fbpx

OUR TEAM

The ultimate team shows a mix of talent and grit, and that’s what our people have in common.

They know their stuff. They like being evaluated on wins and losses. And they leave it all out on the field. (Plus, they’re fun to be around.) That’s teamwork the way it should be.

Tracy Call

TRACY CALL

TRACY CALL
Founder & CEO

  • Media maverick with over a decade of experience.
  • Honored for exceptional leadership by Minnesota Business.
  • Battled on both sides of the fence in media sales and buying.
  • Unmatched negotiator.
  • Always looking for the “value-add.”
  • Former rugby player and bobsledder, so don’t mess with her.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Coffee. It should be black and not too hot so I can drink it right away. No time to dink around adding cream and sugar and blowing on it. I’ve got better things to do!” 

Rory Wade

RORY WADE

RORY WADE
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

  • A decade of experience in accounting, tax management and financial planning & analysis.
  • Former Coast Guardsman.
  • Bostonian by birth, but don’t tell him to “park the car in Harvard yard.”
  • Keeps telling us we spend too much money on coffee.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“The New York bagel. For some reason, the rest of the country can’t seem to get this one right. Bagels need to be 4-4.5 inches in diameter, which is the exact right size to turn them into a respectable sandwich. New York bagels are thick, chewy yet soft, and have a crisp, shiny exterior. They’re rested overnight, then both boiled and baked. I don’t want to overstate this, but the single most cost-effective way to buy happiness might be a New York bagel. And I’m from Boston … ”

TONI DANDREA

TONI DANDREA
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

  • Oversees Media Bridge Digital & Biz Dev, plus buys media and pitches new biz.
  • Creates integrated marketing campaigns that help her clients gain exceptional growth.
  • Takes it upon herself to adapt and bring innovative ideas to clients.
  • Dangerously agile, so don’t tell her she can’t do something.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I’m like Tracy. My coffee has to be black, nothing in it, not too hot, and light roast because that has more caffeine. Overall, I’m pretty low-maintenance on food. I’m more picky about printers. They have to be fast, reliable, non-streaky and jam-resistant.”

JESSICA BIRKHOLZ

JESSICA BIRKHOLZ

JESSICA BIRKHOLZ
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA

  • A decade of media-buying experience at the corporate and agency levels.
  • Experience in buying broadcast, digital and print.
  • Worked with 800+ radio stations, 200+ TV stations, 3 major internet radio companies, 1,000+ newspaper publications.
  • Has managed multimillion-dollar budgets.
  • Used to help Menards “Save Big Money” themselves.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Eggs. They can’t be too runny or slimy, but they can’t be too rubbery, either. Whether they’re fried or scrambled, they should always have just a little bit of brown in them. If they don’t, I’ll negotiate for better ones.”

ALEX ROLLINS

ALEX ROLLINS
CREATIVE DIRECTOR

  • In-house creative superhero for all things film, audio and design.
  • Published songwriter and composer whose work has appeared on network TV and indie film.
  • Former state champion pianist in Minnesota.
  • Unofficial haircut champion at Media Bridge.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Whiskey. I like the Japanese ones, because they don’t have strict rules like the Scots; they just always want to improve things. I’ll take a Nikka, which is smokey but also caramelly and sweet, with one of those large cubes of ice that doesn’t clank around.”

MICHAEL LIBMAN

MICHAEL LIBMAN

MICHAEL LIBMAN
ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

  • Known for forming long-term partnerships and relationships, and earning the respect of both clients and media.
  • Owns and operates his own LLC, so totally understands small business.
  • Other passion is real estate, where he buys, renovates, rents and sells foreclosures and short sales.
  • Can play five instruments: guitar, piano, clarinet, bass and drums.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“The grilled cheese sandwich. Sometimes the simple things are the hardest to perfect. You need whole wheat bread. It should get semi-charred, a little burnt. Heavy cheddar cheese melted to perfection. And a big mound of ketchup to dip it in. It’s been my favorite food since I was a kid, and now it’s my daughter’s favorite.”

BRIAN SEESZ

BRIAN SEESZ
DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS

  • Was a long-time Media Bridge strategic partner; now cultivates new ones.
  • Comes to us by way of iHeart Media and OUTFRONT Media.
  • Born in Bemidji, grew up in Marshall and attended Mankato State, making him approximately 128% Minnesotan.
  • Played baseball in the Texas Rangers organization, then worked for Major League Baseball International in Europe.
  • Unofficial motto is “Seesz the Day.”

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
I’m a seafood lover. I love it broiled, fried or raw, but it has to be fresh and ideally eaten on the same day it’s caught. Seafood is like some relatives: After a couple days, it starts to stink.

KAWASKII BACON

KAWASKII BACON

KAWASKII BACON
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

  • Brings 8+ years of accounting and financial planning experience to Media Bridge, most recently from Best Buy.
  • Calls Minneapolis home, but was born in Memphis and for some reason roots for the Philadelphia Eagles.
  • Likes to play basketball, lift weights and spin records on his turntables in his spare time.
  • Still waiting for people to figure out their Six Degrees of Him.

 

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I’m not picky about most food or drink, but there are three things that I absolutely will NOT eat: peas, celery or dry coconut—not even in a granola bar!”

SARAH TWITE

SARAH TWITE

SARAH TWITE
ASSOCIATE MEDIA DIRECTOR

  • Seasoned media buyer who knows her way around any negotiation.
  • Worked with Jessica to help Menards “Save Big Money” on its own media.
  • Knows all the nuances of broadcast, digital, print and everything in between.
  • Conflict-averse in her personal life, but loves a hard-won fight in her professional life.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“French toast. It has to be thick-cut, day-old bread—not Wonder Bread or anything like that. And no syrup, just warm butter and powdered sugar merged together in a kind of yellow glue. It looks horrifying, but it’s awesome.”

NATE REINHART

NATE REINHART
MARKETING MANAGER

  • The guy you want as your point person and advocate.
  • Experience that spans design, social and digital media.
  • Wanted to be a doctor; got a business degree instead.
  • Renaissance Man waiting for the next Renaissance.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Creme brûlée. It’s a dessert that shouldn’t be messed with. Don’t put lemon in it. It has to be crisp and brown on top, cold under. The caramelized top should be solid enough that I can’t set my spoon on it and it falls in, but I shouldn’t need a jackhammer, either. Lastly, a few berries on top—preferably raspberry, strawberry and blueberry—with little specs of vanilla bean.”

Anna Buresh

ANNA BURESH
MEDIA BUYER

 

  • Media puzzle master who knows how to fit the pieces together when it comes to radio, TV, print and OOH
  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of MSP Communications and Red Circle
  • Unique combination of “wine aficionado” and “EDM enthusiast”
  • Perhaps the only media buyer who does yoga and meditates every day
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Prosciutto. I lived in Rome in college, so I know the real thing when I see it. The key is thinness. Thick prosciutto is tough and chewy. It should be so thin that you can practically see through it. Surdyk’s gets it right.”
JON VOGEL

JON VOGEL

JON VOGEL
GRAPHIC DESIGNER

  • Specializes in all things graphic design.
  • Basically the love child of “design” and “sports.”
  • Former Minnesota Vikings intern and sports data company employee.
  • Primary residence is in the Adobe Creative Suite.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“The Bloody Mary. You fill the glass with ice first. Add a shot and a half of vodka, then 2-3 shakes of Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, celery salt and pepper, then a little tomato juice. Put a little celery salt on top to give it texture. Then a pickle spear, skewer of cheese and meat cubes, and a celery stalk. Oh, and the pickle has to be dill. If you go with a sweet pickle, you don’t deserve to live.”

