We use communications to help our clients solve their business challenges and get the reputation they deserve.

Well-understood organizations have the best opportunity for success. Tunheim leverages communications to help clients navigate the complex situations. We take on our clients’ challenges as our own and customize communications efforts to deliver results.

Tunheim was founded because talented people wanted to do interesting work. Since 1990, we’ve operated by the fundamental beliefs that well-informed people make good decisions and that effective communication is a critical component of successful business strategy.

We’re a certified woman-owned business and a member of IPREX, the second-largest independent global agency network.

MEET OUR TEAM
OUR CORE CAPABILITIES

Management Consulting

Businesses face new, dynamic challenges every day; many of those challenges are catalysts for change management. Tunheim helps its clients navigate change and communicate effectively to bring stakeholders along.

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Brand Positioning

Tunheim believes solid brand positioning is the fundamental starting point for any organization undergoing change or looking to capitalize on a new opportunity.

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Public Relations

Strategic communications is core to our consultancy’s success. It’s what differentiates Tunheim from other business consultancies.

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Research + Measurement

Research is the foundation for developing a targeted, persuasive campaign and setting benchmarks for achieving measurable results. The best research tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.

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Public Affairs

As a leading consultancy specializing in public affairs, Tunheim understands the complex intersection of public policy, stakeholders, media and decision-makers.

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Digital + Content

Tunheim understands the dynamics of digital tools, has an experienced bench of talent and knows how to create a digital strategy, develop the content and deliver in the best format to connect you with the right audience and on the right platform.

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Our Approach to Talent

Tunheim tackles our clients’ challenges with a collective approach – a belief that no one individual is as good as the company’s “collective best.” A philosophy since our inception, this means we are committed to building the right team of talent to serve client needs.

We have a robust number of strategic partnerships with talented professionals who join our teams, but choose to operate as independent contractors – we call them Strategic Partners.

We are also a member of IPREX, the second-largest independent global agency network, giving us access to talent and insights from all around the world.

Meet the Rethinkers.

Tunheim believes clients should always have access to the best counsel, strategy and talent. We’re a collection of thinkers and strategists and what-if-ers. We’re a proven team of business professionals, some of the best and the brightest. We’re writers and designers, marketers and business professionals. We’re researchers, media relations gurus, and digital and social evangelizers. We analyze-scrutinize-theorize.

But most of all we are Rethinkers. With an insatiable energy for learning and problem solving.

Kathy Tunheim

Kathy Tunheim

CEO & Principal

Kathy Tunheim co-founded the firm in 1990 with four colleagues from Honeywell, Inc., and has served as chief executive officer throughout the firm’s evolution to Tunheim. She maintains an active role in many of the agency’s client relationships, and is a well-known crisis communications counselor to senior executives. She is past president of IPREX, one of the world’s largest networks of independent communications firms, which Tunheim joined in 2007.

Prior to co-founding the agency, Kathy gained experiences in both the corporate world and the political arena that profoundly shaped her approach to creating value as an agency counselor. She served as vice president for public relations and internal communications at Honeywell. Earlier in her career, she handled media relations and speechwriting for Wendell R. Anderson — for both his time as governor of the State of Minnesota and during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. Collectively these experiences cause her to be particularly intrigued by the challenges of helping clients navigate the intersections of business, public policy and the media.

In 2011, she accepted a part-time appointment as senior advisor to Minnesota’s governor, serving two years focused on igniting job creation across the state. She serves on the board of directors for Landscape Structures, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of commercial playground equipment; Hennepin Healthcare (HCMC) and The McKnight Foundation, as well as The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations.

John Blackshaw

John Blackshaw

President and Chief Operating Officer

John Blackshaw’s position is a first for Tunheim. He is tasked with leading and developing the firm’s consulting operations, our primary business.

John was most recently chief executive of Nemadji Research Corp., a Bruno, Minn.-based health care analytics company, a position he held for about six years.

Although his position is a first, Blackshaw is not new to Tunheim; he worked for the firm from 1992 to 2000.

“It’s kind of coming full-circle,” Blackshaw said. “Being able to come back and grow Tunheim into the next phase is a big thrill for me.”

