Dakota Resource Council
Scott has over 10 years of experience working in public policy, politics, and community organizing. Prior to becoming DRC’s Executive Director, Scott worked as a Regional Organizer for the Western Organization of Resource Councils where he was responsible for WORC’s regional oil and gas campaign. Scott also spent four years working as a community organizer at Dakota Resource Council focusing on clean energy and oil and gas. Scott holds a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Master’s degree from University of Denver. In his spare time, Scott hangs out with his Goldendoodle, trains for marathons, snowboards, and recently started bike racing.
LEAD Organizer - Oil and Gas
Liz Anderson was born in Denver, Colorado and moved to Nashville, Tennessee as a freshman in high school. After college, she and he husband Don took advantage of Don’s federal job opportunities and moved around a lot but chose North Dakota as the place they wanted to raise their child.
Liz began work at Dakota Resource Council (DRC) in early 2014 as a part-time office administrator. She transitioned to full-time Field Organizer in 2017 so she could work more directly with members. Liz works with Badlands Area Resource Council (BARC), beginning her life as a DRC organizer with BARC members who want to relocate the Davis Refinery; she is reworking the Oil and Gas Task Force, working in Dunn and McKenzie Counties on oil and gas issues, and through lobbying for DRC she has worked with members from Bismarck, Buffalo, and Devil’s Lake on issues including anti-corruption, animal feeding operations, and high-level nuclear waste disposal.
Janessa M. V. Thompson
Field organizer - Coal Country
Janessa grew up in the wild prairie lands of North Dakota, specifically in Rugby, ND. Janessa’s love for muddy wetlands, grassy fields, and big open sky led her to pursue her degree in Natural Resources Management. She graduated summa cum laude in 2018 from North Dakota State University. Dakota Resource Council seemed like the perfect place to utilize her education on the issues facing coal-dependent communities in ND. Janessa is committed to promoting local resilience in rural communities and takes great pride in her rural upbringing. Janessa has too many hobbies to list here, but she especially enjoys gardening, reading, writing, and creating art. You can often find her sipping on tea from her garden with a good book or spending time with her husband and pets.
Field organizer - Ag & Food
Sam Wagner is DRC’s Ag and Food Field Organizer. Along with being a veteran in the US Air Force, Sam has also held many different labor and agricultural jobs over the years. Sam has also been involved in local politics in his area as a volunteer activist since 2016. Sam holds degrees in History, Electrical Engineering, and Training Management. Sam is committed to working with North Dakotans to find solutions that will allow rural communities to prosper and grow in the 21st Century. Sam is a family man and Vikings fan from Casselton ND.
Sean Arithson is a lifelong North Dakota resident. Sean grew up on a Hereford cattle ranch south of Rhame, North Dakota, near Table Mountain. Sean and his family later moved into Rhame where Sean graduated from High School. Sean began working at the local radio station in high school and it was there he found his calling in life, broadcast and communications. Sean attended Brown College in Minneapolis and later enrolled at the University of North Dakota where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Art in Communication. Sean began working for Dakota Resource Council in 2012 and took a brief break to be a stay at home dad with his family in Bismarck. In his free time, Sean enjoys camping, grilling, riding bike, and watching his beloved Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco Giants.
Mary Swanson is the office manager at DRC. Mary grew up on a small grain and dairy farm near Arthur, ND. She attended North Dakota State University and has worked at Northwestern Bell, US West and Qwest Communications, first as an operator and later as a credit consultant. Most recently she was an administrative assistant for North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People. In her spare time she enjoys reading, quilting and spending time at the lake.
Jeffon Seely joined DRC as an accountant/bookkeeper in February 2018. Jeffon received his Bachelors in Accounting from Central Washington University. After college, he used his degree to help small businesses, non-profits, and community organizations improve their productivity, profit, and impact. In addition to his accounting work, Jeffon leads workshops and seminars across the country focused on generations, diversity and inclusion, mindfulness and 21st-century leadership.