About Us

About Us

Meet Our Team

Meet the Allegiance Software staff members who develop, build, program and support our products and training programs (and a couple who simply liven up our workplace with their wagging tails):

Rich  Aukland

Rich Aukland

Rich is responsible for leading Allegiance Software to achieving our vision of making our customers successful in exceeding their fundraising goals.

Rich brings a proven leadership track record in growing organizations, building customer relationships and successfully delivering against revenue, expense and Customer Satisfaction goals. Most recently Rich was a Sales Director for Microsoft where he contributed to the growth of Premier Services Business. Prior to his time on the Microsoft Sales Team he had a leadership role with Microsoft US Services Delivery and helped build the US Services Team based in Fargo ND, Charlotte NC, Las Colinas TX and Sammamish WA. Prior to these roles Rich has experience in Software Support and Accounting and Finance. Rich is a North Dakota native and he is a University of North Dakota graduate where he studied Airway Science Management. He is married to Nicolle and they have 3 Children, Dylan, Journey and Nick.

In his free time Rich enjoys spending as much time with his family as he can. Additionally he enjoys Boxing and is a licensed Professional Boxing Judge.

Julie  Bachman

Julie Bachman
Chief Operations Officer

Julie earned her Computer Programming degree from National College, Rapid City, South Dakota in 1983 and began her career at Allegiance (then called Dakota Computer Professionals). She went on to work for the United States Air Force from 1985 - 1999 as a Programmer, Analyst, and System Programmer Agency Manager. In 1993, Julie completed her bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Park College, Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. Then in 1999, she returned to Fargo to help Allegiance meet the combined challenges of a major software upgrade and a graphical conversion. Julie enjoys the constant and varied challenges of her job, not to mention the informal atmosphere and lack of boring meetings at Allegiance.

Amanda  Buth

Amanda Buth
Support Specialist

Amanda joined Allegiance Software in May 2012. She has worked in the software support industry for more than six years and has provided technical support for Microsoft business applications as well as to financial institutions. Amanda says she was drawn to Allegiance because of its high values for its clients as well as its employees. She resides in Moorhead, Minnesota with her husband, Josh, and their sons Hayden and Hudson. In her free time, Amanda enjoys "anything outdoors", especially being at the lake in the summer. When not "running after her boys", she says she enjoys reading or watching a good movie.

Steve  Carlson

Steve Carlson
Software Engineer

Steve graduated with an associate’s degree in Electronics from Moorhead (Minnesota) Area Technical College in 1983. He has always been involved in building and creating business applications. In his first career position, he developed a service automation system that handled everything from automatic reorder levels and creating the fax orders for low inventory to eliminating overstock and duplication. In 1987 he co-founded a business in the computer hardware/software industry that was successful for more than 17 years. During that time he created many utilities and programs that were sold through the business as well as through resellers nationwide. This also included being an OEM manufacturer to a national systems provider. Steve came on board in June 2004.

Kurt  Fraser

Kurt Fraser
Support Specialist

With sixteen years of software and support experience, Kurt was looking for an agile working environment with plenty of opportunity for client contact. He thinks he’s found it at Allegiance.

Since graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1998 Kurt has spent his career working at NavTeq, Nokia and Microsoft in Fargo. In addition to creating the actual maps used in mapping software world-wide, Kurt has also conducted prototype testing for new software and processes, written software user guides and provided extensive end-user software support.

Kurt enjoys helping people use the software, and working with them to identify the real problems and issues before moving to solutions. He also enjoys software testing and always being on the look-out for the unintended consequences that can occur in updates and revisions.

James  Geyer

James Geyer
Support Specialist

A multi-tasker who enjoys the challenges of supporting media technologies and their users, James grew up with public broadcasting.

Hired in December, the North Dakota native attended Minnesota State and Community College, Moorhead, MN. He has spent the majority of the past sixteen years working in Information Technology, most recently at Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo where he helped manage and update more than 100 computers and their software programs as well as support and train staff. At North Dakota State University (Go Bison!) James worked in IT Services, monitoring computer labs and providing technical and software support for students, faculty and staff. In addition he’s worked as a quality assurance auditor and a media archivist.

James jokes that he was hired under an affirmative action program for Mac users, and is currently working on Allegiance documentation for the Mac. He notes that with the Allegiance Cloud and an app, Mac users have full access to Allegiance software. He is excited to begin working with Allegiance clients following his training period, and is also looking forward to learning more about the SQL database program that powers the Allegiance suite of software products.

Merle  Gilbertson

Merle Gilbertson
Support Specialist

A graduate of Alexandria (Minnesota) Technical College with a Computer Programming degree in 1972, Merle began his career at a hospital in Fargo, where he spent 30 years and was eventually promoted to Director of Information Services. Merle started with Allegiance in June of 2002. Besides Fundraising Software Support, he also has primary responsibility for the AS/400 native programs and servers. Merle enjoys the relaxed work environment at Allegiance.

