How a Decade of Female Leadership Has Driven Our Community Forward INTRODUCING THE 2018 CLASS
// MARCH 2018
30 35 Under 35 Turns 10 How a Decade of Female Leadership Is Driving Our Community Forward
Join us as we celebrate a decade of the United Way's 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program and introduce the 2018 class.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES 7 Editor's Note 8 Bulletin Board 16 Coffee w/ Kara Lisa Borgen - American Crystal Sugar 21 Faces of Fargo Business Alan Haut - U.S. SBA - ND District Jeanna Cook - Northstar Coffee Alan Dostert - EAPC Architects Engineers 28 1 Million Cups Recap 50 How Harvest Profit Is Planting the Seed Nick Horob 54 11 Reasons Why Leadership Matters Erick Hatch - Hatch Coaching 58 Transform Your Office "Dead Zones" Dayna Del Val - The Arts Partnership 62 Photo Recap: 1 Million Thanks
67 Fueling the Future: A Community Initiative Craig Whitney - FMWF Chamber of Commerce 68 A Career After Camo Sandy Kjelvik - Discovery Benefits 70 Why You Should Know About the Community Advantage Program Steve Dusek - Dakota Business Lending 72 YPN's Q1 "One to Watch" Danne Doering - Choice Financial 74 A Deeper Dive on Cyber Security and Encryption William Galvin - Giga-Green Technologies
76 March Business Events Calendar North Dakota Cyber Security Conference LIVE UNITED Awards Cultivate Conference
Visit FargoInc.com for extended content covering Fargo-Moorhead's business community and articles from past issues of Fargo INC!
My 5 Favorite Responses Not in the Cover Story
The 35 Under 35 cover story is bittersweet because while we're able to include a ton of great insight from those featured, we necessarily have to leave out that much more. Running the gamut from inspirational to uplifting to funny, these were five responses we could just as easily have included.
No. 1 Cho. Be. Art & Design's Chelsea Burns was asked: Why did you decide to start your own business? "When I created Cho. Be., I was in a job I hated, it was sucking the life from me and then wham! I spent two weeks at Mayo Clinic being diagnosed with an autonomicnervous system disease — something I had been battling for the previous five years without answers. It was totally life-changing. The frivolity of life was gone. I needed to be doing something that fed my soul. So I started painting and drawing again. It began as a side hustle — with just a few stores and commissions — but now, I sell to people and stores all around the world. Crazy!"
No. 2 Heritage Homes' Lindsey Little was asked: What is your greatest strength, and how do you plan to deepen it through 35 Under 35? "I’ve been told throughout my life that I have a natural gift for writing. It wasn’t until recently that I uncovered that this strength, at its core, stems from my ability to be authentic and open. It’s easy to be vulnerable when the pen follows your command and the blank piece of paper casts no judgment. This program has allowed, and even forced me in some ways, to bring that same authenticity and vulnerability beyond the written word. Each new conversation, each genuine connection, breaks down barriers and draws relationships closer."
No. 3 Fargo Public Schools' Brittany Olson was asked: What do you share with your students about 35 Under 35? "When I first shared with them that I was accepted into the program, they had so many questions. They wanted to know what the program was and why I wanted to participate. After each session, they ask me what the (previous) session was about and how I plan to use that knowledge. I tell them that my main focus is to help their classmates in need. These same students have recognized the needs of their peers and have chosen to volunteer their spare time to help me with the Bruin Pantry, a hybrid food pantry located within our school that supports students in need. I'm passionate about poverty in our community, and I'm amazed by how willing students are to help one another. "
No. 4 MSUM's Pam McGee was asked: What does the research say about the value of women in leadership positions? "Firms that have more leaders in the C-Suite are more profitable. Period. In the Harvard Business Review, researchers Marcus Noland and Tyler Moran analyzed more than 22,000 global firms and found that female figures in the C-Suite matter to the bottom line: 'When we examined the profitable firms in our sample ... we found that going from having no women in corporate leadership ... to a 30 percent female share is associated with a onepercentage-point increase in net margin, which translates to a 15 percent increase in profitability for a typical firm.'"
No. 5 The Office of Recovery Reinvented's Jenny Olson was asked: What would you give a TED Talk on? "Being okay with gray (as a 35-year-old woman). "My naturally graying hair — and the fact that I don’t color it — generates a surprising amount of discussion and commentary from family, friends and complete strangers! Why is it such a novelty, and why might more women not want to embrace the perks that come with gray?"
EDITORIAL BOARD We at Fargo INC! want to make sure our content is unbiased, accurate and reflects the FMWF business community. That's why we meet regularly with our six-member editorial board to ensure we are living up to our core values.
FM Area Foundation
ANNOUNCEMENT Do you know of a high school senior or college student looking for scholarships to help pay for their education? The FM Area Foundation has more than 50 scholarship funds created by generous donors to provide financial assistance for students pursuing higher education and training. Last year, we awarded nearly $265,000 to deserving students. Our scholarship funds are all unique: Some are awarded to students from a certain high school, while others are awarded to students going into specific areas of study. Each scholarship has its own eligibility requirements. Students can visit AreaFoundation. org/Students/FMAF-Scholarhips for details on how to apply.
SVP of Finance & Entrepreneurial Development
Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation
ANNOUNCEMENT March marks the retirement of my boss and the president of the GFMEDC, Jim Gartin. I want to thank Jim for his six years of service here and the impact he has made on the organization and community. I believe our EDC is more sophisticated, progressive and collaborative because of Jim. A huge impact has been made in the entrepreneurial scene, specifically, something he pushed for when he arrived in 2012. We've put time, money and support into new efforts such as Emerging Prairie, Startup Weekend, 1 Million Cups, a coworking space, and many others, and these bets are paying off as our metro is beginning to be known around the country as a great place for entrepreneurs. Jim really encouraged our staff and board to try new things at the EDC and to diversify our programs and initiatives. Not every idea works, but we were empowered to at least try it.
CINDY GRAFFEO Executive Director
Moorhead Economic Development Authority
PAT TRAYNOR Executive Director
Dakota Medical Foundation
ANNOUNCEMENT The Moorhead EDA will consider and vote on the creation of a workforce scholarship program for Moorhead businesses and nonprofit organizations. We constantly hear that workforce is our regionâ€™s No. 1 constraint on growth. When you run a small business or a nonprofit organization, training and development budgets are usually the first to go in a budget pinch, so the EDA is looking at creating this program to ensure the amazing resources we have with our higher education institutions are made more accessible to the businesses that need them here in our community. Watch for more information.
ANNOUNCEMENT The Giving Hearts Day fundraising event held last month raised a preliminary figure of more than $13.1 million thanks to more than 63,000 donations. Unaudited figures indicate that more than 28,000 "Giving Hearts" donated, more than 6,000 more than in 2017. Giving Hearts Day has now raised more than $54 million for charities in North Dakota and northwest Minnesota.
KRISTI HUBER President
United Way of Cass-Clay
ANNOUNCEMENT We want to thank every individual who made an investment in their community with United Way this past year. You are the reason we are proud to announce that we exceeded our 2018 campaign goal of $5.9 million and raised a total of $6 million for our local community. Your investments will help achieve our collaborative "Bold Community Goals" to reduce hunger and homelessness, prepare children to succeed, help people be independent and lift people out of poverty. Watch for an update about our new collaboration to take action on workforce development by ensuring that individuals living in poverty and New Americans have the educational and supportive services to thrive in the workforce. We also want to invite the community to join us at the United Way LIVE UNITED Awards on March 15 from 3:30 - 5 p.m. (social to follow). Weâ€™ll be honoring all of our award nominees and announcing the winners of the LIVE UNITED Leader of the Year award.
CRAIG WHITNEY President & CEO
Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce
ANNOUNCEMENT Remember to save the date for the 2018 ChamberChoice Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 11, as we celebrate the organizations making an impact, driving economic growth and making the region a better place to work, live and do business.
March 2018 Volume 3 Issue 3
Fargo INC! is published 12 times a year and is available at area businesses and online at FargoInc.com.
Publisher Mike Dragosavich Drago@SpotlightMediaFargo.com
Editorial Director Andrew Jason Andrew@SpotlightMediaFargo.com
Editor Nate Mickelberg Nate@SpotlightMediaFargo.com
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Projects and delightful DIYs, oh my! Look no further for your renovation inspiration. This month, we'll introduce you to homeowners and renters who open up about the joys they experienced when updating their homes. Then, they'll share the stunning results that will speak to your soul. Also within these pages: Join us for whimsical tutorials that will have you crafting your way into spring and see how wallpaper— yes, wallpaper! —is finding its way back into our hearts.
North Dakota State's success is built from the ground up. Student-athletes and coaches thrive when a solid foundation is installed before their arrival so they can grow from a nutritious base. We pounded the pavement on-campus to find that foundation. What we found were the top-tier, state-of-the-art facilities that NDSU has available for its athletes. We dive into this subject in the March issue.
Live from Fargo-Moorhead, there are entertainment options for almost every night of the week! From comedy to the theatre to a symphony orchestra, FargoMoorhead has many opportunities for community members to attend or get involved with local performing arts. Join us as we discover more from some of the organizations offered in our area — hopefully, you'll be inspired to catch a show or maybe even audition and get a first-hand experience.
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American Crystal Sugar's Lisa Borgen Has
C ffee w/ Kara If there's one thing Allegro Group Founder and CEO Kara Jorvig is passionate about, it's leadership â€” how to spot it, how to cultivate it and how to develop it. That's why you'll now regularly see her in Fargo INC! having conversations with influential local leaders that range from recruiting to hiring to the importance of women in leadership.
NAME Lisa Borgen TITLE VP of Administration COMPANY American Crystal Sugar
THE CONVERSATION WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP Kara Jorvig: Lisa, you're a highly visible leader within our market, and you've had a fascinating career journey. And one of the things I respect about you is that you believe in bringing other women along and creating opportunities for them. I, too, am passionate about that. Women in leadership is certainly a relevant topic, and I'm curious what you think, as to why there aren't more women in leadership roles. Lisa Borgen: That’s an interesting question, except I think you first have to define what leadership is. In my view, leadership is more about action than about a position you hold. I think there are a lot of women leaders in our community who might not be CEOs or in the C-Suite, but they are real leaders. Jorvig: I agree. And I, too, believe you can lead at any level. Regardless of the
professional or personal choices we make as women, I believe we should own what we are passionate about and drawn to. I also think women do have the opportunity to lead; it's whether or not they want to step into it. In my experience, people are often paralyzed by fear of the unknown and may not have the courage to step out of their comfort zone. Mindset is key. I think we oftentimes put up barriers in our mind that we can't or we won't or we shouldn't ... but we can. Borgen: I do think it’s also about the amount of risk you’re comfortable with. Are you risk-adverse, or are you willing to take on risk and everything that comes with it? Because if you’re going to be willing to take on risk, you have to not only hope you'll succeed; you have to be willing to fail and learn from your failures.
There are also some people who really just don’t have the desire to do something different. There are a lot of folks who are content with what they’re doing. They're good at their job, they're doing a fine job at it, they have good relationships with the people they work with, and they don’t have any desire to do anything more. And we need people like that, too. TAKING THE INITIATIVE Jorvig: Another thing I get asked a lot is, "If I want to take that next step toward leadership, what should I be doing to position myself?" What advice do you have for the women who have that drive? Borgen: For anyone, I think you have to take your career into your own hands. You can’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. You can’t wait for opportunities; you have to create the opportunity. So the first thing I would say is: You have to define what it is you want. What is your goal? Once you’ve done that, how are you going to get there? Because in order to get there, you have to have people who are on your side. You have to get their input, you need their advice and you need their support. Jorvig: I agree with that. I think that if you really want an opportunity, it’s on you. From what I've seen, the most successful people are intentional about their development, and they're intentional about what they're trying to achieve in their career — or in life. It can apply to anything. To me, it starts with awareness and a self-discovery process.
