The Bridge: January 2021

Page 1


etails Event d

ChamberChoice nominations p14

BNSF on the right track p12


Spotlight on Barnesville p23

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


Asking the Experts: BNSF on the right track

12 14 22 23 31

ChamberChoice Awards: Nominations are now open!

Leadership FMWF: Announcing the new CCI groups City spotlight: Barnesville, MN

Member profile: Tom McDougall, High Point Networks

ADVERTISER INDEX AAA-The Auto Club 6  Alerus 8  Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND 7 Boulger Funeral Home 25  City of Horace 7  City of Moorhead 15 Cole Papers, Inc. 26  Cornerstone Bank 13  Essentia Health 25 Eye Consultants of Fargo 13  Fargo Jet Center 15  Fargo Parks 30 First International Bank & Trust 24  Houston Engineering 30 Indigo Signs 30  Lumen Vision, P.C. 9  Pinnacle Pediatric Clinic 9 Pro Resources 26 ReadiTech 30 Ulteig 11  Your CBD Store 6 YWCA 27

Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber

3 4 5 6 16–19 7 21 21 24 25 26 27 28

Letter from Leadership CHAMBER NEWS

Membership Matters CHAMBER EVENTS

Legislative Summit Internship Program Upcoming Events PROGRAM UPDATES

Fueling Our Future Women Connect YPN: One to Watch MEMBER NEWS

New Members Anniversaries Company News Ribbon Cuttings People News


CONTENTS video spotlights •  Downtown Moorhead, Inc.

In December, we spoke with Derrick LaPoint from Downtown Moorhead Inc. to learn more about their new master plan! Watch to find out what is coming to downtown Moorhead, and what has already been put into place. Watch at

holiday messages

from your new president

Check out some exclusive videos on our social media to hear messages directly from Shannon Full. She shares a message of gratitude for our members and the community, some fun facts about her— including her favorite football team—and her vision for the new year and the work that lies ahead. Watch on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Youtube.

For past issues of The Bridge:



Board of Directors

The Chamber promotes economic growth and prosperity for business and its members through leadership in advocacy, education and engagement

Sandi Piatz Microsoft Chair

Shawn Dobberstein Hector International Airport Chair Elect

Peter Stenehjem First International Treasurer Bank & Trust


The Chamber is the leader in ensuring the growth and prosperity of our regional business and members

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


Committee Chairs

Louise Dardis Retired educator Education

Dan Cash Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead

Leadership FMWF

Brian Shawn Midco

Kyle Dorow Essentia Health

• Establish the region as a full-service metropolitan marketplace.

Mike Dragosavich Spotlight

Military Affairs

Trevor Mathew Choice Bank Professionals of Color

Chad Flanagan Eide Bailly LLP Steve Halverson Heartland Trust Company

• Be a bold voice for business through strong thought leadership and a rich policy agenda.

Kara Jorvig Allegro Group Brittany Montecuollo Sanford Health Mark Nisbet Xcel Energy

• Build a place of belonging to best serve members’ interests.

Tami Norgard Vogel Law Firm

Tim Flakoll Tri-College University Public Policy

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

Young Professionals Network

Joanna Slominski Mortenson

Chamber Staff Shannon Full

President & CEO @FMWFShannon

Amanda Huggett

Jim Parsons

Business Development Manager @FMWFDarren

Alyssa Lakoduk

Katie Mastel

Manager of Communications & Marketing @FMWFAmanda

Professional Development Coordinator @FMWFAlyssa

Mason Rademacher

Bobbi Rehder

Public Policy & Workforce Development Coordinator @FMWFMason

Darren Dunlop

VP of Finance & Operations @FMWFJim

Events Coordinator @FMWFBobbiJo

Government Affairs & Advocacy Manager @FMWFKatie

Casey Sanders

Manager of Membership @FMWFCasey

Darin Feir

Marketing Design Coordinator @FMWFDarin

Tracy Meckler

Mara Fossum Marketing Assistant @FMWFMara

Tracy Powell

Membership & Advertising Sales Manager @FMWFTracyM

Director of Events and Programs @FMWFTracyP

Mickayla Thompson

Julie Yourczek

Member Relations Coordinator @FMWFMickayla

Office Administrator @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.



A note from the President A vision for a prosperous new year It’s been a whirlwind first month here in my new position as Chamber CEO and president. My first weeks have provided a chance for me to take it all in. From meetings with the staff, board, external stakeholders, members and community leaders, this active listening has helped me realize the great strength and assets that exist in Fargo Moorhead West Fargo. I am also full of ideas and inspiration as I see the challenges and opportunities of this region. I have tremendous passions around public policy, small business services, and workforce and talent. And as we kick start 2021, I am driven by the opportunity for growth and prosperity, to drive a strong economy and a talent pipeline for our metro. As our workforce and our communities evolve and change, investments in people, professional development, and in diversity and inclusion in our communities, is vital. As we begin this new year, I will be looking to our members and the community for strategic partnerships and innovative ideas around how we can drive growth and prosperity for our region together. I am driven to look toward our collective goals and missions, with a mindset of abundance rather than competition. And I am so excited to seek new and diverse relationships and resources. It will be essential for us to work together. In the face of significant global competition, we can, and we will, rise to the occasion. Through collaboration and connection, we each will have a role to play in the strategy of our future. My leadership style is very much a catalytic change agent, and I am always looking for ways to improve. I want to build on our foundations while bringing fresh ideas forward. You will hear me say often that different isn’t always better, but better is always different. I can’t wait to work alongside you. Please, feel free to reach out and email me your ideas and insights as we begin this new year and share how we can help you.

Shannon Full

President & CEO Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce



MEMBERSHIP MATTERS Many Chamber members have special business types, including non-profit, employee-owned, family-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned or women-owned. Did you know, this is a category you can indicate in your Chamber membership information? We store these categories in our database so we can compile special reports featuring these types of businesses to receive special offers, communication or connections.

Membership demographics

• Charitable Organization: 217 or 11% • Employee-Owned Business: 107 or 6% • Family-Owned Business: 443 or 23%

For more information, contact Mickayla at

• Minority-Owned Business: 22 or 1% • Veteran-Owned Business: 54 or 3%


• Women-Owned Business: 173 or 9%

How to update this information If you would like to add one of these categories to your organization’s information, let us know! Just reach out to our team to update this for you, or your organization’s primary contact can edit this in the Member Information Center (MIC) under Company Information > Additional Information. You can also mark this on your annual verification form.

Questions? Contact Casey at

DID YOU KNOW? All members can receive access to a digital version of the Members logo so you can proudly display your Chamber membership on your website, email signatures or other materials. To request the logo, email



Operation Thank You will look a bit different this year. Instead of an in-person visit to deliver your 2021 membership materials, we will be emailing you a virtual packet and direct mailing a letter with your window cling. Your printed copy of the 2021 Metro Profile & Membership Directory will be delivered by mail as well. Watch your mailbox! The email will be sent on January 11, and the physical materials should arrive by mid-January. We sincerely wish we could see you in person, but the safety of our ambassadors and members is of utmost importance. We can’t wait to see you again when things get better! In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call, email or reach out to us with feedback, suggestions or questions.

(as of November 10, 2020)


Operation Thank You update


21 0 2




Legislative Preview Summit highlights Last month, we hosted our first-ever Legislative Preview Summit, with four panels spanning four days. Hundreds of viewers from across both North Dakota and Minnesota tuned in live.

