Fargo INC! September 2022

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StartupBREW Fargo Speakers50 Page 54

Sponsored Content: What is Treasury Management and Why Would Your Business Want It? Sponsored Content: Ground or in the Sky Great North is by Your Side Disrupt: The Rebellious Future of CommunityHR Excellence & National Recognition Who Has Spoken So Far Check Out These Gains Make the Most of Your Corporate Travel How to Avoid Five Common IP Pitfalls 10 Questions With John Machacek Awesome Foundation Grant Award Winner: House of Everyday AcademicLearning Insight How to Rethink Inside and Outside Sales With Technology 1004624152954689098106108110 // SEPTEMBER 2022 4668 54 29 FEATURES

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Editor’s note s we move into the cooler months and the heat of sales season, there are plenty of exciting things happening in our community, and I'm not just talking about all of the football games being played (although I am very excited for those). $9.62 Million Fall


Brady Drake, Fargo INC! Editor


The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce recently received a $9.62 million federal Good Jobs Challenge Grant which it will use to train workers for jobs in precision agriculture, hightech manufacturing as well as cybersecurity and other internet technology industries. With the workforce being the number one issue facing employees in the region, I can't think of many things worthy of celebration and we can not wait to explore this further in our next issue. Drake Fargo INC!


As summer comes to an end and the last half of 2022 gets closer please keep the FM Area Foundation in mind should you be planning your philanthropic opportunities. We can help make giving easy and rewarding. Consider opening a fund with us at the FM Area Foundation and experience the difference of working locally with your community foundation. Here For Good. For Ever.

If you want to maximize your philanthropy, make giving back a priority in your family or business, or simply want to learn about some of the benefits of making charitable donations, please give me a call today!

On August 9th, the FM Area Foundation held our annual outdoor summer celebration in recognition of our generous fundholders, our partner wealth and financial advisors, our dedicated volunteer board and the many, many nonprofits in our community who make this the best place to live. If you missed it this year, keep your eyes open for next summer’s event and consider joining us. I’m so thankful for everyone who continues to come alongside the FM Area Foundation to help us fulfill our mission to create a vibrant community full of opportunities for everyone.

GREGORY WALD Acquisitions/CommunicationMooreHoldingCompany


ERIC WILKIE CEO FM Area Foundation

A group of middle schoolers with backpacks huddled around the bus stop. A pair of elementary school students skipping down the sidewalk with their backpacks bouncing behind them. With school back in full swing, these are common scenes. The next time you see them, I encourage you to stop and think about what many kids are carrying around in them in addition to those backpacks. For 1 in 7 students in our community living in poverty, they are carrying feelings of hunger, loneliness, judgement, and hopelessness – weighing them down and preventing them from reaching their full potential. This fall, we invite the community to take action to remove these heavy burdens to make room for hope, dreams, and success. With your help, more children could have access to services like mental health, food, safe homes, early education, and more – right where they are – school. Together, we can lighten the burden for kids and get them the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. Give and learn more at Iunitedwaycassclay.org.lookforwardtohearing from you!


HEIN-LANDINKRISTINA Lead Content & Public Relations Strategist United Way of Cass-Clay

Imagine being half a country away and talking to your 12-year-old daughter through your video doorbell because your daughter doesn’t have her phone with her and you think she might be outside playing with the dog. That’s what my wife did the other day. No big deal, right? Of course, you can talk to someone through your doorbell. This anecdote is at once historically miraculous and modernly mundane. Immersed in personal technology and demystified by decades of science fiction (among other things), we believe anything is possible. Technology does not amaze us. We expect it. It seems healthy, though, to sit back now and then, take a deep breath, look around and really see how much our world has changed and will continue to evolve in ways that seemed impossible not that long ago.

as I attended this event, and as I often do with other things like this, I took a visual and mental step back to look at the night through the lens of perspective of not only living here for 30+ years, but also being someone connected into the community in a number of ways. This perspective gives me deep appreciation and gratitude of the work, collaboration, support and progressive thinking that has brought our community to where it is now. I can imagine that if someone was visiting town that night and was there, they were blown away by our metro. This makes me proud of where I live and also excites me for what impacts will come next from our collective and contagious mindset of fostering creativity, collaboration and kindness. An upcoming strategy in our GFMEDC playbook will be to develop and maintain a common framework for understanding, measuring, and improving human flourishing—which also excites me to see where we can take this.

FOF will also soon be unveiling a Master Workforce & Talent Strategy for the region - stay tuned to our communications to learn more about the initiative, and what big challenges and opportunities FOF 2.0 will be addressing in our community. I first made notes for this month’s comments after recently attending Folkways’ first Night Bazaar of the season at Broadway Square. The evening was sensational and magical, which is basically the norm for anything that Folkways does.

JOHN MACHACEK Chief Innovation Officer Greater FM Economic Development Corporation

In response, we have created more team coffees and happy hours, walk-and-talks in place of standard meetings, celebrations for birthdays and workiversaries and a culture of checking in on one another and sharing laughs and frustrations. Whatever your company culture looks like, keep asking your employees what they need to feel fulfilled at work, stay focused on your mission and vision, and never stop investing in your people.

Many of you may already know, but I am proud to share that The Chamber, Greater FM Economic Development Corporation, and dozens of community partners, investors and champions are now working on the 2.0 version of Fueling Our Future FOF(FOF).brought an abundance of growth and progress to the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community since the initial kickoff in 2019, and it’s now poised to continue its path of excellence as it enters its next stage of development: FOF 2.0. This community-wide initiative helps businesses and public sector leaders advance ideas that impact us all, and it has big plans for the rest of 2022 and the next several FOFyears.currently powers several initiatives that prioritize the people and prosperity of our community that have had long-term positive effects.

JENNY SHEETS FoundersManagerPrograms


First of all, an all caps KUDOS to Folkways for everything they do for our community and the intentionality behind their work. If you’re not familiar with them, get familiar with them. And then see how you can support them—money, attending, volunteering, their consulting work, Secondly,etc.

SHANNON FULL President and CEO FMWF Chamber of Commerce

A company is only as strong as its team. Nearly any investor or accelerator will tell a founder that the most important part of their company assessment is the team. Why? Because a company’s people carry out the mission, execute and plan for the future. As soon as a founder brings on a second person, and then a third or three-hundredth, a team is then formed. That means company culture, values, benefits and—dare I say it—HR must be addressed. At Emerging Prairie we see a lot of founders and startup teams. From what I’ve seen, it’s never a bad idea to invest in your people. This means adequate compensation, but after the pandemic and Great Resignation, we all know that employees are looking for more than compensation. Investing in your people means setting goals that people can get excited about and achieve, having the difficult conversations, building trust, being authentic and creating a culture that aligns with the company’s mission and values. For some companies, this means having a trampoline or bottomless craft beer. For others, it’s a flexible work environment and more paid time off. At Emerging Prairie we have worked hard to ask our staff what they desire in the workplace.

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

Who Benefits from Treasury Management

Improved fraud protection is a byproduct of many treasury management services, but also is a service unto itself. Remote check capture reduces the number of times a paper check is handled, reducing fraud risk (check fraud is still the most common way businesses are cheated). But more sophisticated services like automatic ACH filters that flag suspicious activity, or dualauthorization for bank transactions, or positive pay systems that ensure an authorized payment hasn’t been modified illegally all add to financial security.

Treasury Management as Part of Fraud

Other Ways Treasury Management Improves Efficiency and Processes

Some businesses hear “treasury management” and assume it’s meant for a business large enough to have, well, a treasury. When referred to as “cash management,” another common term, it becomes clear why it matters. Treasury management includes accounts receivable (such as check processing or receiving ACH payments), accounts payable (including bill payment and payroll), money management (including online banking and reporting), and security and fraud prevention (including account monitoring and more.) These are just representative examples—your business advisor should be able to discuss the full range of treasury management services available to you.

Start Here: ACH and Accounts Receivable

Treasury management encompasses a scalable suite of services designed to help businesses manage their cash flow and assets safely and efficiently. Commonly used by large businesses, many small businesses can also benefit from the time savings and enhanced security they provide.

A business needn’t have large revenue to benefit from treasury management. For smaller businesses, it really comes down to the complexity of the accounts receivable and payable. If your business handles scores of transactions daily, or payment comes in many forms (cash, check, transfer, etc.), and you’re still handling all of this manually, look into treasury management. Handling foreign currency or managing business investments are also signs that treasury management is a good fit.



Many businesses think of banks primarily as a place to deposit and borrow money, but there is a whole range of services, known collectively as treasury management, that can elevate a bank from a service provider to a partner for businesses of any size.

With the range of treasury management services available, it’s worth taking the time to get educated and work with an expert. Alerus offers a one-stop solution for businesses, with trusted advisors to help simplify and select the right services and subject matter experts to develop solutions for your biggest financial challenges. Stop in and talk to an Alerus business advisor today.

Treasury management services often grow and change as the business’ complexity and size changes. Payroll services are a clear example. Some very large businesses need help synching up their bank accounts with internal accounting systems. Businesses of all sizes that now have employees working from home need new mobile banking solutions that keep everyone productive and aligned. These services can help a business improve its efficiency and forecasting ability.

For most businesses, the obvious place to start is with ACH transfers and accounts receivable. The benefits are obvious, and businesses with different needs can tailor their levels of service. For example,

a business that gets lots of checks by mail might employ people to open envelopes, endorse checks, record payments, and drive to the bank to make deposits. Or, the business might choose to enable remote check deposit, using a mobile device. For the busiest companies, the solution might be a remote deposit capture check scanner that automates the process. Any of these steps can save hours of labor per day while reducing the risk of errors or fraud.

Treasury Management: Defined and Simplified

What is ManagementTreasuryand Why Would Your Business Want It?


Fargo Monthly is an award-winning publication dedicated to highlighting Fargo-Moorhead and what makes it a truly enjoyable place to live.



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

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


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



Bison Illustrated is your number one source for all of the behind-the-scenes action inside the North Dakota State University Athletic Department.






Providers often offer different categories and levels of coverage based on different factors and the price also varies depending on these considerations. An individual does not have to own an aircraft to acquire protection. Some companies provide insurance for renters as well as owners. There are some other important items you should know about aviation insurance, including: Policies are available for flying clubs and other organizations that own aviation vehicles. Commercial-use aviation policies are different from private aviation policies.



Aviation insurance is a form of property and liability coverage for flying machines. This includes airplanes, seaplanes, vintage specimens and other kinds of aircraft. It generally encompasses the cost of damage repairs for the flight conveyances, but it may also apply to related land property such as hangars where they are stored or airports. Aviation insurance may also include coverage for companies involved in the manufacture or supply of aerospace products. Liability for third parties that includes indemnification for harm to their aviation vehicles, as well as medical bills for any treatment required is also common in such policies. These plans may also protect personal belongings for any passengers in these vehicles.

Aviation insurance is an important precaution for situations where planes in flight experience technical or weather difficulties that cause wrecks or forced landing. There are also the costs associated with the treatment of injuries for the pilot and any passengers, an emergency landing if necessary including search and rescue, as well as money needed to fix physical damages incurred by the aircraft itself. This coverage also secures against claims or lawsuits that may be filed by non-operators who were on the aircraft. It is important for all owners of machines made for flying to have this insurance, particularly if their craft is used for business.

Setting yourself up for success when going to market for insurance starts with making sure you're prepared. "Paperwork can be a burden, but it’s a crucial part of the aviation insurance world and can help you achieve better results," Gulson said. "Providing updated data points on aircraft, pilots, training, utilization and sales, as well as material changes in risk can give underwriters the information they need to perform an evaluation."