NAME Kara Jorvig TITLE Founder & CEO COMPANY Allegro Group
Women-in-Leadership at a Glance* U.S. Senate 21% women U.S. House 19.1% women Then, there is power in surrounding yourself with the right people, finding a mentor, reaching out to your HR team or current manager, and asking for their partnership in putting together a development plan for you. In my experience, when you take initiative and are intentional, opportunities present themselves. Borgen: And you know what? The squeaky wheel gets the oil. That’s all there is to it. If you know what you want and you go after it and you make the people around you know what you want, you ask for opportunities, and you volunteer for things that are outside of your normal job description, that, to me, says this is a person who has high potential and ability. A lot of people say, "We should develop our high-potentials," and my response is, "Yes, but they should be coming to you asking for it." You cant make someone into something they don’t want to be. They have to take it into their own hands and say "Give me this opportunity" or "I’ve seen this seminar I’d like to go to" or "Hey, there’s this volunteer opportunity. Can I go do it?" To me, all those things show a person who has the drive to become something more. And that’s leadership.
a cup of coffee, and talk about their own journey and some of the things they’ve done. And you don't just have to do it within your own organization. Look into volunteer opportunities, or look into leading a committee or serving on a board. Those experiences can be extremely valuable for you professionally. Lisa, I know you serve on a number of boards. Borgen: I am on a lot of boards. I enjoy the work, but I also think it’s important for your development. Not only do you learn about whatever business or organization you’re on the board for, but you also network with the people on that board, which gives you a bigger swath of people you know and who you can have relationships with. And they can mentor you, you can mentor them, etc. I’m a big proponent of mentoring. If you see someone out there and think, "Gosh, I wish I could be more like that person. I wonder how they got to where they are," don't be afraid to call them up. INTERNAL INVESTMENT Jorvig: What investments do you and the leadership team at American Crystal make in your female employees?
MENTORS AND CONNECTIONS Jorvig: Professionals and leaders come to me and have goals: "I want to do this. I want to be this. I want to earn this." But they’re not always clear about the next action steps. And I think that’s where reaching out to a mentor comes in — or at least reaching out to a professional who you can relate to, who you trust and who you admire. Ask them to help you define the path because sometimes we’re not able to develop that strategy on our own. Sometimes, you need a coach or a business leader who will spend time with you, have
Borgen: We are a very male-centric company. We’re about 75:25 men to women because we’re agriculture and manufacturing. So a couple years ago, patterned after the (FMWF) Chamber's Women Connect program, we started something called Crystal Women Connect. And four times a year, we get together, have guest speakers, talk about careers, talk about development and just talk about interesting things that are going on in the community. We also feature leaders outside of American Crystal to give a different perspective. In addition, it’s a good place
State Legislatures 24.8% women Governors 8% women Fortune 500 CEOs 5.4% women College Presidents 26.4% women *Data from Pew Research Center's "The Data on Women Leaders"
If you see someone out there and think, "Gosh, I wish I could be more like that person. I wonder how they got to where they are," don't be afraid to call them up.
Come See Kara Jorvig at the FMWF Chamber's Women Connect WHO Allegro Group Founder & CEO Kara Jorvig WHAT "Unlock Your Full Potential"
American Crystal Sugar VP of Administration Lisa Borgen (left) on the true value of diversity in the workplace: "It's not just about having women in the workplace; it's about having ... people of different ages, generations, cultures, ethnicities and genders. If you have that mix of diversity within your organization, that rich fabric really enhances the work environment, enhances productivity and gives you a leg-up with your customer base and on your competitors."
for the women to connect with each other, to network and to see the opportunities. We talk about not being afraid to apply for that job. You might not think you’re qualified, but I’ll tell you there are a lot of other people applying for it who are less qualified than you. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and go for it. And apply for the job even if you don’t think you’re the top candidate. It gives you a lot of experience in interviewing, getting prepared and updating your résumé. Jorvig: It's awesome to learn that local businesses are creating opportunities like this. A lot of times, these great tactics stay internal, and companies don't openly about talk about them. But for me, it's one of the most fascinating things to learn about. There are so many interesting ideas that we can share to encourage this in other business cultures. Borgen: Right. Another thing we do in Crystal Women Connect is a segment called "What’s My Job?" We feature peole within the company, and they present information about their unique roles at Crystal. We'll have someone in from purchasing or an HR generalist. Recently, we featured a female sugar engineer who does our molasses de-sugarization. She came in and gave us a speech about that.
WHY An expert in her field, Jorvig has developed tools and strategies that help people recognize opportunities to grow in their current positions and discover paths to achieve their career goals. Jorvig will give attendees a powerful new perspective on how to make the most of their career paths while having fun and being intentional. WHEN Tuesday, April 24 3:30 - 5 p.m. WHERE DoubleTree by Hilton 825 E. Beaton Drive, West Fargo
I think it’s good for our internal organization to teach the people who are already with us what we’re doing and what the opportunities are, and it’s been very wellreceived.
water. And I think that’s a good thing to teach your kids, that it’s important to be humble and give back to your community. If you’re going to be a mom and a professional, you can’t get around the fact that there is going to be a work-life balance struggle. I think some women embrace it, it’s part of their character and they do better when they’re really busy. And others feel like they’re not giving justice to what they think is the priority, so then they choose to not go for that next job. And while I think that as women — or just people in general — we shouldn’t judge people for their choices in that area, to have a job where people look at you as a leader in business, a woman has to accept both the benefits and the challenges that come with it. TAKE
Also, we don’t just have women presenters. We have men presenters as well, and we’ve started inviting some of the key men in our organization to come to our meetings because they're saying, "What is that Women Connect?" They want to be a part of it.
Allegro Group Allegro-Group.com 3523 45th St. S, Fargo
BALANCE = SACRIFICE Jorvig: I'll close with this: I think women constantly struggle with being the mom they want to be and the professional they want to be. Something a lot of women ask me about is work-life balance. How do you do it?
American Crystal Sugar CrystalSugar.com 101 N. 3rd St., Moorhead
Borgen: In my family, I've always felt that their dad and I have modeled behavior that supports our community. We like to volunteer, and we like to be involved in things. For example, American Crystal has been involved in the (Fargo) Marathon the last couple years, and my kids have come, we have a water station and we hand out FARGOINC.COM
FARGO BUSINESS We like to think of the Fargo business community as a giant puzzle and the people who comprise it as the different but equally essential pieces. Take one person, one company, or one industry away, and the picture becomes incomplete. Faces of Fargo Business is our chance to piece that puzzle together each month and celebrate the countless people who make this such a great place to work.
ALAN J. A HAUT Director
U.S. Small Business Administration - ND District Office
lan Haut's 28 years with the U.S. Small Business Administration started out with an unpaid internship. Now, Haut is the district director for the SBA in North Dakota. He facilitates the delivery of SBA programs and services to benefit the stateâ€™s small business community, including access to capital, mentoring, training and government contracting. He oversees SBA staff in Fargo, Grand Forks, and Bismarck, as well as SBA grant-funded counseling and training partners in the state. A Jamestown native who earned a Bachelor's and an MBA from Minnesota State University Moorhead, Haut climbed the ladder in the SBA, where he held positions such as economic development specialist, loan officer, lender relations specialist and deputy district director. As district director, his days are now filled with conference calls, projects, reports, and lots of emails, which range from questions on how to start a micro business to structuring financing for a $5 million real estate expansion. "People often think of a government agency as a bunch of bureaucrats getting in the way of their business,"
Haut says. "The reality is the SBA is here to help small businesses through our oneon-one mentoring resources, our loan guaranty programs and our access to government contracting. We help businesses start and grow, not regulate them." The purpose of the SBA is to help any individual who wants to start and expand their business, and services go beyond just loans, including a group of mentors in the local SCORE chapter, SBDC centers, and the Women's Business Center, which all provide free and confidential guidance to entrepreneurs. Haut's family's experience in small businesses dates back to the early 1900s, when his great-grandfather started a hardware store in central North Dakota. That business eventually led to a funeral business that remains in the family today. "I grew up in a small business and love the independent, innovative spirit that small business owners possess," Haut says. "I also understand that sometimes they have hurdles to overcome, and I get a great sense of pride and satisfaction in helping others achieve success."
U.S. Small Business Administration - ND District Office SBA.gov FARGOINC.COM
JEANNA COOK Owner
hen you own a coffee shop, early-morning starts are just a part of the gig. But when you're Jeanna Cook and you own four? "Sleeping in" might as well be removed from your vocabulary entirely. Cook, whose log-cabin-style Northstar Coffee drive-up kiosks have become a staple in Fargo over the past 20 years, typically starts her day around five, which is good because her customers start (literally) rolling in not long after. For Cook, there's a neverending daily to-do list that includes running supplies to all the stores before they open, troubleshooting equipment issues, and researching new ideas and products, but it's really not all that different from the daily chores of the farm she grew up on in Woodworth, North Dakota, a small town 40 miles northwest of Jamestown.
And while she says her life pretty much revolves around the business, allowing people to get their daily flat white without succumbing to frostbite makes it all worth it. "Serving customers is the most enjoyable," says Cook, who, in a past life, worked in higher-education student services, "I find joy in running a business. I enjoy watching customers' reactions when we create something that they find delicious, and I like the autonomy and independence that running a business offers. "The psychology of consumer behavior is intriguing. So much of how I make decisions regarding our product and how we deliver it is based on listening to and observing our customers. If it doesnâ€™t work, we try a different avenue. And itâ€™s rewarding when it does work."
Northstar Coffee Facebook.com/NorthstarCoffeeFargo 24
ALAN DOSTERT President & CEO
EAPC Architects Engineers
f you imagine the day of a professional architect to be filled with endless sketching on a drafting table in a glass-walled corner office, consider Alan Dostert's schedule from a few weeks ago: • Leaves Fargo at 3 a.m. to make it to a 9 a.m. meeting in Williston • Drives 400 miles to a 6 p.m. meeting that evening in Pierre, South Dakota
EAPC Architects Engineers EAPC.net
•Works with an associate until 11 to prepare for a 10:30 presentation the following morning in Selby, South Dakota — another 100 miles away • After completing the presentation, drives the 125 miles to Bismarck for a meeting with another client, followed by a trip back to Fargo to finish the day • The next morning, heads down to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to celebrate the opening of a new office, followed by a second day of marketing visits with potential clients You could say it's all in a week's work, though, for the President and CEO of EAPC, a Grand Forks-based architecture and engineering firm that has nine satellite offices across the country, as well as a location in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dostert, who grew up on a dairy farm just west of Minot, is a graduate of the renowned architecture program at North Dakota State University, where, he jokes, "They don't tell you about cost overruns, federal contracts and clients that don’t pay." He's been with EAPC more than 25 years — president since 2004 — and while he says he does less design work now than he'd like, he enjoys the amount of interfacing his position allows him to do. "I find the contact with the
public and connecting with clients very rewarding," says Dostert, who also serves as the president of the American Institute of Architects North Dakota. "I'm still involved in the initial design of many projects, however, due to the volume of our work, that duty is shared with our very talented staff and project managers." Part of running a successful architecture firm in North Dakota, Dostert says, is having the capacity to perform a wide variety of work, so while he specializes in medical, laboratory and eldercare projects — along with a niche in wellness centers and fire stations — EAPC also has expertise in housing, primary and higher education, and mixed-use projects. When asked if any parts of running a company keep him up at night, Dostert imparts the wisdom of his dairy farmer father: "I asked my dad that question many years ago, about when any number of things weren't cooperating in the world of agriculture: Did he ever lie awake worrying? At the time, I was experiencing a lot of pressure to produce the design drawings on some significant work and had my share of sleepless nights and wanted to know if he had some advice. He said, 'When you work to exhaustion, it's never a problem.' I have never had that problem since!"
January 31 Speakers Aaron McWilliams, Tom Kading and Wes Henry Cofounders, Auto Saw (Construction Automation)
1 MILLION CUPS FARGO RECAP If you can't make it to 1 Million Cups Fargo each week, don't fret. We'll be bringing you a monthly recap of the most recent speakers and presentations. We'll also include some of the best photos and social-media questions from each event, as well as pertinent speaker and company info if you're interested in learning more.
