The Bridge: August 2021

Page 1

August 2021

Intentionally building a thriving

and vibrant community for generations to come.

F-M Diversion updates p.4  |  Career Workforce Academy p.6

Community Builders Community Builders are a level of Premier Partner businesses committed to improving the area by investing in our programs and events.

August 2021

F-M Diversion: Updates on the project Career Workforce Academy

4 6 10 28


Converdia Health Staffing

MSUM & Essentia Health Nursing School Partnership ADVERTISER INDEX 27  AAA-The Auto Club 9 Alerus 25  Boulger Funeral Home 14  CHI Friendship 25  Cole Papers, Inc 12  Cornerstone Bank 12  Dakota Carrier Network 24  First International Bank & Trust 14  Indigo Signs

25  Moore Engineering 25  Pinnacle Pediatric Clinic 14  Pro Resources 21 Property Resources Group 14 ReadiTech 21  Sanford Health 24 Sparklight 7  Starion Bank 27  Your CBD Store

Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber


Letter from the president


Chamber faces

13 15 16 6 18 20 21 22 25 26



The Urgency of Cybersecurity Voices of Vision Upcoming events PROGRAM UPDATES

Fueling Our Future Event photo recaps MEMBER NEWS

New members Anniversaries Ribbon cuttings Company news People news


CONTENTS Video Member Spotlights This is where we shine a light on local business, celebrate, and learn more about our members in the community. Use this QR code to discover the great things happening around our metro this summer, and see what your fellow Chamber members are up to.

Chamber Blog Get to know our inspiring Chamber members and community through these unique stories.

For past issues of The Bridge:


MISSION The Chamber promotes economic growth and prosperity for business and its members through leadership in advocacy, education and engagement VISION The Chamber is the leader in ensuring the growth and prosperity of our regional business and members

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES • Establish the region as a full-service metropolitan marketplace. • Be a bold voice for business through strong thought leadership and a rich policy agenda. • Build a place of belonging to best serve members’ interests.

Board of Directors Sandi Piatz Microsoft Chair

Shawn Dobberstein Hector International Chair Elect Airport Peter Stenehjem First International Treasurer Bank & Trust

Committee Chairs Roger Reierson Flint Group Agribusiness

Patti Cosgriff Northwestern Bank Ambassador Public Relations

Dean Krogen 702 Communications

Tom Dawson Dawson Insurance

Ambassador Member Relations

Jodi Duncan Flint Group

Wyatt Johnson John Deere Business Training Electronic Solutions

Immediate Past Chair

Member at Large

Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Moorhead Kevin Christianson Paces Lodging Corporation, Property Resources Group Kyle Dorow Essentia Health Mike Dragosavich Spotlight Chad Flanagan Eide Bailly LLP Steve Halverson Heartland Trust Company Kara Jorvig Allegro Group Tami Norgard Vogel Law Firm Brittany Sachdeva Sanford Health Joanna Slominski Mortenson

Louise Dardis Retired educator Education

Dan Cash Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead

Leadership FMWF

Brian Shawn Midco Military Affairs

Trevor Mathew Thrivent

Professionals of Color

Tim Flakoll Tri-College University Public Policy

Kirsten Jensen Minnesota State Women Connect University Moorhead Celine Francisco Choice Bank

Young Professionals Network

Chamber Staff Shannon Full

President/CEO @FMWFShannon

Darin Feir

Jim Parsons

Executive Vice President @FMWFJim

Tyler Fischbach

Design & Technology Specialist @FMWFDarin

Vice President of Communications @FMWFTyler

Katie Mastel

Shane Olmscheid

Mason Rademacher

Bobbi Rehder

Vice President of Public Policy @FMWFKatie

Vice President of Talent and Workforce @FMWFMason

Engagement Strategist @FMWFShane

Events Specialist @FMWFBobbiJo

Darren Dunlop

Vice President of Corporate Partnerships @FMWFDarren

Kayla Koehmstedt

Content Marketing Specialist @FMWFKayla

Malinda Olhoft

Engagement Support Specialist

Casey Sanders

Vice President of Engagement @FMWFCasey

Cale Dunwoody Public Policy Specialist @FMWFCale

Alyssa Lakoduk

Leadership Development Specialist @FMWFAlyssa

Tracy Powell

Vice President of Events @FMWFTracyP

Julie Yourczek

Office Administrator / Support Specialist @FMWFJulieY

THE BRIDGE (USPS 124-430) is published monthly by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber. For each issue received, $3.50 of membership dues are applied toward subscription of the newsletter. 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 Communications Printing.


