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verb (used with object)

1. achieve the desired aim or result.

succeed verb (used without object)

2. take over a throne, inheritance, office, or other position from.

september 2018


Jeff Pederson The Village

Joe Raso Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation Rupak Gandhi Fargo Public Schools

Derrick LaPoint Downtown Moorhead Inc. Beth Slette West Fargo Public Schools

Brandon Lunak Moorhead Area Public Schools




18 FEATURES 8 Editor's Note 11 Fargo INC! Editorial Board

Fresh Faces of Leadership

18 Carson Wentz: Pro football player. Philanthropist. Businessman? A look inside the business world of Carson Wentz's nonprofit: AO1 Foundation.

Our community is changing before our eyes and a large part of that is thanks to new leadership. From new superintendents to the new president of the Economic Development Corporation, we meet with the fresh faces of leadership in our community who will be charting FM's future.

22 Waxing the City of Fargo (and Fallon) How Jimmy Fallon indirectly helped Waxing the City get off the ground. 46 A Chamber Year in Review

Visit for extended content covering Fargo-Moorhead's business community and articles from past issues of Fargo INC!




72 48 Credit, Schmedit

62 Send Me an Angel

50 Faces of Fargo Business Kim Jore - Owner, Riverzen Darren Huber- Director of Media Relations, Sanford Health Hannah Savoy - Marketing Manager at dogIDs

69 The Value of HR to Your Business

58 How Is Your Culture? What if you had a way of tangibly measuring your culture? What if you had a step by step plan to improve purpose, performance, people and the other essentials of running a business? Do we have your attention yet?

72 Ladyboss of the Month: Anna Lee 74 Automate repetitive tasks in business and life with task automation apps 76 Business Events Calendar

editor's note

My 5

Favorite Work Hacks You're busy. I'm busy. We're all busy. I get it. We're all looking to shave precious seconds off that endless task list. Well, I can't help you with your to do list, but I can try and help you be more productive.


Know Your Shortcuts I know I save several minutes a day just by knowing way too many keyboard shortcuts for my Mac. You can find a really good list of all the short cuts here. computers/keyboardshortcut-keys


Set Productivity Spurts My day feels like nonstop meetings and interruptions so I need to set mini goals for myself. I will often take 20 minutes, turn off my phone, close all the unnecessary internet tabs (including email!) and fully invest myself into the task at hand. It's amazing what you can accomplish with 20 minutes of fully invested and engaged work.


Less Time On Phone I downloaded an app called Moments that tracks the amount of time I spend on my phone. It is truly eyeopening, and slightly terrifying, knowing how much time I spend on my phone. If I spend more than an hour and 45 minutes on my phone over the course of the day, an alarm will keep going off on my phone. I reduced my average amount of time on my phone from more than three hours to less than two hours.


Meditate This might sound counterproductive, but the more time I spend doing nothing, the more time I have in the day. I use an app called Headspace that takes me through 10-15 minute meditations. Since using the app, my anxiety is down, I sleep better and I'm in a better mood. I can't stress how much I recommend taking some time to do nothing.


Email, The Bane Of My Existence I, like you and like everybody else on the planet, have grown to hate my email. Thanks to awful marketing techniques, endless emails with questions and automated replies, I can't handle the amount of emails I receive in a day. That's why I try and take it in doses. I don't check my email after 6 p.m. I don't get notifications on my phone every time I get an email. I set times when I'm going to check it. This is a prime example of less is more. (And look into project management software like Basecamp or Slack. It is a total game changer. I promise.)

Good luck in your hunt in that never ending struggle to find more time.



Andrew Jason Andrew Jason, Editorial Director

EDITORIAL BOARD We at Fargo INC! want to make sure our content is unbiased and reflects the FMWF business community. That's why we meet regularly with our five-member editorial board to discuss local business issues and trends and ensure we are living up to our core values.



FM Area Foundation

United Way of Cass-Clay

Executive Director



FMWF Chamber of Commerce

Dakota Medical Foundation

President and CEO

Welcome to the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation’s President and CEO, Mr. Joseph Raso. Joe brings impressive, executive economic development experience in Iowa and Colorado with him, and is well equipped to lead the GFMEDC. Our chamber looks forward to collaborating on challenges and opportunities for our region.



Executive Director

SVP of Finance and Entrepreneurial Development

Last month, we were pleased to host a special dinner on wealth transfer and high impact philanthropy for local nonprofit and business leaders. Don Macke, primary analyst for the updated North Dakota Transfer of Wealth study, and Dr. Jeremy Jackson, lead NDSU researcher for the Regional High Impact Philanthropy Study, presented their findings. What we learned: • Thanks to advancements in energy development, agriculture, and the knowledge economy, an updated 50-year wealth transfer projection of nearly $170 billion means huge potential for both givers and charities alike. Imagine if just five percent of that projected number made its way to the countless charities in our region doing amazing work. • The Regional High Impact Philanthropy Study, which was commissioned by DMF and looked at philanthropy in the FargoMoorhead region, confirmed what we already knew: The people of our region are highly generous. It also found, though, that when it comes to individual giving, more than half of donors don’t have a giving strategy. This further underscores the need for our local charities to engage individuals and businesses and connect with their current and future pipeline of givers.

We at GFMEDC are very excited to have our new President & CEO Joe Raso on board. Coming most recently from Colorado, Joe not only brings with him a wealth of knowledge and a ton of energy, but he also brings his family (Bree and Zoe are two impressive individuals as well). I look forward to our future economic development work and wish Joe and his family the best as new residents in our awesome community.

Greater FM Economic Development Corporation



SEPTEMBER 2018 Volume 3 Issue 9

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

Publisher Mike Dragosavich

Chief Operations Officer Steve Kruse


Editorial Director Andrew Jason

Designers Sarah Geiger, Sarah Stauner Photographers Hillary Ehlen Contributors Brenda Johnson, Jared

Finkelson, Mark Puppe, Craig Whitney, Dayna Del Val, Laura Caroon, Steve Dusek, Andrew Jason

Social Media Andrew Jason and Jessica Ballou

Web Jessica Ballou


Senior Sales Executive Ryan Courneya

Sales Executives Scott Rorvig

Dan Helm

Associate Publisher, Design & Living Chantell Ramberg Client Relations Manager Jenny Johnson Client Relations and Office Assistant Alex Kizima Business Operations Manager Colleen Dreyer


Delivery Bruce Crummy, John Stuber

Fargo INC! is published by Spotlight Media LLC, Copyright 2018 Fargo INC! & All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo INC!, and Spotlight Media LLC, is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to or reliance on such information. Spotlight Media LLC, accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.


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The 2000s were all about earth tones, and the 2010s were dominated by everything greige. This year, high-contrast color palettes are having a major moment, thanks to influencers like Chip and Joanna Gaines. Within these pages, we'll introduce you to FM area homeowners who have used dark, moody hues and pops of color to bring drama to their bright, white spaces. Then, join us as we take exclusive tours of their jaw-droppingly beautiful homes.

There are many ways to tell a story, but clothing can often speak a world of stories and experiences without uttering a word. A ring can capture the memory of a loved one, a torn pair of jeans can memorialize a thrilling misadventure or a t-shirt can mark a fun-filled vacation. We entered the closets of some of Fargo's most stylish and let them give their clothes a platform to share their own unique stories.

It's football season, Bison Nation. 2018 will see the North Dakota State Bison go for their seventh FCS National Championship in eight years. While past teams have had plenty of attention and expectations attached to them, this year seems different. It's safe to say you should believe the hype because this Bison team is ready to dominate the standard.




Carson Wentz is a real and tangible brand. The NDSU standout turned NFL quarterback turned North Dakota darling is now making his mark in the nonprofit world. Carson, his brother Zach Wentz and Cole Davis are all discovering the trials and tribulations of running a complex organization. BY Andrew Jason Hillary Ehlen 18




Football + Business Started in 2017, the AO1 Foundation is aimed at "uplifting individuals and communities around the world by demonstrating God's love for His people." Since that founding, the foundation has done work in Haiti and is working on a Haiti Sports Complex, does outdoor experiences for youth and recently launched a food truck called Thy Kingdom Crumb that will distribute free food for those in need. However, despite the challenges of running a nonprofit, Davis, the director of operations and a former backup quarterback at NDSU, and Zach Wentz, a former Bison pitcher, see a lot of similarities between the business world and sports. "You have to stay disciplined in your craft," said Davis. "What our coaches on our team always talked about was protecting your team. I know Zach can speak to that as well. We’re always going to be trying to perfect our craft in what we’re doing in the nonprofit industry."


Working with Carson Zach and his brother Carson have been working together since the launch of the foundation and despite all the horror stories of working with your family, things are going great between the two of them. "Things have certainly changed for us in the last couple of years," said Zach. "The

foundation has continued to grow so every ounce of my effort has gone into the foundation. I’m kind of playing liaison there between Carson and the day to day things that are going on and thinking big picture and running ideas by him." Although it's hard to imagine the schedule that Carson maintains, Zach still says Carson is involved in much of the operations. "The one quality that I commend about Carson is that if he’s going to put his name on something, he’s going to be heavily involved," said Zach. "On a macro, even on a micro scale, nothing really happens without Carson’s approval. If we do an event, Carson wants to be there. If we’re doing a fundraising campaign, Carson wants to know all about it, why we’re doing it and the timeframe for it." Business + Nonprofits We could do an entire magazine listing the benefits on nonprofits and businesses working together. From positive PR to increased exposure to helping the bottomline, one of the best things that a partnership with AO1 Foundation offers is Carson's brand recognition. "I think anytime a business is associated with Carson or has that brand recognition, people view Carson as somebody of integrity and strong faith, high value and professionalism," said Zach. "If you can associate FARGOINC.COM


Thy Kingdom Crumb

The AO1 Foundation might soon be getting into the franchise business. Their recent food truck, Thy Kingdom Crumb, will be going around the Philadelphia area serving free food to showcase God's love. Talk to launch this started awhile ago as the Wentz brothers were looking for their next outreach program.

yourself with Carson and those adjectives, people will view your business in that sense as well." However, what's even more important than that brand recognition is the good the foundation is doing in the world. Zach and Davis are making a concerted effort on being able to show the work they are doing. "The biggest thing we have going for us is we’re going to try and make an impact in all the communities, whether it’s in Philadelphia or back in North Dakota, we’re going to have tangible evidence of what we’re doing," said Zach. "We’re literally just getting off the ground with the potential we have in the North Dakota area. We’re excited to show that progress what we’re going to be doing." Radical Transparency Edelman, a global communications marketing firm, conducts a Trust Barometer every year. It showed that only 49 percent of the general population and 51 percent of the informed public (ages 25-64, college educated, in top 25 percent of household


WISDOM ALAN J. HAUT District Director of U.S. SBA ND District Office

income and consumes a significant amount of media) trusted nonprofits. Part of this is the fact that, sometimes, nonprofits are set up to skirt tax rules. However, the AO1 Foundation is out to prove that the investments people and organizations are making in them are being put to good use. "I would tell people that the beautiful thing about that is that all our financial information is going to be 100 percent public," said Zach. "When we file our tax return, you’ll be able to see exactly how much money we brought in, where the money goes, how much goes to staffing. That’s the beautiful thing of what we’re doing. We’re not shy about where the money goes.

