Heather Cmiel, APR, 3M
Heather is a marketing communication supervisor at 3M Health Care where she specializes in strategic marketing communications efforts for 3M's Critical & Chronic Care Solutions Division. She has experience handling coordination and implementation of strategic communications programs, product launches, media relations/corporate visibility programs, marketing/brand management initiatives, social media engagement programs and consumer education platforms.
Prior to joining 3M, Heather held roles at Bellmont Partners, Weber Shandwick and Maccabee Group. Heather has received a number of awards for her work, including the RACie “Innovative Marketing Campaign of the Year” and the Halo Silver Award for Special Event of the Year.
She is an accredited member of the Minnesota PRSA and previously chaired both the professional development and business community outreach committees. Heather is a founder of Alphabet Bash, Minnesota’s marketing, communications, public relations and advertising communities’ premier networking event.
She also serves as a board member for the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Eva Keiser, APR, plural i
Eva is the Principal at plural i
, an independent consultancy focused on public relations and marketing communication programs. Eva’s expertise is working with emerging and midsize B2B and B2C companies. An accredited member of PRSA since 2001, Eva shared her expertise until recently as an adjunct professor in the Journalism School at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (2009-2013). Prior to forming the plural i
in 2011, Eva was a senior vice president at Risdall McKinney Public Relations (now Risdall Public Relations) for four years.
She developed her public relations experience during more than a decade of service at Padilla Speer Beardsley (now Padilla CRT) where she maintained a wide spectrum of clients and held positions of increasing responsibility ending her career at the agency as an account supervisor. Earlier in her career, Eva gained a wealth of experience through working on state and local political campaigns, with grassroots organizations, and at various print and broadcast media outlets.
Active in the Minnesota PRSA since 1996, she joined the Minnesota PRSA board in 2012. Throughout her years as a member, she served as co-chair for the Membership, Member Communications and Public Relations committees and served as editor for the chapter’s monthly print newsletter for five years and introduced the Minnesota PRSA Link e-newsletter. Eva holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of North Dakota.
Greg Zimprich, APR, Fellow PRSA, Honeywell
Greg Zimprich is Director of Internal and Business Communications for Honeywell’s Home and Building Technologies business, a role he’s held since November of 2014. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Agency Operations and Strategic Insights at Kohnstamm Communications in St. Paul. Prior to joining Kohnstamm in 2012, Zimprich spent nearly 20 years at General Mills, including seven years as Director of Brand Public Relations and Social Media. He also currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University.
At Honeywell, Zimprich leads a team that support internal communications, executive communications, business communications and change management. At General Mills, he led a nationally recognized team that managed PR and social media efforts for the company’s 100-plus brands, applying brand-building PR expertise for leading consumer products like Wheaties, Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Yoplait yogurt and dozens of other household names. Zimprich and his team pioneered proprietary marketing platforms that transformed the way General Mills brings new products to market.
A native of Faribault, Minnesota, Zimprich received his undergraduate degree in psychology and public relations from Saint Mary’s University and holds a master’s degree in mass communications from Marquette University. An avid volunteer, he coached youth travel sports for nearly 20 years and served as both chairman of the school advisory board and athletic director at Saint Hubert’s School in Chanhassen for 12 years. A frequent guest lecturer at local universities, he’s been a member of PRSA since 1988. A former board member, he’s also judged the Silver Anvils, the John D. Graham Scholarship competition, and was a guest speaker during the 2012 Bateman Case Study Competition. Zimprich earned his APR accreditation in 2003 and his Fellows distinction in 2015. His efforts have been recognized with more than 100 PR industry awards, including both PRSA’s Silver Anvil and Bronze Anvil. His work has been profiled in leading trade publications and in both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
Sarah Stakston, APR, Weber Shandwick
Sarah Stakston, APR, is a director on Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis Health and Element Scientific Communications teams, helping clients leverage science and data to shape compelling stories, launch new products, build reputations and engage advocates. Her clients have included device and diagnostics companies, medical associations, pharmaceutical companies, payers, hospitals and HIT.
Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Sarah worked in the Healthcare and Media Relations practices of Padilla Speer Beardsley (now PadillaCRT). Sarah has led teams and contributed to campaigns receiving top national PR honors, including two PR Week awards, Minnesota PRSA’s “Best in Show” honor and multiple PRSA Silver Anvil and SABRE awards.
