The Bridge: March - April 2023

Page 10

March - april 2023 • vol. 25
Inspiring & Developing People

community builders


Community Builders are enhancing the FMWF community by investing in our programs and initiatives at the highest level.

2 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

visionary community builders

what is a community builder?

Community Builders are a group of leading corporate citizens dedicated to the economic prosperity and progress of the region. Community Builders represent the highest level of Chamber investment, and their commitment enables The Chamber to promote and protect business, inspire innovation, culti -

vate communities, influence action, and be a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity.

Becoming a Community Builder distinguishes your business among the ranks of the most prominent, successful, involved and community-minded companies in the region, as they dedicate time and resources to shape our commu -

nity. Community Builders receive access to top officials and Chamber leadership, and contribute input that shapes public policy and strengthens the local business climate through the work of The Chamber. Further, Community Builders receive unprecedented recognition throughout the business community.


Chamber Staff

Board of Directors

Committee Chairs

THE BRIDGE (USPS 124-430) is published bimonthly by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber. Periodicals Postage Paid at Fargo, ND 58102 and at additional mailing offices. Publication No. 124430. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Bridge, PO Box 2443, Fargo, ND 58108-2443; 218.233.1100. Printed by Forum c ommunications p rinting MiSSiON The Chamber is a catalyst for growth and prosperity. We promote and protect business, inspire innovation, cultivate communities and influence action. cOrNErSTONES • Business Vitality • Public Policy & Advocacy • Workforce & Talent • Community Enhancement • Organizational Excellence First International Bank & Trust Vogel Law Firm Hector International Airport Eide Bailly LLP Christianson Companies Bobcat Company Cardinal IG Minnesota State University Moorhead Moore Engineering, Inc. North Dakota State University Bushel Heartland Trust Company Essentia Health Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Allegro Group Sanford Health Microsoft Advantage Payment Services Eventide Senior Living Communities peter Stenehjem Chair Tami Norgard Chair Elect Shawn Dobberstein Immediate Past Chair chad Flanagan Treasurer Kevin christianson Member at Large Tina a merman Mike a rntson Dr. a nne Blackhurst Kevin Bucholz Dr. David cook camille Grade Steve halverson Dr. William heegaard Kristi h uber Kara Jorvig Tiffany l awrence Jenny Olson Sandi piatz Jon r iewer
Engagement Strategist Executive Assistant Vice President of Events Vice President of Corporate Partnerships Director of Public Policy Graphics & Multimedia Specialist Vice President of Communications President/CEO Vice President of Engagement Concierge Strategist Executive Vice President Administrative and Finance Specialist Director of Leadership Executive Director of The Chamber Foundation Director of Communications and Marketing Talent Development Manager Engagement Support Specialist Grant Project Manager Vice President of Talent and Workforce Event Support Specialist hannah Boor @FMWFHannah chelsie Bormann Nicolette Bresnahan @FMWFNicolette Darren Dunlop @FMWFDarren c ale Dunwoody @FMWFCale Bernt Eidsmoe @FMWFBernt Tyler Fischbach @FMWFTyler Shannon Full @FMWFShannon abby Furchner @FMWFAbby Donna heck Katherine Grindberg @FMWFKatherine a nja Kalvoda @FMWFAnja a lyssa l akoduk @FMWFAlyssa Jenna Mueller @FMWFJenna Sadie rudolph Brin Seebold Stacia Sytsma @FMWFStacia curtis Sullivan Matt Walstad peighten Watson @FMWFPeighten Flint Group NAI North Central PRO Resources Border States Border States Midco Alerus Tri-College University Western State Bank Brandt Hospitality Group roger reierson Agribusiness Brooke coauette Ambassador Public Relations Kriss Burns Ambassador Member Relations Treavor peterson Business Training lindsey cernik Leadership FMWF Brian Shawn Military Affairs Trevor Mathew Professionals of Color Tim Flakoll Public Policy abby Boggs-Johnson Women Connect Jae Dewald Young Professionals Network
Vogel Law Firm Eide Bailly LLP First International Bank & Trust The Chamber Tami Norgard Chair chad Flanagan Chair Elect peter Stenehjem Secretary Shannon Full Treasurer Chamber Foundation Board of Directors 4 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 who we are ThE chaMBEr
March - april 2023 6 Letter from the President 7 Meet The Chamber staff - new hires iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE 14 .... Leadership FMWF 20 Young Professionals Network 28 Professionals of Color 32 Women Connect 38 Non-profit stories 39 ....... Boy Scouts of America 40 ....... Rape and Abuse Crisis Center 41 Habitat for Humanity 42 Eventide Senior Living Communities 43 YWCA Cass Clay 44 FirstLink 46 FMWF Chamber meets Nashville Chamber 48 .... Leadership results 50 .... The Greenhouse Effect pUB lic pOlic Y iMpac T 51 FMWF Chamber Day at the ND capitol 52 .... Career Academy Funding bill 53 .... Opposing MN Senate/House File 2 iN ca SE YOU MiSSED iT 10 Midwest Economic Outlook Summit 12 State of the Cities 57 .... The Chamber’s temporary office location 60 .... Eggs & Issues 60 Women Connect EXpEriENcE, ENGaGE, ENJOY 8 .... Voices of Vision 36 .... Intentional Collisions 58 ChamberChoice Awards 59 Chamber Challenge Golf Outing 61 Business After Hours 62 Upcoming events 63 Signature events MEMBEr NEWS 64 New members 66 Ribbon cuttings 68 Anniversaries 70 .... People news ThaNK YOU FOr iNVESTiNG 2 Community Builders 2 Visionary Community Builders 74 .... Program & event sponsors Voices of Vision public policy impact inspiring and Developing people Midwest Economic Outlook Summit Non-profit Stories FMWFCHAMBER.COM 5 contents ThE chaMBEr For past issues of The Bridge: Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber 19 First International Bank & Trust 22 Midco 26 Forum Communications 27 5foot20 Design Lounge 37 Alerus 45 Kilbourne Group 45 NDSU 56 iDigital 56 Starion Bank 65 Boulger Funeral Home 65 Dakota Carrier Network 67 PRO Resources 67 Cole Papers, Inc 69 Express Employment Professionals 72 Cornerstone Bank 72 Ignite FMWF 74 CHI Friendship Thank you to the above businesses for investing in The Bridge magazine and enabling its growth and impact as a community resource. ADVERTISER INDEX 51 38 14 10 8

Words like those are often at the front of our minds as we all strive daily to take our businesses, organizations, schools and communities to the next level. To be the best we can be. But when you stop to think about it, what makes all of that possible and brings our mission statements to life to drive us forward? Our people.

As you read the following stories, I hope that it demonstrates how unbelievably valuable opportunities or moments of development and inspiration can be. One book, one meeting, one program or one experience outside of a comfort zone has the potential to positively alter someone’s outlook, career, life and community they are a part of. Our members continue to amaze me with the effort they put into developing and inspiring their employees and the people they serve. As leaders, we must continue to be intentional about creating and supporting professional development opportunities, and emphasize our commitment to influencing the people around us. Your Chamber is committed to engaging and inspiring the people, businesses and community that we serve. If you come across a program, initiative or opportunity that you or someone in your circle should get involved in, we encourage you to take that next step to get involved. Let’s reach our full potential together.

I also want to call out a few topics related to The Chamber’s public policy efforts and priorities, as we are in the middle of legislative sessions in both Minnesota and North Dakota. We had a strong and notable FMWF presence for our Chamber Capitol Day trips in each state; we were proud to testify, advocate for, and ultimately see ND HB 1199 pass for career academy funding in North Dakota; and we strongly and loudly opposed MN Senate/House File 2. Even if you’re not usually interested in public policy, I’d recommend flipping to those few pages for the full stories and to see the tangible impacts of state legislation, but even more importantly, the impact we can make when we stand together with a unified voice to promote and protect our region.

6 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 a note from the
president ThE chaMBEr
Shannon Full President & CEO Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Follow Shannon on Twitter! @FMWFShannon innovation – Growth – culture – Vision – Future.

meet the staff

Please briefly describe what you do in your position.

Donna Heck

As the Concierge Strategist for The Chamber Foundation, I am responsible to develop, manage and execute our newcomers programming. By developing close relationships with our stakeholders and businesses and identifying unique opportunities, newcomers to our region can engage and immerse themselves in our community’s vibrant and welcoming culture. I will also be responsible for curating meaningful experiences by building and supporting a network of passionate community advocates who are proud of our cities and want to show them off with genuine warmth and enthusiasm.

What do you love about your role so far?

I love that the program has the support of The Foundation with the goal to not only attract workforce talent but to retain newcomers to help find their special fit in our community and to call this place home. I will build the program based on the specific needs of our business partners and adjust as we move forward to roll the program out.

Why would you recommend business or professionals get involved in The Chamber?

The Chamber has such a strong supported presence in this area. To be involved in Chamber sponsored events, groups and programs is a great way to network with professionals as well as provide mentoring opportunities to future business leaders. The Chamber represents its members at many levels including locally, regionally, nationally and legislatively. To be a wellrecognized chamber among its peers says a lot about the staff working hard for the members, the members themselves, and the entire region.

More about Donna

I enjoy spending time with my family, whether it’s a quiet evening of puzzling or a full-blown family reunion. You can find me outdoors, hiking, biking, pickleballing, horseback riding, or finding ways to be fit. I love the excitement of traveling to a destination and discovering what’s along the way. Sometimes a road trip is good for the soul. I’m naturally curious and have an adventurous spirit.

Please briefly describe what you do in your position. As the Director of Communications & Marketing, I develop and implement communication and marketing strategies for The Chamber Foundation’s existing and future programs and initiatives. This means I’m writing compelling content and telling our organization’s amazing stories through various forms of digital and print media. The Foundation creates innovative solutions to our region’s most pressing issues like workforce attraction and making the community a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. I am truly passionate about finding unique opportunities to maximize community engagement for these very important topics.

What do you love about your role so far?

I love being out in the community engaging with businesses. I love attending events. I love building the communication and marketing strategies surrounding The Foundation and its programs and initiatives. And I love the energy this team has for the work they do. It’s so fun to work with people who care about their jobs, coworkers and making the community a better place.

Why would you recommend business or professionals get involved in The Chamber?

Connections! Being involved in The Chamber gives you opportunities to connect with your community, other professionals and potential clients and customers. Having a strong community network and solid ties to the Chamber means you will always have someone in corner.

More about Sadie

When I am not working, I am spending time with family and friends. I love mentoring and volunteering for various organizations in the community. I’m a huge sports fan and really enjoy being outside, preferably by water. I’m an adventure seeker, eternal optimist and forever learner.




a ND UN a B lE TO STa ND, Luttrell began to crawl through the mountains in search of shelter. Help arrived by way of the Afghan villagers of Sabray. They took Luttrell in, cleaned up his wounds and, honoring their tribe’s custom, protected him from the Taliban at the risk of their own lives. As the Taliban circled the village and the threats intensified, the village elder sought help from the nearest Marine outpost. Five nights after the nightmare began, Luttrell was rescued.

Marcus Luttrell’s 2007 #1 New York Times best-selling book, Lone Survivor, tells the harrowing story of four Navy SEALs who journeyed into the mountainous border of Afghanistan and Pakistan on Operation Redwing. An unparalleled motivational story of survival, the book is also a moving tribute to the friends and teammates who did not make it off the mountain. A powerful testament to the courage, integrity, patriotism and community that forged these American heroes, Lone Survivor is an incredible account of teamwork, fortitude and modern warfare. at this year’s Voices of Vision event, Marcus will show us what it means to be a courageous leader and team member. He will share what it takes to join America’s elite fighting force, to the battle on the mountain, to his family’s experience of community support and generosity, and back to his own incredible story of survival and grace. In powerful narrative, he will weave a rich account of courage and sacrifice, honor and patriotism, community and destiny that our attendees will find both wrenching and life-affirming.

Read Luttrell’s full bio:
8 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023





r aND paTriOTiSM





“i Will NEVEr QUiT. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.”



MIDWES T Economic Outlook Summit


PANEL: Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technology

• CAMILLE GRADE, Chief Market Officer, Bushel

• RANDY MARTINSON, Founder, Martinson Ag Risk Management

• DARRIN PETERSON, President, Marvin

PANEL: Energy, Finance, Healthcare

• STACEY ACKERMAN, Managing Director, Wells Fargo Private Bank

• GEOFF BARTSH, Senior VP of Market Growth and Retention, Medica

• JOHN TUMA, Commissioner, MN Public Utilities Commission

10 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023
RON J. FELDMAN First Vice President & COO Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis DOUGLAS G. DUNCAN Senior Vice President Fannie Mae

InFebruary, the Delta by Marriott in Fargo was packed full of Chamber and community members to hear from national keynote speakers and panels of regional experts as we discussed the future of our economy.

