City of Fergus Falls - New Hires and Promotion
New Hires and Promotions
City of Fergus Falls
Fergus Falls, MN – The December 30 retirement of long-time accounting technician, Lori Beske, provided an opportunity for an internal promotion and a new hire in the city’s finance department. The Bigwood Event Center event coordinator position has also been newly filled.
Kelsey Miller, previously the utilities billing technician, was promoted to general accountant. Miller will take on the duties previously handled by Beske including maintaining cash balances, reconciling accounts, preparing journal entries and financial statements and providing accounting support to the municipal liquor stores and Bigwood Event Center. Miller started with the city in 2020 as an on-call clerk at the liquor store. After earning her BS in accounting from MSU Moorhead she provided bookkeeping and accounting services for several small clients. She moved to Fergus Falls in 2014, having also earned the title of Miss Congeniality during the Starbuck, MN Heritage Days Festival.
Miller’s promotion from within created an opening which was filled by new employee, Nicki Gaines. Gaines is the utility billing technician, and she will be responsible for maintaining and billing all commercial and residential utility accounts for the City of Fergus Falls. She has 25 years of experience in the industry, most recently having worked for LifeSmiles Dental. Also an entrepreneur, Gaines owns MiMi Rae Designs, a home décor and travel company. Gaines, her husband Dan (a proud Fire Dept Captain) and their high-school aged kids enjoy sports, the lakes, and trails in the area.
“We are thrilled to have found candidates who will do an excellent job rounding out the finance department,” said finance director Bill Sonmor. “Promoting from within our own ranks gives us someone who knows the team and our processes,” he added, referring to Miller. Gaines’s previous experience in finance, billing and customer service is directly relevant to the work we do here, serving the residents of Fergus Falls.
In other city hires, Jess Torgerson is the event coordinator for the Bigwood Event Center. In this role she works with clients and vendors to book and host events, conferences and meetings. “The Bigwood Event Center is a beautiful facility, a community gem we have only begun to use to its full potential,” said Torgerson. “I’m looking forward to hosting the business community and residents at events in the coming year.” Torgerson has more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry and was previously the curator and gallery manager for the Kaddatz Galleries in Fergus Falls. She loves to travel and is also an artist, designer and community organizer, who champions sustainable, rural art practices, including being a contributor to the “A Year of Beck.”