This is us.

At Russell Herder, we combine decades of experience with the latest in strategy, techniques and creative execution. We’re an ethics-driven team that thrives on personal relationships with our clients and their brands. We’re here to do work that matters.

our Values


We’re all about high-energy, good vibes and happy clients. All of which is anchored in a single core value: empathy. We believe it can change the world. So we immerse ourselves in the concerns of our clients and lives of those they need to reach.

We get it done.
Every day of our nearly 40 years in business has been about anticipation and innovation. Instead of finding excuses, we always find a way.
We give back.

It’s fashionable to post high-minded Corporate Responsibility Statements, but we actually live it. As a B Corp, social responsibility is woven into our fabric. We lead by example, and others have taken notice. As an example, Twin Cities Business named us a “Leader in Giving” for our philanthropic efforts.

We have fun.
Sure, we check all the fun boxes: road trips, happy hours, vicious pinball rivalries. But it all goes a long way to producing great work. We attract really bright people – and those people like a good time.
We’re passionate.
As individuals, we couldn’t be more different. You’ll find introverts, extroverts, singles, parents, boomers and Gen Z – each with stories worthy of a Sundance screening. Yet we share a common passion for excellence and celebrate mutual success.

We don't just talk the talk.

Why and how you succeed is just as important as your bottom line. That’s why we’re one of a select few internationally certified B Corp ad agencies.


Guided by Carol Russell and Brian Herder, the agency takes a participatory approach to management, with each discipline determining respective needs and priorities, and working collectively to reach agency goals.
Carol Russell, CEO, Partner

Carol is a founding partner and the CEO of Russell Herder, and recently named one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Top Women in Business. As a visionary leader, she guides the firm’s strategic practice and has dedicated her career to developing and guiding strategic initiatives for NGO, government, and corporate entities across the United States. Highly inquisitive and intensely productive, Carol sets the pace for our firm, driving projects to new territory for expansive reach and profound impact. She holds a journalism degree, a master’s in communications management, and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Executive Program, Carlson School of Management.

Brian Herder, CCO, Partner

As an agency principal with more than 40 years of innovative creative work within vertical and horizontal markets, Brian has a deep understanding of what it takes to produce ideas that engage and endure. Working in fields as diverse as healthcare, construction, destinations, marine and professional services, he’s helped major brands expand and diversify through savvy strategic positioning. Brian believes the best work is grounded in personal truths, and has led cocreation within numerous cultural communities, working with local artists and influencers to create issue messaging that is uniquely relevant to individuals, their family, friends and neighbors. Being a former professional illustrator, he spends his free time painting, drawing or writing novels.

Daniel Joyce, Creative Director

As a creative department lead with degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Miami Ad School, Daniel’s keen eye for opportunities and ability to capture the big picture consistently bring client visions to life. Whether developing creative messaging, running a video production, or orchestrating a strategic rebranding, Daniel fixes upon the final objective and how best to achieve it. His demonstrated expertise in taking venerable brands to the next level means recognizing what’s most valuable, and skillfully incorporating that understanding into his work.

Katelyn Conroy, Digital Director

Katelyn Conroy’s expertise in both digital marketing and business management allows her to successfully partner with business leaders to achieve results and influence change. She and her team deliver innovative and effective solutions including PPC and CTV digital advertising, social media, and email marketing, aligning campaigns with proprietary audiences, business goals, and brand identity. With a diverse range of clients in nearly every major business model, Conroy has driven success for clients in B2B, B2C, D2C (direct-to-consumer), startups, 501(c)3 nonprofit, and government spaces.

Patrick Thornton, Director of Public Relations

An experienced interviewer with background in healthcare, law, real estate and education, Patrick develops powerful story ideas that raise brand awareness and build strong reputations. With a deep commitment to representing clients in the most authentic and positive light, Patrick skillfully uses a full suite of communication tools on deadline and within budget to maximize audience reach. He previously worked as a communications specialist for the Minnesota House of Representatives and for one of the 500 largest law firms in the U.S. He is a former reporter and editor at a variety of publications and holds a bachelor’s degree from Drake University.


We know our stuff. And we can prove it.

We’re not so great at bragging about ourselves. But we are fully accredited by plenty of impressive organizations, as well as being proud members of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. From earning a “Best for the World” from B-Lab to our Google certifications and other professional accreditations, we have the credentials to open doors.


We believe a great idea doesn’t care where it comes from.

In fact, we love collaboration. It connects us to clients and creates compelling, innovative work. Not to mention numerous industry awards and recognitions. Here’s an abbreviated list:

American Advertising Awards (Addys)

All Media Contest

Aster Awards

Building Products Digest

Cardiovascular Advertising Awards

Digital Health Awards

E-Healthcare Leadership Awards

Healthcare Advertising Awards

Innovators In Health and Wellness Award

MHSCN Award of Excellence

National Health Information Awards

National Council on Problem Gaming Awards

Service Industry Advertising Awards

Telly Awards

Web Health Awards

Still want to know more?

Check out our FAQ page for insights into some of our most frequently asked questions.