Douglas Duncan of Fannie Mae and Ron Feldman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis pulled the curtain back and gave attendees an in-depth look at the current state of various facets of our economy, as well as their predictions for 2023. The summit was livestreamed to 25 communities across 5 states via our co-hosting chambers of commerce.

Ron Feldman made it clear during his presentation that the Fed will not stop directly addressing inflation until it is under control. The goal of the Fed is to get inflation down to 2% and with full employment, all while avoiding a spiral of wage and economic inflation. Feldman said, “This is a really, really complicated, challenging time. There is no algorithm here. We’re going to look at the data and see if it’s consistent with getting inflation down to 2% and full employment.”

Douglas Duncan of Fannie Mae also predicted that the Fed would bump the federal funds rate a few more times by roughly 25 basis points each time. Duncan also expects a mild recession in 2023 with a comeback in 2024, with the dominant theme being Americans “awaiting improvements in affordability,” especially as it relates to the housing market and manufactured goods. Duncan further predicted that unemployment would rise throughout 2023, averaging around 5.4% in Q4 2023.

Our panelists spent a great deal of time demonstrating to attendees how their industries and businesses have been affected by the economic climate, and how they have shifted and responded to these challenges out of necessity. Most of our panelists labeled workforce/ labor attraction as a main concern. Whether due to housing supply shortages, childcare shortages, or lasting symptoms of the pandemic – such as nurses leaving healthcare due to high pressure and burnout – these businesses are finding themselves leading the way to find

creative solutions to these issues. Although it may appear that we still have a hill to climb as a region and nation, there is no denying that our business and community leaders in the Upper Midwest are willing to do whatever it takes to innovate, foster a vibrant economy and workforce, and ultimately succeed as a region.

Thank you to our Premier Sponsors Bremer Bank and Cass County Electric Cooperative for making these critical discussions possible. The Midwest Summit series is continuing to gain momentum and is now co-hosted by chambers of commerce across five states.

#Midwest Summit

Read inForum’s recap of the summit

American Federal Bank | Bell Bank | Bethany Retirement Living | Beverage Wholesalers, Inc. | Border Bank Concordia College | Cornerstone Bank | Eide Bailly LLP | Enclave | Flint Group | Houston Engineering, Inc. Medica | Midco | Moore Engineering, Inc. | North Dakota State University | Primacy Strategy Group Red River Commodities, Inc. | Western State Bank



This year’s event marked one of the largest State of the Cities that The Chamber has ever hosted, with over 675 business and community leaders filling the Delta by Marriott’s ballroom to listen to our area mayors.

With timely topics in the air and critical challenges facing our community, the mayors didn’t waste any time getting down to business and covering everything from future development and infrastructure to public school plans and childcare solutions.

Moderated by Chamber President & CEO Shannon Full, and Xcel Energy Principal Manager Tony Grindberg, the morning kicked off with each mayor taking a few minutes to directly address the audience to give major updates related to each city. This was then followed by over an hour of Q&A with the mayors, with questions from the moderators, audience members and livestream viewers.

A Mayor Moment

When asked about the importance and role of childcare as it relates to workforce, Horace Mayor Kory Peterson provided the audience with some astonishing figures. To get a grasp on the childcare shortages, the city created and distributed a survey to residents to provide tangible data about the current state of providers and families.

“We had 201 residents respond to this, which is pretty good. 38% of respondents were looking for allday daycare. 22 families have been on a waiting list for one year; 32 families have been waiting for two years. 54 families are still looking for after-school daycare.

“The biggest one for me, was when the residents were asked ‘has the lack of daycare affected your career.’ I had 47 people respond yes to that. We need to understand as a community that these daycare issues are significantly affecting our workforce.”

A Mayor Moment

West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis had many thanks to give and highlighted the success in working with other entities and cities. He also put a strong emphasis on the city’s commitment to public safety, as well as the accomplishments and upcoming challenges that West Fargo Public Schools are facing. Enrollment growth has been incredibly strong, and Dardis said that the school district will need a fourth high school in the near future. The mayor expects the West Fargo School District to become the largest in North Dakota by the year 2026.

“Our first grade, second grade and kindergarten classes are double the size of the graduating class this spring. [The school district] is a dynamic part of our community, and we are very proud of that.”

12 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 pr EM i E r S p ONSO r
solutions and strong partnerships into the future
solutions and strong partnerships into the future

A Mayor Moment

During his opening remarks, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney took some time to acknowledge the incredible working relationship that our cities and mayors have with one another.

“The five cities represented on this stage proudly provide the infrastructure backbone for nearly 250,000 residents. I would like to express my appreciation to Bernie, Shelly, Kory and Chad for your partnership and friendship as we work united to advance our metro forward.”

Mahoney also shared new plans regarding the remodel and expansion of the FARGODOME, as the city works to prepare the flagship venue for the decades to come.

Alerus | Apex Engineering Group | Bell Bank | Bethany Retirement Living Beverage Wholesalers, Inc. | Border Bank | Bremer Bank

Cass County Electric Cooperative | The City of Fargo

Concordia College | Cornerstone Bank | Dabbert Custom Homes

Dacotah Bank | Eventide Senior Living Communities

First International Bank & Trust | First Western Bank & Trust | Flint Group

FM Convention and Visitors Bureau | FM REALTORS | Gate City Bank

HDR Engineering, Inc. | Heartland Trust Company | Heritage Homes

Home Builders Association of FM | JLG Architects | Kilbourne Group

Marsh McLennan Agency | Marvin | McGough

Metro Flood Diversion Authority | Midco

Minnesota State University Moorhead | MWC Advertising of FM PARK CO., REALTORS | ROERS | Sandford Health | Stantec | Starion Bank

Wanzek | Western State Bank

A Mayor Moment

When discussing talent attraction and acclimation to our region, Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson made a big announcement regarding the future of Downtown Moorhead. Carlson shared that developer Kevin Bartram would be purchasing the U.S. Bank building and will be building a hotel downtown. An immense amount of effort and planning has been put toward reimagining and redeveloping areas of Moorhead, and with Clay County as the 4th fastest-growing county in Minnesota, it is crucial that the city is vibrant and has amenities to suit the populations we are attracting.

“It is go time. And that is the theme that we have for 2023.”

A Mayor Moment

Dilworth Mayor Chad Olson, discussing Dilworth’s efforts with the MN legislature to further support its first responders and public safety capacity, and also explaining the great working relationship between Dilworth and Moorhead when it comes to police and fire:

“This is all a part of the public safety package that we have. But first and foremost, we need to stand behind the men and women that stand up to keep us safe every single day. We owe that to them because they do a job that can be completely thankless. [Standing up for them] is all our jobs.”

p ONSO r

Developing, connecting and inspiring area leaders for over three decades.

Applications for the 2023-24 Leadership FMWF class open soon. Don’t miss this opportunity to apply, or to encourage a colleague to embark on this journey.

applicaTiONS arE OpEN FrOM March 15 TO april 7

14 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

the CVB’s mission is to enhance our local economy and quality of life through tourism as well as the development of our community as a destination. As the director of sports, my role is to help ensure my team is working alongside other departments within our organization to achieve our overall mission. My most important responsibility is to support the work of the amazing individuals on my team. If I am able to help them grow their wonderful innate talents, both personally and professionally, I firmly believe our organization will naturally grow and thrive as well.

Q: Why did you apply for LFMWF and participate in the program?

My reasons for applying for the Leadership FMWF program are twofold. First, I felt that LFMWF would provide me with other avenues to get involved in the community in which I live and work. In applying, I hoped to expose myself to additional ways that I might serve the FMWF community. Second, I believed my involvement in this program would help me continue my leadership journey and allow me to be surrounded by other community leaders who were also participating in LFMWF. One way I feel I can grow my own leadership acumen is by observing

other leaders around me. There are no perfect leaders in this world. I am no exception. I hoped that participating in this program would help me grow in this essential aspect of my life.

Q: What has been your favorite aspect of the program so far? So far, the most memorable aspect of the program has been the people I’ve met through our sessions. I am speaking not just of all the other amazing participants, but the guest speakers, local business leaders, non-profit masters…the list goes on and on. We truly have a deep well of talented, knowledgeable and passionate individuals in our community. It is people like these who help make our cities such magnificent places. I am grateful this program has provided a gateway for my path to cross with all of theirs, and I hope to continue to cultivate those relationships long after my time in the program has passed.

Q: Why do you think it’s important for professionals to experience programs like LFMWF, or other leadership and development opportunities?

I truly believe continued learning is essential for not only myself but for my family and employer. A person must regularly seek opportunities to cultivate the roots he or she has planted in these areas. If we don’t, we will stop growing, and there is always room for improvement. We are fortunate to have many options for professional development in our

community with programs such as LFMWF, the United Way’s 35 Under 35, special speakers and many others.

Q: How else do you continue to push yourself? How do you work to inspire and develop the people around you?

I tend to push myself and those around me out of our comfort zones. Instead of being paralyzed by the unknown, I feel those moments tend to wake me up. I embrace those moments and believe I can invoke that feeling of “I/We/You can figure this out.” When our CVB team is all in it together and we combine our talents, special things can happen.

Q: What is something employers, supervisors, friends or family members can do to continually develop and inspire the people around them?

I believe the answer to this is simple and doesn’t always have to do with careers. Live and treat every single person, no matter their status or walk in life, as though they deserve your utmost respect - because they do. Believe in them fiercely, and in return, they will believe in themselves. Everyone has something to offer this world. Find it, focus it, nurture it and then watch it flourish.

OF SPORTS Fargo-Moorhead convention and Visitors Bureau A participant of the current LFMWF class

Q: Why did you apply for LFMWF and participate in the program?

I decided to pursue the Leadership FMWF program after my manager at the time, Sandi Piatz, suggested I should look into the program. After learning more and connecting with past graduates I knew this was a program that I wanted to experience. The opportunity to form lasting relationships and influence our community were the reasons I said, “this is for me.”

Q: What was your favorite/most memorable aspect of the program?

There are so many memorable moments to recount. We started during COVID, so our first meeting was held outside in 90+ degree weather. That set the framework for knowing that I liked the people I was surrounded by. The Ropes Course also really helped to solidify relationships. The most rewarding session was hearing about our Community Change Initiatives and knowing that they were intentionally designed to make impact.

Scott Steinmetz

LFMWF Graduation Year: 2021

Q: What is something you took away from the LFMWF program that has benefitted you personally or professionally?

On a personal level, the relationships with cohorts from the program; we still get together. We are advocates and champions for one another. Professionally, again the relationships with cohorts. The alumni network is a great resource for professional growth and development. Outside of the relationships, going through this program has allowed me to see our community in a different light and drives me to help shape a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive region

Q: In your opinion, why is it important for professionals to experience programs like LFMWF, or other professional development opportunities?

For me there is a risk in spending the entire workday talking about the same things with common interests and goals. Programs like LFMWF help to introduce new perspectives. These perspectives encourage diversity of thought, new ways of doing what we have always done and positively influencing other organizations.

Q: How else do you continue to push yourself? If you supervise people, how do you work to inspire and develop the people around you?

I continue to push myself by being a servant leader and trusted advocate. I have a hard time saying, “No” when asked to serve. Giving of time and talent has helped me to stay connected in the community.

16 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 Leadership FMWF iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE

have you ever had that feeling where you’re sitting in the right seat on the right bus? That’s my dayto-day. I love how my role allows me to support our employee-owners in finding success, no matter how they define it. I connect with employeeowners across our footprint (100+ locations) and do my best to engage them with their work while feeling seen, heard and motivated to reach their goals. There’s nothing like connecting our employee-owners to each other and the resources they need to grow and reach their goals. It’s inspiring.

Q: Why did you apply for LFMWF and participate in the program?

I’ve lived in West Fargo my entire life – my house is literally down the street from where I grew up. Because of my time in the community, I thought I understood what the FMWF community offered. After connecting with a previous Leadership FMWF graduate, I was eager to apply, understanding that the program would show me through a deeper lens what the community had going on. I joined the LFMWF committee because there’s such a beautiful energyaround this program, and I wanted to stay as close to it as possible.

Lindsey Cernik


Q: Why do you think it’s important for professionals to experience programs like LFMWF, or other leadership and development opportunities?

Things in our lives don’t tend to get easier. Instead, we tend to do “hard” better. And we can do “hard” better by strengthening and expanding our attitudes, mindsets, skills and networks. Professional development programs, like LFMWF offer opportunities for people to try new things so that the next time something tricky comes along, the learner is better equipped to handle what’s coming their way either through a new attitude, mindset, skills by using their network or by using a combination of these.

Q: Do you have a favorite book that has inspired you?

A book I continually revisit is The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. It’s a reminder to slow down and give myself permission to strive for healthy living versus perfectionism. It helps me live my truth.

Q: How does Border States inspire and develop its people?