August 2021

A note from the President Dear members, It is an unbelievably exciting time for the region, and our community should be proud of the landmark accomplishments we have seen this summer. Nearly a decade ago, The Chamber formed a Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Taskforce to passionately advocate for and advance permanent flood protection for our region. Today, The Chamber, other community organizations, residents and policymakers celebrate a milestone event; the Metro Flood Diversion Authority has selected Red River Alliance as the Public-Private Partnership developer for the project. This developer selection signals the beginning of the multi-year build process for the key piece of the FM Diversion, and as the next phase of the project approaches, we remain committed to and excited for the diversion’s journey to completion. Talent and Workforce efforts have also been a top priority for our region for a very long time, and July 2021 marked the groundbreaking of an incredible asset to our business and education community: a Career Workforce Academy. The academy will work in collaboration with four of Cass County’s local school districts, granting students the opportunity to advance their skill sets and prepare them for in-demand and future career paths. Recently, Fueling Our Future (FOF) brought together 120 community leaders to identify, understand and discuss major issues with a broad regional impact. The retreat provided education about our regional economy and how we compare to other markets, determined our pressing challenges and opportunities, and began structuring a way forward to give us the best chance at being a leading economic and livable market of the future. We have a lot to be proud of and look forward to as we continue building a thriving and vibrant community for generations to come.

Shannon Full

President & CEO Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce



An Update on the FM Diversion Project

The FM Area Diversion Project has been an over decade-long policy effort fueled by The Chamber, community organizations, residents and policy makers advocating for critical flood protection. Now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. On June 18th, 2021 a momentous step was celebrated as the Public-Private Partnership (P3) developer for the immense project was selected, propelling permanent flood protection forward. The Metro Flood Diversion Authority announced that Red River Alliance, with a bid of nearly $935 million, was selected as the P3 developer for the project. Along with this announcement, a $569 million federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan was also announced. This loan accompanies $435 million allocated in North Dakota’s 2021 Bonding Bill (HB 1431), which passed in the 67th North Dakota Legislature and was signed by Governor Burgum. Though segments of construction are already underway, this developer selection signals the beginning of the over six-year build process for the key piece of the project. For all of the project supporters, this milestone is something to be proud of.


August 2021

A Community Effort The innovative and comprehensive project has been in the works for more than ten years. The project will bring permanent flood protection to the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo area, and will also protect surrounding rural communities. It will include 19 bridges and will protect more than 235,000 residents. Even more exciting? The 30-mile-long project will be the first of its kind in the United States. The project has received support and advocacy from officials on both sides of the river, the Metro Flood Diversion Authority and The Chamber’s Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Taskforce. Without the critical collaboration of so many, the project wouldn’t be possible.


The Chamber’s Taskforce

What’s Next?

As The Chamber continues to advance its public policy and advocacy efforts, the involvement of The Chamber’s Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Taskforce has been crucial. The taskforce, formed in 2013 and chaired by Tom Dawson, chairman, Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, is made up of over 40 local business leaders who are passionate about advancing permanent flood protection for the region.

Now that the Diversion Authority has selected Red River Valley Alliance for Public-Private Partnership, the next steps are to finalize the Project Agreement with Red River Valley Alliance and execute the Project Agreement by the end of August 2021. Following implementation of the Project Agreement, the parties intend that construction will begin in late Q1 2022.

Jon Riewer, president and CEO of Eventide and member of the Taskforce, has seen the impact of previous floods and wanted to be part of solving the problem. “I chose to support permanent flood protection through the diversion to protect our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Riewer. “Having been a part of resident relocations due to the flood of 2009, I felt strongly that our community, even though controversial, needed to take any steps necessary to assure these flood related events would never happen again.” From taking bus trips to the legislature in Bismarck, writing letters to the editor, to making phone calls to officials and everything in between, the Taskforce has put in a tremendous amount of work to make the project a reality. Marti Kaiser, CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Association of REALTORS, and member of the Taskforce, recognized the impact another flood could have on property owners in the region. “Without the diversion, flood insurance could have spiked for over 11,000 property owners in flood prone areas. This would have forced some homeowners out of their homes and caused a decrease in property values,” remarked Kaiser. “This is an exciting time for the region,” said Chamber President/CEO, Shannon Full. “The Chamber has been a strong advocate of permanent flood protection for over a decade. This project will be a major asset to our business community providing growth opportunities through economic certainty.”

The selection of the P3 developer is a major step in the diversion’s journey to completion. As the next phase of the project approaches, The Chamber, Taskforce, public officials and community members remain committed and excited.

I remember my first experience with a flood in Fargo was in 1969 when a group of high school buddies were sandbagging in Southwood trying to save a friend’s home when the dike collapsed and destroyed their home. I also helped sandbag at a friend’s home during the 1997 flood and was there in the middle of the night when the dike broke and flooded their home, and again in 2009 I was sandbagging a family member’s home before it was lost to the flood. These personal experiences helped me understand the devastation that a flood in Fargo can cause to families and businesses, `causing devastation that will have an impact for years into the future. I was convinced permanent flood control was one of the most important issues facing our community. Being involved through The Chamber in supporting the diversion was one of the most crucial and satisfying undertakings of my business career.” —Tom Dawson, Chairman, Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company; Chair, Business Leaders Taskforce for Permanent Flood Protection



FOF Leadership Retreat

This summer, Fueling Our Future (FOF) brought together 120 community leaders to identify, understand and discuss major issues that have a broad regional impact. The retreat provided education about our regional economy and how we compare to other markets, determined our pressing issues and opportunities, and began structuring a way forward to give us the best chance at being a leading economic and livable market of the future. Stay tuned to hear more from FOF and how we are working to build a thriving and vibrant community for generations to come.

