Awards & Press

Five Ovative Group Employees Win ‘32 Under 32’ Award 

MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. May 24, 2023  

Five Ovative Group experts were recently honored as winners of AdFed Minnesota’s annual ‘32 Under 32’ Awards. Its ’32 Under 32’ event recognizes young professionals going above and beyond in the marketing and advertising industries, with 21 total Ovative employees being nominated. Of the 21 total Ovative nominees, five were named a ‘32 under 32’ winner: Claire Doty, Courtney Stoesz, Lauren Scheidler, Mia McMurray, and Tommy McQuillan. 

This year’s theme for the award was: SPOTTED. “Nominees are not only in this group of must-watch young professionals because they’re hard workers and excelling in their roles, (duh) but because their peers and mentors have spotted their brilliance and are ready to share it.” quotes the AdFed website 

AdFed had a record number of more than 140 nominees for this year’s award. Ovative’s 21 outstanding nominees spanned different areas of Ovative’s business. Five of the 21 nominees were crowned winners through an anonymous scoring process by local marketing and advertising experts. 

Claire Doty, Senior Analyst of SEO, was nominated for her ability to align her technical skillset with long-term career goals. Claire worked with Ovative leaders to build a role that “focuses on improving SEO practices and making Ovative better by spending time driving automation for the team and exploring new ways for the team to utilize technology and AI”. Her generosity is felt both within and beyond Ovative due to her many volunteering and mentorship experiences outside of her Ovative career. 

Courtney Stoesz, Manager of Brand Marketing and Events, was nominated for her work in bringing the Ovative employer brand strategy to life, among many other accomplishments including brand and partnership work. Courtney is “always the first to volunteer for challenging projects” and “drives to exceed expectations, not for the recognition, but because she deeply cares.” She is involved in many different areas of Ovative outside of her direct role, including the DEIB Committee and Growth Connectedness Committee, making Ovative more inclusive and connected as a whole. 

Lauren Scheidler, Manager of Paid Search, launched her career at Ovative, beginning as a summer intern. She now leads some of Ovative’s largest clients. Lauren tackles problems with a strategic lens and is “helping bring Holistic Search to life for clients, showing them unique ways to manage Paid Search and SEO together to make strategic business decisions that drive enterprise business results”. Lauren is a team player and takes the time to share her individual insights and learnings with the entire Ovative team to help everyone collectively grow. 

Mia McMurray, Senior Manager of Measurement Solutions, was nominated for her deep expertise in Ovative’s technology portfolio and her drive to help others. Mia serves a critical role on her team by “routinely engaging directly with senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies to help them maximize the value they earn from their marketing.” Beyond this, Mia helped Ovative launch and educate around Ovative’s industry-defining marketing metric, Enterprise Marketing Return, to Ovative team members, which is now at the core of Ovative’s measurement strategy. 

Tommy McQuillan, Director of Video and Programmatic Media, has worked at Ovative since 2015 and is a key part of Ovative’s growing success with programmatic media strategies. Over the years, Tommy has harnessed his passion for paid media technology and “influenced, motivated and trained his team to continue to drive impact for clients and build out the technology to sit on top of the paid media ecosystem.” He also participates in industry events and is seen as not only an expert and leader internally but externally, as well. 

To learn more about the ‘32 Under 32’ award and view all the nominees, visit 


Ovative Group is an independent media and measurement firm that helps clients drive and deliver measurable marketing performance. Founded in 2009 by Dale Nitschke, Ovative brings media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to measure the holistic impact of marketing on clients’ total business using its proprietary metric, Enterprise Marketing Return (EMR). Ovative’s team of marketing experts serves as a trusted partner for its national world-class client base of marketing leaders across many industries. Ovative is recognized as an industry leader and has received awards including Adweek Fastest Growing Agencies, Star Tribune’s Top Workplaces, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Fast 50, and Inc. 5000. For more information about Ovative, visit or follow Ovative on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  

 Media inquiries, please contact: [email protected]  


The Advertising Federation of Minnesota (AdFed) is a non-profit, professional trade association that has served the Minnesota advertising community including agencies, advertisers, suppliers, and students, since 1906. AdFed is a part of The American Advertising Federation (AAF), the nation’s oldest national advertising trade association. To learn more, visit 

Dale Nitschke

Dale Nitschke

CEO & Founder

About the Author

Dale is the Founder and CEO of Ovative. After years of operating a large omni-channel business and leading a customer data initiative, Dale knew there was an opportunity to create a marketing firm that helped clients become more customer centric and drove better performance outcomes. A gap existed between business consultancies and advertising agencies that modern marketing approaches demand. He also believed that a strong, healthy culture could attract and develop smart, talented team members. In 2009, he formed Ovative to bring media, measurement, and consulting together under one roof to enable an enterprise approach that drives more revenue and grows clients’ customer base.

Prior to founding Ovative in 2009, Dale spent 23 years at Target Corporation where he served as President of and grew the ecommerce business from start-up stage to a $1 billion+ business and established the foundation of Target’s Guest database capabilities. Previously he served as SVP Merchandising at the Department Store Division of Dayton Hudson. Dale has advised retailers and brands globally on business, growth, marketing, and measurement transformation strategies.