I feel so blessed to work with an organization that truly cares about its employee-owners and their growth. Of course, we have various learning opportunities (a companywide mentoring program, new supervisor program, Women’s Leadership Program, ERGs, etc.); however, it’s the companywide message that we own our career and experiences that I believe makes an impact. I think we’re in a world where people are continually asking what companies can do for them. And yes, there is merit to that. What I’ve come to lean towards now is that I and other employeeowners need to own our career, our culture at the company we own together and our experiences. That ownership is empowering and leads me to continually push myself because I’m supported by leadership and those around me.

Border States LFMWF Graduation Year: 2020

the Market Manager position is the General Manager role. I am here to work with our on-air team, sales team, traffic, production, full-time and part-time. Every day we work to put out a great product on-the-air that connects with the community while also building relationships on the sales side with prospective business customers. It is my responsibility to make sure the business runs smoothly, our team has the tools they need to succeed and to support them in their efforts to serve our communities.

Q: What do you love about your role at MWC Advertising?

The reason I love my job is because we help people. It may not seem like it, but radio stations are the ones that emcee non-profit events, raise money for non-profits, work with local businesses to develop and grow their business through advertising and marketing, and strive to be live and local all-thetime.

Q: Why did you apply for LFMWF and participate in the program?

Several people in our office had been around the program but had never been in it. When the opportunity arose in 2016, I knew I

LFMWF Graduation Year: 2018

was going to apply. My favorite part is that I thought I was for sure going to be accepted into the program. I thought I had a nice interview, I completed the entire application, and was a confident, dumb kid that just assumed I would get in. Luckily for me I submitted the application a day late and I was denied entry into the program.

I consider this to be a great lesson in my personal development. Never assume you deserve anything. My ability to get something submitted within the provided deadline clearly needed work, and because of it, I was denied something I really wanted. That made me apply in 2017 with more focus and intentionality, and it meant even more when I was accepted into the program.

Q: MWC Advertising is the Premier Sponsor for LFMWF, why do you invest in this program and support it at such an elevated level?

Every year since I was in the program, I have challenged our team to have someone apply. Rob Hall, Amber Ertelt, Donn Groth and now Brooklyn Haas are all either alums or are currently in The Chamber’s Leadership FMWF. We invest in LFMWF because it’s a place where you can send your up-and-coming team members who want to grow. The ones that want to meet new people, learn about our community and plant roots within our area. Our next great leaders will always have a place in Chamber Leadership, they just have to WANT TO BE THERE!

Q: In your opinion, why is it important for professionals to experience programs like LFMWF, or other professional development opportunities?

We’re never taught how to network. Philosophically sure, but never hands on in a work environment. It’s just difficult to do unless you throw yourself into the deep end. I find often that when younger people join the workforce out of school, they are still developing their own style. Their confidence is either offthe-chart or it doesn’t exist. The first thing I want people to learn on our team is that you can be as great as you want to be. If you put in the time and effort, you can build confidence and change your future. Everyone has the ability inside them. You just need to harness it and believe in yourself. LFMWF fosters that by forcing you into group projects, teaching you how to engage with different sectors of the Fargo-Moorhead community and instantly creates a network of 39 other people with likeminded motivations to help you find the answers to any question that may come up in your career.

If I have questions about something with Fargo Parks, I know I can talk to my classmate and friend Craig Bjur. If one of our lines are down at a transmitter site, Shawn Paschke from Xcel knows who to call. If I have a Chamber question, I go right to classmate Tyler Fischbach. These types of names are why you go through the program. I most likely would not be friends with these three had I not gone through the program. Not because we don’t like each other, but we live in slightly different business lanes. Now, because of LMFWF we’re genuinely connected for the future of our careers and the future of our community.

18 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 Leadership FMWF iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE
MWc advertising Fargo-Moorhead
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Accidental Salesperson by Chris Lytle. Also … Good Will Hunting.



The more informed, involved and inspired our young professionals are, the greater influence and impact they will have on our businesses, community and future.

20 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

my primary activities include being the on-site Sales Director for the team at Holiday Inn Fargo but my area duties are expanded beyond the walls to acting as a Sales coach for the multiple other Brandt-managed hotels in town. I’m most proud of the leadership aspect regarding both hats I wear. I genuinely try to show an essence of care to those that rely on my ability to work with them and make sure they are lined up for success in their own positions.

Q: How and why did you get involved with YPN?

When I moved to West Fargo in 2018 after having spent eight years in the Twin Cities area, it was like pushing a reset button on everything I knew about my sense of community. I had no idea what the area had to offer in terms of opportunities, whether that be for entertainment, friendship, stuff for the kids, and more. After a few months into settling in, I happened to see an ad for a YPN golf lesson event and thought it would be fun to join in on what seemed to be a really relaxed environment. This seemed like a great way to casually meet new contacts who may be either a great personal or professional connection.

Q: What is a goal that you have as a YPN committee member?

Fargo Moorhead West Fargo and the surrounding areas are going through a massive growth spurt. Retaining people once they get here is a big focus. As a member of the YPN Recruitment Committee, our focus has been to spread the good word about the many ways YPN can engage folks in their community, without having to move away from FMWF to seek out those experiences.

Q: How has YPN aided or played a role in developing or inspiring you?

Many would be surprised to know that, as extroverted as I am when enjoying a small or personal conversation, public speaking is an Achilles heel of mine. I ended up on recruitment committee to focus on some of that gracious speaking practice, as a lot of what we do is present to businesses and professionals about the benefits of YPN. This has calmed down a lot of presentation anxiety, and now my personal ‘bold goal’ is to speak in front of a crowd of at least 150 people before the end of 2024.

Q: Why is it important for our businesses and community to embrace programs like YPN, or efforts that uplift and inspire YPs?

Every single business owner has or should have a focus on community recruitment and retention right now. FMWF is a great place to live and put down roots, but it might not be as obvious as people think to those who aren’t from here. I truly believe in YPN’s impact on retention for local businesses.

Young Professionals Network
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Q: How do you try to uplift and inspire those around you?

a relevant leader I must continue to value and understand what ideas these young professionals have and are bringing to the table.

in my role I have the opportunity to work with the talented Sales, Marketing & Communication, and Customer Experience teams at BCBSND. It’s exciting to be able to work with these innovative and creative leaders!

Q: What do find most rewarding about your role at BCBSND?

I love that in this role I am able to work with our customers from across the state and I’m able to hear what is most important to them and their employees. This is a crucial time in healthcare and being an advocate for our employer groups to help simplify healthcare, ensure affordability and elevate the wellbeing of our members inspires me each and every day.

Q: You’ve been a past ‘YPN Lattes with Leaders’ speaker – why are you passionate about connecting with today’s YPs?

I have had the benefit of many kind and generous mentors throughout my career and it’s important to me to continue to pay it forward to support the growth of our up-andcoming leaders. It’s also a lot of fun to get to know the incredible talent that we have across our community, learn from them and hear their perspectives. In order for me to be

Q: When you were an emerging professional, what is something profound you experienced that had a positive impact your life or career?

My career was launched when one professional introduced me to another community leader who then gave me an opportunity to grow and develop in a supportive company. That is why I value helping connect others with information, people and opportunities to reach their personal and professional goals.

Q: How does your employer work to develop and inspire you and others?

My employer inspires me with the sincere care and priority that they have placed on encouraging wellness. This focus isn’t just physical wellness but also, and most importantly, mental health. That encouragement comes through our leaders and is supported throughout the organization. By making sure we are taking care of our health we are able to then care for our members and provide a great experience for them.

Naturally, I am a words-ofaffirmation fan for those around me. I have found, though, as I have developed as a leader that being a good listener and being present is one of the most important ways to uplift a teammate. To have someone that is truly invested in hearing what you have to say and asking key questions to help unpack a challenging situation can be one of the most authentic ways to build a deeper friendship and professional relationship.

Q: Do you have a favorite book that has inspired you??

The Go-Giver by Bob Burg has been a book that I have shared with many people throughout the years, as it’s a short, easy read that has a powerful message for someone looking to grow their network.

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Young Professionals Network

who takes part in other events with The Chamber, such as their Leadership FMWF program. My boss initially suggested it to me as an opportunity to network and get to know other local professionals within a similar age range as myself.

Q: What has been one of your favorite YPN memories?

ispecialize in the subfields of Municipal Design and Private Land Development. My job in regard to municipal design is to design municipal utilities such as storm water, watermain, sanitary main, streets/transportation, curb/gutter, grading, parks, and other public needs. As it relates to private land development, this is the civil design of private sites such as industrial, commercial, or residential facilities.

Q: What do you love about what you do at Stantec?

I love the creativity and individuality that my job allows. I could be given a site with the requirements and have a different design than any of my coworkers who work on the same team. There is an endless number of ways to design a site or project within the requirements, and I enjoy the freedom of being able to think in different ways to solve issues, and then translate that to paper for others to see and eventually build.

Q: How and why did you get involved with YPN?

I believe my first interaction was at one of the Off the Clock socials that was held over the summer, as well as the annual golf outing. I first heard of YPN through my boss

Q: How has YPN aided or played a role in developing or inspiring you?

YPN has further developed my professional skills in regard to conversing with others overall, and meeting peers in the industry. It has also inspired me to look further into other industries and ways that we can help one another and work together. YPN has allowed me to create new business connections, personal connections and friends.

One of my favorite YPN memories comes from one of the first events I attended; the annual golf event. I was teeing up at the start of a new hole, took a swing with the driver, heard a nice CRACK. I watched my golf ball bank hard to the right, then I also saw the head of the driver. I don’t know how I did it, but I broke the head off my driver. I am by no means a decent golfer and I was a bit apprehensive attending this event due to my skill level, but I had a great time laughing about my poor golfing abilities with others and hearing stories from others who have done something similar.

Q: How do you try to uplift and inspire those around you?

In general, I like to push people to do more than they have been pushed before, but also stand back and encourage from afar as they do so, and then celebrate their victories with them. I feel that this is a great way to support and help others without taking over and allows them have the lead and decide how to solve the issue at hand.

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as a senior underwriter, I help independent crop insurance agents across North Dakota and Minnesota provide insurance services to farmers. I act as a resource for agents to help deliver information on rules and regulations of federal crop insurance, as well as technical support for our computer systems and applications.

Q: What do you love about your job?

Growing up in a small town, I saw firsthand what agriculture can mean to a community. Seeing farmers be the epitome of hard work and hope for a better tomorrow is what made me want to work in this industry. I love my job in crop insurance because we help to be a bridge for the American Farmer in order to keep their operation going.

Q: How has YPN aided or played a role in developing or inspiring you? YPN has helped me grow in my professional career and in my personal life. No matter what industry you work in, being able to make a connection with someone and relate to them is crucial. YPN has allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone and meet new people, and accomplish things I didn’t think I was capable of doing.

Q: Why are you such a big fan of Corporate Cup?

Corporate cup is an awesome event that brings many diverse people together. Who doesn’t love a whole afternoon outdoors getting to meet different people and play games like kickball and ultimate frisbee? It’s like a full day of adult gym class! Plus, the connections your staff can make at a community event like this can pay huge dividends!

Q: What has been one of your favorite YPN memories?

One of my favorite memories of YPN was attending our Latte’s with Leaders event’s. This is a morning event where we have an influential individual from the community speak to young professionals. We had Erv Inniger from Choice Bank speak to us. He was a former professional basketball player and NDSU Men’s basketball coach. He spoke about his life and how staying motivated and persistent will push to get you where you want in your life and career.

that help inspire and uplift the people around us is our attitude and patience. How you react to situations with coworkers or family can make or break a day. Always bringing a positive attitude to the table makes the situation around you better. Being patient in tense situations allows us to not make any rash decisions and keeps you from regretting something wish you wouldn’t have done. A quote I always think about is “We make it through 100% of our bad days”. So many times, we have bad days and terrible results but how we react to them and the attitude we bring is completely our choice.

Q: Do you have a favorite book that has inspired you?

A favorite book of mine was one my manager gave me called The Fred Factor. This is the story about a mail carrier who always went above and beyond for his customers. He talks about how in life and career, we need to make a difference, build relationships, create value and continually reinvent ourselves.

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creating impactful and inclusive opportunities for professionals of color to develop and grow personally and professionally through meaningful engagement, experiences, and a sense of belonging.

28 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

iwork on Bremer’s DEI/Talent Acquisition team, recruiting for a variety of positions. I specialize in sourcing passive talent. I am passionate about Bremer and how banking can play such an important role in building thriving communities. That passion makes it easy for me to talk to potential job candidates about the company. The most rewarding part of my job is helping someone find the next step their career.

Q: How and why did you get involved with Professionals of Color?

I first found out about the POC group through work because Bremer is a sponsor. I initially got involved to meet and connect with others but was soon asked if I’d be interested in serving in a leadership role with POC.

Q: What is a goal you have as a POC committee member?

My number one goal is for this group to bring value to its members. There are several ways I see that happening: providing a local network, building friendships, educational content, and learning how to support one another.

