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Lush Lawns & Outdoor Living: Prepare Your Outdoor Spaces for Summer with Help from these Chamber Members

April 30th, 2015 by Kaylyn Stroh


As temperatures heat up, it’s natural to begin thinking about summertime activities – dinner on the deck or patio, lawn games, backyard swimming, etc. Businesses may start thinking about employee barbecues or company picnics. The common denominator here is the space in which these activities will take place, so you’ll want to properly prepare your yard to maximize its ability to provide a lush playground for your family, employees or customers. The following businesses offer a variety of services and products to help get your yard ready for summer.

Greenscape Companies Inc.
For more than two decades, Greenscape Companies has created beautiful outdoor environments for clients, both residential and commercial. The company specializes in retaining walls, patio design/construction, irrigation, sod production and landscaping projects of all sizes.

Hoglund Landscape Inc.
Hoglund Landscape offers custom design and construction in all phases of interior and exterior landscape projects, no matter how big or small.

Johnsons Pest Control & Lawn Service, Inc.
Johnsons Pest Control & Lawn Service offers a variety of pest control and lawn services for the metro as well as the surrounding area. Pest control is offered for both residential and commercial atmospheres, and estimates are free.

Land Elements
Land Elements is a landscaping architecture firm that focuses on conceptual design to create a unique sense of place. The company offers residential and commercial landscape architecture and design, property development, master planning and owners representation.

MGI Landscapes Outdoor Living
MGI Landscapes specializes in creative design for both residential and commercial customers through quality installation of outdoor living spaces: patios, plants, decorative rocks and mulches.

Opp Construction Patio World
Opp Construction offers concrete paving, landscaping, erosion control, irrigation, sod, foundations and more. The company was founded in 1978 and has offices in Fargo and Grand Forks.

TruGreen is one of the nation’s largest lawn service companies, with an office in Fargo. The company, which was established in 1960, offers fertilization, weed control and aeration services.

Tyler’s Tree Service
Tyler’s Tree Service provides a variety of tree service needs such as removal, trimming, stump grinding, branch hauling and more. The company services residential, commercial and rural property owners in the metro as well as the surrounding area.

Valley Landscaping
Valley Landscaping is a full-service landscaping company specializing in the installation of patios, outdoor living kits and continuous curb edging as well as lawn care and snow removal services for commercial properties.


Senator Hoeven Visits with Happy Hooligan Supporters

April 30th, 2015 by Kaylyn Stroh


In early April, The Chamber hosted Sen. John Hoeven for a general briefing on what’s been happening at the 119th Wing of the North Dakota Air National Guard at the Fargo Air Museum. Attendees included the Chamber’s board of directors, the Air National Guard Support Group, Col. Kent Olsen of the 119th Wing and many top officials of the Happy Hooligans.

As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, Hoeven announced his efforts to secure a new permanent facility to house the intelligence-targeting group at the 119th Wing. “I’m working to get the $7.3 million facility through the appropriations process so that the building can be constructed and occupied by 2017,” said Hoeven.

“The Chamber is committed to supporting the members of the 119th Wing of the Air National Guard. The Happy Hooligans are once again on the leading edge of national security through the missions they conduct. It is imperative we support the men and women who serve in the Air National Guard in Fargo Moorhead West Fargo,” said Craig Whitney, Chamber President/CEO.


Giving Back: Leadership Class Present Nonprofit Projects

April 30th, 2015 by Kaylyn Stroh


Each year, Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo (LFMWF) partners with local nonprofit organizations who have applied for assistance from the class. Seven nonprofits are selected, and class members learn about each nonprofit’s needs before selecting which organization they would like to give their time. Since last November, each of the LFMWF groups have devoted countless hours to their nonprofit and during this session, they shared their accomplishments with the class.

Executive Director Pat Traynor kicked off the day with a welcome at the Dakota Medical Foundation. Traynor shared with the class the integral role the Leadership class played in the creation of the DMF Lend A Hand program.

The class ended the day hearing from one of FMWF’s finest, Margie Bailly. She shared with us how to find leadership lessons in everyday life, whether it’s from your mother, your children or even the movies. They left knowing that just because the class is nearing its end, doesn’t mean their journey as a leader is ending, it’s just beginning.

Emergency Food Pantry

Will Brandt, Microsoft

Deb Gemar, Hospice of the Red River Valley

Tracy Jordre, JLG Architects

Tyler Klose, Border States Electric

Val Schwantes, Enventis

Shannon Uecker, Essentia Health

Project Vision: Improve and revitalize the waiting room of the Emergency Food Pantry to change the entire experience of coming to food distribution, creating a friendly, welcoming space where client dignity, comfort and overall experience are prioritized.

