Speakers + Performers
Allison joined the Bush Foundation as the Strategy & Learning Vice President in 2013. Previously, she was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company and directed the Itasca Project, an alliance of CEO’s and civic leaders addressing economic competitiveness in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. She also worked at a technology start-up in San Francisco and as a Plant Engineer at 3M. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Allison serves on the boards of Emerging Prairie and Generation Next.
Aneela Idnani is Cofounder & President of HabitAware. For more than 20 years, Aneela hid her battle with compulsive hair pulling disorder (trichotillomania), a mental health condition. After sharing this secret, HabitAware created Keen, a smart bracelet, that uses gesture detection technology to bring awareness to hair pulling, skin picking and nail biting disorders. With awareness, people can “Retrain The Brain” to healthier coping mechanisms.
Aneela is a mental health advocate, raising awareness of these very common yet unknown conditions. HabitAware is partly funded by an NIH/SBIR research grant and was named one of TIME Magazine's 2018 Best Inventions.
Annie Wood is committed to doing community building work in our community and region. She is driven by the belief that people need meaningful connections to other people in order to find a sense of belonging in the world.
Annie is engaged in making Fargo-Moorhead the kind of community she wants to live in by contributing, creating, and connecting. She refuses to think that there are any “boring” places to live, because we all have the opportunity to show up and shape our community. She credits her attitude of contribution and creation to growing up in a North Dakota town with friends who believed in creating their own fun and opportunities she had as a college student, which gave her the space to practice community building skills. Over time, Annie shifted from focusing on fun and adventure with friends to more intentionally creating experiences and projects to contribute to our community.
Annie believes in lifelong learning and is passionate about providing opportunities for meaningful connections in the community. Her work as the Associate Director for Student Life at Minnesota State University Moorhead is the perfect blend of education and community building as she helps students learn through meaningful experiences on campus and in the community.
Ashley Morken is the founder and chief coffee drinker at Unglued - a modern handmade gift shop in downtown Fargo with crazy awesome creative workshops and events. A love for event planning and deep desire to work towards helping creatives promote their small businesses and dreams, Ashley began Unglued: Craft Fest in 2011 in Fargo, ND. This spurred her on to create Unglued as a year-round presence through a brick and mortar shop to continue this mission and subsequently leave her cardiac nursing career. Today Unglued supports over 300 local and regional makers through the shop as well as year-round events to inspire creativity like annual adult summer camps, monthly late night craft parties, winter craft retreats, and weekly workshops for kids and adults. When not falling behind on emails and small business life you'll find her traveling, petting dogs, dreaming of another impossible idea, and spilling the next cup of coffee with her husband Justin.
Bjorn Hunstad - Performer
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
David Richman is entering his sixth year as the head men’s basketball coach at North Dakota State University in 2019-20.
In five seasons as head coach, Richman has led the Bison to two NCAA Tournament appearances and three Summit League Tournament championship games. He is the second-fastest coach in NDSU history to reach 95 wins -- and the fastest in the school's Division I era.
In 2018-19, Richman coached the Bison to a Summit League Tournament title and an NCAA Tournament First Four victory over North Carolina Central -- the second Division I tournament win in school history.
In his first season as head coach, Richman guided the Bison to the 2015 Summit League regular season and tournament championships and their third NCAA Tournament bid in seven years. He led NDSU to 23 victories – the most by any first-year Division I head coach that season – earning him Summit League Coach of the Year honors.
Richman was the first rookie coach since 1983-84 to earn the league’s Coach of the Year award. He was also a finalist for the 2015 Joe B. Hall Award, which is presented annually by CollegeInsider.com to the top first-year head coach in college basketball.
In 2015-16, the Bison once again topped the 20-win mark and earned their fourth consecutive berth in the championship game of the Summit League Tournament.
The NDSU men’s basketball program has experienced its highest levels of success during Richman’s time as a member of the coaching staff. NDSU swept the Summit League regular season and tournament titles three times in seven years, winning a school-record 26 games in both 2008-09 and 2013-14.
NDSU men's basketball has also achieved at a high level academically since Richman took over as head coach. The Bison have earned the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for five consecutive seasons and posted nine semesters with a team GPA above 3.10 since 2014.
