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Let’s Highlight 2017: Staff & Contributor Takeover

Staff takeover 2017

PHOTOS BY Andrew Jason, Ann Arbor Miller, Hillary Ehlen, Jesse Hoorelbeke and Paul Flessland

The end of 2017 is quickly approaching, but we don’t want to leave the year without first reflecting on it. Some of our team members and contributors wanted to share with you their favorite discoveries in 2017 and wishes for the New Year. From new restaurants to local events, join us in highlighting and remembering what a great year we’ve had here in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Jenny Johnson, Client Relations Manager

Jenny Johnson Client Relations Manager

“I was born in Fargo the year that Michael Jackson released “Thriller”. I attended Moorhead High School and later MSUM. I was originally going to get my degree in broadcast journalism but decided to set my sights on advertising and public relations.

“I’ve had a crazy path to get to my current career. I started in banking, moved across the country, came back, worked in banking again, enjoyed volunteering and switched gears into the nonprofit world, started at Spotlight Media in advertising sales and finally landed in my current client relations role. I’m in the perfect spot right now overseeing our publications’ advertising, client relations and project management.

“I’m married to a funny man named Jordan who works at Coca-Cola. We live in Fargo with our cat Dre and dog Ollie. I enjoy brewery hopping, antique shopping and watching Netflix on our screen porch with a glass of wine or a hot cup of coffee.”

Favorite food discovery

“Thanks to my first visit to the Poke Bowl food truck during the Red River Market, I have fallen in love with Poke! I am a die-hard sushi lover and can’t believe that I order that over the 911 Roll as of late when at Wasabi.”

Poke Bowl

Poke Bowl
123 Broadway N, Fargo

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

Fargo monthly the yesteryears

“I really enjoyed ‘The Yesteryears’ August 2017 editorial feature. It was fascinating to see photography from the early 1900’s. I especially enjoyed the merged photos provided by Dan Francis that combined historic photos and current cityscapes.”

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

“I enjoy attending the Red River Market with my husband. We enjoy buying some local beer or coffee, lunch from one of the many food trucks and taking home some yummy treats for later in the day. We are very lucky to have this weekly event in our community.”

Favorite local spot to be

“I enjoy hitting up happy hour with friends for a grilled cheese sandwich and a spicy margarita. I love the vibe and decor in there, plus the staff is extra friendly. Two thumbs up.”

Rosey's Bistro and Bar

Rosey’s Bistro and Bar
212 Broadway N, Fargo

Give a shout out! Who in the community do you think has made an impact in the Fargo-Moorhead area this year?

“I would like to give a shout out to the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) I served as a volunteer this year and saw first hand the real-life experience that the children involved received. It was amazing to see the businesses they came up with and their plans to bring them mainstream. I was so impressed with the children who were enrolled in the program and wish something like that existed when I was in school.”

What is at the top of your Fargo-Moorhead bucket list for 2018?

“I would like to do the Brew Experience at Kilstone Brewing. It’s a fun experience where you get to help brew a batch of beer and then have a party to enjoy the fruits of your labor.”

Kilstone Brewing

Kilstone Brewing
764 34th St. N, Fargo

What did you learn about Fargo this year?

“Over the last few years, Fargo has impressed me with its dedication to implementing new ideas. The entrepreneurial spirit is strong and it’s refreshing to see business professionals work together rather than against each other to make our community better.”

Favorite new restaurant

“We visited Tru Blu for our anniversary, we were impressed with their portion sizes and fancy cocktails. We also loved the ambiance.”

Tru Blue Social Club

Tru Blue Social Club
915 19th Ave. E, West Fargo

Nick Hackl, Distribution/Circulation Manager

nick hackl Distribution/Circulation Manager

“Hi there. My name is Nick Hackl and I’m the distribution/circulation manager for Spotlight Media. Every month, I make sure that everyone receives the newest issue before they run out.”

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

Fargo monthly tastes of the world

“Tastes of the World”

What is at the top of your Fargo-Moorhead bucket list for 2018?

“I want to attend a bar crawl. I also want to try sushi for the first time.”
If you’re with Nick and sushi is a new experience for you, try the Dakota Roll from Wasabi. It was voted “Best Sushi Roll” in our Flavor Awards in May.

Dakota Roll from Wasabi

If you’re with Nick and sushi is a new experience for you, try the Dakota Roll from Wasabi. It was voted “Best Sushi Roll” in our Flavor Awards in May.

