Posts tagged Ed Schafer

Ed Schafer Retires from TRMF Board of Directors, Shares Optimism for Medora’s Future

After twelve years of active leadership and a lifetime of interest in and dedication to Medora, Ed Schafer has retired from his position as Chair of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) Board of Directors.

Schafer delivered his farewell address to friends and supporters of TRMF on Saturday, June 11 at the annual Rough Riders Roundup luncheon in Medora.

He reflected on his long family history in Medora. His father, Harold Schafer, began investing in the revitalization of the town in the 1960s. “I traveled beside my dad to and from Medora long before the seeds of the new Medora were planted.” In 1986, he oversaw the transition of the Medora Division of the Gold Seal Company into the public non-profit Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation.

In his twelve years as Chair of the Board of Directors, TRMF grew and thrived in substantial ways. Historical landmarks, like the Von Hoffman House and the Ferris General Store, were restored. A campus-style employee work and social space, the Life Skills Center, was constructed. TRMF expanded its lodging offerings by adding the Elkhorn Quarters. And recent additions, such as Point to Point Park and the high-capacity accessible elevator at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre, were approved during Schafer’s tenure.

In his farewell remarks, Schafer said his passion for Medora stems from its ability to “inspire people to self-generate the attributes of freedom.”

Schafer told those in attendance: “I hope you can look around this place and think about endurance. The Badlands have survived glaciers, storms, erosion, petrification, and fires—and they’re beautiful. Let that be a lesson to us in life’s storms and difficulties. We can persevere.”

In a farewell letter to supporters of the foundation, Schafer expressed optimism for the future of TRMF. “Our organization’s success has been because of people like you. I am confident the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation has a bright future.”

Tim O’Keefe, TRMF’s new Chair of the Board, expressed gratitude for his predecessor’s long history in Medora. “As history and legend have it, some 60 years ago, Harold Schafer and his young son Ed stood on the top of the bluff overlooking Medora, when Harold said ‘This place is too special not to be preserved.'”

“Over the last sixty years, no one has been more a part of seeing Harold Schafer’s vision for Medora become a reality than Ed,” O’Keefe said.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum also praised Schafer’s dedication to the service of others. “Theodore Roosevelt said ‘The great prize in life is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing.’ Ed and Nancy Schafer grabbed that prize. The difference they’ve made in people’s lives, not just here in Medora, but throughout their entire careers, is really incredible.”

Episode 2 of The Wisdom Chain Podcast: Ed Schafer on The Wisdom of Work

Episode 2 of The Wisdom Chain Podcast: Ed Schafer on The Wisdom of Work

In the first episode of The Wisdom Chain Podcast, we introduced you to Dick Anderson, the founder of an innovative philosophy for work, family, faith, and everything in between. And we heard how TRMF President Randy Hatzenbuhler interprets that philosophy and finds success.

But how do we make the Wisdom Chain work? That’s the question our next speaker, Ed Schafer, pondered as he prepared his remarks for Wisdom Chain Day 2021 in Medora.

Listen to Episode 2 of the Wisdom Chain Podcast to hear how the former Governor of North Dakota, the former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, and the current Chair of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation believes our goals can be accomplished.

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A Million Dollar Impact Thanks To Great River Energy

We’ve done a lot of big projects in Medora over the years, and we’re grateful to have had one really consistent partner in those projects—Great River Energy. Great River is a Minnesota-based nonprofit electric generating cooperative serving 700,000 families, farms and businesses in Minnesota. They generate much of their electricity at power plants in North Dakota, and have become one of North Dakota’s best “citizens.”

Their most recent commitment to TRMF has a $1 Million dollar impact to help support more activities for kids and families here in Medora. But this is just the latest in a long history of support for North Dakota’s favorite playground.

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Hatzenbuhler to Serve as TR Library Fundraising Director, Retain Leadership of Medora Foundation

(MEDORA, ND) – The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TR Medora Foundation), in cooperation with the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation (TRPLF), announced today that Randy Hatzenbuhler will serve as the Executive Director for Development for the TR Presidential Library, while continuing his role leading the TR Medora Foundation as its
President. He will join newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Edward O’Keefe, for the next phase of this historic project.

Hatzenbuhler, a Mandan native, has worked for the TR Medora Foundation for over 30 years and has been part of raising over $60 million in gifts that have further developed Medora, the gateway community to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. He began his time there working alongside the TR Medora Foundation’s first president, Rod Tjaden, and the organization’s founder, Harold Schafer; Hatzenbuhler has served as its President since 1997. During his time in Medora, he has been instrumental in leading growth in tourism, fundraising, and physical development in and around Medora.

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“Bully!” for North Dakota

Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation sees passage of Presidential Library funding as next great moment in history for the state


(MEDORA, ND) – In the early 1950s, Harold Schafer peered over the edge of the butte overlooking the tiny village of Medora and proclaimed, “There’s too much here to let disappear.” His son, Ed, standing by his side, took in the broken-down, old cow town with dirt streets and a ramshackle hotel named for Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, and thought to himself, “But—there’s nothing there!”    

Yet, this was the moment that North Dakota’s tourism industry was born.

Harold saw an opportunity to create something wonderful for generations to come. He didn’t have an eminently-detailed plan that considered every possible scenario, or a multi-page budget document projecting every income and expense, but he knew the legend of Theodore Roosevelt translated across the globe and that his ‘Bully Spirit’ could inspire millions.

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