Women in Business

rss rss twitter facebook

Fargo 2016 Leading Ladies Luncheon

Click here to learn more about the ND Leading Ladies Luncheons

THANK YOU to our Event Sponsor North Dakota Department of Commerce!
THANK YOU to our Fargo Table Sponsors: Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation and Women's Impact


Andrea Larson
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.


First Lady Betsy Dalrymple

Betsy Dalrymple became First Lady of the state of North Dakota on December 7, 2010, when Governor Jack Dalrymple was sworn in as North Dakota’s 32nd Governor. She immediately set out to work for the people of North Dakota and advance her long career of public service, with special emphasis on early childhood education and volunteerism.

As First Lady, Betsy’s priorities include: expanding Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library across the state; promoting her book “Building a House, Making a Home: A History of the North Dakota Governor’s Residence”; serving as chair of the North Dakota Cares Coalition, and; chairing the task force on civics education legislation.

Betsy grew up near Detroit, Michigan, and earned a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology and teaching from Briarcliff College in New York. She worked as an elementary school teacher in Fargo, before devoting time to her children as a stay-at-home mom.

As an active community member, Betsy has served on the Casselton School Board, the State Board of Public School Education, and the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation. She has also been involved with the Fargo-Moorhead Junior League, Red River Human Services Foundation and the North Dakota Protection & Advocacy Project.

Betsy was awarded: the Children’s Champion Award by the North Dakota Association for the Education of Young Children in 2011; the Ready Child Community-Based Award of Excellence by the North Dakota Education Association in 2012, and; the Love Without Fear Award by the Abused Adult Resource Center in 2014.

The Governor and First Lady were married in 1971, and they have four daughters.

Joan Halvorson

Joan is a life-long resident of North Dakota. After graduating High School with her ten other classmates, she completed her Bachelor’s Degree from North Dakota State University in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice.

She began her law enforcement career as the first female patrol officer for the City of Jamestown where she was honored as the communities’ 1986 Officer of the Year. While still employed, she furthered her schooling and obtained a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Guidance from NDSU’s Graduate School. She was soon hired to develop and implement a Victim Assistance Program for the Stutsman County State’s Attorney’s office. She was honored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the North Dakota Attorney General’s Office with their 1996‘s Outstanding Victim Advocacy Award.

In 2010 she was hired by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a newly created Victim Specialist position. While stationed in Fargo, she has the unique position as Floater for the Division, meaning she is the one who travels in order to provide assistance to the other 12 Victim Specialists in our three state area.

She has been a past member of several state and local boards, representing victim rights and is a former presenter at both the North Dakota Law Enforcement Academy and the North Dakota Victim Assistance Academy. She continues to serve on the North Dakota Sex Offender Risk Assessment Committee and has attained the designation as a Credentialed Advocate at the Advanced level by the National Organization for Victim Assistance. She is married with one child and three step-children.

Colonel Jackie Huber, SPHR

Colonel Jackie Huber was born and raised in Bismarck, ND, graduating from St. Mary’s Central High School in 1988. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Master Degree in Management with Human Resource concentration in 1999 from the University of Mary. COL Huber received the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation in May of 2011.

COL Huber enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1989. She deployed in 1990 with the 191st Military Police Company to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. She was later commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the North Dakota Army National Guard in 1992 from the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program at the University of North Dakota. Her previous assignments include: Platoon Leader with the 191st Military Police Company, Public Affairs Officer/Detachment Commander of the 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (MPAD), Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) Commander of the 68th Troop Command, Counter Drug Coordinator, S1 for the 142 Engineer Battalion, State Family Program Director, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment (HHD) Commander for the Joint Force Headquarters of the North Dakota National Guard, S3 and Executive Officer for the 68th Troop Command. COL Huber was the 1st Training Battalion (Engineer) of the 164 Regiment (RTI), the 164th Engineer Battalion Commander, J3/7 for the Joint Force Headquarters of the North Dakota National Guard, and is currently the Regiment Commander for the 164th Regional Training Institute (RTI).

In 1997, COL Huber accepted a full time position with the North Dakota National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst with the agency’s Counter Drug Program. She was assigned as Plans and Operations Officer for the Director of State Military Operations from 1999-2004. She deployed with the 142nd Engineer Battalion as the Battalion’s Personnel Officer from January 2003 – May 2004, after which she became the State Family Program Director. In 2006, COL Huber was assigned to the North Dakota Guard Human Resource Office as the Active Guard & Reserve (AGR) Manager. She became the Director of Human Resources in 2007. COL Huber is currently serving as the National Guard Bureau’s Human Resources Advisory Council’s (HRAC) national chairperson.

