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VOL. 23 NO. 1



our new year and strategic plan PLUS! —

2019–20 event calendar

Community Builders


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

Calendar of events: Save the dates for all our events in 2019–20



September 2019


State of Tech 2019: Takeaways and photos from the event


Power Plate Meals


7 Membership Matters

14 Business After Hours

15 Member Spotlight: Kovash Marine

Member profile:

6 Annual Meeting

18 Eggs & Issues

21 Business Training

23 Women Connect

27 Professionals of Color

29 Young Entrepreneurs Academy 31 Young Professionals Network 32 New Members 33 Member News

37 Member Spotlight: TrueNorth Steel

38 Ribbon Cuttings


20 Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND

33 Boulger Funeral Home

14 Cole Papers, Inc.

28 Cornerstone Bank

26 First International Bank & Trust

22 Four Points by Sheraton

26 Indigo Signworks

22 J&M Printing

14 Knight Printing

36 NDSU College of Business

28 Network Center, Inc.

13 OK Tire Store

28 Pro Resources

13 Sanford Health

30 Sanford Occupational Medicine

Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber

26 Spotlight Media

22 Starion Bank

For past issues of The Bridge:

36 The Village

Leadership FMWF: Meet the newest class



BOARD OF DIRECTORS Tom Dawson Dawson Insurance Chair Sandi Piatz Microsoft Chair Elect Shawn Dobberstein Hector International Airport Treasurer Mark Nisbet Xcel Energy Immediate Past Chair Mike Dragosavich Spotlight Media Inc. Member at Large Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Moorhead Kevin Christianson Paces Lodging Corporation, Property Resources Group Kyle Dorow Essentia Health

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

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


the region as a full-service metropolitan marketplace.

•• Be

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

•• Build

a place of belonging to best serve members’ interests.

Jodi Duncan Flint Group

Chad Flanagan Eide Bailly LLP

Steve Halverson Heartland Trust Company


Brittany Montecuollo Sanford Health Joanna Slominski Mortenson

Peter Stenehjem First International Bank & Trust Steve Swiontek Gate City Bank

Jeff Volk Moore Engineering, Inc.

Craig Whitney The Chamber

COMMITTEE CHAIRS Roger Reierson Flint Group

Craig Whitney President/CEO


Jim Parsons

VP of Finance/Operations



Julie Doggett

Information Systems Administrator


Darren Dunlop

Business Development Manager


Jessica Broers Bremer Bank

Ambassador Public Relations

Scott Berg U.S. Bank

Ambassador Member Relations

Cory Holen Preference Employment Solutions

Business Training

Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Education co-chair Moorhead Louise Dardis Retired educator

Education co-chair

Erica Johnsrud Ronald McDonald Leadership FMWF House Charities

Darin Feir

Graphics & Publications Coordinator


Tyler Fischbach

Multimedia Coordinator


Amanda Huggett

Manager of Communications & Marketing


Katie Mastel

Government Affairs & Advocacy Manager


Brian Shawn Midco Military Affairs

Trevor Mathew Choice Bank

Professionals of Color

Tim Flakoll Tri-College University Public Policy

Katie Hutton Eide Bailly LLP Women Connect

Danne Doering Choice Bank

Young Professionals Network

Tracy Meckler

Membership & Advertising Sales Manager


Tracy Powell

Director of Events & Programs


Alyssa Ralston

Professional Development Coordinator


Katie Ralston

Education Initiatives and YEA! Manager


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

Bobbi Rehder Events Coordinator


Casey Sanders

Manager of Membership


Mickayla Thompson Member Relations Coordinator


Julie Yourczek

Office Administrator


a note from the


Unveiling our new fiscal year and strategic plans As we begin the transition from summer to fall, as students return to school and those lovely lake weekends start to slow, we also turn over a new leaf. With the start of The Chamber’s fiscal year on September 1, we’re excited to usher in a new year of our own.

We have a series of specific strategies tied to each of these goals that gives our staff and board a roadmap to lead us forward into continued prosperity.

This year marks the start of our newest three-year strategic plan. Our three main strategic priorities, as outlined in the plan, are as follows.

We believe that we have a distinctive role to play in the community that requires continued evolution in our events, programs and services, effective partnerships, and prudent but bold leadership on policy initiative. You can expect to see work in seeing through Fueling Our Future (the initiative set forth with the EDC), advocating for flood protection, nurturing our region’s next-generation leaders, and increasing member engagement through value-added benefits, programs and outreach efforts. This new plan will challenge our organization to work harder, smarter, and be better.

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

With a thriving economy, it is our responsibility to ensure our region has the resources to become a full-service marketplace. To do that, we’re committed to being a leader in advocating for the appropriate infrastructures, as well as talent attraction, retention and training at all levels.

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

With our responsibility of being the voice of the business community, we aim to establish ourselves as credible thought leaders within the community. This license to lead is also the license to convene business and other interests to work together. With leadership in both thought and action, a prosperous Fargo Moorhead West Fargo region will be realized.

We’re so excited to get to work. Stay tuned to see what this new year brings. And a huge thank you for your membership and support.

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

As our member businesses are our primary customer and driving force, their needs—your needs—are paramount. Therefore, we must operate at a level of excellence, efficiently and effectively, to provide a place businesses and professionals can belong, engage and thrive.

Craig Whitney President / CEO The Chamber


Join us! #FMWFam19

The Chamber's Ninth Annual Meeting and Legacy Leader presentation Celebrate the business community and honor the volunteers that help businesses thrive, create positive change and build a stronger community! Connect with other members and hear highlights from our fiscal year, plus what is next on the horizon. We’ll also honor and present the award to our 2019 Legacy Leader.

Register online at or by calling 218.233.1100.







Alerus | Bank of the West | Bethany Retirement Living | Beverage Wholesalers Cass County Electric Cooperative | Cornerstone Bank | Dawson Insurance First International Bank & Trust | Flint Group | Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau Heritage Homes | Home Builders Association of Fargo Moorhead | Houston Engineering Indigo Signworks | Microsoft | Midwest Radio of FM - KFGO | Mortenson NDSU Foundation & Alumni Association | Otter Tail Corporation | ROERS Sharon Hilgers - Park Co Realtors | Starion Bank | Talecris Plasma Resources Inc. A GRIFOLS Company US Bank | Wanzek Construction Inc. | Wells Fargo Bank NA | Western State Bank | Wild|CRG



Up! O Y K r s hi e N b A mem r TfoH u r yo

Did you know?— A look inside

a rd . for w ber. y t i n m mu Cha r co m t i n T h e u o r i ve s men o r t d r i nv e s t p p u s ou Your reciate y p p a We

a few chamber member benefits

As an employee of a Chamber member business, you are eligible to receive an exclusive set of benefits just because of where you work. Neat, right?! In this new newsletter section, we’ll share a few things you need to know to best utilize your organization’s investment.



Some of our media partners have graciously offered free or discounted advertising just for Chamber members. The below two have specials for current members, and even more are available for new members. Find all at

Tuesday, October 15 | 4 to 4:45 p.m. | The Chamber office Thursday, October 17 | 9 to 9:45 a.m. | The Chamber office

Advertising Specials

• Monitor Marketing • SaveCoin

Discount programs Cash in on special savings from these organizations offering discounted products and services to help you save $$, run your business better and bring more customers to your door.

• • • • • • •

AAA Auto Owners Constant Contact Email Marketing Employee Assistance Program Prescription Discount Coupon Book by Integrity Fundraisers Plus! Browse hot deals, offers and coupons, post your jobs and share your events on our website.