She received her MBA in Marketing and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She has been active in Minnesota PRSA since 2002, serving on the Classics and Membership committees, and as a Board member from 2014-2015.
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA, Hennen Communication, LLC
Margaret Ann is a communication/public relations professional with 30 years experience in Minnesota’s business communities. Her experience includes in-house counsel for Fortune 500 companies, a large community and academic healthcare provider, and public media.
In addition, her consulting clients include a Fortune 500 company, life and healthcare insurance companies, nonprofit organizations, small manufacturers and mid-size businesses. She has a history of delivering desired results for corporate and community organizations.
An organized and strategic leader with a reputation for motivating individuals and groups, Margaret Ann helps seemingly unrelated entities find common ground and aligns employees, customers and programs to business goals, helping to achieve strategic results.
She holds a BS and MA from St. Cloud State University and an MBC certificate in public relations from University of St. Thomas, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and a member of its prestigious College of Fellows.
Immediate Past President
Jason Sprenger, APR, Game Changer Communications
Jason Sprenger is the president of Game Changer Communications, a Twin Cities-based agency he founded in September 2012. The firm 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; he won several awards during his career and became Accredited in Public Relations (APR) in 2009. He also invented the Umbrella Model for Public Relations and launched it in September 2015.
Jason is a veteran of three Twin Cities metro area agencies and two corporate PR departments, one of which he built from scratch. Former employers and clients include: FICO, X-IO Technologies, Target, Coca-Cola, Airstream, Lawson Software, Qwest, the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Twins, U.S. Trust, TIAA-CREF, Medtronic, the United Health Foundation, etc.
Jason began his tenure on the Minnesota PRSA Board of Directors in 2011 and held chapter leadership roles since 2005. Outside of Minnesota PRSA, he currently serves on the SXSW Interactive Programming Committee and the Apple Valley (Minn.) Arts Foundation Advisory Board. He also served on the Board of Directors of The LEAD Project, a local nonprofit that works to develop the next generation of Twin Cities community and civic leaders. He frequently speaks around the nation, judges awards competitions and mentors students and young professionals. He also writes/edits “The Game Changer” and “The Sports Ace” blogs. He holds a degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.
Betsy Anderson, Ph.D., APR, University of Minnesota
Betsy Anderson is currently an assistant visiting professor in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota. She teaches courses such as Strategic Communication Case Analysis, Professional Writing for Strategic Communication, and Digital Content Production for Brand Communications. Her research focuses on the intersection of public relations and digital media. Additionally, Betsy has served as a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas. Her professional experience includes managing healthcare, technology and consumer clients and projects at Fleishman Hillard and Weber Shandwick, as well as serving as a communication liaison officer at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Betsy earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Minnesota, and her bachelor’s degree at Bethel University. She is an active member of the Minnesota public relations community, having served as a co-chair of the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and Classics committees in the past, and as faculty co-advisor of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) at both the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas.
Jill Spiekerman Bonham, APR, Land O' Lakes
Jill Spiekerman Bonham, APR, MA, is the national customer business manager for Purina Animal Nutrition’s dairy feed division, part of Land O’Lakes. During her more than 30-year career in public relations and marketing communications, Jill has been an independent consultant and led agency teams on some of the largest food and agricultural clients. She was director of public relations for the Maytag, Hoover, Jenn-Air, Amana and Jade appliance brands, which are now owned by Whirlpool Corporation. During those five years, she led several new product launch events in New York City and continuously worked with consumer media and some of the most popular celebrity chefs on the Food Network.
She has managed marketing and communications programs from both the agency and client side for several agriculture and food groups. She was the public relations lead on a major milk powder recall and has led crisis planning and management for several groups. Jill was the director of communications for the world’s largest pork producer gaining experience with activist groups and event protests. Jill grew up in Michigan and graduated with a degree in agricultural communications from Michigan State University. She earned a master’s degree in communication leadership at Drake University and taught public relations, media ethics and media buying at Iowa State University. Jill currently teaches organizational management and behavior at Minnesota State University in Mankato.
Holly Donato, APR
Holly is an accredited public relations professional with 25 years of wide-ranging experience in corporate, agency, and non-profit settings. She is currently launching the PR function at DKY agency in Minneapolis, where she has been Director of Content and Public Relations since July of 2016.
