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 Media Center | Media Kit |
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JUNE 2003

For PDF version of this newsletter click here.


  • Get out of your box! Innovation seminar July 10
  • Ambassador�s Program continues steady growth
  • Twin Cities marketing campaign launched
  • Business marketing and development activities
  • Commerce welcomes three new developers
  • MTI ribbon-cutting in Rugby
  • State-local developers host site selectors
  • Commerce moves to Century Center
  • APUC awards $173,954 in grants
  • Get out of your box! Innovation seminar July 10

    Make plans now to attend a unique and exciting event on July 10 in Fargo. Innovation Growth Day is sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Commerce Economic Development & Finance Division to assist organizations in discovering innovation and creativity tools that will help foster their economic growth in North Dakota. The conference will feature North Dakota native Gerald Haman, founder of SolutionPeople, Chicago. Gerald has provided innovation and creativity training to people in 25 countries and to 160 Fortune 500 companies, including Adidas, General Electric and Motorola. During Innovation Growth Day, attendees will bring a workplace challenge so they can implement Gerald�s creative tools to that challenge and see the tools in action.

    Gerald will provide the training on July 10 at a fraction of its normal cost. The full-day seminar is only $199. (There is a special student rate of $29.) You really don�t want to miss this.

    Register today for the seminar. Log on to Gerald�s web site at www.solutionpeople.com/NDinnovationday.htm

    Ambassador�s Program continues steady growth

    The North Dakota Ambassador�s Program realized its full circle of success in early May. Jason Wolfe, CEO of DirectResponse Technologies, Beulah, and Pittsburgh, Penn., addressed 157 guests at the North Dakota business gathering in Denver. Wolfe expanded his company to Beulah, due in large part to the encouragement of a North Dakota alumnus who attended the North Dakota business gathering in San Francisco in November 2001. He spoke of this contact and his perspective on working with local and state officials to bring his company to the state. In addition, the North Dakota Department of Commerce received three e-mail leads from alumni around the country in May. �We�ve begun looking ahead to the enormous potential an entire sales force of alumni will offer the state,� said Linda Butts, director of the department�s Economic Development & Finance Division. �The more positive information we put into the hands of those who are already sold on North Dakota, the better our potential for success. Ultimately, this will help us improve the quality of life for the people living here.�

    Twin Cities marketing campaign launched

    Beginning June 16, North Dakota will be heard on the air waves from WCCO radio in Minneapolis. This is the kickoff of a year-long marketing campaign that includes a combination of radio and print advertising, and relationship marketing. In order to develop our message, research was conducted with over 300 top business executives and site selectors in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market to learn what their �hot buttons� are when it comes to expanding or relocating their business. The campaign ads will address those issues � availability of labor, low turnover and absenteeism rates, and an educated and well-trained workforce. �We are excited about launching this effort,� says Tracy Metzger, ED&F; vice president of marketing. �We know this market has strong potential for us, and we are going to let people know that what their businesses need to grow and prosper is right next door in North Dakota.�

    Business marketing and development activities

    7-10 Industrial Asset Management Council, Boston, MA

    11-15 CoreNet Global Summit, Atlanta, GA
    14 North Dakota Business Dinner, Atlanta, GA

    1 North Dakota Business Gathering, San Jose, CA
    21 Lewis & Clark IMAX movie premiere, St. Paul, MN

    9-11 Power Gen, Las Vegas, NV

    If you would like to participate in any of these events, please contact Mike Strotheide, vice president of business development, at 328-5322 or [email protected]; or Tracy Metzger, vice president of marketing, at 328-5352 or [email protected].

    Commerce welcomes three new developers

    We want to welcome new developers in Beach, Fargo and Harvey. Marty Campbell is the new director for the Prairie West Development Corp. in Beach. Eric Icard is the new marketing vice president for the Fargo-Cass County Economic Development Corp. John Crabtree serves as development director for the Harvey Job Development Authority.

    MTI ribbon-cutting in Rugby

    Gov. John Hoeven and officials from the Department of Commerce were in Rugby on June 3 to participate in a ribbon-cutting for Midwest Telemark, Inc. (MTI). The Mohall-based information technology company expanded to Rugby earlier this year. MTI also has offices in Beulah, Stanley, Kenmare, Mohall, Bottineau, Grafton and Langdon in North Dakota as well as locations in Canada. Company President Steve Hett said MTI employs more than 500 people, including 25 in Rugby. Hett said the stable and committed workforce in rural areas is the reason the outbound telemarketing firm has expanded. �Rugby was fantastic to help us put it together here, and thanks to Gov. Hoeven for helping us continue to grow in North Dakota,� Hett said.

    State-local developers host site selectors

    At the request of the Economic Development & Finance Division business development team, site selectors are visiting North Dakota to learn more about the state and how we deliver growth and prosperity to businesses. Mike and Jason Hickey, Hickey and Associates, Minneapolis, were in the state on May 27-29; Jim Renzas, Location Management Services, Mission Viejo, Calif., was in the state June 7-10; and Robert and Anita Pittman, Lockwood Greene, Atlanta, Ga., will be in North Dakota June 25-29.

    Commerce moves to Century Center

    The Department of Commerce has moved into its new offices at Century Center in north Bismarck. An open house will be held Sept. 10-11. All DOC phone numbers, fax numbers and e-mail addresses remain the same. The new street address is 1600 E. Century Ave., Suite 2, Bismarck, ND 58503.

    APUC awards $173,954 in grants

    The Agricultural Products Utilization Commission (APUC) approved funding for eight projects at its quarterly meeting held May 20. The eight projects will receive $173,954 in value-added grants. The commission reviewed 11 funding requests and approved grants for Thunderbird Ranch Gourmet Foods, Ray; SB&B; Foods, Inc., Casselton; the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, Bismarck; LeRoy Richard, Horace; Cass Clay Creamery Inc., Fargo; American Honey Company, Hettinger; Sorm, Inc., Wahpeton; and Rolling Hills Premium Beef, Inc., Medina. APUC�s next quarterly hearing is scheduled for July 31 and August 1 in Medora. The deadline for grant applications is July 1.