A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:
Title: Director of engagement at the Martin/Williams ad agency in Minneapolis
Likes: Watching "Mad Men."
Dennis, who recently made the jump from rival agency Fallon, would much rather engage consumers in conversation than speak to them en masse, as Don Draper & Co. do.
"The philosophy here is all focused on what we call brand activism," Dennis said. "It's about inspiring and inciting action among consumers and prospects."
Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Dennis' new role is working with the agency's robust analytics practice, one of several groups she oversees. It's at the heart of much of what the agency does to identify "alpha consumers," or those ranking highest in financial and social media worth.
"It inspires our creative thinking," Dennis said. "It doesn't force more analytics into the creative process. It combines the two to come up with the best solution."
Also appealing, Dennis said, was the "upward trajectory" at Martin/Williams, owned by Omnicon Group Inc. The agency recently won new business, including Simmons Bedding Co. and Syngenta's North American account, and has 15 recent hires.
"There's nothing more fun than an agency that's winning business," said Dennis.
A Chicago-area native who now lives in St. Paul, Dennis spent close to 10 years at Fallon in two stints. She also has worked at Minneapolis agency Barrie D'Rozario Murphy and Best Buy, where she helped launch BestBuy.com.
Before advertising, Dennis, a Carleton College alumna, worked as a lobbyist for state and national clients. The common thread, she said, is that both fields involve "persuasive communications."
QLobbying and advertising aren't so different?
AFor me, boredom is the kiss of death. I like the fast pace of both. You're representing multiple clients, constantly learning something new. That keeps me motivated and busy.
QFor your counterparts who rarely visit the capital city, what do you like to do there?
AThe Minnesota RollerGirls are in St. Paul, which is good fun. St. Paul has the best man food in town. Go to the Savoy. Or the Nook, and then go bowling downstairs. That's a nice St. Paul experience.