the seller will most likely ask for a signed confidentiality agreement or nondisclosure agreement (NDA), which protects the seller in case you decide not to pursue the purchase. • Commonly requested documents include: Organizational paperwork • Historical financial statements • Three-year cash flow projections • Business tax returns • Brief history of the business • Complete list of business assets • Business licenses and permits • Contracts and leases • Any environmental regulations • Organizational chart • Inventory status • Intellectual property assets • Customer lists • Key employee contracts As you move forward, the seller typically issues a letter of intent (LOI) to the buyer, which states the agreed upon purchase price and lists the business assets and liabilities included in the transaction. Eventually, a sales agreement is drawn up. An attorney should be involved in drafting and/or reviewing this legally binding document. Step 6: Evaluate the price of the business The next step is to agree on a price. This is where many deals fall apart because buyers and sellers often place very different values on the same business. The ND SBDC often can provide interested buyers with ‘rules of thumb’ to help determine a ‘fair range of value’ for a

specific type of business. Sometimes, buyers or sellers will pay for an independent business valuation based on one of several recognized methods. While these approaches can be useful, keep in mind the final price will always be the one that both the buyer and the seller agree on. Step 7: Secure the capital needed to make the purchase Once you and seller have agreed on a number, the next step is to secure the capital needed. Below are some common ways to finance a business purchase: • Personal or family money • Seller financing • Partner with somebody else • Lease to own • Bank debt financing (term loan) It has become common for a buyer to use multiple financing sources to purchase a business. For example, the purchase of SKripts was financed through a business bank loan and SBA 7(a) loan guaranty, seller financing and a cash injection from the buyer. In this case, the seller also stayed on as an employee to help ensure a smooth transition with customers and suppliers. As with any business loan, lenders will look at what are commonly referred to as ‘the 5 C’s’ in making their credit decision character, capital, capacity, collateral and conditions. You’ll also have to provide an updated business plan, and show financial projections for the business. The SBDC specializes in assisting buyers in preparing to secure financing.

Paul Smith is Fargo Center Director of the ND Small Business Development Centers (ND SBDC). The ND SBDC helps North Dakota small business owners to start, manage and grow their companies through providing free, professional business advising services, technical assistance and training in a range of areas such as business planning, market research and financial analysis. Last year, the program assisted nearly 1,400 clients through nine service centers located across the State. The Fargo Center is located in the NDSU Research and Technology Park. For more information, please visit ndsbdc.org.

Step 8: Close the deal Finally, when you’ve found the right business, done your due diligence, agreed on a fair price, and gathered the capital required, you’ll need to have a number of documents, notes and agreements in place at the time of closing. Common documents include the bill of sale, lease agreement, franchise

documents, asset acquisition statement and employment/ consultation agreement (if the seller is staying on). Summary: Buying a business is a big decision. If you’re considering a purchase, find a business that you will enjoy and can manage and grow.

Do your homework - find out all you can about the business - and get help. “The process of purchasing the pharmacy and securing the financing required was long with many steps and some unforeseen bumps along the way, but in the end it was all worth it” said Trisha. “One piece of advice would be to reach out to trusted advisors for help in navigating the process.”

Murphy Business Sales https://murphybusiness.com/fargo/ (Note: Business brokers legally represent the seller, and earn a commission when a sale goes through which is typically paid by the seller.)

Here are some additional resources, which you might find helpful: The BizBuySell Guide to Buying a Small Business: A road map to the successful purchase of a business, Second Edition. Ed Pendarvis. 2015. The BizBuySell Guide to Selling Your Small Business: A roadmap to the successful sale of your business, Third Edition. Barbara Findlay Schenck. 2012. HBR Guide to Buying a Small Business: Think Big, Buy Small, Own Your Own Company, Richard S. Ruback, Royce Yudkoff. 2017. Sunbelt Business Brokers https://www.sunbeltnetwork.com/fargo-nd/



