July is a special time for Prairie Business. It is the time when the magazine recognizes a handful of exceptional business executives in the region – those who have made significant contributions as leaders or who have left a legacy of service. Sometimes both.

This is that issue, wherein nine Leaders & Legacies recipients are profiled. The magazine also will honor the recipients, as well as other award winners, at a banquet later this year.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients, and thank you for all you do in the region to make this a better place to live and work.

Fittingly, this issue also is about what companies are doing to attract and retain employees, what their cultures are, and what tips and tricks work for them in attracting top talent. It all starts at the top, according to reporting in our story about leadership.

Leadership at any company, large or small, is “immensely important,” said Noah Fisher, human resource and organizational development manager with EAPC Architects Engineers in Fargo. “If you don't have leadership, communicating, providing guidance – if there's an absence of it, that absence gets filled by employees. That's not a bad thing, but I think culture starts with support, whether it’s with attitudes and behavior or the way we interact with each other.”

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There are many different types of leadership styles, but one trait that all leaders have in common is that they lead, whether for good or ill, by their example.

Among the other stories in this issue is one about ESOPs – Employee Stock Ownership Plans and how some businesses have benefitted from that initiative. Not only do ESOPs help attract talented new hires, but they help retain them. For starters, employees are more invested – literally – in their company. That means, for many, no task is too menial or overbearing for them, because they know at the end of the day, putting their best foot forward pays big dividends.

How many ESOPs – and participants – are in the Prairie Business’s three-state coverage area? Check it out in the story. The numbers continue to grow.

There also are some excellent columns by experts in their respective fields – all to help business leaders in the region tap new ideas that may help them in their own line of work.

The Prairie Business team is extremely excited about this issue. We hope you are, too.

Andrew Weeks
Andrew Weeks