The Bridge: September 2020

Page 1

September 2020

vol. 24 no. 1 VOL. 24 NO. 1

Chamber Choice 2020 WINNERS


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Celebrating our 10th anniversary Statement on Diversity & a new education series

6 9 12 20

10 14 16 18 22 24 26 28

Letter from Leadership CHAMBER NEWS

New Faces for 2020–21 Chamber Events ADVOCACY

A look inside the Happy Hooligans UPDATES

Programs & Events Updates MEMBER NEWS

New Members Company News People News MEMBER STORIES

Member Spotlight: Unseen

Save the dates! 2020 –21 calendar of events

Leadership FMWF: Meet the newest class

Find The Chamber online @fmwfchamber

For past issues of The Bridge:

ADVERTISER INDEX Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND 2  Boulger Funeral Home 25 Cole Papers, Inc. 24  Cornerstone Bank 15  Essentia Health 24  First International Bank & Trust 16 H2M back cover  Indigo Signworks 17  Knight Printing 25  Network Center 23  Pro Resources 17 ReadiTech 25  Sanford Health Plan 1  The Village 25   Vaaler Insurance 25


CONTENTS podcast

THE CHAMBER CONNECTION New episodes now online:  Episode 3: City Commissioners Arlette Preston and Mandy George In both of our major North Dakota metro cities, two women were elected to their respective City Commissions in the June primaries. Join us as we talk about their experience running for office in the midst of a global pandemic.

Episode 4: Diversity & Inclusion with Colette Campbell

As employers are asking how they can attract, retain and engage a diverse and inclusive workforce, so too are individuals wondering how they fit into this puzzle. We sit down with Colette Campbell, Bremer Bank, for perspectives and strategies for inviting everyone to the table in the workplace.


The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce MISSION

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

Board of Directors Sandi Piatz Chair

Shawn Dobberstein Chair Elect


First International Bank & Trust

Tom Dawson Immediate Past Chair

Dawson Insurance

Jodi Duncan Member at Large

Flint Group

Anne Blackhurst

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Kyle Dorow Mike Dragosavich Chad Flanagan Steve Halverson Kara Jorvig Brittany Montecuollo Mark Nisbet Tami Norgard Joanna Slominski

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

Chamber Staff Jim Parsons Interim CEO, VP of Finance & Operations @FMWFJim

Hector International Airport

Peter Stenehjem Treasurer

Kevin Christianson


Julie Doggett Information Systems Administrator @FMWFJulieD Darren Dunlop Business Development Manager @FMWFDarren Darin Feir Marketing Design Coordinator @FMWFDarin

Paces Lodging Corporation, Property Resources Group Essentia Health Spotlight Eide Bailly LLP Heartland Trust Company

Tyler Fischbach Multimedia Marketing Coordinator @FMWFTyler

Allegro Group Sanford Health Xcel Energy Vogel Law Firm Mortenson

Committee Chairs Roger Reierson Agribusiness

Flint Group

Patti Cosgriff

Northwestern Bank

Dean Krogen

702 Communications

Ambassador Public Relations

Ambassador Member Relations

Wyatt Johnson Business Training

John Deere Electronic Solutions

Louise Dardis

Retired educator

Dan Cash

Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead


Leadership FMWF

Brian Shawn Military Affairs Trevor Mathew

Professionals of Color

Midco Choice Bank

Tim Flakoll

Tri-College University

Kirsten Jensen

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Public Policy

Women Connect

Celine Francisco Young Professionals Network

Choice Bank

Amanda Huggett Manager of Communications & Marketing @FMWFAmanda Alyssa Lakoduk Professional Development Coordinator @FMWFAlyssa Katie Mastel Government Affairs & Advocacy Manager @FMWFKatie Tracy Meckler Membership & Advertising Sales Manager @FMWFTracyM Tracy Powell Director of Events and Programs @FMWFTracyP Mason Rademacher Public Policy & Workforce Development Coordinator @FMWFMason Bobbi Rehder Events Coordinator @FMWFBobbiJo Casey Sanders Manager of Membership @FMWFCasey Mickayla Thompson 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, N D 58102 and at additional mailing of fices. Publication N o. 124430. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Bridge, PO Box 2443, Fargo, ND 58108-2443; 218.233.1100.       Printed by Forum Communications Printing



Grit, grace and gratitude: A note from your new Board Chair

Grit, grace and gratitude have been the most common words in my vocabulary over the past 12 months, and I believe they will be essential pillars of guidance for us all as we continue to move into the next 12 months.


If there was ever a year we needed to flex our muscle of grit, to have perseverance and a passion for our longterm goals, it was this year! In our community, across our organizations and in our homes, we have all faced an evolutionary change affecting how we live, work, learn and play. This past year we faced COVID-19 and are continuing to navigate through the efforts & response. We continued our journey of growth, learning and action for change embracing diversity and building inclusion. We lost a visionary leader with the unfortunate passing of Craig Whitney. Through all of this, we came together as a community to adapt and support each other. At The Chamber, our mission is to promote economic growth and prosperity for business and our members through leadership in advocacy, education, and engagement. We had developed a three-year strategic plan in 2019 to deliver on this mission, focusing on three strategic goals:

• Establish the region as a full-service metropolitan marketplace. • Be a bold voice for business through strong thought leadership and a rich policy agenda. • Build a place of belonging to best serve members’ interests. This strategic plan is a guide for The Chamber as we leverage grit, innovation and agility throughout the changing times. We know The Chamber has a distinctive role to play in the community that requires continued evolution in its programs and services, effective partnership, and prudent but bold leadership on policy initiatives. This past year we anchored on our mission taking on the challenge as an organization to work harder and smarter to ensure we were meeting the needs of our members and the community. In Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, she says, “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.” I am grateful for the amazing grit The Chamber team has

demonstrated this past year. As your new Chamber board chair, I have great confidence in the work The Chamber is doing to deliver on our mission and want to assure you we are more determined than ever to continue being innovative and agile to best support our members and our region to succeed.


We are all learning to navigate a more virtual world, adjust how we live, respond to economic impacts of COVID-19, and navigate social & organizational changes. The grace we give ourselves and each other through this journey is essential for success and immeasurable on long-term impact. As we enter the 2020-21 year, we embark on our second decade of a merged Chamber and will be welcoming a new president and CEO. Thank you for your grace as the search committee works through the interview process with candidates. We are being diligent to find the right leader and are looking forward to welcoming a new president and CEO for The Chamber. When we announce the new leader, we will ask for your grace again, to help enable and support their onboarding.


