Mark Hildahl is a Minot native with roots that run deep.
He’s a dentist and an owner of Souris Valley Dental Group and pursued the career thanks to encouragement from his childhood dentist and his parents.
Hildahl says he enjoys the science and art aspects of dentistry, but he really loves his line of work for other reasons.
“In the end, it still comes back to having relationships with your patients,” he said. “You get to know people over many years…their families, extended families, the things that they do, so that’s what I really enjoy the most about practicing dentistry.”
Work isn’t the only place where he holds his relationships in high regard.
He’s a father of two and in recent years, a grandpa to five.
Perhaps his most important relationship all started at a place he’s very familiar with…the Minot Curling Club.
He said, “My wife was also involved in curling. In fact, we met at the Minot Curling Club.”
Hildahl has been curling for more than 50 years. First, with his parents and brother, then with his own family, and he’s even curled competitively — making it as far as the Olympic Trials.
If you’re curious about some of his competitive curling days, look up the Curse of Labonte.
Now, Hildahl has served as Treasurer of the Minot Curling Club for many years.
He helps take care of the ice, organize events and, of course, still plays, but his biggest task is making sure the Curling Club can grow and last for another 100 years.
“It’s kind of fun to see other people discover what I’ve known my whole life,” he reflected.
Something else he’s done his whole life is golf.
The hobby dates back to junior golf and leads all the way up to another hobby he’s picked up over the years — traveling.
He pairs two of his favorite things and evaluates golf courses all over the world for Golfweek magazine.
“So that’s given me an opportunity to go visit and play golf courses that I would otherwise not have gotten to go see. That’s involved travel to Scotland, Ireland, Thailand, Vietnam, Hawaii, all over the United States and Canada.”
Hildahl has learned quite a bit about golf courses. As he says, it’s a lot like dentistry, a mix of science and art.
When the new Minot Country Club was developed after the 2011 flood, he was a part of building it from below ground and up.
Still…of the many things he’s done in life, he says it all goes back to one thing: relationships.
“Whether it’s in curling, or golf, or dentistry, I’ve had opportunities to meet with people that have helped us and helped me grow a lot,” said Hildahl. “Luckily, I’ve had a wife who’s supported me.”
He’s been able to share his passions alongside his wife, Linda, and says he’ll continue to do so.
Hildahl is also very involved with service clubs and charities.
And of the many adventures he’s been on, he says some others that stand out the most are a mission trip in Russia and the people he and his wife have hosted for the Norsk Høstfest, sports teams and relationships he’s made with them as well.