Blog : Meet The New Team Members

Welcome Spotlight Media’s New Sales Assistant

Welcome Spotlight Media’s New Sales Assistant

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new sales assistant and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Emily Freeman | Sales Assistant

Emily Freeman

I grew up in Bismarck – The lonely, uneventful two and a half hour drive away. However, my 20 some years there weren’t as uneventful.

I surrounded myself with friends and family, and within that bubble, found myself growing and evolving as each year passed. This led me to leaving Bismarck State College my first year, and finishing out my last three at Minnesota State University Moorhead. Being a double major in English and Mass Communications, I found taking the leap and moving made me read more when I didn’t have that “Bismarck” circle to rely on (English side of things) but also involving myself in the community and forming a new one (Communications side of things).

Other than that, I’m a devoted cat mom, stellar Scrabble player and even sing/play guitar in my free time.

What drew you to Spotlight Media?
Being in the major I was, I already knew about the company and a few articles they had written prior to me even beginning my job hunt. As cheesy as it sounds, I found myself reading these articles, magazine in hand, thinking about how cool it would be to see my name in there one day.

The culture, the drive and the joy to live in the city I moved to and embrace it sparked my interest early on and held it throughout my graduation. Then, luckily for me, landed the job.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
Mentioned earlier, I am a mother of two furry friends – My ragdoll cats, Louis and Finnegan. They have brought out my “crazy cat lady” side, although I’m in love with any breed of animal. Considering this, I would love to grow my little family by adding more to the mix; whether that’s a dog, bunny or pig. Call me crazy, but Brandon, if you’re reading this – Take your pick.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
I feel like the answer to this changes after every Netflix binge or stack of books within a 5-hour plane ride, but my solid answer that will never change this point forward is the book I received from my mom for my college graduation.

Although quite simple, I’d Know You Anywhere, My Love by Nancy Tillman is one that will always pull at my heartstrings – It’s something that made me cry in my twenties and will continue to do so in every other decade.

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
My love for music led me to auditioning for American Idol this past year. After singing two songs for the judge, my fate was chosen and it was not my time to receive a golden ticket. However, the opportunity is one I will never forget, and knowing I had the strength to follow through the nerves was rewarding for me.

It would have been nice to meet Ryan Seacrest, though.

What’s the most useless talent you have?
Useless, impressive or straight disgusting, I can pick up anything with my toes.

Just drop a pen on the floor the next time you’re with me… I’ll show you.

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Fargo Monthly Editor

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Fargo Monthly Editor

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new Fargo Monthly editor and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Alexandra Martin | Fargo Monthly Editor

Alexandra Martin

I graduated from Stephens College, a small, Midwestern women’s college, with a BFA in Fashion Communications. I was born and raised in Alabama, spend a brief time in New York City, finished off school in Missouri and I recently found myself relocated to Fargo. I’ve worked in many fields, including graphic design, fashion merchandising and digital lifestyle publication and I’m excited to be able to finally narrow down on my passion: print publications!

What drew you to Spotlight Media?
I relocated to Fargo thanks to my boyfriend’s new job. When we were first looking into the area and researching all it had to offer, a realtor sent us a few copies of Spotlight Media’s publications in the mail. As soon as I flipped through the magazines, I looked up and said, “I’m going to work for one of these.” And here I am! I’ve always loved the hole that local publications fill and I’m a huge proponent of supporting local business and culture.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I recently have found myself in the kitchen and really enjoying cooking. I follow a plant-based diet, which the Midwest isn’t 100% accommodating of all the time, so if I want a tasty dish on the go, I know I have to make it myself! I’ve started broadening my culinary horizons and cooking all sorts of vegetable combinations I never would have previously. (Pecan braised artichoke is a recent favorite!)

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
My favorite piece of classic literature is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I have so much respect for her as a groundbreaking, young woman.
Lately, I have been loving Mamma Mia! because ABBA is one of my favorite bands and I love a good sing-a-long.

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
I am a debutante, yes like in She’s The Man. Any excuse to wear a gorgeous gown and go to a big party.

What’s the most useless talent you have?
My jaw is double-jointed, which means I can open it wider to fit more food into it (I eat fast). And on a similar note, I am also good at staging food photos for Instagram.

Welcome Spotlight Media’s New Client Relations Administrator

Welcome Spotlight Media’s New Client Relations Administrator

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new client relations administrator and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Alex Kizima | Client Relations Administrator

Alex Kizima

I grew up in a small town in North Dakota and went to college at MSUM – Go Dragons! I’m a very curious person. I grew up with a work-a-holic mom and a travel-loving dad, so I combined the two so I get to work hard and travel more. You can usually catch me at Island Park hanging in my hammock or walking my cat.

