Celebrating courage, determination, and spirit in our community

The Going Viking Awards celebrate individuals and organizations who embody the adventuresome and bold spirit of the Vikings by inspiring their communities to explore and discover new frontiers with courage and determination. 2019 marks the awards’ 12th year of conferment.

2019 Going Viking Honorees

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David Mona

With a career spanning more than 40 years of corporate, agency and nonprofit communications, Dave Mona is recognized for his innovative business leadership as well as his work as a sports commentator for WCCO-AM and a journalist with WCCO-TV and the Minneapolis Tribune. Dave founded the Mona, Meyer, McGrath & Gavin public relations firm in 1981, which evolved to become Weber Shandwick’s Twin Cities office. Mona continues to serve and consult for numerous organizations, including Norway House’s PR committee.  “In addition to having a very successful career, Dave has been a positive force for promoting many high-profile events and causes in Minnesota, and he can also proudly claim 100 percent Norwegian ancestry,” said Karen Tuzcu, former Norway House board chair.


Dr. Paula Carlson

Luther College’s tenth president, Dr. Paula Carlson began her work at the liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa in 2014. Over her five years as the college’s first woman to serve as president, Dr. Carlson saw the completion of Luther’s commitment to reduce their carbon footprint by 50%, commemorated the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation and Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, led the addition of the Dean of Institutional Equity and Inclusion to Luther College’s leadership faculty, and oversaw the completion of a comprehensive strategic plan for the college’s future.  Upon recognition, Carlson replied, "This award signals that the work we do each day on and off Luther's campus is meaningfully and effectively uplifting the culture, values, and traditions of our Norwegian founders. I am so very grateful for this recognition."


Ross “Odin” Dybvig

Going Viking Young Professional Ross Dybvig’s reach in the Norwegian-American community is best measured in the hundreds of young people who know him as a Norwegian language teacher named “Odin.” Ross has spent the past 15 years as a Norwegian teacher and counselor to youth and families at Skogfjorden, the Norwegian language camp of the Concordia Language Villages. In his career with the Villages, he has become a strong asset to the Norwegian and greater pan-Nordic communities by serving as an access point to the organization and Norwegian language-learners. He continues to volunteer his time as a Norwegian teacher while serving as Assistant Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Nicole Anderson of Nordstjernen Young Professionals Network, the nominating committee from Norway House praises Dybvig: “With his dedication to the Norwegian community, and especially its future generations, I feel he is very deserving of this award.”


Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce - North Chapter

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The Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce-North Chapter dedicates itself as an organization devoted to the promotion of economic and cultural relations, trade and investments between the United States and Norway. NACC-North and Norway House have recently forged a new partnership, by uniting missions to connect the United States with contemporary Norway through cultural and business initiatives. The incoming president of the organization, Ryan Marth, stated, “NACC is honored to receive the Going Viking award for our efforts in creating a soft landing spot for Norwegian businesses in the North region. Many people within our organization have devoted countless hours to this effort. We are excited to have begun a partnership with Norway House that gives us a physical home and helps us achieve our shared vision.”


Past Honorees


Dr. Hamlet A. Peterson

Judy K. Siegle

Norwegian American Historical Association
Honored Norway House Affiliate Organization

Maren Anderson Johnson, Ph.D.
Going Viking Young Professional



Rev. Anne Svenningsen

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
Honored Norway House Affiliate Organization

Stine Aasland, Nordic Waffles
Going Viking Young Professional



Paul D. Erickson

Norwegian-American Bygdelagenes Fellesraad
Honored Norway House Affiliate Organization



Thor S. Johansen
Consul General for Norway in Minnesota 2001-2005



Norman Lorentzsen

John Lund

Janis Hardy

Sons of Norway
Honored Norway House Affiliate Organization


Lorie Skjerven Gildea

Lloyd Svensbye

Jon Wefald

Mindekirken - The Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church
Honored Norway House Affiliate Organization



Robert Bergland

Jim Brandenburg

Tove Dahl

Honored Norway House Affiliate Organization



Libby Larsen

Representative Jim Ramstad

Eric Utne



Peter Agre
Augsburg College

Gary Gandrud
St. Olaf College

Greg Mortenson
Concordia College

Joyce Nelson
Augustana College

David Preus
Luther College



Margaret Anderson Kelliher

Betty McCollum

Roger Moe

Governor Al Quie

Martin Olav Sabo



Earl Bakken

Ken Dahlberg

Janet Dolan

Carl Platou

Winston Wallin