Three Grand Forks business leaders are recipients of this year’s Leaders & Legacies award from Prairie Business Magazine.

The magazine created the award last year to recognize executives in their field for achievements either recently, or over a lifetime of work. The three Grand Forks business leaders join a group of 10 individuals from across North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota who have been nominated by their colleagues for their leadership and accomplishments.

“Prairie Business has been doing awards and recognitions for years, but last year was the inaugural class of Leaders and Legacies," said Korrie Wenzel, publisher of Prairie Business magazine and the Grand Forks Herald. "We were a bit surprised at how quickly that first class took shape, but here we are again, looking at a group that perfectly portrays the sheer talent of the top executives in our region. ”

This year’s winners include Tom Erickson, director of the State Energy Research Center and director of Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialization at the Energy and Environmental Research Center at UND, Kristi Magnuson Nelson, president and CEO of Hugo’s Family Marketplace, and Randy L. Newman, CEO, president and chairman of the board of Alerus Financial N.A. and Alerus Financial Corp.

"Reading the biographies of this year's winners is so interesting, seeing the work they have done not only for their businesses but for their communities. It really is inspiring," Wenzel said.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live
Newsletter signup for email alerts

Erickson has worked at the Energy and Environmental Research Center since 1986, where he began working while he was a student at UND.

Kristi Magnuson Nelson
Kristi Magnuson Nelson

Nelson began working at the grocery store founded by her grandparents, Hugo and Dorothy Magnuson, in 1939 and took over day-to-day operations in 2007, following the death of her father, Curt Magnuson.

Randy L. Newman, CEO, president and chairman of the board of Alerus Financial N.A. and Alerus Financial Corp. (submitted photo)
Randy L. Newman, CEO, president and chairman of the board of Alerus Financial N.A. and Alerus Financial Corp. (submitted photo)

Newman began working with Alerus Financial, then called First National Bank of North Dakota, in 1981. He became president a short six years later and was named CEO in 1995.

The other recipients of the 2020 Leaders & Legacies award are Dean F. Anagnost of KLJ Solutions in Bismarck; Ben Carlsrud of Network Center Inc. in Fargo; Vern Dosch, formerly of National Information Solutions Cooperative in Mandan; David Doxtad of ISG in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Brenda Foster of First Western Bank & Trust North in N.D. and Minnesota; John M. Kutch of Trinity Health, in Minot; and Gary Peterson of Cornerstone Bank and Cornerstone Holding Co. in Bismarck.

Last year’s award recipients included Choice Financial Group CEO Brian Johnson, JLG Architects founder Lonnie Laffen, Vaaler Insurance Inc. CEO Bruce Vaaler, and Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops President Hal Gershman.