Meet the New Editorial Board Members

Written by: Brady Drake
Bethlehem Gronneberg Founder and CEO of uCodeGirl

Here at Fargo INC!, we push hard every month to put out great and useful content for our readers. Without the help of our editorial board, this would be much more difficult. Recently, we made two amazing additions to our board: Kodee Furst and Bethlehem Gronneberg. We want you to learn a little bit more about them.

Kodee Furst

Meet The New Editorial Board
Awards: Emerging Prairie’s 2020 Dr. David Wells Belief Award for support of entrepreneurs

Kodee Furst is a Programs Manager at The Nice Center at NDSU where she supports the organization’s mission of entrepreneurship for all. Previously, she co-founded and served as the Managing Partner of Annie Capital, a fund that invested in the power of women entrepreneurs through funding, education and community development. Her life’s focus is grounded in supporting women and solving big problems. She currently serves on the Boards for North Dakota’s LIFT Fund, Emerging Prairie and CTB and is a Founding Partner for North Dakota’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Week. After graduating from NDSU, she moved out of state and traveled across the country, but found her way back to North Dakota in 2015. She resides in Dickinson with her husband, Matt, and their son, Dane.

What is your favorite thing about your professional life?

Entrepreneurs will solve the hardest problems we face in our communities, schools and companies. It’s easy to champion the grit, hustle and resilience of those working to solve big problems and it’s an incredible privilege to help students of all ages see entrepreneurship as a possibility.

Three unique facts about Kodee Furst:

1. I lived out of my suitcase for a year facilitating leadership development across the United States.
2. I grew up on a ranch in southwestern North Dakota.
3. I’ve worked in non-profit, small business, corporate, startup and now higher ed.

What are some of your favorite things about the FargoMoorhead area?

There’s an energy around entrepreneurship that’s contagious — people genuinely want to see others succeed and the ecosystem continues to grow and evolve to make room for more. The creative scene, commitment to progress and willingness to make big bets happening in Fargo-Moorhead is easy to cheer for

 If you weren’t working in your current profession, what would you be doing?

Hard to say, but probably consulting on a combination of growth, strategy and leadership.

What are some things you like to do in your spare time?

Spend time with family, friends and our growing kids, unplug with a good game night, and in a non-COVID world, travel!

What are some books or podcasts you recommend people check out?

Playing Big: Practical Wisdom for Women Who Want to Speak Up, Create, and  Lead: Mohr, Tara: 9781592409600: Books
Playing Big by Tara Mohr
Zilch: The Power of Zero in Business by Nancy Lublin
Zilch – The Power of Zero in Business by Nancy Lublin

If you could change or impact one thing in our business community, what would it be?

There’s a lot to be proud of and a number of incredible resource partners that are already showing up to help all entrepreneurs succeed. But, when we think about big challenges like paid parental leave, the pay equity gap and the current female jobs recession, we need more women building scalable companies—not to scale for the sake of a big exit or press (nothing wrong with either!), but to be in a position of creating jobs, influencing workforce policy and creating independence.

Why work with Fargo INC?

Fargo INC! is an important voice for our region. The stories it tells help craft the narrative of what business means in FargoMoorhead and inspires countless others to know that they can start here, too.

What are three business tips you can give?

1. Fall in love with your problem, not your solution.
2. Your calendar doesn’t determine your worth.
3. Surround yourself with a circle that wants you to win.

Bethlehem Gronneberg

Meet The New Editorial Board
Ucodegirl Founder And Ceo

Bethlehem Gronneberg is a Software Engineer, an inspirational speaker, an educator and a social entrepreneur with a vision to exponentially expand the inclusion of diverse voices in the technology workforce. Gronneberg is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of uCodeGirl, a non-profit designed to inspire, engage and equip teen girls so that they can confidently choose to forge a pathway to technology careers.

Bethlehem is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Software Engineering at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Bethlehem holds a Master of Science degree in Software Engineering from NDSU. A webmaster job for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) started her technology career. After 20+ years in the software industry as a Software Engineer, Sr. Software Engineer, and Software Engineering Manager, Bethlehem has focused her career to be a social entrepreneur as an advocate for women in technology.

Gronneberg is also a recipient of the prestigious Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship. Bethlehem is committed to bringing the real-world experience of software development to classrooms as a Computer Science instructor, most recently at NDSU.

Bethlehem is committed to a world where the people who create and build technology products and services mirror the people and societies for which they create and build. Gronneberg’s efforts in sparking curiosity and intellect with young women had been commended by the United States Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota who invited Bethlehem to be a guest of honor to attend the 2019 State of the Union address of the United States of America.

What is your favorite thing about your professional life?

Inspiring and equipping young women to pursue Computer Science as a career option.

Three unique facts about Bethlehem Gronneberg:

1. I am committed to lifelong learning and therefore am working on my Ph.D. in Software Engineering.
2. I am intensely passionate about empowering girls to explore their possibilities.
3. I love to cook and I love spicy dishes.

What are some of your favorite things about the Fargo-Moorhead area?

The vibrant entrepreneurial community. I also love the growing diversity in restaurant choices in our community. Our family enjoys the outdoors. We use the many neighborhood spaces and parks for short and long walks, jogging and biking.

If you weren’t working in your current profession, what would you be doing?

I would become a writer. Writing, like all forms of art, is ultimately about expression. I write to make sense of the thoughts in my head and to bring out parts of myself into something tangible.

What are some things you like to do in your spare time?

Read. Cook. Jog. Bike. Travel.

What are some media recommendations you have for others?

How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most  Inspiring Entrepreneurs: Raz, Guy: 9780358216766: Books
How I Built This by Guy Raz
The Future Of Everything

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.