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2014 Plan of Action Inform....Promote....Advocate Connect....Educate

2014 Chamber Leadership Executive Committee

Chris Wolf

Alerus Financial Chair

Jeff Wilson

Vilandre Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing

Past Chair

Kristi MagnusonNelson

Ron Galstad

Craig Amiot

John Oncken

True North Equip. Vice Chair

Hugo’s Wine & Spirits Chair Elect/Treasurer

Galstad, Jensen & McCann, PA Vice Chair/Secretary

Pete Haga

Bonnie Rygg-Haley Brady Hansen

5 Star Collision Vice Chair

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Board of Directors

Barry Wilfahrt

Dan Dahl

The Chamber - GF/EGF Dahl Funeral Home President/CEO

Kenny Holweger Kenny’s Music

Brian Rydell

Rydell Auto Center

City of Grand Forks

BeMobile, Inc.


Dennis Reisnour

Phyllis Johnson

Curt Kreun

Bob Moore

ND State Representative

Pat McLean

UND VP Research & Economic Develop.

Cheryl Swanson Alerus Center

Klaus Thiessen

Matt Walkowiak

Col. Paul Bauman

GF Region Economic Dev. Corporation

Jason Heintz

Bon Voyage Travel

Clear Channel Comm.

Ground Round

River Cinema

GFAFB Commander

Sr. Military Advisor to the Board

Altru Health System

Your Chamber Working For You

While you are hard at work, your Chamber of Commerce is working for you. We inform, promote, advocate, connect and educate our members and community.


The Chamber informs members on important business and community information. This is done through events, the newsletter, broadcast emails and social media. The Chamber lets its members know when there is something that may affect your business, something good that is happening in our communities or when there is a potential issue coming up that we need to take action on.


The Chamber promotes its members, the business community and the GF/EGF region. Through community directories in print, on the website, on social media sites and even a mobile app, people can find out about our businesses. The Chamber makes countless referrals over the phone and via email to people looking for our services and products. Members can promote themselves through The Chamber’s newsletter, member to member emails, and various advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Being a member of The Chamber is the most effective way to be in front of over 1000 area businesses.


The Chamber advocates for its members and our business climate at the city, state and federal levels. The Chamber is present at legislative meetings in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks and at our state capitals. The Chamber collaborates with other organizations in the community to make sure we have a strong voice to affect change in Grand Forks, East Grand Forks and our region.


The Chamber provides opportunities for businesses to connect with other businesses. Some of these opportunities are at events, at Business After Hours and through a variety of committees. The Chamber connects members with government by organizing trips to the legislature, candidate forums, legislative forums, policy meetings, and meetings with state legislators, etc. The Chamber collaborates with various community organizations to work together to create a strong community.


The Chamber provides education opportunities for your business and employees. From monthly Brown Bag seminars, to the yearly Leadership Training Program to special trainings like Disney Business Excellence, The Chamber offers training opportunities for all businesses.

Your Chamber has been working for our communities for over 100 years. With more than 1,000 members, it is the region’s largest business organization.

We are the Premiere Networking and Business Information Resource in the GF/EGF Area

The Chamber will continue to be the leader in bringing business people together to make valuable contacts that help grow and enhance your client base and business.

Member Networking

Monthly Business After Hours Participation in the more 100 chamber programs and events Continue aggressive membership visits program to members in their place of business Chamber Facebook page and social media opportunities

Member Services

Relocation packets to newcomers Member Traffic Catcher Sites on chamber website Website information and listing in the business directory ( Chamber On-Line Monthly “The Voice” newsletter Chamber App for iPhone and Android Community Profile book and Member Directory Community maps Member referrals Business Briefs section of newsletter Member to Member E-mail Chamber Express avertising packets Certificate of origin seals Chamber Business of the Week program in EGF Monthly column in The Exponent

Member Events

The Chamber Annual Meeting & Dinner - January Mayor State of the City Luncheon - February Annual Chamber Golf Classic - June Volunteer Appreciation Picnic - August Wake Up to UND - September Northland State of the College - October State of the Base Breakfast – November Ag Appreciation Banquet - November Eggstravaganza - December Business After Hours - Monthly

Member Recognition

Henry Havig Award - January Mike Maidenberg Emerging Leader Award - December Ambassador of the Quarter Business Briefs Section of Newsletter

Member Education

Monthly Brown Bag Seminars Disney Training - April 2014 Adult Leadership training program Advanced Leadership training program - Every other year Business related training opportunities semi annually

The Momentum Continues The Chamber - GF/EGF had a successful year in 2013 and the momentum continues to grow. The strength of our organization and support of our members allows The Chamber to be actively involved in advocating, promoting and collaborating for a better business community.