Chamber 101: Connect. Engage. Maximize. If you’re not familiar with The Chamber, are a new member, new contact, new hire, or just want to re-engage with us, this session is for you! Chamber 101 is a laid-back discussion designed to share some of the great benefits of Chamber membership and what opportunities you need to know about. No need to dress in business attire; come as you are! Casey Sanders will walk you through events, programs, discounts, online tools and more, so you can begin maximizing your membership right away. Can’t make these dates? Don’t worry! Chamber 101 will be back in December, February, April, June and August. Check our website or Facebook page for event details. We can also bring Chamber 101 to you! Contact Casey at 218.359.0528 or to set up a time where she can bring the presentation to your workplace.


FREE registration. Light refreshments provided. Optional networking at the end. RSVP at

What new Chamber members are saying “I’m a newbie to the chamber community, and the first impression of the chamber team, website, ambassadors and events has been phenomenal. Chamber 101 was content rich, and was especially helpful in getting acclimated to the features and benefits of The Chamber's site. Business After Hours was a fun way to make connections while enjoying some great food. Shortly after joining, I had lunch with my ambassador, and he helped fill in the knowledge gaps I still had regarding The Chamber. All the way around, it’s been a great first month, and I’m looking forward to being part of the chamber community!” – Matt Nagel

Regional Sales Manager, Health Partners


2019–20 Chamber event calendar


Chamber 101: Connect. Engage. Maximize.

Signature and special events

•  October 17 4 to 6 p.m. Hilton Garden Inn

•  October 15 4 p.m. The Chamber

•  September 12 Annual Meeting Noon to 1:30 Holiday Inn

•  December 5 4 to 6:30 p.m. Delta by Marriott

•  October 17 9 a.m. The Chamber

•  March 19 4 to 6 p.m. Delta by Marriott

•  December 19 9 a.m. The Chamber

•  June 18 4 to 6 p.m. Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead

•  February 18 4 p.m. The Chamber

So you can plan ahead and save the dates, check out the calendar of all of our scheduled events for this fiscal year. We hope to see you soon!

•  November 5 Voices of Vision Noon to 1:30 SHAC •  January 15 Operation Thank You kick-off Hjemkomst Center •  January 16 State of the Cities 8 to 9:30 a.m. Hilton Garden Inn •  February 2 0 Economic Outlook Forum Noon to 1:30 Hilton Garden Inn •  May 17 YEA! Investor Panel Shark Tank 5:30 to 7:30 MSUM •  May 21 Corporate Cup 2:30 to 7:30 MSUM •  May 22 ChamberChoice Awards Noon to 1:30 p.m. Delta by Marriott


•  February 20 9 a.m. The Chamber •  April 21 4 p.m. The Chamber •  June 16 4 p.m. The Chamber •  June 18 9 a.m. The Chamber •  August 18 4 p.m. The Chamber •  August 20 9 a.m. The Chamber


•  September 11 What Would Bill Murray Do?

Nicole Turchin, CoreLink, and Kurtis Karn, Discovery Benefits

Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead •  October 9 Building Cohesive Teams: A Roadmap to Effective Teamwork in Today’s Workplace Ole Rygg, Corporate Elements

11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. | Holiday Inn •  November 20 The Focus Mindset: How to Stay on Task in a Distracted World

Karla Wolford, Elevate Human Potential

Hilton Garden Inn

•  December 11 Imposter Syndrome: Why It Affects Talented People and How to Overcome It Laura Gariano, Dynamic Communities, and Sarah Nikle, Edward Jones

DoubleTree by Hilton

•  January 8 Emotional Intelligence— Building Awareness and Influence Jill Staffne, SCHEELS | Delta by Marriott •  February 12 Trust. How to Adapt During Organizational Change Jay Peltier, Dale Carnegie

•  September 10 K-12 Update with our A+ Superintendents •  October 1 The Route to Removing Barriers for Employment: United Way Workforce Transportation Project DoubleTree by Hilton West Fargo •  November 6

•  April 7

•  December 3

•  May 5

•  January 7

•  June 2

•  February 4

•  July 7

•  March 3

•  August 4

*All held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Moorhead from 7:30 to 9 a.m. unless otherwise noted. Stay tuned for topic and speakers!

•  September 24 Reinventing Recovery: Women Connecting to Bring Addiction out of the Shadows First Lady Kathryn Burgum

•  October 25 Integrated Leadership: How Leaders Use Spiritual/Mindfulness Practice to Lead with Intention Lonnie Pederson, Jeremiah Program

•  November 19 Shut-Up Self Doubt!

Briana Scearcy, Stoneridge Software

•  December 17 Thriving: The Mindfulness of Imperfections Jessica Thomasson, Lutheran Social Services, and Tiahna Burian

•  January 21 Annual Celebration featuring a national speaker soon to be announced 3 to 5 p.m. | Delta by Marriott •  February 27 Women’s Role in Leadership: What Men and Women Need to Pay Attention to Jodi Duncan, Flint Group

Delta by Marriott

•  March 11 The Normalization of Deviance: How Workplaces Can Avoid Deceit Brett Johnson, Eide Bailly

DoubleTree by Hilton

•  March 25 Why NOT Me? Overcoming Self-Doubt Jessica Frye, AgCountry Farm Credit Services

•  April 8 Developing a Comprehensive Communication Strategy Jodi Duncan, Flint Group | Holiday Inn

•  April 28

•  July 28

•  May 26

•  August 25

•  May 13 Workforce Transformation: Navigating the New Normal

*All held at the Delta by Marriott unless otherwise noted.

•  June 23

Lynn Billing, Spherion Staffing

Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead •  June 10

•  July 8

•  August 12

*All Business Trainings take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

*All events are subject to change. Check for details, the most up-to-date information and to register.   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  9

Ag, health care, UAS and more: Highlights from the 2019 State of Technology We were excited to once again host an event in conjunction with U.S. Senator John Hoeven. The 2019 State of Technology at the Avalon Events Center highlighted the incredible tech innovations in a range of industries, all originating from right here in FMWF and North Dakota. As Hoeven put it, this event showcases our state’s doers. “We’re much more than just oil and gas and ag. North Dakota boasts a lot of technology, too” said Josh Teigen, president of Mind Shift and emcee of the event, as we opened the morning full of inspiring presenters. Seth Arndorfer, of Dakota Carrier Network, presenting sponsor, also opened with an overview of wireless capabilities, fiber and data and the role they play in the tech experiences we have in today’s world that is dependent on mobile devices. Dr. Greg Wettstein, IDfusion, covered the topic of cybersecurity, and maintained that we must train our young people in this field to remain competitive. As we all become increasingly more dependent on today’s intelligent devices, it becomes even more imperative that we can trust them. He also mentioned “the other AI”—autonomous introspection—which was created here in the valet and as devices that have the knowledge of what their intended behavior should be, and changing their behavior to follow that. “When in the history of mankind has a nation willingly allowed foreign entities with adversarial interests to inject defensive capabilities in every aspect of our lives? That’s what happening right now. And how does the U.S. compete in a world where the only barrier to dominance is ingenuity?” Wettstein posed. Aldevron is a growing company dedicated to curing disease and manufacturing medical devices, and James Brown took the stage to share an overview PRESENTING SPONSOR of the incredible innovations they’re working on—ranging from DNA plasmids that are essentially engineered and targeted bacteria trained to act as a superpower to treat disease, to gene therapy manufacturing. Aldevron has just announced expansion 10  THE BRIDGE  •  SEPTEMBER 2019

