February 2020 Bridge

Page 1


VOL. 23 NO. 6




New section debuts! p.14


for ChamberChoice p.10

Community Builders


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



February 2020

State of the Cities: Poll results and key takeaways



ChamberChoice Awards:

8 Economic Outlook Forum

9 Chamber News



Why and how to apply


Member profile: Bell Insurance

12 Membership Matters

13 Operation Thank You 18 Eggs & Issues

20 Fueling Our Future 21 Business Training 23 Women Connect

24 Leadership FMWF

26 Professionals of Color

27 Young Entrepreneurs Academy

30 Young Professionals Network

32 Metro in the News

33 Member Spotlight: West 13th Salon

34 New Members 36 Member News

39 Ribbon Cuttings


22 Women Connect: Highlights from Marissa Orr

29 Bell Bank

35 Boulger Funeral Home 25 Cass County Electric 35 Cole Papers, Inc.

30 Dakota Carrier Network

25 First International Bank & Trust

38 Forum Communications Printing 36 Indigo Signworks 35 Knight Printing

Back Nodak Insurance Company

35 North Dakota State College of Science 36 Pro Resources 35 ReadiTech

Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber For past issues of The Bridge: issuu.com/fmwfchamber.com   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  3

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

Board of Directors

Committee Chairs

Tom Dawson Dawson Insurance Chair

Roger Reierson Flint Group Agribusiness

Sandi Piatz Microsoft Chair Elect

Jessica Broers Bremer Bank

Ambassador Public Relations

Shawn Dobberstein Hector International Airport Treasurer Mark Nisbet Xcel Energy Immediate Past Chair

Scott Berg U.S. Bank

Ambassador Member Relations

Cory Holen Preference Employment Solutions

Business Training

Mike Dragosavich Spotlight Member at Large

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

Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Education co-chair Moorhead

Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Moorhead

Louise Dardis Retired educator

Education co-chair

Kevin Christianson Paces Lodging Corporation, Property Resources Group Kyle Dorow Essentia Health

Erica Johnsrud Ronald McDonald Leadership FMWF House Charities Brian Shawn Midco

Jodi Duncan Flint Group

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES • Establish the region as a fullservice metropolitan marketplace.

Military Affairs

Chad Flanagan Eide Bailly LLP

Trevor Mathew Choice Bank

Steve Halverson Heartland Trust Company

• 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.

Professionals of Color

Tim Flakoll Tri-College University

Brittany Montecuollo Sanford Health

Public Policy

Joanna Slominski Mortenson

Katie Hutton Eide Bailly LLP

Peter Stenehjem First International Bank & Trust

Women Connect

Steve Swiontek Gate City Bank

Danne Doering Choice Bank

Jeff Volk Moore Engineering, Inc.

Young Professionals Network

Chamber Staff

Jim Parsons

Interim CEO, VP of Finance & Operations @FMWFJim

Katie Mastel

Julie Doggett Information Systems Administrator @FMWFJulieD

Tracy Meckler

Government Affairs & Membership & Advocacy Manager Advertising Sales Manager @FMWFKatie @FMWFTracyM

Darren Dunlop

Business Development Manager @FMWFDarren

Tracy Powell

Director of Events and Programs @FMWFTracyP

Darin Feir

Graphics & Publications Coordinator @FMWFDarin

Mason Rademacher Public Policy & Workforce Development Coordinator @FMWFMason

Tyler Fischbach

Multimedia Coordinator @FMWFTyler

Amanda Huggett

Manager of Communications & Marketing @FMWFAmanda

Alyssa Lakoduk

Professional Development Coordinator @FMWFAlyssa

Bobbi Rehder Casey Sanders Mickayla Thompson

Events Coordinator @FMWFBobbiJo

Manager of Membership @FMWFCasey

Member Relations Coordinator @FMWFMickayla

Julie Yourczek 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 4  THE BRIDGE  •  JANUARY 2020

A note

from the Chair Our plans for the new year Hello, and a belated Happy New Year from your Chamber board chair! As we move further into 2020, we want to say, first and foremost, thank you for your membership. Your continued support is appreciated by all of us at The Chamber, and helps us further our mission of being a leader in advocacy, education and engagement. The end of 2019 was admittedly a tough time for our Chamber and our region as we mourned the loss of our leader Craig Whitney. It is because of Craig, and his leadership and vision, that The Chamber has been so successful in many of its efforts over the past 10 years. Craig left a lasting mark on our community through his involvement and high expectations of Chamber events, programs and initiatives, and dedication to advocating for our region. Without a doubt, Craig imparted real, lasting change for our metro. We all remember him fondly and miss him greatly. Rest assured though The Chamber staff and board are as committed as ever to continuing to serve you, and that we will continue on. We will be working hard for FMWF businesses, following through on our strategic goals and serving our members, while honoring Craig’s legacy. And we’ll be looking for similar qualities in the next Chamber leader. We just hosted our first signature event of the year, State of the Cities. It’s always a terrific way to kick off a new year, and it was exciting to hear what our area mayors are working on. Find the full event recap on the next page of this Bridge! There’s more to come, too. The annual Economic Outlook Forum is sure to once again help businesses understand national trends and stay competitive. ChamberChoice applications are now open, and these awards are a fantastic way of recognizing the leaders and up-and-comers in our community. Corporate Cup and the Chamber Challenge Golf Outing will be here before we know it. We hope that you see continued success in this new year, and that your 2020 is off to a stellar start. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Tom Dawson, Dawson Insurance Chair, Chamber Board of Directors


Mayors talk growth and goals at 2020 State of the Cities Committed to partnerships and serving our communities

Challenges, opportunities, growth, goals and successes from the past year were discussed by our area’s mayors at the January State of the Cities event at the Hilton Garden Inn. Xcel Energy’s Mark Nisbet and The Flag’s Steve Hallstrom emceed. Themes included work focused on mental health, affordable childcare, housing and infrastructure, and opportunities to collaborate and serve the needs of our community. Check out the highlights and updates from each city.

We asked, you answered We also conducted live audience polls to find out where they sit on various issues. We learned that the majority felt that workforce was our region’s biggest issue, followed by behavioral and mental health, and flood protection—the same results as last year. Attendees also felt that in ND, Legacy Fund earnings should go toward workforce development and career/tech education, and in MN, the budget surplus should be used for tax relief. Here are the official results.

Question 1: Which of these do you see as the biggest challenge impacting our community?

Question 2: Which of the below should be a priority use of the ND Legacy Fund earnings?

Question 3: As of November, recent udget forecasts show the State of Minnesota projected to have a $1.3 billion surplus heading into the 2020 legislative session. Which of the below should be a priority use of the MN surplus?


CHAMBER EVENTS Chad Olson, Dilworth Dilworth’s mayor shared that their city had earned a Minnesota GreenStep Cities designation, showing their work toward sustainability and quality of life standards. The goals they were focused on were in the areas of resource consumption and reduction, civic innovation and fiscal responsibility, achieved through work with various partners. In 2019, they worked with Xcel Energy to reduce their city-wide energy consumption, continued water and sewer agreements with Moorhead, and instituted single-sort recycling.

Another significant step was the passing of a school referendum, which will ensure that DGF facilities “are of the same high caliber as the top-tier educators that we entrust our children with every day,” and mentioned that new home growth in the city should follow. He also offered touching comments on the deaths of a few key Dilworth city leaders, and Craig Whitney.

Johnathan Judd, Moorhead Mayor Judd exuded pride for his city and called Moorhead a “rising metro,” touching on various business and school expansions, amenities and arts offerings, infrastructure improvements, calling out several people that are leading the city and our community, and praising many successes from the year.

and turn the former Sam’s Club into a career academy. Block E was completed at Eighth Street and Main Avenue, featuring both commercial and housing space. Work continues on the 21st Street underpass project. In 2020, they will be working to figure out how to meet the resident’s needs for a community center.

Some highlights include the $110 million school referendum that passed, which will be used to build a new high school

To cultivate the next round of our entrepreneurs and leaders, he challenged all in attendance to answer the demand

for a diverse workforce. “We, as a city, are going to answer this demand in our region regarding workforce issues and creating and establishing a strong, diverse workforce for everyone.” What we do collectively to better our community, is why our work matters, he closed with. “We will come together to transform any obstacles into rewarding opportunities.”

Tim Mahoney, Fargo Mayor Mahoney shared Fargo’s new #FarMore vision for 2020, in which the city is “committed to building a better city, serving our people and shaping the future.” He also touted the NDSU Bison, Fargodome, talked about traffic innovations, the partnership with Hector International Airport, and last year’s flood fight. Some successful projects from 2019 include the 52nd Avenue South reconstruction, Main Avenue roundabout, new police department headquarters, improvements to the city’s water treatment plant and new high-tech meeting chambers for the City Commission.

Future focus is going toward the building of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project, which will provide the metro access to Missouri River water in times of drought. He also mentioned the approval voting system, new infrastructure funding policy, core neighborhoods study, and encouraged residents to become more involved. “The state of our city is strong,” Mahoney declared.

Bernie Dardis, West Fargo In our region’s fastest-growing city, West Fargo is seeing median household income at about $75k—which is 40% higher than the rest of North Dakota. Some specific wins from the past year include being named the safest city in North Dakota for the second year in a row; receiving the Main Street Excellence Award by Gov. Doug Burgum for downtown redevelopment efforts;

the establishment of the West Fargo Fire Department as an official city department; expansion of the Rustad Recreation Center and completion of the Sheyenne Street reconstruction project. The Gateway West development brought the first Hornbacher’s to the city, Pioneer Place opened downtown, and the Lights at Sheyenne 32 is in progress. At the schools, Deer Creek Elementary opened and construction began on Heritage

Middle School. They also launched North Dakota’s first electric school bus. One challenge they’re working to address is how to best plan infrastructure improvements in the city’s older neighborhoods and tackling mental health and affordable housing. Dardis thanked all their partners that help achieve successes and are dedicated to making the community better.


For the full recap and mayors’ slideshows, visit the Chamber blog at fmwfchamber.com/blog.


Rich Karlgaard on

“Tech, Trade, Turbulence and the 2020 Elections” Thursday, February 20 | Noon to 1:30 p.m. | Delta by Marriott

Join us for the 2020 Economic Outlook Forum, where we examine global, national and local economic trends and how it relates to the business community. Last year's popular keynote speaker, Rich Karlgaard, Publisher and Futurist, Forbes Media, returns for a talk on “Tech, Trade, Turbulence and the 2020 Elections.”

What questions will Karlgaard address? •  How strong, really, is the U.S. economy?

•  What will trigger the next recession and when? •  Is the stock market poised for a crash, and how will we know one is coming? •  How far will President Trump take his trade war, and how will China respond? •  Why are new technologies like AI making it hard for businesses to keep up and how should you deal with AI, the Cloud, IoT, and digital disruption? •  Will big tech’s disruptors (Amazon, Facebook and Google) finally be regulated? •  Which cities and states are best poised for future growth?




Beverage Wholesalers

Bank of North Dakota

Border States Electric

Bank of the West

Bremer Bank

Bell Bank

Choice Bank

Bethany Retirement Living

Concordia College Cornerstone Bank

Dabbert Custom Homes

Heartland Trust Company


Dawson Insurance


First International Bank

Midwest Radio - KFGO

Talecris Plasma Resources

Flint Group


US Bank

Gate City Bank

North Dakota State University

Western State Bank

Sanford Health


Premier Partners — Making a Difference in Our Metro Premier Partners are an elite group of businesses that recognize the importance of economic development efforts and make a significant commitment to the health of the region. Premier Partners give above and beyond their initial Chamber dues investment through sponsorship and marketing dollars to support the work we do. Premier Partners fall into two levels: Community Builders and Business Builders.

In return for this increased support, Premier Partners receive a unique set of privileges and benefits that enhance their business. From increased exposure to heightened networking, Premier Partners gain access to an extensive network of businesses and professionals. Through partnership with The Chamber and their fellow members, Premier Partners make a positive difference for our metro.

Welcome to our newest Business Builder! Bank of North Dakota is an agile partner that creates financial solutions to current and emerging economic needs. Through student loans or loans for entrepreneurs, infrastructure support, agriculture or business expansion, BND strives to make North Dakota better. As a state agency, they partner with stakeholders that include bankers, economic developers, legislators and state agencies to fulfill its mission "to promote agriculture, commerce and industry in North Dakota." The Bank provides student loans directly, but the majority of other loans are obtained by visiting with a local lender who will access BND programs when it benefits the client.

We are proud to call the following businesses our Business Builders: Advanced Engineering & Environmental Services | Avis Rent A Car | Bank of North Dakota Concordia College | Heartland Trust Company | Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead McGough Construction | Mortensen | Network Center | Property Resources Group | Rasmussen College ROERS | Talecris Plasma Resources | Vogel Law Firm | West Acres Development, LLP To learn more about the Premier Partner program, opportunities or benefits, contact Darren Dunlop at 218.359.0514 or ddunlop@fmwfchamber.com.

The Chamber hires Mason Rademacher We’re excited to announce Mason Rademacher as The Chamber’s newest full-time staff member. Rademacher will serve as the Public Policy & Workforce Development Coordinator, where he will work closely with Katie Mastel, Government Affairs & Advocacy Manager, on Chamber public policy efforts and will coordinate the Agribusiness and Education committees and Professionals of Color program.

Rademacher will graduate from North Dakota State University this spring, and is pursuing a major in management communications with a minor in political science. He currently serves as the NDSU Student Body President. He is a graduate of North Dakota State College of Science with an Associate’s degree, and also served as Student Body President there. He has been a part-time Business Advocate Intern at The Chamber since May 2019.



Awards #ChamberChoice

The ChamberChoice Awards recognize the best of the best when it comes to businesses in the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo area. These organizations make a significant impact, drive economic growth and help make this region a better place to work, live and do business.

— Applications are now open! — Categories and criteria

Why apply?

In order to become a candidate for an award, you must meet the required criteria and complete the application online.

1.  build trusted brand recognition in the community.

Small Business of the Year

2.  not-for-profits and entrepreneurs equal chances to win.

Has 25 or fewer FTEs; must be a privately held, for-profit business/ organization; in business for three or more years; current member in good standing; with proven stability or growth, ethical business practices and community leadership.

Business of the Year

Has more than 25 FTEs; must be a privately held, for-profit business/ organization; in business for three or more years; current member in good standing; with proven stability or growth, ethical business practices and community leadership.

Not-for-Profit of the Year

Must be a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit as defined by IRS standards in the FMWF community.

Small Not-for-Profit of the Year

Annual operating budget less than $500,000; must be a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit as defined by IRS standards in the FMWF community.

Entrepreneur of the Year

Individual is a founder, owner, CEO or president of a business and is primarily responsible for the recent outstanding achievements and performances of the business, with outstanding entrepreneurial success.

Young Professionals Best Place to Work

Employs young professionals who are defined as under 40 years old; open to all businesses, including not-for-profit and for-profit that supports total YP development.

People’s Choice

ChamberChoice Awards allow you to tell your story and Multiple categories allow both small and large companies, Your work will be viewed and honored by

3.  potential clients, not just your competitors. Through the application process, your organization will gain

4.  a unique view of current operations, a challenge to build upon them and a dynamic opportunity for awareness. Winners can use the 2020 ChamberChoice winner

5.  logo to promote their organization in the community, as well as in their own marketing materials. Winners receive a personalized

6.  award to display in their office.

Winners are honored on-stage and featured in a short

7.  video showcasing your story in front of an audience of more than 600 business and community leaders. Winners are featured on a digital

8.  billboard throughout the community. Winners receive a member profile article in

9.  The Bridge, which has a circulation of over 3,000 in print, and over 10,000 online.

An award is a cost-effective way to thank your

10.  valued employees, executives and clients for their hard work and dedication.

You, your staff and your company deserve the

All ChamberChoice applicants from every category are eligible for the People’s Choice award. Chamber members and the public will vote on the winner after all candidates are announced.

11.  positive recognition and credibility associated

Find the full criteria and submission guidelines at fmwfchamber.com/chamberchoice-categories.

12.  and application is miniscule when compared to the


with receiving a ChamberChoice Award. The time it takes to fill out the nomination form

amount of publicity your company will receive as either a finalist or a winner.

Don’t just take our word for it! What past winners say about applying:

“In business, there are very few opportunities to be honored by your group of peers and an unbiased panel, but that’s what The Chamber does. Through the Small Business award, all of the hard work and dedication to our business was recognized and celebrated. Since that time, Games Galore Party Rental has utilized the award logo on all marketing, and it never ceases to amaze me how many people will stop me on street and say congrats on the Chamber award.” —Corey Heiser Games Galore Party Rental   2019 Small Business of the Year “I highly encourage all companies and non-profits to apply for the ChamberChoice Awards. The application process allowed us the opportunity to reflect on the strides and impact we have made on our local youth and your community. It was a very rewarding experience and we were so honored to be chosen. The Chamber staff did an amazing job telling our story through a professionally made video, and provided us the opportunity to speak about our non-profit in a room filled with other wonderful businesses and non-profits in our community. The exposure we have received and the marketing materials they have provided to showcase this honor were second to none.” —Sommer Lockhart, Fargo Youth Hockey Association   2019 People’s Choice


“Our experience winning ChamberChoice 2019 Business of the Year has been such a rewarding experience. Since winning this award, the recognition we have received in the Fargo/ Moorhead area has been amazing. We have not only been recognized by our community, but this award has increased brand recognition, and has given us a competitive edge in a very difficult hiring market. I would highly recommend applying for the ChamberChoice Awards. We are so grateful for our experience.” —Haylee Houkom, Power Plate Meals 2019 Business of the Year “Once we discovered we had been nominated, we collectively agreed to submit our application and show others what we already knew – that we are an asset to the community, provide exceptional services and have a profound impact on the individuals we support. Upon the announcement of our award, we were overwhelmed with gratitude as well as amazed by all the well-wishers, press and expressions of support from many partners and community members. Upon receiving the award, we have been better able to expand our mission, advocacy, support, services and visibility in the community." —Scott Burtsfield, Vocational Training Center   2019 Not-for-Profit of the Year

Save the date for the luncheon Friday, May 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Delta by Marriott, to celebrate

business in our community and find out who wins in each category!   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  11


Opportunities to gain visibility


Many members have expressed that a major reason they signed up with The Chamber was for more visibility. Here are some ways all members can get just that!

Congrats and Thank you to these members celebrating their Chamber anniversaries!

Now offering Enhanced Ribbon Cutting Packages To help you maximize your exposure and marketing efforts for your ribbon cutting, we are now offering a new option to everyone that books a Chamber Ribbon Cutting. Add the Enhancement Package for $125 and receive extra promotion and opportunities (regular ribbon cuttings remain free!). If you're too busy or aren't sure how to spread the word on your own, this is a great way for us to help you

5 YEARS in February

Danielson Legal LLC Mead & Hunt STAND

Online Advantages

What are others saying about advertising?

Members visit our website for so many reasons such as to register for an event, connect with other members through the Member Information Center, and make business-to-business connections. In addition, individuals looking to move to the FMWF area often use the website to access information about our community.

