JR LaPlante is the Director of Tribal Relations for Avera Health where he serves as contact for area tribal government and Indian Health Services and works with tribes and the IHS to improve the health and wellness of tribal members.
He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and is a 2009 graduate of the University of South Dakota School of Law, with an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn.
He served as an Equal Justice Works, AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with South Dakota Access to Justice in 2009 and is a member of the first cohort of Native Nation Rebuilders selected by the Bush Foundation in 2010. JR served as the first Secretary of Tribal Relations for the State of South Dakota from 2011-2014.
He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney and Tribal Liaison for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of South Dakota in 2014-2015. He previously practiced Indian law and was the chief judge and court administrator for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, and is a former administrative officer for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
JR is married to Kathy and they have one daughter. His Lakota name is Tasunke Waste (His Horse is Beautiful).
Morrie Lanning recently retired from public service representing Moorhead and Northern Clay County in the Minnesota House of Representatives for the past ten years. Morrie was first elected to the House in 2002 after serving as the Mayor of Moorhead from 1980 through 2001 and as a City Alderman from 1974 through 1979. Throughout his 38 years of public service, he has held numerous leadership positions in city, state, and regional organizations. In recent years Morrie authored legislation to move Minnesota's water management governance to a basin and watershed system, an issue he worked on throughout his years of public service. He worked to found the International Coalition for Land and Water Stewardship in the Red River Basin in 1979 and was a founder and the first chair of the Red River Basin Board. Morrie has been a delegate to the Legislator's Forum and a member of the Steering Committee for the past ten years. He is known for his work on flood mitigation, water supply, water quality, and for his authorship on pension reform and a new statium for Minnesota.
After spending nearly 39 years as an administrator at Concordia College in Moorhead, he retired in 2005 as Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. Morrie began working at Concordia College after earning his BA in History-Political Science and Psychology from the College in 1966. He earned his MS in Guidance and Counseling from NDSU in 1968.
Morrie recently established a consulting firm, Morrie Lanning Consulting LLC. He offers consulting services in areas such as water resource management, government relations, and organizational leadership and management.
Andy Peterson is the President and CEO of the Greater North Dakota Chamber. He has served in the position since October 2010. Prior to his current position, Andy served as the Director of Public Policy for the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce for 12 years.
Andrew is a businessman and Vietnam veteran, who is involved in family business pursuits. He is also a Republican State Legislator, having served in the ND House of Representatives from 1993-2005, and was re-elected in 2010.
Dennis Hill retired in July 2016 as the executive vice president and general manager of the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (NDAREC) in Mandan. Hill served in this position since 1987, and worked for NDAREC for 34 years. In his position at NDAREC, Hill served as the chief executive officer for NDAREC’s board of directors and served as editor-in-chief of North Dakota LIVING magazine. While employed at NDAREC, Hill also served on the advisory board of the Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives at North Dakota State University (NDSU), and as treasurer of the N.D. Coordinating Council for Cooperatives.
In 2014, Hill was elected to be a consumer representative on the board of Noridian Mutual Insurance Company (dba Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND). He was re-elected to another three year term in December of 2016.
Hill earned his bachelor’s degree in university studies (communications) from NDSU and is a graduate of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's CEO Leadership Lab.
Christine is a staff attorney for the North Dakota Protection and Advocacy Project (P & A). She is the former Executive Director of the State Bar Association of North Dakota and a Committee Chair of the North Dakota Judicial system. She practiced law in Bismarck for over 25 years, specializing in litigation. She is also a spokesperson for the legal community, and for disability rights.
David is the Past President and Chief Executive Officer of the statewide American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL/CIO). He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 714.
Carolyn is a Democratic State Legislator and member of the Senate Judiciary and Government and Veterans Affairs Committees. She is a senior lecturer emeritus of mathematics at North Dakota State University and is the current president of the National Federation of Music Clubs, a national organization that promote American music and musicians as well as music education.
Joseph NeeshoMigizi Marion is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. He is presently the executive director for Turtle Mountain Tribal Arts Association, its art gallery located in Belcourt, ND and its new art gallery "Heart of the Turtle" located in the new Minot Artspace Lofts in downtown Minot, ND. Joseph holds a degree in hairstyling and Elementary Education. He was previously a successful business owner and teacher at a small Catholic School and has many years of volunteer work with the youth of the Turtle Mountains.