2 0 UNDER 4 0 P R O FILE 2018 | CELEB R AT E T H E BAS IN
SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018 | WILLISTON HERALD
Recognizing our finest Williston Herald hosts the inaugural 20 under 40
Whether you call it the Bakken, the Williston Basin or any other name, one thing is not up for debate — our area is one of opportunity. The 20 young professionals the Williston Herald picked for our inaugural 20 Under 40 celebration personify the opportunities available here. The oil and gas industry is, of course, well-represented among the group, but it is not alone. Williston’s first City Administrator is being honored, as is a Northwest District Court judge, the Williams County Sheriff, educators, healthcare professionals and many others. We are lucky to live in an area where there is the opportunity for so many young professionals to make a difference, and we’re lucky to live in a community where
so many have chosen to take advantage of that opportunity. Our first crop of honorees are an outstanding example of what Williston and the rest of the region has to offer. People who were born and raised here have joined with newcomers and truly transformed northwest North Dakota. Our community is immeasurably richer for their contributions. What’s more, the future is truly bright as our honorees continue to make a difference in every aspect of our community. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating our first 20 Under 40 honorees. We look forward to many more years of celebrating the achievement of young professionals in our region.
Recipients will be honored at the 20 Under 40 Banquet on Friday, March 2, 2018
In addition to honoring the Williston Herald’s 20 Under 40, Friday evening’s event is also a chance to celebrate the achievements of Lois Reierson, the Herald’s Citizen of the Year. Reierson, who was profiled earlier this week, has been deeply involved in the Williston Lions, as well as working as Senior Health Insurance Counselor.
20 Under 40 Honorees Biographies written by: Elizabeth Hackenburg Photos taken by: Lexi Anderson, Tangled Roots Photography
Victoria Arneson MATH TEACHER AT BAKKEN ELEMENTARY
Age: 34 Family
She and her husband Terry have five children — Austen, 19, Dillon, 14, Faith, 11, Emaleigh, 11, and Terrick, 9.
Traveling, reading, and spending time with her kids.
Arneson volunteers at Eckert Youth Homes, tutors students who need extra help with math, and she
and her husband are licensed foster parents. They are active in New Hope Church as well. Arneson is also a member of ND United, a teachers’ union, and the Williston Education Association.
Arneson started working as a teacher’s aide, then got married, had twins and stayed at home. She went back to school and became a sixth-grade teacher, and went on to earn a master’s degree in math from Western Governor’s University
Codi Austreim EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE WILLISTON COYOTE FOUNDATION
Age: 39 Family
She and her husband Jaden have twin 7-year-old daughters, Alex and Averi.
Sports, especially basketball and volleyball, traveling, spending time with friends.
Williston Community Builders board member, helped create Williston Friendly Faces in 2010,
which has since merged with Williston Community Builders, volunteers as a coach at the ARC, coaches her daughters’ traveling basketball team.
Austreim earned a master’s degree in English composition from NDSU. She taught at Williston High School for six years, and Williston State College for three years. After the birth of her daughters, Austreim stopped teaching and began working for family businesses. Once the girls
before focusing her teaching career on math.
“I struggled a lot with school, my teachers told my parents I wouldn’t graduate from high school because (my grades) were very low, but when I went to high school my goal wasn’t to be in education. After I had my first son he was in Head Start and I saw how children can be helped at a young age, and I decided to go into teaching. I like sixth-graders because they’re sweet and sour, it’s really a vital time for them, especially in math, to have someone take the time to reach them and
started school, a position opened up at the Coyote Foundation.
“The reason why I’m involved in the community is because on one hand I want to make it a better place for my two little girls, but I also want to set an example for them that it’s our responsibility to help and give back and make a difference whenever we can. Sometimes it’s a small thing like going to clean up a park on clean up day, or it’s big things like the Festival of Trees event. My kids talk about volunteering, and helping people who need help, and that’s
help them. My grandmother Beverlee Hundley always told me to get an education, because no one can take it away. She also inspired me to read. We share a love of reading and books and go through at least 100 books a month together. She is 86 and still travels the world. She is an amazing lady. I also wouldn’t be able to put as much passion, energy and love into what I do without my husband’s support.”
