News & Events

Former State Representative and longtime association executive join Lockridge Grindal Nauen’s North Dakota Government Relations Team.

2017-12-05T01:53:40+00:00 Jul 26, 2017|

Lockridge Grindal Nauen and Synergetic Endeavors are pleased to jointly announce two major additions to their growing North Dakota State Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs team today with the hiring of Blair Thoreson and Rudie Martinson.

A fixture at the North Dakota State Capitol for nearly two decades, Blair Thoreson served as a state representative for Fargo, ND (District 44), from 1998-2016. During his legislative career, Thoreson served as Chairman of the House Appropriations-Government Operations committee as well as a member of the Administrative Rules, Budget Section, Government Finance, Human Services, Information Technology, and Political Subdivisions committees.

Mr. Thoreson brings a wealth of knowledge on the major policy issues impacting the State of North Dakota. As a former member, he has an extensive and trusted network of elected officials as well as industry leaders with whom he has worked closely. Mr. Thoreson has the ability to navigate complex regulatory and legislative issues and his knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to LGN’s clients in North Dakota as well as those with business interests throughout the midwest and nationally.

“I am thrilled to be joining the accomplished team at Lockridge Grindal Nauen” said Mr. Thoreson, “I look forward to not only working with their growing North Dakota client base on issues before the legislature, but also capitalizing on the expanded capacity and resources from this partnership to enhance services for my clients.”

In addition to serving on the Federal Communications Commission’s Intergovernmental Advisory Committee, Mr. Thoreson is a sought-after speaker in the telecommunications industry and has spoken at many national conferences over the years, including the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and the New York Law School Advanced Communications Law & Policy Institute’s Regulators’ and Lawmakers’ Summit.

In the private sector, Thoreson spent fourteen years employed in the telecommunications industry before starting his own small business. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from North Dakota State University and a Master’s degree in Management from the University of Mary.

Joining Mr. Thoreson in supporting LGN’s growing state government relations business, business-to-business, regional lobbying management, and regulatory practice areas is Rudie Martinson.

Mr. Martinson has spent the last nine years as Executive Director of the North Dakota Hospitality Association, representing the association and its members both inside and outside of the capitol.

Mr. Martinson has developed a reputation as an eloquent and effective coalition-builder and advocate for North Dakota’s restaurant, lodging, and beverage industry and will continue to provide the same caliber of representation to the association through his work for LGN. In addition, Mr. Martinson’s experience as an association executive and leader will benefit LGN’s clients, which include numerous trade associations in sectors ranging from health care to transportation.

“It has been my privilege serving the members of the North Dakota Hospitality Association over the past nine years and I look forward to continue serving them in this new role,” said Mr. Martinson.

Prior to his work for the North Dakota Hospitality Association, Mr. Martinson served as Projects Director for the North Dakota Policy Council and Assistant State Director for Americans for Prosperity – North Dakota. He was named one of the “Top 40 Under 40” by the Bismarck Tribune in 2013.

“The policy expertise and effective representation demonstrated by Blair and Rudie over their careers will be a tremendous asset to our firm as it continues to expand in North Dakota,” said LGN partner, Rebecca Kanninen. “Not only do both Blair and Rudie come to the firm with seasoned experience representing diverse interests at the state capitol, they also bring a broad understanding of North Dakota’s policy and political landscape that will greatly benefit our clients.”

Mr. Thoreson and Mr. Martinson will be joining LGN partner Rebecca Kanninen and Ryan Kelly of Synergetic Endeavors, who have led LGN’s expansion into North Dakota over the past four years. The bipartisan LGN government affairs group has offices in Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., and Bismarck, ND.