plans for a 14-acre campus in Fargo, that has just broken ground and is expected to be operational by January 2021. This new facility will be crucial to their investment in employees and maintaining their tagline of “the basis of breakthroughs.” Next, Dante Battocchi and Holly Anderson of Elinor Coatings discussed their unique materials that coat metal materials such as watercraft and airplanes to protect against corrosion and degradation. Like many at this event and around the region, labs on college campuses, public-private partnerships and the NDSU Tech Park played a large role in getting them to where they are today. Peter Chamberlain of WalkWise described how their walker attachment syncs with mobile devices and provides insight so that families and caregivers can monitor their loved ones’ quality of life and receive alerts if a walker has fallen. He also shared simple tips for how our business community can support young companies and entrepreneurs by investing, becoming a customer or talking about what they hear about these products and services. “There is a huge silver wave coming as Baby Boomers retire, and in this industry there are low barriers to entry and lots of competition, so [senior living] communities are looking to stand out, and this is an opportunity to provide quality of life as people age,” Chamberlain said. He describes their device as an instant wellness program. Jeff Young, WEX Health Inc., talked about their organization’s history and how they make health care simpler and less expensive. Their new cloudbased BI app helps people manage their health benefits and finances. Joel Honeyman of Doosan Bobcat, discussed three new trends in construction equipment: social (Uber and Amazon), industry-specific (operator shortages and customer consolidation) and technological (automotive tech spillover, low-cost cameras and cheaper power). He says the face of the industry will continue to change in the next five to 10 years. How is Bobcat preparing?


They are dedicated to innovation development by commercializing good ideas, leveraging their equipment to host new technologies like machine IQ to make job sites more productive and safer, and through their new planned downtown studio with new talent, new rules and new collaboration. One idea you’ve probably heard some chatter about is the Grand Farm. Greg Tehven, Emerging Prairie, and Barry Batcheller, Appareo, shared an overview and update of the initiative that sets out to be the first-ever autonomous farm, located south of Fargo and north of Wahpeton. “By the year 2030, we will be living with intelligent machinery in our homes,” Batcheller said. “What Steve Jobs has done with cell phones has created a social methodology that we have not considered before. Fifteen years from now, a new direction will take place with us operating in and around robotic equipment.” Always a champion of ND’s tech, Senator Hoeven also took the stage to share comments and updates from Washington. “North Dakota is a world leader in technology, and I believe in that,” Senator Hoeven said. “There’s no doubt we do that in agriculture, and we need to keep building on it. North Dakota is an energy powerhouse. But we can’t rest on what we’ve done. It’s what we’re going to do next. Technology can close that circle.” Presenting the day’s first keynote address was Dana Peterson, USDA, who discussed next-generation precision agriculture. She shared that a taskforce was created to look at agriculture and rural prosperity, which identified that e-connectivity in rural America is the central pillar to prosperity across the country, and was the catalyst for initiatives to simplify broadband access everywhere.

Some of the challenges the USDA sees on the horizon on behalf of customers lies with data privacy, understanding e-signature authorizations, and defining complementary policies. A big focus of Peterson’s presentation lied with data discovery and technological tools that they are monitoring. “North Dakota has jobs, and we want to encourage that,” she said. That’s why the USDA has a tech transfer office to provide an avenue for research discoveries to get into the hands of businesses that can use them. “What I see before me is that you are investing in the next generation of people, technologies, America and North Dakota. Thank you for your investments, your energy, attention and leadership as we take our country to the next generation,” she closed with. Rounding out the morning was Joseph Van Valen from the White House Office of Science and Technology, who talked about the three industries that they believe will change the future: drones, supersonics and automated vehicles. The FAA started requiring registrations for all drones in 2015, and since then, over 900,000 owners have registered a drone. Last year, registrations averaged 8,000 to 9,000 a month. Comparatively, only 220,000 manned aircraft are flying today. “The drone industry is new, it’s exciting, it’s growing, and it’s the future,” he said. “Our view is that drone operations are not onesize-fits-all… so regulators must create rules that work for all Americans, not just those in Silicon Valley.”

He also shared news and updates in regard to supersonic legislation, regulations and initiatives. New airplanes will be environmentally responsible, with reasonable noise levels. Van Valen says that breakthroughs in one area tend to bleed over to other areas. Therefore, supersonic testing and R&D could lead to breakthroughs in space travel and broaden our horizons on the realm of possibility. Autonomous vehicles are trickier when it comes to policy due to agency overlap and domains of regulation. Manufacturing processes are being looked at to work with the DOT and marks the beginning of a national discussion. To learn more about this, he suggests looking up “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0.” There, six principles within the federal approach are outlined. They are to prioritize safety; remain technology neutral; modernize current regulations; encourage consistent regulatory environment; prepare proactively for legislation; and protect and enhance American freedoms. “I am inspired by what America’s innovators can do when we clear regulatory barriers and set conditions for success,” he said, closing with a thank-you to North Dakota for leading the way in innovative spirit that lifts our nation. We also welcomed TechND in to name their 2019 Technology Award winners. This year’s recipients are: • Premier Technology Business: Bushel

• Technology Innovator: WEX Health Inc.

• Technology Champion: John J. Simmons,

CarbonTec Energy Corporation

Find more photos on The Chamber's Facebook page!   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  11


Chamber Announces New Board Member

The Chamber has one new face joining its board of directors for 2019-20. Welcome to newly elected board member, Peter Stenehjem of First International Bank & Trust!

We’ve also named new board appointments:

•  Tom Dawson, Dawson Insurance, has been named chair. •  Sandi Piatz, Microsoft, has been named chair elect. •  Shawn Dobberstein, Hector International Airport, has been named treasurer. •  Mark Nisbet, Xcel Energy, is the immediate past chair after serving as chair in 2018-19. •  Mike Dragosavich, Spotlight Media, will serve as the member at large. Other returning board members include:

Anne Blackhurst, Minnesota State University Moorhead; Kevin Christianson, Paces Lodging Corporation; Kyle Dorow, Essentia Health; Jodi Duncan, Flint Group; Chad Flanagan, Eide Bailly; Steve Halverson, Heartland Trust Company; Brittany Montecuollo, Sanford Health; Joanna Slominski, Mortenson; Steve Swiontek, Gate City Bank; and Jeffry Volk, Moore Engineering, Inc.

Announcing the New Committee Chairs We’re proud to announce and welcome our new 2019-20 committee members and chairs! We look forward to the amazing work we know all you will do in the coming year.

Business Training

Professionals of Color

Preference Employment Solutions

Choice Bank

Cory Holen

Trevor Mathew

Education Agribusiness Roger Reierson Flint Group


Anne Blackhurst

Moorhead State University Moorhead

Public Policy Tim Flakoll

Tri-College University

and Louise Dardis

Retired educator

Ambassadors Public Relations Jessica Broers Bremer Bank

Women Connect Leadership FMWF

Katie Hutton Eide Bailly LLP

Erica Johnsrud

Ronald McDonald House Charities

Ambassadors Member Relations Scott Berg U.S. Bank

Military Affairs Brian Shawn Midco

Young Professionals Network Danne Doering Choice Bank





Thank You,





Virtual medical exams

Thomas Jefferson In last month's issue of The Bridge on page 15, we mistakenly missed recognizing and thanking Thomas Jefferson, State Farm Insurance, for his service as outgoing chair of the Professionals of Color committee. We apologize for this error, and are extremely grateful for his leadership of this committee.