Next, Gulson recommends being prompt when submitting your data. The more prompt you are, the more critical time you allow to draw interest. "Underwriters do not appreciate last-minute submissions and they typically generate very little interest," he said. Gulson also notes that this can be a great opportunity to evaluate your training practices. Regularly scheduled training courses are the gold standard when it comes to earning more favorable insurance rates. Shopping for aviation insurance options might seem overwhelming, especially in the current market. Not to fear! With the knowledge and guidance of HUB's Aviation Risk Management Team, you're en route to success. HUB is committed to helping clients find policies that serve their specific needs and interests.

Gulson also says that quoting from expired information as well as without signed applications and other supporting data will likely result in drawing unfavorable responses at renewal.


COVERAGE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS HUB's aircraft insurance specialists have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the risks of ownership with an aviation program that’s right for your business. Coverage may include: Aircraft hull Aircraft Aviationliabilitygeneral liability Aviation products liability Aviation workers' compensation HUB's professionals are ready to help protect your adventures. To learn more, contact Nick Killoran locally at 701.239.4647 or email at info@gnins.com Or visit hubinternational.com FLY AT EASE, HUB'S GOT YOUR BACK Great North Insurance/HUB offers many valuable services that can make owning, operating and protecting your aviation investment easier, including: Contract review and analysis for risk and/or liability implications 24/7 emergency claims service Emergency response planning Arrangement of safety an engineering surveys Annual review of coverage, values and limits FARGOINC.COM 27


You have a full-time gig in addition to DisruptHR. I have to imagine you were pretty busy getting that off the ground in 2013, what was that leg work like?

I have a business partner in DisruptHR, but we really didn't start it as a business. We just wanted to hold an event where people who had an idea could share it in a fun format. At the time, he had a small HR tech startup. So, his team did a lot of the legwork to set it up. But really, with the different cities around the world, some put in more effort than others. But it's not that difficult. You need to get a location, hopefully, that location has food and beverages available. You need to secure a video crew, you get some speakers and then you invite people to attend.

It's meant to be a fun event for people to come to. Different cities around the world have focused on different things but a lot of people look forward to them. They're usually relatively small, around 100 to 200 people. How do you go about supporting all of those different locations putting this on around the world? There's really not a lot because, as I said, we didn't set it up as a business. We do charge a $500 annual licensing fee, but that goes to the cost of the website and the video hosting. So, the time that I spend with DisruptHR is really is a volunteer—just like all of our local organizers. So I don't have time for a lot of rules—we basically always have two or three of them. But the main rule is that the presentations have to be 5 minutes with 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds. Everybody has to do that. There also can't be any pitching or selling in a talk. We want these to be about an idea. Those are the two main things that can get me upset and people don't do that. Another rule is that you have to hold at least one event a year. That's something we track from a licensing perspective, In order to be able to renew the license, you have to hold at least one event. Some of our cities hold more. We've had a few cities around the world hold quarterly events. Most do two a year or one a year. Those are my rules. Now, there may be people doing things that are against my preferences, but I just don't really get involved too much in what people do or don't at their local events.

What do you think has been the draw of DisruptHR that has allowed it to be successful? I think part of it is that there aren't a lot of rules. People are allowed to talk just like how they talk in the workplace. So maybe there are some four-letter words used every now and then. There's always some funny stuff. It's not meant to be as formal as if you were to go to a conference or event or I'msomething.aprofessional speaker and If something goes wrong on stage, the event organizer has a heart attack backstage because there's so much money invested and things need to run on time. As an audience member, I think that can get boring and repetitive. If you go to a two or three-day conference, how much do you really take away?


In the beginning, I did, when people were much more on social media. Every community has its own hashtags for the event and I do follow all of those. But more and more people aren't using social media like they used to, but in the beginning. But sometimes I sit and follow on Twitter or sometimes they stream them live on Facebook.

Do you try to watch events from around the country at all?

If you go to a disrupt HR, and you hear 10 or 12, five-minute talks, you might get one idea that you take back to the workplace. And hopefully, you laughed, you had some fun and you met some new people. I think that's what makes them different.

That was kind of our original intent. We wanted to encourage people to hold the event at venues that maybe are not traditional business event venues. We suggest bars, comedy clubs, theaters—stuff like Maybethat. there's going to be alcohol. Maybe there are going to be people using four-letter words on Also,stage.they're only two or three hours long, if that. So, it's not a huge time commitment. The price is right—usually, it's $15, 20, $25, something like that. I think people can make that kind of commitment versus having to budget for a larger event or get it approved by their boss. I always tell organizers to keep their ticket price low enough that if somebody wants to just pay for it out of their own pocket, it's not a big deal. They don't have to submit an expense report or get their corporate approval. I think there are a lot of reasons why it's a little different.

I've also been to several events that people have invited me to speak at—probably around 20 or 30 disrupt HR events around the world and I do get all the video files and upload them to the website. In the beginning. I tried to watch as many as I could. There are probably over 6,000 videos on there now. Obviously, I haven't watched them all, but I've probably watched around 2,000 or so. And I do try to set aside time to watch some of the videos because I do want to try to highlight some of the better messages that are out there. Have you watched any of the past Fargo videos?

Yes, Adam Martin's speech from the F5 Project is still one of my favorite speakers. And I had him on my podcast and he's my favorite podcast guests. Is there anything that we haven't touched on that you would like to our readers?

I just really appreciate the local organizers like the Fargo group. They really put a lot of energy into their events.

How do you "Disrupt HR"?

I hope attendees leave this event with new ideas. And are filled with inspiration and a fire lit to show up and do better not only for those we work alongside but all of those around us and within our community. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? My message is geared towards us as individuals and how we view our personal and career goals. We live in an age where we are constantly being told to do more. More for our families, more for our employers and more for our communities. While this may not be easy to do, my message will pose the question, "what would happen if we shifted our mindset from the constant desire of doing more, to one of being more?"

By leading with true connection to others and putting people first over anything else. Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers? Shameless plug to go get your hands on my book Battle to Breakthrough. ;)


What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

One of the most important lessons I learned was from a friend of mine that helped me make sense of the biggest battle I've ever faced. Some things happen to you, some things happen for you, and some things happen through you. When I was sick, those things were happening to me. When my life was saved, I found so much beauty in my battles—those were happening for me. Now, when I get to share my message and experience with others, this is happening through me to bring hope to others who may be facing battles of their own.

The Anonymous Goal Setter –How to go from Doing to Being. Why participate in this event? This event is a great platform to bring new ideas to the workforce and get us thinking of how we can show up in our community differently. What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

Put people first.

I also highly recommend A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and one of my favorite podcasts to listen to is On Purpose with Jay Shetty. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? You can find more information about BIO Girls at biogirls.org and additional information on me and my book at www.karlimoch.com

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR? Generation Z and how we have changed in the past few years. Why participate in this event? I first spoke at DisruptHR when I was 13 years old, and now I am 18 years old. There have been a lot of major things that have happened over the years and our generation has changed so much. I am excited to talk about how much we have changed from when I first spoke here. What do you hope attendees get out of the event?


I hope they learn how much our generation has changed in the past years and how different we are than originally expected. I hope attendees get a better perspective on us when hiring us into their companies. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? My message will help everyone understand our generation a bit better, so this talk will help people who don't quite know what to do with us. In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter? They can be faster and adapt quicker to the changing of times. What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime? We are all different, we all learn and act different, so it is very important to keep that in mind when working with other people. How do you "Disrupt HR"? I disrupt HR by showing them things that they may not have known about us and the differences between our generation and the generations before. Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers? Anything by Jason Dorsey because he was the first person to really do research on Gen Z that we could find back then. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? This is a great event, you should definitely come.

Know how to empower others, get out of the way and allow them to lead.

You disrupt HR by intertwining lessons of followership into the leadership curriculum and help employees understand that to be an outstanding leader. you also need to know how to be an effective follower.

How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? The lessons bestowed within this talk travel beyond the HR world. Followership is applicable in our day-to-day lives. You don’t have to look far to recognize areas where we all can be better followers.

My hope for you is that you walk away with a better understanding of followership and how to apply it.

Discover Your True North by Bill George Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

If you allow people to shine they will brighten your day. How do you "Disrupt HR"?

In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?


What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

When is the last time you worked on developing your followership skills? If you are like me, the majority of our focus goes towards developing leadership skills. It is time to flip the conversation and focus on truly empowering others through effective followership.

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

Let's keep moving mountains!

How to move from passive to active to followership. Why participate in this event?

What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

I'll often describe a great VR experience as if it were a theme park ride. For American history fans, I highly recommend The Amusement Park by Stephen Silverman. It a fascinating look at the history of themed entertainment, and the mix of business and creative pursuits that evolved into the world-class parks and resorts we enjoy today. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

The world is a tough place right now, but it's not all doom and gloom. Amazing things are developing in tech that will enable us to easily, affordably and comfortably communicate with others in ways that haven't yet been invented. What do you hope attendees get out of the event? Hope. We could all use a little more of it. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? These technologies will impact all of our lives, in and out of the workplace. In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

In the words of Paul McCartney, "it's getting better all the time." Let's go with that.

Think forward, especially towards (profitable) opportunities around climate change. What can your company do to support climate change initiatives and how can you grow your business profitably towards those initiatives?


I'll be presenting a positive look at the future of Virtual Reality and the connected Metaverse. Why participate in this event?

What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

A theater teacher once told me, "If you're going to fail, fail big." In other words, don't hold back and don't be afraid of failure. You will never hit a home run if you can't take big swings. How do you "Disrupt HR"? Disruption happens all the time, in every industry, whether we want it or not. The question is, are you the disruptor or the distruptee?

How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce?

Every organization has a hidden curriculum. The norms, values, and expectations that govern our cultures are often unwritten or buried, yet expected to be upheld. If you have ever heard a colleague ask in frustration, 'How do they not know!?!', that can be an indication that someone has not unlocked the hidden curriculum. Mentorship for new employees, or in my case new students, can be a key component to helping build understanding, grow social capital and create a sense of belonging. Why participate in this event? I love the work that I get to do with college students. Much like new employees, new students come in with varied backgrounds, varied support systems and varied understandings of how to navigate an organization's culture. I think we have learned ways to support students from across those variables successfully navigate our culture. I think those lessons can be transferable for others that work in human-facing fields that may have to onboard new individuals to an organizational culture. What do you hope attendees get out of the event? If they can take one thing from this event, I hope attendees will find opportunities to learn from different industries. I am certain the other speakers will have ideas I can learn from and I hope everyone will find something to learn from me.

I want everyone in my department to see themselves as owners. I want them to feel empowered and I do my best to stay out of their way. Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers? My all time favorite book is High Fidelity by Nick Hornby and I currently cannot get enough of the podcast Parks and Recollection, an episode by episode breakdown of Parks and Recreation.


We talk often about how retention and student success is everyone's responsibility. My office may be the primary owner of that work and yet, it still requires effort across the campus. We all contribute to the success and retention of our colleagues as well, it's not the sole responsibility of the HR department. In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

As someone who is outside the traditional business community, this is a tough one for me. I think focusing on building relationships is incredibly important. I think we do better at the things we do when we feel like we belong, like we are cared for. What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime? Life is short. If there is something you want to be or do or see, don't wait. How do you "Disrupt HR"?


Designing Experiences by J. Robert Rossman Ph.D. and Mathew D. Duerden Ph.D. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? Check out Hotjar.com, Hireclick. com, Videoask.com, producthunt. com and The HR Tech Market Map

Finding ways to convert better recruits for 1/100 of the price! Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

How do you "Disrupt HR"?

Do not panic when recruiting. Demo recruiting software and tools and mplement better user experience journeys. What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime? We all are more resourceful than we think and now there are more things available to help us with success than there ever has been. We just need to pride ourselves on knowing how to find everything.

