Tobacco use is the result of a state environment which continues to allow tobacco to be aggressively marketed to youth; fails to protect nonsmokers, especially children, from the dangers of secondhand smoke; and fails to promote a social norm which encourages an individual’s choice to live tobacco free.

The mission of Tobacco Free North Dakota is to improve and protect the public health of all North Dakotans by reducing the serious health and economic consequences of tobacco use, the state’s number one cause of preventable disease and death.

Tobacco Free North Dakota is working to restrict the ability of the tobacco industry to market tobacco and to change the social environment to support nonsmoking through advocacy for public and private sector policy change and community mobilization.

Our Board

Valerie Schoepf


Stay-at-home mom of three, Bismarck; Active in Bismarck MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers); Former Strategic Communication Specialist for the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

Chelsea Ridge


Tobacco Control Coordinator Upper Missouri Health District, Ray

Kelly Heyer


Independent Contractor, Marketing, Advertising, Publications, Fargo


Molly Soeby

Family and Community Wellness Agent and Small Business Owner, Grand Forks

Danielle Romynyshyn

Tobacco Control Coordinator Southwestern District Health Unit, Dickinson

Our Staff

Heather Austin

Heather Austin

Executive Director

Heather joined the team at TFND in October, 2016. She has over 10 years experience in the non-profit industry. With 5 years at the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and another 5 years working for statewide organizations, Heather has built relationships and coalitions all across North Dakota. Working with people and bringing groups together is her favorite aspect of this work. Personally, Heather has a husband and two boys at home, and enjoys travel, time with family and friends, and reading a good book.

Now, Heather is passionate about creating North Dakota’s first tobacco free generation by working to create policies and programs that prevent our youth from beginning tobacco’s dangerous addiction.

Contact her at

Andrew Horn

Andrew Horn

Coalition Program Director

After a little more than two years as a reporter at KFYR-TV, I wanted a new way to give back to the community that’s given me so much.
Born and raised in Maryland. Still love the state with all my heart. North Dakota is my home now, but I will almost always be wearing something Maryland flag print. Don’t know much about the Old Line State? Ask me about it!
While we’re chatting about MD, I’ll also find ways to share the great work TFND is doing on behalf of all North Dakotans.

If you want to reach out, email me at