Spawn Ideas is a fully integrated advertising agency that’s independent and employee owned. Our team of more than 40 employee owners have “skin in the game” and great reasons to stick around. We care about the work and our clients’ business outcomes. Careers and friends blossom in our work hard/play hard culture. As owners, when the agency succeeds, so do we.

Everyday, we challenge ourselves and our clients to create strategically smart, provocative, bold ideas. We talk about being brave – a lot – creating work that gets noticed and achieves results. We’re forever on the hunt for fresh ideas, whether in traditional advertising and branding, creative design, web sites, social media and more.

Leadership

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Karen King

President & CEO

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Karen King

President & CEO

Strategic insight is the dish, Spawn’s President and CEO, Karen brings to the potluck. She’s a gifted strategic planner and brand identity builder. Karen has developed national and regional sales promotions for clients such as General Mills, Coca-Cola and Kraft. And she’s Spawn’s “go-to” person on all things brand, having crafted or re-energized identities for the City of Anchorage, GCI (telecom), the University of Alaska Anchorage, Kaladi Bros. Coffee, Alyeska Pipeline and others. As agency president, she upholds the agency’s standard of service and is our biggest cheerleader too. When not at work, you’ll find Karen out on her 37-foot cabin cruiser, the MV Grizzly Bear, skiing or kayaking.

Brand Experience: General Mills, Coca-Cola, GCI, BP Alaska, University of Alaska, Rasmuson Foundation, The Alaska Club

Hails from: Alden, Minnesota

Education: B.A. JournalismUniversity of Minnesota

Bravest Moment: Becoming captain of a 39-foot boat in Prince William Sound

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Mike Weed

VP, Creative Director

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Mike Weed

VP, Creative Director

By combining consumer, brand and market insights with razor-sharp strategy, Mike creates advertising that both resonates with audiences and achieves marketing objectives. He brings more than 20 years of professional experience including ten of those years as a creative director of integrated campaigns for a diverse list of brands: American Airlines, Publix Supermarkets, Dreyfus Mutual Funds, Spray ’N Wash, Fantastik, Qwest Communications, Level(3) Communications, Xcel Energy, Mountain Hardwear, Yakima, R.L. Winston Fly Rods, Zebco, Aspen/Snowmass, Hodgman, Eagle Claw and Cinch Jeans. His teaching credentials include teaching at two of the ad industry’s best professional schools: The Creative Circus and The Portfolio Center.

Mike is an avid fly fisherman and has backpacked in the Rocky Mountains, the Green and White Mountain ranges and the Great Smokey mountains (to name a few).

Brand Experience: American Airlines, Publix Supermarkets, Dreyfus Mutual Funds, Spray ‘N Wash

Hails From: Denver, CO

Education: B.A. Graphic Design, Drake University

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Doug Hagge

Business Development

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Doug Hagge

Business Development

A versatile and insightful strategist and business developer, Doug has a deep and unique portfolio of brand experience and partnership with some of the most admired and intriguing brands including Harley-Davidson, Porsche, Disney, Cuties, Panda Express, Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Harvard Business School.

Doug has held leadership positions for Campbell Mithun Esty, Carmichael Lynch and Bailey Lauerman and greatly contributed to their growth and ascendency in the industry. He co-led the effort, and was instrumental, in Bailey Lauerman being named 2013 Ad Age “Small Agency of the Year”. His “results orientation” has contributed to 14 EFFIE® Award-winning and Finalist campaigns.

Doug and his family – wife Denise and son Trent – love the outdoors. Biking, hiking, skiing, fishing and golfing are frequent pursuits.

Brand Experience: Harley-Davidson, Porsche, Disney, Cuties, Panda Express, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)®, Harvard Business School, General Mills and Tractor Supply Company

Hails from: Bloomington, Minnesota

Education: B.B.A. Marketing, Management and Personnel, University of Minnesota Duluth
M.B.A. Marketing Management, University of Minnesota

Bravest Moment: Successful solo piloting of single-engine Beechcraft Sport aircraft for 300+ nautical miles.

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Kathy Norford

VP, Media Director

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Kathy Norford

VP, Media Director

From customizing strategies for MoneyGram in more than 50 local markets, to planning and placing media nationwide for Qdoba Mexican Grill and Coors Brewing Company, Kathy has planned media campaigns across the country. She’s quite the savvy media maven – always looking for unique ways to reach consumers. With Kathy’s inspiration, we’ve put cheeky posters in men’s restrooms to promote football on cable TV; sent a collection of bobble-head dolls to legislators to gain educational funding; even hung 10-foot diameter dice in a sports arena. Kathy is our lead media planner on McDonald’s, working closely to meet stringent corporate guidelines. Outside of work, she’s an ace tennis player in the greater Denver-area, a walking sports encyclopedia and, not surprisingly, a big Broncos fan.

