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Projects, and Leaders to be Recognized at Upcoming Ideas to Actions Summit

Walsh County Press of Park River, North Dakota

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(This is the third of a three-part weekly series of releases regarding the Red River Regional Council's Ideas to Actions Summit to be held on November 4, 2015 in Grafton)

GRAFTON, N.D. — Turning dreams into realities Producing results Transforming communities. Succeeding in the global economy These common goals for successful economic and community development programs depend on people — people working together, investing their time, knowledge, and personal equity to assure great things happen that benefit everyone in communities.

After a regional effort to promote nominations for three awards that recognize outstanding development efforts, the Red River Regional Council (RRRC) will present the awards at their first ever Ideas to Actions Summit, to be held November 4th at the new Grafton Public School Performing Arts Center in Grafton, ND.

"We received 16 terrific nominations of people, projects, businesses, and organizations from around the region," said Dawn Keeley, Executive Director of the RRRC. "The quality of the projects and people nominated speaks quite highly of our region's ability to respond to the needs of our rural communities and to the creativity and competitiveness of our region's businesses."

Nominations were received from across the four county area represented by the RRRC — Pembina, Walsh, Grand Forks and Nelson counties. The awards — Catalyst, North Star, and Determination — are designed to recognize great leaders, ideas, and projects.

The nominees for the Catalyst Award include:

Ross Lambert — Drayton Park Board: Lambert was instrumental in securing funding to purchase land for a 70 unit RV park. The larger park serves as a temporary home for seasonal American Crystal Sugar workers and benefits the City of Drayton. Lambert's persistence was vital in bringing this project to fruition.

Odell Flaagan — Nelson County Commission and Park Board: Flaagan is a leader in Nelson County. He has been very effective in securing funding for important road and park projects. His impact can be seen at Stump Lake Park including the new cafe, playground equipment, tennis court, etc. and he is currently working on a large bank stabilization project. Flaagan's wealth of experience and leadership has been an asset to the entire county.

Patty Gorder, Kristy Jelinek, Laura Glanner, Heather Szklarski Grafton Fanner's Market: Gorder, Jelinek, Glanner, and Szklarski launched the Grafton Farmer's Market in 2012 from the ground up. They have sought out giants to help fund the market and keep fees low for vendors and patrons. In2015, they introduced SNAP, allowing EBT card payment, making fresh produce available to low income families.

Daryl Larson Volunteer, City of Park River: Larson volunteered his time to lead the berm tree planting project in the City of Park River this past spring. Larson's commitment resulted in the successful planting of 120 trees, adding valuable character to the city, increasing property values and having a beneficial impact on economic development. He continues to care for and maintain the trees that are not located on residential properties.

Corie Koropatnicki — Pembina Growth Committee: Koropatnicki has been instrumental in revitalizing the Pembina Growth Committee. She has recruited members, defined a plan of action and pushes projects forward. She is currently leading the charge to gamer interest and establish licensed day care in Pembina.

Lori Zahradka North Valley Extended School Project: Zahradka has injected effort, energy and enthusiasm into the North Valley Extended School Project. She has been instrumental in creating partnerships to meet the STEM education (project-based learning) goal. In addition to the impact she has made on the area schools and students, she is also involved in the North Dakota Statewide Afterschool Partnership and was selected to be one of the national White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows for the 2014-15 school year.

The nominees for the North star Award include:

Tom Swoyer Grand Sky: Swoyer is a visionary who brought Grand Sky to fruition in Grand Forks County. Grand Sky is the nation's first business park devoted to Unmanned Aerial Systems (U AS). It is an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) between the United States Air Force (USAF) and Grand Forks County — one of only 12 existing EUL's. Grand Sky's success can be attributed to Swoyer's vision, persistence, teamwork, attitude and ability to think outside the box.

Diana and Randy Hahn — Jim's Super Valu (Park River): The Hahn's are the owners of Jim's Super Valu in Park River. They have shown innovation in the operation of their business by adding meat processing, homemade specialty products and catering, expansion into niche markets with in-house made seasonings and creativity in identifying solutions to improve overall efficiencies in their business by securing a grant to upgrade their refrigeration, HVAC, electrical and lighting.