In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

A deeper dive into the recruiting journey. Why participate in this event? I serve as the lead advisor to most of our marketing clients. Over the past three years, a strong emphasis has been on recruitment and retention. With this need, I have spent many hours becoming knowledgeable in the recruitment process. I now have tested tools and technologies with over 24 companies to provide stronger insights into how to recruit candidates better. What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

I want them to see that there are more ways to work smarter vs. harder when it comes to attracting new candidates for their business. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? It will help provide insight into how resourceful you can be now with the new technologies available. It will also show everyone how deep the data can get and how affordable it all is now.

My hope is that attendees have an opportunity to connect with others and learn they aren't alone in their struggles and challenges, but we are better together. There is power in community. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? Empathy is the beginning element of all relationships, both professional and personal. When we start applying empathy, walls come down and new connections form. We make others feel seen, heard and safe. We become stronger leaders at home and in the workplace. Empathy builds strong communication skills and leads to innovation! This is a need across all organizations, so let's start doing it! In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?


What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

Stay uncomfortable! Get out of your comfort zone. Nourish your growth by doing things that scare you and give yourself grace along the way.

What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

To be a great disrupter, we must lean in first and find out why and how organizations are doing things the way they do. When we have the data and context, we can be empowered to make bold changes that engage our teams and take our organizations to the next level.

Stop talking about empathy and start applying it! Empathy is not a skill that comes naturally for everyone, we know this for sure. How do we apply it? How do we teach it? What are the benefits of it? How can it move the needle for our organizations? Why participate in this event?

What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

Create meaningful connection opportunities in your workplace. Find intentional ways to bring people together. This produces opportunities to work better together across our organizations and communities. Relationships move the needle.

Compassion and empathy start at home. We have to be kind to ourselves, give ourselves grace, and then and only then, do we have the capacity to freely give it to others without judgment.

This event is a chance to make your world a little bigger. An opportunity to connect with others, find community and hear about topics that affect our workplaces. Most of us are hungry for growth, this is a great chance to feed that.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown and The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?

How do you "Disrupt HR"?

I want the attendees to be able to see that there are different ways to become the best version of yourself. A lot of us have all the knowledge but are unable to make it applicable in our daily life because we're too busy living for others. Sharing our stories opens up the door to communicate the common dominator that we all need to thrive which is that were not alone. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? Between the ages of 5-7 research shows that we begin to operate in autopilot. When we become aware of our autopilot map, we can begin to change our behavior, begin paying attention and begin the shift to become the most authentic version of ourself. When I hear the word authentic I think of behavior. What has kept you stuck? What has kept you cycling? What has kept you from reaching your true potential? When we open our eyes to our own behaviors we begin to become empowered to make the right choices for our life moving forward. In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?


What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR? Breathing your way into authenticity, commitment, and healing. Why participate in this event? One of my core values is to be a lifelong learner all while teaching others through my own personal life lessons. Now more than ever, we need to focus on mental health in our community. I feel that my message can help other leaders think differently about sharing their story and learn how to create more effective and authentic connections with their team or others in their lives. What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

We should all take care of our brain as well if not better than we take care of our teeth. Health is a privilege not given to all and not earned by many. Commit to your overall well-being and you won't continue to learn the hard way, as you will step into the best version of yourself.

What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

People carry enough shame on their own. They don't need added judgment from others. Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Disorders do not discriminate. I believe it is a community effort to create and carry ourselves in an emotionally intelligent way not only for those we work next to but those who come into our presence.

How do you "Disrupt HR"?

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

If you asked my team this question, they would defiantly say, that I'm a fierce advocate for overall wellness. I'm over buzz words like "self-care" especially when they are followed up with more expectations and less applicable ways to achieve them. I'm always up for sharing different ways to think of situations or ideas—communication is huge for me. Mental Health and Substance Use have notoriously been looked at as a "choice." Beth's Place has led with an open-door community-based policy, running a researchbased, person-centered approach to continue to meet clients where they are at with the dignity that we all deserve. We will continue to "disrupt" in all the best ways by providing ethical, fair treatment to all, under the state statutes in which we are governed.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? Go for it! Read the book, research and ask questions. We have one life and I'm a huge believer in that we can't do everything, but we can do exactly what we were meant to do. Figure out what you're "meant to do" through trial and error and leave room for grace and growth along the way.


What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

I hope that attendees can be energized by the ideas that they hear and that everyone can walk away with a couple of nuggets that can be immediately implemented to better themselves and the companies they work for. What do you hope attendees get out of the event? If they can take one thing from this event, I hope attendees will find opportunities to learn from different industries. I am certain the other speakers will have ideas I can learn from and I hope everyone will find something to learn from me. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce?

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers? One resource that I enjoy is a daily email from SmartBrief on leadership. It gathers a few articles a day on hot topics and I can choose which articles I want to read. All of the articles are quick reads on applicable topics to me as a leader. While a daily email might seem a little overwhelming, I often find that it is a great way to get learning in every day in a digestible format with topics that help me be a better leader and member of the team.

HR is part of everyone's job no matter what your role in the company is. By thinking about transitions well ahead of someone leaving, you can set your department and your company up for continued success in times of transition.

Back in my college days, I got some great advice to get to know the people well that can really help in a jam—janitors, print shops, etc. Saying good morning, checking in to see how others are doing and being sure to show gratitude is not only kind but can help ensure that they are willing to help you when you are in a jam or up against a tight deadline.

Losing a long-time, highperforming employee can be stressful but it doesn't need to stop your forward momentum. I will be talking about how solid planning can help ease the transition and manage team morale to keep your team moving forward in a positive direction.


This will be a chance to reimagine what companies can do to affect the lives of people vulnerable to and caught in human trafficking here in the US and around the world. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce?

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR? Rethinking employee give back. What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

While many businesses want to encourage their employees to get invovled with humanitarian efforts to fight issues like trafficking, traditional give-back models rely on each employee to take the initial step for involvement. Employers might match each dollar given, but what if this model was flipped? What would engagement look like if companies took the first step and simply invited their teams to come to work—and by doing so—would be accelerating the fight against human trafficking right along Unseen?

Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

Podcasts: Battle Ready, The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast and Dream Big

Modern slavery and human trafficking affect an estimated 40+ million people. 10 million of those are children. It remains in the top three criminal industries in the world, generating $150+ billion annually. Trafficking is lucrative and highly funded. Antitrafficking work is underfunded. This lack of funding slows the fight against trafficking, including the identification of trafficked victims, delivery of aftercare services and prosecution of criminals. Countertrafficking work depends on increased funds so organizations can hire staff to provide critical services to at-risk people. It requires adding personnel and technology to investigate crimes, collect evidence and prosecute perpetrators leading to higher conviction rates and disincentive trafficking.

Books: The Gap and The Gain by Dan Sullivan, The Last Arrow by Erwin McManus and Talking to Strangers by Malcom Gladwell

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

There are a couple of reasons why I like this event. The first factor is the people. I think HR folks are some of the most relentless and passionate, yet most approachable and quirky people that you'll ever engage with. The second is the format of the talks themselves. Short, thought-provoking content that maybe there's and an answer to and maybe there's more work to be done.

I don’t think I have truly learned it, but there is a Japanese concept, Ikigai, of aligning what you're good at, with what brings your joy, what the world needs and what you can be paid for.

What do you hope attendees get out of the event? I don't have the answers. My hope is to remove the passiveaggressive filter we can sometimes have, and let the thoughts, discussions and actions continue in the community. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce?

Words from a famous TEDx Talk: "Create the community you want to be a part of." I think we can be in tune with what the Fargo community and marketplace is telling us it needs, and be our own best solutions where we can be.

What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime?

How do you "Disrupt HR"?

A book I love is Make Time, Particularly the parts about creating a distraction-free iPhone. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? Come to DisruptHR!

Whether it is on Glassdoor or entire libraries on TikTok, people are aware of details being shared and whether it's fact or fluff, the public perception tends to default to the truth. In your mind, what is one thing our community/businessbusiness community members can do right now to perform better?


Transcending the taboo of salary sharing. As an increasing number of employees are deliberately disclosing the details of their total compensation, some companies are scrambling to react while others are embracing a new reality. Why participate in this event?

As a business, Lykkly is partnering with employers to eliminate financial stress in families, workplaces and communities. We've paired science and technology to create a humancentric experience that helps people think, act, and feel positively about money. Do you have any book or podcast recommendations for our readers?

What do you hope attendees get out of the event?

What will you be presenting on at Disrupt HR?

I have the opportunity to talk with individuals all over the United States that work in traditional work settings about how they feel that they are "abnormal" or "wrong" for having multiple passions. Speaking at this event is an opportunity to shed light in a larger setting on how the changes are already happening from career growth being a straightforward, linear path to the new culture of "Slash Careers".

I would love to see companies supporting teams or employees' internal and external passions. Passionate, engaged individuals will bring that energy back to the workplace and can add value in unexpected ways. You may even be surprised at how many intrapreneurs you have at your company when given the chance to thrive. How is your message applicable to those outside of the HR workforce? Being multi-passionate can make some people feel broken or confused. In reality, having multiple passions can be a superpower! Get clear on your ideas/dreams/ talents and run with them. One of the greatest things you can do is to look for ways to encourage your curiosity by thinking outside the box. In your mind, what is one thing our performdocommunitycommunity/businessbusinessmemberscanrightnowtobetter?

I will be talking about being MultiPassionate AF. I believe that you do NOT have to niche down (even if you work in a traditional work setting) and that by embracing your multi-passionate goals, you will live a happier more authentic life. Why participate in this event?


Careers are no longer people's entire lives. Work-life balance is insanely important. Burnout is real. Over the last two years, people are starting to "wake up" from accepting the daily grind of what "has to be". The best thing that can be done is an evaluation of how you are supporting your employees and teams in terms of abilities, skills, dreams, goals, passions etc. inside and out of the workplace. Passionate workers should not be seen as unpredictable. In fact, creating an environment that encourages passionate behavior can actually cultivate employees who are more resilient and can become stronger and ultimately more valuable due to the challenges and learning opportunities they will face. What's one important lesson you've learned over your lifetime? Gratitude is everything. As an entrepreneur, it takes daily reminders to notice and be grateful for the little things that really truly matter.

For more than 15 years, Thomsen Homes has been dedicated to elevating the experience of designing and building dream homes. They strive to go above and beyond to find a home that will fit their client's lifestyle. They make sure their clients truly love their home. It is something they strive to do with every home they build. As true as the saying goes, Thomsen Homes helps a client to make a house a home and that has made them one of the fastest growing private companies in the United States—a distinction solidified by their fourth Inc. 5000 list naming.

By Makenzi Johnson Photos by Josiah Kopp



Niels Thomsen President of Thomsen Homes Chris Thomsen CEO/Founder of Thomsen Homes


Since the beginning, founder Chris Thomsen’s mission for Thomsen Homes is to provide a high quality home, with the most enjoyable building experience possible while striving to meet their client's budget every step of the way.



They were always so upfront about prices and everything from the very start and the communication was excellent. They over-delivered and overperformed at any and every turn during the build process.”

A testament to Thomsen Home’s dedication to client experience and excellent product is its consistent listing on the Inc. 5,000 list. The Inc. 5,000 is a “prestigious list of the nation’s most successful private companies” in the United States and is “the hallmark of entrepreneurial success.” Ranked by revenue growth, this list celebrates innovation and success of 5,000 various companies, some well-known such as Panera, 7 Eleven, Zappos.com, along with some smallerowned businesses all across the country. The fourtime rankings in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 have proved that Thomsen Homes knows the recipe for Thomsensuccess.began his career in the housing industry as a real estate agent, actively selling homes for six years. After three years in the business, Thomsen decided to start building homes while still actively selling other homes on the real estate market. "After selling many new construction homes throughout the community, I felt as though there was an opportunity in the marketplace to add more value to the product for buyers than what was currently available to them," Chris said.

