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14 people I’d love to have coffee with in 2018


If you’ve read my blog for the last few years, you’ll know this post has become an annual tradition. But, it’s also an important exercise for me because it forces me to really think about who I’d like to get to know (or, get to know BETTER) in the year ahead.

These coffees are important for me–for a few different reasons. Sure, coffee meet-ups are good for a solo consultant like me. For new business. For referrals. I never sell myself during a coffee meeting, but the benefit is there. No question.

But, I see the coffee meetings a little differently. I see them as opportunities for me to get to know these people so I can identify opportunities to either help or showcase them in the year ahead.

What do I mean?

I’m always looking for people to feature as part of my PR Rock Star series.

Kevin Hunt and I are looking for interesting people to have as guests on the Talking Points Podcast each month.

Bellmont Partners and I search for interesting speakers to be a part of the Talking Points Speaker Series each quarter.

I’m always searching for case studies to showcase on my blog right here.

And, I run two mastermind groups and we’re always looking for new additions to that group as well.

Bottom line: There are plenty of ways I can help someone once I get to know them a little bit more.

So, as I look ahead to 2018, here are 14 people I’m hoping to have coffee with:

Meghan McAndrews, Hearth & Home Technologies

Social media people with journalism backgrounds are usually people I really get along with well. I have no doubt Meghan would fall in that group.

Kristin Zima, Optum

My one hold-over from last year’s list! If at first you don’t succeed, send a couple more emails, right?

Elise Bartlett, Lifetime

Interesting background (she worked for Gary V). But, more importantly, she’s also colleagues with my friend Natalie Bushaw.

Felicia Johnson, The Minnesota Vikings

I’m hoping to meet up with Felicia AFTER Feb. 4 so we can bask in the glory that is our first MINNESOTA VIKINGS SUPER BOWL VICTORY!

Ellie Anderson, Griffin Archer

I don’t know Ellie at all. But, I follow her on Instagram and she seems like an interesting person I would want to meet. Sometimes, it’s all feel. After all, you can learn a lot by following someone on IG, right? 🙂

Casey Hall, Thomson Reuters

You can probably count the number of people who work in social media marketing who are also attorneys on one hand. That makes him infinitely more interesting than the rest of us working in the space.

Sarah Hennen Carter, Nature’s Way

Admittedly, I’m in the dog house here. And it’s time to make good. I completely spaced a coffee meeting I had with Sarah in 2017. I felt terrible about it. So, I owe her. Big time. This is probably more like lunch on me!

Nick Curtis, TCF

A former colleague of my friend, Tony Saucier. And, I have a vested interest here, as TCF has been my personal bank for 30 years!

Katie Heinze, Children’s Hospital

Our family are BIG fans of Children’s Hospitals and Clinics. We had AMAZING experiences there. And, I’ve also been a big fan of their branding and marketing for years. I’d love to sit down with Katie and learn more about what they’re up to in 2018.

DJ Hamm, Securian

I’ve heard lots of great things about DJ from his boss, and friend, LeeAnn Fahl. And, I’m seeing him pop up a whole lot in my LinkedIn feed recently. Enough for me!

Jen Alcott, Best Buy

Stone cold intro here. I don’t know Jen at all. And, truth be told, I don’t know too many people at Best Buy these days either (save my friend Jeff Shelman).

Whitney Swanson, UnitedHealthCare

Almost had coffee with Whitney scheduled in 2017, but things fell through (most likely, on account of me!). So, this one should be relatively easy if we have a full 12 months to get it done! Also: Looks like we can talk Jayhawks (YES!), and KFAN (we were both interns–granted, about 20 years apart!).

Adam Kmiec, United Health Group

Adam once connected me with some work when he was at Walgreens. And I recently pointed him to some candidates for a job he’s looking to source locally here in Minnesota. It’s actually pretty amazing we haven’t met in person over the eight-plus years we’ve known each other on the internet. Time to change that.

Tara Olson Medina, Aveda

At least three people have suggested I grab coffee with Tara in the last few years. Let’s see if I can’t make that happen. Those University of St. Thomas grads are usually pretty damn smart.



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