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Published December 08 2012

Business Digest (December 07, 2012)

BCBSND maintains high credit rating from S&P

Noridian Mutual Insurance Co., which does business as Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, received an A-minus rating with a stable outlook from Standard & Poors for the fourth year in a row.

In its rating, S&P noted that BCBSNDs expense ratio of 8.2 percent is below its peer group average of 14.1 percent.

The companys medical loss ratio of 89.2 percent also beats the industry average of 87 percent. Medical loss ratio measures the percentage of member premiums used to pay medical claims.

S&P is an internationally recognized authority on the claims-paying ability of nearly all insurance companies.

Audio Resource Group moves to West Fargo

Audio Resource Group Inc., a nationally distributed manufacturer of audio and video equipment, has moved its corporate office from Hannaford, N.D., to 405 W. Main Ave., Suite 4G, West Fargo.

ARG manufactures transmitters, receivers, amplifiers, headphones, viewing screens and accessories for multiple audio and video applications.

Recent management hires include Scott Lindemann as general manager and Steve Shark as national sales manager.

Lindemann has operated several companies in the area and Shark was most recently with DakTech Computers as vice president of sales and marketing.

In addition to the corporate headquarters in West Fargo, ARG has an office in Shenzhen, China, and will maintain a facility in Hannaford.

Smart Spaces opens new showroom in Fargo

Smart Spaces has opened a new showroom and offices at 3955 40th Ave. S., Fargo.

The business, owned by Ursula Hegvik, has served customers in North Dakota and Minnesota since 2007.

Smart Spaces offers full-service design and installation of closets and other custom-built organization systems.

The new showroom features a master closet with island, laundry room, pantry, kids closet, mudroom locker and bench, two custom office desks, a wine wall and more.

The business can be reached by calling (701) 200-8770 or visit www.smart


First Choice Apparel adds on-site boutique

First Choice Apparel and Embroidery has expanded the business by adding a new boutique at its current location, 2301 12th St. N., Fargo.

First and For Most Boutique sells pillows, table linens, home decor, jute tote bags, handbags and jewelry.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays until Christmas. First and For Most is also open during First Choice Apparel regular hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The business phone number is (701) 271-0052.

Rule29 creative director to speak at meeting

The American Advertising Federation of North Dakota monthly educational meeting will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Fargo Holiday Inn, 3803 13th Ave. S. Featured speaker will be Justin Ahrens, principal and creative director at Rule29.

Admission is free for AAF-ND members, $45 for nonmembers and $15 for nonmember students. To register, email reservations@aaf-nd.org.

Innovate ND to host statewide boot camps

Innovate ND will host six boot camps across North Dakota that are open to anyone interested in learning about developing a business concept.

Registrations for the boot camps are free for Innovate ND participants. Nonparticipants may attend the meetings for $49 per session.

Participants who sign up for Innovate ND and pay the $250 registration fee may attend all boot camp sessions at no additional charge.

Jeff Stamp, University of North Dakota entrepreneur-in-residence, will facilitate the boot camp series. Stamp is a long-time entrepreneur and was section manager of the initial brand and product development team of Baked Lays for PepsiCos snack division Frito-Lay, as well as his own private entrepreneurial ventures that include Bold Thinking and eight other start-ups.

The boot camp schedule includes (all start times are 8 a.m.):

- Dec 8 and May 11, UND Center for Innovation, Grand Forks.

- Jan. 19 and April 13, Bismarck (locations to be determined).

- Feb. 9, NDSU Research and Technology Park, Fargo.

- March 9, Minot, (location to be determined).

For more information or to register, visit www.InnovateND.com.

Brown & Saenger buys Crescent Printing

Brown & Saenger has acquired the assets of Crescent Printing, Mandan, N.D.

Steve Knudson was the owner of Crescent Printing, which had been in the Knudson family since 1907. Brown & Saenger plans to continue to operate the business in its current facility and provide the same services that Crescent Printing offers to Mandan and the surrounding area.

Brown & Saenger is based in Sioux Falls, S.D., with branches throughout North Dakota, including Bis

marck, Fargo, Jamestown and Minot.

Prescription Assistance Program office moves

The local Prescription Assistant Program office has moved to 808 3rd Ave. S., Suite 400, Fargo.

Tax firm joins Eide Bailly Colorado office

Clark & Srsich, a boutique tax firm in Littleton, Colo., has joined the Eide Bailly office in Golden, Colo.

The firm is owned by certified public accountants Kathleen Clark and Laura Srsich. The move will add the two partners, four staff members and more than 80 years of combined specialized experience to Eide Bailly.

Sungods accepting Toys for Tots donations

Sungods Tanning Salon, 1617 32nd Ave. S., Fargo, is an official U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots drop off location.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys for children up to age 17 will be accepted through Dec. 18.

Those donating toys will receive one free tanning session. For more information, call (701) 232-5433.