2021 NDPC Spring Conference

No events available.


Thursday, April 22
Awards Ceremony  ||  4 p.m.

  • Welcome
  • Member Milestones
  • Communicator of Achievement
  • Communications Contest and Sweepstakes Results

Friday, April 23

Annual Membership Meeting  || 9 a.m.

Welcome Remarks || 9:15 a.m.

Panel Discussion  ||  9:20 a.m. || Diversity in the Media

Panelists will discuss how minorities are depicted in the media today and how it has changed through time. Attendees will learn about appropriate language usage and what communicators should be cognizant of when reporting or explaining underrepresented populations.

  • Hillary Kempenich, member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and a multidisciplinary artist, cultural bearer, and advocate, emphasizing her work to empower Indigenous people.
  • Hamzat Koriko, professor of intercultural competence, diversity and inclusion specialist and honors faculty fellow at UND
  • Katie Dachtler, Grand Forks City Councilwoman

Read more about our panelists

Panelist: Hillary Kempenich, Anishinaabe multidisciplinary artist
Hillary Kempenich is an Anishinaabe multidisciplinary artist, cultural bearer and advocate, emphasizing her work to empower Indigenous people. The award-winning artist has immersed herself in sustaining her small business and continues her passion for community work. Raised on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, she continues to advocate for better educational, health and cultural standards through her work in both urban and rural communities.

Hillary has a growing list of group and solo shows and collaborations, as well as receiving recognition nationwide. 2015 proved to be a successful beginning for her career, marked by awards from the National Indian Child Welfare Association, Native Arts Gathering and the First Peoples Fund. Hillary received a second-place ribbon in the prestigious SWAIA’s Indian Market in 2018. Hillary’s artwork has been published recently in “Finish the Fight!” a book written by New York Times author Veronica Chambers. Hillary continues to be featured in private collections, museums and galleries throughout the U.S. Zazegaa Designs is a current extension of her work as a micropreneur.

Hillary earned a bachelor’s degree from University of North Dakota. She serves on the Grand Forks Foundation for Education Alumni Network board of directors and the North Dakota Indian Business Alliance board of directors. Hillary also serves as an arts and cultural consultant. Hillary lives in Grand Forks, N.D., with her family.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HillaryKempenich/
Instagram: @zazgaaikwe
Twitter: @kijikook

Panelist: Hamzat Koriko, professor of intercultural competence, diversity and inclusion specialist and honors faculty fellow at UND
Co-chair of the North Dakota New American/Foreign-Born/Immigrants Advisory Board, Hamzat Koriko began his art career in Lomé, Togo, as a storyteller, drummer, playwright and director. He went on to work in Europe and Africa. In Togo, he created a theater group and used art to help students get ahead in their academics. In late 2004, he moved to the U.S. Hamzat was a guest author at the 42nd annual UND Writers Conference in Grand Forks, N.D. He published several plays in French, some of which were translated and read in the U.S., and was invited to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) in 2010. A former Peace Corps volunteer, Hamzat always has been driven by the urge to assist people and address social challenges using arts. He has won many awards for community engagement and leadership, both nationally and internationally. A multidisciplinary artist and a multilingual, he is a translator and interpreter helping New Americans/foreign-born/immigrants who speak French and Ewe. Hamzat is a 2021 NEA Translation grant recipient, and founder and executive/artistic director of the African Arts Arena.

Panelist: Katie Dachtler, owner/operator of Intersectional Resources and Grand Forks City Council member
Katie Dachtler owns and operates Intersectional Resources LLC, which provides specialized educational and training services in the areas of diversity, inclusion, intersectional social justice and implicit bias for large and small organizations. She resides in Grand Forks, N.D., with her family. She believes in the power of engagement and enjoys working with and volunteering for various organizations and nonprofits within the community and is particularly interested in advocating for equitable leadership through intersectional framework. Katie is pursuing a master of social work through the University of North Dakota and is serving as Ward 2 representative on the Grand Forks City Council.

Social Media Handles:
• Facebook: @dachtlerforward2 and @IntersectionalResources
• Instagram: @katieso

Break || 10:15 a.m.

      Session 1  ||  10:30 a.m. || Fake News, Real Consequences

      Presenter: Erin Hemme Froslie, English instructor at Concordia College

      Fake news. Deep fakes. Clickbait. Journalists as enemies of the state. How is our view of the world and institutions shaped when disinformation seems to be everywhere? Why do people believe conspiracy theories and readily share misinformation? We’ll take a brief look at why we’re vulnerable to misinformation (thanks, brain!) and consider some ways we can better assess the accuracy of what we read and watch.

      Erin Hemme Froslie is an instructor in the English department at Concordia College where she teaches journalism and advises the student newspaper. She started her career as a newspaper journalist, including nearly 12 years at The Forum. She has worked in marketing, serving as editor of a college alumni magazine and weekly digital newsletters, and founded her own writing business, Whistle Editorial.

      Session 2  ||  11 a.m. || Becoming Modulist: How a team built a platform to partner with communities and newspapers

      Presenter: Devlyn Brooks, Modulist President

      A city’s newspaper records are the rough draft of history and connect community members through their shared stories: milestones, professional achievements, treasured memories and even their obituaries. Modulist — a company built to publish and share these stories with the community — first grew out of Forum Communications Co., a multifaceted media organization. Hear the story about how this platform was built to empower community members and allow contributions to regional newspapers. Attendees will learn how this intrapreneurial team leveraged their knowledge to contribute to their parent company’s overall success and take home tips for stakeholder communication and project management. 

