2017 Leading Ladies Luncheon Fargo
THANK YOU to our Event Sponsor: North Dakota Department of Commerce
THANK YOU to our Fargo Table Sponsors: Bell Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, Dakota Medical Foundation, Greater Fargo Moorhead EDC
Andrea Larson, Valley News Live
Andrea Larson’s broadcasting career has taken her all over North Dakota. She has had opportunities to track lawmakers as a Political Reporter in Bismarck, and chase convicted criminals across the country on a crime beat in Fargo. Andrea has garnered dozens of awards along the way and is an anchor for the 5pm, 6pm and 10pm newscasts on Valley News Live.
Panelists will be announced one by one over the coming weeks!
Chief Warrant Officer Four Theresia M. Hersch
Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) Theresia ("T") Hersch began her career with the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1988 serving as an enlisted Soldier with the 818th Medical Battalion and 68thTroop Command. In 1996, she was appointed as a Warrant Officer and was hired as the Executive Assistant to The Adjutant General. Later, she was assigned as the personnel officer with the 141st Engineer Combat Battalion in 2000 and worked in the Human Resource Office as the Employee Benefits Specialist. In 2007 she was assigned to the 164th Engineer Battalion as the Human Resource Officer. In May of 2007 CW4 Hersch was notified she would deploy with the 164th Engineer Battalion (Security Forces). As the Human Resource Office she was in charge of 564 Soldiers from four different states. When she stepped off the plane in May 2008 she was greeted by the current Adjutant General and was asked to be his Executive Assistant and Aide-de-camp. In 2015 she was asked by Brigadier General Giselle Wilz to be her Aide-de-camp during her tenure as the NATO Commander/Senior U.S. Military Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Chief Hersch returned home from her second deployment in May of 2016 and is currently assigned as the Strategic Engagement Coordinator.
Her most memorable military event was serving as the operations officer, providing organizational and administrative guidance for the Lewis and Clark Youth Rendezvous in 2006. This national event commemorated the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Corps Discovery Expedition and afforded a hands-on historical learning experience throughout the state for hundreds of high school students, civilian volunteers and military members.
CW4 Hersch is an engaged volunteer. She serves as the Vice Commander and Honor Guard member for Bismarck's American Veterans (AMVETS) Post 9 and is a lifetime member and Honor Guard member for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Additionally, she and her husband, Robert Fode, co-organized a Team Red White and Blue (Team RWB), a non-profit organization that is dedicated to enriching the lives of American Veterans (families and communities) back into their communities through social and physical activities. There are Team RWB Chapters in Bismarck and Minot, ND and Team RWB has expanded into communities statewide to include Grand Forks, Fargo and Dickinson.
CW4 Hersch lives in Mandan, North Dakota, with her husband and their two dogs, Harley and Lucy.
Denise Kolpack has followed her passion for communications, creativity and management since she was 18, when she began work as the advertising coordinator for Home of Economy stores in Grand Forks, while earning her bachelor of arts from the University of North Dakota. Serving in management or leadership positions over the past 25 years, she is currently the Senior Vice President of Brand Strategy and Communications for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. Prior to that, Ms. Kolpack was marketing director for United Blood Services in North Dakota, campaign manager for the Heidi Heitkamp for Governor campaign in 2000, executive director and advertising manager of the North Dakota Newspaper Association, and executive director of the North Dakota Water Coalition.
A more recent accomplishment in her professional a career was being honored with the Public Relations Society of America’s “Silver Anvil” award for her work in Brand repair with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. The award recognizes measurable Brand repair campaigns, and is judged against Fortune 500 companies across the United States. Ms. Kolpack has also been honored with several AdFed “Addy” awards, and winning entries with the North Dakota Professional Communicators. She has also authored and coauthored several professional articles.
Ms. Kolpack’s greatest passion is serving the communities in which she has lived. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the United Way of CassClay Board of Directors, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Great Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Council. Past organizations she has served include Business and Professional Women local and state president, president and board of AdFed, Chambers of Commerce committees, and is the proud recipient of the Bismarck Chamber’s Leadership Alumni of the Year award and Bismarck’s Woman of the Year. She was also featured as a “Women at the Top” in the Prairie Business magazine. After earning her Able Toastmaster Certification, Ms. Kolpack became a speaker and presenter, sharing and facilitating more than 40 topics at over 100 meetings, conferences and presentations. Her favorite presentation continues to be the importance of becoming comfortable with etiquette, and the liberation and confidence that come from knowing the information.
On a personal note, as part of Ms. Kolpack’s commitment to lifelong learning and taking risk, she is now also simultaneously pursuing a degree in interior design. Residing in old district Fargo, she and her husband Dave Kolpack are proud parents of son Andrew Bjornson, Grand Forks.
Marian Kadrie is 87 years old, born and raised on a small farm in central North Dakota. Her parents were immigrants from Syria, “Not a good place to live then and not a good place to live today,” she says - noting that the story of her parents, their Islamic religion, their homesteading days and life on the prairie is remarkable.
Marion graduated from Bismarck High School and married her husband, Orviell. They had four children, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. She worked for 34 years for the Fargo Public Schools as secretary at Agassiz Middle School and eight years as a Special Education Para for the Moorhead Public Schools. She credits her love for children for keeping her young, her and Orviell began doing foster care with Lutheran Social Services in 1984. After his passing in 2006 she continued as a foster parent with Cass County Social Services and has fostered over 300 children in more than 30 years. Marion currently has three teenage girls living with her and has no plans to retire or slow down any time soon.
