Connecting North Dakota

Connie Brennan

Welcome to the inaugural edition of North Dakota Business Magazine. Designed to connect decision makers throughout the state, the magazine already has a readership of 82,000. Its pro-business, conservative platform emulates its sister publication, Nevada Business Magazine, which has been published monthly for the past 27 years and remains that state’s only business magazine covering all of Nevada.

Recognizing that North Dakota didn’t previously have a statewide business magazine exclusively for the state, we began the process of launching the magazine over a year ago. Having been fortunate enough to buy a home in Willliston, which serves as home base, we began the journey of learning about agriculture, energy, politics, finance, education, healthcare and all sectors of business in North Dakota.

During the process, we have been welcomed into boardrooms and offices across the state and met business leaders from virtually every type of business and industry in North Dakota. Having been born and raised in Arkansas, I know firsthand there is something wonderful about Southern hospitality; but it pales in comparison to the reception we’ve received from North Dakotans.

We’re grateful to people like Tom Rolfstad of Williston’s Economic Development, Al Anderson of the Department of Commerce, Jeff Zent from the Governor’s Office and countless other busy business executives that took the time to mentor, educate and connect us with other leaders throughout North Dakota. They have provided a solid foundation we will continue to build on as we cover issues and business news throughout the state.

As we were preparing to send our first issue to the printer, I had a conversation with Brett Williamson of Tervita, who was interviewed for the environmental article (page 36). He said, “we have a lot of bricks in North Dakota and perhaps the magazine can be the mortar.” His comment really resonated with me as that’s exactly our intention. The primary purpose of this magazine is to provide a pro-business forum that stimulates conversation, connects business executives and helps make North Dakota more cohesive.

Our goal is to provide a platform which allows North Dakotans to tell their story, educate their peers about their industry and speak out on issues which affect the entire state. We realize we’re the “new kid in town” and don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of doing business in North Dakota. However, we are working hard to connect with the industry leaders that are qualified to speak on business and issues throughout the state. They are the ones that will tell the story and appear in the pages of this magazine. They are the ones that will provide us with the ideas, information and guidance that will make North Dakota Business Magazine a “must read” for anyone doing business in this great state.

In addition to just reporting business news, our monthly roundtables will serve to create news. I’m grateful to education leaders throughout the state who saw the value in attending our first roundtable discussion (page 21). We will be conducting an industry roundtable in Bismarck, sponsored by the Department of Commerce, as well as an energy related roundtable each month. These forums are by invitation and open only to top business executives. They are intended to provide our readers with insights into specific industries and the executives that are leaders in those fields.

As we’ve traveled around the state, we’ve had many conversations about the picture of North Dakota that has been painted by the national press. There’s no doubt many of these articles and stories have not accurately portrayed the real North Dakota and the hard working people that call it home. Many media outlets have chosen to sensationalize what’s really going on here and, in the process, have missed the real story. I believe the real story centers around independent North Dakotans that maintain family values, care for others and are committed to their community, state and nation. They are willing to share knowledge and help other business leaders thrive. Those are the stories worth telling, and the ones we intend to publish.

While the primary reach of North Dakota Business Magazine is to business leaders throughout the state, our circulation also includes decision makers in Washington, D.C. Since all eyes are on North Dakota, we intend to do our part in telling the positive stories that capture the true spirit of North Dakota business. But we know we can’t do this without your input. We’re hopeful our readers will be engaged and share news items, story ideas and comments about what they read in the magazine.

We’re open to your ideas and suggestions and look forward to being the “mortar” that connects North Dakota.

Connie Brennan
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Direct: 701.595.0090

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