Get To Know Us
Becky SwobodaProject Manager
Brittney ForsClient Relations
Cory HolenProfessional Placement Consultant
Jocelyn SorvigHR Business Partner
Jordan MurphyHR Business Partner
Josh KohlConsultant Support
Kelsey SteenPayroll Specialist
Michael LenhartIndustrial Staffing Consultant
Robert DuVanProfessional Placement Consultant
Sabrina GreenwoodConsultant Support
Steffen IsaneClient Relations
Tania CookChief Operating Officer
Taylar AkasonAdministrative Staffing Consultant
Todd ObbinkIndustrial Staffing Consultant
Tyia PatnaudeAdministrative Staffing Consultant
Tyler CossetteIndustrial Staffing Consultant
Lily MillerHR Support
As our very resourceful and creative Project Manager, Becky handles various projects on our team including the management and design of our building! Becky’s eye for detail and design have make her irreplaceable on our team. From marketing, to events and creating behind the scenes building processes, we go to her if we need something “Preferenceized” and prettied up. Becky’s career has always centered around customer service. She was an event manager for five years prior to working with Preference and handled singers, various shows and even brides. At times here, she probably still feels we are a bunch of bridezillas and we are so thankful for her! As for her family life, her little tribe consists of her husband, her 3 kiddos and 2 dogs. She said her life is hectic, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. If you ever need a good DIY project, or something creative for your kids, hit Becky up!
MORE ABOUT BECKY:
What can you not live without? Coffee! Full belly laughs of my kiddos and daily hugs from my littles!
What would you like to tell yourself at age 13? You are good enough! You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be brave. Don’t think so much…sometimes it is okay to just be. Embrace your freckles – they are beautiful and unique!
What did you want to be when you grew up? Two things come to mind – a teacher and a designer. I played school for hours on end and when I wasn’t doing that, I was probably busy creating my dream home with the JC Penney catalog, scissors and construction paper!
As the connector, networker, relationship builder and Preference Cheerleader, Brittney works on our Client Relations team. She enjoys working with our community and learning about the unique organizations in our Fargo-Moorhead community! With her high kicks and energetically positive attitude, Brittney helps drive our Preference culture. Brittney has the ability to go up to any stranger, connect with them and have a great conversation. Her skills allow her to thrive as our Client Relations Advisor. Brittney’s eye for observation and her enlightening “Brittneyisms” such as: Nut Well Way – AKA… “in a nutshell” keep us constantly entertained.
MORE ABOUT BRITTNEY:
What did you want to be when you grew up? I always wanted to be a background dancer for singers.
Tell us 3 unique things about you: I still have a baby tooth, My family is almost celebrity status: we are related to Madonna and one of our ancestors was a king and I could have started a career at 13 years old in professional ballet with the America Ballet Theater in NYC.
If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? Mac & Cheese
Professional Placement Consultant
As a Jamestown Jimmies Alumn, Cory Holen is our Lead Consultant on the Professional team. With his experience of athletics, bartending and being a father of two young energetic boys, Cory brings team spirit to another level for our team. As a consultant Cory feels every person has a unique story regardless if you are a job seeker or company. He loves finding out what makes people tick and discovering about what you are truly passionate about and thus connecting people. As a continuous learner, Cory is always challenging himself to be better than he was yesterday. Cory is involved in many organizations within our community including FMHRA, The Chamber and coaching his sons’ various sports. His advice for everyone, “Life is too short to hate your job.”
MORE ABOUT CORY:
What did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a professional football player. I still wait anxiously every year for my name to get called in the NFL Draft.
If you could interview anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? I’d interview John Wooden who was the basketball coach at UCLA. He was an excellent basketball coach but an even better teacher of life principles which I’m passionate about.
What are your top 3 life highlights or personal accomplishments? Ran a Full Marathon, Played College Football & Made the Decision to Live a Life of Continuous Growth
Our President and CEO, David Dietz, is our fearless and humble leader. With over 24 years in the staffing industry, David has worked nearly every position in our company from reception to President/CEO. From building the very first Employee Owned staffing company to executing the company vision/culture, David always puts our team first. David is heavily involved in peer networking groups to continue to challenge the Preference status quo. His visionary mindset has continued to create new opportunities for our company and our team. What motivates David is the success stories from the people we are able to help land a successful career and learn about how we are able to genuinely impact our community. David is our culture champion and with our leadership team helps to create a supportive trusting and fun atmosphere for our team. Success for him comes from helping others and chasing his passions. David’s passions outside of work revolve around his family and nature. His wife Misty, and two kids Taylor and Christian, along with their tree farming business keep him busy!