      Devlyn Brooks is the president of Modulist, a company he founded for the family-owned Forum Communications Co., headquartered in Fargo, N.D. Modulist is a media services company that processes paid and unpaid user content for newspapers and other media. It specializes in the processing of obituary notices, milestones and business announcements, which drives his passion for excellent customer service.

      Devlyn has been in the newspaper business for 25 years, serving in nearly every capacity imaginable, including reporting, editing, photography, design, production and management.

      In addition, Devlyn is an intern pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, working on his master's of divinity degree, upon completion of which he will become an ordained pastor. He currently is a minister at Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minn.

      He also serves as the chair of the Fargo-Moorhead Big Brothers Big Sisters Advisory Committee and has experience with serving on numerous other community boards and committees. 

      Lunch on your own || 11:30 a.m.

      Session 3  ||  12:30 p.m. || Photography on the Go

      Presenter: Kari Suedel, Digital Media Specialist and Staff Photographer, Energy & Environmental Research Center

        Kari will provide some tips and techniques for taking top notch photos with just your phone.  

        Kari Suedel is a senior digital media specialist and the staff photographer at the EERC, where she develops and produces marketing, graphical and technical materials, as well as coordinates project assignments. She provides photography and video services for EERC events, research projects, marketing materials, social media and the web. She works with the EERC communications team to develop social media and web content and oversees the EERC website and internal web communications. Kari earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in visual arts from the University of North Dakota.

          Panel Discussion ||  1 p.m. || The Pandemic’s Impact on Journalism

          Newspaper editors from across the state will share how the pandemic has affected journalism and what newsrooms look like today. We’ll learn about current news consumption practices and what the industry predicts for the future.

          • Amy Dalrymple, Bismarck Tribune
          • Mary Jo Hotzler, Forum News Service
          • Sydney Mook, Grand Forks Herald

          Read more about our panelists

          Panelist: Amy Dalrymple, Bismarck Tribune
          Amy Dalrymple was named the first female editor of The Bismarck Tribune in 2019. She joined the Tribune as a reporter in 2017 after working for Forum News Service covering the Bakken oil boom. She also reported on higher education and other topics for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. She serves as first vice president of the North Dakota Newspaper Association board of directors.

          Social Media Handles:
          • Twitter: @byamydalrymple

          Panelist: Mary Jo Hotzler, Forum News Service
          Mary Jo Hotzler is chief content officer for Forum Communications Co. (FCC). She has been with the company in various writing, editing and leadership roles for the past 19 years. She works with print and broadcast newsrooms in FCC's three-state footprint on a variety of content and newsroom initiatives, including the transformation to a digital media organization. Mary Jo is also the editor of On the Minds of Moms magazine. Prior to joining FCC, Mary Jo worked in book publishing for Simon & Schuster. Today she lives in Fargo with her husband, Heath, who also works in writing/communications, and their 11-year-old twin boys. In her free time, Mary Jo manages her cat's Instagram account (@siberiancatmurphy) and dabbles in interior design and woodworking.

          Social Media Handles:
          • Instagram: @siberiancatmurphy

          Panelist: Sydney Mook, Grand Forks Herald
          Sydney Mook was recently named the managing editor of the Grand Forks Herald. Mook is originally from northwest Iowa and moved to North Dakota in 2016 after graduating from the University of South Dakota. Before moving to Grand Forks in 2018, Mook worked as a reporter and multimedia editor at the Dickinson Press in western North Dakota. Mook served as community editor at the Herald since 2019, while also reporting on higher education.

          Social Media Handles:
          • Twitter: @sydney_mook

          Break || 2 p.m.

          Session 4  ||  2:15 p.m. || Graphic Design 101: Tips and Tricks for Effective Visual Communication

          Presenter: Zach Otteson, Marketing Coordinator at AE2S

          With an estimated 65% of people being visual learners, visual communication plays an increasingly important role today. Join Zack Otteson from AE2S Communications as he presents on the basics of graphic design, as well as tips and tricks for communicating more effectively.

          Zack Otteson is a marketing coordinator for AE2S Communications, a full-service marketing and communications firm within the environmental engineering consulting firm, AE2S. A graduate of the University of North Dakota with a B.S. in graphic design technology, he has a talent for visual communication and a passion for helping others achieve their branding goals on projects ranging from public health initiatives to billion-dollar water projects. Outside of work, you’ll find him enjoying as much time outdoors as possible and more than likely judging poor design choices.

          Closing Remarks || 2:45 p.m.

          Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support!

          Forum Communications   ||   Bell Bank    ||   AE2S   ||   Grand Forks Herald

          NDPC members invited to participate in logo design contest

          Winner to be be announced at the end of the spring conference

          With all the improvements we’ve made throughout the past year, it’s time to spruce up our brand too. The NDPC logo should be more modern and inviting. It should be professional and edgy, but communicators should feel welcomed to our organization when they see our logo. That’s where you come in. You are invited to participate in the NDPC Logo Design contest! 

          Read details here

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