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ND Business Valuation and Research

First Name: Keith
Last Name: Olson
Certifications: MCMEA, AIBA, ABPA, EDFP, BCA, CEB
Address 1: P.O. Box 273
City: Crosby
State: North Dakota
Zip Code: 58730
Country: United States of America
Phone 1: 701-570-4260
Email: keith.r.olson@willistonstate.edu

Keith R. Olson, CMEA, AIBA, ABPA, EDFP, BCA, CEB is currently the regional director for the Small Business Development Center at Williston State College and has been in that capacity since 2003. He is responsible for helping businesses in that area grow through helping with business finance, writing business plans, transition plans, exit plans and transitions owners from one group to another. In his tenure he has helped put together over $500 million in small business loans. He has additional expertise in housing, low income tax credit projects, community development, USDA development projects and other niche financing. Mr. Olson also has close to 15 years’ experience in grant writing, obtaining over $10 million in grants for various groups and organizations.  For the last 5 years he has taken all applications for the City of Williston’s Star Fund, which is the investment arm for the City, which offers interest rate buy down in conjunction with the Bank of North Dakota. He has a day to day interface with businesses all over the region and is able to keep an up to the minute grasp on the local bank and overall business climate which lends credibility to this endeavor. He also serves on several boards and committees which expose him to best practices in all phases of business.

Prior to this Mr. Olson was the CEO of Bushel 42, a start-up boutique pasta manufacturing company in Crosby, ND. The company made specialty and organic pasta under various brands which were bought out by AIPC Pasta Company. Mr. Olson spent 2 years working on the start- up of this company as the local economic development director and was hired to work for it when it was close to completion. Prior experience in agriculture was a good fit as his 20 plus years with agribusiness as a farmer and business owner; growing, washing and selling processed potatoes all over the United States and owning a transportation company led to the ability to solve many crucial transportation issues in a non-interstate highway area.

Mr. Olson was born in 1965 and graduated in 1987 Magna Cum Laude with a BSED from the University of North Dakota. He has many additional certificates  and completions of various competencies that build upon this chosen task.  All additional boards, positions and credentials follow:





·        Graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education, major in Social Studies, with minors in Coaching and Drivers Education


IBA (Institute of Business  Appraisers)

·       Pursuing CBA Designation currently AIBA



·       Accredited Business Planning Advisor for Succession Planning (ABPA)


·       Economic Development Certification( EDFP)



·       Certified for appreciative inquiry planning

·       Energizing Entrepreneurs participant


·       Graduate of Grant Writing Program



·       Williston State College 2007-Present


     North Dakota Housing Agency

·       Leadership award 2012

     Non Voting Member of Williston Star Fund 2003-2013

·       Responsible for all applications for Flex pace and Mini Match

·       Responsible for rewrite of guidelines in 2012 to maximize local investment

        Member ND Opportunity Fund Steering Committee

·       2011 to present


    Loan Committee Chairman ND Opportunity Fund

·       2012 to present


   Member Tri County Regional Development Council

·       2009 to present

    Member Divide Economic Development Council


·       1999-to present including 6 years president


2003-Present Regional Director Small Business Development Center and WSC Rural  Development Center 

·       National ASBDC State Star in 2007 and 2011

·       Director of the WSC Rural Development Center

·       Supervised growth to included 4 sub-centers

·       Responsible for all business development, training and  financing in NW ND Region

·       Completed Federal Home Loan Bank appreciate inquiry training

·       Had highest economic impact numbers in the state  SBDC system 2004 and 2005, and 2006, 2007, and 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011

·       Provided loan assistance in the amount of $110,000,000 in the past four years

·       Continually exceed center performance goals

·       Demonstrated strength in partnership building    


2011 to Present

  • Manager of Williston Department of Motor Vehicle Office
  • Supervised relocation and startup of office


2003-Present Participant in 7 previous Governors Choice Award Nominee Projects

     Bushel 42, Wiggles and Giggles, United Pulse and several individual   nominee awards


 2003-Present Director of the North Dakota Girls Hockey League and Statewide NDAHA  Board Member