COL Huber’s awards and decorations include: the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service, the Southwest Asia Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, the Iraqi Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), the Meritorious Unit Award, National Guard Commendation Ribbon, the North Dakota National Guard Achievement Ribbon, the North Dakota National Guard Strength Management Ribbon, the North Dakota Army National Guard Emergency Service Ribbon, the North Dakota National Guard Service Ribbon, and the North Dakota National Guard Outstanding Unit Award. She is also a recipient of the Bronze Order of the de Fleury Medal from the United States Army Engineer Association.

Her military education includes the Army Military Police Basic and Advance Officer Courses, Public Affairs Officer Course, Engineer Captains Career Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School, and Command and Staff General College.

COL Huber and her husband Lane currently reside in Bismarck, North Dakota. They have three children (Jacob, Joey, and Lola).

Cris Linnares

Proud mom, international author and renowned Brazilian psychotherapist, Cris Linnares is one of America’s most passionate advocates for women’s wellness and empowerment.

Linnares was selected in 2015 by Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year Award, as one of the 50 Hometown Heroes of the United States for her work at her non-profit Women’s Impact in North Dakota.

Her life story and pioneer work have been featured in Shape, Marie Claire, Women’s Health, FOX, ABC and you can find her powerful and fun message shared at TEDxYouth Hollywood and TEDxFargo.

In 2005, Cris Linnares was a successful, best-selling author and women's advocate in Sao Paulo Brazil when she said “tchau” to her career, family, and friends, and "I do" to her Midwest Prince Charming and moved to Fargo, North Dakota.

In the frozen tundra, Linnares faced major culture shock, postpartum depression, and the hardships that come with being an immigrant in a new country. Experiencing isolation, a lack of connections, and insecurities with her English skills, she ended up giving up her long-time passion of empowering women and became a stay-at-home mom.

After going on a journey of discovering natural ways to heal her body, mind and soul, she reinvented herself and developed the acclaimed wellness program Diva Dance that has inspired women worldwide.

This New American personally understands the challenges that can tempt us to give up on pursuing our passions and dreams, and can attest to the power of connection and community in overcoming those challenges. In 2011, Linnares founded the non-profit www.womensimpact.org with the mission to create a strong online community where women can connect and empower each other.

Cris continues to live in Fargo with her husband, youngest daughter, their sassy dog George, and a baby on the way!

Amy Ruley

Amy Ruley has spent her professional career as a leader—in coaching, in development, and in student mentoring. With much of her career spent in athletics at North Dakota State University, she remains the most successful women’s collegiate basketball coach in the history of the state of North Dakota.

Ruley was recognized by the NCAA as the Most Outstanding Division II Women’s Coach in the first 25-year history of the NCAA Championships. In addition, her team was recognized as one of the top 25 “Defining Moments” in the 100-year history of the NCAA, with their four consecutive National Championships.

Ruley compiled an impressive 671-198 record as a coach. She received 6 Hall of Fame inductions, including the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has served on various committees at the national level with the NCAA, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and with USA basketball.

She seamlessly transitioned from a coaching career to a career as associate athletic director for development at NDSU. In September 2015, she became senior director of development for the College of Health Professions at NDSU. With 36 years of service to the University and an innate interest in all things health-related, Amy is excited to play a role in donor development and public relations for the College of Health Professions. The College trains future nurses, pharmacists, allied health professionals and public health professionals who serve the state of North Dakota and beyond.

Ruley also has served locally as a member of various organizations, most currently with the Strides Against Breast Cancer effort and CAN - Cancer Action Network. She also is a grateful fourteen-year cancer survivor and when asked, shares her experience with others.

Her relationship skills, experience in fundraising, mentoring, and love for all things NDSU are translated into positive experiences for those with whom she interacts—in all facets of her professional and personal life.

An outstanding teacher, coach, speaker and community leader, Ruley has made an impact at NDSU, in the Fargo Moorhead community, in the Red River Valley, and with the hundreds of young women she has coached during her career. The Indiana native is a graduate of Purdue University and Western Illinois University.