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Ozbun to serve as interim executive director of Hawks Point

Jim Ozbun isn't finished providing leadership on the Dickinson State University campus. Fresh off the heels of his interim DSU presidency, Ozbun will now fill another interim position as executive director of Hawks Point, the retirement community...

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Jim Ozbun

Jim Ozbun isn’t finished providing leadership on the Dickinson State University campus.

Fresh off the heels of his interim DSU presidency, Ozbun will now fill another interim position as executive director of Hawks Point, the retirement community on campus which he calls home.

“I think they thought I was OK to be an interim something,” Ozbun said with a laugh while talking about his most recent appointment.

The Hawks Point facility is currently in financial receivership following a foreclosure suit filed by First International Bank and Trust of Watford City.

Ozbun said court-appointed receiver Chris Nyhus, of Nyhus Law Firm in Bismarck, was responsible for offering the role in mid-January and that previous Hawks Point Executive Director Doug Walker has retired and moved to Utah.

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Nyhus said he learned Ozbun was interested during the preparation stage of the search for a new executive director and cited Ozbun’s extensive leadership experience as a qualifier for the job.

“He’s obviously the interim president of DSU, formerly the president of (North Dakota State University) -- he knows how to run organizations,” Nyhus said of Ozbun. “It became very clear after I met with him that he had the best interests of the facility and the residents at heart, because he is a resident and he’s on the executive council there.”

Nyhus said the length of Ozbun’s interim term will depend on the length of the receivership itself, as well as the circumstances of the wider foreclosure process.

For now, Ozbun said his part-time role is one of “overall responsibility with managing” the operations at Hawks Point, which includes collaborating with Nyhus to handle the financial end of the facility.

Moving ahead, Ozbun said he will employ four management principles to guide his decisions as director.

Those include holding the care and well-being of residents as paramount, providing staff members with adequate support, maintaining safety and security and emphasizing the importance of balancing the community’s budget -- all things Nyhus said fall within his priorities as receiver.

Ozbun said his primary goal as executive director will be filling vacancies at Hawks Point and ensuring his management team is “working in a creative way to serve the residents as best we can.”

The fact that he himself is a resident may help with that.

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“It makes it easier, in terms of being responsible for the total operation,” Ozbun said of his residency. “I’m right here and it’s handy to respond to issues as they come up.”

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