North Star News April 2020, Chapter 20, Region 3


Chapter 20 President: Ben Barker, SR/WA, RW-RAC, RW-NAC

Greetings Chapter 20 Members!

Wow how times have times changed over the past few months due to COVID-19. I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during these times. Chapter 20, along with everyone, has had to adapt to the changes set in place surrounding the stay-at-home order and social distancing. In March, Chapter 20 was supposed to host the Region 3 Spring Forum and our Chapter 20 Board Meeting. Due to precautions set in place regarding COVID-19, both were successfully conducted via video conference.

At the Region 3 Spring Forum, Mindy Leadholm was elected to Region 3 Secretary and Penny Rolf was awarded Professional of the Year. Congratulations to both Mindy and Penny and thank you for your dedication to the IRWA and right of way profession.

As you know, the IRWA 2020 International Education Conference unfortunately had to be cancelled. Chapter 20, specifically Mindy Leadholm, Dan Lesher, and Michelle MacMillan, put in countless hours and energy in preparation of the conference. Please join me in thanking them for all their hard work. I know that it would have been an excellent conference.

Although we are unable to meet in person, Chapter 20 does have a couple of events happening in May:

  1. Election of Chapter 20 Officers via electronically. You should have received an email related to nominations and also to voting from our Nominations and Elections Chair Brian Mielke. If not, please contact Brian and he will provide the information.
  2. May 20th - Chapter 20 Board Meeting via video conference from 10:00am to 11:30am. Please look for communication via email and also on the Chapter 20 website.
  3. May 27th - Virtual Classroom of IRWA Course 901: Engineering Plan Development & Application. For more information, click here Chapter 20 Education Courses.

One day we’ll be able to look back and say, “remember when.” Until then continue to be safe, and if you need anything or have any questions about Chapter 20, please do not hesitate to contact me at 612-581-6572 or bbarker@wsbeng.com.

Best Regards,

Ben Barker, IRWA Chapter 20 President

2019-2020 NEW SPONSORS


  • Director: Mindy Leadholm, SR/WA
  • President: Ben Barker, SR/WA, R/W-NAC, R/W-RAC
  • President Elect: Benjamin Tozer
  • Treasurer: Matthew Hagelin, SR/WA
  • Secretary: Brian Mielke, SR/WA, R/W-NAC


Due to precautions set in place regarding COVID-19, Chapter 20 will be conducting our next Board Meeting via video conference from 10:00am to 11:30am on May 20th. All Chapter Members are welcome to join the conference call. An invitation to the Board Meeting will be emailed out prior to May 20th.


On March 25th, Chapter 20 was scheduled to have our Chapter meeting at Enbridge with Peter Smerud rom Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center presenting on Living Building Challenge and Development of Environmental Education in China. It was unfortunate that Chapter 20 was unable to have our Chapter meeting.

Chapter 20 did conduct our Chapter Board meeting via a video conference. Items that were discussed included the cancellation of the IRWA 2020 International Education Conference, a recap of Region 3 Spring Forum, and the 2020-2021 Chapter Sponsorship Packages. For details of the Board Meeting, please find our meeting minutes by clicking the link below.


Submitted by Ben Barker, WSB

Chapter 20 had 91% of our members renew their 2020 membership. Thank you!

Chapter 20 would like to welcome Trent Harris as our newest member to IRWA Chapter 20. Trent is employed by Western Land Services. Please extend a warm welcome to Trent. We look forward to his participation in Chapter 20.

If you have any questions about your membership, please feel free to contact Ben Barker at 612-581-6572 or bbarker@wsbeng.com.


Most of us know that the Right of Way International Education Foundation is the non-profit funding mechanism for right of way education, providing funds for new courses, updates of existing courses and other education initiatives. Not as many of us remember that RWIEF supports three scholarship programs, click here to get the skinny!


For more information on our upcoming education opportunities, visit our Chapter's Education Page or contact Chapter 20's Education Chair, Mindy Leadholm.


  • Brent Rolf – SR/WA Certification
  • Trent Harris – RWA Certification
  • Ben Barker – SR/WA Re-certification


Chapter 20's Blog was created to foster meaningful communication and sharing of information between our Executive Board, Committee Chairs, Chapter 20 Members, and all others who wish to participate. Please visit the Blog often as Committee Chairs and Executive Board Members post updates, news, and other relevant information pertaining to the Right of Way profession.