Overview In 2017, Tom Kading, Wes Henry and Aaron McWilliams joined together to cofound a company called Construction Automation. The team is preparing for its first product launch called AutoSaw. The excitement of discovering an $80 million market for a product like Auto Saw, which is an automated saw that can load, measure and cut a board while keeping its human operator at a distance, waned as the team found out that it would cost $150,000 to build a prototype. With investors wanting to see a working product, the team pooled together resources and built a prototype in McWilliamsâ€™ garage for $6,000.
Auto Saw AutoSaw.us Wes Henry
Who The vibrant entrepreneurial community of FargoMoorheadWest Fargo and Emerging Prairie
What A weekly event filled with guest speakers, tons of coffee, ideas and excellent networking opportunities
When Every Wednesday, 9:15 - 10:15 a.m.
Where The Stage at Island Park (site occasionally rotates)
How Much Free
"I truly believe it all starts with getting the right people. If you can attract the best, train the best and retain the best, the client service will follow." TOBY KOMMER Owner, Aspire Financial
Kayley Erlandson @KayleyErlandson
"If you can't stop thinking about it, don't stop working for it." Words of wisdom from Cindy Gillund's fireplace mantle. #1mcfar
Cindy Gillund Adam Martin
Social Entrepreneur Day (co-hosted with Dakota Medical Foundation) Speakers Adam Martin Founding Partner, F5 Project Kim Pladson Executive Director, TNT Kid's Fitness & Gymnastics Overview F5 Project In 2016, the F5 Project was founded in Fargo, North Dakota, to provide assistance to individuals transitioning from prison to a new life. The F5 project offers housing, employment, socialization and transportation for those who have committed felonies. The name F5 represents the refresh function on a keyboard, as well as the number of felonies founder Adam Martin received.
F5 Project F5Project.org TNT Kids Fitness & Gymnastics Since 2006, Kim Pladson and the TNT Kid’s Fitness & Gymnastics team have been on a mission to unlock individuals' potential through movement. Over the last decade, the multiplication of this mission has led to serving over 2,000 people each week. “I love that TNT is inclusive and serves all individuals with the experience and benefits of gymnastics," Pladson says. "I truly believe that movement can unlock everyone’s potential."
February 14 Speakers Cindy Gillund Founder & CEO, Go/Do Overview In 2017, Cindy Gillund launched her app, Go/Do, to provide a one-stop location for events and everyday activities taking place in the FMWF area. “I hope this app allows for memories to be made and shared," Gillund say. "The Go/ Do app was created to help make it easier (for people) to go and do things that are happening around them."
February 21 Speakers Clever Mukori Founder, Learn or Teach Overview Concordia College graduate and Zimbabwe native Clever Mukori is creating a webbased platform that he hopes will revolutionize the education industry. Learn or Teach is the culmination of Mukori’s life journey from Africa to the U.S. and his pursuit to help those less fortunate. “I was privileged to have my family sacrifice for my education," he says. "Now, I am on a mission to impact as many people as possible with the power of education."
TNT Kids Fitness & Gymnastics TNTKidsFitness.org Learn or Teach Facebook.com/LearnOrTeach17
What started as an idea from a group of local female leaders jotted down on a napkin has become one of the premier leadership opportunities in the entire region.
35Turns Under10 35 Introducing the 2018 Class
HOW A DECADE OF FEMALE LEADERSHIP HAS DRIVEN OUR COMMUNITY FORWARD Stemming from a belief that our community needs engaged, dynamic female leaders, the United Way of Cass-Clay has led and coordinated the 35 Under 35 Womenâ€™s Leadership Program since its inception a decade ago. Join us as we introduce you to a group of women who have been integral to the program's success over the past 10 years and introduce you to the 2018 class.
Family Chiropractor Healing Touch Chiropractic
What’s something you’ve learned that you think others could benefit from learning as well? Even though Dr. Seuss has been saying it for years, it took me a while to fully embrace that no one else on this Earth has the combination of quirks, personality, experiences and skills that I do. It does nobody any good to be a lesser version of myself or to try to conform to someone else’s idea of acceptable, happy, pretty, perfect, whatever. I am exactly who and where I am supposed to be — so are you.
Content Producer & Photographer Forum Communications Co.
What are some of the challenges of being a professional creative? While creative drought and writer’s block do exist, perhaps the most challenging part of working in the world of everchanging media means I must be adaptive and open-minded in how my job is defined. In fact, my current role didn’t exist 10 years ago. As technology changes, so does what I do for a living. Learning to produce video, weave in photography, and utilize new apps and platforms is imperative not only to stay afloat but to thrive in this industry. We must continue to brainstorm wild ideas, dream into the future and think bigger than we ever have. With change comes innovation, and with innovation comes brilliance.
Alyssa Walker Promotional Consultant Probitas Promotions
What is a unique perspective you bring to your workplace? I worked in higher education for seven years, where I worked primarily with college students. My work with students has helped me to better understand other people’s perspectives and allows me to see their point of view. This skill has allowed me to look at company issues or client pain points from a different perspective, and I use this information to help put out-of-the-box ideas into action or create a unique solution.
Proposal & Implementation Specialist Border States Electric
Where, if at all, do you see the effects of having a female CEO? Our CEO (Tammy Miler) is an extraordinary leader — not because she is a woman but because of the characteristics she embodies. She truly cares about the success of the company and, more importantly, its employeeowners. I think a larger influence on the culture of the company is employee ownership. Being an employee-owner, we are empowered to make decisions to best serve our customers, and our executive leadership continually encourages and empowers this value.
Community Engagement Manager Alzheimer’s Association Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter
What does leadership mean to you? Leadership to me is about being a servant leader, giving your best and living out your values every day — in all that you do. A strong leader is someone who influences change and encourages and builds up their team. By leading authentically and with transparency, a leader is someone you can count on and trust.
Accountant Catholic Health Initiatives
Why do you think it’s important to network and learn from other female leaders in the community? As women, we need to do more to lift each other up and challenge each other to become our best selves. Women, in general, are too hard on themselves and have a tendency to judge themselves quite harshly. One thing I’ve learned from watching the great female leaders in our community is that they are all unapologetically themselves and proud of who they are and what they do. By surrounding ourselves with strong female leaders, we are building our own confidence and learning how to live unapologetically as ourselves too. Empowered women empower women.
Becky Torkelson IT Assistant Store Leader SCHEELS
What do you hope to pass on to the next generation of female leaders? Spend time figuring out who you are, what your passions are and how you get the most out of your life. I would then tell them to, unapologetically, be that version of themselves every single day. Never change who you are or how you act to conform to others’ standards – to quote musician Dave Grohl: “No one is you, and that is your power.”
Brittany Olson Science Teacher Fargo Public Schools
Being a teacher, what is one thing you want our community to know about our local school districts? School districts in this area are very fortunate. Families, schools and the community all work together to help students be successful. We have high-achieving students with a drive to do well. There are strong family values at home and high expectations at school. Unfortunately, our local school districts also have students who don’t even have hot meals at home or work to support their family, and family values toward education are lacking. Schools recognize this problem and have implemented programs to help students in need such as free and reduced meals, on-site hybrid food pantries, mentoring and after-school programs, and partnerships with community services. We must not forget that we are one community built to help and support one another. 34
Amanda Pieters Assistant Director of Orientation & First-Year Transition Concordia College
In your role, you work with students transitioning to college. How do you hope to impact them? Transitioning to college can be an equally exciting and overwhelming time for students. I hope the work I do can help new-to-college students feel empowered and ready to succeed. There are four main things I hope students walk with during their college journey: 1) You are not alone in your struggles or your successes. 2) Everyone’s a little bit awkward; embrace the awkward. 3) You can do anything but not everything. 4) It doesn’t matter if you screw up or fail; it matters so much more how you choose to act after.
Shelby Cochran Director of Operations & Merchandising dogIDS
How can we inspire all people to work toward developing their leadership skills, and why is this important? To me, leadership skills and “soft” skills are almost synonymous. No matter your role, there is so much value in becoming self-aware about how your communication, organization skills and behavior impact those around you. I think inspiring others to take that next step is a daily practice. It’s getting your head out of your work and taking the time to listen and learn about those around you. Find the areas in which they have interest or untapped potential and push them toward those activities. That’s the best way to lead by example and help get someone on the right track for growth.
Featured Jenny Olson Title: Managing Director, Office of Recovery Reinvented Organization: North Dakota Governor's Office Perspective: 35 Under 35 alum (2015), program volunteer (2016-17) Industry: State government Focus: Addiction
Since participating in the program, you've taken a big leap professionally. How did your experience in the program prepare you for the career change? Two ways: 1) Coming into the program, it was easy for me to get caught up in my own little bubble that consisted of home, work and family. This program opened my eyes to a much broader community view. I saw the needs, the opportunities, and the possibilities and just felt more connected. It's healthy to intentionally step outside of our own bubble at times. A Little About Jenny â€˘ Started at Great Plains
Software as an intern
â€˘ Worked her way up to
business manager/chief of staff at Microsoft Fargo
â€˘ Recently started as
managing director for the new Office of Recovery Reinvented, a North Dakota Governor's Office initiative focused on battling addiction and eliminating the shame and stigma associated with addiction
2) I found a tribe of amazing, supportive role models. Being surrounded by these strong, inspired women day in and day out, it rubbed off on me. I found myself thinking bigger, more motivated to give back more and emboldened to take more risk. After participating in this program, you made the jump from a technology company to a civic leadership role. Why did you decide to do that? I recently took a one-year civic leave of absence from Microsoft to work with the North Dakota governor and first lady on their platform focused on erasing the shame and stigma of addiction and
reinventing recovery. That was a leap that was never in the cards, nothing I could have seen coming and will be a life highlight for me. The civic opportunity connected with me on a much deeper level and tapped into my desire to make a bigger impact closer to home and in the communities that I care about. The learning, empathy and understanding I have developed in just a short time is eye-opening, and I encourage more companies to consider civic leaves or loan-anexecutive-type programs, as both private and public sectors can benefit by developing a deeper understanding between the two. How do you think developing the leadership skills of just one person can cause a ripple effect throughout any company, regardless of size? Leadership always starts with one person. I know that how I show up each day impacts many, some of whom are halfway across the world. If I role-model strong leadership, if I mentor others, if I show up with a positive attitude, it can shape the tone of entire days, events, meetings and teams. There are always people observing and learning from our behavior, whether we realize it or not.
Membership & Retention Director YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties
How does your role at the YMCA impact the larger community? I strive to ensure that people feel welcome when they walk in the door. Our team will meet people where they are at in their wellness journey in order for individuals to conquer their goals. In order for people to do that, we need to create a positive and nurturing environment that is welcoming for all individuals, regardless of their religion, race, color, creed, sexual orientation or economic status. One of my greatest joys is when a family is able to use the Y regardless of their ability to pay.
Staffing Consultant Preference Employment Solutions
How, specifically, will you take what you’ve learned from the program and apply it to your job? In our second session, I took pages of notes about leadership skills and goalsetting. Out of everything I wrote down, something Pam McGee said really stuck out to me: “Do something so awesome that it changes someone else’s life.” In order to serve our community with the best possible service, my plan is to be intentional with all of my daily tasks: productivity, reaching goals, taking ownership, and ultimately, my purpose.
Pharmacy PGY1 Residency Program Director & Antimicrobial Stewardship Pharmacist Sanford Health
You work for one of the largest employers in our community. How can one person make an impact in a larger organization? How you interact with each person you come in contact with during the day is crucial to your impact in an organization. Working for a large organization provides the opportunity to interact with numerous patients, staff, and visitors each day, and striving for kindness, competency, professionalism and a positive attitude in each interaction allow a single person to have an impact — even in a large organization.
Allie Morth Kendra Goette
Test Engineer II CoreLink Administrative Solutions
What are some things companies can do to encourage and help the development of their female employees? I love where I work because we encourage the development of all our employees, and I’ve never felt singled out because I'm a woman. I also know I’m not given preferential treatment because I happen to be female. I’m treated as a person, and I know my leaders genuinely care about my professional growth. Some key areas include: allowing for flexible schedules, servant leadership, mentorship and personal career growth. This is a wise business model because it allows both women and men to excel at what they do without having to climb the proverbial ladder.
