“Ninety-nine percent of advertising doesn’t sell much of anything.”
We have nothing against advertising — in fact we’re owned by one of the greatest agencies in the world. But as the cost of acquiring new customers continues to rise, advertising’s shotgun approach has to be complemented with the kind of work we do — precision marketing.
At The Lacek Group, we help our clients preserve, protect and grow the value of their best customers through loyalty, one-to-one and CRM solutions. We create innovative programs that work across all media to build direct, personalized and lasting relationships, keeping consumers and brands connected. We do this by skillfully combining the science of data and the art of message.
And as a specialty agency of Ogilvy & Mather, we often partner with the world’s most respected agency network to break new ground with loyalty solutions for travel, health sciences, retail, gaming, automotive, business-to-business, entertainment, broadcasting and a host of other categories.
As President, Bill’s primary responsibility is overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Minneapolis office as well as representing Lacek within the Ogilvy network.
His tenure at The Lacek Group includes leading some of the agency’s largest and most prestigious clients, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Walt Disney Attractions.
Before joining The Lacek Group, Bill served as Corporate Vice President, Global System Development, for National Car Rental, where he directed worldwide franchise operations, quality management and partnership marketing efforts. As Vice President at National, Bill also led the sales team for high-value commercial accounts, representing over $700 million of system revenue.
Bill holds bachelor of science and juris doctor degrees from the University of Minnesota, and he began his professional career as a private practice attorney.
Managing Director, Client Services and Managing Partner
As Managing Director of The Lacek Group, Dan leads the team of client services, consulting and analytics professionals, and is responsible for strategic oversight and client relationships. Prior roles during his many years at the agency include Group Vice President of Account Services and Vice President of Consulting and Database Marketing.
Prior to joining The Lacek Group, Dan served as Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, for National Car Rental and he played a key role in redefining the company’s overall strategic direction by authoring its segmentation strategy, which included The Emerald Club, National’s frequent-renter program.
Before his 10+ year tenure at National, Dan held marketing and communications positions in the retail and health-care industries. Dan graduated from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner
In his role as Chief Creative Officer, John directs a team of talented creative directors, designers, writers and interactive specialists in creating targeted and compelling messages and brand experiences for all Lacek clients.
Before joining The Lacek Group, John ran a small marketing and creativity consulting firm called GIRAFFE, served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Creative Officer for Colle+McVoy, and was an award-winning writer and creative director at various Minneapolis agencies, including Carmichael-Lynch, Martin|Williams, Fallon McElligott and others. John has also taught advertising and marketing classes at several universities, colleges and portfolio schools over the past 25 years, and spoken at conferences and industry events throughout the country.
John holds bachelor of science and master’s degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. His plans of becoming a world-class architect ended after one too many creativity-stunting engineering classes.
Senior Partner, Group Account Director
Francesco leads a portfolio of accounts including United Airlines and Enterprise Holdings (Enterprise Rent A Car, National Car Rental, Alamo Rent A Car and WeCar). His deep travel industry experience contributed to the redesign and re-launch of National Car Rental’s Emerald Club and Delta Air Lines SkyMiles programs. Other clients have included Aero California, JetBlue, Lending Tree, Jaguar, Bristol-Meyers Squibb/Sanofi and Swissair, Sabena and Austrian airlines.
Francesco began his career at Northwest Airlines, first managing airline partnerships for the WorldPerks frequent-flyer program and then managing the Pacific and Atlantic travel agency consolidator sales programs.
Francesco holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Senior Partner, Consulting and Strategic Alliances
Tim specializes in developing and managing customer loyalty solutions for both consumer and business audiences. Tim has led loyalty engagements with a variety of recognized category leaders, including Polo Ralph Lauren, American Express Travel, Northwest Airlines, Cox Communications, Swissôtel, Centocor, GSK, Musicland, Franklin Covey, Foundation Health Systems and Ford Motor Company. Tim also leads The Lacek Group’s efforts in devising, negotiating and managing strategic alliances among the agency’s clients and their partners.
Before joining The Lacek Group, Tim’s career included tenures at Carlson Marketing Group and West Publishing, where he quickly established himself as a recognized thought leader among direct and loyalty marketing practitioners.
Tim received his bachelor of science degree in economics from Westmont College, California, and his management information systems post-graduate degree from the University of Minnesota.
Senior Partner, Interactive and Information Services
As the leader of the technology group at The Lacek Group, Julie leads a team of innovative interactive marketing strategists and developers who design and execute digital marketing campaigns, which combine data-driven content and world-class creative across all Lacek clients.
