2023 Partners is the producing partner founded by Mark Addicks, the former Chief Marketing Officer of General Mills, Kathy Tunheim Founder and President of Minneapolis-based Communications firm of Tunheim and Arick Wierson, an entrepreneur and former senior media advisor to former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. 2023 Partners was originally formed as part of Minnesota’s bid to host the 2023 Worlds Fair.
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Mark Addicks is the CEO of 2023 Partners and brings over 30 years of marketing and branding experience to 2023 Partners. In 2016, Mark retired from General Mills, Inc. where he had been serving as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer since 2004. Previously, Addicks held a series of executive positions DURING his thirty-year career with General Mills, including P&L responsibilities for Yoplait USA and the Big G cereal divisions. As vice president of Big G New Enterprises, he led highly successful new product development efforts, including Frosted Cheerios. Mark served as the Vice President of Marketing Communications at General Mills since January 2000 and led the successful integration of the General Mills and Pillsbury marketing functions in 2001. Mark is also a successful entrepreneur, having managed and led entrepreneurial businesses in Texas and Minnesota. His work has been widely recognized with numerous industry awards, both for his innovation and marketing expertise. Mark serves as an Independent Director of Ruby Tuesday, Inc. and serves as a Director of The Advertising Council, Inc. His previous board seats include a term as Director of the Association of National Advertisers Inc.
Advertising Age named Mark one of the top 100 marketers in 1999 and one of the top 25 Power Brokers in both 2003 and 2004. He has been invited to guest lecture at some of the nation’s leading business programs, including Harvard, Tuck and the University of Chicago. Mark holds bachelor’s degree from University of Texas in 1978 and an MBA from Harvard University in 1988.
Kathy Tunheim is a partner of 2023 Partners and brings over 30 years of experience in the fields of marketing and corporate communications. She co-founded her eponymous Tunheim Communications firm in 1990 and has served as President and CEO of the company throughout the firm’s evolution. She maintains an active role in many of the agency’s client relationships, and is a well-known crisis communications counselor to senior executives. She is past president of IPREX, one of the world’s largest networks of independent communications firms, which Tunheim joined in 2007. Prior to Tunheim, Kathy gained experience in both the corporate and political arenas as the vice president for public relations and internal communications at Honeywell. Sher began her career as a media relations and speechwriter for Wendell R. Anderson — for both his time as governor of the State of Minnesota and during his tenure in the U.S. Senate.
In 2011, Kathy accepted a part-time appointment as senior advisor to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, serving two years focused on igniting job creation across the state. She serves on the board of directors for Landscape Structures, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of commercial playground equipment. Kathy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota.
Arick Wierson is a partner in 2023 Partners and brings over 20 years of global experience in media, politics and business. Arick is a six time Emmy Award-winning television executive and is the founder and first president of NYC TV and NYC Media Group, the largest publicly-owned broadcast entity in the United States which spans multiple cable channels, broadcast television, FM radio, Taxi TV and an array of digital platforms. He is a former senior political and communications adviser to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and served eight years as a Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. From 2009 to 2016, Arick was based in the African country of Angola, working on several media and communications projects for the Angolan Government, as well as starting the country’s first modern department store, the Luanda Fashion Center. Arick began his career as an investment banker with JP Morgan and ABN AMRO Bank in New York City and São Paulo, Brazil.
Broadcasting & Cable Magazine called Arick “one of the most important people in New York media.” He writes a regular column on politics, media, and technology for the New York Observer and is also a recognized documentary filmmaker. Arick was an executive producer of the acclaimed 2011 film “Backdoor Channels: The Price of Peace,” featuring US President Jimmy Carter, which detailed the secret negotiations behind the Egyptian – Israeli peace treaty of 1979. Arick is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil, where he attended as a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, representing his home state of Minnesota. In addition to his native English, Arick speaks fluent Portuguese and Spanish.