Minnkota honored for GFPD support

Minnkota has received recognition from the Grand Forks Police Department for providing last-minute materials for the funeral service of a fallen officer.


Ben Fladhammer


July 24, 2020

The evening before Officer Cody Holte’s memorial service, the Minnkota print shop was bustling with activity.

Employees were working quickly to complete the final printed materials for the June 2 service at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Minnkota provided 5,000 memorial programs and another 5,000 inserts at no cost to the Grand Forks Police Department and Holte family.

Police Chief Mark Nelson recognized Minnkota for its support with a plaque, which was accepted by CEO Mac McLennan on July 22.

“This is a great organization and we’re humbled that you stepped up and helped us,” Chief Nelson said during the presentation.

GFPD Officer Cody Holte was killed in the line of duty during an incident on May 27.

The connection to Minnkota came through Travis Jacobson, safety and physical security supervisor, who formerly served on the GFPD and worked with Officer Holte. A few of Jacobson’s friends on the force had mentioned that no local printing options were available on short notice, due in part to COVID-19. Running out of time and options, Jacobson reached out to Minnkota management and the print shop to see if the cooperative could help.

“It was obviously a difficult time,” Jacobson said. “It was personally moving for me to see Minnkota step up and support the community and support the police department. It meant a lot to me.”

“There was never any hesitation on anyone’s part from the top down,” said Troy Ahonen, print and mailing services supervisor. “I feel honored that we were able to pull together and get this done for the family and our law enforcement personnel.”

Jacobson was in contact with Ahonen over the weekend and the files began arriving on Monday. At 5 p.m., the print shop received the final materials needed, but errors were soon discovered in the design and text. That’s when the Communications group jumped in to proofread and make the appropriate corrections.

Along with Ahonen and Jacobson, help was provided by Rhonda Amundson, Mary Merrill, Monica Hanson and Kaylee Cusack.

“We have a great group here,” Ahonen said. “There was never a question that people were going to stay late to help out.”

After spending his career in the printing industry, Ahonen is no stranger to last-minute projects. But he admits this one felt different.

“This is probably one of the proudest moments of my career,” Ahonen said. “For me, it’s kind of an emotional thing. I think about the family and what they’ve had to go through. This is a never-ending thing for them.”

Like several others at Minnkota, Ahonen proudly displays Holte’s 639 badge number on the rear window of his vehicle.


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