Allison Lunde Owner of Floret & Foliage TWO BIRDS PHOTOGRAPHY

Q. Tell us a bit about yourself. A. I am Allison Lunde, owner and the only designer and employee at Floret & Foliage. I have a wonderful husband that helps me as much as he can. We live in Wahpeton with our two cats, Lewis and Dottie, and our two dogs, Ruxin and Penny. I love listening to My Favorite Murder and Morbid podcasts. When I am not flowering, I love watching the Office, Parks and Rec, Schitt’s Creek and New Girl, on repeat. Q. How did you get involved in your work? A. I have always loved being around flowers and planting things. When I graduated high school, I went to Mstate for landscape design and my teacher was a cut flower grower. We did fundraisers with floral arranging and I loved it. I got a job at Hornbacher's in the floral department in 2009, then moved to the cities and worked at a big floral company there doing a ton of weddings a weekend. Q. What does sustainability mean to you and your business? How does it affect what you do? A. Sustainability is incredibly hard in the floral industry, it’s actually pretty annoying.

Allison Lunde runs the whole operation at her floral shop Floret & Foliage. She talks with Ladyboss about why she hates getting advice, how the floral industry could be more sustainable, and how even the strangest-looking flowers still have their place. By McKenzie Schwark


JULY 2021

There is so much plastic waste and packaging material, cardboard boxes are the bane of my job, so many boxes. I recycle as much as I can, cardboard is the bulk of the recycling. I would love it if more wholesalers would wrap their flowers in paper, which would be so much more sustainable. I do try and reuse the plastic sleeves as packaging when I deliver my flowers. I love reusing items, like vases or even buying vintage or second-hand as much as I can and I rarely use foam, which is a micro-plastic. Sustainability is important to me, and my business.

many people have told me to just trust the process and things will get better, which is usually true. Q. What do you think women need most right now? A. I have so many things that we need. One thing that would make me incredibly happy is for men to stop talking down and “mansplaining.” We need to be able to take up space and be able to speak our minds and truths without being labeled as unsavory, when a man could easily speak to us in that way and it is fine.

Q. How does the earth or land inspire your work? A. Nature is the most inspiring in my line of work from sunsets for color palettes, to the way flowers grow. I love using it all to make the perfect floral arrangements. I love the natural way flowers grow curly or imperfect to normal standards, but I think that they are beautiful and should be celebrated. Not every flower will be perfectly straight, or the perfect color but they have their spot. Q. What is your favorite form of self-care? A. I love laying on the couch watching movies. My favorites right now are Eurovision and Easy A! I also really love taking a very hot bath and just doing nothing, or I have started playing Animal Crossing with my nieces to seem somewhat cool. It is surprisingly relaxing. Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently? A. I am going to be honest, I don’t like when people give me advice. I am defiant and I have such a hard time when someone tells me what to do. I will say that I am going through some wild things and



Academic Insight


ost managers and employees dread the performance evaluation process. However, if done properly, it can be a very effective, efficient, and developmental process that can lead to stronger and more positive managersupervisee working relationships. I know this because years ago when I was a supervisor, I searched for a better way to conduct them. And after reading various articles on the subject and Peter Drucker’s Management by Objective (MBO) philosophy, I had a mind shift that forever changed how I would view and implement performance evaluations. This month’s BY Shontarius D. Aikens, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management at Offutt School of Business at Concordia College 84

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article provides an overview of the process I used as a manager and my reflections on the benefits of incorporating these principles into the performance evaluation process. Step 1: Adopt a positive mindset The first step is to view the performance evaluation process with the right mindset at the onset. If you view it as a mundane task, your actions will resemble a “let’s get it over with” approach. Instead, view this process as an opportunity to shine a light on the employee’s contributions to the organization and to provide the employee with developmental feedback to enhance their skills. You would be surprised at how much of a difference a simple shift in thinking can make. Step 2: Share the performance evaluation form with the supervisee at the beginning After reflecting on various jobs in the earlier part of my career, it occurred to me that the first time I actually saw the evaluation form was during my end of review period


A Collaborative Approach for Conducting Performance Evaluations

evaluation meeting. Perhaps at such a young age, I didn’t know enough to request a copy of this form in advance. However, after talking with some of my friends and colleagues, it appears that this was the norm for most people during their first year of employment at a job. Eventually, I started giving my supervisees a copy of the official performance evaluation form at the beginning of each evaluation period. This was my attempt to be transparent about the categories that would be used to evaluate their work performance. Step 3: Conduct a 1-on-1 mutual expectations meeting with each supervisee To incentivize supervisees to be more engaged, include them in the process of developing their individual performance goals. At the beginning of the evaluation period, schedule a 1-on-1 mutual expectations meeting with each supervisee to accomplish the following as indicated by the roles below: • Manager: Take the lead in describing in a vision or a narrative what ideal performance would look like based on the

