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Johnson named MDU Resources vice chair

Former Dickinson Mayor Dennis Johnson has been named MDU Resources vice chair. Johnson served as mayor from 2000 to 2015, and is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for Dickinson-based TMI Systems Design Corp., a manufa...

Former Dickinson Mayor Dennis Johnson has been named MDU Resources vice chair.

Johnson served as mayor from 2000 to 2015, and is chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors for Dickinson-based TMI Systems Design Corp., a manufacturer of laminate casework used in a variety of products.

Johnson said he is honored to be taking on the new role.

"I feel good about it," he said. "I'm just very honored that my fellow board members would do that."

For MDU Resources, Johnson has served as an independent director since 2001 and chairs the audit committee.

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Johnson's duties with MDU Resources won't change greatly.

"In terms of responsibilities I will probably spend a little more time with the current chairman, in regards to issues that confront the board, such as new directors and things of that sort," he said.

MDU Resources is more than just Montana Dakota Utilities, Johnson explained.

"That's just one part," he said. "MDU consists primarily of two groups of companies: one that's utilities-related and the other is construction-related. On the utilities side, we tend to say it's companies that are regulated, and there's quite a grouping of construction companies."

Johnson holds MDU Resources in high regard.

"I think it's the only publicly listed company with headquarters in North Dakota," he said. "That, to me, is a very special thing."

The complexities and challenges met by MDU Resources are many.

"It's a publicly held company, and that's a challenging arena to operate in today," Johnson said. "It has very diverse business interests, which also adds to that challenge."

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Becoming vice chair, Johnson said, is fitting after 40 years of business experience and serving the city.

"It's an honor. For me, personally, I'm near the end of my career, so it's a nice thing to have as part of the ending," he said.

Johnson began serving as vice chair on Thursday.

"I would expect to be vice chairman for about the next 15 months or so," he said.

In a press release, Harry Pearce, MDU Resources chair, lauded Johnson's election.

"Dennis is well-suited to fill this leadership role on the board after serving the corporation's shareholders for 17 years," he wrote. "He understands the complex nature of MDU Resources' diverse regulated energy delivery and construction materials and services businesses, as well as the corporation's goals, growth strategies, risks and opportunities."

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