Pete Seljevold: Inspiring wellness in North Dakota and beyond

Pete Seljevold Pete Seljevold

In this employee spotlight, we feature Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) Program Administrator of the Worksite Wellness Initiative Pete Seljevold.

Physical well-being started early for Pete
For many, fitness is a chore, an activity to put a check mark next to each day. For Pete Seljevold, health and wellness came with the territory of being the son of a gym teacher. His father was also an athletic director, and his older siblings were teachers and coaches themselves. As a natural athlete, staying active was just a part of his life.

His passion for health and wellness stayed with him in higher education as he attained a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a business minor from Concordia College, a master’s in exercise science from Saint Cloud State University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Mary.

Pete is married and has three daughters who have clearly inherited the passion for wellness. Two are nurses in the Twin Cities and one is completing a degree in social work at Concordia College.

An active participant in handball and curling, Pete enjoys these sports as the indoor activities help make winter go a lot faster. Both require focus and personal responsibility. They also feature healthy sportsmanship as competitors show respect and courtesy.

“They’re real gentleman sports where you shake hands and rule yourself. It’s great and it’s more fun getting a workout while playing a game with friends,” shared Pete.

Pete Seljevold and family at his daughter Kylee's wedding in October 2021. Pete Seljevold and family at his daughter Kylee's wedding in October 2021.

In his professional career, Pete held positions ranging from an exercise physiologist to YMCA program director. His journey with BCBSND started in 2009.

The Worksite Wellness Initiative was launched as a collaboration between BCBSND, the North Dakota Department of Health and the Dakota Medical Foundation. These three organizations were trying to envision the future of North Dakota and worksite wellness became a prominent focus. Pete first joined the effort as a contractor. When a position to lead the program opened up, it seemed like a perfect fit and combined aspects of all of his previous roles. He also knew he would be in good company.

“I was good friends with Mike Carlson who was leading the wellness efforts at BCBSND,” said Pete. “I jumped at the chance to work with Mike again.”

Working on wellness
As program administrator, Pete’s primary role is to provide resources and training for employer groups who want to bring well-being into their worksite(s). Pete and the Wellness team do this through small group trainings across the state throughout the year and two large Summit events in Fargo and Bismarck held each year. He also produces a monthly worksite wellness e-newsletter. You may recognize Pete from BCBSND’s Be Wellcast as he co-hosts the podcast with our Wellness Education Specialist Elizabeth Magee.

The team I work on is inspiring. The entire Wellness team develops and delivers programs and services to help individuals achieve improved health and well-being. It’s fun to be a part of creating innovative things,” Pete shared.

The Wellness Team at one of their Worksite Wellness Summit events. The Wellness Team at one of their Worksite Wellness Summit events.
Pete Seljevold and friends on a group walk at Lindenwood park. Pete Seljevold and friends on a group walk at Lindenwood park.

Forging healthy relationships
Pete’s favorite event(s) are the summit events. The whole team pulls together to put on the event(s) and they always try to bring their guest(s) in for dinner the night before so they can get to know them.

“[The speakers] get to know us and we've forged some great relationships with them. It’s really gratifying for the whole Wellness team,” he said.

The Wellness team loves to experience new things as a team. Pete’s best memories include the fun activities they have shared together. They ran the Fargo Marathon relay, volunteered, competed in their annual chili cook off, traveled and more.

“I always like reading employee profiles and articles about people who have been here a long time,” said Pete. “They all say the same thing – it’s the people they work with that makes their job enjoyable – I wholeheartedly agree!”