We Address the Needs of the 1000+ Members

The Chamber will continue to be the premier organization for meeting the needs and providing services for the diverse business community in Grand Forks/East Grand Forks through the work of its standing committees. This has long been the hallmark of the Chamber as it has continually provided value-added services to its members throughout its 109 year history. The Chamber’s products and services are under constant review and our offerings change as new ones evolve to accurately reflect our member’s diverse needs over time.

Chamber Committees, Purpose and 2014 Priorities Chamber committees will continue to: Invite additional chamber members to get involved Communicate accomplishments to the membership Continue a business approach to chamber projects

Agribusiness Committee– Chair: Brad Costello, Alerus Financial Purpose: Promote agriculture and its importance to the region. Goals: • Continue to grow annual Farm Appreciation banquet. • Work on Ag Education in the Community. • Recruit monthly speakers on ag issues for meetings. • Research and develop policy positions on agribusiness issues. • City to Farm Tour. Ambassadors Committee– Chair: Daniel Ward, Alerus Financial Purpose: To be the welcoming arm of The Chamber and promote chamber membership. Goals: • Welcome new chamber members and businesses with ribbon cutting ceremonies. • Assist with registration and greeting at chamber functions. • Involve Ambassadors in 2014 Membership Drive. • Conduct Annual Operation “Thank You” campaign designed to thank membership and promote chamber business. Business Government Education Alliance Committee – Chair: Larry Nybladh, Superintendent of GF Schools and Jim Galloway, partner JLG Architects. Purpose: Bring Business, government and education leaders together to address issues and share information of importance for the successful development and positive growth of the Grand Forks/East Grand Forks region.

Goals: • Host monthly meetings on topics of keen interest and importance to the community. • Identify opportunities for The Chamber to be involved in implementing the NV360 results. • Report outcome of meetings to the membership. • Continue the work of the BGEA Workforce Subcommittee. Facilities Committee – Chair: Jay Kleven, EAPC Architects Engineers Purpose: Update and manage the current chamber facility Goals: • The Chamber will continue to work on its facility plan. • The Chamber will work to keep its rental space occupied.

Finance Committee – Chair: Kristi Magnuson Nelson, Hugo’s/Hugo’s Wine & Spirits Purpose: Help determine and meet chamber financial goals to ensure financial stability of the organization. Goals: • Monitor chamber finances and ensure accountability. • Make personal contact with past due accounts. • Coordinate chamber membership visits and membership survey to secure input and learn about member concerns. Government Affairs Committee - Chair: Dane Ferguson, Ferguson Books and Media Purpose: Provide leadership, information and advocacy that will enhance the economic environment and represent the interests of the local business community. Develop cooperative relationships with organizations to establish and nurture positive relationships at the local, state and national levels. The Chamber will be an advocate for the free enterprise system.

• • • •

Minnesota Goals: • Lead an annual business/community delegation to the legislature to meet with elected officials and key decision makers on issues impacting the GF/EGF region. Organize EGF Intergovernmental Retreat in February. Work with MN State Chamber to provide input on issues of importance to the local business community. Work with MN State Chamber, Greater MN Coalition and Boarder Cities Coalition to provide input on issues of importance to the local business community. Assist in communicating their platforms back to local elected officials . Support the EGF Legislative team agenda.

North Dakota Goals: • Lead annual business/community delegation to the legislature to meet with elected officials and key decision makers on issues impacting the GF/EGF region. • Conduct Legislative Forums on Saturdays during the ND Legislative sessions. • Be visible and active in local city, school and county decision making that potentially impacts the business community.

• • •

Be in contact with the congressional delegation on key issues impacting the GF/EGF Region. Coordinate listening sessions with business leaders and congressional leaders. Work with ND State Chamber to provide input on issues of importance to the local business community. Assist in communicating their platforms back to local elected officials. Support the GF Legislative team agenda.