MORE ABOUT DAVID:
What advice do you have for prospective candidates? Discover your purpose and your values. This will bring clarity to the rest of your life. Next, discover your strengths and passions. These exercises will help you reach your potential in your career and personal life which will result in happiness.
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work? Planting Norway pine, white pine and jack pine trees at our timberlands. Windsurfing. Any snow-based recreation. Fishing, hunting and camping. Love wilderness explorations.
What is on your bucket list? Skydive on my 80th birthday – among hundreds of other adventures on my dream list.
Name 3 Fun Facts Yourself or Not Many People Know: I’m allergic to poultry. My feet are exactly one foot long. I was a body builder for several years.
HR Business Partner
Jocelyn works alongside Bianca on our Administrative Team. With her passion for Human Resources and interest in development, she enjoys all aspects of the hiring process. As a Cobber alum, she always enjoyed working on a small team, which led her to Preference. With over four years in the HR field, she loves collaborating and working with people. Jocelyn’s strengths in empathy, service and innovation have helped her identify with job seekers and other professionals Preference works with. Jocelyn also is our resume writer and helps job seekers in a variety of ways outside of recruiting. From the Preference team, she has learned to be open, vulnerable and consistently be challenging herself for growth.
MORE ABOUT JOCELYN:
What are your hobbies outside of work? I’m very passionate about health and wellness (Shout out to Jillian Michaels and Brené Brown!), I’m always looking for a new workout, fun recipe, or inspirational book/podcast to try! I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
What did you want to be when you grew up? I really struggled with figuring out my path in life and never identified what I truly wanted to be until my internship in college where I was exposed to Human Resources. I want to be a resource for others finding their own path.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without? Beans Flavor Roasted Coffee… they pour love one cup at a time, what gets better than that!
HR Business Partner
Jordan wears many hats in our company. While the majority of his day revolves around recruiting for professionals and serving our PEO clients, you may also find him acting as our maintenance guru, or part-time attorney. Jordan very secretly loves DIY projects and is probably the most sarcastic and hilarious teammate. With his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration, Jordan’s knowledge and interest in the details have made him a key component on our team. Jordan stays on top of the current market conditions and is continuously learning about what companies are looking for in top talent. While the career search journey can be trying both physically and emotionally, Jordan tries to be the best advocate for you in the process. When he isn’t spending time researching for job seekers or companies, Jordan spends his free time with all his girls; his wife, two daughters and Cockapoo.
MORE ABOUT JORDAN:
What inspires you? I inspire to help as many people that I can professionally. I truly want to be a great resource for people in their time of need.
If you had to eat 1 meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? My mom’s taco salad
What TV show/movie are you ashamed to admit you love? “Below Deck” which chronicles the lives of the crew members who work and reside aboard a mega-yacht during charter season. Although I’d never be able to afford it, I’m fascinated by the yachting industry.
“Apply yourself and work hard NOW. Don’t coast.” This is something that our teammate, Josh, has learned from the many roles he has had throughout his career. Although most of our employee-owners have fun stories to tell about their introduction to Preference, Josh’s is certainly the most unique. In between gigs as a professional opera singer, he would fill his time doing temporary assignments for our administrative team, and when we identified an internal need for someone to support our consultants, we asked Josh to join our team. He currently performs a variety of tasks such as sourcing and interviewing candidates, posting positions to our job boards, and acting as our tech liaison! What he enjoys most about this profession is collaborating and connecting with people both internally and externally while constantly learning new things.
MORE ABOUT JOSH:
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
My wife, Katie, and I, along with our son Foster, bought an old (1928) house a few years ago, so much of our free time is spent on renovations. My favorite sport is baseball, and I love watching tv/movies. I am a runner and have run 2 half-marathons. I love to cook, and I love coffee, wine, beer, whiskey…you name it! Time with family is the most important thing.
What inspires you?
Seeing others show selflessness and empathy toward others.
What are your top 3 life highlights or personal accomplishments?