Richman has been a member of the NDSU coaching staff for six 20-win seasons, as well as producing 16 all-league players and nine of the top 17 scorers in NDSU history. In all, the Bison are 266-171 (.609 win percentage) in his 14 years as a full-time member of the staff.
Richman was named the 23rd head men’s basketball coach in NDSU history on April 8, 2014. He replaced Saul Phillips, who was hired by Ohio University after seven years as the head coach of the Bison.
This is Richman’s first head coaching position. He has spent a total of 14 years at NDSU in various positions on the men’s basketball staff, including seven seasons as the associate head coach.
Richman, 40, was a Bison assistant coach for two seasons before being elevated to associate head coach under Phillips for the 2007-08 season. He also spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at NDSU and was an assistant coach at North Dakota State College of Science for one year.
A native of Wahpeton, N.D., Richman attended NDSCS for two years and was a member of the 1998 Region 13 championship team. He continued his education at NDSU and Northern Iowa, working as a student assistant to coaches Ray Giacoletti, Greg McDermott and Tim Miles.
Richman graduated from North Dakota State in 2002 with a degree in physical education and completed a master’s degree in sport and recreation management at NDSU in 2005.
He and his wife, Stephanie, reside in West Fargo, N.D., with their four daughters, Mallorie, Brynlie, Kenlie and Ellie.
David O'Hara is Professor of Philosophy, Classics, and Environmental Studies at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and Classics, and as the Director of Sustainability. A native of Woodstock, New York, O'Hara studied Spanish at Middlebury College in Vermont, Great Books at St John's College in New Mexico, and Philosophy at Penn State. An environmental philosopher, he regularly teaches courses in Greece, Guatemala, Belize, and Alaska, and in 2020 he will teach a new course in Spain and Morocco that focuses on the history of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian cultures there, and their uses of water. His teaching and research are chiefly on the history of ideas, ecology, "wicked problems" in envrionmental policy, and the relationships between human cultures, fish, and forests. His recent books include "Narnia and the Fields of Arbol," about the environmental vision of C.S. Lewis; and "Downstream," about the brook trout of the Appalachian Mountains, and practices like fly-fishing that connect us to their waters. He partners with the Asociación Bio-Itzá, an indigenous Maya NGO in Guatemala that seeks to preserve the Maya Itzá culture and their ancestral forest. When he has free time, he audits classes in environmental law, observes lepidoptera in the wild, and does other things that help him to accumulate "unnecessary" knowledge. He and his wife Christina have three children, and they live in Sioux Falls.
Doug Hanson, AIA ASID, NCARB
Douglas Hanson, AIA, ASID, NCARB, is a Los Angeles based architect who has worked with some of the world’s leading architectural firms designing major cultural, commercial, and residential projects in Asia, Europe, and North America. With over three decades of professional experience, Hanson launched his eponymous firm, HansonLA, in 2010.
Early in his career at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Hanson collaborated on major European projects from design through construction. In Barcelona, Hanson managed Vila Olimpica, a collaboration between SOM and Frank O. Gehry & Associates. Hanson then joined Frank O. Gehry & Associates in 1992 as a Senior Associate and Project Architect for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. He worked closely with the Guggenheim Foundation and the local Basque developer as the project took shape. Hanson then had the opportunity to collaborate with the Renzo Piano Building Workshop on the California Academy of Sciences. In 2004, Hanson became principal at DeStefano & Partners and led the Los Angeles office in designing and building a number of cultural, commercial, and residential projects. In Hanson’s current role as President of HansonLA, he is the Design Principal on various residential and commercial projects and is the Master Plan Architect for City Market of Los Angeles—a 10-acre, mixed-use development in Los Angeles’s Fashion District—and for the Mail Order District—a mixed-use complex anchored by a historic Sears Warehouse located in Boyle Heights.
Hanson’s commitment to the arts is evidenced by HansonLA’s Support DTLA Arts, a philanthropic initiative within HansonLA that supports local arts and culture non-profits—including Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, City Ballet of Los Angeles, District Gallery, and Arts for LA.
