Meet a Member: Ellen Crawford

One of the true jewels of our organization is Ellen Crawford. She is a hard worker, outstanding communicator and always willing to help with tasks. She keeps track of our spending and does her best to keep our organization in the black and finding ways to cut costs. I look forward to conferences and meetings to be able to spend time with her. Meet this unique and unbelievable NFPW member.

Ellen Crawford

Ellen Crawford

Name: Ellen Crawford

City and State: Fargo, N.D.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

North Dakota Professional Communicators. I am the treasurer and have been since 1999. Prior to that, I held various positions: college contest chair, membership directory editor, second vice president/contest chair, first vice president/membership chair and president.

At the national level, I have been treasurer since 2011. Prior to that, I served on the President’s Advisory Board, was the Nominating Committee chair and served as northwest quadrant director on the Education Fund Board.

Years a member of NFPW: I’m starting my 30th year.

Tell us a little about you.

I was born and grew up in Minot, N.D. My parents died when I was in grade school, so I lived with my grandmother and later my aunt and uncle. My aunt and uncle owned a furniture moving and storage company.  I learned to do everything (providing customers with cost estimates, packing, loading and unloading trucks, secretarial duties, preparing tax returns) except drive the trucks. After obtaining two college degrees (B.A. in English and B.S. in mass communication, with minors in Spanish and geology), I spent 26½ years working at The Forum, the newspaper in Fargo. I was a reporter for the first 25 years and a copy editor/page designer for the other 1½  years.

For the last 10 years, I have been a writer/editor for the North Dakota State University Agriculture Communication Department.

In my spare time, I love to read mystery and spy novels, go antiquing, knit afghans for veterans at the VA Medical Center and veterans home, and do yard work.


Enjoying a post NFPW conference boat ride are from left, Rebecca West, Meg Hunt, Ellen Crawford and Karen Stensrud.

Any career advice you would give? 

My best advice is to develop as many skills as possible, make yourself as indispensable, do the best job you can, and volunteer to serve on committees or take on extra projects. Your boss will have a hard time firing you if he or she has to hire two or more people to replace you.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Speak Spanish like a native

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Somewhere near Glacier National Park. I’ve visited the park seven times. It’s my favorite place.

What book are you reading? 

The Escape by David Baldacci

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

My mother was born in Latvia. She came to the U.S. after World War II, when a church sponsored her to come to Minot.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I joined for the networking and recognition through the communications contest. Those still are important to me. I like being able to talk to others in the same field who face the same problems, and perhaps have found some solutions. The communications contest validates that I am doing a good job and helps me improve my skills. I also really appreciate the friends I have made through the years and all of the opportunities to learn at conferences.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

I’m afraid I’m not into social media personally.

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