Prairie Business celebrates with award winners at annual event

In total, 74 award winners were recognized. Nine were named as Leaders & Legacies.

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Janell Regimball, left, and Amy Hass visit during Thursday's Prairie Business awards dinner in Fargo.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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FARGO • Prairie Business and invited guests gathered for an evening celebration Thursday to honor recipients in the magazine’s annual award categories.

In total, about 100 people – award winners and their guests – joined in the evening celebration at the Radisson Blu in Fargo.

Those honored were recipients of this year’s Leaders & Legacies , which Prairie Business started in 2019. It is the magazine’s most prestigious award and honors executives from around the region who have had successful careers, including leaving a legacy of exemplary leadership. Other award winners were those in the magazine’s annual contests, Top 25 Women in Business and 40 Under 40 .

The Top 25 Women in Business profiles female business leaders who have achieved remarkable success in their business and industry; 40 Under 40 highlights exemplary business professionals, male and female, from around the region who have gained notable achievements in their career and community.

In total, 74 award winners were recognized. Nine were named as Leaders & Legacies. (Scroll down to see a list of all of the winners.)


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Guests visit during the Prairie Business awards dinner at the Radisson in Fargo thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Not every award recipient attended the event, but each was named during the ceremony. Leaders & Legacies recipients in attendance were invited to give a short acceptance speech.

Dan Conrad, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in Fargo, gave thanks for the recognition and those closest to him. He also thanked those he works with daily.

“Believe it or not, I have fun every day working in health insurance because I have such an amazing team,” he said.

Jodi Duncan, president of Flint Group in Fargo, garnered laughter from the audience when she joked about her age. “Thank you Prairie Business, this is quite an honor,” she said. “I was thinking, I would rather be a 40 Under 40, but I’m too old to qualify for that.”

She also gave a nod to the people she works with at Flint Group, noting they “help make me good at my job.”

Jeff LeDoux, senior adviser and former president and CEO of Houston Engineering, said “It is quite an honor to be a recipient of this award. It also is quite humbling to be associated with all of the other leaders and recipients of this award.”

LeDoux also thanked individuals in his life, as well as “the incredible team at Houston Engineering.”

Garth Rydland, president and CEO of Valley Senior Living in Grand Forks, North Dakota, had two reasons to celebrate on Thursday.


“First of all, thanks to Prairie Business,” said Rydland, who also made the audience laugh when he continued: “And thanks for everyone getting together on my birthday.”

Rydland said he turned 48 on Thursday. He also briefly addressed the challenges that his profession has been facing over the past several years, noting “Long-term care kind of flies under the radar. … As a profession, I think we’ve been tested to the limits, and if you have any long-term care or health care folks in your lives, please reach out to them. Whether they’re in the acute care side or the long-term side, there are a lot of really damaged folks in health care right now and they really need your support.”

Trent Sorbe, president and founder of Central payments in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, said he was grateful to be included among the other award winners.

“I want to thank Prairie Business most of all for stretching to your neighbors to the south. It’s great to be included in this great group of companies,” he said. “Like the others have said, it is humbling to be up here with this great group of people.”

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Guests gather for Thursday's annual Prairie Business awards dinner at the Radisson in downtown Fargo.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

He also noted where his success originates. “I want to thank first and foremost, like everyone else, my family. Entrepreneurship … is a sacrifice for everybody in the family,” he said. “It certainly is the case with mine and I'm sure it is with everyone else's. Everything I’ve done in my career is really the result of the support I got from my family.”

Sorbe, who lives in Brookings, South Dakota, said his company is only eight years old – “but growing fast in the financial technology space in Sioux Falls” – and noted the company's success over those few years is all “because of the team that we try to put around us.”

The three others named as Leaders & Legacies recipients but who did not make the event included Todd Berning, owner and president of EPIC Companies in Fargo; Steve Burian, president and CEO of Burian & Associates in Grand Forks and Fargo; and Ronald Mielke, principal, senior project manager, and former CEO of TSP Inc. in Sioux Falls.

The awards event included a buffet table and drinks, and music from Billy Lurken, a musician from Mitchell, South Dakota. Sponsors of the event were BeMobile, Cornerstone Bank, and Northern Plains Label.


Award winners include the following:

2022’s Leaders & Legacies

Todd Berning, owner and president, EPIC Companies, Fargo, N.D.

Steve Burian, president and CEO, Burian & Associates, Fargo and Grand Forks, N.D.

Dan Conrad, president and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Fargo, N.D.

Jodi Duncan, president, Flint Group, Fargo, N.D.

Jeff LeDoux, senior advisor, former president/CEO, Houston Engineering, Fargo, N.D

Ronald Mielke, principal, senior project manager and former CEO, TSP Inc, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Garth Rydland, president/CEO, Valley Senior Living, Grand Forks, N.D.

