Honors and officers (April 18, 2015)

Bertek honored for distinguished service Karen L. Bertek, office manager for student affairs at Concordia College, has received the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award for Support Staff. Bertek has been a member of the student affairs ...

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Bertek honored for distinguished service

Karen L. Bertek, office manager for student affairs at Concordia College, has received the Ole and Lucy Flaat Distinguished Service Award for Support Staff.

Bertek has been a member of the student affairs team since 1993. The award recognizes excellence in long-term service to the college by a member of the support staff not only in their professional role but also their commitment to the mission and goals of Concordia College.

MDU Resources retirement plan honored

Plansponsor, the retirement benefit industry's leading publication, has named Montana Dakota Utilities Resource Group's 401(k) plan a "best in class" defined contribution plan.


The plan was one of 29 honored out of more than 4,500 defined contribution plans the magazine evaluated for plan design, oversight and participant outcomes.

MDU Resources' 401(k) plan has approximately $792 million in assets with about 94 percent of all eligible employees participating in the plan at year-end 2014.

Klein named SBA's Small Business Person of Year

Paula Jo Klein, owner of Smartt Interior Construction, Fargo, has been named the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2015 North Dakota Small Business Person of the Year. The annual award recognizes exceptional small-business owners who demonstrate the entrepreneurial spirit in starting and growing a successful business.

Nominated by the Center for Technology and Business, Klein was selected after a statewide competition. Award recipients from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam will be considered for a national award, which will be announced during National Small Business Week May 4-8.

Klein, a licensed general contractor and experienced space planner, is filling a niche in the commercial building industry with offerings that include interior elements such as walls, doors, millwork, flooring and power solutions that can be taken apart and repurposed to accommodate new or additional occupants and businesses. Smartt Interior Construction serves North Dakota, South Dakota and western Minnesota.

Hoglund, Kaldor earn landscape awards

Stan Hoglund of Hoglund Landscaping, Fargo, received the first place award in the Landscape Design Contest sponsored by the North Dakota Nursery and Greenhouse Association. His entry was in the residential front yard division.


Marshall Kaldor of Opp Construction, Fargo, received the first place award in the residential back yard division.

Awards of merit in the landscape contest went to: Chad Erickson, Oasis Landscapes; Brent Keller, S & S Landscaping; and Priscilla Gurath, Hebron Brick and Block, all of Fargo.

Corwin Toyota earns President's award

Corwin Toyota, Fargo, has received the President's award from Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. The award is presented annually to Toyota dealerships in the U.S. that achieve high standards of performance in all facets of the automotive dealer profession, including vehicle and parts sales, service and customer satisfaction.

TMS has recognized dealers with the President's award since 1986.

Re/Max agents honored for achievements

Re/Max Realty 1 agents from Fargo have been recognized for their sales achievements in 2014. Those honored and their awards are: Robb Johnson, 100% Club and Hall of Fame award; Steve Lunde, Platinum Club and Lifetime Achievement award; and

Luke Bothum, Executive Club award.


The Hall of Fame award honors agents who have earned more than $1 million in commissions during their careers with the company. The 100% Club award honors agents who have earned at least $100,000 in commissions in the past year and the Lifetime Achievement award is the second highest national honor given for total career sales.

Collins named Safety Employee of the Year

BNSF Railway has named Tessa Burkle Collins as its Transportation Safety Employee of the Year. Collins was recognized at BNSF's annual employees of the year ceremony held recently in Fort Worth, Texas.

Collins joined BNSF in 2005 as a conductor in North Dakota and she now serves in Dilworth as one of the safety coordinators for the Twin Cities Division. As a safety coordinator, she works with the safety manager and site-safety teams to improve safety processes, reduce risk and facilitate enhanced safety training and behavioral-based safety programs, among other responsibilities. Her most important role is being a leader who influences others, helping to foster a culture of commitment and compliance.

Digi-Key earns Progress Minnesota award

Digi-Key Electronics has earned the 2014 Progress Minnesota award from Minneapolis-based Finance & Commerce.

Digi-Key, a global electronic components distributor based in Thief River Falls, Minn., was recognized for creating over 500 new jobs in Minnesota to support global ecommerce growth and demand for same day shipping

The Progress Minnesota awards recognize entrepreneurs, individuals, businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits and economic development organizations for moving the Minnesota economy forward in innovative ways.

Food bank honors community partners

The Great Plains Food Bank, Fargo, has named three statewide partners as 2014 Hunger Relief Champions. Those recognized are: Hugh Dufner, Cash Wise Foods of Fargo and Moorhead, and John Deere Electronic Solutions.

Since 1987, Hugh's Gardens, owned and operated by Hugh Dufner and Carmen Soria-Dufner, has donated fresh certified organic potatoes to the food bank, which are then distributed through its partner network of food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters statewide. Since 2000, Hugh's Gardens has donated 3.2 million pounds of potatoes.

Cash Wise Foods in Fargo and Moorhead has been partnering with the food bank for 24 years, serving as one of the original donors to Daily Brand, the perishable food recovery efforts. More than 1.5 million pounds of surplus shelf-stable and perishable food items have been donated, and Cash Wise Foods has contributed more than $30,000 raised through in-store customer campaign promotions and community driven food drive events.

John Deere Electronic Solutions stepped forward as partners with the food bank as part of its 175th anniversary. To celebrate this milestone, John Deere Electronic Solutions' financial support has allowed the food bank to extend its school-year BackPack program throughout the summer. John Deere employees have also donated more than 600 hours of their time assembling backpacks, repacking bulk food items, labeling products and sorting food drive items.

Hofmann earns honor from Fargo schools

Tamara Hofmann, an English Language Learner social worker with Fargo Public Schools, has been named the Fargo Public School District 2015 Support Staff of the Year.

A graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, Hofmann began her employment with the Fargo schools in 2009 as a paraprofessional. She was hired as a licensed social worker for the district in 2010. She previously was an independent court-appointed visitor, and has been employed by Lutheran Social Services, Fergus Falls (Minn.) Regional Treatment Center, the NDSU Parents as Teachers Program and the Arc of Cass County.

Her selection for Support Staff of the Year was based on recommendations that highlight her generous heart and exemplary service to ELL students and their families within the district.

McCann-Koerselman honored for sales achievement

Patrice McCann-Koerselman, Horace, N.D., a representative of Modern Woodmen of America, has been named to Modern Woodmen's President's Cabinet.

This distinction recognizes McCann-Koerselman's high achievement in life insurance sales and ranking among the organization's top representatives nationwide.

Midco Sports Network wins awards

The Midco Sports Network has received two Eric Sevareid awards from the Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association, which represents a six-state region of news and sports journalists.

The awards are named for the North Dakota-born journalist who attended the University of Minnesota and was a well-known CBS radio and television correspondent.

Midco's honors included: Award of Merit for Sports Reporting: Midco Sports Magazine story on Glenn Anderson by reporter Tom Nieman and producers Josh Munce and Jessi Scherr; and First Place in Large Market TV: MidcoSN Sports Play-By-Play, Announcer Jay Elsen.

Semmens selected for cyber security board

Theresa Semmens, chief information security officer at North Dakota State University, has been elected to serve a two-year term on the first board of the Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

The center promotes and supports cyber security protection and response efforts within research and higher education. It plays an integral role in higher education strategies to improve cyber security through information collection, analysis, dissemination, early warning and response.

Semmens is one of seven information security professionals elected to serve on the board. She has a bachelor's degree in computer information systems and master's degrees in management and business administration. She has been a certified information systems auditor since 2003 and a member of the Educause Security Task Force Effective Practices Working Group since 2004.

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