It’s All About the Journey: Looking Back on 2016 at Bellmont Partners


In 2016, we marked our 20th anniversary and had an all-around great year filled with unique experiences left and right. We worked hard, and squeezed in time to play hard, too. Here are some of our favorite memories we’ve been sharing around the office:

Shelli Lissick

“There are so many great memories from 2016, it’s hard to 13912736_1101335823280126_2611858946447230582_npick just one! From the opportunity to partner with new and long-time clients who are making a difference in our community and in their industries to celebrating our talented team and their outstanding work, it has been quite a year. One of my many favorite moments was coming together to celebrate our team and workplace, including Best Places to Work, 100 Best Companies to Work For and Megan Swenson for AdFed’s 32 Under 32 Awards. We work hard to nurture Bellmont Partners’ culture and it’s incredibly rewarding to see our team recognized for their excellent work and support of each other. Can’t wait to see what 2017 brings!”

Jen Bellmont

“We’re fortunate to work on some amazing communications initiatives, and some of my favorite moments of every year are those spent on journeys to or from work-related adventures with our incredible team members and clients. Whether it was a road trip to a Midwestern city, missing the exit for the rental car return in Saint Louis, unwinding with a sugary treat in the NW Arkansas airport, waiting an hour in line for amazing pizza in Chicago, enjoying a celebratory cocktail on a casino rooftop in Las Vegas, or even reminiscing about my very first business trip to Nashville almost 20 years ago, my favorite parts will always be the anticipation and excitement (and yes, sometimes anxiety) on the way there and the relief and satisfaction of a job well done on the way home.”

P1060599Brian Bellmont

“There are so many things that stand out in 2016, but one of my favorite memories was accepting – along with Shelli, Bridget and Jen, on behalf of our whole team – our first-ever Best Places to Work award from the Mpls. St. Paul Business Journal. We were in fantastic company with other Minnesota businesses who are trying to build fulfilling, healthy and sustainable cultures, and it was extra cool to get an on-the-field sneak peek at U.S. Bank Stadium.”


Bridget Nelson Monroe

“Celebrating my five-year anniversary at Bellmont Partners was definitely one highlight in 2016, as was kicking off the agency’s 20th anniversary year! It was fun to look back on how much we’ve grown over the years and look ahead to what’s still to come. We’re a “work hard, play hard” group, and we brought that outlook to new heights in 2016! But one of my favorite memories was neither “work” nor “play” – it was volunteering with a group of Bellmont Partners folks at a produce distribution for our client Second Harvest Heartland. I’m looking forward to continuing to find ways to give back to the community in 2017, whether it’s more boots-on-the-ground volunteer experiences, continuing our work with innovative nonprofits, or finding a new committee or board service opportunity.”

Breanna Welke

“My favorite memory of 2016 isn’t necessarily one moment or event that took place, but a collection of all of the times that we gathered as a team to celebrate our successes, both big and small. Whether it was taking a cooking class at Cooks of Crocus Hill, or attending a show at the Brave New Workshop, or simply gathering around the conference room table to recognize the completion of a major project or celebrate a birthday, some of the best moments are when we took a break from all of the craziness and came together as a team to celebrate one another.”

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“One of my favorite professional moments from this past year is watching as the ONE20 brand came to life at The Great American Trucking Show (GATS) and seeing a room full of industry executives and media light up with enthusiasm as we helped launch an entirely new lifestyle and productivity tool for professional truck drivers. Also, seeing my “Cam Newton” bylined article in print is a close second.”

Megan Derkey

“This year it was a blast to work on several “old favorites” – from helping some longtime friends launch their ONE20 business to the transportation industry, to working on one of my favorite annual projects, the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine ASID MN Showcase Home Tour. As for new memories, it was so fun to be pregnant alongside my coworker, Ali, and all the celebrations that entailed from both of our office baby showers to each of us bringing our babies in to meet everyone at the office. Baby Amelia was definitely my personal 2016 highlight!”

Megan Swenson

14051816_10154526270763854_689054789882529459_n copy“My favorite memory of 2016 was the Dixie Chicks concert at the Minnesota State Fair. The concert was the first Saturday of the fair, and the previous two days the Bellmont Partners team was hard at work coordinating early morning live shots and onsite media appearances on behalf of two of our clients – Midwest Dairy Association and Minnesota Wine Country. The concert was the perfect way to unwind and celebrate our hard work leading up to and during the two busiest media days of the fair.  Another great example of how we work hard and play hard together! (Plus, the Dixie Chicks are one of my all-time favorites and they KILLED IT. Several of us had no voices at the end of the night from singing along!)”

Briana Gruenewald

“The Kansas City for Fuel Up to Play 60 Reward Summit: We flew to Kansas City, Mo., where I lead one of my first Reward Summits with Megan’s onsite support. After an amazingly successful day at Arrowhead Stadium – which included visits from Kansas City Chiefs mascot (super nice) KC Wolf, two (super nice) cheerleaders and (super nice) punter Dustin Colquitt – Megan and I explored and dined in downtown KCMO. I fell in love with its charm, fountains and SUPER NICE people. It was my first, but definitely not last, time in the Paris of the Plains.”

Hyedi Nelson

“So many great memories to choose from! One of my favorite memories from the past year is the group Snapchat lesson the night we celebrated Megan Swenson’s 32 Under 32 win. That, or getting stuck with Bridget in an Uber on the way to our hotel in Vegas and finding ourselves caught up in a staged police chase film scene for the most recent Jason Bourne movie.”

Johanna Holub

“Pitching our client Brave New Workshop’s show with Louie Anderson, then later seeing him live on The Jason Show when we were there with Midwest Dairy promoting the Flavors of the Fair. Such a small world!”

Erin Lilliencrantz

81DB84AB-E712-4E7A-9BC9-22B27D7F8D7F copy“The more I work in the field, the more I realize how unique my job is. One of my favorite memories is working on the Minnesota State Fair fairgrounds on behalf of our client Minnesota Wine Country. Between the 5 a.m. live shots at the Minnesota State Fair and my team coordinating a KARE-11 segment with jeopardy host, Alex Trebek, we rounded out the summer with unbelievable experiences and results.”

Emma Strub

“My favorite memory can’t be summed up in one instance. It’s definitely an accumulation of all of the “in between” moments of the PR world. We seem to be in constant motion, but when we do get a chance to breathe and relax in the conference room, attend a Brave New Workshop show together, or head to a cool client event “off the clock,” that’s when I realize how much I love this company, its people and the little perks that come with it.”

Ali Buckneberg

“Hands down, my most memorable moment from 2016 was the birth of my healthy, happy baby boy this fall! But while my mommy bliss is sure to continue into the next year, so will one of the coolest things I got to do in 2016: Speaking at the Explore Minnesota Travel & Tourism Conference. In early February, my colleague Shelli and I spoke to destination marketing organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, hotels/resorts and tourist attractions about trends and best practices in today’s media relations landscape. It was an amazing experience and I’m excited to be speaking again on a panel about media relations during the 2017 conference at the end of January.”

Cheers to 2017!

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