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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.

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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.

76

virtual interns hired across the Twin Cities, Kansas City, and Chicago this year

636

students attended our Spark Workshops last year

8

jobs landed in the industry this year by alumni

102

Fearless Workshops held since 2018

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

Ellen Walthour

Chief Executive Officer

Suzanne Oh

Fearless Director

Emily Ronning

Design Director

Ghadeer Garcia

Executive Director, Kansas City

Shanaya Dungey

Internship Director, Twin Cities

Thomas Toley, Connect Manager

Connect Manager, Twin Cities

Shalisa Wilson

Internship Coordinator, Twin Cities

Our Board of Directors help us pave the way for the next generation of creative talent

Mike Caguin, Chair

Chief Creative Officer, Colle McVoy

Ingrid Sabah, Vice-Chair

Senior Analyst of Talent, Ovative/group

Mary Beth George, Treasurer

Sr. Director, Brand Marketing, Target

Roxanne Bernstein

President and General Manager, Crystal Farms Dairy Company

Frank Crowson

Chief Marketing Officer, Best Buy

Karen Deutsch

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

Lorenz Esguerra

Executive Vice President, General Manager, Weber Shandwick-Minneapolis

Spiwe Jefferson

Attorney, Blackwell Burke P.A.

Jeff King

Chief Executive Officer, Barkley

Kathy McCuskey

Chief Executive Officer, Yamamoto

Brian Reid

Strategist, Mother

Travon Sellers

Digital Marketing Specialist, Hamline University

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.

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