Grand Forks Downtown Development Association


The mission of the Grand Forks Downtown Development Association (DDA) is to advocate for the interests of the downtown area in terms of marketing and branding; business recruitment and retention; public policy, managing and maintaining physical improvements, capital projects, programming, and taxing authority.


The DDA’s vision is a downtown that is stable and growing; encourages economic development and business diversity; is walkable and pedestrian friendly; and is safe and clean. This is a downtown in which business, residents and visitors can take pride, visit frequently, and use to its fullest potential.

Meet Our Executive Director

A native of Aitkin, MN, Sarah Prout received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of North Dakota with an emphasis in Advertising and Public Relations. She has held various marketing positions within College Athletics, Fundraising, Banking, Retail and most recently Construction Management.

Prout served as the Retail Marketing Manager for Cabela’s prior to her most recent position as Marketing Coordinator for Construction Engineers. Notable throughout her professional career, Prout has received multiple awards for outstanding work in community involvement and leadership outreach. Most notably the Cabela’s Outfitter Award, and an award presented to only 12 outfitters company-wide, Cabela’s Midwest Regional Marketing Manager of the Year, Community Champion’s Award for her outstanding, unique and heroic acts, inspiring good will, social responsibility and community involvement. Most recently, Prout was honored and given the 2015 Special Merit Award from the ND Parks and Recreations for her work with Turtle River State Park, and the development of a Youth Outdoor Education Program for elementary classroom.

Prout was also instrumental in planning and execution of numerous MN Governors Fishing and Hunting Openers, Cats Incredible, Hometown Heroes as well as serving as New Store Opening Marketing Manager for various locations.

Sarah and her husband Tom, a Grand Fork native, have two children, Payton and Norah. They reside in Grand Forks. Prout has been a part of the Grand Forks community for the past 13 years.

Meet Our Board Of Directors

Matt Norby
(Sales for Norby's Work Perks)
Matt Winjum
Vice President
(Co-Owner of Rhombus Guys Pizza)
Sarah Horak
(Co-Owner of Brick & Barley, Level 10, O’Really’s, and The Grand)
Anne Zimmer
(Owner of Avant Hair & Skin Care Studio)

Jon Holth
Past President
(Co-Owner of The Toasted Frog)
Michael Helt
Board Member
(Relationship Manager for Alerus)
Eric Johnson
Board Member
(Director of Visualization Services for JLG Architects)
Jill Proctor
Board Member
(Community Violence Intervention Center)

David C. Thompson
Board Member
(David C. Thompson Law Office)
Duane Wages
Board Member
(Commercial Sales and Leasing for Dakota Commercial)
Meghan Compton
Board Member


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