The North Dakota Leadership Panel provided a preview of discussions that are sure to come up this legislative session including legacy fund earnings, bonding and workforce. In talking about his proposal for the legacy fund earnings, Governor Doug Burgum explained that it has the opportunity to double, triple or quadruple the impact of the legacy fund earning dollars that would be spent. Regarding funding, there was bipartisan support for bonding in the upcoming session. Senator Rich Wardner added, “There’s no question that I think we do need to bond.” In addition, all four legislative leaders voiced their strong support for Career Workforce Academies. Representative Josh Boschee called the academies instrumental, saying they will make us more “resilient and responsive to the changing workforce needs over the next 100 years.”

The Cass County Legislative Panel dug into the issues of COVID-19, the potential of a bonding bill, the state’s budget and workforce solutions. In speaking about the COVID-19 vaccine, Senator Judy Lee said, “We can see this having an absolutely positive impact over the months to follow in being able to return to a more normal life for both business and personal reasons.” In reflecting on the pandemic, Representative Karla Rose Hanson expressed her support for paid family leave, which was met with respectful disagreement among various legislators. In addition, Career Workforce Academies were again brought up during this panel. Senator Ron Sorvaag alluded to the state’s potential ability to support the Cass County Workforce Academy as it is a public private partnership saying, “Both bonding bills have money in them for career academies around the state.”

The theme of the Minnesota Policy Panel surrounded border city challenges, the state’s budget and COVID-19. Regarding border city challenges of business regulations due to COVID-19, Senator Kent Eken said, “You’re not getting any of the health benefits but you are still getting all of the economic fallout and damage.” Representative-elect Heather Keeler agreed, saying, “Why can’t we have a little give in the greater Minnesota and border city communities when we are in this massive shutdown?” She stressed that if restrictions were loosened for restaurants to be open for limited hours, for example, thorough checks could be done to make sure businesses are following COVID safety protocols. Turning to the state’s projected budget surplus, Representative Paul Marquart said, “I am hoping in this next biennium, that the budget we set is structurally sound,” adding that the state needs to be sure revenues align with expenses to avoid a continuous budget deficit cycle. “Our number goal [at MN DOT] is the preservation of a great transportation system. Our second is safety and we have been working really actively around the issues of sustainability," Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher said.

The highlight of the Federal Policy Panel was the upcoming stimulus deal. Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke in detail about the pandemic relief, focusing on the main pieces of vaccine delivery and economics. Regarding the economic portion of the package, Klobuchar further explained the goal of “Making sure that the PPP program, that is already in place for small businesses, is extended for the first months of this year and then also looking at those hardest hit areas whether it is restaurants or stages.” Senator John Hoeven spoke about the liability protection piece of COVID-19 relief and said, “We want to see the liability protection in there, we think it is really important,” however, said it was unlikely to be in this upcoming package but was going to, “continue to be negotiated.” Other topics discussed were energy policy, bipartisanship and agriculture.


Find the video recordings from each of the four discussions at

2021 Public Policy Guide

Put forward by The Chamber’s Public Policy committee, this document outlines the policy priorities and our work in advocacy for the upcoming year.

View it online at



Internship program launches this month Get started with interns! The newest training program at The Chamber, Building Successful Internship Programs, in partnership with Intern Bridge, has been designed as a handson, interactive cohort-style educational experience. You can expect this nine-week, seven-part, virtual training series to equip you and your organization with the tools necessary to develop, grow or enhance your own internship program. The training series will be offered through live virtual sessions.

Session topics and training dates: JANUARY 12

Training 1: Introduction to Total Internship Management JANUARY 19

What you’ll receive:

Training 2: Organizational Readiness & Team Commitment

• Access to all training content for one year • Prepared binder with all supplemental documents and guiding content


Training 3: The Intern Work Plan

• Supplemental training webinar: Internship Legal Update


Discuss & Reflect with Dr. Shindell

• Two supplemental books: Total Internship Management, Supervisor’s Handbook; Total Internship Management, The Employer’s Guide to Building & Sustaining the Ultimate Internship Program


Training 4: Effective Recruiting & Onboarding FEBRUARY 16

Training 5: Selection & Training FEBRUARY 24


Training 6: Transitioning to “What’s Next” & Assessment

Chamber members: $215 | Non-members: $250

Registrations close Friday, January 8.


Learn more and sign up at


Training 7: Wrapping Up: Putting it All Together Discuss & Reflect with Dr. Shindell

Building Successful Internship Programs is presented by The Chamber and Intern Bridge, and brought to you by the financial support of Fueling Our Future.

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Fueling Our Future 2020 Year in Review As 2020 comes to a close, Fueling Our Future (FOF) has wrapped up another successful year with great progress on a variety of initiatives for our community, and is moving into 2021 with strong momentum. Like many of you, FOF endured a year of changes in 2020 due to the pandemic. As this has been a challenging time for our community, FOF was proud to fulfill its mission of regionalism through charging The Chamber and EDC to establish a COVID-19 Business Leaders Taskforce. This partnership of community business leaders has led to further collaborations and support for our businesses and is proving instrumental in staying connected during a time of physical distance.

FOF stayed close to issues of COVID-19, but didn’t stop us from making progress on many other successful initiatives. This year, The Chamber kicked off a Building Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces educational series. This training was open to the public at no cost thanks to the financial support of FOF. Another timely program starting at The Chamber, due in part to the generous workforce funding from FOF, is an internship development series. Learn more about the kickoff of the Building Successful Internship Programs on page 6. FOF was also proud to support Emerging Digital Academy, North Dakota’s only immersive coding bootcamp that already has two cohorts graduated. Other projects we continue

to support are career academies in both Cass County and Moorhead, as well as Campus FM, a region-wide retention initiate aimed at college students. These are just a handful of the many initiatives that FOF is proud to support. We are excited to build off this great success in 2021. Watch for more FOF updates as we work to move forward a consensus regional agenda around people, place and prosperity.



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As more and more business owners offer retirement and health care benefits to their employees, the question is: What else can I do? This isn’t purely altruistic; while employers do want to help employees live well, benefits are also critical to a company’s success. Eighty-five percent of Americans are nervous about their financial lives, and 65% lose sleep over money. This spills into the workplace, where people spend an average of three work hours per week on personal financial matters. The next generation of benefits packages address overall “financial wellness,” which helps employees manage debt, save for emergencies, and prepare for the future. A financial wellness program can help you:

AT T R AC T, E N GAG E , A N D R ETA I N E M P LOY E E S In a competitive employment marketplace, a financial wellness program stands out. A complete wellness program goes beyond traditional benefits. Personalized, live advice from a trained advisor is a valued benefit that can make a job offer stand out. With financial wellness served by their employer, employees are also more likely to remain loyal, reducing turnover. Smart programs also keep employees engaged and incentivized to continue improving their financial wellness, helping them retire comfortably and on time — which is good for both employee and employer.

I M P ROV E YO U R B OT TO M LI N E More than 50% of Americans can’t come up with $500 in an emergency, and 40% have credit card debt they can’t pay off. Financial wellness programs teach people to set goals and make a habit of building emergency savings and managing debt. Starting automatic transfers and repayment plans relieves stress and makes things better step by step. Insurance also relieves the stress of recovery if something does go wrong. Relieving stress can improve employee health and reduce employer health care costs. It can also improve productivity, with less time lost and employees who are more focused on work.

S I M P LI F Y F I N A N C I A L E D U CATI O N Education, support, and online tools let employees take more control. Believe it or not, the one benefit employees probably want most is education. A financial wellness program serves it in a way they can understand. Even better, they can use online tools to improve their wellness without a lot of employer interaction. Employees learn from and engage with financial experts instead of using their employer as an intermediary, adding a sense of confidentiality and saving employer time. They get a personalized assessment and help in the areas where they need it most, whether that’s retirement, debt management, or credit help.