Senior Manager, Corporate Accounting Microsoft
There’s been a big push in recent years to encourage more young people to learn to code. Why is this personally important to you? Studies show that kids who learn to code are better at solving problems, become stronger analytical thinkers and are life-long learners. Coding is a universal language that allows communication across countries and cultures. As our world becomes more global, these skills will not only allow us to unlock unimaginable possibilities as a society but will allow these young learners to become some of the most highly sought-after individuals in the future job market. I am passionate about investing in our future, and it's exciting to see an increasing focus on technology in our community. FARGOINC.COM
Chelsea Hanson Traffic Manager Flag Family Media
Why do you think vulnerable leadership is important? A vulnerable leader meets challenges with all of who they are. It doesn’t mean emotionally or without boundaries but instead with honesty and authenticity. Finding courage to take off your armor and connect with your team on a level that empowers everyone can be daunting. When we own our vulnerabilities, we stop negotiating with our fears.
Sergeant Cass County Sheriff’s Office
As a sergeant for the Cass County Sheriff’s office, how does leadership play a role in your day-to-day job? As a sergeant in the corrections division, I oversee the daily operations of the Cass County Jail as a shift supervisor. This includes several duties, ranging from managing the on-shift team to helping resolve an issue that comes up with an inmate. I try to lead by example and don’t ask anything of the team that I’m not willing to do myself. I will be by their side to help complete a task or simply provide guidance.
Robyn Gatz Kayla Leier
Relationship Manager U.S. Bank
What advice would you give the next generation of aspiring female leaders? I’ve recognized that fulfillment comes from pursing my passions. In 2013, along with three other family members, I helped start Pink It Forward, a nonprofit organization with a mission of enriching the lives of those affected by breast cancer. Starting a nonprofit isn’t for the faint of heart, and I truly believe that without the leadership experience I’ve gained at my job, we wouldn’t have grown to where we are today: providing free care packages to more than 1,200 women across the country. My advice to the next generation of aspiring female leaders: Don’t be afraid to aim for more. You are smart. You are strong. You are capable. Find your passion, and do it to the max!
Stability Coordinator Swanson Health Products
How do you see your experience in this program having a ripple effect? By providing me with the mentorship and leadership abilities to make impacts locally. This program offers a chance to make connections with different people and organizations, and the amazing group of women within the program help each other become the best versions of themselves by supporting each other, connecting with local organizations in the community, and by learning to give back to the community we call home.
Off-Premise Merchandiser, Space Planning Specialist & Sample Team Coordinator Bergseth Bros.
What do you think is the greatest challenge women have to overcome in the workplace? Owning and speaking your authentic voice. It’s being strong in your strengths, thoughts, and ideas and bringing those to the table. Pam McGee taught us to own our voice and, if needed, lean in and let them know what you have to say! I currently work with a team of all men, so I consistently face this challenge. I want to be a strong team member and own my voice, but at the same time not come off as too harsh or overbearing. In the program, I’m learning that being authentic can be a great way to form connections with coworkers. People are more likely to respect people who are honest and open to communication in the workplace than those who come in “hot” and not ready to listen. FARGOINC.COM
Tasha Barrett Realtor Park Co. Realtors
Which leadership lessons do you hope to share with your coworkers and teammates? One of the first things I learned about myself in the program is that I’m a harmonious person with strong execution skills. Relating this to my work in real estate, I am able to bring a deal together by negotiating in a nonconfrontational way and doing so in an efficient manner. I’ve learned that focusing on developing one’s strengths is as, if not more, important than improving upon one’s weaknesses.
Emily Finley Sales Rustic Oaks
What unique perspectives do women bring to the table? Women, in general, impress me. Their ability to recognize the talents of others, their understanding of how others are motivated, and their capacity to lead with their hearts are admirable. Daily, women are charismatically juggling their job(s), children, family relationships, leadership roles, philanthropy, faith, social lives, social expectations, work competition, health and wellness, personal struggles and all the wild things life throws at us.
Merideth Bell Teri Winkelman Workforce Planning & Sourcing Specialist Essentia Health
Emily Carrow Operations Supervisor Benefit Services Discovery Benefits
Discovery Benefits is known for its employeecentered culture. From your perspective, why is this important? What makes Discovery unique is that the core values of leadership, integrity, open communication, continuous learning and teamwork are on display every day. We invest in developing leaders at every level. The culture is fun, and it’s unique compared to any other company I’ve worked at. Having an employeecentered culture is what keeps employees actively engaged. When employees are actively engaged, they are willing to go above and beyond to provide the best experience possible for anyone who works with us. Culture is a big reason for the company’s success.
Workforce development is a top priority in our community right now. What challenges do you face when working toward meeting the needs of our current and future workforce? In times like these, it’s crucial for employers to be creative in strategizing ways that will bring value to their employee’s work-life balance. Whether that’s offering flexible schedules, the ability to work remotely, or offering incentives for picking up shifts, the value will look different to each company and employee. It can be challenging to think outside the box when it comes to employee retention, but it’s extremely important to keep our workforce in North Dakota while attracting new talent to the area.
Safety Coordinator & BIM Engineer Sun Electric
How has being a woman in engineering changed? How has it stayed the same? Engineering is still a maledominant profession, however, as more specialized engineering fields emerge, women may find these new opportunities more appealing and with less of the typical stereotypes attached. Engineers don’t sit behind computers or crunch numbers all day; they utilize computer modeling and virtual reality in design and interact with customers across the globe. I’m passionate about promoting engineering as a prospective career option for women at a young age. Employers are interested in hiring women engineers as they are typically strategically minded, multi-tasking turnaround experts, and they possess strong organization and communication skills.
Joanna Slominski Title: Construction Executive Organization: Mortenson Company Perspective: 35 Under 35 speaker (three years) and United Way board member Industry: Construction Focus: Construction management
A Little About Joanna • 2018 will mark third year
of speaking for the 35 Under 35 program
• Shares her perspective
on working in a traditionally maledominated field in a talk called “Leading In My Industry”
• Serves on the board of
the FMWF Chamber of Commerce
• As a young woman
in her 30’s, a wife, and a mother of two, managed FMWF's largest construction project: the new $500 million Sanford Medical Center
As a woman working in a male-dominated field, do you ever feel a need to prove yourself to your male colleagues? Do you typically act on those feelings? In the beginning of my career, I was always prepared to have to prove myself in every interaction and discussion. Over the years, I realized that I am at the table because of what I bring, not because I am a woman. The freedom to realize that allowed me to be myself and bring more thoughts and ideas to conversations and discussions. Contrary to what many believe, it also created several advantages for me throughout my career. This message is one I often share: Highlight what makes you different, and take advantage of those differences.
You were a major part of the building of the new Sanford Medical Center. Do you find there’s an extra layer of meaning in the work when you’re working on a project that will positively impact so many lives in our region? Words can’t explain how it feels to be a part of something that will positively impact the delivery of healthcare throughout the region for decades to come. To think of the number of lives the facility will impact is overwhelming, but to know that I, along with thousands of others, had the opportunity to participate makes it extremely rewarding. Many people think that construction is just about sticks and bricks, but it is so much more when you think about the care that so many will receive inside of those walls. It truly hits home when those you love and care about are positively impacted by a facility you were a part of building.
approach leadership differently. Whats your perspective on the topic? In the construction industry, conflicts arise often, and they are handled very differently between men and women. I will never forget one of my first arguments as a professional: The superintendent yelled at me, and I walked away and cried all the way home, very worried about how the following days were going to pan out and how I would face him. The next day, he acted as though nothing happened, and I realized I had wasted an entire evening. Thanks to the many men I work with, I learned quickly to get mad and then get over it; nothing is worth wasting that much time being angry. Leadership is much the same. The key is learning from your mentors — both men and women — developing your own style and adapting to the needs of your team while recognizing the unique strengths you bring to the table.
There is an increased focus on how men and women FARGOINC.COM
Featured Pam McGee Title: Co-Chair & Associate Professor, Professional Management Department Organization: Minnesota State University Moorhead Perspective: 35 Under 35 speaker, presenter and mentor (since program's inception 10 years ago) Industry: Higher education Focus: Education
You were there in the beginning when this program started a decade ago. What’s it been like seeing the program grow in scope and influence?
A Little About Pam • Spoken in more than 20
• Has consulted for John
Deere, Microsoft and TMI Hospitality
• Current president
of the Women in Technology Division for the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering
• Past chair, FMWF
Chamber of Commerce's Women Connect
• Publishes articles in
The Partner Channel magazine and the Journal for Industrial Technology
When Judy Green and the magnificent team of volunteers — Tonya Stende, Chris Thompson and many others — called to have me speak at the first 35 Under 35 session on goals, it was clear it was a program with a mission, vision, strong leadership, purposeful curriculum, and a tenacious goal of creating a welcoming, lifelong community of strong leaders. It has been no surprise to me that the program has grown in size, scope and influence because its beginnings were captivating and filling a community need for connection, courageous conversations, and conviction for creating better leaders, better families, better communities, better friendships and better female-to-female
relationships. The power felt in the room at the very first session left me, as a speaker, feeling humbled to be a part of the community and in awe of what it would become.
of the North because no matter where these women go, they will have strong connections and commitments to each other in their lifelong journey to make a difference.
As a leader in higher education who has had the opportunity to impact the minds and lives of college students, why do you see this program as valuable?
How have your unique career path and experiences shaped the way you see leadership development?
I don’t’ see this program as valuable; I see it is as invaluable. Life is about your journey through relationships, moments and memories. As I tell my college students, learn as much as you possibly can in every situation, but more importantly, surround yourself with a group of people that allows you to authenticate yourself, lifts you up when you are down, pushes you when you are being short-sighted, and always always has your back and your best interest. The 35 Under 35 community sets that standard like no other program in the community. In years to come, I can’t wait to see how this group changes not just Fargo but the world. It reminds me of the Harvard Club
1. Be a courageous learner.
In three ways: Learn all the time. Read all the time. Look for information in unusual places. Stay mentally sharp. Whenever I was stuck in my career, I consistently did one thing: I learned something new. 2. Have a glass of wine with the most powerful group of girlfriends you have, and they will believe in you when you feel you can’t. 3. Unplug, relax and rebuild endorphins that have been strapped and stressed. I binge watch "I Love Lucy" with a bowl of popcorn. Great ideas come to me when I am not forcing them.
Featured Laetitia Mizero Hellerud Title: Author & Cross-Cultural Leadership Consultant Organization: UBUNTU Consulting Perspective: 35 Under 35 presenter (two years) Industry: Publishing, consulting Focus: Social-justice advocacy
You often say, “We can all build on what unifies us instead of what separates us.” How does this program build unity in our community? This program builds unity by first bringing together women from different backgrounds and providing them with the best leadership training to succeed in their respective roles in our community. An extra effort is made to ensure that each group is as diverse as possible, and each year gets better. Beyond the six-months span of the program, there is a strong sisterhood bond that is formed. Those relationships and the support the participants provide to each other are more likely to last a lifetime if they choose it to be. The program is strength-based, and the differences in these women are seen as added value. The choice and diversity of trainers is also deliberate, to foster a well-rounded experience for the participants and expand that circle of seasoned mentors they can look up to or contact, as needed, for support and collaboration way beyond the training. Your book includes impactful stories of your struggles fleeing from several countries and your journey to find peace and a home. How 44
do you create a connection with those who may come from a different background than you? By keeping an open mind and understanding that my personal standards, culture, and experiences are not the only lenses through which I should look at and assess the world around me. The more we get exposed to the world through education — formal and informal — travels, and reading, the more flexible we become. What seems different ceases to become a threat and rather an object of curiosity, which is a good thing. We learn and grow by staying curious. The wider your worldview is, the easier it is to understand others and to change opinions. I connect with those who may come from a different background by respectfully approaching them. Avoiding them doesn’t help. What are three active steps all of us in the Fargo metro could take as individuals to create a more welcoming and effective community? 1. Understand that our
exposures and experiences shape your opinions. Commit to working on your personal growth and challenging your own biases. 2. Use your personal and
professional power to help others understand the value of diversity and inclusion. If we want to successfully compete as businesses and communities in this diversely growing world, we have to understand that this is no longer optional.