Lindsay Treichel

Lindsay Treichel

Chief Transformation Officer

At Tunheim, Lindsay excels at leading clients through transformational change. Whether it’s guiding her clients through a crisis, developing a marketplace positioning or developing new strategies to help clients maximize engagement with key stakeholders, Lindsay is a strategic partner to her clients every step of the way.

In addition to her role at Tunheim, Lindsay serves as a member of the marketing and communications committee for Cornerstone, an organization that provides comprehensive services and support for victims of interpersonal violence. Lindsay also is part of The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Women to Know Council and is a member of the Bloomington Chamber of Commerce board of directors. A Wisconsin native and lover of country music, Lindsay has a not-so-secret desire to be a country music singer.

Patrick Milan

Patrick Milan

Chief Insights Officer

Patrick Milan is tasked with transforming Tunheim’s services to meet the needs of clients navigating complex change. He is one of the leaders of Tunheim’s management consulting practice. Pat works across Tunheim’s broad portfolio of clients and their industry sectors developing key insights based on trends and disruptive factors that are likely to impact organizational success.

Prior to Tunheim, Pat served as a managing partner at Fallon Worldwide. At Fallon, he helped develop and direct the retail marketing practice where teams developed breakthrough work for clients including Starbucks, BMW, United Airlines and Nordstrom.

Pat serves on the board of directors for Artistry, a nonprofit organization that serves a regional audience of 80,000 people and pursues artistic excellence by engaging the region’s most talented audiences in work that welcomes and develops audiences and opens hearts and minds. Pat is also a member of the board of Southdale YMCA, Minnesota’s largest YMCA organization.

Brian Ortale

Brian Ortale

Chief Financial Officer

Brian brings over 25 years of business experience to the Tunheim team. He created, owned and grew his own business when he was just 21 years old and has since spent his time leading financial teams in the retail, technology and creative industries.

During his time leading business operations at Creatis, Inc., Brian handled all aspects of financial management including the budgeting, revenue and expense forecasting, accounts payable and accounts receivable. He developed and provided timely operational and financial analysis including interpretation of results and recommendations. Brian is also experienced in strategic business perspectives and actively offered input to leaders in the industry. His work contributed to reducing that company’s health care costs by 30 percent in 2014.

Brian’s diverse background reflects his ability to understand the financial strategies that are vital to business success in a variety of sectors. He is passionate about numbers as well as leadership and has played key roles in rethinking both the budgets and strategies of large operations.

Liz Sheets

Liz Sheets

Chief Marketing Officer

As Chief Marketing Officer, Liz is responsible for Tunheim’s external positioning. With a breadth of experience working with numerous consumer, B2B and nonprofit organizations, Liz combines communications, marketing and digital expertise to strategically position the firm. Liz is adept at quickly understanding client needs, and identifying and aligning with strategy to deliver for clients. She also oversees the digital team, ensuring exceptional work and competency.

Prior to joining Tunheim in 2012, Liz led social media strategy at Spyder Trap and spent a number of years in event marketing at Best Buy, where she focused on product launches, sponsorship activation and localizing brand marketing efforts. Liz started her career in entertainment publicity.

Emily McGrath

Emily McGrath

Senior Consultant

Emily has extensive strategic consulting experience working for both the public and private sectors. Before working for Tunheim, she was a contract lobbyist for a variety of Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, Emily served as the legislative liaison for the Minnesota Department of Health and worked in corporate public affairs departments in both St. Paul, Minnesota and Washington, D.C.

As a consultant with Tunheim, Emily has overseen the strategic planning and execution of communications and community outreach campaigns. She has provided counsel to a variety of clients, including the Minnesota Twins, UnitedHealth Group, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, United Health Foundation, Ingersoll Rand, Xcel Energy, International Multifoods, and the Minnesota Private College Council.

Emily is currently a member of the board of directors of the Healdsburg Education Foundation, and an elected representative of the Healdsburg Charter School governing board. Previously, Emily served on the board of the Minnesota Women’s Political Council.

Darin Broton

Darin Broton

Senior Consultant

A veteran of public affairs and political campaigns, Darin Broton leads Tunheim’s public affairs practice and specializes in issues management, strategic alliances, advocacy campaigns and strategic communications.

Darin’s work for Tunheim clients has included developing and implementing national and local media strategies, managing advocacy campaigns and conducting public opinion research.