P R OV I D E R EG U L A R , O N G O I N G A DV I C E Financial wellness is NOT set-it-and-forget-it. Needs change over time. At one point employees may need coaching on how to best use their benefits, and at another point they may need financial consulting on personal debt and savings, all with live support from real advisors. Changes can be employee-initiated when they need them, or regularly scheduled one-on-one checkups or group seminars hosted by a financial wellness provider. This ensures the benefits of financial wellness aren’t lost over time. Comprehensive financial wellness can’t be achieved overnight, and like physical fitness, it isn’t always easy. But with new offerings like the MY ALERUS Financial Wellness program, employers can help fill the gap many American workers experience, and reap the benefits of a less stressed, more secure workforce.



Meet the staff

Shannon Full President & CEO Years with The Chamber: one month

Please briefly describe what you do in your position.

How else are you involved around the community?

My role is to lead the organization in the areas of strategy development, initiative execution, public relations and external communications, and member and stakeholder engagement. I work alongside a very passionate and dedicated team of leaders and volunteers. Our mission is to be a catalyst for growth and prosperity for businesses, individuals and communities. I am a catalytic leader, a change agent, a motivator, a convener and a connector who has dedicated over 20 years of my life to help businesses succeed, communities thrive, and people prosper.

As many of you know, I just moved here the week of Thanksgiving, so right now we are focused on getting settled. My husband and I have two children, Finley age 8 and Beckett age 5, so every parent knows that our hobbies will consist of their hobbies for the next 10+ years. We plan to be very active in their school community. I was a volleyball coach for many years, so I may get back into that. In my past communities, I was very involved in the philanthropic community with United Way, Boys and Girls Club, Junior Achievement, etc. I look forward to making the Fargo region our home and getting involved in the community in the future.

What do you love about your role? It’s all about people, experiences and opportunities. I have been fortunate to have some of the greatest experiences and opportunities in this role. I love working with innovative, passion-driven, committed people to make a difference, drive change and have a lasting impact. I thrive when I am able to learn from people with diverse backgrounds, unique experiences and creative insights.


Pediatric Eye Care Adult Eye Exams Vision Therapy Contact Lenses Unique Frames Medical Optometry Myopia Control

What are a few fun facts you can share about yourself? I love this question. I will share a professional and a personal one. Professionally, I have had the opportunity to host three different U.S. presidents at events that I have done over my career. Personally, I love to play volleyball and golf, as well as boating and traveling—especially on great wine and food or beach excursions.

Why would you recommend businesses or professionals get involved in The Chamber? The Chamber has so many diverse offerings and initiatives, and every person has the opportunity to find their passion in the work that we do. From politics and policy to small business services, connecting with others to lasting community impact, The Chamber has it all. If you believe that businesses of all types and sizes, and individuals from all backgrounds, can work together to strengthen the economy and our communities, please come engage with us. I look forward to working alongside you to make the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo region even stronger.

DR. RYAN CAPOUCH Located in South Fargo: 5120 Prosperity Way S, #114, Fargo 58104 (701) 404-9096

Book your appointment online:




Meet the board How else are you involved around the community?

Please briefly share your professional experience and role now. I began with the Fargo Municipal Airport Authority on April 1, 1991, as the assistant to the executive director. I became executive director in January 1997.

What do you like best about serving on The Chamber board?

Member of The Chamber Military Affairs committee; co-chair of the FMWF Air National Guard Support Group; member of the NDSU College of Business Advisory Board; member of the NDSU Team Maker Gaming Committee and annual fund drive committee.

Current Board Chair-Elect; past board member and chair, 2006–07 Executive Director, Fargo Municipal Airport Authority

What’s your best advice for future leaders?

I enjoy being engaged with the business community by listening to their concerns and then working with the Chamber Board and staff to find a way to address the concerns that have been expressed. The Chamber Board is a great advocate for our diverse business community.

There are a number of great leadership resources to consult for advice. I would advise future leaders to always have integrity; show empathy by listening; maintain a positive attitude; be ambitious; commit yourself to excellence; be committed to your cause; be visionary, be accountable; be a change leader when you know change is needed; always ask for feedback; make decisions with the people in mind that could be impacted; be passionate and always be yourself.

My career has always been in the financial services industry. I worked 18 years at what now is known as Wells Fargo bank. Thirty years ago, I left the bank to seek a State Charter to open the Heartland Trust Company. We are a financial services firm specializing in IRAs, investment accounts, 401Ks, and trusts. All of the work our company does has a foundation of financial planning and/ or retirement planning.

Steve Halverson Heartland Trust Company Year joined the Chamber board: 2017


Shawn Dobberstein

I am still active in the business, but after 30 years my focus has been geared toward positioning younger leaders to manage the company into the future. This is now complete.


What do you do for fun when you’re not working? I enjoy spending time with our family, especially our four grandchildren, fishing, hunting and tinkering around our farm.

I have always been a supporter and member of The Chamber. I look to The Chamber as a resource for business issues that I have been confronted with. The board is made up of a group of seasoned leaders in a variety of industries. I appreciate the wisdom they share to guide the business. My community involvement is winding down, but I have been a board member of several organizations over the years. One of my biggest thrills was taking the stage to accept the 2013 ChamberChoice Small Business of the Year Award. I consider this award to be the highest level of acknowledgement to our position in the community.

When not working, I do what many grandpas do, I love to be around my nine grandchildren. When I cannot be with them, I like to visit warm climates. I would ask that anyone in a newly appointed leadership position or anyone that is working toward a leadership position to consider active involvement in some aspect of The Chamber. The learning opportunities coupled with the networking opportunities can be an important stepping stone. The key is to get involved and stay connected. You never know where the next opportunity might come from.



Meet the committee chair Wyatt Johnson

What would you like others to know about your committee?

Business Training committee chair Engineering Supervisor – Telematics, John Deere

Each year, we analyze dozens of speaker applications, using feedback from the past year to select appropriate topics and speakers. The team uses their networks to seek out speakers for important topics when needed. They are an amazingly connected group, and take the business training needs of our community very seriously.

What do you like most about being involved with The Chamber? I love the relationships I build through this work. The team’s monthly planning meetings over lunch are great opportunities to get to know each other. I also love attending the monthly training sessions, seeing regular faces, and also meeting new people. Virtual sessions have challenged this, but we’ve still found ways to interact through chats.

What is the best professional advice you have ever received? It’s an Abraham Lincoln quote: “I will prepare, and someday my chance will come.” Throughout my career, I’ve focused on learning and improving myself, so that when opportunities present themselves, I’m ready for them.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working? I enjoy CrossFit at EHP Performance, singing barbershop with Great Plains Harmony, and watching my kids’ sporting and music events.

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BNSF on the right track

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. (BNSF) is the largest freight railroad network in North America with a rail network of 32,500 miles across 28 states, including a large presence in Fargo Moorhead West Fargo. We connected with Lydia Bjorge to talk about current and future projects in Moorhead and BNSF’s regional economic impact. Visit for the full version of this post, including the safety measures BNSF has in place and how they are maximizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.

In 2018, the 21st Street underpass project in Moorhead began. What impact will it have on our community and on BNSF? The 21st Street project is a great example of a private-public partnership that benefits both the city and BNSF. The construction of new track, called a wye, will allow direct northbound to eastbound and westbound to southbound train movements. This is a great improvement from existing conditions where trains must travel into downtown, stop, and reverse directions, occupying downtown crossings during these moves. For BNSF, this also expedites the movement of train traffic in and out of Moorhead, which increases the efficiency of our network through the region. The tracks have been shifted over to a temporary alignment and the contractor is now building the permanent structures.

In the recent Minnesota bonding bill, $64 million was included for the 11th Street underpass. What impact will this project have on both the community and on BNSF?

