Diversion Authority Expands Staff

Diversion Authority Expands Staff

(December 3, 2020) – The FM Area Diversion Project hired Kris Bakkegard as the Director of Engineering and Jennifer Darling as Director of Communications.

“In addition to Dawn Lindblom who joined as Executive Assistant in April 2020, we are pleased to continue to expand the professionalism and expertise of our team,” said Executive Director Joel Paulsen. “Each team member brings a wealth of specialized knowledge and experience to the Project. And this cohesive team enhances our goals of effective, transparent communications and an on-time, on-budget delivery of flood protection to the Fargo-Moorhead regional community.”

Bakkegard is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) who worked at KLJ for 25 years before joining the FM Area Diversion Team. He graduated from NDSU with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and is a licensed PE in North Dakota and Minnesota. Kris has been an integral part of many leadership and management training sessions, and serves on several boards and committees, most recently including NDSU Team makers and the FMWF Chamber.

Darling is an analytical, creative thinker and accomplished leader who possesses a unique blend of communications, business, and technical skills that enhance her ability to engage multiple stakeholders at all levels. Darling’s 20 years of experience include leading global communication strategies for companies like Coca-Cola, Expedia, and CNN. She has the ability to quickly launch digital communication channels that increase audience interaction and align organizational capabilities with key business priorities and initiatives. Darling also encourages organizations take a step back along the way to add visual and personal elements that build a more engaged, connected and informed experience.

“We are extremely fortunate to have such talented people on our staff,” Paulsen said.

Also, the FM Area Diversion Project is excited to share that they will launch an internship program for local students in Q1 2021.  We are currently completing a pilot initiative to map out how we can provide the most value for this experience, and will share more when the program launches next year.

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