Directors - United States and Canada
US Director: Ron Hall, Chairman
Ronald (Ron) Hall is the President of Bubar & Hall Consulting, LLC and the former Principal Investigator and Director of the Tribal Technical Assistance Program (TTAP) at Colorado State University. While at the TTAP, Mr. Hall coordinated the National Tribal Transportation Conference from 1998 to 2013. Hall served on the Executive Board of the National Local Technical Assistance Program Association from 1997 to 2004 and was the Executive Board’s Chairman for 2002. Mr. Hall works nationally to understand and support the training, technical assistance and technology transfer needs of tribal transportation programs. He also played a key role in creating the Committee on Native American Transportation Issues in the Transportation Research Board and served as the Chairman of that committee from 2001 to 2007. He will Chair this committee again beginning in April, 2016. Mr. Hall served on the FHWA Tribal Safety Management System Steering Committee from its beginning in 2008 until 2013. He organized the first two National Tribal Transportation Safety Summits in 2009 and 2012. Mr. Hall serves as the Native American transportation safety expert for the National Center for Rural Road Safety.
Mr. Hall provides consulting services as a researcher, facilitator/mediator and lawyer. He worked in private practice for 11 years primarily as general counsel for tribal governments, corporations and Native American owned businesses. More recently, he has focused on facilitating state/federal consultation with tribal governments on historic and cultural resource management, including several military installations. He has lead several planning efforts related to multi-modal transportation, census data challenges, economic development and resource management. He is dedicated to supporting the nexus between leadership and community through transparent and open communication and the effective use of data, history, culture and vision.
In addition to his consulting and legal work, Mr. Hall enjoys life on his small farm in Fort Collins Colorado. His greatest joys come from his family life with his wife Roe and two sons, Dion and Dashiell.
US Director: Steve Pederson, Associate Director
Steven grew up on a family farm near Flaxton, North Dakota and was active in both sports and raising livestock. After graduating from Flaxton High School, Steven attended Minot State Teachers College and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in education. Steven taught and coached for eight years, then entered the private business sector. In 1991, with the support of others, Steven started the Central North American Trade Corridor Association (CNATCA). For more than 10 years Steven traveled extensively from northern Canada to northern Mexico promoting the association and its activities. In 2004 Steven stepped into the oil industry for about five years, then returned to his work promoting the Highway 83 trade corridor.
CNATCA has now been around for more than 25 years and, to benefit the organization, Steven has been employing his strength of joining others to face the many challenges of rural life together.
Today, Steven has helped to develop long-lasting friendships with people from as far north as the Hudson Bay, and as far south as the Gulf of Mexico. Even though he is a low-tech person who prefers spending his time around horses and cattle, Steven recognizes the merit of modern technology and understands the potential for rural North America when emerging technologies are embraced.
Steven welcomes others to join the CNATCA team, and to help shape the future for which CNATCA is advocating.
US Director: Larry White
Larry serves the North Dakota’s processors and marketers of value-added foods. Prior to joining the Trade Office Larry served as the Marketing Director for the Northern Pulse Growers Association. He also marketed value-added foods and managed a processing plant for Paulson Premium Seed in Bowman, N.D. Larry came to the Trade Office with 10 years of experience in marketing value-added foods throughout the world.
US Director: Dave Blair, Treasurer
Blair is a highly-motivated, consultative sales professional who promotes the strategic interests of his clients. Blair has often played the role of owner’s representative for nearly 40 years. While his background is in marketing, Blair stands out for his capacity to recognize a client opportunities for growth and for his ability to facilitate key introductions to make growth a reality. Blair maintains relationships across state and national government within general engineering, telecommunications, banking, manufacturing and renewable energy industries. Blair is an active member of the Lignite Energy Council, North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy and the Economic Development Association of North Dakota.
Blair serves on the Board of Directors for the Great Plains Commerce Alliance and is the Secretary of the Central North American Trade Corridor Association. Because of his continuing commitment to support the prosperity of Native Nations, Blair is highly respected in the Tribal communities and is welcomed by many Tribal leaders.
US Director: Marlo Anderson
As host of the talk show, The Tech Ranch, "Guru Of Geek," Marlo Anderson, has the privilege of interviewing many people who lead the world in innovation. This first hand knowledge allows Marlo a unique perspective in emerging technology trends and hardware. This love of technology is also reflected in the companies he currently owns. That list includes:
Marlo is also heavily involved in his town and state of Mandan, ND. Because of Marlo’s nurturing of the start-up community in North Dakota, projects such as 1 Million Cups, TedX and StartUp Weekend are now taking place all over the state. He has also chaired the North Dakota Scenic Byway Committee, the Mandan Independence Day Parade and many other smaller committees. Marlo and his wife Alice currently reside in Mandan, North Dakota.