KELSEY BAUSCH

KELSEY BAUSCH
GRAPHIC DESIGNER

  • Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, but don’t call her a “Sconnie.”
  • Another Media Bridge triple threat: an awesome graphic designer with social media and photography skills.
  • Often spotted listening to true crime podcasts and perusing fashion blogs.
  • Despite this, insists she had nothing to do with the murder of Gianni Versace.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Potato donuts, because every bite is loaded with pure yumminess and nostalgia. In addition to having to be made from potatoes instead of flour, they have to have just the right dusting of sugar. The real deal can only be found in one place: the Madison Farmers Market on Saturdays.”

JUSTIN MALECHA

JUSTIN MALECHA

JUSTIN MALECHA
EDITOR

  • Your social media content guy, especially video.
  • Always has a finger on the social media pulse.
  • Expert on Nordeast microbreweries and hipster record stores.
  • Like a dog who hears the storm before you do, he senses trends before they happen.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“The breakfast sandwich. It’s gotta be sloppy, greasy, cheesy, but with a crunch. Two big pieces of whole wheat toast—not burnt, not like a rock, but not flaccid either. Two over-easy eggs. The yolk needs to be running so you don’t need any sauces. American cheese. Thick bacon, same crunch quotient as the toast. If I’m feeling zesty, sausage as well. Then some sort of greens, preferably spinach or arugula. I’m hungry.”

Sarah Lauber

SARAH LAUBER

SARAH LAUBER
PAID SOCIAL STRATEGIST

  • Paid social media ad specialist at Media Bridge. Translation: Her expertise is where the eyeballs are.
  • Comes to us by way of 3M, where she handled paid ads for 3M corporate across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Prior to that, managed social media and reputation management for 50 clients at a social media agency.
  • As a kid, had a unique ability to identify commercials, products, catch phrases and jingles. Still does.
  • Hails from Stillwater and graduated from the U of M Duluth, giving her the unique distinction of being a “double lift bridge Minnesotan.”

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The bread can be anything as long as it doesn’t have nuts in it. You need creamy peanut butter and grape jelly at a 2:1 ratio. Then here’s the important thing: You don’t cut the sandwich, you smoosh it. Like, flat as a pancake. I press it in the bag to contain the mess. Sometimes I even roll my water bottle over it. When you see the jelly seeping through the bread, it’s ready to eat. Don’t judge.”

SARAH O’CONNOR

SARAH O’CONNOR
EXECUTIVE COORDINATOR

  • 20+ years in hospitality and property management.
  • Takes care of the detailed tasks so the rest of us can focus 100% on you.
  • SuperFan for daughter’s volleyball and softball teams.
  • Doesn’t mind being compared to Radar O’Reilly (if you get that reference).
  • Does mind being confused with Sarah Connor from The Terminator … ‘cuz she’s way tougher than that snowflake.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“The burger. It’s got to be a thick patty, slightly pink (not squished, smashed or charbroiled). You need a seedless bun (a Kaiser roll is good) so fresh that it bounces back to form when you press on it. Then lettuce, tomato and mayo—but not, I repeat NOT Miracle Whip. And forget the so-called ‘healthy’ sides. It’s gotta come with traditional, skin-on fries, preferably with a dipping sauce of Frank’s Red Hot and more mayo. Finally: No pickles on the burger or as a garnish. Pickle juice on fries is a crime against humanity.”

CRYSTAL KLEIN

CRYSTAL KLEIN

CRYSTAL KLEIN
RECONCILIATION MANAGER

  • Grew up on a farm, so knows a thing or two about work ethic.
  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of OUTFRONT Media and Cuneo Advertising.
  • Handles the vital front-line media work of invoice reconciliation, negotiating mid-month make goods and handling month-to-month traffic for clients.
  • Other skills include slow-pitch softball and Fortnite.
  • Was once a video producer/editor for the Minnesota Timberwolves, but swears she had nothing to do with Jimmy Butler leaving.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Soft serve ice cream. It has to be vanilla/chocolate twist. It should always be served in a traditional flat-bottom cone (the cone is the best part after the ice cream). And it has to come from a mom-and-pop shop, not a chain. We have Dairy Barn back in my hometown, and I haven’t found anything that beats it.”

