Winner-Winner! Chicken-Dinner!

This weekend I had the pleasure to announce through National Ad 2 Social Media and to my Ad Fed and Ad 2 colleagues that Ad 2 Minneapolis Won 1st Place Progams from the National American Advertising Federation.


This award goes back to representing your Ad 2 club nationally and getting to compare notes and compete with other talented clubs on Club Operations, Education, Membership and more. Programs is something that Minneapolis has seemed to stand-out in the crowd with over the years. Our themes are always different and we always come up with something new each time to keep reinventing the concept of Advertising and Career Education in our very own local community. We like to network, after work it’s nice to have an adult beverage or cold drink and if we can take away something that involves an agency showing us what they did in a case study, or the newest software they are using to edit video or even a role or discipline you never thought about becoming- then Ad 2 has accomplished what we have set out to do!

AD 2 Programs Image by Tricia

Our winning submissions for the 2012 1st Place Programs included the required 3 events and 1 special program, began with Drive Thru event held in October 2011. The record-breaking-attendee Campbell Mithun event whom people are still talking about that was in November 2011. Martin Williams event held January 2012 where 2 Gingers Whiskey and a 20-second video contest clearly stands out in the crowd. Then finally, the annual pub crawl which was held in May 2011 on LynLake known as Rock the Yacht.

Individually these events stood out to Allie Eide and I while choosing for the submissions in January 2012, because they were all very diverse, yet had this special theme and quality about them we liked.

Ad 2 continues to grow and each event keeps out doing the other. The agencies and talented businesses locally keep stepping-up to show us what they can show the ad community and the committees that run the events are getting more passionate and stronger.

It’s hard to imagine how it used to be back when I would be planning events solely for about 30-50 people and it was before the hash-tags where enabled for events. Now our venues on average need to hold 150 and we are continuing to channel new groups through social media! Thanks to the individuals that help the events before become a success over the years. It not only are the talented volunteers that are active in the committees and events now, but the ones that I worked with back in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Each one of us have different career paths leading us to finding a job, starting our 60-hour work weeks or even being laid-off. Work-life-volunteer-balance is crucial and it has brought many different people in my life. This next generation volunteer group will continue to exceed expectations and I have faith in the on-going leadership involved with Ad 2.

I’m happy to share this 1st Place Programs honor with all of you!


Stay tuned for a few more rocking events to finish off my last few months as your Ad 2 President and Programs Director. OLSON will be hosting the Thursday, April 5th event and this one will be one for the books. Register today! Then the final HOORAY of the 2011-2012 Program year will be the  OlympiAD² Pub Crawl, so put May 17th on the calendar and register before you forget.

Thanks again for reading and participating with our nonprofit organization. This MN Design Gal won’t be going away, the party planning, ideas, innovation and leadership lives in my blood.

Congrats again to Ad 2 Minneapolis!

Now what’s for dinner- Chicken?
Your Ad 2 President – Tricia Severson

Continue to read and learn more about Tricia on her blog 12 PT fine print.

Adults enjoy field trips too

Beer Thirty =For a group of hard-working men (and two full-time women), the best part of their week is Friday’s beer-thirty which involves a bit of chit-chat usually a handful of peanuts and some curse words. To celebrate the St Patrick’s Holiday tomorrow, I put together some simple designs to announce the company-wide field trip.

Featured below are where the signs were presented to showcase the Beer puzzle throughout the copy the week before the trip to Fulton Brewery.

break room culture awarenessmicrowave and learnhappy leprechaunHappy Employees = Productive Work Ethic = Happy Clients = $$ = Happy Owners


Brand Advocate and Culture-Planner-Extraordinaire,
mn design gal

[Insert Your Name] Advertising Summit

Instagram by @mnfutureadgal, sitting front row at 8:10 AM on Friday 3/2/12

Some of my followers may have heard of it before, but the Student Advertising Summit was held Friday, March 2. The day actually originated in the mid-90’s called “Career Day” for students to come and learn about internships and jobs in the advertising and marketing field. In 2005, the day re-branded into Student Advertising Summit and now is called “SAS” if you’re in the right in-groups. The day continues to grow and break records for attendees reaching over 300 this year. Along with the important Sponsorship participation in the advertising community is only growing.

