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Faces Of Fargo Business 2018: Part Eight

We are pleased to present our second annual “Faces of Fargo Business” coffee table book. In the following section, we celebrate members of the Fargo metro area who were featured in Fargo INC! over the past year. Here’s part eight.

Faces of Fargo Business part eight

Photos by Hillary Ehlen and J. Alan Paul Photography

We are pleased to present our second annual “Faces of Fargo Business” coffee table book. In the following section, we celebrate members of the Fargo metro area who were featured in Fargo INC! over the past year. Aspiring entrepreneurs, CEOs, artists and countless others share one last note with us as we head into 2019.

Taya Spelhaug

Taya Spelhaug

TechSpark Manager, Microsoft

If you could thank one organization, resource or individual that’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?
Sandi Piatz, Microsoft Fargo Site Lead and her team – Katy Avery, Jodi McGregor and Scott Steinmetz. Even though I’m not in the same organization as Sandi, she took me under her wing and helped me navigate the complexities of Microsoft. Sandi embodies Microsoft’s mission of helping every individual and organization on the planet to achieve more. Her insightful questions and genuine caring spirit have truly helped me achieve more. Similarly, her team has been an amazing support system and are always willing to go the extra mile. I sincerely value and appreciate them all.

What lesson have you had to learn the hard way?
Patience is a virtue… especially with hot pizza.

What motivates you?
I’m inspired by connecting with entrepreneurs and leaders in the community and hearing about their big, bold ideas for Fargo’s economic development.

Katie Ralston

Katie Ralston

Manager of Education Initiatives and YEA!, Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce

What motivates you?
I’m really goal-oriented and intrinsically motivated by the desire to achieve my goals, no matter how big or small. I also love the challenge of managing projects that have a lot of moving parts, so I feel energized when I’m presented with a task that requires attention to detail, strategic planning and efficiency.

What lesson have you had to learn the hard way?
I’ve learned how important it is to protect my time. I really enjoy getting involved and love helping others when there is an opportunity to do so, but saying yes to every invitation caused a lot of burn out for me and I wasn’t able to give 110 percent in any of my commitments. By being more strategic with my involvement outside of work, I’ve been able to add more value to my volunteer roles.

Joey Schmit

Joey Schmit

President, Flight Pros

How does the reality of your job differ from people’s perception of it?
People think we just fly drones all day and it’s the most care-free, fun job in the world. Flying drones for work is great, but there are some pressure situations and weather conditions we wouldn’t consider “fun.” Also, flying drones is only a small percentage of the work we do, as we plan missions, process the data and complete the bulk of our work in the office.

What motivates you?
Doing business authentic to ourselves and being honest and transparent through the process. I’ve hated deceptive tactics my whole life, and we are adamant that we can create a successful business by having open communication and delivering what we say we’ll deliver.

If you could thank one organization, resource or individual that’s contributed to your success, who would it be and why?
The NDSU Research & Technology Park has been crucial to our success. The administration at that building are human billboards for our business and are always looking at ways to help the tenants in the building succeed. We’ve benefited greatly from the workshops, recommendations, referrals and connections in the building.

Paul Jarvis

Paul Jarvis

Managing Director, United Capital

What motivates you?
People that are ready and willing to dive in to make positive change in their life. The best part of my day is when I get to learn more about financial priorities through our Honest Conversations exercise. Honest Conversations is a card game that makes money and priorities easy to talk about and also helps people gain control over their financial life.

If you could thank one person in the FM community, who would it be and why?
I would thank my wife, Ann. When the Fargo United Capital office was formed, we had a baby on the way, which creates a, potentially, stressful dynamic. She has given me full support and serves as a personal advisor to me for work, health and our family.

What lesson have you had to learn the hard way?
Not everyone wants to be helped. I am a problem solver and am very eager to help people who could use some outstanding financial advice. Oftentimes, behavior is the largest driver of financial success. In order to be successful, people sometimes need to look inward, and if they aren’t willing to take an honest look at what brought them to a particular point in life, then driving success going forward can be challenging. Change is hard for people, and not everyone can take a step out of their comfort zone short-term to better themselves long-term.

Emily Swedberg

Emily Swedberg

Owner and violin teacher, Amped School of Music

What are you most looking forward to in 2019?
At this point in business and life, I have learned to expect the unexpected. I have lived in different states and different countries around the world, and only in Fargo am I constantly amazed by life and its surprises. I’m excited to see what new possibilities and friendships may reveal themselves. With the music school, I see many opportunities to bring people together, to see our teachers and students make amazing music, and to help people in our community discover their passion and create music with others.

What motivates you?
I strive to help people feel like they belong. Growing up, I was (and still am) sort of an odd duck and found it difficult to feel connected to other people. Once I became engaged with caring communities, I was filled with a sense of belonging and purpose. To feel alone in this world can be very painful, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Everyone wants to feel connected and accepted and I want to make it easier for people to have those opportunities. Amped School of Music was born out of a calling to connect other people and bring a sense of community and belonging.

What’s one thing you want the local business community to know about you?
I believe that we are stronger together. Maybe it’s in our Midwestern blood to instinctively band with each other to avoid exile into the harsh winter conditions, but I believe Fargo’s strength is in community and collaboration. Businesses around here tend to have stronger friendships and warmer ties compared to other parts of the country and I want to embrace that with my business. Good things come when people join together with their diverse backgrounds and viewpoints to create something meaningful for the community.

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Written by Fargo Inc!

Faces of Fargo Business part seven

Faces Of Fargo Business 2018: Part 7

Faces of Fargo Business part nine

Faces Of Fargo Business 2018: Part Nine