The Future of Work: Taking charge of your career path

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MIMA is for all marketers
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April 18th, 2024
5:00pm - 7:00 pm


The Coven - Minneapolis, Eat Street
2429 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404

What it’s about

Engage with an experienced community of individuals who have charted different paths beyond the confines of traditional employment. Whether you’re considering freelancing, entrepreneurship, or alternative work arrangements, this mixer will offer you valuable insights and connections to support you in planning your next step.

We’ve designed this networking event with the intent of offering marketing, communications, content, and creative professionals an opportunity to network, discuss hot topics (where frankly there are no right or wrong answers – just advice from folks who’ve tried different things and are willing to share their experiences!) and get answers for those hard-to-ask questions.

Register today to join the conversation and find new connections. We’ll see you there. 

Set your future self up for success, with:

  • Connection with other freelancers and freelance-curious professionals
  • Insights into the multitudes of paths available to a full and meaningful career
  • Resources for setting your rates, building your brand, and solidifying your business plan
  • Knowledge about the benefits and limitations of freelance work
  • Peer mentorship

Here are some of the people you will have the opportunity to meet at this networking event:

Amber Graves headshot
Amber Graves

Group Account Director / Freelance Brand Marketer

Meet Amber Graves, an agency veteran who decided to try her hand at freelance as 2021 came to a close. Amber spent twenty-something years as an account leader at Periscope, Carmichael Lynch, Padilla & Yamamoto. Providing strategic counsel and integrated campaign expertise leading accounts such as U.S. Bank, Xcel Energy, Helzberg Diamonds and siggi’s Yogurt. Since then, Amber has found an entirely new vibe and pace working from home alongside her husband and golden retriever. She prefers to walk up the stairs to greet her two kids coming home from school versus white-knuckling it through downtown traffic. Since much of this time has been spent within Best Buy’s in-house advertising agency, working on co-branded campaigns with Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and Sony; one might refer to her as a “permalancer”.

Christine Scherping headshot
Christine Scherping

Founder of Friend of a Friend PR

Christine Scherping has collaborated with startups, Fortune 500s and everything in between leading integrated teams at agencies such as Weber Shandwick, Colle+McVoy/Exponent and Carmichael Lynch Relate. She took her experience and brought her signature flair (and warmth) to brand storytelling and launched Friend of a Friend in 2018 to help clients forge valuable connections with audiences turned advocates. Her team has grown to 15 and supports both agencies and brands alike, such as sweetgreen, Pacific Foods, Meet Minneapolis, the Minnesota Twins, Kwikset, Duke Cannon, Cargill, Phillips Distilling Company and many more. Thinking about starting your own journey? There is no topic off limits. Want to learn how to choose the best tools to launch a business? Or, do you want to learn the most important things you need to have to market yourself (spoiler alert: you will care more about your website than anyone else). Or conversely, what are things to avoid? Let’s chat!

Grant Smith Headshot
Grant Smith

Copywriter / Creative Director / Creative Leader

Meet Grant Smith, a highly accomplished creative director and copywriter with 15+ years of experience leading award-winning famous campaigns and growing the businesses behind them. Even some smaller lesser-known brands you probably have never heard of like FedEx, VISA, Toyota, Fox Sports, AT&T, Toro, Snickers, Red Stripe Beer, Bud Light and Mountain Dew. Sure, Grant is known for his cheeky writing style but also for his strategic approach to developing content that people will remember. All in the spirit of collaborating with client partners and inspiring teams to achieve outstanding results at BBDO NY, McCann NY, Cliff Freeman & Partners, Droga5 and Chiat/Day NY. Throughout his career, whether he was slinging insurance jingles as a freelancer or pitching new business as a Chief Creative Officer; Grant is Grant.