Super Studio

We find great value in advertising with the FMWF Chamber as it is a great way for us to stay connected with a professionally engaged business audience. We are grateful the chamber allows members to network, advertise, and promote each other so that we all can grow together. Not only has the process been quick and easy, but it has also

The Chamber website receives: • approximately 10,120 visitors per month • an average of 31,540 page views per month As a member, you can take advantage of this visibility opportunity. You can submit events, jobs, and deals online (through the MIC) for FREE for others to engage with. In addition, you can purchase a web or ebridge ad at a member-only rate to reach even further.


Interstate Parking

been effective and worthwhile! —Mackenzie Tadych


University of Jamestown

Bill Wagner Construction and Roofing JOHO, LLC McGough Construction Co., LLC

10 YEARS U.S. Bank Wealth Management

15 YEARS Zerr Berg Architects, Inc. Implementation Specialists Norse Technologies, Inc.

Learn more at fmwfchamber.com/member-benefits.


Don’t forget to join us for the next Chamber 101! Tuesday, February 18 | 4 to 4:45 p.m. Thursday, February 20 | 9 to 9:45 a.m. Register for this FREE session about how to maximize your membership at fmwfchamber.com.


The Chamber office 202 First Avenue North, Moorhead SUPPORTING SPONSOR

Personal Touch Marketing & Manufacturing, Inc.

25 YEARS D & U Construction, Inc. Dakota Medical Foundation Rick Halvorson Construction, Inc. Fair Hills Resort & Wildflower Golf Course

A recap for


Another successful Operation Thank You is in the books!

Last month, Chamber ambassadors gathered to help assemble 2020 membership packets and hit the snowy streets to deliver the material to local member businesses. Ambassador Jamie Odegaard of Griswold Home Care of Fargo-Moorhead delivered 91 packets! Thank you to D-S Beverages for hosting our celebration party, thank you to our amazing volunteers who took time out of their busy days to help visit and thank our members, and thank YOU for your membership!

We also want to give a shout out to the following businesses for their generous donations of prizes for our ambassador social following the event: • Downtown Community Partnership • Costco • Gundersons

• Power Plate Meals • Dakota Magic Casino and Hotel • Essentia Health

• Holiday Inn on the Lake - Detroit Lakes • Inspire Health & Wellness

As a 15-year chamber ambassador and 27-year chamber member, one of the highlights of my new year is Operation Thank You where we get to connect The Chamber to its members. We start the two-day event by stuffing packets with all the ‘hot-off-the-press’ information to be delivered to our 2,100 member organizations. As we deliver the packets, we get to thank members personally for their membership, hear their comments and answer any questions they might have. Usually during the visit, they eagerly look through the packets the same way we do while preparing them. I especially enjoy the time spent together by being a cheerleader for The Chamber and our member organizations. It’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate all that’s been accomplished

during the past year and look forward to the year ahead.


— Larry Olson, Talent Productions

OPERATION THANK YOU SPONSORS 702 Communications Alerus Dabbert Custom Homes Dacotah Paper Co. Fargo GoodBulb Homewood Suites by Hilton Houston Engineering, Inc. Liberty Business Systems, Inc. Magnum Moore Engineering, Inc. Probitas Promotions Profile by Sanford PRO Resources NetCenter Technologies Sparklight S&S Promotional Group TrinSpin   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  13


Public Policy: Asking the Experts

Sen. Kent Eken

This month we are debuting a new section in The Bridge! Going forward, you can expect to find an interview we had with a legislator or expert each month. We’ll tackle topics on relevant policy issues to shed light on current pieces of legislation or initiatives we think you should know about. As Minnesota’s legislative session rapidly approaches and is set to convene on February 11, we had the opportunity to sit down with our three District 4 legislators, Senator Kent Eken, Representative Paul Marquart and Representative Ben Lien, to discuss various issues and topics that are likely to arise. Below you’ll find, listed by topic, what issues we talked about.

Bonding Bill

During the upcoming legislative session, the State of Minnesota is likely to pass an extensive bonding bill aimed to address infrastructure and deferred maintenance projects. Reps. Marquart and Lien both expressed support for a bonding bill upwards of $1.5 billion, with Sen. Eken supporting a more robust and extensive bill – as well as support for passing two separate bills: one focused on deferred maintenance and the other focused on new projects. All legislators expressed support for the Clay County Solid Waste Center, the 11th Street Underpass in Moorhead, flood mitigation projects and Weld Hall on MSUM’s campus to be included in the final bonding bill.


Budget Surplus

Recent economic forecasts show Minnesota is estimated to have a seventh consecutive budget surplus with an estimated amount of $1.3 billion for the remainder of the current biennium. As the state evaluates how to spend the dollars, all legislators expressed the need to use caution, noting that of the $1.3 billion, only $200 million is available for on-going expenses into future biennia – meaning the investments should be made primarily in one-time expense projects. Reps. Marquart and Lien both expressed their opposition to providing onetime rebate checks to citizens while all legislators supported evaluating ways to conform to Section 179 and how to reduce the property tax burden.

Rep. Ben Lien

MN Tax Conformity

During the 2019 session, Minnesota failed to fully conform with Federal Section 179 of the tax code, which has resulted in MN farmers and small businesses being assessed with retroactive state income tax increases. With a cost of $220 million to fully, and retroactively conform to section 179, all legislators expressed their support for full and retroactive conformity. However, they all noted that each biennium the estimated cost is expected to decrease and full conformity may not be possible in the 2020 session, but at worst the legislature needs to solve the like-kind exchange issue farmers and business owners are facing.

Drug Prices

The exponential growth of drug prices has been an issue the State of Minnesota is working to address; each legislator had the opportunity to discuss their ideas on how MN can address this concern. Each legislator expressed their concern over not only the increasing drug price costs, but also health care as a whole. Rep. Marquart highlighted the bipartisan reinsurance program that has stabilized prices within the private market, Sen. Eken

Rep. Paul Marquart

expressed support for ensuring emergency funds are available for individuals who need the medication to survive, but are unable to afford it, and Rep. Lien shared his support for providing the state direct negotiating power with prescription drug companies to hopefully bring down the cost of some prescription drugs.

Marijuana Legalization

Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana—should Minnesota become the 12th? Sen. Eken: No – “I am not

supportive of recreational marijuana, but I have been strongly supportive of medical marijuana.” Rep. Marquart: Absolutely not

– “As a teacher, I don’t believe we should add this into the mix for our youth.” Rep. Lien: Possibly – “If it was

the right bill, the right program and it worked for Minnesota – I would support it.” In addition to their opposition, Sen. Eken and Rep. Marquart both expressed the concerns local law enforcement has over how the laws would be enforceable.


Should strong beer and liquor be sold in grocery & convenience stores? Sen. Eken and Rep. Marquart expressed their opposition while citing the concerns municipal liquor stores have and how the revenue they generate is beneficial to the communities they are in. Rep. Lien shared his opposition while stating his desire to take a step back, following the passage of Sunday sales in 2017, and evaluate how it is working out for the state.

Gun Laws

Gun laws have been contentiously debated both at the federal and state levels; with the upcoming session likely to see various proposals to change the existing MN laws. Rep. Marquart, in sharing his opposition to changing the gun laws stated, “when dealing with the Constitution and the Second Amendment, we better have tried every single avenue and look at every single cause to deal with these concerns before we start passing laws that might not even have an impact.” On a similar note, Sen. Eken shared his belief that, “…we have to be careful that we don’t negatively impact legal gun owners and infringe upon their freedoms and their rights.” Rep. Lien, expressing his support for universal background checks shared, “If you want to go out and purchase a firearm, you should have to go through a background check.” Rep. Marquart and Sen. Eken both expressed a need to invest further into providing needed mental health resources within our schools across the state.

Sports Betting

The number of states that have legalized sports betting is continuing to increase. Should Minnesota join the trend? Sen. Eken: “I am not inclined to

support it,” expressing his concerns over additional social consequences associated with expanding gambling any further. Rep. Marquart: “At this time, I don’t

know if the state is quite ready for it yet. I am willing to look at it, but I am not in huge support of it right now.” Rep. Lien: “I don’t think the state is

ready for it—it is a conversation that will need to continue for a couple of biennia before we can see what sort of a model or system would work best for Minnesota.”


What other top priorities do you have for the upcoming session? Sen. Eken, a member of the Family Care and Aging Committee, shared his desire to focus on both day care and long-term care issues as our country faces demographic changes that we have never seen in world history in terms of the percentage of our population that will be entering their senior years. Additionally, he shared a desire to focus on reducing the regulatory burden that exists across the state. Rep. Marquart, Chairman of the Tax committee, reaffirmed his support for solving the like-kind exchange and Section 179 tax conformity issue, passing a bonding bill, and increasing the accountability and transparency within the tax systems across the state. Rep. Lien, a member of the Higher Education committee, mentioned the need to pass a bonding bill aimed at positively benefiting Moorhead and accomplish something meaningful around insulin.

Public Policy explained Public policy and advocacy are far more than just politics. At The Chamber, we do advocacy work through a variety of ways: engagement within and from our Public Policy committee, actively taking stances on critical issues, election education, encouragement of voter participation, and serving as a resource for information and connections to best serve our members’ interests. To view our complete list of stances, please reference our 2020 Public Policy Guide at fmwfchamber.com/publications, and to stay up to date on Chamber advocacy, join our email list fmwfchamber.com/communication. We believe that advocacy and representation is one of the best benefits of Chamber membership. We are passionate about the issues that affect our members, and our ongoing efforts to advocate on behalf of the business community have earned us the respect of elected officials and employers as a fair, consistent voice for balanced policy.



