Igniting Legendary Leaders


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Leadership Panel Speakers

Brandi Jude
Representing the Center for Technology and Business Leadership training program

Brandi Jude is a born resident of North Dakota with rooted family values, strong morals and traditions. Brandi is Executive Director and founder of Invisible Innocence. She seeks opportunities to enrich her competency and proficiency to combating human trafficking. She continues to works effortlessly with local and national entities, organizations, and individuals to accomplish minimizing the effects of human trafficking in North Dakota communities. Brandi is an active member of the Bismarck Centurion Toastmasters and a Women’s Leadership Alumni. She enjoys traveling with her family and hiking in nature.



Robert McConnell
Representing TrainND SW Leadership training program

Bob McConnell is the Human Resources Director for the City of Bismarck. He started his career in human resources following 23 years of active service in the United States Air Force.  His career has included leading human resources at West River Health Services in Hettinger ND, Work Force Safety and the City of Bismarck. Bob completed a Master of Science degree in Administration and Human Resources from Central Michigan University.

Gabe Schell
Representing the Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce Leadership training program

Gabe Schell is a licensed civil engineer with KLJ, an engineering consulting firm headquartered in Bismarck, ND with 24 offices across 6 states. He is a Valley City native and graduate of the University of North Dakota. Gabe participated in the Bismarck Mandan Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Bismarck Mandan program in 2012-2013 and currently serves on the Leadership Bismarck Mandan Steering Committee as well as the Leadership Bismarck Mandan Alumni Association Board of Directors. Gabe also volunteers with various workplace, civic, and religious organizations in Bismarck. He and his wife Missy have two kids and live in Bismarck.

Vawnita Best
Representing the Rural Leadership North Dakota program

Vawnita Best was a participant of RLND, Class V (2011 – 2013). A 1997 graduate of NDSU (BS, Animal Science), Vawnita and her husband Pete lived and worked in several North Dakota communities before returning home to God’s county in 2007.  Today, Vawnita participates in the daily activities of their family’s Elkhorn Creek Ranch, home of Best Angus and Quarter Horses, and in the raising of their seven year old son, Kyle.  She has been an advocate of western North Dakota, rural communities, and agriculture long before they were legendary. In November 2014 Vawnita was elected to the McKenzie County Board of Commissioners and appointed to the Planning and Zoning board that December.

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