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Prairie People: Some new hires and promotions featured in December 2022's edition

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Apex Engineering Group welcomes design engineer

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Amanda Vetter

FARGO, N.D. • Amanda Vetter recently joined the transportation group at Apex Engineering Group. She brings more than eight years of experience to her new role as a design engineer.

Vetter specializes in traffic design, including traffic operations analysis and planning, intersection treatments, pedestrian accommodations, and roundabout design.

At Apex, she will be working on a variety of project types including urban and rural transportation projects and traffic studies.

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Two continue their careers at Essentia Health as nurse practitioners

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Aaron Smith
Jeff Frey 218-722-6630 freyphoto

FARGO, N.D. • After working at Essentia Health-Fargo as a registered nurse, Aaron Smith has furthered his education to become an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner specializing in interventional cardiology.

Smith received his medical education from the University of Mary in Bismarck and is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

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Karissa Gladen
Jeff Frey 218-722-6630 freyphoto

Karissa Gladen, also a registered nurse at Essentia, has furthered her education to become an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner specializing in hematology-oncology.

Gladen received her medical education from North Dakota State University and is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Essentia Health-Fargo welcomes neonatologist

FARGO, N.D. • Essentia Health-Fargo is proud to welcome neonatologist Dr. Rushabh Shah.

Dr. Shah earned his medical degree from St. George’s University in Grenada, West Indies. He completed his residency in pediatrics at Albany Medical Center and fellowship in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.

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Rushabh Shah
Jeff Frey 218-722-6630 freyphoto

KLJ Hires Two in Sioux Falls

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Sam Pellinan

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. • KLJ Engineering is proud to welcome Sam Pellinen and Rachel Attema to their Sioux Falls office.

Pellinen joins KLJ as an engineer in training within the aviation division. He is a recent graduate of Michigan State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in aerospace. Pellinen was part of the MSU rocketry team where he led the structures group.

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Rachel Attema

Also working in the aviation division is Rachel Attema. She will serve as a project assistant for the group. Attema comes to KLJ with over 20 years of experience. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Dordt College.

Professional engineer joins Apex Engineering Group

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Kent Exner

St. CLOUD, Minn. • Kent Exner is a Professional Engineer registered in Minnesota.

He joins Apex Engineering Group in St. Cloud as a senior transportation engineer.

Exner has 24 years of work experience within the public and private sectors. Throughout his career, he has served on several professional organization boards/committees, including Local Road Research Board, Municipal State Aid Screening Board, City Engineers Association of Minnesota, Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers and others.

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Cornerstone Bank welcomes chief risk officer 

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Jeff Weiler

FARGO, N.D. • Jeff Weiler has joined Cornerstone Bank as the chief risk officer in Fargo. He brings more than 26 years of banking experience, including previous roles as chief innovation officer, chief risk officer, executive vice president and an enterprise risk manager.

Originally from Dickinson, North Dakota, Weiler is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking and Northern State University. He currently resides in Fargo with his wife Beth. He has two grown daughters, a son-in-law and granddaughter, who are also in Fargo.

“We are excited to have Jeff join our team,” said COO Deneen Axtman. “He brings a depth of experience in managing risk, leading people, and thinking strategically all of which make him one of the best in the industry.“

Essentia Health-32d Avenue Clinic welcomes gastroenterology specialist 

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Vanessa Walker
Jeff Frey 218-722-6630 freyphoto

FARGO, N.D. • Vanessa Walker, an advanced practice registered nurse and certified nurse practitioner specializing in gastroenterology, is excited to join the Essentia Health-32nd Avenue Clinic.

Walker received her medical education from South University in Savannah, Georgia, and is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

“I chose gastroenterology because there is such a variety in diagnosis and endoscopic procedures,” said Walker. “I love to help the patients find the root cause of their symptoms and serve as a resource to help them live a healthy life.”

Metro Flood Diversion Authority hires lands specialist

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Madeline Gorghuber

FARGO, N.D. • The Metro Flood Diversion Authority recently hired Madeline Gorghuber as its first lands specialist.

In this role, she collaborates with the MFDA team and its partners as they work toward completion of the FM Area Diversion comprehensive project. She will provide property management support, coordinate information across multiple stakeholders, and make recommendations to leadership regarding land management.

Gorghuber brings experience in mapping, GIS and related land management tools. Prior to joining the MFDA, she worked for the city of Fargo, North Dakota, as a land management specialist where she processed, administered and documented land management transactions, parcel splits, new plats and annexation records.

"I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to join this team and work on this project," Gorghuber said. "I know that there are many challenges that lie ahead, but I look forward to contributing to the flood protection of this area."

She earned a bachelor’s degree in biological science with an emphasis in soil science from North Dakota State University.

Grand Forks EDC welcomes UAS development officer

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Bill Adams

GRAND FORKS, N.D. • Bill Adams has joined the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation as its Unmanned and Autonomous Systems (UAS) Development Officer. Adams will execute strategies to support primary sector business recruitment and expansion in the aerospace sector.

He will focus on unmanned and autonomous systems and associated technology development within the Grand Forks, N.D. region. He will assist in leading the EDC initiatives to foster collaboration among industry partners, provide resources and expertise to engage with stakeholders, and capitalize on new opportunities for industry development.

Adams recently graduated from the University of North Dakota in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics in Unmanned Aircraft Systems with Aviation Safety emphasis and a UAS minor and previously received an Associate of Business from the University of Minnesota. He previously worked as an account executive at UPS and owned real estate and fitness businesses. Adams moved to Grand Forks from Minneapolis knowing that it is the best place to be for UAS.

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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