Herald Advisory Committee – Chair: Bruce Gjovig, UND Center for Innovation Purpose: Meet periodically with representatives of The Grand Forks Herald to discuss how business is represented and its issues communicated in the publication. Goals: • Meet quarterly with the Herald editorial board to talk about the Herald’s coverage of business issues. • Assist the GF Herald in identifying business related stories of interest to the community. Leadership Committee – Chair: Gwen Klawon, UND Aerospace Purpose: Continue to respond to the need for future leaders by conducting an annual leadership training program. Goals: • Conduct the 29th annual personal growth and professional development training program. • Continue to successfully graduate 40 participants. • Identify new ways to encourage the more than 900 graduates of the program to become involved in the community. • Continue to work with the Community Foundation to award the Mike Maidenberg Emerging Leader Award. • Grow the scholarship fund for future Leadership Program attendees established in 2009. • Continue the biennial Advanced Leadership Program. Military Affairs Committee – Co-Chairs: Donna Wolfe-Sholes, Greenberg Realty and Al Palmer, UND Aerospace Sciences Purpose: Foster a strong relationship between the GF/EGF communities and the military units in our region and help provide community support for future missions. Goals: • Facilitate improved communication between military and non-military groups. • Coordinate Military and Military Family Support/Community Connection. • Support Air Base future missions and realignment activities (CBEI, BRIC). Small Business Committee – Co-Chairs: Donna Remer, Remer Accounting PC & Josh Brown, Thompson Insurance Purpose: Provide value to chamber member small businesses through educational, programming and other small business services. Work with SBA, SCORE and other small business programs to carry out this purpose. Goals: • Continue to offer a monthly Brown Bag seminars on a variety of pertinent topics to small businesses in the GF/EGF region. • Offer one half-day small business education opportunity.

Past Board Chairs Committee – Chair: Jeff Wilson, Vilandre Air Conditioning , Plumbing & Seamless Gutter Purpose: Serve in an advisory capacity to chamber leadership and staff.

If you are interested in joining any of our committees or just want more information about them, please contact us at 701-772-7271 or

Chamber Staff

Barry Wilfahrt President/CEO

Lisa Swanson Vice President of Operations

Carla Younce

Finance Director

Kimberly Strom Emberly Lietz Program/Event Director

Connie Klefstad Audrey Lind Administrative Assistant

Project Assistant

Membership Director

Past Chamber Board Chairs 2000 Terry Hecht~ EGF Bob Peabody~ GF

1989 Jeff Westrem~EGF Don Larsen~GF

1978 Kenneth Coauette~EGF George Unruh, Jr.~GF

1967 Lee Dunlevy~EGF Ralph Roth~GF

1999 Duane Finney~EGF Don Fisk~GF

1988 JoAnn Sayler~EGF Marlan Helgeson~GF

1977 Raymond German~EGF Curt Magnuson~GF

1966 Lars Stennes~EGF Don Lindgren~GF

1998 Wally Rodgers~EGF Dr. Robert Boyd~GF

1987 Gerard Neil~EGF Ralph Campbell~GF

1976 Francis Mireault~EGF Dick Wold~GF

1965 John P. Bushee~EGF John A. McDonald.~GF

1997 Terry Atkins~EGF Jack Carroll~GF

1986 Gerard Neil~EGF John Marshall~GF

1975 John F. Ellison~EGF John Norby~GF

1964 Leonard Zimmer~EGF Bob Lander~GF

1996 Cheryl Gaddie~ EGF Lonnie Laffen~ GF

1985 1974 Paul Stadem, DDS~EGF Marvin K. Devig~EGF R.J. Fiala~GF Justin Hoberg~GF

1963 Emil Rychart~EGF Edward Olson~GF

2006 Rich Becker

1995 Cindy O’Keefe~ EGF Randy Newman~ GF

1984 Richard Wiley~EGF Jean Kiesau~GF

1973 Maury Finney~EGF David Kessler~GF

1962 John P. Bushee~EGF T.P. McElroy, Jr.~GF

2005 Rich Becker/ Joanne Otto

1994 Craig Buckalew~ EGF Greg Gerloff~ GF

1983 Steve Gorman~EGF James Dalglish~GF

1972 George Mack~EGF David Vaaler~GF

1961 Leonard Driscoll~EGF R.W. Blaine~GF

2004 Phil Gisi~EGF Dave Molmen~GF

1993 Steve Worwa~EGF Ralph J. Noll~GF

1982 Steve Gorman~EGF Bob Vaaler~GF

1971 Arvy J. Larson~EGF Jerome M. Dunlevy, Jr.~GF

1960 Earl Levasseur~EGF James Rice~GF

2013 Jeff Wilson 2012 Chris Semrau 2011 Jim Galloway 2010 Barb Schultz 2009 Rick Duquette 2008 Jerry Youngberg 2007 Kristi Hall Jiran

