Executive Expo 2018 | Jan 24

Charley Johnson, President and CEO with FM Convention and Visitors Bureau delivers the opening remarks – thank you Charley!

Growing a Business: Fargo hosts Executive Expo 2018

FARGO — Growing your business is not a solo act.

That was a key message at the first ever Executive Expo.

The 100 Inc., an initiative focused on growth in business at all levels, hosted the event to expand business opportunities and build relationships within it.

Keynote speakers and breakout sessions focused on ethics, leadership, and networking – an ongoing issue in the F-M business community.

“We can all work independently and do well alone but if we use the energy of the other business leaders, it’s just that much easier,” says Kurt McSparron of The 100, INC.

McSparron says he founded the group BECAUSE OF the need for collaboration between executives in the F-M community.

First Ever Executive Expo Gives Business Leaders Networking Opportunities


Andrea, Jessica and Danielle welcoming attendees!
FF Fisher: Yes, they least just about anything!
Andrew Abernathey and Dr. Mason Orth enjoying the CEOs Lounge
Rachel Stone and Jani Skala enjoying the opening speakers
Jim Buus, President of Goldmark Commercial Real Estate
Dayna Del Val, President and CEO of The Arts Partnership
Dr. James Carlson delivers the opening keynote
everyone taking in Dr. Carlson’s 7 Lessons
from the Avalon’s Mezzanine
Neil Blanchard, Founder of Profit Pros, discusses Raising Capital from the entrepreneurs perspective
Heather Aal, with the BBB, gives a presentation on Ethics in Business
David Dietz, CEO with Preference Employment Solutions gives a presentation on Succession Planning
Steve Dusek, CEO with Dakota Business Lending, followed Neil with Raising Capital from the lenders perspective
60 local business vendors were on hand
Wes Henry, Partner with True IT, explains “Why Your IT Isn’t Working”
Beyond Facilitation President, Andrea Hochhalter, delivers a presentation on Change
Heather Ostrowski delivering her presentation on Employee Value Proposition
CEO Solutions President, Harlan Goerger, moderating the conversation in the CEOs Lounge
Mike Meagher, President with Sagency
Dr. Mason Orth and the team from Chiro Health and Rehab
Mike Meagher and Brian Rinke of Sagency discussing Leaders as Coaches
Chad Softing and Cindy Cole with Altel – Alternative Telecom
Tracy Green with Green Team Realty during her presentation on Creating a Space that Supports You
Understanding the Business Owners Compensation with Judy Gartner, Gartner Financial Network
Kicking back at the 5:00 Social
Roger Christianson, President Christiansons Business Furniture and Barry Gish, Certified ESO Implementer with Traction Planning
Jessica Hoppe, Andrea Hochhalter and Jim Buus

Unwinding before the evening keynote
Getting Inspired with Teresa Lewis during the evening keynote
This year’s program sponsored and printed by Dave Nelson and the Knight Printing team – thank you Dave!

:60 radio promo

Business leaders of all sectors are coming together to kick-off 2018 and celebrate our local business success!
Reconnect with 100s of seasoned, private-business owners, meet driven start-up entrepreneurs and passionate non-profit executive directors at this first-of-its-kind event designed exclusively for those at the top.
Doors open at 11am to network and visit with 60 local business vendors.
Lunch is included at 12pm, followed by opening speeches from
  • Charley Johnson, CEO with FM Convention Visitors Bureau
  • Dayna Del Val, President and CEO with The Arts Partnership
  • Jim Buus, President with Goldmark Commercial Real Estate
  • Dr. James Carlson, CSO with Axis Research (formerly Pracs and Algorithme Pharma USA)
12 Breakout Sessions covering topics from Franchising 101, Leasing Strategies, Succession Planning and Leadership will begin at the top of each hour from 2pm to 4pm.
Happy Hour begins at 5pm with 1 complimentary cocktail included with your ticket price.
Get Inspired with Teresa Lewis, as she brings her motivational message at 6pm, followed by another hour of high-level networking opportunity.

this year’s vendors…

thank you!



Charley Johnson,

President and CEO

FM Convention and Visitors Bureau 


Business and the Arts

Dayna Del Val,

President and CEO

The Arts Partnership 


Jim Buus,


Goldmark Commercial Real Estate, Inc.


Dr. James Carlson,

CSO | Axis Research Clinics


CEO, Algorithme Pharma USA LLC 

Founder, Pracs Institute

The Loft at Millenium


Jodee Bock


Bock’s Office Transformational Consulting

2:00 (session 1)

Trust = $…and 9 more really good reasons why/how to put ethics into your business plan

Heather Aal,

Business Development Coordinator

Better Business Bureau of MN/ND

about Heather's session

Losing customers or prospects has a very real cost to a business. Sometimes it is the result of market forces and sometimes due to competition but if you are like most business owners, those customers and prospects are often lost because of something that can be controlled – relationships.
Trust is defined as something that is true or reliable, it’s synonyms include confidence, expectation, faith, reliance and hope. In business,  David Horsager tells us that “Trust, not money, is the currency of business and life. In a climate of trust, people are more creative, motivated, productive and willing to sacrifice for the team…Skepticism and suspicion create the opposite of trust and destroy motivation, teamwork and results. Skepticism brings everything into question, slows processes, and promotes suspicion.”
In this session we will investigate the definition of trust, how to build it both inside and outside of your organization and why ethics should be the foundation of your business plan.  

