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'Dirty Jobs' star Mike Rowe to headline FMWF Chamber's 'Voices of Vision'

This year's "down and dirty" event will be held Thursday, April 21, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex on the North Dakota State University campus.

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Television star, author and podcast personality Mike Rowe will headline the 2022 "Voices of Vision" event for the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.
Contributed / Michael Segal Photography
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MOORHEAD — Mike Rowe, star of the iconic TV series “Dirty Jobs,” will be this year’s "Voices of Vision" keynote speaker, the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce announced Monday, Jan. 17.

The "down and dirty" event will be held noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex, 1300 17th Ave. N., on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, the Chamber said.

"Mike Rowe’s been on 'the list' (of desired speakers) ... for quite some time. Now with the top priority in our community being workforce, this couldn’t be a more appropriate speaker for our 2022 Voices of Vision,” Chamber President and CEO Shannon Full said.

The area's industries are diverse, Full said, and Rowe's passion for the trades "fits perfectly" with the initiatives of the Chamber and the Greater Fargo/Moorhead Economic Development Corporation, she said.

Full said tickets are going “fast and furious. We anticipate a full sellout of the event."

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Corporate sponsorships are also seeing “a lot of traction," she said.

Rowe has an extensive resume, including stints with the Baltimore Opera, QVC shopping channel, and as an executive producer, host, best-selling author and recording artist.

He's best known as the "dirtiest man on TV," a title he earned hosting Discovery Channel’s blue collar reality show “Dirty Jobs,” which had three pilot episodes in 2003, then ran for eight seasons from 2005 to 2012.

He currently hosts the Discovery+ history series “Six Degrees With Mike Rowe," and the podcast “The Way I Heard It,” telling “short stories you don’t know about people you do know” and sharing conversations with interesting people from his own life.

Rowe is an advocate for skilled labor and passionate about debunking myths and misconceptions about the trades.

He is the CEO of the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2008 that has granted millions of dollars in work ethic scholarships to more than 1,200 recipients in more than 19 skilled trades.

Registration for the event is $65 for stadium seating; $150 for floor seating (including lunch); and $1,250 for a corporate sponsor (table of 8), the Chamber's website says.

Rowe began performing professionally with the Baltimore Opera in 1984.

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In 1990, he was hired by QVC, hawking goods there for three years.

With “Dirty Jobs,” Rowe traveled to all 50 states and worked more than 300 jobs.

He also narrated numerous documentaries. According to his online biography, “Looking for a simpler way to make the rent, Mike began to seek out opportunities that didn’t require multiple showers. He narrated hundreds of documentaries about space, nature, war, serial killers, hurricanes, dinosaurs and how stuff works. (If there’s a wildebeest getting eaten alive by a lion, it’s probably Mike telling you about it.)”

You might also recognize the “chronic freelancer’s” voice from Ford commercials.

Rowe has authored the books “Profoundly Disconnected” and “The Way I Heard It,” a mix of biography and autobiography based on his podcast.

He starred in the cable television series “Somebody's Gotta Do It.”

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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