Thomsen Homes customer Brandi Melton

"It was important to me as we continually strived toward our mission, that we focus on the smallest details which have allowed us to bring our mission to reality for our clients, while never settling and always raising the bar," Chris said.


Thomsen Homes rankings on the Inc. 5,000 list: 2017: #3,071 2018: #4,459 2019: #3,972 2021: #4,854 What is the Inc. 5000 list? The Inc. 5000 list is a list released by Inc. (not to be confused with Fargo INC!) every year which ranks the 5,000 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. In the past, the list has featured well known brands like Pandora, 7 Eleven and Toys ‘R’ Us. FARGOINC.COM 49

Literally within just a couple design meetings, a client can have their entire house designed, all done in-house at Thomsen Homes. That’s what I had envisioned when starting Thomsen Homes; That we enhance the client experience with our stateof-the-art design studio and proven process. • Chris Thomsen, Founder, Thomsen Homes 50 SEPTEMBER 2022

To be added to the Inc. 5,000 list once is a great accomplishment for any business, especially a smaller, local business. To be added, twice, thrice and a fourth time is an even Types of

Thomsen eased into building, starting with three homes. To his surprise, they sold almost right away and he quickly realized that his hunch was correct regarding what the market demand was. Thomsen was adding value by including features as a standard that others were not at that time; such as granite countertops and stainless steel Overappliances.thenext four years, the demand for the Thomsen brand grew; building around 40 homes that year. Up until this point, Thomsen had been sub-contracting not just the labor for the construction of the houses, but also all other business functions such as project management, drafting, accounting and so on. As the company grew, Thomsen recognized the need to grow his internal team and brought his brother, now president of Thomsen Homes, Niels Thomsen, onto the team in a construction management role.

Thomsen soon realized the potential for how Thomsen Homes could continue to add value and enhance the client experience. The team was intentional through various strategic ways to bring each part of the process in house to better the client experience. Previously clients were required to travel around town to do all design work such as selecting flooring, cabinets, plumbing, lighting and so “Whenon. you don’t have all aspects in house, it’s a lot harder to give clients the experience they deserve,”Thomsen said. “Once we brought the design department in house, we really started to open up more options for our clients.”

ThomsenhousesHomes build: ThreeBi-levellevel split Twin TwoRamblerSlab-on-gradeHomesstory

Since adding the convenience of their in-house design studio, dedicated design department and in-house drafting, clients can spend more time focused on the details of their home. They are able to have a relaxed, personalized experience with the design team to ensure they are getting the home of their dreams. “Literally within a few design meetings, a client can have their entire house designed, all done in-house at Thomsen Homes; that's what I had envisioned when starting Thomsen Homes. We continually strive to enhance the client experience with our state-of-the-art design studio, proven process, and continual innovation."

“I knew that we were meeting the client's needs simply through the growth that we were experiencing. All of which was only possible through the phenomenal team we've put together. When I found out we had made the Inc. 5000 though, I had no idea that we had accomplished such a feat," Niels Thomsen said. "It truly speaks to the team's efforts over the last 15 years. We simply could not do what we do successfully without them, both our employees and our trade partners. It's exciting to look forward and envision where we will be 15 years from now. The evolution over the last 15 has brought every key aspect of building a home in-house, and grown the team to around 45 people. If the team has already accomplished as much as they have, I can only imagine what it will look like in the future if we continue this trajectory!" Included on the 2021 Inc. 5,000 list are nine companies from North Dakota, eight of which are repeat nominations, but Thomsen Homes is one of the few companies that have been listed at least four times. The nominations and various local accomplishments are only part of what makes Thomsen Homes great, but the client’s experience of getting their dream home built makes it even greater.

Jessica Schock, realtor at Keller Williams Inspire Realty, always feels confident when bringing clients to a Thomsen Homes house or when sitting in a Thomsen Homes model home during an open house. She knows that every detail of the house was purposefully designed and well made.

Instagram:Facebook:thomsenhomesllc.com@thomsenhomesllc@thomsenhomes Thomsen Homes 52 SEPTEMBER 2022

A ExperienceCustomer Brandin Melton hadn’t gone through the home buying and building process in several years, but working with Thomsen Homes was easy. He had been living in Oregon during the build process of his home and every design meeting was done over Zoom, every electrical inspection done over FaceTime and more—no detail was left unknown by Melton. The original closing date on the house was July 14 but Melton needed to be moved in by July 1, so Thomsen Homes reevaluated and rearranged, ultimately changing the closing date to June 17, almost a month earlier than promised.

“They were always so upfront about prices and everything from the very start and the communication was excellent,” Melton said. “They over-delivered and over-performed at any and every turn during the build process.”

A ExperienceRealtor

greater accomplishment, showing how dedicated the entire team at Thomsen Homes is to ensure every client loves their home.

“I can sell the product because I am confident in the product. There’s an ease for the build and product because I know my client is going to get what they want,” Schock said. “Thomsen Homes also always hits their close dates, which is a huge win for me plus my client.”

Who has spoken so far?

All of the StartupBREW Fargo Energized by Emerging Praire Speakers That Have Gone in 2022

StartupBREW, a weekly event held at Drekker Brewing Company on Wednesday mornings from 8:30-9:30 a.m., offers attendees the opportunity to hear from a wide range of inspiring community members while networking with fellow business Belowprofessionals.youwill find a snippet on each of the amazing StartupBREW speakers we've had Aaron Halik, Founder/CEO, Trimxys Aaron Halik is the founder and CEO of Trimyxs, a weed trimmer and edger that attaches to all major push lawn mower branders. This is the first product that Aaron has launched. However, he has many more ideas, stored in a glass jar on his nightstand. While Aaron was born in Florida, at a young age, he and his family moved to Nevis, MN. After graduating high school, Aaron was unsure where he wanted to go to college, but he knew he wanted to pursue engineering. However that changed when Aaron toured North Dakota State University; he felt right at home. In 2013, he moved to Fargo and he has never left.



provided by Emerging Prairie | Writeups provided by Emerging Prairie


Bjorn Solberg, Director of Wholesale Operations, Red River Harvest Cooperative Bjorn Solberg grew up on his family’s farm just along the south outskirts of Fargo. Growing up on a farm near a growing city–paired with many other experiences in life–has led Bjorn to focus on enhancing our regional local food system. He currently owns Hugh’s Gardens LLC, a certified organic potato storage and supply business, helped create,and is the Director of Wholesale Operations, of Red River Harvest Cooperative and is involved in several community organizations as well.

EllaNora Hayes, Inventor, Ice Eraser

EllaNora Hayes is a student at Sheyenne High School in West Fargo and is the inventor of the Ice Eraser, a product that helps clear ice off of windshields Andrew Heaton, CEO, Tekniam Andrew Heaton is an international businessman who has ownership interests in multiple companies. He has conducted business on five different continents, and has extensive experience dealing at the director/ minister level in numerous foreign governments. CEO Heaton’s passion is finding ways to increase the connectivity of our planet in hard to reach places, and providing an easy to use resource for humanitarian workers, first responders and business professionals worldwide.

Aaron Juhnke, President, Junkyard Brewing Co.

Aaron Juhnke is the president of Junkyard Brewing Co., which is located in Moorhead at 1416 1st Ave N. Aaron transferred to NDSU after some time at Hillsdale College in Michigan, and then completed his bachelor’s degree in high school social studies education. He started his entrepreneurial route while in college, where he took up home-brewing beer and saw the opportunity to turn it into a business.

Clever Mukori is the founder and CEO of Learn or Teach, a corporate training company that “creates custom courses and offers a learning management system for hosting and delivery course content.” Through simplicity, Learn or Teach is redefining stakeholder and employee training.

Corey Kratcha, CEO, c2renew c2renew is a material designer and custom compounder. They utilize proprietary bio-composite formulations to meet a wide range of engineering specifications. With bio-composite materials made of recycled plastics and locally sourced agricultural byproducts, their materials support both the environment and the community.

Dieumerci Christel, President/CEO, Enlightapp Inc.

Diumerci Christel is the founder of Enlight, an app that helps teachers leverage students’ interests, aspirations and natural curiosity to create engaging learning experiences. When using Enlight, students can express their perspectives, and often unspoken ideas, to help their teachers create deeper personal connections and engaging learning opportunities. The app offers polls, weekly check-ins, surveys and more to bridge the gap between the educator and the student. throughout his career. After training on both coasts and working in top restaurants from Washington, D.C. to Orlando, FL, he’s met newfound “snack-cess” in the Midwest, where he now shares his unique style of culinary creativity through his gourmet chocolate snack known as Charlie’s Chow.

Chris Hawley is the founder of Craftwell Architecture + Construction. Craftwell was founded in 2011 based on the principles of passion for design,, ‘it’s all about the details’ and North Dakota design excellence. Craftwell uses their unique skills to showcase architecture as storytelling. It is one of many factors that help Craftwell receive multiple design awards, year after year.

Chris Hawley, Architect, Craftwell

Clever Mukori, Founder/CEO, Learn or Teach


Gregory Carlson, Projects Producer, Fargo Film Festival

Erika Berg, Associate Professor and Bison Strides Program Director

Dr. Gregory Carlson is a Professor and Director of Film Studies and Multimedia Journalism, Communication Studies, and Theatre Art at Concordia College in Moorhead. You can find him on the third floor of Olin Center on the Concordia College campus.

Frederick Edwards Jr., Founder, Fred's Dissonance

Holly Anderson is the co-founder and CEO of Elinor Coatings, LLC, “a research and development company that specializes in solutions for corrosion and surface protection.” Currently, Elinor Coatings is using chemists and engineers to help create new formulas that do not use toxic ingredients.

Erika Berg is the Program Director and Founder of NDSU Bison Strides and an Associate Professor in the Animal Sciences department at North Dakota State University. In August of 2017, NDSU Bison Strides became the first Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Premier Accredited Center in the state of North Dakota.


Holly Anderson, CEO, Elinor Coatings

Adam Zach, Co-Founder, Home Equity Partner

Frederick Edwards Jr. is the founder of Fred’s Dissonance: a platform striving to build an educated and enlightened world that connects people together. Fred’s Dissonance’s mission is to recognize and uplift the true narrative of Black people across the globe by centering the voices and experiences of Black people. By providing educational cultural events and sober fun activities, this organization creates opportunities for Black and

Adam Zach is a co-creator of Home Equity Partner, a service that provides a variety of custom housing options to future homeowners through a unique renting option. At Home Equity Partner, they have developed a new tool that allows you to pick any home listed “for sale” and live in it. They specialize in Rentto-Own, Lease Purchase Options and Contract for Deeds, and seek to help individuals and families gain homeownership to live the American Dream. Home Equity Partner also works with real estate agents, bankers and investors.

Jared Winmill is the Founder of Seed & Spore, a gourmet mushroom and microgreen urban farm located in Fargo, ND. They are committed to intentional growing and take pride in delivering beautiful specialty produce to local communities. Seed & Spore believes that food is medicine and serves as a focal point for culture while nurturing relationships at the dinner table.

Jay Evans is CEO and Owner of Off Color Media which uses creativity to create content for businesses. They support a variety of businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 500. They have found solutions that not only make sense to the business, but they have also created growth within organizations.