Dr. Aikens can be reached at: saikens@cord.edu

manager’s understanding of the supervisee’s position and job responsibilities. • Supervisee: Provide feedback on if the manager’s vision or narrative is an accurate, reasonable, and feasible depiction of their work responsibilities. During this time, share with the manager any resources needed to be successful. • Manager & Supervisee: Create SMART goals for each rating within each evaluation category. For example, if there are three ratings (e.g. Meets Expectations, Exceeds Expectations, Needs Improvement), create three SMART goals to indicate how those ratings will be determined. • Manager: Type up these items in the performance evaluation form and save the electronic file. Be sure to give a hard copy of this completed document to the supervisee. When I implemented this process, there were several positive benefits. One, it helped me to better understand the workrelated tasks and challenges experienced by my supervisee. Two, making performance measurements objective reduced the lack of knowledge and anxiety that a supervisee may have felt about achieving a desired rating. And three, it made it easier for me to assign a performance rating at the end of the evaluation period. Step 4: Make ongoing updates and revisions to the performance evaluation document It is not wise to cram for a final exam the day before, because a poor score on that test can heavily influence one’s overall course letter grade.

The same can be said about waiting until the last minute to draft a performance evaluation document which can play a significant role in determining whether an employee will receive a promotion and/or a raise in the future. Consider the performance evaluation file as a living document when it comes to documenting events and instances related to an employee’s performance. For example, when something significant occurs, open the document on the computer, make specific notes and comments right then, and save the file. Summary There are several benefits to adopting this formative and summative performance evaluation approach. One, it reduces the chances of a manager forgetting keys details about significant events or accomplishments that occurred and having to rely solely on their memory. Two, it helps to promote continuous communication and ongoing feedback throughout the year to reduce the chances of “surprises” during the end of period evaluation meeting. Three, supervisees will start taking more initiative and ownership in managing their performance by notifying and providing documentation to the manager when a task or milestone has been completed or if there are factors inhibiting their ability to meet performance expectations. And four, being diligent and persistent in documenting items as the year progresses will result in a more detailed and thorough performance evaluation document. All this means a better process and experience for the employee, the manager, and ultimately the organization.




1 Tell us your Red E elevator pitch? Jesse: Red E designs, sells, and services high


ohn Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past seven years. He knows their ups, their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them. Here are John Machacek’s 10 questions for Matt Faul, President, and Jesse Faul, Vice President, of Red E.

performing aftermarket solutions for air seeders and precision planters as well as provides valuable engineering services for other companies and individuals resulting in a winning combination for our customers.

2 In watching one of your YouTube videos, you mention the philosophy of helping your customers maintain and upgrade what they already have. What does that mean and why is it important? Matt: We grew up with a grandpa and dad who

BY John Machacek PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen and Josiah Kopp


JULY 2021

made do with what they had, often tweaking and rebuilding so that they could make ends meet. The challenges in farming haven’t gone away, they’ve only magnified. With continually rising input costs, margins remain small in farming growers need to cover more acres in less time to make it pencil out. JFK said, “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells at wholesale, and pays freight both ways.” Red E helps growers save money through the upgrading of their existing equipment with modern technology, improved durability, and greater performance. All of this contributes to greater margins through higher yields and lower operating costs.

3 Red E is multi-faceted in that you not only have your parts and equipment, but you are an engineering company as well. How much do those two aspects intersect in the products and work you do?

About John: John Machacek has been helping local startups with the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation since prior to his position with the GFMEDC. Before joining the team, Machacek was the VP of Finance & Operations at United Way of Cass-Clay and a business banker at U.S. Bank.

Jesse: Red E would not be the business it is today without

engineering and sales complimenting each other. Prior to selling performance agriculture parts, we were designing them for other companies behind the scenes. That allowed us to cut our teeth on what designs made sense and which ones should be scrapped. One of the hinge points for Red E’s continued longterm success is having a sharp engineering group that can innovate and solve issues. Sales compliments the engineering by bringing new problems to the forefront.