A Little About Laetitia • Resettled as a refugee from
Burundi, Africa, in the fall of 1998 and has resided in the FMWF community since
• Author of "Being at Home
in the World: Cross-Cultural Leadership Lessons to Guide Your Journey"
• Founder and owner of
UBUNTU Consulting, which provides educational services in the area of intercultural-competence development, cross-cultural leadership and related fields
3. Be involved in politics at the
local, state, and national levels and serve on boards, join committees, run for office, and support those who are in favor of moreinclusive communities and country.
• Currently serves on several
boards and committees, including the Fargo Human Relations Commission, New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment, FM Symphony Orchestra and MN Regional Workforce Advisory Council
• Worked for Lutheran Social
Services of North Dakota in several capacities for a combined 10 years between 1999-2015, most recently serving as director of the New Americans program and as state refugee coordinator
Editor Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
As a writer and professional communicator, what advice do you have for others looking to improve their communication skills? Read! One of my favorite quotes about writing comes from Stephen King: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” Read whatever you can get your hands on, especially anything written by other professional communicators. It doesn’t have to be books (though that helps, too). It could be tweets, emails, e-blasts, or newspaper and magazine articles. Reading others’ work will make you a better writer.
Enrollment Manager M State
What’s something you wish the community knew about higher education? Even today, many people think that in order to be successful and have a job, one needs to have at least a bachelor’s degree. There seems to almost be a stigma against degrees that are not the typical fouryear education. I wish our community knew that there are varieties of different majors and degree options that people can attain in less than four years — at a more affordable cost and that have higher job placement and pay people very well.
Business Insurance Advisor Dawson Insurance
What’s one piece of advice you have for achieving a good work-life balance? Broadly speaking, I don’t think there’s a good answer for this, but there is a great answer for each of us as individuals. It’s likely that you’ll need to tailor your balance from time to time as life happens. Being open to modifying the idea every so often will likely save you from a lot of stress in all aspects of your life. And if that doesn’t work, try a glass of red wine!
Owner/Artist, Cho. Be. Art & Design Marketing Director, Michael J. Burns Architects
How do you envision this program impacting both your personal and professional life? I envision this program and the people (in it) to be my future lifeline. I’ve never had a formal mentor, I work in a male-dominated industry, and I rarely get the chance to be surrounded by strong female women in the workplace. This program is enabling that. The inspiration from the speakers and leaders is so intentional and refreshing. I have already built some incredible relationships from the program, and we’re only a few months in. I have found help and support for both personal and professional issues. This program, these women … this is my tribe.
Katie Bertsch Attorney Ohnstad Twichell
Why is it important for women to come together in a setting like this? This program allows women who share many overlapping aspects in life, to engage in important and candid conversations and act as sounding boards for one another. Everyone brings a different perspective to the conversation, which creates thought-provoking growth and evolution. Through this evolution, these women bring positive change to themselves, their families, their organizations and the community as a whole.
Featured Tiffany McShane Title: Community Engagement Director Organization: United Way of Cass-Clay Perspective: 35 Under 35 Leader (four years) Industry: Nonprofit Focus: Leadership development, community engagement
What have you learned about leadership yourself by watching the participants experience the program? Personally, I have struggled with, and am now working toward, seeing myself as a “leader.” I find it much more rewarding to lift up others around me and to highlight their gifts and impact. The title of “leader” or act of leading a group can be daunting for many, but I’ve learned that leaders don’t always need to be at the front of the room. Some of the most impactful leaders are those who lead by motivating others to achieve their greatest potential. How does the program impact our business community more broadly? A Little About Tiffany • Leads the United Way
community engagement team and is responsible for engaging thousands of volunteers each year
• Leads a team of 35 Under
35 alumni to coordinate the program each year
• Leads a team of alumni
volunteers to create the program, content, sessions, speakers and overall leadership-development experience
Even in a company that employs hundreds of people, one person honing and developing their leadership skills makes a positive impact. It may be easy for an individual to see the 35 Under 35 program and say “that doesn’t impact me,” but when more women are encouraged to develop their leadership skills, that truly does impact all of us. Businesses are stronger, workplaces are more cohesive and employees have stronger collaborative
bonds, which often impacts the bottom line and overall success of a company. Although only 35 participants participate each year, those 35 women go back to their workplaces more energized, more confident and willing to adapt their leadership styles with a passion to impact others. As the leader of the program, what do you hope the participants' biggest takeaway is? Recently, Pam McGee talked about the true value of “sitting still” and the act of being present in your current role to ensure that you are focusing on the opportunities that surround you. If we, as leaders, are always seeking the next opportunity or role, we may run the risk of not fully experiencing and appreciating the leadership opportunities that are around us every day in whatever role we play in a business or in our community. A common misconception about the program is that participants experience the program and then seek a different role, but one of the most valuable parts is what they will take from the program and bring back to their current teams and organizations.
What is a unique perspective you bring to your workplace? My clients are not an account number to me. I know them, I know their families, and we have great conversations to talk about their needs, wants and dreams. It’s not just a debit card or online banking; it’s about the financial logistics that ensure people can pay for the things they need in their life. I enjoy being their go-to problemsolver and figuring out how things work the way they do.
New Home Specialist & Realtor Heritage Homes
How does the development of female leaders make an impact in our greater community? This program unites women of all different paths down a road of learning and discovery. The experience cultivates relationships built on respect, acceptance and support of one another. Individuality and vulnerability are celebrated — rather than discouraged as a sign of weakness — which results in authentic, meaningful connections. This type of environment inspires confidence, creates possibility and fuels action. Equipped with renewed desire and vision, a ripple effect is created, enriching the community as each of us seeks to fulfill our purpose.
Associate Attorney Conmy Feste
What advice would you give to anyone looking to develop their own leadership skills? It’s important to recognize that everyone has different viewpoints and opinions. A good leader can step aside to consider other people’s opinions and empower them to achieve a common goal. You must be authentic, understanding and encouraging to others. Lead by influence rather than authority.
Assistant VP & Retail Services Manager BlackRidge BANK
Karla Wolford (Solum)
Owner, Chiropractor & Coach Elevate Human Potential/ EHP Crossfit
How has the reality of owning your own business differed from your expectations? (It's) much harder than I expected. I work twice as many hours and make half as much as I used to, but the fact that I see a direct impact on the health and well-being of athletes and patients who I serve is unmatched. You definitely find out how to do a number of things that you never actually thought were possible because you have to. You quickly learn what your strengths and weakness are and when and who to ask for help with those weaker areas. For me, that’s finance, accounting and marketing. They don’t teach those in chiropractic schools very well!
Mindy Hogness Sales & Marketing Analyst Doosan Bobcat North America
What is one leadership lesson you have learned that you hope to put into action right away? To not only have an “attitude of gratitude” but to show it and make it known to those who have impacted me. As Millennials, we tend to rely on technology to communicate, and we don’t always remember to connect without it. An old-school, tangible thank you card, coupled with the human interaction of delivering that card, can show real authentic leadership and appreciation. Thank you notes can be for much more than physical gifts; they’re about letting people know they’ve made a positive impact on you and sharing your appreciation for that impact. Attitudes are contagious, and gratitude is a great one to spread.
Planting the Seed for Success Harvest Profit Grows into Full-Time Job for Founder Nick Horob
BY Sam Herder PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hillary Ehlen 50
hat started out as a side project has turned into a full-time job for Harvest Profit Founder Nick Horob. The idea behind Harvest Profit, a tool to help farmers track and manage their profitability, began when Horob worked for a private equity firm doing finance work and started diving deep into the farm economy. It was eye-opening for him seeing the opportunities and risks on the farm.
Horob recognized an opportunity and started doing consulting work for a handful of farms in Minnesota and the Dakotas. During this consulting, he noticed a lack of tools focused on the business side of farming, so he hired two "cheap" overseas firms in 2012-13 to build a program; it crashed and burned each time, costing him $30,000. After teaching himself how to program, he eventually realized the number of years it would take to build a quality product on his own, so in 2015, he hired Codelation, a Fargo-based softwaredevelopment company, to help him create a minimum viable product. Harvest Profit was launched in December 2016, and within months, more than 100 farms from all over the country signed up. A year later, Horob faced a decision about whether to keep it as a side project or make it a full-time gig. The revenue was built up, and now, with a staff of three others, the Williston native and University of Minnesota graduate pulled away from his consulting work to focus his days on the software without taking a huge risk. With the assistance of two State of North Dakota grants totaling $45,000, Harvest Profit is 100 percent employee-owned and profitable in the midst of a growth phase. FARGOINC.COM
Q&A WHAT IS HARVEST PROFIT? Nick Horob: “We have approximately 250 customers in 26 states and four (Canadian) provinces. Our goal is to help farmers make more-profitable long-term business decisions by making it easier for them to track their numbers. "For the 2018 crop, for instance, a farm likely bought a fair amount of their input expenses in 2017, they’re going to raise the crop in 2018, and a lot of them will sell big chunks of it in 2019. So you have three years of financial transactions that all go into that crop. Due to how most farmers do their taxes, they do it on a cash basis. So the profitability for that 2018 crop is spread out over three different years. Historically, there hasn’t been a lot of visibility into what made (them) money and what didn't make (them) money. This tool makes that easier.” WHAT DOES THE SOFTWARE TOOL DO? Horob: "It’s a tool to help users manage their crop-year profitability — taking that three years of financial transactions and bringing it all into that one year. The heart of it is a profitability-tracking tool. On top of it, they can view profitability by crop, per field and per landowner. Farmers can slice
and dice their profitability in a bunch of different ways. Then, we’ve added on top of that different "what-if" analysis tools. What if I sell grain at these four prices? What will it do for my bottom line? What if I decide to take out a different insurance level? What will that do?" WHAT ARE SOME COMMON BUSINESS MISTAKES YOU’VE FOUND FARMERS MAKE? Horob: "There’s a couple: 1) They tend to be fairly good at financialplanning in the winter. But as soon as the snow melts and they’re busy in the field, that tracking of the numbers goes to the wayside. We want to help them throughout the year. 2) There’s a lot focus on hindsight. ‘I sold some corn for $3.50, and now it’s $4.
What was I thinking? We try to minimize the focus on hindsight and minimize the focus on crystal ball predictions. What can we do today to make the farm better? Maybe it looks like we need to plant more of this profitable crop or reduce our land expenses.” HOW IMPORTANT IS A TOOL LIKE THIS FOR FARMERS TO ENSURE THEY’RE RUNNING A SMOOTH OPERATION ON THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THINGS? Horob: “Let’s say the average farm in North Dakota or Minnesota has a million dollars in revenue. These are milliondollar businesses and usually, there is one decision maker. And that decision maker is also in charge of labor, agronomy, has to be an economist and a bookkeeper. Farmers wear so many different hats and they're running a big business. We want to make that financial analysis part a lot easier for them.”
Harvest Profit HarvestProfit.com
LEADERSHIP MATTERS Here are the 11 Reasons Why
he following 11 leadership principles are from a presentation Hatch Coaching Founder Erik Hatch gives around the country at his Hatch Leadership Summits. He recently hosted one right here in Fargo, which was well-attended by a number of area presidents, CEOs and executive directors.
LEADERS GIVE FEEDBACK
When confronting someone: 1. Assume positive intent. 2. Come from curiosity. 3. Help them self-discover.
LEADERS ARE SERVANTS
"You can have everything in life you want if you just help enough other people get what they want." -Zig Ziglar
LEADERS ARE VISIONARIES
Win the room before you get in it. Find your allies early and get them to be endorsers for you.
LEADERS CREATE OTHER LEADERS, NOT FOLLOWERS
If you want power and influence, you have to let it go. This allows others to have power and influence, and it'll intrinsically come right back to you like a boomerang.
LEADERS HAVE ACCOUNTABILI-BUDDIES
"When you hold someone accountable to your goals, they'll resent you. When you hold someone accountable to their goals, they'll thank you." -Steve Kout
LEADERS HAVE SOCIAL CAPITAL
How things "click" for people: 10% can hear it to believe it. 89% need to see it to believe it.
LEADERS MIRROR AND MATCH
LEADERS ARE GREAT LISTENERS
Don't just be a coach. Allow others to coach you.
Do something bigger than yourself. Passion is contagious.
