The Bridge: December 2021

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December 2021 vol. 25 no. vol.25 25no. no.334 vol.

Words with photo Drew Sannes Local marketing professional and Chamber volunteer

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

advanced business methods employee owned


December 2021

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*Entries valid through Dec. 31

FEB. 10 2022

1. Scan the QR code.

2. Register to be a GHD Business.

3. Mark your calendars.

What does a Giving Hearts Business do? Share with your team and on social media.

Wear red on February 10! GHD-00316 12/21

December 2021

6 15 23 31 37 43

2 3 8

Chamber Misconceptions

16 19 20 21

Business Vitality

24 26 27

Public Policy

Talent & Workforce Community Enhancement Organizational Excellence ADVERTISER INDEX III First International Bank & Trust IV Giving Hearts Day 12 Starion Bank 18 A&B Business Solutions 19 City of West Fargo 22 AE2S 28 Red River Valley Alliance 30 Dakota Carrier Network

30 Minnesota State University Moorhead 35 City of West Fargo 40 Dabbert Custom Homes 41 City of West Fargo 42 Cornerstone Bank 45 City of West Fargo 47 Network Center, Inc. 50 Alerus 51 CHI Friendship

51 51 51 52 58 58

Cole Papers, Inc. Indigo Signs PRO Resources Midco ReadiTech The Village Family Service Center 61 AdShark 62 Girl Scouts 63 Azurance Back B CBS of ND

Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber

32 34 35 36 38 41 44 48 53 54 56 60

Chamber Leadership Meet the team Who is The Chamber? BUSINESS VITALITY

Resources & Ambassadors Business Training Women Connect Business After Hours PUBLIC POLICY

A Voice for Business Eggs & Issues Midwest Summits TALENT & WORKFORCE

Young Professionals Network Professionals of Color Ignite FMWF Fueling Our Future COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT

Leadership FMWF Military Affairs


FMWF Chamber


Upcoming Events MEMBER NEWS

New members Ribbon cuttings People news Anniversaries


CONTENTS Ignite FMWF Ignite FMWF is our region’s newest workforce infrastructure initiative that combines a relationship development strategy with a robust technology platform. This is a community-based approach to developing an exceptional talent and workforce system to drive continued success for our business community. Start connecting with your immediate and future talent pipelines today at no cost! FMWFCHAMBER.COM   1


MISSION It is The Chamber’s mission to actively promote a thriving and vibrant Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metro area for generations to come. Powered by over 1,900 members and 109,000 individuals, The Chamber is a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity for businesses, its members, and the greater community through work guided by the following cornerstones. CORNERSTONES

Board of Directors

• Business Vitality

•P ublic Policy & Advocacy

Shawn Dobberstein Hector International Airport

Tina Amerman Doosan Bobcat

• Community Enhancement

Peter Stenehjem Chair Elect First International Bank & Trust


Steve Halverson Heartland Trust Company

Mike Arntson Cardinal IG

Dr. Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Moorhead

Dr. William Heegaard Essentia Health

Kara Jorvig Allegro Group

• Organizational Excellence

Sandi Piatz

Kevin Christianson


Christianson Companies

Immediate Past Chair

Member at Large

Tom Dawson Dawson Insurance

Mike Dragosavich Spotlight

Chad Flanagan Eide Bailly LLP

Tami Norgard Vogel Law Firm

Brittany Sachdeva Sanford Health

Joanna Slominski Mortenson

Katherine Halvorson

Brian Shawn

Ashton Hansen

Flint Group

Concordia College


Allegro Group

Rachel Warren

Louise Dardis

Trevor Mathew


Retired educator


Kriss Burns

Mandy Zastre

Tim Flakoll

PRO Resources

Rasmussen University

Tri-College University

Roger Reierson

Committee Chairs

• Talent & Workforce


Business Training

Ambassador Public Relations

Ambassador Member Relations


Leadership FMWF

Military Affairs

Professionals of Color

Women Connect

Erin Larsgaard

Young Professionals Network

Wold Johnson, P.C.

Public Policy

THE BRIDGE (USPS 124-430) is published monthly 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.


December 2021



Coming to Fargo on June 1! Get your tickets at PRESENTING SPONSOR

Visibility opportunity for your business! If you are interested in joining the lineup of organizations making this great event possible through sponsorship, please contact Darren Dunlop at The Chamber at 218.359.0514.


President’s Letter they offered to help us share that message and distribute The Bridge with Fargo INC this month. Thank you, for your tremendous partnership.

Shannon Full

President/CEO @FMWFShannon

Fun fact: Shannon loves beach excursions

To our great community members, Happy holidays! I’d like to begin by showing my appreciation for your time. Thank you for picking up The Bridge and learning more about the work The Chamber is doing in our community. As we enter the holiday season, I think it is important to take the time to just pause…and take in all of the positive things happening in our lives and community, and all of the positive and passionate people we are surrounded by. Many of you know that my family and I moved here just one year ago, and we have been in constant awe of the greatness, opportunity and immense potential of this region. The people here are like none we have ever met. People here sincerely care about our communities and the future of our region. People here show up when there are problems to solve, questions to ask, people to help, events to attend, celebrations to enjoy and so much more. People here show up for each other. I have also noticed that people and organizations really collaborate here – not just with words but with action. Putting the interest of others first and forming partnerships are also great values that I have noticed intertwined throughout the region. For example, many of you are reading this Bridge magazine for the first time and that is because of a great partnership. The team at Spotlight saw the need for more people to know about The Chamber and the impact that we have as an organization, and 4  THE BRIDGE

December 2021

The Chamber has almost 2,000 member businesses that fuel our organization. I want to sincerely thank all of those members, our sponsors, our volunteers and our staff. The investment and dedication of your time, expertise and financial resources are what drive our organization forward. As I anxiously look forward to 2022, I am excited for the future of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Region. We are positioned for growth. With major projects beginning and businesses of all sizes and industries thriving, our community members and leaders are having crucial conversations and making critical decisions on what we need to ensure a vibrant future. Our region is also facing challenges such as a massive talent shortage, housing and childcare issues and more, but we are committed to working alongside each of you to address these issues. The Chamber will continue to take the lead on business growth opportunities, making critical connections throughout the community, assisting our businesses with all of the challenges they are facing, championing efforts on community development, leading a strong business-minded public policy program, inspiring our next generation of leaders to get involved with the community, and convening essential thought leaders to move ideas into action.

Amena Chaudhry Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consultant @FMWFAmena

Fun fact: Amena has a green thumb

Katherine Grindberg Vice President of Public Policy @FMWFKatherine

Fun fact: Katherine hikes national parks

If you haven’t gotten involved with us in the past, I hope you consider putting that on your list of to-dos for 2022. I wish you a very happy and safe holiday season, and I look forward to working with you in the new year!