4 What is your process for solving those necessities and problems of the farmers? I’m sure there are some standard problems and parts, but also issues that may be more unique. Matt: Necessity is the mother of invention and innovation. We

always want to be slow to speak and quick to listen. Every time we talk to a farmer, rebuild a machine or attend a farm show we learn something. Those learning experiences come through doing and taking part. Finding elegantly simple solutions to problems that haven’t been solved really gets our juices flowing.




5 So, I imagine with your engineering process and mindsight mixed in, it’s not just about fixing or replacing a part. Am I correct?

I know you hire interns and were interns yourself while in college. Can you tell me about the importance of internships?

Jesse: Hearing a farmer say, “It works exactly how it should’ve

Matt: We’ve had a good 15-20 interns over the years and have

been designed,” is one of the highest compliments we receive. We are by nature an engineering company so we have a problem-solving culture at our core. With the ability to apply engineering principles, design in 3D CAD, and manufacture quality parts, we have the luxury of being able to hone in on specific machines and make them perform optimally. What we learn on one area of a machine is usually applied to another, having a snowball effect on optimization. We continually ask ourselves what can we do better. We’ll often send engineers to the farms to help with installation as there is nothing like instant feedback from the customers. Staff are trained to come back to the office EVERY time thinking, “What did we learn? What we can we improve upon?” Where we don’t have the capacity or skill, we partner with companies and individuals who do. Intelligent Ag in Fargo, for example, has been a great technology solutions partner in providing excellent blockage and flow monitoring so farmers always know their seed is getting to the ground.

6 It sounds like constant listening and learning is a mantra at Red E. How do you incorporate that mindset into your team? Jesse: It’s not always natural for someone new coming in to prioritize the end user's needs, but every day we strive to set a culture tone that this is the requirement of being on the Red E team. Our team members develop a keen ear for learning opportunities. We have an incredibly talented team that continues to get better and better each day, project by project and installation by installation.


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hired several on as full-time employees. There is no substitute for real-world applications and on-the-job training. Internships are a great tool for both the intern and the company. Think of it as an extended job interview for both parties. The intern gets the opportunity to see what a company is all about, get paid, and only be committed for a few months. Employers get the opportunity to see beyond the one hour “speed dating” interview before making a huge investment. Internships also allow companies to hire many people for these extended job interviews. Being interns once ourselves, we can relate well to what they are experiencing. I remember initially being intimidated being given responsibility during my first internship. I quickly realized though, that the people around me were there to help. That experience was so helpful in my learning, development and motivation. Our past internships allowed us to make connections with some people who are still our mentors and who have been instrumental in our success because they are people who have been there and done that. It would be short-sighted for anyone to wreck, dismiss, or take for granted the relationships they encounter.

8 I really think you do a great job with your social media, especially utilizing YouTube. What has been your approach in using YouTube, for example? Matt: Our start on social media and YouTube began when we were

younger. We enjoyed going on adventures and posting about them. We would take video while we went on hunting or motorcycle trips. I would admit that I was resistant to getting on Instagram and even for a time became inactive on Facebook. Our media specialist at the time helped us realize we need to be on different platforms as a way of marketing ourselves. It wasn’t until we were about to be featured by the ‘FarmTuber’ MN Millennial Farmer (775k+ followers) a few years ago that we really got serious about it. I didn’t know how to do even simple tasks in the beginning and felt like a rookie even posting too much which cost me followers but thanks to our team we have really hit a sweet spot in engagement. Now I might be labeled as that guy that is always trying to document what we are doing. We love showing the world who we are and these platforms are an effective way to do it.

9 If you could go back in time to Jesse and Matt from several years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself? Remember life is a marathon not a sprint. School trains you to think in 1-year segments - every year is a new grade and new experiences. Once out of school it’s easy to keep thinking that big things need to change every year. That can sometimes create unrest and thinking we should advance sooner than what our experience and contribution warrants. Dig in and invest, don’t focus on the quick success schemes because consistent progress in the right direction is what wins. Although it’s marathon, time does goes fast! Seize every moment and remember you will be held accountable for everything you do in this life – what you do here matters for eternity!

