Meet our newest KCee—Rowdie Erwin, Digital Media Strategist. Rowdie received his Bachelors in Marketing with a minor in Psychology at Winona State University. Since then, he’s been executing paid-media strategy across a variety of brands and industries, including: Subaru, Target,

3M, Dunn Brothers and Columbia School of Business, to name a few.

Born in Austin, Texas and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Rowdie is always up for new experiences and challenges: he has his belay license from Vertical Endeavors, jumped out of two perfectly good airplanes (sans tandem) in the last five years, and just finished his second half-marathon. Then there’s the near-death experience while working on an oil-rig in West Texas, and the summer he spent bartending weddings (both harrowing events).

Rowdie is excited to continue his career in digital at KC, which he sees as an opportunity to continue sharpening his skills in the ever-important world of programmatic advertising. We’re just as thrilled to have him.

KC rang in the new year with two agency additions who have been bringing fresh perspectives and settling into their new roles in account and media.

Shannon Burgess portrait

Shannon Burgess cut her teeth at CRC Marketing Solutions working on clients such as Ecolab, Nalco Water and UnitedHealthcare, where she gained appreciation for the ever-changing nature of the advertising industry and, as a result, the way people in it are always adapting and growing. True to form, she jumped at the opportunity for a change—and a challenge.

As Account Manager, Shannon looks forward to diversifying her client portfolio and establishing relationships with fellow KCees as well as our ensemble of clients, vendors and agency partners, while the rest of us look forward to having her dog Reese visit KC from time to time.

Nola McDonald portraitOver in the media department, we recently promoted Kaynen Harris to Digital Media Strategist and established Nola McDonald as Media Coordinator. Currently a Business and Marketing student at the University of Minnesota, Nola is excited to finish up her degree this spring while continuing to learn as much as she can about the role media plays in advertising. Between balancing agency life with coursework, you might find Nola twirling baton on the Minnesota Gophers football field—and at the Super Bowl Halftime show this Sunday.

CEO of Kruskopf & Co. to receive the AAF’s Silver Medal Award, recognizing her outstanding contributions to advertising, creative excellence and social responsibility.



Agency owner, small business maven, and Shark Tank survivor Sue Kruskopf is the recipient of the 2017 American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal Award. She’s only the 6th woman to receive the honor in 58 years. 

Sue Kruskopf 2017 Silver Medal Award Recipient

As one of the first female ad agency CEOs in the Twin Cities, Kruskopf is a pioneer. Kruskopf & Co. is one of the longest running, Certified Woman-Owned and independently owned local agencies. Her agency’s commitment to cutting through BS, finding the truth, and solving problems with smart, bold ideas has led to its recognition by the One Show, Communication Arts, and a Best in Show at The Show. 

But her accomplishments don’t stop there. As a member of the local chapter of Women Presidents’ Organization, Sue contributes what she’s learned along the way with other women business owners to help all women be successful in business.

In support of her Silver Medal nomination, KC’s management team (President Dean Huff and VP Creative Directors Mike Cronin and Robb Burnham) said: 

KC agency staff at event

“As the management team of Kruskopf & Company—two of whom have worked beside Sue for more than 16 years—we have seen firsthand her contributions to Minnesota business and specifically to this advertising community.  She fosters a culture of curiosity, creativity and collaboration that permeates the agency and has led to an enviable employee tenure.”

Kruskopf adds her Silver Medal Award to an already impressive list: Most Innovative Women, Women to Watch, 40 under 40 and The (Real) Power 50.

Celebrations are scheduled to begin in the Truth Bar immediately.

About the Silver Medal Award

Advertising Federation of Minnesota Silver Medal Award Winners plaqueThe AAF’s Silver Medal Award Program was established in 1959 to recognize those who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and who have been active in furthering the industry’s standards, creative excellence, and responsibility in areas of social concern.

Creative Agency Intern Kylah WestermanIf you happen to stop by KC in the next few months, you might catch a glimpse of our new Agency Coordinator Intern, Kylah (not Kayla). If you don’t see her at the front desk, she is most likely color coordinating the eight flavors of La Croix that flood the fridges or juggling the other duties she is tasked with daily.

After graduating early from the University of Wisconsin—Madison with a degree in Communication Arts: Radio, TV and Film, Kylah began studying at Brainco and held a copywriting internship at Griffin Archer before moving on to KC. She hopes to learn as much as she can about how an agency runs and what goes into making great creative, so that someday soon she can be a great Creative herself.

When she is not busy working, going to class or doing homework, you can probably find Kylah kicking back with a puzzle, eating carrots with hummus, or watching TV. She loves Broad City, penguins, shoes, and everything gymnastics. Oh, and advertising. Put advertising first.

Account Supervisor Anne ConleyAnne Conley is a self-proclaimed pizza connoisseur, master eggs-benedict maker (this theory has yet to be proven), and our most recent addition to the Account Management team, working alongside Misty Mathews and Kallie Larson on all things 3M (and more).

After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago with a double major in Marketing and International Business, Anne racked up a depth of experience spanning account and project management, social media strategy, email marketing and more. She has worked with a variety of clients from Wal-Mart to Comcast to Better Oats and is ready to put her impressive arsenal of skills to use as our newest Account Supervisor. She loves working in advertising because it constantly brings new challenges and allows her to find creative solutions to different problems.