LEADERS ARE VULNERABLE
Do the people around you know your heart? Work is a place for your personal life. When done well, it will increase productivity and job satisfaction.
LEADERS SHOULD HAVE MORE FUN
The Golden Rule (good) "Treat others as you want to be treated." The Platinum Rule (great) "Treat others the way they want to be treated."
Hatch Coaching CoachingWithHatch.com
"If there's one thing we all need to invest in as a community to solve our workforce shortage, it's helping families gain access to affordable, quality childcare." KRISTI HUBER President, United Way of Cass-Clay FARGOINC.COM
THAT'S A WRAP! How to Activate "Dead Zones"
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Nate Mickelberg
The train wrap at the Northern Pacific Depot on Main Avenue in Downtown Fargo.
THE BENEFITS OF WRAPPING • Artists can submit images of work they have already created because chosen images will be scaled to the dimensions of the surface. That means artists are not necessarily being commissioned to create brand new art. That keeps the cost down for the business. • Artists are not physically creating art on the utility boxes or other surfaces. This cuts way down on the price since there is no installation fee for the artist. • In our climate, wraps typically last 5-10 years, so if you decide you want something else, it’s not a permanent piece of original art that is getting covered up.
BY Dayna Del Val The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val contributes a monthly column that explores the ways the local arts and business communities can work together to create economic opportunity and add aesthetic value to the FMWF metro.
ook around your workspace. Do you see any plain metal or wooden surfaces? Okay, now imagine that but in a public space — think garages, back doors in alleys, utility boxes and other surfaces that provide little aesthetic value in their current, bare form.
Two examples of utility box wraps on the campus of Minnesota State University Moorhead. The pieces, created by Megan Vetter (top) and Hanna Loegering (bottom) sit adjacent to two of the main streets that run through MSUM.
As cities and organizations have set out to liven up these so-called dead spaces, a simple solution they've found with a lot of bang for minimal buck is to "wrap" them. For the price of purchasing the rights to an artist’s image and the actual wrap, you can create a vibrant element that helps define your office space, activates a block or neighborhood, engages employees and clients in your office, and showcases local artists in a semi-permanent way. And again, all without breaking the bank. For Minnesota State University Moorhead President Anne Blackhurst, saying yes to a proposal from telecom company CenturyLink to wrap utility boxes on and around the MSUM campus with local art was an easy decision. “I was interested both because the wraps would infuse art into otherwise unsightly or dead spaces on our campus and because it provided an opportunity to showcase the artistic talents of MSUM students and faculty and other Fargo-Moorhead artists,” Blackhurst says. When CenturyLink decided they wanted to inject some life into numerous utility boxes around campus, they put out an invitation to local artists to submit images of their artwork. A panel chose the images, and
they were installed over the course of multiple days back in fall 2016. Jack Yakowicz, marketing manager for Fargo-based signage designer and manufacturer Office Sign Company, says Office Sign took it upon themselves to do something similar after a bout of inspiration a couple years ago. “After attending TEDxFargo in 2015, we heard a powerful message about beautifying forgotten spaces," Yakowicz recalls. "It got the wheels turning in our heads to see what we could do with our unique sign-installation skill set to help beautify a forgotten space near our own downtown facility." FARGOINC.COM
HOW TO GET STARTED • Contact The Arts Partnership (see contact info below). They're happy to work with you to put together an RFP, reach out to artists and help you select the final artwork. • Contact the team over at Office Sign Company. If anyone has questions related to best practices for art wraps, what the expense looks like, or where to begin, Marketing Manager Jack Yakowicz says he's happy to provide advice. Office Sign Company will also be more than willing to provide a healthy discount off your first art installation because, as Yakowicz puts it, they "believe in the importance of consuming artwork and helping beautify our local spaces.”
Yakowicz says the area by the back entrance to the Office Sign building is typically only utilized by people who work in one of the nearby buildings or by folks trying to avoid getting stuck behind a train on Fourth Street.
we renovate or re-imagine space," she says.
"We thought that by creating a unique art display on the garage door that faces Machinery Row, we could turn the road into more of an attraction," he explains. "To garner interest for what we were doing, we held a Facebook contest that was open to voting from the public, with a variety of designs that our art department put together. We ended up with a pretty awesome piece made by Chelsie Heide and got it printed up and installed for the world to see.”
"It turned into a great PR piece," Yakowicz says. “Quicker than we would have imagined, we started seeing pictures all across social media of individuals visiting Machinery Row to document the new art installation. We also had the install job picked up by local media.
There are some other, often unintentional, benefits to this kind of work as well. 'I'm convinced that the wraps have sparked an awareness of the benefits of public art and have encouraged members of our campus community to look for other opportunities to infuse art into unused or unsightly spaces," Blackhurst says. One example Blackhurst cites is the installation of a permanent concrete slab outside the MSUM Center for the Arts that will be used to showcase large-scale sculptures, as well as recent art installations in the student union and other public art on the campus. "(It's) helping to create an environment in which art is part of the conversation whenever
For Office Sign Company, there were actual financial gains to be had from putting up their garage-door art, too.
"Our purest intention with the art installation was to utilize our unique printing and installation skills to help beautify an otherwise forgotten area. The publicity we received for it, however, opened the doors for us to be approached by many more individuals and organizations looking for art installations, including most recently the Depot Train Wrap that we installed for Fargo Parks last fall." Yakowicz says these efforts have also helped further cement the company's relationship with the arts community in Fargo-Moorhead and serve as a testimony to their support of local art. So look around your office or property. Chances are good that you have some space that is a blank canvas just waiting for a local artist's work. It’s a great way to transform your space, summed up best by President Blackhurst:
the physical landscape but the emotional landscape in very positive ways. It can be a catalyst for greater creativity and perspective-taking within the organization.”
The Arts Partnership TheArtsPartnership.net 1104 2nd Ave. S #315, Fargo
"It instantly changes not only
"My advice is pretty simple: Jump. Just jump in." RYAN FRITZ Founder & CEO, Office Sign Company
On Machinery Row in Downtown Fargo, on what was once the plain back entrance to Fargo signage company Office Sign Company, is now a unique installation created by artist Chelsea Heide.
1 Million Thanks
Emerging Prairie, a Fargo nonprofit that helps connect and celebrate area entrepreneurs, recently hosted its fourth annual 1 Million Thanks at the Fargo Air Museum. Check out some photos from the event, where nearly 300 attendees gathered to reflect and celebrate all that was in 2017 and look forward to 2018.
Part of any Emerging Prairie event is an experiential component that allows guests to try something new and creative. This time, it was a chance to create their own luggage tag.
Attendees were treated to live music from The Moody River Band (top) and breakdancing from local group Broadway Beatrockers (bottom).
Volunteers from the North Dakota International Pageant â€” dressed as flight attendants â€” handed out appetizers and drinks to guests.
1 MILLION THANKS AWARD WINNERS DR. DAVID WELLS "BELIEF" AWARD
Jim Gartin - Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation
“This award is not about me, it is about the man who used his time, finance, programs and the incredible successes of his students. He was a dedicated professor, dreamer and opportunistic schemer to bring out the best in others … We are grateful for Dr. Wells and his model of excellence left in this entrepreneurial community."
Julie Peterson Klein - Bell Bank “I am humbled to receive this award … We are taking action to ensure that we have a safe and thriving community … Continue to surround your self with people who believe that they can change the world by one good deed at a time."
"STARTUP OF THE YEAR" AWARD Myriad Mobile (Jake Joraanstad accepting)
"ROOKIE OF THE YEAR" AWARD Ray Berry - OmniByte
“I received an incredible response returning to Fargo. The existence of OmniByte is a credit to the passion ignited at 1 Million Cups and the community that has embraced me.”
“As a startup, you think about the day you will not be known as a startup but as a company … We are making progress, growing, and expanding our reach, and it is a tribute to the community support from raising funds, hiring talented team members, and living in the best city and state in the nation."
"TEAM PLAYER" AWARD
HERE Technologies (Brian Carroll accepting) “Tonight is a continuation of the gratitude of three things about HERE Technologies:
"SOCIAL IMPACT" AWARD
1) A great team 2) Shared experiences 3) The support from the community from when we launched to when we closed our doors."
“We received a large grant for the work we accomplished as a team ... but we want to credit the Fargo community that allowed us to introduce our efforts to the community through their megaphone voices."
eFargo (Malini Srivastava accepting)
Emerging Prairie Experiential Design Fellow and Rhode Island native Chris Edgerley on the entrepreneurial environment in Fargo, "There is an amazing community being developed here ... It is open to outsiders, full of love … Realize just how special you are."
“Year after year, it is exciting to see the culture of Fargo’s entrepreneurial ecosystem multiply," Emerging Prairie Executive Director and event emcee Greg Tehven told the audience. "People are taking risks, businesses are started and the community embraces their ventures. From the beginning, 1 Million Thanks has always been an event to celebrate a year within our ecosystem."
If you know any of the people or organizations that received an award, reach out and congratulate them in person or on social media!
Emerging Prairie EmergingPrairie.com 122 1/2 N. Broadway Drive, Fargo
"Having a trusted, external voice to help you see your journey from a different viewpoint offers a unique perspective as you make decisions both personally and professionally." KALIE OLSON Vice President of Operations, Integreon FARGOINC.COM
A Regional Platform
for Setting and Executing the Community’s Agenda By Craig Whitney | Craig Whitney is the president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.
ueling the Future is gathering energy and purpose to accomplish an important objective in service to “the long view” discussed in this column a couple months ago.
Last month, several community-wide conversations generated a vision and direction mandating a course of action to create an attractive, resilient, and viable future for this region and the next generation. The work plan is certain to build upon “people, prosperity and place” — our place.
WHAT IS FUELING THE FUTURE? A regional initiative for Dilworth, Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo to accelerate future success.
With more than 50 percent representation from the business community and participation from education and human-services interests, these conversations honed in on program components of a critical, regional dimension that aren't already being addressed by the excellent businesses and agencies operating in the metro. The important task of honing in on what must be accomplished — and when and how — is well underway, with the explicit requirement that objectives be specific, measurable, attainable, repeatable and time-bound (SMART). Accountability is embedded in every program component. There are strong currents for uniting today’s efforts to place freshly graduating talent (high school, academy and college) where and when needed by this region’s robust and talent-thirsty industries: agriculture, education, healthcare, manufacturing and technology. There is support for boosting the availability
of under- and unemployed talent by increasing affordable infant and child care, certification/GED, access to transportation, second language and New American solutions. Other Fueling the Future program highlights pertain to growing the region’s wealth through primary job creation while enhancing quality-of-life expectations through infrastructure improvements (e.g., arts and/or convention centers). Because Fueling the Future is a firstof-its-kind community-wide effort, the question was asked about how it might share what seems like a crowded space of nonprofits aiming to accomplish much on a stretched budget. The compelling answer is this: The net increase in economic growth and wealth associated with Fueling the Future is a rising tide that will lift all boats. Moreover, an effective, sustained and trusted Fueling the Future business-leadership team can be the sounding board on future communityconsensus decisions. That’s the promise of aligning efforts and futuring together to fuel Cass and Clay Counties' prosperity. All aboard!
FMWF Chamber of Commerce FMWFChamber.com 202 1st Ave. N, Moorhead
A Career After Camo
A monthly look at a local veteran making a positive impact in the FMWF business community
SANDY KJELVIK SVP of Human Resources Discovery Benefits
hen Sandy Kjelvik talks with young people starting out in their careers, she always tries to make them understand one thing.
Armed Service Branch National Guard
"I tell them, 'Your career might not go in a straight path, and that's okay,'" says the SVP of HR for Fargo-based benefits administrator Discovery Benefits.
Rank Chief Master Sergeant
If anyone knows about curved paths, it's Kjelvik. After graduating high school early to attend basic training, a brief foray into computer science at North Dakota State University eventually gave way to nursing school
and a career as a nurse. After a divorce and single motherhood proved too difficult to juggle with the chaotic schedule of an RN, Kjelvik joined the military full-time, where she attained the rank of chief master sergeant over the course of nearly 25-year career in the North Dakota Air National Guard. After retiring from the Guard in 2004, she eventually found her way to Discovery Benefits, a company that she says, much like the military, lives its core values each and every day. "If you have a foundation and you work at building relationships that create trust, oh my God, you can accomplish a lot," says Kjelvik, who describes herself first and foremost as a servant leader. "Thatâ€™s
BY Nate Mickelberg PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hillary Ehlen
You've been a leader in two pretty different worlds, so I'm curious to get your perspective on leadership. What does the word mean to you?