Lydia Bjorge

Director of Public Affairs and Government Affairs BNSF Railway

What is the railroad’s economic impact on the states of North Dakota and Minnesota? BNSF has a long history in North Dakota and Minnesota and plays an important role in both economies. We are one of both state’s primary freight rail transporters.

Crossing safety is an integral part of BNSF’s operation and culture and involves the daily cooperative efforts of the public and many employees. Because oncoming trains cannot stop for vehicles whose drivers violate motor vehicle laws when approaching railroad tracks, each grade crossing presents potential danger to motorists and train crews. BNSF has one of the lowest highway-railroad grade crossing collision rates in the industry, and as an industry leader, will continue to work with states and communities we serve to further improve grade crossing safety.

In North Dakota, we link the state’s $5 billion agricultural industry to markets across the world by moving more than 1.8 million carloads of freight annually. Supporting BNSF’s rail network in North Dakota are more than 1,400 dedicated men and women who earn a combined payroll of more than $118 million. The BNSF Foundation plays an active role in supporting community programs and non-profits in the FargoMoorhead area, including the Fargo Marathon, the YMCA, the Moorhead fireworks, the Clay County Sheriff’s department and many more.

One of the best ways to address grade crossing safety is to reduce the number of at-grade crossings, like Moorhead is doing here. This underpass will do a great deal for safety in Moorhead. It will eliminate the potential risk for a car versus train collision at the crossing and will give emergency responders a route across town regardless of train operations. BNSF supports the elimination of at-grade crossings throughout our network as it improves safety.

In Minnesota, BNSF moves more than 2.2 million carloads of freight annually. A 2016 study found freight rail plays a significant role in Minnesota’s economic success. It is responsible for $40 billion of the state’s Gross Domestic Product, as well as for adding more than $5,000 in annual income to the average Minnesota household, and for at least 7% of Minnesota employment—a quarter of a million jobs.

Got a question for a legislator, public official or other expert? Let us know what’s keeping you up at night and we just might help get you answers. Email to submit a suggestion. 12  THE BRIDGE


Accessible Business Expertise No matter your business. No matter your balance. | 701-364-9630

3171 44th St S Fargo, ND 58104 (701) 235-0561



ChamberChoice Awards 2021 - Nominations now open! It’s time to honor and celebrate the best of the best in our community. We are excited to highlight this year’s most visionary and community-driven businesses that are leading the way and contributing to the vitality of our community. Nominate the organization you feel has made an impact in our community. You can nominate as many organizations as you want (psst...including your own!). Nominate more than once and in multiple categories! We’re looking for proven growth or stability, innovation, creativity, community leadership and achievements. Economic conditions should not deter any qualified applicant. They will be taken into account when judging employee and revenue growth.



Not-for-Profit of the Year

• Online:

Small Business of the Year

• Email:

Business of the Year

Nominations close on Friday, January 29.


Diversity & Inclusion Award

Young Professionals Best Place to Work NEW CATEGORY!

Emerging Business of the Year


Learn more at chamberchoice-awards.

Resiliency Business Award

ABOUT THE AWARDS The ChamberChoice Awards recognize the outstanding organizations in the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo area that make a significant impact, drive economic growth and help make this region a better place to work, live and do business. Winners exemplify excellence through proven growth or stability, innovation, creativity, community leadership and achievements. After nomination and applications are received, a panel of judges selects the winner in seven categories, and the public votes for the People’s Choice award. At a luncheon, we celebrate all participating businesses and name the winners in a fun, relaxed atmosphere full of laughs, tears and community spirit.

Save the date for the awards luncheon! Friday May 21 | Noon to 1:30 p.m. | Delta by Marriott





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2021 State of the Cities Thursday, January 14, 2021 8 to 9:30 a.m. | Livestream event


Join us at this annual event that brings our community together to ask questions of our city’s leaders and talk about our region’s growth, goals and priorities. We will have our local mayors providing updates in each of their respective cities in this interactive, town-hall style virtual event. With a new event format, new mayor joining the panel and new opportunities to ask questions and share your voice, you won’t want to miss out on this community-wide conversation.


Mayor Kory Peterson Horace

Mayor Bernie Dardis West Fargo

Mayor Tim Mahoney Fargo


Mayor Johnathan Judd Moorhead

Mayor Chad Olson Dilworth




Alerus | Bell Bank | Bethany Retirement Living | Beverage Wholesalers | Bremer Bank Cass County Electric Cooperative | Concordia College | Cornerstone Bank | Dawson Insurance Eide Bailly | Eventide Senior Living Communities | Fargo Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau First International Bank & Trust | Flint Group | Gate City Bank | Heartland Trust Company Heritage Homes | Midco | Minnesota State University Moorhead | ROERS Sparklight | Starion Bank | Talecris Plasma Resources, Inc. A GRIFOLS Company Wanzek Construction | Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. | Western State Bank




2021 Economic Outlook Luncheon Thursday, February 18 | Noon to 1:30 p.m. | Livestream Learn about global economic trends and examine the local landscape, with a look to the future and analysis of what businesses need to know to be prepared. Stay tuned for more event information and speaker announcements!

Registration is now open! Visit or call 218.233.1100. PRESENTED BY

#FMWFEcon Voices of Vision Announcing a new date!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021 | Noon to 1:30 p.m. Delta by Marriott

This year marks the 11th anniversary of The Chamber's Voices of Vision event, and we’re pulling out all the stops for an incredible event. This year’s speaker is Admiral William McRaven, U.S. Navy veteran and author, speaking on “Leadership and Risk Management: Taking Command.” If you're interested in sponsorship opportunities, please contact Darren Dunlop at or 218.359.0514. The Chamber is committed to protecting the health of our members and continues to monitor the COVID situation. After careful consideration, we are postponing Voices of Vision to August 2021, so we can provide the experience that our members expect and deserve in a safe environment. Individual registrations at the luncheon are currently sold out, but you may register for the waitlist to be among the first notified if guidelines change and more seats become available.




Business Training

Eggs & Issues

Working with the Painfully Self Un-Aware

Local Police Chief’s Update: Connecting with the Community

Wednesday, January 20 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Livestream

We all know that person. They walk into a room and blurt out whatever is on their mind with no regard for their audience. Or the person who refuses to accept feedback. Or the person who just has no friggin’ clue. It’s downright painful. In this light-hearted session, we will identify how to manage your emotions when working with the un-self-aware, how to have productive working relationships with them, and how to make life all around better.

Tuesday, January 5 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. | Livestream Kurtis Karn WEX Health, Inc.

Shannon Monroe Moorhead Chief of Police

Nicole Turchin BNG Team

Radically Candid Leadership: A New Approach to Management February 10, 2021 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Livestream Believe it or not, it’s not so much about the role or even the compensation that results in employees moving on from their current positions. Ineffective communication, poor management and lack of trust are just a few reasons leaders and managers lose team members. So, as a supervisor, how can you tune in to your employees’ needs and desires while bringing out their best? At this session, learn about communication, motivation, growth plans, culture and more.

Patrick Metzger PM and Associates, LLC

Virtual Chamber 101 Connect. Engage. Maximize. Tuesday, February 16 | 4 p.m. | Virtual

Thursday, February 18 | 9 a.m. | Virtual If you’re not familiar with The Chamber, are a new member, new contact, new hire, or just want to re-engage with us, this session is for you! Chamber 101 is a laid-back virtual discussion designed to share some of the great benefits of Chamber membership and what opportunities exist. Here, Casey Sanders, The Chamber’s manager of membership, will walk you through events, programs, discounts, online tools and more, so you can begin maximizing your membership right away.

