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Employee Spotlight

NDVS/SB Business Manager
Grandma, Listener, Our Newest Employee!

Paula and Arik sit in a car and lean towards each other as they take a selfie. They are wearing dress clothes and are smiling at the camera.

Change is hard. Whenever someone retires, there is worry about who will be hired to replace the retiring employee and how the new person will measure up. Luckily, Paula Solheim, who was hired last month to replace NDVS/SB’s retiring business manager Tami Purcell, is an expert in change. Having grown up in a military family, she got used to moving around in her childhood. New home, new school, new community, changes galore. Now, as the business manager at NDVS/SB, Paula is getting used to more change – new job, new tasks, new staff. But with her experience, knowledge, and flexibility, she is excited for her new role and the challenges – and change – it will bring. “I like change! But only if it is for the better,” she says. “I feel we can all still learn, so if the change is a good one, I am all for it!” Read on to learn more about NDVS/SB’s newest employee, Paula.

Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up mostly in Hatton, ND. We were a military family, so we moved a few times, but that is where we last landed and call home. For college, I attended Mayville State University and have a degree in University Studies. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do!

What other jobs have you held?
My most recent job was with the Grand Forks County Human Service Zone as the business manager. Before that I worked at the NDDOT as the Storekeeper/ Procurement Office and Mayville State University as the Transfer Admissions Coordinator.

Why did you apply at NDVS/SB? 
I have worked in the business manager role for a few years now, and I felt with my state background, I could bring some great knowledge.  

What are you excited for in your new job?
Learning more about what we do for people who need our services. I think this place is amazing in what can be provided!

What is a typical day like for you? 
Honestly, each day is different.  Depends on what is happening in the building.  Mostly it’s accounting related, of course!

Is there anything you think people would be surprised to learn about NDVS/SB? 
I think most people think this is a place for only the blind. I was guilty of this. They would be surprised to know that we help people with all types of vision impairments.  

Tell us about your life outside of work.3 young boys sit on a bench in front of a window wearing matching striped Christmas pajamas. One holds a slinky. The youngest boy sits on one of the older boy's lap. They smile at the camera.
My husband Arik and I have seven children (3 girls and 4 boys) between the two of us, and we have five grandsons: Wyatt (12), Stormy (8), Lane (3), Odin (2) and Pierce (4 months). We are hoping for a granddaughter! We also have two dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks named Covi and Luna. We enjoy doing pretty much everything together. We like to play sports, go to live rock concerts, and spend time at the lake with family and friends. My husband coaches hockey, and I go with him to all the games. I am also the scheduler, which takes up a lot of time. We are on our third house flip, and I will say I am ready to be done! It’s time to slow down and relax a little! I love to crochet, decorate, and do just about any crafty thing.  

As the business manager and one-woman human resources department, you have a unique role in that you get to know all the employees. What would you like them to know about yourself?
I have an open-door policy. If someone has an idea or a question, come to me and we can talk it over. I am a pretty easy person to talk to!  

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