She was also a volunteer for Hospice for over 10 years and is a community leader in the Baha’i faith. She was instrumental in starting the Baha’i community in North Dakota in the early 60’s and has helped to organize events like the Fargo Rally for Race Unity Day, International Day of Peace and World Religion Day.
Laetitia Mizero Hellerud
Laetitia is a proud Fargoan, a right she believes to have earned by enduring 18 winters and an almost equally high number of floods. She joined this community from the tropical, but war torn country of Burundi in 1998. She is the Founder and Owner of UBUNTU CONSULTING, which provides educational services in the areas of Multiculturalism, Diversity, and Refugee/Immigrant Issues. Laetitia holds a BA in English from the University of Burundi and a MS in Management from the University of Mary. She worked for Lutheran Social Services in several capacities for ten years between 1999-2015, most recently serving as the Director of the New Americans Program and State Refugee Coordinator. She also worked for SENDCAA Head Start program from 2002 to 2012 and coordinated a Transitional Housing Program through Lakes and Prairies Community Action Agency in Moorhead. Laetitia also worked as a French teacher for three years at the Academy for Children, a Montessori school. Prior to coming to the United States, Laetitia worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a US Catholic Bishops Conference’s overseas relief agency serving refugees and other disadvantaged groups for five years in her native Burundi and in Burkina Faso, her country of first asylum before being resettled in the U.S.
Laetitia credits her integration to a welcoming community, but also her sense of curiosity and her eagerness to be “in the ring” or “at the table” with her fellow community members. She was the co-founder of Luminata, a refugee and immigrant women’s association in the Fargo-Moorhead area. She has served and is still serving on different boards and committees with local and state organizations including: Family Healthcare, Presentation Partners in Housing, YMCA, West Fargo Public Schools, Tri-College NEW Leadership Development Institute, Fargo Human Relations Commission, New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment, North Dakota Workforce Development Council, and North Dakota Women’s Health Conference Planning Committee.
Laetitia has lived and traveled extensively in Europe, Africa and North America. Besides traveling, she enjoys volunteering, writing, reading and working out. She is excited about her upcoming book on Leadership scheduled to be published in May this year. Laetitia is married to Mark. Despite her many responsibilities, she considers her most important and most rewarding duty, guiding their two children to be socially responsible, active and caring members of society. Yann, a senior at NDSU is also an aspiring business entrepreneur. Nicole is a Sophomore at Sheyenne High School and enjoys playing the violin, lacrosse, theatre, speech, singing and volunteering with the Youth Court program. Laetitia’s ambitions include furthering her education and working in a developing country. She has a special interest in women’s and children’s issues. Her dreams include escaping winters to sunnier parts of the globe. Laetitia and her family currently reside in West Fargo.
In June 2011, Margie Bailly retired as Executive Director of the historic Fargo Theatre in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. Margie served the Fargo Theatre as a board member from 1992-1996, as Director of Development from 1996-1997 and as Executive Director from 1997-2011. Margie’s Fargo Theatre career highlights include a successful three million dollar renovation, the annual Fargo Film Festival, now in its 17th year, and the addition of a 76-seat small “Off Broadway” theatre in 2009.
Prior to her position at the Fargo Theatre, Margie coordinated the United Way’s Holiday Clearing Bureau in 1986 and was Director of Development for the Center for Parents and Children and the Village Family Service Center from 1987 to 1992. Village Family Service Center and Center for Parents and Children highlights include a 100th anniversary celebration for the Village Family Service Center and the creation of an annual Toy Fair fundraiser for the Center for Parents and Children.
Margie (Megorden) grew up in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, graduating in 1967 from Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music. Margie received her Master of Science Degree in Public and Human Service Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1995.
As a community volunteer, Margie has served as president of the following organizations: Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Fargo-Moorhead Junior League, Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation Women’s Fund, and Fargo Kiwanis (first female president). She has served as a board member of the Fargo-Moorhead Area Music Club, United Way of Cass-Clay, Fargo-Moorhead Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Business Association, Fargo Theatre, FirstLink, and as a Foundation Board and Chapter member at Gethsemane Episcopal Cathedral. In the early 1980’s, Margie directed the Children’s Choir at Gethsemane. Margie served on the city and state PTA Boards as Chairperson of the Reflections Project. She initiated “Fargo Elementary Art Night” in the early 1980’s. In conjunction with Kiwanis International’s Young Children: Priority One Project, Margie developed the Fargo Kiwanis Parenting Paths Project and the Welcome to a World Full of Beautiful Music CD project.
Margie’s community service awards have included the YWCA Woman of the Year for the Arts, the Fargo Public School’s Partner in Education Award, the Downtown Business Association’s Friend of Downtown Award, the Fargo Kiwanis Outstanding President Award, the Greater North Dakota Association’s North Dakota Community Leadership Award, and the F-M Convention and Visitors Bureau “Always Warm” Award. In 2013 Margie was the first female recipient of the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo’s Legacy Leader Award. Margie will receive an Outstanding Alumni Award from Grinnell College at her 50th reunion in June 2017.
In retirement, Margie is playing a leadership role in the development of a North Dakota Culinary Institute in downtown Fargo. The institute would function under the auspices of the North Dakota State School of Science and include strong partnerships with North Dakota State University. Margie continues to volunteer for the Fargo Film Festival, Fargo Kiwanis, Young Children: Priority One Project of Kiwanis, Gethsemane Cathedral (choir and various fund-raising efforts), and the F-M Symphony Legacy Campaign. Margie is serving her third term on the Fargo Parking Commission.
Margie and her husband Dick have three sons, three daughters-in-law and four “perfect” granddaughters.