2016 - Search


Anne M. Mahlum is an entrepreneur who knows how to create and build with purpose…and she knows how to do it quickly.  She is currently the owner and CEO of a fast-growing boutique fitness company she founded in DC in 2013 called [solidcore] In just over two years, Anne has grown her company to 10 locations with more than 35,000 clients, including Michelle Obama. She has 12 full-time and 60 part-time employees, and is constantly growing her team. [solidcore] is expected to do more than $8M in revenue this year and recently took  a multi-million dollar  investment to expand into new markets, including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Southern Maryland and Chicago. She has received notable media attention for her business acumen, including features in  The Washington Post and The Washington Business Journal.

Prior to [solidcore], Anne was the CEO of Back on My Feet (BoMF), a non-profit organization she founded in Philadelphia in 2007 that uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves so they can make real change in their lives, which includes employment and independent housing. In addition to Philadelphia, the organization now has chapters in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Indianapolis, Atlanta, New York City, Austin and Los Angeles. Anne led BoMF to become a $6.5M privately-funded organization with staff of 48, thousands of volunteers and hundreds of members. Anne’s vision for Back on My Feet is simple, yet bold  – to help as many people as possible, in the most efficient way as possible, redefine themselves so they can redefine their life and, just as important – to change the perception of homelessness on a global scale.

Anne’s work with Back on My Feet has been featured in countless times in both local and national media.  In 2012, Anne hosted a documentary for MTV called The Break on youth homelessness and she was recently featured in a book, called 50 Everyday Heroes. Anne has been named ABC world News Person of the Week, a CNN Hero, New Yorker of the Week, a top 40 under 40 individual by both Philadelphia and Washington DC’s Business Journal.

Anne regularly speaks at corporate events, academic institutions and conferences on numerous topics including, leadership, being bold, finding your happiness, the business behind starting a nonprofit, fundraising and social change.

She is originally from Bismarck, North Dakota and currently lives in Washington, DC. She has completed 11 marathons, including one on every continent except Antarctica.

Ann M. Mahlum

Dr. Ulven has been a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at North Dakota State University since August of 2005. He has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Engineering. He has been involved in the research of polymer matrix composites (PMCs) for various commercial and defense applications for the past 15 years with over a 100 publications describing the results of his work. He has co-authored 4 patents which have led to 2 spin-out companies (c2renew and c2sensor). He will be talking about his first spin-out, c2renew, where this company is gaining traction in the market place, and what they have been doing in the 3D printing space.

Dr. Chad Ulven

Neal Barnard, M.D., FACC, is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Dr. Barnard has led numerous research studies investigating the effects of diet on diabetes, body weight, and chronic pain, including a groundbreaking study of dietary interventions in type 2 diabetes, funded by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Barnard has authored over 70 scientific publications as well as 17 books.

As president of the Physicians Committee, Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research. He has hosted three PBS television programs on nutrition and health and is frequently called on by news programs to discuss issues related to nutrition and research.

Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his M.D. degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.

Dr. Neal Barnard

A lifelong runner, Marnie Walth has built a world around her passion for fitness and wellness. After competing in college and completing degrees in communications and social sciences, Marnie’s career choices included health reporting and recreation programming and eventually led to healthcare, first as a marketing director and later as director of strategic planning and public policy at Sanford Health. A key component of her leadership role is community connectivity—identifying community health needs and strategies to meet the needs in underserved areas. She also serves as interim Executive Director for Face It TOGETHER, a community addiction management organization.

Outside of work, Marnie is invested in local wellness organizations including MeFirst, Team Kaizen and the Bismarck Marathon. Each is a volunteer-based organization focused on improving community members’ quality of life by helping people learn to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices into their lifestyles.

Team Kaizen, for example, is a community-based, character-building running program designed to help at risk youth complete the training necessary to run a 5K (3.1 miles) race. Led by volunteer running enthusiasts, Team Kaizen is designed to put the power of running to work for kids: improved self-esteem, stress management, cardiovascular fitness and improved outlook.

In her words: “Being part of Bismarck-Mandan’s running community has been such a blessing for me. With groups like Team Kaizen, I always feel like I get so much more out of this sport than I put in.”

Marnie Walth

After receiving his Masters of Architecture from Montana State University, Blake moved back home to Bismarck to begin a career in design. Blake's design and building experience over the last 10 years includes work on commercial, educational, office, retail, multi-family and single family structures. His background in construction reinforces his thorough consideration for the design and building process. He brings enthusiasm, expertise, and passion for design to each project.  Blake is a Owner+Founder of Plain View Design Co. and is a licensed Realtor with Venture Real Estate.  When he’s not in front of a computer screen you will find Blake on his mountain bike or camping in the Badlands with his family.