3:00 (session 5)

Facilitating Change: what we know about change and how to make it happen

Andrea Hochhalter,


Beyond Facilitation

about Andrea's session

Facilitating Change: what we know about change and how to make it happen
Brief Description
Research suggests 70% of change efforts fail and trends tell us the pace of change is growing. Business environments are not stabilizing, rather the pressures for organizations to transform themselves is expanding. The only rational change solution is to learn what creates successful change; the process and leadership behind it.
If your organization is looking to implement change, try facilitating change vs. managing it. This session will introduce you to a change process, participative methods, deepen your understanding of what leads to change stalling, and what you need to know to successfully facilitate change.

4:00 (session 9)

Creating a Space That Supports You & Your Business: Home & Office

Tracy Green,


Green Team Realty

about Tracy's session

Brief Description: 
Would you like your business to be more prosperous?  Would you also like a more harmonious work environment that both invigorate and supports you and the people that you work with?  Would you like to think more clearly and be more productive. Join the multitude of businesses in this country that have been embraced a three thousand year old ancient practice that helps to create a peaceful, successful and profitable space at work and at home.  Learn to use the flow of energy to improve yourself and your business.  

Tracy Green
Green Team Realty

ND Lic #6998

Prairie Rose Ballroom


Paul Smith

Regional Director

ND Small Business Development Center

2:00 (session 2)

Preparing for the Big Ask…Raising Capital: Pt 1 (the Entrepreneur’s Perspective)

Neil Blanchard,

President and Founder

Profit Pros

about Neil's session

Finding capital…from the entrepreneur’s perspective

3:00 (session 6)

Preparing for the Big Ask…Raising Capital: Pt 1 (the Lender’s Perspective)

Steve Dusek,

President and CEO

Dakota CDC

about Steve's session

A continuation of the first session focusing on the process for finding capital, this session will focus on raising the right capital from a lender’s perspective.

4:00 (session 10)

Understanding the Business Owners’ Total Compensation

Judy Gartner,

C.L.U., Ch.F.C.

Gartner Financial Network

about Judy's session

During this 30-minute presentation, Judy will share tips for business owners (or for those considering making the move) on how to enhance the “circle of life” by being a small business owner.

Learn how the mindset and the financial tools can enhance the quality of, not only your life, but those around you.

Learn little-known deductions (like long-term care) and commonly-used ones (like phone, travel etc.)

Learn how to best employ your spouse and/or kids to help pay for college or retirement.

Learn how to make a balanced life for yourself, your family and our community, with the financial tools available for business owners.

15 minute Q/A will follow the presentation.

Sheyenne Ballroom


Brian Rinke

Business and Executive Coach

2:00 (session 3)

The Most Important Element of a Business Succession Plan: The Leadership Transition

David Dietz,

President and CEO

Preference Employment Solutions

about David's session

This discussion is about the most important element of selling a company to a new owner or transferring a family business to a family member: the leadership transition. David’s talk applies to successful business owners who are beginning to think about retirement, accomplished family business owners preparing the next generation, as well as business owners planning succession for key leadership roles.

David Dietz, CSP, President and CEO of Preference Employment Solutions, a local employee-owned employment company, has worked at Preference for 25 years with the last five as CEO.

With in-the-trenches experience succeeding two parents in a family business, helping his parents sell their company to an ESOP Trust, and leading a vibrant, growing employee-owned company through dramatic changes, he understands the complexities that business owners—both family and non-family—face when preparing to sell or transfer their business.

David’s talk will summarize the seven key steps to a successful leadership transition, authored by him in the white paper: “The Most Important Element of a Business Succession Plan: The Leadership Transition.”

3:00 (session 7)

Attract, engage and retain the RIGHT talent with a successful EVP (Employee Value Proposition)

Heather Ostrowski,

Client Relations Manager

Preference Employment Solutions

about Heather's session

In today’s job market, finding the right talent for your company can be a challenge. In this session, Heather will explain what the Employee Value Proposition is and how to leverage it to make you company stand out as a magnet for talent.

Walk away with tools to help define and cultivate your company’s EVP.

EVP (Employee Value Proposition) is the balance of the rewards and benefits that are received by employees in return for their performance at the workplace.

Heather Ostrowski, client relations manager, joined the Preference team in 2016, although her relationship with the team began in 2014 when she was a performance consultant for Dale Carnegie Training. Her ability to partner with Preference Employment Solutions and add insight into their culture, team and areas for development made her a natural fit for the newly created position involving client relations. In this role, she continues to foster client relationships and uncover additional ways our team can be a resource in staffing solutions.

