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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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.