Josh Brandsted speaking at the Alumni Honors Banquet

2023 Young Alumni: Josh Brandsted

Young Alumni Award winner leans on UND experiences in the classroom and on the field to excel as CEO of Greco LLC. 

Josh Brandsted, ’08, was offered a job in March 2008. Greco Properties, LLC wanted him to start right away. At the time, Josh was finishing his degree in managerial finance and corporate accounting and working five nights a week managing a downtown Grand Forks bar. He wasn’t sure he was interested in the real estate industry. 

But the economy was precarious, and he needed a job upon graduation.

Josh Brandsted
I use everything I learned in the accounting and finance department every single day.

Josh made a plan. He worked with his professors to complete his classwork on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. He took an overnight train to Minneapolis on Thursdays, arriving Friday in time for Greco’s 9 a.m. marketing meeting. He’d work until Monday night, take the night train back to Grand Forks and arrive for class on Tuesday morning. He continued managing the bar on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. 

“It was the most grueling time in my life,” Josh said. “My professors were willing to be flexible and I had great support from my (now) wife, Kelsey (Messner, ’08).” Fast forward 15 years. Josh is now owner and president of Greco Properties, LLC. He’s held numerous roles at the company, becoming president in 2015. He acquired 50% of Greco in 2019 and fully took over in 2022. 

His UND experience – both in the classroom and on the football field – provided valuable lessons. “I use everything I learned in the accounting and finance department every single day,” Josh said. “Without that degree, I don’t think I would even be close to as successful as we’ve been here.”

As a UND football player, he learned how to manage schedules and multiple demands, and to put in the work. 

Josh credits his success to his professors, coaches, mentors, friends and family. “I was a contributor on a lot of successful teams,” he said. “This (Young Alumni Achievement) award is a nod to all the opportunities that have been presented to me from people that believed in me and helped me along the way.”