4:00 (session 11)

Leaders as Coaches

Mike Meagher,



about Mike's session

Leaders as Coaches

The research is clear: A leader’s ability to engage and coach employees is the single greatest factor in realizing a team’s potential. Coaching, at its core, is about helping others perform at a higher level. It can contribute to correcting underperformance, improving existing skills, or developing entirely new skills.

Effective leaders at all levels recognize the need to develop the employees they supervise. By helping others expand their capabilities and improve their performance, leaders drive bottom-line contributions to their departments and organizations. This is why coaching is one of the most critical leadership competencies. Leaders who coach significantly increase commitment, engagement, and performance. 

Join Mike for a conversation about leveraging coaching to help your team win bigger and more often.

Dakota Ballroom


Dave Monson

Strategic Partner

CEO Solutions

2:00 (session 4)

Your IT Isn’t Working…and I Can Prove It

Wes Henry

CIO and Partner

True IT

about Wes's session

Small businesses need good I.T. just as much as big businesses, probably even more. Yet most small business I.T. falls short of the mark and isn’t as effective as it could and should be.

Ineffective I.T. costs your business money, wastes your staff’s time, makes your business less agile, and puts your data and your business at risk. Risk you shouldn’t have to take. Risks you don’t have to take if your I.T. has the right plan to follow.

Intended for business owners, this presentation gives you the questions to ask and the answers you need to get your business I.T. on track.

If you feel like your I.T. is a liability instead of an asset like it should be, this presentation is for you.

3:00 (session 8)

Franchising 101

Barry Maring,


Sonmar Companies | Right at Home

about Barry's session

Have you always wondered if a franchise is right for you?

Let me run you through my 20 years of franchising experience to help with that question. I will explain the pros and cons of signing a franchise agreement, and how it is similar to a marriage, which can be good or bad at times.

Join me, and let’s have an active discussion of this popular business arrangement.

Barry Maring, Owner

Right at Home

4:00 (session 12)

You Have Questions. We Have Answers.

Todd Fisher,


FF Fisher Leasing Corporation

about Todd's session


We will answer leasing questions previously submitted by area business owners, discuss the new tax implications for commercial leasing, and delve into the many benefits of leasing for your business.

6:00 Evening Keynote with Teresa Lewis

Teresa Lewis


We proudly support these Member owned and/or operated businesses:


654 Business Strategies


Catalytic Conversations

ClearPath Advisors

Compass Leadership Advisors

Mental Fitness Guy

North Dakota SBDC

Rod Marchand; Man...F@#K!



Alisha Ankers Law

Cheryl Bergian Law Office

Fargo Patent & Business Law


Blue Cypher Bookkeeping

ClearPath Advisors

Cultivate Financial

FF Fisher Sales & Leasing

Fjell Capital

J. Galt Financial

Joe Heilman - Merrill Lynch

Lake Agassiz Development Group

Prism Financial


Advanced Business Methods

Altel - Alternative Telecom




Liberty Business Systems



Absolute Studios

Advertise Edge

Be More Colorful

Beyond Marketing


Custom Graphics

iDigital Outdoor

Knight Printing

Monitor Marketing

MWC Advertising

Office Sign Company


Spotlight Media

S&S Promotional Group

Thuen Studios

Total Imaging


Preference Employment Solutions


Human Resource Mgmt Group



Aspire Realty

EPIC Companies

JBC Commercial Real Estate

JK Property Partners

National Hospitality Services

Sonmar Management

TruHome Property Solutions


Any Lab Test Now

ChiroHealth & Rehab

Dakota Chiropractic

Dr. Gary Johnson, O.D., P.C.

Elite Therapeutic

FM Aerial & Movement Arts

Great Kids Therapy

Prairie Naturopathic Doctors

Revive Chiropractic


DJ Colter Agency, Inc.


Authority Companies

Design Direction

Magnum Electric


Radiant Homes

Weyer Companies

RJ Energy Solutions


Blue Cypher Bookkeeping

Catalytic Conversations

First Choice Business Brokers

FMWF Chamber

Greater North Dakota Chamber

Mama Ducks Cleaning Service

Moorhead Business Association

NELCO First Aid, Inc.

North Dakota SBDC

Pro Resources


Select Pro Cleaning

Sunbelt Business Brokers

Travel Travel

Two Men and a Truck


Dakota Storage Products

Dakota Water Conditioning

Fluid Interiors

Office Sign Company

Prairie Ag Products

Rapid Refill Ink

T.R.S. Industries


FF Fisher Sales & Leasing

Matt's Automotive

OK Tire Stores


Harmon Entertainment

Fargo Party Ride

FM Aerial & Movement Arts

Ryan Fritz Art


Anne Carlsen

Boone Charitable Foundation

Boys & Girls Clubs of the RRV

Emergency Food Pantry

Jeremiah Program, Fargo

Lake Agassiz Development Group

North Dakota SBDC

Moorhead Business Association


Fargo Stuff

100 MOMENTS '16-'19...