As many of you know, DoTopia is headquartered in the lake lovin’, Prince obsessed, Mall of America famed city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. We aren’t just a map dot, friends. Along with social and cultural intrigue, the greater Twin Cities area is home to one of the highest concentrations of Fortune 500 companies in the country (17 to be exact). Some of the most skilled, well educated, and passionate people filter into the city every year which is why it is logical to host a Minnesota Marketing Summit to bring together these brilliant minds for a day. The state is crawling with damn good marketers, eh?
Leading with the tagline “Good Ideas Matter”, IC Summits facilitates a yearly event at the Hyatt Regency downtown Minneapolis. For one day, marketers from across the state and surrounding areas attend this summit for an opportunity to hear from all levels of brand marketers, digital and social minded professionals, PR/media specialists, and even strategic growth officers. With the Summit just one week away, we wanted to highlight some of the marketers we are excited to hear from and the good their brands are doing in the world (because we can’t help ourselves)
Becca Morris Hoeft – Sunrise Banks @Becca_Morris
Becca will be kicking off the day on a panel discussing the “Minnesota brand”. As an SVP, Director of Communications and Marketing at Sunrise Banks, she will be answering the question: “What is the Minnesota brand, and what is its relationship to yours?”
Sunrise Banks #DoGood Stat: Sunrise Banks is an active and responsible corporate citizen by focusing on a triple bottom line – people, planet, and prosperity. Volunteerism and corporate giving are core tenants for Sunrise Banks. Last year, Sunrise employees volunteered over 8,100 hours in the community!
Kelsey Dodson-Smith – Sun Country Airlines @KelsDodsonSmith
Kelsey will also be joining Becca on the panel for the Minnesota Brand. Her expertise as the Vice President of Marketing at Sun Country Airlines will shed light on any turbulence in airline industry marketing and how Sun Country has become known as “The Hometown Airline™”.
Sun Country Airlines #DoGood Stat: As of December 2016, Sun Country launched a comprehensive in-flight organics recycling program. This would jump-start the airline to be one of the first in the nation to start composting onboard food waste in addition to recycling cans and bottles.
Dannon Hulskotter – MN Vikings (SKOL!)
Sports marketing is always a fan favorite among our peers. Many of us dreamed to plan sexy and experiential marketing campaigns for our favorite sports teams at one point. Dannon, VP of Marketing and Fan Engagement, will be discussing ways to optimize the customer experience. With the Super Bowl coming to Minnesota in 2018, we are excited to learn about all the new ways Dannon is engaging the Vikings fans to build upon this excitement!
Minnesota Vikings #DoGood stat: The Vikings are teaming up to give to #HurricaneHarvey relief efforts this year. Both the Wilf family and the Vikings will give $300,000 in total to the relief efforts.
Jill Renslow – Mall of America @jrenslow
As the SVP, Business Development and Marketing of the Mall of America, Jill will also participate in the customer experience panel. As previously stated, Mall of America is the single reason why a number of international tourists flock to Minnesota. We know Jill will have some engaging customer experience examples up her sleeve.
Mall of America #DoGood Stat: Mall of America opened a pop-up store in May, Shop for Kindness, that features 14 cause-related brands supporting philanthropic efforts worldwide. It is open until mid-September and we recommend checking it out when you have some free time.
Monica Wiant – US Bank @monicawiant
With the plethora of social media channels available, what is the right approach for your brand? Monica, VP, Social Media Director at U.S. Bank will share some of her social media strategies. With a number of big banks having a large presence in Minneapolis (Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, Bremer Bank, TCF, BMO Harris Bank, Sunrise Banks, etc.), you can bet these marketers will be in attendance with open ears.
US Bank #DoGood Stat: US Bank is all about the environment and economic growth. They have invested more than $15.5 billion in environmentally beneficial business opportunities over the past several years!
Jennifer Alcott – Best Buy
Remember the headlines from a few years ago? Along with similar competitors, Circuit City and Radio Shack, industry reports were anticipating the downfall of Best Buy. Plot twist! The retail behemoth has instead nearly quadrupled stock price and doubled dividends from just 5 years ago. We are excited to learn from Jennifer, Director of Social Media, how marketing and social media has played into the company’s recent success.
Best Buy #DoGood Stat: Hubert Joly, Best Buy CEO, recently signed the CEO Pledge for Diversity and Inclusion. He will join 270 other CEOs to promote a trusting, inclusive workplace at Best Buy.
Jenifer Hagness – Caribou Coffee
Minnesotans love their Caribou Coffee. It’s something about the cozy, “cabin-vibe” you feel after stepping into a coffeehouse. The success of Caribou has led to a number of acquisitions from their holding company. Most recently, Caribou bought breakfast chain, Bruegger’s Bagels. We are excited to hear from one of the marketers behind this iconic brand at the Summit. Jenifer is the Sr. Director of Marketing and Product Innovation. She will join the content marketing roundtable and share tactics she has used when telling the brand’s story and creating active and engaged customers as a result.
Caribou Coffee #DoGood Stat: Considering DoTopia’s tagline is “Do Good. Better.”, it was only fitting to highlight Caribou Coffee’s Do Good approach to sustainability. Do Good focuses on sourcing coffee sustainably while addressing recycling, water, and energy issues within their coffeehouses.