MARC CONKLIN

MARC CONKLIN
COPYWRITER

  • Award-winning copywriter, ghostwriter and screenwriter.
  • Experience in every writing medium—from web and TV/radio spots to full-length books for CEOs and a produced feature film (“Memorial Day” starring James Cromwell).
  • Specializes in “getting” people and brands quickly and expressing their personality better than they can.
  • Despite coffee addiction, still needs to take a nap if he has too much “people contact” in a day.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“The world is filled with coffee snobs, but I’m the worst. For straight (hot) coffee: Kenya AA beans, light-to-medium roast (not dark, which is just burning the bean), Clever or Chemex brewing method. Served black in a ceramic mug (never a cup). The best cold beverage: an iced cappuccino at the original Dunn Bros. on Grand and Snelling in St. Paul. With milk froth on top slowly seeping into the espresso, it looks like a Guinness. A beautiful thing to both watch and drink.”

Stacy Hood

STACY HOOD
OFFICE RELATIONS MANAGER

  • A productivity enhancement machine for Tracy and Toni
  • Comes to us by way of Hubbard Broadcasting and Centerpoint Energy
  • Unstoppable work ethic with unparalleled customer service skills
  • Strong advocate for (and teacher of) OULA dance and fitness classes
  • A 100% positive and welcoming person who loves everything … except cilantro

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I’m all about pizza. Seriously, what’s better than layers of good stuff piled on top of each other? I’m not picky about it at all, but I do like the boujee stuff. Give me a wood-fired thin crust, and you can put damn near anything on it. Anchovies? Check. Hawai’ian? No problem. Sauerkraut and pepperoni? Yaaaasss! Just hold the cilantro. Cilantro takes like electric soap.”

Patrick Hardie

PATRICK HARDIE
ADVERTISING STRATEGIST

  • Edina-born, but spent some of his formative years in Northern Ireland.
  • Band/theater/choir kid who still watches a movie a day.
  • Once sang backup for Gene Simmons and Katy Perry (ask him for the full story).
  • A true one-man band who can play trumpet, trombone, piano, banjo, guitar and violin.
  • The guy you trust to look under every hood, scour every bit of research, connect every dot and communicate with every key player to make a campaign work.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I learned in Northern Ireland that there’s only one proper way to drink Irish whiskey: It has to be Bushmills with a single drop of water in it. Not an ice cube. Literally ONE drop of water.”

Matt Zemlicka

MATT ZEMLICKA
MARKETING COORDINATOR

 

  • Was once a meteorology major at Iowa State, now involved in media forecasting and reporting.
  • Has gone from working on actual cars to mastering MB client dashboards.
  • Went from “Intern Matt” to “FTE Matt” in less than three months due to his impressive performance.
  • Works closely with Michael Libman, so it’s a good thing he minored in psychology.
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I used to make jam and sell it at farmers markets, so I like the jelly to be a little jammy. But the key is, it has to be strawberry. The peanut butter has to be crunchy. The bread has to be whole wheat and toasted. And the sandwich has to be cut diagonally.”

Amy Fillhouer

AMY FILLHOUER
CONTENT MARKETER

 

  • Started the Special Olympics Club at the University of Minnesota.
  • A master communicator who is also a licensed American Sign Language Interpreter.
  • Has written successful blogs on navigating both grief and writing (and knows how frighteningly related those two things can be).
  • Writes social media and influencer material for our clients so well that we also have her handle our own!

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Tequila should be either reposado or anejo, never blanco. And never waste a good tequila on a margarita, that’s what mezcal is for. My favorite is Casamigos Reposado with a little water and a big cube of ice. For special occasions: Clase Azul.”