What drew you to Spotlight Media?
I picked up Fargo Monthly when I first moved to the FM area. I thought it was a great way to learn about the community I’d call home. People don’t think Fargo is anything more than a movie, so it’s so great to have a magazine to say, “See, we’re a great community with even greater awesome things going on!”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I love going to concerts and traveling. I’ve seen more than 100 bands and am trying to go to every Hard Rock Cafe in the world.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
I LOVE FORREST GUMP.

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
I’m 6 feet tall and afraid of heights, but I forget that I’m afraid of heights until I’m really high in the air. I once had to hold the hand of a stranger in London because I climbed to the top of a tower and was too scared to climb down on my own.

What’s the most useless talent you have?
I remember useless facts. Did you know giraffes have the same number of neck bones as humans?

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Business Operations Manager

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Business Operations Manager

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new business operations manager and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Colleen Dreyer | Business Operations Manager

Colleen Dreyer

I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. GO CUBS!!! I moved to Fargo with my cat, Titan on June 22nd, 2018. I attended Northern Illinois University and received my Undergrad degree in Marketing and my Masters in Human Resource Management. When I am not at work I can be found at the gym, outside or spending time with my friends or family.

What drew you to Spotlight Media?

After moving here from Chicago, I was looking for a company with a direct mission, vision and core values I could stand behind. A company that I was a good fit for and in turn they were a good fit for me. After meeting the staff at Spotlight, I knew we were a match.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

Spending time with my family and friends is #1. I love being in the gym lifting. Honestly, anything that involves animals makes me smile.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?

Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Any movie with Melissa McCarthy, Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock.

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.

I have run with the bulls, swam with sharks, and hugged a full-grown tiger. I will do just about anything dangerous with animals.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backwards, or sideways.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Welcome Spotlight Media’s New Graphic Designer

Welcome Spotlight Media’s New Graphic Designer

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new graphic designer and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Sarah Stauner | Graphic Designer

Sarah Stauner

I’m originally from central Wisconsin, but graduated from UMD in Duluth, Minnesota with a BFA in Graphic Design and Marketing. In my time at UMD I worked for our student news organization, and that’s where I fell in love with journalism. I’ve always wanted my career to be a pairing of journalism and design – and that’s what I’m doing here at Spotlight!

What drew you to Spotlight Media?
I’ve been reading Spotlight’s magazines since I moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area last year. I always have appreciated the quality of design and content that the magazines include, and that they are each unique in their own way.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
I recently started biking and I really love yoga. I enjoy going to the movie theater and keeping up to date on new films. Spending time with family is a big part of my life too.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
A couple of my favorite movies right now are La La Land, Black Panther and The Shape of Water. About Time is the one movie I can watch over and over, and still not get sick of it.

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
In our one bedroom apartment, we have approximately 15 plants.

What’s the most useless talent you have?
I can do that three leaf clover thing with my tongue. Totally useless – unless you’re trying to impress children.

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Web Editor

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Web Editor

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet Spotlight Media’s new web editor Jessica Ballou, and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Jessica Ballou | Web Editor

Jessica-Ballou

“I’ve lived in the Fargo-Moorhead area my whole life, and I absolutely love it here. I’ve had a lot of friends and family members move away, but there’s so much to love here that I don’t want to leave. I graduated from Concordia College in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Print Journalism. I fell in love with writing and reading at a young age, and I haven’t looked back yet. “

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“I’ve known about Spotlight Media publications for years and have always been impressed with the quality and how much I’ve learned about Fargo-Moorhead even though I’ve lived here my whole life. When the web editor position opened up, I knew I had to apply, and I’m so glad I did.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I really love reading. Memoirs are my favorite, but I enjoy books from nearly any genre. I write a self-love and body positivity blog for fun, and that’s been really rewarding as well.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“I know it’s cliche, but that’s such a hard question to answer!  I have so many favorites in both. My current favorite book is The Body Is Not An Apology: The Power of Radical Self-Love by Sonya Renee Taylor, and my all-time favorite movie is Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I can play the drums on expert level for Helter Skelter on The Beatles Rock Band.”

What’s the most useless talent you have?
“I’m really good at remembering very useless information about TV shows, movies and actors. I have a penchant for remembering really minute details and quotes that aren’t important to the overall plot in any way but they stick out to me for some reason.”

Get To Know Design & Living Magazine’s New Associate Publisher

Get To Know Design & Living Magazine’s New Associate Publisher

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet Design & Living Magazine‘s new associate publisher Chantell Ramberg, and learn what makes her a perfect fit for our company.

Chantell Ramberg | Associate Publisher

chantell-ramberg-spotlight-media

“I was born and raised in Fargo, ND. I went to UND for two years and spent the other two at NDSU finishing out my Bachelor’s degree in English. I spent the past six years in communications, marketing and public relations, and I’m happy to be a part of the Spotlight team!”