Faith Lutheran Church

Stephen Astrup, JD Legal Planning P.L.L.C.

Nicole Erickson, AgCountry Farm Credit Services

Nate Hendrickson, TNT Kid’s Fitness

Courtney Larson, Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation

Sara Lingwall, Essentia Health

Ken Story, Homeward Animal Shelter

Project Vision: Increase annual giving and service attendance through research and the creation of a budget strategy, development plan, communication plan and implementation schedule.

Farm in the Dell

Craig Ehrmantraut, Cornerstone Bank

T.J. Hansen, Minnesota State University Moorhead

Matt Oachs, Western State Bank

Kristen Sullivan, GOLDMARK Property Management

Josh Swanson, Vogel Law Firm

Project Vision: Increase “friend-raising” through the development of a marketing plan for the annual Friends of the Farm
fundraising event.

FM Coalition for Homeless Persons

Dave Ebinger, Moorhead Police Department

Jen Gompf, Winmar Sleep Wellness Center

Fred Greer, Forum Communications Company

Dan Madler, Beyond Shelter, Inc.

Alycia Peter, Rasmussen College

Project Vision: Gain an understanding of the business community’s knowledge and attitude of poverty and homelessness in the FMWF community through a survey, followed by the development of a marketing campaign to inform the community of the issues surrounding these topics and to increase involvement of the business community with the coalition.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Dakota

Kristine Krile, Dress for Success Red River Valley

Pat Lorenson, Ramsey National Bank

Katie Lowry, TMI Hospitality

Tim Lystad, John Deere Electronic Solutions

Jordan McCormick, Family Wellness, LLC

Travis Riffey, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

Project Vision: Gain professional perspective in talking with current volunteers, establish baseline data and develop an effective volunteer management structure to enhance engagement and provide a sense of community for the volunteers to improve retention.

The Red River Zoo

Keith Bergseth, Bergseth Bros. Co., Inc.

Chris Heaton, West Acres Development, L.L.P.

Joshua Huffman, The Village Family Service Center

Leissa Johnson, Serco Global Services

Diane Sandven, Heartland Trust Company

Joanna Slominski, Mortenson Construction

Project Vision: The zoo wanted to gain an understanding of the views residents have of the organization by surveying the FMWF community and, in turn, develop a marketing strategy to raise awareness and attendance.


Jackie Erovick, Otter Tail Corporation

Chad Jaroszewski, Bell State Bank & Trust

Lindsay Johnson, Discovery Benefits, Inc.

Project Vision: Improve and expand the “We’ve Got You Covered” event which provides gently used clothes at no cost for students, by partnering with local businesses, securing storage for donations and assisting with marketing of the event.


May 2015: Message to Members

April 30th, 2015 by Kaylyn Stroh

Craig WhitneyFor more than 20 years, The Chamber has recognized the outstanding businesses and organizations within the community that make a difference in our region every day. The ChamberChoice Awards are an opportunity for us to shine a befitting spotlight on all the incredible member businesses that help our economy grow and thrive.

Applying for the awards involves a rigorous process that begins with nominations, and I’m ecstatic to announce we received nearly 300 nominations—an incredible testament to the engagement of our members and the vitality of our member businesses. As the 59 applications came pouring in at the end of March, we soon realized how lucky our community is to be home to so many exciting, worthwhile businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs. I do not envy the judges or their difficult task of evaluating the applications to determine the 2015 winners.

Recognizing our members is a crucial component of our job as your Chamber of Commerce. We know how hard you all work, and we all enjoy one of the best local economies in the nation because you have mastered your work yet continue to innovate and inspire. Our hope is that all businesses, nonprofits and entrepreneurs involved with ChamberChoice — from nominees to candidates to finalists to the eventual winners — feel honored for the recognition received; it is well deserved and well placed.

We work hard to ensure the benefits of winning a ChamberChoice award don’t stop after everyone has left the award show. The seven winners are featured in their own member profile in The Bridge and on our blog. For the first time this year, the 2014 ChamberChoice winners had the opportunity to present their best practices at one of our Business Training sessions.

We have also discovered that some past participants found unexpected benefits in the process. The rigorous application process gives applicants an in-depth look of their organization, drawing attention to details they often overlook. Applicants, and especially winners, have also been impressed by the relationships that can develop from the exposure they receive throughout the process.

Please consider joining us on May 19 as we recognize the stars of our business community. The ChamberChoice Awards Luncheon promises to be a thrilling event with surprises, laughter and maybe even some tears.

