Hall of Fame inducts Norwegian Americans

Tollefson’s Retail Group and Nathan Myhrvold are among those to be honored at this year’s Norsk Høstfest

Portrait of Ole T. Tollefson.

Photo courtesy of Norsk Høstfest
Ole T. Tollefson.

Special Release
Norsk Høstfest

A four-generation business, a Finnish chef and author, and a visionary technology and business leader will be added to the honor roll of the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame at its annual award banquet Tuesday, September 26, at Minot’s Grand Hotel. Held in conjunction with Norsk Høstfest, the SAHF honors persons of Scandinavian descent who have achieved greatness in their field.

What is known today as Tollefson’s Retail Group was begun in 1925 with the purchase of a used furniture store in Minot by Ole T. Tollefson, whose parents had emigrated from Norway and settled in North Dakota. The furniture and flooring business has grown steadily over the decades under the guidance of succeeding generations and now has locations throughout Montana, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Emily Tollefson Mackner (fourth generation) will serve as presenter for the award.

Portrait of Soile Anderson with basket of vegetables.

Photo courtesy of Norsk Høstfest
Soile Anderson.

Finnish-born chef Soile Anderson of the Twin Cities is well known in her adopted home for her catering business, founded in 1982, Deco Catering. Featured in Martha Stewart Living and on the Food Network, she has served U.S. presidents, the Dalai Lama, and royalty. Anderson recently co-authored a book drawing from her experience and expertise, Celebrations to Remember. She will be introduced by her co-author Eleanor Ostman, former food columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Portrait of Nathan Myhrvold.

Photo courtesy of Norsk Høstfest
Nathan Myhrvold.

Bill Gates calls him the smartest man he knows. An inventor, physicist, chef, photographer, author, and former CTO of Microsoft, Norwegian-American Nathan Myhrvold is co-founder and CEO of Intellectual Ventures, a company whose mission is to create a financial climate that supports the process of invention, both in-house and independent. Myhrvold also penned a series of books addressing the science of cooking, entitled Modernist Cuisine. Governor Doug Burgum will present Myhrvold for induction.

The SAHF Annual Awards Banquet is scheduled for September 26 at Minot’s Grand International, with the social beginning at 5:30 p.m. and dinner and program beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $50 and available at www.hostfest.com or (701) 852-2368.

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 22, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.