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CMYK Poster Show 2023 Recap

We’re still reeling from such a wonderful 2023 CMYK Poster Show! We want to give a huge thank you to everyone who made this a smashing event – all of our design professionals, students, and freelancers who submitted posters, the Iron Street Distillery staff, and those of you who came out to support the show. 

We hope this year’s theme of music inspired you. One of our favorite aspects of the show each year is to see how people interpret the theme and make it come to life in their own unique way. 

We had a total of 30 entries this year. A warm congratulations to Jeramee Hoberg for winning the Judge’s Choice Award and to Samantha Bragg for winning the People’s Choice Award. These two remarkable students from Alexandria Technical & Community College truly wowed us with their creative brilliance. Your dedication and hard work have paid off, and we couldn’t be prouder.

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Meet the AAFCM Board of Directors

Amanda Hackett

Amanda Hackett

Role on Board: President

What do you do at your day job? I am the communications manager at Saint Benedict’s Monastery. I handle all the external communications for the monastery, including our website, social media, magazines, advertising, and graphic design. I’ve been here for more than six years and love it! 

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM? It’s fun to see all the amazing creativity in our community and connect with people with careers similar to mine.

What is your favorite AAFCM event? I joined post-COVID so have only experienced a couple events. Beauty + the Bias is fun and insightful, and of course the American Advertising Awards is an amazing event. I’m really excited to experience the CMYK Poster Show this year and see what it is all about!

What are some of your hobbies/interests? I love to travel, go on walks, listen to true crime podcasts, try out new restaurants and coffee shops, and spend time with my family: husband of four years, Austin; daughters Arianna (2) and Brynlee (1 month); and yellow lab, Nova (3).

What is one fun fact about you? I visited all 50 states before I turned 18!

Alison Fischer

Alison Fischer

Role on Board: Vice President & Graphic Designer

What do you do at your day job?
I am Lead Graphic Designer at WhiteBox Marketing. I work closely with our creative team to ensure that we’re delivering our very best work, including branding, websites, collateral, billboards, campaigns, you name it!

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM?
It’s the opportunity for professionals and students to meet and get involved in their community and celebrate fabulous advertising and creative work!

What is your favorite AAFCM event?
Out of the many AAFCM events I’ve attended first as a student and now as a professional, my favorite has to be the American Advertising Awards. In the busy advertising industry, we are quick to jump to the next project right after one is finished. The AAAs put a spotlight on all of the award-worthy projects and give them the recognition they deserve. It’s also a great opportunity for students to get their work in front of professionals for potential employment.

What are some of your hobbies/interests?

I like hands-on creative activities like linocut printmaking, drawing and writing.

What is one fun fact about you?

I won a total of 6 ADDY awards as a student: 3 Gold, 2 Judge’s Choice and 1 People’s Choice.

Burke Tagney

Burke Tagney

Role on Board: Treasurer

What do you do at your day job? IT Coordinator at Midwest Financial Partners

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM? Seeing all of the work from the students and professionals that submit for the AAA’s and events we host. Their creativity always inspires me to create something new myself!

What is your favorite AAFCM event? CMYK Poster Event is one of my favorites, though Beauty and the Bias is always a great experience.

What are some of your hobbies/interests? I love all things music, especially concerts and festivals, reading and writing, movies and tv shows and hanging out with friends and family.

What is one fun fact about you? I’ve written and performed in over 20 plays!

Bryce Jacobson

Bryce Jacobson

Role on Board: Website Manager / Marketing

What do you do at your day job? I am the Lead Developer at WhiteBox Marketing. I develop and maintain websites for our wide variety of clients.

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM? I love meeting and working with other like minded creatives in the area and seeing all of the great work that comes out of the area.

What is your favorite AAFCM event? The CMYK poster show has been a favorite of mine over the years. It’s fun seeing the theme of the year turned into art by all of the participants.

What are some of your hobbies/interests? I love Fishing, camping and the outdoors. If it’s not one of those things then it’s either watching or attending a Twins for Vikings game. 

What is one fun fact about you? I’ve been part of and on the Board of Directors for AAFCM for the past 13 years.


Camille Rosa

Role on Board: Content Curator

What do you do at your day job? I am the Marketing and Communications Manager for A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation, a non-profit cancer organization based out of Wayzata, MN.

