Fargo INC! November 2022

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Meet the VBOC Team

10 Serious Tips for Recruitment

105 Years of Fargo Glass & Paint Co.

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These entrepreneurs are making moves Outside of service and so can you!

November 2022

Veteran's

L L A G N I L L CA





Rethink the Rink. The ice is nice at the White Bear Lake Sports Center (WBLSC). On the verge of demolition, WBLSC recruited JLG to rethink the rink, restoring its infrastructure, refrigeration, and aging envelope. JLG’s dynamic design solution integrated highly efficient systems which reduced annual operating costs, saved $6 million in construction, and earned two 2022 AIA Awards: the Minneapolis Merit Award, and a North Dakota Honor Award.

Building Design+Construction, Sports Architecture Giant CSI National Firm Award for Environmental Stewardship Great Place to Work-Certified™ | 100% Employee-Owned ESOP jlgarchitects.com






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Sponsored Content: Because Business Is Personal: Advantages of a Full-Service Partner

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Sponsored Content: Meet Your Employee Benefits Team

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Sponsored Content: Office Outfit Tips From the Experts at SCHEELS

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The Call to Entrepreneurship

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Veteran Feature: Greg Bowen

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Veteran Feature: Paul Provost

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Veteran Feature: Cassandra Mosbrucker

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Veteran Feature: Hunter Haisten

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Who They Are: Team VBOC of the Dakotas

FEATURES

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56 Top Ten Tips for Recruitment with Marvin 58 105 Years in the Community 68 Business Spotlight: KLN Family Brands 72 Business Spotlight: Dakota Fence

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76 Local LinkedIn Leaders 88 The Advice That Helped them Get There: Hanna Stelter 94 10 Questions With John Machacek: Wild Terra Cider 100 Women You Should Know: Melanie Iverson 102 Lawyers and Engineers, So Different Yet So Similar 104 Awesome Foundation Grant Award Winner: Be Smart 108 Academic Insight: Increasing Productivity 108 Sales Intelligence: The Advantages of Integrated Sales Marketing Technologies

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CHECK OUT FARGOINC.COM

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833 24th Avenue E. West Fargo • 701-561-0800 5050 Timber Pkwy. South Fargo • 701-929-6550 Extra video content

1970 South Columbia Rd. Grand Forks • 701-732-3200


E d i t o r ’s n o t e

Thank You For Your Service!


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eriously, to all you veterans out there, thank you for your service! There isn't much else to say, but I have a few random thoughts.

I hope our business community supports you like it should. If you are interested in coverage in the magazine, please reach out to magazine@spotlightmediafargo. com. We would love to support you.

I could not do what you have done. We all appreciate the sacrifices you have made to allow us to live the great lives that we have.

Brady Drake Fargo INC! Editor

Brady Drake, Fargo INC! Editor

fargoinc@spotlightmediafargo.com


EDITORIAL BOARD

KRISTINA HEIN-LANDIN

Lead Content & Public Relations Strategist

GREGORY WALD

Acquisitions/Communication

Moore Holding Company

ERIC WILKIE CEO

FM Area Foundation

United Way of Class-Clay

Perspective. Accountability. Efficiency. The power of working together. Respect for everyone’s individual role. Finding the good in difficult situations. Understanding different cultures. Valuing the time of others. The importance of clear communication. This most certainly must be a list of qualities one would hope a teammate or employee would have, right? It’s also the myriad of topics that came up when I asked my teammate, Thomas Hill, VP of Community Impact at United Way, to weigh in on the topic of Veterans. I’ve been working alongside Tom since 2008 – he joined our team after serving in the Army, National Guard. During our discussion there was one obvious common thread – Veterans prioritize having a mindset focused on the collective sense of “we” and less of an emphasis on “me” and “I.” They see how the power of unity impacts the success of all, and when I think of any hope that I have for employees in a workplace – or better yet our world - that sums it up. I can only imagine how this attitude could transform our workplaces while bringing more success to businesses and organizations everywhere. Thanks for serving and sharing your perspective, Tom! I'm always proud to know you and learn from you.

Veterans offer unique solutions to workforce challenges that abound across industries. When I worked for Job Service North Dakota years ago, I learned that veterans bring transferable skills from their time in the service that employers find incredibly valuable. In addition to technical skills, veterans are highly oriented toward leadership, teamwork and commitment. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans comprised 5.6% of the nation’s workforce in 2020, and were employed most often in professional occupations, and management, business and financial operations. Compared to non-veterans, they hold proportionally more positions in management, business and financial operations; transportation and material moving; installation, maintenance and repair; and production. Whether in military or civilian pursuits, active service members and veterans provide immeasurable service to our nation. Be sure to consider everything veterans bring to a position when they apply at your organization.

According to the ND Association of Nonprofit Organizations (NDANO) in 2021 alone there were 54,238 jobs in North Dakota nonprofits, representing a major employer in our state. The regional workforce dilemma has hit this industry as hard as any. In North Dakota, veterans are sometimes less than eager to work in the nonprofit field, directed more towards the private sector, government, or entrepreneurship. That’s unfortunate because the nonprofit field needs these individuals, and this field can provide a rewarding career for our veterans. Nonprofits are always seeking passionate individuals to help enhance their mission, and our local veterans are perfect for many of these roles. I’d encourage our nonprofit community to seek out and recruit our veterans for their mission work. I’ve had wonderful experiences with the veterans I’ve had the good fortune to work with in my 20+ year nonprofit career. Military experience teaches veterans skills vital to our nonprofit employers, which include: • Problem solving complex situations • Working on a team • Leading • Serving For any nonprofit organization seeking to fulfill and enhance their mission or impact, the value of hiring a veteran cannot be overlooked.

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SHANNON FULL

KURT MCSPARRON

JENNY SHEETS

FMWF Chamber of Commerce

The Executives Club of Fargo - Moorhead

Founders Programs

This month, we celebrate the importance of US veterans in our business community. Quite frankly, nothing happens in the United States… nothing, without the commitment, dedication and service our US armed forces. For that, we thank you. For each individual who has stepped up to serve; to defend our Constitution and our Bill of Rights; to provide and protect our freedoms and our liberties; this month and every month, we THANK YOU. On behalf of The Executives’ Club of FargoMoorhead and our entire business community, we salute you.

Our community and our country would not be the same without our veterans. Every day we can thank the brave men and women who risk it all to allow us our safety and opportunities for prosperity. We can say thank you to our veterans by lowering barriers to jobs, financing, social capital, and entrepreneurship. I have never enlisted in the military; I have never experienced war. I can't possibly imagine what it's like to integrate yourself back into 'normal life.' While I can’t offer understanding, what I can offer is a willingness to listen, an open mind for learning, and a social network I have been lucky enough to establish. By supporting veterans' desire to stay in our community, to build and grow here, we are stronger together.

President and CEO

The men, women and families of our military are at the heart of our businesses, communities and the entire country, and it is paramount that FMWF continues to foster a community of support. From an annual regional economic impact of over $120 million to the thousands of personnel and veterans engrained in our community and businesses, the importance of our military is undeniable. If you are serving or have served in our military, thank you. If you are a business that supports our military through The Chamber or programs of your own, thank you. If you are an organization that aids service members and their families, thank you. If you are a community member who stands alongside our military and supports them, thank you.

Founder and Director

Manager

I also want to take this time to congratulate our own Gate City Bank for being awarded the 2022 Freedom Award. Each year, this prestigious honor is awarded by the Secretary of Defense to only 15 employers in the entire nation. It makes me proud and humbled to see the effort that our community puts into supporting the men and women of our military, and I look forward to continuing to expand and enhance our efforts.

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SPONSORED CONTENT

Because Business Is Personal: Advantages of a Full-Service Partner

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The idea that business and personal lives are completely separate is not true for anyone. Work is a source of personal satisfaction, close relationships and the money it takes to live. Business and personal worlds are especially linked for business owners, whose personal passion and assets are tied up in their business. Choosing a full-service financial partner who can bridge those worlds can help business owners and their employees keep personal and professional lives in balance. They can help manage your business finances while maintaining a focus on how that fits into your personal financial future. Here are some examples of how.

Owners can Seamlessly Bridge their Personal and Business Needs An owner’s biggest personal asset is often their business. When it comes time to retire, sell or pass down a business, every decision has a personal component. With a full-service partner, an owner can plan and execute a succession plan, and plan for and manage their retirement. Many owners focus so much on their business that they have loose ends on the personal side of finance once a sale closes. An advisor who knows the person and the business can help sort through those big questions about what comes next, not just closing a deal.

An Understanding and Appreciation of Complex Transactions Every business decision affects the owner’s finances. For example, debt is a powerful tool for financing growth and operations; understanding how it changes the value and marketability of a business is important to consider too, especially when it comes to personal wealth. When it comes time to step away from a business, with partner buy-outs, seller financing, and other transaction options, it’s important to understand how and when an owner will realize proceeds, and what that will mean for their personal life. A full-service partner will consider both sides.

efficiencies. Working with a partner who also sees your employees as individuals, with their own financial needs and balancing acts, can promote overall financial wellness among staff, too. Employees who feel financially secure are happier, more productive, and easier to retain. Look for providers who can deliver advice and services that benefit employees personally.

Help Owners Focus on Running Their Business There is a psychology around money that can have a profound effect on a person’s mental health and overall well-being. This is especially true for business owners, who must make decisions that affect their family, their employees and even their employees’ families. That’s a lot of pressure. Feeling confident with their own personal finances can help business owners maintain the clarity and confidence to do right by their business.

Simplicity and Efficiency of One Point of Contact This is a complex financial time for businesses and individuals. The more partners and services, the less efficient and more cumbersome interactions become. Instead of bringing business and personal advisors or providers of multiple benefits together to compare notes, having a single partner who can handle everything means less onboarding and coordination time, less weighing multiple opinions and a greater ability to get things done. Alerus has a long tradition of serving both businesses and individuals. Through the My Alerus platform, we help individuals see their overall financial picture. Financial advisors can help individuals plan for their future. Business advisors help guide owners and leaders through important decisions with broad impacts. Connect with Alerus to learn how we can help bring balance to your financial life.

Create an Environment Where Financial Wellness Flourishes Selecting a single partner for business functions like retirement plans, health savings accounts, and other employee benefits offers significant

The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Alerus does not provide legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. Alerus Financial, N.A. is Member FDIC. FARGOINC.COM

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Meet The Team MIKE

LEVI

TY

GENEVA

JENNY

NICK

PAUL

KACEY

HAILEY

JONATHAN

JESSICA

GRANT

AL

TOMMY

BRADY

KIM

BEN

JOSIAH

DEVAN

KELLEN

JOHN

Learn more about us at

spotlightmediafargo.com 16

NOVEMBER 2022

TORI

KELLAN



NOVEMBER 2022 Volume 7 Issue 11

Fargo INC! is published 12 times a year and is available at area businesses and online at FargoInc.com. Publisher EDITORIAL Editorial Team Lead Editors Art Director Editorial Graphic Designers Creative Strategist Contributors

INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Business Development Associate Videographer Director of Digital Advertising Results Graphic Designer Web Designer ADVERTISING VP of Business Development Sales Representatives

Mike Dragosavich Brady Drake Brady@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Geneva Nodland, Grant Ayers Kim Cowles Levi Dinh, Ty Betts Josiah Kopp Shawn Peterson, Shontarius D. Aikens, Tom Kading, Brandi Malarkey, John Machacek Nick Schommer Kellen Feeney Tommy Uhlir Jonathan Chicka Ben Buchanan Kellan Benson Paul Hoefer Paul@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Al Anderson Al@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Devan Maki Devan@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

Sales & Marketing Advisor

Tori Helland Tori@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Kacey Mongeon Kacey@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

Marketing Associate Client Relations

Hailey Bebler Hailey@SpotlightMediaFargo.com ClientRelations@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

Client Relations Manager

Jenny Johnson

Marketing Coordinator

Jessica Mullen

DISTRIBUTION Delivery

John Stuber

Fargo INC! is published by Spotlight LLC, Copyright 2022 Fargo INC! & FargoInc.com. All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo INC!, and Spotlight LLC, is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on such information. Spotlight LLC, accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

Spotlight, LLC 4609 33rd Ave S Suite #304 Fargo, ND 58104 or info@spotlightmediafargo.com ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)



CHECK OUT SPOTLIGHT MEDIA'S OTHER PUBLICATIONS

At Design & Living Magazine, we love to share all of the fantastic local art, architecture, home decor, interior design and landscaping in the FMWF area with our readers. designandlivingmagazine.com facebook.com/ designandlivingmagazine Instagram: designandlivingmagazine

Future Farmer is our farming publication which brings great tech-focused content to readers across North Dakota and Minnesota. futurefarmermag.com facebook.com/FutureFarmerMag

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Bison Illustrated is your number one source for all of the behind-the-scenes action inside the North Dakota State University Athletic Department. bisonillustrated.com facebook.com/bisonillustrated Twitter: @bisonmag Instagram: bisonillustrated

You may already be familiar with our Faces of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo publication which we publish once per year in order to highlight the faces behind all of the great businesses in the community.

