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Home2020 Board of Directors

Board of Directors

President

Dan Hauser, APR, Minnesota Medical Association

 

Dan Hauser, APR, is director of communication, education and events at the Minnesota Medical Association, a non-profit professional association representing physicians, residents and medical students.   
 
In his role, Hauser leads the MMA’s efforts regarding communications, education, events, media relations, social media and the web. 
 
Before his current role, Hauser was a senior communications consultant at Xcel Energy, following public relations leadership positions in Minnesota agencies, including Tripp Agency and Karwoski and Courage, a division of Martin Williams. Early in his career, Hauser worked as an editor for several snowmobile titles and as news editor for Skyway News. 
 
He has a degree in Journalism and Communications, with a Concentration in Film Studies, from the University of Iowa. He has won awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Minnesota Newspaper Association, and is an active committee member with the Minnesota Chapter of PRSA. 
 
He is author of two novels: Picasso’s Errand and Clodhopper.


 

 

President-Elect

Jennifer Bagdade, APR, PR UNSPUN, LLC

 

As principal of PR UNSPUN, Jennifer Bagdade, APR, advises and counsels organizations navigating change, transition and transformation to communicate at their best when it is needed most. Throughout her career, she has worked with a variety of public, private and nonprofit organizations from global enterprise to local startups counseling clients, and providing communication and change management strategy and execution. In addition to leading her own business, Jennifer has had extensive experience working for and with many organizations and agencies including Cargill, Travelers, Northwest Airlines and Weber Shandwick. Jennifer holds a master's degree in International Communication from The American University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor's degree in history and French from Indiana University. She is also a Prosci Certified Change Management Practitioner and Accredited in Public Relations (APR). An active member of PRSA, Jennifer is involved with many other non-profit organizations and currently serves on the executive board of the St. Paul JCC.



 

Treasurer/Secretary

Dave Neuger, APR, Neuger Communications Group

 

Dave Neuger, APR, is the Founder, President and CEO of Neuger Communications Group with offices in Minneapolis and Northfield, Minn. A 35-year veteran of the communications field, he has significant experience in both client-side and agency public relations as well as marketing communications. Throughout his career he has emphasized targeted communications strategies in areas such as corporate communications, media relations, issues management, crisis communications, strategic planning and marketing communications. He models an intense commitment to professional counsel and exemplary client service – and is also well known for keeping his desktop jar full of M&Ms® for colleagues and visitors to enjoy.


Before establishing Neuger Communications Group in 2002, Neuger served for five years as the chief communications officer for St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he was responsible for public relations and marketing, WCAL Radio, church relations and music organizations. Previously, he was president and CEO of Neuger Henry Bartkowski, the fastest growing public relations firm in the Twin Cities region at that time. He has also served as the director of public relations and advertising for a major metropolitan medical center that was a precursor to Allina Health Systems. Clients he has counseled include Ziegler CAT, Daktronics, Butler University, First National Bank of Northfield, International Dairy Queen, Marvin Windows and countless other high-caliber organizations.

Neuger is an alumnus of St. Olaf College with a degree in history and economics. He was named one of the “40 Under 40” Business Leaders in the Twin Cities in 1996 and has been recognized many times for top communications programs by the Public Relations Society of America as well as several other awards programs. He has been a member of PRSA since just after the Dark Ages and has been an accredited member since 1988.

An avid sports fan, Neuger continues to play the role of participant every now and again in tennis and golf (having given up on basketball and racquetball a couple years ago before serious injury beset him). He also serves on several boards and professional committees. He and his wife, Ruthie, live in Northfield, Minnesota. They have three adult children, one perfect granddaughter and have learned that empty-nesting can be a delightful phase of life.




Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Marsha Pitts-Phillips, MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC

 

Marsha Pitts-Phillips is president and founder of MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC.  

 

Her experience includes leading the public relations function at a large nonprofit, as a former broadcast journalist with several television stations including KSTP-TV, as an associate professor of communications, and a volunteer guest lecturer in college public relations courses. 

 

In 2018, she moderated the Gubernatorial Candidate Town Hall Forums for then-DFL candidate Tim Walz and GOP candidate Jeff Johnson.

 

She has spearheaded and collaborated on several large-scale public relations initiatives including the 2018 National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.’s “The Sound of Gospel Musical” and the NFL Sanctioned Super Bowl LVII Gospel Celebration broadcast on Black Entertainment Television.

