A UND student had the opportunity to ring the closing bell for the NASDAQ Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

Pierson Painter, winner of this year’s Red River Valley Business Plan Competition, rang the bell remotely from North Dakota. He was representing UND's Nistler College of Business & Public Administration.

Amy Henley, dean of the business school, and Robert Warren, an instructor in the college’s marketing department, joined Painter in the virtual ringing of the bell.

Before the bell-ringing ceremony began, a 30-second UND video ran in rotation on the seven-story-tall NASDAQ Video Tower for the hour of UND’s closing bell. In addition, a public service announcement message that said, “Thank you to every Leader in Action for keeping us safe” and the UND and Nistler College logos also appeared, according to a UND press release.

“What a tremendous opportunity for the winner of our Red River Valley Business Plan Competition and great exposure for UND and the Nistler College,” Henley said in a statement.

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Painter is an entrepreneurship and marketing double major from Grand Forks. The NASDAQ bell-ringing ceremony is part of the package of prizes he won for winning the 2020 Red River Valley Business Plan Competition. He also won $15,000 in cash and $25,000 in consulting support.

Painter’s business plan outlines the steps he’ll take to expand his landscaping business by making and selling liquid salt, a type of liquid de-icer.

“Along with winning the cash prize and the consulting hours, which were awesome, I’m absolutely thrilled to be given the chance to ring the NASDAQ closing bell,” he said.

Warren, who organized and executed the Red River Valley Business Plan Competition, helped get the sponsorship of Nodak Insurance Co. – a Nasdaq-listed company – that earned the school the chance to ring the closing bell.

“Taking part in the NASDAQ bell ringing ceremony is a terrific opportunity for UND to let people know about the great things going on here, especially in the area of entrepreneurship,” Warren said. “It also represents a tremendous recruiting opportunity for students interested in entrepreneurship, as it’s an honor offered to very few people and sets us apart from other schools.”