Denis E. Otterness West Fargo Chief of Police

FM Diversion: Progress and Priorities Tuesday, February 2 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. | Livestream

Stay tuned for more speaker announcements Joel Paulsen FM Area Diversion Project

Join us at February’s Eggs & Issues as we hear from the leaders of the FM Area Diversion Project. With construction underway, spring legislative sessions in both North Dakota and Minnesota, and a settlement agreement decided upon, there is so much to discuss about this large-scale flood protection project. Every month at Eggs & Issues, you can expect to hear from local experts sharing what you need to know about timely issues affecting us all.

Register for these events at or by calling 218.233.1100.


Fargo Chief of Police

Due to the recent events across our nation, the connection between law enforcement and their community has risen to be a topic of heightened importance. Join us as we welcome the police chiefs of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo! We’ll learn about the most pressing issues we face within our metro, and how we can approach them as a business community. We’ll find out the latest crime statistics and get updates on goals, challenges, successes and priorities. And with two new police chiefs in both Fargo and West Fargo, hear how our cities are collaborating with each other and connecting with their communities. This is always one of the most popular panels of the year; you won’t want to miss it!



Dave Zibolski


Women Connect Finding Joy in the Muck

Discuss, Connect & Reflect: Podcast edition

Tuesday, January 26 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | Livestream In a time where your attention is being pulled in all directions—primarily negative —take a moment to create and find joy in the ordinary. After a year like 2020, it’s easy to get in a rut of pessimism. How can finding what motivates you keep you enthusiastically contributing at work and at home? In this session, you’ll be encouraged to take your ordinary to extraordinary, in the easiest way possible!

Professionals of Color Wednesday, January 19 | Noon to 1 p.m. | Zoom

Erica Johnsrud Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley

Paralyzed by Perfect

Join us as we continue with the podcast trend for another Discuss, Connect & Reflect! Yet again, we are excited to highlight a podcast, giving those of you who are busy or just prefer to listen to a podcast over reading a book an opportunity to join our conversation. Please listen to episode 117 of The Will to Change Podcast: Infusing the Agency with Empathy and come ready to discuss!

Networking Before 9

Tuesday, February 23 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | Livestream Perfectionism has haunted Kelsey’s personal and professional life ever since she can remember. She has worked diligently to overcome her fear of failure while still pursuing Kelsey Joy Buell Kelsey Joy LLC excellence, and has learned simple strategies that have helped her in her personal and professional journey. At this session, she’ll share these with you! Learn easy steps to overcome a fear of failure, create your own definition of perfection, design your own imperfect story and add a rhythm to your perfect.

Friday, January 22 | 8 to 9 a.m. | Zoom

Join us for another Professionals of Color entirely virtual Zoom Networking Before 9! Through utilizing Zoom’s breakout room options, you’ll be able to have multiple great conversations in smaller groups to get to know everyone on the call. This will be another networking event you won’t want to miss.

Young Professionals Network YPN Book Club: TED Talk Edition | Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action Wednesday, January 20 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Virtual via Zoom

Join YPN for our monthly book club. This month, we are switching things up a bit! Instead of reading a book to start the year, we will be having a discussion around Simon Sinek’s “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” TED Talk. Still wanting to spend some time reading this month? Simon Sinek’s “Start with Why” is a great read to kick off the new year.

YPN Virtual Game Night

Thursday, January 21 | 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Virtual via Zoom | No cost | Registration required YPN is hosting game night, virtually! Register for a great night of networking while playing one of your favorite board games over Zoom. We will be playing Scattergories, Charades, Zoom Background I-Spy and Boggle. Indicate which game room you would like to be in when signing up.

YPN Book Club: Podcast Edition: Side Hustle School Wednesday, February 24 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | Virtual via Zoom

Join YPN for our monthly book club. This month, we are switching things up again with a discussion around a podcast! Looking to earn some extra money? Wanting to pay of your student loans faster, or even save for a house?! Listen to any episode of Side Hustle School and join fellow young professionals for a conversation around the content, and… well, side hustles! Side Hustle School is a free podcast and can be streamed through iTunes or Spotify.

—  Thank you to the sponsors that make these events and programs possible. Find them on page 33.   —



Higher education overview and updates from institution presidents: EGGS & ISSUES RECAP

Our region’s higher education institutions are integral to the vitality of our community, and with a combined power of 35,000 students, they have an impressive economic impact and fill valuable workforce needs. We gathered at December’s Eggs & Issues to talk to the presidents of the five largest institutions—those that make up the Tri-College partnership— to learn more about each of their initiatives, successes and updates.

Updates from Concordia

Updates from M STATE

Looking ahead

President William Craft, Concordia College, announced about the Concordia Now initiative. Launched in September, it’s a new model for its three schools in one college. A new tuition model, effective next fall, has reduced price for students by 35%—and that’s before financial aid. This plan also includes the CobberAssurance Loan Repayment Program, and the Cobber Flex Year, which allows enrolled students a fifth optional year completely free of tuition.

President Carrie Brimhall, M State, shared their tagline of “Start here, stay here,” referencing the 96% of its students who work in Minnesota or North Dakota, and mentioned the importance of embracing a diverse community.

As we look to the future, Craft noted that it’s important to focus on who will be seeking education and what they will be learning. “The range of students coming to our colleges is only going to get wider, and our institutions, our communities and our nation, are enriched by the gifts and the talents and the cultures that enlighten our entire learning community,” he said.

Updates from MSUM President Anne Blackhurst, MSUM, talked about a shift in enrollment, in which they’ve seen graduate enrollment double since 2014, and now makes up about 20% of total enrollment. The university’s three primary strategies are focused on student achievement and ROI, creating a diverse and equitable community, and making sure they are indispensable to Moorhead and the larger region.

Updates from NDSU President Dean Bresciani said that NDSU is, by thousands of students, the largest residential campus in the state, as well as the largest producer of R&D. He talked about the NDSU Research & Technology Park, which serves as a business incubator and consistently operates with private and public firms. It currently is at capacity with a waiting list, and has been so successful that the Bank of North Dakota and Midco have moved in to be a support to the startups there.



Updates from NDSCS President John Richman, NDSCS, noted the college’s mission, which is to educate and train the workforce for North Dakota and this region, and has a 98% placement rate. He talked about student affordability through scholarships and grants, which has afforded an impressive 71% of students to attend tuition free. “We believe in our partnership with K–12,” he added, referencing their leadership of our region’s first career workforce academy to create opportunities for career awareness, exploration and pathways, leading students into the workforce. Richman reflected back on early expectations of the pandemic and the assumption that enrollment at two-year colleges would increase, but that didn’t play out. However, recent data shows that more currently enrolled students are registering for second semesters to continue their education.

We are lucky to have such a strong, collaborative spirit of education in the FMWF region, and we thank these institutions for their work and support of the community. As Bresciani commented, our foundation based in the Tri-College partnership means we have the largest and best colleges and universities in the nation, right in our backyards. Richman offered a challenge to businesses to be public servants, serve on advisory committees or run for school boards, and help our area colleges establish the curriculum and set the learning outcomes needed in entry level positions.


Pearls of wisdom at Women Connect

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December’s Women Connect session fell on the same day as National Wear Your Pearls Day, which reminds us that when life throws dirt your way, put on your pearls as a reminder that you have value regardless of your circumstances. In honor of the holiday, Gunderson’s Jewelers donated a beautiful pearl necklace for a social media contest. To enter, you just had to share your own “pearl of wisdom.” Congrats to Danielle Teigen for sending the winning Tweet and winning a new piece of jewelry! And a huge thank you to Gunderson’s for partnering with us on this fun contest and event!

