35 Under 35 Kari Stenger, Senior Accountant, Light Consulting

Written by: Brady Drake

Tell us about yourself. Tell us who you are and what you do.

I am Kari Stenger, a girl who loves numbers and helping people! I work at Light Consulting as a senior accountant, helping lead a team of 12 as we make business and life light for our clients through CFO services. I am an Enneagram 2, ESFJ, and my top three strengths are positivity, communication, and discipline. Outside of work, I am a fiancé to Matt and a dog mom to Harley girl. My favorite title is Auntie Kari. I grew up a lake girl in Detroit Lakes and found my way back home. With a commute to West Fargo for work, it is a guarantee that my gas light is always on E or I am way past due for an oil change. My favorite word is ope!

Who are some people who have been influential in your journey and why? Who inspires you?

I am grateful for the invaluable lessons my parents, Tony and Nancy Stenger, have instilled in me, particularly their demonstration of dedication, perseverance, and a strong work ethic. I feel extremely blessed to work with Sarah West. Sarah has been not only a dear friend but a profound mentor. Her unwavering desire to be more and make a positive impact has been a guiding light for me. Witnessing her create a company with strong core values has inspired me to strive for excellence and purpose. What sets Sarah apart is her integration of Jesus and faith into the workplace, aligning personal values with professional pursuits. My team at Light Consulting inspires me daily to show up and work hard making life and business light. There are so many women in the Fargo-Moorhead community that inspire me and I feel very grateful for my opportunity to walk alongside 34 of them in this program. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without my fiancé Matt who takes such great care of me and shows me so much support and love and, most importantly, keeps me laughing.

What drives you?

As an Enneagram 2, The Helper, I truly just want to help people whether it is my team, clients, the community, friends, or family.

What do you think can be improved in our business community?

Business doesn’t have to be difficult or heavy. Let’s continue to create a strong business community with resources, mentors, connections, and a mindset of ‘What if it were easy?’

What are some important life lessons you have learned?

I have lost many people in my life which has solidified the lesson that ‘Life is short.’ It taught me to be intentional about how I live my life, how I spend my time, and who and what is most important at the end of the day.

What are some of your favorite things to do in our community?

There is a reason I commute two hours a day to be a part of the Fargo-Moorhead community. I love to work, play, and give back to our community. I enjoy all the learning and networking opportunities that are created by United Way of Cass-Clay and The FMWF Chamber to name a few organizations. Giving Hearts Day is one of my absolute favorite days that sets this community apart. We are blessed with many strong and passionate non-profits that make our community better and provide endless volunteer opportunities! Fargo-Moorhead is a hub for entertainment. From concerts to sporting events to shopping to golf courses to outdoor plays to the numerous bars and restaurants, there is so much to do for all ages and interests. I remember as a kid getting to go to Fargo was a big deal and now I am fortunate that I get be a part of this community.

What are you hoping to gain from the United Way 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Program?

I hope to gain 34 friends and a community of women I can turn to for anything. I hope to gain long-lasting drive and passion that helps me show up as the best version of myself every day for years to come.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers of Fargo INC?

I am proud to work and play in the Fargo-Moorhead community. I am very grateful for this opportunity to be a part of United Way’s 35 Under 35 Leadership Program.

Tell us about 1-2 books, podcasts, or professional development experiences that have changed the way you view leadership.

“How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie is a book that has tremendously helped me and my mindset to remove the extra worry that may come with leadership. Self-development and awareness through MBTI, Enneagram, and Strengths Finder are very insightful tools that help me understand more about myself and my team.

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.