New Hire - Tori Helland

Meet Tori Helland

Where are you from?

Fargo, born and raised.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I graduated from MSUM with a degree in Elementary Ed and have always loved helping others, however, after some time I learned that I am more passionate about helping people over the age of 10. No matter the circumstances, I have always found joy in new opportunities and new experiences.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

I'd have to say Blake Lively. She has been my girl crush for as long as I can remember and I think she is an amazing actress. We are also very similar in height!

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Traveling is hands down my favorite thing to do. I love going to concerts and music festivals, trying new restaurants, visiting breweries, reading, and exploring... ideally while traveling! Family and friends are also very important to me - I always look forward to my family dinners at my parents' house on Sunday nights. 

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I probably own about 200 pairs of shoes.

What part of your position provides the most value?

I really enjoy working on a team and I am confident that I will be working with one of the best teams in town. I look forward to finding the right fit for the right client. I will pride myself on working hard to find the puzzle piece that fits the equation for my clients.

Tell us about your experience.

I have a pretty diverse background doing various roles all of which I believe will help me find success at Spotlight. I have always had a knack for building strong bonds with anyone I work with. I have a degree in Elementary Education, served and worked events at a local favorite - The Tavern, did commercial property management, and most recently was a Human Resources Specialist. Kind of all over the board but I decided that it was time to explore working in a fast paced position in the sales and marketing world.

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

I feel that once a business finds the success that comes from all of the angles of marketing that Spotlight has to offer, they will see that it's a bigger thing than they imagined. So, as I said - finding the right fit for the right person will be extremely impactful. 

Why does our community matter to you?

I feel that the FM area is so unique in that it has a little bit of everything for everyone, yet it still has a small community feel. The saying "it's a small world" is extremely applicable here as there are so many connections that can be made, which is a really amazing advantage of living here.

 

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

I look forward to being able to learn from Mike and the rest of the sales team as they have had amazing success over the years. My goals are pretty big for myself, but my biggest goal is to get to work with some new businesses and individuals and help them achieve their own goals. 
 
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Meet Makenzi Johnson

Where are you from?

I’m from Fargo, born and raised.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I’m a junior studying journalism and Spanish at Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. I’ve lived in North Dakota my entire life and jumped at the opportunity for a change of pace and a fresh start by going to the cities for school. I think “big city life” has been good to me so far, but it’s always nice to come home for some familiarity and a home cooked meal! I’m also a cat person, which tends to cause some controversy, but I’ll stand firm on this hill.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

I would totally want Florence Pugh to play me. I was voted as a celebrity lookalike to her in my high school yearbook, so I feel like it’s only necessary for her to play me, in addition to her crazy cool talent!

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I love listening to music, anything from Frank Sinatra to ABBA to Harry Styles. Having spontaneous dance parties are pretty common occurrences due to that. I also love reading books, especially classic literature.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I roasted marshmallows on the top of an active volcano in Guatemala! I swear the marshmallows taste differently when roasted over hot, steaming volcanic rock rather than a bonfire. 

What part of your position provides the most value?

Being a part of the editorial team has been the most valuable experience, thus far. Getting to work closely with the other editors has already taught me so much and it's been really cool to learn from them and their unique ways of writing a story. 

Tell us about your experience.

I had no experience with journalism prior to going to college, so adding it to my major was an impulsive decision because I thought it could be fun, and I was right. I started writing for Bethel's student-led newspaper, The Clarion, early on in my college career, becoming lifestyle reporter, then lifestyle editor and will serve as Editor in Chief of it this upcoming school year. I’ve fallen in love with journalism ever since and I’m thankful that my impulsive decision worked in my favor!

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

I believe getting to write stories about new things in the community makes the most impact. New favorite restaurants are discovered, a new sport is played, new events held all over the city are put on people’s calendars all because of the stories myself and the editorial team write.

Why does our community matter to you?

After being outside of the FM community for the better part of two years due to college, I have such a desire to get to know it better, especially as an adult. I’ve always known that the community has a lot to offer, but I’m realizing that the scope of its offerings are so much bigger than I thought. Knowing that there is so much to offer makes me proud of the FM community. 