Coming from the world of campaigns and politics, he has a unique understanding of how targeted and provocative communications can influence public policy. Some of his current and past clients include Nestlé Waters North America, the National Center for Victims of Crime, T. Boone Pickens, the Minnesota Hospital Association and Anheuser-Busch.

Prior to joining Tunheim, Darin held several positions with elected officials, political campaigns and branches of government, including U.S. Congressman Bill Luther, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Minnesota Senate.

Lou Ann Olson

Lou Ann Olson

Director of Media

Leveraging her experience in working with big brands and signature events, Lou Ann leads Tunheim strategy for telling client stories in ways that secure meaningful results.  From the PGA’s Ryder Cup to MLB’s All-Star Week and Minneapolis’ Holidazzle, Lou Ann partners with Tunheim clients to not only spread the word but also move minds.

Capitalizing on Tunheim’s ‘collective best’ approach to client service, Lou Ann builds teams and then leads their approach to help big brands tackle communications challenges – from telling stories of urban revitalization for the Dayton’s Project and opening new stores for Caribou Coffee to introducing the latest Sleep Number bed at the Consumer Electronics Show.  Understanding that effectively communicating with stakeholders should not be formulaic, Lou Ann works with clients to rethink each challenge and then identify their customized path to stellar results.

Sheila Green

Sheila Green

Senior Consultant

Building relationships and partnerships are Sheila’s passions. At Tunheim, Sheila leads teams for local and global clients, including the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation, the Minnesota Urban Debate League and Boston Harbor Cruises.

Prior to joining Tunheim, Sheila was a vice president at a communications firm in Boston. She has a wealth of experience in health care, higher education, hospitality, crisis, real estate and corporate communications. In addition to her sector experience, Sheila’s skills span media relations, public affairs, events, marketing, internal and external communications and much more.

Paula Wright

Paula Wright

Director of Best Practices

Paula leverages her corporate and agency experience to provide insightful consultation and strategy for clients managing change and transformation. She has worked with a wide variety of sports and corporate clients from the PGA (Ryder Cup 2016) to Target, the USGA, Cargill and Sleep Number, providing communications and events marketing strategy to maximize brand opportunities.

In addition to her client work, Paula leads best practices at Tunheim, focusing on superior client service that drives results. Paula currently serves on the board of the American Marketing Association (AMA Minnesota) and previously served on the board of the International Live Event Association.

Sandi Scott

Sandi Scott

Senior Consultant

At Tunheim, Sandi helps clients obtain the reputation they deserve.  Whether it is company positioning, communicating with stakeholders, reputation management or managing a crisis, Sandi has a proven track record for helping clients reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.

Understanding that each organization has its own unique challenges, Sandi is a strategic partner that works with clients from global B2B and B2C companies to small nonprofit organizations to develop customized strategies that drive results.

 

Nate Maydole

Nate Maydole

Strategic Partner

As filmmaker, editor and videographer, Nate’s expertise is to develop creative storytelling through visuals, voice and music. He works with clients to help them tell the most rich and engaging stories possible through video and interactive content.

Nate is owner/lead creative of Don’t Blink, a video, design and interactive media company that focuses on product marketing, capturing live events and creating biographical documentaries for corporate clients such as Target, Red Bull, Polaris, Meet Minneapolis, Mortenson, Greater MSP and Coca-Cola.

In 2014, Nate was honored to act as a video specialist for the Minnesota Super Bowl LII Bid Committee, helping secure the Twin Cities as the official host of the 2018 NFL Super Bowl. In the same year, he received gold and silver American Advertising Awards for two promotional videos for Polaris and the Vimeo Staff Pick Award as film editor of “Legends of the Isles.”

Nate is on the advisory board of the Minnesota School of Business and Clutch, a nonprofit that supports single parents. He’s also a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities and volunteers with Rock the Cause.

Meredith Kessler

Meredith Kessler

Consultant

Meredith brings extensive local and national experience to media relations and communications strategies. With creative energy and a diverse public relations background, Meredith offers a solid media acumen for our clients. She is particularly adept at navigating complex issues and guiding projects with calmness, professionalism and clarity.