“My marriage, my faith and my kids, and after that would be my career and my degrees.”
important to me… I think they are probably my main motivation in pretty much everything I do. I surround myself with like-minded people, there are so many people in the community who feel like I do, who just get the job done, and don’t ask for credit. They just step up and fill that role.”
“How Williston Community Builders has grown and fostered and nurtured the Festival of Trees. It has grown by leaps and bounds, and has become what I would say is one of the most successful and fun events in the community each year.”
Rheanda Axtman MANAGER OF CARDIO PULMONARY AT ST. ALEXIUS HEALTH IN WILLISTON, REGISTERED RESPIRATORY THERAPIST
Axtman and her husband Jake have a 2-year-old son, Braxton.
Spending time with her son and friends, bike riding, sports, Bison athletics, and traveling.
Axtman is a member of the Williston Park Board. Axtman ran track and earned a degree in allied science/respiratory care from NDSU. After college, she began working at CHI St. Alexius Health Williston as a respiratory therapist.
“I was born and raised in Williston, but I left for college to go to NDSU. (Go Bison!) I graduated in 2011
and moved back home to Williston to work. In 2014 I married Jake Axtman, who is also from Williston, and in 2015 we had our first baby, Braxton. Professionally, as a respiratory therapist one of my goals is to become an asthma educator.”
“Helping organize and run the Jangs Gang golf tournament. The golf tournament is in memory of my and Logan’s older brother, Tyler Jangula. One hundred per-
cent of the profits go to the Tyler Jangula Scholarship, which is given to a NDSU Bison football player.”
20 Under 40
WILLISTON HERALD | PROFILE 2018 | SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018
KEVIN BLACK CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF CREEDENCE ENERGY SERVICES
Age: 29 Family
Black and his wife Kalli have a daughter, Reagan, 2, and son, Rawley, 7 months.
Golf in the summer, curling in the winter, cheering on the NDSU Bisons.
Although Creedence Energy Services operates out of Williston, Black lives in Minot. He is a member of the
Sunrise Rotary Club, Young Professional Network and Souris Basin Planning Council. He serves on UND’s Petroleum Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, and belongs to the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Petroleum Institute.
Black graduated from NDSU with a degree in industrial engineering. He moved to Williston and worked for a year as a sales engineer in training with Champion Technologies. He trans-
ferred to Baker Hughes in Minot to work as an account manager for the production chemicals division, and three years ago, started Creedence Energy Services with his cousins, Wyatt and Malachi Black.
and gas. This is very much a shared honor and recognition. I also want to extend a massive thank you to all of our employees, without them we wouldn’t be where we are today as a a leader in oilfield chemicals in the Williston basin.”
“I am incredibly blessed and fortunate to have an amazing family that has been very supportive. Starting this company with my two cousins has been an incredible ride, we started the company when oil had dipped below $30 a barrel, but we survived, and I am grateful for the support of the community and the opportunity to work in oil
to school at Rocky Mountain College and earned a master’s degree in education leadership in 2015.
“On a personal level it’s my two kids, my daughter is the absolute joy of my life, my son is only 7 months but he’s growing up quick too.”
La Lynda Blotsky VICE PRESIDENT AT WILLISTON TRINITY CHRISTIAN SCHOOL
Age: 28 Family
She and her husband Zachary have a daughter, Lennon, 3, and son, Isaac, 17, and a dog, Drexyl.
Continuing to learn, currently pursuing a PhD in education from Walden University. Reading, writing, and supporting Crusader sports teams. Blotsky is also passionate about adoption.
A co-founder of Hope Group for infertility support, involved in activities at Life Church Assembly of God, assistant volleyball coach at Williston Trinity Christian School.
