Our mission is to change the face and voice of the marketing industry.

Our vision is of an industry that thrives with the insights and creativity of all.

Contact Us Give Today

We are driven by our values for exposure, access, opportunity, and equity.

Exposure: You can’t ask for a job if you don’t know it exists. That’s why The BrandLab meets high school and college students in the classroom. Through an innovative, experiential curriculum, students try on the idea of a creative career.

Access: Our paid internship program is about getting into the workplace, growing 21st century skills, and developing that first professional network. Students receive intensive training and coaching led by industry professionals to support and guide their career path.

Opportunity: Taking away barriers and building a bridge to that first job is critical. That’s why our Connect program provides thousands of dollars in college scholarships, ongoing mentorship and training sessions, and advanced internships for young talent hungry for more experience as they approach full time employment.

Equity: In order to thrive, our rising stars need to enter workplaces free from bias and exclusion. Through our Fearless programs–a combination of workshops, events, podcast, and consulting–we work with our partners to ensure that both the workplace and work being produced are culturally competent and equitable.

We believe that creativity is an equal opportunity employer.


virtual interns hired across the Twin Cities, Kansas City, and Chicago in 2020


students attended our Spark Workshops last year


jobs landed in the industry in 2020 by TBL alumni


Fearless Workshops held since 2018

We are powered by a talented team of educators, designers, and innovators.

Maggie McCracken

Chief Executive Officer

Sonja Simpson

Sr. Program + Impact Director

Jamila Joiner

Fearless Program Manager

Michaela Clubb

LabFellows Program Manager

Kayla Pollard

Fellowship Coordinator

Taylor Gaudion

Marketing Coordinator

Kirsten Brown-Persley

Executive Director, Kansas City

Amy Brown

Program Manager, Kansas City

Akiyaa Hagen-Depusoir

Program Coordinator, Kansas City

Thomas Toley

Executive Director, Twin Cities

Koisey Hiama

College and Beyond Program Manager, Twin Cities

Shalisa Wilson

High School Program Director, Twin Cities

Kweku TeAngelo Cargile Jr.

Executive Director, Milwaukee

Mariela Fonseca Ruiz

Program Coordinator

Imani Ray

Program Coordinator, Milwaukee

Our Board of Directors

Mike Caguin, Chair

Chief Creative Officer, Colle McVoy

Mary Beth George, Treasurer

Vice President, Store Experience Marketing, Target

Karen Deutsch, Secretary

Senior Vice President, Head of Consumer Marketing, U.S. Bank

Frank Crowson

Chief Marketing Officer, Best Buy

Lorenz Esguerra

General Manager, Brand Practice, US Heartland and Southwest, Edelman

Taylor Harris

Senior Sales Executive of CPG Partnerships, SXM Media

Thomas "TJ" Jefferson

Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Renewal by Andersen Windows

Melanie Jones

President, Sysco Corporation

Jeff King

Chief Executive Officer, Barkley

Milena Oliveira

Chief Marketing Officer, 3M

Julie Schiefe

Managing Partner, Mayfly Design

Kathy McCuskey

Chief Executive Officer, Yamamoto

Travon Sellers

Senior Designer, KNOCK

Our Advisory Board

Mark Addicks

Advisory Board Member and Chief Executive Officer, Manova Summit

Kevin DiLorenzo

Advisory Board Member and President and Chief Executive Officer, Rise and Shine and Partners

Eric Erickson

Advisory Board Member and Marketing Consultant

Christine Fruechte

Advisory Board Member and Chief Executive Officer, Colle McVoy

Barry Wolfish

Advisory Board Member and Strategic Consultant

Our State of the Industry progress is slow but steady

We vision a marketing and advertising community that reflects the rapidly changing national demographics. Our biannual State of the Industry study tracks our collective change, and we need your involvement.

View Report

We are a nonprofit supported by donors like you

Thanks to our individual and industry supporters, The BrandLab is able to inspire the next generation of creative problem solvers and change the face and voice of the marketing industry.

Give Today