The North Dakota Association of Counties honored four county officials and one state official during its annual conference in Bismarck. The annual Excellence in County Government Awards honor exceptional dedication, leadership and involvement for the good of all counties.
Wells County Commissioner Randi Suckut was honored for many notable achievements and leadership through major challenges. His nomination noted his work in legislative matters and handling a number of crises, including an oil train explosion and a complete loss of the county’s sheriff’s department. He also served as president of the Association of Counties.
Williams County Treasurer/Recorder Kari Evenson was recognized for excellence as a leader and mentor among the state’s county treasurers over the past 30 years. She has been a leader in advancing technology without sacrificing an emphasis on providing outstanding service to citizens.
Wells County Sheriff’s Department Office Deputy Janelle Pepple earned the award as an exemplary employee who steps up to the demands of her job, even when that included being the only employee in the office. Her service to the public has included membership in the Fessenden Ambulance Service for over two decades.
The County Hall of Honor honors former county officials. This year’s honor went to Linda Svihovec, former McKenzie County auditor/treasurer. Svihovec served McKenzie County for over 30 years in a variety of capacities. She guided the county through a period of explosive growth due to the oil boom, while remaining an active leader in the state County Auditors Association and County Treasurers Association, as well as serving as president of the North Dakota Association of Counties in 2010.
The Dedicated Partner award honors individuals and organizations outside of county government who have contributed to the good of counties. This year, Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, received the award. Dohrmann led the state’s support effort during the lengthy pipeline protests in Morton County and has been a strong advocate of using the Guard’s resources to serve citizens across the state in many other crisis situations.
Awards to nurses
Fourteen nurses and nurse-advocates recently received Legendary Nurse Awards from the North Dakota Center for Nursing.
The awards honor nurses who have made significant contributions to the nursing profession in North Dakota.
Area residents among the recipients are:
• Leadership — Kim Mertz, Billie Madler and Annie Eliason, all of Bismarck.
• Faculty Achievement — Jenna Herman, Bismarck.
• Advocacy — Tara Brandner, Ashley.
• Preceptor — Christopher Lunde, Jamestown.
• Volunteer — Tara Wilkens, Bismarck.
• Champion for Nursing — Amanda Remynse, Bismarck.
AMVETS Post 9 and Auxiliary will sponsor up to 20 $500 scholarships for the 2017-18 school year.
Applicants must be full-time students entering their second half or quarter of their first year of college or be in their second through fourth year of college. A 3.0 grade-point average in their last semester of school is required.
Applications are available at the front desk of the AMVETS club, 2402 Railroad Ave., Bismarck. For more information, contact Brenda Anderson at 701-258-8825 or John Adolf 701-425-6812.
Aid to communities
The North Dakota Community Foundation has awarded $150,283 in grants from its Statewide Greatest Needs (Unrestricted) Fund to 36 organizations across the state.
Area recipients include:
• Killdeer Area Ambulance Service, $3,800 for CPR manikins.
• Family Crisis Center, Williston, $3,175 for computers.
• Grenora Foundation, $5,000 for playground equipment.
• City of Flasher, $5,000 to update campgrounds.
• Prairie Learning Center, Raleigh, $5,000 for walk-in freezer/cooler.
• Elgin Public Library, $2,397 for meeting room updates.
• New England Lions Club, $5,000 for playground equipment.
• Community Ambulance Service Inc., Beach, $5,000 for EMT/EMR training.
• City of Golden Valley, $5,000 for park equipment.
• Hebron Fire Protection District, $4,467 for heat thermal imager.
• Garrison Parks and Reccreation, $5,000 for city park bathroom facility.
• Mountrail Bethel Home, Stanley, $5,000 for roam alert system.
• Society of St. Stephens Food Pantry, Bowbells, $2,000 for handicap sidewalk.
• Tolley Fire Department, $5,000 for pumper truck.
• City of Tolley, $3,500 for sewer lift station.
• Hurdsfield Park, $5,000 for playground equipment.
• Harvey Kiwanis, $5,000 for playground park.
• Harvey Police Department, $3,500 for updated radios.
• City of Glenfield, $5,000 for playground equipment.
• Napoleon Care Center, $5,000 for dining room table and chairs.
The North Dakota Library Association recently held its annual fall conference in Grand Forks. At the conference, NDLA President Lesley Gunderson presented Christine Kujawa the 2017 President’s Recognition award for her years of dedication to the association and outstanding work on its legislative committee.
Kujawa is the library director at the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library, where she has worked since 2003.
Stenberg on board
Richard K. Stenberg, associate professor of history and political science at Williston State College, began a two-year term on the North Dakota Historic Preservation Review Board on Oct. 1.
Nominated by former WSC President Raymond Nadolny, Stenberg has had a 22-year career at WSC and 19 seasons as an interpretative park ranger at Fort Union Trading Post.
Stenberg has reviewed numerous books on Lewis and Clark, the fur trade and the American West for academic journals and has written articles on North Dakota history, the Upper Missouri Fur trade, and Lewis and Clark.
Stenberg was a 2002-03 recipient of the North Dakota Humanities Council Research Fellow and received the 2004 Fort Union Fellowship on researching fur trade history.
