Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
Dave Neuger, APR
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 R. Pitts-Phillips, MRPP & Associates Communications, LLC
Marsha R. 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.
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
Eva Keiser, APR, plural i
Eva is the Principal at plural i, an independent consultancy focused on public relations and marketing communication programs. Eva’s expertise is working with emerging and midsize B2B and B2C companies. An accredited member of PRSA since 2001, Eva shared her expertise until recently as an adjunct professor in the Journalism School at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (2009-2013). Prior to forming the plural i in 2011, Eva was a senior vice president at Risdall McKinney Public Relations (now Risdall Public Relations) for four years.
She developed her public relations experience during more than a decade of service at Padilla Speer Beardsley (now Padilla CRT) where she maintained a wide spectrum of clients and held positions of increasing responsibility ending her career at the agency as an account supervisor. Earlier in her career, Eva gained a wealth of experience through working on state and local political campaigns, with grassroots organizations, and at various print and broadcast media outlets.
Active in the Minnesota PRSA since 1996, she joined the Minnesota PRSA board in 2012. Throughout her years as a member, she served as co-chair for the Membership, Member Communications and Public Relations committees and served as editor for the chapter’s monthly print newsletter for five years and introduced the Minnesota PRSA Link e-newsletter. Eva holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of North Dakota.
Jacqueline A. Smith, APR
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.
Sean McDonnell, APR, McDonnell & Co. LLC
Sean McDonnell, APR, is founder and principal of McDonnell & Co. LLC, a full-service public relations and marketing communications firm for a variety of Twin Cities and national clients. Sean has more than 25 years of experience in agency, corporate and higher education communications, has been a member of Minnesota PRSA for 16 years (accredited in 2004) and has previously served as a member of the MN PRSA board and multiple committees. He is a longtime member and past board member and secretary of Minneapolis Rotary, and is currently a paid-on-call (part-time) firefighter with the Plymouth Fire Department. Sean and his wife Britt reside in Plymouth and have two children.
Tammy Nystuen, APR, Cargill
Tammy is a seasoned change and communications professional with a strong passion and proven experience in working with companies during times of transition or growth. She is a forward-thinking and results-driven leader who fosters change agility to help companies accelerate business performance. Over the course of her career, she has worked in a variety of corporate, not-for-profit and agency settings to create customized communications and change management strategies that deliver real business results.
Tammy has expertise and an established track record in internal and external communications, employee engagement, change management, creative storytelling, executive coaching and crisis/issues management. During her career, she has collaborated with clients and colleagues on projects to improve employee engagement, increase customer loyalty, influence key stakeholders, introduce new products or programs, integrate acquisitions, build change agility and manage issues to mitigate risk.
Tammy currently serves as communications lead for Cargill Animal Nutrition’s Europe, Middle East & Africa businesses. She is an accredited member of PRSA and holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University.
Ben Saukko, APR, AmeriPride Services
Ben Saukko, APR, is the Director of Communications at AmeriPride Services, one the largest textile rental and supply companies in North America. For more than 20 years, he has been providing corporate communications, marketing and public relations counsel and leadership to Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, educational institutions and government agencies. In his current role, he works closely with senior executives and across functional areas to develop strategy and execute internal and external communications programs for the organization. Prior to this, Ben worked for various corporations and agencies, including Weber Shandwick Worldwide. He has a bachelors’ degree in Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He has been an active member of PRSA throughout his career and has served and chaired several committees. He is also involved with many local and national non-profit organizations, including the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the TCIRA RangerSpiel.
Janet Swiecichowski, APR, CEL Marketing
With more than 20 years of experience leading public relations for public and private educational institutions, Janet is Vice President at CEL, a private integrated marketing communications firm. Prior to St. CEL, she led an integrated marketing communications program for Minnetonka Public Schools, which helped reverse declining enrollment and yielded 38 percent enrollment growth over 15 years. A strategic advisor to superintendents, principals and the school boards, she led Minnetonka’s strategic planning process for ten years, activated hundreds of volunteers and successfully led six school referendum campaigns across three districts and two states, earning national awards for internal communication, marketing and funding campaigns. Earlier in her career, she served in similar roles for Wayzata Public Schools and Franklin Public Schools (Wisc). Janet has spent her entire career advancing our profession, having served on the boards and as president of both the Wisconsin and Minnesota School Public Relations Associations, as accreditation chair for Minnesota PRSA and National School Public Relations Association, and on the Universal Accreditation Board representing both NSPRA and PRSA (2006-2014). She previously served on the Minnesota PRSA Board (2001-2002) and has been actively involved in chapter or national accreditation committees since 1999. She also served as an NSPRA volunteer in response to the Columbine tragedy in 1999. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Marquette University and a master’s in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota.
Meredith Voltin, APR, UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation
Meredith Voltin, APR, serves as Senior Program Manager at the UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation, part of UnitedHealth Group. There she leads all communications for its events and programs. She has great passion for healthcare, but diverse work experience prior to making the healthcare switch: Carmichael Lynch Relate, U.S. Bank, The Manhattan Toy Company and Kohnstamm Communications. Along with her professional work, she serves as a board member and public relations and social media manager for Bowling for Brains, an annual event raising funds for the American Brain Tumor Association and Givens Brain Tumor Center at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
Meredith holds a Master’s Degree in business administration from Hamline and a Bachelor’s Degree in public relations and broadcast journalism from the University of St. Thomas.
Ayme Zemke, APR
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.