Looking forward to the upcoming year, I want to again express great gratitude for The Chamber team and the great work they continue to do. The Chamber has been able to launch new mediums enabling conversations and supporting education of our members, such as our podcast and video member spotlights. We’ve forged new partnerships and task forces. We’ve invested in new educational opportunities and virtual trainings. We made supporting diversity and inclusion a priority. We stayed closely in tune with legislative updates and federal business relief programs to share with you. We spent countless hours on the phone checking in on members. We made sure that your voices were still heard whether you were working from home or the office. Moving forward we will continue to transform the way we work and we’re grateful to keep connecting with you through new outlets like webinars, video conferences and live streams. Above all, as a Chamber, you can count on us to continue to be there for you. We will remain committed to offering the tools you need to succeed. Our events, programs, membership, public policy and communication teams have new plans to unveil this next year. We’ll be working on new professional development opportunities for youth, college students and professionals while connecting students and employers in new ways. New tools and technology will emerge enhancing the ways we host engaging community conversations and expand our current programs. Keeping the community informed and bringing the best benefits so you can maximize your Chamber membership are other key priorities for the upcoming year. You will even notice some changes in this newsletter as we focus on value-based material.

as our interim CEO and president in addition to his already full plate. I am thankful for the amazing Chamber team who has continued to have grit and resilience to ensure we deliver on our mission. Most of all, I am grateful for you, our members. Thank you for your membership. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for letting us get through this with you. Thank you for supporting our work creating a positive lasting impact for all businesses and our community. Wishing you an amazing year of grit, grace, gratitude and great success. #GritGraceGratitude

Sandi Piatz

Site Leader, Microsoft Fargo Campus 2020–21 Chamber Board Chair

As the incoming chair, I want to express sincere appreciation to Tom Dawson who was our Board chair this past year and an amazing leader for The Chamber during an unprecedented year of change. I am grateful for Jim Parsons who stepped up to serve


FMWF Chamber turns


On October 1, 2010, the FMWF merger was finalized. (L to R: Bernie Dardis, Craig Whitney, Jeff Thomas, Kathy Lewin)

We’re celebrating an anniversary! Ten years ago, The Chamber as we know it today had just come together when the Fargo Moorhead Chamber merged with the West Fargo Area Chamber. This past decade has been full of success, incredible moments, much growth and success, and lots of hard work along the way. To reflect on how this all came together and what it’s meant since, check out what just some of the key individuals involved had to say.

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo business community made a bold statement of unity when it chose to merge the region’s two independent chambers into a single entity.

Did you know? • C  raig Whitney has been the only president since the merger. • I  n 1895 the Fargo Chamber changed its name to the Board of Trade and in 1911 to the Fargo Commercial Club. December 8, 1927, another change was made to the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo, North Dakota. • A  nnual West Fargo Chamber membership dues per firm in 1958: $25.

• O   ne of the West Fargo Chamber’s first projects in 1959 was relocating the fairgrounds from Fargo to West Fargo. • W   est Fargo Chamber office was last located in the Lodoen Community Center; today staff works out of the Hjemkomst Center. • T  he West Fargo Chamber’s biggest community event was West Fest, which the city has since taken on. • B  oth organizations were given the opportunity to vote on approving the merger. West Fargo Chamber ballots yielded 72% yes; Fargo Moorhead Chamber ballots yielded a 98% yes vote.

As the 2011 Annual Report stated: “The Chamber’s first year as the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is one that will go down in history. On October 1, 2010, three chambers with hundreds of years of service to three unique and thriving communities joined together to serve the good of the region. This single, stronger chamber of commerce is poised on the leading edge of regional cooperation. It’s a momentous collaboration with unlimited opportunity for progress.”

• I  mmediate advocacy work included supporting the reopening of the Highway 52 East Main Avenue/I-94 Interchange ramps in Moorhead, the continuation of local government aid programs for Minnesota, the proposed constitutional amendment vote to create a Legacy Fund in North Dakota with revenues from the oil and gas extraction fees; maintaining the existing sign code in Fargo and the proposed half-cent sales tax in Cass County.

• T  he first official membership campaign, “Members Get It” wrapped in April 2011. • I  n our first fiscal year together, we were involved in Chamber Day at the RedHawks and Chamber Day with the Fargo Force, and the record-setting build for ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition!

• V  oices of Vision debuted in the fall of 2010 with Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North.

• N   umber of members at the time of merging: West Fargo: 420; FM: 1,800.

1879 Fargo Chamber of Commerce established


1998 Fargo Chamber merges

1928 Moorhead Chamber established


1958 West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce established

with Moorhead Chamber


Fargo Moorhead Chamber merges with West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce

Share with us your favorite moments or photos from the past decade! Tweet us @FMWFChamber and use #FMWFCelebrate to add to the conversation.

What staff had to say Five current Chamber staff have been with The Chamber for 10 or more years. Here’s what they each had to say about going through the merger and what we’ve accomplished together since then. “Through my 20 years at The Chamber, we have always tried to help, and that theme has continued. We consistently have added new events and programs and invited more people to our table. Adding West Fargo helped us become a true community-based organization. Especially after the merger, we made an effort to be inclusive of all the cities we represent. Getting involved in policy work is one of the ways we’ve done that, going to work in both states to represent our members on both sides of the river.” —Jim Parsons “The West Fargo office had great personal relationships with members in their community. I remember going to their office to help merge our data. We were fired up to get a new logo when it all came together. After that, I think Craig helped move our chamber forward, and he started some exciting new events that really helped us grow.” —Julie Doggett


Rebranded to “The Chamber” and new logo unveiled

A huge thank you for your support this past decade. We’re so proud of what we have accomplished together and can’t wait to keep serving you in the decades yet to come.

“I think our merger was the best thing for our community, even though it took awhile for us all to get things figured out. No matter how busy we get, I’ve loved watching our events grow, and everything always coming together. I think that bringing in big names likes Rachel Hollis and everyone at Voices of Vision shows what kind of Chamber we are. Through all our hard work and awards, it feels good to be recognized and appreciated. I love working with our members and being there for them!” —Julie Yourczek “We have grown so much as a Chamber in these past 10 years. Under Craig’s leadership, we introduced new events and programs like Voices of Vision, Eggs & Issues and Women Connect, and strengthened our advocacy and policy work. Things like advocating for our military, permanent flood protection, a convention center, and workforce collaborations. The list goes on, but what really impresses me is how much support there is in our community and what we’ve done together since merging as a chamber. I am just so proud to be a part of all of this.” —Tracy Powell “When Craig came to town, he really drove us to make so many positive changes and create new opportunities for members. He always wanted things to be bigger and better. His famous line to me was to take it to the next level. Looking back, I think we accomplished just that.” —Bobbi Jo Rehder


Office remodeled


Memories from our board chairs “The idea of merging the two Chambers had come up many times over the years, but it was in 2010 that these discussions started to develop momentum. Kathy Lewin and Bernie Dardis were very involved from West Fargo, and we had many thoughtful discussions. When Craig came in as Chamber president, everything just started clicking. I really think having the right people involved at the right time was what allowed our community to come together. The coming months and years really showed what we could do as a united business community. I feel so blessed to have been part of that process.”

