People of 2022

Mark Fox, MHA Nation Tribal Chairman

MHA Nation Tribal Chairman Mark Fox won re-election on Nov. 8. Fox is a former tax director for the tribes who had served as the Parshall-Lucky Mound Segment representative to the council. He was elected chairman in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. In November, he defeated former chairman Tex Hall, who also had run unsuccessfully against him in 2018.

Brekka Kramer, president/CEO, Minot Area Chamber EDC

The Minot Area Chamber Economic Development Corporation hired Brekka Kramer as its president/CEO, effective May 16. Kramer brought more than 20 years of experience leading community initiatives and moving public policy forward at a local, state and national level. She joined Odney in 2001, was promoted to general manager of Minot in 2006 and became a partner/owner in 2019. Kramer had served on and chaired both the former Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and Minot Area Development Corp. boards, prior to the merger in 2021.

John MacMartin, retired president/CEO, Minot Area Chamber EDC

John MacMartin came to Minot to serve as president of Minot Area Chamber of Commerce, starting Aug. 15, 1990. In October 2019, John was named the interim president for Minot Area Development Corp., while continuing in his role at the chamber. In December 2020, the two organizations merged into the current Minot Area Chamber EDC and named MacMartin as president.

Chief Justice Gerald W. VandeWalle

North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle announced in November that he would retire Jan. 31. VandeWalle, 89, was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1978 and served as chief justice from 1993 until 2019, when he did not seek reappointment as chief. He has been the longest-serving chief justice in state history. Vandewalle was a native of Noonan and received his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of law.

2022 Deaths

John Sinn – 1/20/1921 – 5/13/2022

John Sinn farmed in the Ryder area and served in Europe during World War II. From 1957-1989, he worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He volunteered for 30-plus years in Minot for the Scandinavian Heritage Park, Minot Commission on Aging, First Lutheran Church, AARP and Golden K.

Wallace Berning – 7/13/1935 – 6/26/2022

Wallace Berning served as a district court judge in the Ward County chambers, later becoming an adjunct professor of business law at Minot State University. He came to Minot through the Air Force, stationed at Minot Air Force Base. Devoted to the community of Minot, he served just about every interest group and nonprofit in Minot.

Danny Schatz – 11/30/1947 – 6/27/2022

A native of Bergen, Danny Schatz joined the Marines and came back from Vietnam ready to race. After racing Sprint cars in the 1970s, he and his wife opened three truck stops, including Schatz Crossroads in Minot.

R. James “Jim” Manning – 5/7/1945 – 7/15/2022

Jim Manning worked as a pharmacist at Osco Drug and B & B Pharmacy in Minot before starting Manning Pharmacy in 1985 in the former Medical Arts Clinic. In 1991, he expanded, opening Market Pharmacy in Marketplace Foods, where he worked until his retirement in 2007.

Vern Erck – 7/6/1954 – 7/25/2022

Vern Erck, Burlington, served North Dakota with his distinguished law enforcement career, leading to the office he held as Ward County Sheriff for five consecutive terms. He spent countless hours volunteering at the Ward County Historical Society’s Pioneer Village. He was a recipient of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Distinguished Service Award, among other various achievements.

Leonard Lund – 10/17/1923 – 7/25/2022

Raised in Pierce County, Leonard Lund graduated Columbia University with a master’s degree in journalism. He spent many years as a writer for the Minot Daily News as well as many publications throughout North Dakota. During his time serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he spent time in Rome, writing for the 15th Air Force newspaper, “Stars and Stripes.” An avid traveler, he saw every state in America and took every Amtrak route.

Dean Frantsvog – 11/5/1974 – 8/27/2022

A Minot native and Minot State University graduate, Dean Frantsvog went on to earn a law degree and practiced in Minot. He served as a Minot city alderman for 15 years. He taught business law at Minot State University until stepping down in 2022 due to cancer. Among awards he received over the years include the MSU Golden Award for Young Alumni, MSU Board of Regents Faculty Achievement Award, MSU Professor of the Year Award and the Community Service Award from the State Bar Association of N.D. And 2022 MSU Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2018, he contributed to the Dean Frantsvog Academic Success Center in the MSU Dome.


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