US Director: Justin Glasser
Justin grew up in Mott, a small town in southwestern North Dakota. Upon graduating High School, Justin joined the North Dakota Army National Guard. After completing basic training, he returned home briefly and then moved to Fargo. While in Fargo, Justin became a millwright, specializing in the handling and movement of agricultural commodities, and the maintenance, repairs and installation of new systems this business requires.
In 2003 Justin was called to duty and served one tour in Iraq, resulting in the receipt of two purple hearts. After his deployment, Justin resumed his millwright career and continued in this work until 2011.
Also in 2011, Justin moved to Bismarck where he began working for Tubular Transport and Logistics as they were expanding to the area to takeover an existing rail transload and trucking facility. Justin was promoted to manager of this facility in 2013 and has served in this capacity since, successfully managing through one of the worst oil industry declines in history.
Justin was recently awarded a degree in business management from the University of Mary, and has served four years as chairman of the Central North American Corridor Association (CNATCA). Currently, Justin is serving as chairman of the North Dakota Automated Vehicle Collaborative (NDAVC) and is also a member of the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
CAN Director: Barry Harris, Vice-Chairperson
CAN Director: Len Gluska, Associate Director
Bio coming soon!
CAN Director: Roy Ludwig
Roy was born and raised on a farm east of Lampman and moved to Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada after marrying his wife Denise. He and his wife raised their three children there and since have been blessed with two grandchildren. Roy has worked at the local coal mine for 39 years, was a member of the mine rescue team for 23 years and has been an elected member of City Council for 21-1⁄2 consecutive years. Roy has served the last 3-1⁄2 years as Mayor. Roy has also been a part of many major accomplishments, including Building Chairman of Affinity Place – Event Centre, a committee member of the new nursing home, a member of the CT Scan Initiative for the local St. Joseph’s Hospital and more.
Roy attended the CNATCA meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota, last year and became interested in this endeavor to support and expand free trade and the movement of goods between our great countries. He has had the privilege of being elected as a director and looks forward to serving in that capacity moving forward.
CAN Director: Len Gluska, Associate Director
CAN Director: Rhonda Ekstrom
Rhonda Ekstrom is an accomplished Senior Executive with year-after-year success in business development and customer service for global Fortune 100, national and small business enterprises, as well as public sector organizations. With over 26 years of business experience, Rhonda has helped her clients realize strategic goals and create shareholder value in rapid changing environments. Her ability to foster collaborative relationships with clients, partners and community leaders has driven innovative business solutions in multiple markets and industries.
Rhonda is the Vice President of Business Development for the Global Transportation Hub, western Canada's newest and fastest growing inland port authority, which consists of 1800 acres west of Regina. Global Transportation Hub is specifically designed to support transportation and logistics, warehousing and distribution, as well as light manufacturing industries that rely on road and rail transportation. Global Transportation Hub is one of Saskatchewan’s important economic development initiatives and attracts new investments to enhance global supply chains for importers and exporters. Rhonda works closely with senior executives within the supply chain, logistics, transportation, and manufacturing industries to educate and help them explore the benefits of Saskatchewan’s inland port.
CAN Director: OPEN
Advisors - United States and Canada
US Adviser: Shannon Duerr
Shannon Duerr grew up in the small town of Edgeley, North Dakota, where she lived until she graduated high school. After high school, Shannon attended the University of North Dakota and obtained a degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in marketing. Shannon has been employed by the Cavalier County Job Development Authority since 2007, first as a grant writer, then strategic plan coordinator, and now as executive director.
Shannon oversees the Cavalier County Strategic Plan, a $465 million multi-faceted and regional plan that develops and implements strategies for several community development efforts. She has worked on sales tax investment projects in the county totaling near $1 million dollars and has provided administration and grant writing support for over $500,000 in state and federal funds.
Shannon is a member of several organizations including Economic Development Administration of North Dakota, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Central North American Trade Corridor, the Advisory Committee for the North Dakota State University Langdon Research Extension Center. and several local Cavalier County organizations.
Shannon and her husband, Rick, live in Langdon, ND.
US Adviser: Bill Davis
Bill Davis is the program support director for Rural Development. Prior to this position, Bill served as acting state director from October 2014 to August 2015. USDA North Dakota Rural Development has 43 staff and manages a portfolio of three billion dollars.
With Rural Development for 16 years, Davis held the position of Deputy Director for six years. He has focused on community development with a special emphasis on affordable housing, access to health care, business development and utility services.
Prior to joining USDA, Davis served as the economic development director for US Senator Byron L. Dorgan. In this capacity, he was responsible for the long-term strategic development of North Dakota’s economic growth. He also served as acting director for the North Dakota Department of Economic Development and Finance, which is now the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
Davis has 42 years of experience working at all levels of government, as well as being a private consultant in community planning and economic development.
Davis is a native of Devils Lake, North Dakota and holds a degree in Public Administration. He and his wife, Susan, reside in Mandan, ND.