We have nothing to hide." It's often said that businesses feed off the founder's story. Well, that is especially true with Carson. "On a Carson side, people who know how charitable he is, how much his faith plays a large impact on how much he contributes to society, whether it’s through his givings or contributions to the foundation," said Zach. "He’s not going to put his dollars he’s earned if he’s not going to believe in what we’re doing. I wouldn’t think of somebody of Carson’s integrity or professionalism, to me it just solidifies what we’re doing because he’s buying into the activities and programs as well."

"We were trying to think about what people liked and what is it going to take to get people to come out and feel appreciated," said Zach. "Food is a universal language. Regardless of your background or what language you speak, good food can transcend all of that. ... The end game isn’t for the people just to have food but to feel loved on and hopefully through it, build connections that are there so their spiritual lives can be enhanced through it as well." They are going to be testing this in the Philadelphia area and, if it goes well, hope to launch into other marketplaces.

Get Involved


‘Creative Confidence’ by Tom and David Kelley. "The book describes an innovative process on how to solve problems coming from the enduser point of view." FARGOINC.COM


Getting Real About Business w/ Mark Puppe

Waxing the City of Fargo (and Fallon) BY Mark Puppe

Kim and Kelly Linster, owners of Waxing the City Fargo




henever my late wife and I arrived at the mall, she would report having an appointment to get her eyebrows waxed at some salon. I grew up a Moler Barber College loyalist and therefore wholly naïve of this assuredly essential beautification tactic. It sounded dangerous, but was one of those “happy wife, happy life” things, so I’d just say, “OK, honey.” and claim a seat in the concourse and count people.

Meet Mark Puppe


Mark Puppe develops communication strategies and written content as owner of Master Manuscripts. He has advocated for small business professionally at the National Federation of Independent Business and Professional Insurance Agents of North Dakota, and does what he can to ensure entrepreneurs get the credit, protection and veneration they deserve. His contributed pieces introduce, showcase and personify the real, imminent, yet often overlooked and unknown responsibilities that small business owners experience, endure and strive to overcome.

Then, one dark evening, I overhear a fellow bar patron boast about having discovered what sounded like a form of chemical warfare, “waxing the city.” This guy rambles about how easy, fun and affordable it is to get Brazilians in Fargo and that he gets a lot of them. He thinks Waxing the City is great and everyone should try it. The 9-1-1 dispatcher asks my emergency and then clarifies Waxing the City to be a new, one-of-a-kind waxing studio across from the TJ Maxx Plaza and that I, too, should try. Motivated only by truth, I investigate and learn Waxing the City to have been founded by Kim Zwinger Linster, a born-again North Dakotan with no previous business experience, but whose intangible investments into launching and operating the business have slothfully diversified Fargo’s community and business perspective. Kim graduated from NDSU in 1996 with a dietetics degree, her

wedding to Kelly Linster already planned and interest in North Dakota limited to obligatory family funerals and a few Bison games. Little did she know that 18 years later, she’d be helping Fargo make cultural landmark leaps forward. The Linsters loved Woodbury, Minnesota where Kelly managed insurance and Kim was committed as their two kids’ stay at home mom. They hadn’t considered starting a business until 2013 when a family friend suggested buying franchise rights to Waxing the City. Where? Fargo, North Dakota. Sounded good, at least to Kelly. They could perform every ownership task from Woodbury because after hiring a manager in Fargo, they’d only have to open mail, pay bills and put bumper stickers on their cars. Kim rejected the notion, but finally succumbed when Kelly agreed to give her the reins and stay out of the way. Kim’s first full-time job would begin 18

years after college and entail opening and owning a waxing studio 250 miles from home. Eight months of 14-hour workdays and bouncing back and forth to Fargo enlightened Kim to something echoed by every entrepreneur: business ownership is more complicated, difficult and expensive than most people know. Despite all the toils, uncertainties and costs, Kim says accepting that, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” as gospel truth gives her peace of mind because she answers every question according to whether the result will benefit first, her employees; second, her clients; next, this community; and finally, herself. Corporate headquarters provided all the plans necessary for contractors to show up and build the studio. However, rather than delegate decisions from Woodbury, Kim was onsite directing the processes and modifying details herself. She knew clientele would be predominantly female and as FARGOINC.COM


the only female involved, only she has the feminine intuition and perspectives required to ensure the studio fulfill females’ expectations, not just comply with building codes.

previously neglected female perspectives to the structural layout and performance, closed an onsite gender gap and increased women’s influence in corporate planning.

As simple as Kim’s onsite efforts seem, they introduce how every single small business owners’ intangible and unseen investments contributes to a community’s economic character, climate and opportunity, and aggregate identity.

“Especially during construction, it was common for people to ask me, ‘Can I help you?’ when I arrived onsite or, ‘Is your husband available?’ when I answered the phone. Responding with, ‘I’m the boss, who are you?’ always felt good,” Kim said.

For example, her onsite decisions added another female member to the ranks of business ownership, contributed

Kim understood how opening in Fargo meant marketing Waxing the City as not only a business owner, but as a pioneer because, truth be told, most Fargoans had either never considered getting waxed or only seen it conducted as torture on TV. She turned to online social media and made it primary. “I was terrified because this was new territory, but I wasn’t going to waste

thousands of dollars on direct mail trying to create a market or as the only way to educate the community about the benefits,” Kim said. “I had to be creative and cost effective, so Facebook quickly became my focus and top priority.” She gave NDSU student organizations witty t-shirts and nonprofits generous donations for accumulating likes. More than 3,000 people liked Waxing the City's Facebook page before the store's first day and the schedule was packed the opening day. However, Kim also used online videos to charter new territory. “I saw real opportunity in 'The Tonight Show’s' Wax On, Wax Off segments,” Kim said. “Jimmy Fallon invites guests for trivia to avoid or receive wax on stage during the show. Just think if Waxing the City could get Fallon to Fargo.” However, Kim explained how a “just think” perspective threatens business. Had she only thought about rather than actually risking creating a video to recruit Jimmy Fallon to visit her

Waxing the City Fargo's marketing strategy is fun and engaging. Kelly Linster demonstrates this with one of their witty t-shirts. 24


Waxing the City studio, none of her employees or clients, nor her community or self would have ever received the rewards resulting from it. “I was scared of what people would think of this video, what would happen to the business if the video didn’t work and what would happen to my ‘new’ business reputation,” she said. Nonetheless, Kim and her Waxing the City team created the video, posted it on YouTube and asked local businesses to sponsor it. The #FallontoFargo campaign boosted online views, expanded Kim’s business network, secured special media coverage and stimulated a groundswell of public wax appeal. This arousal and support enlightened Kim to the vibrancy of Fargo’s community spirit and people. Kim credits that support as the force behind Waxing the City’s success and the attributes permeating from that support as the reasons she and Kelly knew they wanted to live in Fargo as business owners and, most importantly, their kids to grow up in Fargo. “The people in Fargo genuinely wanted to help. This is such a community of really wanting to see people succeed," Kim says. "Fargo is not a GoFundMe page." She now operates Waxing the City in the trenches as a Fargo resident. Waxing the City, Fargo opened in April 2014 as the fifth franchise of the 100 currently operating and is esteemed as the premier studio among them all. Every small business owner is a leader. They, like Kim, shatter corporate and industry sales records and rates by bending or breaking tradition, introducing unique products, services and ideas, creating niche markets, and remaining uncompromisingly loyal to values making them trustworthy

as people and wise as business decision makers. But Kim cautions business owners about loyalty because the biggest failure among them is thinking that success in one means automatic success in another, she says. Kim was blessed by business inexperience because she did not have to unlearn concepts that worked in another business, but might be irrelevant or counterproductive at Waxing the City, Fargo. “People starting a business can think they’re going to be better than everyone else,” she says “but you don’t know what you don’t know until you stop thinking and trust others’ resourcefulness, talent and creativity.” That’s why Kim considers every Waxing the City team member a powerhouse of talents, passions and ideas and a vital resource to the business itself and why her commitment to the team’s success is the best way to serve clients, she says. Indicative of small business owners, Kim has found her passion because she focused on overcoming struggles rather than focusing on finding her passion. Any entrepreneur can relate to how Kim’s experience starting Waxing the City enabled her to discover a fearlessness and confidence she didn’t know she had until she was forced to manage the pressures and perils of small business ownership. “It shouldn’t have worked,” she says, but it works in myriad ways for many reasons and the Fargo community deserves a lot of the credit. The gift certificate Kim shared after our interview remains unused. It’s not that waxing still scares me, the schedule at Waxing the City is booked. Waxing The City 4302 13th Ave. S. #15, Fargo

Jeff Pederson

Joe Raso

President/ CEO, The Village

President/CEO, Greater Fargo-Moorhead Economic Development Corporation

Derrick LaPoint

Brandon Lunak

President/CEO of Downtown Moorhead Inc. 26


Moorhead Area Public Schools Superintendent

Beth Slette West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent











Meet the New Faces of Leadership in our Community From the school districts to economic development, several new leaders have moved into our community. We sat down with them to have an open and honest conversation about what fresh leadership means for our community.

BY Andrew Jason | PHOTOS BY Hillary Ehlen

*Note: While we did ask some questions to Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Rupak Gandhi, due to scheduling conflicts, he was unable to participate in the actual roundtable conversation.

Rupak Gandhi Fargo Public Schools Superintendent FARGOINC.COM


Workforce Development Opportunities According to a well publicized report from 2015 released by the Chamber, Economic Development Corporation and several other organizations, there would be 30,000 new job openings created in the FM area over the next five years. With an unemployment rate of 2.2 percent right now, workforce development is one of the major issues facing the community.

Q1 With all the fresh faces and new leadership in town, what does that mean for the community and why is that a good thing? DERRICK: I think anytime you have fresh leadership, it brings a new perspective. I think that goes without saying. I think all of us at this table come from different backgrounds and that different background leads to different ways of doing business and brings different perspectives to all sorts of things, whether it’s the schools, business process, the way we handle our youth or our community from a health standpoint. We already have such a fantastic group of leaders in this community, it’s good to be able to connect with so many of them. This community has been on the rise for so long, I think anytime you can interject some new life, it’s only going to make our region that much better. BETH: As somebody who has



been in our district for nearly 24 years, it’s still exciting as we’re bringing in new people and starting collaboration with Brandon, myself and Rupak and bringing in that experience that Rupak has from Colorado and other folks from other parts of the country. It just makes our community more diverse and rich. The growth in West Fargo, specifically, is often represented as a challenge, but really, it’s an opportunity to really continue to expand the great things that we’re doing and bring in those other people to help us come up with new ideas and new ways to make education second to none. JOE: We’ve all agreed to take on these leadership roles and, to your point Derrick, when I came into the community and started talking to people, I was like, ‘There’s some really sharp caring people here'. It felt a little like you were almost joining a team of like-minded people from the standpoint of, they wanted new experiences, they wanted learned individuals, people who would challenge but would do it respectfully. This seems like it’s going to continue on. I’m just curious, when you took the jobs that you’ve taken and look at the leadership that you’ve had conversations with, is it pretty reflective of your situations too?