Jim Parsons

Executive Vice President

Shannon Full

President & CEO Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce


Fun fact: Jim enjoys blowing snow


FMWF Chamber Staff

Darren Dunlop

Vice President of Corporate Partnerships @FMWFDarren

Fun fact: Darren is an avid golfer

Kayla Koehmstedt

Cale Dunwoody Public Policy Specialist

Graphics & Multimedia Specialist

Vice President of Communications

Tyler Fischbach

Abby Furchner





Fun fact: Cale cruises on an Indian Scout bike

Fun fact: Bernt is a Star Wars fanboy

Fun fact: Tyler shreds on guitar

Fun fact: Abby loves fitness

Workforce & Talent Strategist

Workforce & Talent Strategist

Engagement Support Specialist

Malinda Olhoft

Shane Olmscheid






Fun fact: Kayla is a spontaneous traveler

Fun fact: Alyssa seeks out amusement parks

Fun fact: Jenna has a famous chihuahua and cat

Fun fact: Malinda owns and rides horses

Fun fact: Shane plays and refs volleyball

Tracy Powell

Mason Rademacher

Bobbi Rehder

Casey Sanders

Julie Yourczek


Vice President of Workforce and Talent @FMWFMason

Fun fact: Tracy loves trekking via bicycle

Fun fact: Mason has a golden retriever named Oakley

Jenna Mueller

Engagement Strategist

Content Marketing Specialist

Vice President of Events

Alyssa Lakoduk

Bernt Eidsmoe

Engagement Strategist

Events Specialist

Vice President of Engagement



Office Administrator / Support Specialist @FMWFJulieY

Fun fact: Bobbi lives to shop

Fun fact: Casey tears it up on her ATV

Fun fact: Julie has a renowned turkey call FMWFCHAMBER.COM   5




December 2021



The Chamber is a government entity It is for people way older than me It is just for networking It is boring It is for big businesses only embership is just for the business M owner, not for the employees




December 2021



The Chamber is a government entity

Attorney ••• Vogel Law Firm The Chamber provides a mouthpiece for local businesses seeking to be heard on issues considered by governmental entities. When cities, counties, state legislatures and Congress contemplate initiatives impacting our business community, The Chamber magnifies our voices, creating far more impact than we could individually create. Our governmental leaders benefit from hearing first-hand how their actions regarding things like flood control, water supply investment and COVID policies affect our business community’s economic health and workforce stability.


The Chamber is a government entity

President ••• Flint Group I’ve been involved in The Chamber for almost as many years as I’ve been in business. The Chamber helps shape businesses of all sizes and is a welcoming environment for many different kinds of companies. The Chamber does so much to advocate for small, medium and enterprise businesses. From offering business development and educational opportunities, to tackling workforce issues, to involvement in government issues impacting businesses, they work hard on our behalf.


It is for people way older than me

Partner Advocate ••• BNG Team The Chamber offers a variety of programs that engage not just adults, but high school students as well. With the recent launch of Ignite FMWF, there are even more opportunities for high schoolers to expand their knowledge of our community, the workforce, and how to become career ready. If you know a student, consider inviting them to join you at the next Chamber event you attend. There’s always something at those events we can learn, too! My first experience with The Chamber was when I was 13…It taught me a lot about entrepreneurship and how to network with the community.




It is just for networking

On-Air Announcer ••• Midco Sports Network Although there are numerous occasions for networking, what I appreciate most about The Chamber is its robust calendar of events that provides multiple opportunities for professional growth and development. In addition, there are several committees that employees can join to help shape the mission and direction of the business community and resources to help all organizations, large and small, succeed.


It is boring

CEO/Owner ••• Off Color Media The amazing leadership team that makes up our beautiful Chamber is to die for. They strive every day to make sure every experience is better than the last, which makes it so exciting to be a part of anything with them...whether it’s partnering on projects, attending a Business After Hours event or their Annual Celebration! You just feel so energized and connected, which can really make oneself feel planted in this amazing community! Being in a service-based industry such as video, we whole heartedly know how much the experience matters, and The Chamber makes it all so dang fun to be a part of!


It is for big businesses only

Co-Owner/Ninja Coach ••• Four Star Ninja Academy We are a small business with two full-time and three part-time employees. I believe that The Chamber is very beneficial for the small business owner, especially those just starting out. Being a part of The Chamber has provided a number of crucial resources and connections with other like-minded individuals. I was surprised to find a network of so many entrepreneurs that are willing to help each other grow. The Chamber is a must for any small business. 10  THE BRIDGE

December 2021



It is just for networking

Chief Innovation Officer ••• Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation The Chamber is great for networking, but it’s more than just that. The learning and engagement opportunities have played a big role in both my professional and personal development. The committee volunteer work and the Leadership FMWF program provided me the ability to work alongside people from outside of my organization, fostering my skills in management, collaboration and relationship building; and it bolstered my confidence too.


It is for big businesses only

North Dakota Principal Manager ••• Xcel Energy Xcel Energy is a long-standing supporter of the FMWF Chamber of Commerce and appreciates the ongoing commitment to coalesce the business landscape—which takes a lot of time to do on your own. By doing the behind-the-scenes work to pull together events and networking opportunities, The Chamber makes introductions and access to business information easy, especially for the small businesses who may have limited time and/or capacity.


Membership is just for the business owner, not for the employees

Asset Performance Director/Residential Closing Coordinator ••• Christianson Companies/Property Resources Group Many of the members I connect with at The Chamber events are employees just like me! Being a member of The Chamber has helped me to facilitate friendships and working relationships throughout a variety of industries within the FMWF area. The many events and opportunities that The Chamber facilitates provide countless takeaways that I can bring back to my employer and the company as a whole to encourage growth and progress!



business As an experienced banking partner, we know the value of quick access to both your money and your team. Our online tools are available 24/7, giving you more ease and flexibility so you have more time to do what you do best. Here for you. Call or stop in to any of our three Fargo branches today. • Member FDIC

Find a location near you.

Throughout this issue of The Bridge, you will discover the people, programs, initiatives and engagement that make our chamber and community so strong. Don’t feel like reading right now? Don’t worry, we have a video experience for you. Check out this new video to explore The Chamber’s impact in the community and hear directly from our members. Plus, there is cool drone footage… who doesn’t like that? “YOUR CHAMBER NOW” VIDEO






December 2021


The Chamber is here to provide a community resource network that supports and connects our small businesses to leaders, workshops, mentorship, training, entrepreneurial development and more.



BUSINESS VITALITY We partner and collaborate with many groups and organizations such as the Small Business Association, Small Business Development Center, Counselors to America’s Small Business, Veterans Business Outreach Center and more, to set our member businesses up for success. We aim to keep our members and community at the table and in the know when it comes to all things business. We also love to lift up our member businesses and give them the visibility, credibility and storytelling platform they deserve. HOW WE KEEP YOU ENGAGED:

Programs Director • F5 Project We are the people who bring energy, intrigue, and excitement to member businesses when they are celebrating milestones in their company. I just joined as a Chamber Ambassador in August 2021, so although I am still fairly new, the smiles I see on each representative from every business who had a ribbon cutting ceremony I was a part of, makes it all worth it. When the ambassadors show up, you know it! It’s one thing to get someone’s name, find out what they do, and then try and find some things in common with the relationship. I love to go beyond that and really get to know and understand who it is I am meeting and how I can be of better service to them and whatever their needs are. The Chamber is more than just a membership for businesses; it is an organization dedicated to developing the people, and the businesses win in return.

• Over 100 events each year • Monthly programming • Committee involvement opportunities • The Bridge monthly publication (this is what you are reading now) • Online blog • Social media channels • Weekly eBridge newsletters

Sales Consultant • 702 Communications In three months, I’ll have been a Chamber Ambassador for 20 years. The ambassadors are the “front line” when it comes to welcoming new businesses to the community, and I’ve enjoyed celebrating business start-ups, groundbreakings for new endeavors, expansions, anniversaries, new locations and more. It’s great to be a part of a growing, thriving community. It’s helped develop great business partnerships along with awesome friendships.

• Video member spotlights • Podcast • And more! We will keep a pulse on things so you don’t have to, and you can consume it and be engaged in whatever way suits you.

VP of Business Development • Legacy Plumbing Every day I wake up loving our community more than the day before. Our community is packed with people who care, people who want to connect and people who want to help each other succeed. The FMWF Chamber is the catalyst in connecting this community and we should be grateful for their dedication. My advice is to pay close attention to your relationship account, it’s truly the account that matters most in life.


December 2021

BUSINESS VITALITY The Chamber has over 80 ambassadors dedicated to engaging and connecting our members with peers and leaders, helping them to achieve their business goals in the community. Chamber Ambassadors celebrate over 100 ribbon cuttings, milestones and ceremonies with our members every year.