 

In addition to PRSA membership, she’s a member of the National Association of Black Journalists Media-Related Members Task Force; and its local affiliate, the Twin Cities Black Journalists, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. 

 

She serves on the board of directors for Prepare + Prosper; the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Leadership Advisory Council; and as an Associate Minister at the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis. 

 

Pitts-Phillips earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech Communications from Northeastern University in Boston; attended Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Conn. and United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minn.

 

 

 

Ethics Officer 

Brooke Worden, APR, Weber Shandwick

 

Brooke Worden is a senior vice president in the corporate practice at Weber Shandwick. She has rich experience directing integrated marketing campaigns for financial services companies and agencies of the federal government. Prior to joining Weber Shandwick 18 years ago, Brooke worked as a journalist for Twin Cities Business and in the change management practice at global management consulting firm Accenture. Brooke served as Minnesota PRSA President in 2011 and was named to PRSA’s Board of Ethics and Professional Standards (BEPS) in 2012. She joins the board for a three-year term as Chapter Ethics Officer.




Immediate Past President


Greg Zimprich, APR, Fellow PRSA, Medtronic


Greg Zimprich currently serves as Director of Finance Communications at Medtronic, where he is responsible for driving communications across the global Finance function as well as understanding of critical Finance initiatives across the total enterprise. He also serves as a member of the Finance Executive Committee (FEC) and Finance Leadership Team (FLT).

Previously, Greg served as Director of Global Business Communications for Honeywell’s Home and Building Technologies group. His 30-year career includes experience on both the agency and corporate side, including nearly 20 years with General Mills in senior communication roles. Greg served as Director of Brand Public Relations at General Mills from 2005 to 2012, where he led a nationally recognized team that managed PR and social media efforts for the company’s 100-plus brands, including beloved household products like Wheaties, Cheerios, Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Yoplait.

His agency experience includes leadership roles with Miller Meester, Weber Shandwick and Kohnstamm Communications. He also currently serves as an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University. 

Greg received his undergraduate degree in psychology and public relations from Saint Mary’s University, and holds a master’s degree in mass communications from Marquette University. He’s an active member of PRSA and currently serves as President-Elect for the Minnesota PRSA Chapter.



 

Director


Alyssa Augustine, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis


Alyssa Augustine is currently the senior public relations director for the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. In this role, she is responsible for the Bank’s media and public relations efforts both nationally and across the Ninth Federal Reserve District. 

With experience in TV news and in the banking industry, Alyssa works closely with the Bank’s president and other senior executives to set and reach the organization’s communications goals. She also develops and implements public relations programs to advance the Bank’s mission, research and outreach activities.

A wife, mom of 3, and native Texan, Alyssa holds an M.A. in sociology from the University of Washington and a B.A. in communications and media studies from Fordham University.


Director

Emily Finley, APR, Marvin

 

Emily Finley, APR, is the Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at Marvin, a 107-year-old window and door manufacturer with 15 locations and more than 5,500 employees. In this role, Emily leads public relations, social media, and internal communications for the company. At Marvin, Emily has worked with CBS Sunday Morning, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and more to share Marvin’s unique story. Prior to joining Marvin, she served as Vice President, Group Account Director at Karwoski & Courage Public Relations, a full-service integrated marketing agency and the PR division of Martin Williams Advertising. Emily earned a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication - Public Relations from Winona State University and received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2019.



Director

Bianca Jones, Best Buy

 

Bianca Jones is currently on the external communications team at Best Buy in Richfield, Minn. She has been at the company for over four years, supporting communications for major PR campaigns including holiday shopping and Super Bowl PR, along with many merchandising launches. In her current role, she leads communications for Social Impact, telling the story of the company’s work to support teens in tech in underserved communities around the country. 
 
Prior to Best Buy, Bianca spent the early part of her career at various PR agencies in Minneapolis, including FleishmanHillard.
 
Bianca has previously volunteered on the MN PRSA Classics committee for four years, where she coordinated event logistics and twice served as co-chair.
 
A Minnesota native, she attended the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., receiving her degree in communications and journalism.