Brand Experience: McDonald’s, Coors, Qdoba Mexican Grill, Vicorp Restaurants, Denver Health, Midas, GCI, Northrim Bank

Hails from: Cherry Hill, NJ

Education: B.S. Business Administration University of Richmond. MBA, University of Richmond

Bravest Moment: Moving to Alaska, sight unseen, three days after her wedding

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April Cook

Director, Project Management

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April Cook

Director, Project Management

April started with the Agency fresh out of college way back in 2002. Since then, she’s worked her way up to leading the account service department. While organizing the organizers is a great strength, her work keeping a couple of the Agency’s largest clients – Alaska McDonald’s and the Alaska Department of Transportation – on strategy and on brand is what keeps her coming to work everyday. Some would even say she’s caught the McDonald’s bug and has ketchup in her veins. When she’s not working, April is trying to keep up with her two young sons – and loves to cook if the stars ever align and she makes it into her kitchen.

Brand Experience: Alaska McDonald’s, Alaska Department of Transportation, ACS Yellow Pages, QAP, Wilder Construction, Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, NANA Development Corporation, Southcentral Foundation

Hails from: Eagle River, Alaska

Education: B.S., Montana State University

Bravest Moment: Playing in the Little League Softball World Series (and becoming a mom!)

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Julie Hirt

Director, Account Management

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Julie Hirt

Director, Account Management

Julie came to Spawn in 2015 with 17 years of marketing communications experience. She has worked on both the agency and corporate side of the business, specializing in brand strategy, marketing communications planning and cross-cultural communication. Her strong leadership skills and attention to detail have allowed her to provide superior client service to global brands such as Sea Ray Boats and The Bold Look of Kohler. Julie has also worked on accounts in higher education, healthcare, financial and B2B.

Brand experience: Sea Ray Boats, The Bold Look of Kohler, Speed Queen, Eli Lily Oncology, Union Planters Bank, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Alverno College, GCI, University of Alaska

Hails from: good question – Ohio? Michigan? Wisconsin?

Education: Thunderbird School of Global Management – International Marketing, Managing Cross-Cultural Relationships – 2007 – 2008
Michigan State University – BA, Telecommunications and German, 1989

Bravest Moment: Driving to Alaska from Wisconsin in February with her husband and two dogs.

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Charles Leshan

Director, Production

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Charles Leshan

Director, Production

We lured Charles out of Michigan for his 20 years’ experience in print and collateral production, and a certain vendor negotiatior’s acumen he likely picked up in the Motor City. His resourcefulness is legendary. Charles has held leadership positions in both production and client services, working with national brands like General Motors, Ford Motors, Chase, Taco Bell and SiriusXM Radio. At Spawn, he brings a deep knowledge of marketing collateral, a vast vendor base, and crazy high standards. When not ruminating on paper samples, Chuck enjoys baseball, urban exploring (it’s a Detroit thing) and combat fishing.

Brand Experience: Heineken USA, Taco Bell, Chase Bank, General Motors, SiriusXM, GCI, Alaska Railroad, F+W Media, ANSEP, The Henry Ford

Hails from: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Education: B.S. Communication Art Sciences, Michigan State University

Bravest Moment: Becoming a dad

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Gwin Howsam

Digital Producer

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Gwin Howsam

Digital Producer

Gwin is Spawn’s digital producer. She comes to the agency with 12 years of experience delivering results that positively impact clients. She has expertise in providing strategic, tactical planning and deployment that identifies the best mix of creative, media, digital experiences and technology for ultimate ROI and performance. Gwin thrives on solving problems and loves that her peers see her as a “go-to” team member for new and emerging technologies, with a proven record for implementation and production. She’s an energetic team player with a unique combination of creative attributes who also has the skills to “roll up the sleeves” and master a myriad of technologies. Outside of work, as a proud Colorado Native – you can find Gwin outdoors skiing, hiking, boating and playing with her husband and two boys, cheering on the Broncos, Avs and Rockies, dancing to her favorite band at Red Rocks or off on her next “trip of a lifetime.”

Brand Experience: GCI, Vail Resorts, Northrim Bank, Avaya, Johns Manville, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, CSC, Hitachi Data Systems

Hails from: Denver, CO

Education: Bachelor of Arts – Art History, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

Basecamp: Alaska

Our HQ is in Alaska, but we’re also in Seattle and Denver. There’s something about the air up here, and size and scope of our corner of the world that makes us diverse, resourceful and driven – in work and in play. With video conferencing and all the other digital gadgets available, working with clients in person or remotely from anywhere is efficient, effective, and simple. We can do a face-to-face in your market or you can fly north to do a little work (wink wink). Don’t forget your fishing pole, hiking boots and camera.

See how life “Up Here” inspires Spawn employees in work and play.