Jared Hardy, Co-Founder, Fargo Brewing Company


Jared Winmill, Founder, Seed & Spore

Jay Evans, CEO/Owner, Off Color Media

Jared Hardy is the Co-Founder of Fargo Brewing Company which serves the FM Area through their taproom, which includes not only serving brews, but also a barber shop and a host of many community events in their space, The Hall, including Emerging Prairie’s StartupBREW. Customers are also able to find brews from Fargo Brewing at their favorite bars, restaurants, and liquor stores.

Jérôme Boissonneault-Laroche is co-founder and Vice President of Business Development at AYOS Diagnostic, which was created from a strong desire to increase the agriculture industry’s awareness about “the possibility of exploiting and preserving the natural genetic resistance of plants to effectively curb diseases.”

Jérôme Boissonneault, Co-Founder, AYOS Diagnostics

Jim Manney, Producer, Tankhouse

Jim Manney has produced regionally broadcasted TV shows, four documentaries, and the feature film, Tankhouse.

Jeff Raymond, CTO/COO, was named one of Motherboard Magazine’s Humans of the Year for his work on the Genesis bioregenerative food and energy production system. At Eden, they want to put technology to work for everyone, to equip families, communities, churches, retirement centers, hotels, restaurants and small growers to do more with less effort. Harnessing the power of aeroponics and automation will increase food production while making it easy to do in any indoor space.

Joe Wright, Owner/CEO, Wright Foot

In college, Joe Wright was known for the wild socks he would wear and one day he realized he could make his own socks.FARGOINC.COM

Johanna Zinke, Founder/CEO, Ramp Girl Johanna Zinke is a middle-schooler and the Founder of Ramp Girl, her business where she forages for and sells "ramps" or highend wild onions, for local chefs in the area.

Jess Azure, Founder, Spadesso

Jess Azure is the Founder of Spadesso, an appointment booking application that connects searching consumers with local salon and spa providers. The best salon and spa providers know that the secret to growing their client base is through introductions, and Spadesso was designed to help make those introductions. For consumers, Spadesso makes searching and booking appointments faster and easier than ever before.


Jeff Raymond, Co-Founder, Eden Grow Systems

Laura Caroon is Co-Founder and former President of Ladyboss Midwest.

John O'Mahony, CTO/COO, CorVent Medical

Kyle Voltin was inspired to start Xtra Apparel after being reminded of the difficulties his younger brother had faced to find appropriately-sized clothing. Being born with the most common chromosomal condition in the U.S., Down syndrome, Kyle’s brother Brett was not alone. Xtra is on a mission to create clothing that properly fits AND benefits individuals born with Down syndrome.

Kent Kolstad is the Founder and President at Livewire live event and video production company based out of Fargo with clients all over the nation. Laura Caroon, Co-Founder, Ladyboss Midwest

Kent Kolstad, Founder/President, Livewire

Kyle Voltin, Owner, Xtra Apparel

John O'Mahony is the CTO/COO of CorVent Medical which has elevated ventilation design to provide ICU-standard respiratory support in an elegant and robust system that removes unnecessary complexity and cost. They aim to produce reliable solutions that are easy to use for daily and off-the-shelf ventilation so providers can focus on critical patient needs.


Melissa Marshall is the managing partner in CoreCounts, a company that allows her to geek out on all things culture. With CoreCounts, she is on a mission to help build workplaces people love showing up to every day. As a lifelong learner, she focuses on strategy, leadership and mindfulness. Melissa strives to balance her obsession with personal and professional growth with rest and presence.

Red E, LLC started with the vision and passion of twin redheaded brothers who grew up spending countless hours out on the farm learning the value of hard work and what it meant to earn something you’ve worked hard for. It wasn’t just basic life that was shared but rather a passion to help people and to do all things well.

Mike Allmendinger, President, Kilbourne Group

Mike Allmendinger is the President of the Kilbourne Group.

Lynn Kotrba is a wife, mother to eight amazing children and co-founder of Harvest Hope Farm with her husband Jason. Her dream is to find a cure for Huntington’s Disease, which took her mom in 1989, when Lynn was 13 years old, and her sister in 2001.

Matt Paulson, Founder/CEO, MarketBeat

Founded in 2006, Kilbourne Group has a deep passion for urban spaces with proven expertise in urban development, fund management, real estate, construction management and property management. They are guided by the knowledge that vibrant downtowns create smart, healthy cities. The team has focused on historical redevelopment and mixed-use infill projects in downtown Fargo, aiming to create a vibrant 18-hour city that offers unique experiences and places designed for people.

Matthew Faul, Founder/President, Red E, LLC.

Melissa Marshall, Partner/Consultant, CoreCounts

Lynn is at-risk for HD and is hopeful that the sheep at Harvest Hope Farm carry hope for a cure for HD.


Lynn Kotrba, Executive Director, Harvest Hope Farm

Matt Paulson is the Founder and CEO of MarketBeat, which empowers “individual investors to make better trading decisions with real-time financial data, in-depth analysis and best-in-class stock research tools.”

Patrick Revier is a fourth generation Minnesota farmer. Pat grew up on a dairy farm in northwestern Minnesota. When he wanted to get back into farming, Pat stumbled into the wonderful world of edible insects and never looked back. He loves the farm life, working with animals and spending every day with his family. Revier Family Farms is owned and operated by Patrick and Madeline Revier. Located in Moorhead, MN, their mission is to provide sustainable, environmentally friendly, nutritious protein sources for people and pets.

Mike Dragosavich, Founder/CEO, Spotlight Media

Mike Dragosavich is the founder and CEO of Spotlight Media, the magazine publishing and full service marketing firm that created the very magazine you're reading.

Patrick Revier, Owner/President, Revier Family Farms

Nick Hawkins, Co-Founder, Dynasty Elite Athletics Youth Football

Nicole Rodenburg is a filmmaker and writer based out of New York City. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre B.F.A. Actor Training Program.


Nick Hawkins of Dynasty Elite Athletics is a visionary embarking to inspire, empower and impact the youth in our community. He believes that his passion and purpose is to give back to all student-athletes looking to compete in sports (football) while planting seeds of four core values (Efffort, Intensity, Accountability, and Encouragement) that will help them excel in their academic responsibilities while preparing them for life.

Nicole Rodenburg, Director/Writer/Producer/Actor/ Editor, Glob Lessons

Nick Waverek, Co-Founder, Lykkly

Nick Waverek is the Co-Founder of Lykkly, a personal financial wellness platform that blends innovations in behavioral science, technology and user experiences to reduce stress and make you happier with money. Now you can build momentum towards life’s milestones and create a positive money mindset—via personalized experiences, healthy habits and specialized support—right from your phone.

Ramsey Shaffer is the Co-Founder of Babbl which began as a college project seeking to develop a method to measure the effects of financial news on the stock market without the noise of individual bias. With a background in computer science and finance, Founders Ramsey Shaffer and Sam Cartford developed what is now known as Babbl—an algorithm with the capabilities to measure stock mentions and language correlations across thousands of daily, online scraped financial news articles.

Rick Brandvold, Founding Partner, Icewind Brewing


Paul Gambill, CEO, Nori Paul Gambill is co-founder and CEO of Nori, which is building a global commodities market for carbon so that everyone in the world can “look to a reference price for carbon.” Nori’s suppliers are farmers, who adopt regenerative practices, who then sell that carbon to buyers.

Oscar Stebleton is the 10-year-old founder of Oscar Pooper Scooping, an extremely diligent dog waste cleanup business.

Ramsey Shaffer, Co-Founder, Babbl

Oscar Stebleton, founder, Oscar Pooper Scooping

Rick Brandvold is a founding owner/partner of Icewind Brewing, managing most day to day taproom operations, sales and distribution as well as the accounting. He attended Minnesota State Community and Technical College, formerly known as Northwest Tech, for culinary arts. After homebrewing for nearly 20 years, and then being let go from his job for investing in a brewery, he knew that pursuing the entrepreneurial route and becoming involved in a brewery was going to be his dream come true.

Reyna K Bergstrom, Miss North Dakota Reyna Bergstrom, from Fargo, North Dakota, is the former Miss North Dakota. This past December, she competed at the 100 Year Anniversary Competition of Miss America in Connecticut and has spent the past year traveling around North Dakota speaking to schools and businesses about her social impact initiative, “The Influencer Era: Impact Beyond the Screen,” a message about the importance of prioritizing in-person connection.

Ricky Pallay is the founder of Pallay Enterprises, which is the umbrella from which other aspects of his business fall under. Right now, the primary business is a club, festival and mobile DJ, 1PrettyRicky, which serves corporate clients, venues, wedding couples and universities. He also offers MC/host/officiant services, graphic design services and promotion services.

Sara Lien was a financial advisor for 15 years until January 2020 when she resigned to pursue being an entrepreneurial baker. She has now founded Paisley and Dash, named after her two beloved pets, which delivers gourmet cupcake jars to cupcake lovers across the country.

Rolland Elendu, Co-Founder, Elendu Textile LLC.

Rolland Elendu, co-founder of Elendu Textiles, started his business with one goal in mind: to develop innovative solutions for a seamless and exciting recycling experience.

Sharon Traylor, Shop Owner/Master Barber, Roots Hair & Soul


Sharon Traylor is the cofounder and Master Barber of Roots Hair & Soul, a salon and barber shop based in Fargo, North Dakota. She is also a barber radio show host and soon-to-be barber instructor. Roots Hair & Soul is a strong advocate for natural hair and lifting up Black female entrepreneurs and change leaders in the hair industry. Their belief is that if you haven’t found the right style to work with your hair, maybe you haven’t found the right stylist that can work with your natural texture! The salon’s most popular services include loc retwisting, box braids, fades, hot oil treatments, loc detoxing, two strand twist styling and more.

Sara Lien, Founder/Owner, Paisley and Dash

Ricky Pallay, founder, Pallay Enterprises

Tyrre Burks, CEO, Players Health



Verna Kragnes, Executive Director, Prairie Rose Agricultural Institute

Verna Kragnes is founder of New Roots Farm Incubator Cooperative, which serves local immigrants who desire to establish their own farm enterprises/businesses. She is also a Farmer at Prairie Rose Farm, and Research and Innovation Director at Prairie Rose Agricultural Institute for Research, Innovation and Education.

Tyrre Burks is the CEO of Players Health, a Minneapolis-based sports technology platform providing digital risk management services, reporting tools and insurance products to sports organizations to comply with the changing athletic environment and responsibilities. Working towards establishing the safest environment for athletes, Players Health views the health and safety of athletes as a priority in today’s sports landscape.

To learn more head to or follow them on social.

Tim Weelborg is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Homegrown Capital, a traditional venture capital firm that has raised $17 million from various investors who are seeking financial return on their investment.

Tim Weelborg, Managing Partner, Homegrown Capital

Verna grew up on a farm near Moorhead, MN.

Facebook: @StartupBrewFargo Twitter: @StartupBREWFar Instagram: @startupbrewfargo




PRx Performance, a company that rose to prominence locally and nationally after its founders' successful appearance on Shark Tank in 2016 which netted them an investment from Kevin O'Leary, has experienced tremendous growth over the company's lifespan. In fact, PRx Performance, which sells space saving fitness equipment, moved locations eight times in their first eight years! However, we have a feeling they'll be in these new digs for a bit longer. Let's take a look.




The new PRx Performance facility cost roughly cost roughly $28 million with construction costs totaling about $23 million and manufacturing equipment costs totalling about $5 million and has more than 194,000 sq. ft. in total building size with two floor offices, a recreation area, warehouse, manufacturing wing, employee gym, showroom, consult rooms and a research and development space.





BRASCH: 36 hours later we were in a new building and functional. Thankfully, we had already been in the process of getting this place built and up and running.



2. The rec equipment 3. The solar panels on the roof. It brings a sense of sustainability to the business and is really about respecting the environment.