After graduating from Bethel University, Holly was a reporter, anchor, and assignment editor for seven years at TV and radio stations in the Red River Valley and at KSTP-TV in St. Paul. She then launched her PR career in managed health care, serving as the first Communications Director at both Share Health Plan and Delta Dental Plan of Minnesota. In between, she managed health care clients at Colle+McVoy PR (now Exponent), leading award-winning campaigns for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and 3M Health Care. She then launched Donato Communications and did much of the early marketing communications for Optum and other new divisions of United HealthCare while branching out into IT and agribusiness sectors through project work for Cray and Cargill.
Non-profit roles called Holly out of her consulting business for the next 10 years. She served her alma mater, Bethel University, as Director of Publications and Media Relations, then Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) as National Marketing Director.
Holly holds many industry awards, including PRSA Classics, IABC Silver Quill, WICI, a regional Board of Governor’s Emmy, and CASE Circle of Excellence. In 2015, she earned accreditation (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America and in 2016 served on the Accreditation Committee, recruiting and mentoring other PR professionals.
Dan Hauser, APR, Minnesota Medical Association
Dan Hauser, APR, is director of communication, education and events at the Minnesota Medical Association, a non-profit professional association representing physicians, residents and medical students.
In his role, Hauser leads the MMA’s efforts regarding communications, education, events, media relations, social media and the web.
Before his current role, Hauser was a senior communications consultant at Xcel Energy, following public relations leadership positions in Minnesota agencies, including Tripp Agency and Karwoski and Courage, a division of Martin Williams. Early in his career, Hauser worked as an editor for several snowmobile titles and as news editor for Skyway News.
He has a degree in Journalism and Communications, with a Concentration in Film Studies, from the University of Iowa. He has won awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the Minnesota Newspaper Association, and is an active committee member with the Minnesota Chapter of PRSA.
He is author of two novels: Picasso’s Errand and Clodhopper.
Jill Lewis, APR, Weber Shandwick
Jill is an account director in the financial services group in Weber Shandwick’s Minneapolis office, where she has provided communications counsel and media strategy to large private-sector and federal government clients since 2010. She currently spearheads institutional retirement public relations for a major financial services firm and provides media relations and thought leadership development for a national payroll, benefits and human capital management company.
Jill began her career in Washington, D.C., where she worked at a boutique public relations firm and an international nonprofit, and joined Maccabee Group upon moving to Minneapolis in 2006. Jill earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and also studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She achieved Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in April 2012.
Anna Long, APR, Minnesota Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Anna Long, APR, is the communications director for the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs, a cabinet level state agency. She is responsible for public relations, marketing, advertising and internal and external communications efforts for the agency.
Long previously worked at Mall of America in the corporate public relations department. She also serves as a public affairs officer in the Minnesota Air National Guard and has conducted missions in Croatia, Bosnia, Central America, Norway and Germany. After 9/11 she spent six months as chief of media relations for First Air Force under NORAD during OPERATION Noble Eagle.
Over the course of her career, she has received more than a dozen awards, including Minnesota Classics Awards, a Silver Anvil, two Midwest Regional Emmys, the Air Force award for photojournalism, Bronze Quill awards and a Northern Lights award. Long has a background in journalism, holds master’s degree in strategic communication management and is a graduate of the Department of Defense’s Public Affairs Officer Training program.
Karen Lyons, APR, Prime Therapeutics LLC
Karen is communication director at Prime Therapeutics LLC. In this role she responsible for elevating and protecting the reputation of the pharmacy benefit manager headquartered in Eagan, Minnesota.
She joined Prime Therapeutics in September 2012 as a client communications manager after working seven years in public relations for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. She also worked as assistant director-marketing at the University of Minnesota and a marketing communications manager at United Way of St. Cloud Area. Notable achievements include: designing the public relations campaign that helped to secure more than $45 million to renovate Coffman Memorial Union on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, serving on a team that helped pass Minnesota’s indoor smoke-free law, implementing various public relations efforts for Blue Cross’ “do” campaign which promoted physical activity and healthy eating, and launching Minneapolis/St. Paul’s Nice Ride bike share system sponsored by Blue Cross.
Karen holds a bachelor of science degree in mass communications–public relations from St. Cloud State University and is Accredited in Public Relations (APR). She has served in numerous volunteer roles and currently co-chairs the APR committee for the Minnesota Chapter of Public Relations Society of America. She also recently served as a board member of the Eagan Foundation and led its Marketing & Communications committee.