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  • Sunday, September 10, 2023 7:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A big thank you to NDPC for the Ellen Crawford scholarship to attend the national conference in Cincinnati this past June. I am grateful and honored to receive it. 

    A highlight was visiting the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. The museum has three floors packed with the history of slavery to freedom. It includes an authentic slave pen built in the early 1800s in Kentucky. Murals, movies and interactive displays tell stories of stepping into freedom through the Underground Railroad. A couple of freedom trails ran through Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to reach Canada. One display focuses on the current state of trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

    Keynote conference speakers also featured the Underground Railroad with stories of enslaved ancestors, abolitionists and freedom seekers.

    Other topics and workshops included becoming an entrepreneur and how to embrace change, as well as funding sources from the Scripps Howard Fund for journalism education and childhood literacy.  

    Workshop panels addressed ChatGPT, what it is, how it works and its impact on media and technology. Other topics included finding different publishing routes, a refresher on editing, and how print and digital teams can work together. 

    I encourage members to attend and apply for the scholarship to next year’s conference in St. Louis,  June 20-22. It will enrich your knowledge and friendships from around the country.

    – Merrie Sue Holtan

  • Friday, June 09, 2023 6:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tracy Frank of West Fargo is North Dakota Professional Communicators’ 2023 Communicator of Achievement.

    An award-winning writer and communicator, Frank has more than 20 years of experience working in a variety of communicationsPhoto of Tracy Frank platforms, including print and broadcast journalism, advertising, marketing, internal communications, social media, and public relations.

    Frank became a writer to tell the stories people were unable to tell themselves, to use the written word to make a difference, and to change how people view the world around them. She recently started working at CCRI Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Moorhead, Minn., that is dedicated to enhancing and enriching the lives and learning of people with disabilities.

    The past seven years, Frank worked as a marketing writer at Bell Bank. Before that, she was a Forum Communications reporter for 10 years. Frank co-wrote the locally inspired musical, Weather the Storm, which was based on the 1957 Fargo tornado. She is heavily involved in community service for a variety of local nonprofits including theater groups, animal rescue organizations and human services.

    A member of the National Federation of Press Women and its North Dakota affiliate since 2018, Frank has received numerous communications contest awards from the organizations, including NFPW’s 2022 National Sweepstakes Award.

    COA is the highest honor NDPC can bestow upon one of its members. It is presented annually to a member of NDPC and NFPW who has distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession. As NDPC’s honoree, Frank advances to NFPW’s national competition, which will be held June 22–24, 2023, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

  • Saturday, April 29, 2023 9:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nominations are open for the 2023-2024 NDPC Board. There are several board positions available and we are looking for volunteers to step up and get involved. If you or someone you know would like to take on a leadership role - this is a great opportunity! Email nominations to NDPC President Tammy Fogle by Friday, May 12. 

  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 9:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NDPC/NFPW members who are interested in attending the NFPW Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, are eligible to apply for the Ellen Crawford NFPW Conference Memorial. 

    Funds were donated in Ellen’s memory to support continuous development for NDPC, NFPW and its members. NDPC will cover the early bird registration expense, up to $405 for one member. Apply today!

    Application requirements
    The applicant must:

    • Be a current NDPC/NFPW member.
    • Provide a written request of what the applicant hopes to gain from attending the conference. 

    Application deadline

    • Applications are due by Monday, May 15. 
    • Email written request, stated above, to  
    • Recipients will be notified by Wednesday, May 17.
  • Monday, February 27, 2023 7:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We received the sad news that NDPC treasurer and much-beloved NDPC and NFPW member Ellen Crawford passed away this morning after her third battle with cancer. Ellen was a longtime leader and member of NDPC and served the organization in many ways, most recently, and almost permanently, as treasurer. 

    Ellen spent 26 1/2 years as a reporter, copy editor and page designer for The Forum in Fargo and 17 years as an information specialist for North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication, retiring in 2022. Her editing skills and grammar knowledge were unparalleled. Her work was recognized throughout her career with numerous state and national awards from NDPC, NFPW and the North Dakota Newspaper Association. 

    An officer and active member of NDPC, Ellen served the organization as college contest chair, membership directory editor, second vice president/contest chair, first vice president/membership chair and president before becoming treasurer for life in 1999. In 1997 and again in 2012, NDPC named her its Communicator of Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the organization. Rarely missing an NDPC or NFPW annual conference, Ellen also served NFPW in various roles, including Education Fund Board director and treasurer.

    Ellen was an avid antique collector, a voracious reader, a walker and traveler, and a lifetime cat lover and owner. Her beloved Maine Coon, Quincy, has been adopted by a friend.