– Karen Lauer, Board Chair, 2009–10

“The things I enjoyed most was serving with the women and men who we recruited to join the Board. They were great leaders in their companies, and they brought their experience, leadership styles and energy to The Chamber. These fantastic people combined with Craig Whitney’s leadership, energy experience, vision—and Craig’s sense of humor—was amazing to be a part of. I consider many of them great friends that I will cherish forever.”

– Bernie Dardis, Board Chair, 2013–14 “The biggest topic during my year as board chair was the start of Fueling Our Future. ... I remember the board being very engaged in the process and Craig being very focused on making this a success. I will always be grateful for my time on the board of The Chamber and the years I spent with the leadership. It was a very rewarding experience, and I have developed some great personal and business relationships with many board members as a result.”

“There were two great memories for me being part of the Board: One was being part of the team that met with and worked with the West Fargo Chamber subcommittee on our merger. The conversations and cooperation between the two groups was fantastic. The shared vision of what we could become was inspiring for our communities. Secondly, I was part of the team that hired Craig. We never thought he would accept, but we felt he was the right man at the right time to accelerate The Chamber and the work we did for our membership. We were right and very fortunate to have him part of our community for the time we did.”

– Judd Graham, Board Chair, 2016–17 “The big thing I remember during my year as chair was when we took a position on permanent flood protection. Even though it is still today a controversial issue, it was the first time we took a stance in doing what we thought best served the entire community. Another big part of that year was going all in in support of our military, including a lot of advocacy efforts both locally and in D.C. on behalf of the Air Guard. One of Craig’s best moments was when we secured Lee Greenwood for the night at the RedHawks, and every year since he had his song queued up to replay at any moment. We’re fortunate to have such a highly functioning board with great people taking on the call to represent our business community. It’s an honor to have served in that role.”

– Jon Riewer, Board Chair, 2015–16

–Jeff Thomas, Board Chair, 2010–11

New committees and programs since 2010 • Military Affairs committee restarted

• Women Connect program launched

• Business Leaders for Permanent Flood Protection Taskforce formed

• Youth leadership programs started

• FMWF Air National Guard Support Group formed


• Eggs & Issues events begin • Honor Star program launched


• Education committee formed

• Professionals of Color committee and programming launched

• Agribusiness committee formed

• Fueling Our Future launched

(photo above)


Our Commitment

The Chamber will…

•  Create environments in which we can lead meaningful discussions •  Offer education and information to all community members and employers •  Introduce new programs to help employers foster and create inclusive workplaces •  Look for opportunities to listen and learn •  Continue to educate ourselves on these issues as a Chamber •  Seek partnerships to create sustainable strategies and solutions to drive growth and prosperity for all

to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce supports diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces and communities for all, and is against discrimination of any kind. We believe that every individual should have equal opportunity and access. We believe differences should be celebrated and that teams with diverse experiences and backgrounds will succeed.

Our challenge to you

As a nation, we are grappling with complex, centuries-old issues that won’t be solved overnight. To move the needle on making real progress, we must look at ourselves and work together to make our region a better, more inclusive place, not only for business, but all facets of our lives. The Chamber accepts this responsibility. While we have demonstrated our commitment to diversity and inclusion in recent years through efforts such as the development of the Professionals of Color program, we realize this is not enough. We must play an active role in advocating for all in our businesses and communities. This work is ongoing, and education and conversations must continue. Because of that, we have opened new dialogue and begun plans to do more.

The Chamber encourages all area businesses to get involved in this work. We ask you to increase awareness and opportunity in your own workplaces, and begin dialogue with staff, board members and volunteers. We ask that you share with us and the community the work you’re doing. We want to hear your successes and support your efforts.

The strength of our region is on us all. Together, we can create a better future.

We are also excited to announce a new education series, Building Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces, free for all businesses and individuals beginning this September. Throughout six sessions focused on inclusive workplace practices, employers will learn to build cultures where all individuals are welcome and invested in. More information on this opportunity can be found at

Announcing a new diversity and inclusion training series Our new virtual education series, Building Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces, launches this month and is available at no charge for all businesses and individuals.

Developed by topic experts and business leaders, this sixpart series provides sessions focused on inclusive workplace practices. “Building Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces” works alongside employers to build even better workplaces where all individuals are welcome, invested in and engaged in work they find rewarding. By equipping employers with practical strategies, they will be positioned to develop, or build upon, their own diversity, equity and inclusion vision, not only to better their business and industry, but for a better Fargo Moorhead West Fargo metro. Each virtual session is approved for SHRM continuing education credits. HRCI Credit approval is pending. All who sign up will also receive access to the session recordings.

Each virtual training series takes place from 10 to 11 a.m. The schedule and topics are as follows: •  September 10: The Business Case: Why a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy is Important for Business Success

•  September 24: Inclusive Leadership: Beyond Leadership Buy-in to Leadership in Action

•  October 8: Unconscious Bias: Self-Awareness Leads to Organizational Awareness

•  October 22: Cultural Competencies: What They Are & Why They Are Important

•  November 5: Enhancing Your Employer Brand: Recruitment, Retention & Engagement Strategies Through a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lens

•  November 12: Creating A Diversity, Equity &

Inclusion Scorecard: How to Define Success & Measure It

Building Inclusive and Equitable Workplaces is presented by The Chamber and Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, and brought to you by the financial support of Fueling Our Future.



Chamber announces new board members Two new faces are joining our Chamber’s board of directors for 2020-21.

Welcome to newly elected board members, Kara Jorvig, Allegro Group, and Tami Norgard, Vogel Law Firm!

We’ve also named new board appointments:



Other returning board members include: Anne Blackhurst, Minnesota State University Moorhead

• Sandi Piatz, Microsoft, has been named chair.

Kevin Christianson, Paces Lodging Corporation

• Shawn Dobberstein, Hector International Airport, has been named chair elect.

Kyle Dorow, Essentia Health

• Peter Stenehjem, First International Bank & Trust, has been named treasurer.

Mike Dragosavich, Spotlight Media Chad Flanagan, Eide Bailly

• Tom Dawson, Dawson Insurance, is the immediate past chair, serving as chair in 2019-20. • Jodi Duncan, Flint Group, has been named the member-at-large.

Steve Halverson, Heartland Trust Company Brittany Montecuollo, Sanford Health Mark Nisbet, Xcel Energy Joanna Slominski, Mortenson

We welcome Kara and Tami, and look forward to another great fiscal year!

Announcing the new committee chairs We’re proud to welcome some new and some returning faces to our 2020-21 Chamber committees! We look forward to working with these individuals in the coming year.