Workforce & Talent

Last month, The Chamber, Fueling Our Future and many other advocates celebrated the groundbreaking of a Career Workforce Academy in Cass County. “This incredible opportunity for our community wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of so many. Congratulations to all who made the July 7 groundbreaking a reality,” remarked Chamber President/CEO, Shannon Full. “We are proud to be an advocate for academies in both Minnesota and North Dakota and look forward to numerous partnership opportunities in the future.” Plans for the academy have been in the works since 2017, and the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education recently approved the lease agreement to move the $30 million project along. The academy will work in collaboration with four of Cass County’s local school districts, granting students the opportunity to advance their skill sets and prepare them for in-demand and future career paths. 6  THE BRIDGE

August 2021


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.



Meet the Chamber staff—New hires!

Kayla Koehmstedt

Cale Dunwoody

Content Marketing Specialist Years with The Chamber: One month

Public Policy Specialist Years with The Chamber: Three months

Please briefly describe what you do in your position. As the Content Marketing Specialist, I focus on developing and delivering content that engages our members and greater community. I work closely with our internal team and Chamber members to help tell stories and share successes, and I also oversee The Chamber’s social media.

What do you love about your role so far/ what are you looking forward to? I have really enjoyed the variety in my role. No two days are the same, and it keeps work fun! I’m encouraged to bring forth ideas and try new things and I truly enjoy being part of the supportive Chamber family. I am looking forward to getting to know more of our amazing members and continuing to share how great the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community is.

What are a few fun facts you can share about yourself? I love to travel; I’ve been to 23 countries and 28 states, and my favorite place I’ve visited so far was Seoul, Korea! I’m also passionate about health and fitness and am a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and am a huge Minnesota sports fan, even when they let me down year after year.

Why would you recommend businesses or professionals get involved in The Chamber? The Chamber offers so many amazing programs and involvement opportunities for businesses and professionals alike. There is always an event, committee or new initiative to get involved with and meet likeminded individuals and businesses in the community. The Chamber truly values its members and is dedicated to providing opportunities to help the community thrive.


August 2021

Please briefly describe what you do in your position. As a Public Policy Specialist, I am responsible for assisting in all activities related to public policy, military affairs and agribusiness. Under public policy, I work alongside our Vice President of Public Policy with the planning for that committee, Eggs and Issues events and overall legislative involvement. Under military affairs, I assist the Vice President of Public Policy with planning of our Military Affairs committee and military appreciation events. Lastly, I am transitioning into the lead staff point of contact for the Agribusiness committee.

What do you love about your role? I love the fact that I am doing something different every day! It keeps me on my toes and allows me to learn and grow in a variety of areas.

Why would you recommend businesses or professionals get involved in The Chamber? I would recommend getting involved with the FMWF Chamber because of the great opportunities, programs, and events that we have to offer. The Chamber is the lynch-pin that connects business, community and government together in society. Through this unique positioning, The Chamber is a great resource for businesses and professionals.

Sponsored content


R EI MAG I N I N G YO U R PL ACE O F B U S I N E S S When rapidly changing economic or consumer trends hit a business’s bottom line, they might need to reimagine their business plan as well as their space. Businesses may find themselves wrestling with questions like: What is the role of the physical space my business occupies – to make things, sell things, or provide a place for individual work? Are space requirements different today than they were in the past? Owners also may discover that unprecedented events also often bring with them a chance to reimagine how they operate and can even bring opportunity. The key is creativity and flexibility. Owners who are just starting or who are transforming their business plans have a chance to re-imagine their place of business to adapt with the times.

Consider the role of a place of business and if it is changing Do you need to make more of a product and need more factory and warehouse space? Are more people working remotely, reducing office needs? Is delivery a bigger part of your restaurant’s business? If these changes are permanent, or even long-term, investing in relocation or renovation may make sense.

Get creative about how your business uses space Some offices can operate well remotely and may reduce office space while maintaining headcount and output. Others are experimenting with sharing space between people with staggered work schedules. Perhaps a restaurant will reduce seating space, but add a dedicated pick-up area. Experimentation may lead to advantageous evolution.

Look for opportunity in the midst of change Big shifts in how businesses operate open gaps that savvy businesses can fill. More online shopping means more real estate devoted to distribution; changing health codes could drive a surge in certain services or renovations; needing less office space could actually reduce overhead and increase margins. Look for ways to capitalize on these changes.

Have a solid plan in place as you seek financing Reinvention isn’t just trying new things. Like any new business decision, it requires research, intuition, and a plan that makes sense. If you are seeking a new location or capital to upgrade your business, be ready to show how your future cash flow can be improved with this investment to give lenders the confidence to offer the best terms possible.

Be patient and deliberate with investments In some cases innovation needs to be tempered by patience. Some changes to business and consumer behavior will be permanent, others temporary. Talk with advisors about how to balance temporary, reversible adaptations with long-term investment. Lines of credit and short-term loans may help you weather a month of uncertainty, while a new mortgage may be the right tool for a major transformation. Transformative times call for partners who can help a business navigate uncertainty. Alerus has the tools and expertise to help businesses not only think through possible courses of action, but can provide the financing necessary to make that next phase of the business a reality. Talk to an Alerus advisor today.

