Digital Leaders In Marketing

John Grudnowski

John Grudnowski
Founder, CEO

In May 2009, John founded FRWD. He brings 15 plus years of PR and digital marketing services experience that he gained over the course of his career at Accenture, General Mills, Carmichael Lynch and Vail Resorts.

John has developed digital strategies, provided expert training, counseled and advised marketing executives, led internal client innovation teams, and led execution teams for a variety of Fortune 1,000 clients, including: American Express, Discovery, 3M, General Mills, Deluxe, Target, Best Buy, Sony Pictures, Dairy Queen, Starz Entertainment and Ameriprise. Previous to creating FRWD, John founded and led the modern media practice at space150, a Twin-Cities based ad agency, as well as led agency business development supporting revenue growth from under $1MM to over $12MM in four years. John has also co-founded the Minneapolis-based i612 media organization, and has served on multiple digital-based start-up boards of directors.

Aimee Reker

Aimee Reker
Partner, Media Systems

Aimee joined FRWD after nearly a decade with IPG and McCann Worldgroup where, as SVP, Global Director of Search, she was honored with the Agency’s global award for Mentorship, launched a global search practice, championed social within Populist, and helped clients and colleagues navigate the sea of opportunity through the IPG Emerging Media Lab. Prior to that, Aimee led media for Circle.com (now Euro RSCG 4D) and Initio Design and trained in “traditional” at Campbell Mithun and AT&T Paradyne.

At FRWD, Aimee leads the Media Service practice and a team of more than 30 digital media strategists, driving solutions for clients like General Mills, Deluxe, St. Jude Medical and 3M. She brings a passion for digital innovation and has created award winning media solutions for IKEA, Kohls, Kmart, Home Depot, Verizon, US Army, and Mastercard.

Nick Wagner

Nick Wagner
Director of Direct Response and Affiliate Marketing

As FRWD’s Director of Direct Response and Affiliate Marketing, Nick Wagner oversees all direct marketing and related campaigns for FRWD clients and reports to Aimee Reker, partner, media services. Nick brings a mix of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to the agency. Most recently, he led the enterprise analytics group at Medtronic, where he built their pay-per-click and search engine optimization capabilities. Prior to Medtronic, Nick spent four years at Target, some of which he spent co-leading the Google search program, shopper comparison initiatives and site promotions for Target.com.

John Hadl

John Hadl
Managing Partner, Brandinhand

John splits his time between USVP (a venture capital fund where he is a partner) and FRWD Media Services. John joined FRWD as part of FRWD’s acquisition of Brandinhand. Brandinhand handled more than 600 mobile campaigns and its clients included: Procter and Gamble, Best Buy, American Express, Coca Cola, General Mills, Lions Gate Studios and others. In April 2007, BrandWeek dubbed John as one of the “Marketers of the Next Generation,” the publication’s highest honor, and in July 2007, Advertising Age acknowledged Hadl as one of its distinguished “40 Under 40″ executives.

Prior to Brand in Hand, John was Strategic Advisor to Procter and Gamble for mobile, founded Enverta (acquired 2001) and Creative RX. John was also a managing director at Quigley-Simpson Interactive. John began his career as a corporate lawyer in New York City at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and holds a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

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