President and CEO The Village












“I want to continue growing the high quality of services offered at The Village in Fargo-Moorhead and across the entire region...from St. Cloud, Minn., to Minot, N.D. I also want to continue to focus on out-patient services, as well as community based mental health and addiction services.� FARGOINC.COM


Employee Assistance Program The Village’s Employee Assistance Program is a service that businesses can sign up for where The Village will work with that employer in many ways to support their employees, including strategic consulting on organizationwide policies to individual assistance for employees. More can be learned at thevillagefamily. org/content/ village-eap.

DERRICK: I can speak with just working with my board who has a ton of community leaders, including Brandon, Steve Scheel and others, it’s fantastic. Everybody has the perspective of: they want to do good for themselves, obviously, their business/organization and the community. Coming from the City of Fargo and a different type or role, you hear all the history, whether it’s West Fargo, Fargo or Moorhead, and that isolation, historically. I think the new leadership doesn’t carry that history. I see it as, to your point Beth, we can all work together and really do great things for this region. If our region is successful, our individual communities are going to be extremely successful. BETH: When you’re recruiting people into your business, we have to have top of the line schools. We’re a service industry in service to our families. The old schools of the past are not acceptable. We have to continue to be progressive to draw people to our community to want to live here and have their children educated here. It is a point that we have to work together to produce students that you want to hire. That’s where the collaboration has to happen. My last two meetings today, that's what we were working on. We’re working on, what does

the industry need, what are the schools producing and how can we bring that together so that our students are prepared for jobs that aren’t created yet, which is very difficult. Instead of asking what you want to be when you grow up, the question should be, what problem do you want to solve? Then create problem solvers, not siloed individuals who are not flexible or able to adapt to different situations. JEFF: You talked about the community and how well it’s doing, I also believe that’s part of how well families do. From my perspective with mental health, I was talking with Beth and working together with her on school based mental health issues. I talked to Brandon and we provide the Employee Assistance Program for the Moorhead Public Schools. All that boils down to creating that healthy environment for families and kids and that’s a part of what makes Moorhead and Fargo an attractive place.

West Fargo Public Preschool Thanks to a special collaboration between the YMCA and West Fargo Public Schools with support from the United Way, the YMCA is offering year round preschool programing at the Early Childhood Center in West Fargo. This is an immersive, all-day program, including preschool, before and after Preschool care, parent involvement and more. More info can be found at west-fargo.k12.

JOE: How do we take that and market it? Yes, we have communities and individuals who have challenges, no doubt. That’s absolute gold for people trying to find meaning and purpose in their life to know that there’s a community of support for that.

















“To be successful, partnerships are key. Revitalizing downtown Moorhead needs to be a community vision and priority. To establish the framework of this community plan, I will incorporate community meetings and invite residents, business owners and other stakeholders to determine their hopes and dreams for the area.� 32


President/ CEO Downtown Moorhead Inc.

The Rise of the Freelancer Last year, more than a third of the U.S. workforce were freelancing. According to a report from last year from Upwork and Freelancers Union, those freelancers contributed approximately $1.4 trillion annually to the economy. Thanks to companies like Uber and Lyft, it is easier than ever to make some money with a side hustle. This will have a massive impact on the workforce as this trend continues. “Today, more than a third of the U.S. workforce, 57 million workers, receive 1099s,” said Raso. “They’re freelancers or contractors. They may have a W2 job but they are an employer of one themselves. That’s growing. When you look at the market or companies, the reality is that no CEOs want to hire somebody. They just want work getting done. “Individuals saw their parents getting laid off in the recession or they see situations and they see opportunities. I think about these existing people in the workforce and young people coming up through our schools, do they fundamentally have the soft skills and otherwise to survive what is becoming more of a world of, I am an employer of one? How does the community serve as a currency to support that? That’s something that intrigues me personally.”

The strongest thing that connected with me coming into the marketplace is that you feel like you have a support network, even if you don’t know because it’s embedded. JEFF: It starts in neighborhoods and neighbors knowing neighbors and that support group that you have. The key element of that is the family. When that’s disrupted, we see a lot of negative things happen.

Q2 Beth, you said, “Our schools are a reflection of our community and meeting the social-emotional needs of our students can be challenging.” If that is true, what does that mean about our communities? BRANDON: In our situation, we’re seeing an increased need for mental health type services and bringing those supports to the family and the classroom.

To identify them and to identify them quickly is a challenge. Making sure that we get the appropriate support in place so we can continue to carry out the mission and continue to move the community forward through those services. That’s why services that The Village provide with school based mental services are critically important. BETH: I would agree with everything Brandon just said. I would add, again, it’s those partnerships. The schools can’t do it alone. The Village can’t do it alone. The parents, in a lot of cases, are struggling themselves. That early intervention, and one of the things that West Fargo is doing this year for the first time, we’re having a public preschool in collaboration with the YMCA with support from United Way. It was multiple meetings bringing people together to really identify ways to intervene early and then bring those services to the children. Sometimes, you try and connect them out there but sometimes the parents are struggling so we need to put it right there so that tier one of social-emotional learning teaching strategies, coping mechanisms are things that we can teach our children to calm down with ways of breathing and things like that. We’re doing that early and often as part of our daily curriculum.



What’s happening in Downtown Moorhead There are several things that are happening in Downtown Moorhead that LaPoint is very excited about. 1. Downtown Moorhead Inc. is excited to see so many projects underway in the downtown core. From new construction to rehabilitation of some historic buildings. Downtown Moorhead is alive with growth. 2. DMI has been partnering with the City of Moorhead to bring forward new economic policies that will align ourselves with the surrounding communities. 3. Construction will begin on the Center Avenue project in 2019. For the first time in a long time, Downtown Moorhead will have a focused urban corridor with on-street parking and shared bike lanes. 4. In the coming months, DMI and the City of Moorhead will be undertaking a Downtown Master Planning effort. This plan will engage the community to set forth an attainable action plan for the community vision of Downtown.

JOE: As adults, we can learn that too. DERRICK: It’s an interesting time. I have a younger brother who just finished high school and what these kids and the youth are going through in this time of social media, it is insane. I dealt with it when I was at colleges with fans and other stuff but when you have your peers, classmates and others that take it right to social media, it’s a tough thing to deal with as a young kid. That mental health is a serious issue. BETH: It’s so fast. In the old days, you had to pick up the phone if you’re going to harass someone. Now, students and adolescents executive functioning is not all there. They don’t have the regulation to slow down.

Q3 Going back to looking at this as a community versus three different cities, I’m interested in the outsider perspective. When

you look at FMWF, historically, each has done its own thing. What are your thoughts Joe about the Red River Valley and the three cities working together versus being siloed? JOE: Two perspectives. One is human nature. Naturally, we form tribes and groups. There’s a great book called “Sapiens.” It’s from a fabulous Israeli historian who wrote about the evolution of humans and where the future looks. To kind of pull away what I call, my football team or my school versus your school, I think goes against human nature. Having said that, when I was in Iowa City, there was a gentleman who was a CEO of a top five trucking company called Heartland. If you look on that truck where it’s from, it says Iowa City, Iowa. He’s never been in Iowa City. He’s been in Coralville, Iowa, and North Liberty, Iowa, two adjoining communities that are a part of the Iowa City region. His focus, and it’s mine too, is how

does the outside world view you in a meaningful way? Internally, I think we have our neighborhoods, our schools and our school districts. We should be very proud of them. Maybe it’s you’re doing something in West Fargo and Brandon, you or Rupak go, “I love that idea. How can we work that into our tribe?” From the perspective of companies that can locate anywhere and people who are choosing daily because they don’t work locally, they might have five different jobs going on at once and they can live where they want to live. How do they identify a marketplace? I just said to our executive committee today, “We have six taglines.” I don’t know how that plays. DERRICK: For me, making that switch from Fargo to Moorhead, it’s interesting from a business standpoint that the perspective when I crossed the river was, it’s too difficult to do business in Moorhead. It’s too expensive. Whatever excuse you want to put on to be on the Minnesota side versus the North Dakota side. There’s some realities to that perception but there’s a lot of false statements to that perception as well. For us, what we’re trying to drive policy wise is to create equal playing fields. Certainly, we know that Fargo is a main draw. FARGOINC.COM


Downtown Fargo is a main draw and we know that Downtown Moorhead isn’t going to be Downtown Fargo. We can be something, though. If a business is going to choose to locate here, it shouldn’t be because of how much money they can make or one state versus another. We should really try and neutral that out and allow people to choose based on location or whatever it may be. I think the one thing that we’re facing on the Moorhead side is breaking down that barrier that is the Red River. We talked about it in our meeting and Dan Mahli, the Assistant City Manager at the City of Moorhead, talked about how we need to view the river as a seam, not a barrier. It’s going to take time but if we start telling our story, in time, I think we’ll be successful. JOE: You made a point, it won’t be Fargo but Minneapolis and St. Paul are different but they're both viewed as really thriving. One has a different vibe because of the nature of what’s happening. From a regional perspective, you can choose and have a really good experience in either one.



Q4 Based on the problems that you marked down, it’s not one city’s problems. It’s a community’s problems. DERRICK: Sometimes, I think our community forgets that we are facing the same issues. It goes back to that partnership and collaboration where if we do work together, we can be successful and accomplish some of these challenges. JEFF: There needs to be a focus on not what our differences are, even though we are tribal, but what can we do together to build the region. I’ll give the analogy of a football team. When it comes to a football team, there is an offense, a defense and special teams. They all have one goal, which is to win. The same applies to our region: there is Fargo, there is Moorhead and there is West Fargo. We all need to have the same goal, to improve the region economically and socially for all. We are in it together for all people.

