Blog : Meet The New Team Members

Meet Spotlight’s New Videographer, Patrick Thompson

Meet Spotlight’s New Videographer, Patrick Thompson

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 videographer and learn what makes him a perfect fit for our company.

Patrick Thompson | Videographer

Patrick Thompson

I’ve been in the video production field for almost 10 years now and I couldn’t be more thankful for all that I’ve learned and everyone I’ve met.  Video is such an amazingly collaborative medium, and I keep getting lucky enough to work with people who have helped better myself in my career and as a person.

What drew you to Spotlight Media?
For years now I’ve been picking up Fargo Monthly, and I have always been impressed with the quality of the overall look and content they put forth.  With the additional magazines Spotlight has added to their line up over time, that quality has only increased.  So, when the opportunity to join the team opened up, I knew I had to jump at the chance to lend my expertise to the company in hopes of taking us even higher.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?
It may or may not come as a surprise that one of my biggest hobbies/interests is the world of film.  Whether it be making or just watching them, movies have always captured my attention since I was little.  I’m a bit of a dreamer, and that personality trait seems to be right at home within the film industry.  It’s also a great way to spend time with friends and family; everyone pitching in to create something we can all be proud of, there’s nothing better.

What’s your favorite book and/or movie?
For my favorite movie, it’s probably easiest to just go with the one I’ve seen the most, which is George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.  The genre of zombie films owes a huge debt to Mr. Romero, as he is essentially the progenitor of everything zombies are today. From subtle social commentary, to evoking fear without unnecessary gore, nobody did zombie films better than him at that time.  Which perfectly segues into my recent favorite book, World War Z.  Light years better than it’s film adaptation, the book presented in the form of oral histories from those who went through the major events of that world.  Even if you’re not into the genre, it’s quite a compelling read. (Pick up the audio book version to hear grizzled Mark Hamill talk about battling the undead with rebar!)

Share something about yourself that would surprise us.
I’ve acted in dozens of projects over the years.  From short sketches with my friends, to commercials, to silent films traveling the festival circuit, I feel like I’ve had a chance to do a little bit of everything.  Getting up on stage/set to act is tough for me because of my general feeling of shyness, but playing a character allows me to step away from myself and fully become someone else.  In the process, I’ve been able to ignore my shyness in everyday life and become more outgoing overall.

What’s the most useless talent you have?
I do a pretty good recitation of Chef’s parents speech about the Loch Ness monster from season 3 of South Park.  “I said, “What do you want from us, monster?” And the monster bent down, and said, “I need about tree-fitty.”

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Employees!

Meet Spotlight Media’s New Employees!

Things have certainly been changing at Spotlight Media! With our recent announcement of a big expansion coming up, we’ve been bulking up our team to better serve our clients and customers. Here are some sneak peeks of our new employees’ bios, and click on their faces or names to learn more!

Editorial & Design

Simon Andrys

Simon Andrys, Creative Director

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?
I’m from the land of hockey, but didn’t put a pair of skates on until a few months ago. Please don’t kill me, Grand Forks.

Jennifer Gades

Jennifer Gades, Fargo INC! Associate Publisher

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?
Hmm…I can make balloon animals?  I also come from a long line of creative marketers.  My grandfather once owned a lion, a lion cub, monkeys, and a kangaroo (some of them even lived in his apartment), which all started as a marketing strategy to attract movie-goers to his theatre.

Ariel Holbrook

Ari Holbrook, Social Media & PR Coordinator

What is your favorite thing to do in your spare time?
I’m a complete craft brew nerd, so I’m always trying to find a new brewery or coffee spot to check out or travel to. I also love yoga, scrolling the internet for memes, painting, and writing.

Nick Schommer

Nick Schommer, Business Development Manager

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?
I would have to play that role myself.

Sales

Paul Hoefer

Paul Hoefer, Senior Sales Executive

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?
I won Rookie of the Year my first year of playing Rugby at MSUM in 2003-2004.  Now I get tired and sore just thinking about playing a Rugby Match.

Neil Keltgen

Neil Keltgen, Associate Sales Director

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?
I tore both my pectoral muscles doing a fitness evaluation. The surgeries and recovery were a long process, but I finally have an answer for a question like this.

Nick Linder

Nick Linder, Sales Representative

What’s a ridiculous fact about yourself?
It has taken me 26 moves in the last 15 years to finally have a place to call home.

Jennifer McColm

Jennifer McColm, Business Development Assistant

What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I’m usually biking, practicing yoga, or working on some sort of creative project.  My latest labor of love was restoring an old 56′ Shasta camper.

Ross Uglem

Ross Uglem, Bison Illustrated Contributor

If there was a movie about your life, who would play you and why?
Paul Rudd — he’s quite a bit better looking (and older) than I am but we have a similar sense of sarcastic humor.

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.”