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Three North Dakota Women Receive Top Honors from the Women's Business Center

Center for Technology & Business (CTB) held their fourth annual Women’s Business Summit November 8-9 in Bismarck. The event brought together women from across the state for a unique networking and professional development opportunity designed to strengthen the state of women owned businesses in North Dakota.

At the luncheon on Monday, three of the attendees were surprised with top honors from CTB. 

Dorothy Lick, SVP of Education for the North Dakota Bankers Association was recognized with the 2015 CTB Outstanding Woman in Business Award. This award is meant to celebrate a woman who has truly excelled, not only in her professional life, but as a leader and role model in the community. Dorothy’s professional accomplishments are impressive, with a commitment to service and excellence that proves extraordinary leadership, she has had a huge positive impact on the ND banking community over the last 15 years. Her genuine spirit for giving and contagious passion for finding solutions is also seen all across the community. She is chairperson of the Women’s Leadership Circle (WLC) of the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way; a volunteer for the WLC Adopt a Classroom program; as well as a champion for the Backpack Program, Dolly Parton Imagination Library, Little Black Dress Campaign, North Dakota Jump$tart Coalition, North Dakota Leadership Seminar, and more. CTB is proud to have her as a 2013 graduate of the CTB Women’s Leadership Program and excited to recognize her with this honor.

Lorie Pope, co-owner of Nexus Innovations was recognized with the 2015 CTB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The exclusive award is designated to the owner of a North Dakota Certified Woman Owned Business who has demonstrated staying power, innovativeness, forward thinking and contributions to her community. Nexus Innovations opened its first office in 2000 in Bismarck, with a goal of creating a high level strategic consulting and IT company that provided leadership and delivered success. In 2008 they opened a second office in Fargo in order to continue empowering clients and helping them be more effective. Nexus Innovations has emerged as one of the leading strategic IT consulting firms in the region and, beyond delivering an outstanding product, they contribute that success to having a culture of trust and open communication with both their internal team and the clients they serve. In 2014 and 2015, Nexus was selected for the Top 25 Small Businesses Best Places to Work award by Prairie Business Magazine. In addition to her work at Nexus, Lorie is a certified John Maxwell Team member and certified executive/leadership coach. She helps leaders create the long-term results they want in their business and personal life and is passionate about providing organizational consulting on ways to create a strong culture of influence to achieve strategic success.

Former first lady, Grace Link, was selected as the 2015 CTB Woman of Honor. Once described as a “Living Treasure of North Dakota,” she was born and raised near Cartwright and at 15, she attended a Farmers Union monthly dance where she met 19-year-old Arthur Link. Five years later, in 1939, they were married. The Links had five sons and one daughter that were raised on their farm in Alexander where Grace was heavily involved as a 4-H leader. Grace remained a long time supporter of the North Dakota 4-H Foundation and the North Dakota Extension program and, together with Art, was named a 2004 inductee into the North Dakota 4-H Hall of Fame.

Grace was very involved in the decision-making process throughout her husband's political career, especially as he served as governor from 1972-1981. She continues to play an active role in many organizations and political functions, too numerous to count, including most recently as Chairperson of Erin Hill-Oban's campaign for state senate. Grace has remained active across North Dakota as an advocate, volunteer, community leader and philanthropist. The Art and Grace Link Endowment provides long term support to the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame and Grace still sits on the Society for the Preservation of the Former Governors’ Mansion where she has donated countless hours to its preservation and improvement. In 2012 she was presented with the Enduring Legacy Award by the State Historical Society of North Dakota for her contributions to the origination of the North Dakota Heritage Center and later its expansion. Her contributions across the state are felt by many but she still humbly claims that she is "just a mother doing her job."

Grace is intelligent, wise, caring and above all else humble.

This is the fourth year that CTB has selected a Woman of Honor. The women are chosen in recognition of their spirit of mentorship, leadership, strength, wisdom and foresight. Past recipients are Tara Holt, Twila Martin Kekahbah, and Sister Thomas Welder.

“We know there are incredible women working every day to make a difference in the lives of others. Whether through dedicated entrepreneurship, professional excellence, personal mentorship, or exceptional leadership – CTB is honored to recognize and celebrate a few of these women each year. We hope that by sharing their stories we’re providing inspiration for other women to know that they have it in them to do great things and to make a difference in the lives of others as well.” Explains CTB Executive Director, Deb Eslinger.