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.


2021 Emerging Business of the Year: What was your reaction to winning at this year’s ChamberChoice Awards?

What makes your organization so important for our community?

News of the nomination sparked a lot of excitement with our staff. We were grateful and humbled to be considered for this award with all the other tremendous organizations in our community. To say that we are honored with the recognition as the Emerging Business of the Year is an understatement! Credit for the award belongs to our team for their hard work and dedication.

The mission of our company is to build bridges between healthcare professionals and facilities to positively impact communities in need. The COVID-19 pandemic and various challenges of 2020 allowed our company to “step up” and help facilities with staffing shortages. Patients and healthcare facilities who benefited from our work included nursing homes, rehab hospitals and emergency departments. Currently, staffing shortages are being felt across the nation in all areas of the workforce, including healthcare. We continue to work diligently to aid facilities with their staffing needs and to help healthcare facilities maintain the highest quality of care for their patients.

What does the award mean to you and the organization? The award is a great tribute to all our frontline workers who have been dedicated to caring for patients within this community and region. Both our internal staff and our healthcare clinicians have shown tremendous resiliency and determination throughout the challenging times brought on by COVID-19. This award highlights all those efforts.

Our Values Our four core values are trust, integrity, service and relationships. Converdia is all about building relationships of trust and connecting healthcare frontline workers with facilities and communities in need. We recently received Joint Commission Certification making our company the only North Dakota-based healthcare staffing company with this designation. The high standards of the Joint Commission focus on performance improvement strategies that ensure healthcare organizations continuously improve the safety and quality of patient care while reducing risk. We believe in providing outstanding care for patients and serving the community, and this certification demonstrates our commitment to a high standard of excellence.

Converdia’s History The dream for Converdia Health Staffing began over 30 years ago when a few healthcare administrative colleagues recognized the need for healthcare professionals in rural facilities. In the spring of 2019, the Converdia dream came to fruition. The company started with 1.5 full-time employees (FTEs), a handful of physicians, rad techs and nurses. In the beginning, Converdia served five facilities. Over the course of the last two years, the company has grown to six FTEs with four full-time recruiters and an expanding pool of nurses, CNAs, physicians and allied healthcare professionals serving over 25 facilities in the Midwest.


August 2021

What does a typical day look like at Converdia? A typical day at Converdia can be classified as “fast and furious”. There are many moving parts; from interviewing to scheduling, recruiting and onboarding, calling clients and clinicians, training and brainstorming sessions, morning huddles and many meetings with innovators in the industry. The day starts early and ends late. Due to the nature of the business, someone on staff is always on-call.


Any fun or touching stories from your work you want to share with us? At Converdia, we love to work hard and have fun! Stretch goals and bold challenges play a part in creating a fun and motivating work atmosphere. Meaningful relationships are essential in our work. As a company, our clinicians know we care about them. We are always sending out cards to celebrate a special life event or notes of encouragement during times of difficulty. Our recruiting team has a great rapport and enjoys celebrations of birthdays, cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes, meals at Randy’s Restaurant, potlucks and practical jokes.

How else are you involved in the community? Giving back to our community is very important to our team. Some of the ways our team has been involved include delivering Meals on Wheels each Wednesday and participation in clean-up at local parks on Earth Day. Our staff has also volunteered time with Hospice of the Red River Valley and a local dog shelter. During the pandemic, we were also able to sew and donate over 500 cloth face masks to nursing homes in our community.

What are your long-term goals and vision for Converdia? Our long-term goal is to be the leading healthcare staffing company in the Midwest. Expansion and innovation will be an important part of this process. Throughout the growth, we will always be committed to providing excellent service with quality healthcare professionals and staying focused on our four core values.




PARTNER WITH DCN TO KEEP YOUR DATA SAFE, SECURE AND PROTECTED. A data breach can effect every part of your business. And the cost of a data breach is not only financial, you can also lose customer trust and loyalty. Dakota Carrier Network is the premier broadband and data center provider in North Dakota. DCN can provide reliable connectivity, a responsive team, and a partner you can trust. For a free consultation, call Valerie Schwantes at 701-364-1300 and learn how DCN can help protect your data.


For Cornerstone, being a community bank isn’t just a place holder. It’s the hard work

we do day in and day out, year in and year out.

- Jeff Thomas, CEO | 701-364-9630


August 2021


THE URGENCY OF CYBERSECURITY Thursday, August 19 | 8 a.m. to noon | Holiday Inn Fargo and livestream

Protecting Your Business from Today’s Threats This panel discussion will provide you with specific guidance and resources on what small to midsize businesses can do to protect themselves. We will cover the challenges organizations are facing today and have open discussion providing key takeaways and action steps you can take now. You will learn the steps you need to follow in the event of a breach, how to build a successful cybersecurity program and culture, network security/ cyber liability insurance and much more! This panel of experts will be able to answer your questions.