    Most importantly, Ellen was a mentor and good friend to many, and she treasured her NDPC connections and friendships. 

    A memorial gift from NDPC will be used for a grant or scholarship award to support others in their communication journey. NDPC members are welcome to contribute to this award.

    Ellen Crawford funeral service details: 
    Monday, March 6, 2023
    9-10 a.m. 
    Funeral Service: 10-11 a.m. 
    Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center, 123 10th St., Fargo, ND, 58103

    Burial will be at Rosehill Memorial Cemetery, Minot, N.D.

    The full obituary can be found on the Boulger website:


  • Monday, January 30, 2023 7:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Are you or do you know an outstanding communicator? NDPC is currently seeking nominations for our 2023 Communicator of Achievement (COA) award, the highest honor bestowed by NDPC and NFPW upon members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their field.

    The COA award recognizes exceptional achievement in the communications field, as well as service to our state and national organization and the community. Nominations need not be lengthy or detailed but should be persuasive and address the award criteria identified.

    More details about the award are available online. Submit nominations to Sarah Mudder by Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

  • Tuesday, July 26, 2022 11:26 PM | Anonymous member

    It’s been a month since NDPC hosted the NFPW national conference, and we can hardly believe how fast that month has flown by. It was a delight to have so many NFPW members join us in Fargo and experience so much of what our incredible community has to offer. 

    As we organize our conference notes and begin to apply what we learned, we wanted to share a few important takeaways:

    • Nicole Phillips, Kindness advocate, taught us that we are in control of our thoughts and it’s important for us to be aware of where our thoughts are throughout the day; in fact, she challenged us to set an alarm as a reminder to stop and think about what you’re thinking about as well as to create a mantra to reject and replace unhelpful thoughts.

    • Former Washington Post reporter and “If You Lived Here You’d Be Home by Now” author Chris Ingraham delighted us with stories about his entertaining experiences in Red Lake Falls, but also shared the challenges of publishing work through a newsletter versus a larger distribution method. 

    • Bold North brand creator and former Michelle Obama staffer Andrea Mokros enlightened us on building a brand that is both authentic (real and true) and accessible (everyone can embrace and relate to) and reminded us that a brand is not just what you say but what you do and how people experience it.

    • In his delightful presentation, consultant and fundraiser Patrick Kirby gave us several ideas for treating customers/clients like nonprofit donors, such as leading with appreciation, engaging creatively and not being afraid to pick the phone to make a phone call or send a thank you note (or five!). Patrick also mentioned some important questions to ask donors/clients/customers to get to know them and said he'd send those later, which he did. These are the questions:

    1. In your own words, tell me a bit about the work you do! (My website interpretation is only so good!)
    2. What are you most proud of in the last year?
    3. What are you most excited about in the next year?
    4. Where are you seeing others struggle in your industry?
    5. What are innovations that make you excited for the future of your work?
    6. What do you love the most about your job? Your team?
    7. Where do you see your team focusing their efforts? How do you show up for each other?
    8. What issues is your team passionate about?
    9. Where do you look for ideas to innovate your work?
    10. Is there anything I can do to help?

    The conference was full of so much more information, but those are some highlights and follow-up info we wanted to share. You can read so much more in the July edition of Agenda, including more about LuAnn Schindler, the national COA; our very own Tracy Frank, the sweepstakes winner, and so much more from the national conference.

    We can't wait to see everyone again in 2023 in Cincinnati!
  • Thursday, July 07, 2022 10:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    North Dakota Professional Communicators recently selected Sarah Mudder of Mandan, N.D., as its 2022 Communicator of Achievement.

    “Being named Communicator of Achievement is a great honor that recognizes both excellence in the communications field as well as service to NFPW and the community,” said Tammy Fogle, the statewide organization’s president. NDPC is an affiliate of NFPW, a nationwide organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the spectrum of journalism and communications.

    Mudder currently serves as NDPC’s southwest district chair and is a member of its board. She pushed for and is leading a movement for a united statewide organization with a consistent dues structure and branding. At the on-set of the pandemic, Mudder recommended that NDPC invest in a virtual meeting platform that is now used to host rotating monthly meetings allowing the members to learn from and make connections outside their immediate geographic area.

    “Sarah has been instrumental in the survival of NDPC during the height of the pandemic and beyond,” added Fogle. “It is evident how much she values NFPW and our local affiliate by her actions to promote the organization and the programs we offer.”

    Mudder is the communications and events coordinator at North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) where she works to bring awareness to the state’s most pressing housing issues.