Fargo Monthly is an award-winning publication dedicated to highlighting Fargo-Moorhead and what makes it a truly enjoyable place to live. fargomonthly.com facebook.com/fargomonthly Twitter: @fargomonthly Instagram: fargomonthly

Are you overwhelmed trying to plan for your big day? You're not alone. We've done our best to provide all types of local resources, expert guidance, de-stressing tips and everything in between. Your wedding day is one of the mos important days of your life. Hopefully, this issue will help you prepare for that day so it's all about you.



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Meet Your Employee Benefits Team


E MMA at a Glance

mployee benefits have become much more complex than simply figuring out what types of products or coverages to offer your employees. The modern benefits package also helps support culture. Your benefits package can do everything from assisting with inclusivity messages to nurturing a culture of caring/mental well-being to catering to pet lovers and recent college graduates. There’s an art and science to what Marsh McLennan Agency helps employers put together. "How we do it differently is through really understanding what is important to employers and their culture, but also what business challenges they’re facing and what their financial budgets are and where they want to invest in colleagues," Abbey Vanderwerf, VP of Employee Benefits, said. "At the core, we help implement benefit products, but our team provides diverse backgrounds with all types of experiences that allow us to help in all sorts of ways." Including:

6,000+ colleagues

Strategic Plan Management

120+ locations across the United States and Canada

• Development of a 3-5 year plan where goals are outlined and strategies are detailed for your employee benefits program.

1 million+ lives under MMA care

• Evaluation of the program, vendors and solutions needed to help accomplish future goals.

• Aligning plans and offerings with benefits, philosophy and objectives to achieve desired business results. • Partnership strategy reviews, providing plan and vendor updates, claim reviews, benefit trends and insights, and ongoing re-evaluation of goals and objectives.

Actuarial Services An understanding of actuarial and underwriting practices, MMA can have peer-topeer conversations with carriers about what is in the best interest of all parties. This also allows them to negotiate with principals and long-term sustainability in mind. Our team of clientfacing actuaries and analysts provide: • Financial forecasts for insurance spending and assistance with budget conversations.

• Independent review and analysis of your program. • Periodic claims review and projections. • Self-funded feasibility analysis • Plan selection tools for employees

Benchmarking Provide national, regional and local benchmarks for all aspects of benefits including: • Stop-loss premiums & deductibles • Plan design • Premiums • Employer contribution • Compare plan designs and contribution strategies with similar size, geography and industry employers.

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Communication & Technology

How they're different:

• Create awareness of companysponsored benefits and health improvement programs and resources.

"We look at our relationships as a business partnership. This is an ever-changing industry that requires a diligent understanding of trends. We analyze, evaluate and educate our employers on what could impact them while helping them make compliant and data-driven decisions and really help them and their employees understand what they have and how they can most effectively utilize their benefits packages. We are constantly asking questions about the organization's future goals and objectives so we can anticipate things that could impact their benefits down the road and not just make decisions for today," Vanderwerf said.

• Assist with content development, employee education, videos and booklets and overall benefits messaging. • Provide independent insight and assistance with vendor technology selection and implementation. • Support technology and carrier vendors to help drive satisfactory employee experiences.

Compliance & HR Resources • Focus on protecting, supporting and educating clients on areas that impact their business. • Education opportunities such as webinars, seminars, white papers, HR and compliance focus groups and client alerts on industry announcements and updates. • Access to HR portal for questions, template and training modules. • Compliance doesn’t stop and MMA has a national team that educates local colleagues on what is impacting employers and what employers need to do to prepare. They customize this to their groups, knowing what is important or critical to them based on their size and offerings. • In-house attorneys and compliance experts that assist with questions on compliance issues, WRAP documents, 5500 filings, SPD and plan review, HIPAA, DOL audits and more.

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• From retirement to well-being, voluntary benefits, pharmacy, benchmarking, HR compliance and funding methodologies, MMA's toolbox is vast and they train their team to find the right solutions at the right time to assist their clients.

Want to improve your benefits plan? Reach out to the MMA team! 505 Broadway N. Suite 100, Fargo, ND 58102 701-237-3311 MMADawson.Receptionist@ MarshMMA.com marshmma.com/us/locations/northdakota/fargo.html

Facebook: /DawsonInsuranceFargo Twitter: @MarshMcLennan

MMA's Proprietary Solutions PATH

A dedicated team consisting of a Medical Officer, clinical consultants, data analysts and health & wellness consultants who work together to identify cost drivers, highlight cost containment to offer greater control over health management programs and track vendor performance.

Rx Solutions

Pharmacy specialists providing data-driven solutions and ongoing program management to help employers evaluate, optimize and protect their pharmacy contracts to create saving opportunities.

iNGAGED

A mobile application and web portal branded specifically to their clients, designed to assist them in promoting employee engagement and communications.

Stop-Loss Center of Excellence

A dedicated team of specialists who are laser-focused on helping bring MMA clients the most competitive pricing and contractual terms to manage and control costs with top-tier stop-loss carriers.



OFFICE OUTFIT TIPS

From the Experts at

By Brady Drake Photos by Geneva Nodland and SCHEELS

ffice fashion is constantly evolving with many new trends, allowing for a more relaxed and fun outfit. However, this isn't the case everywhere. Every business' expectations for office attire can vary based on dress code policy, age, location and climate. This makes it difficult to define your workwear style. We sat down with the experts at SCHEELS to explore what to wear, how to wear it, and how to build a functional and fashionable wardrobe.

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GENERAL RULES When building a professional wardrobe, first reference your employee handbook for general guidelines. A general rule of thumb is to avoid shorts, athletic wear, flip flop and anything that may appear sloppy or unprofessional. Invest in a few quality basics that will last longer and never go out of style. Start with 2-3 pairs of pants—one black pair, one navy or tan and one statement or patterned pair. Collect tanks and tees in basic colors and patterns, as well as simple dresses and skirts that can be worn on their own, or layered with a sweater in cooler months. For dresses and skirts, skirt length is key in determining appropriateness for

the office. Business-appropriate length is just above the knee and below the fingertips when standing. Trendy items, like bright colors or fun patterns, can then be added to your everyday basics. However, remember that less is more when it comes to clothing. For example, a plain white tee will lean dressier than a tee with a graphic on it, and the more colorful, the more casual.

WHAT TO HAVE IN YOUR WORK WARDROBE

QUALITY BASICS 1. Have 2-3 pairs of pants. Try to mix things up. A solid standard for this is to have one black pair, one navy pair and one statement or patterned pair. 2. Add tanks and tees for layering in basic colors like black, white, gray and nude. 3. Dresses are also great options. However, skirt length is key. Business-appropriate length is just above the knee and below the fingertips when standing.

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BLAZERS Blazers are a versatile basic that can dress up any outfit. They are very trendy right now for work and casual wear. They are transitional, meaning they are great for work and date night. They can pair with anything: jeans, dresses, shorts, tanks, t-shirts, mock necks, sweaters and even hoodies and graphic tees. From the experts: "Stock up on classic silhouettes because they will never go out of style."

TOPS When it comes to patterns, less is more. Silk button-down blouses are a current trend. Shackets and leather jackets are appropriate as long as they are dressed up for business casual.

FOOTWEAR Footwear can make or break the outfit. They also dictate dressiness, and SCHEELS has great options like Sam Edelman, Dolce Vita and Sorel.

Add in Some Trendy Options After building your capsule wardrobe with some quality basics, start to add in trendy items by the season. 1. This is the time to have fun with some trendy options. Get creative with patterned pants, blazers, different fabrics and colors (a flannel in the fall never fails)! 2. Complete the “look” by accessorizing with belts, jewelry, glasses and a bag (the Bed Stu bag is a great option). A skinny black belt with an accent buckle in gold or silver is highly recommended.

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MEN'S OFFICE WEAR

When it comes to men’s office wear, neutral colors are more professional/ formal. Brown shoes are great with blue pants ad SCHEELS has plenty of casual and comfortable work shoes in brown and black from great brands like Cole Haan and Johnston & Murphy. Don’t forget, black goes with anything and gray/browns/blues go together.

sure you have a solid selection of both patterned and solid ties. And underneath is all be ready with a few dress shirts. It’s a good idea to have all shades of blue as well as patterned shirts with white bases. Another great idea is to have lots of solids so you can mix it up with different ties. And make sure you have polo shirts.

When it comes to pants, SCHEELS highly recommends a pair of black, gray, navy, khaki or clean denim from 7Diamonds. These pair great with a sports coat and, as a general rule of thumb, most well rounded closets will have suit coats in navy and gray as well as a black one for formal events. To accompany the sports coat, make

If it’s a day that calls for a little less than a sports coat, make sure you have a couple of quarter-zip sweaters at the ready, but be sure to leave your hoodie at home. But, whatever the look, make sure to tie it all together with on point accessories: a brown and black belt, white and black undershirts, a classic watch and fun socks with personality.

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Which trends are you most excited about in professional fashion? Blazers! They are a staple in my closet because of their versatility and ability to help you dress up for work while also being compatible for a more casual weekend look. When I dress them up, I throw on a simple tank top or t-shirt underneath and if I am going for a more casual look, it’s fun to put a hoodie underneath with leggings or denim. I think that having a good, solid color blazer is great, but I am absolutely loving some of the plaid patterns right now. You really can’t go wrong with adding a blazer to your weekly wardrobe.

Q&A

With SCHEELS Style Expert Amanda Stumpf

What is sure to make someone stand out at the office? While it’s great to have those classic pieces that you can wear year-round, I think it’s so fun to mix in seasonal trendy pieces that can go with those staples. By adding in a few trendy pieces to your wardrobe that speak to your personal style, you can really make your outfit unique! My current favorites are faux leather, comfy mock neck sweaters, chunky boots or a comfortable mule. What is on the horizon in 2023? Pantsuits! Mix and match the pieces to create so many different outfits using the same set or going full-on matching to make a statement. Monochrome looks are becoming more popular. Going head to toe with the same color in varying tones is very “in” right now. White sneakers are a fun alternative to a dress shoe that offers a more casual vibe. Invest in quality, clean denim. We’re seeing more relaxed dress codes in the professional world. Having a pair of clean denim that can be worn in and out of the office is key.

Scan to see The scheels style series page

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Fashion is more relaxed than it used to be. What you wear doesn’t define your professional abilities, but it can influence your mood and your performance personally. I find myself dressing up even more on important days or occasions at work.

What should I do when I'm not sure if something is professional? Each workplace has different standards when it comes to dress code. The first place to check is your employee handbook to make sure you know the basic guidelines and to go from there. Less is more when it comes to fabrics and patterns. I think it's important to have a balanced mix of patterns, textures and colors that can help to make an outfit look professional. For women's professional dress, length is key. Mix in clean, simple, mid or full-length dresses and skirts. Button-up tops are always a safe bet. One of my favorite simple hacks for a professional outfit is to grab a trendy satin button-down shirt and pair it with clean pants and a fun heel! You could also put a blazer over the top to dress it up even further. If you are looking for ideas, don't overthink it! See what your coworkers are wearing and then make sure that it speaks to your own personal style and body type. One of my favorite places to get inspiration from is social media such as Instagram and Pinterest. Also, don't be afraid to ask for style advice or where someone got their outfit from. No matter what you’re wearing, make sure that you feel comfortable and confident. It can truly affect your mood for the day! What is your one, single, favorite piece of clothing at SCHEELS right now? I am absolutely loving the brand Varley right now. They offer a contemporary and active style, however, a lot of the tops that we carry from them can easily be dressed up for the office or worn with leggings outside of the office. Varley gives an elevated look to your athleisure that can be worn for multiple occasions.



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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE "Thank you for your service," is a phrase we often say to our veterans. And they definitely deserve to be thanked. However, as we thank them, it's important to know that their contributions to our society are not limited to their service. We in the business world can learn a lot from their discipline, bravery and commitment. We hope you do just that by learning about some amazing veteran entrepreneurs in the following pages.

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Kim Collins, Co-Founder, Selfie WRLD Fargo

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THE CALL TO ENTREPRENEURSHIP Veteran Kim Collins' unique ride and business has her cheesin'! By Brady Drake | Photos by Josiah Kopp

P

icture yourself: the year is 1991, you are 18 years old and in the Army. You’re being deployed while your grandfather is dying from bone cancer back home, and you’re in the middle of a flight for a reserve deployment trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. All of a sudden, you are being rerouted. War has broken out below you and you’re now on your way to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi as an active-duty medic.

That was a reality for Kim Collins, the owner of Selfie WRLD in downtown Fargo.

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ON THE COVER! This fun photo of Collins in front of one of her backdrops was edited to create the veteran-themed cover you see on the front of this magazine.

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At Selfie WRLD Fargo, you’ll find tons of fun backdrops for you to show off your best poses in front of.



WHAT ELSE TO KNOW ABOUT SELFIE WRLD Each visit comes with your very own ring light, allowing you to get easy studio-level photography. Visits are $25 for one hour, but discounted rates are often available and Collins will often let you stay well past the hour mark. All you need is your cell phone, but you can also bring your DSLR camera as well.

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By Brady Drake

GREG BOWEN FOB NoDak and Apex Solutions

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By Brady Drake | Photo provided by Paul Provost

Paul Provost with his family

PAUL PROVOST Hillsboro Cafe

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By Brady Drake | Photos provided by Cassandra Mosbrucker

CASSANDRA MOSBRUCKER Owner, Ginger Leaf Garden

C

assandra Mosbrucker grew up in Mandan, ND, where she currently resides. She is the Owner of Ginger Leaf Garden, a (currently) part-time entrepreneurial pursuit for Mosbrucker in which she offers starter plants, jams, sauces, pickles, salsas and gift baskets.

