As they become available, Prairie Business highlights the region's new hires, promotions, and employee achievements. This week's spotlight includes the following:

KLJ promotes two to management positions

BISMARCK, N.D. • KLJ Engineering LLC has promoted two internal team members.

Scott Middaugh has been promoted to department manager of the company’s Civil Transportation Department, and Ryan Lee has been promoted to IT director. Both are located in the company’s West Fargo location.

Scott Middaugh
Scott MiddaughImage: Courtesy of KLJ

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Middaugh will be responsible for leading and supervising technical staff, while supporting technical programs and business development functions as it relates to KLJ’s transportation department. Since joining KLJ in 2007, Middaugh has served as a project manager and lead design engineer for its transportation department.

Middaugh earned a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering from North Dakota State University. He is a registered engineer in North Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado, and South Dakota.

Ryan Lee
Ryan LeeImage: Courtesy of KLJ

As IT director, Lee will be responsible for the company’s technology operations, while utilizing state-of-the-art technology and ensuring security throughout the organization. He will focus heavily on working with all KLJ groups to ensure they have the right technology in place to assist KLJ to be as effective as possible. He has been with KLJ since 2018 and his previous experience includes leading IT infrastructure projects and design.

Lee earned his bachelor’s degree in information systems management and computer science from North Dakota State University. He holds multiple certifications in IT infrastructure and security.

North Dakota names new chief information security officer

BISMARCK N.D. • Michael Gregg has been named chief information security officer at the North Dakota Department of Information Technolgy.

Michael Gregg
Michael GreggImage: Courtesy of North Dakota Department of Information Technology

Gregg was acting as interim CISO and prior to that was the director of cyber operations for the State of North Dakota. He brings more than two decades of experience in information security and risk management.

In addition to performing security management, audits and assessments, Michael has authored or coauthored more than 25 books, has testified before the U.S. Congress, and has had articles published on various IT websites.

He holds two associate degrees (electonics engineering and computer science), a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and a master’s degree in business administration. He holds multiple security certifications such as CISSP, CISA, CISM, and CGEIT.

Gregg, who started his new role on Nov. 1. fills the role previously held by Kevin Ford, who has taken the position of CISO for Esri.

Trinity Health Foundation has new director

MINOT, N.D. • Trinity Health has named Dusty Zimmerman the new director of Trinity Health Foundation.

Dusty Zimmerman
Dusty ZimmermanImage: Courtesy of Trinity Health

Zimmerman will oversee various programs administered by the Foundation to improve the lives of area residents. She’ll also lead initiatives to promote innovative healthcare solutions, including construction of Trinity Health’s new health care campus and medical district.

Zimmerman brings more than 20 years of experience to her new role with an extensive background in marketing, communications, business development/strategy, event planning, and organizational leadership.

Most recently she served as executive director of the Minot Junior Golf Association and director of corporate communications at Ackerman-Estvold, a regional architecture and engineering firm. She also has spent time in the advertising and tourism industries, working with regional organizations to grow their brand and market share.

A lifelong Minot resident, Zimmerman graduated from Minot High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Minot State University in 1999. She has been an active member of the community, serving on various volunteer boards and organizations, including the Minot Noon Rotary Club, Minot Symphony Orchestra, Make-A-Wish North Dakota, and Give360.

Media veteran joins Paulsen as new PR director

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. • Matt Merritt, a 13-year communications veteran in energy and agriculture industries, is Paulsen’s new director of public relations.

Matt Merritt
Matt MerrittImage: Courtesy of Paulsen

Merritt had already done consulting work for a handful of Paulsen’s clients on a contract basis. Prior to doing freelance work, he spent 10 years in public relations roles with global ethanol leader POET.

His resume also includes stops at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, where he largely did frontline editing for state, agriculture and education stories, and the Daily Herald in Austin, Minnesota.

According to Mark Smither, Chief Strategic Officer at Paulsen, the addition of Merritt enhances the agency’s ability to respond to the most pressing PR needs of clients and inform strategic messaging.

Merritt said being able to focus on agriculture and other clients in rural America is particularly appealing.

“I love the news, and interacting with media is the best part of my job,” Merritt said. “There’s something special about working with agriculture reporters. They have that passion for journalism you see across the media industry, and at the same time, they’re so passionate about their subject matter.”