Young Professionals Network:

2020 Quarter 4 One to Watch Sara has been in her current role at Cass County Electric for two years. She wears many hats in her role as the communications coordinator, and her days consist of writing for Cass County Electric’s Highline Notes magazine, photography and videography, and running the organization’s social media platforms. Sara believes it is important to be involved in YPN because the program gives its members connection with other young professionals and the opportunity to expand her network. “I love being social and meeting new people, and YPN gives me that opportunity! I love hearing different people’s stories, and YPN has given me that platform and allowed me to broaden my horizons.”

Sara Hand

Communications Coordinator, Cass County Electric YEARS IN YPN: 1.5 INVOLVEMENT IN YPN: Sara serves on the YPN Social Committee

Sara is currently working on her drone certification and hopes to have this completed in early 2021. She is also hoping to become a cat foster parent! She loves being creative and loves photography and videography. She is just starting to explore animation. Outside of her creative outlets, Sara loves being “in the trees” and outdoors, and she loves to explore. When asked, why the FMWF area, she said: “I feel like FMWF is where I am supposed to be! I love the opportunities to be involved here. My friends often ask me why I don’t move home, but I can still adventure to the woods when I need to fill that desire, but FMWF is my calling.”



Leadership FMWF updates December’s Leadership FMWF session was focused on connection! The day was spent giving the class the opportunity to spend intentional time getting to better know many of their classmates. Robert Jones, The Village, joined us to talk about work-life blend and the transition away from work-life balance! Rob Zastre, O’Kelly’s Bar and Grill, joined us for a social hour for a mixology lesson. Thank you, Robert and Rob for joining our session in December!

Announcing this year’s CCI groups Community Change Initiatives are well under way, and we are excited to announce them to you!

Connecting Seniors

FM Pedal It Forward

New American Support Group

Brady Blomberg, Kelly Collins, Katie Larson, Andrew Smith, Darin Underhill

Gabe Bladow, Kailey Boraas, Jon Eisert, Alex Lacey, Chelsey Steinlicht, Scott Steinmetz

Trevor Deyo, Kellie Daley, Alex Kizima, Ashley Parsons, Morgan Sabbe

This CCI project is hoping to raise funds to provide area seniors with “Grandpads” (an easy button iPad for seniors) to make it easier to virtually connect with their loved ones.

FM Pedal It Forward’s mission is to provide safe and accessible bikes to children throughout the Fargo Moorhead community while educating and encouraging safe biking practices.

Far-Moor to Give

Healthy Mind Kits

Chris Deery, Jessica Kappes, Kari Stenger, Kyle Voltin, Matt Welle, Kat Del Zappo

Kelly Edwards, Matthew Hallaway, Amanda Keller, Katie Mastel, Ricky Pallay, Jenae Ste. Marie

Far-Moor to Give will connect and support Fargo and Moorhead non-profits through goods, services and resources. When businesses move or renovate, they sell or throw away various equipment and supplies that could be used by non-profit organizations. This program will bridge the gap and result in eco-friendly reuse of office equipment, cost savings for both businesses, and more opportunity for non-profits to use their funds to serve others.

Healthy Mind Kits is working to provide easily available, general information about mental health to area K-12 students and increase access to information regarding the importance of mental health, symptoms of mental illness and individual coping skills.



This group will focus on storytelling and introductions of New Americans to the community members who already live in the FMWF community to provide connection, awareness, relationship building and to close the gap between new and established community members.

Police Education Kenny Bartholomew, Audrey Charchenko, Sam Grantham, Donn Groth, Megan Strese, Dustin Ulmer, The Police Education Community Change Initiative is working to create better relationships and understanding between our community and our law enforcement officers. Through educational videos, this group hopes to help educate area students on ways to make interaction with law enforcement less intimidating and more positive.

Project R.A.I Kayla Christensen, Mike Detloff, John Holten, Troy Knutson, Kristin Nelson, Kaylyn Woxland Project R.A.I (Rainbows Are Inclusive) is working to provide programming for LGBTQ children and supportive adults that is inclusive, safe, supportive, and developmentally appropriate. By attending quarterly support meetings, children will be in an inclusive space that would provide developmentally appropriate programming for all participants and their supportive adult will have an opportunity to create a network where they can find emotional support and guidance in a low-pressure environment.



MAYOR: Jason Rick CITY ADMINISTRATOR: Michael Rietz POPULATION (2019): 2,670 Originally platted in 1882 as a bustling railroad town, Barnesville is located on Interstate 94 only 23 minutes from Fargo-Moorhead. Its central location between Fargo-Moorhead, WahpetonBreckenridge and prime Minnesota lakes country makes it a magnet for both residential and business development. Strong, innovative leadership best characterizes Barnesville from its humble beginning to today. Barnesville is very unique in that they own and operate the power, telephone, internet and cable television utilities promising great service and competitive rates! Barnesville has seen significant growth since the mid-1990s. Since then, there has been a steady influx of young families escaping the metro in search of a safe, small community to raise their families! In fact, over the last 10 years, 77 new homes have been constructed! Bucking the trend of sleepy small towns, the average age in Barnesville is 36, with lots of fun and activities, including the Clay County Fair in July and the Potato Days Festival in August.

In Barnesville, quality of life is defined by every home having access to 1 gigabyte internet speeds! With these lightning speed connections, many residents choose to telecommute from their homes or they can work from the CoLoft, a new coworking space in the downtown area. Barnesville is known for their exceptional K–12 school system, currently in the midst of a $26 million new building project. The school truly is the “center of the community.” On the recreational side, the community boosts 13 parks including the Blue Eagle Lake as well as a free splash pad in McGrath Park! An aggressive economic development authority (EDA) actively seeks business opportunities to create employment opportunities and harness the education talents of their residents, many of which commute to the FM area for their jobs. Their toolbox includes creative financing and a myriad of incentive programs. Stoneridge Software, touted as one of the fastest-growing U.S. businesses, is proud to call Barnesville home. Their large restored historic building anchors the downtown, which provides every needed product or service. Visitors and residents alike will enjoy

fun gift shops, full-service grocery and hardware stores, restaurants, medical clinic, library and more! Barnesville’s central location, coupled with the I-94 access, rail service and fiber, makes the community an excellent choice for expanding businesses such as K&M Tire out of Delphos, Ohio. They and other businesses are located in the Commercial Park on the city’s East side. Barnesville’s future is bright. Over the years, Barnesville has earned a reputation for being a bedroom community of choice in the region. Progressive community leaders are focused on continuous improvement and are always looking for the next cuttingedge idea, such as the case with a new Solar Garden on the city’s west side. The EDA just opened a brand-new 60 lot housing development offering large residential building lots starting at only $12,000, and a new walking trail just opened, with plans in the works to expand the trail system. The community’s motto, “Choose Barnesville” beckons other to experience firsthand, the best kept secret in the region. FMWFCHAMBER.COM   23


NEW MEMBERS Burggraf's Ace Hardware #16401 - Broadway

Burggraf's Ace Hardware #17324 - University Dr. S

As your local Ace Hardware, our store is a member of the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Ace Hardware began as a small chain of stores in 1924 and has grown to include more than 4,600 stores in 50 states and more than 70 countries. As part of a cooperative, every Ace Hardware store is independently owned. Burggraf's Ace Hardware started in Fosston, MN and has now grown to include seven Ace Hardware stores in Minnesota and North Dakota. The North Fargo store has many unique products including Craftsman Tools, Big Green Egg and Weber grills, YETI coolers, and Stihl power tools, to name a few. We strive daily to give our customers the best customer service possible. Stop in soon to see what our helpful staff has to offer!