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

Workforce The Chamber is passionately dedicated to strengthening and further developing our region’s workforce as we realize a strong economy is dependent on a strong workforce. We are committed to the continuation of conversations surrounding workforce issues and finding solutions to attract and retain talent in our region. We will continue to bring business leaders and policy makers together to create a workforce friendly region that offers more than a successful career opportunity, but also a vibrant livable community with countless opportunities.

Diversion/Permanent Flood Protection The Chamber stands firm in support of the FM Area Diversion project as the best solution to reduce the flood risk in the metro area and provide protection of lives, property and economic opportunity. We are committed to ensuring all necessary funding is secured, and are confident this solution will allow for a vibrant community and strengthened economic stability.


Bell Insurance

Familiar Faces with New Spaces With a rich history dating back over 100 years ago in downtown Fargo, what we know today as Bell Insurance started with long-time local insurance agency Warner and Company. Founded in 1911, Warner and Company Insurance became Bell Insurance one year ago, joining forces with Bell Bank, one of the largest independently owned banks in the nation—not to mention a FMWF Chamber Community Builder. Brian Hayer, the fourth president in Warner and Company’s history and now managing director at Bell Insurance, was proud to share that all Warner and Company employees stayed through the transition—and they’ve seen great growth since. “There’s such perfect alignment of what we value and what Bell values,” he said. “Our teams already share the values of community involvement and ethical decision-making. We treat employees like family. Our core values haven’t changed since the beginning, and it’s the same with Bell.” The acquisition was made as Bell Bank was growing and thriving with its array of banking and financial services, but historically hadn’t offered insurance. This entry into insurance has allowed Bell to diversify its offerings to serve communities even better. Hayer explained that the insurance industry is condensing, and we’re seeing many mergers and acquisitions across the country. But Bell Bank’s purchase of Warner and Company was driven by many other factors. With a long history together, the companies’ employees already knew each other’s cultures and had been partners in many efforts for decades, sharing similar key values and motivations. Hayer said a bonus for Warner was knowing that Bell’s decisions are made locally.


Brian Hayer, managing director (right) and Zack Dawson (left)

“Warner has a centurylong commitment to building our community and treating people the right way,” Bell Bank president and CEO Michael Solberg said in an announcement. “It’s a fantastic culture fit for our two companies.” That culture of corporate giving and community service is another part of what made Warner and Company such a great fit for Bell Bank. Both organizations had been named to the United Way of Cass-Clay’s 50 most generous workplaces list. The insurance division now also gets to be part of Bell’s Pay It Forward program— which since 2008 has empowered more than $15 million in grassroots giving. Each year, every full-time employee at Bell receives $1,000, and every part-time employee $500, to give as they choose to people in need and causes they care about. Everyone also gets volunteer time to give back. Following the January 2019 announcement, Bell Insurance completed a generous remodel, a year and a half in the making and finished last April. The space is unique, because it’s the only office right next to the iconic Fargo Theater sign—and offers a lovely rooftop balcony employees can use, decked out with big-screen TVs, barbecues and a fire pit. While the insurance employees had been spread out among four floors, they now are together on two floors and appreciate being able to have a fresh start in their old digs. New amenities include ergonomic and stand-up desks for employees, video conferencing, and a better space for breaks.


During renovation, Bell Insurance saw an opportunity to enhance the office space by adding a mural stretching outside a series of office windows.

The current downtown Fargo office at 318 Broadway underwent a major renovation after the Warner and Company acquisition.

FAST FACTS The Bell Bank family consists of four divisions: banking, wealth management, insurance and mortgage services. Bell Insurance has 36 employees across three offices in downtown Fargo, Grand Forks and Detroit Lakes.

PERSONAL INSURANCE • Auto Insurance • Homeowners Insurance Employee break room, complete with balcony street view of downtown Broadway

• Life and Health

BUSINESS INSURANCE • Life and Health Coverage • Risk Management Training

ONLINE Today, Bell Insurance offers full-service, comprehensive insurance for protection and peace of mind through products in their business and personal insurance portfolios, comprising auto, home, recreational, life and business services. “Insurance is new to Bell, but it isn’t new to the people who work here,” said Zack Dawson, Bell Insurance director. “This is a great fit, working with the bank and being able to provide Bell customers an even broader range of services.”

• linkedin.com/company/gobellinsurance

With a mindset focused on growth, the Bell Insurance team sees tremendous opportunity in the FMWF region and beyond to continue their story. “As Bell’s footprint expands, Bell Insurance is looking to follow into new markets,” Dawson said, adding that they currently are looking at growth opportunities in both Minneapolis and Phoenix.

Bell Insurance Fargo staff volunteering at Great Plains Food Bank



Career Academies: Training our Local Workforce EGGS & ISSUES RECAP January’s Eggs & Issues invited in leaders from both Cass and Clay Career Workforce Academies, the director of the Bismarck Career Academy and a private sector employer to discuss what a successful Workforce Career Academy looks like and what they can do for local workforce. Tom Shorma, CEO/President of WCCO Belting Inc., kicked off the program talking about the private sector workforce needs. “For the first time in history, there are more open jobs than there are people available to fill those positions,” he said. According to Job Service ND, in 2019 there were currently over 4,000 open jobs in Cass County. Career Workforce Academies have proven a successful model to train local workforce, serving as a solution to workforce issues. As Shorma cited, “There are more than 7,000 Career Academies in the Country. The fact that Cass County doesn’t have one is the exception, not the rule. We are actually behind the curve trying to catch up.” He ended commending Cass County School districts for working collaboratively along with the private sector to make the Cass County project a reality. Dale Hoerauf, Director of the Bismarck Career Academy, shared their model and success story. Student interest has grown, as enrollment was 600 students in 2009, and today is 1,343. He emphasized the importance of choice within the Career Academy model, saying “It’s about exploring. You get to try before you buy.” Hoerauf also touched on the importance of the location and the culture 18  THE BRIDGE  •  FEBRUARY 2020


that breeds. Their Academy is on BSC’s campus, making it neutral ground for all the surrounding high schools allowing everyone to feel a sense of belonging. In sticking with location, he mentioned that in other states some students take an hour bus ride to get to a Career Academy like this, while Bismarck students only have about a 10-minute commute. Hoerauf supports the Governor’s proposal for 30 million in grants dedicated to Career Academies, as it is a great incentive for communities such as ours to get the ball rolling.

them to provide as growth and expenses are barriers. Steiner explained the Academy as “a model that allows rural kids the opportunity to explore passion areas”—or find out what they don’t want to do. The Academy would provide a streamlined process on internship and job shadows. He said that though on the rural side they are doing “little bits and pieces,” that is all they are able to do without a Career Workforce Academy. He ended focusing on workforce, saying “Our solutions for the workforce problems sit in the high schools.”

Denise Jonas, Director of Cass County Career & Tech Ed, explained the early beginnings of Cass County Career Workforce Academy, calling it the perfect storm in education. “We have business partners who want to engage with the schools. We have a state governor who wants to focus on workforce…” and any other stakeholders coming to the table. She commended Moorhead for moving forward in their own path and explained the difficulty working with different systems, policies and financing mechanisms in the two states. Jonas thanked various groups for their support including Fueling Our Future and the partners working to make it a reality.

Tamara Uselman, Assistant Superintendent of Moorhead Public Schools, updated on their Career Workforce Academy, which is inspired by Bismarck’s model. Uselman called the purchase of the Sam’s Club the “bargain of a career.” The space came equipped with skylights, a parking lot and other amenities ideal for getting kids choice ready. She said the Career Academy model allows students to “investigate and explore careers.” Uselman closed by thanking all of those in various industries who have been open to educating the educators on their professional standards in order to make the Career Academy Successful for all.

Cory Steiner, Superintendent of Northern Cass School District, offered a rural school’s perspective. He assured that they are currently offering CTE programming in the schools, and that the Career Workforce Academy would extend those opportunities. He cited programs like aviation and welding as unrealistic for

The program ended with a period of Q&A with the audience where questions were asked on how to support and help move these projects forward as well as current collaborations.


Entrepreneurial Culture of the FMWF Region

Local Impacts Globally: How Midwest of Us!

Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead

Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead

Tuesday, February 4  |  7:30 to 9 a.m.

John Ballantyne Co-Founder & Chief Science Officer Aldevron

Tiffanie Honeyman Founder & CEO OpGo Marketing

Steve D. Scheel Chairman of the Board SCHEELS

Tuesday, March 3  |  7:30 to 9 a.m.

Brian Kalk Executive Director NDSU Research and Tech Park

Greg Tehven Co-Founder & Executive Director Emerging Prairie

Our region has a vibrant entrepreneurial and business culture. As a hub for startups and growth of businesses, the FMWF region breeds innovation and success. Join us to hear from some of the great entrepreneurs of our region reflecting on their early beginnings and what propelled them to success. We will also discuss local resources intended to foster this same success today and in the future.

Than Baardson CEO & Cofounder Unseen

Tom Enright Founder & President GoodBulb

Maren Gemar Executive Director HERO

Our community has great people and great organizations doing great things—that’s no secret. But did you realize how many of these organizations are reaching beyond our metro, our bistate region and our country’s boundaries, to do good? How Midwest of us as a community to give back in bigger ways than imagined! Join us in March to hear more about the great work that three local organizations are doing on a global scale. These are the kinds of stories that we as a community need to share; they are part of what makes our region so special. GoodBulb: With every light bulb purchased, they provide light to families who live without electricity. HERO (Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization): Provides access to affordable healthcare equipment to all, through the collection and distribution of donated materials. Unseen: A capacity-building nonprofit that accelerates the work of anti-trafficking organizations.