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM? I enjoy being able to work with others who are creative and passionate about marketing. It’s cool to see all of the talent that is in central MN!

What is your favorite AAFCM event? My favorite event is the AAA event. There’s so much talent in our local community, and this event really makes it shine!

What are some of your hobbies/interests? I enjoy finding new coffee shops and restaurants throughout Minnesota with my husband or our friends. I also love going on walks with my miniature dachshund, Daisy. Currently, you can normally find me searching Pinterest for inspiration for our house renovations. 

What is one fun fact about you? While I’m a marketer now, I actually began my post-grad life as an elementary school teacher.

Rich Thul

Rich Thul

Role on Board: Social Media 

What do you do at your day job? I work for DeZURIK as their Visual Communications Specialist. I do most of our content creation for the marketing team. Some of the things that I do include graphic design, photography and videography. I also have a business where I do my own photo and video projects.

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM? I like to meeting other people in our community the do the same sort of work that I do.

What is your favorite AAFCM event? I like the CMYK Poster show/event. It is very cool to see how creative other people are and to meet other designers.

What are some of your hobbies/interests? I like sports and being in the outdoors. I do some wakeboarding, play disc golf and play volleyball

What is one fun fact about you? I have not been doing photography that long. I have always enjoyed photography but the first time that I had something besides a point and shoot to take pictures with was not until I proposed it to my boss about 10 years ago. 

Guytano Magno

Guy Magno

Role on Board: Campus Relations

Role on Board: Campus Relations Chair

What do you do at your day job? I am the Creative Director and lead photographer for Switchboard. 

What is your favorite thing about AAFCM? 

I love that AAFCM creates events and opportunities for college students that are interested in our industry to learn more about the businesses and professionals that make up our great creative community. 

What is your favorite AAFCM event? 

I love the AAA Event. It’s so fun to see all of the work made by students and professionals alike. 

What are some of your hobbies/interests? 

My favorite place in the whole world is my backyard patio. Having friends and family over for dinner on a beautiful summer evening is my favorite hobby.

What is one fun fact about you?

I love to travel!!…especially when it’s my camera that takes me there.

Letter From the President

Hello Central Minnesota creatives and friends! 

As this year’s president of the American Advertising Federation of Central Minnesota (AAFCM), I’m excited to welcome you to the 2023–24 season! We have some great events in store and invite you to join in on the fun.

We’re kicking off the year by bringing back a fan favorite: the CMYK Poster Show! Save some space on your calendar for the end of October – we’ll share more details very soon as we get them lined up. We can’t wait to see what you’ve got! We’ve also got a couple of our other fan favorites on the programming lineup: The American Advertising Awards (AAAs) and Beauty + the Bias.

Our goals for this season include running some killer events (both old + new), encouraging more student engagement, and reviving local interest in this organization. Speaking of engagement – we always welcome interested creatives to serve on our board or committees. You don’t have to be an advertiser – you just need to love creativity and have a heart to serve! 

Currently, we are looking to fill a few vital positions on our board:

  • AAA Chair: If you’re interested in helping run the biggest advertising awards show in Central Minnesota and celebrating the INCREDIBLE work that happens in our own community, join our board as the AAA Chair.
  • Campus Relations Chair: Students are a vital part of our organization, and we want to provide events, resources, and opportunities for the next generation of advertisers, marketers, and creatives. Help us connect with local colleges and universities to provide these opportunities.

If neither of these roles speak to you, we also welcome your involvement in whatever way interests you. If you want to help map out a marketing plan, execute some amazing events, or connect our club with the greater community, we want you! If you have any questions about getting involved with AAFCM, reach out to me at or (651) 334-2279.

I’d like to finish out this letter by expressing my gratefulness to my fellow board members:

  • Alison Fischer, Whitebox Marketing
  • Bryce Jacobson, Whitebox Marketing
  • Burke Tagney, Midwest Financial Partners, Inc.
  • Camille Lehmann Rosa, A Breath of Hope Lung Foundation
  • Rich Thul, DeZurik

Another special thank you is due to Bridget Deutz, founder of Greenline Marketing, for serving our board in an advisory role. Her historical knowledge, years of involvement, and commitment to AAFCM are incredibly beneficial to our board.

We look forward to staying connected with you. Stay creative!