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"My love for gardening came to me at a young age. I spent every spring planting the flower bed with my mom. This is where I fell in love with gardening. Every spring, we would go to all the local greenhouses in search of new flowers to fill our wrap-around flower bed and many flowerpots. The moment I step into a greenhouse I step into my happy place." Growing up, Mosbrucker also spent time gardening with her grandparents who had a large garden just outside of Mandan. "My grandma always let me experiment with seeds at her house. I would save different vegetable and fruit seeds to plant. I grew a couple of cherry trees from seed. Those took a few years until they were ready to plant outside by the garden. Unfortunately, our family no longer owns this property so I am not sure if the trees have made it this far. If they have, they would be around 15 years old." "Since I have been an adult in my own home, I have always had a garden. Every year it seems to grow a bit. Right now, my backyard garden has around 23 raised garden beds. It really feels like stepping into a fairytale mid-summer when everything is thriving. This summer I filled all the in-between spaces with wildflowers, and it was so beautiful. There were a couple weeks that there were constant Monarch butterflies in my garden pollinating flowers. I definitely “lost” myself in the garden for quite a few hours while this was going on. Someday I am hoping to move onto a bigger property and expand with a high tunnel and multiple outdoor garden spaces."


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By Brady Drake | Photos provided by Hunter Haisten

Hunter Haisten and his family.

HUNTER HAISTEN Haisten Wood Working

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SMALL BUT

MIGHTY!

WHO THEY ARE

TEAM VBOC OF THE DAKOTAS By Wendy Klug | Photos provided by Wendy Klug

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Who They Serve: Active military, veterans of all eras, military spouses and immediate family of veterans. VBOC of the Dakotas also gets to support their community by participating in a wide variety of gatherings and community events. While they focus on training and providing client advice, they also focus on being a part of the community. Their team loves to give back! From providing support to veterans through writing holiday cards that get shipped overseas to volunteering at the VA during Christmas to assist with holiday activities, VBOC is there to give back. “We aren’t here to just get our job done, but to truly support those that have served our country. I am so proud of my team and their dedication to veterans, military spouses and active military. There is nothing better than having a team that cares,” Klug said.

What They Do? VBOC of the Dakotas offers training workshops on and off and an installation titled Boots to Business and Reboots, a beginner entrepreneurial workshop. They also provide no-cost business advising with one-on-one personalized sessions where a client can really focus on what they need in their business to grow. VBOC of the Dakotas also offers online webinars that can be accessed by veterans at their convenience, whenever and wherever that may be. Several marketing webinars are held per month virtually and are free of charge to attend. For more information on these services, send a request to Dakotas.vboc@und.edu

Wendy Klug Wendy Klug is the Veterans Business Outreach Center Director which serves both North Dakota and South Dakota. She provides entrepreneurial-focused training workshops both on and off installations that teach key concepts for starting, running and operating a small business. Wendy also provides nocost advising, webinars and subject-specific workshops tailored around a community or client’s interests and needs. She specializes in creating workshops and events that are interesting, upbeat and filled with vital information. Wendy has a creative knack that allows her to assist with marketing, social media and other business aspects that involve creative thinking. She brings 15-plus years of teaching, over 10 years of small business ownership and more than 5 years of small business consulting to this program. Klug holds a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of North Dakota.

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How They Do It:

Julie Hinker Julie Hinker is the Veterans Business Specialist for the VBOC of the Dakotas with a focus on South Dakota. She implements workshops, webinars and trainings that are entrepreneurial-focused to help you kick-start your small business journey. Julie also provides free business advice and resource connections to anyone interested in launching a business or anyone that has a pre-established business looking for new or innovative ideas. She brings you her experience in digital marketing, communication, strategic leadership, finance, small business ownership and much more to help you take your business or career to the next level! Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa. She also acquired her master’s degree in Strategic Leadership from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, South Dakota.

The VBOC of the Dakotas is here to guide and mentor veterans along every step of the way for their business dreams. No business is too small and no business is not important. They listen to your ideas and help you turn them into your success. VBOC of the Dakotas is here to provide you support and become part of your cheerleader team. “Nobody goes into business thinking they will work less hours. The hustle is real and we are here to help you get all your ducks in a row! We have a team of experts ready to help you see your dreams of business ownership come true,” Klug said.

Why They Do It: “Our client’s success is our success," Hinker said. There is nothing better than helping someone achieve their goals. I recently got to watch one of our most successful client, Lovely Lashes, be recognized nationally. The Office of Veterans Business Development located in DC sent a team to North Dakota to do a success story video. This is an honor for our clients to be recognized on a national level. We assisted them from the day of ideation and are also there today supporting and working with them. It’s amazing to see this happen! Not only is client success a great part of their job, but they also really enjoy being engaged in the community. “The veteran community is one like no other. They are welcoming, hard workers, and very caring. Our program has the honor of being able to volunteer for events that mean a lot to this community. From partaking in welcoming the Honor Flights home, to donating personal items from VBOC drives, to representing veterans in communities’ parades, we really do have the best job! We get to make a difference in people’s lives every day of our lives. Nothing is better than that,” Clough said.

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Favorite Part of Their Job: Wendy’s favorite part of the job: “Getting to serve those that have served our country. Working with military members of all eras is rewarding. These are some of the most driven entrepreneurs out there and their dedication to make it happen is like no other! Their success feels like my success. I love helping others and this job lets me do just that!” Julie’s favorite part of the job: “Helping individuals that have once served our country become thriving and successful small business owners in our community. I love being able to connect, teach, honor and celebrate the contributions veterans have made to small businesses across the nation.” Liza’s favorite part of the job: “When I make connections with so many different veteran organizations and the community, we all have the same goal in mind, to help our veterans. My work is very rewarding and I feel blessed to serve those that have served our country.”

Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas 4200 James Ray Drive, Room 203 Grand Forks, ND 58202

Liza Clough Liza Clough is the Outreach Specialist for the Veterans Business Outreach Center of the Dakotas. She provides support at community events, veteran functions, online workshops and technical assistance for the program. Her grandparents emigrated from China and became entrepreneurs by opening a restaurant. Growing up with the daily hustle of a family-owned restaurant, Liza learned firsthand what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Liza has experience with all aspects of business ownership from customer service and bookkeeping to marketing products online for a familyowned art business. Liza has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of North Dakota.

und.edu/dakotasvboc 701-738-4850 Coverage Areas: North Dakota and South Dakota Facebook: /dakotasvboc Twitter: @DakotasVBOC

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By Brianna Nistler | Photo by Emmah Violet Films

Top Ten Tips for Recruitment with

Brianna Nistler, Talent Acquisition at Marvin

Promote Employee Referrals When looking to hire new talent, tapping into the networks of existing employees is a great way to start. I love using the phrase “everyone is a recruiter” because truly, they are! We often find that we know someone or a friend of a friend who could be a great fit, and the word spreads. At Marvin, employee referrals are our number one source of new hires and we’ve taken it a step further to implement an incentive program.

Offer a Top-Notch Candidate Experience There is nothing worse than going through a lengthy interviewing process that takes several interview rounds to be hired or declined, with little to no communication in between. When the candidate experience is designed with the candidate in mind, it

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H

eadquartered in Warroad, Minnesota, Marvin has over 7,000 employees across North America, which makes them the perfect company to tell us how to get people in the door!

provides a positive experience and sets the stage for how they feel about continuing to pursue the company. Remember, it’s a twoway street. Candidates are also interviewing the company and may share their experience with others.

Use Innovative Tools As the old saying goes, “work smarter, not harder.” There are many different tools to help improve recruitment. One tool I like to use is Textio, which helps write job posts quickly and takes out any social bias to make it more inclusive and compelling. Another tool is Calendly, which helps schedule interviews. I use Calendly for pre-screening. It allows candidates to find a time that works best for them based on my availability. Both of these tools help me streamline my work so I can focus on other important tasks.

Early Outreach and Engagement There are many advantages to hiring early talent, and I think sometimes it’s easy to miss the mark with this. “Early talent” consists of individuals starting out in their careers, with professional experience that could range from 0-3 years. Being proactive and connecting with our future workforce is a key element to building a pipeline and your brand. Build strong partnerships within your community, colleges, and universities by speaking to classes, attending career fairs, and hosting events. Marvin provides hands-on training for people who are new to manufacturing and are interested in pursuing a career within the industry.


Pursue and Embrace Diversity Seek out top talent while having a robust process in place that’s free from bias and supports a sense of belonging. Hiring candidates with diverse backgrounds, including diverse capabilities, brings a variety of perspectives into the organization and helps build the future. Diverse teams help companies be more successful and provide opportunities for creativity and innovation.

Ask Thoughtful Questions Rather than going through the motions, have a set of meaningful questions on hand and be sure they aren’t repetitive. Interviewing candidates shouldn’t be intimidating, boring and basic. You will see candidates drop off the list quickly and interviewing candidates also gives them a sense of how the culture is at the company. Ask questions to ensure they meet the qualifications listed for the opportunity and focus on open-ended questions. Do more listening than talking, and truly get to know them and their aspirations!

Explore Remote/Hybrid Work Arrangements Since the pandemic forced many employers to accommodate remote work, it has provided a new opportunity to explore these working arrangements indefinitely. Candidates I connect with express a desire for flexibility with a remote or hybrid approach when considering an opportunity where the position allows for it. It may fit their lifestyle better, provides flexibility, and at the end of the day promotes overall job satisfaction. I challenge employers to think differently about these considerations and put in place clear and realistic expectations because I don’t think these requests are going away. It’s important to consider: does an office position truly need to work onsite five days a week or could you accommodate a hybrid model?

Plan Ahead We can easily get distracted and pulled into many different directions at any given moment. But when it comes to recruitment, you have to move quickly for many reasons. We can’t just wait for that shiny purple unicorn to show up. To stay focused and be intentional with your time, be sure to block off dedicated time throughout the day and week to consistently do recruitment activities, such as sourcing and reviewing applicants, interviewing and communicating with candidates and hiring managers. This may seem simple, but by planning it out you will be more productive. Shield your time but be flexible when needed.

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update. They will appreciate your efforts and consistent communication and it will leave a positive impact even if they don’t get an offer. It’s important to never leave a candidate hanging or “ghost” them.

Consider Previous Candidates. Even when a candidate doesn’t get offered a position, make sure to provide honest feedback and acknowledge the time invested. Show empathy as it can be exhausting, stressful, and time-consuming for the candidate. Perhaps they might be a fit for another position within the team or company. Marvin has several locations nationally and is continuing to grow, so we work hard as a team to find the right fit and share candidates throughout the organization. Consider all options before declining and keep communication open for any future opportunities within the company as this helps fill the pipeline and builds a great reputation. Think Differently!

Textio - a software that helps you optimize job posts, emails, social posts and more with "data-driven inclusion guidance."

Calendly - a scheduling platform that eliminates all the back and forth of trying to find a mutual time to meet.

As recruiters, we must think differently in order to stay competitive in our tight labor market. If a recruitment strategy isn’t working, that’s okay… it may be time to try something else. There are so many ways to recruit candidates, don't overthink and be willing to give something new a try and monitor the outcome. One of many reasons why I enjoy working at Marvin is that we are encouraged to “think differently” and try new things, even if we fail. Be resourceful and keep challenging yourself on how things can be done differently and be a trailblazer! My favorite way to get inspiration is working from a local coffee shop and jotting down all my ideas with no limits.

Contact Marvin Provide Clear Timelines It should always be best practice to be upfront with candidates about the interviewing process and timelines. This will open the discussion up for the candidate to share any personal time off, business travel, etc. that may impact the next steps. Communicate as often as you can with the candidate, even if there isn’t much of an

Phone: 218.386.1430 Web: marvin.com Facebook: /TheMarvinBrand LinkedIn: /themarvinbrand Headquarters: Marvin PO Box 100 Warroad, MN 56763 Local: 1616 43rd St. N Fargo, ND 58102

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By Brady Drake

105 Years in the Community

Your Introduction to Fargo Glass & Paint Co. 105 years is a long time—a really long time. In the last 105 years, we’ve had two world wars end, recessions, depressions, times of great wealth and an unfathomable amount of technological advancements. And through it all, Fargo Glass and Paint Company, a company that started on a whim, has stood tall.

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Fargo Glass & Paint Co.’s original product room.

All throughout the office, you can find items that highlight the importance of history within the company.

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Fargo Glass & Paint Company History Timeline 1925 Fargo Glass & Paint Co. purchases the building from Northern School Supply at 648 NP Avenue. Currently this building is home to the NDSU Renaissance Hall for their Architecture program.

1929 - 1939 1917 The Fargo Plate and Window Glass Company was founded by EJ Schoenberg after he bought a railcar full of glass from Libbey-Owens-Ford Company.

1918 The United States enters World War I and the draft takes all his employees except his secretary.

Company survives the Great Depression.

1941 The United States enters WWII and, again, most of his employees are taken.

1944 Company takes on KitchenAid appliances and starts appliance division.

1919 Company takes on Benjamin Moore paint and changes its name to Fargo Glass & Paint Co.

1924 The company takes on Congoleum linoleum products and starts its flooring division.

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1952 Company purchases the Crane building at 644 NP Ave to use for their appliance division.


