Executive Management

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Norman Leslie

President

Bio

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) from the University of Manitoba. Resides in Fargo, North Dakota. Enjoys golf and racquetball

  • 30+ years of Hospitality Experience
  •  Grew up in the hotel business, working in positions from the bottom up
  • Serves on a variety of regional and national boards

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Sarah Koustrup

Executive Vice President

Bio

Sarah Koustrup was born and raised in Sioux Falls, South Dakota now residing with her family in Fargo, North Dakota. Sarah is an avid reader and volunteers on multiple local non-profit boards.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management
  • Master Certification from Cornell in Hospitality Management with a focus on Financial Management and Hotel Revenue Management
  • 12+ years of Leadership and Human Resources Management Experience

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George Harms

Chief Development Officer

Bio

George was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario Canada where he grew up working in construction and apprenticing as a carpenter prior to attending college. George has an undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba in Commerce and an MBA in Finance.

  • 30+ years of experience in Accounting, Finance, Project Development and Management
  • Experience working with a variety of company sizes from entrepreneur’s to large corporations
  • George has a CPA in both Canada and the United States

Heather Johnson-Kjos

Vice President of Finance

Bio

Heather Johnson-Kjos was raised in Minot ND and joined the military in 1983 after graduating from Minot State University. She spent 10 years in Tennessee working in the construction industry and then moved to the Minneapolis area in 1999. She moved to Fargo in 2005 and then joined NHS in January 2008. Heather lives with her husband and their cat Carmey.

  • Bachelors of Science in Accounting and Management – Minot State University
  • Masters of Business Administration – Metropolitan State University
  • Over 30 years of accounting experience in various industries

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Michelle Chevalier

Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Bio

Michelle was born in Beverly, Massachusetts and grew up 20 minutes North of Boston, in the North Shore Area. Throughout her hospitality career, Michelle has lived In Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado and now Fargo, ND. Michelle has a wonderful son, beautiful daughter-in-law, & handsome little grandson whom she treasures. When not working Michelle enjoys spoiling her family & friends with her contagious spirit, baked goods, & wine.

  • 22+ years in the hospitality business
  • Certified by multiply brands in both operations and sales
  • Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM)

Chris Johnston, CPA

Assistant Vice President of Property Accounting

Bio

Chris was born and raised in northwest Minnesota and received his degree in Business Administration from Mayville (ND) State University. He has resided in West Fargo the past 25 years and enjoy making furniture, home improvement projects and golf. He has also ran three marathons with the 2014 Fargo Marathon being the most recent (and final) of his running career.

  • Certified Public Accountant – licensed in Minnesota & North Dakota
  • 25+ years of accounting management and 2 years in the hospitality industry
  • Former member of the NDSU Accounting & MIS Advisory Board and the BCBS Association Tax Advisory Group

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Barb Bougie

Executive Assistant

Bio

Barbara Bougie was raised in Minnesota lake country. Barb attended Concordia College earning a Bachelor’s of Science. Barbara enjoys volunteering in the community for various non-profit organizations and are supporters of NDSU from Athletics to the Theater Arts. Barb and her husband reside in Fargo, North Dakota.

  • 20+ years of customer service experience
  • 10+ years of project management experience
  • Graduate of Dale Carnegie Sales Training Program

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Angela Olson

Office Manager

Bio

Angie Olson grew up in Colorado where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Johnson & Wales University. While in Colorado, Angie enjoyed hiking, dancing, and volunteering - especially as a Special Olympics coach. In 2015 she moved to Fargo, ND with her husband and daughter. In Angie's spare time she enjoys taking care of her family and friends.

  • 10 + years Business Administrative experience
  • 10 + years Marketing Industry
  • 5 + years managerial experience

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Operations

Dave Lyons

Regional Director

Bio

Dave was born in and raised in Pennsylvania, then later in South Carolina. He learned the basics of teamwork, growing up as a baseball catcher for 13 years, eventually as a catcher on the University of South Carolina baseball team. In addition to being a baseball fan, he enjoys watching college & professional football. Dave is a United States Naval veteran, and learned the importance of teamwork and work ethic while serving in the United States Military. Dave has lived in 17 states throughout his life, and has visited 14 countries throughout the years. He enjoys seeing new things and meeting new people. Dave is an avid motorcyclist, and never misses the chance to take long trips on his bike. Dave also enjoys auto restoration and home improvement projects, as well as working in his yard.

