According to Random House Dictionary, a “Muse” can be defined as the power regarded as inspiring a poet, artist, thinker or the like. How fitting that the AdFed & Ad2 32 Under 32 awards were held at the Muse Event Center in Minneapolis on June 26th, 2014.
I had not been to the Muse Event Center before this, after exiting a narrow entrance I was surprised at how spacious the interior was. With high gray walls, tall glass windows that stretched to the ceiling, a large U-shaped bar at the rear, wide main floor, expansive balcony and a VIP area for sponsors and winners.
The food was provided by CRAVE and it was delicious. Beef Banh Mi Sandwiches, Coconut Chicken Satay, a Domestic Cheese Tray, Spinach Artichoke Dip and Mini Vegetable Egg Rolls were all readily available to the hungry passerby. However, my personal favorite was the Sweet and Sour Meatballs.
At the front of the Muse Event Center’s Main floor was a stage where the winners would receive their awards. However, on this night the first to grace that stage were our MC’s of the evening: Robin Dybevik of Digitaria and Will Caesar of Pixel Farm. After a brief introduction, the keynote speaker, Zach Pentel offered his own words of inspiration. Here is a sampling of his presentation:
‘Until about five or six years ago, companies would operate, allowing the youngest employees to make coffee, but then something changed. Companies figured out how to navigate the complexities… The young people at agencies became adept at social media. There was a fundamental shift in the value of advertising. But with great power comes great responsibility. But then something else happened. There was a reduced experience of Facebook and Social Media. Facebook reportedly was slashing organic reach for pages. This leads to another change… Make a few pieces of great content, and pay to reach your people. We still need to be more marketable in more places than ever before. This means we need to teach our agency new tricks. It’s a challenge for everyone and that means it’s anyone’s game…’
To a rousing applause, Zach Pentel exited the stage and the award portion of the night began. Nancy Rice, Kathy Umland, Lorenz Esguerra, Kat Duncan, Bob Thacker, were tasked with narrowing the field from the 164 nominees. They accomplished this great feat using five different criteria until 32 winners were selected. A brief biography of accomplishments was given before each individual winner was announced.
Here were the winners (reordered alphabetically by last name):
Carolyn Ahlstrom, Joseph Anderson, Elyse Ash, Justin Barrett, Allison Beattie, Sarah Brehm, Joanna Ehresman, Allie Eide, Laura Fitzpatrick, Liz Gardner, Eric Hansen, Kelly Holley, Greta Hughes, Bryan Ische, Kiera Jacobson, Carter Jensen, Ben Johnson, Spencer Johnson, Madeline Koch, Tricia Leanger, Ellery Luse, Miles Marmo, Bridget Nelson Monroe, Danny Olson, Nora Purmort, Dave Reidinger, Shannon Rossini, Erin Simle, Taylor Snyder, Holly Spaeth, Amee Tomlinson and Cory Vandenberghe
May the winners and all of those in attendance have continued success in the world of advertising or where ever their desires lead them. Inspiration can come in many forms. On Thursday, we witnessed 32 of them.