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Best Of The Red River Valley

December 2, 2020

We are so excited to share that EPIC Management was named 3rd for “Best Apartment Rental Agency”. Thank you to everyone who has voted for us! We are excited and eager to continue to be a place people love to call home.

Many of our current businesses also made it on the Best of the Red River Valley list! See them below!

Best Coffee Third Place: Thunder Coffee 

Best Bar Fifth Place: Bar Down 

Best Pizza Fourth Place: Spicy Pie 

Best non-profit Fifth Place: West Fargo Events 

Best Spa/Massage Second Place: Inspire Health & Wellness Spa 

Best Hair Salon Third Place: Amy Rose Salon 

First Place Winners

Best Bank Winner: Bell Bank 

Locations: Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth and elsewhere 

Bell Bank is back as reader’s choice of Best Bank, repeating its selection in 2019. With roots as a single location in north Fargo, Bell Bank has grown into a regional banking behemoth, the largest independent banking system in the Midwest, with assets of $8 billion. 

Despite its size, Bell Bank, with headquarters in south Fargo, has been able to sustain a strong connection with its customers. 

“Our ‘bottom line’ mission is unique compared to the ‘bottom line’ of most banks and financial institutions,” saYS Michael Solberg, Bell Bank’s president and CEO. “It’s simple: ‘Happy Employees! Happy Customers!’” 

Recognition from the readers’ poll is gratifying. Solberg says it stems from what could be called a business version of the Golden Rule. 

“People matter, and every one of our employees know that how we treat each other and our customers every day is the most important thing,” he says. ” This is truly an honor. 

Best Photographer Winner: Taylor Jane Photography 

Location: Fargo 

What’s the most popular service you offer? 

“I specialize in newborn photography,” says Taylor Jorgenson. “This type of session is my most booked.” 

What makes what you do special to customers? 

“I prioritize the safety of baby while taking away the stress of styling my sessions by providing a full wardrobe to my clients, as well as providing all things needed for my newborn and milestone sessions,” Jorgenson says. 

What’s the most rewarding part of what you do? 

“Getting to be a part of some of the most important moments in my clients’ lives while creating an amazing experience for them to remember,” Jorgenson says. 

What’s the biggest challenge of working with babies? 

“Having patience is something that is so important and taking the extra time to get the perfect shot,” Jorgenson says. 

What are some memorable moments? 

“This year I took a giant leap and moved my business to a brand new studio in the middle of a pandemic,” Jorgenson says. “I’ve faced challenges that I never thought I would but I am so happy that with hard work and a lot of effort it has been the best decision for my business.” 

Best Customer Service Winner: Bell Bank 

Locations: Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth and elsewhere 

Bell Bank, also recognized by readers in 2019 as providing the best customer service, believes that putting customers first and treating employees like family will lead to good customer service. 

“Our employees live our core values, every single day,” says Lynn Johnson, Bell Bank’s executive vice president for retail banking. “One of those core values is exceptional service, and the two others are family atmosphere and community. Put all those together, and that’s a powerful combination that our team members are proud to live up to.” 

Customers value personal service. “People want to be known personally by name, not treated like a number or transaction,” Johnson says. “It’s really about doing the right thing for people.” 

Best Mortgage Winner: Bell Bank 

Locations: Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth and elsewhere 

Bell Bank is once again our readers’ top choice for home loans. The Bell name has mortgage roots dating back to 1880. Bell Bank tries to make getting a home loan simple. Experienced staff help to make that happen. 

“Our mortgage lenders are so experienced,” says Michael Solberg, Bell Bank’s president and CEO. “Whether someone is a young, first-time buyer exploring homeownership, or someone moving up, downsizing or refinancing, we’ve worked with everyone.” 

Bell Bank strives to make the process easy on the customer through all phases of home lending. 

“Our goal is to make the mortgage part of the home-buying process run smoothly, with no surprises,” Solberg says. 

Best Large Employer Winner: Bell Bank 

Locations: Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth and elsewhere 

Bell Bank is back as the top large company to work for. Work culture is a priority at Bell Bank. The banking company emphasizes its “Pay it Forward” program, under which employees have contributed more than $14 million toward charitable causes since the initiative started in 2008. 

“It’s all about the people,” says Julie Peterson Klein, Bell Bank’s executive vice president and chief culture officer. “We want our employees to feel like their co-workers are their family away from home.” 

Employees can become part owners of the company through an employee stock ownership program, or ESOP. 

“As owners through our ESOP, employees take even greater pride in the company,” Peterson Klein says. “Our teams treat each other like family, and in turn, get to know our customers and treat them as part of the Bell family, too.”