KH Volunteer Days: Metro Caring

We began a new volunteer program, KH Volunteer Days, to make a difference in our community and to do it as a team.

Our first volunteer day was at the Denver’s Metro Caring last week. Metro Caring, a 40 year old organization, provides fresh, healthy food to those in need. They have recently moved into brand new digs, replacing the old building beautifully, complete with a state-of-the-art greenhouse. Here, they instruct people/families experiencing ‘housing insecurity’ about where food comes from through gardening. They also teach valuable skills in the grocery industry to help people find secure jobs.

The KH team helped distribute 3600 lbs. of food in THREE hours to those in need. Go team!

Toddy Walters, HR Generalist

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Higher Education + Business = the Future

At Karsh Hagan, we are lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with various higher education clients, helping them with everything from brand articulation to advertising campaigns to social media strategy. A key differentiator between higher education and most other clients is the fact that students are their business. The recent Harvard Business Review article “Why Higher Ed and Business Need to Work Together” by Michael D. King discusses how higher education needs to “transform curricula and embrace technology, institutions should consider collaborating with industry partners.” King goes on to say that business partnerships and relevant curriculum development are critical. “57 percent of industry and academic leaders agree that collaboration is necessary to effectively deliver higher education to students, while 56 percent believe collaboration is necessary during curriculum development.”

Karsh Hagan clients, CU-Denver and CU-Boulder, have been doing this for years, specifically throughout many of their individual schools and colleges.

CU-Boulder’s Office of Industry Connection establishes partnerships with businesses and industry in America and abroad. CU-Boulder has three of the highly prized NSF-funded research centers and also partners with national laboratories in Boulder for collective research efforts.

CU-Denver’s Business School works closely with 300 region and international business partners to keep curriculum current and provide unique opportunities for students. Likewise, the School of Public Affairs’ faculty and staff work with government and nonprofit organizations on cutting-edge policy design, research and training; and the School of Education & Human Development has partnerships that offer students training that is equivalent to first-year teachers before they even graduate. CU-Denver is ahead of the curve, and that is good news not only for us marketing them, but also for the future workforce and our state’s economy.

Camille Heinrich Ziccardi, Account Supervisor 


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Department Dialogues: Insights and Strategy

The southern spirit came through during the Insights and Strategy interview with Mary Dean. We asked her questions to glean insight into our own insights team.

Mary Dean, VP, Strategy
Mary’s biggest accomplishment in life is raising her children. That, and surviving her 20’s. Previously found doing her “Southern Belle Gone Bad” stand up routine at a bar in Atlanta, Mary still loves to inspire laughter here at Karsh Hagan. If Mary could have any talent in the world, it would be playing guitar, dancing, and wearing gogo boots on stage. She loves to travel to exotic places with plenty of water and good snorkeling. Curiosity is one of her most powerful assets that keeps her work interesting and fun.

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Department Dialogues: Studio and Production

Allison and Ayanna

The makers who bring creative visions to life gave us an insight into the Studio and Production departments of Karsh Hagan. We sat down with Allison Tonini and Ayanna Blueford to get to know the women behind their work at the agency.

Allison Tonini, Print Production Manager

As Allison explains, “It’s Toe-Knee-Knee.” Her last name tells the story of her big Italian family, her dad being one of twelve children. Hailing from Louisville, KY, Allison’s southern roots shine through the most in her desire to be a fiddle player and her favorite phrase, “That really burns my biscuits!” Allison prides herself on trusting her instincts, like the time she followed her gut out to New Zealand to film a PBS documentary in the land of the Kiwis. Her motto to this day is poco a poco, se va lejos. Translated, the Spanish proverb reads “little by little, one goes far.” Allison’s independent spirit and taste for adventure will surely help her get to where she wants to go.  

Ayanna Blueford, Studio Artist

If you want to see Ayanna turn into a diva, give her a pair of fine looking sunglasses and watch her alter ego come out. In true “Treat Yo Self” spirit, Ayanna would ask for unlimited spa days if she could have anything for free. However, in Ayanna’s world, hard play is balanced by hard work. Growing up around her father’s printing business, both design and entrepreneurial spirit have played crucial roles in developing who Ayanna is today. Her proudest achievement is moving from her home in California to foreign Colorado to chase her dreams, all with a 14 month baby in tow. Today, after 15 years in the industry, she is still going full steam ahead.

Ellie Gebhardt, Copywriting Intern

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KH Travels: The Broderick’s Peruvian Adventure

The KH Travels series continues with our VP, Media Director, Tracy Broderick:

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Peru? Most likely, you’d say Machu Picchu, which is an amazing choice for any bucket list. But if you want to see spectacular mountains and glaciers, immerse yourself in authentic Peruvian culture and avoid the massive crowds flocking to Cusco, you may want to consider visiting the Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru.