Earned a degree in elementary education with minors in early childhood education and middle school education at Mayville State University. Taught middle school language arts and social studies for four years at Trinity Christian. Returned
“I’m just very passionate about making sure that every child has a positive education experience. Every child feels like family in my school, I treat every child as if they have my last name. I’m very passionate about loving others and doing for others what Jesus would have done for us, and adoption is my ultimate passion.”
“My husband and I were told that we would not be parents and we didn’t settle for that. I have 245 kids (at school) and two beautiful children at home.”
Sarah Christianson CO-FOUNDER AND OWNER OF KAY MICHAEL LEE STUDIO
Age: 30 Family
Christianson has a boyfriend, Alex, and lives with her two Shih Tzus.
Cooking, baking, and doing beadwork on her dancers’ costumes
The studio performs halftime shows for school
sports in the region, and does a Halloween production every other year. Its dancers also are involved with Entertainment Inc.
Christianson earned a dance degree from Minnesota State and has taken dance workshops across the country. She also spent time dancing in Fargo before returning to Williston and opening the studio with her sister Serena in 2011.
“Dance is in an expression of your soul, I like it because it fills a void in your heart that no one can ever touch. It brings a happiness to the dancer and the audience, it creates a spiritual feeling, and it’s a giving back art too, it’s really rewarding for both sides.”
it’s still going today. That makes me really proud, as well as the progress of my students and the recognition that they earn.”
“We had the confidence and support of our friends and family to fulfill a dream that we’ve always had, and
Congratulations Kim Wenko for being Selected as a
20 under 40 recipient!
Under 40 20
SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018 | PROFILE 2018 | WILLISTON HERALD
ny’s shareholders’ group, and he was promoted to his current position in 2017.
Cox and his wife Janie have a daughter, Reese, 5, Halle, 3, and a newborn son, Leif.
nomic Development Board, president of North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers, Chapter 5, a member of the Williston Area Builders Association board and active in New Hope Church. He is also a 2013 graduate of Leadership Williston.
REGIONAL MANAGER AND PART OWNER OF THE ENGINEERING AND INSPECTION FIRM STRATA INC.
Age: 35 Family
Spending time with family, BBQing, hunting, fishing, weightlifting and working out.
Cox is president of the Williston Regional Eco-
Cox began working for Strata Inc. in 2008, and became a department manager that same year. In 2011, he moved from Wyoming to open a branch office in Williston. In 2013, he accepted an offer to join the compa-
Jason Everett SENIOR PROJECT MANAGER AT KLE CONSTRUCTION LLC
Family businesses gave Everett early exposure to the construction and timber industries. By the time he was 15 years old, he was spending his summers working in construction in Alaska. Several years later, he was working in his native Washington in timber, earthworks, underground utilities and asphalt paving. Everett had a hand in some land development projects, but a dip in the state’s housing industry resulted in the
Everett is married to Marie Michelle. The couple has a dog named Dexter.
Organizes donations and fundraisers put on by the company for various community causes. President of the North Dakota chapter of the National Underground
“I’m always looking for new projects to take on. I’ve decided if I’m going to live in a community I’m going to give back and help make it better. I’ve enjoyed serving on the boards and serving in the community. I also enjoy dispelling the stigma of Williston. You talk about it to people who aren’t from here and they’re not aware of the good things here. I enjoy promoting those things that Williston offers. Since I moved here there’s just kind of that stigma of Williston the boom town, creation of KLE Construction, a family business. The company was headquartered in Seattle before Everett came to Williston with a friend in 2011. By 2013, the business had relocated to Williston.
“I am passionate about helping young people who see a future in business, and I especially like helping those who want to be in businesses like construction or the oil industry. I like to anticipate work, and look at other opportunities. I have a lot of fight in me, and if you throw me into any situation, whether it’s helping people building a business or
that it’s cold, it’s flat, there’s nothing to do here except work. With my community service I’ve tried to promote the many good things that are here.”
“Number one is family, just having my wonderful wife and three healthy amazing kids. Career-related would be started a successful branch office and maintaining that through the downturn we’ve had over the last couple of years.”
pursue some other kind of project, I’m going to figure out a way to get it done.”