1981 1992 Robert E. Bob Bydal~EGF Dr. James E. Gjerset~GF Peabody~EGF Jim Strausbaugh~GF 1991 1980 2002 Jack Robertson~EGF Mike Pokrzywinski~EGF Bruce Rampelberg~GF Robert E. Peabody~EGF Darrell Larson~GF Clair Rowe~GF 1990 2001 Bob Rosenberg~EGF 1979 Dr. Steve Gander~EGF Bob Kerr~GF Dean F. Mitzel~EGF Dave McFarlane~GF Paul J. Bridston~GF 2003 Mike Pokrzywinski~ EGF Judi Paukert ~GF

1970 Arvy J. Larson~EGF Ed Lander~GF 1969 John J. Gaddie~EGF N.C. Olsson~GF 1968 Albert Boushey~EGF Chuck Goodman~GF

1959 Leo Dunlevy~EGF G.E. Satrom~GF 1958 Lee Everett~EGF H.T. Gustafson~GF 1957 Michael K. Gorman~EGF Gordon Caldis~GF

Chamber Strategic Partnerships

The Chamber recognizes that it is most effective when it works closely and in cooperation with other organizations in the community. The Chamber’s overall approach in working in partnership with other organizations is: The Chamber will work in partnership with other organizations whenever possible to accomplish its mission and goals. The Chamber will serve as a catalyst to ensure the GF/EGF Region remain future focused, looking at the future vision of all sectors and how they interrelate in the region. The Chamber will be the voice of business in the GF/EGF Region. The Chamber will work toward a “one community” approach with GF/EGF.

BRIC (Base Realignment Impact Committee) – A partnership of the City of Grand Forks, Grand Forks County, The Grand Forks EDC, UND and The Chamber. Mission: Work to retain and enhance Grand Forks Air Force Base. Vision: A fully operating base with multiple long term relevant missions. A base near capacity with new infrastructure , many personnel well positioned for future BRAC rounds. A base with alternative uses incorporated into the overall base plan. Goals: • Pursue new Tanker Mission at GFAFB • Support and enhance all current missions and capabilities at GFAFB • Prepare response to BRAC 2015/2017 • Pursue complimentary capabilities and technologies for GFAFB • Support Grand Sky and other economic diversification

NV and ME – The NV and ME (NV360/Community Visioning Action Team) is a partnership between The Chamber and The Com-

munity Foundation. Purpose: The NV and ME Action Team will work to ensure implementation of the various aspects of the NV360 results. Goals: • Serve as a catalyst to ensure the results of the NV360 Community Visioning process are implemented. • Pursue and secure funding for programs aimed at helping implement the NV360 results. • Operate a Micro Grant Program aimed at increasing community attachment and progress on the key attachment factors: social offerings, aesthetics and openness.

GF Legislative Priority Committee– A coalition of The Chamber, The GF EDC, The City of GF, UND and other

entities as necessary. Purpose: To identify key infrastructure and policy needs and work with elected officials at the state and local level to promote the “Grand Forks” legislative agenda.

EGF Intergovernmental Committee– A coalition of The Chamber, The EGF EDHA, The City of EGF, NCTC, Polk County. Purpose: To identify key infrastructure and policy needs and work with elected officials at the state and local level to promote the “East Grand Forks” legislative agenda.

Workforce Development Task Force– A coalition of The Chamber, The EDC, The Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM), and Job Service. Purpose: To develop strategies to increase workforce availability for area employers.

UND Advisory Committee– A coalition of The Chamber, The EDC, and UND. Local Legislators and other elected officials

will also be invited to participate. Purpose: To identify where the community, business community and UND can work more closely together to meet each other’s needs and strategically seize opportunities.

Our Mission We create an environment that encourages business success while enhancing the quality of life in our region.

202 North 3rd Street Grand Forks, ND 58203 701-772-7271 701-772-9238 fax Find us on Facebook,

The Chamber Plan of Action 2014  
The Chamber Plan of Action 2014