US Adviser: Darryl Dolan
US Adviser: Dan Ruby
Dan Ruby was first elected to the ND House of Representatives in 2000. He has served on the Industry, Business and Labor Committee and the Transportation Committees for eight sessions and has chaired the Transportation Committee for four sessions. Ruby has served on many interim committees and is currently acting on the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Board and the Special Roads Use Committee.
Dan Ruby lives near Minot ND and is the President/CEO of Circle Sanitation, a waste hauling company, and President/CEO of Noonan Landfill, a landfill located in Divide County in Northwest North Dakota.
Ruby and his wife Lori have ten children and fourteen grandchildren.
US Adviser: Karl Sovak, PhD
US Adviser: Dr. Paul Gunderson
Paul D. Gunderson is director of the Dakota Precision Agriculture Center located at Lake Region State College, Devils Lake, N.D., the nation’s largest undergraduate collegiate training center for precision agriculture. Paul is the former Director of the National Farm Medicine Center (1992-1996), former Director of the Marshfield Clinic’s Medical Research and Education Foundation (1993-2000) both in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and former Director of the Center for Health Statistics & Epidemiology within the Minnesota State Department of Public Health (1977-1991). In each of these capacities, he has, since 1976, conducted numerous research initiatives, convened scientific meetings and seminars, and chaired scientific review mechanisms for the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Paul has repeatedly testified before the US Congress about the need for a national agenda on agricultural occupational health and safety. More recently, he chaired the first National Academies of Science review of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing Research Program, the International Labour Organization’s Expert Panel on Safety and Health in Agriculture under the sponsorship of the United Nations that drafted the international code: Safety and Health in Agriculture – A Code of Practice.
Paul is currently exploring the reach and impact of precision agricultural technologies upon US and Canadian agriculture, and serves on the national boards of the US National Children’s Center for Rural & Agricultural Health and Safety, High Plains and Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health & Safety, Great Plains Center for Agricultural Safety & Health, Agricultural Safety & Health Council of America as well as several local and regional governing boards.
Dr. Gunderson has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and has earned a PhD in Higher Education and Computer System Technology from the University of Minnesota, a Master Degree in Industrial Technology from Ball State University and his Baccalaureate of Science in both English and Industrial Technology from Moorhead State College, Minnesota.
Communication and PR Specialist: Jennifer Dodd
Bio coming soon!
CAN Adviser: Brian Zohner
Brian Zohner currently resides in Estevan, Saskatchewan. Canada. He is married to Lorette, has four sons ages 19 to 25. Brian ran a mixed cattle and grain farm from 1972 to 2005. He was then employed with an accounting firm in Estevan from Feb 2009 to June 2011. Since then, Brian has had part-time positions with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance as a crop adjuster. He also does service work with a well optimization company out of Estevan in the oil patch and performs income tax preparation for H&R Block. The time involved with these jobs provides him full-time work, but most importantly promises a variety of experience.
CAN Adviser: Robert Fisher
Robert Fisher is an accountant, a computer consultant and an entrepreneur in exploration geology. His most recent venture uses satellite data from NASA to identify valuable mineral deposits.
Robert and his partners at Leaf and Stone Resonance Services Ltd. are actively exploring across Canada and developing their own 28 square kilometer property in New Brunswick.
Robert grew up in a home where learning was emphasized. His Dad started the first school in his pioneering district, near Moosomin. Robert’s mother graduated from high school in Regina in 1930, and became a teacher.
Robert supports literacy programming in his community, through an organization called READ Saskatoon.
CAN Advisor: Sinclair Harrison
Sinclair has been married for 40 years and has 5 children, 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He obtained a Degree in Agriculture from University of Saskatchewan and farmed his family farm, Reeve of Rural Municipality of Moosomin, for 30 years.
Sinclair was awarded Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study in Australia and New Zealand. He was a board member for Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities for 16 years, eight of those years serving as President and also served as Chairman of Farmer Rail Car Coalition, President of Hudson Bay Route Association, a board member for Saskatchewan Highway Traffic Board, Chair of Saskatchewan/Canada Trans Canada Trail Committee.
Bio coming soon!
CAN Adviser: Twila Walkeden
Twila Walkeden is employed by the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce as general manager. She received her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan in 1989 and Twila began her 19 year career in the Oil and Gas Industry in 1997 working as a reclamation and remediation specialist and eventually transitioned into a stakeholder relations role.
Twila has been a practicing professional agrologist with the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists for 23 years.
Twila is an active volunteer in the community. In 2013, she was nominated for the Quota International Woman of the Year Award for Exceptional Community Service and has been active on many boards including the Weyburn Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (President 2010-12) and the Access Communications Board of Directors.
Twila grew up on a farm south of Weyburn and continues to call Weyburn her home. She and her husband, Duane, have three daughters, two of which are currently attending the University of Saskatchewan and one who recently convocated from the U of S with an environmental science degree. Twila enjoys living an active lifestyle and has completed five half marathons, seven marathon relays and numerous shorter distance races throughout the United States and Canada.
CAN Adviser: OPEN