John Deere Electronic Solutions

Choice Bank

Wyatt Johnson

Trevor Mathew




Flint Group

retired educator

Tri-College University



Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Roger Reierson


Northwestern Bank


702 Communications

Louise Dardis

Dan Cash


Tim Flakoll

Kirsten Jensen




Announcing the 2020 ChamberChoice Winners!

This year’s ChamberChoice Awards pivoted to a virtual celebration of business, entrepreneurship and community. Even though we weren’t together in person, we had a blast hosting and watching with you online. Emcee Patrick Kirby of Do Good Better Consulting helped jam-pack the event with fun, anticipation and activities that kept the magic of the luncheon alive. Congrats to all of this year’s finalists and winners, who are listed below, and thank you to everyone that helped make this event possible.

The Finalists *Winners noted in bold



Audubon Dakota

BNG Team

Erik Hatch

TrueNorth Steel

Nicholas Killoran

Valley Senior Services

Beyond Realty


SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR Adshark Sagency Shack on Broadway


Great North Insurance


Tom McDougall

Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND


Preference Employment Solutions

CHI Friendship

High Point Networks




EVENT CALENDAR Unveiling dates and our speaker and topic lineup for our new fiscal year of events! Mark your calendars and sign up at


Developing a Resilient Workforce: How Organizations Thrive in the Face of Adversity

All monthly programs are virtual through 2020*, with in person starting up again 2021.

Bethany Berkeley Dale Carnegie of ND & MN


Axe These Axioms: Break the Old Rules and Thrive as a Modern-Day Marketer Holiday Inn Fargo Jason Jacobson, H2M APRIL 21


Workforce Transformation: Navigating the New Normal Lynn Billing, Spherion Staffing

Leading with an Entrepreneurial Mindset

DoubleTree by Hilton Bree Langemo, Concordia College MAY 12


Treating Your Customers Like Non-Profits Treat Their Donors Patrick Kirby Do Good Better Consulting

The Pursuit of Success and Happiness…Through an Understanding of the Process Delta by Marriott Dave Richman, NDSU JUNE 9


How to Diagnose and Solve Performance Issues in Your Workplace

Jess Almlie Discovery Benefits, a WEX company

Gain a Competitive Edge with 5 Continuous Learning Practices Radisson Hotel Fargo Laura Lobo, Voice Pizazz JULY 14


Working with the Painfully Self Un-Aware

DoubleTree by Hilton Nicole Turchin, BNG Team and Kurtis Karn Discovery Benefits, a WEX company


Radically Candid Leadership: A New Approach to Management Courtyard by Marriott Patrick Metzger, PM and Associates 12  THE BRIDGE


Creating a Successful Project Environment Holiday Inn Fargo Jason Orloske, Upton Hill AUGUST 11

Developing a Comprehensive Communication Strategy Courtyard by Marriott Jodi Duncan, Flint Group

*All from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.






Jessica Fyre, AgCountry Farm Credit Services

TBD K-12 Education Topic Courtyard by Marriott

Why NOT Me? Overcoming Self-Doubt

Topic TBD

Topic TBD

Courtyard by Marriott



Fortitude & Resilience in a Time of Extraordinary Change


Topic TBD

Topic TBD

Courtyard by Marriott


Gladys Antonio, Concordia College


Topic TBD

Topic TBD


You Failed? Just Get Up. Again and Again and Again.

Courtyard by Marriott



Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott

Topic TBD

Topic TBD



Courtyard by Marriott

Courtyard by Marriott

Topic TBD

Dayna Del Val, The Arts Partnership

Topic TBD


Leading Softly

Stephanie Schroeder Forum Communications

*All from 7:30 to 9 a.m.


Speaker and topic TBD FEBRUARY 23

Chamber 101 OCTOBER 20 4 p.m.

FEBRUARY 16 4 p.m.

JUNE 15 4 p.m.

OCTOBER 22 9 a.m.

FEBRUARY 18 9 a.m.

JUNE 17 9 a.m.

DECEMBER 15 4 p.m.

APRIL 20 4 p.m.

AUGUST 17 4 p.m.

DECEMBER 17 9 a.m.

APRIL 22 9 a.m.

AUGUST 19 9 a.m.

*All held at The Chamber office

Paralyzed by Perfect

Kelsey Joy Buell, Kelsey Joy LLC MARCH 23

Tales from a Recovering Jealous Female: What Not Supporting Other Women Taught Me About Myself Nicole Turchin, BNG Team APRIL 27


MAY 25


Speaker and topic TBD Speaker and topic TBD

Speaker and topic TBD Speaker and topic TBD


*Event information as of time of printing. Subject to change; check our website for the most up-to-date details.

Women Connect Annual Celebration speaker announcement coming in 2021

*All from 3:30 to 5 p.m.



Business Training

Developing a Resilient Workforce: How Organizations Thrive in the Face of Adversity Wednesday, September 9 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Virtual

Today’s business environment is filled with unexpected challenges and setbacks. Few of us are in a position to change the environment in which we operate; we can only control how we prepare and respond to it. Creating a resilient organization that can successfully ‘bounce back’ and grow from adverse experiences has become increasingly critical. For leaders who hope to accelerate performance and capitalize on change and uncertainty, it’s moved from highly desirable to absolutely crucial.

Eggs & Issues

Topic TBD

Tuesday, October 7 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. | Virtual Join us for another exciting topic at this month’s Eggs & Issues! We strive to provide topical and timely events to keep you in the know. Every month at Eggs & Issues you can expect to hear from local experts sharing what you need to know. Stay tuned to find out what topic we’ll address this month!


Bethany Berkeley Dale Carnegie ND and MN

stream it online

Chamber members: $20 Non-members: $40 Register at or by calling 218.233.1100.

Workforce Transformation: Navigating the New Normal Wednesday, October 14 | 7:30 to 9 a.m. | Virtual Not since the advent of the Industrial Revolution has the workplace undergone greater transformation than it has in the last 25 years. Beyond the not insignificant impacts of economics, technology and demographics, the workplace is influenced by the rising power of workers whose demands have gone well beyond traditional concerns about pay and benefits, work/life balance and community outreach.

Why NOT Me? Overcoming Self-Doubt Tuesday, September 30 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | Virtual Lynn Billing

Spherion Staffing Services

REGISTRATION stream it online

Chamber members: $20 Non-members: $40 Register at or by calling 218.233.1100.

These events qualify for 1.5 CPE credits through SHRM

Chamber 101 Tuesday, October 20 4 p.m. | The Chamber Thursday, October 22 9 a.m. | The Chamber

Women Connect

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 selfdoubt, and challenge women to get out of their own way and feel confident that they deserve success, happiness and fulfillment.