REGISTRATION includes breakfast Chamber members: $32 in advance  |  $42 at the door Non-members: $52 in advance  |  $62 at the door Register at fmwfchamber.com or by calling 218.233.1100.

At Eggs & Issues, we strive to provide topical and timely events to keep you in the know. Every month, you can expect to hear from local experts sharing information relevant to our region and business community. And you can always count on a hot breakfast and networking.



Bank of the West  |  Beverage Wholesalers  |  Bremer Bank  |  Cornerstone Bank Dabbert Custom Homes  |  Home Builders Association of Fargo-Moorhead  |  Houston Engineering KLJ  |  Livewire  |  Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead  |  Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moore Engineering | ROERS | Sparklight | Wanzek Construction | Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.



ABOUT FUELING OUR FUTURE Governance Board members L to R:

Parsons, Raso, Gerhold, Nermoe, Flanagan, Stenehjem, Dardis, Dawson

Fueling Our Future Update Last spring, Fueling Our Future (FOF) began working on an initial kickoff program of work. The board has since made great strides in many of these projects and has explored other initiatives. We look forward to identifying even more initiatives in 2020! Below are updates on some of FOF’s top projects at the time of print. With workforce remaining a top priority for employers across the region, FOF continues to support Career Workforce Academies in both Cass and Clay counties. In Moorhead, this support lead to a successful 75% voter approved Moorhead School Bond Referendum, which included plans for a Career Academy. On the Cass County Career Academy project, we continue to message the importance of this initiative to the Cass County Commission as they consider supporting the project. In a FOF survey, conducted in December, 2019, we found that 98% of local business stakeholders support a career academy in Cass County and 85% indicated wanting Cass County to play a role in the public support of it. FOF is also behind a Shovel-Ready Site Program. This initiative fits into the prosperity pillar, focusing on economic growth. Once established, this program will improve our ability to attract new business and support regional companies critical to the overall growth of our community. The initial phase of work is set to begin early this year. Falling into the prosperity and place pillars, a Business Accelerator is also being supported. This AgTech accelerator allows our region to attract startups to our region to expand and grow, which 20  THE BRIDGE  •  FEBRUARY 2020

supports job creation and attracts a qualified workforce. It also further establishes the region as an attractive business location. With multiple partners needed in order to make this project a reality, FOF has contingently dedicated resources and eagerly awaits as other partners consider investment. FOF’s most recent project, Campus FM, is engaging various community partners in a region-wide plan to increase the retention rate of college graduates. This program, addressing the workforce shortage, falls into the people pillar. FOF recognizes various community groups working hard to retain talent in our region and sees value in bringing these leaders together to collaborate on efforts in order to see a larger impact. After the project was approved at January’s Governance Board meeting, The Chamber and EDC will convene a group of already-willing community leaders to formulate a plan, which will be brought to the board in the coming months.

Board changes

FOF was excited to approve three new Governance Board members and one new Executive Board member at their January meeting. Justin Forde, Senior Director of Government Relations at Midco and Sandi Piatz, Site Leader for Microsoft’s campus in Fargo, were added, while Bryan Nermoe, President of Sanford in Fargo, filled past board member Nate White’s seat and Chamber vice President, Jim Parsons, will fill the Chamber seat for the interim. Peter Stenehjem, President of First International Bank & Trust filled Nate White’s seat on the Executive Board. We are glad to have these investors serving on the Governance and Executive Boards and are excited to see the impact they will make.

Fueling Our Future (FOF), a joint venture between The Chamber and Economic Development Corporation established in the spring of 2019, is a long-term initiative led by dozens of private and pubic investors focused on major initiatives and programs to create lasting regional impact. The 2019–2022 campaign has over $3 million in pledges from private and public investors. The work FOF engages in falls under three pillars: People, Place and Prosperity.

STRUCTURE FOF operates with a Governance Board, Executive Board and Advisory Council.

Governance Board

Randy Gerhold*, Microsoft (Chair) Tom Dawson*, Dawson Insurance (Vice Chair) Jim Parsons*, FMWF Chamber (Secretary) Joe Raso*, Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC (Treasurer) Bernie Dardis, City of West Fargo Chad Flanagan, Eide Bailly Justin Forde, Midco Al Hurley, Essentia Tim Mahoney, City of Fargo Bryan Nermoe, Sanford Health Sandy Piatz, Microsoft Peter Stenehjem*, First International Bank Steve Swiontek, Gate City Bank

* Member of the FOF Executive Board


This group approves the allocation of resources to projects and initiatives. As they meet quarterly, they bring forward project ideas, approve board members and approve budgets.

Executive Board:

The “working group” of FOF, this subset of the Gov. Board vets projects and recommends action to the Gov. Board.

Advisory Council:

The council acts as the sounding board for FOF. These members send forth project ideas to the Executive Board and serve as ambassadors for FOF.


Trust. How to Adapt During Organizational Change Wednesday, February 12 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CATION DoubleTree by Hilton LO NGE CHA

How Workplaces Can Avoid Deceit Wednesday, March 11 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. DoubleTree by Hilton

Becoming a champion of change begins with trust. A strong value system, along with clear communication, fosters trust and makes navigating Jay Peltier change easier. Understanding Partner Dale Carnegie how your personal values align  dalecarnegieNDMN with those of your organization  JayPeltier helps to drive focus and results during organizational changes. In this session, you’ll learn more about your own personal values and how they relate to your organization’s vision and values. Discover more about how to earn trust, identify and overcome barriers, and navigate change in the workplace.

REGISTRATION includes lunch

The Normalization of Deviance:

If it’s not broken, why fix it? Organizations continue to push the envelope when it comes to adhering to polices and procedures. These deviations have allowed for a new normal to be accepted in workplaces big and small.

Brett Johnson Forensic Accounting Senior Manager Eide Bailly

Have our actions over time actually increased the risk of fraud? This session takes a look at workplace fraud from a different perspective. Brett Johnson will lead a theory-based presentation with an overview of the small behaviors we accept, ignore and allow in the workplace that can lead to larger issues, including various forms of fraud. Attendees will be able to reflect on their own workplaces and explore any gray areas that are unintentionally creating an environment that increases the risk of deviant behavior.

Chamber members: $32 in advance  |  $42 at the door Non-members: $52 in advance  |  $62 at the door Register at fmwfchamber.com or by calling 218.233.1100.

These events qualify for 1.5 CPE credits through SHRM

About this series


Looking for opportunities to advance your career and skill set? That’s exactly what Business Training sessions are all about. Each month, you can expect a new topic tailored to the issues you need to know from local experts. This educational programming seeks to develop the professional, personal and leadership skills of Chamber member employees, and networking events foster connections with thousands of others in the business community, all over lunch.

Mission Statement Enhance the success of our community’s businesses through a variety of targeted, practical and cost-effective training events.



Discovery Benefits | GOLDMARK Property Management Minnesota State Community and Technical College | Wanzek Construction, Inc.   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  21

Marissa Orr takes on women in the workplace at annual Women Connect celebration

Ready “Orr” not, nearly 900 women packed the Delta by Marriott last month to hear from Amazon best-selling author Marissa Orr and her unique message tackling women in the workplace. This event was a perfect, fun-filled way to celebrate the sixth anniversary of The Chamber’s Women Connect program. Before diving into Marissa’s keynote, attendees were able to mix and mingle while enjoying dessert and peeking at the book “Lean Out,” which all got to take home to dive deeper into the message. Committee members provided a welcome and recapped the past year of programming (psst, view the highlights for yourself on our video on our YouTube or Facebook page!). A social media contest encouraged sharing, and the feeling of energy, empowerment and inspiration was high. Marissa talked about what we’ve gotten wrong about women at work, breaking down the current system that is failing many women leaders. She offered insight and advice to help women thrive, from channeling ambition, asking for what you need, and even how to control emotions and deal with bullies. She challenged attendees to look inward and define success around well-being instead of winning, which can lead to meaningful results and outcomes that make a real difference. We want to thank everyone that attended this event, all of our program sponsors, those who donated an item, and everyone who has helped support Women Connect thus far. We’re so lucky to live in this community full of women who are excited and ambitious. We can’t wait to see you again. Through the generosity of attendees, we collected 360 total items, consisting of rolls of tape, paper towels and Ziploc bags, to donate to the non-profit of the month, BIO Girls (pictured on the next page). We can’t say THANK YOU enough. PRESENTED BY



Women’s Role in Leadership: What

Men and Women Need to Pay Attention to

Thursday, February 27 3:30 to 5 p.m. Delta by Marriott

In this #MeToo era, it can be difficult to understand how to navigate for female and male leaders. What is acceptable? What is unacceptable? How do you foster an open environment without crossing a line? And why does it matter?

Jodi Duncan President Flint Group

As a woman in the workplace,  FlintGroup understanding the behaviors that can advance your success and watch-outs for how we sabotage our own “wins” can bring success just as easily as working hard. Charity of the month: CCRI—Please consider bringing diapers (all sizes), personal hygiene items (razors, shaving cream, shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes), or cleaning supplies such as laundry soap, bleach, hand soap, dish soap, Clorox wipes, to donate to them.


Why NOT Me? Overcoming SelfDoubt

There is an old saying that you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Self-doubt is often a primary driver for not taking that shot. This session will explore key motivators of self-doubt, and challenge women to get out of their own way and feel confident that they deserve success, happiness and fulfillment.

Jessica Fyre

SVP General Counsel AgCountry Farm Credit Services

Register at fmwfchamber.com or by calling 218.233.1100.

Women Connect making a difference #FMWFWC

Monthly events with local speakers to bring women together through targeted topics. A PUSH program also aims to offer outside-thesession small group meetings and support.

