Women's Business Summit Speakers

Ashton Hauff

Ashton Hauff is the co-founder and Strategy Director at The Good Kids passionate about all things creativity and community. She grew up the daughter of a fine artist and a software engineer in Bismarck, ND, so she has a knack for tackling left-meets-right-brain challenges. Today, Ashton specializes in creating a strategic blueprint for brands so businesses can find their tribe in order to scale. It’s how she changes the world one brand at a time.  

Elizabeth Phares Oren

Elizabeth Phares Oren, client success director for the North Dakota Women’s Business Center, is a subject matter expert when it comes to small business and is passionate about helping women business owners grow. Whether it is boosting their confidence or coaching them through the steps of entrepreneurship, she prides herself on meeting people where they are and connecting them to the resources they need to move to the next level.

Eva Robinson

I’m Eva Robinson, a junior musher with big dreams. Ever since I was small, I have been mushing and wanting to race my dogs. I started my own dog treat business at age eight to help raise money for my dogs. I ran the Jr Beargrease in 2021 and won! I then went on to race in Alaska as that has been my dream since I was five years old. In 2022, I raced the Willow Jr 100 and the Jr Iditarod. I’m back to racing in the lower 48 and happy to currently be the only competitive musher from North Dakota. I love every part of mushing and plan to continue racing. My next big goal is to race the Full Beargrease Marathon when I’m 18.

Dr Josi Jenson

Dr. Josi is a wellness chiropractor serving families in Bismarck and Linton, ND. She specializes in educating patients and guiding entire families on a lifelong health journey. She offers an array of services to restore balance and adaptability, including chiropractic adjustments, craniosacral therapy, dynamic body balancing, guided exercise therapy, and comprehensive health coaching.

Jessie Johnson

My name is Jessie Johnson, and I am the Market President for Bremer Bank in Bismarck. In my role with Bremer Bank, I have the opportunity to lead a team while helping our customers and community members achieve their financial goals. I’m a graduate of Baker College in Michigan and have a double master’s degree with majors in Finance and Marketing. With over 20 years of diversified experience in banking, I have developed a strong passion for working with people in ways that make a difference. This passion aligns perfectly with Bremer’s mission of “Cultivating Thriving Communities”.   Commitment to our Bismarck community is important to me and so I also serve on the North Dakota Bankers Association Legislative Committee. I am a Board Member with Capital Gallery Society, a Rotarian and the founder of Midwest Autism Association.  

Kari Dunn

In 2021, Kari founded KD Collaboration LLC, offering executive coaching, leadership training, and guidance for business start-ups. KD Collaboration rebranded to All In Development Company. Kari is passionate about helping businesses achieve greater profitability by investing in their people and recognizing the important role human capital plays in driving success.

Melinda Goodman

Throughout her career, Melinda has worked in diverse roles including sales, marketing, and new business development. She has also leveraged her creativity to conceptualize and expand brand concepts and retail promotions, overseeing the development and implementation of more than 350 new packages, dozens of trade promotions, and brand awareness campaigns for a variety of clients, including national brands like Disney, Paula Deen Enterprises, The Biggest Loser and the Sneaky Chef. Gardens, plucked chickens, a rouge pig and show steers are her history. Agriculture and its direct connection to food is not only her past, but her present and future. Now, her goal is to promote specialty and fresh food brands, and that begins with generating meaningful conversations.a

Molly Kocialski

As the Director of the Rocky Mountain Regional United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), since January 2016, Mollybeth (Molly) Kocialski carries out the strategic direction of the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO and is responsible for leading the Rocky Mountain regional office. Focusing on the nine states within this region and actively engaging with the community, Ms. Kocialski ensures the USPTO’s initiatives and programs are tailored to the region’s unique ecosystem of industries and stakeholders.

Sandy McMerty

If it involves empowering people, strategy, creative thinking, marketing or communications … I’m all in! I’m an innovative leader and communication strategist who is passionate about building engaging culture to get results. In a nutshell, I’m a: Servant Leader, Coach, Culture Builder, Communicator, Strategist, Idea Generator, Big Kid, Creative Thinker, Barista, Talks too Much with Her Hands, Playful People Seeker.

Sandi Luck

For the last 18 years, Sandi Luck has been a serial entrepreneur. She is the founder and owner of 14 companies in the Midwest (100% woman owned):  8 Bully Brew Coffee Houses (Grand Forks, East Grand Forks, Hallock, Park River, Warren, McIntosh, Grand Forks AFB, and Fargo), the ND Coffee Roastery (a large manufacturing warehouse where the coffee beans are roasted and packaged for not only Bully Brew Coffee but several other coffee shops in the Midwest), an AIRBNB called Nora’s Place, The Board Room Coffee & Taphouse and she is a real estate investor.  

Shannon Michels

Having 26 years of experience in convenience store retail and 15 years studying self-development and leadership, Shannon Michels is fueled by a passion for unraveling the complexity of personal and professional growth.

Solli Frank

Co-founders Solli and Angie of Kajaer GeoConsulting, LLC, are two women with backgrounds in STEM fields including engineering, natural science, geography, geospatial (GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing, UAS) technology, and technical education who found themselves in the challenge of balancing traditional business environments and living their best life with their families in our ever-progressing, high-tech world. Initially, Kajaer was founded to simply explore unique projects and companies that offered what seemed like unrealistic criteria: BALANCE. Quickly, they found that several companies were on the same mission, and Kajaer could provide solutions and insights to move their business forward.

Tammy Miller

Tammy J. Miller was sworn in as the 39th lieutenant governor of North Dakota. Tammy’s entrepreneurial spirit may have begun working in her family’s lumber and hardware store. She has an MBA and is a public accountant. In 1991 Miller joined Border States as the accounting manager. She served in a variety of roles before being named CEO. Under Miller’s leadership, the company grew from under $500 million to nearly $2.5 billion in sales and became the sixth-largest electrical distributor in North America.

Tonya Holmstrom

Tonya Holmstrom, CPA is a partner of Schmitz-Holmstrom. She graduated with a BA in accounting and business administration from the University of Jamestown. A former Stutsman County Dairy Princess(!), her favorite movie is “The Accountant” and her favorite book is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Tonya’s hobbies include fitness activities, being active outdoors including water skiing and gardening. She loves the great team she manages and the fact that everyone comes to work with a go-the-extra-mile attitude. She serves on several boards in the state: Greater North Dakota Chamber, the Missouri Family YMCA and the University of Jamestown Alumni Association.

Angela Skogen

Following over a decade at Target Corporation, Angela moved home to pursue her dream of entrepreneurship by opening Cooks on Main in 2010. She wanted Cooks on Main to be a place where people who love to cook food and entertain could find a trusted partner to bring the top-quality merchandise found in larger cities while holding to her small-town roots of customer service. Angela prides herself on supporting local small businesses and is proud to offer a large assortment of Pride of Dakota products, unique one-of-a-kind finds, and a diverse selection of top-quality brands like Le Creuset, Wusthof, Ankarsurm, Breville, and many more.

Angie Milakovic

Co-founders Solli and Angie of Kajaer GeoConsulting, LLC, are two women with backgrounds in STEM fields including engineering, natural science, geography, geospatial (GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing, UAS) technology, and technical education who found themselves in the challenge of balancing traditional business environments and living their best life with their families in our ever-progressing, high-tech world. Initially, Kajaer was founded to simply explore unique projects and companies that offered what seemed like unrealistic criteria: BALANCE. Quickly, they found that several companies were on the same mission, and Kajaer could provide solutions and insights to move their business forward.