In addition, Julie and her team are responsible for the ongoing evolution of the technology infrastructure that securely houses and mobilizes marketing’s greatest asset: data.
Prior to joining The Lacek Group, Julie was an Information Systems Engineer for the Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, and was responsible for launching its acclaimed educational website long before the corporate world really even knew what websites were.
Julie earned her bachelor of arts degree in economics with mathematical emphasis at the University of Wisconsin — Madison.
Senior Partner, Human Resources and Corporate Communications
Chris focuses on recruiting, training and retaining the agency’s most significant asset: its talented people. She also heads up corporate communications and facilities management for The Lacek Group.
Prior to joining The Lacek Group, Chris was Human Resources Director at Carlson Marketing Group. She also led human resources for manufacturing, financial services and consulting companies.
Chris graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and business administration, and she received her master’s of arts degree in industrial relations from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
Senior Partner, Finance and Accounting Services
Ruth leads The Lacek Group’s Finance and Accounting functions, with responsibility for budgets and forecasts, financial reporting and analysis, and client pricing, billing and contracts.
Prior to joining The Lacek Group, Ruth spent several years in accounting and office management positions at a relocation company, where she managed key areas of the business, including finance, office operations, insurance and technology.
Senior Partner, Account Services
Randy spearheads the Ameriprise Financial Services account. He has worked with consumer and business-to-business clients to create data-driven, high-impact communications, including ads, collateral, direct response vehicles, sweepstakes, trade show promotions, newsletters, websites and email campaigns. He has led initiatives for clients including U.S. WEST Dex, MCI, Velocity Express, MilePoint, EDS, Centrobe, Tupperware, Sun Country Airlines, OAG, Polar Tank, Grand Casino and Swissôtel.
Before joining The Lacek Group, Randy was communications director with Varitronic Systems, Inc., where he managed an in-house advertising agency.
Randy has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and journalism from the University of Minnesota.
Senior Partner, Account Services
Jon leads the United Airlines account. In the past, he has led several program design and redesign efforts for premier airline clients, including Delta Air Lines, Emirates Airlines, LanChile Airlines and Scandinavian Airlines.
Jon also completed two separate assignments in Singapore, where he opened and managed The Lacek Group’s first office outside the U.S. Jon consulted with a consortium of airlines on implementing and managing one of Asia’s first frequent flyer programs. He also led the development of a business-to-business loyalty program for Cisco Systems and led direct marketing initiatives for Singapore Airlines, FedEx, Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts and Starwood Hotels & Resorts.
Prior to joining The Lacek Group, Jon worked at Northwest Airlines, where he managed partner relationships for the WorldPerks frequent-flyer program.
Jon received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, where he majored in business administration and marketing.
Senior Partner, Group Account Director
Stephanie has been with The Lacek Group since 2007, serving as a Senior Partner since March 2011. She heads up the Starwood client services team, which is dedicated to managing the industry-leading Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) loyalty program. Stephanie has led efforts to develop program innovations, secure deeper relationships with SPG members and create dynamic lifecycle communications. Her marketing initiatives drive increased revenue while responding to the ever-evolving needs of this global client.
Prior to joining Lacek, Stephanie was Director of Marketing at eqLife, a new retail concept of Best Buy. Earlier in her career, she was an executive at Accenture where she worked with a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, Gap, JCPenney, United Health Group and others, helping them improve their organizational efficiencies and communications strategies.
Stephanie has a bachelor of arts degree in advertising and communication from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.
Senior Partner, Global Business Development
Throughout her tenure at The Lacek Group, Danika’s clients have included Allstate, Ameriprise Financial, Dell Computer, Disney Parks & Attractions, Ford Motor Company, jetBlue Airways, Philippine Airlines, Swissôtel/Raffles International, The Musicland Group, Theatre de la Jeune Lune and Direct Design client U.S. Bank.
Danika designs and implements effective customer loyalty programs, with a focus on positive and measurable results that are based on powerful data-driven insights. Recent work includes significant contributions to the national rollout of the Ford Motor Company loyalty program, the development of a loyalty concept for Dell Computer’s Small and Medium Business division, strategy development for the rollout of a new rewards credit card for U.S. Bank, and recommendations for insights-driven loyalty programs for a global beauty brand.
A Minnesota native and fluent in two languages, Danika earned her bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Wisconsin — Eau Claire.