Q: How has POC aided or played a role in developing or inspiring you? It has inspired me to be more involved in the community I live in. I’ve learned so much from attending our sessions. One session that particularly stands out was the presentation from the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County on Black history in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Q: How does Bremer Bank work to develop and inspire its people?

Bremer encourages their team members to be involved in their community, whether it’s through groups like this, board service or other volunteer efforts. Bremer pays employees to volunteer two days per year. Because of that, I’ve been able to help pack kits for the United Way’s Home for Good program, bag apples at the Great Plains Food Bank, and help Alan Page scholarship recipients build their resumes and prepare for interviews.

Q: How do you try to uplift and inspire those around you?

I think it’s important that everyone can share their story. We all have something to learn from each person around us, but for people to share, they must feel a sense of belonging. I try to make sure people feel comfortable around me and that will bring out the truest version of them.

Q: Why is it important for our businesses and community to embrace programs like POC, or efforts that uplift and inspire diverse professionals and populations?

It’s well established that building diverse teams helps businesses grow. Cultivating these groups can help keep diverse talent here in the FMWF area.

Q: What is an experience you’ve had that has positively impacted you personally or professionally?

At Bremer’s leadership conference this last Fall, I got to hear Carey Lohrenz speak. She was the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot in the Navy. Listening to her, the obstacles and barriers she faced, and the courage it took to overcome them was very inspiring. I remember at one point while listening to her I thought, “I would never have had the courage to do that,” but maybe now having heard it, I will.

Of Color iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE

iassist with the operations of Sanford Health’s virtual care emergency services in hospitals across a four-state region. This includes everything from implementation to training to troubleshooting to ongoing support. The emergency services cover trauma, stroke, and burn, so I get to work with a variety of specialties and people.

Q: What do you love about your role at Sanford?

I love helping people. Whether that is the patient who is receiving care or the healthcare professional who is delivering care, it is important to me that my work is impactful. My background is in education and as a former teacher I feel the most satisfaction knowing I have helped create a positive experience.

Q: What have been some pivotal moments or accomplishments in your life or career?

The career change I made during the pandemic would not have been possible without career counseling. I was fortunate that my undergraduate school has a career center that works with alumni. Having a professional help me take inventory of my skill sets, experience, and interests was invaluable. I highly recommend it!

Q: How and why did you get involved with Professionals of Color?

Two months after I moved to Fargo, a gunman in Atlanta killed eight people, six of whom were Asian. I had not yet found a community here – I had just started a new job and much of the world was still exercising caution due to COVID, so very few events were in person. It was hard to process another act of anti-Asian violence after already feeling isolated since the start of the pandemic. I started to seek out local BIPOC/DEI groups and during that process, the POC group was recommended to me. I was able to join their next meeting and even through Zoom, I felt the sense of belonging and affirmation that I had been looking for.

Q: How has POC aided or played a role in developing or inspiring you?

I am inspired by hearing the stories and experiences of other BIPOC individuals in the area. POC has given me a community. I’ve met people through this group I never would have crossed paths with otherwise, and I’ve gotten so much more involved in everything the FM area has to offer. It is amazing to have a community I can lean on when faced with adversity as well as celebrate our accomplishments and contributions.

Q: What else do you do to continue to push and develop your own skills?

Professional development often forces us to confront our own insecurities. Imposter syndrome can make opportunities feel really intimidating, especially for people with marginalized identities. A big part of my own growth has been learning to put myself out there – take the lead on a project, start the relationship building, try a new approach. I work at trusting myself and pushing past those feelings of inadequacy, as well as not being afraid of asking for help and feedback.

Q: How do you try to uplift and inspire those around you?

Storytelling is powerful. I share my story and encourage others to share theirs to whatever extent they are comfortable. The energy that comes from being in community with others is so affirming and carries us forward throughout the day, the week, the year. We are all the expert in our own life experiences, so we should take pride in being the author and spokesperson of our own stories.

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Professionals Of Color
Lynnea Eckhoff

iam responsible for tending to a vibrant ecosystem of faith initiatives and programs at Concordia College. As a Lutheran institution, Concordia College has inherited a rich theological tradition that summons us into the life of the world for the sake of making it more just, joyful, and trustworthy. From my position on the cabinet, I have four areas of responsibility: the Dovre Center for Faith and Learning, the Lorentzsen Center for Faith and Work, Campus Ministry, and interfaith programming.

Q: What do you love about your role at Concordia?

The most rewarding part of my job is to accompany people on their vocational journeys and to explore how they can both advance the mission of the college while also growing as human beings. At Concordia College, we are not just workers in an educational system. We are people in a complex community that is striving daily to orient ourselves and the world around us toward love.

Q: How and why did you get involved with Professionals of Color?

My family and I moved to FargoMoorhead in May 2022. Prior to that, our only experience with the community was a result of my interviews at Concordia. We quickly fell in love with this community— and despite the fact that I interviewed in the thick of winter!

POC has played an important role in that process. It has been a tremendously helpful forum for me to connect with other professionals of color from a wide range of fields— medicine, business, education, etc. People of color are doing truly incredible things in FargoMoorhead. We are builders in this booming corner of the Midwest, and I’m proud to be among them.

Q: What has been one of your favorite moments with POC?

My favorite moment was hearing Kayla Jones share about the incredible DEI work she is doing at NDSU. Her work is visionary, compassionate, and grounded in data. DEI is important work in higher education, but it often lacks the methodological and datadriven rigor that one would hope for at an institution of higher learning. But Kayla’s work is different. Her skills and talent are immense. Were it not for POC, I would never have met Kayla and been challenged to think about DEI in different ways.

Q: What do you do to continue to push and develop your own skills?

As someone who is constantly building teams, projects and initiatives, it is important for me to learn from people whose work is far afield of my own profession. For all its complexity and wonder, higher education can be a sheltered existence. At its best, this reality provides a focused space for learning and community building. At its worst, higher education can be an echo chamber that perpetuates all kinds of troubling patterns, practices, and priorities. It is especially important for me to be in regular conversation with people whose strengths, disciplines, and philosophies are different from my own. I need to travel with people who see this world in fundamentally different ways. A regular pattern of having my norms and expectations disrupted allows me to bring fresh insight to spaces that might otherwise be stagnant and selfperpetuating.

Q: What have been positive or impactful qualities of past bosses or leaders you have had?

The best bosses I’ve had saw me not only as a worker but also as a human being. In addition to providing direction, vision, and accountability, they also served as coaches or mentors concerned with my wellbeing as a person.




Women connect exists to bring women together in a unique and courageous forum that will build authentic connections, provide opportunities to be brave, and inspire personal and professional leadership.

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Q: Essentia Health is a major supporter and Premier Sponsor of The Chamber’s Women Connect. Why is Essentia so dedicated to this program and its mission?

my job focuses on clinical quality and patientexperience goals as well as recruitment, retention and mentorship. I am still practicing clinically, so women’s health continues to be my passion, but a close second is mentoring other women in leadership.

Q: What is something Essentia Health is proud of related to developing and inspiring people?

We recently introduced a new tool called the Great VIBES Recognition Program in which employees at all levels can be recognized by their leadership teams and colleagues for outstanding actions in line with our values. We’ve received many positive comments about the value of the program, and it’s wonderful to see so many colleagues using it, which allows us to foster purposeful connections with one another. This brings us more joy and satisfaction in our work.

By sharing recognition with our colleagues, we can boost our attitudes, and by sharing appreciation with our patients, we can improve their experience and possibly even their health outcomes.

The Chamber’s Women Connect program recognizes the value of bringing women together to develop personally and professionally. We know that coming together gives us greater resources to achieve our mission and vision and strengthen our core values. By contributing to this program, we help our community reach its potential.

We believe in having a meaningful presence in the communities we serve and living out our values of stewardship and teamwork. With our team involved in Women Connect, we can make those additional connections, which can have a healthy impact on people’s lives.

Q: How do you continue to develop yourself personally and professionally?

I am always learning on the job from others and by getting feedback. I also decided to return to school in the fall of 2021. I will graduate from Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business with my MBA this May. This has been an incredible opportunity to go outside my comfort zone as I had never taken business classes previously. This has helped me expand my skillset in ways that will enhance my leadership and expand the lens through which I view the world.

Q: Who is someone in your life that has pushed you to grow personally or professionally?

I have been fortunate to have many incredible people in my life who have inspired and pushed me to grow. There are a handful of women especially that have walked with me through my most difficult moments in life and taught me how to gain strength from weakness, vulnerability, heartache and pain. They have also taught me how to be a friend, a spouse, a daughter, a mother and a coworker. These are simple lessons in life that didn’t come naturally to me. I learned from those around me that I admired. I have been gifted with an amazing circle of women both personally and professionally throughout my life.

Women Connect

at Dale Carnegie Training I have the opportunity to share about the great transformations we facilitate with our partners, friends, and communities. It is my goal that everyone knows who we are and what we do! It is my job to a lead the development and execution of aligning brand and marketing strategies while enhancing the client experience throughout the duration of their Dale Carnegie experience. Truly the most rewarding aspect is watching the transformation in each participant as they hone in on their strengths to become better employees, leaders, and humans!

On top of my day to day, last year I was given the opportunity to become certified in facilitating our Dale Carnegie Course – it’s truly a gift to come alongside clients in transforming their skills in self-confidence, communication, people skills, leadership & stress management

Q: How and why did you get involved with Women Connect?

As a new college graduate, I was so fortunate to find a leader who encouraged me to get involved in The Chamber. Years later, when the Women Connect events began, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from other female leaders

Dale Carnegie Training of ND & NW MN

in the community in how they navigate unique challenges in the workforce, and how they became such amazing leaders. When I was approached about presenting at Women Connect virtually during COVID on “Finding Joy in the Muck” it was such a growth opportunity that stretched my comfort zone, and grew my confidence in the leader I am in the process of becoming.

Q: How do you try to uplift and inspire those around you?

The biggest things I try to keep top of mind are to listen and show up. It’s simple, and not always easy. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of our days, but when we take the time to listen to each other, and truly put into practice the “platinum rule” of treating others how they want to be treated, it’s incredible to see what happens.

Q: Why is it important for our businesses and community to embrace Women Connect or other programs that uplift and inspire professionals?

Women make up a large portion of our workforce, and when we continue to empower and embrace the programs that support everyone, we will have a happier, more engaged workforce. Programs like Women Connect inspire peer to peer support, creating a ripple effect that attracts new talent to our region.

Q: What is an experience you’ve had that has positively impacted you?

In my professional experiences I have been lucky enough to have leaders who have believed in my abilities and pushed me outside my comfort zone. It is outside my comfort zone where I have grown the most.

Professionally, the biggest growth I have seen in myself was through the Dale Carnegie Course & Dale Carnegie High Impact Presentations courses – truly transforming how I navigate my professional life, and how I have been able to grow my confidence.

34 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 Women Connect iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE

as the Director of Mission Development at BIO Girls, I have the privilege of providing awareness and opportunities to community members to help facilitate and fund the growth of our impact. Our mission is to increase the selfesteem of adolescent girls through our 12-week program, and it has proven to do just that

Q: Why are you passionate about your work at BIO Girls?

Starting as a volunteer for BIO Girls, I truly fell in love with the mission and the importance of the work we are doing as a preventative program for the mental health crisis our youth are facing. Having a “job” that I get to share the good news of our mission with those around me almost doesn’t seem real.

Relationships and connection are two of the things I value most in life. Being able to create connections in the community not only for the greater good of the BIO Girls mission, but for people to find any project they might be passionate about is so fulfilling.

Q: How and why did you get involved with Women Connect?

My first interaction with Women Connect was throwing my hat in the ring to be a speaker. This was my first time ever speaking and sharing my story of a course corrected career path after being faced with a life-threatening illness back in 2017.

Q: How has Women Connect aided or played a role in developing or inspiring you?

Women connect has played a huge role in helping me discover my love for speaking and connecting with authenticity, vulnerability and shared experiences. It opened a window to a world I never knew I was passionate about which is continuing to speak and share my story to bring hope to others in challenging times.

Q: To you, what has been the most impactful about being involved with Women Connect?

As a new member of the Women Connect Committee, I have felt nothing but a warm welcome from these women who have embraced me with open arms. What I find most impactful is that we each have different backgrounds, strengths, and voices to offer the group which makes me excited for the future of Women Connect for our community!

Q: What has been one of your favorite Women Connect moments?

Beth Nelson was one of my favorite speakers at Women Connect. I had the privilege of hearing her speak the month before I had the opportunity to do the same, and it was no coincidence that she was speaking that day. She has inspired me every day since to grow in my faith and do my best to be better for those around me each and every day.

Q: How can emerging professionals become more connected or take a next step in their personal or professional development?

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Ask questions every chance you can. Be authentic and have a willingness to be vulnerable to create true connection with others.

Q: Who is someone you look up to?

I look up to so many people it’s hard to pick just one. One of my earliest mentors I can think of that still is an inspiration to me is my motherin-law, Becky. She has led such an incredible life full of generosity, kindness, and authenticity. Showing others, including myself, that just being yourself and doing the next faithful thing, big or small, you can impact everyone you encounter.

