Jim Sturdevant, a third-generation owner/CFO in the Sturdevant Auto Parts business, has been selected to receive Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 35th annual L.B. Hartz Professional Achievement Award. An awards reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 12 on the MSUM campus.
The award is named in honor of the late L.B. Hartz, the founder of Hartz Wholesale Company headquartered in Thief River Falls. It’s presented annually by MSUM’s College of Business and Innovation to an individual who has created economic opportunities for others through innovation, entrepreneurship and community service.
Jim is a 1961 graduate from North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) in Wahpeton and was a letter winner in three sports at Science. He is also a 1963 graduate of MSU Moorhead, where he earned a degree in business administration and participated in basketball.
Sturdevant Auto Parts was started by Jim’s grandfather, Charles, in 1922, in Wahpeton, N.D. Over the years, it has transitioned from an electrical/mechanical repair center to auto parts, branch stores, and a distribution center serving areas in North and South Dakota and Minnesota. After 12 years managing the Moorhead store, he led the expansion into branch stores and a distribution center with his two brothers, Bill and Terry. Together, they began merging their stores into the 48 Sturdevant store organization of Sioux Falls owned by Tim Sturdevant, a 1985 MSUM graduate.
Jim is strongly committed to the Wahpeton community. He organized and has supervised an area youth tackle football program for 36 years; served as president of the Wahpeton Booster Club; co-chaired “light the stadium” fundraiser for lighting football fields in Wahpeton and at NDSCS; and received the Chamber Citizen of the Year award.
Jim served as a city councilman from 1986-02, and mayor of Wahpeton from 2006-14. His city involvements include: revitalization of Dakota Avenue, community center, art gallery, Bois de Sioux Golf Course, and flood control. He still serves in the Community Enhancement Organization and Convention and Visitors committees. He has served as a director of: Community First Bank Wahpeton, Lake Agassiz Development Group, Wahpeton Community Development and Minnesota Automotive Parts Association. In 2012 he received the North Dakota League of Cities Leadership Excellence Award.
Jim and his wife Ellen have five children.