The SAS DayThe day started with opening announcements, which I had to try to settle the group down from being too rowdy of course. Sarah Heininger and Andrea Styczinski are the co-directors of the SAS event also helped start the day off. These two talented women have been part of the planning for a few years being interns and then volunteer leaders. It took a few weeks of convening them that they can take on the director role, but now after one year under their belt I bet they feel invincible!

Some of the Team SAS!The tweets directly to me started after my opening speech which my opening really wasn’t anything fancy other than being real about networking; also making sure the attendees knew how important it was that they took the time to come to the U of M campus today. They were here for a reason and that was apparent.

"Tell Better Stories" Christopher Owens

"Tell Better Stories" Christopher Owens the keynote speaker at lunch. He opened with a Kardashian joke. So YES he was entertaining, real and simply incredible.

Throughout the day, the hellos and interest in Ad 2 came in through the booth that we had set-up next to Colle + McVoy sponsor table. Allie, Zach and I got to talk to potential members and also just the population on questions. The numbers aren’t in yet, but I bet we signed-up over 10 new members at a $30 student-only rate.
Ad2_table_Allie_TriciaI worked throughout the morning to later find out that the team needed me to be part of the round-table discussions that give attendees some candid time with industry leaders. Sitting at a creative table, I found that every group of about 10-15 were interested in agency stories, how to show-off their creative portfolio and what jobs to apply for. I was very real with them showing them my iPad and making sure they knew to have an online website, Behance or Cargo. I shared a few personal stories about interviewing and presumptions on appearance.

highlight reel 1The questions also came in about internships and I make sure they knew to pick their Top 5 agencies/marketing/businesses and to go after it! My internship was not even posted, I approached the company because one day I wanted to move to San Diego and that company had a location there. Half-way through the interview Randall (Now a Creative Director at OLSON) says to me, “What are you here interviewing for again?”

I’m a believer of business cards and leave-be-hinds. I don’t care if advice from others tell you not to use them; the cards that do surface somewhere are worth something. I can remember a time after graduation when I send postcards to hundreds of contacts in the mail and still remember when Amanda Brinkman (at the time, head of UHG Carrot and past Ad 2 President) told me personally that her secretary gave it to her and said “Wow, this looks really cool.” I also caught people hanging them up in their office as art. Or how many times do I get a call or email and it starts, “I saw your card and was wondering your still looking or could do any freelance.” Be creative. Be you.

Bemidji State University

Only Bemidji State Student! (I'm a '06 Alum) He was representing so proud of him! (Plug-in his name when find his business card on my desk)

After 2 hours of consistency chatting and answering questions around an oval table, I moved on to doing a few portfolio reviews. (Meanwhile internet became terribly slow at and I tried to send-off a few client changes; I had to brush off my bandwidth frustrations very quickly). The portfolio reviews instantly gave me a flashback to 2006 when I had my portfolio class and the recommendations that your teachers tell you that are “agency real-life” can frankly be a real-life industry joke. The main thing I had to remember is let the presenter shine and help them remember and highlight their strengths and also minus a few weaknesses within their portfolio– then give some true criticism including telling a guy that his hat had some heavy lint on it. (Helpful fashion hints always) I ended-up giving one of the girls a hug after because she did so well and I could feel her nervousness.

The day ended with a happy hour at the good ol’ Library Bar where all the U of M students go to get drunk for $2 drinks and $1 shots. The basement was packed and the tension was relaxed while a few students still had resumes in hand that I loved seeing.

The day wouldn’t have been complete without my volunteers Allie Eide and Zach Zutler helping with the Ad 2 table, whom were 1st year SAS attendees last year and now are part of the Ad 2 board! Jay Larson and his fabulous photographer and genuine energy. I have to say, that when it comes to events and having the right guy you must be patient and truly care about the cause and Jay does. I think I have known him for 3-4 years now… and we met at AIGA events back when I networked 4 of the 5 nights of the week!

Shout-out to the entire Student Advertising Summit Team because I have to say, this will go in history that first time any group ever attempted to get a real-life flash-mob together!

Also BIG THANKS to all my friends, colleagues and mentors that were part of the day that I didn’t get to talk to or see them present. So happy to see familiar faces and it wasn’t unnoticed!

