Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Join the Team and Make a Difference with Sons of Norway

Sons of Norway Seeks Insurance New Business Representative

Sons of Norway of Minneapolis, MN is seeking a New Business Representative that will assist in our Insurance Services Division. 

About us:
Sons of Norway  has been in the business of selling annuity and life insurance products since 1895.  Since then we have grown to become a $360 million Fraternal Life Insurance company that serves 60,000 members in nearly 400 communities throughout North America and Norway.  We are headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota and have agents selling insurance and servicing members throughout the United States.

Job Summary:
This position is primarily responsible for processing of new applications, ordering requirements as part of the underwriting process, and generating insurance contracts after the application has been approved.  This position communicates regularly with our agents and outside vendors during the application, underwriting and issue process.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Summary of core duties and responsibilities. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Prepares and completes  initial set up process for all annuity and life applications.
  • Perform the initial underwriting review of all annuity and life applications, and when appropriate, will take them through the approval process.
  • Order the underwriting requirements as directed by the underwriter.
  • Coordinate all communications for 1035 exchanges, rollovers and transfers.
  • Upon application approval, generates policy pages for distribution to the agents and delivery to the clients. 
  • Share responsibility for processing all new business mail.
  • Manage vendor websites by receipting and distributing underwriting requirements.
  • Reinsurance Administration.
  • Commission and Production maintenance for the agents.

Job Requirements:
·         Undergraduate degree preferred.  Associates degree required.
·         5+  years demonstrated knowledge and experience related to Insurance processes and procedures preferred.
·         Strong Technical aptitude.  Ability to analyze and use various computer software programs with minimal direction.  Intermediate Microsoft Word and Excel preferred.
·         Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
·         Excellent oral and written communications skills. Ability to effectively work with both internal and external customers.
·         Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
·         While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear.  The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk.  The employee is frequently required to use hands.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

To Apply:
Please submit your cover letter, salary requirements and resume to:
Sons of Norway
Attn: Diane Gill
1455 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Or Email:

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer

Jarle Bernhoft Up for a Grammy

You may recognize Oslo-born musician Jarle Bernhoft’s name from Viking’s January issue in which we asked Norwegian notables about their favorite places to dine, shop and play in their home country. Check out his favorites, including Oslo's Rockefeller Music Hall, Credo restaurant and the Henie-Onstad Art Center, on page 23.

Last spring, Bernhoft released his third full-length studio album, “Islander,” to rave reviews. The album is nominated for a 2015 Grammy Award in the R&B category. It’s the first time a non-American artist has received a nod in the category’s 20-year history. Tune in to the Grammy Awards on February 8, 2015, to see if he wins!

Photo: Fred Jonny

If you’re in Scandinavia this winter, catch Bernhoft on tour in Norway and Sweden through March and stay up-to-date by following him on Facebook and Twitter. 

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Happy Founders' Day!

Happy Sons of Norway Founders' Day!

It was on this day 120 years ago that 18 Norwegian immigrants came together in Minneapolis, MN to form a mutual assistance group that would support their community members in times of tragedy. Since then, Sons of Norway has grown exponentially and you are now part of an international organization with a network of members and lodges throughout North America and Norway.

As I reflect on the occasion, I can't help but wonder if our founders could ever have conceived the notion that their small, community-based group would one day grow into the Fraternal Life Insurance company we know today?

So, in honor of Founders' Day, I encourage you to spend time out in the community today wearing your membership pin and talking to friends and neighbors about Sons of Norway. You can tell them about the member benefits, philanthropic opportunities or financial products offered exclusively to members, as well as the great work being done by your lodge. 

Above all, today is an opportunity to celebrate our founders, show pride in our heritage and boast about all the great things Sons of Norway does in your community. 

In closing, on behalf of everyone at the Sons of Norway Headquarters, I wish you a happy Founders' Day and offer my heartfelt appreciation for your dedication to the organization. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"The Imitation Game" Nabs 8 Oscar Nominations

This year’s Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and Norwegian director Morten Tyldum’s film
“The Imitation Game” has a shot at winning eight Oscars. Here’s as recap of the categories in which the film is nominated:

• Best picture
• Best director (Morten Tyldum)
• Best actor (Benedict Cumberbatch)
• Best supporting actress (Keira Knightley)
• Best adapted screen play
• Best film editing
• Best original score
• Best production design

The film tells the story of British mathematician, cryptanalyst and war hero Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch). During World War II, he created a machine that cracked the codes of Germany’s Enigma and saved millions of lives. His work generated a field of research into "Turing Machines"—what we know today as computers. The film is based on Andrew Hodge’s book, “Alan Turing: The Enigma.”
Photo: Jack English courtesy of Black Bear Pictures
Tyldum has directed several films in his native Norway, including the BAFTA-nominated “Headhunters,” but “The Imitation Game” is his English- language directing debut. Early in the process, filmmakers were excited to welcome him to the project.
Photo: Jack English courtesy of Black Bear Pictures

In the film’s production notes, Teddy Schwarzman, head of film production and financing company Black Bear Pictures, knew Tyldum was the man for the job: “Ultimately it was a Norwegian who blew me away with his true understanding of the characters. Morten Tyldum knew what was driving everybody in the story and that it was a story of love and loss and triumph.”

