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.}

Back to Reality

Some of you may have known but I was on the beach in the Dominican Republic a week ago. My tan is fading quickly and I’m still catching-up with work, but thought I can now give my quick report about my 7-day adventure in the Caribbean.

The water. What can I say but the pictures can’t show you how this green, blue, crystal water made me smile. The beach was the reason to be on this island with my travel partner/boyfriend Steve.
We stayed at Bravo Princess, which we had a suite that included a jacuzzi tub (yes I used it more than once), mini-bar, remodeled interior with double sinks and easy 1-minute walk to the sandy beach.

The main adventure that Steve insisted we do on day 3 was a full day trip zip-lining. Now, I’m not scared of heights and frankly I’m down for any thing but this was a true test of “amazing race skills”. The zip-line course just keep getting longer and higher! Needless to say, I couldn’t reach the end to the two longest ones and had to be rescued on one by a Dominican that I tipped 2 dollars when got on the safe platform! It wasn’t fair though because I wasn’t trying to, unforgettably if your smaller the velocity doesn’t carry you the whole distance needed.

No regrets. But next time, maybe they should warn the light-ones or have some weights for us? Double-Zip-Lining that would be a fun one! My sore crotch and, I swear bruised rib, was my souvenir.

Getting back to the beach, I found that the Punta Cana side where we stayed was quite windy. But it was 80 degrees every day so I didn’t mind the warm breeze, but it was unlike any beach-side experience I had seen before.

The food at our all-inclusive resort was 7 out of 10. (Steve said 6 out of 10). Traditional American-made food was the hottest picks during the day. I can say though I didn’t have one cheeseburger but many plates of french fries. I was looking for fresh quac and salsa then remembered this isn’t Mexico Tric. The evenings Steve and I enjoyed fresh fish and even a Filet Mignon which was a treat. The last two days I was coming up with Jeremiah Weed inspired cocktail drinks made with the Dominican Vodka and enjoyed their local beer Presidente that was on tap. The tequila tasted like rocks though.

No stolen jewelry. Only the tops of my feet burned on Day 5. No diarrhea. No break-ups. And lots of laughs, sun, fun, Presidente (this is the right spelling) and kisses.

I won’t be back to the Dominican anytime soon, but it truly was the perfect much-needed get-a-way!

You only saw 10 out of the 400 pictures I took. On-line scrapbook will be for sure calling my name.

Safe Traveling!
mn design gal

2 Thumbs-up for 2 Gingers

Last night, there was whiskey, 20-second videos, bowls of pop-corn, Jimmy John subs, cold beer and lots of networking and laughs being held at Martin Williams, one of the top advertising agencies in Minneapolis. Having the idea that people could submit a 20-second spot focusing on 2 Gingers Whiskey, seemed a bit out there. But there were 23 submissions by 19 people and it was very entertaining!

There were over 100 people from college students through seasoned creative directors, web designers, artists and more from local agencies and beyond.

One of the highlights for me of the night was seeing Kieran, the founder of 2 Gingers Whiskey walking around the room full of people and serving at the bar his famous Big Ginger drinks sold at his one-time owned local pubs.

How did the video contest go?
Winners were announced and given a signed bottle of the whiskey and even all 19 people that entered got a bottle of 2 Gingers which was very cool. (I still need mine because some started to get opened at the bar).

Enjoy my submission, that I filmed on my iPhone at Coopers through the Super8 app and then edited in iMovie.

Kieran there again inspired me! But I guess I forgot actual video producers were allowed to submit too. Wow there was some great works, stay tuned M|W is going to have all reels live to enjoy.

Another Ad2 event planned. Executed. And was successful!

Challenges included the task of monitoring the agency doors and guests entering the building and elevators after it locks. It seems to always be a task to get key passes, have volunteers rotate through the night to let the guests up the elevators and to be fair and considerate to everyone’s time. Needless to say some volunteers stepped-up and owned the tasks, while lesson learned a volunteer list must be made before the event with rotating times and have one committeemen member in-charge. It doesn’t work having it be me anymore.