- The birth of my son, Foster
- Hitting a home run in high school
- Succeeding as a professional musician. It’s taken me to so many beautiful places and I’ve met so many interesting and wonderful people along the way.
Kelsey is our Preference gopher. She is the glue between all our teams and the administrative support end. She fills in our gaps and keeps us compliant! Kelsey’s ability to adapt and be flexible have made her vital to our team. She coordinates our postings, background checks, credentialing and interview support. Kelsey’s go-getter attitude showcases her strengths in customer service and collaboration. She is passionate about helping others and creating efficiencies for our teams to ensure company productivity. As a former college athlete, hard work and dedication is in Kelsey’s DNA! No matter what you throw at her, Kelsey will get it done! We can thank our very own Todd Obbink for referring her into Preference and joining our team.
MORE ABOUT KELSEY:
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work? Exercising, being at the lake in the summers, paying cards and other games, and of course spending time with my husband, our little girl Addie and Boston Terrier, Howard.
What would you tell yourself at age 13? Be yourself and follow whatever path you want. Don’t allow others to influence your decisions.
What is your top personal accomplishment? Female Athlete of the Year and graduating with my bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Education from MSUM.
Industrial Staffing Consultant
Michael Lenhart comes to Preference with experience in recruiting, production, and manufacturing both in a staffing capacity and corporate setting. Prior to his professional career, Michael honorably served in the U.S. Navy for five years as a Signalman and Advanced Shipboard Firefighter. During his service he achieved the designation of Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist. From rock picking and working in a production setting to now working on our industrial team, Michael’s work ethic does not go unnoticed. His positive outlook and fun personality keeps our team light-hearted during difficult times and always connected. Michael brings an innovative mindset that challenges us to seek out new tactics and recruiting skills. The Preference core value that represents his personality most is, Genuine. From Michael’s empathetic personality to his drive to help support both our clients and candidates, everyone who meets him can tell he truly cares. He said he was driven to our team because we have a “reputation for being a company that puts their people first.” Michael embodies that statement just as the rest of us.
MORE ABOUT MICHAEL:
The Lenhart family is made up of Michael and his wife Jamie along with their three children; Hannah, Austin and Olivia. His wife Jamie runs a licensed daycare from their home in Dilworth while also running a photography business together at The Studio at Six Seventy located in the Sanctuary Events Center. They all enjoy volunteering with Churches United and serving a meal once a month.
Advice for your 12 year old self:
“Don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Stay true to yourself and be confident in who you are.”
“Failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you won’t learn, and you’ll never change.”
Favorite movie you are ashamed to admit you love:
Professional Placement Consultant
As our official 2nd UND fan in the house, Rob’s background in Industrial Technology led him to a career in engineering, construction and business administration. Rob has vast experience working in construction, manufacturing, engineering, project management and quality assurance. He joined our Professional Search team where he will put his skills to the test. His engineer mindset helps him identify and discover how candidates fit with organizations we partner with. He looks beyond the job title and job description. His favorite saying is “the whole is greater than the sum of parts.” With the various companies in our area, Rob enjoys learning about what makes an organization tick and how each role is vital to their success. His outgoing and positive perspective is a great addition to our Preference family. Rob is passionate about growth, working on a team and helping others. Outside of the Preference walls, Rob enjoys being connected in the community whether it’s church, coaching for his daughter’s volleyball team or spending time at the lake with his two girls.
MORE ABOUT ROB:
Favorite line from a movie? “So, you’re telling me there’s a chance.”
People would be surprised to know:
I have family from Las Vegas, but have no luck winning anything when visiting ?
I’ve lived in Japan two sperate times
I’m slightly color blind
My favorite show is “Friends” no shame.
Hobbies outside of work? I love to travel, spend time with my daughters, exercise, attend sporting events and concerts, work with my hands for home projects, read personal growth books and sometimes you’ll find me watching a good movie with my extra pepperoni, pepperoni pizza.