  • More than 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry involving both limited select service to full service properties, with more than 25 years in a multi-unit leadership role.
  • Successful in operations, risk management, financial analysis, and employee engagement.
  • Strong in motivational techniques based upon the philosophies of The One Minute Manager.
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Alycia Bilbrey

Area Manager

Bio

Alycia was born and raised in North Dakota, she currently resides in Minot, ND with her husband. Before entering Management, Alycia proudly served in the Army National Guard as a combat engineer. In Alycia's spare time she enjoys traveling and spending time helping with her husband’s trucking company.

  • 15+ years management experience
  • 2 time IHG Torchbearer award winner
  • Secretary Treasurer of Minot Innkeepers Association

Naomi Shea

Area Manager

Bio

Naomi Shea was born in Manhattan, NY. Her passion for service began at her first full-time job, spending seven years working her way up in a call center to pay for college. She has earned an Associate degree in TV Production from Illinois Central College and a B.S. in Communications from Bradley University. She currently resides in St. Louis, MO with Mr. Shea and their cat Sydney.

  • Over ten years of hotel management experience including branded, full service and independent properties
  • Eight years of product information/customer service experience
  • Experienced with task force general management
  • Versed in independent hotel renovation including room design, FF&E and managing budget

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Danielle Hewson

Area Manager

Bio

Danielle Hewson was raised in Horace, ND where she currently resides with her husband and two children. Danielle attended West Fargo High School and graduated from NDSU in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. In her free time, Danielle enjoys creating memories with her family, shopping, and attending concerts. “I believe a leader or manager is someone that can work side by side with their team and knows who to motivate their team to achieve a common goal.”

  • Award- winning manager with 15+ years of Restaurant and Hospitality experience
  • Named one of Hotel Management Magazine’s “30 General Managers to Watch” in 2017
  • National Hospitality Services University (NHSU) Campus Director- specializing in General Manager training and orientation.

Tony Ramos

Corporate Revenue Manager

Bio

Born in Mexico and holding dual citizenships, Tony lives in far western suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two children. World travel continues to be his biggest passion which already includes visiting 48 US states and 27 different countries across five continents. Tony’s additional interests include: wood-working, kick-box workouts, b&w photography, trivia, dog-owner, and is also an Illinois State certified soccer referee.

  • 30+ year hospitality leader working for select-service and luxury brands across the Americas.
  • 17 years as CHA regional/multi-unit director, industry consultant, and task-force specialist.
  • Accustomed to opening new hotels, excelling in areas of revenue management & sales, operations, food & beverage, and training.
  • Workshop presenter including regional & national conferences.

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Dane Johnston

Operations Analyst

Bio

Dane Johnston was born and raised in West Fargo, ND. He graduated from North Dakota State University in December 2016. When Dane is not working, he enjoys spending his time outdoors or with his friends at Old Chicago.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Statistics
  • 2+ years in the hospitality industry
  • Member of the Society of Actuaries

Construction & Procurement

Cody Mueller

Assistant Vice President of Construction & Renovation

Bio

Cody grew up in West Fargo, ND and attended NDSU for Civil Engineering. He currently lives in Casselton, ND with his wife and two children. He spends his free time at the golf course or at the lake.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering
  • 5+ Years of Hospitality Experience
  • 12+ Years in the Construction Industry

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Andrew Wallin

Procurement Director

Bio

Andrew comes from the small town of Crosslake Minnesota. Growing up in “Lakes Country” meant spending most of his time fishing, swimming and canoeing along with working summers in the various B&B’s and resorts in the area. After graduating High School and Central Lakes College, he moved to Moorhead Minnesota to attend MSUM. He gravitated towards the rich local music scene and found himself jamming in various underground local bands eventually performing shows across the US, releasing albums on record labels and touring Europe. Life on the road was rich with experiences and rewarding but took its toll so he decided to focus on a family and career in the Fargo/Moorhead area. He now enjoys quality time with his wife and two boys, kayak fishing, gardening and pickling, gaming with the boys and reading in the morning sun. Andrew wakes up every day hungry to listen and learn, help his team members solve problems and share experience, knowledge and positive energy with the community.