What we teach at Discovery Benefits is that it's your influence, or ability to influence. And that’s obviously in a positive way. Leadership, in my opinion, is not your title, and it’s not ego. It really is about how you help — servant leadership. I truly believe that. It's about: What can I do to help my team function and remove barriers? To me, that's the secret sauce of leadership.
where I feel like our company has been successful. I think the team I have trusts me, which removes the (assumption) of any kind of hidden agenda. That lets you move mountains because you're together, standing side by side." Kjelvik says that while she didn't see a lot of overlap between military and business when she was serving, she now realizes just how well her time in the service prepared her for the professional world. "It was the discipline, the work ethic, the attention to detail," she explains, "but it was also how you simply HAD to do certain things. You didn't have a choice in something not getting done because lives depended on it."
“I just had a meeting this morning with one of our teams that’s at their peak busy time right now — stress levels are high, and everyone is putting in extra hours with customers." Sometimes, when people come in to the company, it’s really hard to get them to understand what we believe in. You don’t come in and start directing people; you need to come in and listen and understand what they're experiencing and what they need.
Many successful business leaders tend to be big-picture, visionary-type thinkers. Given your operations background in the military, I'm wondering if you fit that mold or if you think you bring a different perspective to the Discovery leadership team?
“We definitely have visionary people in the company, and yes, my perspective is different from some other leaders given my military background. As far as the great ideas, though, you have to figure out first: Is that where the company is going? Is it possible? Is it going to break our foundation? Because you shouldn’t break your core values or sacrifice the foundation." “We want innovation — one of our core values is continuous learning — but we’re going to choose what makes sense and aligns with our company strategy.”
Do you think it's important to have veterans in positions of business leadership? Why or why not?
I think it’s wonderful. I appreciate diversity of thought, and I think everyone has a different mindset to bring to that "best idea." I think it's definitely a unique experience going through the things vets go through, and I feel there’s a lot they have to offer. But it also shouldn’t just be because they're vets; it should be because of what they have to offer. It's about what you have to bring, and vets bring great experience, knowledge, dedication and loyalty. One thing I will say is that the skills you have in the military don’t always make sense to people in the business world. I had to do a lot of work to prepare myself and figure out where my skills would work in the community. FARGOINC.COM
I Have a Dream ...and Need a Loan!
Steve Dusek President and CEO Dakota Business Lending (formerly Dakota Certified Development Corporation)
BY Steve Dusek PHOTOGRAPHY BY Hillary Ehlen
This dream of yours has been pestering you for a while.
Traditional bank or credit union lenders are asking these questions to determine the following things:
You’ve done your homework and have spent countless hours writing a business plan, working and reworking financial projections, and studying the market and competition. Perhaps you've even dabbled in this dream as a hobby, but now you're ready to take it to the next level. All you need now is some cash to make it happen.
You have a little saved up but not enough to venture out without some additional resources. So you do the next logical thing: go talk to your bank or credit union. You present your plan and make the best possible case for the new business you are ready to launch. That's when the questions start: "How much do you need? How much do you have available to put into the project yourself? What will you be using the money for? How is your credit history? Do you have any collateral you can pledge for the loan? What is your experience in this industry? Is the projected cash flow sufficient to make your loan payments? How do you intend to cover working capital needs?" As you break out in a nervous sweat, you realize there's more to this than you expected.
The strength of your credit history and character Do you have a history of paying all your payments on time or do you have a few unsightly blips that you’d rather not discuss? Perhaps some late payments or a medical bill that you couldn’t pay that went to collections or even a prior bankruptcy. These are indicators of your future ability to pay back a new loan.
Your capacity to repay a new loan Have you thoroughly planned your financial projections, or are there obvious things missing? Do you have any additional sources for repayment like income from another job or business? Do you already have more debt than you can handle? These things determine if you will have the ability to actually make the new loan payments, even if the best execution of your plan doesn’t result in the expected sales and cash flow for your new business (which is very common, by the way).
How much money (capital) you have to put toward the project Generally speaking, the more you can put down in cash yourself, the less likely the loan is to default. What that means is: You have more skin in the game, and the lender isn’t on the hook for the whole loan if things don’t work out as planned.
How the loan will be collateralized So if the business doesn’t go as planned, what assets (real estate, equipment, inventory, etc.) would be sold to settle the debt? Keep in mind that real estate has an appraised value, but everything else really becomes a small
"... the borrower is able to secure financing with the intent that, in a couple years, they will have the proven, historical performance to secure a traditional loan with better rates and terms."
value when you try to sell it compared to the original purchase price. So, if you borrow $100,000 for equipment and inventory, it may only be worth $10,000-20,000 in a re-sell situation leaving a large balance that you will need to come up with in other ways to pay off the loan.
What is the Community Advantage Program?
The Community Advantage program is specifically designed to address some of the challenges that prevent a lender from providing traditional loans — most What conditions are necessary to often, that's the required amount of down provide the loan payment from the borrower, as well as Based on the above information and the shortfall on collateral value. With this analysis done by your lender, you may program, the borrower is able to secure or may not qualify for a loan. If you do, financing with the intent that, in a couple the terms might be out of reach for you – years, they will have the proven, historical perhaps they need more down payment performance to secure a traditional loan than you can afford, or they require more with better rates and terms. In essence, this collateral for the loan. program provides a path to bankability for a new business, and it gives them a means to For many startup businesses, in particular, start and eventually establish a commercial the stars just don’t align banking relationship in the What's That Mean? correctly for all of these things future. A leasehold improvement to fall into place. As much as consists of alterations made The Hennings needed a loan they’d like to help, your lender to rental premises in order to has to tell you no. So you go to for leasehold improvements, customize it for the specific another bank, and they say the furniture, fixtures, equipment needs of a tenant. same thing; this is becoming a and working capital. Because more common occurrence as they didn’t have enough down regulations on banks tighten to reduce the payment and collateral to meet traditional number of loans that eventually default. financing requirements, the Community Advantage Program was a great fit for Now what? them. They had worked with the North Dakota Small Business Development Center How about considering non-traditional for assistance with their business plan and financing options? If your lender is in the projections, so they had a solid plan to start know about other programs that are helpful with. for new-business financing, they may point you to a program such as the U.S. Small Then, we were able to check other items off Business Administration's 7(a) Community the list, gain confidence in their ability to run Advantage Loan, as was the case for a the business and provided the financing to recently opened cidery in Downtown Fargo. get them funded to launch Wild Terra.
Wild Terra Cofounders Breezee and Ethan Hennings had a vision and were turned down by multiple banks until a local credit union advised them to check into Dakota Business Lending's Community Advantage program.
Once they have a couple years under their belts — perhaps sooner if things go well — they will be in a position to get commercial financing and replace the Community Advantage loan with better rates and terms.
YPN's "One to Watch" Q1
ach quarter, the FMWF Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Network selects one of its members as its "One to Watch." The award is peernominated and then voted on by YPN's Membership Engagement Committee. In addition to a write-up in Fargo INC! and the Chamber's monthly newsletter, "The Bridge," the One to Watch gets a complimentary ticket to a Chamber event of their choice.
MEET DANNE DOERING Born and raised in Fargo, Danne Doering's high school years took her to the Iron Range of Minnesota. After graduating from Hibbing High School, Doering says she realized how much she missed the Fargo-Moorhead area, so she came back to attend Concordia College and then decided to stay for good. Doering currently works as a universal banker at Choice Financial, where she helps customers with accounts, consumer loans and cases of fraud â€” really any kind of issue that arises at her branch. "I love my position because it's always something different," Doering says, "and I love working for Choice because of our company culture of 'people first.' I love that if I see someone in need of something, I am empowered to help them."
A Profile in Giving Back • Big Brother Big Sister Advisory Committee (1 year) • American Diabetes Association - ND Community Leadership Board (2 years) • FMWF Chamber YPN Leadership Committee/Corporate Cup Chair (2 years)
Q&A Why did you initially decide to join YPN? I joined YPN when I started my first 8-5 job. I was looking to build a professional network, and like most, I started out with Off the Clock, ended up learning about the different things the Chamber had to offer and knew I needed to be more involved. YPN was the perfect fit for me; everyone was like-minded in building their professional network and was so friendly and inviting as well. Where do you personally get the most value out of being a part of YPN? YPN does a great job of giving young professionals a place to belong in FargoMoorhead. YPN is a great start for young professionals to get involved with the Chamber and (learn) how much the Chamber does for businesses in the FM area — it's being a part of something bigger. Looking at it the other way, how do you think you add the most value to YPN? I think I add value by participating in the different events that YPN/the Chamber have to offer such as Off the Clock, Networking to Business, Business After Hours and the Leadership Program. Telling professionals
about YPN and explaining it is so much more (meaningful) when you get involved, and then you are able to get more from it as well. I hope I inspire others to stay involved with their community. What are some examples of connections you’ve made through YPN that have helped you in your professional life? YPN has provided me with connections that have helped both my personal and professional growth as a person. I don’t have a specific example, but I know I have a solid network I can lean on. “One to Watch” is a unique award in that it’s peer-nominated. Who nominated you, and what did it mean to you? Both Trevor Mathew from Choice Financial and Jenny Johnson from Spotlight Media nominated me. I work with both Jenny and Trevor on the YPN Leadership Committee, and I am grateful to get the opportunity to work with both these individuals. It is an honor to receive one nomination, let alone two. I am very appreciative and value them.
To learn more about the YPN nomination process or to nominate a YPN member as the "One to Watch" for quarter two, please contact the Chamber's professional development coordinator Alyssa Ralston at ARalston@FMWFChamber.com.
Young Professionals Network FMWFChamber.com/YPN
ENCRYPTION OVERKILL March is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, which gives us a good excuse to go even deeper on the backbone of security: encryption. The easiest way to talk about encryption is to take an everyday situation and break it down into its component parts. In this article, we'll think about encryption through the example of something almost all of us do: online shopping. Specifically, our goal here is to shed some light on why you can be comfortable with making online transactions and why we donâ€™t end up with our identities stolen after every purchase. To do that, we need to break encryption down into its smaller, individual components and explain how they are used together.
By William Galvin Photography by Hillary Ehlen
William Galvin is the owner of GigaGreen Technologies, an independent IT consultancy in Fargo specializing in managed services, enterprise consulting and web development.
Encryption is the process of hiding important information by scrambling that information so only those who need to can understand it. The easiest way to achieve this is by using what's called symmetric encryption. Symmetric encryption utilizes the same shared secret between the message-sender and -receiver to scramble the message and unscramble it. This "shared secret" between the senders and receivers is called a cipher. Letâ€™s take a quick look at a simple cipher: Original Message
Above, we used what is called a shift cipher to encrypt the message "HELLO FARGO." A shift cipher moves the letters in the alphabet a specific direction and recreates the message using the new alphabet. In our case, I shifted the alphabet upward by four positions. You, the receiver of the message, can easily decode LIPPS JEVKS back to HELLO FARGO using our shared secret, or our cipher.
Asymmetric Encryption Symmetric encryption works great only if you keep the cipher hidden to those who only need to know the message contents. This is much harder than you think. Historically, symmetric encryption is wrought with failure and minimal success. If you enjoy historical failures, you can look into how the stolen blueprints of the Enigma machine led to the Allied forces turning the tide of World War II. How do we successfully communicate a shared secret between us? The answer is we need to use another type of encryption called asymmetric encryption. Asymmetric encryption, also called public key cryptography, utilizes two different ciphers to encrypt and decrypt the message between the sender and receiver. The sender of the message utilizes the public (encryption) key to encode the message, and the receiver of the message utilizes a private (encryption) key to decode the message. Unfortunately, I can’t provide a direct example of this, as even the simplest forms of
asymmetric encryption utilize what's called prime-number factorization, mathematical derivatives and other scary math terms I pretended to have once known in pre-calculous. Thankfully, we can draw a close analogy using a locked public U.S. Postal Service mailbox. We use a basic form of asymmetric encryption every time we get the daily mail. Most mailboxes are locked with a physical key that only the recipient of the mail has. By dropping the mail into a publicly locked mailbox, the sender encrypts the message so that only the receiver can read the message. They unlock, or decrypt, the mail with their physical key to the lock. The mailbox acts as a public key, where anyone can encrypt a message, but only those with the private key — in this case, a physical key — can read the contents of the message. Comparable to symmetric encryption, it's much easier to keep your private key secure if you don’t have to share it with anyone. However, this leaves us with a secure, one-sided communication and a reliance on the mailman to not steal the unencrypted message during transit. We can fix these problems.
