North Star News April 2019, Chapter 20, Region 3


Chapter 20 President: Mindy Leadholm, SR/WA

Greetings Chapter 20 Members -

Happy Spring! (even though as I sit and write this, there is an April blizzard outside, which makes it look more like February!) Trying to be optimistic, I took a long walk through the woods and apple orchard, and embraced the peaceful beauty that a few inches of snow brings to the world. And I reminded myself that in February, it was 60 degrees colder than the balmy 32 that it was today. I am also optimistic that warmer weather is just around the corner, bringing blossoming flowers, gardening, golfing, and the construction projects we’ve spent so many hours acquiring property for will begin.

We currently have no education courses scheduled, but would also like to schedule a few more for Fall 2019. Please contact me (mindy.leadholm@co.washington.mn.us) if you have suggestions on which courses you’d like to see offered and if you are interested in being a course coordinator (and taking the course for FREE!) Once we have them planned and scheduled, watch for an email with registration information.

Thank you to those who attended our March Board and Member Meeting in Duluth. Matthew Hagelin gave a very informative presentation on the right of way acquisition process of the Great Northern Transmission Line. A special thank you to Matthew for the presentation, to Minnesota Power/ALLETE, Inc. for hosting the meeting, and to ALL of our 2018-2019 annual sponsors (Fredrikson & Byron, ProSource Technologies, SRF Consulting Group, HDR, WSB, Henning Professional Services, and Ulteig) for sponsoring this meeting and lunch.

Speaking of annual sponsorships, stay tuned for our 2019-2020 sponsorship packages, which we will be available in May. All of our 2019-2020 annual sponsors will have the unique opportunity of EXTRA benefits with regards to the IRWA 2020 Annual Conference, coming to Minneapolis in June 2020.

Our next Chapter Board and Member meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 7 at Washington County’s Lake Elmo Park Reserve. Doug Johnson, owner of DKJ Appraisal Firm, will be speaking to the group about the mysteries of appraisals. Thank you to our Platinum sponsor, HDR, for sponsoring the May meeting. Registration is now open and available on our Chapter 20 website. (Note: deadline to register is Friday, May 3.)

The upcoming Education Conference in Portland is less than two months away, make sure to get registered if you are planning to attend! For those who have never attended, the International Education Conference is full of both educational and networking opportunities. Our Chapter 20 group will have a booth at the conference, with information promoting Chapter 20, Minnesota, and the 2020 Conference. We will all be wearing shirts with our 2020 logo on them; these shirts are also available for those who are not able to attend the conference but still want to support our Chapter. There is a paypal link on the Chapter 20 website if you’d like to purchase one.

Registration is also open for our Region 3 Spring Forum, which will be in Des Moines, Iowa on April 28-30.

There will be a LOT of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities for our members as we gear up for hosting the International Education Conference in 2020. Watch for emails and announcements in our newsletters in the coming months.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you need anything or have any questions about Chapter 20 business. As your President, I am here to help you get the most out of your Chapter 20 membership.

2018-2019 SPONSORS


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

Upcoming Board Positions

We are currently seeking candidates for Secretary for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. If you are interested or wish to find out more information, please condition Dan Lesher, Craig Poorker, or Michelle MacMillan.


  • Sponsor: HDR
  • Date: Tuesday, May 7th, 2019
  • Location: Washington County - Lake Elmo Park Reserve
  • (1515 Keats Avenue North, Lake Elmo, MN 55042)
  • Board Meeting: 10:00 – 11:30am
  • Member Meeting and Lunch: 11:30am – 1:30pm
  • Speaker: Doug Johnson, DKJ Appraisal, LLC

Topic – Mysteries of Appraisal (well at least several of them)

In this brief presentation we will discuss several items that ROW agents may find perplexing about appraisals. Items such as:

  • Why do appraisers pick the comparable sales that they do?
  • Why are there such discrepancies in value between appraisers?
  • Why do appraisers sometimes discount temporary easements?
  • How does a ROW Agent explain the discounting process so it makes sense?

Speaker Bio

Doug Johnson has been appraising real estate since 1979 and has been involved in right of way acquisition since 1987. He has managed multi-parcel acquisition projects, appraised hundreds of partial acquisitions, and testified as an expert witness in numerous eminent domain hearings. He is the owner of DKJ Appraisal LLC, a right of way appraisal company started in March of 2013.

For more information, click here! We look forward to seeing you!


Our March meeting was at Minnesota Power in Duluth. The sponsors for the meeting were HDR, WSB, SRF Consulting Group, Prosource Technologies, Fredrikson & Byron, Ulteig, and Henning Professional Services.

Our speaker was Matt Hagelin from Minnesota Power. He presented on the Great Northern Transmission Line to bring clean, emission-free energy into Minnesota, meet growing energy demands and increase system reliability. The Great Northern Transmission Line delivers hydropower generated by Manitoba Hydro to customers in the United States consists of a 500 kV transmission line from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to the Iron Range 500 kV Substation near Grand Rapids, Minnesota, as well as associated substation facilities and transmission system modifications.

March 2019 Pictures


Submitted by Ben Barker, WSB

Chapter 20 would like to welcome our three newest members to IRWA:

  • Michael Lee Walls
  • Hilary Dischinger

Michael is with Otter Tail Power Company. Hilary is a Right of Way Specialist with Anoka County. Please extend a warm welcome to them. We look forward to their 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.


Come join us for the 65th Annual International Education Conference is being held at Hilton Portland Downtown (921 SW 6th Avenue, Portland, OR) from June 9 - 12, 2019. For more information and to register, click here!


the region 3 spring forum will be held in des moines, ia april 28-30th, 2019. for more information and to register, check out the region 3 website!!!
The 2020 Annual International Education Conference will be held in Minneapolis, MN.


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


April 2019

  • Mayrinda Cain - SR/WA (Designation)



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.



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