MARY BLACKWELL

MARY BLACKWELL
EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

  • Top-notch project manager and customer service pro who acts as Toni’s right hand. And left hand. And both feet.
  • Once managed Godiva’s Mall of America store, where she gained a LOT of first-hand knowledge about chocolate.
  • Has performed on the double bass at Orchestra Hall (in a Youth Symphony) and played violin and cello. Also brilliant at karaoke (will dress as Diana Ross to sing Diana Ross).
  • Successfully auditioned for Deal or No Deal, but the show was canceled before she was able to appear. Their loss.
  • Models and roller skates in her spare time, and admits that she basically still lives in the ’70s.

 

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Chocolate. It has to be dark, 70-85% cacao. Preferably Ghirardelli, Lindt or Godiva. Never Hershey’s, and never any nuts. Maybe a touch of orange or raspberry. And always refrigerated.”

WINDHAM ANEZ

WINDHAM ANEZ
ASSISTANT MEDIA BUYER

 

  • An avid swimmer who competed at the club level in college (a rare swimmer with facial hair).
  • Graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in marketing and entrepreneurial management.
  • Served as co-executive director of an LGBTQ+ business connection group at the Carlson School.
  • Helps Media Bridge’s media buyers do their thing through assisting in reconciliation and other forms of double- and triple-checking that are big part of “Media The Way It Should Be.”
  • Had his study abroad program in France cancelled due to Covid, but still hopes to live in Europe at some point.
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I make coffee in a very particular way. I do a fine espresso grind of regular coffee beans and make it in a moka pot. I put honey at the bottom of a glass jar. Place one ice cube inside. Pour in the hot coffee until it melts the honey. Then add more ice cubes, followed by oat milk. Sometimes I add cinnamon if I’m feeling spicy.” 

GRACE THOEN

GRACE THOEN
ASSISTANT MEDIA BUYER

  • Certified bartender who knows that a Tom Collins is the best drink to make for someone who says, “I don’t know what I want.”
  • Graduated from the University of Minnesota with a marketing degree and was a teaching assistant for marketing research.
  • Makes dang sure that our clients’ spots run when and where they’re supposed to, and reach the people they’re supposed to reach.
  • Purposely sought out a woman-owned agency, and studied issues around gender equity and reparations for indigenous populations in college, including in New Zealand.
  • Loves cooking and baking, and is bummed that the Netflix cooking show “The Final Table” hasn’t come back for a second season.
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I honestly don’t have one, because every food or drink in the world can be improved in some way. If we’re talking comfort food, then I’ll make a fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms and a white wine cream sauce. Sounds fancy, but it’s really easy.”

LAURA BISSONETTE

LAURA BISSONETTE
SENIOR MEDIA BUYER

 

  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of Kelly Scott Madison in Chicago, where she worked for over 14 years on brands including Culver’s, Jimmy John’s, Securian Financial and Cabela’s.
  • Loves the art of the deal, so definitely the person you want on your side of the negotiating table.
  • Despite her super-French-sounding last name, lived in Italy for 5 years.
  • As a result, can be pretty picky about her Italian food, wine and gelato. (Note to Broder’s Pasta Bar: she’d be happy to work out a barter arrangement with you.)
  • Chose Media Bridge for its culture, team atmosphere and growth mentality—and our love of dogs. Her Goldendoodle is the love of her life.
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“An Aperol spritz. This is the official Italian happy hour drink, and it’s the perfect summer cocktail no matter where you are. It has to be served in a wine glass with equal parts Aperol and Prosecco (2-2.5 ounces each), a splash of soda, ice and an orange slice. Don’t even think about giving me a lemon!”
 

ERIC WEIHER

ERIC WEIHER
CREATIVE PROJECT MANAGER
 
  • Went to L.A. to be an actor, came back a producer.
  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of Drive Thru, where he served as post production producer.
  • Manages the traffic of all MB creative projects and makes sure they never hit rush hour.
  • Gets your design, radio and video projects done on point, on time and on budget.
  • Went to Butler University but (amazingly) does not play basketball.