  • 4+ years of Hospitality Purchasing and Systems Administration Experience
  • 10+ years of Customer Service and Retail Purchasing Experience
  • 8+ years of Management Experience

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Rachael Lexen

Project Coordinator

Bio

Rachael was born and raised Moorhead, MN and attended South Dakota State University for Economics. In her free time, she enjoys riding and showing her horse, coaching a local high school track team, and spending time with friends and family at the lake. She resides in Moorhead with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

  • Bachelor’s degree in Economics- Business Specialization
  • 3+ years of Hospitality experience
  • 5+ years of experience in Analytics and Procurement

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Sales & Marketing

Nicole Carter

Corporate Director of Sales

Nicole was born in Loveland, Colorado and grew up in Big Sky Country in the small town of Three Forks, Montana. She graduated Magna Cum Laude earning a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and Marketing. Nicole currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, being outdoors, watching her three daughters' sporting events and cheering on the Denver Broncos!

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Marketing
  • 6+ years of hospitality experience 
  • 16+ years of customer service experience
  • IHG’s Staybridge Suites Director of Sales of the Year 2013
  • Experience in full service, limited service and extended stay brands

Clare Albrecht

Corporate Director of Sales

Clare grew up in small town, Forman North Dakota. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and during that time she started her first position in hospitality as an intern for National Hospitality Services. Clare currently resides in East Grand Forks, MN with her husband, Dexter and two little girls, Addison and Ava.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communications and Business Minor from Concordia College, Moorhead
  • 8+ years of hotel sales experience
  • “Vision Award” nominee for Meetings: Minnesota’s Hospitality Journal
  • Experience in full-service, limited service and extended stay brands

Katherine Petersen

Sales Analyst

Katherine Peterson was born and raised on her family’s farm in northwest North Dakota near Grenora, ND. Katherine and her husband reside in Moorhead, MN with their two small girls and enjoy making memories together, one mess at a time.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from North Dakota State University
  • Over ten years of hospitality experience in full service hotels
  • Operations and Sales Experience
  • Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu Minneapolis/St. Paul

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Kristin Miller

Marketing Specialist

Bio

Kristin Miller grew up on a farm near Glyndon Minnesota, and attended Minnesota State University Moorhead where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and English. She now lives in Fargo, North Dakota and spends free time reading, pursuing photography and spending time in Minnesota lakes country as much as she can in the summer.

  • 3+ years marketing experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications & English with a certificate in Publishing
  • Graduate Certificate in Digital Marketing from Rutgers University

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Accounting

Melissa Jahnke

Controller

Bio

Melissa Welter-Jahnke was born and raised in Rush City, MN. Melissa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting at Rasmussen College in Fargo, ND and a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from Benedictine University, Chicago, IL. Currently Melissa resides in Casselton, ND with her husband, 5 kids, and three dogs.

  • Over 20 years of Accounting Experience
  • 5+ years Payroll Processing Experience
  • Skilled in Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, budgeting and month end closing processes.

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Alex Anderson

Senior Accountant

Bio

Alex Anderson grew up in Gwinner, North Dakota with his parents and five younger siblings. Alex graduated Magna Cum Laude earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Alex now resides in Fargo, North Dakota and spends his free time with family and friends.

  • 3+ years Accounting Experience
  • Member of Beta Gamma Sigma’s “Best in Business”
  • Experience in Accounts Receivable and varied accounting systems
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Tanner Lautt

Accountant

Bio

Tanner Lautt was born and raised in West Fargo, North Dakota where he earned his Associates degree in Accounting. He resides in Fargo now where when he isn’t working he’s typically working out at the YMCA or playing, watching, and coaching sports.

  • 3+ years Accounting Experience
  • Accounting experience includes Auditing and Accounts Payable
  • Extensive knowledge on various accounting systems

Matthew Kohler

Accountant

Bio

Matthew Kohler grew up in a small town in northeastern North Dakota before earning his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead and now lives in Fargo. When Matthew isn’t busy, he enjoys reading, being outside, and spending time with friends and family.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration
  • 1+ years of accounting experience
  • 6+ years of customer service experience

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Adam Schneider

Accountant

Bio

Adam Schneider was born in Lafayette, LA and moved to Texas before settling in North Dakota. Adam earned a Bachelor’s in Finance, a Minor’s in Marketing, and he plans on working towards his Masters as soon as he gets settled in Fargo. Adam likes to spend his free time reading, working out, watching sports, and playing with his dog Zuri.

