Awards & Press

Ovative Named Top Workplace for National Culture Excellence Awards

Minneapolis, MN, November 2, 2022 – Top Workplaces recognized Ovative Group as a top employer for Employee Appreciation and Professional Development. Ovative is an industry-leading media and measurement firm that is transforming the measure of marketing success with EMR (Enterprise Marketing Return). Ovative has built a high-growth, values-based organization holding every team member to the highest standards of being Genuine, Accountable, Engaged, and Driven.  

“Since I founded the company in 2009, our commitment has always been to prioritize people – our team, clients, and our partners. That commitment remains as steadfast as ever,” said Dale Nitschke, CEO and Founder at Ovative. “We continue to drive positive results and help our clients transform their businesses. This wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team.”    

Earlier this year, Ovative received recognition for Compensation and Benefits, Innovation, Leadership, and Purpose and Values from Top Workplaces. They also ranked twelfth in the regional Top Workplaces awards through the Star Tribune. Top Workplaces is a program managed by Energage, who uses data from more than 23 million employee surveys at over 70,000 organizations to recognize top employers at the regional and national levels.  

“Top Workplaces believe in the power of people-first cultures and have quantifiably higher levels of employee engagement than the average organization,” said Dan Kessler, Energage President. “They focus on building and maintaining an environment where employees feel engaged, appreciated, and fulfilled. It’s a differentiator that gives these companies a competitive advantage that will stand the test of time and whatever challenges emerge in the external environment.” 

Ovative has two unique employee offerings that were showcased in this recognition: Elevate, a custom leadership and development program, and Champions of Change, a company-wide initiative to make an impact within and outside Ovative’s walls. Elevate offers a mix of formal and on-the-job learning opportunities to develop critical leadership skills to enable team members at all levels to grow and succeed. The Champions of Change initiative is rooted in Ovative’s desire to “just do” good for the communities it serves. The initiative includes opportunities for employees to volunteer their skills providing pro-bono services to social impact organizations, participate in charitable giving, expand their education around inclusivity and diversity, and elevate Ovative’s equitable operating practices, ensuring every voice at the organization can be heard. 

A true reflection of Ovative’s investment in talent, they are on track to hire over 150 interns and analysts from campus to start in 2023 at Minneapolis, Chicago, and NY office locations. Creating an environment to effectively train, develop, and retain top talent is core to Ovative’s DNA. Fearlessly unlocking the power of talent has enabled the company to grow 53% over the past year. 


About Ovative Group 

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 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.  

Lillian Smith

Senior Analyst, Paid Social

About the Author

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

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.

Seth Brand

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Seth is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Amanda McCann

Senior Manager, Consulting

About the Author

Amanda is a Senior Manager on the Consulting team at Ovative, specializing in Retail Media Networks.

Jenny Reinke

Senior Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

Jenny is a Senior Analyst on the Measurement Solutions team at Ovative.

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.

Leander Cohen

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Leander Cohen is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

Will Silva

Analyst, Measurement Solutions

About the Author

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

Sarah Chang

Sarah Chang

Analyst, Consulting

About the Author

Sarah Chang is an Analyst on the Consulting team at Ovative.

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