Energizing Entrepreneurs

Hazen, North Dakota

NDSU Extension’s Energizing Entrepreneurs conference is designed for anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur or support entrepreneurs in rural communities. Join us in Hazen, North Dakota, from May 16 at 12 p.m. to May 17 at 12 p.m., to hear inspiring stories and lessons learned from area entrepreneurs and business experts.

This event will be unlike any you may have attended as the keynotes and breakout sessions will be held in local businesses around Hazen, not in a convention hall. Sessions will provide resources and best practices to starting and operating your own business in a rural community.

The cost to register for the conference is $55, which includes 2 meals, snacks, and a social with heavy hors d'oeuvres and cash bar.

Energizing Entrepreneurs Logo

Schedule at a Glance

Keynote Speakers

Kevin Black, Co-Founder and CEO, Creedence Energy Services Matt & Katie Chaussee, Co-Founders, Be More Colorful 
Photo of Kevin Black
Photo of Matt and Katie Chaussee

Kevin Black is the Chief Executive Officer of Creedence Energy Services, a leading production chemical provider in the oil and gas industry, with 250 employees operating in 7 states. Kevin co-founded Creedence in 2014 and he has guided the company’s organic and M&A growth across the country’s largest shale plays. Kevin is also active in real estate development, specifically with a passion and focus on the revitalization of downtown Minot.

Kevin serves his industry and community in many ways, including as the chair of the Minot Area Chamber EDC, Honorary Commander of the Minot Air Force Base, and a board director of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. In 2019, Kevin was appointed by Governor Doug Burgum to serve on the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation and, in 2022, Governor Burgum appointed him the State Board of Higher Education.

Matt and Katie Chaussee, co-founders of Be More Colorful, are a husband and wife team who embarked on an incredible entrepreneurial journey together. From an attempted part-time side gig providing real estate virtual tours to building a team of media professionals and using virtual reality video to revolutionize career exploration, their growth from a "mom and pop VR shop" to an award winning EdTech company was certainly not an easy path.

Matt and Katie will discuss their journey and how they transitioned from being a "traditional" family of four living in a two-income household to going all-in on an idea that would take them down an unknown path of successes, failures, sacrifice, and good fortune that has helped shape their lives, the direction of their company, and their commitment to the community that has supported them along the way.

Breakout Session Tracks

Meeting Rural Healthcare Needs

Prairie Recovery Amanda McMahon is the Executive Director and Licensed Addiction Counselor at Prairie Recovery Center in Raleigh, ND. This facility is on 26 acres in a rural ND where we provide addiction and mental health services for up to 36 clients. We work hard on providing services to clients from rural areas as there is a severe need for services in those areas.
Sakakawea Medical Center Core values of quality, compassion, integrity, teamwork, and safety. Join us for a tour of the state-of-the-art facility and learn how they are working to meet the needs of rural residents.
Home Instead In-home care services provided by compassionate staff assists seniors to age safely at home with a personalized elder care plan.
Holistic Heart Kristi Keller, owner of Holistic Heart, will share her story of establishing an alternative holistic health practice in the heart of small-town. Kristi will share tools for making connections, building clientele, overcoming the nay-sayers and creative marketing strategies. Join Kristi and take a step outside your normal business plan!

Business Succession for the Next Generation

Design Your Succession Plan Andrea Bowman, Leadership & Civic Engagement program coordinator for NDSU Extension will share program information about the “ Design Your Succession Plan” program for small business. What does the future of your business look like? Gain resources to help you walk through that process and learn tips for planning to transfer to the next owners.
Union State Bank Christie Huber Obenauer, CEO and President - Union State Bank, Hazen, North Dakota

Business Branding

University of Mary Workforce Development Program The University of Mary Workforce Development program provides customized, comprehensive, and affordable education and training solutions for businesses. Topics range from conflict resolution, communication to the importance of branding,
Starstruck Video Video is one way to convince customers that your business is worth their time showcasing values and developing connections. Philip will share how he uses video to promote your business or community.
Seek First Ranch Is your brand positioned for ultimate success? Come find out what 82% of surveyed consumers admit about their buying-behaviors.
ND Tourism Department Social media is constantly evolving. It makes utilizing these platforms to inspire travel both an incredible tool, and challenge. We're here to help you make the most of them and promote North Dakota together.

Getting Creative to Make a Living

Hidden Treasures Boutique Charming boutique that began in May of 2019 with a dream of offering women a personal shopping experience offering quality styles that appeal to women of all shapes and sizes.
No Waste Company No Waste Co. is a newly established company in Dickinson, North Dakota focused on recycling plastic. No Waste Co. is also missional focused in that we give employment opportunities for inmates and addicts coming out of incarceration or treatment centers. Not only do we want to recycle plastic, but also want to help humanity make the most of a second chance.
Mighty Missouri Coffee Brian Jackson started Mighty Missouri Coffee Co. in Bismarck in 2012 with the goal of roasting high-quality coffee that could pair with the spirit of adventure available in the Northern Plains. Today, the Hazen, North Dakota native's company is a small but mighty team of coffee professionals passionate about bringing quality from farm to roast to cup.
Found 200 & 9th From wedding design to a retail store featuring salvaged, custom built and trending home décor, Dodie and her staff bring décor to another level!

Resource Fair

  • Job Service of ND
  • Department of Commerce
  • Small Business Development Center
  • Vision West ND
  • USDA Rural Development
  • NDSU Extension
Contact Information

Contact Information

Jodi Bruns

Requests for accommodations related to disability should be made to the event contact person at least two weeks in advance of the event.