Q5 In the FM region, it seems like there are a ton of resources out there to support the local business and nonprofit community. However, it seems like everything is a little disjointed because there's so many resources out there. Since you all represent your different organizations, how do you think we can work together better? BRANDON: I think the working together is very simple. It’s going back to your local district, local businesses and trying to implement those things because there’s some things culturally that could make it difficult to carry out a unified mission. As districts, we’ve been working on

President and CEO Greater FargoMoorhead Economic Development Corporation








“I hope to help make the Greater Fargo Moorhead region a globally recognized leader in talent and innovation and to flourish in such a way that its citizens are leading purpose driven lives.� FARGOINC.COM


sharing practices that work in the classroom. It’s our goal, once we go back to our individual district, to continue to carry that out. I think somebody made reference to the river being a seam. That, at least with us, the river is a little bit larger than a seam because we have different funding mechanisms then they have, there’s certain criterias that we have to meet that North Dakota doesn’t have to meet in terms of requirements or vice versa. BETH: I was a Minnesota person so I know what you’re saying. It’s either, you’re a Minnesota girl or you’re a North Dakota girl. It’s that way of thinking. There are a lot of differences between the two of them but one thing we have in common is our children. Within our school districts, our kids are moving. They’re in Fargo one day, West Fargo the next day and then Moorhead. In the interest of children, we have to collaborate to give them the best experience they’re going to get. Personally, I think collaboration, going over and doing a walkthrough of some of their schools, that takes quite a bit of bravery. We have brought in business people and had them come with us on walkthroughs. That’s terrifying. Just the fact that we’ve got to that part where teachers are opening the doors, we’re doing walkthroughs, we’re talking about what the instruction looks like. What’s the next step? What’s keeping 38


us from really doing something innovative here? Is it the schedule? Is it the calendar year? Is it resources? Is it the mindsets of the staff? When we have those conversations with other leaders, it’s very exciting and energizing. I think you get a lot of energy from it. JOE: This comes up a lot because there are CVBs, Downtowns, Chambers, EDCs and most people when you say, “I do economic development.” They go, “What is that?” One of the core pieces to this kind of work, I think, is really having the X on your back for the stuff you lead, and then what do you partner on and what do you support. As it relates to our organization, part of my messaging coming in is that our purpose and bylaws, we’ll be supporting primary sector business. That’s any person or any company, regardless of the size, who bring money into the economy and creates a bigger bucket. We lead that. I’m not saying that we control it but I’m saying that’s what people invest in us to do. The Chamber has a role. The CVB has a role. I think the best thing for us to do is to clearly define and communicate what we are charged to doing and not me telling you what you should do but you finding out, "Hey, we do this and here’s where there is a partnership or something we

think you should support us on." I see partnerships around these types of things by running nonprofits for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of times where people want to be nice and want to partner. But, if you look underneath it, you go, ‘“Was there really anything there? Or was it, you just want to get a drink and golf together?” That’s a different thing. Sometimes, that can create more challenges in relationships. DERRICK: Joe hit it right on the head. When I first took the job, I was thinking, “We have the Moorhead Business Association, Moorhead Economic Development Authority, our new organization, the city itself, the EDC.” It was endless. It was like, “Where do we fit? Are some of these people already doing the work?” It took a lot of conversation up front and having honest conversations with these organizations of, “What is it that you do? Fill me in. What is your mission?” And then for us to come up with that clear and focused vision of, this is what we’re trying to do. For us, the MBA is a great partner and they have the city as a whole that they focus on and have a lot of business contacts, let’s use them, work together and collaborate.

What is the Economic Development Corporation? By focusing on primary sector businesses, the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC) accelerates job and wealth creation in Cass and Clay county. They do this by developing the workforce, retaining and expanding existing businesses and industries, attracting new businesses and industries and initiating, facilitating and supporting traditional and high-tech infrastructure enhancement initiatives.

Q6 It seems like the business community does a good job engaging higher education in the FM area. Since we have two superintendents here, how can the business community better engage our k-12 schools? BRANDON: I think, as an education profession, we can learn from the business field. I think the biggest thing, from the Moorhead side, we evaluate what it is to educate a high school student and what skills they should have to graduate. The one thing it keeps coming back to is our business leaders want certain things from a high school graduate. We’ve gone through the process of identifying what those characteristics are and we call that Portraits of a Graduate. Now we’re taking that onto the other side of it and we’re doing an 18-month implementation plan of this portraits of a graduate. Right on the heels of that







“I want to be able to build upon the success of Moorhead Area Public Schools. I look forward to continuing to move the district forward with decisions that serve the community.” 40


Superintendent Moorhead Area Public Schools

committee is the Master High School Facilities Committee that’s determining if our current site is adequate and can help us carry out what we need to do to educate our high schoolers. The one thing that it keeps coming back to is that the folks from the private sector want college and career ready graduates. They want graduates and kids who can collaborate with others, work with peers and have the skills that make them ready to work. How do they play a role in that? I think we have to continue to engage the private sector in terms of what are they looking for in a graduate? I think it’s our responsibility to listen to what those qualities are and how we can fit those qualities within our graduate requirements moving forward. BETH: I would agree with what Brandon said but I think our system of education is set up based on 100-years ago. If you can Google it, it’s irrelevant. Shifting the whole mindset of the community as well as the parents and the educators of the old model to a new model that prepares students for careers that are out there and those that we don’t even know about. It sounds easy enough but it’s a very big shift to change people’s thinking. Even as we work towards it, unless we’re constantly vigilant, the old habits come back. Even things like raising your hands to more of a classroom where students are doing the work instead of the teacher. We know that’s best practice but without constant vigilance, it slips back into those old patterns. Thinking about the workforce, we’re hearing there’s so many businesses that are in Fargo and want to be in Fargo but if

we don’t have the workforce for them to move their business, we’re going to lose that. We’ve been so focused on pushing kids toward that four-year degree. It’s your ACT score, you need to have those AP classes. You need to do this, this and this. I think we’ve forgotten that we have a whole field of very good careers that don’t require a four year degree. In North Dakota, it’s the ESSA, Every Student Succeeds Act. Our plan is that we have to prepare students to be college ready, career-work ready or military ready. We want them to have two of those three moving forward. Can a student really be all three and fit that in their schedule? That’s on us. Until that shift, it goes back to the higher ed and that ACT score. Does anybody really care once you get that scholarship? That’s the focus right now to get them to a four year degree and then what job do they have then? They might be in their parent’s basement or they might be making $120,000 a year. Having those conversations like Brandon said about what skills do you need and working together to make sure that the students are getting those. Also, giving the opportunities for students to shadow in businesses. I know it’s kind of a nuisance but we need to give the students the opportunities to get out of the schools and into the world. That was one of the meetings I was in today about how can we make that happen. How can we pay for it? Brandon has been in those conversations too. All it takes is money. JOE: I took my car in. I had hail damage in Colorado and it’s going to take a year for my car to be seen because they were so busy. I come in here, the guy

looks at my car and says it’s going to cost $8,000 just to fix some hail damage. I’m talking to his dad and he’s giving me this story about, “We have honest to God great jobs here. Life long careers and I can’t find the workers.” It’s a community issue. What you’re saying is not a K-12 issue, it’s truly a community issue. We all have a responsibility. I think what you’re saying is 100 percent right on because these kids come out of school – the World Economic Forum says, 65 percent of all work, not jobs, all work is not even known. DERRICK: I think it goes back to one of your initial points Joe. We need to create that brand for our community and how we’re going to draw people. JOE: Let’s not forget that this market is doing incredible things. We get focused on this issue or this issue. When we decided to move here, one of the reasons, is that when we were looking at the needs for Zoe who’s 12 and going into seventh grade, is that this market, you can do online classes, homeschool and go into the classroom. We’re literally mixing up her educational needs because of where her interests lie, what inspires her. What’s interesting about the conversation is that there’s nobody who tried to pigeon hole the process. Well, if you go to Liberty, you have to go the whole time or you’re just not going to get socialization. I can honestly say that’s not the experience everywhere. Those are things that we, as a business community, can sell. We’re not going to be perfect and we’re not always going to have all the answers but, as people have said, ‘What do we have to do?’ I said, ‘Be better than most.’ FARGOINC.COM


BETH: It can’t just be Liberty. In West Fargo, it has to be wherever you go to school, you give people the opportunity for experiences. It can’t be left to chance. It has to be a system thinking or else we’re going to have the haves and have nots.

Q7 What would you like to say to our reader? JEFF: From my perspective, we’re here to help. The organization that I manage is here to support you from zero to death. We’re here to help your workforce stay healthy. Everybody has depression or anxiety or we all know someone who does. The Village can be seen as a resource for the schools, businesses and the community. DERRICK: For me, I’m a staff of one and pretty new to it. For us and the efforts of revitalizing Downtown Moorhead and putting Moorhead’s best foot forward, I can have the grandest vision but it has to be a community led vision. We’re really seeking public comment. We’re going to be leading some master planning efforts to get out in the community and 42


engage the community of what they want to see.

is going to take our community working together.

I can say all the things I want and paint a pretty picture but the reality is that we need a community to help build it. Certainly, we’re thankful to be in a region that’s so prideful and really wants to see things happen.

JOE: Your question, with all due respect, is unfair. No good idea comes fully formed. No individual model or focus makes for the success of the intent when we talk about things like this. When I think of what to say to the community, I think in stories and things I’ve heard and learned over time.

BRANDON: I truly believe, and if you look at the days from when I was teaching and coaching, one individual couldn’t win the game by yourself. It took the collaborative effort of everybody working within their lane and their roles to move the team, district or community forward. I don’t view this any different than if you’re coaching a peewee hockey team or a professional hockey team. If you’re all in it together, on the same page, moving forward and you’re all doing what you’re supposed to do, we're better together than we are apart. BETH: We’re here for the students. We’re here to prepare students for a world that we don’t know what it looks like. We need to continue to partner together with our community, the parents. The challenges our students face, you can talk to other adults and parents, we don’t even understand the challenges that social media and the immediate, 24/7 constantly being on it has on their brains. We don’t understand the ramifications on our children. It

I remember one from a guy by the name of Pike Powers. He’s one of the godfathers of development of Austin back in the 80s when Austin was the size of Kalamazoo, Michigan. I got to know him for several years and the first time I met him, I just sat down with him at dinner and said, “Pike, how did you do this?" The guy is probably 80 now. He said, "This morning and this afternoon, I probably helped connect eight to ten people. That is, essentially, what we have done for 35 years. We’ve gone in with no pretense. No, ‘I’m going to view you different because you’re wearing a suit or your hair is down to here.’ What are your needs and how can I connect you? I may not have the answers but others do.” That struck me that it’s the culture and community that was created. Nobody talks about it but it was really one of the underpinnings of why they became successful.

Enrollment in FMWF Public Schools Numbers are from 2017-2018.

West Fargo 10,573 students Fargo 11,253 students Moorhead 6,594 students

Superintendent West Fargo Public Schools











“I hope to stay ahead of the growth in order to meet the needs of our students, not only academically, but physically and emotionally. We truly do not know what the world will expect from them in the future, so teaching them to be problem solvers, responsive, reflective and flexible will be key. Soft skills are critical for success in the adult world.� FARGOINC.COM


R G 44









Superintendent Fargo Public Schools

A California native, Rupak Gandhi completed his undergraduate studies in Political Science at Texas A&M University. He holds a master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ, and is obtaining his doctorate in educational leadership from Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. Gandhi began his career in education in the Houston Independent School District. After serving as a Special Education resource teacher through Teach For America, he served as a high school assistant principal, an elementary principal for a campus of 750 students and lastly, the principal of a comprehensive 6A high school serving nearly 3,000 students. Most recently, Gandhi served as the research, data and accountability officer (Assistant Superintendent) for Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, CO, where he provided leadership and strategic direction for accountability planning, implementation of performance measurements and reporting of practices for the District.

Please provide a brief synopsis of what you are bringing to your position.

“I have been fortunate enough to have held a variety of positions in K-12 public school districts prior to my role as Superintendent: special education teacher, high school assistant principal, elementary principal, high school principal and assistant superintendent. Having the experience at each of these levels working in large and midsize school districts with diverse populations has allowed me the opportunity to gain further experience in how to meet the needs of all students, something we are committed to in Fargo Public Schools.”