“I’m proud of marrying my wife, and also growing the business and establishing ourselves in the community. Regardless of financial experts saying we wouldn’t make it, we had resilience, and that’s an accomplishment. We never gave up and we kept our word and we told people were were here to stay and they laughed at us, but we pushed forward in a positive direction regardless of what was going on around us.”
Gabe Gratz PHARMACIST AND OWNER OF G&G PHARMACY AND SERVICE DRUG PHARMACY
New Hope Church.
Gratz graduated from NDSU’s pharmacy school in 2007. He lived in the Twin Cities for seven years while working in pharmacies at CVS and Target, but he and his wife returned home to Williston when he recognized an opportunity to start a new pharmacy. He purchased Service Drug in 2013, and opened G&G Pharmacy in 2014.
Gratz and his wife Tara, have a daughter, Olivia, 8, sons Hunter, 5, and Ellington, 2, and newborn daughter Blakely.
Golfing, boating and fishing.
Sits on the Downtowners Association board and is involved with activities at
“We really wanted to come back close to home…
the boom was starting its downward trend but it was still going on, and there was a need for pharmacy services. With G&G we were part of the building process, were able to work with the architect on the space’s design. It was a fun process to try to provide Williston with the services it needed while it was in a state of growth.”
about us. We’ve grown exponentially over the past three years and we have a lot of positive feedback. To see where we’re at now and the volume that we do, and the fact that we went from nothing to where we are now is something we’re really proud of.”
“Most pharmacies don’t experience a zero start, but we had a zero start. When we opened we had zero customers and nobody knew
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING ENTREPRENEURS ON BEING NAMED TO THE 20 UNDER 40 CLASS OF 2018.
Gabe Gratz Owner & Operator of G&G Pharmacy and Service Drug Pharmacy
Jon Greiner Owner of Basin Safety Consulting
Katie Kringen Owner of Chatter Pediatric Therapy
Kevin Black President of Creedence Energy Services
DAVID TUAN | 20 UNDER 40 The City of Williston congratulates David Tuan on being named to the 20 Under 40 Class of 2018. David joined the City of Williston in 2013 to become the Director of Public Works. He was promoted to City Administrator in November of 2016. Under David’s wise direction, the City of Williston has become an even stronger organization. The City of Williston thanks David for his outstanding leadership!
The Williston STAR Fund is proud of your contributions to our community!
Owner of Style Uncorked Boutique
20 Under 40
WILLISTON HERALD | PROFILE 2018 | SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018
Jonathon Greiner FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF BASIN SAFETY CONSULTING CORPORATION
supports local events.
Greiner graduated from Williston State College, and went on to Minot State University, where he studied in Mexico and Thailand before graduating in 2011. He created Basin Safety Consulting in 2012, and in 2014, founded Basin Contracting Environmental Services. He has also been involved with other business ventures in the Williston area, including Lantern Coffee.
Greiner lives with his 15year old black Labrador, Luca.
Traveling, basketball and performing as a musician.
Greiner sits on the board for the Northwest Chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship, has been involved with Youth for Christ, and
“I’ve always looked for the opportunity to make my world a slightly better place, whether it’s been in helping out people overseas or building a company or working with kids. I think it’s important to give as much of your energy and creativity as you can towards the projects and people that are brought into your life. I also think it’s important to always be looking for new opportunities as a person and involve as many quality people in that process as possible. None of
us would have been able to get there without choosing the right kind of people to surround ourselves with.”
“Being able to work with my best friends. They’ve moved from different states and areas, one friend came from Minnesota, another one from Colorado, and they helped start the company. I’ve got a younger brother who works for me too. I think that’s an accomplishment.”
Logan Jangula struggle simultaneously with substance use and mental health problems. “By doing so, I can hopefully help them live life on life’s terms.”
LICENSED ADDICTION COUNSELOR AT NORTHWEST HUMAN SERVICE CENTER
Age: 27 Family
Jangula lives with his wife, Ala.
