We started with two people in a two-bedroom house in Minneapolis. Today, Haberman is home to 40 storytellers and proudly owned by 15 partners.

Our agency story began in 1994 when co-founders Fred and Sarah Haberman opened shop. As we’ve grown over the years, our ownership model has evolved. Today 15 employees, each demonstrating uncompromising character and a deep commitment to doing good, join Fred and Sarah as partners in the agency.

Fred Haberman

Co-founder + CEO

Fred Haberman is a lot of things: co-founder and CEO of this agency, a pioneering social entrepreneur, agent for change in the good-food movement and co-founder of two organic food startups, Urban Organics and Freak Flag Organics.

Haberman—both the agency and the individual—has helped bring organic food into the mainstream, spurring the growth of brands like Annie’s, Organic Valley and Earthbound Farm, and supporting the work of the Organic Trade Association, National Cooperative Grocers Association and the McKnight Foundation’s programs to increase food security for people in developing countries.

As a co-founder of Freak Flag Organics, Fred is inspiring home cooks to be bold and curious with a growing line of condiments that make it easier (and extra delicious) to get creative in the kitchen.

Fred also founded the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships and helped lead the way for companies to start and sustain employer-sponsored gardens.

You should also know:

Fred’s a big fan of New Orleans funk, the Grateful Dead, Muppets and pizza.

Sarah Haberman


In 1994, Sarah and her husband Fred set up shop in their two-bedroom home in Minneapolis. Twenty-some years later, she’s still the heart and soul of the agency, the person who makes the most unexpected connections—among people, ideas and places. Sarah led Haberman’s work on behalf of the Bancroft Arnesen Expedition, launched Volvo’s Your Concept Car (the first car designed by women only) and promoted the works of modern thought leaders. While she does most of her work behind the scenes these days, Sarah guides our agency’s efforts in professional growth and culture.

You should also know:

Her love of remote wilderness experiences has led her around the globe, leading expeditions, starting an adventure travel company and now serving as an equine facilitated guide.

Brian Wachtler

President + Partner

Brian’s our president and one of Haberman’s original storytellers. During his 17-year-tenure, he’s guided the agency’s evolution from a small shop into a full-service agency. While the business of leadership—mentoring staff, making things happen for clients, overseeing financials and operations—occupies most of his time, Brian is happy to lend his talents to our client teams. An expert at marrying mission, message and media, he has shaped some of the most memorable campaigns to come out of our agency in the last two decades.

You should also know:

Brian coaches youth hockey with his kids and, in a former life, he led the 90s alt-rock band Becoming Lazlo. There’s still an album out there somewhere…

Jeff Berg

Creative Director + Partner

What do creative directors and cult leaders have in common? Charisma. Jeff Berg’s got it. It’s a mix of passion, personality and vision—all of which are the keys to his leadership style. Jeff, who has led creative teams for Nickelodeon and Target, makes sure that Haberman is a place where creativity is rewarded. Where people take risks. Where people can be vulnerable—and challenged. While he may have a big personality, Jeff knows how to listen. He’s open to feedback, criticism, ideas—anything that will make us better storytellers. As long as it’s not boring. Jeff’s been called a lot of things, but boring ain’t one of ‘em.

You should also know:

Jeff wears the same thing every day: a black shirt and jeans. Why? To ward off “decision fatigue.” Mental energy is a precious resource.

Julia Brock

Senior Engagement Strategist, Media

Julia’s a media guru, responsible for analyzing data, getting creative and dreaming up innovative strategies to make sure marketing campaigns reach the right target audience in the most effective way possible. She has to think critically about the intersection of a client’s needs, goals and the right media vehicles—and then all those choices affect what the creative team will produce. It’s a tall order. Good thing she loves the work, especially guiding clients through the bewildering array of opportunities in the digital landscape.

You should also know:

Like so many of our media experts, she’s obsessed with pop culture. She’s also a fan of books (especially memoirs) and horror movies (The Shining’s her favorite).

Anne Burgart

Associate Engagement Director, PR & Influencer

An expert in media relations, thought leadership and influencer relations, Anne oversees strategic campaigns that raise awareness for Haberman’s clients. In the last 10 years, she’s seen an awful lot change in the media landscape—and she’s stayed right on top of the changes, adapting to the rise of influencers while nurturing relationships with traditional, editorial voices. While she spends a lot of time on higher-order strategy these days, there’s still nothing more thrilling for this PR pro than getting a big hit for her client.

You should also know:

As plugged in as she has to be for work, Anne loves nothing more than heading up to the north shore of Lake Superior, switching off her phone and reconnecting with nature.