1957 Company opens their Minot branch and adds it to the glass contract division.

1966 Company takes on Viking Kitchen Carpet in their flooring division.

1967 Company sells back NP Ave building to Northern School Supply and moves into its existing home office and warehouse at 1801 7th Ave N in Fargo, ND.

2000 Company purchases the Sioux Falls, SD branch from Andersen Windows, Inc. and adds to its millwork division.

2002 Billings, MT branch closes.

2016 Sioux Falls glass contract is added to their glass contract division.

2019 Becomes 100% ESOP Company.

1980 Company purchases Vantine Glass Construction in Bismarck, ND and makes it a branch in their glass contract division.

1987

Company changes window lines from Andersen to Sierra Pacific.

2021 Company starts its TurnKey Solutions & Development Division.

Company starts its millwork division with residential windows, doors and siding.

1996

2022 Company takes on cabinet lines and adds to its millwork division.

Company purchases the Billings, MT branch from Boise Cascade and adds to its millwork division.

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Pictured here are the photos of the companies’ four Presidents/CEOs throughout their history, starting with Schonberg on the left and ending with Martinson on the right.

The Beginning E.J. Schoneberg, the Founder of Fargo Glass & Paint Co., didn’t grow up in the glass industry, nor did he come into the industry with a wealth of professional experience. In fact, he happened to enter the industry almost by chance.

Co. CEO Dan Martinson said. “He asked E.J. what he thought he needed to start and he said, ‘I don’t know. But I’ll tell you this, I’m going to buy a rail car full of glass and if you get me the stuff I need to start this, I will buy from you for a long, long time.”

The story, as told by the current Fargo Glass & Paint Co. employees goes as follows:

Schoneberg went on to do just that.

Schoneberg, a pharmaceutical product salesman from the east coast, was traveling on a train going to Sioux Falls, South Dakota when he met a man who was a salesman for a glass manufacturer. The two talked and apparently hit it off because they became business partners in 1913, starting a glass company in Sioux Falls before breaking apart in 1917. That same year (1917), Schoneberg moved to Fargo and founded his own company, called Fargo Glass at the time. “When he came to Fargo, it was Thanksgiving and a glass salesman that he was supposed to speak with the day after invited him to their feast instead,” current Fargo Glass & Paint

“[E.J. Schoneberg was] a man of strong character, unquenchable enthusiasm and boundless determination.” -Stan Cowan, Former Inforum reporter and author of “The Friendly House,” a book about the early history of Fargo Glass & Paint Co. Martinson maintains that the traits Schoneberg was known for have stayed with the company for the entirety of its existence— treating employees the right way has been at the forefront of everything they do, from the beginning to their transition to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan in 2019.

The Name Although Schoneberg originally named the company Fargo Glass, he changed the name just two years later to Fargo Glass Company. Three years later, in 1922, the organization's name was changed to its current iteration, Fargo Glass & Paint Co. in order to better reflect the products and services offered. 100 years later, after multiple locations were added as well as a plethora of products and services, the name has stayed.

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“During different points in the company, like when we opened a distributorship in Billings, Montana, we have considered changing the name,” Martinson said. “We did worry about the optics of having a “Fargo company” in Billings. It was a real discussion for us. However, we finally decided that even though there might be some negative connotations with having Fargo in the name, our company is recognized very well, regionally, with our name. It’s the retail public that doesn’t always know what we offer.”


Even with additional locations in Bismarck, Minot and Billings, the Fargo Glass & Paint Co. has kept its name the same.

Bridget Gilbertson has been with Fargo Glass and Paint Company for 22 years. With her role as a Business Development Rep, she directs her focus on developing company product awareness along with doing consultations for our retail window and paint stores throughout the Fargo Moorhead and surrounding areas. “As a Business Development Rep for Fargo Glass & Paint Co., I want our customers throughout our community to know that we’re not just selling glass and paint. We can do so much more! From window coverings to wholesale distribution to our valued retail business, we are a company that can and will provide you with the products you need to build or remodel your existing or dream home/business. We can also simply get you the best connections to make sure your project is done right. As a BDR, I’m also actively involved in the Chamber, United Way and the HBA and truly love networking and being that spokesperson for FGP.”


So, retail public, these are the products and services that the Fargo Glass & Paint Co. offers: • • • • • • • •

Residential Glass Service Custom Shower Doors Specialty Glass & Mirrors Benjamin Moore Paint & Paint Sundries Alta Residential and Commercial Blinds and Shades Design Consultations for all Residential and Commercial Projects Sierra Pacific Windows & Patio Doors FGP Residential Entry Door Systems

• EDCO Steel Siding, Soffit, & Roof Systems • Vista Rail Systems • Custom Painting & Staining • General Project Management for Hospitality Industry Projects • Commercial Glass & Hardware Estimation, Fabrication, and Installation • Automatic Door Estimation and Installation • Ceiling Tile Estimation and Installation

Fargo Glass & Paint Co. offers a lot of products and services.

“Some people know us for glass, some people know us for paint while others know us for windows. That’s somewhat limiting,” Nelson said. “We’re definitely growing outside of our name a bit, but it’s just a big part of our history.”

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This photo taken in 1976 is an ode to Fargo Glass & Paint Co.’ roots, something they still celebrate today.

A Rich History and Culture Dan Martinson, current CEO and former President/CEO, started at Fargo Glass and Paint 34 years ago as an accountant. Current Vice President Jeff Ficek started that same year as an accountant as well. Both have stayed over time because the company has treated them the right way while providing advancement opportunities they would have never thought possible. All of that is born from a rich history and culture of treating employees the right way. In fact, Schoenberg used to commonly refer to the office as “The Friendly House,” a common self-given moniker for businesses operating in the yesteryears that denoted a welcoming workplace that employees liked to go to. When looking at most businesses, one would think, ‘yes, of course,this is a great place to work.’ However, at Fargo Glass & Paint Co., the proof is there. “We have many employees that have been here 10, 20 and 30 years,” Ficek said. “It’s because of the way we treat people.”

“We started doing an event with our outside sales reps as a team-building event where we would go and do an offsite retreat at Dan Martinson’s lake home every summer,” Nelson said. “We bring the entire sales team in. We do some business—we go through a few things for three or four hours in the afternoon. Then, we talk about updates. It's kind of a mid-year check-in on the business and a look ahead to what we see happening the rest of the year. Then, it shifts towards throwing some bags, pontoon rides and just hanging out in lakes country.” Another big tradition at Fargo Glass & Paint Co. is parties. In particular, many of the long-tenured employees have a strong affinity for the annual holiday party and the annual dealer show, which they have done for 60 years. “It’s more of an appreciation event than anything,” Martinson said. “It’s really nice to bring the dealers in and give them an opportunity to meet the people they talk to. It’s a great time where we get to swap stories and become friends.”

Andy Nelson, current President, hasn’t been with the company for nearly as long as Martinson or Ficek. However, he has embraced the culture fully and experienced his own rise through the ranks, starting as a department manager before advancing to several other positions. He is slated to likely become Martinson’s replacement when he retires.

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(Left to Right) Dan Martinson, CEO; Andy Nelson, President; Jeff Ficek; Vice President

Becoming an ESOP and Changing With the Times Tradition and parties are nice and all, but we all work, in part, for financial security and, ultimately, survival. That’s why Fargo Glass & Paint Co. has put its money where its mouth is by investing in employees and finally becoming an ESOP in 2019. “This company has been run for the employees, really, the entire time that I've been here,” Ficek said. “We are very employee-centric. I’ve just been really blessed to have a place like this to go to every single day. I’ve had very few bad days and it has been fun to be associated with a company like this.” According to Ficek, the company, in the past, used to contribute to the employees in the form of a profit sharing contribution. However, 10 years ago, Martinson and the rest of the company leaders decided to make the investment in the employees more concrete and put in motion a plan that culminated with becoming an ESOP in 2019. “Becoming an ESOP has been a impactful change,” Nelson said. “All of the employees feel like they’re part of something now.”

Did you know? ESOP balances, on average, are 2.2 times higher than traditional 401(k)s

That change has also run parallel to the major shifts we have seen in the workplace since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. “I grew up in the generation where you always showed up to the office at a specific time,” Ficek said. “Now we really try to accommodate people as best we can. That’s a good thing. There's some working from home, which I myself like once in a while. I used to have to wear a tie, a dress shirt, dress slacks— the whole thing. Now, there are some Fridays I show up with a hoodie on.” With a strong tradition, investment in employees and a willingness to change with the times, we would not be surprised to see the Fargo Glass & Paint Co. around town for another 105 years.

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Fargo Glass & Paint Co. 1801 7th Ave N, Fargo, ND 58102 701-271-2521 fargoglass.com Facebook: /fargoglassandpaintretailstore Instagram: fargoglassandpaint



Business Spotlight

KLN Family Brands’ Corporate Office

KLN Family Brands

By Grant Ayers

KLN Family Brands is a company headquartered in Perham, Minnesota, that manufactures a diverse and expanding range of human and pet food products. Three manufacturing companies are under the KLN Family Brands umbrella: Tuffy’s Pet Foods and Kenny’s Candy & Confections, and Tuffy's Treats Company, which is located in Delano, Minnesota. Whether the products are intended for people or pets, KLN Family Brands strives to make each and every product exceptional. Since 1964, KLN Family Brands has focused on bettering the world by caring for others through various products. These products include licorice, popcorn, and pet foods/treats. KLN Family Brands is now run by Charlie Nelson and Chase Rasmussen, CEO and President of the company. Nelson and Rasmussen discussed KLN Family Brands.

1 What does KLN Family Brands specialize in? Simply put, KLN Family Brands focuses on bettering the world by caring for others. We do this through the manufacturing of dog and cat foods at Tuffy’s Pet Foods and treats at Tuffy’s Treats Company, as well as producing licorice and popcorn at Kenny’s Candy and Confections. On the candy and confections side of our business, we operate two fantastic brands: Wiley Wallaby and Sweet Chaos. Wiley Wallaby is a national leader in the soft and chewy licorice segment, and Sweet Chaos is a rapidly emerging

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popcorn brand with both indulgent and savory options. On the pet food side, NutriSource is our flagship brand. Recently, NutriSource celebrated its 20th anniversary with a focus on independent/ neighborhood pet retailers. NutriSource has a long history of providing solutions-based diets to pet parents and their furry family members. Our newest brand, Finley’s, features a high quality treat line-up that includes biscuits, training treats and benefit bars. The original founders, Angie and Kyle Gallus, continue to further their mission of bringing inclusion to the pet industry by offering employment opportunities to people with disabilities.


The KLN Family Brands Vision Statement We are a proud, people-first company. We are successful because of trust-based relationships and first-rate products for our families and friends. We better the world by caring for others. We challenge. We grow. We inspire.

Charlie Nelson, KLN Family Brands CEO

2

4

What did KLN Family Brands’ journey look like over the years of growth?

What is KLN Family Brands’ strategy for retaining and attracting employees?

We’ve had an interesting journey over the past 60 years. We have had some ebbs and flows to our overall business based on acquisitions over the years. For example, we started Tuffy’s Pet Foods in 1964 and sold it in 1971. We would then purchase back Tuffy’s Pet Foods in 2001 and have had a good run for the past 20 years. We also sold Barrel O’ Fun roughly eight years ago, which at the time, was our largest division sales-wise. One thing has been constant in our journey; we have made Perham, Minnesota, our main home.

The first sentence in our vision statement is, “We are a proud, people-first company.” That means we want to be clear to our team members that they are our number one customers. We don’t have a business if we don’t have good people operating every day. We have gotten more creative and more committed than ever in how we onboard new hires. We have invested heavily in our People Operations department, making sure we remind ourselves that we are in the “taking care of our people” business above all else. Along with that, we are also targeting military veterans, as well as the hard-working Latino community.

3 How many employees did KLN Family Brands have at the beginning when launching? How many are there currently working today? When my father (Kenny Nelson) returned to Perham after graduating from Notre Dame in 1963, he, alongside my grandfather (Tuffy Nelson), launched Tuffy’s Pet Foods. We had just a handful of employees initially when beginning. Now, we have roughly 1,000 employees in Perham and Delano, Minnesota.

5 How did KLN Family brands face the COVID-19 pandemic? We have done a nice job of working together to make sure our facilities are as safe as they can be for employees. We still battle supply chain issues today and the workforce is not back to where it needs to be if we honestly want to be a country that is committed to growing business, and the economy as a whole. As an essential business, KLN team members took great pride in coming to work to continue to turn out first-rate products for both humans and pets, but that wasn’t without challenges. Whether it was wearing masks, working behind a plastic shield,

Chase Rasmussen, KLN Family Brands, President

Caring for the Community KLN Family Brands is proud to give back to their community. Some of the many organizations they work with include: • Pinky Swear Foundation • M Health Fairview Masonic Children’s Hospital Facility Dog Program • Soldiers 6 • Boys & Girls Club of the Perham Area • Make-A-Wish Minnesota

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KLN Family Brands offers a wide variety of products; all based out of Perham, MN!

KLN Family Brands’ pet food products include premium dry and canned pet foods and a variety of treats.

social distancing, adjusting to revised schedules or assisting with extra sanitation practices for others, our people meet each challenge with a fantastic attitude in order to keep our business running at full speed.

