2017 - Limitless


Lea Black

Lea Black is a humanitarian photographer, focusing on utilizing photography as a tool to cultivate more unity and understanding in diverse and divided communities.  She is committed to using photography as a force for good and aims to reflect back the distinct biographic portrait, and inherent value, of each the people she feels privileged to photograph. Lea received her BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with emphases in International Relations, African Studies, and Nutrition from the University of Idaho. She is a recipient of the Grace and Boyd Martin Award- recognizing students who demonstrate distinctive combinations of engagement in academic and experiential learning about the international system. After graduation Lea worked in Jamaica, first shadowing a local social worker at the S-Corner Clinic in the inner city ghetto in Kingston, and later taught basic nutrition at primary schools in the rural hillside village of Rhoden Hall, St. Ann’s Parish. She now resides in Bismarck with her partner, Charles, and their two boys, Kubindia and Beya. Lea is actively involved in the local international community, specifically in resettling refugees from the DR Congo, and is working passionately towards building a collective culture of compassion and understanding amongst the intercultural residents of North Dakota.

Walter Piehl

Walter Piehl was born in Marion, North Dakota in 1942.  His family lived in a typical hard scrabble farm house without plumbing and minimal wind-generated battery-stored electricity until REA in 1950.

Loneliness and lack of playmates shaped Walter.  Classmates and indoor plumbing cemented his love of school, not necessarily education but school – He’s never been a particularly focused student.  At home, he drew endlessly to entertain himself and give substance to his imagination and fantasies.

Walter’s father bought farm horses and sold them to slaughter when they were being replaced with tractors.  Lots of horses and cowboy culture dominated Walter’s childhood.  Eventually his father partnered with another horse trader to supply horses and bulls for rodeos.  Western Americana dominated his focus and passion from these experiences.

Walter went to college to get out of the haystack and majored in art because he liked to draw.  It was obvious you couldn't make a living in North Dakota with art unless you made landscapes with windmills and wheel barrows with flower pots.  The teaching profession allowed him to paint what he wanted and how he wanted to paint it.

Walter has been married for 54 years to Becky, a 12 year classmate.  They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren.

Greg Nelson

Bismarck native, Greg Nelson is a Contemporary Christian producer, songwriter, orchestrator and film music supervisor. He has produced recordings for Sandi Patty, Michael Crawford, Steve Green, Larnelle Harris, Wayne Watson, Twila Paris, and Richard Smallwood, including multiple artist recordings with Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, Jennifer Holiday, American Boychoir, Bebe and Cece Winans, Graham Kendrick, and Kathie Lee Gifford among others.

He has produced multiple gold and platinum recordings along with 20 Dove Awards and over 30 nominations. He has produced seven Grammy Award winning recordings with 13 nominations. He has received song, songwriter, and publisher awards from Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI), the Nashville Songwriter’s Association, and the Gospel Music Association. He received the BMI “Special Contribution Award” for his many outstanding efforts in the world of Christian music. He was the third recipient of Gospel Music Association’s “Impact Award” for his outstanding work and influence in the Contemporary Christian Music industry. He was a two-term governor for The Recording Academy (The Grammy’s) and a selected member of Leadership Music (Nashville).  His productions of The New Young Messiah, Emmanuel, and Hymns and Voices have been successful Christmas tours featuring many high profile artists.

In retirement, Greg is continues to write music, and recently completed a suite for tenor soloist, treble voices, organ and strings entitled “The Hallel.” He was commissioned to compose the music for a Christmas poem setting by Minnesota poet, David Bengtson, for the Manitou singers at St. Olaf College. In addition he is completing a theatrical piece centered around Holy Week called “The Passion.” He has penned songs for a number of Christian artists as well as composing several hymns. His modern oratorio, Saviour, co-written with Bob Farrell, continues to be performed in the United States, Europe, Russia, and for it’s twenty year celebration, was performed before a sell out crowd at Carnegie Hall in 2014.

Nelson speaks on subjects of songwriting, production and artistry at colleges and universities, mentoring young “creatives” in the U.S., Russia, India and Taiwan. He often travels to Russia to teach at the largest Christian music conference in Russia held in Moscow. Pam and Greg’s most important work in these days is nurturing and being counsel to their children and grandchildren mostly when asked).