Dr. Cory Steiner
Dr. Cory Steiner has been the Superintendent at Northern Cass School District #97 for the past five years. He completed his undergraduate degree in social science at Dickinson State University. He taught in Rhame to start his career. From there, he worked for the Beulah Public School District as a teacher and coach. He completed his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership through the University of North Dakota. Upon obtaining the degree, he began work as the Secondary Principal and Activities Director at Des-Lacs Burlington. He was recognized by the North Dakota Jaycees as a recipient of the Outstanding Young North Dakotan award. He also worked as an administrator at West Fargo High School for six years. He was recognized as the North Dakota Assistant Principal of the Year in 2010. He obtained his Doctorate of Education at the University of North Dakota. He stepped away from education and worked as a Data Steward for the state of North Dakota for two years prior to coming to Northern Cass.
He served on the Governor's Innovation Committee and currently serves as a board member for the North Dakota Association of School Resource Officers. Dr. Steiner serves as an adjunct professor for North Dakota State University in their teacher leadership program. He is passionate about learner-centered education which supports the whole learner. He believes we are operating in a broken system and it is our moral imperative to transform education so no learners are left behind.
He is married to his wife Jess and has two daughters, DelRae who will be a junior and Kelsa who will be a freshmen.
Dziwe Ntaba, MD/MPH, is a Co-Founder & Board Member of Village Health Works (VHW). VHW is a non-profit organization that operates in Burundi, East Africa; with expanding programs in health, education, and economic development. VHW’s growing campus is powered almost entirely by renewable energy through a hybrid system of hydro-electric and solar power. VHW is currently in the process of constructing a 150 bed Teaching Hospital & Women’s Health Pavilion, on track to open in early 2020.
During the West African Ebola Outbreak of 2014-2016, Dziwe deployed for over a year as Training Director for a multi agency program which helped develop and implement widely successful initiatives supporting frontline health workers in Rapid Response Team training and Health System Reactivation.
Dziwe has a long-standing interest in issues of health and poverty in Africa, having grown up in a medical family in Malawi, East Africa. He graduated from Macalester College, earned his M.D. from Oregon Health & Science University, and his Master of Public Health from Harvard University. Dziwe is an Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at University of Minnesota Medical School, and holds an honorary appointment as an Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He was awarded Macalester College’s “Distinguished Citizen Award” in 2017, was a Keynote Speaker at the World Health Organization, Geneva Switzerland in 2018, and and event speaker at the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington D.C. in 2019.
Erika Ebbel Angle
Erika Ebbel Angle received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2012 from Boston University School of Medicine. She holds a B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 2002 Erika founded Science from Scientists, an award-winning National nonprofit focused on improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) attitudes and aptitudes for children aged 9-13.
She is a member of the MIT visiting committee for the Dean of Undergraduate Education and part of the advisory council for the Dean for the School of Engineering at MIT. Erika is an Advisory Board member for Boston University School of Medicine’s BEST Committee and is a member of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. She is also a STEM speaker for the U.S. Speaker Program at the U.S. Department of State.
In 2018 she was awarded the “Young Alumni” award by Boston University. In 2017 she was the recipient of the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Boston University School of Medicine Division of Graduate Medical Sciences. In 2014 the Boston Business Journal selected her as one of the “40 Under 40″ business and civic leaders who are making a major impact in their respective fields in the Boston area. Her accomplishments have also been recognized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Pinnacle Awards for Emerging Executive. In 2013 the Boston Chamber of Commerce selected her as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders” in Boston. Selected by L’Oreal Paris as a 2007 Woman of Worth for her work with Science from Scientists, Erika has been featured on Lifetime TV and Nova Science Now on “The Secret Lives of Scientists and Engineers.” She is the host of “The Dr. Erika Show,” an educational science TV show for children.
Erika served as a Commissioner for the MA Commission on the Status of Women. Erika was Miss Massachusetts 2004 in the Miss America Scholarship program.
Outside of work, Erika enjoys SCUBA diving, skiing and, a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, continues her lifelong passion for classical piano. She is married to Colin Angle, CEO of iRobot.
Heather Watson leads consulting and behavioral insights at the Center for Generational Kinetics. Her research explores the intersection between behavioral economics and generational technology adoption. She focuses on Gen Z, the age cohort now 13 – 23 years old, providing research-based strategy for Fortune 500 companies who seek to attract and engage these consumers and employees.
She completed her neuroscience training at Stanford and holds a Masters in organizational psychology from University of Texas at Austin. She is a frequently featured SXSW speaker and a former CEO of four companies. Heather has three Gen Z boys, ages 9, 11, and 14, which means quite a lot of Fortnite is played.
