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Entrepreneur Awards

SBA Young Entrepreneur Award Winners

SBA’s Region VIII & North Dakota Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award

In recognition of the small business community’s contribution to the American economy and society, the President of the United States designates one week each year as National Small Business Week. Leading up to that week, the U.S. Small Business Administration presents awards honoring the nation’s entrepreneurs and small business champions.

The annual Young Entrepreneur of the Year award recognizes small business owners, less than 30 years of age, who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit. Nominations are judged on four basic criteria: evidence of success as measured by sales and profits, increased employment opportunities created by the nominee’s business, development and/or utilization of innovative business methods, and demonstrated entrepreneurial potential necessary for long-term business success and economic growth.

These award winners were selected after a statewide and region-wide competition. SBA’s Region VIII consists of Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, and North Dakota.

2009 - Matt Winjum and Arron Hendricks, Rhombus Guys
- Colin Cutler and Aleks Udris, BoldMethod, LLC
2011 - Michael Shope, Clean Republic, LLC

North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductees

The North Dakota Entrepreneur Hall of Fame was established in 1986 by the Center for Innovation to recognize North Dakota entrepreneurs and innovators for their long-standing (25 years or more) entrepreneurial contributions to the state and nation. Nominees can be tied to North Dakota by birth, education, long-term residence, or venture. Their accomplishments do not have to occur in North Dakota, and nominees can be living or deceased.
Great entrepreneurs build and create products, processes, technologies, businesses and organizations. They solve problems and invent new concepts. By doing so, they contribute immeasurably to our higher standard of living, our economy, and our general well being as they enjoy processional success. These nominees are among many North Dakotans who are nationally prominent entrepreneurs and innovators. We provide a forum to honor those who have excelled and provide a vision and hope for future entrepreneurs. A permanent display is located in the Skalicky Tech Incubator featuring forty-four (44) inductees with summaries of their professional accomplishments.  

1986 - George Bull, Founder of Cream of Wheat, Grand Forks
1986 - Thomas Campbell, World’s largest farmer, Grand Forks
1987 - Andrew Freeman, Minnkota Power/REC, Grand Forks
1987 - E.G. Melroe, Melroe Company, Gwinner
1987 - Harold Schafer, Gold Seal Co., Bismarck/Medora
1988 - Gilmore T. Schjeldahl, Sheldahl Co., Northfield
1988 - Patrick Haggerty, Co-founder, Texas Instruments
1988 - Earl Branick, Branick Industries, 160 patents, Fargo
1989 - Fred P. Nash, Nash Finch Company, Grand Forks
1989 - Oliver Dalrymple, 1st/largest Bonanza farm, Casselton
1989 - Harris Baukol, Baukol-Noonan Coal Co., Noonan
1990 - James Seifert, Seifert Womans' Apparel, Cedar Rapids
1990 - Thomas Leach, Williston Basin Oil entrepreneur
1990 - R.M. Heskett, Montana-Dakota Utilities, Bismarck
1990 - Eugene R. Dahl, Steiger Tractor, Fargo
1991 - Bertin C. Gamble, Gamble-Skogmo, Inc., Minneapolis
1991 - Herman Stern, Straus Clothing, GNDA, Valley City
1991 - Thomas C. Barger, ARAMCO, Saudi Arabia
1992 - James L. Grahl, Basin Electric Power Coop, Bismarck
1992 - Rev. August Hoeger, Good Samaritan Society, Hunter
1993 - Raymond C. Rude, Duraflex International, Reno, NV
1993 - Larry Brown, Founder, AGSCO, Inc., Grand Forks
1993 - American Crystal, EGF, Drayton, Moorhead, Hillsboro
1994 - Bob & Jean Kiesau, Home of Economy, Grand Forks
1994 - Edward F. Shorma, PrimeBoard, Inc., Wahpeton
1995 - Charles H. Robinson, CH Robinson Co., Grand Forks
1995 - Gerald Beyers, ABC Seemless Siding Corp., Fargo
1997 - George Kuhlman, Tool Crib of the North, Grand Forks
1998 - Gerald Van Eeckhout, ACT Teleconferencing, CO
1998 - James Wallace, Cranel, Inc., Columbus, OH
2000 - Dwight Baumann, Carnegie Mellon U., Pittsburgh, PA
2000 - Stanley Moe, Daniel-Mann-Johnson-Mendenhall, CA
2001 - Marshall Noecker, The Noecker Group, Sanborne/Detroit
2001 - Bruce Gjovig, Center for Innovation, Grand Forks
2002 - Ralph Engelstad, Imperial Palace Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
2002 - Croil Hunter, Northwest Airlines, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2003 - Lowell Swenson, Arctic Enterprises, Inc., Thief River Falls, MN
2003 - Norman Skalicky, Stearns Bank, St. Cloud, MN
2004 - Peter Nygard, Nygård International, Winnipeg,
2004 - John Miller, Turtle Mountain Corporation
2005 - Marilyn & John Whitney, Gaymar Industries, Tonawanda, New York
2005 - Eddie R. Fischer, Vista Paint & Fisher Flying Products, Fargo, ND
2005 - Ronald Bergan, Fargo Assembly Company, Fargo, ND
2006 - Ronald D. Offutt, R.D. Offutt Company & RDO Equipment Co., Fargo, ND

