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YPN - One To Watch

James Hand, Mortenson Construction

James Hand, Project Engineer, Mortenson Construction

After spending a few years post-high school in Arizona, James Hand knew that he was meant to be in the Midwest. He packed his bags and moved to the FMWF community to attend North Dakota State University to earn a degree in business management. After a few years in real estate, James took a chance on a completely new industry: construction. James has been working with Mortenson Construction since 2014 and currently serves as a project engineer.

When not on the worksite, James can be found studying for his MBA at the University of Mary, serving on the Moorhead Park Board as a member at large, providing guidance as the chapter advisor for the Sigma Chi fraternity at NDSU and being an active member of the YPN Leadership and Corporate Cup committees.

Because of his extensive community and professional involvement, his nominator, Samantha Gust with The Chamber, states that “While some may have a hard time juggling all these commitments, James holds each with high regard and successfully fulfills all duties assigned. James has an even keeled approach to all he does and is always looking for ways to improve the current process. He is an excellent addition to whatever he involves himself in.”

In his down time, James enjoys spending time with his wife, Tessa, two sons, David and Tucker and the family dog, Kota. They can be found at the lake during the summer or enjoying all the things the community has to offer. A self-proclaimed gadget guy, he also enjoys “nerd-stuff” especially his drone.

When asked if there has been a piece of professional advice he has received that really stuck with him, James quoted Michael Scott of The Office, saying “I knew exactly what to do, but in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” While funny, it helps him remember that there is always an opportunity to learn and find new ways to solve a problem.  

Speaking from personal experience, the best advice James can offer any young professional is to be open. Three years ago, he would have never thought he would get the chance to have a hand in building large, interesting commercial projects but taking the leap has lead him to new experiences and opportunities to learn.

The One to Watch award is given to a Young Professionals Network member who goes above and beyond, not only within their place of employment, but also within the organization and the community as a whole.

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