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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week of Nov. 21

Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association gets new executive director

FARGO, N.D. -- Harrison Weber has been named as the new executive director of the Red River Valley Sugarbeet Growers Association. 

The association represents about 2,500 sugarbeet growers from both Minnesota and North Dakota, who cooperatively own the American Crystal Sugar Company.

“We are pleased to have Harrison coming to work for us,” President Dan Younggren said in a statement. “He brings experience in raising sugarbeets as well as in working directly with growers’ associations.”

Weber previously worked at the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and most recently with the North Dakota Soybean Council. He will begin his new duties on Dec. 2.

Weber grew up in Casselton, N. D., and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Valley City State University and his juris doctor degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks. 

“I am excited for the opportunity to work with our producers in the Red River Valley and with our legislative partners at the state and national levels,” he said. 

New vice president named at Marco

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- James Bainbridge has been promoted to vice president of finance at Marco. 

Bainbridge, who has an accounting degree from the University of Minnesota, is a CPA with finance experience at Milk Specialties Global and PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has worked as controller with Marco since 2017. 

In his new role, he will oversee all financial aspects of the company, including financial planning and analysis, financial operations, accounting and billing. Bainbridge also is a member of the company's executive leadership team.

“James is a great fit in our organization,” CEO Jeff Gau said. “His strong financial acumen compliments our executive team and will help drive our continued strong performance.”

Permanent president appointed at Fond du Lac Tribal Community College

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Stephanie Hammitt has been named by the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to serve as the permanent president of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

She has been serving as interim president since July 1, 2018, after the retirement of the previous president, Larry Anderson. 

“Stephanie Hammitt has performed admirably as interim president,” Devinder Malhotra, chancellor of Minnesota State, said in a statement. “She has continued to build on the legacy of Larry Anderson and the solid foundation of accreditation by the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). … She has emphasized to me that the best days of the college are ahead, and I have come to the conclusion that our students and the communities served by the college will be best served by the continuation of Stephanie Hammitt as president.”

Hammitt, who holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth, is an enrolled member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and began her service to FDLTCC in 1990. She previously served in such roles as vice president of Finance and Administration, chief financial officer, and as director of fiscal operations. She has also served on the Tribal College’s Board of Directors, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa as internal auditor, and as comptroller.


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