Prior to joining Tunheim in 2017, Meredith managed public relations at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where she focused on a variety of programs and institutional media relations. She also directed book publicity campaigns for publishing houses such as Grove Atlantic and Farrar, Straus and Giroux in New York City.

Linnea Moat

Linnea Moat

Consultant

A firm believer that words matter and that the way you tell a story often matters more than the story itself, Linnea helps clients tell their stories authentically and effectively through video and content creation. Prior to joining Tunheim, Linnea served as communications advisor to Senator Amy Klobuchar, where she planned press events that brought public attention to important constituent issues. Thanks to her experience working for Minnesota’s senior Senator, Linnea brings to our clients a unique ability to craft effective messages that resonate with both the media and the public, and the expertise to turn complex policy positions into easy-to-understand narratives.

When not at the office, Linnea can be found running the trails of Minneapolis or cheering on the Minnesota Twins.

Danielle Lund

Danielle Lund

Senior Consultant

As a communications professional with a penchant for storytelling through strategic intent and orientation, we look to Danielle to weave stories that will most resonate with audiences.

Danielle is a newshound with attention to detail and works to illustrate an organization’s message long after an initial media placement. Keen on understanding a client’s industry and anticipating needs through a proactive approach, Danielle works with clients including Sleep Number, Medtronic’s Global Champions program, the Ryder Cup and the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Be it media relations and logistics for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, crafting a winning message for Minnesota’s successful 2018 Super Bowl LII bid or developing communications strategies for the new Minnesota stadium, Danielle’s passion for sports has always been a part of her life — even as a Vikings fan growing up in Wisconsin.

Away from the office, Danielle enjoys watching and attending Vikings, Wild and Twins games. Her morning reading list includes “CBS This Morning”, ESPN, Instagram, The Week and The Wall Street Journal.

Nick Marcouiller

Nick Marcouiller

Consultant

Nick got his start on a presidential campaign, learning the basics of digital strategy from the team pushing campaign technology in new, exciting directions by transforming social media audiences into volunteers and small donors.

He has since led innumerable landing page optimization projects to maximize donations and email acquisitions for grassroots organizations.

Nick leads on digital content creation and ad campaigns for clients including Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota Hospital Asociation, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49. His skills as a designer and experience as a digital project manager come in handy on projects that require a detailed understanding of current design software and trends.

Marika Kelly

Marika Kelly

Consultant

With a knack for crafted storytelling, Marika couples an adaptable strategic mind and a keen attention to detail to provide clients with impactful media relations. Whether it’s Sleep Number, the Grand Reopening of the Minnesota State Capitol or the redevelopment of the Macy’s building in downtown Minneapolis (The Dayton’s Project), she is passionate about cultivating new ideas and executing on strict deadlines to exceed client expectations and goals. As the third child of five, Marika prides herself on being adaptable, positive and realistic.

Emmett Coleman

Emmett Coleman

Strategic Partner

Informed by decades of operating in highly regulated and competitive business environments, Emmett Coleman relies on a proactive approach to advocacy informed by the great Wayne Gretzky’s key to success – instead of reacting to the action, determine where the puck is going to be and get there ahead of it. Emmett appreciates that organizations often need to transform their approach to public affairs to successfully shape public policies, find common ground on contested issues and generate opportunities for growth.

Emmett is best when dealing with complex topics, guiding clients with emerging technologies and rapidly developing business interests through traditional public processes that often slow innovation and investment. He offers a unique perspective formed through his experience running government and public affairs within several Fortune 50 technology companies, serving as legislative staff in the U.S. House of Representatives. Emmett understands that alliances are built on trust over time through engagement – and that in building trusting relationships, you create champions that enhance your brand and reputation.

Emmett’s experience includes securing regulatory approval for large acquisitions, complex negotiations, grassroots and legislative advocacy and directing coordination of government affairs, public relations and community investment.

Sam Kovar

Sam Kovar

Strategic Partner

Sam Kovar is creative producer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Originally from the land of cranberries–a small town in Northern Wisconsin–and has since lived in Boston, Minneapolis, Chicago and came back to Minneapolis. Sam is also a marketer and experience enthusiast, pursuing the art of collaboration, while being a constructively disruptive thinker and creative doer.