Spending time with family and friends, reading, traveling within the United States and internationally.
Jangula plans on becoming a licensed mental health counselor, in order to be able to help people who
“I am from Williston, I was born and raised here. I spent the past eight years in Fargo, where I went to school and met my now wife, Ala. My wife is a teacher at the high school here in town, which suits her perfectly. I have an older sister Rheanda, who is the director of the respiratory department at the hos-
pital here in town. My older brother Tyler is and always will be my role model. I am grateful for my memories of him, as he passed on way too early in his life. My parents Henry and Randi have done a great job with raising us three kids, they taught us how to treat people with respect and work hard at what we do.”
Co-Occurring Disorders from Hazelden Betty Ford, as I never imagined I would do such a thing.”
“The thing that I am most proud of is graduating from school with a master’s degree in Addiction Studies: Integrated Recovery for
Katie Kringen SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST AND OWNER OF CHATTER, A PEDIATRIC THERAPY CENTER.
Age: 32 Family
Kringen and her husband Josh have a son, Cruz, 5, and daughters Piper, 3, and Harlow, 8 months.
Going to the lake during the summer, supporting local and state sports.
Chatter hosts a Sensitive Santa event during the holidays for children with sensory issues.
Kringen earned a master’s degree in speech and language pathology from Minot State University. She first worked in public schools in Minot, then at the Peace Garden Consortium near Bottineau and in Glendive, Montana as a
speech pathologist before she and her family moved to Williston. She opened her private practice in 2015. By 2016, she’d begun adding other therapists, and now has a staff of 10.
“I come from a large family, and I’ve always loved meeting people. I’ve gotten to meet so many people throughout my jobs, and the families I’ve met in the Williston area through
Chatter are awesome.”
“I’m really proud of my employees. The therapists I’ve hired are good people and they’re really good at what they do. We’re all professionals here working together. I’m also proud of my family, and my three kids.”
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SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018 | PROFILE 2018 | WILLISTON HERALD
Verlan Kvande WILLIAMS COUNTY SHERIFF
Age: 39 Family
Kvande lives with his wife Charissa, stepson Connor, 17, and stepdaughter Makia, 16. His oldest son, Ty, 18, recently joined the Army.
Hunting and fishing.
Member of the Missouri Basin Bowmen Association, active with the local Citizen’s Police Academy.
Kvande joined the Williams County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections officer in 1998. In 2002 he switched to the patrol division until he was promoted to investigations in 2007. He was promoted numerous times, finally being named chief deputy with the rank of captain in 2011. In the summer of 2017, the Williams County Commission appointed him as sheriff after the retirement of longtime Sheriff Scott Busching.
some. I’m also proud of the business, going from being by myself to having three other guys that work with me.”
“Coming out of high school I was looking at going to college, but after a few classes I realized that electrical engineering wasn’t going to be my thing. I worked at a couple of jobs in the community, did a small stint in the oil field, and planned on going to college at Devils Lake for the police academy, but after I had done all my enrollment I was given an opportunity to come on at the sheriff’s office in Williams County. I’ve hit my longterm career goal as far as being the sheriff of Williams County, my next goal is to be elected by the citizens of Williams County.”
“I am most proud of my children. My boy has decided to go into the military to be a combat medic, and my step kids have done excellent in school, they all have high GPAs along with being in athletics. On a professional level, I’m proud of starting with this organization at a young age knowing that this is what I wanted to do. I’ve been able to remain here for the entirety of my career and been given the opportunity to grow and advance myself through this organization.”
MaTT LIEbel and girls basketball and middle school golf.
As a teacher, Liebel’s summers are free, which has allowed him to do a lot of fishing. He earned a North Dakota Governor’s Cup award in 2011 during a fishing tournament, and used the prize money to start Liebel’s Guide Service in 2012. The business introduces clients to good fishing spots on Lake Sakakawea near New Town and Williston.
He and his wife Amy have a son, Mason, 4, and daughter Bridget, 11 months.
Fishing, hunting, refereeing basketball and football.