Todd Schaffer, president and CEO, Sanford Health, Bismarck, N.D.

Trent Sorbe, president and founder, Central Payments, Sioux Falls, S.D.

2022’s Top 25 Women in Business

Twylah Blotsky, Butler Machinery Co., Fargo, N.D.

Ashley Campion, Ulteig, Fargo, N.D.

CharRae Chwialkowski, Connect Interiors, Fargo, N.D.

Michelle Daggett, Lakeshirts, Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Brenna Grossbauer, Starion Bank, Bismarck, N.D.

Kristi Hall-Jiran, Altru Health System, Grand Forks, N.D.

Heather Hoyt, Mayville State University, Mayville, N.D.

Heather Huotari, Eide Bailly LLP, Fargo, N.D.

Jessica Karls, KLJ, West Fargo, N.D.

Kara Kayser, Trail King Industries, Inc., Mitchell, S.D.

Lindsey Kriens, Widseth, Baxter, Minn.

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

Saundra Lauer, WELL & Company, Alexandria, Minn.

Katie Lorenson, Alerus, Grand Forks, N.D.

Angie E. Lord, Vogel Law Firm, Fargo, N.D.

Jennifer Malloy, Apex Engineering Group, Bismarck, N.D.

Kristine Melby, Cornerstone Bank, Bismarck, N.D.

Becky Mindeman, Gate City Bank, Grand Forks, N.D.

Sarah Nupdal, Bell Bank at the Lights, West Fargo, N.D.

Janell Regimbal, Insight to Solutions, LLC, Grand Forks, N.D.

Angela Sersha, Sanford Health, Bismarck, N.D.

Traci Sletmoe, Bolton & Menk, Inc., Fargo, N.D.

Jenae Ste. Marie, Marsh McLennan Agency, Fargo, N.D. & Sioux Falls, S.D.

Mari Volk, Bismarck State College, Bismarck, N.D.

Wendy Wills, First International Bank & Trust, Sioux Falls, S.D.

2021’s 40 Under 40

Aaron Wimmer, Wimmer’s Diamonds, Fargo, N.D.

Alan Kemmet, Houston Engineering Inc., Bismarck, N.D.

Alex Dawson, Marsh & McLennan Agency - Dakotas, Fargo, N.D.

Amy Hass, EPIC Companies, West Fargo, N.D.

A ndrea Sutheimer, Sanford Health, Bismarck, N.D.

Ashley Ross, KLJ Engineering, Bismarck, N.D.

Austin Morris, Enclave, West Fargo, N.D.

Becca Cruger, Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., Grand Forks, N.D.

Blain Johnson, Paramount Planning, Grand Rapids, Minn.

Blake Christianson, Greenberg Realty, Grand Forks, N.D.

Brandi Nelson, Lake Region State College, Devils Lake, N.D.

Brandie Haugen, Gate City Bank, Fargo, N.D.

Brandon Conkins, High Point Networks, West Fargo, N.D.

Brent Muscha, Apex Engineering Group, Fargo, N.D.

David Frank, Eide Bailly LLP, Aberdeen, S.D.

Deidre Beck, Banner Associates Inc., Brookings, S.D.

Derek Goebel, Altru Health System, Grand Forks, N.D.

Grant Kuper, Bolton & Menk Inc., Fargo, N.D.

Heather Leas, West Fargo Public Schools, West Fargo, N.D.

Jarda Solc, AE2S, Grand Forks, N.D.

Jill Nelson, Grand Forks Park District, Grand Forks, N.D.

Jon Rentz, Alerus, Grand Forks, N.D.

Josh Herbold, Bremer Bank, Fargo, N.D.

Josh Ranum, West River Health Services, Hettinger, N.D.

Julianne Horntvedt, ND State Council on Developmental Disability, Bismarck, N.D.

Kate Black, Inland Oil & Gas Corp., Bismarck, N.D.

Kristen Henderson, Midwest Veterinary Service, Watertown, S.D.

Lance Monson, Construction Engineers, Grand Forks, N.D.

Lauralee Tupa, Circle of Friends Animal Shelter, Grand Forks, N.D.

Lindsay Mack, Cornerstone Bank, Fargo, N.D.

Luke Heck, Vogel Law, Fargo, N.D.

Macy Francisco, BIO Girls, Fargo, N.D.

Maggie Brockling, Evolve Grand Forks, Grand Forks, N.D.

Mark Honzay, JLG Architects, Fargo, N.D.

Matthew Eaton, Family HealthCare, Fargo, N.D.

Melissa Frohlich, First International Bank & Trust, Bismarck, N.D.

Shawn Crowley, EAPC Architects Engineers, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Skyler Severns, Fargo Moorhead Adult Hockey Club LLC, Fargo, N.D.

Terri Miller, Architecture Incorporated, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Wylie Wenschlag, Ulteig, Fargo, N.D.

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.
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