Investing in Boring Assets is Good Business 

By Dustin Sobolik, CFP – VP, Director Of Investments

Looking past the headlines of the stock rallies of companies focused on artificial intelligence (Microsoft), high-powered computer chips (Nvidia), and obesity drugs (Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk), there is an opportunity that excites us even more over the next decade. Each of us interacts with it on a daily basis, yet rarely do we ever give it a second thought. I am of course talking about infrastructure. The US government is set to spend roughly $1.25 trillion across transportation, energy, water, and broadband over the next five to ten years. This will be coupled with significant investment from the private sector and should generate strong risk-adjusted returns for years to come. However, to be clear, this isn’t just a U.S. opportunity. There’s meaningful investment happening in infrastructure across the world.    

But what exactly constitutes infrastructure investment? Interpretations vary, but generally infrastructure investments should have three important attributes:  

  1. Provide an essential service.  
  2. Clarity over long-term cash flows.  
  3. Be difficult to replicate.

Let’s walk through each of these characteristics: 

Provide an essential service.  

The assets should be crucial for the functioning of both the economy and society. This means they should be resilient across the business cycle. These are assets like cell towers, data centers, utilities, pipelines, and shipping.    

Clarity over long-term cash flows.  

Cash flows for these assets should be stable and, ideally, linked to inflation. The assets should have long operational lives with contracted or regulated revenues with high operating margins.   

Difficult to replicate.  

The assets should require significant up-front investment and have established market positions or even monopolies where they operate.   

The last point above is important. Governments and other corporations typically will not let investors run a monopoly or near-monopoly and generate eye-popping returns. However, they will provide a substantial amount of certainty and potentially a good return. Consequently, infrastructure investments have the potential to provide a substantial amount of the market’s upside, with less downside risk. This makes infrastructure a compelling asset for anyone who has a lower risk tolerance than being 100% equity. We have been making a dedicated allocation in many client portfolios to infrastructure investments since late-2019, but some of us have been investing in utilities much longer than that, such as my colleague, Gary Hanson.  

So why am I writing an article about infrastructure now? Why didn’t I write the article 5 years ago? Two reasons:  

  1. Because of rising interest rates, public utilities are trading at some of their cheapest valuations in years. It’s not just me saying it, even Morningstar proclaimed utility valuations were the cheapest since 2009.  
  2. The publicly traded universe of high-quality infrastructure assets is shrinking. Many of the assets are being acquired by their peers, pension funds, and private equity.   

In light of these dynamics, our investment strategy must adapt, likely involving a greater emphasis on private assets and an expanded investment in infrastructure within client portfolios.  

Expect us to explore opportunities in private assets as we aim to enhance portfolio diversification and yield for our clients. Investing in infrastructure represents a prudent means of securing both stability and growth in an ever-evolving market landscape.  

If you have questions about investing in private infrastructure, feel free to get in touch with myself or one of the investment professionals at Heartland Trust. 

No investment is guaranteed. Other factors than those listed could impact the returns of an asset or asset class. 




Heartland TrustInvesting in Boring Assets is Good Business 
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Checking Under the Hood 

How to Perform a Six-Step Maintenance Checkup on Your Retirement Plan 


  1. Review Your Goals and Plans: Each year you should ask yourself if you’re on track to reach your retirement goals. Part of that process is imagining (in detail) what you would like to be doing during that stage of your life. Are your goals and plans realistic? Has your thinking changed at all? The American Savings Education Council ( has a wealth of resources to help you review and adjust your goals and plans as needed, and help you determine how much money you need to save for retirement.
  2. Maximize Your Contributions: If you’re not contributing the maximum possible to your plan, increase your contributions by at least 1% each year, with a general goal of eventually reaching around 15% of your salary. Try to contribute at least enough right now to get the full employer match (if offered). It’s one thing to read this and say “yes, I can definitely increase by 1%.” But it’s only going to happen if you log into your account on your recordkeeper’s website right now and make the change!
  3. Review Your Investment Strategy: Given all the market turmoil over the past few years, including inflation and economic events beyond our control, it’s smart to ask yourself each year if your asset allocation is still appropriate. Or, if your tolerance for risk has fundamentally changed. Your plan recordkeeper likely has a risk tolerance assessment exercise you can access on their website. In addition, consider working with a financial advisor to help you determine if your investment strategy is in sync with your current personal situation.
  4. Rebalance: Rebalancing is the process of adjusting your portfolio’s investments so they match your original allocation. For example, due to ongoing market volatility, your portfolio may have drifted toward either a more aggressive or conservative allocation than you are comfortable with. Rebalancing keeps your portfolio risk within your tolerance limits.
  5. Check Beneficiaries: Your spouse is automatically the primary beneficiary of your 401k plan. But, if you are divorced, widowed, or remarried, you should review your beneficiary designations to make sure the correct person is named. If you are married and want to name someone else (such as a child) as your primary beneficiary, your spouse needs to sign a waiver of rights to your 401(k) benefits.
  6. Check on Retirement Plan Changes: Does your retirement plan offer any new plan features, tools, or resources? What can you do to take advantage of these opportunities? Also, be sure you have a copy of the Summary Plan Description for your plan (available for free from Human Resources). The Summary Plan Description defines, in plain language, how your plan works and what its features are.


Questions on your 401(k)? Reach out to the team at Heartland Trust. We’ll be happy to go over your retirement plan and its features with you, even if it’s not at Heartland Trust. 




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Meet Hannah Lorentz 

Meet Hannah Lorentz, Admin Associate


I grew up in rural Minnesota near Dent, surrounded by the serene countryside. Being the only girl between two brothers, I quickly learned to keep pace with them. My childhood was filled with activities like fishing, hunting, chopping firewood, exploring the woods, biking, and building forts. During my high school years, I was deeply involved in various pursuits such as music, theatre, competitive speech, and even had a stint as a drummer and vocalist in a rock band for approximately nine years. Our band performed at numerous events including street dances, bars, and county fairs. As the sole female member, I took on the responsibility of band manager, arranging gigs across Central Minnesota. This experience played a significant role in shaping my ability to engage with diverse individuals and my fondness for small-town establishments. In 2015, I relocated to Moorhead to pursue higher education at MSUM, where I successfully obtained a degree in Business Administration. 


My favorite thing about Heartland Trust is the people who work here. There isn’t a day that passes that I don’t smile, laugh or share a story with someone. They are always happy to teach me new things and go above and beyond to make me feel welcome. I look forward to growing relationships with my coworkers! 


In addition to tackling home remodel projects and watching my perennials bloom, I love going to live music, singing karaoke, trying new recipes & restaurants, and road trips to just about anywhere! I enjoy anything vintage/antique and hunt to find the perfect additions to my Pyrex & Vintage Christmas collection.   


If I could meet one person it would be Dolly Parton. She was a pioneer for women in country music, fashion, and a brilliant musician. I would love to sit down with her and hear about some of her favorite performances and accomplishments.  


My favorite recipe is super easy, but never fails! I grew up with my mom making homemade dumplings in several soups from scratch (my favorites are homemade chicken dumpling soup or vegetable beef stew)! 

Mix together: 

1 cup flour 

1 egg 

1 tsp salt 

1/4 cup milk or less (enough to make a sticky dough consistency)  

Mix well and use a spoon to drop a golf ball sized dumpling in your soup at a low boil. Let boil for 8-10 minutes and enjoy! 




Heartland TrustMeet Hannah Lorentz 
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From Every Direction

By Brian Halverson, President

In a world where headlines bombard you from every angle, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. From multiple ongoing overseas conflicts, the federal deficit increasing, to inflation and interest rates, there is no shortage of complex issues vying for our attention. Not to mention it is an election year, which always adds an extra layer of complexity.  

At Heartland Trust, we understand the importance of cutting through the noise. We diligently sift through the headlines and focus on the key metrics that truly matter. We do this so we can make solid recommendations to those who have entrusted us. Our Investment Committee, led by Dustin Sobolik, is constantly monitoring, stress-testing, and evaluating our investment strategies to meet the specific needs of our clients.   

To complement our investment models, I wanted to highlight a few strategies we have been implementing. 

  1. Asset Location: This is great for clients with a Traditional IRA and a Roth IRA and/or after-tax investment account. 
  2. Direct Indexing: Using this solution helps us take advantage of capital losses to offset capital gains in an after-tax investment account. 
  3. Private Investments: We have been able to partner with leading alternative investment companies to offer investments in different private asset classes, such as real estate, equity, and infrastructure. Dustin sheds light in this quarter’s newsletter on private infrastructure and the opportunity it can provide over the next few years. 

Trust companies are not typically known for thinking outside the box when it comes to investing, but you may be surprised at what goes on behind the scenes here at Heartland Trust Company. If you’d like to learn more about these strategies or how we think about investing, feel free to reach out and talk to one of our professionals. We’d be happy to sit down and have a conversation with you. 




Heartland TrustFrom Every Direction
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HTC Team News and Honors


At Heartland Trust, our relationships go beyond colleagues; we consider ourselves a family. Supporting our team and contributing to their futures are integral parts of our mission. Thank you to these team members for being a part of Heartland Trust. 

  • Mary Carlson ( Senior Administrative Associate) Celebrating 12 Years in April 
  • Jace Gilleshammer ( IT Coordinator)- Celebrating 2 Years in June 
  • Kari Skauge ( Director of Compliance) – Celebrating 3 Years in June 
  • Missy Zarak ( Trust Officer) – Celebrating 5 Years in June 


We are delighted to announce that Kevin Wangen, Wealth Management Officer, has achieved success in obtaining the CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM) certification. It is worth noting that, on average, individuals typically dedicate one to two years to complete the CFP® course. Kevin’s accomplishment underscores his dedication and commitment to professional excellence. 

Congratulations to Gabe Benson, Jon Benson’s son for achieving a historic milestone by becoming the first Concordia College student to qualify for the NCAA Golf Meet! This is truly an incredible honor. Gabe attended the event which was held in Las Vegas in May.  


  • Heartland Trust proudly supports the Kiwanis Pancake Feed. Pictured: Jen Johnston (Jen serves as a director for the Kiwanis board) 

  • Heartland Trust was honored to be a sponsor for the West Fargo Exchange Club  24th Annual Fun Night. The West Fargo Exchange’s Core Values are family, community and country. Pictured: Jana Samek (Jana serves as board member)  

  • Heartland Trust is a continual supporter of the Village Bowl for Kids’ Sake Event! Pictured: Front: Mary Fridgen, Kayla Kranda Back: Kevin Wangen, Tim Rensch, Jace Gilleshammer, Kari Skauge 

  • Team Member Ethan and his wife Abby welcomed a new member to their family. Meet Beau!  

  • Jill McAndrew is a valued cornerstone of Heartland Trust! On May 8, we marked a significant milestone as we celebrated her 50th birthday.

Additional Information:

Our office will be closed the following days: 

Wednesday, June 19th

Wednesday, July 3rd at 12:00pm

Thursday, July 4th

Monday, September 2nd

Market Update 

Join us for the semi-annual Heartland Trust Market Update on Thursday, July 18th at 3:00 PM. Please send an email to or call 701-235-2002 to get on the invite list to receive the Zoom link. Feel free to send in any questions you may have as well. 

The market update is a 30-minute presentation hosted by Dustin Sobolik and Kevin Wangen from the investment committee at Heartland Trust. 

Chamber Bridge Highlight 

Heartland Trust President, Brian Halverson was featured in the March-April FMWF Chamber Bridge Magazine as a voice of vision. You can view the article below!  

View Article

Online Statements 

Looking for a convenient and eco-friendly way to manage your accounts? View your statements online! By signing up, you not only streamline your banking experience but also contribute to reducing paper waste. 

Here’s why you should make the switch: 

  • Instant Access: View your statements anytime, anywhere, with just a few clicks. 
  • Enhanced Security: Enjoy encrypted digital statements for added protection of your financial information. 
  • Environmentally Friendly: Reduce paper consumption and support sustainability efforts. 

Get in touch to discover more, and we’ll gladly help you enroll! 

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Financial Wellness in the Workplace  

By Tim Rensch, Relationship Manager – Retirement Services  

By Tim Rensch, Relationship Manager – Retirement Services  

Financial wellness programs are increasingly recognized as vital components of an employer’s comprehensive benefits package. More than half of the employers who have initiated such programs have witnessed higher than anticipated utilization rates. This aligns with the findings of a 2023 Workplace Wellness Survey conducted by EBRI/Greenwald Research, revealing that over half of American workers’ concerns about their household’s financial well-being serve as distractions at work. Furthermore, the study indicates that over 90% of employees with access to financial wellness programs find them valuable.  

An effective financial wellness program encompasses financial education, coaching, tools, resources, and incentives that aid employees in managing money, reducing debt, saving for retirement, and achieving financial goals. Such programs contribute to enhancing employees’ financial literacy, confidence, and security while alleviating financial stress and anxiety.  

Employers can also benefit by offering an effective financial wellness program in the following ways:  

  1. Increased Productivity and Engagement: Financially stressed employees may be distracted or unmotivated at work. Financial wellness programs alleviate these concerns, enabling employees to focus on tasks, resulting in improved performance and satisfaction.  
  2. Reduced Turnover and Retention Costs: Employees who feel financially secure and supported by their employer are more likely to remain loyal. Financial wellness programs foster a sense of value and care, often reducing employee turnover.  
  3. Enhanced Reputation and Social Responsibility: Companies offering financial wellness programs demonstrate commitment to employee well-being and community. These programs contribute to improved financial security for employees, positively impacting their families and society.  

Effective financial wellness program general includes the following elements:  

  • Assessing Employee Needs: Understand current financial situations and needs through surveys, interviews, or focus groups.  
  • Setting Clear Objectives: Establish measurable goals based on assessment results.  
  • Choosing Delivery Methods: Determine appropriate delivery methods such as online, in-person, group, or individual sessions.  
  • Selecting Qualified Providers: Choose credible partners like financial experts, coaches, or vendors.  
  • Effective Communication: Promote the program through various channels such as email, intranet, newsletters, or posters.  
  • Evaluation and Monitoring: Assess program outcomes and impacts through feedback, surveys, or metrics.  

Financial wellness programs offer mutual benefits for both employees and employers. Having a trusted financial professional as part of the program is crucial for ongoing success. The Retirement Services department at Heartland Trust Company collaborates with business clients to educate employees on a variety of retirement planning topics through group and individual sessions. If your business is considering implementing a financial wellness program, or already has one in place, please contact us to find out how Heartland Trust Company can be a valued resource.  




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State of the Business Address 

By Brian Halverson, President/CEO

By Brian Halverson, President/CEO

One thing we have started doing recently on a quarterly basis at Heartland Trust Company is a State of the Business address. We dedicate time every quarter to be with our entire team to 1) reflect and celebrate our accomplishments and milestones, 2) get a sense of where we are currently at, and 3) identify our focus for the upcoming quarter, all with our mission statement and values in mind.  

Personally, I have never been great at taking time to slow down to reflect or celebrate what has recently happened. It’s always ‘on to the next thing’, which isn’t always the healthiest way to go about life.  By dedicating time every quarter to this, it gives our entire team time together to talk about what worked and what didn’t work, and I find it kind of adds some closure to a chapter in our journey.  

Next, we get a grasp on where we are at financially and with staffing, before we start to look ahead. We have created a 10 year plan that has been broken down into 3 years and 1 year. The looking ahead component of the address is always with the 1, 3, 10 year plans in mind with the goal of being open,  honest, and transparent. Opening up the lines of communication and transparency helps all team members with our ultimate goals.  

Ultimately, the State of the Business Address is about being open and honest and try to communicate the best we can so everyone knows where we are at on the map. Taking this State of the Business Address concept and applying it to my personal life has been a positive step for me as I try to be a good leader at work and a good dad and husband. It is important to celebrate the small and big wins, reflect on the items we didn’t get right so we can do it different next time. If you don’t already, I highly encourage you to take time for yourself to reflect, take an inventory of where you are at that moment, and identify things that are coming up in life.  

This is just one of the many things we are doing as an organization to stay organized and deliver a great service while our team grows to meet the needs of our clients and our business.  



Heartland TrustState of the Business Address 
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Reasons to Look at Your Estate Plan 

By Jan Nelson, Trust Officer

By Jan Nelson, Trust Officer

The new year is a great time to revisit items you may have been putting off. One item you should take care of sooner rather than later is reviewing your estate plan. In order to help you start the year off right, here are our top reasons to review your estate plan. 

  1. Major Life Changes. Life is dynamic and major life changes can significantly impact your estate plans. Consider theses moments as triggers for review: 
  2. Marriage – Update your plan after tying the knot. Include your new spouse, and possibly stepchildren, if desired. Have your wishes align with your current family structure. 
  3. Divorce or Separation – Following a divorce, adjust provisions related to your ex-spouse and consider removing them from your power of attorney and living will. 
  4. Birth or Adoption – The birth of a child or grandchild is a great time to update your estate plan so they are included. Likewise with the adoption of a child or grandchild. 
  5. Illness or Disability – If someone relevant to your estate plan faces a serious illness or disability, make sure you review your documents promptly. 
  6. Financial Changes. Your financial situation is ever evolving. If your net worth has grown (or declined) substantially, this could affect your estate plan. 
  7. Change to your State of Residence. Different states have different laws. If you have changed your state of residence, have a qualified estate planning attorney review your plan to make sure it complies with local regulations. 
  8. Tax Law Updates. Tax laws change every year. Reviewing your estate plan periodically can help you take advantage of tax-saving opportunities, while also making sure your plan still conforms if other provisions of the law have changed. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and its historically high estate tax exemptions set to expire at the end of 2025, check now with your attorney and accountant to see if this may affect you. Local attorneys have told us they are well in the midst of planning for this possible sunset, and it may not be possible to complete the planning if started too late. 
  9. Evolving Family Dynamics. Family relationships also evolve over time. Oftentimes a family member may need financial support now with the condition that other beneficiaries will get a larger share of the estate to equalize. One important thing to note is that if you are planning on doling out unequal inheritances to “equal” individuals such as your children, you may want to have the conversation now to explain the reasoning behind the decision.  
  10. Peace of Mind. Regular updates provide peace of mind, knowing your wishes are up-to-date and aligned with your current life stage. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your 20’s or 90’s, everyone should have some sort of estate plan. 

Estate planning isn’t a one-time task. Regular reviews ensure your legacy remains intact and your loved ones are well-cared-for. We encourage you to revisit your estate plans periodically to safeguard your financial future.  


Heartland TrustReasons to Look at Your Estate Plan 
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Meet Jon Benson

Jon Benson

Meet Jon Benson

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Moorhead and attended Concordia College with a double major in Business Administration and English Writing. I am blessed to have been married for over 20 years to an amazing wife, Jessica. We have two wonderful children, Gabe and Nora, and two dogs, Mars and Luna. Professionally, I have been blessed to be able to find fulfillment and joy providing over 33 years of comprehensive personal, business, and financial services experience helping others.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I love to watch my kids enjoy and excel in golf and soccer. I also love it when they are kind enough to let their dad play with them.

Tell us about your favorite life experience

My most recent favorite experience was watching my son win the MIAC golf Championship. It was such a blessing to witness all the dedication, hard work, and effort pay off on a stage of that magnitude. I could not be prouder.

What was the first car you owned?

The first car was a ’79 Camaro Z28 my Grandpa J helped me buy when I was 16. He thanked me for trusting him enough to borrow money from him. I did not understand at the time what he meant. A little over a year later, after I hadn’t made the payments I needed to, he took it back and sold it. It was one of the greatest life lessons I ever learned about love, integrity, honor, and responsibility. I still have that contract we signed at home today and can only hope to be that person for my grandchildren someday.

