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Julia Stenberg, CPA

Current Job / Company/ Location: Senior Audit Associate / Widmer Roel / Fargo, ND

Hometown: Greenbush, MN

Alma Mater/Degree: Minnesota State University - Moorhead / BS-Accounting, MS-Accounting and Finance.

Any current Professional and Community Activities?

I am currently involved in the following:

NDCPA Society Young Professionals Committee

FMCPA Society Treasurer

FMWF Chamber Young Professionals Network (and within that the Corporate Cup Committee)

United Way Employee Campaign Coordinator

What or who inspired you to become a CPA? I had originally gone to school as a management and marketing major but hearing from guest speakers throughout my first-year experience course quickly changed my mind. We had the opportunity to hear from several different business professionals, who all had different career paths but seemed to have one thing in common - an accounting degree. Accountants really can do it all! I switched my major that first semester and my professors strongly encouraged me to pursue my CPA designation.

What is your favorite thing about your job? I love having the opportunity to meet and work with clients from a variety of industries.

Tell us about a mentor that influenced you: My high school English teacher/volleyball coach used to always say:  “baptized by fire, which I find very fitting for the ever-changing public accounting industry!

What do you like to do in your free time: I’m an avid reader and enjoy traveling - I’ve had much more time for both since passing the exam this past year!

Favorite Vacation or Dream Vacation: I would love to spend time traveling around Europe and plan on making it over there soon.

Favorite Food: Spaghetti - I could eat it for every meal of the day.



Jerad Suess, CPA

Name: Jerad Suess, CPA

Current Job / Company/ Location: Principal at Lee Suess LLC in Williston, ND.

Hometown: Williston, ND

Alma Mater/Degree: University of North Dakota, Bachelor of Accountancy

Professional and Community Activities

Vice Chair of the First Lutheran Trust Fund

Treasurer of Western Region Economic Development

Board Member on MedQuest Home Medical

Who inspired you to become a CPA? My parents. My Dad is now a retired CPA and I’ve always wanted to be like him. My mom knew what it took to get here and encouraged me along the way!

What is your favorite thing about your job? Easy….my coworkers. I have the best!

What was your first job? Besides mowing lawns, it was the Schwan guy! Ok. Not the guy driving the trucks…the guy loading the trucks at 2:00 a.m.!

Tell us about your family: My wife, Alyssa, and I have three children. Eli (6), Scotlynn (4) and Jack (4 months). While I tell everyone I don’t have a favorite child, my daughter is by far my biggest cheerleader in life. I hope everyone has a Scottie or is a Scottie in someone else’s life!

Tell us about a mentor or a book or a quote that influenced you: The most recent book I read was “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek at the recommendation of a coworker. Pretty self-explanatory title, but it encourages you look at situations with a different light.

What do you like to do in your free time: Golf when there isn’t snow on the ground and in the winter you will find me coaching my son’s hockey or refereeing high school hockey games.

Favorite Vacation or Dream Vacation: The Masters. Augusta, Georgia.(dream vacation).

Favorite Food: Mexican

Something most people don’t know about me: I depreciate land. Well, not really, but I am a third generation CPA!




Brenna Ohman

Firm/Company and Location: I am the Finance Director for North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives (the trade association for the rural electric coops in the state). Our association manages the books for 3 other organizations outside our association, so I manager the financials for all those organizations. My primary responsibility includes planning, developing, directing, coordinating, and monitoring all of the policies and procedures for the various organizations to ensure proper internal controls and provide for financially sound organizations. I prepare financial statements, budgets and other reports as needed and present many of these items to the various organizations board of directors. I also help to manage investments for many of these organizations also. Along with providing oversight for our accounts payable and accounts receivable functions.

Alma Mater / Degree: NDSU for a Bachelors in Accountancy

Where did you grow up? Burlington, ND

First job ever: Cleaning houses at the Minot Air Force Base after the Airmen moved out of the houses

How or why did you decide to be a CPA? I took a class on Accounting in high school and loved how things balanced out, plus I probably had it in my blood as both my mom and grandmother were self-taught bookkeepers.

What did you do to celebrate passing the exam? It was a long time ago now, so I can’t remember for sure, but probably go out to supper with my now husband.

Professional/Community Activities or Involvements: I volunteer with Junior Achievement teaching 3rd graders about business, and am a board member for Capital City Young Guns to teach youth about the various shooting sports and how to safely enjoy those sports.

What are your hobbies or pastimes? Spending time with my kids and enjoying time at my families lake cabin in the summer

Tell us about your family: I am married to my husband, Eric, and we have two beautiful, but busy, kids – Audra who is 4 and Axel who is 2

Dream vacation OR Best Vacation you ever took: My husband and I traveled quite a bit before having kids. My favorite places we traveled to were, Scotland, Germany and Austria, and Australia. I would highly recommend all of them.

Something most people don’t know about you: I have an identical twin sister who is a pharmacist up in Minot. It is fairly common that we get mistaken for each other.



John Peterson

Firm/Company and Location: I currently serve as the Chief Financial Officer of Security State Bank Holding Company as well as an Executive CPA at Bank Forward in Fargo. My job is to provide financial and accounting expertise and direction to the Company – serving as the primary source regarding accounting principles, financial trends, changing laws, & industry practices.

Alma Mater/Degree: North Dakota State University; BS in Accounting with a minor in Fraud Investigation

Where did you grow up? Fargo, ND

First job ever: My first job was as a cashier at the Fargo North High School swimming pool.

How or why did you decide to be a CPA? The opportunities I knew would open up after I earned my CPA designation.

What did you do to celebrate passing the exam? I was working in public accounting at the time. I vividly remember sitting in the hotel room -- refreshing the browser – waiting for the last score to be uploaded…. When it came across I jumped up and ran out of the room! I grabbed the other members of the engagement team and we went to the local watering hole for some adult sodas. It was a blast!

Professional/Community Activities or Involvements: I serve on the Finance Committee of the YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties. I also serve on the Military Affairs Committee of the FMWF Chamber of Commerce.

What are your hobbies or pastimes? I enjoy golfing (I didn’t say I’m good at it). I also hunt, fish, work on Excel spreadsheets in my free-time, play poker, play video games, playing with my puppy, and whatever my wife wants me to do.

Tell us about your family: My wife Sammi is also a native to Fargo – she works as an Account Manager at CI Apparel in Fargo.

Dream vacation OR Best Vacation you ever took: I spent so much time on the road in public accounting that I don’t really enjoy traveling much. But – I would like to visit Banff in Alberta.

The best advice you ever received: Do the right thing. It’s the answer to all questions.

Something most people don’t know about you: I don’t really enjoy the taste of beer – I do, however, enjoy the effects of beer.

The best thing that has happened to you this week or month: I received a holiday bonus at work, which alone is pretty cool, but even better was that I immediately went and spent some of it on something my wife had really been wanting. I couldn’t wait to give it to her – so we met for lunch and surprised her with the gift. She cried tears of joy! It made me so happy to see how happy she was!!!



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