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NDTO News Article

Dean Gorder hired to lead North Dakota Trade Office

The North Dakota Trade Office Board of Directors announced Tues., March 30, that Dean Gorder, general manager of Mattracks, Inc., has agreed to serve as the Trade Office’s executive director.

“We are very excited about the leadership he can provide the Trade Office as we move forward in expanding North Dakota’s global business,” said Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the Trade Office’s board chairman. “Dean’s extensive business experience in manufacturing, in agriculture, the aviation industry and in education will be a tremendous asset in leading the Trade Office.”

Gorder will begin his work at the Trade Office April 12. He succeeds Susan Geib, who will leave the Trade Office March 31 after serving as the organization’s founding executive director since 2004.

Gorder oversees all aspects of Mattracks Inc. operations and has taken the Karlstad, Minn., manufacturing company to the global marketplace. Gorder’s global business strategy at Mattracks included establishing a foreign joint venture in China.  Mattracks manufacturers and markets rubber track conversion systems for 4X4 vehicles.

Gorder’s professional experience includes managing several departments within the University of North Dakota’s aviation program. At UND, Gorder served as assistant chief flight instructor and assistant director of flight operations throughout the 1990s. His responsibilities included managing the university’s contract pilot training program and contract negotiations with China Airlines, Evergreen Airlines and Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Air and Aramco.

Gorder is a member of the North Dakota District Export Council, a volunteer organization that mentors businesses leaders who want to expand into the global marketplace. In Oct. 2009, Gorder testified before the U.S. Senate Export and Business Competitiveness Subcommitee, advocating for government support of U.S. business expansion in foreign markets.

He grew up on a 4,500-acre family farm near Grafton, N.D. Gorder Farms produces sugar beets, edible beans and small grains.

“I am very excited to take on this new challenge and continue the work that the Trade Office has done successfully since 2004,” Gorder said.

Headquartered in Fargo, the Trade Office is a private-public partnership dedicated to expanding North Dakota’s global business opportunities through education, advocacy and expertise. Funded by the state and private businesses, the Trade Office’s services include international market research, trade mission management and accredited global business education and training seminars.

“Dean has a passion for international business and he believes in the Trade Office mission,” said Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle, a member of the Trade Office board. “He brings many strengths to the Trade Office and we look forward to having Dean take us to the next level.”