Fortitude & Resilience in a Time of Extraordinary Change Tuesday, October 27 | 3:30 to 5 p.m. | Virtual Undoubtedly, COVID-19 is one of the most extraordinary events of our lifetime. It has generated exceptional financial, social and economic challenges for individuals, Dr. Gladys families and corporations. Women’s roles as Antonio professional, parent, spouse and caregiver, Concordia College have become ever so demanding. At this session, we will address the many ways in which women are being called upon to work harder due to COVID-19.


REGISTRATION stream it online

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 exist that you need to know.

Chamber members: $20 Non-members: $40 Register at or by calling 218.233.1100.

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


Jessica Fyre Ag Country Farm Credit Services



Professionals of Color

Networking Before 9

Friday, September 18 | 8 to 9 a.m. | Zoom Join us for another great Virtual Networking Before 9 this month! Our local speaker will share their personal and professional story; come prepared to ask questions and learn! Bring your own breakfast and cup of coffee. Attendees will receive the Zoom link and instructions following registration. Stay tuned to find out who this month’s speaker is!

POC Discuss, Connect & Reflect: Walking with the Wind by John Lewis

Wednesday, October 7 | Noon to 1 p.m. Join us for Professionals of Color’s newest opportunity, a book club where together we will discuss readings, connect on topics and reflect on how content resonates with you! For our first meeting, please read to the end of Part IV or Chapter 12 of

“Walking with the Wind” by Congressman John Lewis and come prepared to discuss. Don’t forget to check with your local library if you’d rather borrow the book!

POC Members: Free | Non-Members: $10

Young Professionals Network Virtual Off the Clock: Jeopardy Wednesday September 23 5:30 to 7 p.m. Join YPN as we host another virtual Off the Clock. This time around, we will be playing jeopardy! That’s right, Alex! Join us for an evening of fun and networking with other YPN members from the comfort of your own home.

YPN Book Club: “Getting Naked” by Patrick Lencioni

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

Join us this month as we dive into “Getting Naked: A Business Fable About Shedding the Three Fears That Sabotage Client Loyalty” by Patrick Lencioni. This new book in the popular Lencioni series shows what it takes to gain a real and lasting competitive edge.

Enjoy reading and discussing books on leadership and professional development with like-minded individuals? Join us for YPN Book Club! Each month, YPN will select a book and meet over lunch to discuss it. For this month’s pick, Amazon says, “In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems.”

Thursday, September 24 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. | Zoom

Stay tuned to the YPN Facebook and web pages. We will continue to monitor COVID-19, and may be able to offer an in-person option for this event, in addition to a virtual discussion.

Thursday, October 29 | 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.



Asking the Experts: A look inside the Happy Hooligans The Chamber is a proud to support the military through our advocacy, Military Affairs committee, Honor Star program and more. With an Air National Guard base right here in Fargo, they not only contribute to our local economy, but affect our community in a multitude of ways and defend our nation. We talked with the commander of the Happy Hooligans for an overview of their history, missions, impact and recruiting efforts.

The NDANG continued the homeland defense mission for several decades, culminating with the departure of the unit’s F-16s in 2007. Throughout the fighter era, the Happy Hooligans established the NDANG as a premier Air National Guard organization, becoming the first guard unit to win prestigious awards such as the William Tell Trophy for top unit in fighter competition, the Hughes Achievement Award for most outstanding fighter unit, and the Daedalion Maintenance Trophy for best maintenance unit. Col. Darrin Anderson

Commander, 119th Wing ND Air National Guard

Please provide us with an overview of the 119th Wing of the Air National Guard. The North Dakota Air National Guard (NDANG), well-known as the Happy Hooligans, was established on January 16, 1947. The unit was organized as the 178th Fighter Squadron, and its headquarters was initially located at the National Guard Armory in downtown Fargo. Within months, the 178th grew its numbers from 23 officers and 44 enlisted to 50 officers and 299 enlisted and its fleet of aircraft to more than two dozen. The early years brought training to support national defense of the northern boundary of the U.S. and an activation and deployment to support U.S. Air Force efforts in the Korean War.

The tradition of excellence has carried forward into today’s missions at the 119th Wing. The Happy Hooligans current missions provide trained and ready Airmen executing world-class MQ-9 precision attack and reconnaissance, kinetic and non-kinetic target intelligence production and expeditionary support capabilities for the nation and state. These missions directly contribute to the national defense strategy, as well as protection of our state and communities. The NDANG presently has over 1,150 personnel assigned, 95% of its authorized strength. The 119th Wing is always in search of new recruits to join its winning team. There are positions available in many career fields, as well as many professional development opportunities. Our Airmen often find their military skills cross-over into their civilian careers, contributing to success in the private sector.

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ASKING THE EXPERTS How has the 119th Wing helped to support the fight against COVID-19? Various elements of the North Dakota National Guard, including the 119th Wing, have been activated since March of this year to support the fight against COVID-19. Approximately 40 Happy Hooligans were activated to assist with deep-cleaning of long-term care facilities, assist with mass-testing events and aid the state’s testing lab.

What economic impact does the 119th Wing have on our region? According to a 2016 study conducted by North Dakota State University, the Happy Hooligans had an economic impact of over $97 million. Direct spending in the F-M area was nearly $52 million based on averages from fiscal years 2014 and 2015. The NDANG has over 400 full-time jobs, which contributed to over $600,000 in property tax and local sales tax collections. Since the 2016 study, the NDANG has constructed a $7.3 million intelligence building, and has plans to construct a $17 million consolidated operations building in the near future. Construction projects such as these have a significant positive economic impact for the local area.

What do recruitment efforts look like and what are some of the benefits of enlisting? The 119th Wing recruiting team is comprised of 10 members located in Fargo, Bismarck and Minot. The team actively engages communities through high school and college visits, sharing information at community gatherings and events and having an active social media and online presence. Many of the over 70 career fields in the NDANG have current or projected openings. Benefits of joining may include bonuses of up $20,000, 100% tuition assistance, $734 per month GI Bill + kicker, paid and accredited training, training credits transferrable to colleges/universities and affordable healthcare. Visit or search @NDAirGuard on Facebook and Instagram for more information.

What is Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)? What impact do military-friendly laws have on those decisions? How can we prepare for a potential future BRAC?

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Base realignment and closure (BRAC) is a congressionally authorized process the Department of Defense uses to assess and reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support its forces and increase operational readiness. Military-friendly laws at the state and local level have the potential to impact the decisions made during the BRAC process. Military-friendly laws also demonstrate support of the local military presence and may be seen as an incentive to facilitate retention and recruitment. The Happy Hooligans have deep appreciation for the support provided by The Chamber and the Military Affairs committee over the years. That continued support, coupled with support from the community as a whole, will help ensure the 119th Wing remains an integral component of our local area with enduring, relevant missions.




Nominate the next One to Watch YPN is looking for nominations for our One to Watch award. Recipients of this award are featured in The Bridge, in Fargo INC magazine and on our social media outlets. To nominate an employee, team member or peer that 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.