Sue  Guttormson

Sue Guttormson
Director of Marketing

A 1984 graduate of the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, Sue spent the first 15 years of her professional life as a physical therapist, working mainly in the field of geriatrics and home health. She began a second career in 1999 as a Realtor. In 2002, Sue began working part-time at Allegiance, traveling to conventions and assisting with follow-up; she transitioned to a full-time sales and marketing position within six months. Sue says, “I love my job. It provides constant variety, exciting new challenges, and I get to work with a really fun group of people.” In addition to chocolate, Sue enjoys quilting and working with family members on various home improvement and construction projects.

LaWaunda  January

LaWaunda January
Support Specialist

LaWaunda joined Allegiance in July of 2013. Having used the software for a number of years, she was drawn to Allegiance because of her first-hand knowledge of the company’s products and services. According to LaWaunda, “There is no better software on the market to improve the customized processes involved in public media.” Prior to joining Allegiance, she worked in public radio at WUTC-FM and WUSY-FM; she also worked for Cigna Healthcare. LaWaunda is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Fascinated by technology, LaWaunda loves having the opportunity to learn about each facet of Allegiance Software directly from the creators and developers. “Allegiance is better than the competition,” she says, “because the company is committed to developing, testing, teaching, and distributing a quality product as well as exceptional customer service.”

In her free time, LaWaunda enjoys Altaic language studies, Korean dramas and music, knitting, and gardening. She and her daughter – and their “super cute” Shih-Tzu named Hinata– relocated to Fargo from LaWaunda’s hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Sonja  Jensen

Sonja Jensen

Sonja is a 1977 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. That same year, she began her career as an independent, custom programmer under the name Dakota Computer Professionals. As the business grew and became dedicated exclusively to the needs of public broadcasting, the name was changed to Allegiance Software, Inc. in 1999. 

Mark  Jordan

Mark Jordan
Chief Software Architect Consultant

A graduate of North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, Mark began his career writing software in COBOL and RPG. Previous to joining the Allegiance team in 1996, he wrote programs and provided customer support for Interstate Business College, Dakota Heartland Medical Center and other private businesses. Mark's experience in the AS/400 native environment, his deep understanding of complex relational database programming, and his "user-friendly" philosophy are valuable assets. When occasionally convinced to take some time off, he enjoys furniture making and fishing. He is also happy to share the fresh produce from his backyard garden.

Ron  King

Ron King
Support Specialist

Ron joined Allegiance in 1996 after earning a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Valley City (North Dakota) State University. His first order of business at Allegiance was to maintain, enhance, and develop new programs and the Graphical User Interface (GUI) for the Allegiance Fundraising System software. His duties soon expanded into customer software and technical support for Fundraising and Traffic clients. His ability to remain calm under pressure quickly made him a favorite among Allegiance clients in need of a "panic button" and helped him earn the nickname "King Ron."

Steve  Lewis

Steve Lewis
Support Specialist

Prior to joining Allegiance in 2012, Steve worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota for 20 years. In his time there, he worked as a coordinator, trainer, and operation analyst.

When asked what drew him to Allegiance, Steve says it was the family atmosphere and relaxed work environment. "It doesn't matter if you've been here for 20 years or four months, everyone treats everyone with the same respect," he says. "It's true teamwork."

In his role, Steve takes support calls, tests products, and reviews documentation. He says the best part of his job is interacting with clients and helping them solve their support issues.

Sean  Luthjohn

Sean Luthjohn
Software Developer

A recent North Dakota State University Computer Science graduate, Sean Luthjohn grew up in Brainerd, MN. Living with a computer programmer- father, Sean's interest in computers was piqued at an early age. After his first programming class at a technical college, he knew he would follow in his father's footsteps.

Currently working on integrating Outlook and Google calendars with Allegiance Software, Sean is also assigned a wide range of Fundraising system updates. He is enjoying the work and the collegial atmosphere at Allegiance.

In addition to going to the gym and playing video games, Sean and his girlfriend enjoy travel and trying new foods.


Shinwar  Mayi

Shinwar Mayi
Account Executive

Shinwar joined the Allegiance staff officially December 2015 after a successful partnership with Razor Consulting Solutions. Upon completing his Masters of Science Degree from Indiana State University, Shinwar has found his permanent home with the Allegiance family. With extensive experience in sales, operations, and leadership with Microsoft, Shinwar brings a breadth of knowledge to our sales and marketing team. In just over two months, Shinwar was able to uncover almost $1M in qualified net new business in a campaign to market and help religious and public broadcasters understand Allegiance’s impact in fundraising and traffic. Shinwar is excited to contribute to the continued growth of Allegiance as an Account Executive.