Sanford Health + Tyto Care Get care wherever you are with virtual medical exams. This next level video visit puts the exam tools in your hands, allowing a Sanford Health provider to get accurate results in real time. Receive a diagnosis and treatment plan for minor illnesses, including: • • •

Ear pain Fever Cough

• •

Cold and flu Pink eye

• • •

Nausea Bug bites Rashes

See how it works at

019038-00561 7/19

coming soon!

fall 2019

new location 3324 47th St S, Fargo

In the meantime, stop by and visit us anytime at 2224 Main Ave, Fargo!   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  13


Summer fun at August Business After Hours

We had a great time at last month’s Business After Hours at the Avalon! This event debuted two pre-event networking sessions and a skillz contest, where one person walked away with $200!

Thank you to Andrea Morrow, Flint Group, and Heather Ostrowski, Gate City Bank, for hosting a special session geared toward Business After Hours vendors and attendees, respectively.

(above) Heather Ostrowski (right) Andrea Morrow



About the Games of Skillz At each BAH event, for every registration, The Chamber will donate $1 to a monthly prize. Registrants will compete in a monthly game (last month’s was a football toss), in which the winner walks away with half of the total amount. The other half goes to a final cash pool in June, when we award the total dollar amount accumulated.

Save the date for next month! October 17

4 to 6 p.m. | Hilton Garden Inn Register at

Sponsored by

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



Kovash Marine was founded in 2004 in Glyndon by Pat Kovash. After its first year, Pat decided to relocate and moved into the current facility in Moorhead. Kovash Marine operated exclusively as a service shop for its first nine years, and in 2013 took on the Warrior Boat line. Today, they continue to carry Warrior Boats as well as Skeeter Boats and Manitou Pontoons and are a Mercury, Suzuki and Yamaha authorized dealer. Kovash Marine is the Midwest’s premier re-power and re-manufacture center for outboard motors and carries the largest inventory of both new and used outboards in the area. Four full-time mechanics work year-round and never run out of work. Kovash Marine has built a reputation for fixing the tough ones, thus the motto, “When experience matters.”

What makes the business unique? We run our service department differently than other shops around town. We have our technicians talk directly to the customer so there is nothing lost in translation throughout the repair process. We are one of the few dealerships in the area that has an owner with 35 years of marine experience. We take a lot of pride in customizing our Warrior Boats. We have a graphic design team that creates custom graphics, and we lead the way in ordering custom color boats that few dealers are willing to take the risk and try.

What initiatives are you focusing on right now? We have been doing a lot of work with the Moorhead Business Association (MBA) to aid in building relationships and strengthening the Moorhead business community as well as relationships between business leaders and city staff. Also, I have personally taken on the redevelopment of First Avenue in Moorhead by purchasing multiple land parcels and working with developers to change the face of First Avenue. My goal is that in five years, we will not recognize it with all of the economic development that we are going to accomplish. Changing the perception that people have of Moorhead has been a big priority of mine. We have come a long way in the last 10 years, but we must realize that it is a job that is never finished.

What do you like best about doing business here? “We are too little to be big and we’re too big to be little.” Whatever job we do, the word will travel. It is a great community to engage with because our area leaders make themselves readily available to people like myself and they value the input and experiences we have.

What is one thing you most want others to know? We take our customer service very seriously. If you have an issue, we will go out of our way to solve it. Our reputation is one of the most valuable things we have, and keeping it that way is a priority no matter the cost.

What’s your best business tip? Always respect your employees. They are your single biggest asset. None of our accomplishments would happen without them. Also be engaged in the community in which you are doing business. Giving back is important, whether it is time or money. Pat is the longest serving member on the MBA Board of Directors and is a commissioner on Moorhead’s EDA as a representative of the MBA. He is also on the MCCARA Review Board and the West Central Initiative Board. I like to follow my dad’s motto, ‘Always leave it better than you found it.’

Fast Facts Total employees: 10 Year founded: 2004 Office locations: 1 Awards/certifications: Warrior Boats Dealer of the Year for 2016, 2017, and 2018. Manitou Pontoons Rookie of the Year Award 2018. Skeeter Boats Outstanding Dealer Award 2018. • One out of every five boats that leaves the Warrior Boats plant is sold by Kovash Marine. • We are one of the main sponsors of Fish Addictions TV hosted by Mike Olson on FSN. • We are a regional dealer. We have sold boats into areas as far as Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana and Canada.

Photo of Pat from Hunters Helping Heroes "Take a Vet Fishing" trip

—Pat Kovash, Owner/Operator   FMWFCHAMBER.COM  •  15


Fast, Fresh, Flavorful Meals

It’s not always easy to make healthy meal choices when living a busy lifestyle. Thankfully, that’s where Power Plate Meals steps in. Starting just three years ago with a single West Fargo store, husband-wife duo Seth and Haylee Houkom have built a successful business offering ready-to-eat, chef-cooked meals that are healthy, fresh, and packed full of flavor. Shortly after starting the business, a fire destroyed all equipment and inventory in their rented kitchen space. They turned the situation around by converting a former Domino’s into a combined commercial kitchen and retail store. Eight weeks later, that store opened and sold out of the 1,200 meals made that day. Now with eight retail stores across North Dakota and Minnesota, they employ over 70 people, filling a niche with an innovative concept for the region. Power Plate Meals offers a rotating menu of more than 80 delicious meals, fresh juices and desserts. The average meal costs under $8.99 and is under 400 calories. Customers can stop in any of their locations to pick up meals on the go, or order online and have a week’s worth of meals delivered to their door.

Today, they prepare and sell about 10,000 meals per week and have reached a high of 14,000. All meals are made in their state-of-the-art commercial kitchen in West Fargo. Quality is of utmost importance for all their meals. One step to ensuring that is by having all employees go through extensive training to practice proper food safety and follow FDA guidelines. They also constantly work to improve packaging, delivery methods, and online ordering. Embracing today’s e-commerce environment, they’ve developed an online process for customers to order from the same menu that the retail stores serve each week. Online orders are shipped with UPS each week to customers with orders of four meals or more right to their door. Currently, Power Plate Meals has shipped meals to customers around the nation, and continues to

Find them online!




expand this part of the business with a goal of shipping 50+ boxes of meals per week in the near future. Competition can be fierce in the food industry, and Power Plate Meals acknowledges the rise in home-delivered meal kits. They maintain that their high standards, taste and convenience are what set them apart. Seth and Haylee are proud to live and work in Fargo. They make a point to invest in their community and contribute to the economic growth of the region. They give back by donating frozen meals to Great Plains Food Bank. In 2017, they donated more than 6,000 meals. In fact, they say that their mission is to inspire change by making healthy eating accessible for everyone, one meal at a time. With their eyes on growth and dedication to customers and quality, Power Plate Meals can now add Business of the Year to their list of achievements.


THE OWNERS: Seth, Anthony, Al and Haylee

…their high standards, taste and convenience are what set them apart.

The average meal costs under $8.99 and is under 400 calories.

The Company Philosophy At Power Plate Meals, each meal is a reflection of our dedicated team, who sources the highest quality ingredients, and packs every meal with unmatched flavor. Combine those ingredients and you get the best tasting, healthiest meals on the market.



