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Big Names Headline 2013 Great Plains Young Professionals Summit

Early bird registration opens Feb. 20

BISMARCK, N.D.—An Olympic gold medalist and a Final Four men’s basketball coach will highlight the fourth annual Great Plains Young Professionals Summit, set for May 30-June 1 in Bismarck.

“Transform Tomorrow,” the three-day summit hosted by the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network and the North Dakota Young Professionals Network, will provide young professionals from across the Great Plains with an opportunity to network and develop as professionals through a series of keynote addresses, breakout sessions with business professionals and social and service activities. The summit is open to anyone 21 and older.

Olympic gold medalist Stacy Dragila, a track and field pioneer who won the first-ever gold in women’s pole vault at the 2000 Sydney Games, will open the event May 30 with a keynote address in which she’ll share her inspiring story of trying a new sport and helping it rise to international prominence. Minot, N.D., native Dale Brown, who led Louisiana State University to two men’s basketball Final Four appearances, tallied the second-most wins in Southeastern Conference history and is now a noted motivational speaker, will deliver a keynote speech May 31. Award-winning speaker, trainer and author Craig Valentine will cap the event June 1.

Early bird registration for the summit opens Feb. 20 and is $99. After May 1, the fee increases to $119. More information is available at


Founded in 2005, the Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network is a local organization for people ages 21-39. The group’s mission is to enhance the culture for young professionals in the Bismarck-Mandan community through professional development, entrepreneurship, community service and social networking; to create new opportunities for members; and to connect members to organizations in the Bismarck-Mandan community.

In July 2006, then-Gov. John Hoeven in collaboration with the Center for Technology and Business hosted a statewide summit for Young Professionals in North Dakota. In response to the summit, Young Professionals organizations across the state united to form North Dakota Young Professionals under the leadership, guidance and commitment of the Center for Technology & Business (CTB). CTB continues to run the program and provides technical, administrative and financial support to all aspects of the network via the NDYP Coordinator.