WHO WE ARE

Our Name Is What We Do

It’s how we’re wired. Whether we’re working with clients, perusing the interweb or people-watching in the park, we see problems and solutions everywhere we look.

Committed To Diversity

Diversity and human respect are central to our culture. It’s why we joined the 600 & Rising initiative, are actively affiliated with BrandLab and created an advertising classroom curriculum and guest lecture program for HBCUs. Read more about our Project Pipeline program and partnership with Morgan State University.
CAPABILITIES
  • Business strategy
  • Brand architecture
  • Customer insights and target definition
  • Creative development and expression
  • Media strategy, planning and buying
  • Social media strategy, content planning / creation and community management
  • Performance reporting and optimization
Leadership

John Colasanti

Chairman

Since co-founding Solve, John's helped shape a collaborative, inventive culture, attracting ambitious talent and clients, twice being recognized by Ad Age as Small Agency Of The Year.

John has extensive experience centering iconic, global brands and building passionate, loyal followings. In addition to 15 years at Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis, most recently as CEO, John’s worked at agencies in Boston, Chicago and Detroit. He’s a frequent branding spokesperson, giving keynote presentations at AAF, AAAA, ADWEEK and New York Times events. Additionally, John’s long been deeply involved with the Effie Awards, serving as a Final Round Judging Moderator, Steering Committee Member and Mentor.

Corey Johnson

CEO

Since co-founding Solve, Corey has helped build an ambitious long-term strategy for the agency, resulting in more than a decade-long track record of success; adding premier brands, top talent and broad industry accolades. In addition to leading the agency, Corey oversees media and social strategy as well as research and performance analytics. He manages key agency operations, including finance, planning, community & diversity.

Corey has extensive experience identifying consumer insights and championing inventive ways to leverage them on behalf of some of the world’s most recognized brands. Corey’s thought leadership has resulted in 14 Effie Awards and has helped Solve gain the recognition of Ad Age’s Small Agency Of The Year Award twice.

Ryan Murray

President

Ryan’s responsible for leading the agency in its commitment to driving client success. In addition to overseeing the Account Management team, Ryan’s involved in shaping strategy and setting brand vision, inspiring proactive, collaborative thinking and pushing the internal culture forward.

A passionate learner and teacher, Ryan places a priority on developing those around him to ensure they contribute to their fullest potential. A graduate of the 4A’s Executive Leadership Program, Ryan’s also sharpened his skills through numerous premier brand strategy programs and deep Effie involvement. Prior to Solve, Ryan worked at Fallon in Minneapolis and in the film industry in Los Angeles.

Kathleen Wille

CCO / Partner

As Solve’s Chief Creative Officer, Kathleen leads the agency’s creative output. Her personality, vision and team-oriented approach foster a collaborative culture where restless creativity, curiosity and empathy abound. She also places a premium on mentoring talent, ensuring everyone’s given the right platform to contribute at the highest level.

Wille has worked on some of the world’s most iconic brands at agencies in Chicago and Seattle – a list that includes VMLY&R, FCB and DDB. She’s developed high-profile campaigns for Skittles, Intel, State Farm, McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch and Gatorade. Her work has been widely recognized by Cannes, Effie, D&AD and the London International Awards, and featured in the Super Bowl.

Kara Brower

Director of Operations / Partner

Kara’s responsible for Solve’s process, staff resourcing, productivity and office management. She’s implemented and is constantly optimizing a state-of-the-art workflow system, capable of handling the agency’s ever-expanding and increasingly multi-faceted project list.

With 15 years of experience spanning agencies, design and interactive firms, Kara’s honed her attention to detail and resourceful scrappiness across a range of creative environments, skillsets and deliverables. She’s worked on a vast breadth of projects, from enterprise-level global rebranding initiatives to commerce-driven websites, requiring significant technology integration. Kara’s experienced with some of the world’s most ambitious clients, including Porsche, Harley-Davidson, Aveda and Benjamin Moore and takes great pride in meeting their high expectations.

Andrew Pautz

Director of Business Development / Partner

Andrew’s responsible for pursuing new clients, gauging potential fit and managing the agency’s external reputation. As Solve’s first non-founder hire in 2011, Andrew’s deep knowledge of Solve’s experience, capabilities and culture make him extremely adept at identifying and assessing potential prospects.

Before assuming his current role, Andrew led a number of high-profile Solve clients, including Porsche, Organic Valley, Green Giant and Founders Brewing. Prior to Solve, Andrew was at Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis where he developed his branding acumen working on Subaru and Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. Andrew’s high-energy, team-oriented, optimistic approach are appreciated by everyone he comes into contact with, both inside and outside of the agency.

Neil James

Director of Research

As Director of Research, Neil’s work is critical in enabling the agency’s focus on upstream problem solving. In seven years at Solve, Neil’s been a go-to for research needs, data mining and analytics. With a passion and curiosity to uncover insights and business opportunities, Neil’s initiative and perspective have consistently contributed to success for Solve’s clients.

A recognized authority on digital marketing, Neil’s authored columns for a variety of marketing and communications publications, including Advertising Age, Digiday, Hubspot and the San Francisco Business Journal. Prior to joining Solve, Neil worked as a digital strategist across a range of client businesses and categories. As a true student of all things marketing-related, Neil’s insatiable appetite for learning and broadening his skillset are inspiring to all he works with.

Brian Platt

Executive Creative Director

As a senior member of Solve’s creative team, Brian’s responsible for helping lead the department and shape ideas and content for a number of clients. With a strong strategic orientation and belief that the best output comes from collaboration, Brian’s passion for excellence transcends the entire integrated agency team.

Before joining Solve, Brian worked in Chicago and New York at some of the industry’s most respected agencies including StrawberryFrog, Grey and Euro RSCG. He’s experienced developing powerful multiplatform campaign content for brands including Walmart, Microsoft, Bose, Dos Equis, Morgan Stanley and Pringles. In addition to driving client success, Brian’s work has been recognized by Cannes, D&AD and The One Show.

Rebecca Underwood

Director of Connection Strategy

Rebecca oversees all aspects of media at Solve. This includes strategic communications planning, audience identification/insights, cross-functional ideation, plan execution, measurement and social media.

Rebecca’s broad range of expertise allows her to contribute across multiple fronts on all the agency’s clients. Since joining Solve, she’s spearheaded connection strategy and plans for brands like Sunoco, Raymond James, Président Cheese, Organic Valley, Andersen Windows, Founders Brewing and True Value Hardware. Rebecca’s collaborative, holistic approach to media inspires powerful thinking throughout the agency.