New owners take the helm at Dale Carnegie of North Dakota & Northwest Minnesota

Previously owned by Bethany Berkeley, the new owners are Melissa Marshall and Sarah West.

Sarah West and Melissa Marshall
Sarah West, left, and Melissa Marshall are the new owners of Dale Carnegie of North Dakota & Northwest Minnesota.
Image: Courtesy of Dale Carnegie of ND
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO, N.D. • New owners are now leading the efforts of Dale Carnegie of North Dakota & Northwest Minnesota.

But don’t worry, the same expert vision for which the organization has become known will remain in place.

Previously owned by Bethany Berkeley, the new owners are Melissa Marshall and Sarah West. In making the announcement, Berkeley said it wasn’t easy for her to give up what she has enjoyed doing for the past several years.

“I had to make the difficult, yet right decision, to sell my ownership in the Dale Carnegie franchise,” Berkeley said in a statement. “We do amazing human-centered work. This is precisely why I chose two humans that will treat our team and clients with respect while being powerful forces for good in the communities we serve. My role now is to focus on my unexpected health journey with my family, and cheer Melissa, Sarah and the DC team on, as they continue to be a high-caliber professional resource.”

Marshall said Berkeley had approached her and West about becoming the new owners.


Bethany Berkeley
Bethany Berkeley
Image: Courtesy of Dale Carnegie of ND

“When we were approached by Bethany, who we have collaborated on projects with in the past, we knew this was the work of a greater force – God – and went all in on determining how best we could support her, her team and their clients,” Marshall said. “It was an immediate alignment in core values, and we know in this ever-changing business environment, the results-driven work of Dale Carnegie training is needed now more than ever.”

Erica Johnsrud, director of brand and community relations, told Prairie Business that other parties were interested in taking ownership but Berkeley previously partnered with Marshall and West and “the values aligned perfectly.”

“She knew that they would be the best fit for the organization and for the team,” Johnsrud said. “After several conversations it became more and more apparent that this was the right fit, and Bethany knew that they would treat the team and clients with the utmost care. From there, Melissa and Sarah had the opportunity to meet with the global Dale Carnegie team to see if they were a good fit for owning this franchise. It isn’t an easy process, and that’s what makes it even more special, that everything came together.”

The new owners – and their team of five full-time staff and contract trainers – will continue to collaborate, innovate, lead, and facilitate training solutions from the railyard space at 1630 1st Ave. N. Suite B No. 3, in Fargo. They have plans to continue to offer the core Dale Carnegie courses and in-house customized training solutions for which the organization is known, with a specialized focus on communication and interpersonal skills, presence and storytelling, sales and customer service excellence, leadership training for new and aspiring managers and experienced managers.

All solutions are offered in versatile formats: in-person, live-online, or blended. They represent clients primarily in the manufacturing, distribution, engineering, construction, government, agriculture, technology, finance, and professional service industries. Both owners have extensive experience in leading teams and facilitating training.

“We are honored to continue bringing the transformative Dale Carnegie tools and history to the region. The training programs have stood the test of time and deliver business results,” West said. “This specific franchise is the strongest it’s ever been in its 20 years of existence. We have big work to do and are grateful Bethany chose and trusted us to do that work.”

Johnsrud said there are no planned changes at this time, but operations will be business as usual.

“The Dale Carnegie team has created such a strong foundation in our community and will continue to carry on the tradition of transformation,” she said. “The core of what we do will not waiver, as our trainings are based on the fundamentals that Dale Carnegie himself set forth 110 years ago – time-tested and proven to create transformation within the workforce, and within employees.”

Andrew Weeks is an award-winning journalist who has reported for a number of newspapers and magazines. He currently is the editor of Prairie Business, the premier business magazine of the northern plains. The magazine covers various industries and business topics in the Dakotas and western Minnesota.
What to read next
Individuals profiled this week include those from Ackerman-Estvold and Vantage Point Solutions.
The Automation Loan Participation Program allows companion loans to cover financing gaps and expand financing opportunities for businesses purchasing machinery, equipment, or software to increase productivity and automation.
The presentation by Magatte Wade, a visionary business leader with a passion for creating positive change in Africa, is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 30, at North Dakota State University. Guests may also attend virtually.