From pool playing to publishing poetry, Sabrina now adds staffing to her skillset. Sabrina works on our industrial team as Consultant Support where she uses her vast background in customer service daily. In this role she takes on a variety of tasks including interviewing, sourcing, job posting, and other administrative responsibilities to ensure a smooth and efficient team environment. Her passion for helping people and going above and beyond the job description does not go unnoticed by our team and the people she works with. Sabrina’s go-getter attitude keeps the industrial team in check and focused (nerf gun wars and all…don’t even ask). She is not afraid to be direct when needed and has joined our culture effortlessly. Sabrina’s detail-oriented work ethic helps her connect the dots between job seekers looking for opportunities and the open positions we work on. With her experience in the hospitality industry, Sabrina is able to go with the flow in our ever-changing staffing environment.
MORE ABOUT SABRINA:
Before working at Preference, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had? A canvasser for Clean Water Action, an environmental activist agency committed to raising community awareness of environmental injustices, policies, and legislation changes.
If you could interview anyone, who would it be? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – one of the most influential musical geniuses of the modern era. He would certainly be someone worth asking a few pointed questions!
Tell us about your family: I’m from a larger family and have developed very close relationship with my nieces and nephews. I’m what the kids call, their “fun aunt.” I enjoy spending time with them at Sky Zone, working on projects, and taking them on family bike rides. I love making memories with the kiddos along with the rest of my family. Getting the adults to participate in my activities presents more of a challenge!
As our very strategic leader on the Client Relations Team, Steffen’s role is to connect with business in the area to help with any staffing needs or recruiting strategy. Like most on our team, Steffen didn’t set out for a career in staffing. His dad owned his own business and Steffen helped out with tradeshows and of course in the warehouse too! With education in Sales, Marketing and Management, Steffen is no stranger to a variety of businesses and helping customers. With 14 years of cellular retail management experience, he’s also undertaken our “tech guy” role. He always knows how to get our team hooked up and working more efficiently. Steffen lives his life as a “servant leader” and is very passionate about learning and helping our community. He is heavily involved in his children’s school volunteer opportunities. He and his wife, a 6th grade teacher, see the extra need schools have. His favorite yearly volunteer event is Feed My Starving Children.
MORE ABOUT STEFFEN:
What is your favorite meal? Vinyl Taco – Queso with Chorizo, 1 fish, 1 veggie taco
What inspires you? Intelligent people, new challenges and opportunities
Tell us 3 facts about you: My dad was from Norway and I’ve had the opportunity to visit 9 times.
My lip was split in the first minute of a basketball tournament that we drove 3.5 hours for. I had 6 stitches in the ER and never played another minute.
My dad was very sick and in the hospital in 2010. My wife suggested we bump our wedding for him (originally scheduled for 7 months later). We drove 3 hours to the courthouse, met before and judge and got married in his hospital room by the end of that day.
Chief Operating Officer
Tania’s unofficial title is Squirrel Tamer, official title Chief Operating Officer. She certainly keeps the troops in order here at Preference! Tania’s Speech Therapist background and experience in operations, sales and safety have added immense value to our team. With over 12 years’ experience at Preference, Tania has worked in both our Professional and Administrative team. Now as our COO, she leads our safety and all operational functions. When she is not focused on processes and research, she is using her strengths in coaching and facilitating our team to focus on personal and professional development. Her favorite line and most challenging line for us all, “What do you think we should do?” Tania has the ability to help others identify strengths and understands the fears that may hold us back. While oh so challenging, she is very passionate and successful with helping others move through their fear to be a better version of themselves. Tania’s strong and very humble heart has led her to develop Preference’s Transition to Work Program, which allows those out on workman’s compensation to re-enter the work force and help out our community non-profits.
MORE ABOUT TANIA:
Before working here at Preference, what was the most interesting job you’ve had? I’ve had various jobs that have shocked our team! To name a few interesting ones – I worked at a meat processing plant, a Taco Bell, I’ve been a painter, officiated volleyball, worked with the Park District, helped out at a golf course between school years, worked at UPS for 10 years, was the Dragon Mascot for MSUM, and I’ve been a server. My first job out of college was the Girl’s Track Coach in Foley, MN. This was the most humbling job I’ve ever had.
Who was the most influential person in your life? Besides my parents, the most influential “people” in my life have been those who said I couldn’t. Those are the people who have pushed me to accomplish the things I have been able to accomplish and prove to myself that I can!
What are your interests/hobbies outside of work? Playing guitar, piano, golfing, wood burning, being out in nature and with family and friends.