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

My main goal is to get to know the FM community even better through the stories I write. The act of writing alone will help me gain a lot of experience, but I believe that the more I write about people, places, events and good things, the more I will become familiar with the community, and learn to love it even more. 
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Spotlight Retreat: Fair Hills Resort

Fair Hills Resort is home to many special memories for family and friends, but they host another group of individuals who have quite a bit of fun. Companies from all different areas and industries have traveled to the resort for games, boating and loads of fun. The team at Spotlight was recently welcomed by Fair Hills Resort for just that!

"Working with the Fair Hills team was seamless. From planning the events to preparing the menu to any other logistical pieces, our day went off without a hitch. They executed all of the activities and took care of everything so that our team could enjoy our retreat.”
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Jenny Johnson

When we think of “work retreat” many different things could cross our minds, but your next office trip might be closer than you think. Fair Hills Resort, located on Pelican Lake near Detroit Lakes, offers a variety of accommodations for conferences, retreats, workshops and more. Spotlight visited the resort for a day full of team-building activities, delicious food, and good company. Arriving at the resort, our team was welcomed by the Fair Hills Resort staff and was shown around the main area at the resort. We spent our morning in the Pavilion, a spacious area that doubled as a minute-to-win-it challenge ring and a meeting place for our group.

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Planning a meal for your family can be stressful, so planning a meal for the entire office? That’s not something that you need to worry about when it comes to this visit. The Fair Hills team worked with us to cater a delicious meal for our group.

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They offered us a variety of different team-building exercises and games and were able to find activities for everyone to enjoy. Everyone especially enjoyed our round of karaoke!

The highlight of the day was being a part of the annual Big Pelican Boat launch, where their 55-foot boat is launched into the water for the first time that year. Once in, our crew loaded onto the boat and got a cruise around the beautiful Pelican Lake, complete with a full food and beverage service on board. 

Fair Hills has a variety of amenities and spaces to host whatever your company might need for your visit to the lake!

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No matter who your company is or what you do, you can find a fulfilling day at Fair Hills Resort. They have hosted groups ranging from exercise equipment companies to religious groups to class reunions to farm credit services to tech companies—the sky is the limit for the team at Fair Hills!

Once we docked, we waited our last few moments at the resort in the lobby, some around the crackling fire, some talking with new friends, and, yes, some visiting the gift shop. From the easy planning beforehand to the impeccable service while visiting, and even to the heartfelt goodbye as we loaded onto our bus back, our team was thoroughly impressed with our retreat out to Fair Hills Resort!

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Meet Jonathan Chicka

Where are you from?

Superior, WI

Tell us a little bit about you.

I am a recent graduate of NDSU with a degree in Marketing, I love to travel and am always looking for my next adventure or place to explore. I am a huge Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Pokemon fan and my room is covered with collectables from those series. I also love to do photography whenever I get the chance, especially when I'm traveling.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

Ryan Reynolds because no one would capture my essence better.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

Play different video games and trading card games or grabbing a drink at one of the local breweries with some friends.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I have been to over 100 national parks with plenty more to go!

What part of your position provides the most value?

We are increasingly doing more and more things online and because of that being digitally literate is so crucial, but for some people that can be a real challenge. I'm here to help bridge that gap and provide people with digital solutions for their marketing needs.

Tell us about your experience.

In addition to just graduating with a marketing degree I have had various marketing jobs, most recently of which was at Codelation where I was a Digital Marketing Specialist working on online marketing projects such as social media content creation and blog writing.

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

Getting to work directly with local businesses helps me feel really connected to our local community and makes me feel like I am making a difference in the businesses and with the people I love.

Why does our community matter to you?

The people here are outstanding, they welcomed me in four years ago when I started at NDSU and have been so accepting and supportive ever since. Between the startup community and the people I have met through things while I was in school, I know this is the place that I want to be.

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

My biggest goal is to be able to lead a team of people who are all focused on the digital space and help Spotlight grow our digital marketing offerings and abilities. Also to make new connections with people in our community and be able to help local businesses with their digital marketing needs.
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Meet Ty Betts

Where are you from?

I am from North Dakota. I was born in Grand Forks, but was raised in Minot.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I have lived in North Dakota my whole life in a few different cities. I have called Bismarck my home for the past decade, but recently relocated to Fargo. I graduated from Bismarck State College with a degree in Graphic Design & Communications and have been doing design work for a few years now, and I absolutely love it.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

Chris Hemsworth. I can't think of someone who resembles me more.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I enjoy relaxing and taking in various forms of art, whether it's music, film, theatre, writing, etc.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I put hot sauce on almost everything. It's a problem.

What part of your position provides the most value?