Screenwriter Graham Moore was also thrilled for Tyldum to join the production: "I never dreamed that we would end up with a director with the level of skill and craft that Morten brings to this movie. From the first second I sat down with him, I left the meeting and called everyone else and said 'It has to be this guy. This is the director of the film. He just got it and so instinctively.'"
Benedict Cumberbatch and director Morten Tyldum on set.
Photo: Jack English Courtesy of Black Bear Pictures

“The Imitation Game” is no stranger to award nominations, as it also garnered five Golden Globe and three Screen Actor Guild Award nominations earlier this winter. Check out the Academy Awards to see the results on February 22, 2015.

Have you seen the film? What did you think?

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Upcoming Film Festival

If you’re in the Seattle area, check out the sixth annual Nordic Lights Film Festival from January 15-18, 2015, presented by The Nordic Heritage Museum. Features, documentaries and short films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will be shown at SIFF Film Center.

“The Nordic Lights Film Festival is one of the Museum’s most compelling programs,” said Nordic Heritage Museum CEO Eric Nelson. “By screening films that are both critically-acclaimed and wildly popular in the Nordic countries, we are able to connect our community to this intriguing component of contemporary Nordic culture.”

 One heartwarming film is a Norwegian documentary called The Optimists/Optimistene, which follows an extraordinary Hamar volleyball team consisting of ladies between 66 and 98 years of age. Director Gunhild Westhagen Magnor and cast member Anne-Grethe Westhagen will be attending the screening and the opening reception.

Festival passes are available for purchase. Prices are: $65 for the general public and $55 for Nordic Heritage Museum and SIFF Members. Single-ticket admission is $8 for Nordic Heritage Museum Members and SIFF Members; $12 for the general public. Check out the festival page and purchase tickets here. 

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Viking's Travel Issue

Happy New Year from Viking magazine! Our January issue is all about travel, and we couldn’t be more excited to start 2015 off by sharing some Norwegian destination inspiration. In the issue, we highlight Norway’s wildlife safaris, Bergen and recommendations from three notable Norwegians—chef and television host Andreas Viestad, Olympic snowboarder Silje Norendal and musician Jarle Bernhoft. 

If you need even more reasons to set your travel plans in motion, check out this link for stunning photos of Norway’s landscape. Let the travel planning begin!

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Monday, December 29, 2014

"Lilyhammer" Is Back!

Looking for a show to curl up with and watch this holiday season? Netflix recently released season 3 of the Norwegian hit drama series “Lilyhammer.” The show follows mobster Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano (Steven Van Zandt) as he moves to Lillehammer, Norway, under the Witness Protection Program to start a new life.

The show first premiered in Norway and was introduced to American audiences in February 2012 when it came to Netflix. It paved the way for more Netflix original series, including “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black.” Check out this article from Rolling Stone and the season 3 trailer!

 Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas from Sons of Norway

Christmas is upon us and I want to take this opportunity to send you a message of good tidings from myself and the entire Sons of Norway Headquarters' staff! 

It is my sincerest hope that you will find yourself surrounded by loved ones and sharing in the spirit of the season.

I also wanted to let you know that in celebration of the holidays the Sons of Norway Headquarters will be closed on Wednesday, December 24th and Thursday, December 25th. We will reopen for business at 8am on Friday, December 26th.

In the meantime, I wish you all the hope, wonder and joy that Christmas can bring!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Stunning Lofoten Wedding

Jakob Granqvist / Nordica Photography
Have you seen the stunning wedding photos featured on The Huffington Post and NRK? It showcases why Norway’s natural beauty makes for a breathtaking backdrop for a wedding. Check out the photos of couple Sirena and Eric’s September wedding in the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. Photographs were taken by Nordica Photography. 

Jakob Granqvist / Nordica Photography

Friday, December 12, 2014

J.Crew in Norway

American retailer J.Crew goes on location around the world for its style guides and catalogs. The brand photographed its Holiday 2014 Style Guide in Hardanger, Norway. J.Crew is known for mixing colors, patterns and styles—and this style guide is no exception. It has curated a selection of stylish cold-weather gear including colorful sweaters and outerwear, with touches of sparkle and plaid.

