Recent News

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: LAUREN MURRAY

This week’s #ServeMarketing spotlight does a little bit of everything. Lauren Murray’s talent in experiential marketing has provided great insight and support for our impactful campaigns.

1. What are your main responsibilities as an account supervisor for BVK?

I oversee all of the activities as they relate to our day-to-day client work, one-off projects and campaigns. Working in experiential marketing, public relations and social media, this means anything and everything from communicating regularly between the BVK team and the client and sourcing thousands of frozen treats to managing ongoing media relations and finding the best piece of blueberry pie in Maine.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

Since I walked into the doors of BVK – so just under three years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

Without a doubt the Rubber Rover campaign for Get Checked Omaha. I can honestly say that I have never – and may never need to – order so many condoms in my life. It was awesome to see the concept translate into the real world; the positive feedback we received from Omaha residents, local media and the organizations made the program entirely worth the team’s amazing effort.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

A condom-wrapped Jeep. Need I say more?

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

The opportunity to be on the ground level, seeing first-hand the impact that Serve’s campaigns have on the community. It’s nothing short of inspiring.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

If you know me, you know of my unconditional love for my pit bull Henry, who came from the Wisconsin Humane Society. I really appreciate the great work that they do to educate the community on animal welfare and find animals happy forever homes.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: MELISSA MASTERS

Media plans are a crucial part of our success. We are grateful to have amazing #ServeMKE volunteers like Melissa Masters to provide insight on placements and scheduling for our messaging.

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Media Planner/Buyer for BVK?

I am a Media Planner/Buyer here at BVK. I work with the media team to plan and execute media plans across digital, print, out of home, etc. We evaluate all of our options and find the most appropriate and efficient places for our clients media to be seen and make the most impact.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

I started at BVK in August so I’ve been able to work on Serve almost my entire time here.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I really enjoyed executing our Birds, Bees and STD’s native campaign. The campaign was successful and we saw a large number of people clicking thru the ad to learn more!

4. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

Serve campaigns are so impactful. It’s a very cool feeling seeing a campaign you worked around the city of Milwaukee and how much attention it receives.

5. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

I was able to volunteer with Growing Power in college and I really enjoyed the experience. Having access to fresh and healthy food is so important but unfortunately is unattainable for some. I love how Growing Power is able to educate and provide that in the city of Milwaukee.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: SARAH SCHMIDT-JENSEN


A big shoutout to our #ServeMKE volunteer, Sarah Schmidt-Jensen. Sarah has played a key role in some of our most unique campaigns and their success.

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Director of Earned Media for BVK?

As the Director of Earned Media for BVK, I oversee our client’s earned media activities – from public relations to social media to experiential and events. I make sure the earned disciplines are seamlessly integrated to make amazing and effective programs for our clients.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

Since I started at BVK – so nearly 3 years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I’ve been fortunate to touch many great Serve programs, but I think my favorite would have to be the Rubber Rover for The Women’s Fund of Greater Omaha. Seeing the faces of people when they saw our condom-wrapped Jeep for the first time was priceless – and a great way to get people talking about a topic that is usually considered taboo.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

I am not skilled enough to “create” this – but I do own a hot pink tank top that features a pizza slice with condoms on it. So there’s that.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

I love knowing that the work we’re doing with Serve is truly making a difference. Hearing bleak statistics and then seeing how, a year later, that the Serve campaigns have made strides in changing things for the better – there’s no better feeling than that!

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m pretty obsessed with dogs – so I’d have to say the Wisconsin Humane Society.

A Week of World-Class Golf & Sex Trafficking

The Serve Marketing team and volunteers headed to the U.S. Open to help drive awareness for the expected rise in human trafficking activity around major sporting events. Their goal was to make people aware of how close this issue happens around you in your every day life and to educate the community on the signs to watch out for so that they can report suspicious activity.

According to the FBI, Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for the recovery of trafficked adolescents over the past several years. And, Milwaukee is tied with Las Vegas for the third-highest number of young people rescued during trafficking-related FBI raids across the U.S.

“Our goal is to increase the awareness of the issue so that we can educate people to be conscious of the warning signs of this activity,” said Gary Mueller, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Serve, an all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency. “We also want johns [the purchasers of sex] to know that we’re going to be watching for them and reporting them.”

“Our message is very clear: we want to host great, world-class sporting events in our area. But the individuals who are selling kids and women for sex are not welcome here,” said Jarrett Luckett, Executive Director of Exploit No More. “Some people may be surprised to learn that human trafficking happens in all areas of Wisconsin, and small things such as being aware of the signs of trafficking can potentially save a life.”