Jessie Veeder

Jessie Veeder has been a symbol of folk music in Western North Dakota since she released her first original album when she was only sixteen years old. It was an effort that took her from performing at fairs and festivals around her home state to managing a national college and coffeehouse tour, launching a music career that recently landed her in Nashville to record her fifth original album.

With unique and interestingly beautiful vocals, Veeder’s lyrics swell with references to her own life experiences growing up on a working cattle ranch. Veeder’s ability to captivate audiences with stories of her love for the landscape, the culture and the people of small town America is what pulls at the heartstrings of audiences across the globe and made her original music such a success.

Beyond the music it’s Veeder’s story that has gained her a global following. Her popular website chronicles her life on the Veeder Ranch as a mom, rancher and writer. Her writing can be found weekly in state-wide newspapers and in her newly published book, “Coming Home.

Jessie has been featured at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, was named 2016 and 2017’s Favorite North Dakota Folk Artist and is a recipient of the North Dakota Ambassador Award.

Dr. John Bagu

John Bagu has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry but his passion has evolved into clean energy and clean transportation.  His family’s house was the largest solar producing entity in Fargo for 4 years and he has been keeping track of production and given numerous tours.  He has the first inductive charging system set up in North Dakota for plug-less charging of his Electronic Vehicle.  He has also been working with the City of Fargo to develop a Comprehensive Energy Study.  In his research, John discovered that the Fargo community spends $500-$800 million every year on energy depending on the price of gas.  He created a 30-year plan to make Fargo/Cass County air pollution free which would save $4 billion dollars in comparison to not changing our direction.

His involvement brought bike sharing to NDSU/Fargo which broke national records on frequency of use per bike.  His role in Southeast Agassiz Resource Council helped bring about the donation of 2 solar panels from the first community solar gardens in North Dakota to Fargo schools resulting in great educational value for children.  As a founding member of CLEAN, a community group focusing on local energy needs, John has given many lectures on clean energy/transportation, the possibilities are limitless for incorporating them in our lives.

Jordan Somer

When she was just thirteen years old, Jordan Somer had a desire to provide the opportunities that she had received through pageantry for the female athletes that she met at the Special Olympics. That year, she coordinated the first Miss Amazing Pageant in her hometown of Omaha, NE and became hooked. Jordan held the Miss Amazing Pageant on an annual basis and, upon receiving a Teen Nick HALO Award in 2010, began using her newfound resources to expand the program to other states. Jordan has been honored with the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, a Daily Points of Light Award, and a Silver Prudential Spirit of Community Award and was selected to be in the top 30 of L’Oreal Paris’ 2014 Women of Worth for her work with Miss Amazing.

Jordan graduated from NYU in May with a degree in Media, Culture, and Communication. She is now the full-time Executive Director of Miss Amazing Inc. and looks forward to a life dedicated to making certain that girls and women of all kinds can be heard, valued, and empowered to reach their greatest potential.

Scott Holdman

Scott Holdman is Director of the Impact Institute. He is an innovator in nonprofits who, through training, coaching and product creation helps organizations to thrive. He is a professional creative with 17 years of experience in the social sector solving complex challenges.

Dr. Nadim Koeilat

Nadim Koeilat was trained in general surgery and urology at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.  He is board certified in both Canada and the United States.  He completed fellowships in Pediatric Urology from University of Minnesota, Neuro-urology from Mount Sinai University NY, and transplantation from the University of Miami.

Dr Koleilat has been the director of Sanford Bismarck’s transplant program since 1998.  He founded Bismarck Muslim Community Center and acts as their Treasurer and is actively involved  within interfaith dialogue.  His wife, Rola, is a retired pediatric dentist and their 4 children have followed in their footsteps to pursue careers in medical and dentistry fields.



