Norman Leslie



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


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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Heather Johnson-Kjos

Vice President of Finance


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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George Harms

Chief Development Officer


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

Julie Brown

Vice President of Operations and Sales


Julie Brown is from a small Iowa town where she has held 2 team track records for 20 years. Track grew her passion to be a part of successful teams so she enjoys spending time helping organizations improve the quality of life of communities and her family. Julie moved with her husband and son to Fargo 10 years ago.

  • Award-winning manager with 20+ years of leadership experience
  • Leads multiple hotels to national award winning status
  • Successful track record training hotels to be market leaders in Rev Par Index
  • Develops and facilitates high impact sales training programs

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Michelle Chevalier

Assistant Vice President of Sales


Michelle Chevalier was born in Beverly, Massachusetts and grew up 20 minutes North of Boston, in the North Shore Area. Throughout her hotel career, Michelle has lived In Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Colorado and now Fargo, ND where she resides with her husband. Michelle has one son, Matthew, who is currently stationed with the U.S. Army in Fairbanks, Alaska.

  • 22+  years in the hospitality business

  • Certified by multiply brands in both operations and sales

  • Certified Hospitality Digital Marketer (CHDM)

Dave Lyons

Regional Director


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.

Naomi Shea

Area Manager


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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Katherine Petersen

Sales and Operations 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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Carol Johnson, CTC

Director of Training & Management Development

Carol Johnson was born in Valley City, ND where she attended Valley City State College and started her career in hospitality working in a travel agency. Carol moved to Fargo and operated her own travel agencies. Carol married Kevin Johnson and they had two daughters. Kevin is deceased and Carol’s daughters are grown and one lives in Las Vegas and one in Fargo with her husband and son. Carol in her free time works with several charitable organizations and enjoys every second with her one year old grandson.

  • CTC, Institute of Certified Travel Agents – Wellesley, Mass
  • General Manager for 10 years
  • Accreditation evaluator, Accrediting Commission for Independent colleges
  • Customer Care Expert Designation, Travel and Transport

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Kathrina Simmons

Corporate Director of Training & Development

Kathrina H. Simmons is from Philadelphia PA, she received her BA in Theatre Arts from UNCC Kathrina attended Columbia Southern working on her MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. During her tenure in Charlotte, Kathrina met her husband, Phillip Simmons, they have a beautiful son together Andrew Simmons along with 2 adult children Nicole and Edward. Kathrina spends her spare time writing, producing play and enjoying time with family and friends.

  • 13 + years of Hospitality Management experience
  • 8 + years as a Corporate Director of Human Resources
  • 16 years’ experience as a Business Owner of a Consulting firm focusing on small businesses growth

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Kristin Miller

Marketing Specialist


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 biking, pursuing photography and spending time in Minnesota lakes country as much as she can in the summer.

  • 2+ 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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Chris Johnston, CPA

Senior Controller


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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Melissa Jahnke

Assistant Controller


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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Tanner Lautt



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 of Accounting experience

  • Accounting experience includes Auditing and Accounts Payable

  • Extensive knowledge on various accounting systems

Alyssia Kittelson



Alyssia Kittelson was born & raised in Fargo, ND where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from North Dakota State University - Go Bison! Alyssia lives in Fargo with her husband, daughter, cat, and long-haired Chihuahua. In her free time, she enjoys watching the Indiana Pacers and being active.

  • Graduated with Honors from North Dakota State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

  • 16+ years of accounting experience in a wide variety of industries

  • Accounting experience includes Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Audit, Sales & Use Tax, & Financial Statement Preparation

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Alex Anderson



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.

  • 8+ years Customer Service Experience
  • Member of Beta Gamma Sigma’s “Best in Business”
  • Experience in Accounts Receivable and varied accounting systems

Jason Shealer

Accounts Payable


Jason Shealer was born in York, Pennsylvania. He attended Harrisburg Area Community College and moved to Fargo, North Dakota after Graduation. After moving to Fargo, North Dakota he continued his education at North Dakota State University where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. He spends his free time being active, playing video games, spending time with friends, and keeping up with friends and family from the east coast.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
  • Associate’s Degree in Business Administration
  • 7+ years of customer service experience

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Brandy Miller

Human Resources Manager


Brandy Miller grew up in Ada, MN. She attended NDSU and received a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, with a minor in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Brandy lives in West Fargo with her husband and their cat, Boomer. She loves working out at joefitness, binge watching her favorite TV shows, and spending time with family and friends.

  • 3 + years of Hospitality and Lodging Industry experience
  • 5 + years of Business Administrative and Customer Service experience
  • Extensive knowledge in the hospitality investment industry

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Brenna McKnight

Human Resources Administrative Assistant


Brenna McKnight was born in a small central Minnesota town. She has attended college at University of Wisconsin- River Falls & Minnesota State University Moorhead where she recently received her Bachelors of Arts in History. Brenna and her fiancé Andrew, of nearly 6 years have a 7-month old son who is full of energy and keeps them busy. She enjoys outdoor activities like hunting and fishing, watching all kinds of sporting events, as well as reading, scrapbooking and sewing.

  • 6+ years of customer service experience
  • 1+ years or administration experience
  • Knowledge of hospitality services, support staff services and administrative management.

Angela Olson

Executive Assistant / Office Manager


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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Barb Bougie

Executive Assistant


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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