6 What opportunities came forth from this pandemic? The pandemic made us better as far as how we communicate as a company with our team members. We also learned that during these difficult times, people still want to enjoy some candy or popcorn, and they certainly want to continue feeding their furry family members. Knowing that, we recognize that we still have a job to do, and that’s to deliver high-quality products at all times. A positive that came out of the pandemic was the ability of our people to change and adapt to how they do their jobs every day. Every person in our organization, at some point or another during the COVID-19 pandemic, was forced to step out of their typical way of thinking to accomplish their job responsibility. The ingenuity and problem-solving displayed daily will serve our organization well as we settle into our new normal.

7 As a large company, what advice can you give to small and medium-sized companies looking to grow? For a company to succeed, it’s critical to always make it about the people. It’s essential that you have a strong team of individuals that aren’t afraid of rolling up their sleeves and going the extra mile.

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DID YOU KNOW? “KLN” are the initials of former CEO Kenny Nelson, one of the founding members of the business! Kenny is the son of Tuffy’s Pet Foods founder, Tuffy Nelson, and the father of KLN's current CEO, Charlie Nelson.

Support KLN Family Brands Web: klnfamilybrands.com Phone: (218) 347-0525 Facebook: @klnfamilybrands Address: 109 Lakeside Dr. Perham, MN 56573



Business Spotlight

Dakota Fence

By Grant Ayers

Dakota Fence is one of the area’s most prominent installers of residential and commercial fence. The company evolved from a back garage operation to open offices in Bismarck, Minot and Williston, North Dakota and added a location in the Twin Cities in February 2022. Today, Dakota Fence remains headquartered in Fargo, North Dakota and is one of the largest fence companies in the United States. DFC Company is the parent holding company for Dakota Fence Company (residential and commercial fence), 3D Specialties, Inc. (temporary traffic control, permanent sign installation and highway guardrail), Dakota Playground, Inc. (installation of commercial playgrounds for cities, schools and parks), Sign Solutions USA (manufacturer and national distributor of traffic signs and related traffic products) and Park & Play USA (national distributor of parks and recreation equipment). Starting in 1972, Dakota Fence began with one employee. As they celebrate their 50-year anniversary in 2022, DFC Company has expanded its reach and grown to have over 500 employees. Joe Currier, President and CEO of DFC Company, offered insight into the company’s history, challenges the company has faced and what’s in store for DFC Company’s future.

1 How has being located in North Dakota impacted you? Dakota Fence was started by Dave, Dan and Dick Currier in their family garage in 1972. There wasn’t really a dedicated Fargo company for fence installation in 1972. The Currier family saw the need for that, which inspired them to launch Dakota Fence. The goal of the Currier family was to create a professional fence construction company throughout North Dakota, providing great finished fences with excellent

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service at a fair price. The company has never compromised from those original standards.

2 What did your company's journey look like over the years of growth? In 1977, Dakota Fence was asked to set up temporary traffic control for a road contractor in Fargo. Always looking to expand the business, the Curriers bought the necessary materials and rented them

to the road contractor – that first rental started what later became 3D Specialties, Inc. (“3D Specialties”), rightly named after Dave, Dan (Dave’s brother) and Dick (Richard, Dave’s father). 3D Specialties now operates in all Dakota Fence North Dakota offices, providing traffic control, permanent sign and guardrail installation to keep the traveling public safe. Also in 1977, Dick Currier saw a need for a company to install playground equipment at schools and parks. Dakota Fence partnered with Landscape Structures, Inc. (“LSI”) from Delano, Minnesota. As one of LSI’s first dealers, Dakota Fence took


The “Blue Family” Dakota Fence’s first company vehicle happened to be blue. The color stuck and now the company’s entire fleet of work trucks remains blue to this day.

on the territories of North Dakota, South Dakota, Northwest Minnesota, Montana and Wyoming. Dick Currier pioneered the growth of that business with endless travel, both by car and the airplane he shared with Dave. Today, Dakota Fence’s original playground business is its own company, Dakota Playground, Inc., and continues to be part of the DFC Company family of companies. In 2015, Joe Currier, John Currier and Amy Mickelson, the sons and daughter of Dave Currier, joined the family business as its next generation of leaders and owners of the business. With the tremendous platform built by those that came before them, and always having that entrepreneurial spirit like their father, the holding company DFC Company was created in 2017 to house the thencurrent operating entities (Dakota Fence, 3D Specialties and Dakota Playground) and to allow for future expansion. In 2021, Joe, John and Amy created Sign Solutions USA to house its growing traffic sign manufacturing business, which much like Dakota Fence, started from a small footprint, to now operate from a 100,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Fargo, North Dakota. Today, Sign Solutions USA is one of the largest flat sheet traffic sign manufacturers in the United States, having sold signs nationwide and in Canada. Seeing the success of Sign Solutions USA, in 2021 the park and recreation portion of Dakota Playground (site amenities, flag poles, sports equipment, bleachers, etc.) was spun off into its own company, Park & Play USA, to sell those products throughout the United States.

Dakota Fence Company in the past.

In February of 2022, Town & Country Fence in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota joined forces with Dakota Fence for Dakota Fence’s first Minnesota location. We are very proud of what an idea in a garage in Fargo, North Dakota has become. Our record of continued growth and expansion of services offered is the product of our Blue Family employees. It is the people, our Blue Family, that make-up DFC Company and its operating companies. Without our Blue Family employees, who are the best in the industry in their respective areas of the business, we would not be where we are today. With our Blue Family employees, we have been able to provide top-quality materials and services to thousands and thousands of satisfied customers. The growth and reputation of DFC Company and its operating companies are the direct result of individual efforts and close cooperation of all Blue Family employees. Future success depends upon the continuation of these efforts and strict adherence to the highest standards and ideals in quality production and workmanship with customer satisfaction commanding top priority.

company-wide BBQ, our annual shutdown party in December to celebrate another successful construction season or recognizing birthdays and work anniversary milestones, all of those things play a part in fostering a culture that brings people together as a family. In recognition of those blue trucks, DFC Company refers to its employees as its Blue Family. As a family business that cares for its employees, its employees are an extension of the Currier family, which is why we refer to our employees as the Blue Family.

3 What is your company's strategy for retaining and attracting employees? A company is only as good as its people, so doing things a company needs to do to attract and retain employees is very important to DFC Company and its operating companies. Whether it's our annual July

Joe Currier, President and CEO of DFC Company

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Dakota Fence Dakota FenceCompany CompanyTODAY! today!

4 How did your company face the COVID-19 pandemic? The COVID-19 pandemic challenged our business and employees like none of us had previously experienced. There wasn’t a playbook for what to do so a lot of it was developed in real-time. We created a COVID-19 task force to make decisions on and seek input from our Blue Family employees. Joe Currier sent company-wide emails on a nearly daily basis to keep the Blue Family apprised of what was going on with COVID-19, how the company was reacting to it and what it was doing to ensure the health and safety of our Blue Family employees while continuing to operate the business. It was a team effort – we often say it takes everyone in the Blue Family for our company to be successful – and because of a tremendous team effort, we were able to get through it.

5 What opportunities came forth from this pandemic? COVID-19 was an incredibly challenging time for everyone. A few opportunities that came with it were an opportunity to connect more frequently, albeit virtually, with the Blue Family employees. Whether this was through constant email communication or video updates, because you couldn’t always be together in person, you had to overcommunicate. The pandemic also challenged the company and its Blue Family employees

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to find ways to still run and operate the business through challenging times. For example, we developed a process to provide a homeowner seeking a residential fence for a touchless fence estimate, often through FaceTime on an iPhone. This allowed us to complete the estimate, and keep the business moving, while still serving our customers from inside their own homes.

6 What is something that most people may not know about Dakota Fence Company? Dakota Fence is much more than just a fence company. We are a traffic control, permanent sign installation and highway guardrail company through 3D Specialties, Inc. We are a playground company through Dakota Playground, Inc., serving five states. We are a national manufacturer and distributor of traffic signs and traffic-related products through Sign Solutions USA having sold nationwide and in Canada. We are a national distributor of park and recreation equipment through Sign Solutions USA. We have a Twin Cities location—Town & Country Fence— located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

7 What advice can you give to small and medium-sized companies looking to grow? Dakota Fence was built on an incredible work ethic and great people. Your people are your

greatest asset. Invest in them, provide them with training and treat them like family. If you do that, the sky’s the limit.

8 Are you looking to expand? If so, how? Yes. Dakota Fence acquired Town & Country Fence in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota in February of 2022 to enter the Twin Cities market. Sign Solutions USA will also open its new 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in West Fargo, North Dakota this October. Upon its opening, it will be one of the largest sign manufacturers in the United States.

Support DAKOTA FENCE CO. Phone: (701) 237-6181 Web: dakotafence.com Email: sales@dakotafence.com Facebook: @dakotafence LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/ dakota-fence Address: 1110 25th Ave. N Fargo, ND 58102



By Grant Ayers

Local LinkedIn Leaders Check out some of FMWF’s most essential business leader social media content LinkedIn can be an immensely beneficial tool for those in the business world. Whether it’s developing new connections, sharing breakthrough news or searching for new career positions to better yourself, LinkedIn proves to be a great resource. One of the most overlooked tools, however, is arguably the advice that everyday local community leaders post on their LinkedIn pages. Read on to check out some of our community’s local leaders’ LinkedIn leadership!

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linkedin.com/in/mikemeagher

Photo Courtesy of Mike Meagher

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Mike Meagher Founder and CEO of Sagency

What advice have you learned through LinkedIn that has stuck with you? LinkedIn’s past reputation as a static, boring platform “where resumes go to die” couldn’t be further from how it functions today. Now, LinkedIn is the place to learn from people who are unpacking in real-time what they do—from solopreneurs to C-suite execs to working parents re-entering the workforce after stints at home. My favorite part of LinkedIn is learning from people with expertise in areas that diverge from Sagency’s specific wheelhouse. I spend a lot of time researching books and articles on business strategy and leadership, but I have less time to think about other things that would be useful for growing our own business. That’s where LinkedIn provides a space for free, supplemental learning. I read about things I wouldn’t even know to search for elsewhere. I follow people who share practical and actionable insights about content marketing, sales, investing and creating online courses. I’m grateful for the smart and generous people serving their audiences with great advice—advice they don’t get paid to provide.

Mike Meagher is the founder and CEO of Sagency, an executive search and leadership consulting firm. Under his leadership, Sagency was the winner of the 2020 ChamberChoice Small Business of the Year award. As a highly regarded coach and consultant, Mike has worked with hundreds of top organizations to help them achieve their goals by finding, developing and aligning top leadership talent.

been incorporating some stories and lessons that I’ve learned in my personal life as well. LinkedIn isn’t just a place to learn; it’s also a place for community, networking and connection.

What do you see as the benefits of using this platform in the business industry? Sharing on LinkedIn is another way to fulfill Sagency’s mission to help leaders, teams and organizations maximize their greatness. We aim to educate and inform on topics like talent search, leadership development and strategy. Ultimately, we know what we do makes a big difference for leaders and organizations, so we want to share our knowledge and experience with a broader audience. We don’t sell directly on LinkedIn; however, we do get clients who say they first learned of Sagency because of one of our LinkedIn posts.

Whom do you recommend that people follow on LinkedIn that could have a positive impact on their knowledge and growth?

What advice have you shared with others through LinkedIn?

One person I follow is Eva Rose Daniels. She just launched a company focused on helping leaders become stronger public speakers. I’ve incorporated many of her tips to help me improve the delivery of our in-person, facilitated leadership development sessions.

Earlier this year, in January, I started posting four to five times a week. I share insights and strategies for leaders who want to attract, develop and engage top leadership talent. I’ve noticed over the past 10 months that people want to hear a little bit about my life outside of work, so I’ve

Furthermore, I think the team at Fjell Capital is knocking it out of the park with LinkedIn content. They have clearly identified their target audience and are adding value through specific, educational posts about what can sometimes be a complex topic (investing).

Did You Know? Sagency is a leadership coaching and executive search firm helping leaders, teams and organizations pursue greatness.

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linkedin.com/in/maddieschultz

Photo Courtesy of Maddie Craig

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Maddie Craig Founder of Blue Cypher Bookkeeping

What advice have you learned through LinkedIn that has stuck with you? One thing that has stuck out to me the most is when people are always authentically and openly themselves or share some of the genuine struggles they’ve gone through. Hearing other people’s experiences and stories is always something I love and, to be frank, being a founder/entrepreneur can be a lonely endeavor sometimes. It’s uplifting to hear from others who have been there as well or gone through something similar. LinkedIn isn’t just for sales or jobs anymore; it’s a place for people to personally and professionally connect and learn from each other.

What advice have you shared with others through LinkedIn? I tend to share bookkeeping and accounting tips, along with stories of things I come across in my work. I also try to share things I learn in my entrepreneurial journey. Whenever there are local events, opportunities or just cool people doing cool things, I always try to share and highlight those as well!

