Rugby Leevers management changes hands
The beginning of 2019 will mean changes for management at Rugby’s Leevers store.
Assistant Manager Steven “Skip” Christianson will take the helm as store manager Monday, filling the vacancy left by current Manager Bob Dahlen.
“It’ll be a different challenge, I guess, being in charge of everything instead of being underneath somebody else,” Christianson told the Tribune, smiling. “It’ll be fun.”
Christianson began his career at Leevers in 1989, when he worked stocking shelves evenings in the chain’s Grand Forks location.
“I was stocking shelves while I was going to school,” Christianson said. “It’ll be 30 years (at Leevers) this year.”
As Christianson worked his way up the Leevers ladder, he moved to Rugby, starting at that location in 1995. Christianson continued moving up before he reached his present position as assistant manager.
Christianson described Rugby as “really nice, really friendly. They’ve asked me to move a couple of times, but I was never wanting to move,” he smiled.
Christianson and his wife, Renae, have made Rugby their home for more than 23 years. They have two daughters, ReeAnn , who attends the University of Jamestown, and Danielle, a student at Rugby High School.
Dahlen, who will leave the Rugby store to manage the Leevers Valley City location, said he has been with the company since 1975.
“I’ve been manager since 2010,” Dahlen said. “I started in Devils Lake in 1975, spent 22 years in Devils Lake, then I transferred to Granby, Colorado for four years, and then to Cavalier, North Dakota for 10, and then the last nine years I spent here.”
Dahlen said of his stint at the Rugby store, “I enjoyed it. A lot of nice people, a great community, and it’s an hour away from where I grew up and was raised Devils Lake, so, I’ve made a lot of good, close friends here.”
“It’s always sad to move on,” Dahlen said of his transfer to Valley City.
Still, Dahlen described his move as a good fit for the next chapter of his life. “My mom lives in Fargo; I have three brothers, a sister (there); I have a son and daughter in law and two grandchildren in Fargo. As you get older, family means more and more.”
“Skip being here as long as he has, he deserves a chance at the store,” Dahlen continued. “And that’s one thing that’s been phenomenal, working for a family company like Leevers is they promote from within. And I’ll be with them it will be 44 years in July. And of all our nine stores that we have, they’ve only hired a manager out of the company one time.”
“That’s one of the strong points,” Dahlen said of Leevers. “The big box stores, they (employees) come from all over; they come and go, but Leevers being a small town store they started in 1938 in Devils Lake, and now (the owners) are a third generation (in the) family, so they’ve been great to work for.”
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