As your local Ace Hardware, our store is a member of the largest retailer-owned hardware cooperative in the industry. Ace Hardware began as a small chain of stores in 1924 and has grown to include more than 4,600 stores in 50 states and more than 70 countries. As part of a cooperative, every Ace Hardware store is independently owned. Burggraf's Ace Hardware started in Fosston, MN and has now grown to include eight Ace Hardware stores in Minnesota and North Dakota. The South Fargo store has many unique products including Craftsman Tools, Big Green Egg, Weber, and Traeger Grills, YETI coolers, and Stihl Power tools to name a few. We are all committed to being “the Helpful Place” by offering our customers knowledgeable advice, helpful service and quality products. As the helpful hardware folks in your community, we promise that, “helping you is the most important thing we have to do today.” Hardware/Home Improvement

Burggraf's Ace Hardware #17458 West Fargo Hardware/Home Improvement Hardware/Home Improvement

As your local Ace Hardware, we are one of 5,000+ Ace stores locally owned and operated across the globe. But we are not just about numbers. We are about helping neighbors, because each one of our stores is a part of your community. We are all committed to being “the Helpful Place” by offering our customers personal service, quality products and a convenient shopping experience from the local experts who know you best. As the helpful hardware folks in your neighborhood, we promise that helping you is the most important thing we have to do today.

Life is for taking chances What do you live for? 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. BANKING | MORTGAGE | INSURANCE* | TRUST & INVESTMENTS*

See Us First. 0455_10-20



See Us First. *Not FDIC or any federal agency insured | No bank guarantee | May lose value


CHAMBER ANNIVERSARIES Welcome to the following businesses who have invested in joining The Chamber. We encourage all our members to do business with each other.

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Store North University Drive Thrift Store

Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch Thrift Stores financially support the mission of Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. The Ranch is a Christ-centered residential treatment and educational center for children and their families, a place where we look kids in the eye, walk with them, and help them become their best selves in this world and in Christ. The thrift stores also distribute clothing to the homeless and people living in poverty, continue to a cleaner planet by providing a place for people to donate items they no longer want or need, and provide employment and job skills training through more than 15 community, state and federal workforce programs.

Ferguson Books and More! Bookstores

We are booksellers who are book lovers with the mindset of book buyers who aim to foster community, creative, curiosity, and joy, one book and one connection at a time.

Eighth Wonder Investments Financial Consultants/Advisors

Financial planning and investment management firm, helping individuals create and implement successful financial plans.

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

25 Years Cash Wise Liquor

20 Years Cass County Historical Society - Bonanzaville USA Dale Carnegie of North Dakota and NW Minnesota Interstate All Battery Center Paces Lodging Corporation Property Resources Group The Apartment Movers, Inc.

15 Years AGCO-Amity JV, LLC BeMobile - Verizon Authorized Retailer Casey's General Store

10 Years

CEO Solutions - H. Goerger & Associates Corwin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Reliance Associates, PLLC Smashburger

5 Years

Find all our members with our online directory at

Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre Proseed Wenck Associates, Inc.




COMPANY NEWS Bethany Retirement Living Earns USNews Award Both Bethany on 42nd and Bethany on University have been rated BEST NURSING HOME for 2020–21 by USNews in ratings recently released. Bethany’s two campuses in Fargo are the only local facilities to receive the Best rating.

HEI Honored with ACEC/ ND Awards Three projects that Houston Engineering, Inc. (HEI) worked on were honored with awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Dakota (ACEC/ND): the North Dakota State Mill and Elevator Expansion project, the Pembina County Drain 66 GIS Database project, and the Walsh County Drain 22 Improvements project.

Darcy Pope-Fuchs and Todd Fuchs announced the stock sale of their companies Payroll Express and Overland Payroll. Both companies have been on downtown Sheyenne Street in West Fargo since 2007. Payroll Express, Inc. is a Professional Employer Organization. They manage payroll, employee benefits and human resources as a one-check solution for small businesses. Overland Payroll, Inc. provides customized payroll and human resources outsourcing services.

Congrats to all the Chamber members businesses featured in The Forum’s Best of the

JLG’s North Dakota State University Aldevron Tower and The Selkirk honored

Red River Valley awards! View all the categories and winners at

The North Dakota chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) presented two design awards, including the top state award, to projects led by JLG Architects at the chapter’s annual convention. North Dakota State University’s Aldevron Tower and The Selkirk were selected for “distinguished accomplishments in design and the profession of architecture.” Five buildings in total were recognized by the AIA. JLG has been honored with over 150 design awards since the firm’s inception in 1989, and was recently named Design Firm of the Year by ENR Mountain States magazine.


Preference Employment Solutions acquires Payroll Express, Inc. and Overland Payroll, Inc.


Great for owners


Bell Bank

Blooming Baby Ultrasound

320 32nd Avenue West, Suite 100, West Fargo

1555 43rd Street South, Suite 102, Fargo




Fly | A Fitness Revolution

Pella Windows & Doors

235 Roberts Street North, Fargo

5126 51st Avenue South, Suite 120, Fargo



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

Pinnacle Therapy & Wellness GRAND OPENING

4500 36th Avenue South Suite 100, Fargo

Want your own ribbon cutting? We want to help your business celebrate its important milestones! Chamber ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings are available FREE to any member business. If you have opened your doors within the past year, changed ownership, relocated, remodeled, expanded or are celebrating a milestone anniversary, we would love to help commemorate the occasion.

APRIL 26, 2021 Delta by Marriott

Who will you nominate?

Photo Credit: Britta the Photographer

For more information or to schedule, contact Mickayla at 218.359.0517 or, or fill out the form at


*One ribbon cutting per year per member

January 4


February 19

Nomination form available at:





























New Hires & Promotions Advanced Business Methods

Conmy Feste Ltd.

Fargo Rentall Inc.


Dale Carnegie of North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota

FM Area Foundation

Nicole Polejewski, Marketing Coordinator Chris Ellefson, Senior Financial Guide

Ana A. Neir, Associate Attorney

Apex Engineering Group

Lisa Markert, Human Resources Manager

Bethany Berkeley, CEO and Co-Owner Katie Munion, Chief Transformation Officer   and Co-Owner

Appareo Systems

DCN (Dakota Carrier Network)

Nathan Ennen, HR Manager Scott Fischer, IT Manager Darrin Paulson, Manufacturing Assembler Brianna Steinbrink, Manufacturing Assembler

Bolton & Menk, Inc.

Mike Bittner, Senior Transportation   Project Manager

Logan Forseth, Sales Support Representative Valerie Schwantes, Commercial Account   Executive

Enclave Companies

Collin Ryan, Project Manager

EPIC Companies

Sue Nilson, Office Support Manager

Essentia Health

Dr. Sonya Mehta, Rheumatologist,   South University Clinic



Theresa Keimig, Event Sales Eric Wilkie, Executive Director

Heartland Trust Company

Ethan Linder, Administrative Associate –   Personal Trusts Naomi Schempp, Administrative Associate –   Personal Trusts

Houston Engineering, Inc. Troy Borud, Engineer I

KLJ Engineering

Kristi Spindler, Vice President,   Human Resources and Safety

KW Inspire Realty U.S. Jones II, Realtor Alexander Kelly, Realtor Lilly Rick, Realtor























Park Co. Realtors


Pinnacle Pediatric Clinic

Superior Insurance Agency

Spectrum Aeromed

The Village Family Service Center

Will Foss, REALTOR® Vanessa Gunderson, REALTOR® Julie Ketterling, FNP

Jeff Edberg, Vice President of Operations

Spherion Staffing John Funk, Owner Karen Witzel, Owner

Awards & Certifications Conmy Feste Law Firm

Kim Brust, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer Ryan McCamy, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer Robert Schultz, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer

Edward Jones

Matthew De Vries, Jim Harrod Award

Homeward Animal Shelter

Heather Clyde, Certified Animal Welfare Administrator, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