Director

Joan O'Fallon, APR, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative

 

Joan O’Fallon, APR, has 25+ years of experience in corporate communications, with an emphasis in public relations. She’s worked in school PR, health care marketing, and is presently the director of communications for Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative in her native northwestern Wisconsin. Joan is a member of her co-op's senior leadership team, responsible for sharing her co-op’s story and building trusted relationships with internal and external stakeholders. She says it’s rewarding to work for her local electric co-op and improve the quality of life in her hometown. 
 
Joan is also passionate about mentoring a new generation of communicators and is an adjunct instructor/guest lecturer at the University of Minnesota, the University of St. Thomas, Metro State, and Johns Hopkins University.

Joan has a bachelor's degree in mass communication/public relations from the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she was president of her school PRSSA chapter. She has a master's degree in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota, where her capstone focused on internal communication. Joan believes employees are an organization’s number one audience and good internal communication leads to competitive advantage when employees are engaged brand ambassadors.

Joan is Accredited in public relations and has been a member of Minnesota PRSA since 2011. She served on the programming committee in 2014-2015 and on the Accreditation committee 2015-present; this past year, Joan served as Accreditation chair. She finds it rewarding to help others earn APR, elevating careers and our profession to a strategic level. A highlight for Joan this year was working with Jake Sturgis, APR, and Janet Swiecichowski, APR, to organize a six-month Accreditation prep course for 20 public relations professionals in partnership with Minnesota PRSA, Minnesota School Public Relations Association, and Minnesota Association of Government Communicators.



Director

Jacqueline A. Smith, APR, City of St. Louis Park

 

Jacqueline A. Smith, APR, is the marketing and communications manager for the City of St. Louis Park, a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. She joined the city in 2015 after 11 years as community relations manager for the City of Minnetonka, another Minneapolis suburb; and three years working in communications for a Twin Cities suburban school district. 

Jacqueline chose to pursue a public service career after several years in corporate marketing communications for the insurance industry, preceded by a short time as a reporter for a small town west of the Twin Cities. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where she serves on the alumni society board. She is also a board member for the Minnesota Association of Community Telecommunications Administrators (MACTA). Jacqueline served two terms as president and several years as a board member for the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators (MAGC), and is a member of the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA).

In the winter of 2017, Jacqueline attended an APR boot camp and made the decision to pursue APR accreditation. The excellent support she received from MN PRSA throughout the process has inspired her to help serve the organization as a board member.



Director

Jake Sturgis, APR, Captivate Media + Consulting

 

Jake Sturgis, APR, describes himself as the kid in grade school with the big camcorder documenting family vacations, and the kid in high school who had a public access television show. He has always been fascinated by video and communications, which inspired his childhood dream to become a television news anchor.

While attending college, Jake worked as a newscast producer at KBJR-TV in Duluth, Minn, where he was able to hone his writing and production skills behind the camera working in this role. However, he found that as graduation time grew closer, his dream of working in front of the camera faded away – he needed something that brought him purpose.

He moved back to the Twin Cities and worked in communications at two metro school districts between 2002-2014. It was during this time that Jake learned about the four-step PR process and the need for research and planning before rushing into tactics like video. These were important learnings on Jake's road to earning his APR in 2013.

In 2014, Jake took the leap and started his own business. Captivate Media + Consulting partners with organizations to bring clarity to the content creation process. The company combines the art and science of video, animation, and graphic design to create content that is effective and memorable.

Jake served on the Minnesota School Public Relations Association (MinnSPRA) Board from 2015-2019, including one year as President. Last year, he helped lead the joint APR bootcamp between MinnSPRA and Minnesota PRSA. He is excited to take his experience working with schools, non-profits, and businesses into his role on the Minnesota PRSA board.




Director

Ayme Zemke, APR, Beehive Strategic Communication

 

Ayme Zemke, APR, is senior vice president, client service, for Beehive Strategic Communication. In this role, she is part of the agency’s executive leadership team, is responsibile for delivering Beehive’s client service promise and leads a client portfolio that includes financial service and health care brands. 

Ayme loves to move an idea from good to great. Her innate curiosity leads her to ask the questions that hone a strategy to a sharp edge. And her belief in what is possible quickly earns the trust needed to lead teams through thick and thin. Ayme guides client organizations in solving complex business challenges, internally and externally, including crisis and issues management. 

Ayme is a leader in PR Council’s SHEquality Minnesota project and has been recognized by PR News as a Top PR Professional and PR Team Leader. She is an accredited member of PRSA and earned her bachelor’s degree from Hamline University.



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