I hope to still participate with the summit throughout my career and also become a spotlight speaker to enhance the diversity for the years to come. I have so many topics and ideas that I must be able to execute them.

Did you insert your own name into the summit title of my blog? Because at any age, or point in your career you can attend. It’s a great to have a day to step-back and learn, think about the future and remember why you got into Advertising in the first place.

High-Fives to all the participates and attendees! Hope to see you at next Ad 2 event to chat-it-up!



Talking with my hands like my mother.

{Stop back for I will be adding more photos throughout the next week.}

Job Titles

I can’t take credit for this one-liner but a co-worker of mine said today “What if one day we just put everyone’s titles in a hat and we drew out what everyone’s job would be for that day”

I thought about this remark a bit further—after we all had a good laugh.

The one-liner was said after someone lost a potential job because the estimate was too high. Some of the guys were giving him a bit of a hard time, but he was defending his numbers for the amount of work that would have been done. My one co-worker made the joke about drawing the names out of a hat because he thought he could do a better job estimating then his boss! It was all in fun but this lead me to believe, that’s fabulous idea!

What makes a President of a company a President? Are they the owner or did they put the time in to succeed? Sometimes someone’s ideas or the way they lead meetings are more inspirational than their very own President of the company. How about a Production Artist, they have the skills to be the best Creative Director ever, just have been stuck in the same production title for many years. Maybe the Project Manager secretly has a skill of writing and would be an outstanding Copywriter if they only thought of them-self as talent.

This is something I will do someday at my agency. Think of the PR for this! “Agency switches roles, from Creative Director to Account Director to Human Resources Manager to Junior Copywriter!” Great way to also create some respect for all the different roles at a place of any kind of business.

This not only reminds me of the popular show “Under Cover Boss” but reminds me of a early 90’s hit sitcom Save by the Bell. Zack Morris got to be the Principal and switch places with Mr. Belding. Another “hard lesson” episode when Slater wants to cheat to get out of taking a test to miss his football game and Zack is put in charge to tell him the right and fair thing to do.

Well until the day I direct my own team or agency, I will have to put this idea in my blog and refer back to it. Thanks Chris and Zack for the incredible idea.

I still pretend I’m Kelly,
mn design gal

Glorified Wedding Planner

You know the movie that stars Jennifer Lopez and the hunky Matthew McConaughey, (before the shirtless running on the beach days), she is planning other people’s weddings and has it down to a real science.

I had a coffee with a friend who informed me that I am a very talented planner and that I am marketing myself all wrong. The fact is I have planned over 30 successful well-attended events over the last 4 years. Not only do I have the passion for both the parties to be successful for all but enjoy the overall experience. If the event goes off the hook and they barely remember who planned it, that is OK! Wait- it is really OK?

The agency or local venue and speakers host the event and the guests/members come to enjoy the experience. If they get together and in the end the relationship and/or event/creative or event goes well as planned they have so much fun they want to do it again.

Planning events come so naturally to me:
-Traffic flow of the room
-Where do coats go
-How much food and beverage is there
-What is the lighting like
-Where are the speakers, are they having fun
-Are there any Presidents here, if so are students engaging in conversation with them
-Bathroom location
-Music tone, is there any on
-Cocktail napkins, we need cocktail napkins
I want each party/event/host to feel like their ideas are original and unlike any others that we (meaning the client) have experienced before. I also want them to be put into situations where they can be hands-on with answering questions and engaged with the overall experience.

Going back to the wedding planning perspective, it is something I sincerely would never do for real, but when it comes to my best friends and weddings I have been doing it without even realizing. I truly take the thoughts and experiences of the bride and everyone involved to effect. Making sure they feel the most special they can on their day and that they don’t have to think about the little things (the umbrellas, their make-up, the fact my hair looks like poop, the mother-in-law is glaring at the bride’s cleavage).

In the client’s world, where they need to feel like it’s their wedding day, either at a photo shoot, when coming in to review concepts, at a meeting over lunch and more.

I also feel the wedding planner in general is usually under-appreciative. The women that have them don’t know what it is like without them, and the ones that have never had a planner never know the grand feeling of having one.