A look into the Grand Farm: Eggs & Issues recap


Agriculture took the stage at Eggs & Issues in August as leaders on the Grand Farm Initiative took a deep dive into the project. As Co-Founder and Executive Director of Emerging Prairie, Greg Tehven, kicked off the event, he reiterated the question Barry Batcheller, president and CEO of Appareo, posed at 1 Million Cups in March 2017—what is our region’s major? Setting the stage for the conversation, Tehven noted our region’s strong roots in agriculture and our area’s potential. The idea of Grand Farm is a fully autonomous farm from beginning of the supply chain to the end. Jake Joraanstad, Myriad Mobile/Bushel, spoke to the digitization of agriculture and what the industry

currently looks like. Bushel, an agriculture-based app, demonstrates where agriculture and technology intersect to maximize efficiency. Kevin Biffert, Fargo Automation, spoke to the makerspace for the project. Biffert donated 45 acres of land to this project to be used for research, testing, education, etc. Tehven explained that “this is the physical space that will capture the imagination of the world.” Taya Spelhaug from the Workforce Development Council and TechSpark Manager at Microsoft, spoke to the workforce piece of the conversation, explaining that automation is part of the fourth industrial revolution. Noting that the Grand Farm isn’t an isolated project requiring automation, Spelhaug said that every

industry is affected by technology. She went on to explain how typically in an industrial revolution, more jobs are produced than lost. Tehven wrapped up the presentation, speaking to the policy piece of the project. Tehven touched on what he considers a unique access point for us, which is committed elected officials. This is critical in the future of the Grand Farm project as many local, state and national policies will need to change in order for the project to see success. In closing, Tehven spoke to the purpose of this project, stating, “It is our chance to feed humanity and improve the human condition.” Audience members had various questions ranging from the current innovation trends to possible policy solutions.

Hundreds stop in to Joes for G.I.s On August 22, The Chamber and our Military Affairs committee hosted Joes for G.I.s at the Fargo Air Museum. This military lunch fundraiser brought in hundreds of community members showing their support for our area’s military while enjoying a sloppy joe lunch. The event kicked off with the Fargo VFW Post 762 Color Guard and three NDSU Gold Star Marching Band students singing the National Anthem. All proceeds from the event went to The Chamber’s Honor Star program and the ND National Guard Foundation. Visit our website to learn more about these great local causes. Thank you to our Presenting Sponsor, US Bank, as well as our Military Affairs program sponsors and event sponsors that made this event possible.




Beverage Wholesalers | Cash Wise | Costco | Family Fare | Frito Lay | Pan-O-Gold | Sam's Club


EGGS & ISSUES Tuesday, September 10

7:30 to 9 a.m. | Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead

Rupak Gandhi Brandon Lunak Fargo Public Schools Moorhead Area Public Schools

Beth Slette West Fargo Public Schools

K–12 Update with our A+ Superintendents Our Fargo Moorhead West Fargo community has always been known for providing great K-12 education to our children, and it’s important to hear from those who lead our districts. Join us for this Eggs & Issues to hear from the superintendents of our three area school districts, as each shares updates on their district and looks ahead to what we can expect in the future. We will learn more about how the massive growth our community is seeing is being handled and how each district plans to continue to provide a highquality education to our students as enrollment continues to grow. This lively discussion will also include time for questions from the audience. As always, we’ll have coffee and conversation flowing and hot breakfast served!

REGISTRATION includes breakfast

Tuesday, October 1  | 7:30 to 9 a.m. —NEW LOCATION DoubleTree by Hilton & West Fargo Conference Center

Carey Fry

Workforce Manager Job Service ND

Thomas Hill

VP Community Impact, United Way of Cass-Clay

Kelsey Kasten HR Manager, Cardinal IG

Matthew Peterson Fargo Asst. Director of Transportation MATBUS

The Route to Removing Barriers for Employment: United Way Workforce Transportation Project With nearly 20,000 jobs, the Fargo Industrial Park is an important driver for the local, regional and statewide economy. More than 40 businesses manufacture and create goods that are exported all over the globe, and the need to fill more positions is needed to keep this economic engine running. One consistent barrier was the lack of reliable public transportation, which hadn’t been available since the 1990s…until now. Through an innovative collaborative effort among United Way of Cass-Clay, MATBUS, the City of Fargo and private businesses and investors, an on-demand bus service via TapRide technology launched in August. Join us to learn about the genesis of this collaboration and how United Way is working collaboratively to increase access and remove barriers so more people can access good jobs, and employers can fill their workforce needs. As always, we’ll have coffee and conversation flowing, and hot breakfast served!

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



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 NA



Let our experts help you custom-design an employee benefits package that works for you today and helps you get to where you want to be tomorrow. Let’s get started on your employee benefits plan.

Jo Hatfield Fargo • 701.282.1153

Mitch Kudrna Fargo • 701.282.1446


What Would Bill Murray Do? How to

Wednesday, September 11 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Courtyard by Marriott, Moorhead

A Roadmap to Effective Teamwork in Today’s Workplace

infuse spontaneity and joyfulness into your world to help yourself and others thrive

Nicole Turchin Kurtis Karn Some believe the world CoreLink Administrative Discovery Benefits, has lost its sense of Solutions a WEX company  kurtiskarn humor in the workplace.    /nicoleturchin Some believe that predictability and routine are the keys to getting the most out of their life. You know who doesn’t believe this? Bill Murray. So, what can Bill Murray teach us? A heck of a lot! It’s really, really simple to have fun in our professional lives (and outside of the office—duh!), make those we see every day feel a little better about themselves, and create the confidence in ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones and do the things we never thought we could do!

REGISTRATION includes lunch

Building Cohesive Teams:

Wednesday, October 9 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

(Note this is a special extended two-hour training)

Holiday Inn Fargo

In today’s high-paced and diverse workplace, many leaders, teams and organizations find it difficult to effectively work together and execute on their projects and strategic plans. This workshop Ole Rygg builds on Patrick Lencioni’s Five Corporate Elements LLC Behaviors of Cohesive Teams.  olerygg In this interactive one-hour session, you will receive a roadmap and practical advice on how to improve organizational results by building truly cohesive and effective teams in your business.

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

These events qualify for 1.5 CPE credits through SHRM

A LOOK AT last month


Thank you to all that attended the most recent Business Training! SPEAKER:

Erik Hatch, Hatch Realty TOPIC:

Mastering teams and working with others


TAK Music Venue, Dilworth



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


performance review.


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Let’s talk. Choose your banker at

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That’s what we do for you! J & M Printing has been helping clients for over 50 years and we are ready to do the same for you. Call up Rich to get ideas, get a quote and propel your business!


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Reinventing Recovery:

Tuesday, September 24

Women Connecting to Bring Addiction out of the Shadows

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

Addiction is a disease that can ravage the lives of those suffering from its hand. Its effect goes beyond the addicted though, as family members, friends, co-workers Kathryn Burgum First Lady and managers all can feel the North Dakota effects of someone facing their  firstladynd battle. But there is hope, and the key lies in eliminating the stigma by simply talking about it. At this special session, North Dakota’s own first lady stops by to share her own powerful story. Through her leadership, she will humanize these challenges and inspire innovation, hope and collaboration to end stigma and promote a culture of recovery. Charity of the month: Fargo Cass Public Health Harm Reduction Center & Gladys Ray Shelter— Consider bringing cans of coffee, hand warmers, socks, hats, deodorant, razors, small toothpaste, bus passes, flashlights, or tote bags, to donate to them.


A LOOK AT last month

Integrated Leadership:

How to Use Mindfulness Practices to Lead with Intention The sheer frenetic pace of our lives and global landscape in our work contributes to the complexity of leading well. Leading in the 21st century must address the human need for connectedness. Doing so has the potential to empower our individual and collective future.

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

Lonnie Pederson Executive Director Jeremiah Program


This session will explore the attributes of Midwest leaders and has the potential to inform your leadership practice from the inside out. Learn to build the case for viewing life and livelihood as integrated elements; nurture the attributes of integrity, respect, compassion; develop HR and policy implications to build connectedness to organizational mission, vision and values; and consider initiatives that respect each employees' unique needs. Charity of the month: Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley— Please consider bringing boxes of Kleenex to donate to them.

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

Thank you to all that attended July’s Women Connect!