Amanda Hackett

AAFCM President

Vye Announces Promotion of Jennifer Lawrence as Chief Operating Officer

ST. CLOUD, MN — Vye is pleased to announce the promotion of Jennifer Lawrence to Chief Operating Officer. Lawrence has been with the agency since 2012, serving in various capacities including Account Manager, Director of Client Services, and most recently as Vice President.

“Jen has played a significant role in Vye’s recent growth, including a 90% increase in team members and 144% increase in revenue while serving as VP for the agency,” says Dan Soldner, President & CEO. “I recall when she joined our small, seven-person team back in 2012, we were still trying to figure out where we wanted the agency to go. It’s amazing to be here 10 years later to promote her into this new role.”

With more than 20 years of industry experience, Lawrence has learned
what creative professionals seek to thrive in their career, and what clients need to achieve their goals. Her leadership at Vye has been instrumental in creating a People First culture and uncommon results for clients. “I’m really looking forward to what the agency will accomplish over the next decade under Jen’s continued leadership,” says Soldner.

“When I joined Vye ten years ago, I was drawn toward the vision of redefining marketing as a measurable growth investment,” says Lawrence. “Now, partnering with clients across 18 states, it’s pretty amazing to see the impact we have made.”

Lawrence also serves on the United Way of Central Minnesota Board, volunteers her time periodically at St. Cloud Technical College, and has previously served in leadership roles with the American Advertising Awards (AAF) of Central Minnesota. She was also the recipient of a 2020 AAF Silver Medal Award, which is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to advertising and within their community.

About Vye

Vye is a full-service, digital marketing agency that drives growth through empathy-based marketing to help businesses crush their goals. Our team of 40+ creative professionals based throughout the U.S. tackle difficult problems — and partner with clients who have lofty ambitions. As a HubSpot Partner specializing in inbound marketing, we’re committed to our work, long-term client relationships, our talented team, and our creative process. We’ll never settle because we’re always vying for something more. Learn more at

Media Contact

Dan Soldner, Vye President & CEO

Meta 13 Joins Vye in Recent Acquisition

ST. CLOUD, MINN.Vye (formerly Leighton Interactive), an inbound marketing agency in St. Cloud, Minn. and Green Bay, Wis. announced its acquisition of Meta 13, a website design and development firm in St. Cloud. Effective immediately, the two companies will join their teams and operate under the Vye brand.

Meta 13 owners Justin and Josh Gauerke and Nathan Batdorf, along with their employees, will join the Vye team and combine their expertise in strategy, web and ecommerce development, graphic design, content, videography, and photography. With the acquisition of Meta 13, Vye has 30 employees.

“We’ve had a great run with Meta 13, and our business has grown beyond our imagination,” says Justin Gauerke, owner and founder of Meta 13, technology solutions director at Vye. “Vye was one of our agency partners, and the time was right for us to join forces and become stronger and better together.”

Marrying Vye’s inbound marketing strength and mission to redefine marketing as a measurable growth investment with Meta 13’s rich web design and development expertise, Vye will serve clients as a multi-disciplined agency.

“Our clients experience the greatest successes when we offer solutions that align data, technology, and creativity,” explains Dan Soldner, president of Vye.

Learn more about Vye and the recent acquisition at

Media Contact: Julia Brolin,

WhiteBox Marketing: Familiar Face Provides Fresh Leadership in New Agency Setting

ST. CLOUD, MINN.—Carrie Karki, long-time marketing professional in the Central Minnesota and Twin Cities marketing industry and resident of Sartell, has launched WhiteBox Marketing— “today’s modern marketing firm.” WhiteBox Marketing officially opened on July 2 and leases office space at St. Cloud’s Cooper Collective, a coworking space on Cooper Avenue.

Karki’s tight knit “core team” consists of experienced creatives in the fields of graphic design, copywriting, marketing strategy, photography, website development, and more, allowing her to provide a full realm of service to new and existing clientele. Karki has also expanded on the team’s capabilities with the additional offerings of marketing consultation services and commercial branded interior design planning.

As a marketing expert, Karki is driven by client retention and one-on-one relationships with those she serves, which fueled the modern vision for WhiteBox Marketing. Karki was employed by another local advertising agency for the past 12 years, and legally retained her longtime existing clients. Karki and the previous agency creative team members joined her, and they are equally excited about the launch of WhiteBox Marketing—a fresh vision build by hand and heart, and the opportunity to partner with both existing clients and new relationships.