FMWFCHAMBER.COM 35 Women Connect iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE

Tuesday, March 28

3 to 6 p.m.

pines Black

4487 165th ave SE, Davenport, ND 58021

Women Connect is hosting its second annual Intentional Collisions event to directly connect area professionals with the influential women of our community. Each attendee will have the opportunity to have up to 15 ‘collisions’ with these leaders to become acquainted, share insights and experiences, and receive advice. This will be a highly engaging, interactive and rewarding experience for all participants involved. Trust us, by the end of this you’ll be amazed at how quickly time flies and you’ll be wanting more time to connect. There will be a social after the event, so stick around for more fun and continued conversations. Happy connecting, and we look forward to seeing the meaningful and lasting relationships that form during and after this event.

get involved
36 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023



Non-prof it stories

developing & serving our people and communities.
Content 38 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

Boy Scouts of america

• If you want your kids to learn how to become athletes and become physically active, you enroll them into a school or club sport.

• If you want your kids to learn how to cook, you send them to culinary school.

• If you want your kids to learn how to swim, you sign them up for swimming lessons.

• If you want your kids to learn how to perform and act in front of crowds, you enroll them in theater.

• If you want your kids to learn how to be a leader and a role model to their peers, you sign them up for one of the many leadership opportunities through school.

In partnership with over 100 local organizations, the Northern Lights Council serves nearly 5,000 youth through 2,000 adult volunteers in the state of North Dakota, 18 counties in Minnesota, and two counties in both South Dakota and Montana. The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

Scouting works through neighborhoods, civic clubs, schools, and faith-based organizations to help young people appreciate and respond to the needs of others. In 2022, Scouts in our council gave over 40,000 community service hours through a variety of different projects, which is valued by the public sector at over $1 million towards local communities.

In addition to imbuing a strong moral foundation based on the Scout Oath and Scout Law, Scouting teaches a variety of practical life skills including leadership, planning, group dynamics, emergency preparedness, ethical decision making, cooking, fiscal management, and the value of community service. In short, Scouting creates young women and young men who are ready to face life’s many challenges with confidence, competence, character, caring and connection. It is not an accident that many of our current community leaders in business, education, service clubs and government were once scouts.

If you are interested in helping with a local pack or troop, helping at a summer camp, making a gift to local Scouting, or just learning more about how Scouting changes lives, please call our office at 701-293-5011 or email us at

Inspiring, developing
serving our people and communities.
Non-prof it stories
And if you want your kids to do all of the above, plus learn countless other life skills, and do it at one tenth the price of what you’d pay for all those other programs... you sign your kids up with the Boy Scouts of america.
Sponsored Content FMWFCHAMBER.COM 39

Rape and Abuse Crisis Center

RACC’s mission is to offer crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, and education to all persons affected by sexual and domestic violence and provide prevention programs to create a society free of personal abuse.

RACC is the largest non-sheltering crisis center in the state of ND and has been serving the community for more than 46 years. RACC’s services are incorporated into our community’s formal response to violence and victimization.

RACC collaborates with numerous partners to ensure survivors of abuse and their children receive the comprehensive support they need in a timely and sensitive manner. RACC works closely with area health providers, law enforcement, judicial and legal services, homeless shelters, and schools to provide trauma informed intervention services.

Prevention education is imperative in tackling the root causes of interpersonal violence. The team of RACC prevention educators provide age appropriate, evidence based and comprehensive curricula from ages Pre-K through College. Currently 47 elementary schools throughout our community have received education and training this school year.

RACC supports victims affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, or child sexual abuse. All victim services are free, confidential, accessible, appropriate, and distributed on a nondiscriminatory basis.

RACC recognizes that due to the nature of the work, our team steps into dangerous situations regularly and are at risk of vicarious and secondary trauma. RACC offers various EAP options, has an internal wellness committee, and sponsors wellness events. Spiritual and emotional health is important, so flexible schedules and generous leave time is offered.

Community support is vital. Whether volunteering, donating, or sharing our mission with others, RACC relies on members of our community to keep our mission moving forward.

Non-prof it stories Inspiring, developing & serving our
Content 40 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

Non-prof it stories


deserves a decent place to live on terms that they can afford. At Habitat for Humanity, this is the driving force that leads our mission.

Everything starts at home. Lake Agassiz Habitat for Humanity is the local arm of a worldwide mission that strives to eliminate substandard housing. Having a decent and affordable place to live has positive effects on every aspect of your life. Education, health, safety, opportunities, community engagement, financial wellbeing are all improved when you don’t have to worry about the conditions of your housing, or how you can afford to put a roof over your head.

Through shelter, we empower. The mission is more than building homes. The families that we serve often come to us with little hope for the future. The process is designed to help them build belief in themselves and their future. The families that we partner with work incredibly hard for this opportunity. The process begins for them about 2 years before we pound the first nail of their home. By the time their home is completed, they have contributed more than 300 hours of sweat equity (per adult), completed our homeownership course, and have built the confidence that they need to take on this life-

changing opportunity. They are excited to take on their mortgage because it is affordable (often much less than the rent they were paying) and they know that their payments will help provide this same opportunity for other families.

Volunteers are empowered too! Habitat homes are community builders. Every home we build takes about 275 volunteers to complete. Many of these volunteers have never built anything, much less a home. They often leave with new skills & new friends. They absolutely leave knowing that they have changed a family’s lives for generations to come.

The need is great. Worldwide, about 1 in 4 people live in housing situations that threaten their health, safety, prosperity or opportunities.

In Cass & Clay Counties, there are about 10,000 families who pay more than 50% of their income on housing, plus many more who are living in unsafe and unhealthy places. Every year, we have many more families qualify for our program than we can serve.

You can change lives! Our homes are not free to our families, but they are not possible without the support of people in the community. Whether your tool is a hammer or a checkbook, your support will change lives for generations to come. Learn more at www.

Inspiring, developing & serving our people and communities. Sponsored Content


Eventide Senior Living Communities has lived its mission of advancing compassionate care and service excellence, and empowering older adults, families and communities to thrive. Eventide is a faith-based, non-profit senior healthcare system headquartered in Moorhead, MN and serves over 1,200 residents daily at its six locations which also include Fargo, West Fargo, Jamestown, and Devils Lake, ND. Eventide provides a full range of lifestyle and service options, including independent and assisted apartment living, memory care, skilled nursing care and rehabilitation/transitional care.

The Eventide mission and ICARE core values set a standard of excellence for both resident care and their work environment. Eventide hires the best people who share their passion for hospitality and commitment to service and the organization strives to ensure employees are empowered to make a difference. Eventide’s values, Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence, are the foundation of what the team focuses on each and every day.

Ever evolving to meet the wants and needs of older adults and employees, Eventide’s vision is to be a premier healthcare partner in the region. The organization is committed to providing the best care to residents and great opportunities to their team.

When it comes to empowering residents, Eventide takes a whole-body/mind approach. Their Grow Bolder philosophy is focused on enhancing intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual, occupational and physical well-being to promote an active

and engaged life. Whether residents are interested in growing a spiritual practice or incorporating strength workouts a few times a week, Eventide offers an array of activities and events, so those living at their communities can keep as active and busy as they desire.

Great workplace culture is also priority at each of the organization’s locations. Eventide recognizes how much hard work goes into providing the best care and experiences for residents and families. It is important that each team member also has a great experience. Eventide keeps a pulse on culture by conducting regular engagement surveys to gather information from employees on what needs attention and what is going well, and then uses that information to makes changes and evolve the team member experience.

Eventide’s communities are places bustling with activity, from themed happy hours in their pubs, to guided canvas painting courses, to Eventide University classes, and so much more. If people haven’t experienced the senior living communities of today, Eventide encourages them to stop by and find out what they mean by Growing Bolder.

Non-prof it
42 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023
Inspiring, developing & serving our people and communities.
Sponsored Content

YWCA Cass Clay:

bringing safety and solving homelessness

One in four women in America will experience domestic violence or traumatizing stalking, including women in and around Fargo-Moorhead. YWCA Cass Clay is where women and children fleeing domestic violence and homelessness come 24 hours a day for emergency shelter.

l ast year, 1,134 individuals gained 22,671 nights of shelter, 86% fleeing violence upon arrival.

Once basic needs of safety, food and clothing are met, we turn to empowerment. Programs are onsite for health, employment, education, and children’s needs. Each woman is paired with a caring advocate who understands trauma and is ready to activate survivors’ internal strengths to overcome barriers in life.

At YWCA, we know the answer to homelessness is safe, affordable housing. In stable housing, women grow healthier, improve their income, and break the cycles of violence and homelessness for themselves and their children.

l ast year, 258 had a foundation for success in YWca supportive housing.

While best known for shelter and housing, YWCA Cass Clay also operates safe harbor units for survivors of human trafficking, brings housing stabilization services, offers racial justice programming, and honors empowering women and businesses each year at the inspiring Women of the Year event.

Volunteers invest their hearts and hands in our mission as committee members, event volunteers, cooks in our kitchen, teachers of life skills classes, and many other roles. Many individuals and businesses organize donation drives for food and hygiene items.

Service at YWca and support of this work is a rewarding path for all who join in our mission! Learn more and get involved:

Non-prof it stories Inspiring, developing
serving our people and communities.
Sponsored Content

Non-prof it stories


is fortunate to have a leader who is compassionate, dedicated and committed to serving those in need. We got the opportunity to learn more about this nonprofit agency and the value it brings to all communities in North Dakota by visiting with Executive Director, Jennifer Illich.

FirstLink serves all of North Dakota and parts of Minnesota. Their mission is to assist individuals in identifying, accessing, and making effective use of community and volunteer resources. This non-profit answers the 988 suicide and crisis phone line and the 211 information and referral helpline. When calling 988 with a 701 and some 218 area codes, an individual is connected with a FirstLink call specialist to offer listening support, a safety plan and a higher care plan in a time of need. The team assists individuals and their loved ones with life crises’, mental health and suicide risks.

“I want everyone to know that they can dial our number and feel comfortable talking to a member of our FirstLink team. We are well-trained and available to listen and

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Inspiring, developing & serving our people and communities.
FMWFCHAMBER.COM 45 ONLINE MASTER’S PROGRAMS EARN A DEGREE WHILE YOU WORK For more details, visit There‘s never been a better time to invest in downtown Fargo. Limited to Accredited Investors CALL TO LEARN MORE ABOUT INVESTING IN THE OPPORTUNITY ZONE Bill Rothman, CFO,, 701-773-5017 Employees 21,000+ Residential Units 300 New Projects 2 Residents 5,000+

Nashville’s Partnership 2030 is an incredible example of regional stakeholders working in tandem to address their regional workforce, quality of life and economic development needs. It is a finely tuned engine. The Nashville Chamber is an effective leader and critical convener of the necessary groups to make lasting impact in their community.

Learning and experiencing emerging best practices from other organizations is essential for our community. The time I spent with Nashville leaders gave us an opportunity to share ideas, practices, and gather feedback on our initiatives. It provided opportunity to reflect upon the larger infrastructure of our workforce environment.

One of my top takeaways from the trip were seeing how Nashville has grown their workforce platform, which is similar to Ignite FMWF. They have been implementing their platform for longer than we have, and I really liked seeing where we could be in two years if we keep moving forward and spreading the word about Ignite. This trip positively impacted me in many ways, one of which was creating connections and contacts with peers in the Nashville area. Growing a network of individuals who are working in the same areas, and who have different experiences and new information, will truly benefit me. It is amazing to connect with other chamber professionals, to learn and grow as a professional here in the FMWF community.

I learned so much from the Nashville Chamber. It was particularly interesting to hear how they measured success of their programs and initiatives, especially those that we had in common. They do a fantastic job of using data and metrics to gauge their impact. In the advocacy realm, I took away the importance of conveying the value of public policy efforts. One way the Nashville Chamber uniquely does this is through measuring the success rate of their policy priorities.

I’m excited to continue a relationship with my counterparts on the Nashville team. This ongoing ability to learn from one another will positively impact our Chamber for years to come.

Not only is the city of Nashville vibrant and energetic, but the team at that chamber is filled with a special drive and passion to serve their community. It was an incredible opportunity for our chamber teams to put our heads together, address common community challenges, and work alongside each other to enhance the impact and success of both organizations. I was also able to spend some quality time with their communications team and walked away with powerful ideas to take our FMWF comm team to the next level, both internally and externally as we serve our members. I also left this trip feeling very proud of our community, members, and Chamber. Let’s keep at it!

fmwf chamber meets nashville area chamber

fmwf chamber meets nashville area chamber

I took away many ideas regarding sponsorships and programs that I believe will be beneficial for us in the short and long-term. I’m also looking forward to reaching out to their sponsorship team on a regular basis to continue to share ideas and best practices. It was nice to hear from them that our Chamber does many things better than they do. For instance, our annual planning, event budgeting process, sponsorship and visibility guide and our customized proposal format. Nashville’s Chief Growth Officer Rita and I will become fast friends.