Friday, October 25

Register at or by calling 218.233.1100.

WOMEN CONNECT making a difference

TOPIC: #RisingAbove: Becoming women who stop criticizing and start mentoring LOCATION:

DoubleTree by Hilton, West Fargo


CHARITY OF THE MONTH: Jeremiah Program ITEMS COLLECTED: 96 art supplies


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




Carrie Brimhall, Minnesota State Community & Technical College

Jill Andera

Sterling Management

Ty Day

Jessie Azure

Beyond Realty

Naomi Disrud

Abbey Benson

EagleRidge Development

Amber Ertelt

Jenna Bixler

Wanzek Construction

Darin Feir

Wells Fargo Bank

Houston Engineering

Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead

The Chamber

James Hand

Chris Helmick

Robert Hoffman

Jessica Jackson

Ashley Manly

Daniel Macintosh

Brandon Oye

Bruce Powlish

Construction Engineers

Charles Lang

Fargo Police Department

Michelle Larson

Sanford Health

Discovery Benefits

McKenzy Olson

Rammie Olson

EPIC Companies

A.J. Sitzer

Union Bank Fargo


Doosan Bobcat

Limelight Builders

Bremer Bank

Moore Engineering

Steve Sjoberg

Erin Stegman

Cass County Electric Cooperative Inc.



Eide Bailly LLP

Gate City Bank

Machelle Velaski

Park Company Realtors


Meet the 2019–20 Leadership class Leadership FMWF started our 2019–20 year off with a bang on August 8 at the Fargo Country Club. The day was filled with activities to allow the participants to get to know each other. Mitch Johnson again facilitated communication style training, which has become a LFMWF orientation staple. We look forward to a great program!


Evan Balko

Concordia College

Sarah Fuchs

Matt Bushard Bell Bank

Kristin Gille

Lindsey Cernik

Border States Electric

Megan Grote

Anne Carlsen Center

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota

Dabbert Custom Homes

Hayley Johnson

Brian Kingsley


Scottie Knollin

CoreLink Administrative Solutions

Kristina Martz

Ashley Mitchell

Mandy Ohman-Zastre

Kilbourne Group

Cardinal IG

Amanda Reil

YWCA Cass Clay

Anna Sather

NDSU Career Center

YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties

Jacob Whiting

Stefan Wills

First International Bank & Trust



Midwest Radio of FM

Rasmussen College

Anne Schmaltz

Paces Lodging Corporation

Jack Yakowicz

Office Sign Company








POC Network Before 9

Jazz Reception

Thursday, September 26

Thursday, October 17

7:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Reception at 6:30 p.m., Performance at 7:30 p.m.

Rise, shine and get your networking in before 9! Join the Professionals of Color for our first morning networking event before you start your work day! Grow your professional network while getting your morning caffeine boost. Come when you can, leave when you have to!

Join POC for a pre-performance reception leading up to Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at MSUM’s Hansen Theatre!

Red River Coffee, 2600 52nd Avenue South, Fargo

5 Reasons to Join

1.  Connect with like-minded leaders, go-getters and big thinkers.

2.  Attend professional development and networking events.

Minnesota State University Moorhead - Hansen Theatre

Stay tuned for more information about this exciting event.

3.  Learn about the great things

happening in our community.

4.  Grow professionally and personally. 5.  Give back to our community through service opportunities.

Program cost per year: $45 Chamber members $75 non-members For more information about upcoming events, visit

HIGHLIGHTS from August


Last month, the Professionals of Color toured the Science Museum of Minnesota’s "RACE: Are We So Different?" traveling exhibit at MSUM. We also got to hear talks from campus leaders and participate in discussions around race and identity.




Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota  |  GOLDMARK Property Management  | Midco


Team up

for success




We make human resources easy

nVision focuses on envisioning the future of technology while bringing together leaders from the region to collaborate, strategize and discuss new and hot topics in technology. Register at:

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

Follow #nVision18 on Twitter for more updates leading up to nVision!

64839_10_NCI_nVision_Register_3-625x4-75_FMWF_Ad.indd 1

8/8/19 4:26 PM


Back to school means back to business! As area schools are getting back into the swing of things, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is gearing up for another year of helping budding entrepreneurs bring their big ideas to life, and we need your help in promoting this opportunity to students in our community! The YEA! 2019–20 poster now going up around area schools

— Here’s what you need to know. Who? Students in grades 6 to 12.

What? YEA! uses a project-based curriculum taught by local

entrepreneurs who serve as instructors. Students will brainstorm ideas, work with mentors to write a business plan and pitch their ideas to a panel of investors in an event similar to ABC’s Shark Tank!

When? YEA! meets October through May

on Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m.

Where? Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and North Dakota State University.

Why? In addition to graduating from the program with a business that they are passionate about, students leave YEA! with stronger communication skills, the ability to collaborate more effectively with others and can generate creative solutions to problems. Students also develop a network of business professionals to leverage as they apply for jobs and internships.


How? Applications can be found


Cost $395. Great news! We have scholarships available for qualifying students.

For more information, or if you would like to nominate a student, please contact Katie Ralston at or 218.359.0511.




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 NA



Keep your workforce and bottom line healthy As the largest network of occupational medicine clinics in the region, Sanford OccMed makes it easy to keep your workforce healthy and productive. We partner with you to design a plan that benefits both you and your employees. • • • •

No contract required Clear, timely online reporting Open communication with providers Free seminars to fine-tune your safety program

Call (888) 600-2378 for a free consultation to learn how we can improve care for your team.

039048-00160 7/19


New Member Social

Off the Clock

Brewtus Brickhouse @ Osgood 4400 Clubhouse Drive South, Fargo

Brewtus Brickhouse @ Osgood 4400 Clubhouse Drive South, Fargo

Tuesday, September 17 4:30 to 5:15 p.m.

New to YPN or thinking about joining? Then this event is for you! Connect with new and current members, learn more about the program and all the ways that you can be involved. Don’t forget to stick around for Off the Clock immediately following.*

Tuesday, September 17 5:15 to 7:30 p.m.

Join YPN for our monthly networking happy hour at Brewtus Brickhouse in the Clubhouse at Osgood Golf Course! 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)! *

*must be 21 to attend Off the Clock and New Member Social events. Check for details on these September events.

Lattes with Leaders: Steve Swiontek September 18 7:30 to 9 a.m.

Four Points by Sheraton, 5064 23rd Avenue South, Fargo

Start your day with networking and learning from a prestigious local business leader, all while getting your morning caffeine boost. This quarter's Lattes with Leaders welcomes The Chamber’s 2019 Legacy Leader, Steve Swiontek of Gate City Bank! Steve will share his story, life lessons, and take questions. Networking begins at 7:30; speaker starts at 8. Regular brewed coffee will be provided.

One to Watch: Justin Gustofson

Justin Gustofson gets to enjoy a different day every day at work. Most are spent researching businesses, making connections, showing properties and facilitating sales and leases. He is working toward earning qualifications to earn his CCIM designation. In a job centered on relationships, he knows that you can’t just work for today; rather, he works for years down the road.

Justin Gustofson “I feel that YPN has helped start successful relationships with individuals Commercial Sales & Leasing looking to do business together, as well as connect with people of the Property Resources Group same age demographic,” he said. I believe it is important for others to get involved with YPN to expand their network and understand our growing community.”

Nominate the next One to Watch To nominate the next awesome YP you know who goes above and beyond to make a positive impact in their workplace and our community, visit or email with the nominee’s name and company and a brief explanation why you think they should be YPN’s next One to Watch.