Sam started his career in music and then got into production and recording. He became a minority partner in A440 Studios in Northeast Minneapolis where he quickly honed his entrepreneurial skillset and rediscovered his love for video, helping launch video capture and content development. After working with a handful of other startups, he joined a corporate marketing team and quickly rose to executive producer, overseeing a creative team responsible for all video, photo and audio production across six brands. In 2015, he to pursued freelancing and teamed up with Don’t Blink in the Fall of 2015 as a Creative Producer.

 

Jason Dorow

Jason Dorow

Associate

Adept in strategic communications and storytelling, Jason came to Tunheim from Weber Shandwick in Chicago, where he handled media relations and developed outreach strategies for several retail and technology companies. His passion for content creation and brand positioning blossomed in a prior editorial position at Teamworks Media while writing stories for the Big Ten Network’s LiveBIG campaign. At Tunheim, Jason lends his sharp attention to detail and knack for writing compelling content to Cargill, Accra and other clients.

Jonathan Du

Jonathan Du

Associate

Jonathan uses his knowledge in media, politics and journalism to develop stories that help drive conversation and policy. Getting his start in D.C. working for the Republican National Committee, he worked for the communications shop, delving into Asian-American voter demographics and creating new and engaging ways to empower a quickly growing population. Through that experience, he quickly realized the importance of storytelling to connect policymakers with their constituents.

Jonathan has also worked for private research firms, delivering on client needs through the extensive use of databases and public files. Jonathan also has experience working for a national broadcasting channel, mainly working with CBS News through 48 Hours and Face the Nation. Jonathan has written, researched and helped produce for both shows, creating informative, engaging and meaningful content for viewers. Whether it’s developing a strategy for the Minnesota Hospital Association or creating innovative events for The Dayton’s Project, you can be sure that Jonathan is thinking about how to tell an engaging story.

Maddie Renneke

Maddie Renneke

Associate

Social media, content writing, and media relations are Maddie’s sweet spots. She developed an ear for content as a writing tutor in college and now bends her voice from to-the-point press releases to compelling thought leadership pieces.

At Tunheim, Maddie partners with numerous clients, including Cargill, Dominium and PwC.

Although Maddie is early in her career, she has stacked several meaningful experiences in the communications field. Between a retail marketing internship at an ad agency, a marketing and internal communications internship in Stockholm and a business development role at a software company, Maddie did some soul-searching in the field before finding her niche in public relations.

Diane Vredeveld

Diane Vredeveld

Administrative Support

Previous to her employment with Tunheim as an Administrative Assistant in 1999, Diane worked for 10 plus years in the residential real estate field as an office administrator for Coldwell Banker Burnet, serving the Stillwater and Shoreview, Minnesota offices as well as the Hudson, Wisconsin office.  She later spent several years with CB Richard Ellis, a worldwide commercial property management company, as an administrative assistant who provided support to the property managers and their operations departments.

In her spare time, Diane enjoys gardening, reading and traveling. A little-known fact about Diane – she was cast as an extra in the motion picture “Grumpier Old Men”.

 

Virginia “Ginny” Melvie

Senior Executive Assistant

Even though it often makes her job more difficult, Ginny enjoys making other people’s jobs easier. With an uncanny sense of what needs to be done to keep things running smoothly, she is Tunheim’s petite superhero. Ginny brings to the firm more than 25 years of executive-level support and works directly with our president and CEO.

Prior to joining Tunheim, Ginny was executive assistant to the chief deputy attorney general for the state of Minnesota. She assisted the chief deputy in the day-to-day management of the office and a staff of more than 500 employees, working on both short- and long-term planning for the office. She also was an active participant in the state’s litigation team that worked on what was (and is) considered the single most important piece of litigation to arise from the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office: the tobacco settlement.

Ginny brings a broad range of skills to the firm, having worked in a variety of industries throughout her career, including: corporate, legal, government, boards, nonprofits and political campaigns. Some of her previous political roles have included: state convention delegate, past precinct chair, PAC administrator, and a member of the Alan Page for Justice Committee.

When she’s away from the office, Ginny enjoys watching the Minnesota Twins, reading home décor magazines, dining out and, in the summer, enjoying a strawberry daiquiri with friends.