Thank you for your membership,

Craig Whitney
The Chamber


Congratulations to the 2015 ChamberChoice Candidates!

April 17th, 2015 by Kaylyn Stroh

ChamberChoice Awards
Last year was the first year we recognized every ChamberChoice applicant as a candidate. This year, we received nearly 300 nominations, and we’re pleased to announce the following 59 companies who successfully completed their applications to become candidates. These candidates will be honored at the ChamberChoice Awards Luncheon on May 19.

Please help us congratulate the 2015 ChamberChoice candidates:

Amanda McKinnon
American Red Cross – Red River Valley Chapter
Animal Health Clinic
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Premier Properties
Border States Electric
Brady Nash
Choice Financial
Courtyard by Marriott Fargo-Moorhead
Dan Hurder
Discovery Benefits, Inc.
Emergency Food Pantry, Inc.
Erik Hatch
Fargo Air Museum
Flint Communications, Inc.
Gate City Bank
Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation
Hatch Realty
Heritage Homes, LLC
Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County
Homeward Animal Shelter
Hospice of the Red River Valley
Hotel Donaldson
International Marketing Systems, LTD
JLG Architects
Kelly Norton
Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Dakota
Mark Lindquist
Matthew Lachowitzer
Matt’s Automotive Service Center
Medical Weight Loss Specialists
Midcontinent Communications
Minuteman Press
Moore Engineering, Inc.
NetWork Center, Inc.
Nor-Son, Inc.
Office Sign Company
Plains Art Museum
Robert Gibb & Sons, Inc.
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley
Ryan Fritz
Starion Financial
The Apartment Movers, Inc.
Thrivent Financial
TNT Kid’s Fitness & Gymnastics
Total Imaging


The ChamberChoice Awards honor the shining stars of our business community who make a significant impact, drive economic growth and help make this region a better place to work, live and do business.Winners exemplify excellence through proven growth or stability, innovation, creativity, community leadership and achievement.


Getting to Yes: Women Connect Session Offers Strategies for Pitching Ideas

April 1st, 2015 by Danielle Teigen

Jodi Heilman from Bell State Bank & Trust and Danielle Paulus from ROERS filled the March Women Connect session with insight and advice about how to successfully pitch an idea and what to do with the response. Nearly 300 turned out for the session, which incorporated information and engaging activity to help attendees understand the necessary actions for an effective pitch. One such activity involved hypothetical situations that each table had to work on and address the challenges associated with pitching an idea to one of three different types of people: Champions, Blockers and Decision-Makers.

Attendees were encouraged to recognize what each type brings to the table during a pitch as well as strategies for addressing each type throughout the pitch. All three are important to a successful pitch, Heilman asserted.

Heilman and Paulus sprinkled the presentation with stories from their own experiences of pitching ideas, and offered seven Ps for a successful pitch:

1. People to build relationships with.
2. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes.
3. Practicing the pitch.
4. Perform the pitch to sell the idea.
5. Provide hand-holding for moments of panic.
6. Prepare for yes and no.
7. Persevere.

Once the session concluded, attendees were encouraged to continue working on their pitches during the social, where areas were labeled with the three different types of people. Women were encouraged to select a group to pitch to and ask for feedback for ways to improve.

Attendees were also encouraged to connect over coffee after the session and post a photo of the meeting in the Facebook group for a chance to win a gift card for coffee from Beans Coffee Bar.

The Women Connect committee partnered with the YWCA Cass Clay for the March session to collect deodorant for women staying in the organization’s emergency shelter.


Women Connect Committee Chair Profile: Tonya Stende

March 30th, 2015 by Danielle Teigen

WC_May_Tonya Stende_1Tonya Stende, president of Dale Carnegie Business Group of ND, has been chairperson for the Women Connect committee since December 2014.

Why did you want to be involved with a new Chamber program? As a business, we are a proud Chamber member and appreciate the different programs and events the Chamber offers to the community. I could not have been more honored and excited when I was asked to be a part of the committee. Women in leadership is a passion of mine and finding ways to connect women and grow the current and future women leaders in our community is so fun and rewarding!
What have you enjoyed most about the process of launching a new program? I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the committee members as well as Chamber staff members. It is so exciting and energizing to start something new that will have impact on women in their professional and personal lives. The creativity and passion of the women on the committee is inspiring to me and makes me a better leader.

What is one thing you would like other people to know about Women Connect? Each event is about content, community and connection. You will have opportunity to build your skills as well the opportunity to meet other amazing women in the community and have engaging conversations. It is fun and energizing!


