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2013 Leading Ladies Luncheon Fargo


Click to learn more about the ND Leading Ladies Luncheons


Andrea Larson, Valley News Live

Andrea Larson


Sister Thomas Welder - President Emerita at University of Mary

Sister Thomas Welder

Sister Thomas Welder, a native of Bismarck, North Dakota, and a member of the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery, has served Mary College, now the University of Mary, since 1963.  In 1978 she assumed her role as president.  Retiring as president as of July 1, 2009, she currently serves as president emerita in the area of public affairs.  She attended the College of St. Benedict, graduated from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, and earned a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. 

Sister Welder is an active participant on boards and in community organizations including service as a director of St. Alexius Medical Center and a past board member of MDU Resources Group, Inc.   She also serves on the board of trustees of Missouri Slope Areawide United Way.

Active in professional organizations and religious affiliations, Sister Thomas received the Greater North Dakotan Award from the Greater North Dakota Association in October 2002, was honored with the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award by Governor Hoeven in May, 2004, was inducted into the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame in 2007, and received the Missouri Slope Areawide United Way’s 2007 Bismarck-Mandan Lifetime of Caring Award.  She is committed to fostering leadership development in students and colleagues and sees the future of the University of Mary as America’s Leadership University.

Tara Holt - Founder, Center for Technology & Business

Tara Holt

Tara Holt has a background in technology, home-based business, and economic development with a focus on women, rural economics, and community development. She founded the Center for Technology and Business in 1999. Her awards and honors include: “Top Innovator in Non-Profit Business”; Key to the City-Rugby, ND; “Outstanding Women’s Business Advocate”; “Outstanding Home-based Business Advocate (ND)”; and recognized as the very first “Woman of Honor”. She has served as a mentor to many students, entrepreneurs, and business owners.

She has served on the following Boards, Advisory Councils, and Commissions:

  • NWGF Insurance Company (first woman board member in 100 years and first female Chairman of the Board)
  • Abused Adult Resource Center Chairman of the Board
  • ND Fair Housing Council
  • University of Mary Harold Schafer Leadership Center Operations Committee
  • Bismarck Area Recreation Council Board of Directors
  • Capital Curling Club Board of Directors, Chairman
  • Missouri Slope United Way
  • Association of Women’s Business Centers Board of Directors
  • North Dakota Community Foundation Board of Directors
  • North Dakota State Banking Board
  • Mount Hood Corridor Planning Commission (youngest member and first woman)
  • Bismarck Public Library Foundation
  • Roughrider Honor Flight Operations Committee

Today she is president of Black Gold Partners, LLC, a privately held limited liability corporation dealing in mineral and energy holdings.

Karen Stoker - Owner, Hotel Donaldson

Karen Stoker

Karen Stoker, a beekeepers daughter and Minnesota native was raised in the small northern MN town of Clearbrook – pop. 599. In the Fall of 1981, being asked to join the NDSU Volleyball Team is was what brought her to Fargo. Before heading home for the summer in the Spring of 1983, a job interview for the sake of sharpening her interviewing skills resulted in her joining a 15 member team of a growing small business formally known as Great Plains Software.

The decade that followed offered incredible learning opportunities and life experiences. Being part of the team that helped create one of the “100 Best Places to work in America” now known as Microsoft Business Solutions blessed her with an education in business, lifelong friendships and an understanding of corporate culture. The years following brought motherhood (Karen has 3 wonderful children Joe 19, Jesse 17 and Tom 14) and a community committed career including board positions on the Trollwood Performing Art School, Prairie Public Broadcasting, the Downtown Community Partnership and the Fargo Parking Commission. Karen is also a member of the Feminist Majority Congressional Committee and was part of the Governor''s appointed ND Council for the Arts development of AND - Arts North Dakota.

In 2000, amid what Karen refers to as a mid-life awakening, she purchased the 118 year old Hotel Donaldson building in downtown Fargo. Her mission was to create memorable experiences. The next 3 years were spent working toward that vision. In August of ’03, The Hotel Donaldson team opened the doors and began living their mission of creating memorable experiences by celebrating the community’s visual, culinary, performing and literary arts. Hotel Donaldson has become an internationally renowned destination.

Karen enjoys life - most of all being a mom. She considers herself the luckiest girl she knows.

Lt. Colonel Teresa Luthi McDonough - Chief of Staff/Wing Executive Officer of ND Air National Guard

Teresa McDonough

Teresa Luthi McDonough enlisted in the North Dakota Air National Guard in 1989 and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art with a Minor in Music from Valley City State University in 1994. She is currently enrolled at University of Mary working on a MS in Strategic Leadership. Other post graduate studies consisted of forty quarter hours toward an MFA in Painting at Savannah College of Art and Design and twenty semester hours toward a BS in Art Education at VCSU. She was selected to attend the Academy of Military Science in 1998 where she became a commissioned officer. In 1998 she was employed as the North Dakota National Guard Counterdrug Cargo Inspections Coordinator assisting US Customs and Border Patrol agents searching for illegal contraband. She became the NDANG Security Forces Squadron Commander, and after the terrorist attacks on September 11, she accepted a position at TSA as a Screening Manager at Hector International Airport. In 2006 she deployed to the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and served as a Liaison Officer in the Personal Security Coordination Center where she coordinated security for the Prime Minister of Iraq and the President of the Council of Representatives. When she returned she accepted a position in Bismarck as the State Anti-Terrorism Program Manager for the NDNG until moving into the Military Personnel Management Officer position in 2008. She moved back to Fargo in 2011 and was selected for her current position as the NDANG 119th Wing Executive Officer/Chief of Staff. In 2007 she won the award of NDANG Company Grade Officer of the year and also won the Security Forces Company Grade Officer of the Year, a national recognition for the Air National Guard. In 2008 she received an Alumni Certificate of Merit from VCSU, and is mentioned in “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities” in 1994, “Montclair Who''s Who in North America” in  2010, and  “Who''s Who Worldwide” 2012.

Her husband Bert is a Moorhead Firefighter. His 12 yr old son, Landen resides with them and they have been married for nine years.

Mikey Hoeven - Former First Lady of North Dakota

Mikey Hoeven

Mikey L. Hoeven, (MIKE-EE) married to Senator John Hoeven, served as North Dakota’s First Lady from 2000-2010.

Mrs. Hoeven’s initiatives as First Lady included advocating for the prevention of underage drinking and also focused on women’s health issues.

Mrs. Hoeven was recently inducted as an honorary member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International which is an organization of key women educators with over 100,000 members across the country.

Living part time in North Dakota and part time in Washington, DC, Mikey is currently the Program Chair and Vice President of the International Neighbors Club II in Washington, DC. She will serve as President of this organization in 2014.

Mrs. Hoeven attended the University of Texas in Austin, Texas and Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Executive Secretarial Studies.

Mrs. Hoeven has been married to Senator Hoeven for 30 years. They have a son Jack, a daughter Marcela and son-in-law Matt and now a grandson Crew who will soon celebrate his first birthday.