A vibrant, action-packed convention took place in Tacoma last month when Sons of Norway delegates descended on the mountain-ringed port to conduct its biennium business and have a generous portion of fun as well.

Read on for the run-down …


Jon Tehven, Waverly, Iowa, was re-elected International President. Tehven served as president from 2014-2016; his new term will extend until the next election at the 2018 International Convention.

Also re-elected is International Vice-President Ron Stubbings, Port Coquitiam, British Columbia. Newly elected to their positions are International Treasurer Elaine M. Nelson, Fargo, N.D.; and International Secretary Marci Larson, Jacksonville, Fla.

Newly elected to the Board of Directors are District 1 Director Karl N. Hella, Northfield, Minn.; District 2 Director Mark Agerter, Eugene, Ore.; District 3 Director Kenneth Johnson, Patchogue, N.Y.; and District 4 Director Steven M. Halverson, Fargo, N.D.

Update from Norway

Honored guest Kim Nesselquist, Consul of Norway for the states of Washington and Idaho, and Director, Office of Advancement and University Relations, Pacific Lutheran University, reported on the current state of Norway’s quality of life (best, according to the United Nations livable index), economy, ecology, global challenges and more. He also had plenty of praise for Sons of Norway and all its initiatives. Read the full text of Mr. Nesselquist’s remarks.

Innovative Leadership Conference

At this year’s Innovative Leadership Conference (ILC), delegates engaged in a day-long workshop that provided a framework for developing their own leadership skills and tools for mentoring potential new leaders in their respective lodges. Guided by presenter Kit Welchlin, participants worked through four modules that included interactive exercises and in-depth discussions on teamwork, strategic planning, mentoring and conflict resolution. Read about many of the take-aways from the conference, and note a few survey highlights:

  • 95 percent of participants either Strongly Agreed (65 percent) or Agreed (30 percent) that the presenter was interesting to listen to.
  • 86 percent of participants either Strongly Agreed (35 percent) or Agreed (51 percent) that the ILC met their overall expectations.
  • 84 percent of participants either Strongly Agreed or Agreed that the things they learned will help with member retention; 73 percent either Strongly Agreed or Agreed that the things they learned will help with member recruitment.


Folk Art Exhibition

The 2016 International Folk Art Competition and Exhibition featured an array of intricate pieces crafted by over 50 talented Sons of Norway members from across the globe. More than 90 items competed for honors in 10 categories.

The People’s Choice Award and the Sons of Norway Foundation’s Golden Jubilee Award were awarded to Kirsten Håheim from Haugaland 8-018, Haugesund, Norway, for her Stavanger woven rug.


The Best in Show Award was awarded to Kristine Crompton from Grieg 2-015, Portland, Ore., for her ivory hardanger piece.

Check out the complete list of all 2016 award recipients and photos from the event.

Thank You, Tacoma

The City of Tacoma provided a warm welcome to the Sons of Norway delegation and guests, and the host lodges and their terrific volunteers deserve kudos for the top-notch activities and hospitality enjoyed by all.

The 2018 International Convention will be held in Minneapolis – let the planning begin!