Morrison Leadership Summit
Keynote Speaker - Philip Gisi
Founder and Chairman/CEO, Edgewood Group, Grand Forks, North Dakota
Mr. Gisi (Phil) is the founder and Chairman/CEO of the Edgewood Group of Companies, a diverse group of companies spanning the upper Midwest United States. Edgewood Healthcare is a vertically integrated assisted living and healthcare services company with 64 senior housing facilities with over 4,100 beds in Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. Edgewood Healthcare also provides primary care, home care, therapy services, home health and hospice services across the region. Over the past 30 years, the Edgewood has grown into one of the largest privately held senior housing and home-based healthcare provider in the upper Midwest.
Phil is the co-founder and President of Aspire Clinical Intelligence LLC, a dynamic electronic health record that provides clinicians with biometric and diagnostic patient data, artificial intelligence, and treatment alternatives for residents with chronic conditions in assisted living and other home environments. Phil is also the co-founder and board member of Edgewood Real Estate Investment Trust, a $2 Billion private REIT with real estate holdings in 15 States. Additionally, Phil is the founder and Chairman/CEO of Senior Healthcare Innovation Consortium Inc, a non-profit education and scientific research company dedicated to enhancing the quality, safety and cost effectiveness of home-based healthcare services provided to seniors.
Phil was raised on a farm near New Rockford, North Dakota, and is a 1982 graduate of the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and accounting. Gisi has held numerous leadership positions throughout his successful career, including serving on the board of the Alumni Advisory Council of the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration and on the UND Alumni Association Foundation, among other roles.
Phil continues to be active on local boards including board advisor for Red Trail Energy LLC, an ethanol plant located in Richardton, North Dakota; board member and co-chair for the UND Center for Innovation Foundation in Grand Forks; board member and secretary of Altru Care Flight, an air ambulance service based in Grand Forks; and an advisor to the Dakota Venture Group, a UND student-run venture capital company. Phil and his wife, Patricia, have two children and live in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Round Table Leaders
Vice President, 322 Hospitality Group
At 322 Hospitality Group, Landon is a key driver for business development within the hospitality portfolio. Within his role at 322 HG, he has direct oversight of the new hotel portfolio, the Crisp & Green franchise expansion into three midwest states, along with oversight on all facilities and maintenance. Prior to becoming a founding partner in 322 Hospitality Group, Landon owned and operated several small businesses, founded a country/rock music festival, and lived in Nashville, TN & Oklahoma City, Oklahoma working in the music entertainment industry.
CEO, American Crystal Sugar
Tom Astrup is President and CEO of American Crystal Sugar Company. He is a native of Fargo, North Dakota and graduated from Fargo North High School in 1987 and from the University of North Dakota in 1991.
He worked as a CPA in public accounting for the firm of Arthur Andersen before joining American Crystal in 1994. He worked in Administration, Agriculture, Finance and Operations, including holding the titles of Vice President of each of those Departments, before assuming the role of President and CEO on September 1, 2016.
He and his wife Stephanie have three children and live in north Fargo.
CFO, Stoneridge Software
Michelle Schumacher is the Chief Financial Officer at Stoneridge Software, where she sits on both the Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors. Her day to day consists of overseeing the Accounting, IT, Legal and Continuous Improvement teams within the company. Prior to Stoneridge, Michelle worked in both Corporate Accounting and the Cloud + Artificial Intelligence groups within Microsoft. She started her career in public accounting at both PwC and Eide Bailly.
Schumacher is active in the local community, having served on Boards for the North Dakota CPA Society (Past President), Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation Growth Initiative Fund (current Board Chair), YWCA Cass Clay, Junior Achievement, the Fargo Moorhead CPA Society, along with the University of North Dakota Department of Accountancy Advisory Board. She has also volunteered on the Finance Committees of the United Way and YWCA. She is also actively involved in the CPA profession nationally serving on the AICPA Governing Council (governing body of the American Institute of CPAs), AICPA Board of Examiners (senior committee responsible for setting policy for the Uniform CPA Examination), and the AICPA Board of Examiners – Financial Oversight Group (committee responsible for financial oversight of the Uniform CPA Examination). Schumacher is a graduate of the AICPA Leadership Academy and United Way’s 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program. She was also a North Dakota CPA Exam Award winner, given to the top 3 scores in the state.
When not solving the world’s accounting problems or owning her role as Chief Uber driver for the Schumacher household, she loves watching her two girls play volleyball and basketball, eating pizza, and online shopping for “work” outfits at Lululemon.
CEO, University Credit Union
Lacey Fetsch is the CEO of University Federal Credit Union (UFCU). She began her career with UFCU in 2004, while attending the University of North Dakota (UND) as an undergraduate student. She graduated from UND in 2006 with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
After serving as a Member Service Representative, Loan Officer, and Director of Operations, she was promoted to CEO of UFCU in 2016, a position she holds today. She is passionate about improving the lives of the UND community, by serving their financial needs.
