2019 1 Million Thanks event

Emerging Prairie will host the fifth annual 1 Million Thanks at the Fargo Air Museum from 6:30 – 9:30 pm on January 30th.

This is an evening dedicated to celebrating the forward momentum of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region. This event will be a time to connect with community members, reflect on the progress that entrepreneurs are creating and get a glimpse into what 2020 will bring for our region.

During the event, Emerging Prairie will present awards to individuals and organizations that have made a significant impact in the startup community and contributed to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. We’re excited to announce our 2020 award winners.

Rookie of the Year Award

  • This award goes to Peter Chamberlain of Walkwise. This award is given to an early stage entrepreneur that has made significant progress.

Dr. David Wells Belief Award

  • This award goes to Kodee Furst of Annie Capital. This award is given to an individual who believes in the potential of entrepreneurs and the difference they can make in our community.

Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

  • This award goes to Kim Pladson of TNT Kid’s Fitness & Gymnastics. This award is given to an individual or organization that has demonstrated the ability to positively impact the community for social change.

Team Player Award

  • This award goes to Microsoft. This award is given to an organization whose teammates contribute in meaningful ways to support the startup community.

Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year Award

  • This award goes to Jeff Young of WEX Health. This award is given to an individual that has demonstrated significant growth and success beyond our region.

Along with those five awards, there will be two other awards handed out during the event. These last two award winners will be announced at 1 Million Thanks.

The Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award

  • This award will be given by North Dakota State University’s NICE Center to a student who has been continuously making waves and contributing to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

The Lifetime Community Impact Award

  • This award will be given by Emerging Prairie to an individual who has been a consistent mentor to the community and always willing to give back to make an impact. 


1 Million Thanks features hors d’oeuvres, live music, a surprise performance, the awards ceremony, and a signature champagne toast. The event is open to the public. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.emergingprairie.com/1-million-thanks.

Darby Njos

Darby is the Creative Manager at Emerging Prairie. She loves bringing her experiences in media, design, and photography to Emerging Prairie! Darby graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in Photojournalism and Advertising and a minor in Graphic Communications.