Photography by J. Alan Paul Photography & Hillary Ehlen
We like to think of the Fargo business community as a giant puzzle and the people who comprise it as the different but equally essential pieces. Take one person, one company, or one industry away, and the picture becomes incomplete. Faces of Fargo Business is our chance to piece that puzzle together each month and celebrate the countless people who make this such a great place to work.
Founder & CEO, She Leads Fearlessly
Executive Director, Homeward Animal Shelter
“Although I’m not a native of North Dakota, having lived here for nearly 30 years and having survived multiple floods, I feel like I’ve earned the right to call myself an (almost) native North Dakotan.”
Nukhet Hendricks, originally from Turkey, has called the U.S. home as a naturalized citizen, since the late ’80s. She has a master’s in public and human service administration and has been a nonprofit executive for more than 20 years in various leadership roles.
“My leadership journey has been a challenging one,” Hendricks says. “At one point during the journey, I had to pause to re-define and re-frame my leadership style. I created one that is uniquely mine and works for me, allowing me to lead from the heart, a place of authenticity, and be fully present to create the impact I desire as a leader and influence the organization I work for.”
The work Hendricks did to create a brand of leadership that works best for her led her to participate in training from CoachU so that she could help other women who are also “craving a new and more fulfilling way of leading.” That’s how She Leads Fearlessly was born.
“I wear two hats,” Hendricks says. “I’m a woman leadership coach assisting clients who want to be the best leader they can be and be part of the new generation of woman leaders. I’m also the executive director of the Homeward Animal Shelter. I know for a fact that these roles feed off each other, making me even more successful in what I do in both roles. But most importantly, having the opportunity to do both fulfills me deeply.
“I continue to work at the Homeward Animal Shelter because I want to be a part of giving a voice to the animals who cannot speak for themselves,” she says. “And I love being a women’s leadership coach because empowering women is what my heart longs for. I want every girl and woman to feel their most powerful and actualize their dreams, and being a part of this defines my leadership. I’m a leader who wants to help create other leaders.
“Because I am fiercely independent and a spiritual rebel with an unquenchable gypsy soul—always yearning for new frontiers—I am creating a group coaching program for woman leaders. This group coaching program, starting in late September, is for woman leaders who are longing to play bigger in their own lives and take their leadership to the next level.”
“Entertainers are always going to need that special hug they can only get from a stranger,” says Fargo-based stand-up comic Fred Bevill, not making it entirely clear if the hug he’s referring to is a literal or metaphorical one. “Perhaps there’s a whole psychological thesis that can be done on that, but it’s true.”
Performance art—whether it’s acting, comedy or music—is a pursuit of passion, to be sure, but it can be easy to overlook the fact that it’s also a career for many people, even in our own backyard. One of those people is Bevill, who’s been a full-time touring comic for more than 25 years.
A native of Lake Tahoe, California, Bevill’s an alum of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, which is also where he got his start as a stand-up two and a half decades ago.
“At that time, like most young comedians starting out, I performed not only in comedy clubs but also laundromats, Chinese restaurants, parks, anywhere there was an audience,” says Bevill, who’s toured with Jerry Seinfeld, Damon Wayans, Louis Anderson, Jeff Dunham, and Daniel Tosh, among many others. “And it didn’t really matter if they were listening or not.”
After grinding out one-nighter gigs in the Pacific Northwest for five years, he eventually graduated into comedy clubs (including the world-famous Comedy Store in West Hollywood, California), then into the headliner spot, and eventually into the corporate market, which is where he spends most of his time now—he’s currently working a “one week on, one week off” schedule on a cruise ship off the coast of Alaska.
If you’re wondering how a California boy ended up on the prairie, that’s a whole ‘nother story fit for a Hollywood rom-com.
The short version is that about 15 years ago, during a stop at Courtney’s Comedy Club in Moorhead, Bevill met “the girl of his dreams” and future wife, Kris, and it wasn’t long after that he was trading in his shorts for snow pants.
For those thinking about getting into the industry themselves, Bevill has one pretty simple piece of advice.
“No one should ever get into show business because they want to be rich or famous,” he says, sounding eerily similar to a startup founder or small-business owner. “If your motivation is money and fame, you’re probably going to have a miserable life because only one percent of people, if that, reach that level of success.
“The motivation to being a professional entertainer has to be that there’s nothing else in this world that makes you happier. The ones who put in the work are the ones who will do this the rest of their lives. The ones who just party will eventually wash out.”
Founder & Executive Director, Haley’s Hope
Emagin if ths iz what yu saa wen yu trid to reed a sentins.
(Imagine if this is what you saw when you tried to read a sentence.)
For those with dyslexia, which affects one’s ability to read or interpret words, letters, and symbols, it’s a daily reality. And It’s a reality that Kari Bucholz didn’t fully understand until her own son was diagnosed as dyslexic a little more than a decade ago.
“Haley was struggling in school both academically and emotionally,” says the interior designer-turned-founder of Haley’s Hope, a West Fargo-based nonprofit that provides dyslexia screening and consulting in a community where such resources are lacking. “I consulted teachers and doctors, hired a private tutor, and had Haley’s hearing and vision tested—along with a full neuropsychiatric evaluation. There were no answers to guide me forward.”
So Bucholz started to research dyslexia and began her search to find someone who could tell her whether or not the learning difference was the reason education was so difficult for her son.
“Education should have a positive impact on the lives of children,” Bucholz says. “It should give knowledge, build confidence and help them to discover their passions in life. Imagine, then, an experience where kids are unable to learn and their confidence and passion are extinguished. This is what dyslexia does.
“By the time Haley was a mere 6 years old, I had lost so much of the happy, outgoing, gregarious boy I had prior to preschool, and I knew I had to figure out how to get him back.”
She eventually had Haley tested and diagnosed in the Twin Cities, subsequently driving there weekly for six months so that he could attend literacy tutoring. She also attended special training in both California and Massachusetts in order to deepen her understanding of the disorder.
“It started as a makeshift office across from my interior-design studio,” says Bucholz, referring to Haley’s Hope, which is headquartered in West Fargo and has additional offices in Fargo, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, and Mahnomen, Minnesota. “Now, it houses more than 20 tutors.”
Bucholz says her goal with the organization is to create a hyper-awareness locally about dyslexia and, perhaps more importantly, a support system that wasn’t there when her own son was diagnosed.
“I have a vision that all children in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo—and surrounding communities in the region—could be screened for dyslexia in kindergarten or first grade in order to start researched-based services to the statistical one-in-five who have it,” says Bucholz, who adds that her eventual goal is to extend Haley’s Hope’s resources to adult populations and the area business community as well. “This could be done by Haley’s Hope, or, with adequate resources, the organization could train others to become proficient in screening.
“This journey is not, and never has been, about me. Haley’s Hope has always and will always be about the students and adults with dyslexia who finally have a place that understands the way they learn. Coming to understand how Haley learns and the changes I saw in him in such a short amount of time, it completely changed his life’s direction. Why would I—or we as a family—not do what we could to give that simple gift to others?”
Haley’s Hope | HaleysHope.org