Justin is also a member of the Civil Air Patrol, is active with the West Fargo Exchange Club and recently started a group to help with United Way’s Day of Caring. He was born and raised in West Fargo and says he can’t find a reason to leave. Outside the office, he enjoys spending time at the lake with family and friends, boating and surfing as long as he can remember. “Before commercial real estate, I was very active in aviation as a flight instructor at the Jet Center,” he said. “To this day, I still love flying and aviation. I also enjoy helping out doing construction as my dad is a local contractor.” Personal goals include accomplishing large projects around the house and traveling more.

HIGHLIGHTS from August


Who screams for ice cream? YPN did last month! Thank you to the Moorhead Dairy Queen for hosting us for a fun in the sun ice cream social and Off the Clock. Thank you to Beans for hosting our morning buzz. We also got to tour one of our great local businesses—thank you to BNG Team for hosting us in your brand-new building and showing off your awesome new space. And in July, we had a fun ‘tee party’ at Moorhead Country Club where YPNers got to practice our putting skills.



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!

Arthritis Foundation of North Dakota a

Primacy Strategy Group p

ealth Care Services H The Arthritis Foundation is boldly pursuing a cure for America's #1 cause of disability while championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections.

overnment - Relations G P rimacy Strategy Group is proud to represent a wide range of corporations, small businesses, trade associations and nonprofits throughout the country, and especially those with regional interests that cross state lines. They are equipped to help organizations advance policy initiatives through multiple state legislatures, work with local governments and state agencies, or build grassroots support for an advocacy agenda at any level of government.

Four Star Ninja Academy f itness Centers F Four Star Ninja Academy is ninja warrior-style training facility for the whole family. Using movements that come naturally - such as running, jumping and climbing - adults will be challenged on the full-size ninja obstacles, while children can learn new skills on scaled-down obstacles. They have 20+ ninja obstacles to bring fitness to the next level. Their gym offers training classes, competitions and special events. A large room can be reserved for private parties. At their gym they follow four core values— Strength, Courage, Commitment and Confidence—which will provide you with the tools and motivation to improve yourself both mentally and physically to become the next Ninja warrior!

Friends of the Children f ocial Services S Friends of the Children is a chapter that will pair children facing the greatest obstacles from Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo with a salaried, professional mentor, called a Friend, from kindergarten through high school graduation - 12+ years. No matter what. Beginning this fall 2019, they will invite children whose families have faced significant challenges like homelessness, substance use, or foster care - to join the program. Friends Fargo-Moorhead will partner with local community-based organizations to invite children whose families have faced significant challenges like homelessness, substance use, or foster care to join the program.

Holsen Home Automation & Solar h Contractors - Energy Management Holsen Home Automation & Solar offers residential & business solar installation, audio video, surveillance camera systems and automation.

MarbleLife of Fargo m ome Care Services H MarbleLife of Fargo provides restoration, repair and maintenance of any hard-type surfaces. They mainly work with marble, granite, terrazzo, vinyl, grout, tile, slate and concrete.

Rustic Hospitality, LLC dba Rustica Eatery & Tavern d estaurants R ustica is located in downtown Moorhead. They boast a cozy R neighborhood atmosphere in the historic 1898 Kassenborg Block building, just east of the Main Avenue bridge. The Eatery features a rustic ambiance with exposed brick creating a warm, comfortable dining experience. Executive Chef Micah Leitel is dedicated to offering high quality, seasonally focused products and has created the diverse menu based on traditional American fare with European influences. The Tavern’s wood burning pizza oven and copper beer taps spawn a more casual bar atmosphere. The innovative pizza menu is fun and the pizzas are exceptional. Parking is available on the street, as well as in the parking ramp southwest of the building.

Sanford Veterans Square Clinic s edical - Clinics M Sanford Veterans Square Clinic is a new, friendly neighborhood clinic in Fargo. They offer family medicine and pediatric care for individuals and families. They’re conveniently located at the corner of two major streets in Fargo: 40th Avenue South and Veterans Boulevard. Stop in to visit their new building and see how they can help you live happier and healthier.

Solid Comfort Inc.

s Manufacturers The company still makes high-quality, North-Americancrafted hospitality case goods on-time and on-budget with an unmatched customer service experience. Sustained steady growth is built on a sterling reputation and the vision of owner/ manager Jason Larkin, company-founder Chip Larkin’s son. Jason models the same Midwestern work ethic and dedication to superior products with solid service as his father where value doesn’t mean compromising your standards.

Want to find all our members? Search our online directory at 32  THE BRIDGE  •  SEPTEMBER 2019

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 We want to share your good news (for free!) just because you are a valued member. Capital Credit Union has been named North Dakota’s best credit union in a nationwide survey conducted by Forbes and market research firm Statista. There are 35 credit unions with 229,182 members across North Dakota. For the survey, more than 25,000 customers in the U.S. were surveyed for their opinions on their current and former banking relationships. Financial institutions were scored on overall recommendations and satisfaction, as well as trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice. The City of Fargo has been recognized as one of the top 10 best-run cities in the United States for 2019 in a study conducted by WalletHub. Furthermore, Fargo’s “Quality of City Services” rank was the sixth best of the 150 most populated cities in the nation. Several quality standards were measured in the study and Fargo excelled in multiple categories, earning distinctions for its educational opportunities and its economy. Earlier this year, WalletHub named Fargo one of the six happiest cities to live in America. Fargo has also won the 2019 Most Educated City Award in North Dakota from Insurify. Using the 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. The city with the highest average score per state was then selected. Low-fare carrier, Frontier Airlines announced new, non-stop service from Fargo’s Hector International Airport to Phoenix. Service is seasonal, frequency and times are subject to change, so check for the most updated schedule. “We’re thrilled to see Frontier Airlines offering non-stop service to the Phoenix market,” Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of Hector International Airport said. “Our travelers will appreciate an additional warm weather option during Fargo’s cold months and the non-stop flight offers another quick and convenient solution for travel schedules.”

Houston Engineering, Inc.’s project for Minot Downtown Infrastructure Improvements was selected as a recipient of the American Public Works Association’s 2019 Public Works Project of the Year Award for infrastructure projects publicly developed, owned and maintained, that promote excellence in construction management and administration. These awards recognize the alliance between the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant, and their cooperative achievements. Spectrum Aeromed was awarded North Dakota’s 2018 Exporter of the Year by the North Dakota Trade Office. Based out of Fargo’s Hector International Airport, Spectrum Aeromed sells life-saving equipment around the globe. They were presented the award in recognition of their expansion to a total of 23 international markets and ongoing commitment to innovation, as well as their sponsorship of the Association of Critical Care Transport. Weather Modification International announced that the University of North Dakota received a contract of just over $1 million to conduct research on behalf of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in an effort to improve the understanding of thunderstorms. The research combines aircraft measurements and observations with the United States Navy’s Mid-Course Doppler Radar to develop better cloud models. Cape Experiment 2019 combines strengths of UND WMI and to advance cloud modeling and forecasting on a global scale.

American Airlines also announced plans for growth with the addition of four new winter seasonal routes, including launching service from Hector International Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor. With the new routes, customers from across the country will have greater access to the warm Phoenix winter and have the opportunity to connect to 86 destinations including international destinations like London. The new routes will be available for sale starting July 29 with flights beginning on December 18.