North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year Awardees

The North Dakota Business Innovator of the Year Award recognizes North Dakota’s best entrepreneurs and innovators who are discovering new and better ways of serving their customers, changing the way business is done, exploring new frontiers and building through excellence. The award recognizes recent accomplishments (less than 20 years) of business leaders who enhance innovation, productivity, competitiveness, growth and economic diversity.

The Business Innovator of the Year Award was established in 1989 by the Center for Innovation to recognize recent entrepreneurship. Residence, education, birth, or accomplishments may tie nominees to North Dakota. Nominees need to be living. A permanent display is located in the Skalicky Tech Incubator featuring thirty-one (31) innovators with summaries of their professional accomplishments. One or two innovators are recognized annually at an awards banquet and program.

1989 - Douglas Burgum, Pres., Great Plains Software, Fargo
1989 - John Odegard, UND Aerospace Dept., Grand Forks
1990 - Norman M. Jones, Metropolitan Financial Corp., Fargo
1991 - Robert N. Spolum, Pres./CEO, Melroe Co., Fargo
1992 - Gary Tharaldson, Tharaldson Enterprises, Fargo
1992 - Gerald Groenewald, PhD, UND EERC, Grand Forks
1993 - Judith Ekberg Johnson, Meyer Broadcasting, Bismarck
1994 - Darlene Jackson-Hanson, Fisher Flying, Edgeley
1994 - Barry Batcheller, Phoenix International Corp., Fargo
1995 - L. Russell Brown, Chairman, AGSCO, Grand Forks
1995 - Steven R. Orr, Lutheran Health Systems, Fargo
1997 - Wes Rydell, Rydell Chevrolet/Cartiva, Grand Forks
1997 - Howard A. Dahl, Founder, Concord Inc., Fargo
1998 - Donald Mengedoth, Community 1st Bankshares, Fargo
1998 - Richard J. Lee, RJ Lee Group, Inc., Pennsylvania
2000 - Mark Stutrud, Summit Brewing, St. Paul, MN
2000 - Jack Dalrymple, Dakota Growers, ND
2000 - Tim Dodd, Dakota Growers, ND
2001 - Mike Hofer, Global Electric MotorCars, Fargo
2001 - Patrick Sweeney, Weather Modification, Inc., Fargo
2002 - Sally Wold Smith, Buffalo Wild Wings, Minneapolis, MN
2002 - David “White Thunder” Trottier, Chiptronics, Inc., Dunseith, ND
2003 - Darold Rath, Eide Bailly, LLC, Fargo, ND
2003 - Richard Strong, Strong Financial, Menomonee, WI
2003 - Tom Kenville, Mid-America Aviation, West Fargo, ND
2004 - Randy R. Brown, Brown Corporations, Grand Forks, ND
2005 - Dr. James D. Carlson, PRACS Institute, Ltd., Fargo, ND
2005 - Michael Andrew Chambers, Aldevron, LLC., Fargo, ND
2005 - Wade A. Dokken, American Skandia Inc., Shelton, CT
2006 - Larry E. Jodsaas, Polarfab, St. Paul, MN
2006 - Scott Molander, The Simple Furniture Co. & Hat World, Inc., Indianapolis, IN

Center for Innovation
Ina Mae Rude Entrepreneur Center
The University of North Dakota
4200 James Ray Drive Stop 8372
Grand Forks, ND 58203 USA
Phone: 701.777.3132
Fax: 701.777.2339
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