BRASCH: I'll give three things; 1. We started some work with sensory equipment. 1 out of 37 kids is on the autistic spectrum and those kids have the opportunity, whenever they want in class, to raise their hand and ask for a sensory break during the day. We're trying to more options for that.

HOPPERSTAD: The entrance is really nice and inviting, but once you get back here, the rec area is really nice. The lunchroom is really nice. It's so cool to have manufacturing in-house as well.

HOPPERSTAD: The last building that we actually wanted to be at flooded. When you wake up at 6 a.m. and you have water running out your front door, it's not great. But in hindsight, it was a blessing because it forced us to find a new space.

Where we are at right now, with the new building, we could triple in size here without having to add any more space.

BRASCH: We started off renting out part of the building, but eventually took over the whole building. We just kept adding. We've moved eight times in eight years. We thought we were going to be at this last location for years, but we were on our way out in six months.

HOPPERSTAD: At our last facility, we hit capacity in six months. It was one-tenth the size of our new facility.



The PRx Performance team created this showroom, dubbed "The Shark Tank," in order to give curious customers the opportunity to see some of the possible home gym variations that can be created with PRx Performance equipment. "It's nice to have this because potential customers can come in and move the equipment," Vice President Rachel Rice said. "A lot of them don't fully understand the spacesaving element of the product and how easy it is to lower equipment."


The PRx Performance team is constantly developing and launching new products. Pictured here are their recently launched wall-mount dumbbell storage.





This list of patents, proudly displayed along the office walls, is a huge piece of the fitness company's success.



The PRx

PRx Performance shoots the majority of its promotional material in-house and this new studio will certainly help. Performance headquarters features a large dining area with plenty of snacks and meals for purchase, including a plethora of Plate Meals options.



There are showers, complete with PRx Performance shower curtains, for employees to utilize before returning to work. Accompanying the weight room is a cardio balcony upstairs which is being filled with more equipment as we speak.

Of course, the new PRx Performance Headquarters has a VERY nice employee gym, complete with just about anything you'd ever need.

A gym on-site and a basketball hoop in the warehouse, who wouldn't want to work here? PHOTOS BY JOSIAH KOPP FARGOINC.COM 85


For the very first time, PRx Performance is manufacturing in-house. This has helped them alleviate some supply chain issues while cutting down on costs.















travelers are safe when tragedy strikes, whether on a global 90 SEPTEMBER 2022


Make sure you're aware of any COVID travel restrictions. THINGS YOU SHOULD BE CONSIDERING FOR CORPORATE TRAVEL

Tinggly conducted a survey and found that nearly all employees prefer rewards in the form of experiences rather than material things. In fact, one thousand American workers were polled, and 90% said they’d like to receive a gift in the form of an experience from their employers, such as a weekend getaway, a fishing trip, a sporting event or a concert. Of those polled, there were other interesting findings in that study: 45% are ready to try something out of their comfort zone 59% said they’d go skydiving if the experience was given to them 30% adding they’d never do this on their own 66% said they’d enjoy receiving experience as a thankyou for a job well done

prior, etc.) Do you have negotiated/ preferred rates with airlines, car companies or specific hotels? Do you have any unused tickets?


sure you have an advance purchase if possible

Do you have the right Travel Management Company? Risk Management: Are your employees safe? Do you know their all the required documents? Such as REAL etc.

a Corporate Travel


Make sure your company has Policy in place. Make (14 days

ID, Passport, Visa,

Do I have the best price available?

There is a belief that COVID helped push this shift in attitude, but there had been surveys done long before it that would back up these claims. What it most certainly has impacted, though, is the ability of companies to find and/or retain employees. Offering incentive travel can certainly help with that.

CORPORATE INCENTIVE TRIPS Corporate incentive trips aim to boost employee performance and engagement while driving business goals. Incentive trips have been proven to engage and motivate employees over the long haul. Specific goals are almost always tied to an increase in sales or purchases. It also improves profitability and productivity, promotes teamwork and rewards the best.

UNUSED TICKET MANAGEMENT • Identifies and keeps track of any unused tickets • Automatically queries for open or unused tickets • Routinely checks and logs status (exchanged, canceled or refunded ticket) • Emails traveler/company contact of approaching deadlines for ticket use • Creates real-time reports • Translates to cost savings 92 SEPTEMBER 2022

DUTY OF CARE Duty of care is a topic that every company should be discussing, and that goes double for those that do business travel. “Duty of care” is the legal and moral responsibility of a company to make sure that their employees are safe, especially when those employees are being sent far from home on business. From a travel management company’s perspective, that means making sure all of our accounts at Travel Travel have the tools required to know where each and every one of their employees are when they’re traveling for work, knowing risks and dangers of each destination their employees are traveling for work and the knowledge and means necessary to relocate their employees from a danger zone to safety on a moment’s notice. As I mentioned before, not taking this responsibility seriously can have legal ramifications for the employer, but more importantly, it can have much scarier ramifications for the travelers and their loved ones. COVID only served to exacerbate the issue, as we all know it can be a major liability sending employees through airports and everything else in a pandemic. For instance, one of our “duty of care” services has now implemented a tool that shows all COVID hotspots, so you can make your decisions with that information readily at your fingertips.

3 DiscussingShouldCompanyTopicsTravelEverybe



If you're looking for a highly robust option for your company to gain control and knowledge of your travel program, Travel Travel offers negotiated services for hotel and car rentals. The benefits include negotiating rates with mega-hotel and mega-car rental chains as well as diving into individual markets and negotiating with individual properties within those markets. The amazing part? All of those rates from all of those properties throughout the world will also be uploaded into your OBT and visible when making bookings. Special icons can even be used to indicate negotiated rates, preferred suppliers and the like. It's a great way of giving travelers the freedom to look and book without feeling like they're being overly micro-managed and an overall great choice to have on the

Travel has been in business in Fargo since 1986. Their corporate agents have 20+ years of invaluable experience per agent on average. Travel Travel also became franchised by Travel Leaders in 2008. Travel Leaders is a juggernaut in the industry, producing approximately $37 billion in 2021 with six thousand locations. They are best known for their corporate travel management services. Among that elite company, Travel Travel has earned a plethora of awards to justify the title of expert, including 13 Agency of Excellence awards, the Travel Leaders Above and Beyond Award for Corporate Travel, Travel Leaders Sales Excellence Award, 500 Club Gold Member, two Agent of the Year awards and the two most prestigious awards that can be given: Golden Legacy Award and Associate of the Year.

Online booking tools (OBT) are incredible. Everyone uses them already, all across the world. The old Orbitz and Expedias of the world are technically online booking tools. Using an OBT through a travel management company (TMC), however, is an entirely different experience that every company should be considering for corporate travel. That’s not to say every company needs to have their own OBT, but they certainly need to be aware of it, especially if they’re spending anywhere close to 50k or more in travel annually. What makes this a unique experience starts with the travel policy. A travel policy, unlike the OBT, is something every company needs to have, which is why we offer services to help our clients create and implement one. Even if you don’t put a single employee on a single plane for five consecutive years, this needs to be in place. Every time an employee is 50 miles away and needs a hotel, a travel policy is a necessity for what is expected when hotels are being booked, cars are being rented and how to respond when things don’t go as expected. With a TMC-assisted OBT, that travel policy is fully uploaded and implemented into all operations of the OBT. Only want to allow employees to book the cheapest possible fare? Sure. Want to give a $200 leeway from that lowest possible fare to avoid double connections, long layovers or other inefficiencies? Absolutely. Not only is all that implemented, but admins can be notified or asked for approval anytime a booking is made outside the parameters of your company travel policy. Corporate travel is utilized by nearly every business in one way or another—and it can seem like a major headache without the proper tools. Thankfully, Travel Travel has every tool and resource your business needs to take the burden off your shoulders so you can get back to enjoying life.







SCOTLAND Scotland is the birthplace of the game, and offers over 550 courses across the country. Over 550 courses in Scotland such as the world-famous Old Course at St. Andrews and lots of hidden gems like Prestwick.




When it comes to incentive travel ideas, the sky is the limit! What’s important is knowing your team. The experts at Travel Travel have done fishing and hunting trips from Lake of the Woods, MN, to the safaris of Africa. They've also sent entire companies to Costa Rica for an all-inclusive resort getaway and have had other companies send separate offices on separate trips according to each local office’s individual taste.

ARIZONA There's no other golfing destination quite like Arizona. From Phoenix to Tucson, Scottsdale, Chandler and Sedona, most every resort in the Copper State has four things: spas, shopping, red rock tourist attractions and golfing. Scottsdale has over 200 golf courses and lots of sunshine throughout the year. Most public courses are highly ranked championship courses.


Thinking of all the different ideas can be one of the most fun parts of the entire experience, so incentive travel is truly a wonderful way to show appreciation to the team that makes your company thrive. To learn more about how Travel Travel can help your business’ corporate travel needs, visit ttravel.com or call

Photo by & Byron


Protect your trademarks, at least your main trademarks, by filing federal trademark applications and prosecuting those applications to obtain federal trademark registrations. The goal is to have a valuable trademark that you can prevent others from using.


When an invention or copyrightable material is created by an employee who has not signed an assignment agreement, it can create headaches. In some cases, the employee inventor will own the resulting patent, even though you paid them to create the invention. In those cases, your company may have the right to use the invention, but the employee will own the patent. In other cases, if the employee was an engineer who was “hired to invent,” then the employee may be obligated to assign the resulting patent to your company. It is best, however, to execute an assignment agreement that Eric Snustad is a shareholder with Fredrikson & Byron, focusing on prosecuting and managing patents. He also advises clients on how to stop or prevent infringement of their intellectual property. His email is esnustad@fredlaw.com.


When your company hires a consultant, engineering firm or design firm to create inventions for your company, get a written agreement that assigns the resulting inventions and patents to your company.


For employees who may create inventions or copyrightable material while working for your company, have them sign a written agreement that assigns to your company the resulting inventions, patents, works of authorship, and copyright.

Without a written agreement, the consultant or firm that created the invention for your company will own the resulting patent, even though you paid them to create it. Your company may have the right to use the invention, but the consultant or firm will own the patent. Make sure your trademark position is solid. Pick your trademarks wisely. Select trademarks that are available for you to use, and that you can protect. When you have a particular trademark in mind, have a trademark attorney check to see if it appears to be available and protectible. One goal is to avoid receiving a cease and desist letter from someone who was already using the same trademark or another trademark that is different but still confusingly similar. It can be a costly headache when you are forced to switch to a different trademark after already having launched with a first trademark.


makes it crystal clear that your company owns any resulting inventions, patents, works of authorship and copyright. Employment agreements often include IP assignment provisions. Such provisions, however, can alternatively be included in other types of agreements, such as employee confidentiality agreements. Regardless of the particular type of agreement in which you include the IP assignment provisions, the agreement should be signed right away when an employee starts working for you/is Otherwise,onboarded.the employee might be able to argue that the agreement was invalid, depending on the laws of the state in question. Furthermore, the agreement should include a present assignment of future inventions (as opposed to merely saying the employee “agrees to assign” future inventions).

Whenever possible, file your patent application before starting to sell the invention and before disclosing it outside your company.

To obtain valid patent protection in the U.S., it is necessary to file your patent application within one year from when you first sell the invention, offer the invention for sale, or disclose the invention publicly.

To avoid these pitfalls, consider working with a skilled and experienced attorney who can assess your business needs and ensure your intellectual property assets are covered by the necessary documentation.

This one-year period is sometimes called a “grace period.” In many foreign countries, however, there is no grace period. In those countries, to obtain valid patent protection, it is necessary to file your patent application before disclosing the invention publicly. It is therefore best, whenever possible, to file your patent application before starting to sell the invention and before disclosing it outside your company. Otherwise, you may immediately lose the ability to obtain a valid patent in some foreign countries.

