Meet the Team
Rachel Thissen – President
As the president of Apogee, Rachel is responsible for overseeing all facets of the organization. After spending over a decade as a general manager at a third-party reclamation company, and a user of staffing services, Rachel knows what truly drives client relationships – effective communication and workplace solutions that are impactful. To her, success starts with how well you connect with the organization she is trying to help and communicate her understanding back to them.
Apart from her work, Rachel spends time with her husband and two young boys, who are the loves of her life. She has a heart and passion for philanthropy with several vested interests across the Minneapolis area.
Thomas Thissen – Executive Vice President
Tom has been in the staffing industry for over 20 years holding roles from recruiter to owner and everything in between. Currently, he also serves as an executive advisor to the board of directors of the Minnesota Recruiting and Staffing Association (MNRSA) of which he was elected president in 2011. Throughout his career, Tom has implemented contingent workforce programs of varying sizes from as few as five people to over 1,000 workers. Tom’s background and experience lends well to his advisory role with Apogee.
Outside the office, Tom spends his time with his wife and their two young sons. Whether it is at their cabin up north or on a playground around the Twin Cities, their children keep them active and busy. Tom and his wife are also involved in several philanthropic initiatives in and around Minnesota.
Tom received his bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas. He also became a Certified Staffing Professional over ten years ago.
Craig Williams – Vice President of Finance
Derek Freese – Director of Sales and Marketing
Every company has a story to tell—stories that will not only engage, inform, surprise, delight, and impact their audience, but that will also deliver on measurable business goals. Derek believes that he is the conduit between brand, client, and consumer.
He views his role to help organizations discover and create solutions that best fits their unique identity; then, produce high-quality strategies and processes that meet their objectives.
Derek’s specialties include digital and traditional media, graphic design, brand creation and development, sales marketing, content growth, organizational strategy, and process construction.
Derek received his bachelor’s of Fine Art in Studio Art from the Viterbo University and his master’s degree in organizational leadership from the Viterbo University.
Monica Percic – Director of Human Resources and Risk Management
Monica oversees human resources, workers’ compensation and risk management for Apogee’s employees and clients. She is driven to understand a business and its key drivers which inspire her to create solutions that positively affect organizations and their people. This allows her to see the opportunities for people and process improvements. She has a deep passion for designing and delivering solutions to accentuate an organization’s area of strength, with a focus on developing its people.
Over her career, Monica has developed a track record of successfully growing and professionalizing human resource departments. She has an ability to see the possibilities, connections and idiosyncrasies. Naturally curious, she likes to understand the “why” and then build and solve, seeking to authentically engage and deliver services that support and drive the business while respecting individuals.
Monica is DDI certified and holds a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in English from the University of Illinois. She also has a Master of Arts with a focus in human resources and industrial relations from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Andrea Brugger – Director of Operations
Experienced Manager with demonstrated skills in Operations, Management, Sales, and Business Analytics. Professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Business, Management, Marketing and organizational psychology from Hamline University.