Aaron DeYoe

Senior Designer

How many designers, in the same conversation, can cite as influences on their work the grid systems of Josef Muller Brockmann and the poster art of Emory Davis, Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Aaron DeYoe can and then slide in an appreciation for the Amsterdam studio Experimental Jetset and the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson. From a wide range of interests and influences comes an approach perfectly suited for taking a whole systems approach to branding, campaign development, publication design and more. Aaron is also an adjunct faculty member at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.

You should also know:

Story worlds collide in Aaron’s world. He’s seen The Office10+ times. He’s made the pilgrimage to Harry Potter World five times (with no plans of stopping). And this lifelong Trekkie ranks Captain Janeway as his #1 character.

Sunny Fenton

Director of Partnership Development + Partner

Get In Touch:

The way Sunny sees it, her job is to seek out and strengthen brands making a difference in the world. In her role as partnership developer, Sunny helps both sides zero in on the business opportunity, nurture the working relationship and begin to bring new ideas to life. She has worked for agencies big and small (and on the client side), all of which has given her a valuable understanding of the full range of marketing—from production to detailed communications planning, day-to-day account work to high-level strategic planning.

You should also know:

Sunny’s a mom. And a lifelong angler. Famous for once snagging a massive 53-inch muskie, she’s been featured in In-Fisherman magazine and on the TV show Simply Fishing.

Stacy Helseth

Associate Director, HR and Operations

Take a person who’s good with numbers. Not just good—really good, she just finished that Sudoku you’re still working on. Add to that a unique super power of remembering what she sees—not just numbers but how words are spelled and how things are arranged spatially. Toss in effortless people skills. That’s Stacy, resident zen master of curbing chaos and fine-tuning everyday complexities. She’s a big fan of Haberman’s entrepreneurial spirit and goes over and above to find new paths forward. And when she’s not at work? Oh, she’s probably outdoors running around with her kids, spiking volleyballs or listening to music. As always, taking it all in.

You should also know:

A bonus for having strong spatial abilities is a knack for drawing and carving pumpkins freehand. Ask to see photos of Stacy’s creations. Spooktacular!

Gary Kanowitz


Gary is probably the most useful person in our agency. He pays the bills, signs our checks and cleans the kitchen even when he’s not on cleaning duty. Formally speaking, he oversees the entire accounting operations of our company (financial reports, records, controls, budgets, risk mitigation, compliance, etc.). While his focus is often on the day-to-day aspects of our finances, he’s always looking for opportunities to keep the agency growing well into the future.

You should also know:

As much as he loves a lively budget meeting, Gary’s most happy around a crackling fire with a pint of Guinness.

Zachary Keenan

Design Director

Zach says his job as a designer is to surprise and delight, something he’s been doing 
for more than a decade. He got his start at one of Minneapolis’ biggest agencies, then moved on to lead the creative teams at American Public Media and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, both to teach and manage the school’s design studio. At Haberman he lends his talent and experience—in brand design, illustration, art direction, typography, the list goes on.

You should also know:

When he was 10, Zach appeared in a series of car commercials for French television. So, yeah, he may (or may not) be a big deal in France.

Amy Keepper

Account Director + Partner

Amy’s all about brand-building. For the last 20 years, she’s been spurring the growth of brands in retail (e.g., Target) and food and beverage (e.g., Coca-Cola and Crystal Farms). At Haberman, she takes that understanding of how the biggest names in the business have developed and applies it to coming-of-age companies on the cusp of major growth. As an account director, she takes the time to understand—really understand—the challenges facing our clients so that she can offer solutions that will work in the real world.

You should also know:

Amy’s the outdoorsy type. Look for her and her family in their retro Trillium trailer at a campground near you.

Vanessa Lee

Recruiter + Producer

No matter where her career has taken her—from art buyer to English teacher to recruiter—Vanessa has always been focused on building relationships. She’s connected. She loves people. And she’s genuinely curious about them, which is how she thrives in her role at Haberman. In leading the search for storytellers who share our values, she’s helping us grow while preserving our culture. Vanessa understands how creatives operate because she’s one herself: she has an MFA in writing and nurtures a lifelong passion for photography and visual arts.

You should also know:

Vanessa, who grew up building forts in the woods near her house, loves the outdoors. She’s a fan of biking, cabin life and playing outside with her daughter.

Emma Pankratz

Content Strategist

Give this modern storyteller the choice of spending more on a great meal or a new pair of shoes, and it’s no contest. Taste buds win every time. A self-described “food motivated person,” Emma fits in perfectly with the Haberman tribe, contributing in all aspects of Engagement from PR to content strategy and writing. She claims she needs a hobby, but if that’s the case, what do you call her passions for reading (favorite books include Sputnik Sweetheart and 100 Years of Solitude), movies (loves In Bruges) and music (big on the Bee Gees and Bob Dylan)? This free thinker brings her all to everything.

