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Board Members

Mary Dickson

Mary Dickson grew up north of Chicago, got a Bachelors degree from Northwestern University, a Masters in education from the University of Iowa, and a Masters in history from NDSU. Mary taught history and government in Stillwater, MN, and to ELL students at South High in Fargo for years. Mary is married and has three grown sons and two daughters-in-law. Her hobbies include playing the piano, reading, biking, exercising, and traveling. Both Mary and her husband are now retired.

Gary Groberg

Gary Groberg joined the Fargo Public Library's Board of Directors in 2012. Groberg served in the US Air Force, attended Creighton University, and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha. He retired as Executive Director of Churches United for the Homeless, a position he held for ten years, in 2009. As advocate for social justice, Groberg has served on many community and state Boards of Directors, including First Link, Minnesota Homeless Coalition, Fargo-Moorhead Coalition for Homeless Persons, Lakes and Prairies Community Action Agency, and Social Connection, among others. He volunteers for pro-active institutions such as the Wilder Foundation of Minnesota, which tracks and assesses homelessness. For his dedication to the homeless in our community, Groberg was named Humanitarian of the Year by Temple Beth El in 2007. Prior to his work at CUFH, Groberg worked at Northern School Supply for 25 years. He and his wife Kris, a professor at NDSU, have raised two children and nine rescue dogs.

MaryBeth Hegstad

MaryBeth Hegstad is a career law clerk for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of North Dakota. She attended Jamestown College and majored in English, history/political science, and psychology. She graduated with honors from the University of North Dakota School of Law. During law school, MaryBeth served as an associate editor of the North Dakota Law Review and participated in an exchange program with the University of Oslo, Norway. She clerked for the North Dakota Supreme Court before moving to Fargo in 2001.

MaryBeth grew up in the country outside Mandan, North Dakota, with books as constant companions. The country school she attended until fourth grade did not have a library. It was, however, served by a bookmobile, and Mary Beth continues to be thankful for the access to books the bookmobile provided her and her schoolmates.

MaryBeth enjoys reading, kick boxing, traveling and new experiences. She is active in two book clubs and also volunteers with the YWCA.

Helen Levitt, President

Helen Levitt is a Nurse Diabetes Educator at Sanford Diabetes Center. She was born in Chicago, and received her Bachelors in Nursing from the University of Illinois. She later married and moved to Minnesota, and then to Fargo in 1979.  She received her Masters in Public and Human Services Administration from Moorhead State University. Helen has 3 grown children, all of whom share Helen’s love of reading. She lives in Fargo with her husband and 2 dogs.

Helen has been a library patron since her first week in Fargo, and is rarely seen without a library book in hand.  She has been a willing volunteer for many years.  She has served on the Board in the past, serving as Board Chair from 2007-2008.  During that time, she was involved in inception and completion of the Dr. James Carlson Library. She also served on the Building committee for the new Main library, which opened shortly after her tenure as Board Chair. She continues to volunteer at the library whenever she can.

Herb Snyder

Herbert Snyder is a professor of accounting and Chair of the Accounting, Finance & Information Systems Dept. at North Dakota State University. He has served on both the Fargo Public Library Board and the Library Building Committee. Dr. Snyder is the author of the book Costing and Pricing in the Digital Age and his articles on library financial management have appeared in Library Quarterly and Library Administration and Management. In 2004 he was awarded a Certificate of Achievement by the American Library Association for his contribution to library management for his column “Small Change,” which ran in the magazine Library Administration & Management from 1998-2003. During 2003 he was a Fulbright scholar in Ukraine. Prior to entering the academic world, Dr. Snyder worked as a fraud investigator and as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Army.

Becky Walen

Becky Walen is a VP and Senior Wealth Management Advisor at Bell State Bank & Trust. She’s been named to Prairie Business Magazine's 40 Under 40 and United Way of Cass Clay’s 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership. Becky holds a BS in Management from the University of Mary and a MS in Financial Planning from NDSU. She earned the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) designation from the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning, and Education. She and her husband moved to Fargo from the Minneapolis area in 2004, when he convinced her that North Dakota was the best place to raise a family. He was right!  
Becky is dedicated to empowering and aiding those around her through personal involvement and positive leadership. Her community involvement includes serving as VP and on the Finance Committee of the Fargo Public Schools Foundation, Board Member of North Dakota and Fargo Area Dollars for Scholars, Board Member of The Village Family Service Center, and Finance Committee of the United Way of Cass Clay. An avid consumer of literature, Becky enjoys books, her Kindle, and Audible. Her favorite childhood authors are Louisa May Alcott, Walter Farley, and C.S. Lewis.

Howard Barlow

Howard Barlow grew up in a small town in South Dakota. He developed a hunger for learning at an early age and has always loved reading. His interests are widely varied and he has lately begun writing for pleasure and is working on several stories of personal interest and family history. Howard and his wife Dorothy have three grown children and four grandchildren.

Howard is a Nonprofit Resource Specialist (NRS) with Bremer Bank in Fargo. He has served in this position with Bremer for 11 years. In his job Howard works with nonprofits in the Fargo-Moorhead area, does community service and serves as a connecting point for the Otto Bremer Foundation. He has a special interest in the elimination of homelessness and has served as a former board member and is still an active member of the FM Homeless Coalition. Prior to his present position he served as Vice President for Development of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota for many years.

Mike Williams, Commissioner Liaison

Voters elected Mike Williams to the Fargo City Commission in June 2004 and re-elected him in 2008 and 2012.

Williams was born and raised in Fargo, the youngest of 10 children. He is happily married to Susan, whom he calls the "best thing ever." Williams is an insurance adjuster/risk manager and director of auxiliary services for Greenfields Energy and currently serves as Chair of the ND Alliance for Renewable Energy. His interests include reading, public policy, building a more proactive, sustainable community, walking, biking and being outdoors.

You can reach Commissioner Williams by e-mail at or by phone at (701) 241-1310.