Dept. Of Commerce Foundation Holds First Meeting
Posted on September 27, 2001
BISMARCK, ND - The state Department of Commerce (DOC) Foundation held its first meeting Sept. 24 in Bismarck.
The DOC and its foundation were mandated by the 2001 Legislature. The governor appoints members to staggered one- and two-year terms for the purpose of guiding and directing economic activity in the state.
The foundation is also charged with giving the governor and commissioner of commerce advice and counsel, developing and implementing a strategic plan for economic and value-added agriculture, setting accountability standards and creating benchmarks to evaluate the effectiveness of the new department. By statute, the group must include a cross-section of business, tourism, and economic development interests, and at least one member must represent rural concerns.
The first foundation meeting was taken up with organizational housekeeping as the group created three subcommittees.
- The Policies subcommittee will draft the policies by which the foundation will govern itself.
- The Fundraising subcommittee will set guidelines for seeking private funding for DOC activities. Under state law, some activities involved with economic development, such as "courting" out-of-state businesses, cannot be funded with taxpayer dollars.
- The Strategic Planning subcommittee will develop plans for economic development and value-added ag activities.
At the meeting, the foundation also chose its executive committee:
- Robert Lamont, Minot, Lamont & Skowronek Law Firm: chair
- Elaine Fremling, Fargo, Northwestern Mutual: vice chair
- Duaine Espegard, Grand Forks: secretary
- Ron Harper, Bismarck, Basin Electric Power Cooperative
- Marlowe Johnson, Jamestown, Ottertail Power Company
- Shirley Montgomery, Fargo, F-M Area Foundation
- Mike Swenson, Fargo, Xcel Energy
Other foundation members include the following (at least one more member remains to be appointed):
- Jack Hoeven, Minot, First Western Bank & Trust
- Chuck Hoge, West Fargo, Bobcat
- Frank Keogh, Williston, American State Bank
- Guy Moos, Dickinson, Baker Boy
- Harold Newman, Jamestown, Newman Signs
- Bruce Thom, Fargo, Varistar Corporation
- Martin White, Bismarck, MDU Resources Group
The foundation plans to meet monthly for at least several months, and has tentatively planned the next meeting for Oct. 18.
Contact: Lee Peterson, Commissioner, Department of Commerce, 701-328-5312.
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