Lois  O'Meara

Lois O'Meara
Software Services Manager

Lois joined the Allegiance Staff in 1996 but has been associated with Allegiance since the inception of the software in 1977, presenting demonstrations, testing the software, and acting as a resource and consultant. In her tenure as Membership Services Manager for Prairie Public Broadcasting, Lois developed a nationally recognized membership program, winning awards in the areas of customer service, cultivation, and stewardship. Through the implementation of new fundraising techniques and the development of a comprehensive customer service program and a kids club, Lois increased the annual membership from $28,000 in 1974 to more than $2 million in 1995 and increased the number of members from 864 to more than 25,000. Her 22+ years of public broadcasting fundraising success bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Allegiance users.

Joni Janz  Peterson

Joni Janz Peterson
Support Department Floor Supervisor

Joni worked at Allegiance as client services coordinator from 1997 to 2000 and rejoined the Allegiance team in April of 2013. She has also worked as director of development at Plains Art Museum, development director at FirstLink, and member services manager at Prairie Public Broadcasting. Having used Allegiance Software for 26 of her 30 years working in development and fundraising in both public broadcasting and museum settings, Joni believes in Allegiance “as an essential tool to maximize fundraising programs.”

In her role, Joni supervises the support department staff and helps ensure that customer service and support are always top priorities. She says she enjoys working in a relaxed environment, surrounded by a great team that supports and respects each other. As for what sets Allegiance apart, Joni says that “customers drive the development of our software; it was developed with best fundraising practices in mind.”

Joni and her husband, Jeff, reside in Fargo. In her spare time, Joni enjoys golfing, gardening, reading, wine collecting, bow hunting, and watching hockey. Her grandchildren are the highlight of her day!

Cory  Rasmussen

Cory Rasmussen
Software Development Manager

Cory graduated with an associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems with an emphasis in Computer Programming from North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, North Dakota in May 2003. Additionally, he graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in May 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. Cory enjoys athletics and being outdoors. During the summer months, Cory spends the majority of his weekends camping and fishing with family and friends.

Savanna  Sauvageau

Savanna Sauvageau
Support Specialist

A graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, Savanna joined Allegiance in August of 2013 and was drawn to the company because of the staff and the family-based atmosphere. Prior to Allegiance she worked at Swanson Health Products as a call center representative and customer account specialist and at Plains Art Museum as a membership assistant and a communications and marketing intern.

In her role of providing support to clients, Savanna says the best part of her job is working directly with them as well as “being a part of a great staff.” When it comes to the competition, she says that Allegiance is tops because of the quality of support it gives its clients.

Savanna lives in Fargo with her fiance Q, and daughters Quincey and Peyton. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors and at the lake, sports, reading, and being with family.

Ryan  Sunram

Ryan Sunram
Senior Account Executive

After attending Minnesota State University Moorhead for business administration, Ryan worked in sales for seven years before coming to Allegiance. Starting out as a support specialist, he developed a thorough knowledge of the Allegiance Systems and transitioned into sales in January 2009. Married with two children, Ryan says he doesn't have much time for hobbies, although he does admit to making time to play softball, volleyball and golf.

Sarah  Tron

Sarah Tron
Support Specialist

Sarah joined Allegiance in June of 2013. Prior to that, she worked at Prairie Public as an Education Services Associate and traveled North Dakota instructing teachers on how to use PBS’s collection of online media in the classroom. A graduate of Concordia College, Sarah has also taught high school English and drama and coached drama, speech, and debate. Her prior work experience includes managing the box office and volunteer program at Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre and working as a corporate travel associate for Rosenbluth International.

Day in and day out at Allegiance, Sarah guides customers through their technical issues while helping them maximize their use of Allegiance products and services. She says that the best part of her job is the true team environment at Allegiance. “Everyone in the support department not only provides support for our clients, but also for each other.”

Sarah lives in the Fargo area with her three naughty, free-loading cats (but she stresses that she is NOT the crazy cat lady!). She runs her own business – Smart & Sassy Crafts – and makes bottle cap magnets, purses, Scrabble ornaments, and anything else that “strikes her fancy.” A voracious reader, Sarah also enjoys watching movies and quality TV programs, the latter, she notes, which are getting more difficult to find.


Recreational Specialist

After completing her 6-week weaning at home and an internship at a local pet shop, Lena began working at Allegiance in September of 2009. She enjoys pestering Maddie and the other staff at Allegiance. She helps Maddie with kitchen duty and greeting visitors. She spends most of her time napping.

Maddie  Lou

Maddie Lou
Recreational Specialist

After completing her 6-week weaning at home and an internship at a local pet shop, Maddie began working at Allegiance in July of 2005. She enjoys interacting with the other Allegiance staff members as well as performing her official duties, which include supervising the kitchen during breaks and lunch, keeping the grounds free of rabbits and birds, and greeting the FedEx and UPS drivers, USPS delivery person and other visitors. Playing with her toys and napping fill out the rest of her day. In her free time, Maddie enjoys bird watching, squirrel hunting and trips to the lake.

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