Outside of Ovative, Dale is a leader on topics including business strategy, change management, and team leadership. He serves on the board of Allergy Amulet and on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison.  He enjoys spending time with his family, up north in northern Wisconsin, playing golf, and cheering on Wisconsin sport teams.

Steve Benson

Steve Benson

Chief Financial Officer

About the Author

Steve is the Chief Financial Officer of Ovative. Steve is responsible for the company’s IT, corporate accounting, treasury, tax, financial planning and analysis, and Business Operations

Prior to joining Ovative, Steve provided finance and accounting advisory services to clients. Before that, he spent 23 years at Target Corporation, leading Finance and Accounting teams.

Steve enjoys distance running, woodworking, and traveling. Steve and his wife have two sons, and they enjoy escaping to the Minnesota north shore.

Annie Zipfel

Executive Vice President, Media

About the Author

Annie is the Executive Vice President of Media at Ovative. She oversees delivery and growth across paid and owned media (digital, traditional, and retail media) and creative services.

Annie has more than 30 years of experience in media, brand management, insights/analytics, marketing, and product. She has also developed large, high-performing teams and built new measurement capabilities. Annie led the marketing team at Andersen Windows & Doors, leading the digital, social, content, customer insights, and creative functions. Prior to that, Annie served in multiple marketing leadership roles at Starbucks, REI, Target, and General Mills, with a keen focus on brand, media, insights, analytics, and measurement.

Annie is an industry leader in brand management, customer insights, e-commerce, social media, and analytics. She enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, fishing, and spending time with her sweet dog and two sons.

Bonnie Gross

Executive Vice President, Talent Services

About the Author

Bonnie is the Executive Vice President of Talent Services at Ovative. She is responsible for attracting and retaining top talent and creating a culture in which our team thrives personally and professionally. Under Bonnie’s leadership, Ovative has defined an industry leading leadership and development program and transformed our approach to talent recruitment with a focus on diversity, equality and inclusion. Prior to her current role, Bonnie led Ovative’s Client and Business Development team overseeing client satisfaction and new growth opportunities.

Before joining Ovative in 2014, Bonnie spent 13 years at Target Corporate as the VP of digital and Digital Marketing where she led the launch of Cartwheel, an industry-leading social shopping application. Bonnie was the VP of Marketing for Fingerhut for 15 years prior to joining Target.

Steve Baxter

Steve Baxter

Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives

About the Author

Steve is the Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Ovative. Steve has been with the company since 2010 and launched Ovative’s media practice in 2012.

Prior to joining Ovative, Steve worked at Target for 8 years where he led development of Target’s CRM initiatives, Digital media analytics and Target’s Media Network. In 2005, Steve developed Target’s proprietary in-house capabilities to both measure in-store sales impact from digital brand investments and personalize marketing messages across both digital and non-digital channels.

Steve is an industry leader on topics including marketing, advanced measurement, ecommerce, and monetization. Steve enjoys fishing, camping, golfing and trying to stay competitive in any sport with his three boys. Steve enjoys escaping to the MN north shore with his wife, boys and dog whenever possible.

Beth McKigney

Senior Vice President, Measurement

About the Author

Beth is the Senior Vice President of Measurement at Ovative. She is responsible for developing, implementing, and supporting proprietary technology products that enable clients to unlock insights across marketing channels and devices. Since joining Ovative in 2013, Beth built Ovative’s Site Analytics & Optimization practice and Ovative’s unified marketing measurement tool, MAP. She is spearheading development of new technology products focused on advanced analytics, testing and reporting.

Prior to joining Ovative, Beth spent 9 years at Target in multiple digital and marketing analytics roles. She defined and delivered Target’s email and mobile marketing strategies, identified and defined guest-facing technology enhancements, and managed site-wide promotional marketing plans.

Beth is a thought leader in advanced analytics and optimization strategies. She regularly advises clients on strategies to improve their marketing effectiveness and is a published thought leader. She lives in Brooklyn Park with her husband, two boys and dog, Sota.  Beth’s an avid University of Minnesota sports fan (especially football – Row the Boat!) and enjoys downhill skiing, biking, hunting and fishing.

Lindsy Steinberger

Sr. Manager, Paid Search

About the Author

Lindsy is a Sr. Manager on the Paid Search team at Ovative.

Tyler Spiwak

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Tyler is an Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

Dianne Anderson

Senior Vice President, Media

About the Author

Dianne is the Senior Vice President of Media at Ovative. She is responsible for delivery and growth across paid digital media, traditional media, marketplaces, and creative services. Since joining the company in 2013, Dianne has been a key leader in establishing new channel practices, a strategic voice in media and marketing strategy and a driver scaling best in class teams. She regularly advises clients on ecommerce, retail, digital media and measurement strategies.

Prior to joining Ovative, Dianne spent 8 years at Target leading strategy and activation of digital e-comm and brand marketing initiatives.

Dianne is passionate about music, leading ukulele lessons for the team and participating in office musical collaborations.  Her happy places are Northern Wisconsin, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where she enjoys making memories with her family.

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

Lillian is a Senior Analyst on the Paid Social team at Ovative.

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