Putting Them Together When we use symmetric and asymmetric encryption together, we end up with a way to securely transport messages between two parties, regardless of who is carrying the message. Keeping our mailbox analogy and adding a lockable box, we can secure communications between two individuals and a thirdparty message carrier. The sender must be given an open-unlocked box from the receiver that only the receiver has the key to open. The sender places a symmetric cipher — to be used to encrypt for further communications — in the box and then locks it. The receiver opens the locked box with their key and can now communicate back to the sender with the symmetric cipher inside. If the mailman were to steal the locked box, no problem, the sender can send another locked box with a different cipher until its successfully received. The mailman doesn’t possess the key to
the lockbox and therefore cannot access the message. This process continues until the sender receives an encrypted message that they can decrypt with the original cipher. What encrypted message do you decode? A completely new secret way, or cipher, of how to encrypt the next message back to the intended receiver. You then encrypt your message with the safely transmitted symmetric cipher. This creates a loop of securely transferring the information between a sender and receiver. Applying this to our everyday shopping habits, we can securely transmit credit card numbers to online retailers without ourselves having to provide anything other than our credit card number to be safely encrypted and sent. Computers successfully generate and communicate via these methods every time you send your information. This prevents people from grabbing our private information out of the digital airwaves and using it to digitally "become" us.
Giga-Green Technologies Giga-Green.com 701-630-7188 FARGOINC.COM
MARCH 7 MARCH 1 (expression-of-interest form must be submitted)
Emerging Leader Student Mental Health Awareness Panel 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
This is a high-level training program geared for small-business owners who are ready to move their businesses into next-stage growth. The course consists of 13 sessions over 7 months (April - October) where participants receive training on topics that help them create a strategic growth plan, leverage peer relationships and interact with experts who provide relevant guidance.
Two of United Way’s BOLD Goals are to prepare children to succeed and to help people be independent. Learn how they're connecting students and children to the mental-health services they need to be successful and what you can do to help. Join them for a panel-style discussion where you have the opportunity to hear from local experts and leaders in the area about student and child mental health so that you can position yourself as an informed advocate when it comes to the mental health of young people in our community.
SBA.gov/Offices/District/ND/Fargo U.S. Small Business Administration - ND District Office 657 2nd Ave. N, Fargo
UnitedWayCassClay.org/Events NDSCS - Dr. Jerry C. Olson Auditorium (Room 101) 1305 19th Ave. N, Fargo
Emerging Leaders Program
MARCH 6 Breaking Down Tax Reform: What It Means for Business and Individuals 7:30 - 9 a.m.
Congress has passed the largest and most comprehensive tax reform legislation in the past 30 years. Businesses and individuals alike are trying to figure out the tax implications and what this means for them in their current situation and moving forward. Many are asking for the basics: • What’s included in tax reform? • What can I do now to save money? • What deductions are available? • What strategies do I need to consider? • What am I not considering that I should be? Join presenting sponsor Eide Bailly for a tax-reform update exploring the key provisions, effective dates, how the current plan impacts you and possible action items and next steps. Adam Sweet from Eide Bailly’s National Tax Office will discuss the current state of tax reform, identify business impacts and opportunities and review possible action steps. He will then be joined by a panel that will discuss entity selection/ modification opportunities, the impact on
estate planning and how local businesses are making changes based on the new legislation. Registration (includes breakfast) Chamber Members • $30 in advance • $35 at the door Non-Members • $40 in advance • $45 at the door FMWFChamber.com Courtyard by Marriott Fargo-Moorhead 1080 28th Ave. S, Moorhead
Adam Sweet Principal, National Tax Office
Principal, Wealth, Estate and Transition Services
Patrick Kautzman Tax Partner
NOTE: There are three training sessions that will be held on March 14 (see below). Each individual may only register for one session, but feel free to come in a group and split the trainings up.
• • •
Successfully Navigating Change How to Measure Your Marketing ROI Purpose & Philanthropy: Discovering Transformational Living through Giving
MARCH 14 Successfully Navigating Change 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The dynamic organizations in which we work often change. How do we as individuals adjust and successfully handle those changes? At this training, Village Business Institute Consulting and Training Manager John E. Trombley will help you consider the transition zones of change and walk you through where you are personally, as well as explore healthy ways to deal with change through RICE (reality, identify, communicate and engage). What will you learn? • Understand the effects of change • Recognize the importance of change transitions • Explore who’s on your team • Discuss “RICE” concepts to deal with change This training qualifies for 2 CPE credits for the ND CPA Society. Registration (includes lunch) Chamber Members • $30 in advance • $35 at the door Non-Members • $40 in advance • $45 at the door
How to Measure Your Marketing ROI 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
OpGo Marketing Founder and CEO Tiffanie Honeyman will share best practices for developing a measurable marketing plan. She'll provide the steps needed to start measuring with manual tools (templates), some online resources and plenty of examples. What will you learn? • Put value on every marketing dollar • Add accountability to your marketing team • Make future marketing decisions with confidence This training qualifies for 2 CPE credits for the ND CPA Society. Registration (includes lunch) Chamber Members • $30 in advance • $35 at the door Non-Members • $40 in advance • $45 at the door FMWFChamber.com Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
North Dakota Cyber Security Conference The North Dakota Cyber Security Conference brings together community members from education, government and industry to share strategies, best practices and innovative solutions to address today’s challenges in cybersecurity. The vast scope of modern cyber threats calls for active participation from individuals and organizations across the state. Hosted by North Dakota State University in partnership with the North Dakota Education Technology Council, EduTech and the North Dakota Information Technology Department. Keynote Speakers Jay Beale Information Security Analyst InGuardians Avis Yates Rivers CEO Technology Concepts Group International NDSU.edu/Conferences/CyberSecurity NDSU Memorial Union 1401 Administration Ave., Fargo
FMWFChamber.com Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
Purpose & Philanthropy: Discovering Transformational Living Through Giving 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Giving is good and has the power to both transform how we live and impact the world around us. As a country, we are spending a fortune trying to find happiness and are coming up short, but there is hope and a role for each of us. You won’t want to miss this opportunity that will enrich your life and those around you. Join Impact Institute Director Scott Holdman as he lays out a path for finding meaning in a material world and how to positively impact yourself, your
business and your community. This training qualifies for 2 CPE credits for the ND CPA Society. Registration (includes lunch) Chamber Members • $30 in advance • $35 at the door Non-Members • $40 in advance • $45 at the door
Avis Yates Rivers
FMWFChamber.com Delta by Marriott 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
MARCH 21 (third Wednesday of each month)
3rd Wednesday Executive Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
MARCH 15 LIVE UNITED Awards
3:30 - 5 p.m. (social: 5 - 6 p.m.)
Join the United Way of Cass-Clay to honor and recognize the people and businesses who are a force for good in our community. Have commitments at 5? No problem! Join them for the event and then jet. Or stay and join for a fun networking social. Register to reserve your spot.
Cost (includes appetizers at social) • $20 UnitedWayCassClay.org/Events Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
The third Wednesday of each month, Fargo-area professionals come together for a conversation specifically designed to address the unique challenges of life at the top. Thought-provoking topics are discussed in an open forum led by fellow private-business owners, entrepreneurs and executives. Open to all area business owners and executives — members and non-members. Cost (includes lunch)
• $50 per person
The100.Work Avalon Events Center 2525 9th Ave. S, Fargo
MARCH 27 Be Original, Brave & Bold: Assertiveness That Works 3:30 - 5 p.m. (social: 5 - 6 p.m.)
MARCH 22 Cultivate Conference 1 - 6 p.m.
Join Emerging Prairie as they explore the convergence of agriculture and technology. Throughout the afternoon, you'll hear from all corners of the agriculture ecosystem and learn about tech innovations happening in the industry. The event has been designed to have equal parts mainstage content and networking, so you have space to learn from the experts and time to connect with future customers and industry leaders. Your ticket is your all-access pass to the Cultivate Conference, which includes speakers, panels and complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.
What can you expect? • Short, mainstage content. Speakers have a maximum of 15 minutes to present to ensure you hear the most relevant information without all the fluff. • Farmer's panel with 3-4 farmers hosting an open conversation with the audience about their current frustrations on the farm. • Time for connection. There will be interactive panels, booths, fireside chats and networking breaks woven into the afternoon. • Refreshments and snacks throughout the day, with a happy hour at the close of the conference. NOTE: There will be no ticket sales at the door. Tickets must be purchased by noon on Thursday, March 22. EmergingPrairie.com/Cultivate Sanctuary Events Center 670 4th Ave. N, Fargo
In this fast-paced world, there is limited time for uncertainty and ambiguity. We need to say what we think to get what we want. Being assertive can be a win-win. Women need to use their strengths and wisdom to dictate their future. At this session with YWCA CEO Erin Prochnow, learn and practice prioritizing what’s really important to you. Participants will learn what it means to be assertive, tips for how to be assertive, why it's important, things to avoid while earning the respect of others and how to use the everimportant two-letter word, "no." Registration Chamber Members • $25 in advance • $30 at the door Non-Members • $35 in advance • $40 at the door FMWFChamber.com DoubleTree by Hilton & West Fargo Conference Center 825 East Beaton Dr., West Fargo
DOWN THE ROAD 56560 Annual Celebration Thursday, April 19
Corporate Cup Thursday, May 24
Thursday, July 26
MARCH 27 Nikki Villagomez: Culture + Typography
LOCAL BUSINESS MEETUPS
3:30 - 6 p.m.
Join American Advertising Federation of North Dakota and Nikki Villagomez for a look into how culture affects typography and decision-making processes in everyday life. In her presentation, Villagomez will use pictures taken throughout her travels to discuss the comparisons and contrasts in type choices based on location. This is where you come in. Help shape the event’s content by sending in photos of your favorite North Dakota typography. Nikki will use the photos you send in to create her presentation. For the month, you're challenged to really look at the everyday typography that makes the FM area and North Dakota unique. The types of pictures AAF-ND would like to see submitted are graffiti, manhole covers, hand lettering and local signs. You can submit photos by:
• Twitter: @nikki_vz (#NDType) • Instagram: @nikki_vz (#NDType - make sure pictures are set to public) • Email: NikkiVillagomez@Gmail.com Deadline for submission is March 2. Registration (required) Free AAF-ND members • $50 non-members • $20 nonmember students AAF-ND.org/Events Delta Hotels by Marriott Fargo 1635 42nd St. S, Fargo
More information for most meetups can be found at Meetup.com.
• Blockchain Meetup • Cass-Clay Subcontractor Sales & Marketing Meetup
• Geek Meet FM • Girl Develop It • Fargo 3D Printing Meetup • Fargo Cashflow Game Night • Fargo Entrepreneurship Meetup • Fargo Virtual Reality Meetup • Fargo-Moorhead Content Strategy
• The Fargo-Moorhead Real Estate Investing Meetup
• Master Networks – Fargo Business Referral Group
• Mobile Meetup Fargo • Moorhead Entrepreneurship Meetup
• Prairie Dawg Drupal • Red River Valley Big Data –
Midwest Big Data Hub Meetup
• Stampede: A Meetup for the
Young, Determined & Restless
• YMCA Brighter Futures
Join us as we celebrate a decade of the United Way of Cass-Clay's 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program and introduce the 2018 class. ALSO...
Published on Feb 26, 2018
Join us as we celebrate a decade of the United Way of Cass-Clay's 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program and introduce the 2018 class. ALSO...