Client Experience and Brand Champion • Dale Carnegie Training of ND & NW MN Our main purpose is to help welcome and support new member businesses. For the first few years of a member’s Chamber journey we are there to answer questions, go to events together, and keep an eye out for opportunities to connect them with other people or businesses that might be mutually beneficial. Being involved in The Chamber has helped me get to know my community and how I can support the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo area to be a great place that I want to live, work and play. Becoming a Chamber volunteer has opened doors to new opportunities and has grown my network exponentially.



BUSINESS VITALITY Business Training events are the go-to place for employers, managers, employees, or any professionals seeking tactical and practical training to advance their career and skill sets. Each month, you can expect a tailored and timely topic regarding the issues, practices or skills you need to know to be a high-performing professional and organization. Business Training events also offer the perfect setting for attendees to connect with peers and leaders in the business community, all while sharpening their professional, personal and leadership skills.

Director of Annual Giving • Concordia College I truly enjoy my involvement with The Chamber and have the pleasure of serving on the Business Training Committee. Throughout my time with The Chamber, I have gotten to know fantastic people who are making an impact across our community. I now count them as both members of my professional network and friends! Chamber events bring people with varying perspectives and knowledge together to learn from one another. I value the organizational and community leaders who provide fresh perspectives, wisdom, best practices and insights that help professionals at all stages of their career approach their work in new ways.

JOIN OUR TEAM At the City of West Fargo, we value teamwork, respect, integrity, compassion and service. Join us for: Diverse opportunities for professional growth and development. Strong team culture. NDPERS pension paid 100% by the City. Strong support from the community you serve. Jobs in public safety, public service and administration. Scan to view available jobs:



Follow @CityofWestFargo FMWFCHAMBER.COM   19

BUSINESS VITALITY The mission of the Women Connect event series is to bring women together in a unique, courageous forum that will build connections, provide a space to be brave and explore what leadership means both personally and professionally. • Connecting women with one another and strengthening their professional and personal networks. • Addressing the unique challenges women face in today’s business environment and providing the tools to develop skills necessary to positively affect their organization and community.

• Promoting and celebrating the significant role women play in the region’s economic strength. Women from a variety of sectors and career levels will learn from and be inspired to apply the information in their workplace, community and home life. • Providing a courageous space for women to embrace their goals and pursue their dreams with grit.

Lead Pastor • Prairie Heights Community Church I value the opportunity to be around other amazing leaders in our community, as well as encourage and empower women to live fully alive. Since speaking at Women Connect, I have made new friends and had incredible shared moments with people I didn’t even know a few short months ago. I will continue to be involved and encourage others to invest in themselves through being a part of leadership events in our community, like the ones The Chamber offers!

INTRODUCING CONNECTIONS! As an evolution of the former PUSH program, CONNECTIONS creates a space for intentional connections and provides opportunities for women to come together to be inspired, be hands on, and discover other professionals tackling similar challenges and investing in themselves. CONNECTIONS will cultivate peer groups for learning, growth and friendship.


December 2021


BUSINESS VITALITY Widely recognized as the region’s largest and most effective networking opportunity, Business After Hours provides a relaxed, social atmosphere for you to meet top business leaders, mingle among trade show booths and connect with your peers to forge powerful partnerships for yourself and your organization. This is the relationshipbuilding and connection-making event that you do not want to miss.

CEO • 702 Communications Business gets done by establishing relationships and trust. Chamber members have the opportunity to interface, get to know each other, and establish that trust so we can not only work to better serve our community, but each other as well. Chamber members have great opportunities to help each other succeed.

• Giveaways and door prizes from our vendors • Snacks, appetizers and cash bars • Friendly games and competitions • Meet the people behind your favorite brands and businesses • Form connections and friendships

Manager of Growth & Client Services • AdShark Marketing Being involved with The Chamber really does help establish a strong sense of community. Meeting new members at events…and hosting tables at events like Business After Hours helps us feel more connected and part of a larger initiative in the FMWF area. I believe it is important to have a strong local network that you can share ideas with and gain perspectives from regarding the challenges and successes that their businesses have experienced. The overall attitude we’ve experienced from Chamber members has been very positive and one of reciprocal interest.



INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE The Red River Valley Water Supply Project (RRVWSP) will provide drought resiliency for Fargo and West Fargo along with large and small communities and water systems from central North Dakota to the Red River Valley. Construction began in December 2020, and crews are currently working on the buried pipeline that will bring water from the Missouri River to central and eastern North Dakota. The RRVWSP will benefit about half of North Dakota’s population by providing an emergency water supply and providing opportunities for industrial development. To learn more about this historic project, visit


$32 Billion Economic Impact Expected Over a 10-Year, 1930s-Type Drought

5 Months of Zero Flow in Red River at Fargo in 1934



Existing Supplies will be Inadequate During Drought

500,000+ Anticipated Users Served in 2075 (300,000+ in Fargo & West Fargo)


Industrial Demand Exceeds Current Supply

50% of the State’s Taxable Sales are Located Within the Project’s Service Area


Garrison Diversion Conservancy District and Lake Agassiz Water Authority would like to say thank you to the members of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce for your continued support of this important water infrastructure project which will benefit generations of North Dakotans into the future! To learn more about the RRVWSP, please join us for the FMWF Chamber’s Eggs & Issues event from 7:30 to 9:00 am on Wednesday, December 15, at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead.

The Chamber has been a long-standing leader in this arena, serving as a fair and balanced voice that has earned the respect and trust of public officials and community leaders.



We understand the importance and power of public policy and advocacy work, and actively serve as the voice of business to promote a prosperous and vibrant Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metropolitan area for generations to come.



PUBLIC POLICY Representing two states and several cities, we have an extraordinary opportunity to leverage support for our region. The Chamber remains committed to advocating for policy, convening public officials and business leaders, and representing our members and community’s interests at all levels of government. • Recent engagement and leadership in over 25 bills in MN and ND • 45 policy-related events totaling over 3,000 attendees • The Chamber presents employers with the business case for supporting and encouraging their employees to serve in public office in order to increase the pool of business-friendly elected officials.


Legislative Review

A review of the key business legislation and votes from 2021 legislative sessions.



December 2021

In Fall 2021, The Chamber developed a Legislative Review that brings attention to the results of The Chamber’s top legislative priorities in both Minnesota and North Dakota, along with the corresponding voting record of our local legislators. As we more publicly hold our elected officials accountable for their votes through this resource, we also intend for it to serve as public appreciation for those who were aligned on so many critical business issues.

PUBLIC POLICY The Chamber is engaging Primacy Strategy Group’s government affairs services and expertise to further keep our finger on the pulse of our most pressing issues and to accomplish our priorities.

CEO • Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead (HBA) The HBA has always had a collaborative relationship with The Chamber, but efforts for teamwork and partnership grew exponentially after the 2009 flood of the Red River Valley. This happened particularly through the Business Leaders Flood Taskforce and regional campaigns for sales tax support for permanent flood protection and further efforts of support for the FM Area Diversion. It naturally evolved into a valuable relationship where today’s efforts include addressing the skilled labor shortage, Fueling Our Future, housing and affordability issues, and advocating for business at the state and federal level. The Chamber has been at the forefront to elevate the importance of a healthy business community and all those challenges that go along with it. We are stronger together in impacting the economic vitality of our region and are proud to be a partner with our fabulous Chamber.



A guide to the area’s political and legislative landscape and overview of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber’s public policy views and efforts i

• Education, Training and Workforce Development

• Health Care

•F lood Protection

• Regulatory, Economic Development and Tax Policy

• Planning, Transportation and Infrastructure

•R esidential and Commercial Development • Emerging Opportunities for Commerce




PUBLIC POLICY The Eggs & Issues monthly event series is an integral part of The Chamber’s mission, as it convenes industry leaders and influential public figures for crucial conversations regarding the challenges and opportunities that face our region and metro. This is where community members and leaders can become truly engaged with the people, conversations and solutions that will propel our community into the future.