Jennifer Chenoweth headshot
Jennifer Chenoweth

Career Coach and Founder of The LinkedInGal

Jennifer Chenoweth’s career and life coaching has empowered thousands of individuals to authentically showcase themselves, live in alignment with their values, and build impactful brand identities on LinkedIn and other platforms. Her mission is simple: to ensure her clients are not just noticed, but truly seen for who they are. In a world saturated with noise, she believes being yourself is your greatest asset. Beyond LinkedIn, Jen guides individuals through career transitions. Whether her clients are seeking a new direction, a promotion, or a fresh start, Jen’s coaching approach is rooted in empathy and understanding. Together, she and her clients navigate the challenges of change, uncovering paths that resonate deeply. From clarifying goals to refining career artifacts such as resumes and bios, Jen is dedicated to helping her clients authentically showcase their unique stories.

Jesse Ross Headshot
Jesse Ross

International Professional Speaker | Executive Coach | Consultant

As a dynamic entrepreneur Jesse Ross has seamlessly intertwined the art of relationship-building with innovative business ventures. From public speaking to owning commercial real estate, his career trajectory is a testament to leveraging deep, meaningful connections. His knack for cultivating relationships stems from a genuine passion for collective success, driving community initiatives like back-to-school drives and holiday gift-giving. In the realm of entrepreneurship, Jesse adopts a transparent and value-driven approach to discussing fees. With years of experience working for himself across multiple ventures, he emphasizes fairness and mutual benefit in pricing strategies. Jesse will share more on this approach in a Connection Circle, which not only ensures clarity and trust but also reflects his commitment to making a significant impact in the lives of others while championing the success of black and brown founders in the entrepreneurial landscape.

Jordan Diorio headshot
Jordyn DiOrio

Strategic Integrator / Speaker / Founder at JDP Consult

Meet Jordyn, an entrepreneur, strategic integrator and implementer. Her story started with her first -ever business, MEND Jewelry, which expanded six figures in just two short years with 250k in VC funding. Since that time, she’s supported a publicly-traded tech company during its largest acquisition to date, and started JDP Consult where she transformed the way businesses grow through strategy and delivery. And her approach is anything but conventional. In fact, she’s on a mission to revolutionize the way businesses grow with strategic clarity and implementation. And that’s apparent in her work helping women-run companies scale their businesses and their dreams.

Kara Nesvig Headshot
Kara Nesvig

Freelance Editorial and Brand Writer

Kara Nesvig is a freelance writer who splits her time between editorial and brand work. She has a journalism background and has interviewed Sharon Stone, Steven Tyler, tons of plastic surgeons and Niecy Nash, among many others. Though she always had a thriving freelance business in addition to full-time work, she went fully freelance in 2022 and it’s been the greatest decision she ever made, except for maybe when she decided to move out of rural Minnesota to the big city in 2006. Thus far, Kara’s approach to freelance has been “Just say yes,” so she’s written for coffee brands, Sprayer Depot, upscale PJ brands and trivia for a ticket reseller app. She lives in St. Paul with her husband, son, dog and ever-growing book and perfume collection.

Kelly Bartell headshot
Kelly Bartell

Founder at The Agency Co / Self-Branding Coach

Kelly Bartell is a strategist and storyteller with 20 years of experience in the advertising industry. She’s led campaigns for some really fun brands—like Burt’s Bees, Sparkling Ice and Kinky vodka. She’s held the position of Executive VP Creative Director at Epsilon Agency, and is now founder & owner of her own micro-agency in Minneapolis. Her most recent accomplishment is the launch of Power Branding, a self-promotion process specifically designed for ambitious women who are ready to level up their career.

Kim Senn headshot
Kim Senn

Designer / Artist / Founder of Senn & Sons

Kim Senn is a designer and artist creating joyful prints and patterns with licensing partners like Blue Sky, Shutterfly, and Ulubulu, with best-selling products on shelves at Target, Walmart, and more. After a decade of stewarding creative strategies and campaigns for brands like Ray-Ban, Virgin Mobile, Lenscrafters, and Disney at award-winning global agencies in NYC, London, and San Francisco, Kim left agency life and founded Senn & Sons to focus on personal creative work and her family. In her 13 years of entrepreneurship, she has built a thriving independent creative studio that flexes to the scale aligning with both her personal and clients’ goals. Kim has long embraced the idea of career seasons and believes every move creates another building block to better understand and live according to her values and purpose.

