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Economic Development and Leadership-RLND Class VII Seminar Nine

Rural Leadership North Dakota (RLND) Class VII participants recently gathered in Watford City for their Economic Development and Leadership Seminar.

RLND Class VII at Conoco We began the seminar with a spirited discussion while re-visiting Emotional Intelligence with Ron Wiederholt with NDSU Extension Service. During lunch Gene Veeder, Watford City Economic Development Director, shared some of the rich history of collaboration, study, and action that shaped Watford City into the progressive and proactive community that it is today. After lunch we delved into Crucial Conversations with presenter Jodi Bruns, NDSU Extension Service, where we examined real life crucial conversations and explored how to shape the outcome of these events.

Late afternoon we boarded a bus that took us to First International Bank and Trust for a presentation by the president (and newly elected major) Justin Voll. We then journeyed to Door 204 to enjoy some coffee while taking in artwork and craftsmanship displayed by local artists. Next we took a driving tour around Watford. We looked at different ways businesses developed properties as well as the various forms of “temporary” housing, including the North Dakota Indoor RV Park . We enjoyed dinner at Stonehome Brewing Company where the brew master shared a little about his procedures. We finished the day with a private showing of the documentary “Six Brothers, a McKenzie County Story” created by our own Daniel Stenberg, RLND Class VII participant.

We began Thursday with Craig Forslander, vice-president of ONEOK, as our breakfast speaker. From there we went to the Watford City Veterinary Center, largest vet center in ND, for a tour by Dr. Bruce Pedersen, owner of the Vet Center.

Our next stop was the Long X Visitor Center and Museum where we heard from Jan Dodge, RLND Class III, and Daniel Stenberg about the history of economic development in Watford City. Our next visit was the Lonesome Creek Facility, a gas plant owned by ONEOK.  Chris Fonck and Junior Hernandez, ONEOK officials, gave a tour of the plant. Next we went to the ConocoPhillips office for lunch where we heard energetic presentations from Peter Bazin with ConocoPhillips; Rob Lindberg, Director Bakken Backers, and Kathy Neset, President Neset Consulting Services.
After lunch we split into two groups and geared up in “FR” clothing, steel toed shoes, hard hats, and safety glasses so we could visit a drilling location and a fracking location near Watford City. We are very grateful to John Lee, General Manager with Oasis Petroleum, for orchestrating a very in-depth tour of the drilling and fracking sites. After the site visits, Joe Erikson of E&M Services shared his motivations and processes for starting and growing a new company that services the oil industry. Our RLND Leadership Dinner was held at the Rough Rider Center Thursday night. We went on a tour of the amazing facility before dinner. After dinner, Aaron and Angie Pelton shared their story of how the opportunities in Watford City have taken their dreams and turned them into a reality that far eclipses their original dream.

Friday found us experiencing Leading Change as presented by Michelle Wall of the Dale Carnegie Business Group of ND. We followed that with sharing experiences from the international seminar. Reflections of the Watford City seminar and looking ahead to Belcourt seminar in June rounded out our Watford City Seminar


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