An executive leader with a passion for improving patient care, Nate Blessen is responsible for business strategy, growth, and external relationships with clients, healthcare facilities and service providers. Blessen has an extensive healthcare background, bringing 20 years of experience in growth and innovation strategy, sales, and healthcare system leadership.
Joining Fusion in 2023, Blessen leads Fusion’s business growth and development, cross-functional leadership, strategic budget planning, and system efficiency. He is committed to refreshing healthcare by building quality relationships and fulfilling staffing needs across the country with a consistent flow of top-tier clinicians to healthcare facilities.
Blessen is driven by his desire to improve the healthcare industry through unique and beneficial partnerships between Fusion, healthcare facilities, and clinicians. He is a dedicated leader who exemplifies Fusion’s core values while aiming to fulfill the company’s purpose every day.
Amber Barna, MSN, RN
Chief Clinical Officer
An accomplished senior healthcare leader and nurse, Amber Barna serves as Fusion’s Chief Clinical Officer, joining the company in 2023. Amber leads strategic management of Fusion’s Clinical and Compliance departments, including policies, procedures, and best practices to ensure the safety and wellbeing of healthcare travelers and patients. She has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry, with a passion for positively impacting patient care.
Prior to joining Fusion, Barna had 15 years of experience in the medical staffing industry, serving in roles of increasing responsibility including overseeing the delivery of nursing care, negotiating contracts for maintaining clinician credentialing, and presenting and executing sales strategies to leadership at affiliate hospitals.
Barna spent a decade in the clinical setting early in her career; she holds several academic credentials, including a Master of Science in Nursing on the Executive Leadership Track from the Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing; and she is an honoree of the SIA Global Power 150 Women in Staffing list.
Chief People Officer
Jackie Froendt, Chief People Officer, is a natural servant leader with more than 25 years of human resources experience. She leads several teams while representing the voice of employees in executive and strategic operations.
Froendt was instrumental in developing and growing HR departments at two companies prior to joining Fusion. She currently leads the teams responsible for the employee experience, which includes Human Resources, Benefits, Culture, and Talent Development teams, focusing on improving the lives of internal and external Fusion employees. Servant leadership, authenticity, and humility are the principles that guide Froendt. She walks along with the people she leads rather than in front of them.
In addition to being an expert in all things people, Froendt is a certified SHRM-CP (Society for Human Resource Management – Certified Professional), PHR (Professional in Human Resources), CEBS (Certified Employee Benefit Specialist), and Unstoppable Cultures Certified Fellow. She believes that you are never done working on things, and no matter how great a company’s culture is, the team can always work toward improvement. Her leadership has strengthened the employee voice and ensured all decisions are made with a people-first mindset.
Executive Sales Coach
Joining Fusion as the first employee, Travis Mason leads Fusion’s sales strategy and development. He has extensive knowledge of the healthcare staffing industry with his experience helping medical facilities fulfill their staffing needs since 2006. He began his career as a recruiter and client manager, working with both healthcare travelers and facilities; he then progressed to managing Fusion’s therapy division, and eventually as the sole driver of Business Development until his executive promotion in 2019.
As Executive Sales Coach, he partners with sales leadership across the company to set them up for success. Mason serves as a guide for the sales recruiters he leads, encouraging them through mentorship and training based on real experiences in his career. He believes in pouring into team members to help them grow in their careers and personal lives.
Mason’s biggest motivation in his career is to ensure Fusion has the consistent reputation of being a top healthcare staffing employer and to deliver on its core purpose: to improve every life we touch.
Chief Marketing Officer
Tara Sprakel is a visionary leader driving innovation and strategic opportunities at Fusion. A trailblazing marketing and talent acquisition expert, Sprakel’s forward-thinking approach and commitment to innovative strategies has curated a nearly unrivaled base of dedicated healthcare professionals and a strong clinician experience, which have been celebrated across the healthcare staffing industry with multiple awards.
With more than a dozen years of marketing and leadership experience, she leads several teams at Fusion including marketing, communications and public relations, and the Fusion Marketplace team. Sprakel is known within the company and among peers as a visionary working to solve pain points in the healthcare staffing industry. Her focus on these issues led to the development of additional business units and brands, all with the same goal of improving the clinician experience to elevate patient care across the nation.
Sprakel is an SIA (Staffing Industry Analysts) 40 Under 40 honoree, and a Midlands Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree, and the marketing efforts she leads are consistently well-regarded for innovation, quality and impact.
Chief Technology Officer
With more than 20 years of experience in technology, Ryan Paulson is an integral piece of Fusion achieving its goal to improve the clinician experience and elevate patient care. He naturally recognizes where growth in the business is needed and can pinpoint opportunities that can be enabled through technology. Prior to joining the company in 2018, he held technology leadership roles in the e-commerce, insurance, and energy industries.
In addition to providing strategic planning and a vision for how Fusion delivers its core purpose, Paulson leads three divisions: Information Technology, Data Strategy and Services, and Application Development. Under his leadership, the teams in these divisions are an integral part of supporting Fusion’s internal and external employees while looking for ways to make the healthcare staffing experience simple and efficient at every point.
Paulson’s authenticity as a leader, experience in disaster prevention and preparedness, and innovative instincts support Fusion’s three business units and consistently place Fusion in a position to succeed and refresh healthcare.
President and Chief Executive Officer
President and CEO Corey Watton is Fusion’s guide for strategic direction and achieving long-term goals, including developing strategies to sustainably grow the company while carrying out Fusion’s core purpose: to improve the lives of everyone we touch. His tenure at Fusion has included a focus on building internal resources and capabilities that support growth and a strong internal culture.
Watton was appointed as CEO in 2023, leading the charge on several exciting new ventures. He joined the company in 2019 as Fusion’s Chief Financial Officer and has more than 30 years working in finance, including more than a decade in executive leadership positions. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has extensive experience in liability stewardship and risk mitigation, resource allocation, and asset management.
Striving for excellence always, Watton leads the executive team in setting aggressive but achievable goals for Fusion.
He has a passion for growing internal employees, and does this by supporting Fusion’s internship program, personal development opportunities, and efficiencies that strengthen teams.
Founder and Executive Advisor
Sam Wageman has been in the healthcare staffing industry for 20 years and has dedicated that time to building relationships and helping people achieve their goals. He founded Fusion in 2009 and has used his exceptional leadership skills to guide the company to carry out its core purpose: To ensure everyone we touch has a better life.
Wageman is committed to leading with the core values of humble, driven and positive to help Fusion make sound decisions that benefit the company and its employees as well as improve the clinician experience.
His passion for helping others is clear: in addition to building the employee-first culture that is the company’s foundation, Wageman consistently strives to positively impact the communities around him. Some organizations that have been especially touched by Wageman’s generosity include QLI, MS Forward, Project Pink’d, and Heart Ministry Center, among many others.
As an inspirational leader committed to making a positive impact, Wageman believes if you treat people right, you can make a difference no matter what noise surrounds you. His dedication and vision have helped Fusion grow from a desk in a basement to a full-service staffing agency with hundreds of humble, driven, and positive employees.