Administrative Staffing Consultant
In Taylar’s words, she is a Matchmaker, not for lovers, but for companies seeking candidates and candidates seeking employment specifically in our administrative division. Taylar has a passion for building strong relationships and connecting with others to help identify their skill sets and an employer’s hiring need. Her passion for helping others and connecting with people has made her the perfect fit on our team. For her, it’s all about creating a space for people to express their goals and aspirations and then help them achieve what they are looking for, which in turn is extremely rewarding! As a professional connector, Taylar brings her positivity and relationship-driven mindset to every interaction with us internally, our clients and those job seekers we serve. Her advice for candidates, “Be open-minded, willing to work hard, have integrity and communicate efficiently. There are a lot of moving pieces, but if you are open, driven and can communicate honestly, this process will work for you!”
MORE ABOUT TAYLAR:
With a little bit of chaos, Taylar is a wife, a mother to her daughter Oliver, and pet mama to her “spooky” black cat and her sweet bernedoodle. Even with a full house, Taylar makes time for family, friends, hiking, lake time, some good karaoke and traveling.
What would you tell yourself at age 13?
Never settle for less, push the limits to maximize your full potential, continue to smile, be curious, dream big and leave imprints on people’s hearts.
What inspires you?
Being a mom truly inspires me, to better myself and challenge myself. The ability to be able to create a legacy for my family is my biggest motivation.
Industrial Staffing Consultant
Todd probably needs to trademark his Preference name as The Godfather. We aren’t really sure where he got the name but working on our Industrial team for over 20 years now, Todd has almost seen it all. He started his career as a police officer, then after a year found himself joining the US Army, first as Military Policeman and later an Army Recruiter. His passion for learning and being curious drew him toward people and figuring out where they would fit. Growing up on a farm gave him welding, maintenance and equipment operating experience. His favorite story to tell is as a ten-year-old he was tasked with sticking his arm in a sow to pull out a baby pig stuck inside. Although Todd has traveled the country, his favorite place to be now is with his grandkids, wife and family friends.
MORE ABOUT MR. TODD:
What volunteer opportunity are you most passionate about? I am passionate about the United Way. The most influential event they host is, “A Day in the Life Of” A Poverty Simulation. It a good reminder and eye opener that many in our community may go through some of these experiences. It helps to remember empathy and compassion when meeting people wherever they are at.
What are 3 life highlights? Living in Germany with my family for 3.5 years while serving in the Army, serving 13 years in the Army and earning the Sergeant First Class promotion in 10 years.
Administrative Staffing Consultant
As one of our Administrative Staffing Consultants, Tyia brings with her a background in human resources, marketing, and project management. She has spent her career up to this point working directly with people and helping others in our community. Tyia enjoys working with others to find what they are looking for. Her motto is to learn at least one thing from everyone she meets and also teach them something that she is able to pass on. Her empathy to help others makes her a successful consultant and vital team member. She was drawn to Preference because of the opportunity to help job seekers and companies in our area and developing relationships within our community. Her advice to prospective candidates is to not be afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone. “Don’t settle in a career! It can be a challenge to put yourself out there, but it allows you to grow and explore different opportunities.”
MORE ABOUT TYIA:
What did you want to be when you grew up? “I wanted to be a Roller Derby Professional! I even had a pair of tennis shoe roller skates. As I grew up a little, I switched to be interested in Radio or Journalism.”
Family Life “I have an incredible husband, two fantastic kids, and grandson who lights up my world!
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be? “My great-grandmother’s pancakes!”
Industrial Staffing Consultant
Always be nervous of the quiet ones they say… For Preference’s team that would be Tyler Cossette. Tyler is the employee owner in our meetings that will listen intently then throw in a one liner to bust the room into laughter. Tyler works on our Industrial team, and really takes time to hear what job seekers are looking for or what they are passionate about. He wants to find the right position and environment for the candidates he works with. One day Tyler will make it big on an invention he creates, but for now he will continue cracking us up and being a key part of our team.
MORE ABOUT TYLER:
What was the most unusual job you’ve ever had? I worked on a golf course and one year when the course flooded, my job was to fish the stranded fish from the trees.
What would you like to tell yourself at age 13? Put in the hard work and don’t be afraid to do things that make you feel uncomfortable.
What are your interests or hobbies? I enjoy golf, softball, being at the lake or outside, cooking and sending You Betcha videos to teammates.