Arick Wierson

Arick Wierson

Strategic Partner

A six-time Emmy award-winning television producer, Arick Wierson brings extensive global, international, business and communications expertise to Tunheim. Arick is a former deputy commissioner of technology and senior communications advisor to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and founder of NYC TV and NYC Media Group, the largest publicly owned broadcast entity in the United States.

Arick is fluent in Spanish and bilingual in Portuguese and English. He is a partner in the MANOVA Summit, the global health and technology summit taking place in Minnesota this October. He is also a contributor to CNN.com, CNBC.com and the New York Observer.

Carrie Coleman

Carrie Coleman

Strategic Partner

Carrie Coleman prides herself on being a health policy wonk who loves to dive deeply into the arcana of almost any issue in the health care arena, but she’s made her niche mostly in the specialized skill of interpreting those details into a big picture for policymakers and consumers. She has 25 years of experience in public policy and communications for state legislatures, U.S. Congress, nonprofits, trade associations and health plans.

The early part of Carrie’s career took her back and forth between Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C., where she worked for the Texas Legislature, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and then again for the Texas Senate, where she was the staff lead responsible for negotiating and passing Medicaid-managed care legislation. She also successfully lobbied the Texas Legislature against cuts in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance on behalf of community-based, nonprofit health plans serving those populations.

In Minnesota, she spent two years as a vice president of public policy and government affairs at UnitedHealth Group, where she worked behind the scenes managing government affairs negotiations on high-profile state legislation and leading cross-company teams to develop consensus positions on health reform. More recently she was Director of Policy and Communications at MN Community Measurement, a nonprofit organization that gathers and reports information on quality of care at Minnesota hospitals and physician clinics. In that role she was responsible for media relations, communications, government relations and new business development. She was particularly focused on presenting the organization’s data in ways that were accessible to consumers.

Married into a St. Paul political family, Carrie is happy to be settled in Minnesota with her husband, three teenagers and two dogs.

Margie Omero

Margie Omero

Strategic Partner

Margie has more than 20 years of experience managing all facets of qualitative and quantitative research, including everything from methodological design to business development and strategic analysis. Her clients have featured some of the world’s biggest brands, such as Kellogg’s, McDonald’s and Walmart, as well as nonprofit and advocacy groups such as The Center for American Progress, Everytown for Gun Safety and Compassion and Choices. Omero has also led the bipartisan team studying Walmart Moms — a proven swing voting bloc covered by most major news outlets.

Omero is the creator and co-host of a top-200 podcast “The Pollsters,” covering the polls driving news in politics, tech, entertainment and pop culture. It’s the only podcast exclusively focusing on polling in the United States, and it has been featured by iTunes, Google and other channels.

A frequent writer, commentator and speaker, Margie has appeared on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” NPR’s “Diane Rehm Show” and many others. She has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and USA Today. Margie speaks regularly before groups of students, lawmakers, business leaders and journalists. In addition, Omero has been named one of 50 Politicos to Watch by Politico, a Mover and Shaker by Campaigns & Elections magazine, a Young Woman of Achievement by the Women’s Information Network and Rookie of the Year by the American Association of Political Consultants.

 

Debbie Estes

Debbie Estes

Strategic Partner

As a seasoned marketing director, Debbie has a strong client side focus in experiential, entertainment and sports marketing that drive for results.

In her first year at Tunheim, she played a pivotal role as a member of the successful 2018 Super Bowl and the 2017-2020 NCAA Final Four bid committee teams. The teams developed the strategy, messaging, communications and creative for the formal bid presentations.

Before joining Tunheim, Debbie was the senior director of experiential/event marketing for Best Buy, where she developed programs that supported the brand. For example, her team led the event strategy for entertainment exclusives with acts including U2, The Rolling Stones, Usher, Elton John and Justin Timberlake. Debbie also managed more than 50 Best Buy sponsorships including NASCAR teams, the National Hockey League and multiple MLB, NBA and NHL teams. She is also adept at product integration, having worked with “The Apprentice,” “The Ellen Show” and “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Prior to Best Buy, Debbie worked at Target as director of event marketing and publicity. While there, she led the events and publicity strategy for the Michael Graves Design Collection product launch, Target House at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the restoration of the Washington Monument and the branding of Target Center.