Charlie Koebele, a Bismarck native, is an honor roll student at St. Mary’s Central High School.  An incoming sophomore, he has lettered in three high school sports (CHS - swimming and cross country; SMCHS - track) and has three state high school swim team championships and one state high school cross country team championship under his belt.  Charlie is the son of Tony and Courtney Koebele, and has two sisters, AK and Izzy.  In his spare time, Charlie likes to watch sports, play Minecraft and practice cubing.  Charlie started doing the Rubik's cube when he was 9 years old, and currently has a competition best of 9.43 seconds for a 3x3 Rubik's cube.

Scott Woodmansee was born and raised in the Bismarck-Mandan area and is a 1987 graduate of Century High School.  He then attended BSC and graduated from Moorhead State University with a degree in Public Relations with a minor in Business.

Scott has been in sales most of his life and currently works as a Sales Professional for BSN Sports. He also spent three years touring as the Public Address Announcer for the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters traveling to 26 different countries and 48 states. Scott also worked in professional sports spending 6 years with the Dakota Wizards of the NBA Development League as a jack of all trades

He has also spent over 20 years in the radio business broadcasting over 1,000 ND high school football and basketball games for KFYR radio in Bismarck as a play-by-play announcer and color analyst.

In his spare time, Scott enjoys golf, watching sports and spending time with his family.

He currently resides in Bismarck with his wife Andee and step-son Harrison.




Janelle Hartford hails from Walla Walla, Washington. Over the past five years, she has proudly adopted a North Dakotan accent and fallen madly in love with knoephla. Janelle works full-time with the cool cats at CoSchedule, and she is instrumentally involved with Start Bismarck. Janelle has subscribed to the theory that vibrant downtowns create smart, healthy cities.

Connect with Janelle on Twitter @jnhartford.

John Bollinger is serving in his fourth Northwoods League season and first as Managing Partner/General Manager of the Bismarck Larks. He previously served as the General Manager of the Kalamazoo Growlers, a Northwoods League team in Kalamazoo, MI. John’s role oversees team business operations, sponsorship sales, and most importantly making sure each fan has a great experience at the ballpark. Before his time in the Northwoods League, John worked two years as the Assistant General Manager of the Southern Ohio Copperheads, a summer collegiate baseball team in the Great Lakes League and and worked in ticket sales with the Springfield Cardinals, the AA-affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. John and his wife Marcie reside in Bismarck, ND with their dog Lillian. He is a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan, avid golfer, and is passionate about spreading his idea that FUN, if done right, can make a difference in people’s lives.



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.



2015 - Permission


Dr. Anthony Tello

Dr. Anthony Tello received his undergraduate education at the University of North Dakota. He received his medical schooling at CETEC University Medical School, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. His residency was completed at Trenton Affiliated Hospitals, Trenton, N.J. Dr. Tello enjoys golf, hunting, scuba diving, traveling and boating.

Bridger Anderson

At just 11 years old, Bridger Anderson wants to show the world that you’re never too young (or old) to be charitable and make a difference. Since the age of 7, Bridger has been focused on helping others around the world gain access to clean water. He came home from school one day with the idea of saving his allowance and sending his first $100 to help people in Africa. That week, he launched his very first clean water campaign through charity: water. In the past 5 years, Bridger has raised over $38,000 for water projects in Ethiopia and Rwanda through his yearly Clean Water for Christmas campaign, where he gives up Christmas gifts in hopes of encouraging and inspiring others to give money that will bring the gift of water to communities in need. Bridger attends Horizon Middle School in Bismarck, ND and enjoys playing soccer and football, writing, drawing, choir, and learning to play the piano and guitar. Bridger's website.

Dr. Debora Hansen Dragseth

Dr. Debora Hansen Dragseth is a professor of business and the Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Honors Leadership Program at Dickinson State University. Dragseth has won national awards for her writing from the National Federation of Press Women. She develops leadership curriculum for Fortune 100 companies and has been a recent contributor to New Geography, India Times, CNN.com and MSN.com. Her work has been cited in both Forbes and Newsweek magazines. Theodore Roosevelt, like Dragseth, loved the people, the culture, the scenery and the opportunities offered by the Dakotas. TR wrote, “ There was much hard work and some risk...but also much fun.” Dragseth asks us to consider if these traits, dating back to the settlement of this territory, are still valued today. Can a state of happiness be found in the state of North Dakota?