What do you see as the benefits of using this platform in the business industry? It’s a great platform to connect with different types of people in different industries and areas. I see it as kind of like a Facebook for business. In the past, I feel like it was mainly for people to have a digital resume and professional history; to connect for jobs. Now, it seems LinkedIn has tried hard to make it more like other social platforms by broadening the ways people can interact on it, and people use it a lot differently now. It’s become

Maddie Craig, founder of Blue Cypher Bookkeeping, is a detail-oriented entrepreneur with a love of finance and an eye for efficiency. She is a Fargo, ND native and Minnesota State University Moorhead alum. Maddie understands the importance of accurate financial data and loves digging into the data to pull out the full story of her client's financial picture. She loves seeing clients able to make confident business decisions and support their businesses and nonprofits as they grow. Her mission is to make bookkeeping easy, efficient and understandable for small business owners and nonprofit organizations. She and her team take care of the day-to-day bookkeeping and accounting tasks all year round, freeing up leaders to focus on what they love and take their ambitions and vision even further.

more of a platform for open discussion and active interactions. I’ve personally met some really awesome people on LinkedIn that I wouldn’t have run into in person, but being online in the same virtual spaces allowed us to meet and stay connected!

Whom do you recommend that people follow on LinkedIn that could have a positive impact on their knowledge and growth? I enjoy following a variety of leaders and seeing what’s happening in our community! A few I’ve been enjoying content from most recently are: 1. Greg Tehven, who is someone that is super involved in our community and well-respected. He is constantly sharing about local events, businesses and ventures doing great things. I love seeing the impact that people and organizations from our area are making in our community and beyond. 2. Emma McIntyre is a friend that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for a few years now and I always love following her. She is one of the most energetic and positive people I know! Her posts are always something fun, uplifting or highlighting local organizations and I love that. 3. Sue Skavlem is an awesome gal I recently got to know through She Starts Week and we connected instantly. Her page is full of fun tips around marketing and branding, and she is very down to earth. As a graphic designer, she always has great colorful posts and graphics that catch my eye when I’m scrolling!

Did You Know? Blue Cypher Bookkeeping is an entirely virtual firm and was founded in 2019 solely by Maddie Craig!

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linkedin.com/in/jacob-radke

Photo Courtesy of Jacob Radke

Jacob Radke Capital Markets Analyst of Fjell Capital

As the team's Capital Markets Analyst, Jacob conducts market and investment research and assists in the development of a business strategy to serve clients more effectively. He graduated from NDSU in the fall with a degree in finance and a minor in economics. At NDSU, Jacob served as the President of Pathway Ventures, a student-run venture capital fund start-up, and was an Analyst for the Bison Fund, a studentmanaged investment fund.

What advice have you learned through LinkedIn that has stuck with you? It’s not about what you post on LinkedIn, it’s that you post on LinkedIn in the first place. The content doesn’t necessarily have to be super amazing or on a regular basis. While I started off posting once a week, I now aim for five to seven posts per week of quality content. What stuck with me most is if your posts are bad, people won’t see them in the first place, as LinkedIn only wants to show good content to keep your attention for longer. That alleviated a lot of my fears about posting.

What advice have you shared with others through LinkedIn? I have basically shared what others have taught me, but the biggest thing that I share is to just be present. Like other people’s posts, comment well thought-out responses to the point the writer was trying to communicate, that gets you super far and builds loyalty. I’ve talked to several college students recently

and what I’ve basically said is if you aren’t on LinkedIn, get on LinkedIn. If you don’t post on LinkedIn, start posting on LinkedIn. And if you aren’t present on LinkedIn, be present on LinkedIn.

What do you see as the benefits of using this platform in the business industry? LinkedIn generates different awareness than other social media channels. People don’t go to LinkedIn to watch a collection of funny videos and share selfies with one another. They go to LinkedIn to build more genuine business relationships with other business leaders, whether that’s to get hired or to generate sales

Whom do you recommend that people follow on LinkedIn that could have a positive impact on their knowledge and growth? I would highly recommend checking out Rob Ashe (Microsoft), Jimmy Slagle (generAI) and any of the folks at Rocketshipping.

Did You Know? During his time at NDSU, Jacob served as the President of Pathway Ventures, a student-run venture capital fund start-up and was an Analyst for the Bison Fund, a student-managed investment fund.

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linkedin.com/in/tomstadum

Photo Courtesy of Tom Stadum

Tom Stadum CEO and Founder of Fjell Capital

Tom Stadum is the CEO and Founder of Fjell Capital, a wealth management firm based out of Fargo. Along with Fjell Capital, Stadum also has a significant hand in launching Lykkly, a financial wellness and enablement platform that encourages people to view their money differently. As he’s seen immense growth and success in this line of business over the years, he’s learned a handful of critical tips and advice from past experience, as well as his peers through the social media platform.

What advice have you learned through LinkedIn that has stuck with you?

What do you see as the benefits of using this platform in the business industry?

Consistency is key to growing your audience. Businesses today, successful ones, in particular, have large audiences, particularly in their market. You need to talk with that audience frequently to build trust and rapport.

It’s where successful people socially hang out. The statistics are clear that the average LinkedIn user, in the US, is successful in growing their network. We’ve seen large success on the platform and across the country simply by sharing our story.

What advice have you shared with others through LinkedIn?

Whom do you recommend that people follow on LinkedIn that could have a positive impact on their knowledge and growth?

People do reach out to us frequently on our company's LinkedIn presence. Our advice is always the same. Just start and never stop. It’s incredibly easy to be a part of the digital community in Fargo. Simply liking and commenting on posts adds value, even more so sharing with the community your unique knowledge that can add value. It’s not hard but requires discipline and foresight.

Jimmy Slagle and Jacob Radke have been putting out some amazing content recently. Definitely worth following on with them!

Did You Know? Tom Stadum was named to Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list in 2020.

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linkedin.com/in/anthony-molzahn

Photo Courtesy of Anthony Molzahn

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Anthony Molzahn

Before Devii, Anthony co-founded a custom software company to build applications for companies in education, including B2B, Agriculture and IoT. He leverages educational and career experiences in art, hospitality, leadership and engineering to move good ideas forward, faster.

CEO of Project Phoenix and Devii.io

What advice have you learned through LinkedIn that has stuck with you?

instance, I focus on connecting with software development companies, tech businesses in the middle market and competitors of Devii.

Get LinkedIn Premium and try Sales Navigator for three months. There are several casual upgrades with Premium (e.g. messaging, trends, search management) and Sales Navigator is, for a lot of business professionals, the primary open dataset to use when researching markets and pairing leads with customer personas. This was particularly valuable when I first started establishing business development relationships as a part of my journey into sales.

Another benefit of LinkedIn is if you follow the technologies you and your business use, then you will be able to stay on top of new features, prices and other trends on their roadmaps. For instance, I learned that Salesforce has sunset their free tier of Heroku and, because of this, Devii will be able to step in and offer a free database hosting tier as a quick replacement to those who've been cut out of Heroku's sales pipeline.

What advice have you shared with others through LinkedIn? First, keep your profile recent. LinkedIn has become the de facto first step for business executives, investors and partners to establish a professional connection, so make sure your profile and message align with who you are and what you do in real life. Second, repost articles you like (and actually read), but you MUST provide a comment on why that article was of value to you, how it helps others and a TL;DR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) summary. Do not just make the repost all about you, either. Your followers will appreciate you better if you describe the utility of the article and how it might be useful to them alongside an example of how it brought value to you.

What do you see as the benefits of using this platform in the business industry? IEvery connection and follower relevant to your company will increase your reach for those you intend to stay in front of. For

Whom do you recommend that people follow on LinkedIn that could have a positive impact on their knowledge and growth? This completely depends on your industry and interest. For a business, follow at least 30 ideal local customers and as many competitors as you can identify in the region. For an individual, follow 30 local leaders that you've taken advice from previously. There's a good chance they may have another tidbit or two you'll appreciate and they will see you interacting with their profile! That counts as an impression. Regardless of industry or interest, this is a good starter pack to follow for North Dakotans: Emerging Prairie et al. and Grand Farm, your regional Chamber and other business collectives (SBA, NDWBC, SBDC, your local EDC, TechND, Dakota Medical Foundation) and any event-driven groups connected to your downtown. Also, follow non-profits that you believe in because they could use your influence.

Built for developers, by developers. Devii is an instant API engine that significantly reduces the time and cost for software developers to build and maintain GraphQL APIs. API management is a critical piece of every software development project, and Devii makes it easy to create, publish and secure APIs. Using Devii, developers quickly create APIs that are both secure and scalable with built-in, policybased security that helps to minimize user configuration complexity, no matter the scale.

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A&E / HEALTH & SPORTS / HOME & DESIGN / FOOD & DRINK / PARENTS + KIDS / BUSINESS / SHOPPING / CAREERS

By Grant Ayers

The Advice That Helped Them Get There hannah stelter

Artist and Owner of Designed by Hannah

The path to success is hardly ever traveled alone, and rarely comes without a few bumps in the road. There's often a multitude of factors that play into one person's climb to the top of their ranks. We spoke with a handful of determined and successful people with ties to the Fargo-Moorhead area regarding what, and who, they believe helped them find success in the area we're proud to call home. Join us as we introduce these individuals over the coming months. Hannah Stelter was more surprised than anyone else when her business began taking off the ground. After going viral on social media at 21, Stelter decided to pursue her passion and launch “Designed by Hannah,” an outlet for her to express her art and talent, while also making a living out of it. Now, at the young age of 23, she’s launching her second business and latest company, Scribble Lady. Opening on November 5th, the company will offer a storefront pop-up location at 214 Roberts Alley through New Year’s Eve for the holidays!

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#1

You will never be 100% prepared to start a business, and that’s okay.

My degree is in graphic design, so there was a lot that I needed to learn, but I didn’t let that hold me back from getting started. Since starting my first business, I have spent countless hours watching YouTube videos, reading business books and asking questions to educate myself. I didn’t know the first thing about taxes, business registration, cash flow projections, sales funnels, e-commerce or literally anything other than how to make art and brand myself. Educate yourself as much as you can to get started on the right foot and learn the rest along the way!

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#2

Ask questions!

#3

I attend a lot of entrepreneurs and founder-oriented events to get inspired by other entrepreneurs and also to get connected with other people. I am constantly asking people if I can grab a coffee and get to know them, their business and learn some things. It’s okay to not know everything, and once you admit that to yourself, it gives you an opportunity to expand your knowledge and grow your business.

Expand your revenue.

Expanding revenue streams is important, and looks different for everyone, but something worth putting some energy into. I have income from my ecommerce store, in-person shows, wholesale, Patreon/subscriptions, Facebook/Instagram Reels, TikTok, teaching workshops, coaching and more.

#4

Focus on profit!

#5

Profit is so important in running a successful business. I started my business as a junior in college with no money to personally invest, and I only reinvest 30% of what my business earns back into the business. This allows me to pay myself, set aside money for taxes and grow my business all at once.

Always have a contingency plan.

This one is specifically applicable in the art realm but will work with many other business models too. If you find yourself with so much work that you never seem to have enough time to do it all (too many commissions, constantly booked schedule, etc.), you can either hire someone, raise your prices or both. For a while, I was doing so many custom pieces that I didn’t have time to focus on anything else, so I raised my prices. Now I only do one or two pieces, still make the same amount of money, and actually have time for other important things.

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Support designed by hannah

Support Scribble lady

hstelterart@gmail.com

scribblelady.com

itsdesignedbyhannah.com

@scribbleladyco

@designedbyhannahart

@scribbleladyco

@designed.by.hannah

@scribbleladyco

@hannahstelter2 Hannah Stelter


10 Questions

10

Questions ohn Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past nine years. He knows their ups, and their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them. Here are John Machacek’s 10 questions for Wild Terra Cider CoFounder Breezee Hennings.

By John Machacek Photo by Josiah Kopp

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10 Questions

01 Will you please tell us your Wild Terra Cider Company elevator pitch? We are an urban cidery using our good time's cider to promote positivity and connection.

02 What inspired you to establish a cidery here? I was born and raised in Fargo and Ethan was raised in Bismarck, so we have roots in North Dakota. We spent our 20s in Olympia, Washington until we had our first daughter and then moved back to be closer to family. Ethan had been home brewing for 8 years and we both are craft beverage lovers. When we came back to Fargo, we noticed cider wasn’t being represented at all, compared to Washington, and especially not the cider we wanted to see. Wild Terra started as and still is, a venue for us to express ourselves. So, initially, we went crazy with completely wild recipes. Some were amazing and some were hard to drink. We have since fine-tuned our approach to be both creative but also extremely delicious.

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03 The building you are in is beautiful. I remember when I first heard Kilbourne Group was hopeful about the building being redeveloped, I must admit I was skeptical. The building was originally constructed in the early 1900s as a horse barn and looked to be in very rough shape. Will you please tell me about the decision and process of tackling this renovation? There were several reasons we chose this building. We knew we wanted something old, a structure with a story and character. Secondly, we had essentially no money, so it had to be affordable. Since Ethan is a master carpenter, we knew we could take on a project that required some sweat equity. The horse barn was the last building we were shown, and it had no electricity or windows, so we had to look at everything with our camera phone flashlights. But when we saw the roof rafters, it was all over, we knew this was our spot. Ethan worked 15 hours a day for 10 months straight and I worked with him in the evening and weekends after I got done with work. Ethan and I made a conscious effort to preserve and reuse as much of the original structure as possible. For example, all the exterior wood was disassembled, then I pulled

out all the nails that had been there for decades, sanded it down and reinstalled it on the interior walls. The baseboards are all the original floor joists, so if you get really close to them, there is still a slight hint of barn smell.