In June, our family took an unforgettable trip to the city of Huaraz (population 120,000), which sits at the base of the Cordillera Blanca in the western Andes. The Cordillera Blanca is home to 33 peaks over 5500 meters (18,040 feet), including Huascarán which at 22,205 feet is the highest peak in Peru and the highest point in the Earth’s tropics. (What that means is eucalyptus and palm trees grow above 14,000 feet!)

Huaraz is a city where old meets new. These pictures show the colorful market and the people who live and work in Huaraz.



The central market in Huaraz





A favorite national dish – cuy (guinea pig). Poor fellas.

This area of the Andes is a climber’s mecca. My husband Michael and son Brendan (age 20) summited several peaks approaching 20,000 feet and spent two weeks in the wilderness with their guide Nacho, cook Pablo and burroteer Simone (and his burros).



Base camp


Summiting early with headlamps


Michael and Brendan on the ascent


View from the summit of Artesanraju (19,767 ft)

If you are not into adrenaline rushes and roughing it, there are more mellow alternatives. My daughter Erin (age 16) and I opted for day-hikes (sans ropes and ice axes) accompanied by a knowledgeable local guide, Chalex, who never broke a sweat no matter how steep the trail was and mercifully never laughed at our incorrect Spanish verb conjugations. Instead of tents, we stayed in quaint and comfortable B&Bs.

Here are some highlights from our adventures. These were the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen.



Erin on the glacier, Huandoy Mountain




Erin and Chalex at Laguna 69 (elevation 15,000 ft) in Huascaran National Park


Llanganuco Lodge below Huascaran


Breakfast at Llanganuco Lodge with our British friends


Tracy Broderick, VP, Media Director

Tracy Broderick

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Thursday’s Kegs With Legs at Karsh Hagan Calls to Those Who ‘Make Noise’

Crash, buzz, kaboom, wham, boom-shackalacka, ka-chow, whoosh, neeeooomm, clatter, tap, and onomatopoeia your way over to Karsh Hagan to Make Noise at Kegs with Legs this Thursday, Aug. 27th.

Continuing on with their previous theme celebrating those who make, Karsh Hagan once again calls for ingenuity, helping everyone in the industry to find their own voice. A transition with a twist from their last Make party, this year’s theme is Make Noise, a battle cry to the deviants and disruptors that dare to break the silence with ideas that live out loud.

Sponsored by Denver Ad Club and The Denver Egotist, this event is the perfect stepping stone out of the agency comfort zone. Featuring the talent of Karsh’s own Toddy Walters and her 11 piece Amy Winehouse tribute band, Winehouse, Karsh Hagan invites you to mingle among the wave-makers while enjoying local beer, native talent, and noisy networking.

Karsh Hagan provided a sneak peak of the handcrafted invites via Facebook and Instagram last week.  Rehabbed old records were transformed into vintage vinyl invitations through screen printing, and were delivered directly to agencies’ front doors. Follow the festivities on KH Twitter and Facebook.

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Department Dialogues: Creative

Jason Lindsey Mark-2

Jason Kusmanoff, Associate Creative Director

Jason Kusmanoff has almost all he needs to be a badass rockstar. He’s got a Rock ‘n’ Roll power stance and a “work hard, play hard” attitude that ensures a life lived on the cutting edge. If you want to see Jason’s soft side, just ask him about his two children. He considers them his greatest achievement, and it’s obvious that they are his pride and joy. Jason’s dream escape would be to a sunny beach in Hawaii, where he would practice yoga and mountain bike, and attempt to do both at the same time. Jason’s spirit animal is Robert Plant, who he hopes one day will grant him the gift of a voice as soft as Colorado snow.

Lindsey Mills, Graphic Designer

Lindsey Mills didn’t just dip her toes into Karsh Hagan, she jumped right in. From day one of her internship, she hit the pavement running as Camille King threw her into a project for CU Denver and she found herself taking a lot of pictures around town. Her rhythm remains electric, reinforced from 18 years dancing ballet, modern, and jazz. Lindsey likes to think that “this world is but a canvas to our imaginations.” For her, this is taken both figuratively through her creative viewpoint as well as the literal canvases of her designs and work. Lindsey’s art lives in both her designs as well as Earls on 16th Street where she masters mixology on the weekends.

Mark Stiltner, Senior Copywriter

Do you think semicolons are untrustworthy? Do you ever wonder whats up with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia? Are you infatuated with interest-free financing or the witchcraft of dropping a piece of paper, only to have it land perfectly on the edge? Have we got the guy for you. Mark Stiltner strongly believes that in advertising, if you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Mark has a thing for traveling. On his dream travel itinerary, China and Guam would be up next in the docket. His favorite thing about Colorado is that there is no shortage of ways to hurt yourself. From skiing, hiking, biking, and mountain climbing, Colorado tops it all in the extreme ways to bust up your bum.

Ellie Gebhardt, Copywriter Intern

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