MEMBER NEWS: PEOPLE Apex Engineering Group

Lelan Bosch, Electrical Engineer Maddy Huizenga, Marketing Assistant Corey Johnson, Civil Engineer - Water Alex Klug, Survey Technician Shaun Lafferty, Electrical Engineering Technician

Appareo Systems

Jacob Crestik, Production Supervisor John Evans, Business Operations Manager Justin Hanson, Engineer I, Electrical Engineering Robby Lanes, Procurement Contract Specialist Nick Laney, Team Lead Engineer, Web Software Cole Mehring, Engineer II, Custom Component Design Brent Mitchell, Team Lead, Backend Software Design Dan Schwartz, Team Lead, Mobile Software Design

Cornerstone Bank





Deneen Axtman, SVP/Chief Operating Officer























Eide Bailly LLP

Holly Amundson, Audit Senior Associate Erica Anderson, Audit Senior Associate Michael Bigwood, Audit Senior Associate Carmen Borgen, Tax Senior Associate Liz Kinzer, Audit Senior Associate Allyson Meyer, Tax Senior Associate Dylan Offutt, Audit Senior Associate Lauren Ott, Audit Associate Travis Raguse, Business Outsourcing &   Strategy Senior Associate Sally Sterk, Audit Senior Associate








Gunderson’s Jewelry


Raven Jensen, Sales Professional Kirstin Viland, Jeweler



















































































Great Plains Food Bank

Melissa Sobolik, President





















Jason Jacobson, Senior Creative Strategist

Impact Dakota

Paul Lucy, Business Development Advisor




Aaron Forsberg, Electrical Power Engineer Adam Hofland, Electrical Power Engineer Austin Jasmer, OSP Designer


KW Inspire Realty

Jeffrey Lorsung, Realtor









NetCenter Technologies

Todd Swenson, Account Manager

Red River Commodities

Mike Kotzbacher, Senior Vice President Curtis Kuntz, Vice President Todd Mondry, VP of Engineering and Operations

Spotlight Media

Dan Slaubaugh, Editorial Assistant




















Sterling Management, LLC Jill Andera, Controller Erika Haataja, Controller Cellina Rufty, Investor Relations & Communications Coordinator


Super Studio

Tanner Bjorlie, Production Artist Jacob Erickstad, Production Artist




















the RLE group

Bailey Cochrane, Student Intern - Architecture Sarah Hoekstra, Designer - Interiors Chandler Ryfiak, Designer - Interiors


The Village Family Service Center

Cole Brunner, VBI Client Services Associate Jeral Croaker, Financial Counselor Beth Mohan, Chief Financial Officer Kathryn Tidd, Therapist, Moorhead

Town & Country Credit Union COCHRANE







Tony Walz, Branch Manager








MEMBER NEWS: PEOPLE Western Products, Inc.

Jan Bailly, Design Consultant & Sales Samantha Geiser, Marketing Intern Rosella Haugen, Job Coordinator/Scheduler Bailey Kemper, Production Intern Kyle Pilger, IT Intern Cameron Sorrells, Marketing Intern Bradley Williamson, Service Coordinator









Wold Johnson, P.C.

Eric B. Thomas, Associate Attorney

OTHER NEWS Christopher Mattison, an engineer at KLJ, an engineering firm, has earned his professional engineering license (PE) in North Dakota.

Did you know that we run news announcements from all our members in every newsletter, at no charge? It’s just one perk of your Chamber membership! Whether for a new hire or exciting news about your company, we want to share our members’ milestones with our readers and the community. v

Just send your news to us, and we’ll publish it in the next available edition of The Bridge. Note: Due to our publishing cycle, all news is run two months out from when it was received.

How to submit Email your company or people news to us at or visit

Business solutions to improve performance and productivity. Check Out the Affinity Plan, available only to FMWF Chamber Members!



• Employee Assistance Program • Workplace Trainings • Consulting Services • Crisis Management Services • 800-627-8220


TrueNorth Steel is a family-owned business that has provided custom steel based solutions across the U.S. for 75 years. Services include structural steel fabrication, tanks for agricultural and oil field applications, corrugated steel pipe, drainage solutions, and bridges. Back in 2016, Ole Rommesmo, Jr., the owner of the company, attended a four-day Master Grad Discovery Leadership (MGDL) training in Houston, Texas. The program changed him personally, and he knew he needed to incorporate the program within the culture at TrueNorth Steel. This training is life changing as it gives TrueNorth Steel employees the tools to be stronger leaders as well as build upon their personal lives to better themselves. This is truly a company that not only says they value their employees, but live it each and every day.

The main contributor of success at TrueNorth Steel has been their ability to build strong teams. Each year, TrueNorth Steel grants employees the opportunity to attend a two-day Game Changer training that focuses on teaching people to positively transform every relationship and situation by accepting personal responsibility for their professional, relational, financial and physical wellness. To date, 231 employees have gone through this Game Changer program as well as 44 employees to the four day MGDL training in Houston with all expenses paid.

TrueNorth Steel is also involved in the FM community, hosting campaigns to collect donations for Toys for Tots, the Great Plains Food Bank, and ring the bells for the Salvation Army kettles. Their partnership with the United Way of Cass Clay has allowed their employees to easily make donations to help our community and partake in events such as Day of Caring and the school supply drive. At the company picnic this past September, the leadership team participated in “Pie in the Face,” where employees could donate to receive a pie to throw in the face of a team member. All proceeds from this event were donated to the United Way.


• West Fargo ND • Fargo ND • Mandan ND • Blaine MN • Huron SD • Rapid City SD • Casper WY • Missoula MT • Billings MT

PHOTOS (above)  United Way Pie in the Face (first row)  Dave and Sue bell ringing, United Way donation volunteers (second row)  Toys for Tots, Great Plains food drive

COMPANY AWARDS/ CERTIFICATIONS Prairie Business 50 Best Places to Work 2018



702 Data Center Grand opening 2911 Fiechtner Drive South, Fargo

Becoming Balanced, P.C. Grand opening 3125 41st Street South, Fargo

Fargo Mattress Grand opening 610 Main Avenue, Fargo

Barks & Recreation Grand opening 5126 51st Avenue South, Fargo

Buffalo Wings and Rings Grand opening 695 32nd Avenue East, West Fargo locations/west_fargo

Fargo VFW Post762 Remodel 202 Broadway North, Fargo

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

For more information or to schedule, contact Mickayla at 218.359.0517 or, or fill out the form at *One ribbon cutting per year per member


The Village / First Step Recovery Relocation 2701 12th Avenue South, Fargo


Four Star Ninja Academy Grand Opening 4410 18th Avenue South, Fargo

FRS Works Expansion 1021 Center Avenue, Moorhead

Freedom Resource Center 30-year anniversary 2701 Ninth Avenue South, Fargo

Kitchen Tune-Up Grand Opening

Ambassadors hit the green!

MEBULBS Relocation 4820 23rd Avenue South Suite 200, Fargo

Last July, our ambassadors took time out of their busy schedules to enjoy a beautiful day of golfing. The annual ambassador golf social took place at Rose Creek Golf Course. Thank you to them for hosting our group, and thanks to all those that volunteer on this committee. It is so fun to work with (and have some fun with) you!

New Life Center Remodel 1902 Third Avenue North, Fargo


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

Two-time Super Bowl champion and five-time NFL MVP



19 V O #V Tuesday, November 5  |  Noon to 1:30 p.m. Sanford Health Athletic Complex Arena seats are going fast; register now at or by calling 218.233.1100.

Why Manning? Every year, we ask who you want to see as the next Voices of Vision speaker. Every year, Peyton Manning is near the top of the list. He’s funny, he’s accomplished, he’s iconic, and he has so much to share with an audience. Join us for this unforgettable event.

Manning knows how to build successful teams and overcome adversity. He shares his real-world tips on how you can adapt to change and come out on top. We’ll hear how he creates a winning team culture and leads with passion.