Recent News

#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.

#ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: Alison Galarza

Today’s #ServeMKE Spotlight features our volunteer, Alison Galarza, our newest MIAD Grad that just accepted a full time position as an Associate Art Director for BVK. For the last year she has been a tremendous help on multiple campaigns!

1. What are your main responsibilities as an Associate Art Director for BVK?

As an Associate Art Director at BVK, I help with a bit of everything… social media graphics, print ads, branding, etc.

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

Since I started interning through the Good Internship program about a year ago.

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

I had fun working on the newest “Safe Never Goes Out of Style” campaign- it was the first campaign I really got to see produced from start to finish and I enjoyed assisting with the photoshoots.

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

I’ve had to draw so many condom-shaped objects. My favorite was a Narwhal with a condom-shaped horn for the Rubber Rover.

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

I’m really passionate about design and helping with social issues, so it’s great to be able to combine my interests and know that my work is helping communities.

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

I used to work with a safe haven/rehab center for girls affected by Milwaukee’s sex trafficking industry called Grateful Girls. It’s an amazing organization that works directly with girls in at-risk situations and provides them with resources to turn their lives around.

#ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: Jeff Ericksen

Need witty and creative copy in a jiffy? Our next #ServeMKE volunteer spotlight is your guy. Jeff Ericksen has been a loyal volunteer since the beginning of Serve and has helped us produce incredible, attention-grabbing work for nonprofits. Get to know Jeff…

1.    What are your main responsibilities as a Group Creative Director for BVK?
In addition to concepting and writing, I’m responsible for helping others create the best possible communications solutions for our clients.

2.    How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?
I was there the night of the Serve launch party and have been helping ever since. 15 years in total.

3.    What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?
They’re all worthy, but if I had to pick, I’d say it was the project we did for Partnership for a Drug Free America in 2004. Back then, not many people understood that drug addiction is a disease. So we took that fact and made it the core of our messaging. We created a very stark and jarring campaign featuring people saying that they wished they had things like cancer, heart disease or AIDS… that way, family and friends would want to help them and not see their condition as a lack of willpower. It was a big idea that I’d like to think started changing the conversation about drug abuse.

4.    What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?
Images of pregnant boys, garlic gum, anti-sexy specs, a gravy diet, condom bowties, heat sensitive urinal cake messages, a video of a condom/water balloon fight… should I stop?

5.    What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?
To use my powers to try to make the world a better place.

6.    What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?
There are many. But the ones I admire most are the ones who don’t let politics or a few people who may get offended by their methods get in the way of their mission. Those are the ones that can actually change the world.

#ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: David Thimmesch

We’re excited for our second #ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: David Thimmesch. Always there for you when you need a direct quote for what Gonorrhea would say in a tweet. (Photo by another #ServeMKE volunteer, Anthony Giacomino).

1. What are your main responsibilities as a Copywriter for BVK?
“Contrary to popular belief, I don’t work for the U.S. Copyright Office. Instead, I write pretty much everything read or spoken in advertising. That includes radio, billboards, print, emails, brochures, business cards, bumper stickers and even the occasional tweet.”

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?
“I’ve been volunteering for Serve as long as I’ve been working at BVK. So nearly two years.”

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?
“That would have to be “The Birds, the Bees and the STD’s.” Whenever I tell someone what I’m working on, they always laugh.”

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?
“If Chlamydia could talk, what would it say?”

5. What do you like most about volunteering with Serve?
“I like the way Serve uses advertising to make a positive impact on people’s lives. That’s why I got into this industry.”

6. What is your favorite charity/cause in Milwaukee?
“There are some great causes in Milwaukee, but there’s a new one that’s really touched my heart. It’s called Royal Family Kids. While they’re not exclusive to Milwaukee, they send foster kids between the ages of 6 and 12 on a life changing Christian Summer Camp experience that makes them feel valued and loved.”

#ServeMKE Volunteer Spotlight: Stacey Soden

Stacey Soden, Assistant Production Manager

We’re excited to launch a series to feature our incredible #ServeMKE volunteers and getting the chance to learn about their work and causes they love. Starting with Stacey Soden, who is an incredibly generous teammate that will accommodate any strange request with a smile!

1. What are your main responsibilities for BVK?
I am the Assistant Print Production Manager at BVK.

2. How many years have you been a volunteer for Serve?
Shortly after I started at BVK – almost five years.

3. What has been your favorite project to work on as a volunteer with Serve?
My favorite project was probably the Rubber Rover, but I also enjoyed being a part of the STD Storefront campaign.

