The Bismarck-Mandan Young Professionals Network was honored to have Sheila Schafer as our first YP Roundtable presenter of 2016. Sheila took us on the trip down memory lane as she walked us through her late husband Harold Schafer’s journey in entrepreneurship.
Sheila was born in Bismarck, one block from the Belle Mehus Auditorium in May 1925. At a young age her parents moved to Fargo, where she saw first-hand the amount of work and dedication it took to be a successful entrepreneur. Sheila shared many stories of what life was like in her early days. After High School, she and some friends set out on an adventure to Washington where she would live for almost 18 months to save money for her education.
In 1965, Sheila married Harold Schafer, which she would do 25 more times in her life. They had three children and eventually moved back to the Bismarck area. Harold started the Gold Seal Company and eventually grew it into a national brand, featuring products like Glass Wax, Snowy Bleach, and Mr. Bubble. The company was eventually sold in 1986 so the Schafer’s could focus on their legacy, turning Medora in to the town it is today. Thanks to their efforts, Medora is the #1 tourist attraction in North Dakota. Sheila also mentioned that Harold has been the only North Dakotan to receive the prestigious Horatio Alger Award and that he was also a recipient of North Dakota’s highest honor, the Roughrider Award.
Sheila is now 91 years old, although you would never know it when speaking with her. She has the heart and energy of a person half her age. She attributes a lot of hard work and dedication to the success she has seen in life. While remaining very active, she enjoys spending as much of her time as she can with her family.
A couple of interesting facts about Sheila;
- Her first big theater role was at BSC as the lead in the production of “Hello Dolly”
- She finished her degree at BSC at the age of 85.
- She was an active golfer and won numerous championships at Apple Creek Country Club