FARGO, N.D. • Fourteen small business owners in North Dakota and Minnesota were recently recognized by the North Dakota District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Business owners who completed the 2021 SBA Emerging Leaders program were honored during a special virtual graduation ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 18.

This is the sixth year the SBA North Dakota District Office has provided the Emerging Leaders program, a seven-month executive education series designed to help participants emerge as growing, self-sustaining businesses that create jobs in their communities.

“The Emerging Leaders program teaches these small business leaders how to improve their business competencies,” SBA North Dakota District Director Alan Haut said in a statement.

The program includes around 50 hours of classroom time, connects small business owners with a network of industry experts and peers, and supports the creation of a three-year strategic growth action plan.

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“Through 13 sessions over seven months, the participants learn how to better understand their financial statements, create more productive marketing strategies and develop long-term strategic plans to grow their operations,” Haut said. “The results are more successful businesses, creating more jobs and continuing to fuel our local economy.”

The 2021 SBA Emerging Leaders graduates include:

Nikki Berglund – Luna and Sol Ave Kitchen, Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn.

Shamel Costandy – Nodak Oilfield Services, Williston, N.D.

William Galvin – Giga-Green Technologies, Inc., Fargo

Klaudia Holkup – Affairs by Brittany, Fargo

Tiffanie Honeyman – OpGo Marketing, Fargo

Sandi Luck – Bully Brew Coffee, Grand Forks, N.D.

Trista Morstad – Precision Landscape & Irrigation, LLC, Ottertail, Minn.

David Nelson – Pedogenesis, Inc., Campbell, Minn.

Ruth Ann Pachel – Pachel Healthcare Initiatives, LLC, Park Rapids, Minn.

Kelly Richardson – Venone Public Relations, LLC, Dickinson, N.D.

Joey Schmit – iSight Drone Services, Grand Forks

John Schneider – 3DomFuel, Inc., Fargo, ND

Christine Staley – Magic City Hoagies, LLC, Minot, N.D.

Jennifer Wendlandt – Blue Sky, Inc., Detroit Lakes, Minn.

For more information about the Emerging Leaders initiative, including how to apply for the 2022 class, visit www.sba.gov/emergingleaders.