4. What’s the strangest thing you’ve been asked to create for a Serve campaign?
I’ve had to track down a few strange items for Serve; most recently it was a certain color of condom that was needed for a photo shoot.

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

Being able to be a part of creating something unique and impactful.

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

Prom Outfits Made with Condoms Prove Safe Never Goes Out of Style

Prom Outfits Made with Condoms Prove Safe Never Goes Out of Style

New campaign seeks to normalize condoms to promote safer sex and reduce teen pregnancy

OMAHA (March 7, 2017) – While shopping for the perfect formal wear and prepping for the big day, local youth and parents will find a new type of apparel this year – outfits made of condoms. The latest campaign from the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, features locally-designed condom formal wear on display at area stores, boutiques, salons and barbershops, just in time for prom season.

“Youth need access to complete and medically-accurate information in order to make informed decisions about their sexual health,” said Brenda J. Council, Adolescent Health Project Manager of the Women’s Fund of Omaha. “Open, honest conversations with parents and caregivers about sexuality help youth delay sex until they are ready. It is our hope that the condom outfits will spark conversations.”

Joined by sexual health and education community partners, the Adolescent Health Project launched the campaign at Alliance Barber Shop & Supply (2611 St. Mary’s Avenue). Additional condom outfits can be viewed at Cinderella Dress Outlet (inside Crossroads Mall), Curb Appeal Salon (518 South 10th Street), Hello Holiday (5008 Underwood Avenue), McLovin (1012 Howard Street) and Parlour 1887 (6068 Maple Street). Each outfit features the message, “Safe never goes out of style” and directs people online to SexFactsOmaha.com to find information about access to contraception as well as more than 100 locations to find free condoms.

Sarah Ann Kotchian, VP of Education & Early Childhood Policy of Holland Childrens Institute, Laura Gainor, Executive Director of Serve Marketing, Jill Heggen, PR & Social Media Manager of Women’s Fund of Omaha, Dr. Adi Pour of Douglas County Health Department and AHP (Adolescent Health Project) Advisory Board Member.

Press Conference Photos by Lucian McAfee Photography

In Nebraska, 32 percent of high school youth are sexually active with 60 percent reporting that they have engaged in sexual activity by the time they graduate. Youth need support and information for delaying sex as well as access to condoms and contraceptives. Condoms, if used consistently and correctly, can greatly reduce the risk of both unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), of which Douglas County has some of the highest rates.

Evidence clearly shows that contraception is driving the long-term decline in U.S. teen pregnancies. Highly effective long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods, also known as LARC, have the potential to help even more adolescents avoid an unplanned pregnancy.

This campaign is part of multi-year series of engaging and provocative youth-oriented public service campaigns, produced by the Adolescent Health Project and the Women’s Fund of Omaha, in partnership with Serve Marketing, a volunteer non-profit ad agency.

Information about access to no-cost birth control, free condoms and tips for parents on having sexual health conversations is available online at www.SexFactsOmaha.com. For additional information and ongoing conversations, follow the Sex Facts Omaha Facebook page and @SexFactsOmaha on Twitter.

SAFE NEVER GOES OUT OF STYLE CAMPAIGN

CREDITS

Client: Women’s Fund of Omaha – Get the Sex Facts Omaha

Creative Directors: Gary Mueller, Jeff Ericksen

Art Director: Carsyn McKenzie

Copywriter: Jeff Ericksen

Photographer: Nick Collura

Retoucher: Anthony Giacomino

Producer: Kristin Peterson

Designer: Alison Galarza

Social Media Photographer: Haley Miller

Public Relations: Jill Heggen, Bridget Franke

Social Media Manager: Andrew Rojahn

Account Executives: Laura Gainor, Lauren Sutter

Print Production Managers: Rob Birdsall, Stacey Soden

Makeup Artist: Erika Sorenson

Casting Agency: Cream City Casting

The Birds, The Bees and The STDs

The “Birds and Bees” Welcome New Partner – STDs

New campaign “Birds, Bees and the STDs” to educate tweens and teens on safer sex and STDs

OMAHA (Oct. 25, 2016) – “The birds and the bees” is a conversation familiar to almost all teenagers, but the latest campaign from the Adolescent Health Project, a program of the Women’s Fund of Omaha, is offering a new way to discuss sexual health with tweens, teens and parents.