Vice President – Market Development Officer • Bell Bank I have always been interested in local economic activity and events that impact the community I love. I regularly attend Eggs & Issues events to keep up to date on economic topics that impact our community, which helps me in my banking role. At Bell Bank we are encouraged to be experts in our field, and the speakers at Eggs & Issues are specialists in their fields and have firsthand knowledge on the issues being discussed. There are always opportunities for people that attend the event to ask questions related to the topics or get involved to make a difference. It’s also a great way to meet different people within the community and make connections.

Development Director •

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley

The Eggs & Issues series is an awesome opportunity to network and engage in dialogue about creating a healthy and vibrant community. I leave these events feeling informed and connected to the community. The Chamber is such a gift to our community and has played a special role in my professional development.


December 2021


PUBLIC POLICY The Midwest Summits convene regional and national thought leaders and area chambers for conversations on four significant regional topics. These events are also livestreamed to chambers and industry leaders across the Upper Midwest.

President • Fergus Falls Chamber of Commerce Collaboration is a key strategy for chambers throughout the region. We are the glue for our own communities, and by collaborating with regional chambers for the Midwest Summit series, we’re leveraging the knowledge and strength of and for the entire Red River Valley business community and Upper Midwest. These opportunities play a critical role in growing our region and are a must attend for all business leaders.

Executive Director • NDSU Research and Technical Park I was excited to attend the recent Midwest Energy Summit hosted by The Chamber. North Dakota is without question an energy powerhouse with our oil, natural gas, coal and renewables. It’s tremendously important for all of North Dakota to understand the opportunities and responsibilities that go with each energy source. Additionally, depending upon where you live in the state, the issues may be different. The Midwest Energy Summit was a great opportunity for startup and established companies to understand the business opportunities that exist in the energy industry and the potential for new business opportunities. ECONOMIC FORECAST SUMMIT • February 8



ENERGY SUMMIT • November 1



Red River Valley Alliance

The Developer Behind the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion SPONSORED CONTENT

The pace of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion is about to accelerate and become much more noticeable in the next few months. The Red River Valley Alliance (RRVA) and its construction arm, ASN Constructors, are set to begin construction in spring 2022 on the 30-mile channel. The diversion will reroute floodwater from the Red River around the Fargo-Moorhead metro to prevent catastrophic flooding. Here’s a breakdown on the project and the developer. Who is the Red River Valley Alliance? The Red River Valley Alliance (RRVA) is a group of world-class developers that was contracted by the Metro Flood Diversion Authority to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion. RRVA and ASN Constructors consist of ACCIONA, Shikun & Binui USA and North American Construction Group – large, experienced developers that specialize in projects of this size and nature. RRVA has secured the financing and will operate and maintain the project once it is constructed. ASN Constructors will perform the construction portion of the project. What is the construction plan and how will it affect me? Channel construction will begin in spring 2022 near Georgetown, Minnesota, which is about 15 miles north of the Fargo-Moorhead metro. The year-round construction will move south around the western side of the metro and end south of Horace, North Dakota. An embankment will connect the channel to the Red River when construction ends in 2027. The community will notice minimal impacts through construction. Road and bridge closures will take place at times, and RRVA will provide ample outreach to keep the community informed. How do I get a job or get my company involved with RRVA and ASN Constructors? RRVA has begun the initial hiring phase for the project, primarily through ASN Constructors. Job postings are at Local and national recruitment efforts will be done to find an optimal balance that benefits both the community and project. We will provide opportunities for the regional workforce while taking into consideration the current job market and impacts on local businesses. RRVA will also hire local subcontractors and vendors. To express interest in partnering to complete this one of a kind project, email or call 701-997-1603.

Photo credit: Hatch

Photo credit: Hatch


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With more than 42,000 miles of fiber across the state, DCN and its 14 owner companies operate North Dakota’s most robust fiber optic network.


December 2021


To have a vibrant and robust economy, we must be able to educate, train, attract and retain talent in every facet of our industry-diverse landscape. The Chamber will continue to convene our community’s organizations and leaders to bring innovative solutions to the table, and will play a lead role in identifying approaches and processes to allow our program-rich community to be successful.


3 RD


TALENT & WORKFORCE A community influenced by young professionals is a community that attracts and retains them. This network of individuals is home to the leaders and influencers of tomorrow. Core to the Young Professionals Network’s strategic agenda is the belief that the more informed, involved, engaged and networked young professionals are, the more positive influence they will have on shaping our Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community. The Young Professionals Network (YPN) will give you the opportunity to meet your peers in the community, build relationships, form friendships, learn about businesses in the metro, connect with established and emerging leaders, and strengthen your personal and professional skillsets - all while having a great time and sharing fun experiences with others.

Marketing Director •

Light Consulting & Coaching, CoreCounts

My main involvement with the FMWF Chamber has been through the Young Professionals Network. I am a member of the YPN Leadership Committee and chair the YPN Marketing Sub-Committee. YPN has been the perfect way to immerse myself in the FMWF professional community while also building personal connections.

Associate Attorney • Wold Johnson, P.C. Being involved in YPN has been a great way to build both professional connections and good friends. Since I am not originally from this area, it was initially difficult to build a business network. With YPN, I was able to connect with other like-minded individuals in an atmosphere that fostered real relationships. We recently had a panel of past YPN Chairs come and speak at our Ghosts of YPN Past event. Dozens of past YPN members also attended the event to support the panelists and relive the great experiences they had together in YPN. I look forward to when I can be part of the group that is still connected all those years later and reminisce about the wonderful memories and connections made through YPN!

Director of Sales • Holiday Inn Fargo I am proud to be a part of YPN because I believe the network is truly a resource to keep The Chamber thriving for years to come. Our activities keep bright minds stimulated while trying to grow professionally in the market. Everyone that attends outings brings curiosity and a willingness to learn, and being in an environment with those mindsets has enabled me to have great professional conversations with other attendees that have led to business opportunities. YPN also exposes young professionals to the many reasons why it’s just as pleasant to live in Fargo-Moorhead as it is to work here; YPN is a great retention resource for companies!


December 2021

TALENT & WORKFORCE A network of over 181 organizations are committed to cultivating their young leaders and employees and have team members engaged with the YPN program.

Commercial Real Estate Agent • Property Resources Group The Chamber has been involved in my career right from the start, and YPN has positively impacted me in many ways. I have learned that the more you are involved, the stronger the relationships you are able to build. I am looking forward to continuing the growth of YPN, and playing a role in helping to connect talented and motivated individuals throughout the metro. Tell a young professional you know to reach out and we would be happy to have them join us at our next event!

Cash Management Officer • Choice Bank I have been involved with The Chamber’s Young Professionals Network since 2017. I choose to be a part of this network because it is filled with people who work hard, want to better the places we live, and continuously strive to grow personally and professionally. YPN provides an opportunity for young professionals to be more informed, involved, and connected in our communities.



TALENT & WORKFORCE This program offers development and networking opportunities to the range of diverse professionals in the region.

International Business Development •

Weather Modification International (WMI)

The workforce challenge we have in our community and in our region is very serious; therefore, we need to get creative in ways of attracting and retaining world class talent to our Red River Valley. We live in a very competitive global market and it is paramount to have a workforce with the cultural competence and demographics that reflect the global market we want to serve. This requires ongoing work on our DE&I acumen. This is where Professionals of Color at The Chamber is a strategic partner for the local professionals and employers, as it equips them with tools to navigate changing workforce demographics and advocate regionally for our FM area as a great place to live, play, and work!

MISSION STATEMENT To impact the FMWF community by creating inclusive opportunities for Professionals of Color to develop personally and professionally through meaningful engagement and a sense of belonging.