What do you hope to accomplish in your position? “Equity: high quality education that is tailored to meet the individual needs of all students

in Fargo Public Schools, even if those individual student needs differ from one another. We want to ensure that all students are educated and empowered to succeed.”

What are the three biggest challenges facing the FM area, in your opinion?

1) Keeping up with enrollment growth . 2) Social and emotional support for all students. 3) Adequate funding to support meeting the needs of all students.

Is there anything else you think the FM community should know about?

“My family and I have been overwhelmed by the incredible individuals in our FM community and couldn’t ask for a better place to raise our son.”

A Chamber

Year in Review By Craig Whitney | Craig Whitney is the president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.


ust like that, another outstanding year at The Chamber has come to a close. As you’re reading this, we have just entered into our new fiscal year. We have had many successes with strong advocacy efforts, focused education and growing programs due to enhanced engagement and extended reach in the community through leadership. We continue to have a strong and growing Public Policy committee that has been active in taking positions on vital issues in our region and statewide. This past year, we were able to bring in all three members of the North Dakota Congressional Delegation, as well as various Minnesota and North Dakota state legislators and other statewide and local officials from both sides of the river to address important topics. Some of these community leaders spoke at Eggs & Issues, which continues to be a well-attended educational event where experts and professionals share information about important and timely issues. Topics this year covered various issues in the metro, including the FM Diversion, tax reform, public education, economic growth, downtown developments and safety. With a year of many contested local elections, The Chamber also worked to educate the public on the various candidates’ stances through debates and social media. As a successful and busy year wraps up, we are in



the heart of advocacy efforts through planning a Cracker Barrel forum to get to know more candidates in all three major cities, drafting our policy agenda and planning Chamber Day at the Capitol. It is sure to be another exciting year of active advocacy for The Chamber. Speaking of active years and growing programs, we have had an outstanding year for many of our programs. This year’s Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo program’s Community Change Initiative groups had seven awesome projects that changed the community in a positive way. We are proud of the dedication and service of these community leaders to community and personal growth. Another group of individuals that we are extremely proud of is our YEA! students. Yet again these young minds developed some amazing business plans and even gained extra exposure for their businesses at 1 Million Cups and in local media. It is exciting to watch these students passionately hit the ground running and launch their ideas. Our Women Connect, Military Affairs, Business Training, Agribusiness, YPN and Ambassadors groups all had numerous successes as well. Thank you to all who have become engaged in these committees and programs, because your participation produces success. In keeping with the theme of exposure and growth, our Voices of

Vision was nothing less than a huge success. Last fall at our eighth annual Voices of Vision, we welcomed in basketball all-star Shaquille O’Neal who impressed the crowd with his humorous stories and strong character. He shared his inspiring stories of success and encouraging future aspirations. The event itself could be called “Shaq-sized” as it turned out to be our biggest Chamber event to date. Further, we were honored to win the Mid-America Chamber Executives (MACE) Award for Digital Campaign of the Year for this event. It was an all-around outstanding event from start to finish. A “Shaq-sized” thank you to all staff and volunteers who helped make the event possible as well as all attendees for your continued interest in Chamber events like these. It seems fitting to end my remarks thanking all of the staff and volunteers for their tremendous work, as their efforts paid off in an outstanding Chamber year. I look forward to the continued success of our programs and events, as well as education and advocacy efforts in another all-around great year ahead.

FMWF Chamber of Commerce 202 1st Ave. N, Moorhead

t i d e m h c S , t i Cred I

t’s ALL over the news lately – credit scores, credit report, credit agency hacked, credit that! What’s all the fuss anyway? Well my friends, if you've just put your head in the sand with hopes of ignoring it, you may very well be setting yourself up for financial headaches down the road.

have skipped town on a small utility bill and thought they would just write it off, it will most likely show. If you ran up a credit card bill and then couldn’t afford to pay it and just walked away, it will show. If you are in deferment on student loans, it will show. If you’ve had medical accounts go to collections, it will show. If you’ve had a bankruptcy or financial judgement, you guessed it – it will show!

6 5 4 3 2 1 0 9 8 7 6 1234 5 Personal credit and credit history are often mysterious concepts. Maybe you have a vague idea of what your credit score is, but are not really sure what is all on your report or why you should care. Finding surprises on credit reports is much more common than you would think. Unfortunately, we see it all the time. In fact, credit issues are one of the most common factors that prevent people from getting the financing they need for their business.

By Steve Dusek President and CEO Dakota Business Lending (formerly Dakota Certified Development Corporation)



So where do you begin? You can start by gaining an understanding of the three credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion. These entities are the holders of information about who you owe or have owed money for loans, credit cards or other types of bills like utilities, phone services, etc. Not only does it show who, but the amounts and your payment history. If you had payments that are more than 30 days past due, they will show. If you

Collectively, this information shows how you have handled your financial obligations in the past and is an indicator of your character and the likelihood of how you will pay your debts and bills going forward. The three credit agencies all have slightly different information, ways of reporting the data and calculating your credit score. Overall, scores generally range from about 300 – 850. It is good to be on the high end of the scale. However, if you are at or below 650, you likely have some challenges that need to be addressed. By law, you can get a FREE copy of your credit report from each agency every year. So best practice is to pull one of the reports every four months and just continue to cycle through the reports. When you pull your report, read it. Read everything on the report – if you have never done this, you will be amazed at what it all includes.

Look at every single account that has been reported. Take note of the following: 1. Are your name, address

and historical names and addresses accurate? 2. Look at all the accounts that are closed – do you have any that are showing past due balances, collection amounts or amounts settled for less than full value? 3. Look at all current accounts – are you current on everything? Do you have any accounts you don’t recognize? Are there accounts that you no longer use (most common with credit cards) and need to be closed? 4. Are there any recent inquiries from banks or credit companies on your report? How many? Are you familiar with why the inquiries were made? This will happen when you apply for a loan or credit card or open a new account somewhere. 5. Are there any judgements or collections that you don’t recognize? If you see ANY discrepancies, it is critical that you contact the reporting agency immediately. With any luck, there just may be errors that need to be fixed. Or worse, you may be a victim of identity theft where someone else has opened credit and purchased goods or services in your name, leaving you

hanging with the bill and the bad reputation. It is imperative that you take action to get things corrected, paid up or reported to ensure that your credit report represents you and your history. Perhaps you’ve gone through some tough times and do have some late pays or delinquencies. Simply work towards getting them paid up. It will take time for your credit to come back, but it can be done. One final note and recommendation, take the time to put a Security Freeze on all three of your credit reports. It will cost you a measly $5 per report and then $5 per report to temporarily lift the freezes when you do apply for new credit somewhere. This locks down your credit report so that banks or other companies can’t inquire about your credit to open new accounts without your permission. This is a huge deterrent to identity theft. Your credit is your gateway to living the life you desire as it is a major factor for obtaining loans to purchase a home, buy a new car, get a new credit card or even get financing for your business. Make the effort to monitor and control your credit as much as possible. Failure to do so will cost you so much more in time, in money and‌ in headaches!




1. Take the time to put

a Security Freeze on all three of your credit reports. It will cost you a measly $5 per report and then $5 per report to temporarily lift the freezes when you do apply for new credit somewhere.

2. You can get a free copy

of your credit report from each agency every year so pull one of your credit reports every four months.

3. Read through your

reports thoroughly to ensure all the information is correct.

Faces of

Fargo Business




rtist Kim Jore, is from Fargo where she paints and teaches watercolors and acrylic painting at Riverzen. Growing up in Scranton, N.D., in the western part of the state, influenced her style of painting landscapes. She is known for her bright use of color, as well as being a painter of many subjects: portraits, abstracts, florals, cityscapes and collage. She is also a member of the Red River Watercolor Society and Fargo Moorhead Visual Arts. She is active in supporting local art shows, volunteers with children doing art therapy and fundraises with her art.

About Riverzen Riverzen is an art studio, gallery and salon all in one. The relaxing atmosphere and beautiful setting makes it an experience of visual paradise. Search Riverzen on Facebook



The worst piece of advice she's ever received... You can't be an artist. What keeps her up at night... I have so many ideas in my head and not enough time to do them so I get up and write them down. I'm a night owl. I love to play music, watch movies and look at the moon! I also like to fish at night and watch the sunsets. What she would give a TED Talk on... I would talk about how to "Live In The Moment." I would paint my story! That's how I tell my story. Everything I create is part of me. When I go listen to a lecture, concert, speech, sit at a wedding or fundraiser, I sit and paint what I hear. I'm a listener and to retain what's happening around me, I paint. How the reality of her job differs from people’s perception of it... Hairstylist: People think we just cut hair. We change how people think about themselves, empower them, teach them and advise them. Artist: The old saying about a starving artist is not true. If you believe in yourself and what you do as an artist, you can do well at it. If she could thank one person who’s contributed to her success... Perry Nolan. My first art teacher. What’s her why... I love it. I love to help people, make people feel good and educate people. Everyone is given a talent and I believe that I'm blessed with what I do. One characteristic every great leader should possess... Good listening A local/state resource she has utilized recently... Arts Partnership

Faces of

Fargo Business

HANNAH SAVOY Marketing Manager



f you want to find somebody who will fully argue in favor of allowing pets in the workplace, it's Hannah Savoy. As marketing manager of e-commerce website dogIDs, her job is marketing to puppies and puppy fanatics. However, Savoy will be the first to tell you that she's much more than her job description. "I am the Marketing Manger at dogIDs where I am in charge of content, emails, social media, strategy, PPC and really anything that marketing could possibly touch," said Savoy. "Outside of staying sane as a department of one, I love freelancing, meeting with people to talk marketing, traveling the world and occasionally jumping out of airplanes with friends."



3 Media Recommendations

A typical day in her life... 9 Greet all coworkers, human and non-human, and plan out daily and weekly plans while petting puppies. 10-12 Curate content (aka taking pictures of the office dogs thinking of dog puns) and check ads while sipping coffee. 12-1 Catch up on what is changing in the world of digital marketing. 1-3 Meet about upcoming marketing plans and projects. 3-4 Tackle a weekly project. 4-5 Help in production or work on SEO projects to see what questions about dogs our customers want answered.

Worst piece of advice she's ever received... "Straighten your hair for work." When I was first getting into the working life, I was told I should straighten my hair because I don't look professional. This comment made me switch my planned career path into marketing. There's no reason to change yourself for a job, I quickly realized. What she would give a TED Talk on... Why it's important to live outside of the 9 to 5 life. One thing the local business community could do to help dogIDs... Not a lot of people know that dogIDs exists. Since we are eCommerce, we don't have a store front for people to associate with being downtown. Stop by and visit. We would love to show the Fargo business community what we do...and be sure to bring your dogs! If she could thank one person who’s contributed to her success... I have to pick just one?! My coworker Shelby Cochran has been a crucial person in

pushing me to be a leader at dogIDs and is always there to remind me that I am a Ladyboss in the marketing community in Fargo. What’s her “why”... I learn something new every single day in the world of digital marketing. It's amazing to be in a career where you constantly get to learn and challenge yourself. One characteristic she believes every great leader should possess... Be understanding. Things come up and life happens, it's important to be understanding and compassionate for those who look up to you. One way she fosters creativity within her organization... Pushing people to constantly learn something at work and outside of work. Your creativity is drained when you stop growing and learning. A local/state resource dogIDs has utilized recently... Operation Intern has been a fantastic program for us! We loved being able to work with multiple interns through it.

