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

Karen King

President & CEO

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

Mike Weed

VP, Creative Director

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

Lisa King

VP, Chief Financial Officer

Lisa King

VP, Chief Financial Officer

Lisa is the frugal glue that holds the agency together. She’s as vigilant with our clients’ money as she is with ours and her own. Lisa is tenacious, organized and gets things done, yet has a soft spot in her heart for caretaking staff. She keeps lists of accounting accomplishments like her record achievement of acing all audits. Yep, she’s that girl. When Lisa’s away from the Agency, she’s volunteering or traveling.

Hails from: San Francisco, California

Education: B.A. Accounting, College of Idaho; MBA, Alaska Pacific University

Bravest Moment: Playing goaltender for her college field hockey team

Kathy Norford

VP, Media Director

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

April Cook

Director, Project Management

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!)

Charles Leshan

Production Director

Charles Leshan

Production Director

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

Codie Costello

Director, Business Development

Codie Costello

Director, Business Development

You’ve gotta love Spawn’s New Business Director, Codie. (Everybody does.) She has 20 years’ experience in business management and marketing, the sensibilities of an artist and the heart of natural parent. She’s championed strategies that solve client challenges for The Salmon Project, Alyeska Pipeline, Alaska Railroad and Rasmuson Foundation. She’s a gifted presenter and client partner. Before joining Spawn, Codie held leadership positions for performing arts nonprofits in California, New York and Alaska. Outside Agency walls, she is a thespian, cyclist, freewheeling mom and Girl Scout volunteer.

Brand Experience: Alaska Railroad, Alyeska Pipeline, The Salmon Project, GCI, United Way, Pick.Click.Give.

Hails from: San Jose, California

Education: B.A. Theatre Arts, San Jose State University; M.F.A. Directing, The Actors Studio at New School University

Bravest Moment: Moving to extreme places like New York City (sight unseen) for graduate school, then on to the Last Frontier

Julie Hirt Profile Image

Julie Hirt

Director, Account Management

Julie Hirt Profile Image

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.

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.

Awards