3:30 to 5 p.m. Delta by Marriott

This session will explore the key /jessicamotivators of self-doubt; challenge fyre-674773a individuals to have the courage to risk disappointment; discuss how to overcome and move on from disappointment; and explore the importance of sponsorship (people who are actively advocating for your next promotion or raise).

Chamber members: $25 in advance  |  $35 at the door Non-members: $45 in advance  |  $55 at the door

What is Women Connect?

Wednesday, March 25

Mission Statement

To bring women together in a unique, courageous forum that will build connections, provide a space to be brave and explore what leadership means both personally and professionally.


In 2019, over 21,000 women have helped 34 non-profit organizations in our community by donating over 13,000 items! EVENT PRODUCTION SPONSOR

Bell Bank | Bremer Bank | Choice Bank | Delta by Marriott | Discovery Benefits | Essentia Health | Eventide Senior Living Communities First International Bank & Trust | Gate City Bank | Microsoft | Minnesota State Community and Technical College | Office Sign Co. Otter Tail Corporation | Rasmussen College | Vogel Law Firm | WDAY | Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. | Western State Bank



A look into local government January’s Leadership session focus was solely on local government. We had a great opportunity to showcase a number of government entities and introduce the class to these areas of city government. The class started the day at the State of the Cities event. Immediately following, they had a one-on-one meeting with the mayors to ask questions about leadership and go in-depth with issues on our community. This has turned into a favorite 30 minutes of Leadership program overall. It is great to see the collaborative spirit that exists between our city’s leaders.

After the tour, the class went to Cass County Electric, where we ended the day with City Government Speed Dating roundtables. Thank you to all of our roundtable hosts: Craig Bjur, Fargo Park District; Ben Dow, City of Fargo; Jason Benson, Cass County; Tim Solberg, City of West Fargo; Thomas Beadle, representing District 27; Officer Ryan Feltman, City of West Fargo; Bill Schwandt, Moorhead Public Service; and Dennis Eisenbraun, Moorhead Public Service.

After our time at the Hilton, the class traveled to the North Dakota Department of Transportation District Office for a tour of the space and an inside look at city/county plow operations! This was such a great opportunity for the class to see behind the scenes of this operation and great timing, as we had another blizzard the following day!




Community-focused | Member-driven

Your energy. Your time.

Your way.

Download the Cass County Electric app to pay your bill, view and compare energy use, and report outages. Just a tap away from controlling your power. CassCountyElectric.com

Trust can be earned in the smallest of moments while making the most impact for your financial well-being.

For you. For your future. For your legacy.

For over a century our customers have relied on First International Bank & Trust for expert advice and sound financial solutions.

See us first. 5 Convenient F-M Locations (800) 359-8092 | FIBT.com




HIGHLIGHTS from January

Networking Before 9 Friday, February 14 | 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. LOCATION TBD —

Watch our website and Facebook page for details! Rise, shine and get your networking in before 9! Join the Professionals of Color for our monthly morning networking event before you start your work day! We are excited this month to welcome Moorhead Mayor Johnathan Judd to speak to the group as you continue to grow your professional network. Come when you can; leave when you have to!

Thank you to Thunder Coffee in West Fargo for hosting our January Networking Before 9! What a great way to kick off a Friday morning and to welcome everyone back after the holiday season! We were also excited to spend part of our afternoon giving back to our community at the Great Plains Food Bank! It was a great way for POC members to meet other individuals who are passionate about giving back within our region. Thank you, Acapulco, for helping us kick off our first 5’Oclock Connections at the end of the month! We are excited to offer additional networking opportunities to our POC members who are unable to attend our morning events. Stay tuned for photos from this event in the March Bridge!

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

To stay up to date on events, announcements and opportunities, sign up for the POC email list on The Chamber’s MIC or at: fmwfchamber.com/communication.



SUPPORTING SPONSORS Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota | GOLDMARK Property Management | Midco | Minnesota State Community and Technical College



Students get ready for pitches The YEA! students are almost ready for their investor panel pitches thanks to the tremendous help from their mentors. Once again, we have an all-star team of volunteers who worked with our young entrepreneurs as they finalized their business plans and prepared their presentations for the investors. We will be recognizing all of our mentors in next month’s Bridge! We’ve also had some great guest speakers visit our classroom throughout the last month. Ryan Hoffman from Dawson Insurance made learning about insurance fun and addressed the different types of insurance each of our students’ businesses might need and Erin Larsgaard from Wold Johnson, PC, talked to students about legal structures of a small business and the different forms of ownership. We really appreciate the time and talent all of our volunteers have dedicated to the Young Entrepreneurs Academy so far this year!

Save the Date YEA! Investor Panel Shark Tank Tuesday, March 24  |  5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Barry Auditorium, Offutt School of Business, Concordia College

About YEA!

The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own real businesses. YEA! is a national program, and our chamber is the first and only organization to host a YEA! program in North Dakota and one of few in the entire Midwest. Learn more at fmwfchamber.com/YEA.




Aldevron | The Boiler Room | Bremer Bank | Concordia College Dawson Insurance | Eide Bailly | LaQuinta Inn & Suites | Maxwells Minnesota State University Moorhead | National Hospitality Services North Dakota State University  |  Office Sign Company Radio FM Media | TrueNorth Steel

Friends of YEA!

American Crystal Sugar  |  Dabbert Custom Homes Talecris Plasma Resources Inc.  |  Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.




Networking Etiquette

Morning Buzz

(ETIQUETTE TRAINING 4 to 5 | NETWORKING SOCIAL 5 to 7) Herd and Horns, 1414 12th Avenue North, Fargo Members: $15 | Non-members: $25 | Registration required Social only: No cost

Red River Coffee, 2600 52nd Avenue South, Fargo

Thursday, February 6 | 4 to 7 p.m.

Friday, February 21 | 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Join YPN and POC as we team up with NDSU’s Graduate School to host a networking etiquette training. Learn the basic of networking, with a special focus on networking in social settings. Learn things like what to do when someone approaches you and you’re holding a plate of food, or how to enter a conversation. A social will follow, so you can put into practice what you learn in the training.

YPN Volunteer Opportunity: Kiwanis Pancake Karnival Saturday, February 15

Fargodome, 1800 North University Drive, Fargo SLOT 1 6:30 to 11 a.m. | SLOT 2 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

YPN is joining in the fun at the 62nd Annual Pancake Karnival! Join fellow YPN members as we rise and shine for this service opportunity. YPN members will help fill a number of volunteer roles, from pancake flipping to coffee service. This is a fun opportunity and a great way to give back! Email Alyssa at aralston@fmwfchamber.com to secure yourself a space in one of the timeslots.

Come and network with other young professionals before you start your work day and get your morning caffeine boost. Coffee on your own; networking is free!

YPN Business Tour

Monday, March 30 | 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Four Star Ninja Academy, 4410 18th Avenue South, Fargo YPN members: $20

Are you ready to be the next American Ninja Warrior? Neither are we. But we are excited to see what it is like to train to become one! Join YPN as we learn about one of Fargo’s newest fitness attractions, Four Star Ninja Academy! We will be learning about the business and operations, as well as getting to test out some of the obstacles at the gym. Bring your workout gear and a great attitude for this special YPN Business Tour. *This tour is only open to YPN members*

Off the Clock

Tuesday, February 18 | 5:15 to 7:30 p.m.

Level 2, Radisson, 205 Fifth Street North, Fargo

Join YPN for our monthly networking happy hour at Level 2 in the Radisson! Network with other young professionals while checking out one of the metro’s great food and beverage establishments. As always, drinks are on your own, apps are on us, and networking is free (don’t forget your business cards)!

Interested in being involved in Corporate Cup but don’t have a team? Volunteering is a great way to get involved with this event! Join YPN on Thursday, May 21, from 12:30 to 6:30 to get in on the fun. Email Alyssa at aralston@fmwfchamber.com to get on the volunteer list!

Why be a member of the YPN? Being a member of the Young Professionals Network has a number of benefits. Just a few of them include:


+ Business tours are a YPN member-only opportunity + Lattes with Leaders is free for all YPN members. Non-members are welcome to join, but will have to pay a small fee

+ Cultural events are YPN member only events + Volunteering is great! We encourage all area professionals to

give back their time and talents, but the opportunities YPN provides (outside of Corporate Cup) will now be limited to our members.

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BANK DEPOSITS & MARKET SHARE Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo 2009 Deposits Bell Bank


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622 million


717 million


U.S. Bank


371 million


669 million


Gate City Bank


264 million


647 million


First International Bank


165 million


597 million


Alerus Financial


244 million


311 million


Bremer Bank


298 million


299 million


Choice Financial Group


76 million


288 million


Western State Bank


90 million


282 million




111 million


176 million


Bank of the West


143 million


153 million


American Federal Bank


97 million


149 million


Starion Financial


48 million


120 million




45 million


114 million


155 million


94 million


Union State Bank


41 million


83 million


Valley Premier Bank


31 million


37 million


Ramsey National Bank


19 million


30 million



8 million


19 million


18 million


17 million


Great Western Bank



11 million


Bank Forward


6 million



Northwestern Bank


3.4 billion


Aspire Financial*

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Wells Fargo

Cornerstone Bank

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1.4 billion

2019 Deposits



Source: FDIC Summary of Deposits, June 30, 2019 | *Formerly Farmers & Merchants NB





Wealth Management



Deposit and loan products are offered through Bell Bank, Member FDIC. Bell Insurance Services, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bell Bank. Products and services offered through Bell Insurance or Bell Bank Wealth Management are: Not FDIC insured | No Bank Guarantee | May lose value | Not a deposit | Not insured by any federal government agency.