How the FBI is Tackling the Cyber Threat— What We Are Seeing and What is of Concern John Bonhage, Special Agent, FBI Minneapolis


Art Bakke, Information Security Officer & Assistant Vice President, Starion Bank


Jesse Heck Director of Operations Dakota Carrier Network


John Mess Senior Security Advisor Network Center, Inc.

John Bonhage has been a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for over 25 years and has worked on criminal, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, environmental, white-collar crime, insider threat and aviation security matters at FBI Minneapolis. He also served on the FBI SWAT team for 20 years and is an FBI certified Firearms Instructor.


Michael Nouguier Director of Cybersecurity Eide Bailly

Dan Hanson Senior Vice President Marsh & McLennan Agency


Nurturing Abilities, Achieving Dreams.

Protect valuable files with 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


August 2021



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





Wednesday, August 25 | Noon to 1:30 p.m. | Delta by Marriott Livestream available | In-person seating is limited

Admiral William H. McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy Four-Star admiral and the former Chancellor of the University of Texas System. In the military, he commanded special operations forces at every level, Admiral McRaven Leaves the Audience Speechless eventually taking charge of the University of Texas 2014 U.S. Special Operations Command. Commencement Address His career included combat during Desert Storm and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He commanded the troops that captured Saddam Hussein and rescued Captain Phillips. McRaven is also credited with developing the plan and leading the Osama bin Laden mission. McRaven is now a leadership consultant and stays active with writing, speaking, and board commitments. PRESENTING SPONSOR





Concordia College

Bank of North Dakota

Consolidated Communications

Heartland Trust Company

Cornerstone Bank


Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company


Bethany Retirement Living Bremer Bank Cass County Electric Cooperative Choice Bank Christianson’s Business Furniture

D-S Beverages First Western Bank & Trust

Goldmark Property Management

Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead Moore Engineering

Minnesota State Community & Technical College

Northern Pipe Products Office Sign Company

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Rasmussen University

ND Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Sharon Hilgers

North Dakota State College of Science Network Center, Inc.

SCHEELS Talecris Plasma Resources, A GRIFOLS company Western State Bank





Developing a Comprehensive Communication Strategy

Parks and Recreation: A Community Cornerstone

Thursday, August 5 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Courtyard by Marriott Moorhead and livestream

Tuesday, August 3 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. Courtyard by Marriott Moorhead and livestream

Today’s communication channels Jodi Duncan Flint Group make it easier than ever to tell your business story; however, you need to be smarter than ever in how you tell your story. Learn the best way to craft a comprehensive communication plan that will serve as a roadmap to your business success. Attendees will learn the basic structure needed for a successful strategic approach.

Vibrant communities are home to a Andrea Travnicek State of ND variety of attractions, but parks and recreation facilities are cornerstones of community development and planning. As we look towards the future and prioritize placemaking in our workforce and livability conversations, it is imperative that our local and state governments continue to incorporate affordable spaces for kids and adults to explore and enjoy. While our FMWF community grows, we must set ourselves apart by creating attractive communities to live, work and play.

CHAMBER 101 Connect. Engage. Maximize. • In person: Tuesday, August 17 | 4 to 5 p.m. | The Chamber office • Virtually: Thursday, August 19 | 9 to 10 a.m. | Zoom

If you’re not familiar with The Chamber, are a new member, new contact, new hire, or just want to reengage with us, this session is for you! Chamber 101 is a laid-back discussion designed to share some of the great benefits of Chamber membership and what opportunities exist that you need to know.

Join North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department Director, Andrea Travnicek, leaders of the local park districts, and businesses supporting recreational opportunities, as we discuss the importance of communal spaces, opportunities for growth, current and future offerings and demand for revitalization.

The Landscape of Education: A K–12 Update Thursday, September 9 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. Courtyard by Marriott Moorhead and livestream

PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR Discuss, Connect & Reflect Wednesday, August 18 | 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Virtual

Join us on Wednesday, August 18 for a professional conversation focused on how to create social change through inspiring people, powerful stories and compelling design. This will be a Discuss, Connect & Reflect you won’t want to miss!

Networking Before 9 Friday, August 27 | 8 to 9 a.m. | Virtual

Grow your personal and professional network by joining this Networking Before 9 socializing opportunity. Make sure to invite a friend to join us as well! We look forward to you joining us.

Dr. Rupak Gandhi

Fargo Public Schools

Beth Slette West Fargo

Public Schools

Dr. Brandon Lunak

Moorhead Public Schools

With widespread growth across our metro, a high level of education is essential to fulfilling workforce demands. This September, we are convening our area superintendents for a K–12 education update. You will hear how teaching styles, classroom activities and expectations have changed due to the pandemic and how classrooms are getting back to normal. Additionally, the superintendents will provide updated information about enrollment numbers, district growth and long-term plans. Visit our website to see who else will be joining the panel.

REGISTRATION    Register for these events at or by calling 218.233.1100. 16  THE BRIDGE

August 2021


WOMEN CONNECT Living Fully Alive Tuesday, August 31 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. Avalon Events Center & Livestream

If a close friend asked you, “are you experiencing life to the fullest right Beth Nelson now?”, how would you respond? We Prairie Heights all have these pictures in our mind Community Church of what we want our day-to-day life to be and the impact we want to have. If we pause and reflect for a moment, we might recognize that many of us are not fully living, we are simply surviving.