04 I also remember in the earlier years that you had to overcome some North Dakota laws that were mismatched for encouraging growth for a cidery. Can you tell me more about the restricting rules and the work to update them? Before we opened the taproom, we worked side by side with our legislators and several other small businesses in the wine industry that were affected by a legal restriction. If this law had not been changed, we would not have been able to stay in business longer than a year. Originally, it had been stated that a winery operating in North Dakota would need to use 10% of local ingredients to make their products by the second year of business and every year the ingredient utilization would increase by 10% until it reached 50% by year 6. This model made it simply not possible for Wild Terra to exist due to the current lack of apples being commercially grown in our state. So, without growing your own orchard, an endeavor that takes 5-7 years of groundwork and to mention is an


entirely different business than just cider making, you could not produce cider on the scale we set out to do. Unfortunately, we were unable to convince enough legislators to vote in favor of changing the law that first session. So, with faith in believing that when the next session came around, we would be successful, we kept remodeling the taproom and opened our doors for business in December of 2017. In the next session, we were able to change the law to fit our needs as a business and satisfy other concerned parties!

05 The readers may know Wild Terra Cider as a venue to meet for drinks, but some may not realize that you manufacture canned beverages that can be found in bars, restaurants, and liquor stores. How do you go about the distribution and getting your product out there? Distribution is its own beast. We started canning in late 2019 and then when COVID hit, that is all we were able to sell. Initially, we sold just in Happy Harry's and they were great partners, in that I had no idea what I was doing, so they humored me and answered all of my endless questions. Having our product out there for a larger market allowed us to plan our growth

in years, not just months. Now, we are in all liquor stores and bars locally. We just recently partnered with two new distributors so that we can be everywhere in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

06

throwing parties but really curating an experience for our community that hopefully impacts them in a positive way. It has been really very rewarding for me personally to add to Fargo’s culture.

07

I notice the creativity and frequency of special events that Wild Terra hosts. How do events factor into your business and how do you go about coming up with them?

Events require a good amount of planning. Between those, the product distribution and really, just operating a business, what are some things you do to help your planning and process?

Thank you. Wild Terra is a very unique place with unique offerings, and events are our favorite way to interact with the community and possibly connect with someone that wouldn’t have come in before. Our first event ever is our legacy event, the Apple Harvest Festival. It started out mainly as a means in which to educate and immerse our customers in the cider experience. We just wrapped up our 5th one a few weeks ago and had over 2,000 attendees, so that was really special. Our mission at Wild Terra is to promote positivity and connection, and our events are a large way in which we do that. I also think about what I would like to see that hasn't been done yet and what kinds of things are important to me personally. So, we have created Fargo’s First Vintage Market, a Mental Health Party, a Pool Party and we will have Fargo’s First Brunch Festival in June of 2023. For all these events, it is more than just

I try to be as organized as possible, the tried-and-true pen and paper have been best for me. I know there are lots of apps out there but just a thick planner and sticky notes work fine. I plan my month, my week and my daily tasks in advance which is helpful in that chaos always seems to find a way in. Clear and direct communication is key. Never assume anything, ANYTHING! Also, it has been important for me to recognize that I am usually not the best person for many of our top-line projects, so finding someone more talented to complete them has been key. Lastly, we have started planning our strategies and initiatives a year in advance and that has tremendously helped us focus and not get distracted or fatigued by constant issues.

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08

10

What are your hopes and goals for the future of Wild Terra in the upcoming years?

What can we do as a community to help Wild Terra Cider succeed?

Our hopes and goals are very much intertwined in that we are focusing right now, on growth, but also sustainable growth so we can continue to show our commitment to our staff in wage increases, and to our customers in quality products and a valuable taproom experience. As far as infrastructure, we are planning to build a new production facility within the next 18 months and buy land to start our family orchard.

Continue to support a North Dakota company run by locals by swinging by the taproom, buying our cans and keep your minds open because you never know what us crazy kids will do next!

09 If you could go back in time to Breezee from several years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself? That is a hard question to ask anyone, especially an entrepreneur because our lifestyle is wrought with failures and mistakes. In general, I would say to Breezee in 2017, “Find a mentor fast!” Having a mentor is so important for more reasons than I can name. But also, be kinder to yourself, don’t put too much on your plate and remember to be patient.

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About John



EMPOWERED BY LADYBOSS MIDWEST

WOMEN YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Melanie Iverson

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, LOTUS MIDWEST My name is Melanie Iverson and I’m the new Executive Director of Lotus. I grew up in Hawley, Minnesota and now live in Fargo, North Dakota. I’ve started three separate businesses and have had a lot of fun doing that! I spent time in the nonprofit sector and raised about a million dollars for anti-trafficking efforts. I currently lead Mosaic Design and Build.

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Photo provided by Lotus Midwest

Q. You have an interesting resume. Walk me through your career journey. A. I went to Minnesota State University Moorhead for advertising and public relations. I had the opportunity to study abroad my senior year and which inspired a passion for interior design. In 2012, I started a furniture company with my best friend and we bought and sold furniture locally. A store at the time asked me to become their creative director and to sell my line there. That led me to interior design consulting. I had the opportunity to do a lot of commercial and residential projects, which was a great way to make connections and I had a ton of fun. I needed a break from consulting which is when I landed with the anti-trafficking nonprofit. I helped them tell their story and raise funding. In 2017, I founded Mosaic Design and Build and stepped back into interior design, and in 2020, I founded She Overcomes. It was inspired by a Fargo Forum article where they reported that pre-pandemic female founded organizations were increasing by 21% across the U.S., but in North Dakota, female founded organizations were on the decline. I wanted to enter that space because of my experience founding companies. I feel so passionately about working with women in business and building their confidence around it. I had some incredible mentors who helped me and I wanted to be able to give that back. We raised funding for female business owners and built a strong community. We renovated a space downtown in the Mosaic District and rent to eight femaleowned businesses. Creating community with those businesses has tied all of my passions together and we’ve been able to create a workplace that works for these women. We have an infant-friendly workplace and Lotus will be housed there as well. Q. I know one of the biggest challenges for women in business is just funding or getting someone to back their idea. A. Women won’t apply for a job unless they’re 90% qualified for that job,

but men will apply if they’re just 40% qualified. I think that really speaks to women feeling a lack of confidence in what they’re doing. We aren’t moving in confidence when we have a business we want to start unless we’re sure we can succeed. I want to come into that space and build confidence in every woman whether she’s pitching to raise capital or applying for a job within an organization. We need to learn to fail well and be willing to learn, rather than getting stuck feeling like we have to be perfect to even try. Q. What differences did you see in the community when you started She Overcomes? A. We worked hard on She Overcomes for a year. It was an amazing case study in how women were working in the Fargo region. Many women talked about the struggles with getting funding. Startup Nation did a study on women owned businesses and found that the top three issues women have when they found a company is that they lack authentic community where they can be honest about where they’re struggling, lack of mentorship was a huge issue as women higher in their careers just didn’t have the time to give, and of course grants and funding. We created a cohort where women could learn and talk openly about these things. Q. What excites you about joining the team at Lotus? A. In the Midwest, we are a humble group of people. It’s hard for women especially to simplify our messaging and talk about our brands without bragging or coming across as arrogant. Each woman’s offering fits a need, and people can benefit from that. I’m so excited to help business owners and new business owners learn how to share their story so that the people who want or need their services can find them. The opportunity to build a community is going to help advance small business owners’ projects. We’re going to amplify messaging and build confidence. I’ve been on both ends of this spectrum. I’ve been a business owner and I know those struggles of

being a small business owner, and I want others to find their voice and identity and share their gifts confidently. Q. Why is this especially needed in the Midwest? A. If I can play a small role in helping women discover their impact and see what an amazing influence they have, I’ll be happy. North Dakota is a place where the community is especially excited to support local and small businesses. By helping women find their voices, we’re going to see policy changes. We’re going to see maternity leave and more equitable workplaces. We’re going to see changes in best practices by creating infant friendly workplaces. There is opportunity for growth here and for women to discover how and why their voices matter here. Q. We’ve talked so much about self-care and work-life balance this year. I know especially when you’re passionate about your work those lines blur. How do you keep from burning out? A. It feels like a unicorn. It’s something we talk about but it feels magical and not real. I have to be intentional about not responding to texts or emails about work the moment I get them. It takes me away from my family and if I don’t have my family, I don’t know if any of this is worth it. I’ve had to work hard at silencing those notifications, walking away, leaving my laptop at work. Self-care is a rhythm of life, a practice. Doing small things like journaling or even reading for fun has been helpful for me. I also let my family know my schedule so they’re aware of when I’ll be focusing. I’m clear about what time is designated for what. Q. Who are you outside of your work? A. I’m a mom. I have two teenagers and a three-month-old son. I absolutely treasure the time I get to spend with my kids. The teenagers are busy with extracurriculars. I love getting to go to football games and choir concerts. I’m also one of eight kids and I love spending time with my siblings and extended family.

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BY TOM KADING

Lawyers and Engineers… So Different Yet So Similar When thinking of engineers and lawyers, their differences are more obvious when you compare them based on the tasks they perform and the reasons they get hired. But by looking a little closer, there are a lot of similarities between the two professions.

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High-Level Education and Skillsets Both engineers and lawyers must go to school to level up their unique skill sets to prepare them for their rewarding careers. Engineers are required to have sound mathematical and analytical skills to help them solve complex technical problems and build out solutions that serve a market need. Lawyers are required to have solid writing and argumentative skills to aid them in solving intricate legal matters when vigorously advocating on behalf of their client’s legal needs. Although the educational preparation coursework is vastly different, and oftentimes on opposite ends of the educational spectrum, both engineers and lawyers have earned a lot of knowledge and experience when it comes to their chosen profession.

Problem Solvers A problem solver is someone who resolves issues using critical thinking, logical reasoning and analytical skills. In both of these professions, engineers and lawyers have to collect data and facts to frame the

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Thomas Kading Attorney at Fargo Patent & Business Law, PLLC Photo provided by Tom Kading

scope of the technical or legal problem. They use logical reasoning skills to analyze, extract and transform those data points and facts into useful information. From there, they use critical thinking skills by taking the useful information to analyze and isolate patterns to help them determine strategies and next steps. Therefore, both engineers and lawyers are problem-solving professionals, in their respective industries, because of the skills they acquired to resolve complex and unique issues.

Perceived as Not Approachable Unfortunately, both engineers and lawyers are oftentimes perceived as unapproachable “Know-it-Alls”. Engineers have their own unique skill sets that help them solve complex technical problems. However, this advanced knowledge they have, that very limited professionals know about or understand, can cause engineers to be deemed unapproachable due to a presumed technical superiority complex. Although their technical knowledge is critically important in their line of work, the overvaluation of one’s abilities is often perceived as arrogant or


snobby by the common person. Similarly, those who engage with lawyers often are intimidated because of their reputation of being elitists in the professional setting with their attire, large offices, nice cars, and the overall attitude of being better. Lawyers have unique skills in identifying legal issues, knowing how to apply the law based on their clients’ predicament, and then zealously advocating on their client’s behalf to achieve the desired outcome. The ability to think critically under time pressure is an exceptional skill to acquire. However, knowing that one has that skill can make someone unapproachable. This too is perceived by the common person as unwelcoming or unfriendly.

Technical and Legal Jargon The general public nowadays is flooded with information daily and would prefer to understand content in its most basic form. Engineers often use their own technical jargon when explaining complex technical issues. Lawyers do the same with their own legal jargon to show that they know and understand the law. However, the general public prefers that both technical and legal jargon be simplified to content that is presented in a concise, minimal, and familiar way. Engineers and lawyers love to show extra “value” in their explanations, because they are eager to show off the skills they’ve gained after many years of academic and professional training. Unfortunately, the general public does not see this eagerness in the same way because the extra value that is put in does not translate into a simple statement that is easier to understand. Therefore, it is critically important for both professions

to understand their respective audiences before communicating their technical or legal knowledge. Although it may be impressive to show that skill set, it can be a bit annoying and intimidating to the general public when the vocabulary used is not understood.

and presented needs to be executed in a way that allows the general public to feel is personable, timely, understandable and delivered with empathy.

Overly Diligent

As of this writing, there are approximately 1.3 million active attorneys in the United States. However, there are only 36,578 registered and active patent attorneys. This means that less than 3% of all active attorneys practicing in the United States are patent attorneys. Patent attorneys are unique in the professional world as they are attorneys with a technical or scientific background with the goal of helping clients turn great ideas into protected intellectual property assets.

Both engineers and lawyers have a duty to perform diligently in their respective professions to protect the public from unsafe or dangerous situations. Engineers are often perceived as overthinkers because they try to “overengineer” a problem and aim to identify every possible risk and an associated risk response plan. When this occurs, engineers spend a lot of time designing a solution that considers every possible risk that often is not necessary because the probability of that risk happening is very low. Similarly, lawyers are tasked with conducting timely legal research, providing prompt opinions, and complying with statutory deadlines. However, there are times that lawyers are perceived as indecisive because they think in terms of probabilities and cannot provide a straight yes or no answer.

