North Star News June 2019, Chapter 20, Region 3


Chapter 20 President: Mindy Leadholm, SR/WA

Greetings Chapter 20 Members -

Two years ago as I stepped into the role of Chapter 20 President, I really didn’t know what to expect – and had never written a “President’s Message” for anything before. It is hard to believe that I am currently writing my last one. I never could have imagined what this experience has taught me, how many people I have met from being more involved, and what opportunities I have gained because of it. One final piece of advice I will give to each and every one of you…Get Involved! Doesn’t matter how or when or how much – but find something you enjoy and start to get involved with it. I promise, you will not regret the experience it will bring to you.

We have no education courses on the calendar, but would like to change that and get a few scheduled 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 the 55 members who attended our May Board and Member Meeting at Lake Elmo Park in Washington County! A special thanks to our May Meeting Sponsor, HDR, and Doug Johnson for speaking. Doug gave a great presentation on the Mysteries of Appraisals – and was able to facilitate a good discussion on several topics related to appraisals. We also swore in our new Executive Board at this meeting. Congratulations to our 2019-2020 Executive Board:

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

Over the past year, we have hosted many education courses, member meetings, attended forums, and other IRWA events. Contributing greatly to all of our events – our 2018-2019 Annual Sponsors. As we move into a new fiscal year, I want to thank HDR, Ulteig, Fredrikson & Byron, WSB & Associates, SRF Consulting Group, ProSource Technologies, and Henning Professional Services for providing support to our members.

As we move into the new fiscal year, I want to thank our 2019-2020 sponsors in advance for their support of Chapter 20 throughout this upcoming year. Thank you to:

  • ProSource Technologies (Platinum Sponsor)
  • WSB (Platinum Sponsor)
  • Fredrikson & Byron (Gold Sponsor)
  • SRF Consulting Group (Silver Sponsor)
  • Ulteig (Silver Sponsor)

Our next Chapter Board and Member meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 17 WSB and Associates. Can Do Canines will be giving a presentation on their non-profit organization and the benefits it provides using specially trained dogs. Thank you to all of our 2019-2020 sponsors for sponsoring the July meeting. Our July Meeting is FREE to all members – however, we still need you to register for a food count. Please register by emailing Chapter 20 President, Ben Barker, at BBarker@wsbeng.com by Friday, July 12.

Fifteen Chapter 20 members attended the 65th Annual International Education Conference in June. This year’s conference was held in Portland, Oregon and featured an abundance of education, inspiration, networking opportunities, and new experiences for all attendees. Read more about our Chapter member experiences at the conference in this newsletter!

Our Region 3 Fall Forum is scheduled for September 22-24, 2019 in Chesterfield, Missouri. More details will be available as plans are finalized, but the tentative schedule can be found HERE.

There will be a LOT of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities for our members as we gear up for hosting the 66th Annual International Education Conference in June 2020. Watch for emails and announcements in our newsletters in the coming months.

As I move into the Chapter 20 Director role for 2019-2020, I want to thank each and every one of you for your role in our Chapter. If you ever have questions or concerns regarding the IRWA or Chapter 20, please continue to contact me for support.

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


  • Sponsor: ProSource Technologies, WSB, Fredrikson & Byron, SRF Consulting, and Ulteig
  • Date: Wednesday, July 17th, 2019
  • Location: WSB (701 Xenia Avenue South, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55416)
  • Board Meeting: 10:00 – 11:30am
  • Member Meeting and Lunch: 11:30am – 1:30pm
  • Speaker: Can Do Canines

Topic – Enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities

Can Do Canines is a non-profit agency that is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities by creating mutually beneficial partnerships with specially trained dogs. Please join us as we learn more about this non-profit organization.

For more information and to register, click here so you can register online! We look forward to seeing you!


Our May meeting was hosted by Washington County and sponsored by HDR.

Mindy Leadholm and Dan Lesher updated attendees on what Chapter 20 responsibilities will be for hosting the 2020 International Education Conference in June 2020. Michelle MacMillan, Region 3 Rep for the International Nominations and Elections Committee, swore in our new Chapter 20 Executive Board Members. Doug Johnson, owner of DKJ Appraisals presented on the mysteries of appraisals.

May Meeting


Submitted by Ben Barker, WSB

Thank you to everyone who renewed your IRWA Membership. As of February 20th, 85% of Chapter 20 members have renewed their membership. If you have not renewed, it is not too late. You may renew your membership online at www.irwaonline.org.

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

  • Jason Orcutt
  • Jerry Ripley
  • Megan Rhoads
  • Michael Stupka

Jason is a with Anoka County. Jerry is employed by Ayres Associates in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Megan is a Right of Way Specialist with Dakota County. Michael is a Real Estate Appraiser with the Metropolitan Council. 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.


