See more of the story

Ad industry veteran Mike DePauw is leading integration of strategy, media and creative services at Kruskopf & Co., the brand and advertising agency that bills itself as KC Truth and DePauw calls "the best-kept secret in Minneapolis."

At KC Truth, DePauw said his primary goal as executive director is to "leverage and harness the power of those three components of the agency … to deliver smart ideas, bold, creative and modern media."

"The (agency's) view of bringing truth to make human connections that applies to our clients' business applies to us as well," DePauw said. "Continuing to drive that very positive and vibrant culture forward will be my second focus."

KC Truth announced DePauw's appointment on June 3. He most recently was senior vice president/director of account leadership at Minneapolis ad agency Periscope and previously worked at Leo Burnett in Italy and Switzerland and Ogilvy in New York and Singapore.

KC Truth, DePauw said, has a boutique agency model that enables it to be nimble and more collaborative as one of few independent agencies that has strategy, media and creative services under one roof.

As the only Minneapolis agency in the Advertising & Marketing Independent Network Worldwide, it also has access to media and data analytics tools and resources that DePauw said "supercharge" its capabilities.

"Mike's strength lies in his versatility and his ability to excel across all facets of the industry," CEO Sue Kruskopf said in a release. "Mike understands how to build brand momentum and influence action, and will bring his global perspective to the table. We feel strongly that Mike will make an immediate impact on our business and know he will be a huge asset for our clients in the coming months."

Q: Why did you join KC Truth?

A: First, the management team (Kruskopf; Alex Cullen, media director; Robb Burnham, vice president, creative director; Mike Cronin, vice president, director of strategy). I'm impressed that they walk the talk. … The second part is [it's] truly an independent agency. The third part is the values and the value that the agency brings. Those values are critical but what's also important is how they deliver value to the clients and to the clients' businesses, and that comes through in every step of what we do for the clients. Finally, as Sue likes to say, we punch above our weight.

Q: What would your "immediate impact" on the agency's business look like?

A: Externally, agency growth, and it's not growth for growth's sake. But I hope the impact will be first to continue to harness the strategy, creative and media to do great work. And quite frankly if in six or 12 months that is work that is being recognized whether that's in the press but more importantly by our clients and by the results that they deliver, then I will consider that a success.

Q: Why did joining an independent agency matter?

A: Independence within an agency is the equivalency of freedom. First of all, we are free to fit the team and the delivery to the client needs. Second is our freedom to deliver smart ideas, bold creative and modern media. Today, smart ideas and bold creative, to deliver on that it really is about strategy, creative and media coming together. That's where, hopefully, I can add the most value … to bring those three things together unencumbered by layers or anything else to solve the client's problem.

Todd Nelson is a freelance writer in Lake Elmo. His e-mail is