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Managing and Communicating Transformational Change
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When: Thursday, March 7, 2019
5:15 PM
Where: Horizontal Integration
1660 Hwy 100
Suite 200
St. Louis Park, Minnesota  55416
United States
Contact: Ben Saukko

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President Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”


In today’s dynamic business environment, change happens faster than ever before. Increased competition, new technology, economics, legislation and politics can spur an organization to quickly make course corrections and change the way they do business.


We know that change is inevitable and constant, yet employees are often still resistant. How can organizations promote change to achieve their business goals? And how can PR and communications professionals help prepare and support individuals, teams and organizations to successfully adopt and embrace change while driving organizational success and outcomes?


Join our panel of experts in an interactive discussion that will look at change management from their various perspectives. Our panelists will share their experiences and provide actionable advice for facilitating real and lasting change in an organization.




Ben Saukko, APR, MBA

Director of Communications, AmeriPride/Aramark


Ben Saukko has more than 20 years of marketing and communications experience in a variety of organizations and industries. As Director of Communications at AmeriPride and Aramark, Ben has worked closely with senior executives across various functional areas to develop communications strategy and execute programs that align with overall company goals. He currently serves on a cross-functional Integrations Team that is bringing Aramark and AmeriPride together as one company.


Prior to this role, he worked for several other corporations and agencies, including Wells Fargo, Ameriprise Financial, and Weber Shandwick Worldwide. He has a bachelors’ degree in Communications from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, and he currently serves on the PRSA Board of Directors.







Panel of Experts


Curt Gray

Senior Executive and Business Consultant


Curt Gray spent much of his career as a senior executive at leading corporations such as Best Buy, Musicland, Payless Shoes and Kmart. Most recently, Curt served on the executive leadership team as SVP and Chief Administrative Officer for AmeriPride. During his tenure with the company, he played a key role in the development of the company’s 5-year strategic plan, massive restructuring and organizational alignment, centralization of corporate functions, standardization of processes and development of industry leading technology. This work led to accelerated growth, operational stability, increased shareholder value, and ultimately the sale of the company at a premium to Aramark Corporation.


Prior to AmeriPride, Curt served as VP of Human Resources for Musicland, where he supported several mergers and acquisitions and the resulting organizational realignments, and as Director of HR for, where he facilitated the design and implementation of the company’s first matrix organizational structure for business and functional support teams.


Curt provides the unique perspective of a senior executive that has worked closely with senior leadership and communications practitioners to engage employees and promote widespread change across organizations.



Jennifer Bagdade, APR

Principal, PR UNSPUN, LLC


Jennifer Bagdade advises and counsels organizations navigating change, transition and transformation to communicate at their best when it is needed most. Throughout her career, she has worked with a variety of public, private and nonprofit organizations from global enterprise to local startups counseling clients, and providing communication and change management strategy and execution. Prior to owning her own business, she had extensive experience working for and with many organizations and agencies including Cargill, Travelers, Northwest Airlines, Best Buy and Weber Shandwick.


Jennifer holds a master's degree in International Communication from The American University in Washington, D.C. and a bachelor's degree from Indiana University. She is also a Prosci Certified Change Management Practitioner and Accredited in Public Relations (APR). Jennifer is involved with several non-profit organizations, currently serving on the executive committee of Minnesota PRSA’s Board of Directors and as VP of Communications and Secretary of the St. Paul JCC.



Tammy Nystuen, APR

Communications Director, Cargill Animal Nutrition


Tammy Nystuen is a seasoned change and communications professional with a strong passion and proven experience in working with companies during times of transformation. Over the course of her career, she has worked with a wide variety of companies to create customized communications and change management strategies that deliver sustainable business results.


She first realized the power of aligning communications and transformation strategy when she served on a global task force at Medtronic to launch a single change management methodology worldwide. Since then, she has provided change and communications leadership on several mergers and acquisitions, engaged and aligned employees through a global HR transformation, served on the transition team and led communications through a company turnaround, and helped organizations to effectively and transparently communicate facility closures, moves and reductions in force.


As communications lead for Cargill’s Animal Nutrition Business in EMEA, she is working with company leaders to deploy transformational communications strategies as they consolidate several operations into three unified businesses across the region.




Event Details

5:15 p.m. Registration and Networking,

6:00 p.m. Program


Minnesota PRSA Members: $20
Non-Members/Guests (General Admission): $30
Students: Free
Retired: $5


Please use the West parking lot and take the West elevators up to floor 2.


Minnesota PRSA 1660 Highway 100 South, Suite 500-309 Minneapolis MN 55416 Phone: 952-237-9258 Email:

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