Same goes true with great account directors and planners, because some clients have been blessed with the ones that can do no wrong, or have never had one and don’t know the value of having that incredible talent for them. It also shows when a client doesn’t trust their account director, and that isn’t fair either.

I was told by many friends that my mom and I should start a wedding planning business. My mom is very crafty and I have the design gene while the ideas we both have along with the personal skills and drive to accomplish anything. I started a brand called This or That Ideas and Services. Candee has the business card (which she never hands out unless her President of New Business is with) and we also have a facebook page and twitter account that we hold ideas and sometimes my creative energy will appear there.

Thanks to jMatt, that had some random incredible wisdom for me. I not only will be buffering-up my wedding planning book, but he may have given me that inspirational idea. Could I be the next Jennifer Lopez? Or do I need to really look at my planning chops and apply that to my everyday J-O-B?

Only time will tell.

your mn wedding planner (doesn’t have the same ring to it)
My Best Friend’s Wedding, an all-time favorite. Enjoy their version of “I say a little Prayer for you.”

Be my Valentine? (maybe next year)

Yesterday was of course, Valentine’s Day. You didn’t know? Between all the flower picture uploads on facebook and those mushy tweets it was hard not to notice.
With my Valentine out of town, I thought why not spend Valentine’s Day evening with 30 talented Miami Ad Students! I was asked to present months ago for their Industry Heros Tuesdays.

My presentation was to focus on Ad 2 and networking overall. I opened the presentation with my stats from my 12 PT Fine Print blog which I felt gave them a sense that I am just like them.
What I found is that only half used Linkedin. I tried to stress the importance of messaging people with personal invitations on where you met them.

One point was that creatives make time for coffee. I also gave a personal story of buying a coffee for someone being late for a coffee-meet-up. That someone was Meghan Wilker from Clockwork, a outstanding digital website firm. Geek Girls, actually ended up doing a Podcast shout-out to me on this particular coffee action. The students at Miami Ad chimed in to say that they knew her from speaking to them and Megan had brought up the same tale of the coffee tweet! Megan didn’t name me personally, but it was the exact same story. Love it!

Of course I included some Valentine-inspired humor with cute puppy pictures throughout my presentation. Also I went into my views on the difference between Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook audiences. It always seems to surprise me how people think linking their twitter account directly to Linkedin is a good idea. Be select on what you give your network to read through the Linkedin outlet. It’s one thing if they follow you directly and see it through Tweet. It’s another to be in a professional environment seeing tweets about your recent stops to Sex World, what you ate at your Friday buzz lunch, or how that person at work sits next to you and sings Spice Girl songs.

Educating the students about the many networking groups other than Ad Fed /Ad 2 was important to me. And then being able to take questions directly about Ad 2 and what the Student Ad Summit really is to the 29 out of 30 students that had never attended. Their preconception of the event linked it directly to the U of M, so I made sure they knew it had nothing to do with that school directly purely a location thing.

After the 15-minute presentation, questions started and it ended perfectly with no time to spare for my hour lecture. About half of the students came up to me after to shake my hand and asked for a business card. A handful also mentioned how my presentation and chat should be a class they take at school. They said no one had ever come in and talked about simple stuff as follow-up, how to talk to someone in an networking environment, why stalking someone you want to work could be a bad idea and more.

How many puppies did I show throughout my presentation? Five. And @Airreck was the winner! He later tweeted his puppy picture.

Even though my experience didn’t involve any roses handed out to me or nice glass of vino, I felt a high after leaving the school. I think that it takes a lot of drive to present to the unknown in a volunteer setting.

My true Valentine was out of town but he managed to surprise me with a flower delivery to work, which included a balloon and pretty wild flower bouquet. I few tweets went out to @ShopBachmans on the poor balloon and roses that seemed to be wilting already. Stay tuned for a follow-up blog post on their social media and customer service. (I really don’t mean to complain, I’m very thankful, but I know he spent probably 100 bones.) Bachman’s reply tweet said to email customer service and provided an address. The next day, within 2 hours of my email I had a personal call to my cell phone. They are scheduled to deliver a new set of flowers in 3 days since they were not to satisfaction. They blamed the balloon sadness on a new delivery guy. #greatcustomerservice

364 days until the next V-day guys and gals.

your mn design gal

My mum’s mum

My mom’s mom Joan was diagnosed with colon cancer the week before Christmas. Last week this born-in-England grandmother of mine went through the surgery to remove the cancer within her colon. Today we learn more about the diagnosed stage of what was removed.

