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Monday, May 07, 2012

11 Promoted at Weber Shandwick

The Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick announces the promotions of Peter Abeln, Stephanie Connolly, Trish Corprew, Angela Gassett, Rebecca Mitchell, Emily Norine, John Poferl, Jacob Ricker, Brandon Sullivan, Carolyn Sullivan and Kelsy VonderHaar within its Consumer Marketing, Design and Development, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Corporate, Community and Public Affairs practices.

Peter Abeln was promoted to senior application architect in the Design and Development practice. During his six years at Weber Shandwick, Abeln has been instrumental in the development of many high-profile websites for government and private-industry clients, including the American College of Surgeons and BAE Systems. He has also served as technical lead for the U.S. Army’s award-winning Army Strong Stories program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and an AA in web development from the Minnesota School of Business.

Stephanie Connolly was promoted to account supervisor in the Corporate, Community and Public Affairs practice. She joined Weber Shandwick in January 2007 and currently leads the internal and external communications campaigns for a major sub-section of the BAE Systems account as well as leading a major account in the travel industry. She has expertly secured top-tier media placements, coordinated trade show media activities and planned long-term public relations campaigns and measurement strategies for all her clients over the past five years. Connolly holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and communication from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

Trish (Backes) Corprew was promoted to account supervisor in the Healthcare practice. Corprew has brought strategic counsel, superb media relations skills and a talent for project management to all her accounts, including deftly securing numerous placements in national newspapers and interviews with local and national broadcast media for major Weber Shandwick Healthcare clients. In addition, since joining the agency in January 2010, she has been heavily involved in Weber Shandwick Minneapolis’ annual Telling Your Story pro bono workshop. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from the University of St. Thomas.

Angela Gassett was promoted to account supervisor in the Corporate, Community and Public Affairs practice. Gassett joined the agency as an intern in 2005 and has contributed to the continued growth and success of the firm through her strategic account leadership and involvement in the local PR community. Gassett leads and manages the U.S. Army’s award-winning Army Strong Stories program, including blogger relations, event support, relationship building with partners, and mobile app development. In addition, she has served as the Minnesota PRSA Classics co-chair for two years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and psychology from the University of St. Thomas.

Rebecca Mitchell was promoted to senior account executive in the Financial Services practice. Her positive attitude, resourcefulness and dedication have made her a sought-after team member for colleagues and clients. Mitchell is a key member of the team working on the Taxpayer Advocate service account, handling client communications with aplomb and expertly leading the development of a complex financial website on a short timeline. She also serves as social media expert and web advisor for the U.S. Treasury Go Direct and Bureau of the Public Debt Ready.Save.Grow campaigns, and provides media relations and corporate communications support for the MasterCard account. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Mitchell interned at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.


Emily Norine was promoted to senior project manager in the Design and Development practice. Norine joined the firm two years ago and has played a crucial role in managing vendors, meeting budgets and ensuring that all projects are completed on deadline. She has led the development of print advertising projects and branding collateral for major clients including the Minnesota Twins and the U.S. Army, as well as supporting more than 50 new business efforts in the last year alone. She holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from Calvin College.

John Poferl was promoted to senior account executive in the Financial Services practice. Poferl has managed social media strategy for major clients including the U.S. Census and led grassroots media relations for U.S. Army NASCAR racing events. Additionally, he has developed case studies on complex B2B financial products as a member of the ADP account team, used his media relations expertise to secure coverage for a large national property and casualty insurance company and clients in the retirement industry, and served on the FedEx NASCAR account team. Poferl will also serve as social media chair for the seventh annual Alphabet Bash in August, a Twin Cities networking event for communications professionals. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communication and public relations from St. Cloud State University.

Jacob Ricker was promoted to account supervisor in the Consumer Marketing group. Since Ricker joined Weber Shandwick in January 2007, he has combined strong sports expertise with inline program executions to help drive some of the Consumer Marketing group’s most dynamic campaigns. He has been key to executive visibility, corporate communications, inline media relations and sponsorship activation programs for clients including the U.S. Army, Polaris Industries and the Notah Begay III Foundation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Brandon Sullivan was promoted to web developer in the Design and Development practice. Since 2009, Sullivan’s HTML slicing skills, WordPress expertise and innovative thinking have contributed to the success of dozens of campaigns and the polish of as many websites for clients including the U.S. Army, the U.S. Treasury, the American College of Surgeons and the IRS. He holds an associate’s degree in web design and interactive media from The Art Institutes International Minnesota.

Carolyn Sullivan was promoted to account director in the Corporate, Community and Public Affairs group. Sullivan leads the day-to-day management of communication efforts for a national commercial real estate brand and manages the Inspire Stories blogger engagement initiative for the U.S. Army’s award-winning Army Strong Stories program. She also served as co-chair of the 20th annual Weber Shandwick pro bono communications workshop for local non-profit organizations, Telling Your Story. Carolyn holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish from the College of Saint Benedict.

Kelsy VonderHaar was promoted to graphic designer in the Design and Development practice. Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2010, she has supported dozens of new business pitches and existing clients with clear and compelling design work. She holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Minnesota – Duluth.