Living fully alive includes experiencing real joy, surrounding ourselves with authentic people, and having more influence and impact with the people who matter most! Beth’s life stories will make you laugh and give practical take-aways that will help you live more fully alive, every day. Beth Nelson serves as Lead Pastor at Prairie Heights Community Church in West Fargo, ND. With an educational background in Organizational Communication (B.A.), Counselor Education (M.Ed), and Ministry Leadership (M.A.) she gets to combine her love for Jesus and her love for people each day.


YPN Annual Picnic

Tuesday, August 3 | 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. Urban Plains Park | 3020 51st Street South, Fargo | Free

Tuesday, August 3 | 5:15 to 7:30 p.m. Urban Plains Park | 3020 51st Street South, Fargo | Free

New to YPN or thinking about joining? Connect with new and current YPN members, learn more about the program and the ways that you can be involved. Stick around for the Annual YPN Picnic afterward.

It’s YP Week!

Below are just some of the events happening on this year’s YP Week! Find a complete list at

Lattes with Leaders Wednesday, August 11 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. Four Points by Sheraton, 5064 23rd Avenue South, Fargo YPN Members: Free | Non-YPN Members: $10

Start your day with networking and learning from a prestigious local business leader, all while and getting your morning caffeine boost. YPN welcomes Kevin Ballinger, Aldevron, as our Lattes with Leaders spotlight for YP Week! Kevin will share his story, life lessons, and take questions from the audience.

Tour and Taps: D-S Beverages Wednesday, August 11 | 4 to 7 p.m. D-S Beverages 201 17th Street North, Moorhead YPN Members: $10 Non-YPN Members: $15

Join YPN four our Annual Great American Picnic! We will have food and beverages along with lawn games for those looking for friendly competition.

Kevin Ballinger

Aldevron D-S Beverages has been a distribution staple in our community since 1968 and has been a sponsor of YPN for many years! Come learn about the organization, their operation, tour their facility and of course, taste some of their products!

Networking to Business Lunch— What is Your Purpose Statement? Thursday, August 12 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dakota Medical Foundation 4141 28th Avenue South, Fargo YPN Members: $15 Non-YPN Members: $20 (cost includes lunch)

Sarah West Light Consulting and Coaching

Have you ever thought about why you do what you do? What drives you to be a successful professional? Have you taken the time to craft your personal purpose or mission statement? Sarah West, Light Consulting and Coaching, will talk about why having a personal purpose state is important lead attendees through creating their own purpose statements. Attendees will leave this Networking to Business lunch with the beginning of their own purpose statement to help them ensure everything they do is fulfilling their personal goals and purpose.

Thank you to the sponsors that make these events and programs possible —find them on page 29.



Eggs & Issues In July, we heard from Dr. Scott Beaulier of NDSU, Bryce Johnson of The Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead and a panel of city officials as they discussed the current housing dilemma, trends and future plans for our metro.

Military Appreciation Night at the RedHawks On July 13th, we hosted our 10th annual Military Appreciation Night at the RedHawks. It was a beautiful night to honor our military men, women and their families. Attendees enjoyed a picnic, face painting, a special flyover and more. A special thank you to our event sponsors and Honor Star members who have joined our mission to foster an engaged and supportive community for our local military.


August 2021


Women Connect with Holly Hoffman Holly Hoffman had attendees laughing, crying, and learning how to come face-toface with our fears to push ourselves out of our comfort zone and beyond our selflimitations. “It is how we choose to overcome challenges that makes us who we are in life. It is our strength in times of difficulty that prove our character and self-worth.”

Chamber Challenge Golf Outing We had a great time at our annual Chamber Challenge Golf Outing in July! Congrats to this year’s top teams: Sherwin Williams, Gjesdahl Law and Cass County Electric Cooperative. Thank you to our members, Edgewood Golf Course and our sponsors for making this another fun and successful event.


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

Country Financial

Peoples Rising Academy

Home, Auto, Life Insurance; Commercial Insurance; Budget and Financial Planning.

A holistic-based, research-backed, patientcentered, LIFE Change Program intended for people to help them RISE UP to optimal health.

The Healing Studio

Which Wich

701.235.7813 Insurance

701.552.2731 Counseling Services

The Healing Studio strives to bring compassionate healing by blending psychotherapy, occupational therapy, massage, and music therapy in one blended atmosphere.

Velocity Public Affairs Public Relations

Velocity Public Affairs is a full-service public affairs company that combines experienced leadership with market-leading, proprietary technology to help clients strategically address and manage public affairs challenges and opportunities.

Mason Jar Boutique Retail – Stores/Ecommerce

Mason Jar Boutique is an affordable online and retail clothing boutique selling the latest trends. We started in 2014 and have been growing quickly ever since! We are women-owned and run and always find ways to give back to our local communities.