Gives fishing seminars at sports and recreation shows for both adults and kids, coaches middle school boys
John Lisle CO-FOUNDER, OWNER AND PROJECT MANAGER AT S&B DRILLING
Age: 33 Family
Lisle and his wife Kelsey have a daughter, Aurora, 9, and a son, Griffin, 7.
Hunting, fishing, and spending time outdoors and with family.
The company regularly sponsors various activities. Past events include Summer Jam, the downtown
rib cookoff, the API Chili Cookoff, Lemonade Day, and the Festival of Trees. It also sponsors a night and has a display at the Holiday Lights Drive at Spring Lake Park. This past year Elizabeth’s Dance Expressions received money raised by the company at the lights drive. Lisle also serves as an ambassador for Veterans Outdoors Adventures North Dakota.
Lisle worked as a police officer in Houston while earning his criminal justice
“The outdoors has always been one of my biggest passions, my dad was a big influence on that, and I thought when I was growing up that being a guide would be awesome. I went to school and got a teaching degree, but I am living my dream to be going fishing so much. When you have a job that’s not really a job it’s the best thing you could have.”
“I am most proud of my family, they’re pretty awedegree. He also worked as a firefighter and joined the Army Reserves, which resulted in a 12-month deployment to Iraq in 2004. Later, he worked on rigs in Denver, then began working in the oilfield in Williston before co-founding S&B Drilling in early 2015.
I just try to remember where I came from — my whole goal as a leader in the community is so the next guy I mentor has it a little easier than I did and ends up being a better leader than I am. My business partners Clayton Carmack and Chris Carmack have been a huge part of my
success and without them I would not have experienced the successful venture we have found here in Williston together. Without my wife’s support and helping me out and taking care of the family all those months I was away from home we definitely wouldn’t be where we’re at.”
“Fatherhood, it’s very similar to being a leader. I want them to have it a little easier than I did and to be doing a little better than I did.”
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20 Under 40
WILLISTON HERALD | PROFILE 2018 | SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018
TAYLOR OLSON ATTORNEY AT FURUSETH, OLSON & EVERT, P.C. THE FIRM IS CONTRACTED BY THE CITY, AND OLSON ALSO SERVES AS THE CITY’S PROSECUTOR IN WILLISTON’S MUNICIPAL COURT.
Age: 35 Family
She and her husband Jordon Evert have two daughters, Dylan, 3, and Andilyn, 1.
other surrounding municipalities and governmental entities. Olson is also the Babe Ruth Baseball committee chairperson, an adjunct professor at Williston State College and has been the ethics chair for Leadership Williston for the past five years. She also speaks at various Williams County functions.
Spending time with family, watching the Minnesota Twins, skiing at the family cabin in Big Sky, MT and reading.
Member of Williston State College Foundation, Williston Coyote Foundation, State Board of Psychology Examiners and numerous State Bar of North Dakota boards and committees.
Olson earned an accounting degree from St. Cloud University, then worked in in public accounting for three years before going to law school at UND. She earned her law degree and passed the North Dakota bar exam in 2011 and the Montana bar in 2012. She is co-owner of Furuseth, Olson & Evert, P.C., which contracts as the city attorneys for the City of Williston along with many
Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations Congratulations
“I grew up in Williston and graduated from high school in 2001. In 2011 I moved back to Williston with my husband to begin practicing law. We bought into the law firm in 2013 and have worked together ever since. Our first daughter, Dylan, was born in 2014 and our second daughter, Andilyn, was born in 2016. The majority of my family still resides in Williston and my husband’s family all lives in North Dakota.”
“Most days, my biggest accomplishment is getting my two kids to daycare on time and getting myself to work in matching shoes. On a more serious note, I would say one of the
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accomplishments that I am the most proud of is work-related. I am proud of our community and how we have been able to persevere and respond to the many challenges of the oil boom. I look around at the positive changes to our community in the seven years I have been here, and I am proud to have been a teeny tiny part of that. We have a very resilient community and a lot of people who really care about our citizens. The personal accomplishment I am the most proud of is completing the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day in Minneapolis with a friend in 2007. The two of us raised $5,000 for breast cancer research and walked 60 miles in 3 days. It is something I will never forget!”