Gwyn Ridenhour

Gwyn Ridenhour is an educational advocate, children’s librarian, and founder and writer of the popular education blog STEAM-Powered Classroom. Since 2009, she has combined elements of public school, home education, online learning, and private mentorship to create a student-led, hybrid education for her two children. As a result, her 11-year old daughter is now a six-time self-published author and has presented to hundreds of kids throughout the state and across the world; her musical son just graduated from high school at 14 with a professionally produced album and plans to fully pursue a music career. In 2012, the Bismarck school district invited Gwyn to conduct a series of listening sessions with students, teachers, and administrators to help them identify their ideal learning situations; new elementary and high schools are currently implementing many of the lessons learned there. Gwyn works now with home and public educators alike, advocating for out-of-the-box, student-led, cross-curricular learning for all kids.

Jim Kambeitz

Eight years ago Jim Kambeitz faced a choice: have another knee surgery or do yoga to heal and realign his joints properly. He had lost his ability to walk, so he knew that if he was to heal he’d need to commit to a serious daily practice. Months later, Jim was surprised to find that in addition to healing his knee to the point that surgery was no longer necessary, yoga cured his asthma, joint and stomach pain, sharpened his mind, and transformed his life. Jim enjoys sharing the healing power of yoga and meditation as a yoga teacher and filmmaker. He has spent much of the past 20 years traveling the world, learning languages and studying under gurus from India and Europe to Brazil. He earned his Masters in Film Theory at UND and studied cinematography at the Polish National Film School. Jim and his wife, Angie, have produced three yoga DVDs that are being distributed in over 60 countries. He is currently writing a script for a feature-length film that he would like to someday shoot in North Dakota.

Dr. Lezlie Link

At age 18, Dr. Link decided she wanted to change the face of our current medical system. Her journey took her to the University of Minnesota and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine to learn a diverse approach to medicine and health. She realizes her early dreams in daily private practice in her native city of Bismarck, ND. An entrepreneur and clinician, Dr. Link co-owns Core Health Strategies, PLLC where she helps patients strategize ways to heal and reach their health potential.

Scott Samuelson

Scott Samuelson studied philosophy at Grinnell College (BA, 1995, valedictorian) and Emory University (PhD, 2001). Since 2000 he has taught at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa. Inspired by his students, he wrote his first book The Deepest Human Life: An Introduction to Philosophy for Everyone (University of Chicago Press, 2014). He also writes movie reviews for Little Village and hosts Ethical Perspectives on the News, a Sunday-morning talk show on KCRG, the local ABC affiliate. For a decade he moonlighted as an occasional sous-chef at Simone’s Plain and Simple, a French restaurant on a gravel road. He’s published articles in the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Philosopher’s Magazine, and The Atlantic.On top of his job at Kirkwood, he teaches philosophy at Oakdale Prison. He’s currently working on his second book, Seven Ways of Looking at Pointless Suffering.



President & CEO, Greater North Dakota Chamber Andy Peterson is the President & CEO of the Greater North Dakota Chamber. He has served in the position since October 2010. Prior to his current position, Andy served as the Director of Public Policy for the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce for 12 years.

Molly Herrington is a North Dakota native, filled with ambitious dreams and a driven personality. She is dedicated to growing and diversifying North Dakota’s economy through work with individual communities as well as grass roots business ventures. Molly works with KLJ in their Government Relations Group where she empowers clients across the Upper Midwest to pursue a variety of funding opportunities for their projects. Her work with clients extends into all aspects of economic development including project coordination and facilitation, as well as community strategy development. Since 2007, Molly has been working with a wide range of grass-roots businesses to build infant concepts and integrate them into the marketplace. Molly also works closely with the I.D.E.A. Center where she assists startup businesses with business plan development and serves as a grant writer for the Center. In her free time, Molly works with the Bismarck Rotary, NDSU Extension, Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network and serves as a Junior Achievement Facilitator where she focuses on connecting the youth of ND with the global business community. Out of the professional scene, Molly is an avid traveler, fleeing ND frequently to get a taste of the bigger picture from a different culture’s perspective.