Debbie started her career in the Minnesota Office of the Governor and moved on to the White House Press Advance staff during the Carter administration. She is also very active in the community, having served on numerous arts, education and social action boards. Debbie and her husband have a daughter and have hosted six AFS exchange students who attended Wayzata High School.

Melissa Champine

Melissa Champine

Strategic Partner

As a senior marketing and communications leader, Melissa has a passion for the art and science of innovative marketing. For nearly 20 years, using insights, data and creativity, she has been developing award-winning marketing, communications and event strategies for top national companies, including Target and Cambria.

Her work includes developing new public relations programs, materials and events, launching product collections and collaborations, developing and executing pop-up retail shops, innovating marketing programs to drive  media and sales, and introducing digital solutions to complement traditional marketing,

Melissa also is an excellent leader and mentor, having led people and teams for more than 10 years. As VP of marketing at Cambria, she led a team of 25, which she restructured and grew by 50%. She prides herself on being an authentic, transparent leader who is focused on developing people and collaboration.

Susan Eich

Susan Eich

Strategic Partner

Susan Eich strongly believes that effective communications can drive corporate performance. She has more than 30 years of experience in corporate communications, working for some of the most prominent Twin Cities-based companies. Susan understands the pressures and demands of being in a senior communications role inside a company, and how outside counsel can provide value and be a trusted partner.

Susan’s first professional position was in public relations at Honeywell, where she had the fortune to work for and learn from Kathy Tunheim. She also was one of the founding partners of Tunheim Santrizos Co. — known today as Tunheim. She has held senior public relations positions at Target Corporation and Cargill, and most recently was Sleep Number’s senior director of public relations and corporate communications.

Susan’s areas of expertise include corporate and financial communications, investor relations, speechwriting, executive communications, crisis communications, media relations, corporate reputation management and issues management.

Jason Dunham

Jason Dunham

Strategic Partner

Jason’s career in sports and entertainment marketing spans 16 years, working in sponsorship development and marketing at one of the largest motorsports events in the Upper Midwest. He then transitioned to the management team, spearheading the opening of the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the premier collegiate hockey facility in North America.

At “The Ralph,” Jason successfully led all sales and marketing initiatives for the facility including suite, ticket and sponsorship sales, forming partnerships with blue-chip corporations such as Coca-Cola, Subway and MillerCoors. He was also instrumental in securing events for the facility, including the NCAA Elite Eight Basketball Championship and Minnesota Wild Exhibition NHL games.

Since moving on from Grand Forks, N.D., Jason has worked for Fortune 500 companies in Minneapolis, including U.S. Bank, The Walt Disney Corporation and CBS Broadcasting, continuing to implement innovative ideas while driving new business revenues in the ever-evolving sports marketing, media and entertainment industries.

Jason’s specialties include: sponsorship representation; activation strategies enhancing consumer engagement, developing new revenue streams for properties and enhanced ROI for brands.

Jason is a native of Minot, North Dakota.

Kim Busse

Kim Busse

Strategic Partner

From development to implementation, Kim develops and executes strategy, event marketing and media relations for various clients. She creates and coordinates communications plans to support strategic initiatives serving clients effectively.

With a specialty in event planning, Kim is always one to pay close attention to detail. Whether planning a sales training for 30 or a large-scale meeting for 3,000 — Kim coordinates day-to-day event logistics and maintains positive client and vendor relationships.

Kim has consulted for organizations such as the Rober Wood Johnson Foundation implementing a public relations plan for a public health initiative promoting healthy behavior and collaborative leadership nationwide. She also has worked with clients such as Cargill, Sleep Number, the Minnesota Twins, Medtronic and UnitedHealth Group.

 

Kris Jensen

Kris Jensen

Strategic Partner

Kris has more than 15 years of experience as a strategic communications consultant in the public and private sectors. Before joining Tunheim, Kris served as communications director for the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus, and provided communications support to veterans’ outreach efforts for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. A veteran himself, Kris uses his military training to help clients to assess challenges and develop strategies that leverage their greatest strengths to achieve their critical objectives. Kris’s client roster includes public sector agencies, tribal governments, nonprofits, trade associations and B2B brands ranging from small companies to the Fortune 500, as well as the agency’s GSA work.