WHAT TO EXPECT Professionals of Color has four focus areas while highlighting the diverse employee populations in the FMWF metro: • Networking and Connecting • Professional Development • Education • Service Opportunities


December 2021


TALENT & WORKFORCE CONNECT WITH YOUR FUTURE WORKFORCE Ignite FMWF is our region’s newest workforce initiative designed to drive continued success for our business community. Through the combination of a regional relationship development strategy and a robust technology platform, Ignite FMWF is a communitybased approach to developing an exceptional workforce and talent infrastructure. With this fully integrated workforce system of awareness, exploration, training and development, our businesses will be able to meaningfully engage with their current and future talent pipelines. • Post jobs and internships • Increase your organization’s visibility • Connect to the workforce and jobseekers in our region

• I nteract with students and the community through skill-based volunteerism • At no cost to your business

Start building your profile today at

ESSENTIA HEALTH PLAZA At the City of West Fargo, we invest in the spaces and places that make our community shine.

Senior Director of Operations • Marvin Growth is important. Hiring is important. I’m excited about Ignite FMWF because of its community-based approach and how it is bringing businesses, educators and individuals together onto one platform for us to use. The technology behind the scenes makes it user friendly and allows us to collaborate and get information to students, educators and job seekers. We are a purpose-based company, and our purpose is to imagine and create better ways of living for not only our customers, but our communities. We are going to do that with our local students and people looking for jobs, and I am excited to see where Ignite FMWF takes us.

For a unique community experience, visit the City of West Fargo's Essentia Health Plaza at The Lights on Sheyenne. No matter the season, this 48,000 square foot space offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

Scan to plan your next visit or book a plaza event.



Follow @CityofWestFargo FMWFCHAMBER.COM   35

TALENT & WORKFORCE Fueling Our Future (FOF) is a joint venture between The Chamber and the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation that provides a platform for convening regional leaders to identify, understand, discuss and invest in macro-economic and community-based initiatives that will have lasting regional impacts.

INITIATIVES Since its inception in 2019, many initiatives have been achieved through FOF funding, support or engagement: • Ignite FMWF Provided funding to assist in the development of Ignite FMWF.

• Emerging Digital Academy Provided funding for North Dakota’s only immersive coding bootcamp.

• Building Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces Sponsored a no-cost, six-part public educational series aimed at business leaders and employers.

• Certified-Ready Sites Provided funding to lead the identification and development of certified-ready sites to recruit businesses and give existing companies a place to expand.

• Campus FM Supported this initiative aimed to grow workforce capacity by retaining college students in the metro. • Career Workforce Academies Provided funding to support the Cass County Career Innovation Center, and funding to support the Moorhead bond referendum which led to the Moorhead High School Career Academy.

• Workforce Exposure Initiatives Provided a grant to launch a development series to help organizations build internship programs.

FOF has also invested into the development of a master workforce and talent plan for our metro.


December 2021



Strengthening the FMWF community by exposing existing and emerging community leaders to the issues and opportunities that face our region. Strong and engaging committees, programs and initiatives will continue to challenge the status quo and enhance our community through service and leadership.



COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT With the community as their classroom, participants: • Develop long-lasting relationships. • Discover the inner workings of our community challenges. • Define their individual role and responsibility as a community leader.

You should apply to Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo if: • You are committed to leadership and community stewardship. • You want to build a diverse long-term network of colleagues. • You have a strong desire and interest to promote your organization.

CONNECTING LEADERS TO STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY For more than 30 years, Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo has connected and developed leaders who greatly impact the community through dedication and service. You will find our alumni holding prominent public leadership roles within our community and a host of others who actively serve the community every day as board members, diligent volunteers and dedicated employees. Each year, LFMWF selects 40 emerging and existing leaders from all sectors of the community to participate in the ten-month program.

AVP/Project Manager • Cornerstone Bank Beyond the incredible connections I made with my class, alumni of the program, and current participants; I learned more about the community than I ever thought was possible. I am passionate about Leadership FMWF because of the amount of growth this program provides in various ways. On a personal level, a participant is able to connect with professionals that provide valuable insight, direction, perspective, and an opportunity to self-reflect on a variety of topics. On a professional level, you are challenged to think outside of your own industry and look at a much bigger picture.

• You want to contribute to the community, even after graduation.

Community Engagement Specialist • Dakota Medical Foundation

DMF embraces a culture of curiosity and encourages every employee to explore their passions. Through the Chamber’s numerous programming and educational opportunities, I’ve learned where our community is headed, what it means to be a young professional, and how I want to show up as a team member. I’m grateful for the opportunity to acquire knowledge and develop my skills in the hopes of adding value to my team, and the greater FMWF community.


December 2021


Senior Advisor • Rasmussen University I have gained so much insight into our communities. I have been able to expand my network of people and organizations. I have been able to connect people together because of the network I’ve built. The Chamber has offered trainings and speakers that I’ve been able to bring back to the workplace or even suggest to others. In addition to building a network of people, I have also found great friends. It’s been such a great experience for me both personally and professionally.

Organizational Development Consultant • Border States Electric The Chamber has provided me, and continues to provide me, with outstanding opportunities to not only better connect with the community, but also to grow professionally. Leadership FMWF took my knowledge about and interaction with the community to a new level. The experience highlighted areas within the community I didn’t know existed, while at the same time connected me with a cohort that was willing to grow, challenge and support one another. I continue to nurture and rely on those professional relationships in my work today, while also supporting agencies and entities the program exposed me to. As the current vice chair of the program, I enjoy planning and attending sessions to not only learn more about what’s happening in the area, but also to feel the energy participants bring. It’s an experience that elevates me personally and professionally each time I attend, and I strongly encourage others in the community to apply. It’s an experience like no other program, if you choose to lean in and are willing to grow.



COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT The Chamber’s Military Affairs committee is on a mission to foster a community of support for the men and women of our military and the missions they carry out on our behalf. With a total economic impact to the region of more than $100 million, and the most reliable arsenal we have to fight annual floods and preserve the freedom we love, the vital role of the military in our region is undeniable. To recognize these courageous individuals, the committee will plan activities, such as the annual Military Appreciation Night at the RedHawks event, to raise awareness in the community for the work that they do and provide opportunities for the community to thank them for their outstanding accomplishments. The committee also has a keen eye on promoting public policies that advance our region’s military units. The Military Affairs committee also leads The Chamber’s Honor Star Program, which funds initiatives aimed to foster support for our local military and their families. We humbly thank those hundreds of businesses and individuals who invest in this program annually.


On-Air Announcer • Midco Sports The objective of the Military Affairs committee is to advocate and provide support for all service members and their families, as well as keep our business community aware of important operations, deployments and projects in the area. I find it very rewarding to be a part of a group that values the contributions from all those that serve in our region and collaborates on key issues to help advance our mission. We are very fortunate to have strong leadership and an accomplished military presence in our region that provides a significant economic impact to our local businesses.

At the City of West Fargo, we invest in the spaces and places that make our community shine. For a unique community experience, visit the City of West Fargo's POW/MIA Plaza at The Yards on Sheyenne. No matter the event, this 15,000 square foot space is the center of community celebrations in the heart of the city.

Scan to plan your next visit or book a plaza event.



Follow @CityofWestFargo FMWFCHAMBER.COM   41


Statement of Ownership, Management & Circulation This form signifies The Bridge’s periodical status. Please contact us with any questions at 218.233.1100 or email us at thebridge@


December 2021

It is our mission to be as high performing, impactful and effective for our members as possible, and we are consistently challenging, developing, educating and inspiring our team.