SPECTER Marketing Research

SPECTER is a data solutions firm that specializes in Political Campaigns and Business engagement, and prides itself on its willingness to take on the endeavors that many other firms struggle to fulfill. Restaurants

A superior sandwich shop that specializes in Superior Sandwiches, salads, fries, and real ice cream shakes!

EOLA by Epic Real Estate - Development

EOLA by EPIC is a development along 45th Street in South Fargo. This is a family friendly entertainment park that will entail a sled/tub hill, waterpark, hockey rink and more. It will be a regional destination location for the communities of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo. The development will also have a parking ramp and seven buildings that will include commercial space, apartments, and condos.

Fit My Feet Shoes

We are a sit and fit shoe store! We help you choose footwear and/or orthotics that will serve your needs as well as give you exceptional comfort! Our store has board certified Pedorthists, Shoe Fitters, and Trained Orthotic Technicians working in our store to serve our customers the best we can. Not only do we find the best shoe for our customers, but we also make custom orthotics. We see people who suffer from foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis, diabetes, arthritis, and sports injuries.

Find all #FMWFMembers at our online directory at 20  THE BRIDGE

August 2021

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



Monitor Marketing

Bernie’s West

Heritage Insurance Services

Best Western Premier The Lodge on Lake Detroit

Vance Thompson Vision

Avalon Events Center

Everything Amish

The Spa Within



Bank of North Dakota

Merry Maids

Greenscape Companies, Inc.

Richards Transportation Service Perficient, Inc Winmar Sleep Wellness Center



At the District


Healthy Employees =

Happy Employees Help your employees feel confident in their health coverage. Choose Sanford Health Plan and give your employees:

• Large Lots Available

• $0 video visits and preventive care

• Basketball Courts

• $20 monthly gym reimbursements

• Parks, Ponds & Walking Paths

• Access to Profile by Sanford

• Easy Access To 52nd

• Monthly wellness and benefits education

Ave & I-29 • Local Retail,

Save more

Restaurants &

with Sanford TRUE

Grocery Stores


Save on monthly rates in select counties and zip codes.

701-499-3937 4609 33rd Ave S. Ste 400, Fargo, ND

Live Life Covered. Call (888) 535-4831 or visit At participating providers only; certain restrictions may apply.

218-724-978 Rev. 6/21




1630 1st Avenue North, Suite B, Fargo



1609 19th Avenue North, Fargo

Green Therapy


4601 33rd Avenue South, Fargo

Griswold Home Care RELOCATION

3227 Oak Ridge Loop East, West Fargo

Jasper Hotel


816 24th Ave. E. Suite 112, West Fargo

Hebron Brick Supply GROUNDBREAKING

901 Christianson Drive W., West Fargo

Liberty Mutual


215 Broadway North, Fargo


Fargo Air Museum

August 2021


902 28th Street S. Suite 1, Fargo




5670 38th Ave. S. Suite D, Fargo

Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine GRAND OPENING

1720 S University Drive, Fargo

Tootsie’s Children’s Boutique RELOCATION

4600 32nd Ave. S. Suite 100, Fargo

Western State Bank RELOCATION

Northern Lights GRAND OPENING

2920 Sheyenne Street, West Fargo


123 S University Drive N., Fargo

Village Cooperative of Fargo GRAND OPENING

2731 12th Ave. S. Suite C, Fargo

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

4201 45th Street S., Fargo

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


Open your door to Living First Success is about progress, and is founded on hard work. First International Bank & Trust can bear some of the load, taking the work out of managing your accounts. Our experts can custom tailor banking solutions to best suit your operations, so you can get back to business. BANKING | MORTGAGE | INSURANCE* | TRUST & INVESTMENTS* *Not FDIC or any federal agency insured | No bank guarantee | May lose value 5-21


August 2021

COMPANY NEWS Capital Credit Union Named Best in North Dakota by Forbes

For the third year in a row, Capital Credit Union has been named North Dakota’s best credit union in a nationwide survey conducted by Forbes and market research firm Statista. Forbes and Statista identified America’s BestIn-State Credit Unions 2021 based on an independent survey of approximately 25,000 US consumers who were asked to rate credit unions at which they have or previously have had checking accounts. Participants made recommendations regarding overall satisfaction; they also assessed credit unions in the following areas: trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services, customer service and financial advice.

Want to see your news here? Email your company news to us at or visit Please note: All submissions are published two months after they are received.

Connect Interiors Receives North Dakota Women Owned Business Certification

ND Women’s Business Center is pleased to announce the latest business to receive official status as a North Dakota Certified Women-Owned Business (WOB). Connect Interiors, owned by CharRae Chwialkowski, Kim Dean, Amy Hannaher-Overby—as well as noncontrolling owners, Carlene Wilson and Catherine Mika of Atmosphere Commercial Interiors—have completed the certification process and joined an elite group of women in North Dakota. WOB Certification denotes that a woman (or women) has majority ownership and control of a business entity (at least 51%).

