The Professional Master's in Strategic Communication Professional Advisory Board consists of program alums and professionals from the industry. The board members provide guidance for the program overall and help students with networking.
Chief Marketing Officer
University of Minnesota
Ann Aronson oversees the central marketing enterprise that includes brand management, creative and account services, digital communications, market research, and measurement and analytics. Ann developed the first institutional brand for the University, Driven to Discover, which has increased the institution’s reputation consistently throughout the years. She has extensive experience in marketing, advertising, and corporate philanthropy. She has served in management positions at Target Corporation, Carmichael Lynch Advertising, and Ruder Finn Public Relations.
CEO, Padilla (ret)
Lynn retired from Padilla, a corporate and marketing communication firm with offices across the US, at the end of 2019 after 18 years leading the employee-owned firm through multiple acquisitions and a sale to Canadian-based AVENIR GLOBAL in 2018. She devotes her time to for- and non-profit board work in and outside the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Region. She currently chairs the Itasca Project, a business-led, cross-sector, nonpartisan organization that addresses the challenges to the region’s economic well-being for all its residents. She is immediate past chair of the University of Minnesota Foundation and serves on the boards of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Lakewood Cemetery, and the Page Society, a global organization of corporate communication officers. Corporate board service includes Xcel Energy and digital marketing firm Walker Sands. Lynn was inducted into the Upper Midwest Junior Achievement Hall of Fame in 2011, into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame in 2014, and into the PR Week National Hall of Fame in 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Dakota, a master’s in Journalism/Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota, and a master’s in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas.
Director, Strategic Communications
University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management
Steve believes in the power of stories and is fortunate to have made a career telling them. Currently serving as the director of strategic communications for the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, he is responsible for advancing the reputation of the premier business school in the region. Through owned, earned, and shared channels, he and his team share the accomplishments of the school’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni with stakeholders around the world. In more than a decade on campus, through roles in Student Affairs and the central PR office, Steve has honed his skills in media relations, crisis/emergency/issues management, marketing, leadership-level communication, and more. Prior to joining the U of M, Steve spent his "first life” as an on-air reporter and anchor for KETV, the ABC affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska. He received a bachelor's degree in journalism (news and PR focus) from Creighton University and is a 2016 graduate of the Professional MA in Strategic Communications program. Steve also serves as vice chair of the Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources Commission for the city of Lakeville, MN. Outside of work, you’ll find Steve trying to keep up with three young children, cheering on his beloved Chicago Cubs, and if it’s winter, on the slopes.
Chief Communications Officer
Kim Olson is chief communications officer at Land O'Lakes, America’s premier farmer and member-owned cooperative and a Fortune 200 company, led by well-known CEO Beth Ford. Land O'Lakes offers an extensive line of agricultural services and supplies and is also a leading marketer of dairy-based food products. Olson is responsible for all media efforts around Beth Ford and other executive leaders and coverage of the company, including its breakthrough American Connection Project which strives to bring internet connectivity to all Americans. In addition, she is responsible for corporate digital, employee and member communications. Prior to Land O'Lakes, Olson led communications and marketing at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU) where she helped secure $100 million in state funding. She also brings her experience at three of the world’s top companies – UnitedHealth Group, Carlson and General Mills – in addition to her experience at one of the world’s top PR agencies – Weber Shandwick Worldwide – to her work on behalf of Land O'Lakes.
Executive Director, Marketing & Communications
Boynton Health, University of Minnesota
Maurice Perkins is currently the Marketing and Communications Executive Director at the University of Minnesota Boynton Health. He is also the more than 20-year owner of DJ Mo Phatt Mobile and co-owner and vice president of strategy for Blnk Scrpt Agency, LLC.He is the creator and founder of the 1890s Land-Grant Communications Summit, which was nationally recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture - NIFA. In addition to this, in 2012, he founded and helped to build KPVU-Kno student-run radio station on the campus of Prairie View A&M University.For more than 15 years, Maurice has identified client marketing and communications needs and offers practical short-term and long-term solutions. Beyond his professional accomplishments, he places a high value on helping others. Being a mentor to many and addressing social and economic injustices are the most inspirational aspects of his life.
Chief Executives Officer
Jorg Pierach, is a Twin Cities-based marketer and entrepreneur and the founder of Fast Horse, a Minneapolis-based integrated creative agency he established in 2001. Jorg also co-owns a Minneapolis eatery called Tilia, which he launched with his friend and James Beard-nominated chef Steven Brown in 2011. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of the Minneapolis office of Weber Shandwick, which he joined as an intern in 1989. Jorg headed the firm’s Consumer & Lifestyle Practice Group in North America, a role that made him part of the agency’s Global Leadership Team. An active adviser to numerous nonprofit and community organizations, Jorg served nine years on the Board of Trustees of the University of Minnesota Foundation, most recently chairing the Development Committee. He also served on the board of directors of Milkweed Editions.He currently is the board chair of the University of Minnesota student-run Backpack agency.
Chief Executive Officer
Kathy Tunheim co-founded the firm Tunheim Santrizos Co. in 1990 with four colleagues from Honeywell, Inc., and has served as chief executive officer throughout the firm’s evolution. She is a past global 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 experience 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 speech-writing 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. Kathy is a 2020 inductee to the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame by Twin Cities Business and was named a Top Woman in Communications by Ragan Communications and PR Daily. In 2018, Kathy was named a Most Admired CEO by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal and her firm was awarded Best in Business: Small Business by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.