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

Sarah Koustrup

Chief Operating Officer

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.

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Greg Tankersley

Senior Vice President
of Operations & Sales

Bio

Greg is a hotelier's hotelier & brings a dynamic level of expertise to every project. Prior to joining NHS, Greg also specialized in opening new hotels as well as the takeover, turnaround and re-positioning of hotels, and has supervised hotel renovations and new construction. His hands-on style of management has earned him a reputation as a ``can do`` professional. Greg is married and has three children.

Heather Johnson-Kjos

Director of NHS Corporate 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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • 25+ years of tactical experience in Hotel Operations
  • Proficient with many franchise flags, extended stay, limited service, suburban business, & airport hotels
  • Award Winner in both Operations & Sales Performance
  • Business Management Degree from Cincinnati State

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  • 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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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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Jenny Kleinwachter

Executive Assistant

Bio

Jenny Kleinwachter was born and raised on her family’s dairy farm in Central MN near St. Cloud, MN. Jenny now resides in West Fargo with her husband and puppy Lily. In Jenny’s spare time she enjoys spending time and making memories with her family and friends, especially her six nieces and one nephew.

  • 15+ years of Business Administrative and Customer Service Experience
  • 5+ years of Office Management Experience
  • Graduate of Rasmussen Business College

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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Joseph Jones

Regional Director

Bio

Joe has traveled through many different states in his Hospitality Career and held many positions shaping him into the leader he is today. His engagement and positive nature makes him easily noticed by his staff and guests. Joe’s competitive spirit empowers his team to strive for greatness in every aspect of the property he works for. Prior to his career with NHS, Joe was an Area General Manager with the Hilton brand & Task Force General Manager for the Marriott brand for 13 years each.

  • 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry
  • Earned Masters from University of Texas, Arlington
  • Extensive Food and Beverage Experience
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Alycia Bilbrey

Regional Director

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
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Crystal Whorton

Regional Director

Bio

Crystal was raised in various cities in East Texas. She resides in Tyler for the last 18 years and calls the Rose Capital of America home. Crystal is married with three active boys and one princess. As a family they love to enjoy the outdoors by camping and hiking.

  • 15+ years hospitality
  • Vice President Tyler Lodging Association
  • Held various roles at property level: F&B Director, Director of Sales and General Manager

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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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Braylon Hyde

Task Force General Manager

Bio

Braylon Hyde was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Being a military child allowed him the opportunity to live in various communities throughout the years. While living in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia & Louisiana; Braylon soon found his love for community service and ministry. Braylon has held many leadership positions on various boards and organizations, co-hosts a radio show, managed grants, and ran for public office. Braylon now dedicates all of his skills and experiences gained in both the public and private sectors to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry.

  • 5+ years in Hospitality Management & Tourism for select & full service properties
  • Natural leader dedicated to fostering a positive and results driven team culture
  • Experienced in Task Force General Management
  • Successful in operations, employee engagement, employee development, and risk management

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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

Procurement

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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Brian Johnson

Procurement Specialist

Bio

Brian Johnson was born and raised around the Lisbon, ND area and he currently resides in West Fargo with his wife, their 3 kids and 2 dogs. Brian worked for over 20 years in the wireless retail business in the Fargo – Moorhead area. During his free time he works with kids in both BSF and AWANA programs at local churches.

  • 20+ years customer service
  • 15+ years purchasing and inventory management
  • Associate’s degree in Sales, Marketing and Management

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Sales & Marketing

Nicole Carter

Regional 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

Regional 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
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Joseph Pullen

Task Force Director of Sales

Joseph was born & raised in Phoenix Arizona. Upon completion of high school, Joseph spent 20+ years in the United States Army serving in a variety of leadership positions throughout his career and across 6 continents. Joseph’s experiences have allowed him to develop a leadership style focused on gaining high results with the people he serves. In his spare time Joseph likes reading about Sales Leadership and playing golf. Joseph’s motto is “Manage the Systems – Lead the People.”

  • Bachelor of Science – Management – University of Phoenix
  • Master Certification in Organizational Development – Villanova University
  • Certified EEOC Investigator – Defense Equal Opportunity Institute
  • Certified Recruiting Instructor – United States Army
  • Past Board Member of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lubbock
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Jenny Durbin

Senior Sales Manager

Jenny Durbin was born and raised in Grandin, ND. She graduated from Interstate Business College with a degree in Travel Business Management. Jenny currently resides in West Fargo, ND with her husband Paul & two children, Levi who is a Senior at Oak Grove and McKenzie who is a studying at Moorhead State University. When Jenny’s not working she enjoys spending time at the lakes with her family.

  • Associates degree in Travel Business Management
  • 20 years’ experience working in the Hospitality industry

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

eCommerce and Marketing Manager

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

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Jami Verkuehlen

Director of Finance & Treasury

Bio

Jami was born and raised in Warren, MN. She attended the University of North Dakota, where she gained her Bachelor’s of Accountancy. Jami currently resides in Casselton, ND with her husband Brian and their three beautiful daughters. In her spare time Jami enjoys coaching her daughter’s basketball teams, spending time with family, going to the lake, golfing and fishing.

  • 10+ years of Financial Planning & Analysis experience
  • Skilled in:  Budgeting, Forecasting, M&A, Internal Controls & Strategic Planning
  • Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of North Dakota

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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

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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Landon Moline

Accountant

Bio

Landon Moline grew up in Buffalo, MN with his Parents and 4 brothers. Landon graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and a Minor in Religion. He currently plays football for Fargo’s Semi-Pro team, The Fargo Invaders, and he also enjoys walking his dog, fishing, playing ukulele, and singing.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
  • 1+ Years of Accounting Experience
  • Proficient experience with various accounting systems

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Stephanie Henney

Accountant

Bio

Stephanie Henney grew up in NW Minnesota and is currently seeking a Bachelor's of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Minnesota - Crookston. When she is not working at NHS, she manages the photo booth with Harmon Entertainment in Fargo and she likes a good challenge in the arts & crafts department.

  • 15+ years in customer service
  • 2+ years in project management
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Hayley Schiefelbein

Accountant

Bio

Hayley grew up in a small town, Kimball MN. Her parents raised her and her 2 brothers and 4 sisters on their family’s beef farm. She moved to Moorhead to graduate from MSUM with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In Hayley’s free time, she loves being outside in the summer.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
  • 4+ years of Accounts Payable experience             
  • 5+ years of customer service

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Jonie Dignan

Accountant

Bio

Jonie grew up in the Fargo/West Fargo area. She graduated college from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. She loves traveling with her husband and daughter. She also enjoys the outdoors, running, playing volleyball, listening to music, and making cupcakes.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting
  • 10+ years accounting and accounts payable experience
  • Skilled in accounts payable, accounts receivable, and corporate purchasing card programs
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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
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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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Zach Frank

Accounts Payable

Bio

Zach grew up in Lidgerwood, ND where his family owns a funeral home business. He attended NDSU and received his Bachelor's degree in accounting in three years.

  • 4+ years in customer service
  • Volunteer tax preparer with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistant)
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting, currently seeking CPA in 2020

Human Resources

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Marti Jensen

Human Resources Director

Bio

Marti was born and raised in Yuma, AZ. Moved to Fargo in 2004 and resides with her Husband, Son and Daughter along with their two cats Ole and Lena. She also enjoys having her stepdaughter and granddaughter in Fargo. She has a passion for helping people develop into great leaders and for the HR profession. Now a hockey mom, Marti enjoys watching her kids and traveling for their teams. She also enjoys getting home to Arizona and Southern California to visit family and friends whenever she can!

  • 10+ years of experience in all areas of Human Resources
  • 8+ years of Hotel, Restaurant and Retail Management Experience
  • HR Certifications: SPHR and SHRM-SCP
  • Member of SHRM and FMHRA
  • Active volunteer in the community with United Way of Class Clay, Davies Hockey and Fargo Freeze Hockey Association

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Brady Hand

Human Resources Payroll Coordinator

Bio

Brady Hand grew up in Moorhead before earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State university of Moorhead. When Brady isn’t busy, he enjoys working out and researching nutrition and exercise selection. He also enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources
  • Member of FMHRA
  • 5+ years of customer service experience

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Ryan Hylla

Talent Recruiter

Bio

Ryan grew up in Central MN. Recently, Ryan and his family relocated to Moorhead upon his wife’s acceptance of an Elementary Principal position. In his free time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his two boys and wife. Ryan’s competitive nature within the recruiting world stems from his relationship with the fishing industry. Ryan guides on local waters and competes in 10-15 tournaments annually while promoting many major industry companies.

  • 5 years of full-cycle recruiting experience
  • Excels in relationship building while maintaining honesty and integrity
  • Takes pride in assisting others in pursuit of their career goals and dreams

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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Trent Buchholz

Helpdesk Analyst

Bio

Trent Buchholz is originally from the Fargo-Moorhead area. He grew up in Moorhead and graduated from high school in 2008. He is currently enrolled in college to receive an AAS in Business Management. Trent enjoys spending his time around motorcycles, crafting his own beer, and spends some of his spare time playing video games.

  • 5 years in project and staff management
  • 5 years IT help desk leadership experience
  • 10 years in customer service related fields