Joseph & Nicole Safranski and Travis & Holly Stegman Midway Seed, LLC: Midway Seed, LLC has recently expanded from a small wheat cleaning facility in Cavalier into a state-of-the-art wheat/soybean seed cleaning and treating facility with an extended service area. The demand for this facility was evident by the 300% increase in sales from 2012 to 2014. Midway Seed is providing a much needed service to the region, in addition to creating nine new jobs.

Grafton Public Schools Administration and School Board: The Grafton Public Schools Administration and School Board are being recognized for including a modem performing arts auditorium in the design of the new middle school. When the building project came in over budget, rather than eliminate the auditorium. Superintendent Jack Maus formed a committee to create awareness and raise money for the auditorium through donations and grants.

North Valley Career and Technology Center (NVCTC) — STEM Initiative Project: NVCTC has taken on the STEM project to enhance the existing curriculums offered in the area school districts. This is done by using engaging, hands-on curriculum to prepare students to be productive leaders in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The STEM initiative offerings are incoiporated into the normal school day, after school programs and summer school activities and have been instrumental in keeping all center programs current with technology.

Bernie Kringstad Kringstad Ironworks, Inc.: Kringstad Ironworks in Park River, has grown into one of the region's premier manufacturing facilities. Under the leadership of Bernie Kringstad, the company has shown vision and innovation by adapting their business to meet industry demand. Their patented Safe-T-Pull has evolved to include four different models. Growth prompted a recent building expansion, employing 50 people, resulting in economic growth to the county.

Nominees for the Determination Award include:

Lakota Child Care Center: The Lakota Child Care Center (LCCC) was a dream of Lakota's community forum that was realized after two years. The LCCC is a non-profit business that provides high-quality, reliable child care service and has created jobs and opportunity to stimulate Lakota's economic development.

City of Crystal — Street Paving Project: The community of Crystal, ND banded together to implement a street paving project for their city roads that hadn't been paved since 1960. Residents, current and former mayors, city council members all stepped up and made calls, wrote letters and grants to get this project done. The newly smooth street surfaces are clean and inviting and have created a new energy in the City of Crystal.

City of Grafton — Housing Rehabilitation Project: The City of Grafton's Housing Rehabilitation Project resulted in the rehabilitation of 28 owner-occupied residences. Qualifying low income residents received assistance with health and safety items on their homes they would otherwise not have been able to afford like roofing, windows, plumbing, electrical, etc. The nearly $500,000 project took four years and was completed in 2015.

Park River Parks and Recreation Board of Directors -: RV Campsite Project: The Park River Parks and Recreation Board secured funding for a new 20 unit RV campground that will be open in 2016. The City of Park River donated 40 acres of land for the campground that will also include ball diamonds, a playground and community center. The new campground will fill a need for the community and region as it will allow people to stay within a short drive of the Homme Dam amenities.

The Ideas to Actions Summit will culminate in the presentation of these awards. The event, which will include a 4:00 pm roundtable discussion moderated by Bruce Gjovig of the UND Center tor Innovation, a 5:30 pm networking social featuring music from Sneaky Wild Oats, and a 6:30 pm keynote event that will include the awards presentation. The Summit will also feature conversations with western ND leaders Gaiy Greff owner and creator of the Enchanted Highway, Mayor Brent Sanfbrd, Watford City; Lyn James, Bowman City Commission President; Linda Svihovec, McKenzie County Auditor; and Gene Veeder, McKenzie County Job Development Authority; as well as regional leaders Mayor Dan Stenvold, Park River; and Amie Vasichek, City of Lakota Auditor.

The overall purpose of the Ideas to Actions Summit is to provide an opportunity to inform the public of the goals and activities of the Council, to create excitement about the potential of our region's communities, and to recognize the excellent work of the region's communities. The agenda includes a 4:00 pm roundtable discussion with western ND leaders, moderated by Bruce Gjovig of the UND Center for Innovation, followed by a 5:30 pm networking social with music by Sneaky Wild Oats. The keynote event will begin at 6:30 pm and will include the awards presentation. All events will be held at the auditorium at the Grafton Public School complex and are free and open to the public.



Copyright 2015 Walsh County Press, Park River, North Dakota. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015



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