Podcast Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Book "Linchpin" by Seth Godin

TV The Office...I think I have watched it all at least 15 times now, plus it is the best background noise for getting side projects done.



Faces of

Fargo Business

DARREN HUBER Director of Media Relations

Sanford Health "


graduated from the University of Mary in Bismarck. I'm the rare breed who always knew what he wanted to be, communications and marketing in healthcare was my dream job. Twentythree years ago, I got my chance and I've been making the most of it at Sanford Marketing ever since. I always tell new employees, I love coming to work because we could work in marketing at a bank, a grocery store or any number of industries, but it's different in healthcare. You get the chance to be a part of something really special. Working with so many amazing medical experts and the people they heal, I'm the lucky one who gets to spend my work days telling their stories."



A typical day in his life... Everyday starts with coffee. And the older I get, the stronger it gets. I'm a news junkie so I get up early and read my favorite newspapers online. I'm a sucker for local/regional stories. I cram some exercise in somewhere, even if it's just walking or lots of stairs. Elevators are over-rated. I spend my day working with a team of story tellers. Not only are they good at what they do, but we truly have an incredible team culture, which just makes coming to work so enjoyable. Everyday is completely different and the variety is incredible. But at Sanford we are grounded in a patient first mentality. Keep that at the center of what you do and you can't go wrong. I'm also big on customer service and positivity. Yeah, I'm one of those guys. Likely to the point of being annoying! But I come by it naturally, my top strengths are woo, positivity, adaptability and includer.

What keeps him up at night... I think about work too much. I'm too tied to my iPad. I worry about random things that really don't matter in the big scheme of life. I get that from my mom.

regional news, I truly have an appreciation for the role of good news reporting in the world and right here in Fargo. We need them to keep us all honest.

What he would give a TED Talk on... Positivity. I wish it ruled the world.

The part of his job he would you use an “easy button” on... Travel. We crisscross the tri-state area driving for work and while it can be beautiful, sometimes I'd like snap my fingers and be there.

If he could thank one person who’s contributed to his success... Oh my, such a big answer, I'd say my friends, my chosen family. I'm fortunate to have some really great people in my life. They give it to me straight, keep me grounded. You know, we all need people who'll give us honest feedback and pick us up when we crash. I've got some of the best. His Media recommendation... I'm an MPR news hound! (Minn Public Radio) I'm the guy that's always saying, "I heard it on MPR." Also, anything local/

One characteristic he believes every great leader should possess... Self-awareness. You can't grow if you don't know what you suck at. A local/state resource Sanford has utilized recently... Our Sanford Foundation. The funds they raise from people who are so giving and the things we can do with those gifts to benefit care for our patients. It's a good thing. FARGOINC.COM








When I was 17, I enrolled in college to become a nurse. At 18, I found out I was expecting a baby girl.

attending school, I cleaned a few homes to earn extra When I was 17, IWhile enrolled in college to become a nurse. for my daughter At 18, I found outincome I was expecting a babyand girl.myself. As school got harder, it grew more difficult to keep up with my clients’ homes.

While attending school, I cleaned a few homes to earn extra Around themyself. same time, my friend lost her job. My mother ncome for my daughter and As school got harder, knew wasup stressed told homes. me, “Trisha, why don’t you hire t grew more difficult to Ikeep with myand clients’ her?”my friend lost her job. My mother Around the same time, knew I was stressed and toldout me,great. “Trisha, why don’t hiremy clients go and my It worked I didn’t haveyou to let her?” friend was able to get the hours she needed for her family.

t worked out great. I didn’t have to let my clients go and my Soon, I realized nursing wasn’t my passion. I wanted to riend was able to get the hours she needed for her family.

create my own business and help others. That is how TLC

Soon, I realized nursing wasn’t my passion. I wanted to Cleaning began. create my own business and help others. That is how TLC Cleaning began. After seven years I am proud to offer 35 employees health

insurance, dental insurance, childcare, company vehicles,

After seven years I am proud to offer 35 employees health paid holidays, paid vacations and bonuses. nsurance, dental insurance, childcare, company vehicles, has become a large, supportive family. paid holidays, paidTLC vacations and bonuses.

TLC has become Ia do large, a dollar sign, but rather a piece notsupportive see each client

theasTLC puzzle. Ourrather goal is to free up our clients’ time do not see each of client a dollar sign, but a piece so Our theygoal can isfocus onup what of the TLC puzzle. to free our really clients’matters. time Someone that sees valuereally of our services is the perfect so they can focus the on what matters. Someone that seespuzzle piece for our company. he value of our services is the perfect puzzle piece for our company. We are so thankful to our community for helping us get to

We are so thankful to ourwe community forIthelping get to where are today. is our us honor to give back whenever where we are today. is our honor tofor giveletting back whenever we It can. Thank you me live out my passion. we can. Thank you for letting me live out my passion.

Trisha Lake Trisha Lake Trisha Lake | Owner

Trisha Lake | Owner

TLC CleaningTLC LLC Cleaning LLC 701.412.3298


How Is Your

Andy Scott Pat Traynor

What if you had a way of tangibly measuring your culture? What if you had a step by step plan to improve purpose, performance, people and the other essentials of running a business? What if you could get all that help for free? Do we have your attention yet? BY Andrew Jason Hillary Ehlen 58



avid Hunnicutt, Pat Traynor, Andy Scott and the rest of the team at Dakota Medical Foundation are out to create better workplaces one "P" at a time. With their new P5 Performance, they are creating step-by-step data driven ways of measuring and improving your company culture. "What the P5 initiative is all about is creating healthy, high performing cultures," said Hunnicutt, a renowned industry leader. "The interesting thing about culture is, when you walk into

Meet the Five Ps



"You need to have a great sense of purpose. The employees, managers and leaders need to have a sense of purpose bigger than themselves."


"You have to have great people and those people have to have great relationships. They have to fall in love with one another. They have to be great fans of one another and working together."

Place Practices

"You need to have health promoting practices during the course of the day. The practices are things like non-smoking policies, healthy eating policies, giving people the opportunity to move during the course of the day. Those little things make a big difference. If you can do three or four small things, you can eliminate about 80 percent of the risks for a lot of problems that businesses are having."


"The last P is performance. That’s all about bottom line outcomes. That’s about getting stuff done and making some noise. Here’s the interesting thing, when people look to build culture, they all start at performance. They skip the first four and start at performance and wonder why it doesn’t work. What we want to do is we want to show them how to do this step by step by step by taking them through the five Ps."

David Hunnicutt was the CEO of WELCOA (the Wellness Council of America) for 20 years. This organization worked with corporate partners on building healthy and high improving workplaces. Hunnicutt and the Dakota Medical Foundation team developed P5 Performance.

a business – small business, medium sized business or large business – you can feel the culture. It’s palpable. There are some places that are toxic and there are some places where you say, ‘I would love to work here.’ But you can feel it. "The interesting thing is that you can build culture. That’s what this is all about. How do you create a culture? If you look at the science and what the great businesses have done to create a healthy, high performing culture, you need to do five things."

"You need a great place. It doesn’t mean you need a new facility, but people need the right tools, right light and have the right surroundings to be productive."

The way it works 1.




Fill out your business assessment at p5performance. org/assessments to see how your business ranks.

Once you have your scores, you will get sent their Thrive-in-Five processes that will give you step-bystep instructions on how to fix your weak areas.

You can sign up for live training events. The next one will be October 17-18 at Dakota Medical Foundation. Watch the p5performance. org for more information.

Follow the steps and enjoy your life.



Assess Your Own Business


Purpose Questions

1. In this organization, there is currently a strong sense of shared purpose. Very True True Somewhat True Untrue Very Untrue 2. In this organization, employees are provided the opportunity to volunteer and giveback to improve the community and the world around them. Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree


WISDOM MARGOT PETERSON Owner The Fancy Dinosaur 60


People Questions

3. In this organization, there is a strong, positive and healthy culture that brings out the best in employees. Very True True Somewhat True Untrue Very Untrue 4. Employees at all levels believe that this organization cares about their lives, careers, and health and wellbeing. Very True True Somewhat True Untrue Very Untrue

Places Questions

Practices Questions

Performance Questions

6. This organization promotes physical activity throughout the day by providing standing workstations and promoting standup/ walking meetings for: Everyone The Majority Some Only A Select Few No One

8. In this organization, there are clear goals and aggressive strategies in place to improve the health, well-being and performance of the employees. Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

10. When it comes to maintaining and improving the health, well-being and performance of the employees, this organization is: Consistently Successful Successful Most Of The Time About Average Not As Successful As It’d Like To Be Not At All Successful

5. This organization has created a workplace environment that makes the healthy choice the easy choice. Very True True Somewhat True Untrue Very Untrue

7. In this organization, improving employee health and well-being is one of the highest priorities. Strongly Agree Agree Neither Agree Nor Disagree Disagree Strongly Disagree

9. When it comes to engaging employees, this organization is: Consistently Successful Successful Most Of The Time About Average Not As Successful As It’d Like To Be Not At All Successful

"Some people might think a hobby business, especially that of a maker, might just be craft nights and lots of fun. It is! But setting up a business and making sure everything is done well takes time and effort. Writing copy, taking photos, listing items, figuring out sales tax and everything else takes time."

20 Little Things That Make A Huge Difference


1. Master the mindset 2. Be in bed by 9:30 3. Create your list by 9:35 4. Count your blessings by 9:40 5. Make your bed 6. Show up early (with your jelly bean) 7. Get your ducks in a row 8. Get in the rhythm 9. Celebrate every. Single. Day 10. Move (a bunch) 11. Eat real food... Regularly 12. Get your preventive screenings 13. Establish an emergency fund 14. Identify your superpower(s) 15. Build your (LIFE) support system 16. Keep getting up when down 17. Create a shine/purpose statement 18. Do what other do-gooders do 19. Serve and do good for all 20. Grind with a glad heart

P5 Performance was developed by Dakota Medical Foundation.

Send Me An Angel

Inbox X

TO Metro Angel Investors FROM The Arts Partnership (TAP)

Investing in an organization with a proven track record that could far exceed expectations in assisting with employee attraction, retention and economic growth across the metro if funded more robustly. In short, TAP needs increased capital to move the dial on the arts’ capacity to serve the metro in its (and your) current needs. Is your interest piqued? Let me provide answers in anticipation of questions you may have.

BY Dayna Del Val

anticipation of questions you may have. Is your interest piqued? Let me provide answers in 62


serve the metro in its (and your) current needs. increased capital to move the dial on the arts’ capacity to

Who are your current supporters? TAP has many supporters, but you could reach out to Sanford, Forum Communications, Gate City Bank, Bell Bank or any of the three City Mayors. Each of these entities has a long history of supporting The Arts Partnership.