A native of Watford City, Stenberg attended the University of North Dakota-Williston, now WSC, and received his undergraduate degrees in history and social science from Minot State University and a master of arts degree in American history from the University of North Dakota.
Steve Hepper has been elected president of the North Dakota Grain Dealers Educational Foundation.
Hepper is the grain merchandiser at Hubbard Feeds Inc. of Bismarck and a director of the North Dakota Grain Dealers Association.
The new vice president is Joe Peterson, operations manager at CHS-SunPrairie in Bowbells and a director of the NDGDA.
Re-elected directors are Alex Richard, grain division manager at Maple River Grain & Agronomy and a director of the NDGDA; Elton Solseng, retired instructor, agricultural systems management at North Dakota State University; Steve Strege retired executive vice president of the NDGDA; and Kenan Layden, ag instructor, Bismarck State College.
The University of Mary recognized four alumni and six of its former athletes at its annual Alumni Recognition and Hall of Fame induction.
Award recipients are:
• Brooke Erstad, ’03, ’06, Bell Banner Award, recognizing alumni for modeling the values of respect, hospitality, moderation, service, community and prayer. Erstad is a physical therapist who started Apex Physical Therapy in West Fargo with another U-Mary alumnus. The practice has expanded to Jamestown and LaMoure, with 21 employees.
• Mike Bitz, ’88, ’94, Harold Schafer Alumni Leadership Award, recognizing leaders in their professions. Bitz, a native of Napoleon, began his educational career as a third-grade teacher in Burlington, then moved into principal and superintendent posts. He is superintendent of the Mandan Public School District and has been appointed by two North Dakota governors to professional educational groups.
• Mark A. “Tony” Wood, ’07, ’09, Harold Schafer Alumni Leadership Award. Wood owns and operates Mountain Plains LLC, which provides electrical consulting, land surveying and utility locating services in the Bakken region. He began the company in 2009 as a one-person operation. Mountain Plains now has offices in Bismarck, Watford City and Missoula, Mont. He was also instrumental in the founding of the IDEA Center, a Bismarck-Mandan business incubator.
• Kurt Snyder, ’99, ’06, Presidential Leadership Award for distinguished achievements as servant leaders. Snyder has been the executive director of the Heartview Foundation Treatment Center since 2005.
Inducted into the U-Mary Hall of Fame were Brian Samipour-Biel, Kodi (Kooiman) Goracke, Nicci (Landdeck) Spears, Nikia Parson, Machelle (Bummer) Pochant and Rob Renschler.
Biel wrestled for U-Mary in 1999-2002, becoming a national champion and a three-time All-American. Raised on a farm near Dodge, Biel went to high school in Golden Valley and wrestled for Beulah, where he was a three-time state champion. A two-time team captain, Biel helped the Marauders finish third nationally in 2000 and 2001. Biel finished with a career record of 116-46 and helped coach the Marauders for a pair of seasons.
Biel owns a small business and is a member of the Ellet High School wrestling team coaching staff in Akron, Ohio.
Goracke played softball in 1999-2002 and helped the Marauders earn four NAIA World Series berths, four regional titles and four conference crowns.
A Minnesota native who moved as a child to Ripon, Calif., Goracke is a PK-4 elementary school principal for ACGC Public Schools in Atwater, Minn.
Spears played women’s basketball in 2006-08, leading the team to its first Northern Sun playoff win and twice earning all-conference honors. She was a transfer from Bellevue (Wash.) Community College. An NSIC Scholar-Athlete, Spears is 25th all-time in Marauders history in points (845) and 30th in rebounding (392). She lives in her native North Bend, Wash.
Parson was a member of the football team in 1999-2001. An All-American and a three-time All-Conference selection, Parson was a dominant defensive force on three playoff and two conference championship teams, including the 1999 national semifinalist squad. Parson, who grew up in Gary, Ind., ranks sixth all-time at U-Mary in sacks (20) and seventh in tackles for loss (27). He is store manager for Encore Shoe Department in Bismarck.
Pochant graduated from Medicine Lake (Mont.) High School and played volleyball at U-Mary in 1994-97. She was a two-time all-conference player who earned top accolades as a senior, helped the Marauders volleyball team reach the NAIA regional tournament and earned North Dakota College Athletic Conference championships in volleyball and basketball. She finished among the nation’s leaders in blocks in 1997.
Pochant holds a degree in accounting and is the controller at Bakken Transload LLC. She lives in Bismarck.
Renschler participated in men’s track and field, 1998-2000, becoming one of only three U-Mary men’s track and field national champions and a five-time All-American.
A Bismarck High School graduate, he won the North Dakota College Athletic Conference indoor triple jump championship in 1998 and captured his first All-American citation with a sixth-place finish at the NAIA outdoor championships. He earned subsequent conference titles indoors in the pentathlon and triple jump, and indoor and outdoor conference titles in the triple jump, leading U-Mary to its lone NDCAC indoor championship. He finished his Marauders career by winning the NAIA outdoor national championship in the triple jump.
Renschler graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor of science degree in human performance and fitness, then earned a doctorate of pediatric medicine from Des Moines University. He is employed by Essentia Health in Fargo.