Networking Before 9

Highlights with Smita Garg In August, the Professionals of Color hosted another great Virtual Networking Before 9 with Smita Garg, who shared her personal and professional journey and offered many takeaways and insights for attendees. Commenting on her current position at NDSU as Assistant Director, Employer Engagement for the Career and Advising Center, she said that “A career is not a destination; it’s a journey.”

Smita asked the attendees to reflect on the question ‘where are you from,’ and noted that it often is the intersection of identity and privilege. “Each of us is a complex sum of our various identities that are impacted by language, friends, childhood influence, sexuality, education, class, profession and political views,” she said. She shared observations from all the places around the world she’s lived in, most fondly recalling Canada because of the core of its identity in diversity. Speaking to the current climate, she mentioned the opportunity we have for new beginnings and the importance of looking at sameness rather than different-ness. We also held a Networking Before 9 with MSUM’s Dr. Earnest Lamb just after this Bridge was printed; watch our social media and next month’s Bridge for highlights!

Rest in Peace, Wayne Saar

On behalf of The Chamber, we want to acknowledge the passing of long-time ambassador and beloved community member, Wayne Saar. Wayne’s attendance at ribbon cuttings was almost always 100%. Over his more than three decades as a Chamber Ambassador, he attended thousands of celebrations and groundbreakings. The Ambassador of the Year Award has been named after him because the winner of the Wayne Saar Ambassador of the Year award should be living up to Wayne’s leadership, integrity, Chamber involvement, and ribbon cutting attendance. As fellow ambassador Larry Olson said, “Wayne’s unsurpassed legacy as an ambassador, along with his easy laugh, ready smile and gentle nature made naming the annual ‘Ambassador of the Year Award’ after him an easy choice.” Tracy Meckler, Chamber Membership & Advertising Sales Manager, added that: “Wayne was the guy that you would always count on to be at EVERY ribbon cutting, and more than likely the first one there! Everyone always wanted him on their team! Always dressed to the nines and looking dapper, he would hold the door open to make sure everyone got into the building before him. Wayne was truly one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.” Wayne’s obituary and memorial information can be found at

Wayne Saar with Brian Heger in February 2020

“He was a kind soul, a true gentleman and a wonderful representative of his Chamber. He will be missed!“ Wayne Saar with other ambassadors



Get ready for the 10th Annual Celebration! Thursday, September 17 Noon to 1:30 p.m.  |  Virtual event

Join us for an uplifting afternoon dedicated to celebrating all that we have accomplished together! This year, we’re shaking up our ‘annual meeting’ with an exciting new format we can’t wait to share with you. Join other business and community leaders for a virtual streaming experience, and help us recognize the volunteers who contributed to the success of the past year. Be prepared to be in awe hearing how the 2020 Legacy Leader, Steve D. Scheel, #FMWFCelebrate shaped the success of our community and region! PRESENTING SPONSOR


Register online at or by calling 218.233.1100. LEGACY SPONSORS



Bethany Retirement Living

Friends of the Children Fargo-Moorhead

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota

Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead

Concordia College

Otter Tail Corporation

First International Bank & Trust


Cass County Electric Cooperative

Moorhead Business Association

Cornerstone Bank

NDSU Athletics the RLE group

The 2020 Voices of Vision is moving! NEW DATE! April 14, 2021 Noon to 1:30 p.m. | Delta by Marriott

Admiral William McRaven U.S. Navy veteran and author

This year marks the 11th anniversary of The Chamber’s Voices of Vision event, and we’re pulling out all the stops for an incredible event. McRaven will draw on his experiences in the Navy and share impactful lessons and insights on authority amidst turmoil and instability, the force of teamwork and personal initiative, resilience in the face of opposition, and the unconditional importance of never giving up.

*sponsors at time of print

After careful consideration, we are postponing Voices of Vision to next April. We’re genuinely disappointed not to be able to host this event in November as planned, but rescheduling will enable us to provide the experience that our members expect and deserve in a safe environment.





Meet the 2020-21 Leadership class!

Alex Kizima

In August, a new class of Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo (LFMWF) participants kicked off their program year with orientation that started at Forest River Park. After a getting to know you exercise, the class was able to explore the park with Marshall Johnson, Audubon Dakota.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley

Alex Lacey

Amanda Keller

Andrew Smith

Ashley Parsons

Audrey Charchenko

Brady Blomberg

Chelsey Steinlicht

Christopher Deery

Darin Underhill

Donn Groth

Dustin Ulmer

WEX Health Inc.

Cass County Government

Gabe Bladow

Gate City Bank

Rasmussen College

S&S Promotional Group

Jenae Ste. Marie


HUB International

Midwest Radio of Fargo-Moorhead

Vogel Law Firm

Bright Futures Learning Center

PRO Resources

Houston Engineering, Inc.

Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company

Jessica Kappes

John Holten

Jon Eisert

Kailey Boraas

Kari Stenger

Kathryn DelZoppo

Bell Bank


First Western Bank & Trust


Gjesdahl Law

Light Consulting & Coaching

Zerr Berg Architects

Ohnstad Twichell, PC

Afterward, Mitch Johnson, Wanzek Construction, conducted communication and personality style training at Rheault Farm. We’re excited to head into another year of this program and watch this year’s participations grow together and begin working on their Community Change Initiatives!

Katie Larson

Katie Mastel The Chamber

Kayla Christensen Brady Martz & Associates, P.C.

Kaylyn Stroh

Kellie Daley

Kelly Collins

Kelly Edwards

Kenny Bartholomew

Kristin Nelson

Kyle Voltin

Matthew Hallaway

Matt Welle

Megan Strese

Mike Detloff

Morgan Sabbe

Ricky Pallay

Sam Grantham

Scott Steinmetz

Trevor Deyo

Troy Knutson

TrueNorth Steel

Rejuv Medical Aesthetic Clinic

Jeremiah Program

Discovery Benefits, Inc.

OK Tire Store

Kilbourne Group

Starion Bank

Moorhead Police Department


First International Bank & Trust

Oak Grove Lutheran School

Lux Communities

BC Contracting

Wanzek Construction, Inc.

Saving Smiles Dentistry

Moore Engineering, Inc.

F5 Project

Cass County Electric Cooperative FMWFCHAMBER.COM   21


NEW MEMBERS Americans for Prosperity North Dakota | Social Services mericans for Prosperity is dedicated to A

the belief that every person has a unique set of gifts and the ability to contribute to society in their own way. Driven by this belief, Americans for Prosperity engages in broad-based grassroots outreach to advocate long-term solutions to the country’s biggest problems that prevent people from realizing their incredible potential unsustainable government spending and debt, a broken immigration system, a rigged economy, and a host of other issues. We recruit and unite concerned individuals in all 50 states to advance policies that will help people improve their lives.

