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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week of Dec. 5

Armacost named University of North Dakota president

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The State Board of Higher Education has selected Dr. Andrew Armacost as the 13th president of the University of North Dakota. 

The board interviewed three finalists at their meeting on Dec. 3, on the UND campus. A total of 61 applications were received for the position. Last month, six candidates each spent two days visiting campus and in public forums, meeting with students, faculty and staff, and interviewing with the Presidential Search Committee. The Committee narrowed the field to three finalists on Nov. 22.

Board Chair Nick Hacker said, “I would like to thank the co-chairs of the presidential search committee and all the members who volunteered time; we owe the committee a debt of gratitude for the hundreds of hours you dedicated to the process. I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Armacost’s leadership skills and commitment to the future of University of North Dakota and the state.”

“We are here because of students,” Armacost said. “Universities exist to prepare members of society to be good citizens. I have a long track record of being a positive mentor, and I pride myself on being available for both small daily interactions and more formal interactions. I envision a campus that’s closely connected, with accessibility to the president and senior staff. My philosophy is to love your people. Take care of them, involve them, and offer an opportunity for growth.”

Armacost replaces Mark Kennedy, who was named president of the University of Colorado System last spring. Dr. Joshua Wynne has been serving as interim president.

Ann Hiedeman promoted at Minnesota State University Moorhead

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Ann Hiedeman, chief human resources officer, has been promoted to vice president of human resources and workplace equity at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

One of Hiedeman’s primary roles will be enhancing MSUM’s culture and employee experience while positioning the university as an employer of choice in the region.

In her new role, Hiedeman will build upon these strengths and lead efforts to establish MSUM as a collaborative and welcoming place to work. She will partner with other university leaders to develop long-term strategies that attract and retain faculty and staff who will thrive at MSUM.

“I look forward to focusing my time and effort on the employee experience at MSUM. From the search process to onboarding new Dragon family members to helping people grow in their roles – I’m excited to recognize great work, help solve problems and impact the policy and strategy that make us a welcoming workplace where there is equity in opportunity and outcomes,” Hiedeman said.

Hiedeman earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Concordia College and her master’s degree in educational leadership from MSUM. She has served as chief human resources officer at MSUM since January 2015.

Dakota Supply Group names four new regional operations managers 

PLYMOUTH, Minn.– Dakota Supply Group (DSG) recently named Dean Barak, Craig Thompson, Don Metzger and Justin Ossefoort as new regional operations managers. This newly created role brings dedicated focus on creating operational excellence across each of DSG’s regions, a key ingredient to providing a world-class customer experience.

Dean Barak has been a member of DSG’s team for 24 years and will now manage operations throughout its Wisconsin region, including branches in La Crosse, Plover and Rice Lake. He previously served as Operations Manager and Counter Sales Supervisor for DSG’s location in La Crosse, Wis. 

Craig Thompson has been a member of DSG’s team for 20 years and will now oversee operations across its Montana region, including branches in Billings, Bozeman, Helena, Kalispell and Missoula. Prior to this promotion, Thompson served as Operations Manager and an Account Manager for DSG’s Bozeman, Mont., location. 

Don Metzger first joined DSG’s team 20 years ago and will now lead operations throughout its North Dakota region with branches in Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and Williston. Along with his new duties, Metzger will continue to serve as branch manager of DSG’s Waterworks location in Bismarck, N.D. 

Justin Ossefoort is a new addition to DSG’s team and will now manage operations throughout its South Dakota region, including branches in Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. He previously served as a Facility Operations Manager for SPS Companies, a large wholesale distributor of industrial products. 

“We believe that operational excellence is a key driver of benefits for our customers,” says Mike Meiresonne, DSG’s Chief Operating Officer. “This role ensures that we implement the best operational practices throughout each of our regions, and Dean, Craig, Don and Justin are perfect fits to make this happen. They all know their respective markets inside and out, and they understand the needs of our customers in those regions as well. I am excited to see how the benefits of their local experiences will extend throughout our regional warehouses and to our customers’ own businesses.”

DSG is one of the Midwest’s leading distributors of innovative products and services for the following industries: electrical; plumbing; HVAC/R; utility; communications; automation; waterworks; and on-site sewer, water and well. DSG is an employee-owned company with nearly 700 employee owners.