Women in Business

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CTB Awards for Women

Nominations for 2017 are open, join us at the Women's Business Summit to find out this year's honorees! 

Outstanding Woman in Business

2016 CTB Outstanding Woman in Business Award Recipient
Sandy McMerty, North Dakota Department of Commerce

Sandy McMerty, Deputy Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Commerce, was recognized with the 2016 CTB Outstanding Woman in Business Award. This award is meant to celebrate a woman who has made significant contributions to her organization, her profession and her community. The award also aims to recognize a leader who serves as a role model and mentor for others.

Sandy’s list of accomplishments and initiatives for working her marketing and leadership magic is extensive and she’s known as one of the state’s most effective cheerleaders. Approaching everything she does at full throttle, she brings both depth of knowledge and playful humor to board meetings and strategic sessions alike.

Sandy serves as a volunteer for the International Association of Business Communicators; leads awareness efforts like the Buddy Walk as president for Designer Genes of North Dakota; and is a forward thinking mom who launched a big dream with a coffee shop called Gifted Bean to provide a successful working environment for community members with unique talents, including her son who has Down syndrome. Sandy has gone far and above as a role model and mentor with her enthusiasm for life.

CTB is grateful for her leadership and proud to recognize her with this honor.

2015 CTB Outstanding Woman in Business Award Recipient
Dorothy Lick, North Dakota Bankers Association

Dorothy Lick

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.

2014 CTB Outstanding Woman in Business Award Recipient
Meghan Wilkinson, AWTY Logistics

Meghan Wilkinson

CTB is very excited to introduce our first ever 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.

Our 2014 Outstanding Woman in Business Award winner was nominated by her employer as someone who “exemplifies professionalism and positivity in all aspect of her life.”

Always professional, always courteous and always leading through example. Outside of her full time career, our award winner is also a Beach Body Coach and has inspired numerous women across North Dakota to choose healthier lifestyles through eating right & exercising. She leads this effort by example through organizing marathon relays, online exercise videos, being a community health champion, and managing several Facebook pages to inspire other women - including Moms Run This Town, Megs Healthy Bod, and Mascara Muscles and Motherhood.

She is a natural leader who brings all women together via positive platforms developed by her to ensure success!

Congratulations to our 2014 Outstanding Woman in Business Award recipient, Meghan Wilkinson – Operations Director of AWTY Logistics.

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

2016 CTB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient
Lorie Pope, Nexus Innovations

Kari Warberg Block, CEO, Founder and Farmer in Charge of Earth-Kind was recognized with the 2016 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.

Kari started Earth-Kind in 2000 with nothing more than a 99 cent package of garden seeds and a purpose to make natural pest control effective and available to homes everywhere. Today, Earth-Kind products are made exclusively from ingredients grown on family farms and sold in 55,000 retail stores throughout the U.S. She is a member of the National Women’s Business Council, which advises the U.S. Small Business Administration, Congress and the White House on issues of impact and importance to women business owners, leaders and entrepreneurs. Kari sits on an advisory board for a major retail corporation to provide guidance to the supplier diversity team as they work to provide market access and close knowledge and capital gaps for women owned businesses ready to scale.

She has received numerous awards and recognitions as a champion for value-added agriculture, sustainability and women’s entrepreneurship. CTB is pleased to be able to add one more honor to her list of accomplishments as this year’s, much-deserved, award winner

2015 CTB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient
Lorie Pope, Nexus Innovations

Lorie Pope

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.

2014 CTB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipient
Paula Klein, Smartt Interior Construction

Paula Klein

The CTB Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award celebrates an exceptional entrepreneur of one of our North Dakota Certified Woman Owned Businesses. The award recognizes a unique entrepreneur who has demonstrated staying power, innovativeness, forward thinking and contributions to her community.

Not only is our 2014 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year a woman pioneering a new business in a market segment predominantly driven by males, but her company also brings a new, transformative product to a very mature market. Competency and confidence have solidified success for this entrepreneur, allowing her to grow her sales to over $2.1 million in just her third year of business. With her powerful belief in an exceptional product and her determination to provide innovative and comprehensive services to her clients, she is consistently breaking barriers in the construction industry.

Most importantly, her vision goes far beyond her own success. She has been a role-model and mentor for 6th graders in the West Fargo Public School’s STEM program since its inception. Students enjoy her perspective, great sense of humor and her ability to challenge them. She is a shining example of the type of role model our young people need, especially for young women.

We are extremely proud to announce that the 2014 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year is Paula Klein of Smartt Interior Construction.