 

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you? 
“An omelette. My dad was a butcher, so I know that the key is using leftover steak from the night before. You chop it into little bits and put it into your eggs, along with onion, bell pepper and cheese (sharp cheddar preferred). Cook it however you want, then add a little salsa to the finished product.”

 

 

AMANDA WELLNER

AMANDA WELLNER
PAID SOCIAL STRATEGIST
 
  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of Optimize Social Media, where she worked with our own Sarah Lauber.
  • The person you want translating your business goals into a solid paid social media strategy across all relevant platforms.
  • Geeks out on the data and strategy behind paid social posts, especially Facebook.
  • Attracted to Media Bridge because of its female ownership and leadership.
  • Moonlights at Rustech Brewing in Monticello, and has promised to bring them in as a client.
  • Is weirdly good at word searches.

 

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you? 
“I’m not really a picky eater, but here are a few rules: Beer should be sour. Chocolate should be kept in the fridge. Iced coffee is acceptable all year round. And black olives don’t belong on anything.”
 

ALONDRA RODRIGUEZ

ALONDRA RODRIGUEZ
MARKETING PROJECT MANAGER
 
  • Born in California but has lived in Minnesota for all but six months of her life.
  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of content marketing agency MSP Communications, where she rose from college intern to digital project manager.
  • Is the exact person that every job-description writer has ever in mind when using the term “detail-oriented.”
  • Has a Black Lab named Comet that she describes as the love of her life.
  • Tragically, is allergic to caffeine and has to avoid coffee. (Matcha’s okay, though.)
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you? 
“Tacos. They have to be in a soft corn tortilla with your choice of meat (or tofu), a little bit of onion (preferably red), a splash of lime, and if it’s your thing, cilantro. Salsa and guac are fine, too. But that’s it. I don’t believe in hard shells at all. And Taco Bell? Um, those aren’t tacos.”
 

PUMA NAMARRA

PUMA NAMARRA
ASSISTANT MEDIA BUYER
 
  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of the U of Minnesota, North Dakota State and Lululemon.
  • Started in physical therapy and nursing, ended in journalism and advertising.
  • Is heavy into manga and anime.
  • Secret talent (besides soccer) is that he’s ambidextrous and can write with both hands.
  • Has played soccer his entire life (including club level in college) and got to see Zlatan Ibrahimovic up close while working at Allianz Field, but somehow roots for Chelsea
What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you? 
“Oatmeal always has to include peanut butter. Cinnamon, apple cinnamon, doesn’t matter. You microwave the oatmeal and water together for 40 seconds. When it’s done, you can add some fruit, especially a banana, but then you have to add a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. If you don’t believe me, try it.”
 

JIM ATWOOD

JIM ATWOOD
SENIOR MEDIA BUYER
 
  • Experienced media buyer who comes to Media Bridge by way of NSA and Novus Media.
  • Grew up in the Chicago suburbs, now works with us from the Phoenix-adjacent town of Queen Creek, Arizona.
  • Print buyer extraordinaire who has bought media for some companies you may have heard of—including Walmart, Menards and Home Depot.
  • Enjoys relationship-building almost as much as he enjoys fitness. (He once did the Ragnar Relay with friends, where you basically tag-team run from Madison to Chicago.)
  • Extremely handy, so in addition to getting you the best value in media, he can also install a floor or do some tile work if you ask nicely.
What’s a food or drink the way it should be for you? 
Steak. It has to be filet mignon. Give it about 30 minutes out of the fridge to get to room temperature. Cover it with olive oil and sea salt. Grill it at 400 degrees for 9-12 minutes a side until it’s cooked medium. Let it cool down a bit. Then have it with a baked potato, asparagus, and a nice cabernet from Napa.

Pin It on Pinterest