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ND Nonprofit Awards

2020 Emerging Leader Award Winner

Becca Cruger is a workforce development manager at the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation (EDC), is this year’s recipient of the North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations’ (NDANO) Emerging Leader Award.

The North Dakota Association of Nonprofit Organizations (NDANO) presented the 2020 North Dakota Nonprofits Awards during its Virtual Nonprofit Leadership Conference on May 27-28 and June 3-4. Tickets for the full virtual event are available at

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant impact in strengthening the North Dakota nonprofit sector in a short amount of time within the field.

In her role at the Grand Forks Region EDC, Cruger oversees the “Greater Grand Forks: Way Cooler Than You Think!” initiative driven by six organizations that promote the region and attract more skilled workers to the area. Due to Cruger’s tireless work, the corresponding hashtag #gfiscooler has been used more than 10,000 times, giving people a place to share positive stories about the area. The digital content she has created has also been seen on more than 4.2 million devices. Additionally, 85 percent of website viewers are from outside of the region, proving these stories are reaching external audiences who are interested in life in North Dakota.

Cruger also spends time serving multiple local nonprofits, including the Community Violence Intervention Center, Evolve GF, Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, and others. She serves as honorary commander at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, where she uses her connections and love of the region to ensure military families feel welcome in the community.

“Becca Cruger has made a significant impact as a leader in her community,” says NDANO Board President Kara Geiger. “NDANO is pleased to recognize her efforts in telling the story of Grand Forks and the state as a whole.”

The 2020 awards will be presented at the North Dakota Virtual Nonprofit Leadership Conference. Through a series of two-hour webinars on May 27-28 and June 3-4, the conference will bring together nonprofit staff, board members and volunteers to participate in educational sessions, network and exchange ideas. To register, visit

NDANO is the statewide membership association for the North Dakota nonprofit sector. Its mission is to educate, advocate and connect to strengthen nonprofits.

Emerging Leader Award Winners

* 2019 – Billi Jo Zielinski
* 2018 – Dayna Del Val
* 2017 – Stacy Schaffer
* 2016 – Jessica Thomasson
* 2014 – Ty Hegland
* 2013 – Luke Klefstad