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Under 40 20
SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018 | PROFILE 2018 | WILLISTON HERALD
KIRSTEN SJUE JUDICIAL DISTRICT JUDGE
Age: 36 Family
Sjue and her husband Mike have a 3-year-old son, Andrew.
Reading, spending time with family.
Serving the community through her job, participation in activities with her son.
Sjue is a 1999 graduate of Williston High School. She earned a degree in political science from UND, graduating summa cum laude in 2003. Three years later, she received her law degree,
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had the privilege of working for two excellent judges, Chief Justice VandeWalle and Judge Erickson, who demonstrated for me what it takes to be a thoughtful and principled jurist, with grace and humility along the way. They were the ones who inspired me to seek a judgeship as my career path. The local judges in the Northwest District, especially Judge Nelson, have also been exceedingly generous to me with their time and mentorship over the years. Although I know I still have a lot of growing and learning to do to become the best judge I can be, I am very thankful for the support of the local bar and the community at large, and I hope to live up to the high standard set by the many fine judges who have influenced me in my career.”
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DAN’S TIRE SERVICE
(701) 572-8232 / 5482 North US Highway 85 • Williston, ND 58801 danstirewilliston.com / Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 7:00am-5:30pm / Sat. 8:00am-Noon / Sun.: Closed
Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative
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J.D. with distinction, from UND’s School of Law. She served as a judicial law clerk for Judge Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice of the North Dakota Supreme Court from 2006-07, and for Judge Ralph R. Erickson, Judge of the United States District Court for the District of North Dakota, from 2007-09. Sjue was an associate attorney with Crowley Fleck PLLP in Williston from 2009-13, and an assistant State’s Attorney with the Williams County State’s Attorney’s Office from 2013-15. She was appointed District Court Judge for the Northwest Judicial District in Williston in 2015.
when my father Garth Sjue graduated from law school at UND, and we’ve been here ever since. I feel fortunate to call Williston my home, and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work in public service by giving back to this community and this area in northwest North Dakota which have given me so much. I am also blessed to be surrounded by many family members and long-time friends who have remained in or returned to Williston over the years, including my parents Garth and Verlette, my brothers Kiel and Matthew, my mother-in-law Kathy, my sisterin-law Karmyn, and six nieces and nephews.”
20 Under 40
WILLISTON HERALD | PROFILE 2018 | SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2018
and was selected for the position in 2016.
CITY ADMINISTRATOR FOR CITY OF WILLISTON
Age: 34 Family
Tuan is single and lives with his dog.
Spending time on the lake, hunting and fishing, competing in marathons and other long-distance races, and obstacle course races and bike races.
President of the Korner Lions Club.
Tuan began pursuing a physics degree after graduating from high school, until joining the Army in 2006. During that time, he learned field engineering and developed in interest in civil engineering. He moved from Canada to the United States in 2008 to earn a civil engineering degree from UND, and began working in Williston in 2010. He was hired by the city in 2012, first working in the engineering department, then becoming public works director. He applied for the job as city administrator,
Heather Vangelder COMMUNITY RELATIONS COORDINATOR AT ONEOK
Age: 32 Family
My immediate family consists of my dad, mom, and younger brother.
Reading, cooking, going to music festivals, fishing, camping, hiking, working in the yard and volunteering.
VanGelder is the Secretary/ Treasurer for the Boys and Girls Club of Richland County. She is also a member of the Job Service for Employers committee, the Sports and Recreation Committee through the Sidney Chamber
“I’ve moved around a lot and spent time in different cities, and it’s always been of interest to me what makes a city work — what people, organizations and cultures are critical. Moving to Williston, I didn’t expect it to be very different from anywhere else I’ve lived, but it was very different, people here were really invested in creating a future. I’ve always wanted to find a place where I could make a difference and enjoy some creative leeway in what I do, it’s very satisfying to work in the public realm on things nity relations coordinator for the company in 2016.
of Commerce and the Sidney Young Professionals. She is a member of Class VIII with the Rural Leadership of North Dakota program, and also volunteers for various community activities in Sidney, Watford City, and Williston.