Confidence PROUD TO SERVE NORTH DAKOTA’S CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE FOR OVER 20 YEARS, including government, schools, health care, finance, business, agriculture, and manufacturing.



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24/7 Network Support



Get ready for the green! 2020 Chamber


— A sold-out event the last seven years!— Registration opens March 2 at 8 a.m. at fmwfchamber.com. Save the date for the event Wednesday, July 22 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. Edgewood Golf Course

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, contact Darren at 218.359.0514 or ddunlop@fmwfchamber.com.




Thursday, March 19  |  4 to 6 p.m. | Delta by Marriott

Join us for a spring-time Business After Hours! Participate in the region’s best networking event, open only to Chamber members! Network in a casual setting and make new connections over food, drinks, games and prizes. See you there!

This month’s Game of Skillz:



Bring your game face!


One to Watch Each quarter, a YPN member is selected through a nomination process to highlight an up-andcoming professional in the business community. This award is granted quarterly to a Young Professional Network member who goes above and beyond to make a positive impact in their workplace, their community and with the YPN.

We’re currently seeking applications and nominations for Ones to Watch! Recipients will be featured in our monthly Bridge newsletter, on our social media outlets, will be featured in Fargo INC! magazine, will receive a letter from Chamber leadership, a plaque and a complimentary ticket to a Business Training, Women Connect or Business After Hours event.

Who can nominate? Anyone! Whether you are a YP and want to nominate a peer, or you're the supervisor of a YP superstar, or you just know someone pretty great, tell us about them! Find the past winners and nomination form at: fmwfchamber.com/ypn-one-to-watch. Questions? Contact Alyssa at aralston@fmwfchamber.com.

Highlights from January

Casey Thielges

Chair, YPN Member Engagement committee Casey helps individuals become homeowners by providing them with the necessary resources in his role at Gate City Bank. He says the greatest perk of his position is getting to be part of one of his client’s biggest financial decisions. “Being a part of the Young Professionals Network has allowed me to broaden my professional connections,” he said. “I’ve been able to meet and get to know a lot of other professionals that I would have not have had the chance of meeting without being actively involved with the Young Professionals Network. It also has allowed me to form some great friendships along the way! Staying connected with others in today’s fast-paced environment is a necessity, and I truly enjoy having the opportunity to connect with a wide range of professionals in our community.” Casey is also active with the Fargo Moorhead Home Builders Association, where he serves on their Home & Garden Show committee. Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelsey, son, Jack, and Golden Retriever, Sully. During the summer months, he can be found relaxing at the lake on the weekends and enjoying a round of golf. During the winter, he stays active by participating in a recreational hockey league.

In January, our recent YP of the Year, Erin Larsgaard, went beyond her YPN role and spoke to students in The Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy program! She used her expertise in her professional role in law to provide an overview of the legal sides of business that young entrepreneurs should know.


A.V.P. Mortgage Loan Office Gate City Bank

At the end of the month, the YPN held a New Member Social and Off the Clock at Rookies Sports Bar and Grill, and a Morning Buzz at Beans in the Radisson. These events happened after this issue went to press, so stay tuned for photos next month!



Delta by Marriott


Metro in the news They’re talkin’ about us! Yes, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo continues to make the headlines among national media who credit us for being a best place to live. Here are just a few recognitions from 2019. Fargo named to Money’s Best Places to Live 2019 list in spot #47 out of 100 cities, according to over 160,000 data points on diversity, quality public schools, average income, cost of living and more. September 2019

USA Today: West Fargo was named #11 and Moorhead named #14 best city to live in the U.S. 24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of over two dozen measures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources to identify the best city to live in among places with at least 8,000 residents. September 2019

North Dakota is the top state for millennials, ranking first among all states in the best states for young adults, according to a recent study by MoneyRates.com. The study focuses on where 20- to 24-year-olds have the best shot at thriving in today’s economy. June 2019 Fargo won the 2019 Most Educated City Award in North Dakota from Insurify. Using educational data reported by drivers who submitted over 1.6 million car insurance applications, each city was analyzed for the overall academic achievement of its citizens. An education score was determined using a proprietary scoring algorithm that incorporated the educational history and performance of each driver or the GPA of current students. July 2019 Fargo won the 2019 Safest City Award in North Dakota from Insurify. Using driving records reported by car owners who submitted over 1.6 million car insurance applications, each city was analyzed for the driving history of its citizens going back to 2010. The data science team analyzed the percentage of drivers with one or more prior moving violations against the total number of drivers as a whole in each municipality. The city with the lowest proportion of offending drivers was identified as the community with the safest traffic in their state. September 2019 Fargo was awarded the Greenest City Award for the state of North Dakota by Insurify. This recognizes the city with the most eco-friendly community and driving behaviors per state. Their data team analyzed driver practices, vehicle type, city compactness, park value, air quality, and renewable energy programs to determine the greenest community in each state. April 2019 Fargo was named 2019’s 8th Best City to Raise a Family in a study from WalletHub.com. To determine the most family-friendly places in America, WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 47 key metrics. The data set ranges from housing affordability to schoolsystem quality to share of families with young kids. July 2019 Fargo was named 2019’s 10th Best-Run City in America in a study from WalletHub.com. To determine the effectiveness of local leadership, WalletHub compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities based on their operating efficiency. For each city, WalletHub constructed a “Quality of City Services” score — comprising 37 key performance indicators grouped into six service categories—that was then measured against the city’s total per-capita budget. July 2019 Livability named Fargo the third most recession-proof city in the U.S.! They credit our steadily low unemployment rate, oil and ag industries, major employers, and educated workforce. March 2019 Fargo was also named “Best Place to Start Your Own Business” on Livability’s 10 Best Places to Get a Fresh Start list! July 2019 WalletHub named Fargo the sixth happiest city in the country. The website looked at 21 indicators of happiness to rank 180 cities. March 2019




To Inspire. To Educate. To Serve. West 13th Salon is the area’s premier hair, eyelash and hair extension salon. Their mission is to keep people and the planet beautiful by using organic, high performing products. As an official Green Circle Certified Salon, recycling and reducing their carbon footprint is very important to their team and culture. Materials such as hair, leftover color, foils, color tubes, product bottles, paper and plastics are all recycled through their partnership with the Green Circle Salon organization. Their award-winning team has been in business serving the West Fargo community and surrounding areas for over 20 years! They are the #1 destination for hair extensions. The team is certified in eight hair extension application methods and additionally classic, hybrid and volume eyelash extensions. Their highly educated team provides guests with consistent attention to detail including proper application, maintenance and followup care. The salon owner, Janelle Finseth, is a Platform Artist and Global Educator for Cinderella Hair Extensions. She is also a member of the Tearsheet Artistic Team and has done hair at New York Fashion Week for some of the highest profile events in fashion. Her work has been featured in global publications including SHAPE magazine, and on a Food Network TV Series. Janelle enjoys giving back to the industry by teaching specialty classes at The Salon Professional Academy, where she was also an educator for four years. Her passion for education and desire to bring the high fashion trends back to her team and the West 13th Salon guests, is one reason West 13th Salon is unique.

At West 13th Salon, educating their team on the latest

trends in fashion and editorial work is part of our culture. Our team focuses on bringing a consistent guest experience to all of our salon guests. From the in-depth consultation (like you’ve never experienced before), to the professional and inviting

Salon services include hair and eyelash extensions, waxing, skin peels and makeup, and hair services for men and women, teens and kids.

What are their business tips? “People first. Invest your time building relationships with your team. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. Be there for your team personally and professionally. It does matter. It means a lot to people to know they have the support of their teammates and leadership when facing life’s challenges and in celebration too! Develop core values and vision with your team. Refer to those values and vision to direct your business decisions day in and day out. When you have complete clarity on what your business values are and what your vision as a team is, it’s amazing how easy decisions become.”

Favorite part about being a member of The Chamber? “The support we receive from the other Chamber members. We love to shop local and support our community by getting involved. The Chamber provides such great networking opportunities through their events and Business After Hours. Our favorite Chamber event to date was author and motivational speaker, Rachel Hollis!” The Salon celebrated their 20-year anniversary last September.

environment, the goal is for every guest to leave feeling inspired by their look, educated on how to duplicate their style at home while maintaining the integrity of the hair, and served from a team of artists who care deeply not just about your look, but about you as a person.


— Janelle Finseth, Salon Owner


NEW MEMBERS We welcome the following businesses who have invested by joining The Chamber. We encourage all members to conduct business with each other. When you do, let them know you learned of their business through The Chamber!

Advantage Inc., REALTORS® dvantagefm.com a

Drummer’s Journey 18.512.0484 2

N3 Living - Nikki Gullickson 01.412.8141 7

eal Estate R Advantage Inc., REALTORS® provide real estate brokerage services, residential and commercial listing and sales.

etail - Stores/Ecommerce R Drummer’s Journey, a music store focusing exclusively on all things percussion, located in the EasTen Shopping Center, Moorhead. The shop will handle top lines of drum kits including Gretsch, Mapex and Sonor, as well as Meinl hand percussion.

Publishing - Writers - Authors

All City Auto llcityauto.com a utomobile Dealers A All City Auto has a used car inventory that can meet any budget. They have a helpful and knowledgeable sales staff to assist you, come see for yourself!

Angel’s Keen Angles ngelskeenangles.com a arketing Services M Marketing and communications consulting firm guiding business owners toward growth. They specialize in communication strategies and education surrounding sales, business and marketing.

Axis Communications xis.com a ecurity - Systems & Services S Axis Communications is a Sweden-based company founded in 1984, with currently over 3,200 employees worldwide and offices in over 50 countries. Axis enables a smarter and safer world by creating network solutions that provide insights for improving security and new ways of doing business. As the industry leader in network video, Axis offers products and services for video surveillance, analytics, access control and audio systems.