Position Available: Communications & Marketing Manager

March 24th, 2015 by Danielle Teigen

The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber is seeking a person to fill the role of Communications & Marketing Manager.

This position collaborates with key staff to determine the overall strategic direction of The Chamber’s communications and marketing efforts. Essential tasks include providing a variety of written content, strategic communications planning, branding, event marketing and social strategy. The position also oversees the content, design and production of Chamber publications as well as assists in marketing the programs of The Chamber to members and the community.

This position requires excellent writing, editing and communication skills; ability to write, edit and manage a number of projects; and marketing knowledge. Person selected must have proven successful writing and project management experience and a minimum of 4 plus years of relevant communications experience.

Download the job description. Application materials include: cover letter outlining salary requirements, resume and professional references. Please email them to jparsons@fmwfchamber.com. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit samples of their written materials.


Spring Cleaning: Enlist These Chamber Members for Help Making Your Home Spotless

March 24th, 2015 by Danielle Teigen


The notion of spring cleaning was born during the time when houses were shut up to protect a family from the harsh cold; these poorly ventilated dwellings collected dirt and oil all winter from the home’s heating elements, according to a Britannica blog post about the history of spring cleaning. Once spring rolled around, the family set to work restoring the home to a state of cleanliness.

We may not need to worry about soot or smoke anymore, but spring is typically still viewed as a prime opportunity to deep-clean your home. If taking on the task of cleaning your entire home seems daunting, see if one (or more) of these members can help lighten the load for you.

Ambassador Inc.
The company specializes in commercial janitorial services and is licensed, bonded and insured.

Automated Maintenance Services
If your business needs a good cleaning, Automated Maintenance Services provides commercial janitorial and maintenance services.

Cloud 9 Home & Office Cleaning
The company provides residential, move-out, post-construction, apartment complex and commercial cleaning services.

Comfort Keepers
Comfort Keepers can help with light house cleaning or personal errands so you have more time to spend with loved ones.

Home Instead Senior Care
The company is another option for in-home services such as light housekeeping for the elderly.

ISS Facility Services Inc.
ISS is a leading provider of facility services that tailors its solutions to the distinct needs of its customers.

Merry Maids
Merry Maids provides housecleaning services personalized to what you need, when you need it. Supplies and equipment are provided.

Servpro of Fargo-Moorhead
The winter was uncharacteristically dry, but if your home did experience water damage or has mold or mildew issues, Servpro can help restore it.

Steam Masters
If you need quality cleaning and restoration services for your home or office, Steam Masters is an option for high-quality, reliable service.

Steamatic of the Red River Valley
Another option for cleaning and restoration issues is Steamatic. The company also offers carpet, furniture and air duct cleaning.

Superior Steam Cleaning & Restoration
The company provides water damage restoration and carpet cleaning services.


Hidden Gems: Leadership Class Explores Undiscovered Aspects of Community

March 24th, 2015 by Danielle Teigen

LFMWF MarchLast month, the Leadership Fargo Moorhead West Fargo class spent an action-packed day learning more about hidden parts of the community that provide important services and contribute to the local economy.

Before visiting a variety of locations, the class learned about local history in a unique way: Steve Stark illustrated how the area was settled by telling stories while drawing the entire sequence on an enormous piece of paper. And, he was in historical costume.

“As leaders in the community, it is your responsibility to know and tell the story of this region’s history,” Stark said.

For the afternoon, the class divided into four groups to traverse the metro learning about the following businesses:

  • United Blood Services, which advances cutting-edge research and embraces continuous improvement.
  • The YWCA Cass Clay, which provides emergency shelter, children’s services, education and employment training, transitional housing and racial justice.
  • Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops, which has been an integral part of the North Dakota landscape and lifestyle for more than 70 years.
  • The Fargo Fire Department, which offers trained firefighters and seven stations throughout the community.
  • Family HealthCare, which offers comprehensive, primary medical and dental care to anyone who needs it.
  • The Fargo Water Treatment Plant, which treats almost 11 million gallons of water per day and is capable of producing 30 million.
  • West Acres Shopping Center, which offers more than 120 shops as one of the top shopping destinations of the upper Midwest.
  • The Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley, which provides a home-away-from-home for families with children in the hospital.

The class wrapped up the day by congregating at Cardinal IG for a final tour. The company is the largest fabricator of sealed insulating glass units that supplies more than half of the low-emissivity coatings used in North America.

Thank you to Cass County Electric Cooperative, Inc. for hosting our morning.

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