Kara Wallace – Mortenson @KaraLWallace
As the Director of Strategic Marketing at Mortenson, Kara will be joining the content marketing panel by providing her unique expertise in construction and real estate development. After visiting the Mortenson website, it is obvious that Kara and her colleagues lead with direct, visual, and engaging content for their prospects and customers.
Mortenson #DoGood Stat: Mortenson leads with the tagline, “Let’s Create Some Positive Energy”. It’s hard to argue with this goodness as the construction brand works to create clean energy through wind, solar, and maintenance services.
Cynthia Henry – RedBrick Health
Cynthia, VP Corporate Marketing, is speaking on our personal favorite topic: Beyond Branding – how brands live their purpose. Navigating one of the most difficult times in healthcare, RedBrick focuses on the consumer experience and overall health of a person through technology-enabled enterprise solutions. We would be hard-pressed to find a more purpose-led organization than RedBrick.
RedBrick #DoGood Stat: Redbrick recently partnered with Retrofit to help employers tackle obesity and disease prevention.
Karen Kozak – Cargill @KarenKozak
Karen is the Global Brand Director at Cargill. She will also be engaging in conversation around the need for brands to authentically connect with their audience. As one of the most powerful privately held organizations in the world, Karen will share how Cargill is committed to “helping the world thrive”.
Cargill #DoGood Stat: Cargill aims to be the most trusted partner in agriculture, food and nutrition. Their four priorities for a sustainable future include: climate change, land use, water resources, and farmer livelihoods.
Dave Schneider – Red Wing Shoe Co. @dave_schneider
“Build Brand, Drive Demand”. We love a marketer with his own tagline! Dave is the VP, Chief Marketing Officer, of Red Wing Shoe Co. who will be sharing ways to build a successful brand/agency collaboration. Red Wing Shoes are iconic in the land of 10,000 lakes. Founded in 1905, this brand has bucked any fleeting shoe trends by honoring their mission to make truly good shoes.
Red Wing Shoe Co. #DoGood Stat: Giving back is in the DNA of Red Wing Shoes Co. 1955 was the year Minnesota passed a law providing the framework for corporate foundations, so 1955 was the year the Red Wing Shoe Company Foundation was developed. Since this year, the company has supported many community organizations including giving over 2,000,000 to the YMCA.
Justin Conzemius – General Mills @JustinConzemius
If you haven’t heard of General Mills, you are living under a rock. If you haven’t eaten a snack made by General Mills, you are living under a bigger rock. Just sayin’. Justin is the Marketing Director, Snacks Strategic Growth, who will join Dave in the panel around a successful brand/agency collaboration.
General Mills #DoGood Stat: In light of school starting for many students this week, it is appropriate to highlight the iconic Box Tops for Education Program. This program was one of the most successful philanthropic programs run by a brand earning more than $100 million for 82,000 schools. Now that is impact! We believe in this program so much that we recently wrote a blog post on a few ideas we had to keep this program thriving today…
Mary Hennen – The Tile Shop
If you have recently redone a bathroom or kitchen, you understand the importance in choosing the right tile. VP of Marketing and ECommerce Maven, Mary Hennen, works to make the digital experience seamless for The Tile Shop consumers. She will join the session on Meaningful Digital & Mobile Engagement to share her knowledge on creating experiences for her customers.
The Tile Shop #DoGood Stat: In 2016, The Tile Shop partnered with Spaces of Hope to makeover the kitchen at the Colorado Outward Bound School. It was even promoted on Designing Spaces®, an award-winning home improvement show in December 2016.
Jay Sivasailam – UnitedHealthcare @JaySivasailam
Joining the digital panel with Mary will be Jay, VP, Digital Strategy, from UHC. Parent company, UnitedHealth Group, is the largest health insurer in the country and based in Minnesota. In an industry that makes up almost 17% of the Nation’s GDP, finding a way to engage members and garner the right data from the various segments is not a job for just any marketer!
UnitedHealthcare #DoGood Stat: Leading with the mantra, “Do Good. Live Well.”, UnitedHealthcare promotes grassroots community volunteer efforts to help reduce need (hunger), restore health (obesity), and renew hope (military & veterans).
Andrea Benzschawel – Buffalo Wild Wings
With a title like Beverage Brand Director, you are sure to be the life of the party! Andrea will close out the day on the “Marketing a Good Time” panel. Representing a brand like Buffalo Wild Wings, creativity and entertainment is the name of the game. We are looking forward to hearing about Andrea’s experience behind the BWW’s beverage marketing.
Buffalo Wild Wings #DoGood Stat: Buffalo Wild Wings teamed up with Boys & Girls Club of America (BGCA) to help more kids play team sports. By 2020, their goal is to give more than $17 million to the organization through corporate and Guest donations.
Uff-Dah! This is just a short list of all the impressive marketers and companies who will be in attendance at the Minnesota Marketing Summit this year. Congratulations to all of these local companies who are promoting missions beyond just profit. To say we are proud of our home state companies would be an understatement.
If you are attending the summit, we hope this post gives you a teaser into the impressive panelists. We are looking forward to speaking with these marketers and learning more about how they tie their marketing initiatives into their overall sustainability promises.