Wasabi
623 NP Ave., Fargo

Favorite drink discovery

Whiskey Sour from NoBull Smokehouse

NoBull Smokehouse
609 NP Ave., Fargo

Favorite local spot to be

Vinyl Taco
520 1st Ave. N, Fargo

Vinyl Taco

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

Tuesday Trivia Night at Würst Bier Hall

Würst Bier Hall

Würst Bier Hall
630 1st Ave. N, Fargo

Hillary Ehlen, Photographer

Hillary Ehlen Photographer

“I’m Fargo-born and raised and a proud alumni of NDSU–I bleed green and gold. I work full time at Spotlight Media as the staff photographer and also work as a freelance photographer, specializing in portrait and commercial photography.

“When I’m not hiding behind a camera, you can find me at any type of concert or live music event, planning my next road trip or watching old dance team DVDs with my girlfriends.”

Favorite local spot to be

“Between the awesome bartenders, live music on the weekends and $1 taco special on Wednesdays, I’d probably move in if they’d let me.”

Dempsey’s
226 Broadway N, Fargo

Favorite drink discovery

Cider from Wild Terra Cider & Brewing
“I got to sample it when we shot there for Fargo Monthly this fall and it made me so excited for them to open on Dec. 2.”

Cider from Wild Terra Cider & Brewing

Wild Terra Cider and Brewing
6 12th St. N, Fargo

Favorite New Restaurant

Pork Belly Ramen from Slurp Ramen at Wasabi

Wasabi
drunkennoodle.com

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

Do It All Downtown

Do it all downtown Fargo monthly

“I spend the majority of my time downtown, so it was super fun to work on this issue and discover even more about what downtown has to offer. This was also the first cover I shot for Fargo Monthly, so this issue is extra special to me.”

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl
“I love all things Irish, and who doesn’t love green beer?”

What is at the top of your Fargo-Moorhead bucket list for 2018?

“I’d like to try some of the classes at Make Room. I went to school for art but don’t get around to creating as much as I’d like to, so I think this would be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.”

Make room fargo
Make Room
17 8th St. S. Fargo

New Year’s Resolution/Wishful thinking for 2018

“To finally win Grey’s Anatomy Trivia with Red River Trivia.”

Red River Trivia
facebook.com/redrivertrivia

Web Team

Huong Tran Digital Coordinator and Samantha Stark Web Editor

(L to R) Digital Coordinator Huong Tran and Web Editor Samantha Stark

Huong Tran, Digital Coordinator

“Hi, I’m the other half of Spotlight Web Team. I handle all technical sides of anything digital—from websites to ads (just not the printer). When I’m not scaring people away with the colorful code on my screen, you can find me casually hanging at a local coffee shop or some local events.”

Samantha Stark, Web Editor

“Sup! I make up half of the Spotlight Web Team. Although I’m the web editor, I do a little bit of everything in the web department, from digital content to web design. Oh, and I sometimes fix Spotlight’s printer, which mostly consists of me turning it off and then on again. When I’m not at work eating avocados, I’m antique hunting at local thrift stores, going camping with my man friend or showing people pictures of my plant child, Kevin, like the annoying mom I am.”

Samantha’s Picks

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

Fargo Monthly July 2017

“I can’t pick just one. My top three are ‘Do It All Downtown,’ ‘Weekend Getaways’ and ‘The Yesteryears.’ I also really enjoyed our first ever pet-themed issue. Oh, and I liked the ‘Made In Fargo’ issue. OK, so I liked them all.”

Favorite new restaurant

“You can’t go wrong with grilled cheese sandwiches—or just cheese in general.”

Rosey's Bistro

Rosey’s Bistro
212 Broadway N, Fargo

Favorite local spot to be

“Now and Then is one of my favorite Fargo finds. The sheer number of antique and vintage items it has still never ceases to amaze me.”

Now and Then Shoppe
1017 4th Ave. N, Fargo

Favorite food discovery

Lobster-Filled Ravioli from Twist
“When I discovered the lobster-filled ravioli at Twist, my life hasn’t been the same. They have 1/2 off small plates Mondays– Saturdays from 3–6 p.m., if you’re interested in trying it.”

Twist
220 Broadway N, Fargo

New Year’s resolution/wishful thinking for 2018

Fargo INC! Editor Nate Mickelberg

“Drink a gallon of water out of a jug every day. Oh, and Fargo INC! Editor Nate Mickelberg is an amazing role model.”

What did you learn about Fargo this year?

“I learned that it’s so easy to be local. Every year in Fargo-Moorhead, local businesses open up and artists get discovered. Referencing Fargo Monthly’s ‘Made In Fargo’ issue, our community has an abundance of handmade masters of all sorts, and that’s something to celebrate.”

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

TEDxFargo
“It’s inspiring to hear so many local and national influencers speak on topics of importance in the Fargo community. As one of the biggest TEDx events in the country, TEDxFargo opens attendees’ minds to the numerous ways they can help drive our community forward.”

