Each quarter, the FMWF Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professional Network selects one of its members who goes above and beyond not only within their own workplace but also within the organization and the community as a whole.
Q + A with James Hand
James Hand is a project manager with Richards Excavating in Fargo and has worked in the construction industry for five years. He earned a business management degree from North Dakota State University and is currently working toward an MBA at the University of Mary.
Why did you decide to join YPN initially?
James Hand: “I saw it as a good opportunity to network and meet new, interesting people.”
What other networks, associations or organizations in town are you a part of?
Hand: “I serve on the City of Moorhead Park Advisory Board and am the chapter adviser for the NDSU chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity.”
What’s your favorite thing about YPN?
Hand: “For young professionals in the early stages of their career, YPN is a fantastic resource to meet new people, socialize, and learn a thing or two about really important issues one might find in the workplace. Whether it’s a training on conflict management, communication, dinner/golf etiquette, or even how to drink wine in a social setting, there’s ample opportunity to sharpen a wide variety of professional skills.”
What are some examples of connections you’ve made through YPN that have helped you in your professional life?
Hand: “It was at a YPN event that I made the decision to get my MBA and choose the school I would attend. At the event, there were a handful of universities that presented on their respective programs, and we had a roundtable where we could ask questions of the college representatives.
“In one evening, I was able to hear from and interview four or five different universities and make comparisons. It was a pretty unique opportunity that helped me make an educated decision as to what program was the right fit for me.”
The “One to Watch” award is kind of unique in that it’s peer-nominated. Tell us about who nominated you and what it meant to you.
Hand: “I was nominated by Samantha Gust, the former professional development coordinator at the FMWF Chamber and currently a development officer for the Hospice of the Red River Valley.
“Sam is one of my favorite people, and I’m sure many others would echo that sentiment. She’s passionate about her work and the community. It’s been an absolute privilege working with her over the past few years, and I am incredibly grateful and humbled by her nomination.”
To nominate someone for the YPN’s “One to Watch” award, visit:
If you’re interested in joining YPN or just want to learn more: