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Brenna Ohman

Firm/Company and Location: I am the Finance Director for North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (the trade association for the rural electric coops in the state). Our association manages the books for 3 other organizations outside our association, so I manager the financials for all those organizations. My primary responsibility includes planning, developing, directing, coordinating, and monitoring all of the policies and procedures for the various organizations to ensure proper internal controls and provide for financially sound organizations. I prepare financial statements, budgets and other reports as needed and present many of these items to the various organizations board of directors. I also help to manage investments for many of these organizations also. Along with providing oversight for our accounts payable and accounts receivable functions.

Alma Mater / Degree: NDSU for a Bachelors in Accountancy

Where did you grow up? Burlington, ND

First job ever: Cleaning houses at the Minot Air Force Base after the Airmen moved out of the houses

How or why did you decide to be a CPA? I took a class on Accounting in high school and loved how things balanced out, plus I probably had it in my blood as both my mom and grandmother were self-taught bookkeepers.

What did you do to celebrate passing the exam? It was a long time ago now, so I can’t remember for sure, but probably go out to supper with my now husband.

Professional/Community Activities or Involvements: I volunteer with Junior Achievement teaching 3rd graders about business, and am a board member for Capital City Young Guns to teach youth about the various shooting sports and how to safely enjoy those sports.

What are your hobbies or pastimes? Spending time with my kids and enjoying time at my families lake cabin in the summer

Tell us about your family: I am married to my husband, Eric, and we have two beautiful, but busy, kids – Audra who is 4 and Axel who is 2

Dream vacation OR Best Vacation you ever took: My husband and I traveled quite a bit before having kids. My favorite places we traveled to were, Scotland, Germany and Austria, and Australia. I would highly recommend all of them.

Something most people don’t know about you: I have an identical twin sister who is a pharmacist up in Minot. It is fairly common that we get mistaken for each other.

John Peterson

Firm/Company and Location: I currently serve as the Chief Financial Officer of Security State Bank Holding Company as well as an Executive CPA at Bank Forward in Fargo. My job is to provide financial and accounting expertise and direction to the Company – serving as the primary source regarding accounting principles, financial trends, changing laws, & industry practices.

Alma Mater/Degree: North Dakota State University; BS in Accounting with a minor in Fraud Investigation

Where did you grow up? Fargo, ND

First job ever: My first job was as a cashier at the Fargo North High School swimming pool.

How or why did you decide to be a CPA? The opportunities I knew would open up after I earned my CPA designation.

What did you do to celebrate passing the exam? I was working in public accounting at the time. I vividly remember sitting in the hotel room -- refreshing the browser – waiting for the last score to be uploaded…. When it came across I jumped up and ran out of the room! I grabbed the other members of the engagement team and we went to the local watering hole for some adult sodas. It was a blast!

Professional/Community Activities or Involvements: I serve on the Finance Committee of the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. I also serve on the Military Affairs Committee of the FMWF Chamber of Commerce.

What are your hobbies or pastimes? I enjoy golfing (I didn’t say I’m good at it). I also hunt, fish, work on Excel spreadsheets in my free-time, play poker, play video games, playing with my puppy, and whatever my wife wants me to do.

Tell us about your family: My wife Sammi is also a native to Fargo – she works as an Account Manager at CI Apparel in Fargo.

Dream vacation OR Best Vacation you ever took: I spent so much time on the road in public accounting that I don’t really enjoy traveling much. But – I would like to visit Banff in Alberta.

The best advice you ever received: Do the right thing. It’s the answer to all questions.

Something most people don’t know about you: I don’t really enjoy the taste of beer – I do, however, enjoy the effects of beer.

The best thing that has happened to you this week or month: I received a holiday bonus at work, which alone is pretty cool, but even better was that I immediately went and spent some of it on something my wife had really been wanting. I couldn’t wait to give it to her – so we met for lunch and surprised her with the gift. She cried tears of joy! It made me so happy to see how happy she was!!!

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