Tour puts N.D. firms in spotlight
Several national editors are touring North Dakota businesses this week and commerce officials hope they will promote the state's business climate. "People either have no perception of North Dakota or they perceive it as cold" said Tracy Finneman,...
Several national editors are touring North Dakota businesses this week and commerce officials hope they will promote the state's business climate.
"People either have no perception of North Dakota or they perceive it as cold" said Tracy Finneman, vice president of marketing for the economic development and finance division of the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
"We need people out there helping us to tell the story," Finneman said.
"I know absolutely nothing about North Dakota," said Lisa Bouchey, managing editor of Plants, Sites and Parks, a magazine published at Greensboro, N.C.
Bouchey toured Drayton Enterprises after arriving in Fargo on Wednesday and visited Global Electric Motorcars on Thursday.
"Our readers are people who are looking for their next location for a manufacturing facility," she said. "I need to know about different areas of the country where people are thinking about going."
Bouchey will be writing an industry outlook story on food processing for the magazine's November issue, she said. Drayton Enterprises produces frozen food products. "We will use some of the information from this trip in that story," she said.
Bouchey will pass information to fellow writers regarding other issues, she said.
At breakfast Thursday, she heard Michael Ryan, president and CEO of Bobcat Co. in West Fargo, speak about the use of robotics in his company's production of skid steer loaders and other heavy equipment. A PS&P writer is working on a story about robotics use in the workforce, Bouchey said.
It's also the first trip to North Dakota for Rick Carter, editor-in-chief of Industrial Maintenance and Plant Operation, a 107,000-subscriber magazine published at King of Prussia, Pa.
"I'm always interested in seeing world-class manufacturing facilities," he said.
Carter writes a monthly column which, in July, will focus on the Fargo trip, he said.
He said he may return later to do a feature story on North Dakota businesses.
Clyde Witt, executive editor of Material Handling and Management, a Cleveland-based magazine with 95,000 subscribers, said the opportunity presented him a chance to visit a state he's wanted to see.
"North Dakota is a place that I don't think our readers ... are aware of what's going on up here," he said. "A lot of the things that are happening are innovative."
The trio also made stops Thursday at Alien Technology in North Dakota State University's Technology Park and Bobcat Co. in Bismarck. Today they will visit Goodrich Corp., in Jamestown, and Cardinal Glass and Red River Commodities in Fargo.
The North Dakota Department of Commerce brought 10 writers to the state last year, Finneman said.
So far, seven stories resulted from that effort, she said, with three of the writers planning to tour North Dakota again this year.
Last year's media tour resulted in two or three detailed stories about Global Electric, said Richard Kasper, president and chief operating officer.
"We feel confident that it does make a difference for exposure to our company," Kasper said.
Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502