barb peterson

Barb Peterson

Williston Economic Development made some exciting announcements this week, sharing a new mentorship program and an expanded role for one member of the team.

Economic Development shared in a release that Barbara Peterson has been promoted to marketing and business development coordinator, a newly created position. Peterson has been Economic Development’s marketing coordinator since 2010.

Peterson will continue to oversee WED’s strategic marketing plan, social media management, news releases and the Williston Wire, a weekly online newsletter. In addition, she will develop a lead generation program to recruit restaurants and retailers, implement an existing business expansion program and build relationships with local stakeholders.

“One of our strategic goals for Williston Economic Development is to accelerate efforts of recruiting, retaining and expanding our small business sector. Barb’s history and experience within the community positions her well for success. I am looking forward to what she will accomplish,” said Shawn Wenko, Economic Development executive director.

“I look forward to working more closely with new and existing business owners in the Williston area,” said Peterson. “We offer so many great opportunities for all types of businesses to start, grow and prosper.”

Peterson holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota.

Additionally, Economic Development has announced that it is launching a new mentorship program this month. The new “Superstars” initiative is designed to connect successful small business owners with potential Williston entrepreneurs.

“To become a mentor, the individuals must have utilized the Williston STAR Fund, been in business for a minimum of five years and established themselves as a leader in our community,” explained Economic Development Executive Director Shawn Wenko.

Economic Development said that the first group of Superstars represents a variety of businesses, and that all of them are familiar with the Williston STAR Fund, which was created by a voter approved 1 percent city sales tax. Seventy-five percent of those sales tax collections benefit infrastructure debt relief for city projects while 25 percent helps job creation and community development projects through the STAR Fund.

The 2021 Williston Superstars include:

Kevin Black, Malachi Black and Wyatt Black, Owners of Creedence Energy


Lenny Johnson, Owner of Genesis

Katie Kringen, Owner of Chatter Pediatric Therapy and Chatter Walk-in Clinic

Josh Kringen, Owner of Mondak Sports

Eddie and Megan Wold, Owners of Meg-A-Latte and Lounge Thirty 3

The Superstars mentors will help mentees learn about starting a new business or expanding an existing business in the Williston trade region.

“These individuals have agreed to be a conduit to entrepreneurs out there in exchange for some complimentary advertising,” said Wenko.

Economic Development will run a six-week promotion beginning Jan 18 featuring each of the Superstars. The mentors will be featured in broadcast, print and digital marketing. Wenko said his office plans to add more mentors annually.

“We intend to grow the initiative by inducting new mentors each year,” he said. “We believe success breeds success and that these business leaders will help foster future development by leading, leveraging their strengths and sharing experiences with fellow entrepreneurs. This is entrepreneurship at its best.”

To learn more about the Superstars program visit Williston Economic Development’s social media accounts or their website at or email For information about programs for startups and existing businesses contact or visit

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