After finishing college at the University of Montana, VanGelder returned to Wyoming to pursue an education career. She taught preschool at a Head Start program for four years, eventually becoming the supervisor/lead teacher for the program. She then spent time teaching fourth grade before moving to Sidney and starting work with ONEOK as an operations specialist. She was promoted to commu-
“From having been born in a small town in Wyoming, I greatly enjoy being able to spend time outdoors with family and friends. Although I consider myself a dog person, I am still caring for the same old, stray cat that appeared on my door-step in college. Having grown up in a town with fewer than 2,000 people, I have always considered myself a rural person. With this in mind, I find myself enjoying a rural lifestyle more and more, through traveling back and helping on my boyfriend’s family ranch/farm. From fixing fence to pulling calves, there is always something new and “interesting” I find myself enjoying each time we go back. Having a background
CO-OWNER OF STYLE UNCORKED
Age: 38 Family
Wenko and her husband Shawn have two daughters. Brooklyn is 6 and London is 3. The family also has two dogs, Jetta and Bo.
CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE,
Wenko sits on the United Way board and on the Williston State College Business Advisory Board. She is the PTO president at St. Joseph’s School, and a member of the retail community with the Williston Chamber of Commerce.
Wenko earned a degree in communications from Black Hills State University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from NDSU. She worked for nine years at Williston State College, but left the school early this year after opening a franchise retail store in the Renaissance building downtown. Eventually, the store became an individual business endeavor, and was renamed Style Uncorked.
that you can see affecting the public life. At the time I got here, people were gearing up for building a community, it was a place where your success was built on the merits of what you can bring to the table.”
“I’m proud of the impact that I feel I have in this community. I feel I’m able to help a lot of people from the position I hold, and it makes me proud that I have that opportunity and that I’ve earned that from the city commission. I’m proud that I have the support of the board and that they trust me to interface with the public and represent them.” in both education and fine arts allows me to appreciate and communicate the many great attributes of Eastern Montana and Western North Dakota to those who otherwise have a hard time finding us on a map.”
“In my current role, I am very proud of all of the organizations I have been able to help or support reach their goals, whether it be through fundraising or volunteering. There are so many organizations, which really are the pulse of the communities we live in, and so much of their success can be bolstered through donations of dollars and time. I believe our smaller communities have so much to offer due to these organizations, and I am proud for having been able to serve them.”
“I was taught growing up that you always give back to your community, and along with that, I am always thinking of new ideas to try or how to improve the current processes.”
“My family. Being able to be a role model for my daughters — showing them that when you set your mind to something your goals are achievable.”
CONGRATS TO WTCS VICE PRINCIPAL MRS. BLOTSKY for being selected for the Williston Herald’s “20 under 40”!
Preschool thru 12th Grade 701-774-9056 www.wtcsnd.org
Mrs. Blotksy helps lead the BEST STAFF in the REGION!
She is a top notch outstanding educator! She is truly a blessing to our staff and students.
ONE FAMILY - ONE SCHOOL - ONE BUILDING
Congratulations Rheanda Axtman
& Logan Jangula
WILLISTON’S 20 UNDER 40
7 0 1.57 0.2 426 • M-F 9:00-6:30
5317 W 2nd • Williston, ND • 701-774-1094
ON BEHALF OF
PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL, CUSTOM, HANDMADE, PERSONALIZED, GRAPHICS, SIGNS, STICKERS, PRINTING, FURNISHINGS, MEMORABILIA, UNIQUE, CONVERSATIONAL, FAITH, FUN, RECONDITIONED, REPURPOSED, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, 1135 2nd Ave. W. Ste 201 • Williston, North Dakota PROMOTIONAL, FAITH, FUN, GIFT, SAFETY, WORK, PROMOTIONAL