Global Group Program Manager, Microsoft
Holly Younggren is a Six Sigma certified international business manager with experience in finance, controls and compliance, and procurement. She is a Global Group Program Manager for Microsoft, where she manages a team who designs processes and drives operations for a controls and compliance assessment program operating in over 100 countries around the globe. Her expertise is in process requirements, design, reengineering, and outsourcing. Ms. Younggren began her journey with Microsoft in 2008 in Fargo, ND. She was honored to be chosen as a Microsoft Finance Community Impact Project volunteer in 2014 traveling to Nairobi, Kenya where she spent a week mentoring 150 university women with focus on employability, business communications and more.
Younggren graduated in 1996 from the University of North Dakota’s School of Business and Public Administration with a B.S. in Public Administration, magna cum laude. She has been an active community and church volunteer, most recently volunteering with the FM Symphony. Holly and her husband, Ryan, have two sons and just welcomed twin grandchildren to their family.
Vice President of Finance, UND Alumni Association & Foundation
Nancy Pederson is the Vice President of Finance for the UND Alumni Association & Foundation (UNDAAF). Nancy offers a wealth of experience as an accountant and human resource professional. As Vice President of Finance, she is responsible for the oversight and management of the UND Alumni Association & Foundation’s financial activities including accounting, gift receipting, risk, and asset management.
Nancy has been with the UND Alumni Association & Foundation since 2005 and remembers celebrating the UND Foundation endowment reaching $100 million early in her career. “That really was an exciting milestone,” Nancy said. Now, the endowment has reached more than $350 million. “It has been remarkable to watch the endowment grow every year and see the positive impact it has had on the University.”
She earned her BAcc from the University of North Dakota. Nancy is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of both the North Dakota CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She previously served as the President of Grand Forks CPAs and the North Dakota Human Resource Association.
In her community, Nancy is a member of the Thunder Booster Club and St. John Church in Hatton, ND. During her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, and all things lake related.
Director of Development, Nistler College of Business & Public Administration
Cassie Bowers is the Director of Development for the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration. Cassie engages and develops relationships with UND alumni, friends and corporations by sharing exciting funding initiatives that will make a significant difference for the UND community. She looks forward to the opportunity to connect alumni and friends of UND, with causes important to them at the Nistler College of Business & Public Administration. In this role, she’s working towards increasing donor engagement and building strong financial support for the business college endowments.
Cassie’s background is in finance, as well as residential and commercial real estate and development. She is a licensed realtor in North Dakota and Minnesota.
When she’s not creating opportunities for students to succeed, Cassie and her three children love to travel, golf, watch hockey and football, as well as spend time the on the river. She has two dogs who spend their time walking her!
Dennis J. Elbert, Ph.D.
Dean Emeritus, Nistler College of Business & Public Administration
Dennis J. Elbert was appointed Dean of the College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA) at the University of North Dakota (UND) in July 1997. A long time UND faculty member, Elbert served as a Professor of Marketing and as Director of the Small Business Institute (SBI) for many years, in which he worked with 20 to 25 businesses each year. In retirement he continues to be involved in university and community service, consulting, research and seminar work. Elbert has served or is serving on several Boards of Directors including Noridian Insurance (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Dakota), Noridian Administrative Services, Altru Health Systems, The Grand Forks YMCA Foundation, Cirrus Industries, Northern Lights Executive Council BSA, Edgewood REIT, Gate City Bank and Moore Holding company. During his years as Dean, Elbert served on the prestigious Beta Gamma Sigma Board of Directors, BGS is recognized as the highest honorary for students in business education.
An enthusiastic and highly motivating speaker and facilitator, Elbert has offered over 600+ seminars throughout the Midwest and Canada in the past 30+ years. Additionally, Elbert has authored or coauthored more than 75 papers, monographs, textbooks cases and published articles. Dr. Elbert has two degrees from UND, a BSBA (‘68) and an MS in Marketing (‘72) and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri - Columbia (‘76). A veteran of Vietnam and Cambodia and a UND ROTC graduate, Elbert retired from the US Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1996. Elbert was inducted into UND ROTC Hall of Fame in 1997 and the National ROTC Army Hall of Fame in 2022.
Vice President of Marketing, Downtown Development Association
Svea Benefield is the Vice President of Marketing for the Downtown Development Association in Grand Forks, ND. She earned a bachelor's degree in both Marketing and Entrepreneurship from The University of North Dakota. She thrives on creative marketing in the non-profit and economic development sectors. Her experiences at the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, the Downtown Development Association, and through serving on the board of Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals have created a love for bettering the community she lives in.
Svea was born and raised in Grand Forks. She is passionate about her community and family. She wants to enhance her community in any way she can and loves the opportunity to network with others’ who share the same passion. In her free time, Svea enjoys walks with her dog and watching crime TV shows.
Director of the Pancratz Career Development Center, Nistler College of Business & Public Administration
Kathy Lund has worked at UND for over 15 years. Through her role as Director of the Pancratz Career Development Center in the Nistler College of Business and Public Administration, she collaborates with employers to create strategies to build their brands on campus and connect with students. Kathy teaches a career development course and is the advisor for UND’s Women in Business club. As a Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths coach, she works with individuals and organizations to help them articulate and leverage their talents to build cohesive teams, increase engagement, and reach their goals.