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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week ending Nov. 3

North Dakota OMB Director Pam Sharp to retire

BISMARCK, N.D. — Gov. Doug Burgum recently announced the retirement of North Dakota Office of Management and Budget Director Pam Sharp.

Burgum extended his gratitude to Sharp for her dedication to the state of North Dakota for more than three decades.

Sharp’s retirement is effective Nov. 30. She will assist in a temporary position throughout the transition to new leadership.

Sharp was appointed OMB director in 2003 by then-Gov. John Hoeven and reappointed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Burgum. Prior to serving as OMB director, she spent five years as deputy director and nearly six years as a budget analyst.

During her 31 years in state government, she also served in the Tax Department, Auditor’s Office and State Treasurer’s Office.

“Pam Sharp’s vast experience and expertise in government finance have been a tremendous asset for North Dakota,” Burgum said. “She has done an exceptional job managing the state’s challenging budget during both prosperous and lean times. We thank her for loyalty and exemplary service and wish her all the best in retirement.”

As OMB director, Sharp is responsible for the fiscal administration for the executive branch of state government as well as the supervision of the divisions of Human Resource Management Services, Fiscal Administration, Facility Management, Central Services and Risk Management.

A national search for a new OMB director is underway.


UND alum, staff member Brian Schill writes book about Punk

GRAND FORKS – Brian Schill, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences, has written a book about Punk.

The book — “This Year’s Work in the Punk Bookshelf, Or, Lusty Scripts” — was published earlier this month by Indiana University Press.

“I’ve always wanted to write,” says Schill, formerly undergraduate research coordinator for the UND Honors Program, to Juan Pedraza of STEMFlash LLC.

“I’ve written professionally and published peer-reviewed stuff, and for a long time I’ve been interested in the punk rock thing.”

So why the book?

“I’ve done a lot of reading about punk, and I discovered some gaps in the literature, so I proposed a book idea and got a bite from a publisher,” said Schill, who also is involved locally with the Global Friends Coalition, an immigrant advocacy group. “I put together a proposal and got lucky.”

Schill is a former member of the Grand Forks Public Library Task Force for Revitalization and former chair of the Library’s board of directors. He still is a member of the Grand Forks Public Library Foundation board.


NDSU’s Markell named Communicator of the Year

FARGO, N.D. – Sam Markell, North Dakota State University Extension Service plant pathologist, was named the 2017 Communicator of the Year by the NDSU Agriculture

Communication Department and North Dakota chapter of the Association for

Communication Excellence.

Markell, who joined NDSU Extension in 2007, was honored for his expertise and

professionalism in delivering educational programs and information to the


He has led several efforts, including the development of disease diagnostic cards, which provide producers with disease management information for a number of crops. Some of the cards have been or are being translated into Spanish and Haitian Creole, while others have been translated into Chinese.

Markell also has led a statewide effort to increase awareness about soybean cyst nematode (SCN), a pathogen of soybeans that is spreading through North Dakota. As part of this effort, Markell worked with the North Dakota Soybean Council, which provided funding to support a statewide SCN sampling effort.

In addition, he is leading a national effort on SCN called the "SCN Coalition," which is a collaboration of public and private partners whose mission is to more effectively manage SCN nationally.

Markell grew up in Minnesota and graduated from NDSU before earning a Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas in 2007.


WCCO Belting hires marketing information manager

WCCO Belting, the custom rubber manufacturer based in Wahpeton, N.D., announced the hiring of Carter Pederson as the new marketing information manager for the company.

In his role, Pederson will be analyzing and interpreting market research data..

Pederson is a former export assistant for the U.S. Commercial Service in Fargo, an organization that WCCO Belting works closely with. Prior to his time with the USCS, he had an internship at the office of Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., in Washington.

Pederson grew up in Cooperstown, N.D., and is a graduate of North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.