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Prairie People: New hires and promotions for the week ending April 29, 2022

Individuals profiled this week include those from Alerus, Enclave, Essentia Health, KLJ Engineering, and Marine Innovations.

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As they become available, Prairie Business highlights new hires, promotions and employee achievements from companies in the Dakotas and western Minnesota. This week's spotlight includes the following:

Alerus promotes member to lead financial advisor

GRAND FORKS, N.D. • Alerus has promoted Joe Miedema to lead financial advisor.

Joe Miedema
Joe Miedema
Image: Courtesy of Alerus

In this role, he will be responsible for Alerus’ Northern Valley financial advisor team, in addition to working directly with clients to help them meet their complex and unique long-term financial objectives.


Miedema joined Alerus in 2015 and has nearly 20 years of financial industry experience, specializing in investment management, retirement planning, estate planning, and trust administration.

He holds Series 7 and Series 66 securities licenses and a Chartered Financial Consultant designation from the American College of Financial Services. He also holds the American Bankers Association Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation.

He currently serves on the Grand Forks Foundation for Education board of directors and is active with Grand Forks Youth Baseball as a board director and volunteer coach.

Enclave names new chief operating officer

WEST FARGO, N.D. • Enclave recently welcomed Chief Operating Officer Eric Christianson to its team.

Eric Christianson
Eric Christianson
Image: Courtesy of Enclave

As COO, Christianson will oversee corporate operations, ensuring alignment between company strategy and goals.


A proven executive leader, Christianson brings more than 20 years of experience in both domestic and international business with a background in strategic planning, financial analysis, real estate development, sales, and marketing. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Red River Commodities.

Since 2011, Enclave has grown from a two-person start-up to 173 team members, completing more than 100 projects representing more than $1 billion in total value for its clients and partners.

Essentia Health welcomes sleep medicine specialist

FARGO, N.D. • The Essentia Health-South University Clinic is excited to welcome Nicole Mullis, an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner specializing in sleep medicine.

Nicole Mullis
Nicole Mullis
Image: Courtesy of Essentia Health

She said she has always had an interest in sleep medicine, how sleep can have such a significant impact on overall health.


Mullis received her education from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

KLJ promotes member to senior vice president of talent acquisition, welcomes new associate VP to team

BISMARCK, N.D. • KLJ Engineering has promoted Emily Johnson to senior vice president of the company’s newly formed talent acquisition and communications department.

Emily Johnson
Emily Johnson
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

Johnson, who has worked for the company since 2010, has held various leadership roles throughout her tenure. Most recently, she served as vice president of KLJ’s branding and communications department, where she oversaw KLJ’s brand, including the company’s marketing and communications efforts, proposal development, and public engagement.

Johnson will continue to oversee these efforts from a high level with a concentrated focus on building alignment with the company’s talent acquisition initiatives, the overall brand, and culture.

Johnson earned her MBA and a bachelor’s degree in both business administration and English with an emphasis in Human Resources, from the University of Mary in Bismarck. She recently earned her Talent Acquisition Specialty Certification from Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a professional human resources membership, of which she is a member. Johnson is also a member of the Society for Marketing Professional Services.

The company also welcomed Kurtis Karn to its talent acquisition team as an associate vice president.

Kurtis Karn
Kurtis Karn
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

Karn, who most recently served as the director of talent acquisition for a regional hospitality focused firm, will work alongside Johnson to identify and retain the people that best fit with the company’s culture and clients’ expectations.

Karn, earned an MBA in human resources from the University of Mary in and a bachelor’s degree in business administration and communications with a minor in information technology from the University of Jamestown. He has his SHRM-CP and PHR certifications and is also a national member of the Society for Human Resource Management and Fargo Moorhead Human Resources Association.

Marine Innovations adds new inspector

FRAZEE, Minn. • Marine Innovations has added Omar Magana as an elevator inspector.

This addition will expand Marine Innovations’ inclined elevator expertise, performing elevator inspections and plan reviews.

Magana started his career as an elevator mechanic in his home state of California. He has served in many positions, including mechanic, foreman, project manager, and construction supervisor for companies including Otis Elevator, Coast Elevator and Schindler.

Most recently Magana served as elevator inspector for the city of Minneapolis for 11 years, five of those as lead inspector. He has served in the elevator industry for 37 years.

In his free time Magana enjoys boating, hunting, fishing, traveling and volunteering. He and his wife, Silvi, make their home in Coon Rapids and Frazee, Minnesota.

What to read next
Individuals profiled this week include those ACLU of North Dakota, Alerus, Dakota Credit Union Association, Essentia Health, First International Bank & Trust, and SWCA Environmental Consultants.
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