How long have you been at Heartland Trust?

I have been at Heartland for almost 10 years.

What is your favorite part about working at Heartland Trust?

My favorite part about working at Heartland is that I get to care for people. As a trust company we are not limited to the transactional, we can be truly holistic in our care and advocacy. It has been a calling of mine as far back as I can remember. It was the lessons of servant leadership taught to me by generations of my family before me. Fortunately, Heartland has graciously afforded me the opportunity to live a life in service to others. To be that trusted voice, advocate, and calming presence in an ever-changing world.

Heartland TrustMeet Jon Benson
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HTC Team News and Honors

Employee Highlights

Soup Cookoff

We thoroughly enjoy our culinary events at HTC! To kick off the new year, we hosted a soup cookoff. 

Our winners:  

1st Place: Jace Gilleshammer (knoephla) 

2nd Place: Kayla Kranda (lasagna)  

3rd Place: Maureen Jelinek (chicken enchilada) 

Lasagna Soup 

1lb Italian chicken sausage 
1/2 onion, chopped 
2 crushed cloves garlic 
4 T chopped fresh parsley 
1 T tomato paste 
6 cups chicken broth 
2 cups marinara sauce 
2 bay leaves 
Fresh cracked black pepper 
6oz broken lasagna noodles or mini farfelle 
8oz ricotta cheese 
1. Heat large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, spray with oil, and add sausage; cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon about 4-5 minutes. 
2. Add chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. 
3. Add the parsley, tomato paste, broth, marinara sauce, bay leaves and fresh black pepper and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes. 
4. Add the pasta and cook uncovered according to package directions.  
5. Once the pasta is cooked stir in ricotta cheese. 

Chicken Enchilada 

  • 2.5 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I use a rotisserie chicken 😊) 
  • 28 oz Green enchilada sauce 
  • 24 oz Chicken broth (I use chicken stock) 
  • 1C Half & Half or heavy cream (I used 1/2&1/2) 
  • 2C Monterey jack cheese 
  • 4 oz cream cheese (cubed and softened) 
  • 4 oz Green salsa (Mrs Renfro’s is my go-to) 
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  • 1 bunch of cilantro 
  • 1 small can of hot green chilis 

In a 6-quart slow cooker add chicken breast or thighs, green enchilada sauce, and chicken broth.  Cook on Low 6-8 hours. 

Remove chicken and shred.  Add shredded chicken, jack cheese, cream cheese, half & half, and green salsa to slow cooker.  Turn slow cooker to warm and stir until cheeses are melted.  Add hot sauce or additional salsa to taste. 

Serve and enjoy!  Delicious topped with avocado, cilantro, green onion and sour cream.   

Knoephla Soup 

  • 8 ounces bacon chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 med sized onion chopped (approx 1 cup) 
  • 3 carrots chopped 
  • 3 celery stalks chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped finely 
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 10 cups low-sodium chicken broth  
  • 3 large potatoes cut into cubes 
  • 1-1/2 cup heavy cream 
  • 1 Tablespoons of Salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper 

Knoephla Dumplings 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt 
  • 2 teaspoon chopped parsley 
  • 2 teaspoon chopped dill 
  • 2 teaspoon chopped thyme 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 egg 

Put bacon in a stockpot or Dutch oven and cook on medium to low heat, stirring often. Once the bacon is crispy use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel. 

Discard about half of the bacon grease, leaving 3 tablespoons in the pan. Add butter to the 3 tablespoons of grease and melt on medium-low heat. 

Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery and increase the temperature back to medium heat. Cook until the onions are soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds 

Stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously, then add the chicken broth, bay leaves, and potatoes. Increase the heat to high and bring to a bowl, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. 

While the soup simmers, prepare the Knoelpha. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and herbs. 

Whisk the egg and milk in a small bowl or measuring cup. Then fold into the flour. 

Once combined, knead for 5 minutes by hand on a floured surface, or knead using the dough hook of your electric mixer on low speed. 