    “I have worked with Sarah since 2002 and appreciate the professionalism she has brought to the agency,” said NDHFA Executive Director Dave Flohr. “She has a demonstrated commitment to our mission of providing affordable housing opportunities for all North Dakotans.”

    In addition to serving as NDHFA’s primary liaison to the media and the director of its educational and promotional efforts, Mudder manages the agency’s social media channels, edits and produces newsletters and other announcements, is NDHFA’s go-to editor and its records manager.

    Connections made through years of government service have provided Mudder with unique community service opportunities. She has used her communications skills to help with a handful of mostly successful political campaigns and she was honored to serve as the media coordinator for Roughrider Honor Flight.

    Married to Layn Mudder, a freelance photographer, the Mudders have a very spoiled English Cocker Spaniel named Annie. In their downtime, they enjoy traveling to visit historic sites and museums, kayaking calm waterways, attending stock car races and trying out new restaurants. Her favorite adventures include trips to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home sites in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri.

    As NDPC’s honoree, Mudder advanced to the national NFPW competition. She was one of six nominees recognized during NFPW’s annual conference, which was held in June 2022 in Fargo, N.D. LuAnn Schindler of Clearwater, Neb., co-publisher and editor-in-chief of the Summerland Advocate-Messenger, was chosen as NFPW’s 2022 Communicator of Achievement. NFPW has presented this prestigious award for 65 years.

  • Monday, June 27, 2022 9:05 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A North Dakota multimedia storyteller has won the overall sweepstakes award in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2022 Professional Communications Contest. Tracy Frank of North Dakota was honored June 25, 2022, at the NFPW contest awards dinner and ceremony in Fargo.

    Frank joined Bell Bank in 2016 as a marketing content writer after more than a decade as a respected local and regional journalist. She successfully made the transition from journalism to corporate marketing and communications, bringing her curiosity, perseverance, and love of a good story to her role at Bell, where she is now a senior multimedia storyteller, creating content for marketing campaigns, informational newsletters, feature articles, videos and more.

    Originally from Casselton, N.D., Frank earned a degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, where she studied abroad during a Semester at Sea (visiting 10 countries) and interned at ABC’s “20/20” news show in Washington, D.C. Returning to North Dakota, she was a reporter for 10 years at The Forum newspaper in Fargo before serving as a news reporter, fill-in anchor and producer at WDAY-TV.

    A member of North Dakota Professional Communicators and NFPW since 2018, Frank has won numerous communications contest awards and was named the second-place Sweepstakes winner for NFPW’s national contest in 2020.

    “Being named the 2022 National Sweepstakes Award winner is a tremendous achievement and a testament to the high quality of Tracy’s work,” said NFPW President Karen Rowley. “NFPW members adhere to the highest standards in their work, and we’re delighted to be able to recognize that. Congratulations to both Tracy and North Dakota Professional Communicators.”

  • Monday, February 14, 2022 5:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kindness is Contagious in the Workplace
    Could kindness be the key to becoming a better leader and coworker? Yes! Photo of Nicole Phillips, Keynote Speaker, with 2020 NFPW Conference logoAnd it doesn’t take a complete overhaul of your workplace. Keynote Speaker Nicole Phillips will explain the research-based chain reaction that happens within our bodies when we lead with kindness. She will also explore an interactive and practical set of micro-actions anyone can do to foster kinder communication and bring out the best in each employee. These tips will have an immediate impact on your entire organization's culture. Hearing Nicole share how to say no to the negative and yes to kindness will leave you feeling uplifted, refreshed, and equipped to better enjoy your life both personally and professionally.

    About Nicole Phillips
    Nicole spreads the message of the healing power of kindness as host of the show “The Kindness Podcast,” which was named by Oprah Magazine as one of the Top Three Happiness Podcasts in 2021. She also has a weekly column called “Kindness is Contagious” that runs in newspapers across North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

    Nicole earned a Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin and has worked as a television anchor and reporter in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Madison, Wisconsin; and Fargo, North Dakota. You may have seen her on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family show, HGTV’s House Hunters, or The Price is Right, where she learned a lot about kindness and won a car! Nicole is the author of five books, Kindness is Contagious, Kindness is Courageous, Workplace Positivity, The Negativity Remedy, and Borrow My Brave. As Miss Wisconsin 1997, she spent the year touring the state talking to kids and adults about overcoming crisis.

    Nicole is married to her childhood crush who is a college men’s basketball coach at Northern State University. The couple lives in Aberdeen, South Dakota, with their three children and oversized Goldendoodle.

     2022 NFPW Conference Information


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