You should also know:

At the risk of igniting controversy, here’s a direct quote from Emma: “Hating Friends is the basis of my personality.” Take that, Chandler. WHOOOPAH!

Maggie Pendleton

Account Supervisor

She always knows the current moon phase, obsesses on Polish food, played and coaches girls hockey, and savors Salinger short stories. Clearly, Maggie Pendleton has stories to tell. That’s what led her to Haberman, the chance to work with other storytellers and build the brands of mission-driven clients. In fact, the art of working together well is a special area of interest for Maggie who wrote her senior thesis at Providence College on self-narratives and their impact on team success. For someone who loves the makings of a good story, Maggie is right at home at Haberman.

You should also know:

Which restaurant has the better Juicy Lucy, the Nook or Matt’s? Maggie says the Nook, but she’s open to fieldwork and further research if craft beer is part of the study.

Jesse Ross

Creative Technology Director + Partner

Jesse Ross shares leadership duties with our creative director Jeff Berg and we like to say he’s the Spock to Jeff’s Kirk. In reality, Jesse’s somewhere in between—equal parts logic and imagination—and that balanced perspective helps him guide our clients in finding ways to engage more consumers, both online and in real life. Whether he’s architecting websites, programming apps or concepting ideas for digital campaigns, he’s all about creating dynamic, integrated experiences for people and the brands they love.

You should also know:

In his spare time, Jesse likes to design pencil & paper-based tabletop games. He’s run two successful Kickstarter campaigns to bring his games to market.

Lindsay Schwartz

Senior Designer

Lindsay Schwartz has a lifelong obsession with wanting to understand the psychology behind why we do what we do. That led to many years of work in human-centered, research-based design and now modern storytelling at Haberman. In her words, “If you’re not solving for the end-user, you’re not solving.” And that’s exactly what she’s doing as a graphic designer, illustrator and web UX flow master. In her view, designers have the potential to do harm or good in the world, and there’s no ambiguity with Lindsay. She’s doing good.

You should also know:

Outside of the office, Lindsay is most likely outside — hiking, camping, skiing, running or traveling with trips abroad to Italy, Austria, Argentina, Japan and more.

John Tuttle

Technology and Facilities Director

Without Tuttle, we’d never get anything done. He manages every single aspect of our agency’s IT environment, from network security to system upgrades to hardware, software and the day-to-day computer glitches that keep us from being our most productive selves. His helpfulness extends to the management of our facilities in ways both formal and informal (e.g., he’s our foremost picture hanger and desk assembler). No bio of John Tuttle is complete without a mention of his contributions to the good cheer of the office. The guy makes us laugh.

You should also know:

A pretty serious musician, Tuttle’s been building custom guitars for nearly two decades.

Jo Watson

Account Director

With two continents and more than two decades of experience in marketing communications, there’s not a lot that Jo Watson hasn’t seen. But when something new does emerge, she’s the first to consider the possibilities. Why? Because for Jo, modern storytelling comes down to connecting with people in meaningful ways. She welcomes change to make those connections even stronger, and she enjoys the dynamic energy of working with purpose-driven brands. Outside the office, Jo is probably listening to a podcast or planning an upcoming trip with her family.

You should also know:

A lifelong runner, Jo ran with her middle school cross-country team around Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Kim Wildermuth

Engagement Director + Partner

Kim is an expert in the art and science of digital storytelling. In her 11 years at Haberman, she has shaped engagement strategies for clients in diverse fields—from cars to beer to health care. It helps that she has a well-rounded background in all aspects of integrated campaigns, including brand and identity development, earned media, paid media, digital advertising, retail and shopper marking, and social media. Kim has also helped startups transform from humble challengers to market leaders by defining their brand and telling their new story consistently, memorably and meaningfully.

You should also know:

A native of Austin, Texas, Kim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!) and the mom of one seriously cute kid.

Jon Zurbey


A Haberman storyteller for more than 15 years, Jon leads our operations and project management teams. He’s one of the brainiest people in the office, sought after for his editorial ruthlessness, spreadsheet expertise and seemingly effortless grasp of all kinds of complex subjects. With a background in science and technology, Jon has a special interest in health care innovation and helps pioneering clients in this space reach more consumers on the path to better health.

You should also know:

Jon loves to golf, and he’s passing down his passion to his two children. The boys can’t get enough of the driving range, though hockey and baseball compete for attention.