Meet Melissa Holte, a valuable and versatile member to our team. Melissa uses her broad range of expertise to provide insights on the account management side as well as perspective on media buying and matching audiences with the right outlets. When she’s not coordinating campaigns or negotiating complex media buys, Melissa loves fishing with her family or cheering on the Twins – her favorite Minnesota sports team.
You have the best of two worlds – you work in both account services and media buying. Do you prefer one over the other, and if so, why?
That’s like asking a mother to choose between her two children. I love understanding consumers and learning about their media consumption habits; I also love the exposure to math. But I thrive on building and maintaining relationships with clients. I like them both and that’s why my position at Risdall is such an ideal fit. Every day is different and I like it that way.
You have experience working at both large and small advertising agencies. Other than personnel count, what are the differences between large and small firms?
There are great things about working at both large and small firms. I like Risdall because it’s a family-oriented shop and John Risdall and Ted Risdall truly care about their employees; plus the commute and parking arrangements are ideal. I also like that I have the opportunity to work with a diverse set of clients who have different marketing needs and appreciate our insightfulness and structure. We have the ability to help make an immediate impact in our clients’ firms. I just love that! Working at a large shop can be glamorous and exciting. But my exposure to the client was limited and I didn’t always feel like I was making a big impact in their marketing or in their lives.
You’re a Minnesotan through and through. What’s the best thing about living in Minnesota?
The best thing about MN is the changing seasons. I love when the trees are blooming in the spring and you can open your windows for the first time. I love summers on the lakes. I love fall and watching the leaves change and I love when the snow falls in the winter and everything glistens white (although it’d be better if it only lasted three months, not six). It’s the diversity of the weather and the change – it always gives you something to look forward to.
We know you’re a huge sports fan. What is your favorite Minnesota sports team, and what is your best sports-related story involving that sport/team?
This is an easy one for me, by far and away, my favorite MN team is the Twins. Most of my coworkers know that I have an annual tradition of going to spring training in Ft. Myers. I love everything about a baseball game – the tailgating, the length of the game (a lot of people think they are too long, but in good company, a good game goes by quickly), the players’ personalities, the duration of the season, listening to the games on the radio, watching Gardy get all fired up and even the Twins marketing. It’s just a great MN pastime.
My favorite memory involving the team happened in 2007 when I was in Ft. Myers with my brother and our uncle. We were at Potts, the popular Twins bar right by Hammond Stadium and we ended up partying with Black Jack Morris. Just last year, we ran into him again and he remembered our fun night and some of the stories we shared. He’s a legend…
My other favorite sport is hockey. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I love to watch my little brother’s hockey games; he’s a goalie for Augsburg College. It’s a family bonding experience and it’s a blast when he has a good game.
We know that you love to fish – what’s your best fishing tale?
I grew up fishing out of a boat. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I learned how to ice fish. One of our first times out on the ice, we were up on Lake Winnibigosh and he had a big walleye on the line – we’re talking 30+ inches. He was reeling it in and told me to pull the transducer out. I had no idea what he was talking about so I pulled on his line. It broke instantly, right as he was getting the walleye up to the hole. We just sat there for a few minutes, him in disgust and me in disappointment. I’ll never pull on the wrong “line” again.
You got married this past summer. How did your lucky husband pop the question?
My husband Ryan proposed on a Friday night, after a big hockey game for my little brother – it was the game that clinched their seat in the national tournament in Boston, MA. Ryan and I had been talking about going to Mexico for a warm winter getaway (where he hoped to propose), but this tournament meant that we’d be going to Boston with my family – not the most romantic conditions for a proposal. He was anxious to pop the question, so when we got into the house after the game he ran up the stairs and got the ring and proposed in our kitchen. Not the most romantic, but it was certainly a surprise.
What did you dress up as for Halloween this year? Several of my friends and I dressed up as smurfs. We coordinated our outfits for weeks – buying blue paint, deciding which smurf to be, etc. Our costumes were a hit!