2019 Annual Conference - Portland, OR

The "Best Of" for the 2019 Conference

Favorite Educational Session?

  • Easement Valuation – an Oxymoron was great and so was Unbelievable Encroachments.
  • Improving Stakeholder Engagement on Corridor Projects with 3D Scanning and Digitized Reality
  • Relocation Roundtable
  • Farming Sessions
  • Favorite Session was the one on “Protect Your Prime Asset – Field Staff Safety.” It was good to know that we at GRE land rights have implemented most of the safety requirements suggested.
  • Utilities Roundtable
  • Right Tree, Right Place – ITC’s Vegetation Management Program From Conception through Litgation

Favorite Food in Portland?

  • Fish, of course! Salmon and Halibut
  • Killer Burger – of course!
  • Burger at Killer Burger!
  • Killer Burger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • The food at the RWIEF Monday Night at the Square was awesome!
  • Vietnamese Food
  • The Vietnamese Place a few blocks from our hotel. You know it has good food when there is a line out the door! Cherries from the Hood River Valley were pretty delicious too!
  • Apple Cider Donut from Blue Star Donuts

Strangest/Oddest/Most Memorable thing you saw or did in Portland (with photo/s if you have them)?

  • Mount Hood – very majestic and great hiking in the area
  • The Darth Vader Flaming Bag-Pipe Unicyclist. I thought he was awesome
  • Paul Bunyan Pictures. And signing with the Band!
  • Paul Bunyan surprise appearance!
  • Parade and had a great time at the Canadian event. The drummer was just so much fun to watch!
  • Most memorable for me was seeing Dan and Mindy (and Paul Bunyan) at the closing gala. The conference in Minneapolis next year just got “real”
  • The Rose Parade was crazy. I’ve never seen a parade so large!
  • I got into a Lyft, and they had a very creepy doll on the dashboard staring at the backseat!

Other Conference Tidbits that would be fun to share?

  • Great to see others from our Chapter but also to meet others from various locations and to chat with them
  • I thought the Rose Parade was pretty impressive. I’m not very much of a parade person, but their parade put every other one I’ve seen to shame. Texas considers the term “kitty-corner” as “katty-corner”, which I found odd and told them the whole state was wrong!
  • It was really fun to see Chapter 20 handed the “baton” to host the 2020 Conference.
  • It was another superb conference. I’m really looking forward to the conference in Minneapolis next year and working with the chapter and region members on another very memorable conference. Good luck and have fun!
  • Great conference location. I enjoyed the conference so much better that in recent years past.
  • Loved that everything was so close. Was fun to see “behind-the-scenes” a little and start getting ideas for 2020 in Minneapolis! Chapter 20 has a fun year ahead!
  • Conference was great – and it was fun to explore Oregon after the conference was done. The Oregon Coast was my favorite!
  • If you’re new in town, you have to hit up a rooftop bar!

2019 Annual Education Conference Scholarship Winners Recap

Click here to view the recap of the 3 winners of the Chapter 20 Annual Education Conference Scholarships!


The Spring Forum was held on April 29th in Des Moines, IA. On Sunday evening, there was a YP event with appetizers and a basket raffle that was very much fun. It also had an educational component that was approved for 1 Continue Education Credit.

The Region Forum on Monday started with a guest speaker, Lisa Hein, who is Sr. Director for Conservation programs. She presented information on the Iowa Conservation Programs projects she has been involved in. This was approved for 4 Continuing Education credits.

The Spring Forum meeting was well attended and included information regarding the 2019 conference coming up in Portland, updates to what is being planned for the 2020 Conference in Minneapolis. Each chapter had a representative who gave updates on their chapters related to membership, education and other information related to what has been happening in their chapters. Officer elections were held with the following officers being elected: Penny Rolf- Chair, Dan Lesher- Vice Chair and Carrol McCracken – Sec./Treas. Our Region 3 Professional of the Year was Craig Poorker in recognition of all his work for Reg. 3 and the IRWA. We had reports on the budget, governance task force as well as multiple other topics. For more detail, please check the Chapter 20 or Region 3 website for the full minutes. NOTE: Fall Forum will be held in Chesterfield, MO on Sept. 22-24.

In the evening we went to a Cubs Baseball Game sponsored by JCG Land Company – thanks to JCG for a fun evening. The Forum ended with an IRWA Course 802 – Legal Aspects of Easements (8 Continuing Education Credits. Thank you to all the members from Chapter 41 who made this a great forum!

2019 Region 3 Spring Forum
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

  • Pat Lambert - SR/WA (Designation)
  • Michelle MacMillan - 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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