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

TONI DANDREA
VP OF MARKETING

  • 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 multi-million 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.”

MARIA HILEMAN

MARIA HILEMAN

MARIA HILEMAN
CREATIVE DIRECTOR

  • Brings years of experience from Periscope and Carmichael Lynch to Media Bridge.
  • The person you want shaping the creative side of your brand experience.
  • Sees advertising as a passion, not a job.
  • Believes great ideas can come from any size budget or account.
  • Don’t even THINK about serving her ranch dressing that isn’t homemade.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“People know my ranch dressing obsession (short version: it has to be homemade). But instead of one particular food or drink, I’m more about ‘the food experience the way it should be.‘ My mom is from the Iron Range, so we’d always go to Valentini’s Supper Club in Chisholm, and they set the standard. It’s Italian, fresh pasta, great salad bar, crinkle-cut carrots. Everything is homemade. The owners go around to each table, check in with you, give the kids gum balls. It’s absolutely timeless—a family place that makes you feel like family.”

ALEX ROLLINS

ALEX ROLLINS
SENIOR CREATIVE PRODUCER

  • 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.”

GISELLE UGARTE

GISELLE UGARTE

GISELLE UGARTE
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING

  • Influencer extraordinaire with an extensive media background and 350,000 social media followers.
  • Has worked with major names like Buzzfeed, E! Entertainment, Entertainment Tonight, Hollywire, The Today Show (Australia) and GO 96.3.
  • A master storyteller in the digital age who believes passionately in integrating multiple media channels to unleash a brand’s full power.
  • Has a dog named Penelope Cruz.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“I have a few. First, don’t ask me if I want a hard or soft shell tortilla. Tortillas aren’t shells. They’re tortillas. My pizza needs to be a Heggies Inferno cut in squares, not triangles. And my tequila needs to be Patron Silver, never Jose Cuervo.”

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 the 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!”

MICHAEL LIBMAN

MICHAEL LIBMAN

MICHAEL LIBMAN
DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

  • 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.”

HOLLY DAVIES

HOLLY DAVIES
DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER

  • Media Bridge’s Web Wizard & Content Queen.
  • The person you want buying your social media advertising.
  • Wicked-good photographer (Instagram: @hollyamanda23).
  • British, but without the accent.

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“Tea. I’m sorry, but Americans have f***ed it up in every way possible. It has to be in a pot. You boil the water. You put two tea bags in the pot, preferably English Breakfast. You pour the water in and let it sit for 4 minutes. Then you put enough milk in the bottom of the cup so that when you pour tea over it, it’s a beautiful light brown. No sugar. And strings on tea bags are an abomination!”

NATE REINHART

NATE REINHART
MARKETING MANAGER & ALL-AROUND UTILITY PLAYER

  • 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.”

TAUNI MARKUSON

TAUNI MARKUSON
SENIOR MEDIA BUYER

  • Comes to Media Bridge by way of Cuneo Advertising.
  • Used to race cars, so navigating a media negotiation comes easily.
  • Widely considered a top-level Strata Ninja (that’s media buying software), so helps our clients get the most out of every buy.
  • Has a uniquely non-Minnesotan, un-passive-aggressive talent for saying, “This is what I want. Can you give me that?”
  • Went to UMD, so go Bulldogs.
  • Born and raised in Eagan, but now lives waaaaaay over in Apple Valley.
  • Wanted to be a zoologist when she was kid, until she realized you had to be good at “math and science and all that shit.”

What’s a food or drink “the way it should be” for you?
“This may sound strange, but I don’t like it when people pour cheap beer into a nice glass. I’m a Coors Light person. Don’t pour it into a glass. What’s wrong with you? Just give it to me straight from an ice-cold, mountains-are-blue can!”

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.”

SARAH TWITE

SARAH TWITE

SARAH TWITE
SENIOR MEDIA BUYER

  • 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.”

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
NEW MEDIA STRATEGIST

  • 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 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
ASSISTANT MEDIA BUYER

  • 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

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.”