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Monday, May 03, 2010

After a series of new business wins Preston Kelly hires eight new employees

Despite all the doom-and-gloom news about post-recession hiring, Preston Kelly has bucked the trend by filling eight new positions across several departments in the first three months of 2010. The hires are fueled by the organic growth of clients and a series of new business wins by the advertising agency, including Grand Casino, operator of two top gaming facilities in Minnesota, and Baker Tilly, a national accounting firm.

“We have added to the agency’s talent base literally across every department in the agency,” said Chuck Kelly, president of Preston Kelly. “With the new people comes a new energy to create iconic ideas. Our goal isn’t just to grow—it’s to explode our regional reputation into a national one.”

The eight new people include:

After nine years spent in Arizona, Colorado and Illinois, Jess Wangsness landed back in her home state as Preston Kelly’s new Public Relations Manager. In her many travels, Wangsness earned graduate degrees at the University of Arizona and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and developed her media savvy in the business of cross-platform magazine publishing. Her collaborative role at the agency includes a blend of social media, conceptual PR and new business development.

A number of highly qualified and experienced candidates applied for Preston Kelly's new copywriter position. Brett Knutson was selected based on his experience working with brands such as Target, UV Vodka and Chinet. Along with his agency and freelance experience, Knutson was an army sergeant and earned degrees from Miami Ad School, Bethel Seminary and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

With recent experience gleaned from Periscope’s digital design group, Clarissa Hernandez joins Preston Kelly as a Designer. Before heading to the Midwest, Hernandez completed studies in her native state at the University of Texas at Austin. After relocating, she continued her education at Brainco: The Minneapolis School of Advertising, Design and Interactive Studies

After completing an internship at Preston Kelly, Emily Jolly made the leap to full-time employment as an Interactive Project Manager. In her integrated role with the agency, she will project manage banner ads, email campaigns and mobile programs, in addition to serving as a vital link in search engine marketing and social media initiatives. Jolly is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota with a major in advertising and previously interned at the Twin Cities radio station KS95.

After two years as a Media Buyer/Planner at Russell Herder, Chris Luna joins Preston Kelly as a Connections Planner, a collaborative role that will blend his flair for number-crunching and his aim to devise the next great media placement ideas. Before maneuvering into the “real world,” Luna studied at the University of Minnesota’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Kate Zingsheim also transitioned smoothly into the ranks of full-time employees after an internship with the agency. Before taking the reins as Preston Kelly’s newest Assistant Account Manager, Zingsheim graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also worked for RJ Schinner, a supply source for wholesalers. After attending the Extra Bold Portfolio School in Madison, she moved to Minneapolis, taking an internship at Hunt Adkins and Preston Kelly, respectively.

Michael Diener joins Preston Kelly as a Production Artist/Designer after developing his advertising chops as a freelance production artist and designer for brands such as Minnesota Mosaic, LensCrafters and General Mills. Diener studied graphic design at the University of Minnesota. In his new hybrid role at Preston Kelly, he will employ his skills in the agency’s production and creative departments.

As Preston Kelly expands, it figures that the agency would need to beef up its internal accounting pool. With the recent hire of Lucas Hansen as Accounting and Benefits Manager, the agency gains a go-to person to answer questions about benefits, client billing information, forecasts and budgets. Prior to joining Preston Kelly, Hansen served as an accountant with Clarity Coverdale Fury.