Not only did this fall within the coldest winter months of Minnesota, but my mom’s birthday was the day after her surgery. After learning that Nanny Joan would be in ICU for days, now possible weeks, after I went to the hospital to not only be with my mom and grandmother but to support and give some positive energy on my mother’s birthday.

My Mom Candee, Yes I made her a Birthday Sash to wear. She's by Nanny Joan's flowers in her hospital room.

That afternoon being able to chat with Nanny and have her play with the tele-remote complaining about how ugly the dress was on the Twin Cities Live host, and how yummy the food looked that Rachael Ray was making, made us all laugh. Nanny got to have one watermelon hard candy that I brought to her and her tiny little hands trembled while we chatted a bit alone.

The hardest part is knowing how my mom feels about her mom. The reality of it is, Nanny Joan is the smallest little English lady and she is a firecracker and is one strong person to deal with everything she has over the 76 years of her life.

In November in the wood room, My Mom, Nanny Joan and Troy my brother who's in the USAF

Positive energy and prayers always.

Strength for my mom to be there alongside her mum.

Thanks for listening, for this is my first real-life experience blog– I hope it is the very last that–will ever involve that damn word cancer.

a granddaughter,
mn design gal

Closet & La Casa

My third installment of Closet & La Casa is with Allie Eide whom I met over a year ago at an Ad 2 event. She was quick-witted, forward and down-to-earth while being eager to learn. She wanted to get involved and soon after I had her shadowing me with programs and placed her in a new board position within the Ad 2 board. Her project management skills are useful to me being President because there is just so much information I can keep on my own. She keeps me level-headed and takes the stress of thinking too much about planning and just takes charge with the volunteers.

Allie’s style is shown through her fabulous scarfs and bold statement necklaces. Very rarely will I see a piece she has worn twice! Her stylish pieces become her decoration in her room.

Currently, Allie is finishing an internship with Clarity Coverdale Fury where she next hopes to hop into a permanent role at a corporate, agency or marketing firm as a project manager, assistant account executive or possibly a position she can use her talents while being in a fast-passed working environment in Minneapolis.

Not only have I had the pleasure to work with Allie this year through the nonprofit work but also she has become a great friend of mine. Tweet her @amaree33!

Cheers to this blue eye beauty and hire her, she won’t be on the market for long!

Allie and I at Fast Horse this summer. Networking of course!

your mn design gal

Holiday-Inspired Never-Board Meeting

Last night, marked my 37th monthly board meeting with the Advertising Federation of Minnesota, affliction with the American Advertising Federation. OK, not sure the exact count but has to be close to that!

To mix-it-up, I volunteered to create some sort of Holiday cheer game. I ended up wrapping over a dozen gifts to celebrate with my fellow board members and friends. The expressions on some of their faces while opening a Slinky, glitter nail filer, tic-tact-toe Cocktail napkins etc was great! Yes, hats and mitten including a Twins scarf had to be worn to open the gifts around the circle as it became this mad-dash game!

I sent this one-sheet to the board with a quick note this morning.
I truly have learned so much, and grown-up since first moving to the cities and volunteering with the Ad2 membership committee, then quickly planning events for almost 3 years. Becoming Ad2 President with little expectations or direction on what to do has truly changed the way I work with volunteers and people in general. Implementing process is key. People want it, and they thrive and act better among it. Finding volunteers that have a passion to give back a little to their community, want to learn and frankly network and be surrounded by other talented people can be challenging. People must want to do something and not feel like they have to do something and their performance shows that.

Looking ahead there are lots of crazy, awesome things happening in Ad2 in twenty-twelve and I am excited to share them with you! Stay close to the online calendar and remember that you will never get anything unless you pay it forward. 

Enjoy the season and #shoutout to my friends and volunteers that have been working so hard and continue to surprise me with their excellent ideas and kindness.

your Ad2 President