I love designing things that attract and captivate people. Getting someone to pay attention to the subject matter and make an impact is so important, especially in today's age.

Tell us about your experience.

I have been doing graphic design for a few years now. After graduating college. I have worked both as a freelance graphic designer, and a web designer for Flyway Media. I have got to work on a lot of really cool projects and with great people. I have loved every moment so far.

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

Being able to draw in a persons eye when flipping through one of our publications to a business, organization, or person, and getting them to read and learn about them, potentially bringing them leads and attention is awesome for me.

Why does our community matter to you?

I have only been a part of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo community for a few months, but I have only had great experiences. I have felt welcomed and accepted, and I hope to add to this positive energy.

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

I hope to contribute my best work to the already awesome work that is produced by Spotlight. I look forward. to growing and expanding my creative skill set and forming great relationships.
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Meet Levi Dinh

Where are you from?

Born in Fargo and raised in Seattle!

Tell us a little bit about you.

I've been living in the FM area since 2016, after being in Seattle pretty much my entire life. I am a recent graduate from M State in the Graphic Design & Technology program. You can find me at a Fargo brewery at any time... after work of course.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

Probably Steven Yeun. Or at least I'd hope someone pretty decent.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I like to play video games, skateboard, golf, and of course cook. I spend most of my time at my desk or in the kitchen.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I won a most beautiful baby contest in 1998. I think all the charm has been lost, unfortunately.

What part of your position provides the most value?

Creating something and seeing it go out into the world for the enjoyment of others is a bliss that is difficult to achieve in any other way. Designing for the public is a very rewarding task and it never fails to feel fulfilling.

Tell us about your experience.

My initial interest in design started in eight grade, after taking my first digital design course. After years of self teaching, I decided to join the Graphic Design Program at M State. I've completed a design internship for a Fargo company, as well as learning more about production at a recent job in Moorhead. I've also done numerous freelance projects for businesses during school. This all lead me to Spotlight, and I'm glad it did!

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

Being able to create something that others will see and enjoy out in the community means a ton to me.

Why does our community matter to you?

This community quickly became my home after moving back in 2016. There is a sense of cohesiveness and care that comes quick in the FM area, and it's only right to give back.

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

I want to deliver creative magazine spreads that are enjoyable in the community, as well as helping other design projects in any way I can. I want to help raise the bar for what Spotlight can do in any way, shape or form that I am able.
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Meet Kellan Benson

Where are you from?

I grew up in Hankinson, North Dakota.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I am a recent graduate from Valley City State University with a degree in Business Administration - Marketing. I am also a part-time serviceman in the North Dakota Army National Guard. I came to Fargo for the breweries, and stayed for the community… and the breweries

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

The Rock. He wouldn't even need to act, really.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I enjoy watching films, playing recreational sports, and trying new things. I can also be a bit more sarcastic than what's good for me.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I wake up at 7:01 every morning because the thought of waking up at the exact same time as everyone else kind of creeps me out for some reason.

What part of your position provides the most value?

In the digital age we live in, owning a website is a necessity for a business. I believe I can make a significant impact by providing a website that our clients can both be proud of and see immediate results from.

Tell us about your experience.

During my college tenure, I had the opportunity to hold two internships: a Business Office Intern at SMP Health and more recently a Digital Web Intern at Border States Electric. I have studied Web Design and Development for 2 years.

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

Getting to work directly with small businesses allows me to get better insight into exactly what they need to grow. I believe there is a lot of opportunity that lies in digital marketing. I want to help owners tap into those grounds.

Why does our community matter to you?

Fargo has already provided me with great opportunities. I hope to stay with the community for a long time, hopefully providing those same opportunities to others. 

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

I hope to attain a status of reliability from my peers and clients, so that they can feel confident that I will perform the tasks given to me at the highest level. I am also looking forward to seizing any leadership opportunities given to me.
Spotlight Fargo Team Tara Schwan

Meet Tara Schwan

Where are you from?

Bismarck, ND

Tell us a little bit about you.

I moved to Fargo, ND 2.5 years ago and have enjoyed experiencing Fargo’s local restaurants and establishing roots, and becoming a part of the community in Fargo.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

Will Ferrell from Step Brothers

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

I am an avid reader, and I enjoy traveling, yoga, attending concerts, and spending time with friends and family.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I wear black every day.

What part of your position provides the most value?

