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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week ending June 8

Helmbolt named SDSU’s Office of Admissions director

BROOKINGS, S.D. – Shawn Helmbolt has been named South Dakota State University’s director of admissions following a national search.

A veteran of the Office of Admissions, Helmbolt recently served nine months as the office’s interim director and has been its assistant director since April 2007.

As the interim director, Helmbolt has led efforts to award incoming student scholarships earlier, increased recruitment efforts in Nebraska and Iowa, designed program-specific visit opportunities and worked with University Marketing and Communications to create a new admissions website and site for admitted students, SDSU’s University Marketing and Communications office reports.

At SDSU, Helmbolt completed his bachelor’s degree in history in 2002 and his master’s degree in counseling and human resource development-student affairs administration in 2007.


DSG hires Paul Kennedy as new CEO

FARGO, N.D. – DSG has added Paul Kennedy as its chief executive officer.

Kennedy will lead DSG’s management efforts and oversee the company’s business operations. He will be based out of DSG’s Plymouth, Minn., office but will also spend time at DSG’s 33 locations throughout Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to DSG.

Before joining DSG, Kennedy served as president and COO of Midwest-based First Supply. Before that, he spent 20 years in progressively senior management roles with Westburne Supply, Ferguson Enterprises and Woseley in Canada.

Kennedy’s career began as a Navy intelligence officer. He then shifted to management of a plumbing and HVAC contractor in upper Minnesota, and has been part of the trade industries ever since.

DSG distributes products and services serving the plumbing, HVAC/R, electrical, utility, communications, waterworks and automation trades. Headquartered in Fargo, N.D., DSG is an employee-owned company with nearly 700 employee owners.


Sanford Health hires three new providers

FARGO, N.D. – Three new providers recently joined the Sanford Health Fargo region team.

  • Ashley Heule, a nurse anesthetist, received her graduate degree from Mount Marty College School of Anesthesia in Sioux Falls, S.D. She is board certified by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists.

She specializes in anesthesiology at Sanford Medical Center Fargo.

  • Dr. Sohini Sarkar received her osteopathic degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Penn. She is board certified in internal medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

She specializes as an internal medicine hospitalist at Sanford Medical Center Fargo.

  • Dr. Brian Sauer received his medical degree from University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. He specializes in pediatric orthopedic surgery at Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Fargo.


Hartung and Kerber join Houston Engineering Inc.

FARGO, N.D. – Houston Engineering, Inc., has hired Cory Hartung and Russell Kerber to work in the company’s Maple Grove, Minn., office, and Brandon Joos and Danny Stasch to work in the Fargo office.

● Hartung joins the office as a software engineer I. Hartung will work on web and mobile software development projects and on water quality database applications.

Originally from Hoven, S.D., Cory earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the South Dakota School of Mines. 

● Kerber joins the office as an engineer I. He’ll provide hydrology and hydraulics modeling support for flood retention projects.

Originally from Excelsior, Minn., Russell earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. 

  • Joos joins HEI as a technician I who’ll be responsible for inspection and serve as resident project representative on various construction projects.

Originally from Wimbledon, N.D., Joos holds an associate’s degree in land surveying and civil engineering technology from North Dakota State College of Science and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics with a minor in business administration from North Dakota State University. He previously worked at Wenck Associates as a survey/CAD intern.

  • Stasch joins the company as a technician I who’ll be responsible for inspection and serve as resident project representative on various construction projects.

A Fargo native, Stasch recently graduated with an associate’s degree in land surveying and civil engineering technology from North Dakota State College of Science. He interned for HEI last summer.


Imagine Thriving hires new executive director

FARGO, N.D. – Heather Zinger has been hired as the new executive director of Imagine Thriving.

Zinger served as the board secretary for the National Alliance on Mental Illness North Dakota for two years, where she worked with the national NAMI office on finalizing the North Dakota chapter charter as well as expanding their evidence-based program offerings and outreach.

During her time with NAMI ND, she and the current chapter president sought to build partnerships with local organizations with shared mental health missions such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention North Dakota, Mental Health America North Dakota and the NAMI Moorhead and Sioux Falls chapters.

Imagine Thriving is a nonprofit that focuses on mental health education, student wellness facilitators and The Access to Care Fund.


Benchmark Foam promotes new president

WATERTOWN, S.D. – Benchmark Foam has announced the promotion of Robert Reiter as its new resident.

Reiter has been with Benchmark Foam since 2016 and will now be responsible for the strategic planning and growth of the company while overseeing all operations, including sales, marketing, manufacturing, accounting and continued quality.

Reiter has more than 15 years in business and sales management, Benchmark Foam reports.

Benchmark Foam is a manufacturer of expanded polystyrene foam and other specialty plastics.


Sioux Falls Development Foundation names new president

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – The next president and CEO of the Sioux Falls Development Foundation will be Bob Mundt, president and CEO of Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce in Appleton, Wis., the foundation announced.

Mundt is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, the Institute for Organizational Management, the Center for Creative Leadership and Bellevue University in Omaha.

He is a Certified Economic Developer and Certified Chamber Executive. His 25 years of economic development experience includes work in business attraction, retention and expansion, talent attraction and development, small business/entrepreneurial growth and land and infrastructure development, the foundation reports.

Mundt is expected to commence his tenure as president and CEO in mid-July.