As they become available, Prairie Business highlights the region's new hires and promotions. This week's new-hire spotlight includes the following:
Two join Furniture Mart USA
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. • Reid Vander Veen and Mark Millage have recently joined the corporate team at Furniture Mart USA, the nation’s 35th largest furniture retailer based in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Vander Veen will serve as the new director of marketing, leading the team responsible for driving sales across all media platforms on behalf of Furniture Mart USA’s four divisions: Furniture Mart, Ashley HomeStore, Unclaimed Freight, and Carpet One. Vander Veen comes with an impressive background in sales and marketing across a wide range of industries
including agriculture, home goods, technology, and education. He holds a master’s degree in marketing, and teaches graduate-level marketing and sales courses at the University of Sioux Falls.
Millage is taking on a new position as director of community relations. He is responsible for forging new relationships within local retail communities, executing media engagement strategies, and leading philanthropic efforts to support charitable causes across the upper Midwest. Millage most recently served as vice president for Institutional Advancement
at Dakota State University, where he led its Foundation and Marketing/Communications. He is a past president of Kilian Community College and former news director at KELO-TV in Sioux Falls.
DCN hires new commercial account executive
FARGO, N.D. • DCN (Dakota Carrier Network) has hired Valerie Schwantes as commercial account executive for its Fargo office. In this role, she serves as the main point of contact for current and prospective business customers, providing customized solutions in the areas of networking, ethernet, dedicated internet, data center/co-location, hosting services, cloud services, cybersecurity, and disaster recovery and backup.
Schwantes has 13 years of telecommunications experience and determining how to best serve her customers. Her experience includes extensive work with commercial and multi-dwelling unit accounts.
A Fargo native, she earned a bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University and is a graduate of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program.
ICON Architectural Group hires two new talents
GRAND FORKS, N.D. • David Sogge and Emily Gruber have joined the team at ICON Architectural Group. Sogge is a project manager at the firm’s West Fargo office and Gruber is a marketing coordinator at the Grand Forks office.
With more than 20 years of architectural and project management experience, Sogge brings great design expertise in the retail and hospitality industries. He is originally from Northwood, N.D., and graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman with a Master of Architecture degree. He spent many years in the Las Vegas area, collaborating with architectural firms across the country.
Gruber is originally from Big Lake, Minn. and graduated from the University of Minnesota Crookston with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. She has spent the last two years in the Grand Forks area working in the marketing field.
Alerus welcomes senior financial guide
FARGO, N.D. • Alerus welcomes Chris Ellefson as senior financial guide. In this role, he is responsible for assisting clients in identifying their specific financial needs and providing comprehensive advice to help them achieve their financial wellness goals.
Ellefson works closely with experts across Alerus to ensure every client has access to its full suite of diversified services to meet their needs. He is based at Alerus’ office at 3137 32nd Ave., Fargo, N.D.
Ellefson has more than six years of financial industry experience, specializing in client service. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from North Dakota State University and lives in Fargo. He is actively involved in his church and contributes his musical talents to contemporary worship bands.