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Prairie People: New hires and promotions for the week ending May 6, 2022

Individuals profiled this week include those from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Eide Bailly, Essentia Health, Gate City Bank, and KLJ Engineering.

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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:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota hires chief financial officer

FARGO, N.D. • Cyndee Thormodson has been hired as chief financial officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

Cyndee Thormodson.jpg
Cyndee Thormodson
Image: Courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota

In her role, Thormodson is responsible for providing executive leadership and direction for the enterprise financial function, including financial reporting, finance, investments, budgeting and internal controls. In addition to finance, she has oversight of the internal audit and actuary teams.

Thormodson brings a wealth of experience to this new position. She has served in a variety of strategic finance and audit roles at Catholic Health Initiatives, Crowe Horwath (formerly CHAN Healthcare Auditors) and RSM.

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Most recently, Thormodson served as chief administrative officer at Noridian Healthcare Solutions, an affiliate of BCBSND.

A graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, Thormodson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and is also a certified public accountant. She will execute her role from BCBSND’s headquarters in Fargo.

Eide Bailly adds 31 to partnership, including several from Dakota offices

FARGO, N.D. • Effective May 1, 31 staff members were accepted into the partnership of top 25 CPA and business advisory firm Eide Bailly. Several of them are from offices in North Dakota and South Dakota.

The individuals in Fargo, North Dakota, include Scott Braun, Reid Mattson, Daren Pladson, and Ryan Renner. Shelley Gramling is from the Bismarck office, and Brent Impecoven from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Scott Braun
Scott Braun
Image: Courtesy of Eide Bailly

Scott Braun has more than 20 years of health care, Medicare, and cost reporting experience, and 14 years of experience working with a Medicare Administrative Contractor. He also worked as the vice president of the Provider Audit and Reimbursement and Recoupment Divisions for Jurisdictions E and F. He has extensive experience preparing and reviewing Medicare, Medicaid and other third-party reimbursement reports for hospitals and nursing homes and provides wage index reviews to maximize the average hourly rates.

Reid Mattson
Reid Mattson
Image: Courtesy of Eide Bailly

Reid Mattson works with a wide variety of clients, including nonprofits, professional services and privately held companies to help them better understand and accurately report their financial reporting. He manages and leads teams performing outsourced accounting, finance and consulting services. With his understanding of accounting principles and financial reporting, he will ensure his clients understand the "why" aspect to their finances to better help them make the important decisions needed in their business.

Daren Pladson
Daren Pladson
Image: Courtesy of Eide Bailly

Daren Pladson joined Eide Bailly in 2007, bringing with him many years of asset management experience. As director of Investment Strategy, he oversees the firm investment committee and is instrumental in the development of portfolio construction that stays true to our philosophy. He's an experienced financial advisor who offers a full range of services. He also works with CPAs and attorneys to assist clients with estate planning and wealth transfer.

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Ryan Renner
Ryan Renner
Image: Courtesy of Eide Bailly

Ryan Renner provides audit and accounting services to closely held companies, including contractors, manufacturers and service organizations. He specializes in audits of 401(k) plans and also has experience with mergers and acquisitions. He will be the main contact for audits, reviews and compilations.

Shelley Gramling
Shelley Gramling
Image: Courtesy of Eide Bailly

Shelley Gramling, in the Bismarck office, primarily works with small to medium sized partnerships and corporate clients. Oil and gas and related oilfield service companies are an industry focus for Gramling, where she provides compliance and various consulting services to clients. She also assists clients through effective tax planning and tax return preparation and provides necessary consultations on the various tax issues as they relate to both business and individual taxation.

Brent Impecoven
Brent Impecoven
Image: Courtesy of Eide Bailly

Brent Impecoven, who works in the office in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, joined Eide Bailly in 2012 and has provided assurance services to clients in a variety of industries, including construction, aggregates, manufacturing, and healthcare. His primary focus includes conducting audits, reviews, and compilations for construction contractors and aggregates producers, as well as performing audits of employee benefit plans.

Essentia Health welcomes family medicine specialist

FARGO, N.D. • The Essentia Health-Fargo Family Clinic is excited to welcome Lori Schmidt.

Lori Schmidt
Lori Schmidt
Image: Courtesy of Essentia Health

Schmidt is an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner who will specialize in family medicine.

She received her education from Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Gate City Bank promotes employee

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GRAND FORKS, N.D. • Mara Berdal has been promoted to universal banking supervisor at Gate City Bank.

Mara Berdal
Mara Berdal
Image: Courtesy of Gate City Bank

She previously served as universal loan officer. Outside of work, she serves as state director for the National Barrel Horse Association, and she and her husband are heavily involved in the Petersburg (ND) Fire Protection District, KEM Shriners and Dahlen (ND) Lutheran Church.

In her free time, Berdal enjoys barrel racing/rodeos, hunting, fishing and visiting the lake.

KLJ hires four environmental planners

BISMARCK, N.D. • KLJ Engineering recently welcomed four new environmental planners – Lexee Craig, Robert McClellan, Casey Engelhard, and Anna Gamez – to multiple North Dakota office locations and its Billings, Montana, office.

Lexee Craig
Lexee Craig
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

Craig, who will be located in KLJ’s Dickinson, North Dakota office, recently earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and an associate degree in geology from Dickinson State University. She brings four years of experience in agriculture.

Robert McClellan
Robert McClellan
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

McClellan has a bachelor’s degree in natural resource management-biotic resources from North Dakota State University in Fargo. Additionally, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years where he coordinated the fire protection of aircraft and personnel. McClellan will be working from KLJ’s headquarters in Bismarck.

Casey Engelhard
Casey Engelhard
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

Engelhard will be working out of KLJ’s West Fargo office. He earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Valley City State University in Valley City, North Dakota, and is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental health management. Engelhard has six years of experience and is certified in erosion and sediment control in both North Dakota and Nebraska.

Anna Gamez
Anna Gamez
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

Gamez, who will be located in KLJ’s Billings, Montana office, has a bachelor’s degree in animal science from California State University, Chico in Chico, California. She has 10 years of experience working in wildlife conservation and education.

KLJ hires safety manager in West Fargo

WEST FARGO, N.D. • KLJ Engineering recently welcomed Cody Hedberg to its West Fargo office, where he will serve as a safety manager.

Cody Hedberg
Cody Hedberg
Image: Courtesy of KLJ

Hedberg is a Construction Health and Safety Technician as designated by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. He is an experienced trainer in Mobile Elevating Work Platform, Power Industrial Truck, and Fall Protection.

Hedberg is also an authorized Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) construction outreach trainer.

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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