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New addition 

The North Dakota Safety Council has hired Malinda Weninger as an accounting assistant.

Weninger has an associate degree from North Dakota State College of Science and more than 30 years of experience in accounting, budgeting and grant management. She will assist the accounting department with credit card deposits, class reconciliation and invoicing.

Barber hired

Mug & Brush Barber Shop hired new barber, Danielle Thurston.

Thurston is a master barber who recently graduated from Moler Barber College in Fargo. She specializes in head and beard cuts and trims, scalp and facial massages, and hot towel shaves.

Agent achieves

Ryan Schnell of Bismarck was the top producer of Farmers Union Insurance Commercial Lines Insurance and was also a top five producer of PACCO Auto Insurance for the company during the month of July.

Schnell is the insurance agent for CCU Insurance Agency LLC, a partnership of Farmers Union Insurance and Capital Credit Union.

Papke hired

Mandy Papke, family nurse practitioner, joined Sanford Seventh & Thayer Clinic in Bismarck as a nephrology provider.

She will diagnose and treat kidney disease and disorders in adolescents and adults.

Papke graduated from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks with a master's degree in nursing.

State employees honored

Two state employees were recognized for their service.

North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources Oil and Gas Division, Williston District Supervisor John Axtman received the Governor’s Landmark Award for excellence in management.

Karlene Fine, executive secretary of the Industrial Commission, received the Harvest Award, given to individuals who have made an exceptional commitment to quality, demonstrated in their everyday work.

“John always demonstrates the highest caliber of work ethic and commitment to staff development and his dedication provides the backbone of Oil and Gas Division field leadership in Williston,” department director Lynn Helms said in a statement. “John is an outstanding educator and mentor to junior field regulatory staff and possesses a skill set and oil and gas field knowledge that is incredibly beneficial to this agency.”

Fine has worked for the State of North Dakota for more than 40 years.

“Karlene has an unparalleled knowledge of state government having worked for seven gubernatorial administrations, and she oversees 14 entities of the Industrial Commission, including work with the Department of Mineral Resources,” Helms said. “She is extremely thorough, thoughtful and absolutely one of kind.”

Institute adds four

Dakota Eye Institute recently hired three new ophthalmic technicians.

Shannarae Fischer, of Bismarck, Tammy Ingles, of Driscoll, and Emily Sandvick, of Fond Du Lac, Wisc., and Mandan, will perform initial screenings and preliminary eye function testing for patients prior to seeing the doctor.

Dakota Eye also recently hired Karen Johner, a native of Mandan who attended Minot State University, as a receptionist.

Simburger hired

Isaac Simburger has joined Braun Intertec as an American Petroleum Institute inspector for pipelines and tanks.

Simburger has more than 13 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, power generation, ethanol fuels as well as in construction and mining.

Gessner promoted

Widmer Roel promoted Amanda Gessner, certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner, to audit supervisor.

Gessner received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and has been with the company since 2015.

Binstock certified

Derek Binstock, a registered assistant with Choice Financial Wealth Management, recently passed the General Securities Representative Examination. He also passed the Uniform Combined State Law Examination.

The General Securities examination enables Binstock to solicit, purchase and sell security products. The Uniform Combined State Law examination registers candidates as both securities agents and investment adviser representatives.

Binstock has been with the office since November 2015.

Gee leads division

The North Dakota Department of Human Services has selected Michele Gee as director of its Economic Assistance Division.

The division administers programs that help qualifying low-income individuals, families with children, older adults and people with disabilities meet their basic food and household needs.

In addition to leading the division, Gee also will continue to serve as a team member in the development and testing of the department’s eligibility systems.

Gee has more than 22 years of experience. For the past two years, she has served as the public assistance director participating in strategic planning, supervising staff in the administration of economic assistance programs and working to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations.

In her tenure with the department, she has served as the assistant director and program administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. She also spearheaded the implementation of the SNAP statewide electronic benefit transfer system.

She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate’s degree in management information systems, both from the University of Mary.

New agent

Jo Ellen Colling Kralicek has joined the Century 21 Morrison as a real estate agent.

Kralicek is from Bismarck. She brings 25 years of customer service and sales experience to the Century 21 Morrison team as well as a deep knowledge of the local area.

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Reach Jessica Holdman at 701-250-8261 or


Business Reporter