A website has been created, TimeToSpeakUp.org, where people can go to become familiarized with the warning signs and know who to call should you see such activity.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: CARSYN MCKENZIE

This week’s #ServeMKE spotlight has been a dedicated Serve volunteer for years. Carsyn Taylor continues to use her design skills to bring awareness to meaningful causes. She is always willing to help Serve with any creative needs.
1. What are your main responsibilities as an Art Director for BVK?
As an Art director, my responsibilities include generating ideas for projects, producing designs for campaigns, and directing photoshoots along with day-to-day project management.
2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

I’ve been volunteering for almost 3 years now.
3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

That’s hard to say but I would pick the Storefront Campaign we did for Get Checked Omaha to bring awareness to STDs in their city. It was the first campaign that I was involved with from start to finish.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

Letters that were covered in REAL STDs. For about 3 months or so, new and old coworkers would come into my office asking me the same question: “What are you working on?” 

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

Making a true impact on great causes that deserve to have great work.

6. Who is your favorite non-profit in Milwaukee?

I’m all about local support so here’s some of my favorites (Sorry, not sorry and not in any order): TRUE Skool, Inc.88Nine RadioMilwaukeeGreater TogetherPublic AlliesFirst StageCopyWrite MagazineLa Causa, Inc.

‘Don’t Be Quiet’ about Sex (Trafficking): Serve Calls Out Prevalence of Abuse in Milwaukee Ahead of Golf’s Biggest Event

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA CONTACT:
Justin Smith
justin.smith@bvk.com
(414) 247-2138

‘Don’t Be Quiet’ about Sex (Trafficking): Serve Calls Out Prevalence of
Abuse in Milwaukee Ahead of Golf’s Biggest Event

Survivors, advocates will gather downtown on Wednesday to educate on the warning signs

MILWAUKEE (June 5, 2017) – Survivors of human sex trafficking, as well as volunteers and advocates from Serve Marketing, will gather downtown on Wednesday, June 7, holding “Don’t Be Quiet” signs to call attention to the expected rise in human trafficking activity that typically occurs around major sporting events.

More than 20 survivors and volunteers will gather at the corner of Wisconsin Ave. and Jefferson St. from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., holding the signs and speaking to the public about the issue.

According to the FBI, Milwaukee has consistently ranked among the top five cities in the nation for the recovery of trafficked adolescents over the past several years. And, Milwaukee is tied with Las Vegas for the third-highest number of young people rescued during trafficking-related FBI raids across the U.S.

“Our goal is to increase the awareness of the issue so that we can educate people to be conscious of the warning signs of this activity,” said Gary Mueller, Founder & Executive Creative Director of Serve, an all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency. “We also want johns [the purchasers of sex] to know that we’re going to be watching for them and reporting them.”

The following individuals will be available to speak with the media:

  • Rosalind Metcalf, human trafficking survivor and advocate / founder of Healing Starts Today
  • Jarrett Luckett, Executive Director of Exploit No More, a local nonprofit dedicated to ending child sex trafficking in the Greater Milwaukee region
  • Maria Bishop, MS, LPC, Licensed Professional Counselor and psychotherapist at New Life Resources, Inc.
  • Laura Gainor, Executive Director of Serve Marketing

“Our message is very clear: we want to host great, world-class sporting events in our area. But the individuals who are selling kids and women for sex are not welcome here,” said Luckett. “Some people may be surprised to learn that human trafficking happens in all areas of Wisconsin, and small things such as being aware of the signs of trafficking can potentially save a life.”

Furthermore, a website has been created, TimeToSpeakUp.org, where people can go to become familiarized with the warning signs and know who to call should they see such activity.

About Serve Marketing

Serve is the country’s only all-volunteer, nonprofit advertising agency whose mission is to give under-served charitable causes a stronger voice in the community. Founded by Milwaukee ad man Gary Mueller in 2002, Serve volunteers have created behavior-changing public service campaigns for over 50 local and national non-profits on issues ranging from teen homelessness, child sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome to teen pregnancy, brain injury and statutory rape. Causes that aren’t hot. That aren’t sexy. And that don’t have a lot of money. Serve’s provocative brand of work is sometimes controversial, but it gets people to notice and talk about these silent causes, which leads to an increase in awareness, volunteerism and funding. To date, Serve has donated over $15 million of in-kind creative, media, web, public relations, print and broadcast production and strategic planning services to non-profits. Through its educational seminars, podcasts and Small Servings program, Serve has also helped educate thousands more non-profits on the importance of public service marketing. For more information, visit www.servemarketing.org.

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#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: COURTNEY KRONSCHNABEL

This next #ServeMKE spotlight has been a helping hand in some of our biggest experiential and social campaigns, including the famous Rubber Rover. Courtney Kronschnabel is a dedicated Serve volunteer that’s always willing to help bring awareness to a great cause.

1. What are your main responsibilities as an Earned Media Assistant Account Executive for BVK?

My main earned media responsibilities generally stay within the social media and experiential world. For social media, I help create, budget and schedule content in addition to community management and giving the client strategic council/education on social media when needed. For experiential projects, I help create experiences for brands, consumers and influencers from start to finish. Everything from concepting ideas, budgeting, planning logistics, onsite execution and recapping the event. It’s pretty fun!

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

2ish years

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

Get Checked Omaha’s Rubber Rover mobile tour was pretty fun to work on. Although it was a lot of work, it was an awesome experience to work with such talented people and see it come to life with great success.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

Haha for sure the items for the Rubber Rover project – condoms & STD facts on everything – good stuff.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?