Resolution In relation to building new solutions and solving complex legal problems, both engineers and lawyers have a lot to offer the general public. To help put the general public at ease, both professions need to help their target audiences solve problems in a timely and understandable way. The substance of the issues presented in both the engineering and legal worlds is the heart of why engineers and lawyers exist. However, just as important, the way the content is delivered

Patent Attorneys “A Blend of Both Professions”

Based on this information, all the stigma about engineers and lawyers is further compounded because patent attorneys are often engineers who also became attorneys. Therefore, it is even more imperative for patent attorneys to remove the stigma of being unapproachable, indecisive, intimidating, and “Know-it-Alls”.

Fargo Patent & Business Law, PLLC Phone: 701.566.7571 Email: info@fargopatentlaw.com Web: fargopatentlaw.com

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AWESOME FOUNDATION GRANT AWARD WINNER

Be SMART his past Halloween the Fargo Moorhead Local Group of Be SMART took to the Red River Zoo’s ‘Boo at the Zoo’ event in an unusual Trick-or-Treat initiative—handing out gun locks.

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“To kids we handed out Smarties candy rolls with a postcard that explains what Be SMART is, and those kids usually had adults with them. So, we also handed out brochures and gun locks to people who were interested,” said Martha Wheeler, the Lead of the allvolunteer Fargo Moorhead Local Group of Be SMART which operates under the auspices of the national organization Everytown for Gun Safety. “We gave out more literature than gun locks, of course, but we gave out about 150 gun locks over the course of the event. It was a big surprise to me to give out so many, but people needed them. So of course, with the gun locks, we also gave them our brochure with information about securing guns and keeping kids safe.” In addition to hosting tables at various events around the metro area, this is the second year that Be SMART has hosted a table at the zoo’s Halloween event. The program strives to distribute information to all adults to help keep kids safe from firearms and was able to also hand out gun locks with the help of a Pohlad grant out of the Twin Cities. When the program ran out of locks to distribute, they applied for a grant from the Cass Clay chapter

BY Brandi

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of the Awesome Foundation and were named a September 2022 grantee to restock their supply. “Sometimes people think that if they don't own guns they don't need to be concerned about it,” Martha said earnestly. “However, there are millions of guns in the United States, millions of homes where those guns are not secured—often unlocked and loaded. I don't know how many people understand that gun violence is now the leading cause of death for American children, and many of those deaths are preventable. I usually tell people that there are five simple things that we can all do whether we're gun owners or not.” SMART is an acronym: Secure all guns in your home and vehicles; Model responsible behavior around guns; Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; Recognize the role of guns in suicide; Tell your peers to be SMART. “Asking about unsecured guns in the homes our kids visit—whether it’s a play date, a party, or a staying with a relative—should just be a standard safety inquiry. For a lot of people, guns are just part of their lifestyle. Because of that, people don’t think about the necessity to secure guns, especially if they don’t have children around regularly. I’ve heard stories where children have gone to visit their grandparents' homes and there were loaded guns under the bed. And

kids are curious,” continued Martha. One of the core tenants of the Be SMART program is that because kids are curious by nature and learn through interacting with their environment, the onus of gun safety has to be on adults. To that end, Martha continually seeks out opportunities to share a 20-minute presentation to various adult organizations. The program currently partners with local doctors and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and hopes to create similar relationships with school boards, public health programs and “anybody who cares about kids.” “There are a variety of locks available. The one we give out is a good but inexpensive cable lock that usually runs between $5 and $20 dollars. They work for most guns and there are tutorials on Youtube for using them on different gun types. So, they are pretty helpful, particularly with small children in the house where it is easier to keep the key or combination out of reach. With older children, you want something more secure, a gun safe if possible. Teenagers are resourceful. If they are considering suicide, sometimes just slowing things down so it is less impulsive can make a difference.” While the program concentrates on education, the clear need for more gun locks in the community has reinforced


Photo provided by Awesome Foundation Cass Clay

their intent to continue distributing cable locks until they once again run out, though they hope to secure funding for additional locks before that occurs. “Giving gun locks to people who don't have them will help save lives,” Martha said simply. To learn more about this program, check out the website besmartforkids. org or contact Martha Wheeler at mkwheeler0621@gmail.com if interested in a presentation, donating funds, or helping out as a volunteer for BeSMART.

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

"Gun violence has a devastating impact on children in America. In fact, nearly 40 percent of child gun deaths are suicides—nearly 700 child gun suicides each year. One study showed that over 80 percent of children under the age of 18 who died by gun suicide used a gun belonging to a parent or relative. For people of all ages, access to a gun increases the risk of death by suicide by three times. Most people who attempt suicide do not die—unless they use a gun. In fact, 90 percent of suicide attempts with a gun result in death—a much higher fatality rate than any other means of self-harm. This contributes to the fact that 41 percent of child suicides involve a gun. A national survey of high school students found that 20 percent had seriously considered attempting suicide within the last year. And one study showed that 41 percent of adolescents in gun-owning households report having “easy access” to the guns in their home." -From the Be SMART's Facts and Resources on Child Firearm Suicide Sheet

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Academic Insight

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n this issue of Fargo, INC!, I will be sharing three tools and pieces of advice to help you improve your ability to prioritize tasks, to help you overcome procrastination and improve your ability to focus and to help you develop a mindset that can lead to more results over time.

#1: The Eisenhower Matrix The purpose of the Eisenhower Matrix is to prioritize tasks based on their level of importance or urgency. The term “important” refers to something that contributes to the organization’s objectives or purpose. The term “urgent” refers to something that must be done immediately or needs attention. Here’s how to use the Eisenhower Matrix. First, whenever a task is presented, ask yourself two questions: 1) Is this task Important? and 2) Is this task Urgent? The response to each question should be either Yes or No. After evaluating each task on these two components, an individual can place the task into one of 4 categories. Then, based on its placement, the Eisenhower Matrix provides a recommendation on how tasks in that category should be handled. Below you will find a description of each category along with the recommendation: • Important and Urgent: Items such as crises, deadlines, emergencies. Tasks in this category should be done first.

By Shontarius D. Aikens, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management at Offutt School of Business at Concordia College

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• Important but Not Urgent: Items such as planning, exercising and family

GARY USSERY

Increasing Productivity time. Tasks in this category should be scheduled. • Not Important but Urgent: Items such as interruptions, unannounced visits, etc. Tasks in this category should be delegated to others.

• Not important and Not Urgent: Items that are considered time wasters. Tasks in this category should be deleted and not done at all. The benefit of using the Eisenhower Matrix is that it enables a person to be proactive and decisive when allocating their time. Having the ability to quickly categorize tasks based on their level of importance and urgency will enable you to reserve your time and energy for those tasks most relevant to accomplishing personal and professional goals.

#2: The Pomodoro Technique The purpose of the Pomodoro Technique is to break up tasks into time intervals. The only physical tool you will need is some type of device in which you can set a timer (i.e., stopwatch, cellphone, etc.). Here’s how to use the Pomodoro Technique. First, determine what task


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

you want to complete. Then, set your timer for 25 minutes and, during that time, concentrate all your attention on doing that task, ignoring any distractions. Once the timer goes off, take a 5-10 minute break. You can then decide to do something else or to do another round or pomodoro on the same task or a variation of it. I know that 25 minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but speaking from personal experiences, I was surprised at how long 25 minutes was, especially when I was extremely focused. And it was a perfect way for me to jumpstart activity on a task that I was avoiding. Here are two ways in which I use the Pomodoro Technique. The first is when managing my email inbox. At the beginning of my workday, I do a 25 minute pomodoro focused on quickly reading the subject lines and first sentences of emails and to delete as many emails as possible. But as I am reading them, I take note of those emails which will require more of my attention later. Then, at the end of my workday, I do another 25 minute pomodoro that is focused on responding to emails I identified earlier in the day. The second is with writing. One of my favorite quotes when it comes to writing is attributed to American writer C. J. Cherryh: “It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.” So, I will do a 25 minute pomodoro to simply write and to get my thoughts down on paper. Then, after taking a break, I will do another 25 minute pomodoro that is focused on editing what I previously wrote.

#3: Adopt a One Task Approach Mindset I’ve come to the realization that focusing on a single task is far

better for overall progress than multitasking. For example, in the past, whenever I would go on business trips, I would bring lots of work with me. My mindset was that I could use any free time on my trip to get a bunch of things done while away. However, I often never got as much completed as I anticipated. On a recent business trip, I decided to do something that I had never done before—I only took one work project with me. And to my surprise, it got accomplished. Upon reflection, I learned that the likelihood of me completing one task while on a trip was more probable than me completing several tasks. If you search the internet, you will find a plethora of resources and articles that support adopting a one task approach mindset. Here’s how I have applied this mindset to my work. During my weekly and daily planning sessions, I make a list of all the things that need to be completed. I then ask myself the following question: “What is the most important task for me to focus on?” Then, whatever I have determined is the most important, I will “pin” this item to the top of my list and give it my top priority. Over time, I realized that I was making consistent progress on completing tasks. Summary I hope you find these tools and advice useful in helping you to better manage personal and professional tasks thus leading to an increase in your overall productivity. Additional information on any of the tools discussed in this article can be found online by using your preferred internet search engine.


hen it comes to sales and marketing technologies, one of the biggest advantages is the ability to integrate these tools into one cohesive system. This allows businesses to better target their customers, measure the success of their campaigns and improve overall efficiency. One of the key advantages of integrating sales and marketing technologies is the ability to gain deep insights into customer behavior. By tracking customer data such as browsing habits, purchase histories and demographics, companies can better understand what types of products or services are resonating with their target audiences. This insight can then be used to fine-tune marketing campaigns and increase conversion rates.

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Another advantage of integrating sales and marketing technologies is the ability to optimize campaign performance in real-time. With automated systems in place, businesses can quickly adjust based on results from previous campaigns or changes in market conditions. For instance, a company might use predictive analytics tools to analyze past campaign data and determine which channels are most effective at driving conversions at different stages of the sales funnel. Similarly, they could use real-time insights from website traffic analytics to identify which content is resonating with customers and make changes accordingly. In addition to these benefits, integrating sales and marketing technologies also enables businesses to streamline operations by consolidating multiple tools into a single system. For example,

an integrated CRM platform can be used for customer relationship management as well as email marketing campaigns, helping companies manage all aspects of the customer journey in one place. Ultimately, by taking advantage of these technological advancements businesses can achieve greater efficiency and better results across all aspects of their sales and marketing efforts. To improve and expand on the current state of sales and marketing technologies, businesses need to focus on investing in innovative and highly integrated technologies. This requires taking a strategic approach, identifying the tools that can best help them achieve their goals, and ensuring that these tools are welloptimized for seamless integration. By doing so, a business can stay ahead of the competition and


Shawn Peterson is the CEO of Quantum Business Solutions. He comes with a decade of experience in the technology services industry as an executive. Shawn is a visionary focused on high growth and performance through sales, marketing and client experience.

reap the many benefits that come with having a robust and efficient sales and marketing technology platform. These benefits may include increased visibility, better customer engagement and interaction, more effective lead generation and management, improved ROI on marketing campaigns and greater overall efficiency in operations. Ultimately, businesses must prioritize investments in sales and marketing technologies if they want to compete successfully in today's rapidly evolving business landscape. To stay ahead of the curve, they must be willing to embrace innovation, embrace change and invest wisely in the right tools.

As an example, let’s look at two sales and marketing technologies that can be seamlessly integrated: HubSpot and ZoomInfo HubSpot is a sales and marketing platform that helps businesses attract, engage and delight customers. It offers a suite of tools for companies to use to drive growth and success. One of the key advantages of HubSpot is its ability to integrate with other technologies. For example, it integrates with ZoomInfo, a leading provider of business contact information. This integration gives businesses access to powerful data that can be used to create targeted lists of prospects, understand customer behavior and

measure campaign performance. With a robust set of tools for managing email campaigns, social media accounts, web content and more, HubSpot helps businesses reach more customers and drive more sales. And thanks to its intuitive interface and powerful reporting capabilities, HubSpot makes it easy for even novice marketers to achieve great results with minimal effort. And because HubSpot is constantly evolving and adapting to new trends in the digital landscape, it can help companies stay ahead of their competition and reach more customers than ever before. Another innovative marketing technology that has seen rapid growth in recent years is ZoomInfo,

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a cloud-based data platform that allows businesses to build detailed profiles of potential customers based on public data sources like social media profiles, company websites, press releases, blogs, news articles and other online sources. With automated lead generation features and powerful search functionality, ZoomInfo helps businesses identify high value leads quickly and easily. This powerful database provides detailed information on over 50 million business contacts. It offers advanced search capabilities that allow users to find the right contacts for their needs.

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Additionally, ZoomInfo’s integration with HubSpot allows users to import new contacts directly, quickly, and easily into their HubSpot account, saving time and effort. Additionally, the integration enables users to automatically enrich the contact details of existing contacts in their HubSpot account. This keeps all your contact information up-todate and accurate, making it easier to reach out to potential leads and stay connected with existing customers. Overall, ZoomInfo offers a powerful set of tools that helps businesses get the most out of their marketing efforts by streamlining

lead generation and helping them connect with the right people at the right time. Whether you're looking for a powerful marketing platform to help you optimize your online presence or a data-driven tool that can help you find high-value leads faster than ever before, HubSpot and ZoomInfo are good examples of two sales and marketing technologies that are easily integrated.