10 What can we do as a community to help Red E succeed? Our team has worked with hundreds of satisfied farmers and service crews from around the world, who collectively have rebuilt 1,000's of drills with our parts that have years of proven performance. We enjoy using innovation and engineering to solve problems, so if you have a problem to solve in an industry we serve, let us know.

J U LY / A U G



Fargo Events JULY 13 July 2021 Eggs & Issues

Tuesday, July 13 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Courtyard by Marriott 1080 28th Ave. South Moorhead MN 56560

2021 Sponsor a Family - Military Appreciation Night Tuesday, July 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In 2019, more than 1,000 members of our military community were guests of honor at the event. Help thank another family for their service through a VIP experience at this year's event. Multiple levels are available, by registering online or contacting Darren Dunlop at 218.359.0514 or ddunlop@fmwfchamber.com This annual event brings together hundreds of military members and supporters allowing our community to honor and recognize them and their families with a night full of patriotism and fun for the whole family. fmwfchamber.com

Chamber Military Appreciation Night at the RedHawks Tuesday, July 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This annual event brings together hundreds of military members and supporters allowing our community to honor and recognize them and their families with a night full of patriotism and fun for the whole family. The evening will kick off with a picnic for our military families, and a pregame show featuring patriotic events, a special first pitch and an evening of baseball with many surprises in store! Tickets to attend the game in The Chamber's reserved section are $12 and includes $3 in Hawks Bucks. fmwfchamber.com


JULY 2021

JULY 14 Creating a Successful Project Environment Wednesday, July 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Have you ever been assigned to lead a project, but don't have experience in project management? Or, been assigned to a project and not sure what your role is? Maybe you're a leader who wonders how teams can work better together to drive results. In the ever-changing world we live in, projects will become an integral function within companies. People will need to have the capabilities and skills to turn vision into reality, and deliver financial and societal value. This training will focus on four key principles related to project management: begin with the end in mind, stakeholder engagement, project team dynamics, and good processes. Holiday Inn Fargo 3803 13th Ave South Fargo, ND 58103 fmwfchamber.com

JULY 21 2021 Chamber Challenge Golf Outing

Wednesday, July 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Get ready for the summer’s annual golf tournament for Chamber members! Join for fun, networking and friendly competition in the sun! Entry fee includes 18 holes of golf; cart; food provided by sponsors on the course; 19th Hole Happy Hour Social; on-course contests and giveaways from sponsors. Then stick around for the 19th Hole Happy Hour Social at the clubhouse afterward and treat yourself to heavy hors d'oeurves! Awards will be given for men's and women's team best score, and individual prizes for closest to the pin and longest drive.

Sponsors and golfers are invited to get creative! The best themed golfer and Tee Box sponsor will be named Best in Show at the awards presentation following the tournament. You pick your own theme! Edgewood Golf Course 19 Golf Course Rd, Fargo, ND 58102 fmwfchamber.com

JULY 27 Fearless: An inspiring experience featuring Kat Perkins Tuesday, July 27 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Join for a special session of Women Connect featuring an exciting and inspirational national speaker with local ties! Kat Perkins Making fearless choices, taking leadership and following the lead, becoming the most successful person you can be, and how attitude can help you rise above. Kat Perkins will share an engaging, powerful message about being brave, staying positive and taking chances in life. Kat will perform an hour-long concert following her keynote presentation. The Lights at Sheyenne 3150 Sheyenne St. West Fargo ND 58078 fmwfchamber.com

AUGUST 3 August 2021 Eggs & Issues

Tuesday, August 3 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Join for another exciting topic at this month’s Eggs & Issues! The Chamber strives to provide topical and timely events to keep you in the know. Every month at Eggs & Issues you can expect to hear from local experts sharing what you need to know. And you can always count on a hot breakfast and networking. Courtyard by Marriott 1080 28th Avenue South Moorhead MN 56560 fmwfchamber.com



Grand Forks AUGUST 19


Developing a Comprehensive Communication Strategy

Virtual Chamber 101: Connect. Engage. Maximize.

