Team Makers
Team Makers

Team Makers Wanted

Team Makers looks to grow membership in 2019.

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Photos by Nolan P. Schmidt

Team Makers looks to grow membership in 2019.


With a new year approaching, Team Makers embarks on another event-filled campaign in 2019. Along with the new year comes a new membership year with a new President as well. Chris Haugrud was ushered in as the newest President of the organization that provides scholarships and aid to North Dakota State student-athletes. Team Makers’ goal has never changed, and that is to provide student-athletes with the tools to succeed as a Bison.

Team Makers
Past President Kris Bakkegard discusses marketing committee notes at a Team Makers Executive Committee meeting.

However, Haugrud has his own vision in mind for what Team Makers will become. Mainly, he wants to see it grow. To do this, Haugrud has adjusted Team Makers’ overall model. They want more members, not more dollars. So much so that Haugrud wants Team Makers to have 1,000 new members in five years. Given the constant growth of NDSU athletics, it is not that far-fetched to believe that Team Makers could eclipse that number, too.

It will come with challenges, though. Haugrud and the rest of the Team Makers Executive Board are always tasked with breaking down one common misconception. Many see Team Makers as an “NDSU alumni-only” organization or even a “male” only club. That has never been the case with Team Makers. It will certainly take some hard work and effort to bust that myth, but it’s on the top of Chris Haugrud’s priority list. He just wants to see Team Makers grow exponentially in his term, whether that be by NDSU alumni or not.

Team Makers
New Team Makers President Chris Haugrud.

We sat down with Haugrud to talk about his plans and vision for Team Makers throughout his term.

What is your plan for Team Makers? In other words, where do you want to take Team Makers in your term?

The goal is to switch our model of more dollars to more members. 200 new members per year for the next five years is what we are shooting for.

One common misnomer about Team Makers is that you have to be an NDSU graduate. What are some barriers you want to break down in your term so those misnomers no longer exist?

We have fought this misnomer for as long as I have been involved. We as Team Makers must continue to change the perception that you do not have to be a graduate, be male and have a lot of money. You can join Team Makers for as little as $100 per year.

I know part of your vision for Team Makers is creating more satellite “chapters” in different states. Tell us a little about that aspect of your vision…

I have been traveling to watch sites in Arizona and Sioux Falls to organize new fund drive teams. In order to grow, we need to foster new areas to find new members to paint the nation gold.

Team Makers’ goal, first and foremost, is to provide scholarships to NDSU student-athletes. How do you sustain yourselves so that can continue to be the case?

Team Makers is a non-profit organization committed to raising scholarship money, cost of attendance and program excellence for student-athletes and assisting them in earning degrees for a successful future. We are currently pursuing many out of the box ideas to keep the trend of giving the athletes everything they need to be a great student-athlete. The most important part is the academics. These athletes averaged a 3.35 GPA in the fall of last year alone.

If you had to craft a “sales pitch” for those on the fence about joining Team Makers, what would your pitch be?

With the impact of NDSU athletics on the community, as a business owner, why would you not be a Team Maker? If you are a citizen in this community, why would you not help to produce these great student-athletes? Especially since many of them are staying in this area after graduation.

Team Makers
Team Makers Executive Director Pat Simmers addresses the crowd of Team Makers at their annual meeting.

Team Makers Executive Committee Meeting (Abbreviated Version)

Here are some highlights from Team Makers’ most recent Executive Committee meeting on December 11, 2018:

  • Approved the 2019 budget.
  • Event planning at satellite locations in Arizona, Sioux Falls and the Twin Cities area.
  • Team Makers helped host an event before the men’s basketball game at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on December 1. More than 200 Bison fans flooded to Erik the Red across the street from the stadium to watch Bison football against Montana State. Then, they walked over to the stadium to cheer on NDSU basketball.
  • A brief discussion about possible events in the future. This includes events at NDSU’s Target Field football game next year and the game in Delaware on September 14, 2019.
  • Ideas were thrown around about hosting an event inside the SHAC. Details are still being worked out, but it would likely involve attendees being given a tour of the facility.

Meet The Team Makers Executive Board For 2019

  • President – Chris Haugrud
  • Vice President – Craig Sandstrom
  • At Large – Eric Dodds
  • At Large – Jayne Gust
  • At Large – Mark Sellin
  • At Large – Sherri Schmidt
  • At Large – Todd Kadrmas
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Terry Ludlum
  • Past President – Kris Bakkegard
  • Gaming Chairman – Dr. David Glatt
  • Investment Chairman – Bruce Grubb

Team Makers Wanted
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