Not to Brag: Part 1

Not to Brag: Part 1 Mar 23, 2017

This news is so exciting that we had to break it into two parts.  Our office is growing again. No, we didn’t add a third conference room, but we’re thinking maybe wMr. Ward Ertze should. We kicked things up a notch and brought in some accomplished talent to work directly with our valued clients. Ward Ertz accepted the position as Director of Client Services, and our clients will be thrilled to work side-by-side with him, creating strategic project plans, driving revenue growth, and building their businesses.

Ertz’s business background includes significant roles in organizational leadership and management, revenue and margin optimization, project management, P&L accountability, and admirable experience in advertising and marketing strategy.

We are so excited to have Ward here that we polished up our New Hire Orientation, which includes: the Office Tour, Icebreaker Challenge, Scavenger Hunt and New Hire Kit. Our new-and-improved Office Tour is a behind-the-scenes look at our two conference rooms, Carol’s office, newly-renovated printer area, and the hidden coal room. In the Icebreaker Challenge, introduce all the office technology and phone system, while trying not to break ADwërks. We encourage our new hire to participate in a self-guided Scavenger Hunt, for all his desk necessities and paper products. Ward passed this test with ease. Finally, our New Hire Kit includes a memorable ADwërks rocks glass, fashionable ADwërks hat, full access to our refrigerator, a guarantee we won’t tow your car from our parking lot.

Welcome to our playground, Ward.

P.S. We forgot to include in our handbook that all the discarded pictures from the New Hire photo shoot will be shown as entertainment at the Holiday Party.

Stay tuned for Not to Brag: Part 2, where we will share more exciting stuff happening at ADwërks!


Notes from the Intern

Only a chosen few have been offered internships at ADwërks. We like to call these select few the lucky ones, the cream-of-the-crop, the pick-of-the-litter…well, you get the point. We want our interns to be successful, provide them with motivating experiences and insight, and show them that fun is not just exclusive to Friday’s Beer-Thirty or the holiday party. We asked Michael what his favorite part of the internship was:

“In our meetings, there were a lot of things said…a lot of things from the BINGO card, actually. But, I also learned a lot about budgeting and interaction between companies, while learning the marketing side of things. I want to thank Jim for giving me this opportunity. After graduation, I’d like to travel and eventually end up back in Texas where I want to open my own business. Jim’s story is inspiring, and I like the fun and professional culture here. They have lots of fun and get the work done.”

At the beginning of his internship, Michael was handed a mission:  How will you illustrate your experience at ADwërks? Here’s a glimpse at the Internship Chronicles, a documentary from Michael.

P.S. The big ‘who’s-making-coffee-now’ dilemma has been resolved.


Yes! (That’s What She Said)

We have big news. We asked and she said YES! This definitely calls for an open bar. We are eager to announce that we’ve recruited another ADwërker, and another similar name for Caryla to mangle. Sarah Van Westen accepted our proposal as Digital Medialogist, to work with our team on one of our largest accounts.sarah-vw_for-blog

Sarah, a Sioux Falls native, completed her bachelor’s degree at SDSU, and went on to finish a master’s degree at University of Washington. Sarah’s background includes working for Sanford Health and The Seattle Public Library, as well as in-depth experience with writing and editing, information organization, and HTML elements. We were so fascinated by Sarah and her credentials that we could only do one thing: Hire her! Now, let’s celebrate!

When Sarah’s not kickin’ tail with her mad digital skills, she can be found enjoying a variety of local food and spirits, spending time with her adorable animals, or being a sophisticated traveler. Best of all, she’s got one of the shortest commutes in the entire office, or perhaps the entire world. Not as convenient as when someone has to crash on the couch in the “Cool Room,” but pretty darn close. Welcome to ADwërks, new workmate and neighbor.

ADwërks Announces Royal Recruit

Well, we did it again. We weren’t able to clone anyone, but we were able to recruit fresh talent for the office, to join our jolly bunch of jackholes, conceptual connoisseurs and marketing masters. We’re pretty excited that we found someone with great energy, and eye for creativity, and who partakes in our office shenanigans (and doesn’t get offended when Caryla mispronounces their name). We’ve committed to being on our best behavior and haven’t scared her away yet, so we’d like to introduce the newest media strategist, our Empress of Engagement, Kirsten Smith.

A recent graduate from Augustana University, where she was a star on the Augie Women’s Soccer Team, Kirsten brings with her a Business Administration and Marketing degree. Yeah, she’s a smarty. She’s the type of smarty an agency is proud to have on their team. Whether her team is oKirsten_forBlogn or off the field, her stunning skill-set, and qualities of leadership and positivity, earned her the title of Empress. She will be engaging in social and digital media strategies for some of our largest accounts, including McDonald’s. In addition to being results-driven and an exceptional problem solver, Kirsten’s competitive demeanor is a perfect fit for our client’s brand.

When Kirsten isn’t at the office, she enjoys exercising, painting, and shopping. She’s an Omaha native with Sioux Falls roots, and revels her free time with friends and family.