I had never been to the Country Music Capital of the World, so being able to see a new place, live music on every corner, and the rich history of the city was energizing. I also enjoyed spending the week with my fellow Chamber teammates.

The events world is ever-changing, like most industries are, and I learned a lot from the Nashville Chamber about how they are staying relevant to their community through events and being inclusive to a broad member base.

After meeting with the Nashville’s membership team, I’m excited to begin implementing similar programs that really focus on engaging our smaller businesses. At The Chamber, we want to be accessible and intentional with all our businesses and it’s my team’s goal to enhance our efforts moving forward.

Our internal team is the most important asset to the organization. One of our goals is to make sure we are developing our team members for both their professional goals as well as our organizational goals. An InterChamber visit, like the one we just experienced, provides us insights, best practices and lessons learned from a highly recognized, high performing chamber. Our Board of Directors at The Chamber believes that professional development is key to the organization’s success, and team member engagement and retention. We have individual and team professional development opportunities for each of our team members.

A crucial Nashville takeaway for me, which is something I knew but became even more apparent, was that we are so blessed to have dedicated, passionate, and grateful professionals on The Chamber team. The Nashville Area Chamber president and I spent intentional time exploring additional meaningful and unique was for us to invest in our people, to further elevate our organizations’ impact on our regions.


organizational excellence and professional development are a top cornerstone and priority for The FMWF Chamber; the better we are as a team, the better we can serve and lead our community. Thank you to all of our members for supporting and investing in our organization as we work daily to be a catalyst for growth and prosperity for the region.

Recently attended a Minnesota c hamber of commerce Executives (MccE) conference

I always look forward to connecting with chamber colleagues; they possess such a great deal of experience and knowledge. I believe it is key to be in constant communication with these folks to keep a pulse on the activities that are taking place throughout the chamber world as it relates to Minnesota’s Legislative Session. During my past MCCE conference, I had the opportunity to visit with several chamber executives and expanded my understanding of how chambers across the state engage in the legislative session. In addition, I enjoyed forming relationships with peers across the state that are in a similar role at their respective chamber.

Experiences like MCCE are pivotal when looking at my professional growth and the growth of The Chamber’s Public Policy department. It is advantageous for me to be able to connect with established chamber executives, as well as bring ideas back to our team to heighten our public policy and advocacy work.

Recently attended a Minnesota c hamber of commerce Executives (MccE) conference

Being that this was my first conference as part of The Chamber team, it was eye-opening to meet and learn alongside other chambers of different sizes and makeups. Some attendees had been working with their chambers for two weeks, others 20+ years; some had teams of two people, while others had several dozen. Listening to the wide variety of experiences from these colleagues added a unique aspect to the trip that I was pleasantly surprised to find!

Attending conferences and development opportunities like MCCE are extremely beneficial because I get to learn not only from session speakers and their experiences, but also from other chamber teams across Minnesota. It gives a new understanding on the breadth of chamber work being done in our region, and allows me to come back with a new mindset on how we can approach our team’s work on projects both big and small, along with the skills to do so.

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The inquisitive, genuine and passionate nature of my classmates is infectious. Knowing that these 39 other professionals are seeking to serve the community and make FMWF a better place to live, gives me a renewed sense of pride for our metro.

When I think about the lFMWF program, the words visibility, opportunity and responsibility come to mind. Too many of us, myself included, believe we are completely autonomous. We can see what’s right in front of our face but don’t fully grasp the implications, nuances and connectedness of the world around us. Participating in the Leadership program has opened my eyes, allowing me to see that my life is not as independent as I thought. The LFMWF program has brought a needed visibility to certain organizations and experiences, and our class members now have the opportunity, and dare I say responsibility to act in kind. This awareness is invaluable.

We are pleased to announce that Tyler Fischbach, our vice president of communications, has recently graduated from the U.S. c hamber of c ommerce’s i nstitute for Organization Management (iOM).

The IOM Graduate Recognition signifies Tyler’s completion of 96 credit hours of course instruction in non-profit management. Through a combination of required courses and electives in areas such as leadership, advocacy, marketing, finance, and membership, Institute participants enhance their organizational management skills and add new fuel to their organizations, making them run more efficiently and effectively.

I decided to apply for 35 Under 35 because as a young professional, I wanted to take the next step in developing my leadership skills and to push myself outside of my comfort zone. I found myself questioning who I was as a leader and what type of leader I wanted to be. Not only has this program helped me uncover this, but it’s also pushed me on a personal level. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to experience this journey with 34 other women who I can use as a sounding board for my career and life. My favorite memory so far has been an exercise we did with Erik Hatch on vulnerability. He asked us several questions and we had to move from one side of the room or the other depending on our answers. It was really powerful to see as we often forget that someone’s success and the way they present themselves often masks internal struggles.

I am looking forward to continuing to experience this program, and to heighten my connections and impact as a professional in this community.

Bernt Eidsmoe
FMWFCHAMBER.COM 49 leadership results iNSpiriNG aND DEVElOpiNG pEOplE



CEO / Founder The Greenhouse

Our Core Focus at The Greenhouse is Growing Businesses & People to the Next Stage. Whether you are a new startup and building a foundation, growing and scaling your business or looking at exit or succession coming soon, our team and Strategic Partners help organizations, teams and individuals really blast through that ceiling and moving forward through customized coaching, consulting and training. I’m lucky in that I’m not only guiding our team and direction of our organization, but I’m also right in the weeds working hand-in-hand with our clientele on a daily basis.

Q: What do you love about what you do?

Hands down, the best part about my role and the impact The Greenhouse is making, is seeing the success of our clients. Most of them are coming to us after trying multiple other options unsuccessfully, so when we’re able to help them smash through that ceiling it’s extremely rewarding and fulfilling for not only them, but just as much for our team.

Q: What has your career path looked like?

Before getting into professional business coaching, I spent over a decade as a public school teacher. Shortly after leaving education, I started my own health and wellness coaching and consulting business. Over time, that business morphed from health and wellness to holistic life coaching. Finally, it then shifted into more 1:1 high performance coaching, ultimately landing on what I do now in working with leadership teams across the country.

Q: You have a long track record of inspiring and developing people – why are you so committed to this work?

Behind everything we do personally and professionally, there’s always a common thread woven throughout all of it that drives us on the deepest level. My passion has always been helping others grow and develop into the best person and professional they can be for those around them and for themselves. I’m a learning and information junkie, and nothing excites me more than learning new skills and applying them successfully to help others and myself grow.

Q: The Chamber has been going through EOS with you for over a year. How has that process been from your perspective?

No doubt, the openness and communication around issues and then acting on those items has reached a new level of success. Team health is THE most important factor for high-performing teams, and it’s been so fun coaching and guiding The Chamber team through the tough conversations and difficult decisions that all organizations face.

Q: Is there someone in your life who has been an inspiration to you?

Growing up, I never quite realized the enormous influence my dad had on me around work ethic. His was unmatched, and It’s something I see in myself every day and I directly credit him with entrenching that value in me personally and professionally. It’s allowed me to really go fast and far professionally in a short amount of time.

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FMWF Chamber Day at the ND Capitol FMWF Chamber Day at the ND Capitol

Over 25 business and community leaders headed to Bismarck in February for our FMWF Chamber Day at the North Dakota Capitol. The group’s mission was to bring a strong presence and advocate for the unique business priorities that impact the Fargo/West Fargo area.

Our FMWF group was honored to be recognized in both the Senate and House Chambers while listening to floor sessions where legislators voted on key legislation. Several legislators and department leadership joined our delegation to discuss workforce, childcare, infrastructure, military, taxes, budget, business climate, and Fargo/West Fargo-specific issues. Business leaders gained insight and vocalized their thoughts and concerns on various legislation.

One of the meeting highlights was hearing from a handful of our Fargo/West Fargo legislators on the progress of the legislative session, policies they are working on, and how The Chamber and business community can help push our area’s issues across the finish line. The discussion was heavily focused on: workforce – career workforce academy funding and establishing an immigration office; business climate –automation tax credit and tax proposals; infrastructure – Red River Valley Water Supply Project; and voter awareness.

We invited the entire legislative assembly and all statewide leadership to a social and educational event with our business and community leaders. First International Bank & Trust hosted the event with Governor Doug Burgum providing remarks. Over 100 leaders attended the event to meet and connect with our delegation and to learn more about our priorities.

On our final day in Bismarck, we were honored to join Governor Doug Burgum for breakfast at the Governor’s Residence. We are thankful for the Governor’s time, hospitality, and attentiveness to the FMWF business community’s priorities.

Notable gratitude goes out to the businesses, groups and individuals that made this trip possible. The Chamber would like to thank our Public Policy Sponsors, Primacy Strategy Group, First International Bank & Trust, FMWF business and community leaders, state leaders and legislators.


Burgum Signs the First Bill of 2023 Legislative Session

North Dakota HB 1199 – Career Academy Funding

The Chamber is proud to share that the first bill Governor Doug Burgum signed during the 2023 legislative session, provided a $68 million line of credit to help finance the construction of 13 planned career academies across the state. This will allow our students to pursue high-demand careers in the trades, health care, technology and other sectors to help meet workforce needs.

The Chamber, alongside area and state leaders, has worked and testified diligently in Bismarck over the past weeks to advocate for the quick passage of this bill through the House and Senate, and onto the Governor’s desk. These career academy projects will have a positive and long-term impact on our workforce system and talent pools. This bill was crucial because it allowed immediate funding through the Bank of North Dakota, as the federal funding for these projects had not yet been released to the state, and with no timeline.

“Establishing career academies across North Dakota is a critical piece of our comprehensive efforts to address the state’s workforce shortage,” Burgum said in an official press release. “We are fortunate to have the resources available to honor the commitment made in 2021 and provide authority to borrow from the Bank of North Dakota to get these projects going and avoid delaying construction. We’re grateful to leaders Hogue and Lefor and every member of the Legislature for backing this important bill that will create new opportunities for our high school and college students and support economic growth.”

The next step for The Chamber will be advocating for inflationary funds for these career academy projects, as costs have increased since original appropriations.

chamber Day at the MN c apitol

On March 1 and 2, The Chamber hosted an organized group of over 20 Clay County business and community leaders in St. Paul for an event dedicated to our area’s priorities. This important trip included meetings with legislators, various policy meetings, a legislative briefing from Primacy Strategy Group and more. Conversations centered around our area’s top priorities including workforce, infrastructure, education, taxes, public safety and border city policies. We thank our dedicated business and community leaders for bringing their voices to St. Paul with us, and strengthening the presence and influence of our region at the Capitol.

Stay tuned to our social media and the next Bridge magazine for an in-depth recap.

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The Chamber and MN Business Leaders Stand Up Against

Senate/House File 2

A proposed mandatory family leave program in Minnesota

For several weeks, The Chamber has worked diligently to oppose Senate/House File 2, a detrimental and burdensome bill that has been proposed at the Minnesota Legislature. The current proposal would mandate Minnesota employers to provide employees up to 24 weeks of paid medical leave and family leave (12 weeks medical/12 weeks family). Among the several major concerns, as written, there are no size or geographic-based exemptions for small businesses or border communities. If enacted, The Chamber fears many unintended consequences, including business closures or relocation to more business-friendly states, would quickly become a reality. We support Minnesota businesses and employees as well as the vitality of the state’s business climate, and as such, have strongly opposed this one size fits all mandate.

The Chamber put significant effort into traveling to St. Paul, leveraging relationships across the state, partnering with area media organizations, and consistently communicating to its membership to educate the community and business leaders on the details and consequences of this proposal, as well as to build a strong and vocal cohort to oppose this bill on behalf of Minnesota businesses and our FMWF community.

Over 100 MN businesses from our region signed onto The Chamber’s official letter of opposition, and over 45 businesses attended an urgent roundtable meeting with Senator Kupec, organized by The Chamber. This meeting allowed for our community leaders to intentionally share their concerns, perspectives, data, reasons for opposition and more. This was a crucial time

for our business community to come together as one to protect our businesses and employees, and we are proud to have so many engaged and dedicated leaders who answered the call.

After the meeting with Senator Kupec, The Chamber hosted a press conference with business leaders, Senator Kupec, and local media to further discuss Senate/House File 2.

“We don’t need a one size fits all,” said Doug Restemayer of D-S Beverages. “All businesses see employees as an asset. Employees can now go to another business if the benefit package is not what they need. Free enterprise itself will take care of this.”

“It’s really important to get this feedback on these bills, particularly in this situation being on the border,” Senator Kupec remarked. “From the business owners, there are legitimate concerns.”

There may have been updates regarding Senate/House File 2 since this article’s time of print. Stay tuned to The Chamber’s weekly eBridge newsletter, blog and social media channels to stay updated and in the know with this important topic and more.