Roll dough ½” thick, then slice into ½” squares.  Drop into boiling water for 2-3 minuets to ensure they are fully cooked, then use a slotted spoon and transfer into soup (after blending) 

OPTIONAL- once soup has simmered for 20-30 mins I use an immersion blender (you could also work in batches and use a blender) to make the soup creamy rather than chunky. This is purely preference (Remove the bay leaves before blending) 

Stir in heavy cream and cook until heated through. Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper. Keep in mind potatoes need a lot of salt. Don’t be surprised if it needs another tablespoon of salt.  

Top with bacon to serve. 

Chili Cookoff

We concluded 2023 with a chili cookoff, sampling eight different varieties of chili 

1st Place:  Ethan Linder 

2nd Place: Lori Theis 

3rd Place: Gary Hanson 

Festival Of Trees

Heartland Trust sponsored and decorated two trees for the 23rd annual Fraser, Ltd. Festival of Trees. This event supports programs for local children, youth, and adults on their life’s journey towards independence.

Annual Heartland Open House

*Welcome committee: Mary Fridgen, Kayla Kranda, Amy Remmick and Ethan Linder* 

HTC hosted its annual open house on Thursday, December 7! It was a pleasure to bring together our clients, vendors, and partners to celebrate the holiday season! 

Save the Date for 2024- Thursday, December 5th!  

Annual Ugly Sweater Contest

Celebrate Brian’s Prairie Business 2024 40 Under 40

The annual awards honor young professionals in the Dakotas and western Minnesota, each under the age of 40. These nominees come from a wide variety of industries and backgrounds who have made significant impacts in their chosen professions and communities.


Quote from Steve Halverson (Heartland’s Chairman of the Board)

“Brian is perfectly suited to manage the Heartland Trust Company.  His client centered attitude aligns perfectly with our core values that were set 34 years ago.  Brian is perfect to carry out our mission: “to provide a lifelong commitment to the well-being of the clients we serve”.

Quote from Gary Hanson (Heartland’s Chief Financial Officer)

“Since assuming the role of President in 2018, Brian has brought innovation and forward-thinking to Heartland Trust. His leadership has driven the implementation of new systems and essential software needed for our future growth.”

Read the full article here.


At Heartland Trust, our relationships go beyond colleagues; we consider ourselves a family. Supporting our team and contributing to their futures are integral parts of our mission.

  • Sheryl Bernier ( SVP and Board Member)- Celebrating 34 years in January
  • Denise Lies ( RS Senior Operations and Compliance) – Celebrating 31 years in January
  • Jill McAndrew- (Operations Associate)- Celebrating 19 years in January
  • Jan Nelson (Trust Officer) – Celebrating 11 years in January
  • Jana Samek ( VP/ Director of Retirement Services)- Celebrating 7 Years in January
  • Jen Johnston ( Trust Officer)- Celebrating 7 Years in January
  • Michelle Hoppe ( Trust Officer Associate) -Celebrating 6 Years in February

Giving Hearts Day

Each year, Heartland Trust donates funds to a charity of each employee’s choice. Our mission, “To provide a lifelong commitment to the well-being of those we serve,” is reflected in our dedication to giving back to our communities.

List of all the charities who received a Giving Hearts Day Gift:

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley
  • Hospice of the Red River Valley  
  • Churches Untied for the Homeless
  • Great Plains Food
  • Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN
  • 4 Luv of Dog Rescue
  • Memory Café
  • DMF Enough with the Stigma
  • DMF 4-6-3 Foundation
  • Arthritis Foundation of North Dakota
  • Grace Lutheran School 
  • West Fargo Area Education Foundation
  • Park Christian School
  • Badges of Unity Fund
  • Jeremiah Program Fargo-Moorhead
  • Bio Girls
  • Lend A Hand Up
  • St. Gianna & Pietro Molla Maternity Home
  • Red River Zoo
  • Cat’s Cradle
  • Kitty City
  • Veterans Memorial Cemetery
  • Landon’s Light
  • American Society of Suicide
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