Maria Erikson Headshot
Maria Erikson

Photographer / Illustrator/ Art Director at Maria Erikson Studio LLC

Maria Erikson took the leap to start her freelance career after 28 years of full time agency life at Fallon, Olson and Carmichael Lynch combined. Some of her recent illustrations were used for projects with The Saint Paul Hotel, the Minnesota Twins 2024 Season and on Lovebird Foods cereal boxes. Her years of experience capturing content for brands like BUSH’S Beans, Garden of Life, Arla Foods and Phillips 66 brands enhanced the diverse skill set necessary to create recent successful content for Pacific Foods, Vital Proteins and Mae’s Market. Finding joy in launching Maria Erikson Studio LLC has reignited her creativity and passion in new freelance collaborations.

Michael Williamson headshot
Michael Williamson

Website Strategist / Founder at Convey Digital

Michael is the founder of Convey Digital, a B2B marketing agency that specializes in website strategy, design, and development. Michael started his career at Digital River and then worked at a couple different agencies before deciding to go freelance almost 3 years ago. He is on a mission to make B2B marketing less boring and more energizing. Michael believes in the strength of diversity and the value of embracing ambiguity as a means of unlocking new possibilities.

Mim Epstein Headshot
Mim Epstein

Freelance Producer and Filmmaker

Mim Epstein is an agency producer and filmmaker with 17+ years of experience. After a decade of working full-time, she took the leap into freelance more than 5 years ago and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys the freedom to experience a variety of agencies – like Carmichael Lynch, Best Buy, Haberman, MONO and CCF – while also granting time for passion projects along the way. Mim truly enjoys being a welcoming committee for new freelancers on the scene, showing them the ropes and making an often intimidating path feel approachable.

Tara Olson Medina

Brand Manager / Marketing Consultant

Tara Olson Medina is a senior brand manager at Vivid Seats, where she plans Super Bowl parties and festival pop-ups and manages partnerships with ESPN and Bleacher Report. Prior to her current role, she took a leap of faith and launched her namesake marketing consultancy, supporting agencies like Periscope, Carmichael Lynch and Push Play and brands including Omnilux, Face Haus and Aden + Anais. Tara loved consulting and never planned to take a full-time role again, but some opportunities are too good to pass up. Prior to going freelance, Tara worked in social/digital and account roles at Aveda, Carmichael Lynch and Periscope. She firmly believes that life is too short to be in a job you don’t love and is passionate about supporting others as they make the leap to freelance life.

What to expect on April 18th

  • 5:00 pm
    Doors open! Arrive and plan your journey
    Please arrive after 5 pm to grab a snack/beverage, peruse the available sessions, and start to map your personalized content experience.
  • 5:30 pm
    Attend information sessions
    For the first 30 minutes of our program, you’ll have the opportunity to attend two of the following 15-minute information sessions led by our accomplished experts:

    “The Importance of Building Your Brand” with Kelly Bartell. The world needs what you have to offer. Find out why every pro needs a personal brand and how to get started in three easy steps.

    “Success on Your Terms” with Kim Senn. Redefine what success looks like for you, releasing yourself from society’s expectations and definitions.

    “Finding Your Niche” with Jennifer Chenoweth. Identify your unique selling proposition with The LinkedIn Gal.

    “From Just Me to LLC” with Jordyn DiOrio. Learn the first steps to formalizing your own business.
  • 6:15 pm
    Participate in Connections Circles
    For the second 40 minute block of our program, you’ll have the opportunity to attend up to four 10-minute timed Connection Circles (just like speed dating!) led by our curated panel of special guests who are ready to share their experiences and advice on topics such as:
    • Thinking about freelance as a stepping stone or opportunity to “try before you buy”
    • How to become your own boss without burning yourself out
    • Tapping into your existing network to keep your lead pipeline full
    • Things to think about when setting your rate
    • The importance of authenticity in the way you market yourself
    • Why the best stuff happens outside of your comfort zone
    • Founder, CEO, Director of Everything? What should my title be?

    Please come ready to engage and discuss - and remember, there are no right or wrong answers to many of these burning questions - so we look forward to having you share your unique perspective and experiences in these discussion groups as well!
  • 7:00 pm
    Program wraps