Volunteer with Emerging Prairie!
We are always looking for volunteers to support our events and programs. If you
are interested in volunteering, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emerging Prairie is an organization that believes in and nurtures the potential of our community. We have made it our mission to celebrate the entrepreneurs, artists, and creators, specifically in the high technology space. Recognition of our community’s potential, development of an environment for social connectivity, and the act of highlighting the risk takers and change-makers is vitally important, as these are the key accelerators of growth and development. Emerging Prairie was founded based upon the following principles in 2013 by a group of Fargo entrepreneurs who wanted to make a difference in the community they call home.
- Educate Our City – By bringing ideas to Fargo and challenging the status quo, we can move our community forward. Through events, programs, and using our influence to convene leaders, we are able to move ideas to action.
- Infuse the Arts – We create opportunities for the arts/artists to be incorporated into all of our events and programs. We believe artists are the culture creators in a community; culture is what makes people choose to build a life in a city.
- Build on Our Brightspots – We are cheerleaders and champions of the people who are doing great things in our community. Working from the idea of “a rising tide lifts all boats,” we celebrate those we are making progress and positively impacting our community.
- Practice Radical Inclusivity – As the fabric, our community becomes richer, we need to create an environment to welcome people from a variety of backgrounds, faith traditions, lifestyles, etc. We do this through actions such as participating in Welcoming Week, celebrating New American Entrepreneurs, providing gender neutral restrooms at events, and offering vegan food at our events.
Our mission is to connect and celebrate the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fargo-Moorhead. We do so by operating a wide variety of events and initiatives, such as Drone Focus, the Prairie Den coworking space and 1 Million Cups (1MC) Fargo, the largest and most active 1 Million Cups program in the country. We also operate an online publication that highlights the region’s entrepreneurs and innovators that are turning Fargo into a flourishing tech hub. In March of 2016 Emerging Prairie became a 501(c)3 non-profit to further support our mission.
Executive Director, Co-Founder & Board Member
The Executive Director of Emerging Prairie, Greg is a social entrepreneur and connector of people across the midwest. Greg co-founded Students Today Leaders Forever while an undergrad at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. From there, Greg joined the Kilbourne Group and worked on a variety of projects to stimulate growth and entrepreneurship in Downtown Fargo. Greg has been a leader in organizing and managing numerous entrepreneurial events in the FM area, including TEDxFargo, Startup Weekend, and more. Greg can be reached at email@example.com
Director of Portfolio Management
As the Director of Portfolio Management at Emerging Prairie, Lindsay constantly has her eyes set on the vision and strategy behind the organization. As an avid learner, Lindsay rises up to any new challenge and strives to master each new skill. During her college years, she attended the Ohio State University earning a B.S. in Animal Science and an M.S. in Agricultural Extension Education. Lindsay provides a strategic mindset to the organization and leadership team while keeping the community in front of mind. In her free time, you can find Lindsay with her husband, Paul and her two Cardigan Welsh Corgis. Reach Lindsay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director of Operations
The Director of Operations at Emerging Prairie, Brian is results-driven leader with extensive experience and success in driving strategic and operational excellence. Brian spent 8 years as the Site Leader and Director of Advanced Engineering and Launch (AEL) at HERE Technologies and loves helping people plan, optimize, and launch new initiatives. He spent much of his career building high-performing teams in the location content industry, gaining experience in building operations in India, Mexico and Europe. While operations and project management are his primary job functions by day, Brian also enjoys spending time with his family and traveling to interesting places.
Digital Marketing Coordinator
Darby is a creative at heart. She loves being immersed in the arts, music, and culture. She graduated from Minnesota State University, Moorhead with a degree in photojournalism and advertising. She is excited to bring her experiences in social media, design, and photography to Emerging Prairie. In her free time, Darby and her husband, Cody, can be found at local breweries and coffee shops, spending time outdoors, or enjoying time with family and friends.
Danella graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management. After college, she spent 6+ years working at the Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau, promoting the Fargo area as a destination for leisure travelers and visitors of all types. Her passion for Fargo and community building led her to Emerging Prairie, where she continues to help spread the word about the good things happening in the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Prairie Den Administrator & Administrative Assistant
Jordan graduated from North Dakota State University with a double major in Mass Communications and Apparel & Textiles. She then went on to coach two championship dance teams in the area. She continues to do freelance choreography, conventions and judging across the country. She is excited to take on this position with Emerging Prairie and do her part to connect people together in the Prairie Den. In her free time she enjoys taking in all the great local events downtown, eating tacos and traveling.
Government & Community Relations Coordinator
Malachi is the resident government guru at Emerging Prairie. Malachi graduated from the University of South Dakota with BA degrees in Media & Journalism and Political Science in 2017 and recently finished his Masters of Public Administration at USD. During his five years of college and graduate school Malachi interned for a variety of organizations, including newspapers in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Texas, as well as an economic development organization, a city government, and the U.S. federal government. In his spare time Malachi can be found exploring community events in Fargo-Moorhead with his fiance or reading the news.
Emma is a North Fargo native, and currently attends the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO as a Business Administration student. She served on the Emerging Prairie team as the Events Intern the last two summers, and is excited to be back this year to help celebrate the 10th TEDxFargo! She is inspired by Fargo’s arts and entrepreneurial communities that always seem to draw her back home. In her free time she can be found at the lake with family, coffee with friends, and never too far from downtown.
Stephanie Cossette was born and raised in West Fargo, ND. She recently graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) with a B.A. in Project Management and two minors; Operations Management and Global Supply Chain Management. She also has an A.S. in Business Management, Marketing, & Sales from Minnesota State Community and Technical College (M-State). During college, Stephanie interned with Jade Presents and KD Productions. In her free time, she can be found outdoors, at her family’s resort, having nerf gun wars with her son, repurposing furniture, and/or with family and friends. Stephanie is excited to bring her life and education experiences in business, event planning, marketing, and project management to Emerging Prairie.
Jeanna grew up in Wahpeton, ND and graduated from Wahpeton High School. She attended North Dakota State College of Science and graduated with an associates degree. After that she went on to attend North Dakota State University and earned a degree in Speech Communications and Business. Jeanna currently lives in West Fargo with her sons and fiance, Trevor.
Board Member & Secretary
Jake Joraanstad, CEO of Myriad Mobile, is building a tech company and a tech community in an unusual place — Fargo, ND. He strongly believes that technology innovation is not limited to the coasts. He and his team have worked with agricultural clients including Monsanto, Bobcat, and John Deere. In addition to co-founding Myriad Mobile, Jake and his team developed Bushel, the first cloud-based software solution for elevators and growers to track scale tickets, contracts, and market information all in one place. Jake also co-founded Emerging Prairie, a non-profit organization that helps grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Fargo and the upper great plains.
Kirk Anton, founder of Heat Transfer Warehouse is the e-commerce guru of the FM area. In just six years, he has built HTW into a team with 33 employees, offices in Fargo,Las Vegas, and Cincinnati, and customers around the world. Kirk is also one of Emerging Prairie’s most avid supporters and a frequenter of 1 Million Cups, Startup Drinks, and Cart Monthly.
Jane Schuh is from Sheldon, ND and is a Professor of Immunology at NDSU, where she has also served in a number of administrative roles including Associate Director of the ND Ag Experiment Station, Assistant Dean of Academic Ag Programs, Director of the Cellular & Molecular Biology graduate program, Interim Dean of the College of Business, and currently as the VP for Research and Creative Activity. She believes in investing in the future, and deeply cares about her community and the state of ND. She’s grateful to those whose vision and dedication have built it into the wonderful place that she call home. She believes that we can change the world for the better, which is why she’s excited to be a part of Emerging Prairie.
Tim Brookins has 20+ years experience in enterprise software. He is currently working in the Microsoft Universal Store Storefronts team, which powers the majority of Microsoft experiences that sell products to consumers. This includes POS systems in the Microsoft brick and mortar stores, MicrosoftStore.com, the Windows 10 app store and even the parts of Xbox Live that sells games.
In 2016, Brookins co-founded PartUs, an innovative software-as-a-service app for family law attorneys.
Board Chair, President & Treasurer
Patrick serves as the Emerging Prairie Board Chair and is a finance guy who loves entrepreneurism. Patrick is the Executive Vice President of Banking and Wealth Management for Bell Bank. Bell Bank is one of the largest privately held banking organizations in the United States with assets over $5 billion at the bank and over $6 billion in Bell’s wealth management division. Patrick grew up in Northwood, ND, is a University of North Dakota graduate in accounting, and spent the first decade or so of his career working in the public accounting industries with Ernst & Young and Eide Bailly before joining Bell Bank in 2012. In Patrick’s free time he spends most of it chasing around three boys with his wife to all of their activities, and, when can squeeze it in, he likes to get a good run in, or a round of golf.
Allison joined the Bush Foundation in 2013 to lead the strategy and learning team. In this role, she helps the Foundation do more good every year, ensuring we continuously learn and improve our program strategies and operations.
Previously, Allison was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company and directed the Itasca Project, an alliance of CEO’s and civic leaders addressing economic competitiveness in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. She also worked at a technology start-up in San Francisco and as a Plant Engineer at 3M. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, where she was an all-American gymnast.
Allison serves on the boards of Emerging Prairie and Generation Next. She is a 2014 Presidio Institute Cross-sector Leadership Fellow, was named a “40 Under 40” leader by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal in 2013 and was a 2010 Humphrey Institute Policy Fellow. Allison lives in Edina, MN with her husband and three children.