When she is not killing it every day at work, Anne can be found drinking craft beer, walking her pitbull Bella, or planning her wedding to her (very) soon-to-be-husband. Congratulations, Anne and welcome to KC!

We’ve been super busy and growing our team this spring. Get to know the newest KCees: 

Finance Assistant Cory Ober

Finance Assistant Cory OberA graduate of the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in Finance, before coming to KC Cory worked in project accounting with Motorola Solutions and sales tax distribution with the State of Utah Tax Commission. Cory, a mother of three awesome kids who are all smart and pretty, is a recent transplant to the Twin Cities area from Fairfax Virginia, and after spending one winter in Minnesota she says she realized that cabin fever is a real thing and that spending another winter alone in suburbia was too much to bear.

Account Manager Bry Shablow

Account Manager Bry ShablowBry joins KC from the client side, Minnesota Trucking Association, where she planned and executed all of their conferences and events. Bry is a graduate of St. Cloud State University and holds a masters from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne in England, loves to travel, is a huge fan of the Backstreet Boys, and is excited to return to the agency side of things. 

Digital Project Manager Brooke Hanson

Digital Project Manager Brooke HansonBrooke  joins KC as Digital Project Manager after a variety of roles at a number of different agencies. Previously, Brooke worked at Pocket Hercules as an account manager for clients like Zeiss Camera, and Concept Group as a Sr. PM working on accounts such as: Cummins Power Generation, Entrust Datacard, and Nilfisk as well as numerous divisions of 3M. Brooke graduated from Winona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and a Double Minor in Advertising and Women’s and Gender Studies. Brooke likes yoga, biking around Minneapolis, and has a lovely dog named Hollie.

Media Coordinator Kaynen Harris

Media Coordinator Kaynen Harris

Kaynen, a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, brings his experience in radio and a degree in Music and Marketing to start his media career with KC. Kaynen is excited to be a part of KC because of its values and culture. Outside of work, Kaynen is a member of a semi-professional a cappella group, Due North. He also enjoys writing urban poetry, reviewing albums, and strategic board games. Fun fact: Kaynen can beatbox.

 

Account Coordinator Intern Emma Bosch

After graduating from Bethel University in May with a degree in Business: Marketing, Emma Bosch joined KC as our new Agency Intern, helping out with administration and account coordination. Emma’s previous experience includes working in events marketing, social media, and healthcare marketing, and now’s her chance to gain exposure to the agency world. When not in the office, you might find her taking long strolls through the aisles of Target.

new intern hire agency

A 2016 graduate of the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Kristen Brandhagen joins the ranks of KC with a major in strategic communications and a minor in business management. Her previous internship experiences in public relations and marketing include working for Mayo Clinic and the Center for Individualized Medicine.

Kristen was exposed to advertising in her journalism classes, where she came up with campaign ideas for Matador Beef Jerky and Affordamac, an Apple reseller. As Agency Intern Kristen gets to try on multiple hats for departments across the agency. While she knows she wants to have a client-facing role, she’ll get an idea for how a no-BS agency works and which avenues she can pursue in the industry, all while making sure the La Croix is in stock.

When not dutifully stocking the fridge with delicious sparkling water every day at KC, you can find Kristen running around Lake Calhoun, trying out new restaurants, and constantly re-watching reruns of great comedy shows.

agency new hire

Account Manager Kallie Larson joins KC from Periscope, where she worked on the retail packaging account team for General Mills, Cameron’s Coffee, and Walgreens. Kallie previously worked at Target Corporation as an in-store marketing planner for clients such as P&G, Clorox, and Chobani.

After graduating from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a degree in Advertising and a Psychology minor, Kallie pursued sports marketing, and held internships with the Minnesota Twins, University of Minnesota Gophers, and the Saint Paul Saints. An avid sports fan and Minnesota native, Kallie can often be found running and biking around the lakes in Uptown, seeing live music, and trying new breweries. While we haven’t brewed our own beer (yet), we think our Truth Bar will become one of Kallie’s favorite local haunts.

Minneapolis Agency Intern

Mary Bannerman started at St. Cloud State University as a pre-law student, but somewhere along the way she ended up with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and a minor in Advertising. During school she worked at a finance company as an underwriter and was actively involved in university organizations, from volunteering design work for Today’s Women to leading the Council of African American Students as President.

After graduating in 2015, Mary moved back to the Twin Cities to be closer to family. As KC’s new Agency Coordinator Intern, she is looking forward to learning more about advertising from a small Minneapolis agency, with her sights on design and art direction. Mary loves teaching herself new skills (like coding), splurging on new hairstyles, and coming up with bizarre analogies. We are happy to have her on the KC team!

Peter_blue_120915

Last week we added Copywriter Peter Hajinian to the creative team, just in time to make him participate in office-wide Secret Santa.

Peter graduated from UW-Madison and started his career in advertising at Carmichael Lynch, where he worked on Harley-Davidson and Subaru. Then he took on freelancing with a number of agencies and brands, such as FifthThird Bank, Farm Credit Services, Pioneer Ag and Fingerhut. He joins KC from Morsekode, where he worked on Audio-Technica, UnitedHealthcare and Ameriprise.

Born in Wisconsin, the lifelong Packer fan lives in Northeast Minneapolis with his wife, kid and bulldog. Peter says he’s excited about joining the team—he likes the culture and the high ceilings—but hopefully he doesn’t mind working so close to the Vikings stadium (and super-fan Brandon).