5 TH


ORGANIZATIONAL EXCELLENCE When it comes to personal and professional development, our Chamber team is involved with many great organizations across the region and nation. The better we are as a team, the better we can serve and lead our community. Here are a few of our stories and experiences. The Chamber team is excited to be experiencing and implementing EOS, facilitated by local leader Patrick Metzger. EOS is a set of concepts and tools that has helped thousands around the world. EOS focuses on helping teams improve vision, traction and staying healthy.

Chamber team member • Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)

ACCE is a national trade association that provides professional development, peer networks and collaborative sessions to strengthen over 5,000 chambers of commerce throughout the country. The greatest benefits of ACCE are the best practices and thought leadership sharing for all levels of chamber staff on topics including public policy, business development, talent and workforce, economic development and so much more. ACCE also provides an accreditation program where chambers receive accreditation to a high level of organizational excellence standards. A future goal of the FMWF Chamber will be to complete accreditation as well. I have served eight years on the Board of Directors and have led the Major Cities group through ACCE which includes 65 similar sized chambers from around the country.

EOS Implementer • Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) This program excites me because I get to truly help organizations achieve more and be a true partner throughout the entire process. The program takes the complexity out of running the business and provides continuity, clarity and accountability within the organization to help it move forward quickly and to scale and grow to reach their goals.

Chamber team member •

Institute for Organizational Management (IOM)

With two of the four years under my belt so far, I can say that IOM has been the best professional development program I have had the opportunity to experience. It is tailored specifically to chamber professionals and is designed to enhance our performance, professional standards, management and community leadership skills. Being surrounded by top chamber pros from around the nation and educated by university professors, industry experts and leading practitioners has greatly elevated my impact and effectiveness in our organization.


December 2021


Chamber team member •

Mid America Chamber Executives (MACE)

I had the pleasure and honor to serve six years on the Mid America Chamber Executives Board of Directors. For me being relatively new to the chamber world, it was a wonderful experience to learn from incredible leaders from a six state region (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska). The passion these leaders have for their communities AND the chamber industry was eye-opening. MACE brings these executives together and allows us to share best practices, connections, experiences and ideas. The vision of “what makes one chamber strong, makes all chambers strong” is refreshing and inspiring.


Economic Development Director At the City of West Fargo, we help connect new and existing businesses with resources to help pave the way for their success.

Chamber team member • Leadership FMWF I went through the Leadership FMWF program because it was an opportunity to develop my leadership skills and grow my local professional network. I didn’t expect the program to also challenge me to grow so much as an individual, becoming more self-aware of my values, strengths and communication style. I continue to use the skills developed in the program in my everyday life and certainly within my career. The professional development was exceptional, but my favorite part of Leadership FMWF was creating relationships with a diverse group of professionals representing a variety of industries, professions, ages, and perspectives. I still lean on a group of those friends for professional advice and personal connection!


Contact me at (701) 515-5340 or

Scan to learn more

Follow @CityofWestFargo FMWFCHAMBER.COM   45


Chamber team member •

35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program

I joined 35 Under 35 full of nerves and excitement to learn about this program and the other ladies that had been selected. Everyone in the program was full of energy, ideas, a willingness to connect and passion for our community. The experience helped me through a difficult time in my life and allowed me to create lasting bonds with many of the women in the program. To this day, I often find myself reflecting on our past projects, stories and discussions as they relate to my personal and professional life. Overall, this program challenged me to stretch myself and evaluate what my personal story and brand looks like.

Chamber team member • U.S. Chamber Foundation Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

This program trains and equips Chamber of Commerce leaders from across the country with access to experts and a network of peers to build our capacity as a region to address the most pressing workforce and education challenges we are facing. Our FMWF metro has tremendous opportunities ahead of us and I’m looking forward to learning what more our region can, and should, be doing to ensure we are even more successful.


December 2021


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BUSINESS TRAINING Creating a Community of Respect Wednesday, January 19 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn and livestream

An organization’s commitment to embrace diverse, equitable and inclusive business practices ranks Angela Fowler among the top of issues this next generation of NDSU workers cares deeply about. Now, more than ever, employees are looking to their organization to be a leader in this space. But what does this mean for a business? Where should your organization, or even you as an individual, even start on this journey? Join us for this training where you will learn about cultural differences and be encouraged to think critically about the impact of other cultural values in relation to yours.

WOMEN CONNECT Jingle Mingle Tuesday, December 14 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | Avalon Events Center

Join us for this special Women Connect session filled with activities, live stage performances, entertainment, cocktails, appetizers, networking and more. This will also be a great opportunity to connect with your peers and local leaders, meet new people, create friendships and have great conversation. This will be one you don’t want to miss!

You Have Permission Tuesday, January 25 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. Avalon Events Center and livestream

It’s time to give ourselves permission to live our heart’s Lisa Gulland-Nelson desire, to say no to what doesn’t serve us and yes to Passion To Pen, LLC what fills us up. And it’s time to really support each other. Let’s cultivate our circles of support and hold on tightly to them. Let’s invite radical self care into our own lives and watch the world around us change in response to the love we give ourselves.

Intentional Collisions Tuesday, February 22 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | Avalon Events Center

This inaugural event will feature highly influential women sharing their insights, experiences, journeys and advice in short seven-minute segments. Attendees will have the opportunity to select up to 15 ‘collisions’ and directly engage with the influential women of their choice. This highly interactive experience will be extremely rewarding for all that participate.

EGGS & ISSUES The Necessity of Water Infrastructure Wednesday, December 15 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. Courtyard by Marriott Moorhead and livestream

The potential for catastrophic water emergencies in our region is real. This distinguished panel will discuss what our region is doing to protect our communities, residents, billions of dollars in wages and our future. We will dive into the Red River Valley Water Supply Project that will protect us from drought and The Diversion Project that will defend us from disastrous flooding. • Rocky Schneider, AE2S • Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney • Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski • Merri Mooridian, Red River Valley Water Supply Project Administration • Greg Yavicoli, ASN Constructors, Red River Valley Alliance

COVID Mandates: Keeping us safe or damaging the country?

NEW TIME Thursday, January 6 | 8 to 9:30 a.m. Courtyard by Marriott and livestream

Since 2020, the American people have had to combat not only a virus, but the government shutdowns and mandates that followed. This event will cover the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to government intervention as it relates to the pandemic. You can expect to have an update on the federal OSHA ETS mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees, the morality and legality of who decides if employees should mask or vaccinate, how interstate businesses are handling the various mandates and protocols, and the conflict between state and federal law. This crucial discussion will get us all up to speed and have attendees leaving with a better understanding of how we can move forward as leaders, businesses, communities and as a country.

REGISTRATION   Register for these events at or by calling 218.233.1100. 48  THE BRIDGE

December 2021


SIGNATURE EVENTS State of the Cities

2022 Voices of Vision

Thursday, January 13, 2022 | 8 to 9:30 a.m. | Delta by Marriott and livestream

April 2022

Kory Peterson Mayor of Horace

Bernie Dardis Mayor of West Fargo

Tim Mahoney Mayor of Fargo

Shelly Carlson Mayor of Moorhead

Chad Olson Mayor of Dilworth

Where are our cities headed? This annual event brings our community together to ask our mayors from across the metro about future growth, goals, priorities, opportunities and challenges. Don’t miss this conversation and opportunity to directly ask our mayors the questions you have for them.

er S p ea k


nce m Each year, Voices of Vision annoug soon! brings globally renowned co m i n thought leaders to the metro. Past speakers who have graced the stage include Lt. Col. Oliver North, Bob Woodward, Joe Theismann, Jeb Bush, Terry Bradshaw, Rudy Giuliani, Robert O’Neill, Shaquille O’Neal, Danica Patrick, Peyton Manning and Admiral William McRaven. PRESENTING SPONSOR

Women Connect Celebration Wednesday, June 1, 2022


Mel Robbins Registration opens December 15

Midwest Economic Forecast Summit Tuesday, February 8 | 8 to 11 a.m. | Delta by Marriott and livestream

Developing and maintaining a vibrant economy is essential to the continued growth of the Midwest. The Midwest Economic Forecast Summit will bring together industry leaders and economic experts from across the Midwest to take part in a holistic discussion. Our nation recently faced a global recession, record U.S. unemployment PRESENTING and extreme economic uncertainty. SPONSOR This is an opportunity to learn about regional and national economic trends, examine factors that keep our region competitive and hear from industry leaders from across various sectors including agriculture, energy, health care, and more.

PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR Networking Before 9 Friday, December 17 | 8 to 9 a.m. | Virtual

Join us for our last Networking Before 9 event for the 2021 year! We’ll set up a reflective space to share our successes and challenges this past year and share space for our hopes for 2022. Make sure to bring a friend along!


Women Connect Celebration September 2022

For the past several years, we have been thrilled to bring national speakers and influencers to our community for Women Connect’s anniversary celebration. Past celebration speakers include: Lynette Lewis, Fawn Germer, Jessica N. Turner, Robyn Benincasa, Rachel Hollis, Marissa Orr, Holly Hoffmann and Kat Perkins. Who will be our September speaker?

er S p ea k n c e m e n t u o a n n g so o n! co m i n


Sponsored content


FIVE TIPS FOR A SMART SUCCESSION PLAN Owners and co-owners of a business get to enjoy the unique satisfaction of being their own boss and creating opportunities for others. They also have the satisfaction of having some measure of input into who will carry on their legacy. Passing on the ownership of a business is a complex and multifaceted undertaking, often raising questions about what is family or business property, and putting personal relationships and promises in the spotlight. Fortunately, with proper guidance from an advisor, owners can design a fair and clear succession plan. Here are five tips to help make it happen:

Start planning earlier than you think you need to Sometimes succession is unexpected, from a passing or sudden retirement. Often it has been pondered for years. But even when time is allowed, a surprising number of owners still haven’t made clear plans. Make a succession plan an early part of your business. With proper time, advisors can help ensure a fair outcome for everyone.

Don’t make assumptions about family succession Many entrepreneurs assume their successor will be a member of their family. But even in the best cases there is work to do — ensuring other family members do not feel left out, and helping ensure successors are actually up to the job. And sometimes, the person expected to take over isn’t interested. These are not questions to answer under duress, so start succession conversations early.

Make sure titling and intensions are clearly spelled out

ownership transfers to the surviving partner if the other passes — but without clear guidance, the family or beneficiaries of the former co-owner come into the picture. Even a misplaced comma can muddle the picture. Bring in an advisor to review documents and make sure they say what you intend.

Consider transferring assets gradually One benefit of early succession planning is the opportunity to maximize the transfer and minimize taxes on the business as it changes hands. There are many tools available, including gradual transfers of assets over years so certain income thresholds aren’t exceeded. This is a smart move, but it only works if you have a plan ready in advance.

Line up the money needed to make the plan happen In most cases, ownership transfers involve some sort of exchange. A retiring owner sells his or her share to a partner or successor, even within the family, or bequeaths the business — and its tax burden — to a beneficiary. In these cases, the receiving party needs assets to complete the transfer. Arrange with an advisor and loan officer in advance to make sure the right person has the right funds at the right time. The best first step is to ask yourself what your long-term plans are. Whether you see yourself moving on in a few years or dedicating a lifetime to your business, you will need a plan — but maybe not the same plan. A business advisor from Alerus can help you navigate the options available and help set up a plan that will serve you — and your successors — for years to come.

Clear, closely reviewed documentation of ownership and succession is a must. Many joint partners assume

701.280.5000 :: ALERUS .COM The information contained herein is general in nature, is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Alerus does not provide legal or tax advice. Always consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific legal or tax situation. Alerus Financial, N.A. is Member FDIC.

Ignite FMWF is our region’s newest workforce infrastructure initiative designed to drive continued success for our business community.

Join Ignite FMWF today!

Nurturing Abilities, Achieving Dreams.

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

Apply on-line at

Supporting People with Disabilities

(701) 235-8217


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NEW MEMBERS Welcome to the following businesses who joined The Chamber in October! 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.

Axis Clinicals USA Research & Development AXIS Clinicals USA offers employees a research-rich environment that fosters innovation, respects opinion, and represents challenges. The company prides itself in providing an inclusive environment that values individual space and opinion but ensures team responsibility and accountability.

Azurance Group Insurance Azurance partners with A-rated carriers in order to provide a full range of supplemental insurance products that help protect your financial well-being and quality of life.

Catalytic Conversations LLC Consultants Reconciling humanity and technology by providing coaching, consulting and training on digital communication, online burnout, reliable productivity, organizational health and career advancement for remote professionals and hybrid teams.

Face Foundrie Focal Facial bar servicing all things face - facials, brows, lashes, and skincare!

Fibrenew Restoration Fibrenew is a mobile service that specializes in the repair, restoration, and renewal of leather, plastic, vinyl, fabric and upholstery. Our products, techniques, and color matching technology are what sets us apart.

Helping Hands Care Home Care Services Home care focused on helping the elderly stay in their homes. Providing personal care, meal prep, shopping, transportation, companionship, medication reminders, laundry and more.

Kones Kreamery koneskreameryfargo Retail – Stores/Ecommerce Handcrafted Italian Ice Cream, made right in our kitchen at Kones Kreamery! We serve Italian ice cream, coffees, and boba milk teas!

Dakota Barber Academy Beauty Salons & Barbers Our goal is to tailor each student’s learning experience while removing barriers to give them the opportunity to thrive in the barber industry.

Luxury Bath of Fargo/ Aging In Place Remodeling Contractors – Business/ Residential Remodeling Luxury Bath of Fargo: Remodeling of bathrooms with quality acrylic products to create a personalized spa-like bathroom, in traditional and trending styles. Aging In Place Remodeling: Installing safety assisting products to allow you to stay in your home longer.

McLaughlin RV & Marine Marine Sales & Services McLaughlin RV & Marine offers both the newest boat and RV models along with many pre-owned models. Our locations are complete with service, parts, and sales departments.

Minn-Dak Market Retail – Stores/Ecommerce Over 40,000 Square feet of Artisan Local Crafts and Foods - Shipping Gift Baskets, Packs and Boxes Year Around!

Najaxa Software Information Systems Technology Najaxa Software is a privately owned Microsoft Dynamics and Data Platform Partner based in Fargo, ND with a team of amazing individuals across the United States. Najaxa Software has a motto to keep our teams lean and focused to provide the best value to our customers.

Stutz Publishing, LLC Publishing – Writers/Authors Publisher of ‘Tidbits’, the Free Family-Friendly paper full of trivia and games. We help local businesses grow their brand without breaking the bank. Over 30,000 local readers monthly!

United States Axe Recreation United States Axe provides the #1 best axe throwing experience. With WATL Certified physical locations in Fargo, Saint Cloud, Wadena and Alexandria, the growing company is woman and veteran owned.

University of Minnesota Extension Education – Training The University of MN Extension has four different centers-- Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, Community Vitality, Family Development and Youth Development-- and connects with members of the MN public in a variety of ways through each of these areas.

We Fest Holdings, LLC Event – Conference Center Established in 1983, WE Fest is considered the world’s largest Country Music and Camping Festival. WE Fest is held at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota the first weekend in August.