New Ad2 Signs that I produced and printed to talk about history and quick facts. #love

The bar line got long and awkward for a while, so moving the beer to the right and having people just try until the 2 Gingers was gone helped. The Martin Williams case-study was downstairs so to get people downstairs took longer, but of course a wrangler announcement helped the cause. Word of the wise, make sure to have your speaker want to speak and that he owns the presentation. If they are passionate about the work within it, it will show. Also keep it short, 10-15 minutes is great… because it will lead to 30 easily. Did I mention we like puppies, demonstrations and humor?

Calling all photographers! Need some explousure? How about just want to be able to come to Ad2 events for FREE and be able to meet lots of people? Please let me know, my photographer talent have become big-timers, so again, last night no professional photographer in sight, so those are my iPhone and Diptic creations.

2 thumbs-up for the event hosted by M|W!

How will we ever top this one next month?

Stay close to all Ad2 events online. Meet you soon.

your mn design gal

Trina’s Closet & La Casa

12 PT Fine Print will be featuring more fabulous friends, powerful peers and mind-blowing mentors I have through Closet & La Casa this season. Originally got the concept from the incredible Oh Joy! Blog.
I’m kicking off 2012 with talented Trina whom, yes may look a bit like this MNdesignGal, but holds strong on her own with her twitter handle @mnfutureadgal.

Trina is a Senior at University of Wisconsin River Falls where she is majoring in Marketing and receiving a minor in traditional Art (she paints and draws too). Trina loves photography and it makes sense her closet is full of scrapbooks from her semester in Spain in 2011. Photography on her apartment walls include the amazing photos she took traveling in Europe (we envy her) along with clothes she bought featured in the upper right. Trina’s style is edgy and alternative yet feminine and with her new long blonde locks this single gal in the city is just starting her amazing career path. She will be taking job offers starting in May 2012, and this gal will travel anywhere to follow her dreams.

Love you sista!

mn design gal

Sista-Sista is right. Same- but different.

Welcome 2012

It is officially two-thousand-twelve folks. Start writing it on your checks– wait– who writes checks anymore?

Looking back on the laughs and memories that happened the last week, I really have to say that 2011 was the year of great change.
Great times with family and close friends and even got to ring in the new year with Steve and about 10 of my closest college friends.

Today I tweeted a quote from Mark Twain Keep away from people who try to be little your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.”

I linked this tweet to my linked account, (which I do rarely) but thought this quote really showcased the values of surrounding yourself with positive people who believe in you and want some of them to know. If that means within your friends, family members, co-workers and even your boss (if you can help it). When volunteering make sure the energy is also positive always (you don’t get paid for it must enjoy it) and don’t let those small people get in the way of you doing great things.

Enjoy a few instagram thumbnails I took over the Holiday week:

Welcome 2012, let’s make this year positively memorable,

your mn design gal

I rarely kiss in public, but this is the one occasion we did. Cheers!

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

Dash of Holiday Spirit

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to keep myself surrounded by the Holiday energy!

Wanted to share some of the events and traditions I was lucky to participate in thus far in December.

Only Snowy weekend early December. Favorite picture. Downtown Edina.

Martin Williams hosted December Ad2 meeting, and enjoyed their Holiday decor including the Big Green Ball tree.

Ugly Sweater Bowling party with my Creative Director and working team was a success!

My cousins 8 and 10 we spent an afternoon making monster holiday cookies.

Beth and Kate's cookies included Oreos, gum balls and sour candies. Not your average Holiday baking with cousin Tricia.

Trina my sister and I at Spring Park in St Paul. The closest we will get to NYC this year!

Other events thus far included the Holidazzle parade held on Nicolette Avenue downtown Minneapolis that featured thousands of kids on a sugar high and many pushing patient parents.

This is the best time of year to share the love and remember the reason for the season!

One more night of wrapping,
mn design gal