  • Responsible for operations of the league including web site, rules and regulations and overall league direction; fostered growth from 14 to current 35 teams
  • 6 time state semi-finalist as coach; 3 state championship games and 2 state championships
  • 2013 Presidents Cup champion

  2003- Present Olson Consulting

  • Created and delivered a Business Retention program for the Griggs Steele Empowerment Zone
  • Conducted various strategic planning sessions and grant writing projects
  • Completed projects for Indian Procurement Center
  • Completed research in feed development for Superior Grains
  • Written several VADP USDA grants for Bushel 42, North American Bison Coop, Spring Wheat Bakers, Superior Grains and Ross Feed and Seed

2001- 2004 CEO-President, Bushel 42 Pasta Company

  • Responsible for the day to day operations of the business, including supervision of all management personnel.
  • Responsible for all sales activities for the plant, which was sold out.
  • Responsible for all member relationships with farmer owners on a daily basis and interaction with area elevators sourcing durum.
  • Responsible for all research and new product development.
  • Responsible for all logistics and ingredient ordering.
  • Responsible for all strategic alliances.

 1999-2001 Economic Development Director for the Northwest Jobs Development Authority

  • Supervised Semolina Specialties Recruitment
  • Supervised Prairie Pork Partners Start-up
  • Graduate of the Grantsmanship program
  • Graduate of the ND Strategic Planning Program
  • Experience with Superior Grains and Dakota Free Products
  • Developed over $11 million dollars of financing packages
  • Received $2 million in grants during tenure
  • Experience with all phases of business start-up and finance
  • Extensive experience in sales both locally and nationally

 Professional presentations


 2010 Bismarck Mandan Chamber on Business Valuation and Transition

2013 Bakken Construction Conference

2003-2010 Marketplace for Entrepreneurs

2011 ND Housing Finance Conference

2001Federal Home Loan Bank on Value Added Agriculture

2010 EDND Business Transition and Valuation

 1985-1999 Farmer Owner of Several Farm Companies

 Owner, Operator of Prairie Farms – Wash, sell and package fresh red potatoes nationwide.

  • Owner, Operator of Olson Farming, North Valley Farms - Interview, hire, schedule, train and supervise up to 25 employees.  Plant, harvest and monitor up to 6,000 acres of agricultural production including up to 1100 acres of potato production.
  • Experience working with Simplot, Lamb-Wesson and Aviko.
  • Extensive experience with business people on a nationwide level.
  • Operate computers with various software responsible for the accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll and preparation of all financial reports.
  • Previous Field-man Experience – Worked for Agway in Maine to supervise the loading of potatoes for the food industry.
  • Previous Brokerage Experience – Rodney K Olson Potato Company– Buy, sell and schedule trucks for up to 1000 loads of potatoes a year.
  •  Owner, Operator of Olson Transport – Hire, train and supervise up to six (6) trucks and drivers.



·       Current President of Divide County Economic Development Council

·       Board Member of the North Dakota Amateur Hockey Association

·       Current director of  ND girls hockey league in North Dakota

·       Former President Crosby Blue Line Club

·       Governors Project of the Year Nominee

·       Member EDND

·       Member/Secretary of the ND Seed Growers Association

·       Nominating committee – Dundee Ins. Park River

·       Nominating committee – Farm Credit Services board of directors

·       Adams city council 1996 to 1999


  • Coach Divide County School 1999 to present
  • Blue Line Hockey Coach 2005- present
  • Taught Sunday School Concordia Lutheran Church
  • Member Mountain Lutheran Church – Council member 12 years, 6 as vice president, 6 as president and chairman of the Parish Call Committee.
  • Member of the Hitterdahl Cemetary Association.
  • Coached baseball, tee ball, little league and Babe Ruth.
  • Officiated boys and girls basketball and boys football.
  • Coached boys’ basketball 3rd grade to 8th grade from 1987 to 1991.
  • Coached varsity boys’ basketball from 1992 to 1993.
  • Taught drivers education for three years.


Located in: MCMEA
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