Travel notes about Norway and the Hardanger region are sprinkled throughout:“The region is known for its lush valleys, majestic mountains and one really long fjord (the Norwegian term for a narrow channel of water). The Hardangerfjord, created from melting glaciers over 10,000 years ago, stretches over 100 miles long.” 

Norwegian company Frost Media produced the photo shoot, which took place in August. Check out this behind-the-scenes photo from the shoot.

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Norway's Nobel Past

Every December, all eyes are on Oslo as the Norwegian royal family and Norwegian society gathers for the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. The tradition dates back to the early 1900s. Did you know that Alfred Nobel was actually from Sweden? In Viking’s December issue, we look into the life of Alfred Nobel and several theories why his will states that the Prize must be awarded in Norway.

Looking for more information? The Norwegian Nobel Institute was founded in 1904 to aid the Nobel Committee in selecting a Laureate. In addition to extensively researching each nominee, the Institute hosts seminars and conferences on peace-related topics throughout the year. The library housed within the institute stocks resources on war and peace throughout history.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in Oslo City Hall on
Dec. 10, 2014. Watch the lectures and award ceremony at For more information on Nobel’s life, check out this timeline. 

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Friday, December 5, 2014

NATB 2014: Another Successful Year!

As you probably know, last week was Sons of Norway’s 30th Annual Nordic American Thanksgiving Breakfast. It was a morning filled with fun and fellowship as our MC, Don Shelby and guest speakers  Andrew Zimmern, Kevin Kling, and Reverend Ruth MacKenzie shared inspiring stories about freedom, faith, family & friendship. If that weren't enough, the audience was treated to some amazing musical selections from the Gustavus Adolphus Choir as well.

This year Sons of Norway welcomed an audience of nearly 1,000 people, which is quite a feat considering doors opened at 6:30 am on a Tuesday. But that really stands as a testament to the dedication of all the attendees and the organizations who worked together to make this the best event it could be.

What’s even better news is that the event raised nearly $15,000 for two Minnesota-based charities that support communities in need throughout the state. Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our attendees, the Minnesota Military Family Foundation and Second Harvest Heartland can continue in their respective missions by providing assistance to those in need across Minnesota.

With that, Sons of Norway has wrapped up another great Thanksgiving Breakfast and is looking forward to making the 31st annual event even bigger and better than ever! Big thanks to this year’s speakers, all the attendees who woke up early and made this a morning to remember and, of course, to all the individuals and organizations who worked together in making this year’s event such a success!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sweet Photo Shoot

Looking for a good way to spend quality family time and spread holiday cheer this season? Get together in the kitchen with loved ones and bake! We at Viking magazine were in the holiday spirit earlier this fall as we planned our holiday cookie photo shoot. Check it out on page 20 of the December 2014 issue.

Choosing which cookie recipes to feature was no easy task. We looked to two of our favorite Scandinavian cookbooks, The Great Holiday Baking Book,” by Beatrice Ojakangas and Scandinavian Christmas, by Trine Hahnamann. Read on for a peek behind the scenes of the photo shoot.

What: Viking’s Holiday Cookie Photo Shoot
When: October 8, 2014
Where: Blue Ox Studios, Minneapolis
Photographer: Tom Thulen
Food styling: Betsy Nelson

8-10:30 a.m. — Bake cookies on site at the studio
10:30-11:30 a.m., Cut out gingerbread cookies, set up lighting equipment
11:30 a.m-1 p.m. — Place oat and cranberry-orange cookies on set and take photos (seen on pages 22-23)
1-3 p.m. — Frost gingerbread cookies and take photos (seen on page 20)

Before the shoot, we planned the layout.

Cutting out letters using gingerbread dough

Food stylist Betsy Nelson icing the cookies

A view of the opening shot

Cranberry-orange cookies!

The layout coming together on screen

Looking for more cookie recipes? Don't forget to check out Sons of Norway's Recipe Box. 

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Imitation Game

This holiday weekend, a new suspense film hits the big screens in the United States. “The Imitation Game,” comes out on November 28. Did you know that Norwegian director Morten Tyldum worked on the film? You may recognize Tyldum’s name from directing “Headhunters.” He’s now one of Norway’s talented directors that’s making his way into Hollywood.

“The Imitation Game” stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a British genius who helps crack the German Enigma Code that helped Allies win WWII. Keira Knightley plays a gifted cryptanalyst.

Read about the Oscar buzz the film is already garnering from Variety magazine and Aftenposten. Tyldum could be the first Norwegian to win an Oscar for Best Director. Check out the official trailer here: