Who We Are

Local Support From Local Experts

At HighRoad Partners, we deliver unique HR and Benefits solutions to meet your company’s needs. With a team that is experienced in all areas of our business so that you can go to any one of our staff members, knowing that you will get knowledgeable expertise that you can trust.

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Michelle Kommer


Michelle has a passion for building great teams, leaving things better than she found them, and helping businesses be successful.  She is a self-described “process geek” and gets satisfaction from helping businesses build efficient and streamlined infrastructure. Michelle previously served as North Dakota’s Labor Commissioner and Commerce Commissioner, which provided a close-up view of the challenges and triumphs of small business owners.  “It’s my goal to create a beautiful harmony by partnering with small businesses to assist with their ‘people systems’ (what we are good at) so the small business can focus on building and growing its core (what they are good at).” 

Prior to her public service, she spent more than 20 years in the private sector, serving in executive Human Resource, Legal and Operational leadership roles in a variety of industries including financial services, manufacturing, heavy construction, energy, and health insurance.  She is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Senior Certified Professional (S-CP) in Human Resources, and is licensed to practice law in North Dakota and Minnesota. Michelle is a passionate advocate for child welfare, as a foster and adoptive parent. She founded the ND Heart Gallery, a non-profit promoting the need for adoptive families for ND children. She and husband Toby are raising three fierce, funny, fantastic daughters, plus dogs (plural), and a cat (singular).

Sheri Bartels

HR Partner

Sheri is an experienced Human Resources professional with a passion for servicing clients and their employees.  Her extensive experience includes onboarding, employee benefits & payroll, and employee relations counseling.  Sheri is a team player who is reliable, highly organized, and a problem solver with great communication skills.  Her zest for relationship management shows in her dedication to small mid-sized employers and she takes pride in being part of their success stories.  

Sheri has worked in the Human Resources field her entire professional career.  She and her husband have two children and stay busy cheering them on in their activities.  Sheri enjoys volunteering for various charities especially when they make a difference in a child’s life. 

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Julie Laufenberg


Julie has an extensive professional background with experience in human resources, operations, creating and implementing development programs, and supporting customers at all levels.  In her 20-year career, she has contributed and held management and leadership roles for several large companies. She loves helping people be successful, values integrity and enjoys working with systems.  She looks forward to adding to her experience in the ever-changing insurance industry.  

Julie’s insurance certifications started in 2006; her Human Resources education includes a Senior Professional (SPHR), a Global Professional (GPHR) and she maintains her Senior Certification, SHRM-SCP.  Julie graduated from Briar Cliff University in Iowa and has spent much of her time helping others grow in their career.  Julie thrives on the stories that people share about “when they did this,” or “how they worked hard to achieve that.”  Julie loves to read and travel and enjoys the beach, sunshine, and family time.  Julie and her husband have two children, one daughter-in-law, and one dog.

Sarah Dockter


Sarah is devoted to providing excellent customer service to her clients and is always willing to go the extra mile. Sarah has over six years of experience in human resources and benefits management. In her young, but flourishing career, Sarah has developed strong relationships with her clients by understanding their needs and offering quick and effective solutions to meet those needs. She prides herself in exceeding expectations to ensure that her clients always have a positive experience. In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, Sarah believes that continual learning is important to earning and maintaining her clients’ trust. She regularly dedicates herself to learning new software programs and earning certificates to demonstrate her commitment to her clients.

Sarah is a graduate of Minnesota State University of Moorhead where she earned her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and a Human Resources Business Partner minor. She is Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and a member of the Fargo-Moorhead Human Resources Association (FMHRA). She is also licensed to provide accident, health, life, and annuity insurance in the state of North Dakota and Minnesota.

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Karla Koenig

Client Experience Manager

Karla is an achiever who thrives in planning and executing tasks to a high standard and is passionate about being of service to others ensuring a superior experience throughout every client lifecycle.  “It is with immense pride I ensure our systems and processes are always evolving behind the scenes making sure HighRoad exceeds all our client expectations.”

Karla is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead with a B.S. degree in business administration.  Outside of work, Karla values family time with her husband Tracy and children Kaylee and Karter.  When not busy with kids’ activities, they are enjoying weekends working on lake house projects and relaxing on the water.

Deanna Neuhalfen

Administrative Assistant​

Deanna is committed to providing every client with the best service possible, in every interaction and enjoys serving in a role where she interacts with her team members and clients daily.  “We are friendly, warm, and knowledgeable – because we care. Our whole team is dedicated to being the experts in our field.”

Deanna has enjoyed serving in reception and customer service roles during her career.  She enjoys spending time with her family, lake time and traveling.

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Ann Karsky

Administrative Assistant​

Ann has worked in the customer service industry for 9 years. She prides herself on the customer service she provides to each of her customers and enjoys the daily interactions with customers and her team. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading and being outside.