Meet Our Newest ADwërkers

It’s not you. It’s your cover letter.

Who knew, that such a profound job posting could attract so many potential candidates? We’ve had our hands full these last few weeks, combing through the mounds of cover letters, in search of our future counterparts. The responses we received were unprecedented, and we’ve definitely had our work cut out for us. With a little help from the Advertising and Marketing Gods, we were lucky enough to come across two brave, qualified candidates who accepted the challenge as our new Copywriter and Social Media Strategist.

Hire an English major, they said. It will be fun, they said. Well, it was! We found our very own Jill-of-all writing trades, a human catchphrase wrapped in Banana RepuNikki_for-blogblic, and someone willing to make coffee every morning. Nikki Beck joined our team as a Syntax Architect. She’s an experienced writer, with a Bachelor of Arts in English, from the University of South Dakota. She has an eye for quality, a knack for creativity, and is someone who defines our core value of handcrafted, from her composition to her glasses. She’s our very own advertising think-tank, and we’re glad to have her on board.

When she’s not drafting up her newest project, Nikki enjoys visiting the downtown area’s local shops, eateries, and music venues. She also enjoys the outdoors, visiting new places, being a Halloween enthusiast, and long walks around T.J. Maxx.

We’ve also hired a Marketing and Communications prodigy. She’s not just any presentation genius—she’s an experienced and well-rounded graphic designer, publisher, communication specialist, and graduate from University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Oh, and she can do a headstand. We like that, and we liked her so much thSharz_for-blogat we gave her the title Digital Mechanic. Whether she’s managing various media platforms, developing social strategies, or interacting with consumers, her certified skill-set will shine through her personality and work. We are more than ecstatic that she chose to shine with us.


Sharz Miar and her fiancé, proud Minnesota natives, relocated to the Sioux Falls area from the Northshore region of Minnesota. Sharz plans to keep herself entertained by exploring state parks and breweries, creating new recipes in the kitchen, and practicing yoga.

Announcing Our Newest Kool-Aid Drinker

ADwërks has managed to not scare off a newcomer; she even read our not-so- Nicole4Blogpolitically-correct holiday letter before being hired and she still willingly joined us – miraculous.

Nicole Townswick has joined the ADwërks crew as Post Master, which means she’ll work as a social and digital media strategist for one of our largest accounts, McDonald’s. She’ll be the primary person managing and posting on the social media accounts for McDonald’s restaurants. She’ll also be analyzing data and insights to help determine and refine content and strategy.

Nicole has a Journalism Degree with an Advertising Emphasis from South Dakota State University, and she has a great background in social media. She worked as a Public Relations and Communications Manager at Volunteers of America, Dakotas, where she managed their social media accounts. She also worked at Habitat for Humanity, SD where she did grant writing and social media, and on top of that she has done some freelance social media work as well.

“I’m thrilled to be a new member of the ADwërks team,” said Nicole. “I look forward to using my skills and experience to advance the social media strategy for the restaurants, the Co-ops and the McDonald’s brand.”

When she’s not at work, the self-proclaimed “boring person” enjoys volunteering, running, and kickboxing, you know, pretty run-of-the-mill stuff.

“When Nicole told me she was a kick-boxer, I felt like I had to hire her or she’d kick-box my ass!” said Jim Mathis, ADwërks President and Certified Advertologist™.

We’re confident that Nicole will be an excellent addition to our team, and we look forward to her future here at ADwërks. Feel free to help us welcome her aboard!

We Need A Social/Digital Media Strategist!

We are looking for a social media strategist to lead regional social strategy for one of ADwerks_GearLogothe world’s most recognized brands. Yes, you read that correctly – we’re going to pay someone to spend their day on Facebook and Twitter. How cool is that?

This position will manage digital platforms, develop a social media strategy to build greater brand awareness, develop, implement and manage all social media related efforts designed to increase consumer awareness, as well as consumer acquisition, retention and engagement.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Research, develop and manage day-to-day social media content
  • Manage social advertising campaigns on Facebook and Twitter with regular status updates provided internally and bi-weekly reports to the client
  • Manage a social media budget and media strategy for paid ad placement to increase engagement on social platforms
  • Interact with consumers/customers in real time via social media platforms
  • Identify opportunity areas and conduct research in order to leverage social media activities and strategies to extend the campaign
  • Ensure social media platforms and channels are effectively aligned with the client’s brand and overall business strategies
  • Monitor trends in social media tools and applications, and apply that knowledge to the use of social media strategies within the business
  • Develop and manage a content calendar
  • Provide consumer insights to help lead overall marketing strategy

Position Requirements:

  • Candidates should be highly organized and detail oriented
  • Must show outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Degree in Marketing/Advertising/PR or Communication, or English
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in social media/digital marketing required
  • Agency Experience preferred
  • Capable of performing tasks independently and meet objectives with little supervision
  • Well versed in all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other comparable and up-and-coming social media channels
  • Experience with third party social media software tools and social listening or engagement tools
  • Strong Analytical Skills
  • Knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign is preferred but not required

If this position sounds like it’s up your alley, please send your resume and cover letter in PDF format to

ADwërks Successfully Clones Kara

Of course by “cloning,” we mean that we hired an equally skilled and hardworking person Caryla-for-blogto take over some of Kara’s workload.

