Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

“Just Do” by Just Voting

This year has been a challenging year for Minneapolis, our country, and the world. The Coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the way customers and our clients interact. Social injustices and a heated political climate have driven communities apart. Many of us find ourselves wanting to “just do” but not knowing where to start.

Values have been core to Ovative Group since our founding. Over our ten years, we’ve taken a few opportunities to refine the specific language we use to describe our culture. When we moved to our new office space in 2019, we displayed our values on our main staircase for our staff to see every day: 

  • We are Genuine 
  • We are Driven 
  • We are Engaged 
  • We are Accountable 

Under the banner of “We are Accountable,” we make a commitment to just do, which means we acknowledge our responsibility to act when we see opportunities to have an impact. This commitment underlies all aspects of our business—from creating a new metric EMR (Enterprise Marketing Return), building a best-in-class technology MAP (Marketing Analytics Platform), to doing what is right for our clients’ businesses every day.  

When it comes to supporting our community, we also bring this “just do” attitude to bear—from establishing our annual The BrandLab Scholarship to consistently holding ourselves to higher standards of inclusiveness and commitment to change.

This year has been a challenging year for Minneapolisour country, and the world. The Coronavirus pandemic has reshaped the way customers and our clients interact. Social injustices and a heated political climate have driven communities apart. Many of us find ourselves wanting to “just do” but not knowing where to start. 

What’s One Thing You Can “Just Do” Today? Vote. 

We believe real change starts when we just take the first step. Today, we’re asking you to join us and just do” by just voting. 

As data lovers, we know that small gaps in your sample size can create big problems. In 2016, Minnesota had the highest voter turnout rate in the country for the general—at 74%. We know we can raise the bar this year! 

If you’re able to vote this year, “just do!There are many ways—in-person, in-person early, by mail—and we believe it’s essential that all voices are heard. Find information about your polling place and different voting options in Minnesota here. If you’re visiting us from another state, Democracy Works has all the information you need to participate in any state.   

How Will Ovative Continue to “Just Do?”

We know just voting won’t be enough—to continue our commitment, we’re launching our Skills-Based Volunteering ProgramOvative has taken the time in 2020 to reflect and ask, “how can we just do and use our skills in support of our communities in this time of need?” We’re excited to share Ovative will be launching a Skills-Based Volunteering Program. Ovative team members will be able to volunteer their digital marketing and measurement skills to organizations having a positive pact in our communities. 

This program will enable our team to do what they do best—amplify messages—for organizations driving change. We’ve just started creating this offering, and are looking for partners who we can support and who will provide us feedback as we grow. If your organization, or one you know, could benefit from these services or would like to support our program please get in touch by emailing [email protected]. 

We will be sharing more about Ovative’s Skills-Based Volunteering Program in the coming months on our blog, social media, and monthly newsletter. Sign up for our newsletter by contacting us here.

We are just beginning, 


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 Target.com 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.

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.

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

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

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 Target.com 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.

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.

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