Improving lives by building strong communities



























Phil Berger, Senior Engineer, Electronics Design Russell Drenth, Director of Sales Sheila Sauve, Inside Sales, The Galeo Group Tina Schintz, Material Handler

Bell Bank

Nathan Berseth, Commercial Market Development Officer Karen Bjornseth, Process Automation Manager

BIO Girls

Katelin Madsen, Marketing & Events Coordinator Anna Marohl, Program Communications & Training Manager (no photo)

Bodyworks Physical Therapy

Brittany Tronnes, PT, DPT Physical Therapist

Capital Credit Union

Shane Mahlum, Business Services Officer

Dawson Insurance, Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Daniel Gunderson, EH&B Insurance Advisor


August 2021

Essentia Health

Kalee Wysuph, APRN, CNP

Fargo Jet Center

Nathan Barraza, Flight Instructor Zach Becher, Customer Service Representative Brad Lorentz, Charter Pilot Jon Smith, Flight Instructor

Fargo Youth Hockey Association Nate Metcalf, Hockey Director Jeff Nygaard, Executive Director

FM Area Foundation

Sher Thomsen, Board Member

Light Consulting & Coaching

Bryce Meehl, Senior Accountant

Moore Holding Company

Joey Bjornson, Accountant Dana Casey, Marketing Content Specialist Pam Tuel, Accountant Allison Wilson, Marketing Account Manager
















Want to see yourself here? Email your company or people news to us at or visit SCHNECK



Please note: All submissions are published two months after they are received.


Austin Fisher, REALTOR Amy Lindquist, Platinum Services Associate

Spherion Staffing

Donna Heck, Business Development Associate Lacie Johnson, Social Media & Marketing Coordinator Josie Wing, Client Service Supervisor

Stenerson Lumber

Jon Wilson, Sales Associate




Super Studio

Joe Hammer, Digital Designer Bethany Kempel, Production Artist Katherine Murnion, Digital Designer Debbie Tukker, Production Artist

1650 45th St S, Fargo | 701-532-0416

Town & Country Credit Union Emily Stadler, Assistant Branch Manager

West Fargo Public Schools Ryan Salisbury, School Principal David Schneck, School Principal

Widmer Roel

Taylor Ketterling, Audit Associate Katelin Teegarden, Audit Associate (no photo) Haley Wolfe, Audit Associate

AAA -- The Auto Club Group Call AAA for top-quality roadside assistance across the nation. We’re there when you need us, 24-7. But don’t forget all the other ways AAA’s quality, service and value can help you every day.

Call or visit AAA today

4950 13th Avenue S., Ste. 15 Fargo ND 58103 701-282-6222




Essentia Health

Center for Nursing created

In May, Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) and Essentia Health-Fargo announced an exciting partnership to prepare the next generation of nurses. The partnership creates the Essentia Health Center for Nursing on the MSUM campus. The first cohort of a new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program launched last fall and will graduate after the summer 2022 semester. The partnership is an excellent addition to the FargoMoorhead community and helps address the national shortage of nurses across all health care settings. Essentia Health has provided clinical placement opportunities and students have completed more than 3,000 clinical hours at Essentia Health in the past year. “Essentia is proud to partner with MSUM in creating the Essentia Health Center for Nursing because it aligns with our mission to make a healthy difference in people’s lives,” shares Nicole Christensen, Essentia Health chief nursing officer. “Ultimately, this partnership will lead to high-quality nurses being available to care for our community when they need it.” In addition, Essentia Health has donated beds, supplies and equipment to set up the newly constructed learning lab on campus. “These materials help to make learning authentic and closer to what nurses will encounter in the workplace,” Christensen adds. The learning lab also includes state-of-theart simulation mannequins and technology. “Nurses at the bedside providing direct patient care are the heart of our hospital and we are so excited to work with MSUM to ensure that students are receiving the education, training and experience they need to enter the workforce,” shares Nicole Christensen, chief nursing officer at Essentia Health. “This partnership embraces a collaborative approach to education that will train more nurses which is good for our community.” The addition of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing builds upon the university’s rich history of delivering innovative and quality nursing education for the region. “For more than 40 years, we’ve graduated outstanding alumni through our RN to BSN program and the Master of Science with Major in Nursing. We’re providing educational opportunities for current and future nurses wherever they’re at in their careers,” said MSUM President Anne Blackhurst.  28  THE BRIDGE

August 2021

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









Forum Communications Printing Minnesota State Community and Technical College WEX Health, Inc.

Bremer Bank  |  Choice Bank First Western Bank & Trust Houston Engineering  |  KLJ Engineering Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moore Engineering  |  ROERS Super Studio  |  Ulteig Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.


Bell Bank  |  Choice Bank Eventide Senior Living Communities First Western Bank & Trust   |  Gate City Bank Microsoft  |  M State  |  Office Sign Company Otter Tail Corporation  |  Rasmussen College Sanford Health  |  Vogel Law Firm  |  WDAY Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  |  Western State Bank WEX Health, Inc. EVENT PRODUCTION SPONSOR









Gate City Bank


Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency Essentia Health  |  Midco Minnesota State Community and Technical College










Choice Bank

AE2S Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota Bremer Bank First International Bank Moore Engineering, Inc. Sanford Health

Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber Post Office Box 2443 Fargo, North Dakota 58108-2443

Fueling Our Future (FOF) is a joint venture between The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce and 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.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.