BY MARIE VEILLETTE
“My philosophy really has been ‘surround yourself with great people, and great things will happen,’” said J. Patrick Traynor, president of the Dakota Medical Foundation.
From his long list of accomplishments, it seems as though that philosophy is working for him. Traynor was this year’s L.B. Hartz award winner, an honor given each year by the College of Business and Innovation at MSUM and sponsored by the L.B. Hartz foundation.
The award banquet, which took place last Friday in the CMU ballroom, was filled with the local business community, along with staff from the hosting college, to ongratulate and support Traynor. Current provost and future president Anne Blackhurst was also in attendance and gave a short welcome speech.
Each year, students in the College of Business and Innovation choose a professional to nominate for the award. This year Traynor was nominated by Brandon Carmichael and Steven Garaas, who also gave him a full introduction complete with his long list of accomplishments.
Traynor received a degree in economics from the University of North Dakota and went on to get a law degree shortly after. He held the position of Deputy Director of the North Dakota Workers Compensation Bureau, turning a deficit into a surplus in his time there. Currently president of the Dakota Medical Foundation, Traynor created the Lend A Hand program, which has raised over $6.5 million since its creation. On top of all of that, he spearheaded the construction of a new building for the medical foundation, for which work was recently completed.
In his acceptance speech, Traynor was very humble. “It’s a huge honor, and I’m kind of sheepish about accepting it,” he said.
He congratulated Blackhust on her recent appointment as president and commended MSUM for “producing the leaders of tomorrow, and … doing a great job.”
Traynor told the audience, “I accept it (the award) on behalf of the folks in this room.” He added, “Achievement really is a group effort.” The entirety of his speech credited his success to the people around him. “If I leave you with one thing, the one thing I can be accredited with is that I hang with great people, and they make great things happen,” Traynor said, ending his speech.
However, the focus of the night was not simply on the business community outside of MSUM. Two students of the College of Business and Innovation were also recognized with a scholarship awarding their academic achievements as well as community service.
From a pool of 27 students, Lacey Guck and Sydney Beyer were awarded a $2,000 scholarship. To be considered for the award, students must have a 3.5 GPA and have graduated from either a Minnesota or North Dakota high school. The 27 students also had to write responses to three essay questions and provide reference letters.
Guck is an honors apprentice scholarship recipient doing research with professors to fulfill her requirements. She currently holds two marketing internships, one with Arving and one with DogIDs. She volunteers as a piano accompanist for both MSUM and her church and also volunteers at 4 Luv of Dog Rescue.
“Pat Trainer was this year’s L.B. Hartz award winner, and rightfully so. After listening to his motivational acceptance speech, I have an even stronger sense of just how important it is to be involved within a community and to be surrounded by caring people,” Guck said. “Mr. Trainer has an inspiring entrepreneurial spirit that mirrors the image of L.B. Hartz.”
She said although the financial aspect of this scholarship will positively impact her future, it is worth much more than that. “The L.B. Hartz Academic Achievement Scholarship will always be a reminder to give back to others and to never put a limit on my personal goals and aspirations,” she said.
Beyer is equally qualified for the scholarship. She is currently a Dragon Caller for MSUM and is the familiar face used on recruitment posters hung around campus. She is a member of the honors society for business students, Beta Gamma Sigma, as well as a member of the DECA team. Beyer said it is not unusual for her to hold two or three part time jobs at once, and she plans to work and go to school full time next year.
“I am humbled to receive such a distinguished scholarship from the School of Business and the L.B. Hartz foundation,” Beyer said.