Bruce Gjovig, CEO Emeritus of the UND’s Center for Innovation Foundation, has published his second book featuring North Dakota entrepreneurs.

The book, “Innovative Entrepreneurs from North Dakota: 125 Years of Impact!,” features profiles of 46 North Dakotans who were born in North Dakota but made their mark in a variety of businesses outside of the state.

“There are more former North Dakotans than current North Dakotans, and, for more than a century, our greatest export has been young talent far more valuable than our crops or energy,” said Gjovig, in a North Dakota Newspaper Association press release. “The good news is North Dakotans can go anywhere in the world and compete successfully. We do not have to play second fiddle to anyone from big urban states or Ivy League universities. This book is a sampling of that entrepreneur talent.”

The book includes a foreword by former North Dakota governor and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven. The profiles in the book include George Hughes, inventor of the electric stove and president of Hotpoint and General Electric; Billy Fawcett, founder of the Fawcett Publishing empire; Chester Fritz, international silver trader and Chinese businessman; Patrick Haggerty, president and chairman of Texas Instruments; Ralph Engelstad, Las Vegas developer and founder of the Imperial Palace Hotel; Ray Rude, inventor and manufacturer of the Duraflex aluminum diving board; Clarence Myhre, founder and CEO of Frontier Airlines; Joe Whitty, founder of Happy Joe’s Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor; Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings; and Jim Engh, international golf course designer.

In 2019, Gjovig, along with the late Dr. Hiram Drache, a longtime historian-in-residence at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., published “Innovative Entrepreneurs of North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota: 150 Years of Impact!”

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Gjovig continues to gather stories about more regional innovators and entrepreneurs for future books. The book is published by Smoky Water Press of Bismarck and is available at regional bookstores or online at