Ryan Johnson has been a Forum reporter since 2012 and previously wrote for the Grand Forks Herald.
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FARGO — As employees continued their work in the background, representatives of Walmart stopped by a Fargo-based sunflower butter company to put the spotlight on a local example of American manufacturing. A short ceremony was held Monday, Nov. 13, at SunButter LLC, 4040 7th Ave. N., that featured remarks from local and state leaders, business officials and Lisa Nelson, a public affairs and government relations director with Walmart.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—The broken bones Chris Bjur suffered from a 16-foot fall hurt the most financially. The Moorhead handyman was painting his parents' house near Kulm, N.D., in early June, when he slipped on the steel roof and slid feet-first toward the ground. He landed with his right foot on grass and left foot on the sidewalk, and knew it was serious when he saw his mangled left leg.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Dan Gunderson used to do his job with a manual typewriter and edit tapes of his radio stories with a razor blade. Now, the Minnesota Public Radio news correspondent uses a computer, digital camera and smartphone, writing online versions of the work he records for a radio audience that also can be accessed anywhere, whether it's Dilworth or Kazakhstan.
FARGO — Human resources staff don't usually get the spotlight at work, but speakers at an annual conference here said these employees play a vital role in promoting a strong workforce and innovation that could make their businesses shine. North Dakota Commerce Commission Jay Schuler said the state is dealing with a big "challenge" right now: It had the nation's lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 2.3 percent in August, but it lacks enough workers to fill open jobs.
FARGO—When Hao Zhang first came to Fargo in 2008, he didn't know much about the area—he only chose to move here by randomly pointing to a spot on a map. That's why it might be surprising to learn the 30-year-old will soon fly back to his native country to open a North Dakota company's first international office as a way to beef up its contacts in China and help other companies tap into business opportunities in America's Midwest.
FARGO—Melissa Dixon drives a beloved Nissan Murano, a mid-size SUV that she jokingly refers to as a "four-wheeler" just like any other non-semi vehicle. But there's no denying her drive for the trucking industry, both through her work with an insurance company as well as her recent rise to become the first female president of a state organization that represents the industry. Dixon became president of the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association in late May following several years of serving on the board and various other organizations.
FARGO—A long-vacant laundromat building here will become a new restaurant on the edge of downtown as a Perham, Minn., couple plans to expand their eateries to Fargo and Wahpeton, N.D. Britt Belquist and her husband, Alex Belquist, opened Perham's Brew Ales & Eats in 2011 in the back of a diner. The couple bought a building at 124 E. Main St. in 2012 and moved Brew there the following year.
MARSHALL, Minn.—A frozen food company is boosting its frozen pizza business with two recent acquisitions. Schwan's Co., which was founded in 1952 and is headquartered in Marshall, announced Monday, July 24, that it acquired Better Baked Foods and Drayton Foods from NE Foods Inc. It's the second acquisition in recent months as the company builds up its stake in the U.S. pizza market, according to a news release. Schwan's reported last month that it acquired MaMa Rosa's Pizza, a company based in Sidney, Ohio.
At first glance, viewers of Cathy Hummel's large printed canvases might notice an overhead view of a lake, complete with some major roads winding around the perimeter. Hummel sees something a little different. "I call it maps of memories because I think that's what happens when you look at it," she said. The interior designer launched her business Lake Overview in 2002 out of necessity for something she wanted but couldn't find—an aesthetically pleasing map of Minnesota's Pelican Lake where she spent summers with her grandparents.
MOORHEAD, Minn.—After 15 years working for Target, Doug Restemayer learned all too well how easily a gathering of employees can become a dreaded part of the job. "My whole day consisted of meetings," he said. "Not many of them are very productive." That's why Restemayer, the president and owner of beer and beverage distributor D-S Beverages Inc., said it's been "refreshing" to run a small company and structure it the way he wants—and that includes a demand to make meetings relevant and effective, not a necessary evil of the workday.