Title: Vice president of corporate marketing and communications

Age: 46


Martha Nevanen, recently promoted to vice president of corporate marketing and communications at the Pohlad Companies, will help lead an internal branding initiative for the 31-company organization. In her newly created role, Nevanen will oversee corporate communications and branding companywide for the Pohlad organization, which employs 3,500 people in 40 markets nationally.

Nevanen also will continue the work she has done for more than a decade as vice president of marketing and communications for Marquette Real Estate Group, where she has been instrumental in two rebranding projects and leading the marketing and communications program through rapid growth and change.

“We’ve had a number of business changes that have resulted in new branding, new marketing and new communications, so this is an extension to use those skills to support any of the other businesses,” Nevanen said of her new companywide role.

Nevanen’s communication work for the commercial real estate group, composed of United Properties, RJM Construction and Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq, led to her 2011 induction into the Midwest Real Estate Journal’s Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.

She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Missouri. She volunteers for such organizations as CornerHouse, NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, and the International Association of Business Communicators.

Founded in the 1950s by Carl Pohlad, the Minneapolis-based Pohlad Family Companies now is under second-generation family management. Its holdings include banking, financial services, entertainment, retail, automotive and technology companies, in addition to the Minnesota Twins.


Q: What is the goal of the branding initiative Pohlad Companies is undertaking?

A: The main strategy is to connect people better under the Pohlad Companies umbrella, so they can work with each other better, so they can leverage things that people know in a better way across business units and business lines in different companies.


Q: What challenges do you anticipate encountering in that effort?

A: The most challenging part of the project is the diverse nature of all the different business and finding common ground that any of them can leverage and to help them define their business, why their businesses are important and distinctive and a good place to work.


Q: What interested you in this new role?

A: It’s a way for me to leverage the experience I’ve had within some of the Pohlad Companies over the last 10 years. It helps when you know people and are not walking in cold. It’s a nice way to get some new, interesting challenges and keep the things that I’ve worked on for quite awhile. It’s a good way to start a new job and keep your old job too.