Advertising isn't just a profession for me - it's an entirely different lens through which I view the world around me. I was born and raised in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN, and count myself lucky to have grown up in one of the best "ad towns" in the country. I began my career in advertising at just 18 years old with my first internship. While working as an account services and strategy intern at Carlson Marketing Worldwide (now Aimia), I found that I had a true passion for the industry. I was fortunate enouth to get exposure to accounts large and small at CMW, and the experience proved invaluable in deciding to make advertising my career of choice.
I had several other internships in subsequent years, including a creative production role with the University of Denver's Athletics Department and work with Museums of Minnesota, a small non-profit helping to promote musuems throughout the state.
In 2010, I began an internship with Mindshare in their London global headquarters as an Insights Intern, responsible for processing data and other secondary research for major clients and synthesizing strategic recommendations to client media strategy. My time working at Mindshare gave me an excellent window into the media strategy world and exposure to clients in a variety of industries, including automotive and CPG.
My next stop was Spyder Trap, a small digital marketing firm in Minneapolis. As a project management and social media intern, I was responsible for helping manage client projects to their successful completion. I was also tasked with helping to create social media strategy for several clients as well as digital reputation monitoring.
My next stop was as an account coordinator and digital specialist at full-service Minneapolis ad agency Russell Herder. While there, I had the pleasure of working on brands from TCF Bank to the University of Minnesota Heart Health program. My role with Russell Herder included managing projects and assisting in the successful execution of both digital and traditional campaigns.
For a short time, I was with BBDO Minneapolis as an Account Executive. In my role there, I served as point of contact for Schwan's Home Services account while also helping in roles including thought leadership and strategic development.
My next move was to Target Corp. in the In-Store Marketing group. I was brought on to help spearhead the creative development and implementation of a major new initiative with the chain known as "E&E Innovation." Acting upon an insight that the retailer developed, the team that I helped manage consisted of numerous partners and departments within Target as well as two external ad agencies. Our work first debuted in a small number of local stores in October of 2013, receiving excellent newspaper coverage right off the bat. The program expanded in spring of 2014 to more stores across the country, and the program showed no signs of slowing down by the time my contract expired in May 2014. In my time at Target, I worked with numerous national and international brands, including Apple, Samsung, Disney, Dreamworks, and many more. The creative from E&E continues to live in Target stores today.
My latest move has been to join Young America as an Account Manager working on the agency's most active and one of its largest accounts: T-Mobile. Our work for T-Mobile centers around loyalty projects. I lead a team that proposes, executes, and completes programs that help drive T-Mobile's "un-carrier" brand position and the brand's growth as a whole. T-Mobile thrives on being a disruptor in the wireless market, developing communication and programs that other major carriers have not been able to match to date. In fact, my team's work contributed directly to the client receiving a major award from JD Power and Associates in July 2014. I am responsible for all aspects of our work with T-Mobile, from the very beginning stages of our projects to delivery and follow-up. I work directly with several different client functional groups as well as my internal teams at Young America. Those teams include our digital practice, harnessing our development team as well as UX and UI professionals. I directly interface with our creative team (including our creative director) to ensure that our digital and pritnt deliverables line up with the client's standards, working with the style guide and other creative agencies to ensure a cohesive brand presence across all of my client's messaging.
The short answer? Quite a wide variety. As for the longer version...
From an early age as well, I developed a great interest in sports. I have been attending Minnesota Timberwolves games as far back as my memory serves, and I began my first real "job" there in various "fan relations" activities in the 1999-2000 season. My knowledge of sports has grown to encompass a love for all of the "Big Five" sports -- baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. I am an ardent fan of all of Minnesota's major sports teams (the Twins, Timberwolves, Vikings, Wild, and Minnesota United FC, respectively), as well as a fervent supporter of Arsenal Football Club in London, England. Naturally, I am also a passionate supporter of all American national teams competing around the globe. United States soccer, basketball, hockey, skiing, and snowboarding are the organizations which I support most fervently. I of course have a great affinity for all University of Denver athletics as well as my native Minnesota Gophers.
Having been such a big fan of sports, I also play several. First and foremost, I am an avid alpine skier. I began racing competitively when I was 14. I participated for three years on Hopkins High School's alpine team and was co-captain my senior year. I have been playing soccer since I began kindergarten, which amounts to now more than 15 seasons. In that time, I have largely played in positions across the back line, though I have also played to a lesser extent on the wing and as a defensive midfielder. For a time, I even pulled on 'keeper's gloves for an intramural team.
As anyone who knows me can attest, I am a voracious reader, rarely without a good book on my night stand. I read mostly fiction and historical fiction. Some of my favorite authors include Clive Cussler, Tom Clancy, David Baldacci, Jeff Schaara, and Michael Schaara.
My friends generally know that if they need a DVD to watch, I'm the first person to talk to. I have a large movie collection and am an avid movie-goer. I particularly enjoy comedy, action, and sports movies. Some of my all-time favorite movies include Hot Fuzz, Out Cold, Defiance, Batman: The Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige, Goal! The Dream Begins, nearly any James Bond movie, and many more. I am also still a fan of the movies I watched when I was young, including Angels in the Outfield and Operation Dumbo Drop (really!).
I have very broad musical tastes. Frankly, I will listen to anything that happens to be pleasing to my ears, regardless of genre distinction. Some of my current favorite artists include MuteMath, Snow Patrol, Bruce Springsteen, Gary Clark Jr., U2, Lil' Wayne, Flipsyde, and K'Naan. My music collection includes many more! I have been fortunate enough to attend four Bruce Springsteen concerts (all with my father), and two Mute Math shows.
I fancy myself somewhat of an amateur history buff. Having gotten into history largely as a byproduct of my reading of historical fiction (Jeff and Michael Schaara's books), I continued with high-level history classes in high school. My greatest interest is in American military history, with special emphasis on the Civil War, World War II, and the Cold War. I have read extensively on those two subjects and still have a great passion for them.
Yes, you're reading this right. LEGOs. LEGO used to have a slogan asking kids if they were true "LEGO Maniacs." My answer is and always will be an unqualified "yes." I view creative thinking as one of the most important characteristics to have as a member of the agency world, and believe it or not, LEGOs help me with this. To me, there's no better way to get into a creative mindset than to...well, simply begin creating. LEGOs have represented a creative channel to me for a long time, and serve as a wonderful metaphor for building any brand or campaign: start with a great concept, then build brick by brick until the complete work is formed.
I'm an enormous "foodie." Having been a member of the DU Grilling Society (d.u.g.s.), I love finding great recipes to make at home. My all-time favorite meal would have to be tenderloin, cooked medium with Chicago Steak Seasoning and bleu-cheese butter, served on top of pasta. I'm also partial to a recipe that my father found in a magazine -- maple-glazed salmon grilled on a soaked cedar plank. Of course, I also become a State Fair maven every August. Just ask me about my "list" every year!