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PRAIRIE PEOPLE: Week ending June 7

Gate City Bank names new president & CEO

FARGO, N.D. – Kevin Hanson, chief operating officer of Gate City Bank, will become the bank’s new president and CEO on July 1, the bank has announced.

Hanson will replace current president, CEO and board chair Steve Swiontek, who will become the bank’s executive chair. Swiontek will retire next year but will remain the chair of the bank’s board.

The transition is part of a process that began four years ago, when Swiontek told the board of his plan to retire, according to a press release.

“Since then, Swiontek and the board have been diligently working on identifying the right candidate within Gate City Bank to replace Swiontek as president and CEO,” the press release reports.

“A five-year succession plan was created to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.”

Hanson has worked for Gate City Bank for more than 36 years. He began as a management trainee and also served in positions such as loan officer and director of lending.

A Fergus Falls, Minn., native, Hanson graduated from Moorhead State University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in finance.

Swiontek has worked for the bank for 42 years, starting like Hanson as a management trainee. He has served as chairman, president and CEO since 2001, and his tenure has seen Gate City Bank grow to be a $2.2 billion mutual community bank with 38 locations across 19 communities in North Dakota and west central Minnesota.


Alerus hires Albrecht as financial advisor

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Alerus has hired Dexter Albrecht as a financial advisor at Alerus’ Grand Forks office.

Albrecht has more than five years of experience in the financial services industry and holds his Series 7 and Series 66 licenses and the FIC (Fraternal Insurance Counselor) designations. He is currently working to obtain his certified financial planner designation.


Carlstrom named business advisor for ND Small Business Development Center

FARGO, N.D. – Ian Carlstrom has been named the new North Dakota Small Business Development Center business advisor for the southeastern region of the state.

The job is a new position jointly funded by the North Dakota State Research and Technology Park and the North Dakota Small Business Development Center. It has been established to provide additional support to small businesses, as well as to entrepreneurs as they grow their companies and help expand the region’s economy.

Carlstrom has advised small businesses as a consultant and worked with the Minnesota Small Business Development Center while employed by the Entrepreneur Fund in Grand Rapids, Minn.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and Master of Business Administration from NDSU.

The position will be co-located with the North Dakota Small Business Development Center in the North Dakota State University Technology Incubator.


Dschaak appointed as student member on ND Board of Higher Education

BISMARCK, N.D. – Kaleb Dschaak, a student at the University of North Dakota, has been appointed to a one-year term as the student representative on the state Board of Higher Education.

Dschaak graduated from Dickinson (N.D.) High School in 2015 and anticipates graduating from UND in spring 2020 with majors in marketing and political science.

He has served as president of the North Dakota Student Association, vice president of the UND student body and president of the Future Business Leaders of America.

Dschaak also has been a policy intern for University Information Technology at UND and worked on the first nationwide student bill of rights regarding data privacy and security. He was appointed to the state board by North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Dschaak’s term on the board begins July 1.


KLJ hires four in Bismarck

Bismarck, N.D. – Engineering firm KLJ has hired four people in the company’s Bismarck office.

  • Chris Caldwell joins KLJ as a surveyor with more than 20 years of experience. He completed survey work in both Washington and Montana before coming to KLJ.
  • Jenn Bailey comes to KLJ as an administrative assistant. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Mary in Bismarck.
  • Derek Bendickson recently started as an environmental planner. He earned his bachelor’s degree in natural resources management from North Dakota State University.
  • Erika Stucki joins KLJ as a CAD technician with 13 years of experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Brigham Young University.