Huong’s Picks

Favorite drink discovery

Green Matcha Latte from Young Blood Coffee
“Anything green is good for you, right? This place has saved me from so many office coffee runouts, Mondays and morning meetings. It’s just not possible to get cranky again after taking a sip of that warm delish creamy tea latte.”

Green Matcha Latte from Young Blood Coffee

Young Blood Coffee
623 NP Ave., Fargo

Favorite local spot to be

“I can spend hours staring at all of their adorable Fargo-made modern craft and handmade gifts. If you ever want to be (or at least want to feel like) a master artisan, come to one of their many craft events! Yeobo, my favorite Fargo gourmet sweet shop, is also inside of Unglued. If I were late getting back from my lunch break, you know where I’m at.”

Unglued

Unglued
408 Broadway N, Fargo

Wishful thinking for 2018

“I’d love to see more downtown expansion!”

What did you learn about Fargo this year?

“Whether you’re launching a new business or raising money for a good cause, the community’s support and resources are amazing. Did you know almost $11 million was raised for more than 350 local charities in 24 hours of doing this year’s Giving Hearts Day?”

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

Startup Weekend Fargo
“I’ve been following Startup Weekend since it first came to Fargo, but 2017 is the first time I participated in the event. It’s an event where local designers, marketers, developers and startup enthusiasts turn 54 hours of work and unlimited cups of coffee into a business. My team was so close to winning but to be honest, winning wasn’t the point. I’ve come home with so many valuable mentorships, lifelong friendships and acquired more knowledge than I could ever learn from any textbooks.”

Startup Weekend Fargo

Alex Cyusa, Contributor

Alex Cyusa

“I’m Alexandre Cyusa—the Fargo-Moorhead-Hearted Rwandan citizen. I came to the FM area in the fall of 2010 to attend Concordia College. Originally from Kigali, Rwanda, I’ve lived in Switzerland, Ethiopia, Guinea and France.

“My traveling experiences have helped me in making this world a smaller and simpler place to live in. I currently work for Folkways and am interested in community development and nurturing global citizenship.”

What is at the top of your Fargo-Moorhead bucket list for 2018?

“Doing an escape room with friends. Also, I haven’t been yet to the Daran’s Southern Soul Food & West Indian Cuisine, but I don’t know if I will wait until 2018 to go there because I have heard only good things about them!”

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

Brigitte Bisimwa from ‘The World in Fargo-Moorhead’

Brigitte Bisimwa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

“It was humbling to read her story and to have her voice heard on such a platform in order to inform the world of the journey certain people embark on to get to the FM area. What’s more, she is from Democratic Republic of Congo neighboring country of Rwandaaaaaa. I always love seeing a fellow neighbor in Fargo Monthly.”

Give a shout out! Who in the community do you think has made an impact in the Fargo-Moorhead area this year?

Mary Jean Dehne, the executive director of Lecagy Children’s Foundation
“She is an amazing woman I was introduced to by Rollie Johnson—another role model of mine—who works with the youth of the FM area.”

New Year’s resolution/wishful thinking for 2018

“Defy the conquering winter by engaging in more outdoor/wilderness (ice fishing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing) activities with friends during the first glacial months of 2018.”

Favorite new restaurant

Saffron Persian Food
“Located in the food truck park in the old Goodyear parking lot, they served Persian (Iranian) cuisine, which is exquisite and rich in flavors.

Darbar Palace
420 Broadway N, Fargo
“An Indian restaurant on Broadway that is an exquisite culinary journey into the East Asian cuisine.”

Darbar Palace

Darbar Palace

Favorite local spot to be

“So many cultures are united under one roof and it’s a great cultural experience. I love taking friends to the IMP in order for them to engage with so many cultures in one singular place. GeeGee’s Store located in the IMP is where I buy most of my colorful and traditional fabric cloth you see me wearing in most of my articles.

Fargo International Market Plaza

The International Market Plaza
1345 Main Ave., Fargo

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

September’s Annual National Welcoming Week
“During 10 days, a series of events take place in the FM area highlighting the diversity residing in the community. This is done through gatherings around music, food, art and discussions, with the hopes of helping people make new friends from around the world without leaving Fargo.”

Kylee Seifert, Contributor

Kylee seifert contributor

“I’m a holistic health and nutrition coach leading women to find clarity and balance through fitness, nutrition, stress management and mindset. I work with them on weight loss, gut healing, emotional eating and figuring out the best individualized nutritional approach.”

Favorite local spots to be

Twenty Below Coffee Co

Twenty Below Coffee Co.
14 Roberts St. N, Fargo

Mezzaluna
309 Roberts St. N, Fargo

Crossfit Icehouse
1620 1st Ave. N, Fargo

New Year’s resolution/wishful thinking for 2018

“To continue to inspire others to take action for healing their bodies and cultivating self-love within their lives. To keep building my business from a place of love and service and offer others a chance to learn and grow. To enjoy my wedding, my first year of marriage and to allow it to help me grow as a person. To get outside more during the winter months and spend more time in nature during each season. To work on a new language. To downright have fun and choose fun in each moment.”