How do you track trends in your market? We continue to hone our business acumen through professional development opportunities and extensive meetings and readings from leaders in the field. This past year alone, I traveled to the CEOs for Cities conference (now renamed Forward Cities) where I met with leaders from all across the country and learned about a number of important initiatives happening in other communities. My biggest takeaway was that if we are waiting for someone else to “fix” our community, we’re going to be waiting a long time. We are the leaders to make the changes, so get together and get to work.

the Creative Class" fame to learn about his new research and book "The New Urban Crisis." If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. I was in Washington, DC for Americans for the Arts Advocacy Day and met with staffers from both Senator Heitkamp’s and Congressman Cramer’s offices, as well as connecting with arts leaders and other elected officials who understand and support the value of the arts from across the country. In December at a Chamber of Commerce Eggs and Issues breakfast, we presented the findings of the incredible comprehensive economic study we conducted with Americans for the Arts on the impact the arts are making in our community. You can find that information on our website, but the short answer is this: in 2015, the arts nonprofit sector generated $41.6 million in this community. That’s a significant piece of the economic metro pie any way you slice it. And that doesn’t include any of the forprofit arts entities, such as Jade Presents concerts, local galleries, the Gate City Bank theatrical productions at the Dome and more.

I met with Richard Florida of "The Rise of

The Arts Partnership President and CEO Dayna Del Val contributes a monthly column that explores the ways the local arts and business communities can work together to create economic opportunity and add aesthetic value to Fargo.

now using North Dakota State meat department beef


1414 12th ave N • • 701.551.7000

If we are waiting for someone else to “fix” our community, we’re going to be waiting a long time. We are the leaders to make the changes, so get together and get to work.

I visited many communities to meet with their arts and economic leaders. We know we don’t need to reinvent the wheel where arts investing is concerned, but rather, we need to introduce more models of excellence that we can adapt to fit our community. To that end, we received a follow up Consensus Council grant to bring a number of the leaders I met with to our community, so that they are talking peer to peer with our business leaders. Those conversations will happen in the spring of 2019. Finally, we invited Dave Viotti, founder of Silicon Valley business Smallify, to the Metro to work with business leaders and our board and staff to find and develop the common ground where the business sector understands the value of the arts to serving their bottom lines. We look forward to unveiling those findings throughout this academic year.

What is your value proposition? TAP cultivates the arts in the community through a four-pronged approach: advocate for and communicate about the arts; create networking opportunities and provide grant funding to arts


WISDOM ANDREW ABERNATHEY Founder & CEO Ritaway Capital Management

organizations and artists. In short, we amplify the arts for the benefit of everyone. There is no metro agency that covers such a broad arts spectrum. TAP represents fine and craft arts. Instrumental and vocal arts, theatrical arts and film. Performance art and dance. Culinary arts. Spoken word and literary arts. Professional, collegiate, K-12 and volunteer arts organizations. Individual artists of all stripes and interests. • Our capacity to communicate about the arts is immense. From our weekly relationship with The Forum to our weekly KFGO radio programs, to our blog and social media writing, TAP generates thousands of pieces of content about the arts in the metro every year. This is content you can use to entice employees and business investors, too. • We represent the massive collective that is the arts. We advocate directly and effectively with all three City governments, major corporations, starts ups, foundations, nonprofits, educational centers, service clubs, individuals and more. • We will advocate about the quality and quantity of the arts to any investor or

favorite book “The Intelligent Investor” By Benjamin Graham



In 2015, the arts nonprofit sector generated $41.6 million in this community

employee you are trying to bring to the metro. • TAP fields questions, creates content and makes introductions for those who want to engage with the arts. We routinely connect artists or arts organizations to businesses, other nonprofits, schools and more. TAP is the arts hub that connects the various spokes that make the metro thrive. • We help your employees think more creatively in the workplace through Art WORKS. • We will manage grant dollars for the arts from you efficiently, transparently and effectively. This year, TAP awarded more than $125,000 to arts organizations through the City Arts Partnership grants, Sanford Health merit awards and Otter Tail Corporation dollars. We awarded nearly $20,000 to artists through the Jade Presents and the Individual Arts Partnership grants. In addition, TAP funded artists at more than $15,000 through our various programs: Community Supported Art, ArtWORKS and ChalkFest.

match the $100,000 City Arts Partnership dollars with corporate giving to double the size of the grants we award annually. TAP wants to encourage risk taking through its funding programs. Our largest grant award this year is $10,000; however, with a $20,000 grant, an organization might create new programming aimed specifically at millennials or bring in an outside exhibit that draws in families or leverages those dollars to create a new staff position. When the arts are able to think and act bigger, their work will have an even more robust impact on the community, which will directly assist in attraction and retention, economic growth and creative placemaking. All these elements are of current concern to those working in the economic, infrastructure and planning of the metro as well as you, the private sector. The Arts Partnership is singularly poised to make this happen with your investment. I look forward to talking with you about all of this and more.

What do you need? The Arts Partnership needs increased corporate and private investment to do this work better. The three-year goal is to

HR to Your Business The Value of


s of July, 2018, national unemployment was at 3.9 percent, North Dakota at 2.6 percent and Minnesota at 3 percent. There is no question that developing and maintaining adequate workforce is a common and ever-increasing struggle amongst companies in our region. The current workforce shortage is inevitably a threat to all but a lucky few in the region. Today’s candidate expects more than just a competitive salary, good benefits and long-term career growth. To compete for the workforce of tomorrow, companies need to maintain an edge in culture, career satisfaction, corporate citizenship and, of course, a well-planned and documented

career path. At the end of the day, employees need to go home at night satisfied. In addition to the basic tenants of human resources, such as fostering a fair, safe and compliant workplace, companies need to offer tangible value to prospective employees, and stand out as an employer of choice to recruit, maintain and grow a capable workforce, and ultimately their business. Addressing these demands is crucial, even with the minuteto-minute cadence of today’s business environment. By no means could we ever cover all these topics in this article, we will address the importance of the strategic and financial value of a top-notch human resources function.

Brenda Johnson Brenda is an accomplished Talent and HR Leader valued for her proactive strategic capability with success in building high-performing organizational strategies for well-established organizations that directly impact the bottom-line. With more than 10 years of diverse industry experience, she brings extensive expertise in talent management, talent acquisition, program management, strategic human resources planning, management consulting, change management, human resource development, and training and development.

Dan Johnson Chief Financial Officer Anne Carlson Center

A Conversation Between Brenda and Dan My home life consists of our four-year old daughter (Management), myself (Human Resources) and my husband (Finance), who happens to head-up the financial department at the Anne Carlsen Center, which is a regional organization with eight locations, employing more than 650 people. Believe me, the conversation about value comes up often at our dinner table.

Brenda Assume that on-boarding, evaluation, training and development are healthy functions. What value does human resources provide to the bottom line?

Dan From a financial standpoint, it’s important to know that human capital, e.g. employee expense is the primary expense to almost all organizations. Where the rubber meets the road with HR is in the data. Today’s business challenges occur in real-time, so getting broadsided by HR challenges that occurred even a month-ago can cause lasting financial damage. Teams need to know more than historical trends, they need to know what’s happening in real-time so they can respond. And often, they need intelligent strategies from their HR department to help fix them. For instance, if we have a strategy of growing our own specialized staff that’s working well, we want to make sure to send whatever financial resources that program needs to succeed. At Anne Carlsen Center, we count on our HR department to ensure those programs are working well. If the company is struggling to keep employees in a defined region or discipline, management is going to want to know about it, and we also need to know how to fix it. That’s where Human Resources comes in.





Can you give me an example of how Human Resources has solved a financial challenge?

Business partner is a common buzzword used in human resources today. How is that similar to finance, and do we have similar responsibilities in the organization?

Dan Driving financial performance is a complicated equation with human capital far and away the most important variable. The slightest bit of sophistication in HR can make a big difference financially. It’s no secret that understanding the organizations workforce to deliver sustainable, high-value benefits to employees help to increase engagement and lower turnover. Furthermore, as is often discussed, engaged employees perform better and are widely understood to be a measurable competitive advantage, especially as it leads to a better outcome for the client. Engaged employees who stick around longer don’t incur ongoing on-boarding costs, they accrue less overtime and are often far more productive. By efficiently managing human capital, the business is less prone to risk, it incurs less costs, such as overtime and, in many cases, the organization may be required to seek expensive, third party contractors to meet the needs of their clients.

Dan Absolutely, at Anne Carlsen Center, human resources is a trusted partner in providing actionable analysis, strategies and information to management. We need them at the table to solve these problems. Finance has a similar responsibility to have a deep understanding of the business and to translate the information we spend our time preparing. Management teams don’t have time for the debits and credits, that’s our job, just like management doesn’t always have time to research employment law. We both need to articulate our assessments in plain English to management and we need to weave our expertise interdepartmentally to provide the support we need.

Brenda In today’s environment, many of the traditional HR functions are being outsourced, what is the current value of human resources to provide impact to an organization?

Dan Outsourcing can be an important part of the overall business strategy, such as finding industry specific training and compliance resources for highly regulated organizations, like Anne Carlsen Center. Not to worry, HR professionals are increasingly valuable for their local knowledge, perspective and analysis to help solve the organizations most complicated problems. After all, one of the major issues facing companies today, is finding great employees. Put simply, it’s hard to outsource something that requires problem solving localized issues.

“The great advantage that HR has in this area is that, ultimately, all strategy is executed by people – people who need to be supported, trained and equipped to fulfill the strategic vision. This is the real role of HR, and even though some people remain skeptical of its bottom-line importance, in fact, its relevance cannot be underestimated.” –“Why HR Really Does Add Value” -Brian Hults (Harvard Business Review, 2011) Where human resource provides ultimate value is understanding the human side of the story and knowing how to define and implement action plans throughout the organization to solve for the greatest of business challenges: human capital. Furthermore, the

challenges human resources faces often intertwine with other functions within the organization. Partnering across the verticals to include human resources is bound to help drive the performance of your organization.




Anna Lee

Artist, product developer, business owner, fashion industry innovator and hatmaker with designs worthy of the Kentucky Derby.



In a brief summary, what do you do? I’m an artist who has a background in product development and I teach workshops for creatives. My current theme of the work that I do is part of the Gray Matter Series. It’s about finding the balance between the streams. The messy squishy places in the middle of right and wrong, where the answers are found. I also do product development as a North American designer for a company out of China. I give them a perspective on American culture and trends for the clothing that they manufacture. I’ve wavered between wanting to make an impact on global scale and being hyper local. My Fargo and Minneapolis workshops are hyperlocal. I don’t do online workshops. I go to the location because I believe in connection and community. Being in a room with other people makes us grow. Human beings are always at the core of my work.

What was the best career advice you have received or offered? Know your worth. It took me a lot of time to figure that out. I have burned out in the past because I was giving nonstop. As creatives, we tend to think that if something feels easy and just flows through us that we are supposed to give it freely. But as businesswomen, we need to create sustainable rates for our work and then we get to decide when we give freely. You can stand in your worth and still give freely. Then you are empowered. How do you keep up on current trends? I do trend forecasting so I try to stay ahead of them. Fashion reflects the subconscious. Politics, movements and global trends affect the design of clothes that we wear. The customer is really driving what companies are creating. I guess I am most fascinated by macro trends that impact fashion and home trends.