The Center for Generational Kinetics is the premier Gen Z and Millennial research and thought leadership firm. The Center solves diverse generational challenges for clients—from uncovering unique solutions and emerging trends to repositioning established companies to win in crowded markets. Our clients include the biggest brands and companies in the world across every major industry.
The Center’s team has been featured on 60 Minutes, The CBS Early Show, 20/20, The Today Show, and in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
Learn more about The Center’s custom research and solutions at GenHQ.com.
Jean Zimmerman serves as Executive Director for the Offutt Family Foundation, providing leadership and management of the foundation's strategic plan and partnership activities and serving as it's spokesperson and ambassador. Previously she served as Executive Vice President for RDO Equipment Co. with responsibility for providing vision and strategic leadership to the company's training and development, compensation and benefits, hiring and performance management, and communications.
Zimmerman joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2005 as Director of Employee Development and was named Vice President of Organizational Development in 2006. She joined the organization with more than 12 years of experience leading medium and large corporations in attracting, maintaining, and motivating teams in support of desired organizational cultures.
Prior to joining RDO Equipment Co., Zimmerman's career ranged from serving as a Minnesota probation and parole officer to sales leadership roles at various financial institutions. No matter the role, her passion is assisting people in uncovering and expanding upon their potential and life's purpose.
Zimmerman has two adult sons, Drew (Cassandra) and Micah, and is the proud grandmother of Hudson and Charlie. She is a native North Dakotan, and a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.
John Lettieri is President and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group (EIG).
John's career in public policy has included time in both the public and private sectors working with a diverse set of policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors, and global business leaders.
Prior to EIG, John was the Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs for a leading business association, the Organization for International Investment (OFII), where he led the organization's state and federal policy work on such issues as tax reform, trade, investment promotion, and manufacturing. Before joining OFII, John was Director of Public and Government Affairs for a global aerospace manufacturer. He previously served as a foreign policy aide to former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel, who was then a senior member of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
John's commentary and research have been cited in the AP, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Daily Beast, Fast Company, Financial Times, Fox News, The Hill, NPR, New York Times, Time, USA Today, Vox, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.
John is a graduate of Wake Forest University where he studied political science and global commerce. He serves on the Board of Regents at The Fund for American Studies, the Board of Directors for Lincoln Network, and the Board of Directors for Friends of the National Zoo. He lives with his wife and children in Washington, D.C.
Kent Pekel is an educational leader who has worked at the school, district, state, federal, and university levels. Throughout his diverse career, he has sought to bridge research, practice, and policy to help young people from marginalized communities learn and thrive. Kent is currently President and CEO of Search Institute, an internationally recognized not-for-profit organization that conducts applied research and develops practical resources that enhance the capacity of schools, youth programs, and other organizations to help young people be and become their best selves. Prior to joining Search Institute in 2012, Kent served as the founding Executive Director of the University of Minnesota’s College Readiness Consortium, where he led the creation of Ramp-Up to Readiness and the Minnesota Principals Academy. Kent served as Executive Director of Research and Development in the Saint Paul Public Schools from 2000-2005, and from 1995-2000 he served in the Clinton Administration as a White House Fellow assigned to the Director of the CIA, Special Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of Education. Kent began his career as a high school teacher in his home state of Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Yale University, a Master’s in Education from Harvard University, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Minnesota.
Lonnie was born in 1961 and raised on a Minnesota country farm. He is descended on his mother’s side from Jacques Cartier, the French explorer and founder of Quebec. Lonnie currently lives in Grand Marais, Minnesota enjoying woodworking and back country skiing in the Quetico/Boundary Waters Wilderness of the Minnesota/Canadian border area.
Dupre completed the first west to east, 3,000 mile winter crossing of Canada’s famed Northwest Passage by dog team
Achieved the first circumnavigation of Greenland, a 6,500 mile, all non-motorized journey by kayak and dog team
Lonnie has pulled sleds on skis from Canada to the North Pole twice achieving over 68 million impressions worldwide on issues surrounding climate change
Dupre accomplished the first solo winter ascent of Alaska’s Mount Denali (20,340ft.) in January
Alpine Ascent of Kyajo Ri (20,295 ft) in Nepal
First Ascent of Jeannette Peak (10,135 ft) in British Columbia, Can.
