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CEO Guide to the States

North Dakota


In July 2023, data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis found North Dakota was leading the nation in GDP and earnings growth. The state experienced the highest growth in real GDP of all 50 states, surging 12.4% between Q3 2022 and Q3 2023, nearly triple the national growth rate of 4.6%. Personal income also increased at 11%, third in the nation behind Maine and Nebraska. While the state is known for agriculture and energy, it’s also a growing hub for the bioscience and biotech sectors. Several bioscience companies, including Aldevron, Agathos Biologics and CorVent Medical, have started or expanded operations in the Fargo-Moorehead area. Aldevron was sold in 2021 to Danaher for $9.6 billion, the largest acquisition in state history.

“With our low taxes and laser focus on innovation over regulation, we can continue to strengthen and diversity our economy, grow our GDP and generate prosperity for all citizens.”
Doug Burgum


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top corporate income tax

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on the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranking


0 %

of adults 25 years of age and older have graduated high school

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of adults age 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher


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# 0


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increase between 2010 and 2020


Innovation Technology Loan Fund (LIFT): An innovation loan fund that supports technology advancement by providing financing for commercialization of intellectual property within the state. Funds can be used for working capital to conduct applied research, experimentation or operational testing.

North Dakota Development Fund (NDDF): Offers “flexible gap financing” through loans and equity investments not available from most conventional lenders for the purpose of economic development.

Innovate ND: A voucher and grant program available to help turn an innovative idea into a profitable business.

PACE: Administered through the Bank of North Dakota (the nation’s only state-owned bank), helps communities expand their economic base by assisting primary-sector businesses that make an investment or create jobs in the community. Proceeds from the fund may be used to purchase real property, equipment and certain working capital requirements.


North Dakota Commerce

Bismarck-Mandan Development Association

Fargo Moorhead Economic Development

Williston Economic Development Office


Innovate North Dakota is a voucher reimbursement program that helps entrepreneurs in the state further their business with customer and market research. It offers advice through expert guidance and the research needed to help turn innovative ideas into profitable businesses. Each participant is eligible for up to $22,500 in reimbursable expenses and has up to six months to complete all requirements of the program.


  • Epitome Energy announced in December 2022 it will build a $400 million soybean crushing plant in Grand Forks.
  • Checkable cut the ribbon in June 2023 on its new headquarters in West Fargo.
  • Cota Systems announced in July 2023 it will triple the size of its operations in Fargo.
  • Agricultural machinery and precision ag technology company AGCO announced in September 2023 it will build its 300-acre Dakota Smart Farm in Casselton.


  • Northrop Grumman
  • ADM
  • Thread/Airtonomy
  • Baker Boy
  • Red Trail Energy
  • Dakota Specialty Milling
  • Tharaldson Ethanol
  • Anchor Ingredients
  • Stone Mill
  • Aldevron
  • Amazon

Strategic Planning Workshop

1:00 - 5:00 pm

Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

  1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
  2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
  3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

2:00 - 5:00 pm

Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

Limited space available.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

Golf Outing

10:30 - 5:00 pm
General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
Sponsored by UBS

General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.