Finally, a number of states (e.g., California, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah, and Washington) have specific laws on assignment of employee inventions. Some state laws create restrictions on the scope of employee inventions for which employers can require assignment. And some state laws have specific provisions or notices that employers are supposed to include in agreements when requiring employees to assign inventions and patents to the company.

Corporate attorneys Michael Raum and David Tibbals, along with myself, would be delighted to work with you to avoid these common pitfalls.

And remember that in the U.S., if you have already begun selling your invention, or you have already disclosed it publicly, but not more than one year ago, you can still file your U.S. patent application, but it must be filed within one year from when you first sold the invention, offered the invention for sale, or disclosed the invention publicly.

When your company hires a developer to create software or other copyrightable material for your company, make sure you get a written agreement assigning copyright to your company. Without a written agreement, the person who created the software or other copyrightable material will own the copyright, even though you paid them to create it. While you may have a license to use the material, it may be limited and not what you wanted.

In the absence of an appropriate assignment agreement, your company may not have the IP rights it needs.

Photo by Kopp


By John Machacek


100 SEPTEMBER 2022

ohn Machacek, Chief Innovation Officer for the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, has worked with countless startups throughout our community over the past nine years. He knows their ups, and their downs, but most of all, he knows the questions to ask them. Here are John Machacek’s 10 questions for Paisley & Dash founder Sara Lien.



YUMazing cupcakes in a jar! At Paisley & Dash, we create a mobile cupcake. As an e-commerce bake shop, we specialize in making homemade cupcakes, paired with our signature buttercream. Layer upon layer, we nestle it sweetly inside a mason jar that can be customized…and ship it across the entire country.


One particular client we’ve been working with for over two years now recently sent me a note saying that month after month he receives texts, calls, and emails from clients in appreciation and happiness of receiving the surprise package. We just recently onboarded a new client, a mortgage banker, and after the cupcakes went out, he texted me saying, "The cupcakes are a hit! My phone is blowing up!”. As far as typical order sizes, the "Gift of Four" pack is the most common, especially now that we have four flavors to choose from after recently adding the new Oreo-based cookies & cream flavor. The largest single order has been around 1,000 jars; but one sleepless week we shipped out 3,000 jars in three days!on top of anything new that comes along in our industry.

03 Your business model may look like it started a bit backwards, as you might often see a packaged goods company start out with local markets and popups, and then if things go well, start shipping around the country. You basically started with national shipping but now have a physical storefront for local pickups. What is the origin of this path? It started with a little pink smash cake. I made one for my friend’s child’s birthday party, and once it hit Facebook, a coworker saw the picture. He then asked if I could creatively design and package something that could be branded with a company logo and that he could ship to his clients all over the country. It progressed from there, and after about a year of juggling a career as a financial advisor and fulfilling orders on nights and weekends, I made the scary plunge into doing this full-time. The visible storefront is a small part of my facility but provides a more convenient way to now serve local customers. Plus, I knew exactly what I wanted the retail space to look and feel like, and I couldn’t wait to share that as part of Paisley & Dash. I created and DIY’d my way through the little boutique-y space from the brick walls, to the warmly lit sconces, to the experiencecomplimentFrench-boutique-yspacefloor.whitecases,furniture-turned-cupcake-repurposedtotheblackanddiamondpatternedIdesignedtheentrytohaveawarmandfeeltoandaddtothe&brand.

01 Will you please tell us your Paisley & Dash Bake Shop elevator pitch?

At the very core, anyone with a sweet tooth. Specifically, however, where we shine is with corporate clients. Think of Paisley & Dash as an extension of your corporate campaigns and marketing plans. When onboarding corporate clients, we try to make it as easy as possible.

As an example, if you want to send birthday treats to clients, closing gifts to homeowners, anniversary treats to your staff… these make a very special gift. When we launch our process, all you do is send us your monthly spreadsheet of lucky cupcake recipients and we take it from there.

02 What is your ideal customer demographic and what are your typical order sizes?

After doing this for a couple of years, I realized I was maxed out in what I could produce. I wouldn’t be able to grow without the kitchen space, storage, staff, and improvement to logistics; I was baking out of Square One Kitchen, shipping out of my basement, storing jars at an off-site facility. I knew I needed to take that next huge step. I contemplated renting a temporary space that was available but the needed fit-up costs for a kitchen just didn’t make financial sense to me. And I honestly saw having a building as a goal that might happen in another two years, but someone introduced me to a banker and after some initial discussions, I realized this could happen soon.

It was very validating and reassuring of the willingness of people to help. Thanks to my conversations with the EDC, I became primary sector certified; worked with my bank, my attorney, BND and EDC on special financing; and obtained a property tax exemption through the City of West Fargo for expanding primary sector companies. This all helps a company like me be able to make the investment into a building. Big picture, this new space gave me my own larger kitchen that was mine to access 24-7, plus no more off-site storage. All processes could be housed under one roof, logistically a dream come true. Without this, the growth of Paisley & Dash would have been stifled. It really expands the possibilities of what we can do and the cupcake customers we can serve.

102 SEPTEMBER 2022

With you packaging and then shipping your product all around the country, what has been the learning process of getting your systems in place?

It’s been quite the journey. I look at Paisley & Dash as two businesses. A baking company and a shipping company. The shipping process has been a learning journey that’s constantly evolving. I quickly learned I needed to find a way to ship more and ship faster. Initially, I went into the FedEx store on 13th avenue to ask some questions and they put me in touch with the local rep. She called me to learn about my business and shipping needs and together we made a plan. We talked about things like which size boxes to use, how to measure boxes correctly and printing batch labels. I became, and still am, a student of shipping. To save time, they added me to their daily pick-up route, and every day at 3:45 they came for my cupcakes. With packaging, I spent and still spend time researching the right type of shipping boxes and gift boxes. I often have a measuring tape around my neck and I’ll order samples to test them out. The look of our signature packaging and how it makes you feel is truly what sets us apart, which is why it’s always top of mind for me.

One thing I’d tell someone in my small-business-shoes is to have conversations. Even if the answer might be ‘no’, because of what you learn and who you build a relationship with, it will help lay out a roadmap of the possible steps to take to get you to a ‘yes’. This process was such a learning experience for me. I tried doing research on resources but that can be a difficult and timeconsuming process. I learned by having conversations, that there are people and organizations locally like my banker and the EDC who have the knowledge and experience to support us. Find the people to get on your bus, and make sure they’re in their spot. When the connections and assistance to help me started happening and falling into place, I seriously thought “Is this for real?”

10 Questions 04 05 And, speaking of your space, from working with you on the project, I know this was a big and important next step for Paisley & Dash. Can you tell me more about this decision and process?

Being a visual type of product, the cupcake jar and the packaging, social media has been my primary marketing platform since day one. This, in turn, compliments wordof-mouth advertising as well. I maintain profiles on Facebook and Instagram and share images of cupcakes, customized labels, the recent building process, creative ideas, successes, failures, kitchen moments, my dogs Dash & Paisley, you know—a day in the life! Part of what makes Paisley & Dash is the journey, and our Facebook and Insta family has been there through every step. Whether it’s me resigning from my corporate career to pursue my passio,n or watching the progression from the basement to the new building, or a powdered sugar explosion in the kitchen, there’s someone that can relate to every post and that creates a community. And that community is part of what makes Paisley & Dash what it is today. Being the Chief Everything Officer, I do have to remind myself to stay consistent though. As with any marketing—consistency is key. So setting tasks to carve out time for photography, editing, copy and posting is a priority. Have you noticed any trends on how or when word-of-mouth marketing happens? Yes! I call them geographic surges. In fact, when this first started happening, I thought “ok this is gonna work!” We ship across the entire US; and what usually ends up happening is when we ship to a certain section of the country, we immediately see an uptick in the orders on our website from that area. As an example, we ship a good number of cupcakes out to Washington. If we send cupcakes on a Monday, the treats arrive on Wednesday. Throughout the rest of the week and weekend, we see immediate orders from those customers. So that tells me, people are receiving these, like what they experience, and then they go online to submit orders as they want to spread the cupcake joy. Word-of-mouth marketing with an e-commerce twist.

07 08 06


As you just mentioned how important your brand and the customer experience are to you, will you please elaborate more on that?

I never underestimate the power of that first impression. I gave extra thought, attention and emphasis to both presentation and packaging as I was creating Paisley & Dash. Not only is it a way to separate your product from the competition, it’s also a unique and non-verbal opportunity to create and inspire emotion from the recipient. It’s my goal to make the recipient feel special, to create an experience that feels just as good as it tastes. In fact, people are often taken back when they receive our cupcake jars and take it upon themselves to create posts on social media. This is such a huge help to us, as it serves as a genuine testimony of how the experience of receiving our cupcake jars made them feel. We often receive emails, notes and messages from people all over the country with rave reviews of such a unique gift. Sticking with the brand discussion, what type of marketing do you use? and advice you may have?


10 Questions AboutJohn

If you could go back in time to Sara from several years ago, what hindsight advice would you give yourself? Take care of yourself and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Creating, growing, scaling and running a business is hard work. And that’s an understatement. I need to be my best self physically, emotionally, and mentally in order to maintain focus and make sure Paisley & Dash grows into what it’s meant to be. There are lots of ways I do this, and each way serves as an ingredient to my recipe of self-care. Also worth noting in terms of advice, though I absolutely believe the timing of Paisley & Dash unfolded exactly how it was supposed to, I knew 10 years before that I wanted to build a creative company. I always had that flutter in my heart; listen to the flutter and follow your heart.

104 SEPTEMBER 2022


10 What can we do as a community to help Paisley & Dash succeed? We love working with companies, of all sizes, and now that we have our new building and improved processes, we’d love to expand that corporate arm of Paisley & Dash. We’d love an introduction to anyone or any business that you think might be a good fit for what we can provide. Our cupcake jars are also a perfect option for weddings—think individually packaged, multiple flavors, party favor + dessert, mobile, customized. When it comes to planning your weddings, we’d love to help! Keep us in mind for corporate events, sporting events, birthday parties or anytime you need to satisfy your sweet tooth. Lastly, in terms of our social media presence, if you come across us on Facebook or Instagram give us a Like and Share. Sharing a small business post might seem like a small thing, but it turns into a huge gesture for us when it helps to spread the Paisley & Dash word. We’d be sweetly

S 106 SEPTEMBER 2022

“As we’ve grown in 2022, we’ve added more camps. My dream would be to have it run every season, using the elements of nature to support different

“Each nature camp has a capacity of six kids, one occupational therapist and one trained volunteer. Each family identifies a few areas that they want us to work on with their child and every child is different. Sometimes it is as simple as wanting them to be outside and enjoy nature. Not everyone has safe opportunities for that. Sometimes the goal might be something like trying new things, or being okay with getting dirty outside, or climbing a tree or socializing with peers,” Joni said. “There are a lot of great camps in the community. However, I really feel there is a gap when it comes to nature camps for kids. This camp is different both because it is held entirely outside and because it is led by a trained occupational therapist. A lot of the course is built on children taking healthy risks for their development. Yes, we’re getting outside and letting the kids explore and take part in activities, but we are mindful of the goals the family wants us to work on and we really individualize it to the kids participating.”


“When people think ‘occupational therapy,’ a lot of people think ‘jobs’—but really we target any important activity an individual engages in during their day,” Joni said. “A child does not need to have a diagnosis or be having significant struggles to receive therapy. If part of your child’s day is hard, we break down the activity to find out what is making it challenging. Really, we are creative problem solvers with the family.