Where do I start?

I truly love that as a unified BVK/Serve team we are sharing our passions and producing impactful work for organizations that strive to create positive change in our communities. Not everyone can volunteer on the ground, but everyone can find a way to share their talents for something larger than themselves. I’m thankful that BVK offers the opportunity to work with Serve and give a voice to such meaningful causes.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

This is a tough one, but Pathfinders and the work they do for youth in crisis within the Milwaukee area has really struck a chord with me. From daily meals, to clothing, housing, counseling and tutors – this organization is doing some amazing work to give youth a safe, supportive and community orientated resource. <3

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: ALEX BOEDER

Our dedicated #ServeMKE volunteer, Alex Boeder, knows the ins and outs of the PR and Social Media world. Alex has brought many Serve campaigns to life through PR and Social Media.

1. What are your main responsibilities as a PR + Social Media Senior Account Executive for BVK?

The answers changes a lot. Recently? Writing content for social channels, developing social strategies, and planning and implementing social ad campaigns. I also pitch to media, create and present reports, help with new business, things like that.


2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

Six. I think six years, or so.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I really enjoyed working with Guitars For Vets.
As many know, thousands of Veterans (the co-founder insists that the “V” in Veterans is capitalized, which sums up the organization well) are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). As not as many know, research has found that the healing power of music helps soldiers cope.
So, Guitars For Vets provides Veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play. To date, they have provided more than 25,000+ guitar lessons and have distributed 2,500+ guitars. There are now 60+ chapters in 30+ states. Pretty cool. I helped them grow via social media, where we reached tons of Veterans and hopefully helped improve some of their lives.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

Once upon an afternoon, I co-starred in a “Painful Itch N’ Go” commercial about STD’s for GetCheckedOmaha.com.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

The things that we work on help people. It is nice to work on things that help people.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

Now that I think about Guitars For Vets, I am going to say (and mean when I say) Guitars For Vets.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: DAVID ZIMMERMAN

In need of an amazing illustrator? Our next #ServeMKE spotlight goes to the talented David Zimmerman (Bigshot Robot) for all of his creative work on our Serve Campaigns, including our recently awarded Rubber Rover and Birds, Bees, and STDs campaigns.

1. What are your main responsibilities as an illustrator for Bigshot Robot?

Some of my main duties as an illustrator can range from brainstorming, sketching, drawing, inking, vectoring and setting files up for print or animation. There is also invoicing, emailing, meetings with clients or any other number of behind-the-curtain activities.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

I spent about 1 – 1.5 years working on a few different Serve projects.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I really enjoyed working with the designers and art directors on the illustration and design of the Rubber Rover.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

That would be one of two things. Either it was designing the lettering for a project where Whitney, a lettering artist, created words by collaging condoms. Or it was the time we had a photoshoot with a teenage skateboarder wearing a baby carrier on his chest and subsequently photographing babies to fit in the carrier by way of a talented retoucher.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

Serve has access to projects that function in a realm entirely different than advertising. That ability to work on projects that might directly effect someone’s life for the better.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

Can I pick two? I would say the Humane society for saving and caring for all the friendly furry creatures. Also, I think the folks at Discovery World are doing great things at a nonprofit level to inspire children about science and technology.

#SERVEMKE VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: JACQUELYN GOZDOWIAK

Our #ServeMKE Spotlight this week features our volunteer, Jacquelyn Gozdowiak. Jacquelyn has played a key role when it comes to getting our causes covered throughout the media with her amazing PR skills.

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Senior Public Relations Account Executive for BVK?

As a Senior Public Relations Account Executive at BVK, I develop and implement holistic earned media strategies that build ideas, communicate and engage with influencers, change attitudes, and build brand movements for clients.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?

2 ½ years

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?

I enjoyed working on the Spot Abuse project which was based on research that 76 percent of animal abusers also abuse a member of their family. Our team handed out hundreds of branded bandanas, tennis balls, and water dishes at local dog parks in an effort to educate pet owners that by dialing 911 when they spot animal abuse, they could help save the lives of animals and humans alike. Animal lovers made perfect advocates for our cause and a great visual for heart-warming news stories.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?

So much of what Serve does is getting people comfortable talking about taboo subjects. That was certainly the case when I was asked to pitch media a story about prom dresses made entirely from condoms. The campaign, called Baby Can Wait, surprised teens shopping for prom dresses with an unconventional message about safe sex.

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?

I am personally moved by every Serve project I get to work on. It’s incredibly powerful meeting face-to-face with someone who was impacted by the cause we are promoting–whether it’s a son who overcame addition or a woman who was formerly trafficked. More importantly, each campaign inspires tangible change.

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?

If you want to volunteer but aren’t sure how to get involved, The United Way makes it really simple. I love that you can browse opportunities in your area that fit your interest and schedule – many of which are one-time projects and easy to commit to. Whether you want to read to children, work in a community garden, or coach women who face barriers to employment on interviewing skills, the United Way makes it effortless to turn intention into action.