There are three Consuls, or heads, of CoreCon: Mind, Body, and Soul. They make all of the tough decisions that no one else wants to and oversee every department. Mind Consul Kim Odegaard has been a part of CoreCon since the very beginning. Alongside Body Consul Tyler Schara and Soul Consul Sarah “Kitten” Danielson-Ruddy, she does her best to ensure each year is better than the last!
The Mind Consul is elected by the Digital Grail board AKA the overlords of Anime Fargo, Fargo GameFest and Fargo CoreCon. While choosing the new Consul is never easy, Kim Odegaard was a very solid pick given her background with CoreCon. She has been volunteering since the very beginning but did not take an active role until CoreCon III: Myth and Magic when she became an assistant for Fansuites. She quickly moved up in the ranks becoming the head of Fansuites the following year and Consul two years later. Kim was chosen in November of 2013 and trained under Beth for a year. When Beth ended her reign in June of 2014, Kim stepped in and has been leading the uprising… ahem, sorry… leading the financial departments since then.
The Mind Consul position was created to oversee departments that deal with finances, including Registration, Guests, Con Flix, Fansuites, and Hotel. This position is different from the others because the departments have things to do all year round. The Body Consul oversees departments that do most of their work during the convention, and the Soul Consul’s departments do most of their work in preparation before CoreCon. While the bulk of the Mind Consul’s work happens during CoreCon, they still begin preparing for the next convention the day after CoreCon ends so they can really hit things closer to the con.
Every staff member is a volunteer who still has to work, raise their family, have a social life, eat and sleep, and still find time to make CoreCon awesome. Some of these people want to devote extra time to CoreCon and become the head of a department. They sacrifice a large amount of time to make things run smooth. The heads are chosen by the Consuls each year, so while the Consuls get the final say on any decisions, they mostly try to support the heads and trust them to make the right choice.
Hopefully by the time CoreCon rolls around, all of the preparation for the entire year leading up to the convention will pay off, and Kim will only need to fix small issues as they arise. She tries to anticipate issues before they happen, and she’s really good at doing that, so becoming a Consul must make you part-psychic. Most importantly, she makes sure that all of the volunteers eat, sleep, and de-stresses. People work so hard that they forget to take care of themselves, and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Kim does not do all of her Mind Consul work alone. She has an amazing assistant, Carla Bakken. Carla is her brain! She keeps Kim on tasks, sends out messages on her behalf, and gives her reminders. When Kim is stressed out, Carla reminds her how much she loves being a Consul. When asked why exactly she loves being a Consul so much, Kim had this to say:
“I am often asked why I do what I do. I think the answer is complex and changes often. I help run CoreCon because I believe in it. I know the founders of Digital Grail (Troy Bloemker, Steven “Calvin” Kok, and Steve Gardner), and I am delighted to continue their legacy by helping grow CoreCon. Every year my hard work pays off when I look around and get to see people smiling, making friends, and in general geeking out in a safe environment.”
If you see Kim running around at CoreCon X: Heroes vs. Villains, make sure to thank her for all of the hard work she’s done over the many year’s she’s been a part of the CoreCon family!
Be sure to check out the blogs from Body Consul Tyler Schara and Soul Consul Sarah “Kitten” Danielson-Ruddy when they’re posted!