BY Brandi Malarkey

House Everydayof Learning

Swinging hammocks,in painting in nature and fishing the Red River - as a pediatric Occupational Therapist, Joni Hjalmquist already knew that play is the most important occupation in a child’s life. Now, she is taking that knowledge and combining it with the outdoors to provide unique experiences for kids of all ages in the community, from preschool all the way through middle school. When the pandemic hit, Joni and her co-workers at Beyond Boundaries Therapy Services were forced to turn to teletherapy to continue to serve their clients. However, spending more time on the internet had an unexpected side benefit: it led Joni to come across a course and podcast by Laura Park Figueroa exploring the benefits of naturebased therapy (the ConTiGO approachConnection and Transformation in the Great Outdoors), and she immediately signed up for it. “We know that being outside has so many benefits for people, kids especially. So when I saw the course, I immediately thought ‘this sounds amazing, why am I not a part of this?’” Joni said. “The course was incredible and attended by people all around the world. They give you a good foundation as to how to get started, and encourage you to take the parts that light you up and make it your Armedown.”with additional tools provided by the course, Joni took her enthusiasm outdoors by launching the "Let's Grow OuTside" Nature Camp through the House of Everyday Learning (HOEL) in the summer of 2021. Started by the owner of Beyond Boundaries, LaDonna Bannach, HOEL is a nonprofit organization which aims to provide opportunities for kids that are not covered by insurance as individual therapy services are. HOEL helps provide scholarships and a resource library to support families. "Let's Grow OuTside" is now one of several camps provided by HOEL. The other camps focus on social skills, life skills in the community and sensory exploration.

Located next to the Beyond Boundaries building in south Fargo, the "Let's Grow OuTside" Nature Camp utilizes a large space with a small hill, large trees, sun, shade, lots of wildlife, and access to the Red River. Soon it will also boast a storage shed and additional nature exploration activities purchased with a grant from the Cass Clay chapter of the Awesome Foundation, which named the nature camp their July 2022 grantee.


Photo provided by Photo by Heather Nesemeier

activities for development. We just haven’t figured out how to navigate what to do when it’s negative 40 yet,” Joni said. “But each season has its own activities and its own equipment. When we build a fire, we use the firepit, s’mores sticks and camping chairs. When we build forts, we use fabric pieces and clothespins. When we smash pumpkins, we need pumpkins and hammers. We are continually switching what’s used and some is stored in the basement, some at my desk, and right now most of it lives in the trunk of my car!” Having the new storage area will make things more accessible for Joni and her camp and allow her and her assistant to be more efficient with their time to concentrate on what is most important, which is getting kids outside. “Any child is welcome at nature camp,” Joni said. “They don’t have to be a client at Beyond Boundaries or need to have ever received therapy—this is an opportunity to play outside and have fun. We work on so many skills through all of the nature activities, and we individualize everything. But what it really comes down to is that I want the kids to feel connection and joy. I greet every child as they arrive at nature camp and if I can promise you anything, they will feel loved and accepted, just as they are.” To learn more, houseofeverydaylearning.comvisit

Joni Hjalmquist (Occupational Therapist and Camp Lead) and LaDonna Bannach (Executive director of HOEL)

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

(Left to Right Top Row) Heather Nesemeier (Awesome Foundation Trustee)

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• Costs • ForPerpetuationthismonth’s article, I would like to share some things for managers to consider when addressing these three challenges to increase the effectiveness of committees within their organizations. Whether you are a) establishing/forming a committee, b) currently serving on a committee, c) serving as the chair of a committee or d) considering accepting an invitation to join a committee, below are some things to take into consideration.



problemscomplexfaceOrganizationsmanythat require carefully thoughtout solutions. While a single individual may have a good understanding of the problem and a potential solution, it is important to have multiple individuals working together to address these problems. Every individual has a unique vantage point or perspective through which they view problems and determine potential solutions. When combining each person’s collective thoughts, it usually results in an overall better and more informed decision than a decision made by one person.

Challenge &Committee#1:CompositionDynamics

• Committee Composition & Dynamics

This is one of the reasons why committees are the most common formal structure used within organizations. While there are obvious advantages and benefits of committees, there are also disadvantages and limitations. After reading various articles in the literature regarding the disadvantages and limitations associated with organizational committees, I noticed that most of the issues and concerns centered around three themes:

For this area, I am referring to three things: a) the composition/makeup of the group, b) each committee member’s motivation level and c) the leader of the committee. First, let us tackle the issue of the composition/makeup of the committee. While a committee should be comprised of individuals from various divisions of the organization, a general guideline is that the capabilities of each member should be prioritized. A tool that I highly recommend using when assembling committees is Tom Rath and Barry Conchie’s book Strengths Based Leadership. Having individual members with strengths, or natural talents, which are represented across the four domains of leadership (Executing, Influencing, Relationship Building, Strategic Thinking) would be a good first start. Second, let us consider each member’s level of motivation in participating. In life, there are things that we are required to do

Academic Insight

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


(compliance) and things that we have a passion to do (commitment). Finding individuals who are passionate about the work of the committee is highly recommended. Working on a committee with a purpose that is significant and of high interest to an individual can affect their motivation level. Just like we want our employees to be committed to the organization, as managers we want people who are committed to service on committees. Finally, let us consider the leader, or chair, of the committee. Given that committees can be comprised of volunteers from other areas of the organization, the challenge for the committee chairperson is to get these volunteers (sometimes nondirect reports) to follow their lead. This emphasizes the importance of picking a committee chair that has experience in leading committees.

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

Challenge #2: Costs

One of the drawbacks discussed in the literature about committees is high costs in terms of money. For this section, I want to refer to a resource that is often overlooked and equally important—the resource of Time. Here is a scenario to consider: A typical employee has 40 hours each week to complete responsibilities and tasks associated with their primary role in the organization. When an employee becomes a member of a committee, they will now be required to physically attend committee meetings and to complete tasks that may emerge from their involvement with that committee. This requires the employee to re-allocate hours to committee related work that otherwise would have been used in their primary role. And if one were to add up each committee member’s weekly hours spent on committee related work, one could get a collective sense of the amount of time as a group that is being taken away from primary roles and responsibilities. Given this scenario and considering the popular aphorism attributed to Benjamin Franklin (“Time is Money”), managers and individual employees must determine if the nature of the committee work is so crucial and essential to justify the cost of time (in hours) that are not used toward one’s primary work responsibilities and tasks. Looking at costs in terms of hours can help managers and individual employees to determine if committee involvement would be the best use of time given what the organization needs to produce in terms of outcomes and results. Knowing the eventual time costs of committee involvement and participation up front can help potential committee members to make a well-informed decision on whether to join a committee.

Challenge Perpetuation#3:

The general definition of the word perpetuation is to cause something to last indefinitely. Applying this term in the context of organizations, it refers to the level of difficulty in eliminating structures or processes that may no longer serve a viable use or purpose within the organization. There are two things to consider in this area. First, the importance of distinguishing between the need for creating a standing committee (“committees created by standing orders, rules, by-laws or regulations of an organization and exist and function indefinitely”) or an adhoc committee (“a committee that functions like a task force and work on specific, time-limited projects, and when the work is finished, the committee is no longer needed”) (Collins, 2012). Second, a commitment to ongoing evaluation of committees within organizations. This involves looking at the past effectiveness and track record of each committee, and based on that data, making decisions to maintain their current structure, restructure and/or repurpose them, or to dissolve them.

What are outside sales and how can it be improved with technology?

The process of selling products or services outside an organization's physical stores or offices is known as outside sales. Outside salespeople often generate their own leads and appointments, as well as manage their own time and territories. While outside sales can be a great way to build relationships with customers and increase sales, it can also be a challenge to keep track of leads and manage customer Fortunately,expectations.thereareseveral ways that technology can help outside salespeople be more efficient and effective. For example, lead tracking software can help salespeople keep track of the prospects they have contacted, as well as follow up on any promised follow-up activities. In addition, customer relationship management (CRM) software can help salespeople manage their customer interactions, including scheduling appointments and sending reminders. By using these tools, outside salespeople can minimize the administrative burden of their job and focus on building relationships and generating sales.

Inside sales is the term used for sales activities that are conducted from within a company, typically over the phone or online. In recent years, inside sales have undergone a dramatic transformation thanks to advances in technology. Today, inside sales representatives have access to a wide range of tools that can help them research potential customers, identify key decision-makers and close deals more efficiently. In addition, customers are increasingly comfortable doing business online, which has created further new opportunities for inside sales teams. With remote access to customers, inside sales teams can tap into previously untapped markets. As online shoppers become more reliant on customer service and support, inside sales teams are uniquely positioned to provide them. In response to these changes, inside sales have become one of the most efficient and effective methods of reaching and growing new customers. By taking the time to gather sales intelligence, you can develop a more effective sales strategy that will help you close more deals and grow your business.

As the world of business evolves, it is important for companies to keep up with the latest trends in order to stay competitive. For many businesses, this means utilizing technology in order to rethink traditional sales strategies. In this article, we will explore some of the ways that businesses can leverage technology to rethink both their inside and outside sales strategies. We will also discuss some of the benefits associated with using technology in this way. What is inside sales and how has it changed with the growth of technology?

How to use technology to your advantage in both inside and outside sales: In sales, the goal is always to close the deal. And while the methods may differ depending on whether you're selling in person or over the phone, the use of technology can give you a significant advantage in both cases. For example, when making a presentation to a potential client, you can use your laptop or tablet to pull up additional information or product demos on the fly. And if you're ever in doubt about a particular stat or figure, you can quickly check your references online. Similarly, when speaking to a prospect on the phone, modern CRM tools can help you keep track of important details and ensure that you never forget to follow up with a key contact. In short, by leveraging technology throughout the sales process, you can make yourself more efficient, better informed and ultimately more successful.

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CRM software can be especially helpful in this regard. By leveraging technology throughout the sales process, you can make yourself more efficient, better informed and ultimately more successful.

Today’s technology has made it easier than ever for inside sales representatives to research potential customers, identify key decision-makers and close deals quickly. However, even outside salespeople can benefit from using technology to manage their customer interactions and track their progress.

Conclusion In order to be successful in sales, it is important to stay up to date on the latest tools and technologies that can help you close deals more efficiently.

Quantum Business Solutions

The future of selling, and how technology will continue to play a role:

As anyone who has ever stepped into a store can attest, the process of selling has changed dramatically over the years. No longer are salespeople limited to inperson interactions; instead, they can use technology to reach potential customers anywhere in the world. And this trend is only likely to continue in the future. Thanks to the continued proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of social media, businesses will have an everincreasing number of platforms on which to advertise their wares. At the same time, consumers will become more and more accustomed to researching and purchasing products online. In other words, technology is poised to revolutionize the selling process yet again. For businesses, this means that it will be more important than ever to have a strong online presence. Those who are able to adapt to the changing landscape will no doubt find themselves at a distinct advantage. Sales Intelligence in action It's all about providing organizations with information about their customers and potential customers. Access to this information can help marketers understand customer needs and develop marketing campaigns. Sales intelligence can also be used to identify new sales opportunities and track the progress of ongoing sales efforts. Furthermore, sales intelligence can improve customer service by providing information about customer preferences and buying Therepatterns.are many examples of how sales intelligence has been used successfully by businesses. For example, a clothing retailer might use sales intelligence to understand its customer base's needs better. By tracking customer purchases, the retailer could identify trends in customer behavior and develop targeted marketing campaigns accordingly. In another example, a sales team might use sales intelligence to track the progress of their efforts and identify new leads. By understanding which methods are most effective at generating new business, the team can focus its energy on those activities. Ultimately, sales intelligence can be a powerful tool for improving sales performance.

Phone: 712-389-4639 Email: shawn@thequantumleap.business Web: thequantumleap.businessFARGOINC.COM

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