What do you do to boost your creativity/inspiration? Journaling. When I journal, I doodle in it. It just flows. I also started doing self portraits to help me get into a flow. Travel is huge. Conversation with really smart ambitious people. Podcasts. I’m a huge fan of the “Being Boss” podcast and “Health Fuels Hustle” by Amy Kuretsky. I’m inspired by ladybosses! How are you taking better care of yourself in 2018? I have eliminated sugar. It’s a game changer for me. I’m also trying to get better sleep. I’m being intentional about building more of the enthusiasm into the work that I do. Being excited about my work is just as important as getting a good night’s sleep.

Lee recommends the Being Boss and Health Fuels Hustle podcasts.

Check out Anna’s work all this month at Luna. Homecoming: Paintings by Anna Lee An ode to the complexities of finding our way as creative individuals in the upper Midwest. The show runs through September 29 with an artist talk and reception on September 15. Luna, 1545 University Dr. S, Fargo FARGOINC.COM




Advances in technology have saved us all a lot of time in our day to day lives—and promptly replaced previously time-consuming activities with even more to keep up with. In addition to all the usual things, we must stay on top of a changing news media landscape, social media, multiple calendars, etc. If you are a business owner, you are expected to be available on multiple platforms such as Facebook Messenger and others. You are also expected to respond to customer feedback on multiple fronts and present a polished social media marketing campaign. By Jared Finkelson

This month, I am going to suggest some ways that you can automate some of the more repetitive aspects of the modern technological burden and hopefully net a little extra free time. Or just use the time you save to take on even more and get ahead of your competitors!

Jared Finkelson is cofounder and vice president of GigaGreen Technologies, an independent IT consultant in Fargo.

Task automation apps like IFTTT (if-that-then-this), Zapier, Flow and Workflow are a category of apps that allow you to create automated sequences that not only perform actions for you, they can integrate apps and other services that would not normally play along—or would require coding a completely new app. Hopefully you will find inspiration in one of the following examples.



Example #1 Craigslist My introduction to task automation apps was IFTTT and Craigslist. Whenever I want to buy something off Craigslist or find a place to rent, I use IFTTT to send me an email or text message whenever a new listing is added that matches my search. To set up this ‘Applet,’ search for what you are looking for on Craigslist and copy the URL of the search results. Then go to and find the applet that best meets your needs (text message, email or push notification) and paste the URL from Craigslist in the text box and hit save.

Example #2 Is it going to rain and/ or snow today? The weather and speculation about the forecast are arguably the most important topics of conversation in the Midwest, so if you miss the morning weather report you may be in real trouble. Wouldn’t it be helpful if you received an alert in the morning letting you know it is going to rain or snow? There are also similar applets for pollen and UV index. And you don’t care about the weather and you just want to save time, the beauty of these alerts is that you no longer need to check your weather app or watch the forecast because you will be alerted if you need to take an action like throwing an umbrella in your bag, or putting on sunscreen! To set up this applet simply go to and search for “rain today?,” select the applet that works best for you (text message, email, etc.) and you are good to go!

Example #3 Add iOS Reminder from Alexa Besides automating repetitive tasks, automation apps can integrate platforms that would normally not play well together (Amazon and iPhone, for example.) With IFTTT you can set up an applet that adds any Alexa To Do List items that you create to your iOS Reminders list.

Example #5 Send a follow up email to Facebook Ads leads and record them in a spreadsheet

You will need to give IFTTT permissions to access your Alexa account to make this applet.

Facebook can be a full-time job. If that is not your principal occupation, you will want to automate some of the repetitive aspects. For instance, wouldn’t it be nice if you could send a reply automatically to each of your leads and record that lead in a spreadsheet for later follow ups?

Honorable mentions Tell Alexa to call your phone (IFTTT), receive a notification when the U.S. President signs a new bill into law (IFTTT), notify me when traffic clears up for my daily commute (Flow).

This is actually a combination of two Zapier ‘Zaps’ but a magazine is not the best medium for instructions. Thankfully, Zapier will walk you through the process step by step. Simply go to Zapier and search, “add new Facebook Lead Ads leads to Excel.”

Example #4 Track work hours and location If your business involves visiting multiple client locations and tracking associated times, you know how much of a pain that can be. With Flow, you can set up a button that records the time and location when you hit it, then saves that information to a spreadsheet. To use this ‘flow,’ you will need the Microsoft Flow mobile app and an Excel Online table with date, timestamp and location columns. Within the app, search “track your work hours and location” and select the appropriate template. Click “use this template” and then select the Excel Online table you would like to record to. Once everything is set up, there will be a large button on the buttons tab of the Flow mobile app that triggers the flow.

Example #6 Add customers to MailChimp automatically MailChimp is a popular way to stay in touch with your customers and with task automation apps, you can automatically add new customer from Stripe, QuickBooks and several popular CRM platforms to your list MailChimp subscribers automatically. Zapier and Flow both provide connectors between popular payment and CRM platforms and popular email marketing platforms. Honorable mentions Post a message on Slack when X happens (Flow, Zapier), add new Microsoft Dynamics contacts to MailChimp as subscribers (Zapier), create invoices for QuickBooks Online customers from new Shopify orders (Zapier). And many more! FARGOINC.COM








SEPTEMBER 7 AWREP Certification Event 7 at 8:30 a.m.

EVERY WEDNESDAY 1 Million Cups 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Join the vibrant entrepreneurial community of Fargo-Moorhead and Emerging Prairie by participating in an event filled with guest speakers, plenty of coffee, ideas and excellent networking opportunities. The Stage at Island Park 333 4th St. S, Fargo


Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, through its American Warrior Initiative, invites you to attend a very special American Warrior Real Estate Professional Boot Camp, a continuing education credit class and certification event for real estate professionals. The mission of Fairway’s American Warrior Initiative is to educate, encourage and inspire Americans to give back to our active duty and veteran clients. Doubletree by Hilton 825 East Beaton Dr, West Fargo


Skill Share: Process with Morgan Schleif

Building Community Connections

In the last of the Stampede Skill Share series, photographer Morgan Schleif will be speaking on the value of recognizing the process and the stepping stones it took to get you there. You'll create a roadmap of where you've been and feel eager to launch what's next for your business! Stampede is a space for postgrads, drop-outs and community cravers to come together, ask questions and have group of people here to support them.

School social workers, counselors and special education staff are invited to join to learn how to better build a bridge between schools and community resources.

7:30 p.m.

Search "Skill Share: Process" on Facebook Prairie Den 122 1/2 N Broadway, Fargo

8 a.m.

Search "Building Community Connections" on Eventbrite Fargo Cass Public Health 1240 25th St. S, Oak Room



Execution: Transform Your Organization into a GoalSmashing Machine

Building at C-Level: Your network is your company's #1 asset

Presenters Mike Meagher and Brian Rinke come together to speak about workplace organization and achieving your goals. Join to understand the common barriers to execution within organizations, learn how to overcome barriers so that your team or organization can achieve big goals and to gain clarity and confidence in leading teams to execute in the midst of a “whirlwind."

The 100, inc. is bringing together the leaders and founders of many of the Fargo-Moorhead area’s top business organizations and networking groups. Representatives will be there to discuss the value of building effective relationships and how to maximize your business network.

11:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m. Avalon Events Center 2525 9th Ave. S, Fargo DoubleTree By Hilton & West Fargo Conference Center 1825 East Beaton Dr, West Fargo

SEPTEMBER 19-21 September Summit The Hatch Coaching Team welcomes you to join them at their September Summit, a team-focused experience with the top real estate producers in the country. You will be immersed in sessions focused on helping your team build and improve areas of expertise in Real Estate. This is for anyone and everyone involved in Real Estate. There are sessions for each area of a team.​ ​ Various Locations

SEPTEMBER 19 The Chamber’s Eighth Annual Meeting 12 p.m.

The annual meeting is one of the best business networking opportunities of the year, bringing together business executives and civic leaders from around the region. This one will also honor local Senator Judy Lee as the recipient of the 2018 Legacy Leader Award. Holiday Inn of Fargo 3803 13th Ave. S, Fargo



Michael Maher presents at the Fargo Theatre

Why Checking the Box is not Moving the Needle

Come to Hatch Coaching for a morning with Michael Maher. He is the author of the best-selling book, "Seven Levels of Communication" and the pioneer of the Generosity Generation. His big message is building relationships into referrals, which can be impactful for many industries.

Speaker Carrie Brimhall leads this session, which gives women the permission (and the evidence) to support the talents and values they bring to the workplace as effective strategies to move the needle, and illustrate how they can support people and clear their calendars of many “box-checking” obligations. This isn’t a theoretical leadership discussion – the session will provide concrete examples of ways women can enjoy leading.

10:30 a.m. Fargo Theatre 314 Broadway N, Fargo

3:30 p.m. West Fargo Conference Center 825 E Beaton Dr, West Fargo





ASLA Great Plains Chapter Annual Conference & Awards Program

Fargo Business Series: Growth Through Strategy

The Great Plains Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects's annual conference for 2018 is creating, connecting and activating - Landscape Architects Leading the Way. This conference is focused on the essential building blocks for our communities and the landscape architect profession.

Many businesses struggle in the midst of a period of high growth. Have you had trouble with cash flow, constraints on labor or capital? If so, this session is for you. Talk to advisors and businesses who have tackled these issues and discuss the role outsourcing can play in helping your business grow. Find out how to achieve controlled growth and focus on your business rather than in it.

Search "Great Plains Chapter ASLA" on Facebook Downtown Fargo 64 4th St. N, Fargo

11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Business After Hours Thursday, October 11

Cracker Barrel

Thursday, October 18 A chance for you to meet candidates and share the issues you are most interested in.

Voices of Vision 2018 Wednesday, November 14

Cultivate 2018

Thursday, November 15 Holiday Inn – Royale Hall 3803 13th Ave. S, Fargo

LOCAL BUSINESS MEETUPS More information for most meetups can be found at

• Geek Meet FM • Girl Develop It • Fargo Business Referral Group • Fargo-Moorhead Content



Leadership Training for Managers


8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Today, more than ever, shaping how an organization ticks and how employees function within are top priorities. Through this program, your management team will morph from managers of yesterday’s modes, to leaders who inspire, energize and innovate to meet tomorrow’s challenges. Eide Bailly Fargo 4310 17th Ave. S, Fargo

Stress Management: Sleep, Eat, Move, Repeat 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• Fargo Makerspace • The Fargo-Moorhead Real Estate Investing Meetup

• Master Networks – Fargo Business Referral Group

We all have stress from many sources. The physical stress of work or exercise. The emotional stress of an evergrowing demand on your time form both your work and family. Dr. Chris Dockter will share how to maximize your body’s ability to handle the three foundational pillars to stress: sleep, eating and movement. Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead 1080 28th Ave. S, Moorhead



Fargo INC! September 2018  

Our community is changing before our eyes and a large part of that is thanks to new leadership. From new superintendents to the new presiden...

Fargo INC! September 2018  

Our community is changing before our eyes and a large part of that is thanks to new leadership. From new superintendents to the new presiden...