Mover & Shakers: Brian Gioielli and Monica Mason

  • Updated: August 10, 2014 - 2:00 PM

A look at the people behind the numbers in area business:

Brian gioielli & Monica mason the brandlab

Title: Gioielli, development director; Mason, program director

Age: Gioielli, 33; Mason, 27

Brian Gioielli and Monica Mason are working to prepare students of diverse backgrounds for careers in advertising and marketing as newly named directors at the BrandLab, a Minneapolis nonprofit.

Gioielli, the BrandLab’s development director, has more than 10 years of nonprofit leadership experience. Mason, the organization’s outreach director since 2012, is now its program director.

“You can’t ask for a job that you don’t know exists,” Mason said. “So the BrandLab does a great job of helping to expose students to these different career fields they may not have known about.”

More than 500 students took part in BrandLab coursework in 25 high school classrooms across the Twin Cities in the most recent school year, Mason said.

The BrandLab’s mission is to “change the voice and voice of the marketing industry” by introducing students to careers in the field, Gioielli said. “There’s an incredibly strong system and network of individuals who are passionate about making that mission and vision a reality,” Gioielli said.

Mason has a journalism degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a master’s in mass communications from the University of Minnesota. Gioielli most recently worked as director of major and alumni giving the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Q: How do the BrandLab’s events help connect students?

Mason: Connect Creative, in the fall, gives students an opportunity to work with creatives in the industry and go through some mock campaigns, to get a taste of what that side of the business looks like. Connect Careers, in the spring, is held at a corporate partner location where panelists talk about their careers [and] how they landed their job.

Q: Why do agencies and companies support the BrandLab?

Gioielli: We’re teaching valuable skills and exposing students to an industry where they could have a career and where their perspectives are needed. And it’s just good business. Diverse perspectives and opinions when you’re creating marketing campaigns is a necessity. The industry should reflect the audiences they’re marketing to.

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