Caryla Chambers has joined ADwërks as our Cog Whisperer. Her main duty (ha, duty…) is to coordinate and manage all of ADwërks’ production work for McDonald’s, guiding it from creation to completion, and making sure that it is produced and delivered efficiently, correctly and on time. Additionally, Caryla will oversee the production work for ADwërks’ other clients, which includes updating the daily job sheet and ensuring that each project is progressing on schedule. In other words, if the creative team is wasting time drawing pictures of Batman and watching cat gifs when they’re supposed to be working on a project that’s due in two hours, Caryla will lay the smack down.

Caryla has been in the advertising business for more than 30 years, and over that time she has accumulated an impressive amount of experience. Heck, she was laying the smack down before The Rock grew into his speedos. She worked as a production manager at Lawrence & Schiller for over 14 years, she was a traffic manager at Avera for over five years, and she was a production/traffic manager at LodgeNet for nine years, to name a few.

Caryla was born and raised right here in Sioux Falls, but she has kicked around a bit, including a stint in Minneapolis and taking up residence in Missoula and Bozeman, Montana, but ultimately family brought her back to South Dakota.

The self-proclaimed workaholic (an addiction that is fueled by another addiction – coffee), still manages to find time doing the things she loves, which includes spending time with her husband Dar, her two beloved cats, and spoiling her 7-year-old granddaughter. Caryla also enjoys gardening, drawing and painting. Plus, as a dedicated Cirque du Soleil fan and art buff, she travels the region to attend every show and gallery possible.

We’re confident that Caryla will be an excellent fit for our team and our clients, and we look forward to her future here at ADwërks. Feel free to help us welcome her aboard!

ADwërks Acquires Advanced Intern Technology

To assist with our summer workload, ADwërks has acquired the coolest, most cutting-edge and advanced intern technology of modern times – a human, named Catherine Schuller.

Catherine Schuller

Catherine Schuller

Catherine will be spending her summer at ADwërks, where she’ll be interning under our McDonald’s Account Supervisor Leigh Anglin. Her duties will include working on market research, consumer insights and anything else Leigh puts her up to.

The Sibley, Iowa native is a Senior Advertising Major and Classical Studies Minor at Iowa State University. As a student she has already gained some great advertising experience as an Ad Director for her college’s student-run publication, Trend Magazine, where she delegated cold calling and ad sales. Completion of her internship at ADwërks will not only provide her with even more experience before entering the job world, it will also fulfill a school requirement and allow her to graduate upon completing the fall 2013 semester.

Just days before starting her internship, Catherine returned from a three-week long expedition in Greece, where she traveled the country and attended a global seminar as a part of her Classical Studies Minor.

Outside of school and advertising, Catherine enjoys golfing, watching television (specifically the drama genre), making Andrew jealous by having a black belt in Taekwondo, and collecting salt and pepper shakers. And no it’s not because she has a weird passion for condiments, it’s more about appreciating and collecting the most interesting and creative shakers she can find. So far she has over 70 pairs in her collection, including a replica set from Alcatraz.

We’re excited to have Catherine here for the summer. If you want to welcome her or give her some career advice, leave a comment below!

–          Andrew

ADwërks Media Team Gets More Experty

Our team of expert media professionals has gotten even more experty with a brand new ADwërker!

Kristi Cornette, our new Pilot of the Airwaves, will work as a traditional media buyer for our 0_2013-03-14_Kristi-Cornette_018_SaraCam_Fix_Flat_Croppedlargest account CarHop, handling mostly TV and print. She’ll work alongside Monique Lupkes, our OTHER traditional buyer for CarHop, and together they’ll conquer the many CarHop markets across the country, riding the airwaves to true media glory.

Kristi has been in advertising for 22 years, and she’s been buying media for 16 years. Her agency experience is bountiful, including employment at Barkley in Kansas City, MO, where she bought for Sonic (not the hedgehog), Valentine Radford, also in Kansas City, where she bought for Pizza Hut, and closer to home, Nichols Media, where she bought for various clients in the auto industry.

When she’s not piloting the airwaves, Kristi enjoys spending time with her family, which is comprised of her husband Michael, 10-year-old son Cooper, and their dog Scout. Together they enjoy having movie nights, watching TV and just hanging out as a family. The Cornettes have recently returned to Sioux Falls after temporarily living in Missoula, MT and Kansas City, MO, but they’re glad to be back.

Although this is the first time she has worked at ADwërks, it’s not her first encounter with the Mathi. Kristi has known Jim and Kara for about 18 years, and she and her husband actually used to live five doors down from the Mathis household. Is that why you moved away Kristi? Nonetheless, we’re happy you came back.

Based on her mad media skills, good experience and great personality, we know Kristi will make an excellent addition to our team. Please feel free to help us welcome her aboard!