Q: How do you survive the weather in Fargo?
A: Actually, I like the weather. I grew up skiing in Montana so I'm used to snow — and lots of it! Living in Fargo can be challenging for sure ... I've lived through actual temperatures of 61° below zero, windchills of 101° below zero, and an actual winter snowfall that exceeded 13 feet. But on the other hand, there are many Saturdays where you'll find me and my girls at the park sledding or cross-country skiing. Even when it's 10 or 20 below zero, you can still have a lot of fun! It's just what you're used to.

Q: Okay, where's your favorite place to vacation in the winter?
A: Mike and I have been so busy the last few years, we haven't taken any winter trips, but we loved our last trip to Miami Beach during the Graphics of the Americas show, and we'd love to go back. This winter, we have plans to start a "couple only/no kids" midwinter vacation tradition. We really want to visit Miami Beach again, or relive our honeymoon at Waikiki Beach. Neither of these probably sound very exotic, but we really loved both places. There's something about a bustling big city on a terrific beach that appeals to us.

Q: Is it true you are a serious reader? How much do you read and what kind of stuff do you read?
A: I do read a lot. I'm into non-fiction, and my favorite titles are usually books about nutrition or religious philosophy. I enjoy a guy named Philip Yancey who wrote What's So Amazing About Grace? and Disappointment with God. I also admire the fact that he is one of the few people who has climbed all 54 mountains in Colorado that are higher than 14,000 feet.

I have also been blessed beyond imagination reading classic story books out loud to my two little girls. There are some great literary works that often get overlooked because they are "kids' books." Peter Pan, Heidi, or The Secret Garden are wonderfully creative and will grow your imagination. I can hardly wait to read the next chapter of our current book, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Through the years, our reading times have helped create a special bond between me and my girls—and it has helped them become more creative and imaginative along the way. We could never go back to television.

Q: Is it true your family has its own mission statement?
A: Yes, but it's not a business thing. We created a family mission statement to unite our family around a common sense of purpose. We also have a vision statement for our daughters called "The Excellence Edge." It's a poster that describes the 10 traits we think they'll need to develop in their lives in order to achieve lifelong success. On a lighter note, we even have a family "cheer" (as in cheerleader). Every so often we get in a circle and all hold hands. Then, in unison, say our silly little family cheer. It's a lot of fun, and it makes us laugh and smile every time we do it.

Q: Is Mike a good dad?
A: Yes, he is; he's a great dad. He got a late start on it and became a dad when some guys are having grandkids. He struggles a little with how much time he has to spend at work, but he is very close to his two girls. He has a sweet thing he does: he calls it "catching kisses." From the time our daughters were very little, he taught them to close their hands after Daddy kissed their palm, so they could "keep his kiss and save it." Now that they're older, they'll catch a kiss from Dad when he leaves for work, and they'll put it in their pocket or put it under their pillow. When he's out of town, he'll make a smacking kissing sound on the phone, and the girls will say, "I caught it, Daddy!" Then they'll put that kiss on their cheeks ... or sometimes they'll hold it in their hand as they fall asleep. It's very cute and very sweet.

Q: Why do you homeschool?
A: I believe the purpose of education is to prepare our children with the intellectual and emotional tools they'll need to be a success in life. It broke my heart to see the public school system suck the creativity and curiosity out of my daughters' hearts and minds. Then, during the parent-teacher conferences I attended, I slowly began to realize that the very people entrusted with educating my children weren't that educated themselves. I feel badly saying that, but I discovered an educational system staffed with teachers who seemed content to create "average" kids. I witnessed very little vision or big thinking from the teachers, and I also observed constant celebrations of mediocrity in my kids' classrooms. I want my daughters to receive something much more hopeful and profound from their education.

Q: What's the biggest business problem you've had to cope with?
A: In 2007, our business got caught up in a frivolous lawsuit that was instigated by a group of individuals seeking money. Their claim was so absurd and goofy that, in the beginning, we had a hard time taking it seriously. We soon discovered we were going to have to defend ourselves, whether we liked it or not, in a lengthy court case. Well, we eventually won the lawsuit. But the other side appealed, and it went all the way to the North Dakota Supreme Court, where we won again on a unanimous 5-0 decision. It took nearly 2 years to resolve, and it cost us $57,000 in legal fees to defend ourselves. The other side's legal fees were on a contingency basis, so losing didn't cost them a penny. Their legal bill was zero. It was so frustrating. We had to make a decision to either get bitter or get better. We chose to let it go and forget it. Otherwise, we would have risked getting consumed with bitterness or negativity. We won. We decided to move on and have never looked back.

Q: Do you have any mentors? Who have you learned from?
A: I've learned a lot from many people. Dave Ramsey taught me how I should manage business budgets and debt. Jack Welch has this common sense approach to management and decision making that I find clarifying. John Maxwell has been a big influence on my leadership style for over 10 years. But the greatest growth and impact on the values and direction of my life has come from the Bible. In my opinion, it is a very underrated business resource. I have made many tough decisions—correctly—based on what I learned from the teachings of this great Book.

Q: If you got stuck in an elevator with just one person, who would it be?
A: ... Oooh, tough choice. How about Pierce Brosnan? Or maybe Matthew McConaughey? Whoa, wait a minute, I'm married. So, I would choose Mike Stevens. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I made those earlier comments. Yes, that's it. I would choose Mike. Sure, it would be him. Then again, Keith Urban has that amazing voice, and he looks so good in jeans... Sorry, my mind keeps drifting. What was the question again?