Ambassador Committee Monthly Meeting

Today’s communication channels make it easier than ever to tell your business story; however, you need to be smarter than ever in how you tell your story. Learn the best way to craft a comprehensive communication plan that will serve as a roadmap to your business success. Attendees will learn the basic structure needed for a successful strategic approach.

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

The purpose of the meetings is to learn of new businesses in the community and upcoming events, receive networking tips and other valuable training, listen to special guest speakers and much more.

Thursday, August 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Thursday, August 19 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.


AUGUST 17 Chamber 101: Connect. Engage. Maximize. Tuesday, August 17 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

If you’re not familiar with The Chamber, are a new member, new contact, new hire, or just want to re-engage with The Chamber, this session is for you! Chamber 101 is a laidback discussion designed to share some of the great benefits of Chamber membership and what opportunities exist that you need to know. No need to dress in business attire; you're welcome you to come as you are! The Chamber Office 202 First Avenue North Moorhead MN 56560 fmwfchamber.com

AUGUST 19 The Urgency of Cybersecurity Tuesday, August 19 from 8 a.m. to noon

The need to address increasingly sophisticated threats against American and global businesses has gone from an IT issue to a top priority as security incidents are increasing every year. This event will equip you and your organization on how to protect against the threat of cyberattacks and identify current and emerging issues. Stay tuned for more details and to find out who is presenting! Holiday Inn Fargo and livestream 3803 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103 fmwfchamber.com


JULY 2021

AUGUST 25 Voices of Vision 2020

Wednesday, August 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of The Chamber's Voices of Vision event, and The Chamber pulling out all the stops for an incredible event. This year’s speaker is Admiral William McRaven, U.S. Navy veteran and author. Delta by Marriott 1635 42nd St SW, Fargo, ND 58103 fmwfchamber.com

AUGUST 31 August 2021 Women Connect

Tuesday, August 31 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Women Connect is a program focused on developing female professionals through sessions that focus on topics important to a women's professional and personal life. Women Connect will address unique challenges professional women face in today's business environment and provide connections, inspiration and an opportunity to socialize with and encourage one another, tapping into the sense of community women crave. Avalon Events Center and livestream 2525 Ninth Avenue South Fargo ND 56103 fmwfchamber.com

Monday, July 19 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.


JULY 20 Chamber Agribusiness Meeting Tuesday, July 20 from 7:30 a.m.to 8:30 a.m. gochamber.org

JULY 22 2021 Chamber City to Farm Event Thursday, July 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Successful Farmland Stewardship Begins with a Strong partnership. Join the Chamber Agriculture Committee as we visit Drees Family Farm for the 2021 City to Farm Event. Bob Drees Family Farm 7200 S. 55th Street Grand Forks, ND 58201 gochamber.org

2021 Chamber Ag Producers Social

Thursday, July 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Drees Farm 7200 S. 55th Street Grand Forks, ND 58201 gochamber.org

JULY 27 Heroes for Hospice

Tuesday, July 27 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.Choice

Bank invites the community to Heroes for Hospice, a fundraiser benefiting Hospice of the Red River Valley! Join for lunch on Tuesday, July 27, 2021, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. For a suggested donation of $5, attendees will enjoy delicious food provided by local restaurants. Choice Bank 1697 S. 42nd St. Grand Forks, ND 58201 gochamber.org

Bismarck AUGUST 24 Insurance Consideration for Small Businesses: More Than Just Health Insurance Tuesday, August 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

Small business and startup life insurance and business insurances. Josh Brown from Bell Insurance and Brian Fedje from Edward Jones present useful and implementable information about insurance for small businesses and new ventures in just one hour and 15 minutes. Bring your questions and notepad. Evolve Grand Forks 33 South Third St, Suite D Grand Forks, ND 58201 gochamber.org

JULY 17 Honor Flight 1st Annual Charity Golf Scramble Saturday, July 17

Register your 4 person team or join a team. $100/ person entry. Limited to 100 Players. Contact Darcy Rosendal 226-1922 Entries close on July 14th. Prizes for several contests. Can't join a team? Consider being a sponsor of a hole! Greens Fees and Cart include for each team. Western ND Honor Flight PO Box 265 Bismarck, ND 58502 bismarckmandan.com

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