CBRE, Inc. c bre.us/people-and-offices/corporate-

offices/fargo Real Estate CBRE, Inc. is a full-service commercial real estate firm providing solutions to property owners, investors and occupiers.

Want to find all our members? Search our online directory at fmwfchamber.com.


Great Northern Granite reatnortherngranite.com g ountertops C Great Northern Granite is a mid-sized customer-focused stone importer, fabricator and installer. They’re committed to exceeding their customer’s expectations through experience, technology, and a total focus on building loyalty. They employ the latest techniques and equipment and manage all aspects of their company in-house. They build long-term employees and, in turn, they build their business. They aim to maintain excellence and consistent growth.

Healing with Hyperbarics of North Dakota healingwithhyperbarics.com ellness W Healing with Hyperbarics of North Dakota, PLLC, is a private practice, free standing hyperbaric center under the direction of Dr. Daphne Denham. Their goal is to provide hyperbaric oxygen treatments at affordable rates to demonstrate the possibilities of therapy with pure oxygen. Since 2009, Dr. Denham has focused exclusively on wound care and hyperbaric medicine. As a board-certified general surgeon, she has a unique perspective on the potential benefits of oxygen therapy.

Moorhead Masonic Building Association sites.google.com/view/ moorheadmasonicbuildingassocia/home Associations A non-profit organization that is community serviced based that teach leadership, brotherhood, sisterhood, friendship, and values that develop men, women and daughters into strong leaders.

Personal Touch Property Management ptmproperties.com eal Estate - Property Management R A local property management company in the Fargo-Moorhead area. They specialize in homes with character, help you make a house a home. Having the right people working on your behalf is important. That’s why they go the extra mile in ensuring their clients get red carpet treatment from beginning to end. Their knowledgeable staff understands the market, what consumers want, and how to match those wants with their properties for success. Personal Touch Management offers great residence options with practical solutions. This formula keeps their properties full and their clients happy. If you’re looking for a firm that can help you imagine endless possibilities, you’ll get that and so much more with Personal Touch Management!

Plaza Azteca lazaaztecafargo.com p estaurants R Bright, fresh ingredients shine through our delicious lunch and dinner options. Known for their table-side guacamole and their homemade salsa, their menu is packed full of rich, genuine and flavorful Mexican dishes, to make your dining experience memorable. Plaza Azteca provides the best variety of tequilas from the region de Altos de Jalisco - Mexico, the place where tequila is made. In their restaurant, they have a passion for matching their customers with flavorful brands. They ensure a truly memorable experience, for your special celebration or a casual night out. The smell, preparation, and delicious taste is a shortcut to Mexico.

Prairie Fitness LLC 20.493.8595 3 ellness W They offer health and wellness and personal training.

NEW MEMBERS RJ Energy Solutions LLC r jenergysolutions.com ontractors - Energy Management C RJ Energy Solutions goal is to provide solutions that bring comfort, sustainability and energy efficiency to your building. They offer HVAC consulting, thermal imaging and on-line monitoring for predictive maintenance.

Sure Step 18.791.5003 2 Restoration

Window Works indowworksnd.com w etail - Stores/Ecommerce R They offer beautiful Graber binds and shades, cost saving simple selections by Graber, they also offer Insolroll solar and roller shades, motorized or manual operations. Something for every budget!

Vintage Point 01.293.6336 7 etail - Stores/Ecommerce R They are two best friends who embrace that life is an adventure. From gift marts to auctions, Vintage Point is just what you need for that special treasure.

Four-Color Printing Specialized Coatings Foil & Embossing Die Cutting

Fulfillment Center Variable Data Printing Direct Mailing Service I-printNow Storefront

Fargo, ND 58103 USA ph: 701.235.1121 knightprinting.com


North Dakota State College of Science TRAINND | APPRENTICESHIPND | SKILLSND


+ Network Infrastructure + Business Intelligence + Security Systems + Cloud Services + Managed IT Services + Phone Systems 800.279.4796 www.readitech.com 4870 Rocking Horse Circle S. Fargo, ND 58104


MEMBER NEWS: COMPANIES Congrats to the following Chamber member companies for their exciting announcements! Make sure to congratulate their achievements and recognition next time you see them around town. Want to see your own company news here? Send your press releases to us at thebridge@fmwfchamber.com. We want to share your good news (for free!) just because you are a valued member. Dakota Monument Company in Fargo recently acquired a new location in Mandan, North Dakota. Scott Anderson has been hired as Branch Manager for the location. By acquiring this location, it allows the company to better serve its customers on the west half of the state. Financial services firm Edward Jones has been named one of the 2019 Best Workplaces for Parents by Great Place to Work and FORTUNE magazine. The firm ranked No. 5 on the list of 50 companies, up two spots from last year. Hospice of the Red River Valley has been named a 2019 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey. It is the only organization in North Dakota to receive this recognition in 2019. The nationally recognized award honors top-performing health care organizations that have achieved the 95th percentile or above in employee engagement. Presented annually, the award names clients who consistently sustained performance in the top 5% of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period during the course of one year. Marco announced its acquisition of Image Systems for Business, Inc., a copier/printer company in Somerset, New Jersey that has been in business since 1987. Marco’s sales and service team will serve and support clients from Image Systems’ current location in Somerset. North Dakota State University and the North Dakota Air National Guard have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to better serve the research, service, educational and workforce needs of North Dakota. The goal is to provide quicker pathways for military students to earn their degrees by recognizing previously completed course work from a recognized military institution. NDSU’s Departments of Emergency Management and Criminal Justice/Political Science are the first to agree to waive the college minor requirement for all military students who have completed 15 credits from a recognized military institution. This reduces time to degree achievement for students pursuing these majors.


Team up

for success

We make human resources easy Other Things We Make Easy: Recruiting & Retaining Staff Workers’ Compensation Employee Benefits Payroll & Tax Administration Government Compliance Safety & Wellness Cloud-Based HR Technologies

Call Today— 800-776-4671 218-847-9277

MEMBER NEWS: PEOPLE Anne Carlsen Center

Jacquelyn Walsh, Vice President of East Region

Apex Engineering Group, Inc.

Bryan Lundberg, Revit/CADD Technician

Beyond Realty WALSH



Maggie Erickson, Marketing & Administrative Assistant Laura Nesler, REALTOR Tanna Reopelle, REALTOR®












Gerald Brossart, Senior VP & Business Banking Manager Andy Lerud, Senior Credit Officer Caleb Rogelstad, Business Banking Loan Officer

Concordia College

Rev. Terry Brandt, Vice President for Advancement


Cornerstone Bank

Haley Hermanson, Marketing Specialist Dale Hetland, Senior VP of Business Banking Lesa Kempf, VP/BSA Officer Todd Lebahn, Compliance Specialist Officer O PR













Flint Group, Media Productions and Super Studio Andy Reierson, CEO


Friends of the Children

Matthew De Vries (Edward Jones), New Board Member







Jesse Lundin, Engineer Jon Malaterre, Engineer Devin Moerke, Engineer Jon Morgenroth, Engineer






KW Inspire Realty

Jared Blankenship, Realtor Nana Khaadi, Realtor Mehgan Oye, Realtor


Steve John, VP of IT Services





Minnesota State University Moorhead Ann Hiedeman, Vice President of Human   Resources & Workplace Equity
















On page 32 in the January 2020 issue of The Bridge, we incorrectly labeled Roxann Burtness and Keiran Vitek from The Village as promotions rather than new hires. We apologize for the inconvenience and confusion caused by this error.


MEMBER NEWS: PEOPLE North Dakota Department of Human Services Sara Stolt, Chief Operating Officer

North Dakota Safety Council

Megan Hansen, Accounting Manager Lisa Heimbuck, Accounting Coordinator Billy Rupert, Safety Consultant Madelyn Monzelowsky, Office Manager











North Dakota Trade Office Drew Combs, Executive Director


Ethan Gellerman, Software Developer

OpGo Marketing

Bailey Anderson, Consultant Demaris Purifoy, Branding & Social Media

























Kimberly Cowles, Graphic Designer Danna Sabolik, Agriculture Editor

Starion Bank

Eric Miller, Mortgage Banking Officer Don Morgan, President

Widmer Roel

Katrina Johnson, Staff Accountant

OTHER NEWS David Grewell, chair and professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at NDSU, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. The honor is considered the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. Dr. Wayne Samson, an assistant principal at West Fargo High School, has been named the North Dakota Assistant Principal of the Year by the North Dakota Association of Secondary School Principals. West Fargo Public Schools announced three teachers who earned National Board Certified Teachers certification in 2019 from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards: Dakota Breen, Adam Christensen and Matthew Slocomb.

How to submit Email your company or people news to us at thebridge@fmwfchamber.com or visit fmwfchamber.com/member-news. 38  THE BRIDGE  •  FEBRUARY 2020











EPIC Companies

Home Design & Supply



745 31st Avenue East, Suite 105 West Fargo

5936 53rd Avenue South, Fargo




Venture Chiropractic

20-year anniversary

10-year anniversary/Relocation

4550 42nd Avenue South, Fargo

3252 51st Street South, Suite A, Fargo



The Village Family Service Center Relocation 815 37th Avenue South, Moorhead


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

Ambassadors for 10 years

We would like to recognize Randy Clark (Remax Legacy Realty-Randy Clark) Julie Halverson (Newman Outdoor Advertising) and Kevin Spaulding (True|IT), as they received their black name badges which symbolize 10 years of service as an ambassador. Thank you to each of them for their hard work and dedication to The Chamber!


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

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