UND appoints David Martin to be new director of N.D. Small Business Development Center

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Business & Public Administration


The University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration has named David K. Martin to be the next director of the North Dakota Small Business Development Center (N.D. SBDC).

Martin, a longtime business and community leader with the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead where he served as public affairs director and president & CEO, will begin his duties at the N.D. SBDC effective on Monday (Feb. 2). He most recently was vice president of community relations with Grafton, N.D.-based Choice Financial Group, where he primarily focused on community relations, business development and the company’s national health savings accounts program.

“I could not be happier to have David take the helm of the N.D. SBDC,” said Margaret Williams, dean of the UND College of Business and Public Administration. “He is a skilled communicator and team-builder who will help the outstanding network of centers that comprise the SBDC be even more effective in serving our state. I look forward to working with David to ensure that UND, the N.D. SBDC and other state, regional and local entities work together seamlessly to serve the entrepreneurs and small business owners of North Dakota as they diversify the economy of our state.”

As director of the N.D. SBDC, Martin will work out of the N.D. SBDC’s locations in Bismarck, Fargo and at UND in Grand Forks. Martin takes the helm of the premier source for small business assistance in North Dakota, helping individuals start, manage and grow their own businesses.

“Small businesses significantly impact the North Dakota economy and I have spent countless hours and thousands of miles traveling the state of North Dakota in my career and working with individuals, organizations, companies and communities, helping them be more successful by working together,” Martin said.

Martin, who was raised in Pelican Rapids, Minn., attended Minnesota State University, Moorhead, where he received a bachelor’s degree in health education. He completed his master’s degree in higher education administration at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and received a specialist in educational leadership degree from North Dakota State University. He’s also a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institutes for Organizational Management.

The breadth of his career spans the fields of education, public affairs, community relations and workforce development. He began as director of administrative services with Lutheran Health Services in Fargo, before moving on to become a senior management analyst with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota. From 1990-1995, Martin served as director of the Concordia Leadership Center at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and then as director of Congregation and Community Services for Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota.

In 1996, Martin started as the public affairs director for the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead, an organization that he would serve for 13 years, eventually becoming its president & CEO. During his time at the Chamber, Martin formed and launched an annual regional economic outlook forum that attracted hundreds of participants and media members. He also led the Chamber to be a finalist for national Chamber of the Year in 2007, qualifying again in 2009 and 2010.

He also co-led the successful community effort to save the North Dakota Air National Guard based in Fargo, during the most recent federal Base Realignment and Closure round. The effort actually secured a new mission for the Fargo base.

Among his other achievements, Martin cofounded Project Tomorrow, a two-year, two-county community visioning effort that formulated a 10-year plan for the Fargo-Moorhead metro area of Cass and Clay Counties of North Dakota and Minnesota. He also led a successful community effort to achieve an All-America City designation for Fargo-Moorhead. The honor was bestowed on only 10 communities in the nation that year, and Fargo-Moorhead was the only bi-state community represented in the field of finalists.

More about N.D. SBDC:

The North Dakota Small Business Development Center is an outreach program hosted by the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration. The Lead Centeris located in Bismarck at the Bank of North Dakota. Regional Centers and personnel are located around the state; many are partnerships with local host organizations. These offices serve more than 1,700 North Dakota entrepreneurs annually, and assist small businesses with the acquisition of more than $100 million in capital infusion every year. Since its inception in 1986, the N.D. SBDC has evolved into a strong state-wide network.