Alumni Board Announces 2017 Above the Fold Recipients

Four alumni under 40 receive honor.

By Alex Smith

The SJMC Alumni Society Board is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Above the Fold Awards, honoring SJMC alumni under the age of 40 who have made exceptional contributions to their fields. The honorees will be recognized at the 2017 Spring Showcase event on Tuesday, April 18, at the McNamara Alumni Center.

Heidi Keel, BA, 2006, Strategic Communication, Business
Heidi Keel leads the communications planning team at BBDO San Francisco. In her three years at BBDO, she has worked across Wells Fargo, Mars Food + Pet Care brands, and Mattel clients helping to guide their brand, digital and social campaign thinking. Her core focus is ensuring that brands of all shapes and sizes are more thoughtful about how they show up in the world. Keel has worked with some of the best people in the business and their work has been recognized by the Cannes Festival of Creativity, the Clio Awards, the Effies, and the London International Awards.

Mark Baumgarten, BA, 2001 Journalism, English Literature
Mark Baumgarten is the editor-in-chief for Seattle Weekly where he oversees a staff devoted to telling the stories of the city. He is also the author of Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music and has spent the better part of his career writing about music and arts in the Pacific Northwest while serving as music editor for Willamette Week in Portland, Oregon, and executive editor for City Arts and Sound magazines in Seattle. Many years ago he founded Lost Cause Magazine, a publication that managed to tell the stories of the Twin Cities' vibrant music culture for a year before succumbing to the fate assured by its name.

Jason Sprenger, BA, 2002 Journalism, Speech Communication
Jason Sprenger is the president, owner and founder of Game Changer Communications. He started the agency in September 2012, which offers full-service PR/communications services with particular strength in the tech and B2B arenas.  He prides himself on being a well-rounded, strategic PR counselor with strength in media relations, social media/digital strategy and execution, and comprehensive PR and brand strategy. Before Sprenger founded Game Changer, he worked at FICO as public relations manager for North America and as public relations manager at data storage company X-IO Technologies. Sprenger was the 2016 president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and now serves on the chapter’s board of directors in the office of immediate past president.

Bryan Donaldson, BA, 2008 Journalism 
Bryan Donaldson has served as senior director of community relations for the Minnesota Twins since 2012. In his role, he also serves as the executive director and secretary of the Twins Community Fund, a public community foundation. Donaldson joined the Twins as an intern in 2000. His responsibilities include the management of the Twins’ community outreach programs and support of Upper Midwest non-profit organizations. He oversees the Twins Community Fund’s grants and programs directed at youth baseball and softball, and also coordinates Minnesota Twins players’ charitable and community efforts. In addition, Donaldson presides over the Twins Alumni Association for former players. In the community, he serves on the executive committee of the Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities, as well as the Minnesota Diamond Awards event committee.

Want to come out and support these alumni? Register for Spring Showcase

2017 Above the Fold winners