Doug Restemayer from D-S Beverages in Moorhead speaks against the proposed mandatory paid leave program in Minnesota during The Chamber’s press conference at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023. Photo: David Samson/The Forum. Minnesota State Senator Rob Kupec, DFL-Moorhead, speaks about the proposed mandatory leave program during The Chamber’s press conference at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023. Photo: David Samson/The Forum.
the InForum’s recap of the press conference
Read Shannon Full’s opinion piece Read
Read The
full blog on the proposal

Seeking Educators to go on an EDventure!

June 26-30,

The second annual EDventures connects educators with area businesses to create strong relationships and experiences for students. Educators will experience a company’s environment, interact with employees, and be exposed to the educational needs businesses and their industries are currently seeking and will seek in the future. Educators can begin registering March 21!

EDventures Earn continuing Education credit! • 1 credit/15 hours through NDSU - $50 • Visit five organizations for two hours. • Register and explore Ignite for one hour. • Attend one Start Up Brew – Every Wednesday from 8-9:30 a.m. at Drekker Brewing. • Create one reflection and purposeful lesson to promote career education in your classroom. • Journal about each visit.
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Ignite FMWF will help your businesses get the skilled workers you need

At the heart of every community is work. Ignite FMWF helps North Dakota and Minnesota businesses get the skilled workers they need to succeed. When businesses build profiles on the Ignite FMWF platform, they can:

• Showcase they are a great place to work

• Share open positions

• Track applications

• Connect with educators to share information about the skills students need to start their careers on the right foot

• Connect with students to help them explore career opportunities.

Lifelong Learning

One of the most exciting features of Ignite FMWF is ready-to-use training. Consistent education keeps longstanding employee/employer relationships rich with learning and growth. Training topics include durable skills like professionalism, integrity or interpersonal communication. Or employees can dig deep into their industry with topics like manufacturing, cybersecurity or healthcare.

To get started:

1. Go to and choose the option that describes you best.

2. Build a profile for your business.

3. Encourage employees to build profiles under your business.

4. Post jobs, select opportunities around the region to connect with students and future talent.

5. Host field trips, offer to speak in classrooms and directly share opportunities with educators and students.

Ignite FMWF is built for you and your business. Have you signed up yet? If not, what are you waiting for?

Welcoming your new hires to FMWF

cclimate candidates and new hires with our community oncierge program

Workforce is at the forefront of the conversation across our communities and attracting, acclimating, developing and retaining talented is an important part of the FMWF Chamber Foundation’s mission. We have taken a vital role in creating a sustainable approach to solving the workforce crisis and creating economic prosperity. Building our Community Concierge program is one way we can help newcomers acclimate to our region.

The process

If you want to ensure your candidate can see themselves seamlessly transitioning from another state or community to our region, we can customize a concierge experience

for your business. We’ll connect your applicant and their family to resources, relationships and experiences they will need to have FMWF feel like home.

Making connections

We connect with your candidate directly to learn what will help them integrate into our community. Do they need to know about the school systems? Religious communities? Maybe they are curious about religious opportunities or daycares? We can connect them directly with resources and people in the region who can help!

First-year integration

Once the candidate is hired, The Chamber Foundation will provide opportunities to showcase the region, curate meaningful experiences and provide moments to establish connections and build relationships with other community

members. We regularly check-in and make sure the new hire feels great about their move. We also continue to learn how we can further help them acclimate to the community. We want to ensure the best experience as they settle in to the community we know and love so much!

Be a community champion!

To assist with our Concierge Program, we are seeking passionate representatives who Champion our community! Do you have a favorite restaurant, dog park or activity to share with someone new? What is the number one thing you must share with people when you find out they just moved here? We need your help welcoming our new workforce! There are several ways to get involved.

If you are interested in learning more, scan the QR code.



The Chamber is proud to welcome iDigital to the distinguished group of Community Builders, as we work together to build a stronger region and Chamber. Community Builders represent the highest level of Chamber investment, and their commitment enables The Chamber to promote and protect business, inspire innovation, cultivate communities, influence action, and be a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity for the region.

ThaNK YOU iDiGiTal for your dedication to our community and mission. The Chamber looks forward to this strong and impactful partnership. If you cross paths with an iDigital representatives, consider thanking them for their enhanced role in positively impacting our community and organization.

iDigital is a local, innovative, out-of-home media company based in North Dakota. They work oneon-one with companies to develop innovative advertising campaigns that make a difference.


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the chamber announces temporary office location

moorhead, Minn. (February 21, 2023) –The FMWF Chamber is announcing its official move from its current office within the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead to a temporary office location within the Cass County Electric Cooperative building in Fargo. The Chamber and the City of Moorhead have enjoyed a productive partnership for over two decades, working closely together to bolster the regional economy and foster business growth. The Chamber’s upcoming move marks another chapter, one that is founded on continued collaboration and regionalism.

The Chamber has operated as a merged organization serving the entire Fargo-Moorhead region since 1998. Through the years, The Chamber has played a critical role in the growth and prosperity of the region, working alongside all cities throughout the metro and beyond. With over 1,980 members now, The Chamber’s growing reach, impact, initiatives and goals require a larger physical location. “l et me begin by saying, The c hamber is extremely grateful to the city of Moorhead for their support and continued partnership,”

said Chamber President & CEO Shannon Full. “The need for The chamber to relocate is due to the great progress we are making as a region, and our need for a larger space as we increase our capacity.”

Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson said, “The partnership between the c ity of Moorhead and The c hamber is strong, and we wish The c hamber the best in its service to businesses and communities in the region.” Additionally, Moorhead City Manager Dan Mahli said, “The city of Moorhead appreciates the 25 years that it was able to lease space in the h jemkomst center to The chamber.”

After sending out a formal RFP in November of 2021 regarding The Chamber’s need to identify or build a new permanent location, The Chamber selected the proposal to co-locate on the same property as the FM Convention and Visitors Bureau (FMCVB) to build a Center for Business and Commerce. The Chamber continues to work diligently on this project and will be entering the next phases, including vetting the project with donors and a formal capital campaign.

While the planning and the construction for the new building next to the FMCVB continue to unfold, The Chamber is excited to be temporarily locating in the Cass County Electric Cooperative building on the intersection of 32nd Ave S and 42nd St S in Fargo. This location offers significantly more space for operations and includes meeting and conference spaces that will be utilized for select Chamber events and memberrelated activities.

“Our board and staff are extremely grateful to c ass county Electric cooperative for their continued investment in The chamber and their willingness to partner on this creative solution. a s we look to the future, we are excited to build upon the strong foundation that we have laid as a regional organization,” remarked Shannon Full. “The c hamber is committed to serving our entire region and membership, and we will do so, regardless of our physical location.”


Who were the recent winners?

Small Business of the Year – Legacy Plumbing Business of the Year – TrueNorth Steel

YP Best Place to Work – Construction Engineers

Are you ready to celebrate with your community?

Thank you to the hundreds of Chamber members who nominated outstanding businesses and organizations for our 2023 awards. Our nominees have been working diligently on their applications, and we are excited to showcase the best of the best this May. Visit our website to learn more about the event and award categories, and to attend this day of recognition and celebration!

Emerging Business of the Year – Center for Plastic Surgery

Diversity and Inclusion Champion – Cardinal IG

Resilient Business of the Year – Noridian Healthcare Solutions

People’s Choice – TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics

Premier Sponsors:

Non-Profit of the Year – Red River Children’s Advocacy Center
Friday, May 19 | Noon to 1:30 p.m. | Delta by Marriott
58 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

2023 Chamber Challenge Golf Outing

Wednesday, July 19 | Edgewood Golf course

Get your clubs ready and tee off for The Chamber’s summer golf event! Join us for an exciting day of friendly competition, networking, and tons of fun in the sun at our annual golf tournament for Chamber members. Teams will get to experience all 18 holes with fun and entertainment along the way. Don’t worry, all teams will have carts, so you can sit back and relax as you take in the beautiful day. We’ll also have snacks and drinks provided by our amazing sponsors, so you can refuel and recharge throughout the day.

After the afternoon of golfing, on-course contests and giveaways, we’ll treat you to a 19th Hole Happy Hour Social at the clubhouse, complete with a cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a tournament without some friendly competition. Awards will be given for men’s and women’s best team scores, closest to the pin and longest drive!

Don’t miss your chance to network, compete, and have an unforgettable day of golfing. Register your team before they sell out and we’ll see you on the greens!

Team Registrations are now open!

pr EM i E r S p ONSO r


A snowstorm could not stop the holiday spirit at the second annual Women Connect Jingle Mingle. Almost 300 attendees braved the weather to enjoy live music, dance performances, photo opportunities, giveaways, booths from local businesses, beverages and an appearance from Santa. Thank you to all of our booth sponsors and businesses that donated gifts and prizes to attendees.


Our January Eggs & Issues session focused on our metro’s mental and behavioral health crisis. The informative, honest and solution-centered community discussion included the topics of suicide, telehealth, existing stigmas, recent trends, COVID-19, the impacts on both children and adults, and how our businesses need to be engaged and involved in the discussions and solutions.

We released the full recording of this Eggs & Issues session, as we think our entire membership and community should be tuned into and a part of this conversation. We want to thank the businesses and individuals who filled the ballroom and joined us in person for this event. A special thank you to Xcel Energy and all Eggs & Issues sponsors for making this crucial series possible.

You can watch the recording here. Please feel free to share this link with others you think may be interested.


cultivating Joy in yourself and others with Kelly Krenzel | Charity of the month: Hope Blooms

60 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

April 27 | 4 to 6 p.m.

Delta by Marriott Fargo


meaningful connection that will lead to a great working relationship with another Chamber member. Plus, with giveaways and door prizes from our vendors, you could walk away with some incredible swag – maybe too much. We’re pulling out all the stops to ensure you have a fantastic time. You’ll be treated to great snacks and appetizers provided by the Delta by Marriott, two drink tickets and cash bars, so you can unwind and enjoy the festivities. And for those who love friendly competition, we have games and activities that will have you laughing and bonding with your coworkers and peers. Don’t miss this opportunity to forge powerful partnerships and take your connections and business to the next level. We can’t wait to see you there!


upcoming monthly events and programs

Each month, The Chamber hosts a wide variety of events and experiences that focus on a range of key topics centered around the needs and interests of our members and business community. These dynamic offerings are built to educate and engage you and your team while providing unparalleled networking and relationship-building opportunities. Now is the time to get involved!

Stay up to date with these programs and our full events calendar at


Intentional Intentional Collisions Collisions

Intentional Collisions

Facing the Future

Together: Energy and Ag

Tuesday, April 4 | 8 to 9:30 a.m. Courtyard by Marriott Moorhead and livestream


• Matt Herman, Iowa Soybean Association

• Mike Keller, Green Bison Soy Processing

• Monte Peterson, Ag expert & advocate

• Moderated by Dr. Greg Lardy, NDSU

Tuesday, May 2


Volunteer: Furniture Mission of the Red River Valley

Thursday, March 16 | 4 to 6 p.m. 2600 3rd Ave N, Fargo

Tuesday, March 28 | 3 to 5:30 p.m. Avalon Events Center

Tuesday, april 25


Volunteer: Furniture Mission of the Red River Valley

Thursday, March 16 | 4 to 6 p.m. 2600 3rd Ave N, Fargo

Morning Buzz

Wednesday, March 22 | 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Scheels Home & Hardware 3202 13th Ave S, Fargo


62 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023


ThUrSDaY, april 27 4 to 6 p.m.

by Marriott Fargo

FriDaY, MaY 19 Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Delta by Marriott Fargo

MIDWES T Agriculture

TUESDaY, JUNE 6 • 8 TO 11 a.M. Red River Valley Fairgrounds and livestream

WEDNESDaY, JUlY 19 Edgewood Golf

prEM iEr SpONSOr
2023 cOrpOraTE cUp May 25 at MSUM | 12:45 to 6 p.m. prEM iEr SpONSOr S SOLD OUT prEM iEr SpONSOr S
upcoming signature events

new members

Welcome to the following businesses who joined The chamber in December and January!

We thank each of them for their support in our mission and investment in their business and community. Please consider doing business with Chamber members first.



A multifamily housing unit, parent company: ROERS.



With over 30 years in the countertop fabricators industry, Fabricators Unlimited produces elegant and high-quality surfaces and expertly executes countertop installation services to individuals, contractors, architects, and interior designers.

Farm in the Dell of the Red River Valley

Disability and Rehabilitation Services

The mission at Farm in the Dell is to transform disabilities into abilities. We provide employment for individuals with disabilities in our beautiful farm and garden setting. We teach these employees new life skills while providing them with employment opportunities that give them a sense of accomplishment and belonging.

HOTWORX West Fargo


HOTWORX is a virtually instructed exercise program created for users to experience the many benefits of infrared heat absorption, while completing a 30-minute isometric workout or 15-min High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session.

