Scandinavian American Hall of Fame Announces 2016 Inductees

September 09, 2016

Three names will be added to the Scandinavian-American Hall of Fame later this month at the institution’s annual banquet held in conjunction with Norsk Høstfest. The SAHF is an enduring means of honoring those persons of Scandinavian descent in North America who have achieved greatness in their fields of endeavor and/or whose efforts have contributed significantly to the betterment of mankind. The 2016 honors banquet takes place Tuesday, Sept. 27, with Wayne Stenehjem serving as master of ceremonies. The festival itself runs from September 28 - Oct. 1.


Finnish-American Beatrice Ojakangas is an expert on Finnish cuisine and the author of 29 cookbooks, one of which, The Finnish Cookbook, is recognized in both the US and Finland as the definitive source on Finnish cooking. Another work, The Great Scandinavian Baking Book won a coveted James Beard Foundation Award, a prize regarded by those in the food industry as the equivalent of an Oscar. Ojakangas has appeared on television as both a guest and host of her own cooking series, has written for major food publications, and conducts cooking classes across the country.


The Stenehjem Family, founders of what is known today as First International Bank & Trust, has been in the banking business for over 100 years, with a fourth generation poised to assume leadership of the institution that serves customers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Arizona through 26 branches. It was an agricultural boom in western North Dakota that spurred Norwegian-American brothers Odin and Gerhard Stenehjem to start a bank in the small town of Arnegard. It later moved to Watford City, where its corporate headquarters remain.


Stein Ove Fenne is the president of Tupperware North America, a leading business unit within Tupperware Brands Corporation. Tupperware is a global direct seller of products across multiple brands and categories and through an independent sales force of 3 million. Of Norwegian descent, Fenne has been influential in developing a Scandinavian leadership culture — a philosophy that emphasizes teamwork — and has produced work often cited as an example of successful use of social media, particularly within a company itself.


The Scandinavian American Hall of Fame banquet takes place at 7 pm, Tuesday, September 27 at the Grand Hotel in Minot, ND. Tickets for the formal banquet are $50 each and can be obtained at, by calling 701-852-2368 or by visiting the office at 1020 S. Broadway. For more information please visit and click on Heritage.


About the festival

Norsk Høstfest is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization the raised funds to preserve, improve and share Scandinavian culture, heritage and educational programs. The Scandinavian festival is held annually in the fall in the North Dakota State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds in Minot, N.D., USA. Entering its 39th year, the festival has become North America’s largest Scandinavian festival with tens of thousands of people attending from all over the world. The festival features world-class entertainment, Scandinavian culture on display, handcrafted Norse merchandise, authentic Scandinavian cuisine plus a fine dining establishment, En To Tre, led by Norwegian chefs. Norsk Høstfest celebrates Scandinavian culture from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.