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

Red River Farmer’s Market

Give a shout out! Who in the community do you think has made an impact in the Fargo-Moorhead area this year?

Chelsea Thorson at the Make Room

“Chelsea Thorson at the Make Room. She has cultivated creativity in everyone in the community. She’s put her heart and soul into her business to inspire others to tap into their innate creativity and artistic side.”

Favorite drink discovery

“Hodo Cider – duh!!!”

Hotel Donaldson
101 Broadway N, Fargo

What did you learn about Fargo this year?
“There are so many young, blossoming businesses and they are all willing and eager to collaborate and work together in a really beautiful way. It’s a wonderful place for new businesses as the community is ready to stand behind entrepreneur dreams.”

What is at the top of your Fargo-Moorhead bucket list for 2018?

“I have yet to try an escape room and it’s definitely on my to-do list!”

Fargo Escape Room

Fargo Escape Room
2220 Main Ave. E, West Fargo

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

Fargo monthly the yesteryears

The Yesteryears: Tales from Fargo-Moorhead’s Past Intuition, Passion, & Giving Fear the Middle Finger

Matt Anderson, Designer

Matt anderson Designer

“I’m a graphic artist with a serious passion for what I do. I’ve always loved to draw and create. Pencil and paper is my go-to medium but I’m always down to dabble. I fell in love with digital design at a young age, banging out killer bitmaps on my moms ol’ MS Paint program. By this point, I knew I’d found my calling. I enrolled in the graphics program at MSCTC and started my professional journey.

“I’ve had the opportunity to create artwork for all varieties of local businesses, including websites, signage, illustration and video. It gives me pride to see my work across town. Now working with Spotlight Media, I’m able to even further that reach.”

What is at the top of your Fargo-Moorhead bucket list for 2018?

“I need to see a concert at the Bluestem. Like, fo’ real.”

Bluestem Amphitheater
801 50th Ave. S, Moorhead

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

“Back in August, we did ‘The Yesteryears’ issue featuring a piece done by Dan Francis on the cover. Top notch stuff.”

Fargo monthly the yesteryears

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead event

“You can find me at RibFest slightly engorged or at the Fargo-Moorhead ValleyCon flying my nerd flag high.”

Favorite local spot to be

“I’m a comics guy so the four walls of Paradox make for my home away from home.”

Paradox Comics-N-Cards

Paradox Comics-N-Cards
26 Roberts St. N, Fargo

Favorite food discovery

Humpty Dumpty Burger
“If JL Beers was a rock band, the Humpty Dumpty Burger would be my jam.”

Humpty Dumpty Burger

Favorite new restaurant

“Blvd pub had me with their overall aesthetics. Bitchin’ branding.”

blvd pub

blvd pub
3147 Bluestem Dr., West Fargo

New Year’s resolution/wishful thinking for 2018

“I’d like to lose five pounds and initiate world peace.”

Scott Rorvig, Sales Representative

Scott Rorvig Sales Representative

“My name is Scott Rorvig, NDSU grad, current Spotlight Media guy. I live, work and play Downtown Fargo. I sing too much and have a hard time chilling out. My favorite things are basketball, outdoor activities, minus golf, and spending all my money on the weekends.”

Favorite Fargo Monthly story or photo

“As much as I love Fargo, I love trying new things and places so I really enjoyed the ‘Weekend Getaways’ issue and the write-ups on all the cool places within driving range.”

Weekend Getaways Fargo Monthly

Favorite local spots to be

Island Park basketball court Biking trails along the river

What did you learn about Fargo this year?

“Ever since working at Spotlight, I now realize that there really is a lot of events and social rendezvous going on, you just have to be proactive and search them out. Maybe you should check out the event section in Fargo Monthly …”

You can find more Fargo-Moorhead events on our Events Calendar.

Favorite Fargo-Moorhead events

Streets Alive & Bison tailgating

Streets Alive & Bison tailgating

Favorite drink discovery

Techno Viking

Techno Viking Drekker Brewing Co.

Drekker Brewing Co.
630 1st Ave. N, Suite 6, Fargo

Give a shout out! Who in the community do you think has made an impact in the Fargo-Moorhead area this year?

“A big shout out to Fargo Park District for being unsung heroes and keeping the outdoors clean and tame for us to go expend some office energy!

Fargo Park District

This is Fargo Park District’s logo through the eyes of artist Steve Knutson. Check out his recently unveiled local art piece at the Depot, also home to the Fargo Park’s office, in Downtown Fargo.

“Oh, and Fort Noks for helping me keep in contact with all my friends.”

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