“This acquisition allowed the agency team and current clients to benefit from being connected to an agency with secure, local ownership,” said Karki.

“I’ve gained priceless firsthand experience in my career, with my professional start in marketing media for a national media company, before joining the agency world where I have focused on marketing strategy and client relations for the last 11+ years,” said Karki. “That personal experience has now opened the door for me to lead a solid team that provides fresh strategy, creative work, and effective marketing—all under my vision. I am proud of that!”

WhiteBox Marketing’s website is live at WhiteBox.Marketing.

Adventure Welcomes New Director of Account Service

Adventure is pleased to announce that Kathy McGrath has joined our team as Director of Account Service. After living in Scotland on and off since 2006, Kathy will settle into Adventure’s Minneapolis office. Kathy brings great depth of experience, including experiential and strategic work for Levi’s, Mazda and Coca-Cola, along with stints at Target and the Science Museum of Minnesota. Kathy’s background managing pro athletes (one of whom recently earned an Olympic gold), installing IKEA kitchens, keeping track of family in five different countries, and training her dog & toddler not to bite each other (probably especially that skill) should serve her well in our fast-paced environment.

Welcome to the Adventure team, Kathy!

Palmer Printing: Why We Enter The American Advertising Awards

Submitting work to the American Advertising Awards can seem like a daunting task — from identifying the worthy projects, figuring out which categories they fit into; filling out the form on the website; ensuring coworkers are credited accordingly; printing out the entries; checking and double checking, then triple-checking that everything is in the proper order; and finally delivering the entries. And of course, all of this happens within the last week of the entry period — in between doing actual client work.

So, why does Palmer enter the American Advertising Awards?

First of all, we believe in our work. We’re proud of it. We worked hard to create it for our clients.

It’s part of our currency. Ultimately, a finished piece helps promote brands, grow businesses and for our non-profit clients, raise money for a worthy cause.

It’s also a way to celebrate success. We love what we do, but it’s a tough job at times…working long hours to meet a deadline, dealing with creative block, logistics issues and computer crashes. When you overcome these challenges and deliver a piece that has form and function, it provides real results and a happy client. That’s when our job is most rewarding.

Why do we attend the Awards?

Each time we attend the American Advertising Awards, we’re inspired by the work from both students and professionals. The experience of viewing all of those clever, beautifully executed projects motivates us to grow both personally and professionally.

It’s also pretty awesome to mingle with other creatives; whether it’s former instructors, classmates, co-workers or other industry professionals. It fuels our own creativity and pushes us to work that much harder for our clients.

So yes, entering the American Advertising Awards might seem like a daunting task…but it’s so worth it.

Amy Hanfler is the creative director at Palmer Printing in St. Cloud, Minn.

5 Reasons to Enter the American Advertising Awards

So you’ve heard about the American Advertising Awards but you’re still figuring out if it’s worth it to submit (spoiler alert, of course it is!) If you still need convincing, check out the top five reasons to enter below:

5. Business is all about relationships

We all know that when working with clients and customers, strong, trusting relationships are key to repeat business and referrals for new business. The American Advertising Awards is the perfect place to showcase the work you are doing on behalf of your customers. They say actions speak louder than words and submitting the pieces you’ve done for clients screams “HEY! Look who we get to work with and would you look at what we get to do for them!?”

4. Because Self Promotion isn’t Selfish

Business is, well, business and when we get down to it, it’s easy to get caught up in the grind of promoting products and services, taking care of clients, and generally hustling that we forget to do all the same promotion and hustle for ourselves! The American Advertising Awards are the perfect place to remind your colleagues in the industry of who you are and what you do.

3. It’s for the babies!

Okay, well maybe not actual babies, but seriously, proceeds from our show are used to support all the feel good things our club does for local students (i.e. the future of our industry) like our annual Student Design Competition.

 2. Helping Us Helps You

Okay so we help babies, but we also help you! Part of our mission as a club is to provide programming and workshops throughout the year that help you grow and flourish as a professional!

1. The work!

You #grind day in and day out and honestly, the work speaks for itself. You’ve put in the hustle and heart, now it’s time to step aside and make way for the work. It deserves to be recognized!

Submit your work today!