  • Bachelors in Finance, Minor in Marketing
  • 10+ years of Customer Service

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Brett Urbanec

Accountant

Bio

Brett Urbanec was born and raised in Dickinson, North Dakota and moved to Fargo to attend NDSU and obtain his Bachelor’s degree. Brett resides in Fargo and when he isn’t working he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and making trips to the lake.

  • 3+ years of hospitality accounting experience
  • Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Management Communication from NDSU
  • Experience in third party accounting services for luxury hotels

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Sheila Olson

Accountant

Bio

Sheila Olson was born in St. Paul, MN and raised in Eckelson, ND. She graduated from Valley City High School and from NDSU with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Sheila resides in West Fargo, ND with her husband Brad. Sheila has two children, Jared who is married to Sarah, and Cassidy who is a student at NDSU. Sheila also has one granddaughter Taylor who is 9 years old. Sheila enjoys spending time with her family and time at their lake cabin.

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from NDSU.
  • Eleven plus years of experience in the hospitality industry.
  • Five years as a Sales Tax Specialist
  • 6 years as a Hotel Accountant

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Adele Leslie

Accounting Assistant

Bio

Raised in St. Paul, Virginia; Adele attended Radford University in Radford, VA.

  • 25 years in the Hospitality Industry

Ryan Kinzler

Accounts Payable

Bio

Ryan Kinzler was born in Tucson, Arizona. He has two associate degrees from Minnesota State Community & Technical College – Moorhead. His other degree being an Associates in Criminal Justice. Ryan was married to his wife Jenna in September 2013. His hobbies include: traveling, watching sports, spending time with friends, and playing video games.

  • 13+ years of customer service
  • 4+ years of accounts payable & receivable experience
  • Associates degree in Business Management & Marketing
  • Experience with various accounting systems

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Karen Trautman

Accounts Payable

Bio

Experience in various accounting software Trautman grew up in Jamestown, ND. She currently works and lives in Fargo, ND. Karen likes to spend her free time watching football, movies, and spending time with friends and family.

  • 20+ years of Customer Service
  • 10+ years of experience in Accounts Payable

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Human Resources

Nicole Tschetter

Human Resources Manager

Bio

Nicole Tschetter grew up in Fargo, ND and attended Minnesota State University Moorhead where she earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in History. She currently lives in Fargo with her two daughters, foster children, two dogs and a cat. She enjoys spending time with friends and family.

  • 10+ years Human Resources experience
  • SHRM-CP certification
  • Experience in various HRIS and payroll systems

Jennifer Faehn

Human Resources Generalist

Bio

Jennifer was born in Minot, ND and raised in Fargo ND where she graduated high school and earned her Executive Administrative Assistant degree from Aakers College. She resides in Moorhead MN, with her husband, son and dog. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family whether it be in her hometowns of Cavalier, ND or Fargo ND, watching football and getting together with friends.

  • 13+ years of customer service experience
  • 10+ years of administrative experience
  • Associate Degree: Executive Administrative Assistant
  • Experience in various accounting software’s, payroll, as well as hospitality operations

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Information Technology

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Jonathon Falk

Information Technology Director

Bio

Although born in Fargo, Jonathon spent the first half of his life where he lived on a cattle farm in Vergas, MN. After graduating, Jon went to work for manufacturing companies due to previous experience with the construction equipment and found himself reading more about computers during free time. After landing a position at the McDonalds Corporation helpdesk as an entry level technician, Jonathon has worked his way up and through various tech positions. In his free time Jon enjoys expanding his knowledge by conducting research of all the latest and greatest releases in the tech world.

  • Working in Information Technology for over 7 years
  • Microsoft SharePoint support for Fortune 500 companies and federal government agencies
  • McDonalds Corporate Helpdesk and Helpdesk for TMI Hospitality
  • Previous Manufacturing and Electrical work; industrial size windmills and construction equipment transmissions.

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