In the city with STD rates among the highest in the country, the “Birds, Bees and the STDs” campaign will focus on starting conversations earlier by reaching tweens and teens before they become sexually active. National data shows that seven out of 10 teens have sex before age 19, and right here in Nebraska, the average age youth start having sex is 16, according to the Douglas County Health Department.

“Clearly the traditional ‘sex talk’ isn’t working for our children,” said Brenda J. Council, Adolescent Health Coordinator of the Women’s Fund of Omaha. “Parents should begin talking about sex and healthy relationships with their children well before they have sex, and these conversations should be ongoing, stressing the importance of STD prevention and education.”

In correspondence with National “Let’s Talk” Month this October, the Adolescent Health Project, joined by its sexual health and education community partners, launched the campaign at a press conference at the Charles Drew Health Center, followed by an afternoon meeting at Girls, Inc., to start spreading the message with Omaha youth and their parents.

Recent data confirms what most parents already know – the majority of youth learn about sex online. The new campaign, “Birds, Bees and the STDs” includes the website www.BirdsBeesAndSTDs.com to reach tweens and teens where they already are – online.

The website features a fun cartoon design, interactive quiz and “sextionary” with common terms for STDs to help encourage conversations and reduce the stigma of the oftentimes uncomfortable sex talk. The website also includes resources for parents to help facilitate these conversations with their children.

“We know that most parents find having the “sex talk” with their kids to be awkward, and too many parents neglect to have it, or have it too late,” explains Serve Volunteer Creative Director Gary Mueller. “We hope that the BirdsBeesAndSTDs.com website makes it easier for parents to start the conversation and create an ongoing dialogue with their kids about sex and STDs when they’re young.”

The campaign includes billboard ads and cartoon cutouts throughout Omaha that feature characters Bird, Bee and various STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis. The campaign also incorporates an animated rap music video that will run in select movie theatres during November and will be promoted on social media.

This is the ninth in an ongoing series of provocative STD awareness campaigns by the Women’s Fund of Omaha and Serve Marketing targeted at teens and young adults in Douglas County.

For information on STDs, how and where to get tested, and prevention tips, follow the GetCheckedOmaha Facebook page, @GetCheckedOmaha on Twitter and the GetCheckedOmaha YouTube channel.

—————————————–

Advertising Agency: Serve Marketing

Client: Women’s Fund of Omaha, Get Checked Omaha

Creative Directors: Gary Mueller, Nick Pipitone

Art Director / Illustrator: David Zimmerman

Art Directors: Kelsey Barnowsky, Ryan Strzok

Copywriter: David Thimmesch

Designer: Alison Galarza

Senior Interactive Producer: Fred Ziegler

Creative Strategist: Rachel Whitt

Web Developer: Benjamin Gray

Senior Producer: Jessica Farrell

Animator / Editor: Bobby Ciraldo

Public Relations: Bridget Franke

Media Supervisors: Jeffrey Lancioni, Dan Murphy

Music / Sound: Alex Smolinski / Wonder Wonder Sound

Account Executives: Laura Gainor, Lauren Sutter

Social Media Manager: Andrew Rojahn

Print Production Managers: Rob Birdsall, Stacey Soden

Women’s Fund of Omaha Deploys ‘Rubber Rover’ To Raise Awareness on STDs

Published on Fox42 – August 15, 2016

Photo Credit: Andrew Feller Photography  //  Rubber Rover custom illustrated by BVK’s David Zimmerman and Kelsey Barnowsky.

OMAHA (FOX42KPTM) – More than 4,880 cases of sexually transmitted diseases were reported in Douglas County in 2015, the Women’s Fund of Omaha says.

To create more awareness and increase education about sexually transmitted diseases, The Adolescent Health Project, a program by the Women’s Fund of Omaha is deploying a jeep called the Rubber Rover.

The organization says the Rubber Rover is a mobile extension of the organization that it will travel around the city from August 17-22, 2016.

The organization says the Rover will stop at bars, after school programs and the Maha Music Festival.

The Rover will also stop at high-traffic locations throughout the city to engage teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.

The organization hopes to connect kids to GetCheckedOmaha.com, a website containing information and resources about STD testing and prevention.

The Rover will travel with tons of gear, life-size STD fact Jenga and STD trivia games, all of which connects to the theme of the vehicle.

The Rubber Rover concept was designed by Serve Marketing, the country’s only all-volunteer advertising agency, which is based in Milwaukee.