Custom Express Carwash (2 Fargo locations) | Car Washing - Cleaning ost car washes haven’t changed much M

in the past 30 years, and the status quo needs a modern facelift. Tommy Car Wash Systems develops car wash equipment, facilities, and operations strategies and has proven them in real world car-wash with record-breaking results! Custom Express Carwash provides those same tools to you, from a fantastic service menu to stainless steel arches, bright acrylic roof tunnels, flashing signs and lights, dual belt conveyors and more. Our packages are built to be stunning, efficient, modern and successful. We hope we can transform your business with our experience and successful strategies.

F5 Project f | Social Services We help the formerly incarcerated. We

help those suffering from addiction. We help veterans + anyone needing housing, recovery resources, peer support or a plan to change their life.

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

Fargo DIY Garage f | Automobile Repair - Service/

Body Shop | Auto repair shop y name is Chris, I grew up around cars. M

My experience began with a childhood spent in my family’s generational salvage yard, where I inherited a love of cars and mechanics from my father. After joining the Navy, I became enthralled with military auto hobby shops. After leaving the military, I worked in dealership service departments as a service writer. Now I am pursuing my dream of owning my auto hobby shop that is open to the general public, a civilian auto hobby shop. This business allows me to provide what I feel is a very valuable service to our community while doing something I love.

Finnu Designs | Furniture - Office fi Custom builds can be anything the mind

can dream up. That is what you get when you choose Finnu to create your custom build project. We are above and beyond creative. We started in furniture where each opportunity can be a work of art. The idea or concept of integrating furniture into the structure or your space is long overdue. We are a new kind of custom. We are Finnu.

Mission: Keto LLC | Health - Nutrition m Mission: Keto is an online coaching

system that educations clients on the Ketogenic Diet in order to lose weight, gain more energy and health. I am a certified nutrition and life coach in many different programs. I not only focus on eating the right foods, but also mindset and habits. I have helped over 500 people adopt this lifestyle with tough love and understand because I have been there myself. I created this business to help others achieve their goals!

Orange Property Management | Apartments Orange Property Management is a

property management company based out of Fargo, but providing rental services throughout multiple cities in North Dakota. We professionally manage over 1,200 units including short term furnished & full-service units, single family homes in convenient locations all across the state.

Papa Murphy’s (5 locations) | Restaurants We make our dough and slice fresh

vegetables daily, and make your pizza to order. All you do is turn on the oven, put it in, and boom- you have hot, fresh, delicious pizza, ready when you want it.

People’s Home Equity | Mortgages p Whether you’re looking to purchase a

home or refinance, you deserve great mortgage advice. Our mortgage advisers are local leaders who not only care about your short- and long-term financial goals, but are equipped with the tools and knowledge to help you realize them. Through our winning blend of products, process, technology, and people, we’re turning our customers into happy homeowners.

Platinum Homes | Home Builders p Platinum Homes builds custom homes in

the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo area.

Want to find all our memebers? Search our online directory at




NEW MEMBERS Josh Ackerson Agency Nodak Insurance | Insurance


The Josh Ackerson Agency is here to serve all your insurance

needs, no matter how big or small. For all of the storms of life, you need solid protection and someone with real answers. We have both! Being a Fargo native, Josh understands the amazing “North Dakota Nice” individuals who make up our community. Nodak Insurance Company is a local insurance company based in Fargo, and has been serving North Dakotans for more than 70 years. With some of the most competitive rates around, you’re encouraged to talk with the Josh Ackerson Agency to see how we can help you today!

SKY Ingredients Inc. s

Agriculture Products Certified Organic and Non-GMO ingredient supplier.

State Ave Vet Clinic s

V eterinarians I f you live in Dickinson, Killdeer or the surrounding area,

JOIN US NOVEMBER 12, 2020 IT professionals, business owners and

and you are searching for progressive, quality and friendly community leaders, save the date for nVision 2020. veterinary services, you have arrived at the right place! State Avenue Vet Clinic and Killdeer Vet Clinic are full-service animal hospitals and will take both emergency cases as well as less urgent medical, surgical and dental issues. We pride ourselves on providing the highest level of service to southwestern North Dakota. We designed our clinic to be comfortable, client-friendly, and a fear-free environment so your pet can relax. At State Avenue Vet Clinic, we treat your pets like the 72877_1_NCI_nVision_SaveDate_Print_3-625x4-75.indd 1 2020-08-07 valued family members they are.

10:34 AM

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

20 years

10 Years Dowell Management

5 Years Anytime Fitness

FM Coalition to End Homelessness

Fargo Angels Hockey


Farmstead Care

Greater Red River Apartment Association

HUB International Insurance, Mountain Region

FBS - Creators of Flexmls

Lakeside Center for Behavioral Change

Lighthouse Construction

The Village Business Institute

Midwest Communications, Inc.

United Savings Credit Union

Ray’s Certified Auto Repair

Bergstrom Electric, Inc.

15 years ByteSpeed


OpGo Marketing Sanford Dermatology & Laser Clinic



COMPANY NEWS For the second year in a row, Bell Bank has been honored as the #1 Best Workplace (Large Companies) in Minnesota, as listed by the Minneapolis StarTribune. Bell was the only bank listed among the state’s best large companies. Bell also received a special Direction Award, recognizing the company’s vision and people-first focus. The awards were announced during a virtual celebration hosted by the Minneapolis StarTribune. For the 11th time, Edward Jones ranked “Highest in Employee Advisor Satisfaction among Financial Investment Firms” by J.D. Power. Edward Jones financial advisors gave the highest satisfaction ratings in all the six study categories, with an overall score of 920 points out of 1,000. This compares to the employee average of 711. Edward Jones was among the 7 employee channel firms captured in the J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Financial Advisor Satisfaction Study. Marco announced it was awarded a contract with the Cooperative Purchasing Connection (CPC) to be the chosen reseller of sound reinforcement solutions to K-12 schools and state and local government agencies in MN, ND and SD. The contract makes it faster and easier for schools and government agencies in these states to vet and purchase Marco solutions through a pre-bid process.

Microsoft and Audubon Dakota announced a new partnership to advance the Urban Woods & Prairies Initiative in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area and along the Red River, focused on improvement of water storage and quality using natural systems restoration and management. With Microsoft’s support, Audubon Dakota will restore 6.7 acres of wetland and 37.3 acres of prairie habitat by conducting upland restoration, site surveys, wetland restoration, revegetation, site management, soil and water testing, and create a rain garden demonstration area to enhance habitat and wetland function.

The partnership focuses on three projects: Heritage Hills Nature Park Restoration in Fargo, Oakport Wetland Restoration in Moorhead, and volunteer events for Microsoft employees at Forest River Nature Park in Fargo.