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“The positivity. The company and our publications focus on everything that makes the Fargo-Moorhead area great.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I have a 4-year-old that keeps me busy with the many different sports and activities she is interested in. If I get a second to myself you’d probably find me working out or doing something semi-athletic.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“Favorite book: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Favorite movie: Troy or Goodfellas”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I played hockey and finished one season with over 44 penalty minutes.”

What’s the most useless talent you have?
“Kermit the frog impression”

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Distribution Manager

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Distribution Manager

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new distribution manager Darren Gibbins, and learn what makes him a perfect fit for our company.

Darren Gibbins | Distribution Manager

Darren-Gibbins-Spotlight-Media

“Two words describe my background, a Creative.

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“The quality of the magazines.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I’m passionate about audio and visual. Whether it’s Nico or Nikon, Dorothea Lange or Jonny Lang I’m generally up for tunes and tones.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“Favorite book, The Bible. Movie, The Princess Bride.”

What’s one ridiculous fact you know?
“If you stretched out the DNA of just one of your cells it would be about 2 meters long which means all your DNA would stretch out to the diameter of the Solar System.”

Get To Know Spotlight Media’s New Chief Operations Officer

Get To Know Spotlight Media’s New Chief Operations Officer

Photo by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members leave, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new Chief Operations Officer Steve Kruse, and learn what makes him a perfect fit for our company.

Steve Kruse | Chief Operations Officer

steve-kruse-spotlight-media

“I grew up in a small town in Minnesota and moved to the big city (Fargo) to attend NDSU and have never left nor have I cared to leave. My wife Patty and I have been married for 25 yrs and have 3 daughters that have also kept their roots in the FM area.”

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“I retired last October after spending my entire life working in retail management. Not just any opportunity was going to lure me out of retirement, but Spotlight Media fit the bill! It is giving me the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and talented young minds in Fargo and give back to them as much as they give me.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I’m a total homebody that loves to spend time with family and supplement that with cooking, putzing in the yard, and finding as much time for golf as I can.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“My favorite movie is Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. Don’t ask…..”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“I had the privilege of running the quarter mile leg of the Mile Sprint Medley Relay against Mark Lutz in the Minnesota state high school track and field championships. For those of you old enough to remember, Mark Lutz was a former US Olympian.”

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Senior Sales Executive, Ryan Courneya

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Senior Sales Executive, Ryan Courneya

Photos by Hillary Ehlen

Spotlight Media is constantly growing and changing. As we’re sad to see team members go, we’re always excited to announce our newest hires. Since all our employees come from a wide range of backgrounds, each member offers unique skills that help the Spotlight Media team become even stronger and more well-rounded.

Meet our new senior sales executive, Ryan Courneya, and learn what makes him a perfect fit for our company.

Ryan Courneya | Senior Sales Executive

Senior Sales Executive

“I received my degree in mass communications and public relations from MSUM. Through my professional journey after graduation, I’ve had the privilege to work for the Boy Scouts of America primarily in fundraising and recruiting, Newman Signs, managing and working in the advertising field with outdoor and then I had a short run working at Sanford in the marketing department and had the honor of helping with the opening of the new medical center. All of these places have given me valuable skills and insight to bring my expertise and knowledge to this amazing team at Spotlight Media.”

What originally drew you to Spotlight Media?
“I have been following the success and work that has been done at Spotlight Media for several years now and have always been so impressed with the quality of the content and the dedication that I’ve seen from this company. I loved what the company stood for in trying to unveil all the good that is in the Fargo-Moorhead area. After trying out the several places I had worked, I got a sense of what I liked from each place and Spotlight Media seemed to fill the criteria of what I was looking for. The energy, passion and vision of the company really motivated me to learn more and want to be a part of an innovative and creative team.”

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
“I’m an outdoorsy person but also appreciate style and class and being enriched in the city culture. I like to network and know a lot about Fargo and be sort of an expert on the area. I also like to hunt, camp and fish. Growing up in a small town in Minnesota, it almost came standard—plus I’m an Eagle Scout. I also enjoy going to the Family Wellness and being health conscious and focused on my well being.”

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
“My favorite book as a kid was ‘Hatchet,’ now I mostly read motivational books.”

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
“Last December, I had to have shoulder surgery because I tore something in my shoulder while playing a game of kickball for the Fargo Parks league. Happy to say, my team, ‘The Average Toes,’ won the championship game. Sadly, it probably wasn’t because of my awkward throw.”

What’s the most useless talent you have?
“I don’t know if it’s a talent but I do use it to freak people out sometimes, I can hyperextend my left elbow because I broke it in the 3rd grade.”

What’s a ridiculous fact you know?
“All the water in Lake Superior would cover North and South America in one foot of water.”