Churches United – Dorothy Day Food Pantry

First International Bank & Trust



45 21st Ave E. Ste. A., West Fargo

Garden of Healing

865 37th Ave S., Moorhead

Goldmark Commercial Real Estate / Goldmark Design & Development




Moorhead Public Schools Career Academy



Off Color Media

Patterson Dental



3020 51st St. S., Fargo

100 36th St. SW., Ste. 100, Fargo

550 Oak Ridge Way East, West Fargo

2000 44th St. S., Ste. 102, Fargo

2800 27th Ave. S., Moorhead

4821 45th St. S., Fargo

Want to see your company here? Chamber ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings are available free to any member business. For more information or to schedule, contact Casey at 218.359.0528 or, or fill out the form at *One ribbon cutting per year per member 54  THE BRIDGE

December 2021



Twin Peaks




Wimmer’s Diamonds



901 13th Ave. E., Ste. B., West Fargo

3101 8th St. S., Moorhead

1515 42nd St. S., Fargo

4582 32nd Ave. S., Ste. A., Fargo

YWCA / Gate City Bank / Great Plains Food Bank / Lutheran Church of the Cross – West Fargo Eats GRAND OPENING

1402 16th St. E., West Fargo

Thank you to Nothing Bundt Cakes for donating a sweet treat to each of our ribbon cuttings!

Thinking about becoming a member?

Your Chamber membership is an investment in you, your employees, your business and your community. You are investing in the future of the entire region, supporting growth and progress, staying informed and involved with issues that affect our region and your business, and you are developing future leaders. It means you are on a growing team of the biggest organizations, along with the hundreds of small businesses that are the backbone of our community, to become a force working for the greater good of the FMWF region.

Visit or call Casey Sanders-Berglund at 218.233.1100



Murali Vegi

Senior Engineer


Barry Glienke

Senior Civil Engineer

Shawn Barta

Quality Assurance and Improvement Manager

Eric Bartholomay

Manufacturing Assembler

Joey Brown

Engineer II, Embedded Software

Bill Burgess

Senior Engineer, Software Design


Michael Ehresmann Senior Engineer, Mechanical Design

Lyle Gienger Tactical Buyer

Meagen Neil

Robert Severson

Kyle Spiekermeier




Manufacturing Assembler


Melissa Kuntz REALTOR®

Rylee Offermann

Marketing & Administrative Assistant

Senior Engineer, Electronics Design

Manufacturing Assembler

Sue Borud REALTOR®


Sara Hand

Scott Zolondek

Communications Specialist

SVP/Business Banker

Richard Gleason

Tyrone Knutson

Rochelle Cross Loan Specialist

Jason Gerdes

Business Development and Commercial Loan Officer


Ann Peterson

Loan Operations

Bill Bilben

Maintenance Technician

Investor Relations



Matt Wuorinen Resident Artist

Tessa Hand

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Lee Morberg

Construction Manager


Bess Martin, PhD Neuropsychologist

Marlena McKee Family Medicine Specialist

Audrey Berg

Corporate Housekeeper


Cole Provinzino

Aviation Maintenance Technician


Ahmen Qasim Line Technician

December 2021

Grey Parmer

Maintenance Technician

Alvin Tisi

Line Technician

Matthew Turner

Aviation Maintenance Technician Apprentice

Jackie Thompson

Accounting Assistant

Mitchell Carlson Line Technician



Joseph Andrews Real Estate Agent

Jeff Beske

Real Estate Agent


Ashley Christianson Lead Agent Instructor

Taylor Dobbs Office Manager

Real Estate Agent

Sarah Jasmer

Melissa Johnson

Greg Bontjes

Edgar Guajardo

Waylon Peterson

Real Estate Agent


Sophia Kuehl

Real Estate Agent

David Moll

Real Estate Agent

Michael Adkins REALTOR®





James Ryan REALTOR®

Whitney Beaupre Client Coordinator

Brandon Hickcox AU-M, AINS, Client Executive

Katie Jorgensen

CIC, Client Executive

Jenna Kill

Administrative Assistant




Shelly Manske

Client Coordinator

Josie Wing

Private Client Advocate

Geneva Nodland Editor

Rob Whiteside Videographer

Emma Bonnet


Kelly Olson

CEO and President



Marketing Coordinator

Sam Lower

SHRM-CP, HR Generalist

Jack Buck Attorney

MacKenzie Hertz Attorney

Erica Hovey Attorney

Bob Terry

Corporate Purchasing Analyst

Want to see yourself here? Did you know that we run new hire and promotion announcements from our members in every newsletter? Email your company or people news to us at or visit





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Choice Bank



CONTACT US TODAY! MILITARY AFFAIRS 4870 Rocking Horse Circle S. Fargo, ND 58104


Charlie Lindberg


The Village Business Institute offers solutions to help your employees and your organization succeed! • Employee Assistance Program

• Workplace Mediation

• Crisis Management • Training and Services Consultation Who are you going to trust to help you take care of your people? 800-627-8220 58  THE BRIDGE

December 2021



AE2S Beverage Wholesalers, Inc. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Bremer Bank Cass County Electric Cooperative Essentia Health First International Bank & Trust MWC Advertising of Fargo Moorhead Sanford Health Xcel Energy

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









Dale Carnegie of ND & MN Forum Communications Printing Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Bremer Bank | Choice Bank Concordia College | Cornerstone Bank First Western Bank & Trust Houston Engineering, Inc. Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moore Engineering, Inc. MWC Advertising of Fargo Moorhead Ulteig



Advanced Business Methods | Bell Bank Bremer Bank | Choice Bank | Concordia College Dale Carnegie of ND & MN Eventide Senior Living Communities First Western Bank & Trust Gate City Bank | Microsoft Minnesota State Community and Technical College Otter Tail Corporation | Rasmussen University Sanford Health | Vogel Law Firm | WDAY Western State Bank EVENT PRODUCTION SPONSOR









Gate City Bank


Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota | Concordia College Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency Essentia Health | Midco Minnesota State Community and Technical College


CHAMBER ANNIVERSARIES Congrats to these members for celebrating the following milestone Chamber anniversaries!

25 YEARS S & L Computer Services, Inc.

Red River Refrigeration, Inc.

Lake Agassiz Development Group

Bell Bank




North Dakota Assistive

10 YEARS MetroPlains Management

Amber Ridge Investments LLC

Fargo Rotary

Osgood Townsite Apartments LLC

James McCulley, D.D.S.

Amber Valley West Apartments

5 YEARS West Fargo Eyecare Associates PC

Fargo Youth Baseball

TLC Cleaning

Emerging Prairie

Connie Nicholas

RehabAuthority Physical Therapy LLC

CHI Health at Home

Casselton Veterinary Service


December 2021


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Girl Scouts Change the World Girl Scouts look at the world, starting with their communities in North Dakota, and take action to change it for the better. They make friends, challenge themselves with new experiences, write their own stories, and develop the skills and confidence to say, “I know I can do this!” So how do we do it? It’s all part of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, and it’s what makes Girl Scouting a unique experience for girls. By participating in fun, girl-led activities through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Girl Scouts:



Take Action

They’ll find out who they are, what they care about, and how to best use their unique talents.

They’ll collaborate with others, both locally and globally, to learn and expand their horizons.

They’ll do what Girl Scouts always do: make the world a better place.

Learn More

or find an event at

Visit Us

Girl Scout Service Center

Become a Girl Scout

1002 43rd Street S, Fargo, ND 58103

Invest in Girls

Comprehensive coverage. For all life holds. With products from the nation’s top carriers, we offer coverage to safeguard individuals, families and organizations through all the twists and turns of life. • Dental & Vision

• Accident

• Travel

• Disability

• Life/AD&D

• Many more

And we match it with holistic support—everything from enrollment assistance to help filing a claim. You get what you need with just one call.

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YO U R B U S I N E S S . YO U R R E C I P E F O R S U CC E S S .


Running a business here comes with a uniquely wonderful set of challenges. Our experts will help customize an employee benefits package that works for you today—and lets employees get back to doing what they do best. Start building your perfect employee benefits plan. Because it’s your business. Your Blue.

Talk with an agent today. Derek Van Dyke Fargo 701.282.1446

Jo Hatfield Fargo 701.282.1153