CONTACT: Adrienne Olson, Communications Manager

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Chamber Graduates 40 from Leadership Fargo Moorhead

FARGO-MOORHEAD, ND/MN (May 13, 2010) - Forty regional business leaders graduated from the Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Fargo Moorhead program on Thursday, May 13.

The Leadership Fargo Moorhead program is centered on creating leaders through community training and leadership development. The program is designed to expose emerging and existing community leaders to the issues that face the Fargo Moorhead region while challenging and engaging participants to strengthen the community through service and leadership.

The nine-month program culminated in a series of service projects for local nonprofits. This year's class assisted such organizations as the Alzheimer's Association, Firstlink Services, MeritCare, Healthy North Dakota, Minnesota State Community and Technical College, Lakes and Prairies CAP and Red River Human Services.

"Leadership Fargo Moorhead graduates leave this program with a sharpened sense of how they can positively impact this community," said Craig Whitney, Fargo Moorhead Chamber President. "These individuals have been immersed in a powerful leadership experience that has given them knowledge, skills, and dedication to achieve professional and organizational success."

A graduation ceremony was held at the Plains Art Museum, with a keynote presentation by local philanthropist and businessman Doug Burgum.

Burgum shared with the class his belief that gratitude is the greatest of all virtues. He noted his status of being born in the United States in 1956 has been statistically proven to be the equivalent of a winning lottery card when it comes to success in software and high tech fields. That, coupled with the fact that he learned his values in a small North Dakota town with access to education, has given him an endless list of reasons to be grateful.

"You have to think about the way this planet works," he told the graduates. "World wealth distribution is massively distorted. Everyone in this room has freedom, access to health care and education and enough to eat. Think about those less fortunate and what they might do with these advantages. Maintain perspective of the whole planet and be grateful every day."

2010 Leadership Fargo Moorhead graduates include:

Najla Amundson, North Dakota State University
Katie Astrup, U.S. Bank
Mindy Bakke, Microsoft
Liz Barton, GOLDMARK SCHLOSSMAN Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc.
Shawn Berseth, Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership Inc.
Barb Bertschi, Gate City Bank
Josh Buth, InterceptEFT
Mike Gast, Microsoft
Kristi Haugen, Nilles Law Firm
Jess Helvik, First International Bank & Trust
Jody Jahner, North Dakota State University
Tricia Johnson, North Dakota State University
Brenda Lang, Farmers Insurance Pool
Allen Lee, City of Fargo
Shawn Logan, Noridian Mutual Insurance Company
Jocelyn Lura, Cass County Electric Cooperative Inc.
Renee Lura, City of Fargo
Tracy Koenig, Ulteig
Marty Mohagen, IdeaOne Telecom Group
Shannon Monroe, City of Moorhead
Carlos Perez, Cass County Commission & Department Heads
Amanda Pillatzki, Bremer Bank, N.A.
Jennifer Quast, Microsoft
Lyndi Rosenau, Healing Touch Chiropractic
Ryan Rued, Alerus Financial
Andrea Ryan, CCRI Inc.
Doug Schultz, Job Service North Dakota
Britt Selbo, Fercho Family YMCA
Kory Shae, Union State Bank
Rob Stock, Vogel Law Firm
Marisa Thomas, GOLDMARK Property Management
Blake Trenbeath, State Bank & Trust
Cora Turner, Homewood Suites By Hilton
Chris Vanyo, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Lori Ward, Lakes & Prairies Community Action Partnership Inc.
Camille Weber, Plains Art Museum
Brent Wersinger, Western State Bank
LeAnne Wilcox, InterceptEFT
Kayci Wimmer, Wimmer's Diamonds
Jennifer Winterton, Dakota CDC

For additional information about the program or the graduating class, contact Adrienne at 218.359.0524 or Electronic headshots and interviews with members of the class are available upon request.