Every month Prairie Business asks several regional business leaders a question, and they answer with their perspective and insight.

The question we asked for November is: "What do you do to inspire others while keeping yourself inspired about your organization and its mission?"

Kurt Sandman, principal engineer, Sandman Structural Engineers, Moorhead, Minn.

Our inspiration comes from the ability to impact so many people’s lives by being registered structural engineers in all 50 states and Canada. We have the opportunity to reach so many clients to help them achieve their goals.

Kurt Sandman
Kurt SandmanImage: Courtesy of Sandman Structural Engineering

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Our mission at SSE is: “To enable the success of our clients and our team.” Internally we talk about who our projects impact and what their real meaningful purpose is. Our projects provide anything from housing, to providing power to a community, retail for commerce, manufacturing for production of food or goods, and anything in between. The structures we engineer provide the safe environments that change the world in each unique way.

Our mission inspires me, and I continue to be inspired as we grow and mentor our young talent to continue that mission and instill in them the inspiration of how we positively impact the world. Our true rewards come from creating growth and development of people while helping them achieve their career goals, all while making a greater impact on our society.

Theresa Kriese, interim president, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, S.D.

Dakota Wesleyan University’s core values of learning, leadership, faith and service allow those of us who work and study at DWU to be inspired nearly every day.

Theresa Kriese
Theresa KrieseImage: Courtesy of Dakota Wesleyan University

Wherever you look on campus — in classrooms and labs; at clinical sites; in the practice room or on the stage; on the playing field or in the training room — you will find examples of students, faculty, coaches and staff learning and leading.

Faith is the college’s foundation and service to others is what we aspire to practice. I encourage anyone who is looking for inspiration to take time out of a busy day to help someone. A cup of coffee, a well-deserved compliment or a listening ear can often be exactly what is needed.

It is my hope that I lead by example and that those around me will do the same as we educate a new generation.

Jason Kjenstad, area manager/vice president, HDR, Sioux Falls, S.D.

HDR is a very entrepreneurial organization. For us it is not about conforming to a set role with a predefined path but embracing the ability to understand what your role is and define your own success.

Jason Kjenstad
Jason KjenstadImage: Courtesy of HDR

This brings excitement to our professionals as they grow in the organization, knowing their success is based on bringing fresh perspectives and new ideas to fulfill their roles and best serve our clients at the highest level.

My goal is to provide mentorship at various levels in our organization to prepare and empower our professionals for their career growth. I encourage all our staff to build their own individual brand; encouraging them to not only be recognized as an HDR professional but be recognized for what they do specifically to make HDR a great company.

As a leader for HDR in our Dakotas and Wyoming market, our vision and mission has been and will continue to be to think globally but act and service our clients locally. We bring together the right people for each individual client to create engagement and provide the highest level of teamwork. When we work together with our clients and collaborate, we are at our best.

Meleah LaPlante, owner, Dance Studio Elite, Fargo, N.D.

At Dance Elite, our mission is: "The best dancers, and even better humans." All our families are well aware that we are instilling more than just dance instruction – we're teaching life lessons along the way.

Meleah LaPlante
Meleah LaPlanteImage: Courtesy of Dance Studio Elite

One way we inspire is by living our motto. We do everything we can to help develop wonderful humans to go out into the world. We donate the cost of our trophies at competitions to Toys for Tots, get out in the community to perform, and also have policies in place to hold our employees and students accountable.

We are all responsible on social media, outside of our organization, and to each other. We have a team/family environment that works well and shows when we are anywhere.

We also study the latest styles, attend furthering education classes, and bring new things to our clients daily. Just like any organization that has "projects," we have families that we get to watch grow. Creation with our students is the best part of our job and keeps us constantly inspired!