Effective June 1, Middaugh Benefits Consulting joined North Risk Partners, one of the largest independent insurance broker and risk advisory firms in the Midwest. Middaugh’s office of six employee benefits and individual health insurance professionals located in downtown Fargo is now one of North Risk Partners’ 25 locations. Acquiring Middaugh Benefits expands the firm’s footprint to a four-state region, including Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and now North Dakota. Joining North Risk Partners grows Middaugh’s capabilities to now include property and casualty insurance solutions for businesses and individuals, and adds services for its clients in the areas of human resources, health and safety, and more.

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• Workplace Mediation

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


ReadiTech’s security training helps employees know the warning signs of phishing attacks. Our customizable training modules provide the knowledge and protection your business needs in today’s world.

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

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New Hires & Promotions Bolton & Menk

Chris Dahl, Transportation Project Manager

Cornerstone Bank

Kristin Jaeger, SVP/Director of Marketing   and Communications Lindsay Mack, SVP/HR & Training Director Tahralee Sauvageau, VP/Operations












Eide Bailly LLP

Misty Baumgartner, Audit Manager David Casper, State & Local Taxation   Senior Manager Alex DeConcini, Audit Manager Daniel Hume, Audit Manager Zach Jastram, Audit Senior Manager Reggie MacMaster, Audit Senior Manager Jake Miller, Audit Manager Michael Nadeau, Insurance Regulatory   Senior Manager Melanie O’Toole, Audit Manager Paul Schulz, Health Care Consulting   Senior Manager Dr. Ricky Yu, Heart and Vascular Center

Freedom Resource Center Angie Bosch, Executive Director





Essentia Health




Go Promo

Rylee Laxdal, Project Specialist

Houston Engineering, Inc.

Gavin Moe, Communications Specialist

Jade Presents

Emily Barvels, Marketing Manager Carly Bishoff, Vice President &   Operations Director Courtney Ficek, Vice President &   Communications Director Kim Idso, Business & Accounting Manager

KW Inspire Realty Karen Awender, Realtor


PEOPLE NEWS Did you know? We run news announcements from all our members in every newsletter, at no charge? It’s just one perk of your Chamber membership! SANNES



Whether for a new hire or exciting news about your company, we want to share our members’ milestones with our readers and the community. 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 PROMOTED









Light Consulting & Coaching

Drew Sannes, Accounting & Marketing Coordinator Kari Stenger, Project Accountant & Office Manager Ahron Walter, Project CFO

Town & Country Credit Union

Melissa Kellerman, Branch Manager (32nd Avenue) Tyler Ventzke, Branch Manager (25th Street)

West Fargo Public Schools

Jana Oistad, Assistant Principal, Sheyenne High School

Widmer Roel

Brian Clark, Senior Staff Accountant Juan Martinez, Audit Manager Matthew Nelson, Tax Manager Russell Selburg, Staff Accountant Julia Stenberg, Staff Accountant Nico VanDanacker, Staff Accountant

Email your company or people news to us at or visit

New Designations & Certifications Fredrikson & Byron

Kristy L. Albrecht, Employment & Labor, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer William L. Guy, Estate Planning, Chambers High Net Worth Guide F. John Williams III, Estate & Probate, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer, and Chambers High Net Worth Guide Todd E. Zimmerman, Business Litigation, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer Aubrey J. Zuger, Business Litigation, 2020 Great Plains Super Lawyer

Eide Bailly LLP

Matt Labernik, CPA, American Institute of CPAs Leadership Academy graduate

Hospice of the Red River Valley

Staci Metzger, lead social worker, Advanced Palliative Hospice Social Worker Certification Hannah Osland, RN, BSN, CHPN, Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse Nicole Wilm, RN, BSN, CHPN, Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse



Unseen is accelerating the fight against human trafficking and its root causes. Right now, there are more than 40 million people living in slavery. One in four human trafficking victims is a child. Many anti-trafficking organizations do a great job performing specialized work, but too few know about it. They’re unseen—which limits their ability to grow and assist more people.

Than Baardson, CEO & Cofounder

Unseen is currently working with 35 partners in 35 countries across the world, who impacted over 3.3 million people last year. Because of the committed investments from our donors, we’re able to continue building partnerships across the globe in the fight against human trafficking.

Has your organization been affected by COVID-19, and how have you adapted? Very much so. Vulnerabilities are a driving cause of trafficking. Poverty being the greatest. As communities around the world sink into deeper despair, traffickers and those looking to exploit and use anyone they can are running rampant. Thankfully, Unseen’s partners are filling many of the gaps created by the pandemic and are seeing new ways to serve and bring light into darkness. With red light districts closed for months, some of Unseen’s partners were able to work with populations of people they could have never reached before. Even in the midst of tremendous hurt, fear, and unrest, great work is moving forward.

Getting admission was like a dream becoming reality. It gave me hope and confidence, which gradually overcame my depression. I had heard different testimonies about successful women which created a strong desire in me to achieve my dreams. —Nisera

What do you like best about doing business in Fargo Moorhead West Fargo? This community has rallied around the work of Unseen to fight for kids and families in need around the world. Businesses are stepping up and inspiring their employees to get involved as well. We’re seeing entire companies all involved in impacting as many people as possible with Unseen. This town isn’t afraid to take a stand.

What is one thing you most want others to know about you? Married to the greatest lady on earth and my two kids (Ronan 6, Mira 4) are absolutely amazing.

Fast Facts

Total employees: 11 Year founded: 2011 Office location: Fargo Leadership: Than Baardson CEO

Jenny Matthes

Chief Program Officer We love sharing the cool things Chamber members are doing! We’re looking for more businesses with an interesting history, cool story or just doing something spectacular. Tell us who deserves to be featured—you can submit your own company! Send us your suggestion at or email

Mark Matthes COO

Paul Finstad

Lead Development Officer 28  THE BRIDGE


Life Stitch employee and a graduate of Shining Light International’s Women’s Vocational Training Center

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









Discovery Benefits, a WEX comapany Forum Communications Printing GOLDMARK Property Management Minnesota State Community and Technical College Wanzek Construction, Inc.

Bank of the West Bremer Bank Houston Engineering KLJ Engineering Midwest Radio of Fargo Moorhead Minnesota State Community and Technical College Moore Engineering ROERS Sparklight Wanzek Construction Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.



Bell Bank  |  Bremer Bank Choice Bank  |  Delta by Marriott Discovery Benefits, a WEX company Eventide Senior Living Communities 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





BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota Bremer Bank First International Bank

American Crystal Sugar Company





Dawson Insurance, a Marsh & McLennan Agency  |  GOLDMARK Property Management Midco  |  Minnesota State Community and Technical College



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

Call or Text (because it’s the 2020s) 701.261.0939 See how we think and what we’ve done

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