Performing detailed operations analysis, documenting processes, and being able to explain difficult concepts/platform functions to non-technical users in the company.

Tell us about your experience.

I came from years of previous law experience where I practiced knowledge and understanding of legal terminology, procedures, substantive law, and the preparation of legal documents.

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

I am looking forward to collaborating, working within a team on projects while helping to organize and grow the companies’ capabilities for our clients.

Why does our community matter to you?

It cultivates a “sense of place” that attracts people and opportunity. Vibrant communities are cool, unique, and create a sense of belonging.

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

– Evaluating business processes, anticipating requirements, uncovering areas for improvement, and developing and implementing solutions.
– Leading ongoing reviews of business processes and developing optimization strategies.
– 
Improve day-to-day operational tasks as needed to help drive scalability and business growth.

Spotlight Fargo Team Meagan Stock

Meet Meagan Stock

Where are you from?

My hometown is Mahnomen, MN.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I grew up on the east coast in a DC suburb, but always loved coming home to the MN farm. Growing up I always loved helping my dad on his custom harvest crew, he travels from OK to northern MN. I would help by driving tractor, semi, and the combine. It taught me a lot about hard work and long hours, that I like to incorporate into the work I love to do now.

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?

Very tough, but I would have to say Sandra Bullock, I have just always loved her movies and her attitude.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

My favorite things to do in my spare time are cuddle up and watch movies if it is cold, and be outside as much as possible when it is warm. Hiking, boating, farming, or going to the beach.

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

I was an actress on a TV show called Americas Most Wanted, when I was in High School.

What part of your position provides the most value?

I am excited to bring my social media experience to Spotlight and grow with them.

Tell us about your experience.

I have always had a talent with communication and building bonds with customers. My last job was working at a jewelry store, helping clients find their forever jewelry or creating pieces that would be handed down to family. It was there that I was given the opportunity to take over their social media platforms and help them grow and reach more clients. After working on social media I found that it is a true passion of mine, and wanted to peruse the job more and it brought me to Spotlight.!

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

Building relationships with clients and helping them better their business by getting their vision to the public through social media.

Why does our community matter to you?

I am very family orientated, and I believe that family are also the people that live around me. Keeping the community safe and happy is important, a simple smile is contagious and a great start.

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

Some of my goals at Spotlight are to help educate clients on the importance of using social media to expand their business. Build cliental, and have long term bonds based on trust and experience.
Spotlight Fargo Team Jessica Mullen

Meet Jessica Mullen

Where are you from?

I am from Merced, California and I moved to Fargo, North Dakota when I was 10 years old.

Tell us a little bit about you.

I am a recent graduate from the University of North Dakota where I received a degree in communications and leadership. While in college I had the opportunity to study abroad at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. My favorite things to do are spend time with my family and friends by cooking, traveling, playing games, and attending events in my community.

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I like to watch true crime documentaries on Netflix, go to hot yoga, or try out a new recipe. My top two favorite things to make are zuppa toscana or spicy penne pasta!

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?

As a kid my parents would bring us to the beach on the weekends and apparently my mom would catch me every so often eating handfuls of sand. Don’t ask me why…I must have thought it tasted good as a toddler.

What part of your position provides the most value?

In my position as a marketing coordinator on our client relations team, I have the opportunity to collaborate with our clients throughout the design and collection process of their print and digital advertisements. I also work closely with our internal departments, vendors and oversee our mailing and distribution team which allows me to have a broad scope of responsibilities.

Tell us about your experience.

With my education background in communications and leadership, after graduating I worked for a local non-profit organization as a placement specialist helping people with disabilities and other barriers secure employment opportunities. Through the skills and knowledge I gained from that position, I decided to expand my experience to the marketing and advertising industry which is when I discovered an opportunity with Spotlight. 

What part of your job do you believe makes the most impact?

Through building strong and lasting relationships with our clients, community, and vendors my role creates a high impact for the success and growth of other businesses which is pretty amazing to be a part of. 

Why does our community matter to you?

Our community is important because it is a way for us to feel connected, through creating unity, reaching goals, developing a sense of safety and security, and ultimately having the opportunity to be a part of something greater through shared passions of continued learning and improvement.

What are some of your goals at Spotlight?

Some of my goals include expanding my knowledge in the marketing and advertising industry, developing relationships with other businesses and individuals in the Fargo-Moorhead community, and overall providing a positive and valuable impact for the Spotlight Media team.