Gov. Doug Burgum has appointed Art Thompson as director of North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI), effective Nov. 1, citing his leadership experience and background as both a team member and customer of WSI.
Thompson will join WSI following four years as executive director of the North Dakota Concrete Council, where he led all aspects of the industry trade association. He previously served as general and business manager of Williston-based JMAC Resources Inc., which provides heavy civil construction and ready-mix services. From 2012 to 2018, Thompson oversaw JMAC’s workforce, compliance with state and federal regulations including safety regulations, and financial forecasting and review. He also served as operations manager for Knife River Corp. and senior public relations representative for MDU Resources Group.
“We are excited to welcome Art back to Team ND; early in his career he served as WSI’s public relations manager,” Burgum said. “Art brings extensive leadership and external relations experience to the role along with firsthand experience as a team member and customer of WSI. We look forward to Art rejoining Team ND and his leadership at WSI.”
Thompson grew up in Washburn, N.D., in an environment of public service where his father was the sheriff and his mother was the jail matron. Thompson earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead and a master’s degree in management from the University of Mary in Bismarck.
“I am humbled and grateful to have the support of Governor Burgum and Team ND to be selected as the next leader of North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance,” Thompson said. “I look forward to working with the dedicated and talented members of WSI to enhance opportunities to reduce workplace injuries, to ensure injured workers receive timely care and benefits, and to create efficiencies within the agency to maintain competitive rates for policyholders and medical providers.”
Thompson will succeed current WSI Director Bryan Klipfel, who in June announced his retirement effective Dec. 31. Klipfel will assist with the transition through Dec 31.
With 260 team members and a two-year budget of approximately $73 million, WSI is an exclusive, employer-financed, no-fault insurance state fund covering workplace injuries and deaths. As the sole provider and administrator of the workers’ compensation system in North Dakota, WSI’s vision is a safe, secure, and healthy North Dakota workplace.