Al Anderson, Digital Sales Executive Jack Hastings, Design + Living Editor Jaclynn Audette, Agent/CSR

United Savings Credit Union

Brittany Rislund, Business Services Representative

Widmer Roel

Brian Christensen, Tax Manager

Xcel Energy

Tony Grindberg, Principal Manager, North Dakota

Janelle Engelsrud, Financial Counselor Miranda Huesman, EAP Counselor

Town & Country Credit Union

Austin Deavy, Assistant Branch Manager Kaleb Lowrance, Assistant Branch Manager

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

Light Consulting

Sarah West, 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, North Dakota Women’s Business Center


Friday, January 29

Get your co-workers out of hibernation to compete in Frozen Business Showdown! These six-games promote friendly competition in the business community. Does your organization have what it takes? Register your team by January 17 at Space is limited. OFFICIAL EVENT OF


+ Network Infrastructure + Cybersecurity + Business Intelligence + Security Systems + Cloud Services

+ Secure Data Backup + Managed IT Services + Hosted Phone Systems + Remote Worker Setup + and more!



site development | flood protection | planning | surveying | transportation



800.279.4796 | 4870 Rocking Horse Circle S. Fargo, ND 58104



Tom McDougall

Tom McDougall founded High Point Networks in 2003 when he was inspired to create an information technology business that focused on solving real business needs rather than on reactively answering requests. He started with a team of four people in a small office in West Fargo, primarily focusing on network and security solutions for businesses. Early on, naysayers told him the nature of High Point Networks’ work would become a commodity, but McDougall believed solutions-focused expertise would always be in need to help business overcome challenges and drive success. He was right. In the past 17 years, High Point Networks has grown to have 11 offices in seven states, serving more than 1,300 clients throughout the Midwest. In 2014, they moved into the company’s corporate headquarters off of I-94 in West Fargo, where 53 of the company’s 160+ employees work today. Their solution and services offerings have also expanded, now specializing in Infrastructure, Datacenter, Security and Unified Communications, with a world-class services team designing and supporting these solutions, in addition to a Managed Services team that partners with and supports organizations across the U.S. In 2016, McDougall and the rest of the leadership team at High Point Networks were ready to bring the organization to the next level. They invested significant time and resources into studying growth models and business operating systems – an effort that led to restructuring, new management strategies, and ultimately the ability for everyone to rise to new levels of performance and accountability. This investment in strategy and structure set them up to successfully complete three key acquisitions over the next few years, fueling massive growth and positioning them for long-term success. In 2019, they instituted a theme they called S.T.E.M.—Stability, Training, Efficiency and Margin—which they engrained in every level of the company, leading to incredible growth in both top and bottom line.

Aside from being an accomplished businessman, McDougall has found numerous ways to impact his community, serving other organizations with his time, talent and treasure. He has served as board president for F5 Project and TNT Kids Fitness, Treasurer for North Dakota FarmHouse Fraternity Alumni Association, and Chair of the West Fargo Planning and Zoning Commission. He says the accomplishment he is most proud of is that he has been able to provide worthwhile work for like-minded professionals in the communities High Point Networks serves. The business values he teaches are to be humbly confident, grow or die, help first, do the right thing, and do what you say. Prioritizing these values above all else in business has resulted in exceptional customer experiences, leading to an average Net Promoter Score (NPS) in the 80s or above. High Point Networks is constantly challenging themselves to provide greater value to clients and provide solutions that meet and exceed clients needs and expectations to help everyone do better and be better in business and in their professions. He has built a company culture that revolves around leadership, honest service, family and giving back. McDougall said he cannot wait to take on every new opportunity and challenge that comes his way in the years ahead.


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Fargo Jet Center (FJC), headquartered at Fargo’s Hector International Airport, is an internationally recognized leader in providing aviation services and is consistently ranked among the top aviation service companies in North America. FJC provides aircraft refueling and ground services, U.S. Customs clearances, an aircraft maintenance repair station, and avionics sales, service and installations. Additionally, FJC offers aircraft charter and management services and operates the region’s largest private flight school. FJC also operates Premier Jet Center (PJC) in the Minneapolis area at Flying Cloud Airport, a full-service FBO, maintenance repair station, upholstery and paint shop; and Exclusive Aircraft Sales, a Kodiak aircraft dealer, providing aircraft sales, acquisition and brokerage services based at PJC. Both Fargo Jet Center and Premier Jet Center are members of the Avfuelbranded FBO Network and the Paragon Aviation Network.

— Darren Hall, VP of Marketing

What makes your organization unique? It’s uncommon to find an aviation company that provides a full spectrum of services like ours to its customers. Often you’ll find stand-alone aircraft refueling facilities, maintenance shops, or perhaps a combination of the two, but to offer 10 major services is very unique. This also creates one of our best competitive advantages.

How have you been affected by COVID-19? Similar to the decline in airline traffic, general aviation flights were wholly affected as well. Meanwhile, our aircraft maintenance, charter and flight school inquiries surpassed 2019 numbers. Transient international flights using Fargo Jet Center only to refuel and/or clear U.S. Customs is the only segment that has not fully recovered and isn’t expected to until international markets and borders fully open back up.

What are you focusing on right now?

What do you want others to know?

We recently celebrated our 25th company anniversary in September 2020. Diversification of our business has been what’s always carried us through some challenging times. Even today, as our industry experienced an unprecedented decline in aircraft operations due to Covid-19, the general aviation industry is coming back stronger and faster than expected. More people and businesses today are looking to use private aircraft as a reliable and more efficient way to travel.

We are accessible. When people hear words like “private” ahead of aviation or aircraft, they often assume it’s only for the elite traveler. However, it’s common for companies to use aircraft as a business tool to create competitive advantages, save time and improve the quality of life among their teams. This can be in the form of chartering or buying an aircraft for business or personal use.

Meanwhile, our maintenance division hasn’t missed a beat and has the most potential for growth alongside our aircraft sales division. We have also become an industry leader in modifying aircraft for special missions, such as air ambulance and atmospheric research. To date, we have modified 120+ aircraft from around the world to meet the needs of our customers and believe we’ll see this sector grow significantly in the coming years.

Company awards/certifications:

Fast Facts Year founded: 1995

• Aviation International News (AIN): ranked in Top 10% in the world in services and facilities

Office locations: Fargo, ND (Hector

• Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): Diamond Award for maintenance safety training

International Airport) & Eden Prairie, MN (Flying Cloud Airport)

Leadership: Pat Sweeney, CEO & Co-Founder; Jim Sweeney, President & Co-Founder; Randy Jenson, CFO & Vice President; Darren Hall, VP of Marketing



• National Air Transportation Association (NATA): 5-Star Maintenance Award for maintenance training • Pilots’ Choice Awards: ranked in Top 50 of all aviation service companies and #3 in Midwest category • FMWF Chamber Busines of the Year (2010)

Additionally, learning how to fly opens up a world of opportunity for those seeking an aviation career or to use within their own business. We offer discovery flights for those wanting a better understanding of what it’s like to fly themselves; this introductory flight is often the first step to achieving their pilot’s license. If you are considering any of these options, please reach out to us to help guide you through the process of finding the right solution for your mission:

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










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.

Forum Communications Printing Minnesota State Community and Technical College


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 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



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2021 Metro Profile & Member Directory





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The Chamber’s 2021 Directory is now available! Each member business will receive a copy in the mail this year, or you can find a digital version online anytime.


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Corporate Cup Registration opens February 1 at 10 a.m.! Want to learn how to secure your spot early? Contact Darren at to learn more about our priority registration.

Frostival 2021 is a go! The six-week winter festival is happening January 13 to February 27. Check out the full schedule of events at and register for the upcoming events.

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