A history of capitalizing on opportunity.

Based in Fargo, N.D., Gen7 is built on over a century of experience in creating value for businesses and investors.

The Fargo Forum
was purchased

In 1917, Norman B. Black wrote a 100-dollar check for an option to buy the Fargo Forum for $100,000. That check marked the beginning of a multi-generational business journey.

Other media

Forum Communications began its rapid growth in 1926 with the purchase of a 48-page printing press, twice the size of the original press. In 1935, The Forum bought minority ownership of WDAY radio, purchasing the remainder of the station in 1958, and from 1980-2006, The Forum added 35 newspapers to span four states.

New media

Forum Communications has always been a leading force in media, debuting one of the nation’s first multi-media websites in 1997. The company formed Gen7 Investments as it prioritized efforts to connect with new generations and diversify its portfolio. Today, Gen 7 manages and elevates a portfolio featuring consumer goods, media companies, and brand agencies.

Our Leadership

Bill Marcil Jr.
President & CEO

Bill Marcil Jr. is the fifth generation of his family to be publisher of The Forum of Fargo Moorhead, North Dakota’s largest daily newspaper. Bill began working at The Forum in 1991 and has worked at the newspaper over 27 years in various departments…

full bio

He was named publisher in 2010 and was named Chief Operating Officer of Forum Communications Company in December, 2012.Born William Christ Marcil, Jr. in Fargo North Dakota. Bill grew up in Fargo, going to Shanley High School and graduating from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Over the last 27 years, Bill has served on numerous boards and committees including: Fargo Moorhead Advertising Federation, YMCA, Fargo Moorhead Chamber of Commerce, Trollwood Performing Arts School, Rourke Art Museum, Plains Art Museum, North Dakota Committee to Prevent Child Abuse and North Dakota’s 2020 and Beyond. Bill also sits on the board of directors of the Forum Communications Company, the Forum Communications Foundation, and the William and Jane Marcil Family Foundation.

Erik Barner
Chief Investment Officer

Erik Barner is the Chief Investment Officer of Gen7 Investments, bringing over a decade of experience in the financial industry. Erik joined Gen7 shortly after its inception in June 2017. Prior to joining Gen7, Erik was most recently an equity research analyst for a global, long-only asset manager Institutional Capital of Chicago…

full bio

Erik got his start in investment as an analyst at the Piper Jaffray investment banking group, also serving as a private equity analyst at Norwest Mezzanine Partners.

Erik is originally from Fargo, graduating from the University of St. Thomas (2007) and Columbia Business School (2013). Erik currently sits on the Board of Directors for Stoneridge Software, The Stable, and Legacy Seed Companies. Additionally, Erik serves an adjunct professor of finance at North Dakota State University and also serves on the Hospice of the Red River Valley Board of Directors.

Based in Fargo, N.D., Gen7 is built on over a century of experience in creating value for businesses and investors.