In a word, Allison Wasz could be described as indomitable.
Here in the office, we refer to her as our HBIC (😉), but you might know Allison Wasz as Macleod & Co.’s Agency Director. Growing up, she wanted to be a spy; when the CIA didn’t come knocking, she set her sights on becoming a lawyer. After a stint at a law office, she realized that that wasn’t for her, either.
Instead, she wound up at Macleod & Co. Founded in 2014 by Tanya Macleod, the agency had gained a reputation for valuing creativity, focusing on brand, digital, and the strategy that unites the two, and advocating for clients every step of the way. It was Tanya’s unique brand of mentorship and thought leadership that led Wasz to apply for the position of digital strategist in 2016.
Only 36% of businesses in the US are owned by women, and in July of 2018, two years after joining the Macleod & Co. team, Allison Wasz joined their ranks. Having grown up just a hop, skip, and a jump away in Rochester, MN, Wasz is a “local”; she knows the best Minneapolis brewery (Bauhaus for the aesthetic, Fair State for the beer) and the best place for guac (her patio).
But she’s defined by more than her love of a good beer, guacamole, and Beyonce (her favorite song is, naturally, Run the World (Girls)).
Living and growing up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Wasz embodies Minnesota Nice. She’s quick to smile, laughs until she cries, and is big on volunteerism.
She’s got a competitive streak, which, for her, isn’t about winning, but about going the extra mile. Like most Minnesotans, Wasz is a sports aficionado, but her love of sports goes beyond wearing purple and gold every fall. Her big heart and passion for inclusivity is all-encompassing, proven by her Super-Bowl-like enthusiasm for Special Olympics, where she coaches basketball and flag football.
As the newly-minted owner of Macleod & Co., Wasz draws inspiration from strong women: her mother, Hermione Granger, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Oprah, Tina Fey, the MAIA Community… the list goes on. These women have something in common: they have faced challenges and emerged stronger; they’ve taken ownership of their womanhood and broken through glass ceilings.
With role models like this, it’s no wonder that Wasz has a vision. She’s an empathetic person, quick to catch onto the emotions of those around her. As a result, she is hyperaware of how others perceive her agency. At four years old, if Macleod & Co. were a start-up, it would still be in its IPO stage. As of today, there are six employees, including Allison, all of whom are female and in their twenties.
“As Millennial women, we represent huge buying power today and it’s only going to get bigger — many companies would benefit from working with us because we are their target market.”
There’s strength in small numbers, and besides believing in the power of women working together, Wasz is also a passionate proponent of the flexibility, efficiency, and raw creativity that small agencies offer (a topic she’s written about before).
The relative youth of the Macleod & Co. team is not lost on Wasz. Instead of seeing it as a weakness, though, she views it as a strength — each person on the team has been carefully selected, and embodies the company’s core values: problem solving, strategy, integrity, and growth (both personal and professional).
“People are your best asset,” confides Wasz. “They are why I get up early, why I stay late — I truly love the people I work with. They are such a talented group of sharp-minded, authentically kind, good-doers at their core. And that, in and of itself, is badass.”
Wasz’s biggest point of pride since the agency became hers? Easy: Macleod Gives Back. Inspired by volunteer experiences (her own and those of other team members), Macleod Gives Back is a promise that Macleod & Co. won’t just exist in the community; the team is dedicated to giving back. Her face lights up as she recounts their most recent project — a bake sale that raised over $250 toward supplies for Ruff Start Rescue MN.
Spending time with Wasz, you notice that she has that easy, effortless presence that seems to radiate from people who are confident in their work. She speaks from the heart, and when she meets your eye, she’s makes you feel heard.
For her fellow Macleodians, it would be impossible not to have faith in her leadership. Wasz wholeheartedly believes in not only the mission of the company, but in each and every person on her team. Which means that as a client, you know without a doubt that you are in good hands.
In the wake of such big changes, from buying a business to getting engaged, you’d think that Wasz would be bouncing off the walls. Instead, she handles every problem thrown at her with the ease of someone who’s done this before, making you think that although she’s brand new to this, she must be a natural.
Macleod & Co. is a premier full-service Twin Cities marketing agency, with a special emphasis on digital, brand and the strategy that unites the two. We partner with businesses of all shapes and sizes, from startup hustlers to established empires, to create and execute strategies that deliver results.