First Winter Ascent of Mount Wood (15,901 ft) Yukon, Can.
Mark Coppin and Sady Paulson
Coppin is the owner of Prairie Assistive Technology where he provides consultative services in the area of assistive technologies. He has 34 years of experience in the assistive technology field and is a certified Assistive Technology Professional through RESNA. Coppin presents locally, nationally and internationally on accessibility and assistive technologies. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator and in 2013 he was one of 10 educators recognized by the White House and President Obama as a Champion of Change. He has twice presented at the United Nations on accessibility.
Sady Paulson has cerebral palsy and uses Apple’s accessibility tech like Switch Control to interact with her computers, iPhone and iPad. She is an Independent Videographer and national speaker on the power of accessibility. She is also an Apple Distinguished Educator. She was featured in, and edited, the 2016 commercial launching the re-designed Apple accessibility website.
Marshall Johnson is the Executive Director of Audubon Dakota and the Vice-President of the National Audubon Society. For the past decade, his team has built rural and urban community-focused habitat and ecosystem programs. His work in the Dakotas brings farmers and ranchers together with grasslands, herds, and birds into win-win alignment. Audubon’s radical, market-based Conservation Ranching Program now enrolls more than 2,000,000 acres across 60 ranches. Under his leadership, Audubon Dakota’s Urban Woods and Prairie Initiative manages the largest urban conservation program in the Northern Great Plains.
Johnson was selected from TEDxFargo Open Mic.
Melissa L. Bradley is a tri-sector leader with more than 20 years of entrepreneurship, investment and leadership experience. She is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sidecar Social Finance, a social impact agency that provides impact investing advisory and capital services to individuals, institutions, and social enterprises. She is also Founder and Curator of Venture DC/Project 500, a DC-based project that seeks to create equity and opportunity in entrepreneurship through the training and visibility of diverse entrepreneurs aimed at bridging the literal and figurative innovation divide in the city.
Michelle is the Commissioner of the ND Department of Commerce.
Kommer has more than 20 years of experience in the private sector, leading human resource, operational and legal functions in the financial services, health insurance and energy/manufacturing industries. She most recently served as chief administrative officer and general counsel for Western State Bank, where her in-house practice included contract negotiation and management, labor and employment matters, and corporate governance. Her executive experience includes leadership of the strategic planning, human resources, project management, information technology, operations and legal functions.
Kommer is licensed to practice law in both North Dakota and Minnesota. She received her undergraduate degree from Mayville State University, her master’s degree from the University of Mary and her law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law.
Outside of work, Kommer has been a passionate advocate for child welfare in North Dakota, both as a foster and adoptive parent and in founding a non-profit organization, the North Dakota Heart Gallery, to promote awareness of the need for adoptive families for North Dakota children.
Kommer has served on numerous nonprofit boards in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Business” by Prairie Business Magazine in both 2014 and 2015, and YWCA’s “Woman of the Year” for Child Advocacy in 2016.
Susan Hyatt is a master certified life coach who has helped thousands of women to transform their bodies and lives. Susan is the author of two books, Create Your Own Luck and BARE. She’s the creator of the Bare Process, the Bare Deck, the Bare Podcast, and an online community called Bare Daily. Susan has gained an international following of women who love her honesty, humor, and fearlessness. Susan has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Woman’s World, Seventeen, and O: The Oprah Magazine, and was a Finalist for the Athena Award, honoring her work in the field of women’s empowerment.
William C. Moyers
William C. Moyers is the vice president of public affairs and community relations for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, based in Minnesota. Since 1996 he has served as this renowned non-profit organization's public advocate, carrying the messages about addiction, treatment and recovery to audiences across America and around the world. Moyers, 60, uses his own personal journey to highlight the power to overcome adversity and turn it into the opportunity to help others do the same. As a result thousands of people have found hope and healing from substance use disorders. Moyers is the author of Broken, My Story of Addiction and Redemption, a New York Times best-selling memoir that was published in 2006 and is still in print. He is also the author of several other books including Now What? An Insider's Guide to Addiction and Redemption. His new book, a follow-up memoir, will be published by Penguin Random House in 2020. He is the father of three adult children and lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.