November 24, 1958 – September 23, 2020

Les Bossert, Corporate Records Manager for Montana Dakota Utilities (MDU), Bismarck, North Dakota, passed away unexpectedly on September 23, 2020. He had been with MDU, headquartered in Bismarck, North Dakota, for 38 years where he educated and trained three generations of employees on the basics of RIM, and how they fit into the larger scheme of that function.

Les is survived by his sons Trent and Evan (wife Lindsey), grandchildren Aubrey and Dylan, his mother, Rauha, and many other family members.

Les received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of North Dakota, majoring in Business Management and Records & Information Management. He studied under the direction of Mark Langemo, CRM, FAI.

Les has been a group or team member/player his entire life – from being a Future Farmers of America (FFA) member in high school to a fraternity member (Lambda Chi Alpha) in college and to a member of ARMA International and AIIM throughout his professional career. He served as a Deacon and Elder on his Church Consistory and as President and Board Member of the MDU Genie Watt Credit Union.

Les was a founding member of the ND-Bismarck/Mandan Chapter of ARMA International and served in many leadership positions. Les has been involved with the ARMA Midwest Rocky Mountain Region over the years serving as host coordinator for two leadership conferences in Bismarck including the infamous ‘hail storm” and “pitchfork fondue” events.

He recognized the need for professional certification and received his Certified Records Manager (CRM) designation from the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM). At his passing, he was the ICRM Regent, Legislation and Appeals, and had served previously as a mentor, proctor, grader, and as chair of the website review committee.

Les greatly supported his utility RIM colleagues starting in 1985 by leading and actively participating in ARMA’s industry action committees, industry specific groups and roundtable sessions. Since 2007, he has been a valued member of the Utilities Records information Management (URIM) group and was currently Moderator of its monthly conference calls. He was also instrumental in coordinating its three mid-year educational seminars.

Les was highly regarded in the records management profession and was extremely generous with both his time and knowledge. For those lucky to have known him, you would agree he was very much a man of family, faith and fellowship, and will be sorely missed. Friends and associates have established the Les Bossert Memorial as our way to recognize his many contributions.

Quotes from Les:

“My work and life experiences have taught me to do what you can, with the resources available.  We all would like to have “super star” team members and unlimited resources, but that’s not always possible.  Lead by example and conduct yourself in a professional manner, even when the situation seems nearly impossible.  Learn from others and pass on what you can to those willing to benefit from your knowledge and experiences.  Communication is key to any successful encounter, and make sure to provide work teams with both the soft and hard tools, and skills they need to be successful.  Always strive for “win-win” situations, and to build good lasting relationships.”

“If life has taught me anything, it’s to appreciate and respect other people’s skills, abilities and perspective on issues.  Never take anything for granted.  All of us bring specific skills and experiences to the table and bringing this mix together to create “win-win” strategies is more of an “art” rather than a science – in most situations, it’s very tricky – but can be very rewarding.  Let the subject matter experts contribute their expertise, and get past the stumbling blocks that egos, pride and emotional conflict can throw at you.  Be mature enough to recognize obstacles, and enough of a leader to side-step or stifle them or work through them.  I have graduated from the “school of hard knocks” several times…”

If you would like to donate in the memory of Les Bossert, click here