Imagine Home Lending


Imagine Home Lending knows that you have many options for mortgage lenders. Just like finding the perfect home, you need the perfect mortgage lender.

New Story Counseling Services

Counseling Services

We provide mental health counseling to individuals, couples, and families. We specialize in a variety of approaches to address trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, relational issues, LGBTQ+ stressors, somatic issues, and more.

Nizhoni Healthcare Services

Health Care Services

We provide Skilled Home Health services to underserved communities. These services include skilled nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social worker and home health aides.

Nystrom & Associates

Health Care Services

Nystrom & Associates are a group of professional clinicians from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, marriage & family therapy, clinical social work, addiction treatment, and nursing who are committed to helping individuals experiencing personal, emotional, marital, or psychological challenges.

Oster Law Office, PLLC


Oster Law Office is a Fargo based law firm that truly cares about its clients. Our law practice specializes in Family Law such as adoption, divorce, and child support. We also provide additional services such as domestic abuse orders, grandparents’ rights, and mediation.

Red River Rescue LLC

Medical Training

Red River Rescue is located in Wahpeton, North Dakota. This organization primarily operates in the Medical Rescue Squad business / industry within the Health Services sector.


Office Suite Rental

Whether you need a single desk or a whole building, we provide office space that’s flexible to your needs and fully customizable. Available for as little as a day, or as long as you need.

Silverstar Car Wash

Car Wash/Cleaning

Silverstar has 20 locations in Sioux Falls, Fargo and Sioux City, with many more in development. We offer free high powered vacuums and prep towels with any wash purchase.

64 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023

new members

Welcome to the following businesses who joined The chamber in December and January!

We thank each of them for their support in our mission and investment in their business and community. Please consider doing business with Chamber members first.

Sweet Dreams Confections

Gifts and Candy

Sweet Dreams Confections has been a family run business for over 40 years. We are North Dakota’s largest candy store and invite you to stop in to check out our huge selection of Fudge, Candy, Gourmet Foods, & Gifts.

The Lotus Center Inc.

Addiction Treatment Facilities

We are a non-profit, recovery resource, substance use disorder, outpatient facility located in Moorhead, MN. We provide services to male and female adults (18 and older), from both Minnesota and North Dakota.

VFW Post 7564

Clubs and Organizations

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is the nation’s largest and oldest major war veterans organization. Founded in 1899, the congressionally chartered VFW is comprised entirely of eligible veterans and military service members from the active, Guard and Reserve forces.

800 -814-3333 | * Contract for at least 36 months and get 1 month free. Includes cabinet, power, and port, up to $1,000 value. Offer valid through 6/30/23 Don’t waste time worrying about your data. Co-locate at DCN to store and secure your business’s assets for free*.

Essentia health


4476 31st Ave S. Ste 101, Fargo

ribbon cuttings

prairie St. John’s

GRAND OPENING 510 4th St S, Fargo


GRAND OPENING 1531 32nd St S Suite 102, Fargo


RELOCATION 1445 1st Ave North, Fargo

Sanford ambulance

GRAND OPENING 2255 Sheyenne St. West Fargo


GRAND OPENING 2351 8th Ave. NW., West Fargo

Essentia health

GRAND OPENING 3150 Sheyenne, West Fargo

Nystrom & associates

GRAND OPENING 5354 42nd St S BLDG 1 Suite B, Fargo

66 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023


Thank you, ambassadors, for your passion, energy and commitment to our Chamber members and community. You are a driving force behind the success of our new and existing members and work every day to build a thriving and vibrant community. The Chamber also extends a sincere thank you to the businesses and employers that support and encourage these dedicated leaders. We look forward to another memorable year of milestones, celebrations, creating lifelong connections and achieving goals alongside our members.

LOCATIONS Fargo, ND (Headquarters) Grand Forks, ND • Minot, ND Mandan, ND Minneapolis, MN (New Hope) • St. Cloud, MN (St. Joseph) • Mankato, MN Sioux Falls, SD • Aberdeen, SD Sioux City, IA SERVICES • Daily local delivery • Order online, via phone, or contact your sales rep • • Staff expertise in products & equipment Service department for equipment repair & maintenance Daily Local Deliveries Monday - Friday
A complete distributor for all your paper, plastic, janitorial, equipment, supply, packaging, and automation needs. BRANCH
Find all #FMWFMembers at our online directory at 5 YEarS • Building Concepts • The Bridges | Student Edition • Communication Network Engineering, Inc. • CTB • Dakota Gastroenterology Clinic • Downtown Moorhead Inc. • Grain Designs • Lend A Hand Up • Mattress Firm • Pifer’s Auction & Realty • Stiklestad Ldoge and Event Center • Town & Country Credit Union 10 YEarS • Acapulco Mexican Restaurant • American Gold Gymnastics • Bert’s Truck Equipment of Moorhead, Inc. • Braun Intertec Corporation • Firestone Complete Auto Care • FPN Gaming • Greater North Dakota Chamber • Great Plains Food Bank • Horsch LLC • Kovash Marine LLC • North Dakota Soybean Growers Association • Play It Again Sports • Powerplay DJ • Stenerson Lumber • Thoreson Steffes Trust Company • Trail King Industries • TrueNorth Steel • Ultimate Transportation • Vistage Worldwide • YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties School Age Learning Center Offices 15 YEarS • Beyond Boundaries Therapy Services • Edible Arrangements • Ice Crystal Engineering, LLC • MinnKota Recycling and Secured Document Destruction Services • Starion Bank • United Automotive Tech Center 3 20 YEarS • Ecliptic Technologies, Inc. • Essentia Health – Casselton and West Fargo Clinics • Impact Dakota • Northwestern Bank, N.A. • Cardinal IG • Lexli International, Inc. • Otter Tail Corporation 25 YEarS • Fargo Freightliner 50 YEarS • Sanford Health 100 YEarS 68 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 anniversaries MEMBEr NEWS Congrats to these members for celebrating the following milestone Chamber anniversaries!
Specialized Recruiting Group is our Top Talent division of Express Employment Professionals. We are a full-service staffing company with the solutions to fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for your next employee or that next leap in your career, Express has a solution for you. For more information, visit or call to speak with Lacey, Ashley, and Matt at 701-297-8800. ExpressKnowsJobs.ExpressKnowsTopTalent.GettoKnowExpress and ourSpecializedRecruitingGroup. TPeopleNewsSponsor heChamber’s
Dr. Dustin Nowotny General Surgery Specialist Kaden holland Line Associate Katherine hermann Aircraft Detailer Travis Greer Aircraft Detailer a nnika Bjerke Customer Service Representative FARGO JET CENTER Emily Swenson Independent Clinical Social Worker Dr. Mayson Bedient Family Medicine Specialist ESSENTIA HEALTH Dr. Mari Knudsen Pediatrician Dr. a lberto c abo chan Walk-In Care Specialist Dennis chakua Walk-In Care Specialist c aitlyn c ameron Pulmonology Specialist Noelle Berg Internal Medicine Specialist Brittany Dunn National Dealership Industry Leader
Tamara VanWechel Director of Finance
Britta renner VP of Accounting and Finance Sue Nilson VP of Community Relations
Kirk lindemann National ESOP Leader
Derek Flanagan Audit Department Head Stacia Sanders Business Services Officer Jason Semerad Realtor DAKOTA PLAINS REALTY Jo a nn Back Commercial Loan Officer DAKOTA BUSINESS LENDING
Tanya pollock SLS Residential Coordinator ruby Mills SLS Residential Coordinator Gracie hennen SLS Residential Coordinator
CCRI Jonathan l ange Maintenance Apprentice Kara Benedict VP of Compliance and Audit NORIDIAN HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS Brett Saladin Commercial Agent GOLDMARK COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE
Mark Schlafman Assistant Chief Pilot cullen rein Line Technician Justin pengilly Aircraft Detailer a ndy Muhs Senior Associate ALLEGRO GROUP
Taylor lugert Business Services Officer PROMOTED
CAPITAL CREDIT UNION charlie Knack Engineer I Bree Gahner Administrative Assistant BURIAN & ASSOCIATES Megan houn VP of Government Affairs PROMOTED
70 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 people news MEMBER NEWS
a lison Zima Marketing Manager
ross Sandven Senior Audit Associate Kim Wahl Senior Audit Associate
John- paul Klein IT Manager
rachel Myhre HR Manager
Taylor Ketterling Senior Audit Associate
Danny Franco Senior Audit Associate Josie Disher Client Accounting Services Associate
rachel a llmaras Senior Tax Associate
a lexander h useby Structural Designer
cody Schafer Branch Manager
Sam Kise Editor r yne Bigelow Social Media Specialist SPOTLIGHT Gunnar Olson Structural Designer Jordan Miranda Engineering Intern Kevin Wangen Wealth Management Associate Sawyer a leckson Engineering Intern SANDMAN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
colton Smith Network Analyst
r yan Thompson REALTOR® h unter Sall REALTOR® PARK CO., REALTORS ®
chad Kost Business Growth & Development Manager
Jace Gilleshammer IT Coordinator
Jennifer Schmidt Adminstrative Associate Jana Samek Director of Retirement Services Tim rensch Retirement Services Relationship Manager Maureen Jelinek Chief Operating Officer
Michelle hoppe Assistant Trust Officer
72 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023 cornerstonebanks net | 888-297-2100 Business banking at your fingertips. Download the Cornerstone Bank Business app today! EDventures connects educators with area businesses to create strong relationships and experiences for students. Educators will experience a company’s environment, interact with employees, and be exposed to the educational needs businesses and their industries are currently seeking, and will seek in the future. This year’s EDventures will be held June 26-30, and will be a major opportunity for educators to get into the community for a firsthand experience with our businesses and the work they do. We are currently looking for businesses/host sites for the 2023 sessions. These organizations would host educators for up to two hours and provide work-based learning opportunities. For more info, or to sign up to be a host business, visit this QR code. Contact Matt at mwalstad@fmwfchamber. com for any general questions about the program. • Become a work-based learning site • Cultivate connections with educators & future talent • Represent your industry • Host a team of educators for two hours JUNE 26 - 30 2023
Chamber is here to help you accomplish that. Check out our 2022-23 ViSiBiliTY GUiDE to see all of the opportunities available to you.
you curious about how to make your business and brand more visible in the community?

CHI Friendship is a nonprofit organization that supports people with disabilities. We provide the full spectrum of developmental disability services which include individualized comprehensive residential and vocational supports, allowing for full community participation.

Thank you to the community for embracing our mission by supporting all people to have meaningful employment, integrated environments, and community inclusion.

You can get involved with CHI Friendship by volunteering, donating and/or applying for employment

801 Page Drive in Fargo

pUBlic pOlicY pr OG ra M S p ONSO r S Welcoming a new Community Builder! Thank you for your commitment and dedication to our organization, region and future. YOUNG prOFESSiONal S NETWOrK SU pp O r T i NG S p ONSO r S Bobcat Company | Gate City Bank pr OG ra M S p ONSO r MiliTarY aFFairS pr OG ra M S p ONSO r SU pp O r T i NG S p ONSO r S Beverage Wholesalers, Inc. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Bobcat Company | Cass County Electric Cooperative Cornerstone Bank | Dacotah Bank Eide Bailly LLP | Essentia Health Eventide Senior Living Communities Gate City Bank | Heritage Homes Houston Engineering, Inc. MWC Advertising of Fargo Moorhead Otter Tail Corporation Stantec | Ulteig | Xcel Energy 74 ThE B riDGE March - April 2023
ThaNK YOU FOr iNVESTiNG Thank you to all of our sponsors that make The Chamber’s regular events and programs possible.
program & event sponsors
(701) 235-8217
Nurturing Abilities, Achieving Dreams.
Supporting People with Disabilities
Apply on-line at

program & event sponsors


Thank you to all of our sponsors that make The Chamber’s regular events and programs possible.





Bremer Bank | Concordia College

Dabbert Custom Homes | First Western Bank & Trust

Home Builders Association of FM Moore Engineering, Inc.

MWC Advertising of Fargo Moorhead ROERS | Ulteig | Western State Bank

Area Woman | Bell Bank | Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND Choice Bank | Dacotah Bank | Dale Carnegie Training of ND & MN Delta by Marriott | Enclave | Eventide Senior Living Communities

First Western Bank & Trust | Otter Tail Corporation

PRO Resources | Sanford Health Plan | Sparklight Vogel Law Firm | Western State Bank



Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota | Essentia Health Minnesota State Community and Technical College

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SU pp O r T i NG S p ONSO r S pr OG ra M S p ONSO r EVENT pr ODU c T i ON S p ONSO r EVENT pr ODU c T i ON S p ONSO r DESSE r T S p ONSO r VENUE S p ONSO r pr OG ra M S p ONSO r S pr OG ra M S p ONSO r pr EM i E r S p ONSO r FMWFCHAMBER.COM 75
Fargo Moorhead West Fargo
Fargo, North Dakota 58108-2443
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