Blake Preszler

Jodi A. Gillette (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota) currently serves as a Policy Advisor for the Firm, after serving at the pleasure of President Barack Obama from 2009-2015.  During her tenure under the Administration, Jodi played an integral role in multiple capacities.  Most recently, she served as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Subsequent to this, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant-Secretary Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Additionally, as the Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House, she implemented and institutionalized the President's interactions with the tribes and his Administration.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Gillette served as the executive director of the Native American Training Institute in Bismarck, a non-profit offering technical assistance and training to tribal, state and local governments in the area of human service delivery systems. In 2008, Obama for America hired Jodi to direct ND’s statewide First American vote efforts.

As the longest serving political appointee in the Administration, Jodi was quite influential in advising the President of the United States on policy to improve the lives of Native Americans and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and Indian Tribes. She was instrumental in advancing the protection of Native women and children against violence, ensuring tribes were treated as governments when faced with emergencies, and resolving long-standing legal disputes between tribes and the federal government.

Ms. Gillette holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Jodi A. Gillette

Dr. Mark R. Hagerott is Chancellor for the North Dakota University System.

Prior to his transition to an academic career path, Hagerott held numerous leadership positions in the U.S. Navy, both aboard ships and in administrative positions in the Department of Defense. A certified naval nuclear engineer in power generation and distribution, he served as chief engineer for a major environmental project defueling of two atomic reactors. Hagerott also ran tactical data networks for the Navy and rose to ship command prior to his career in higher education.

Hagerott has held numerous academic leadership roles, serving in Annapolis as the dean of humanities and social sciences, special assistant to the provost, chair of the admissions board, chairmanship of senior faculty senate committees pertaining to assessment and accreditation. He also served as a planning and strategy director in one of the largest U.S. Army educational organizations, NATO Training Mission, which included the Afghanistan army, police, air force, and medical school programs. Prior to his move back home to North Dakota, Hagerott served as the senior civilian and deputy director of the Center for Cyber Security Studies at the Naval Academy and served on the Defense Science Board summer study of unmanned systems 2014-2015.

Chancellor Hagerott's research and writing are focused on the evolution of technology, education, and changes in technical career paths, and he is the author of multiple articles and book chapters, with a recent emphasis on unmanned systems. He continues to serve as a non-resident cyber Fellow of the New America Foundation.

Hagerott holds a B.S. from the U.S. Naval Academy, an M.A. in political science and economics from Oxford University where he attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Ph.D. in history from University of Maryland, and also served as a White House Fellow in the first Bush administration.

The chancellor hails from a multi-generation North Dakota family of farmers and energy producers. The Hagerott-Brandenburg family homesteaded in Center and Mandan before statehood, where his father continues work on the fourth-generation farm, and his mother's family came with the first Bakken oil boom.

Dr. Mark R. Hagerott



My name is Nick Schwieters. I am 31 years old, but act more like I am 29!  I live in Bismarck North Dakota with my wife Amanda. I have lived here most of my life, except for the 7 years that it took me to get my college undergrad, and a few more years slightly afterwards. Why so long? Well, mostly due to studying only part-time, and also having absolutely no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and yes, I’m still trying to figure that out! Currently I am an Area Director for N2 Publishing. I produce 2 social neighborhood magazines for several of the areas in Bismarck and Mandan. I am thoroughly interested in just about anything related to pop-culture, the 1980’s, Saturday morning cartoons, or, movies. Art is probably the thing that most interests me, because it is so broad of a subject. I think regardless of any subject one chooses to study, at it’s primal core, they will find art. Some of my favorite forms of artistic expression include, painting, drawing, live musical performances, and quite possibly my most favorite, live stand-up comedy! I’m very excited to have TEDx come to Bismarck, because I also love ideas that promote growth, not only technologically, but also personally!  I enjoy speaking in front of people, and I am very outgoing! I look forward to meeting many of you! Now...Let the good conversations begin!!

Steph Scheurer (pronounced "Shire"...yes like where the Hobbits live) is employed at Agency MABU, a marketing and communications agency in Bismarck. She is a Communications Project Manager and assists with digital media as well as the coordination and production of print, online, TV and radio materials. She is certified in display advertising and social media. She also has experience in interviewing, storytelling, writing and video production. Prior to joining MABU, she was a news reporter for KXMB-TV. During her two and a half years as a journalist, she'll never forget meeting Will Ferrell, interviewing Josh Duhamel, and flying on an air mission over the Southwest border of Texas with North Dakota National Guard Aviators.

When she's not helping film a commercial or placing digital ads for clients, you can find her relaxing or otherwise entranced in a Netflix binge or out raising her voice at karaoke. She also enjoys traveling, singing on her church worship team, reading and storm chasing.