Trozzolo Communications group expands to MU

The+Carl+Collective+will+be+directed+by+Marquette+alums+Erik+Brooks+and+Angelo+Trozzolo.+

The Carl Collective will be directed by Marquette alums Erik Brooks and Angelo Trozzolo.

Marquette alum, president and CEO of the Trozzolo Communications Group, Angelo Trozzolo said the Carl Collective is a communications company with a secret weapon— Marquette students.

The Carl Collective’s purpose is to provide Marquette students with the opportunity to work in a professional setting with clients while also being mentored by specialists.

Partnering with clients around the Midwest region, the Carl Collective will offer a wide variety of marketing communications-related services such as advertising, public relations, branding, digital media and video services.

Trozzolo said the agency aspires to arrange job opportunities for students while they’re in college to hopefully help them earn money and gain experience to complement their resumes for post-graduation.

“Think of it like an academic medical center, but for communications students. And it’s never been done before,” Trozzolo said in an email. “No other university in the country has anything like this, meaning Marquette students have an opportunity that their peers at other universities do not.”

It aims to provide students with exposure to real-world business problems and resolutions, as participants will be a part of determining and operating the strategies and approaches to solve those issues for clients.

“Our purpose is multi-faced. First, for our clients, is to solve their real business problems using insights and strategy, which are the heart and soul of what we do,” Trozzolo said in an email. “They are the dots that surface out of seeing our client’s business problems from new perspectives.”

Trozzolo said their second purpose is to ensure a balanced business for their people with an environment that cultivates happiness.

“That allows them to wake up every morning excited about the work they are doing, who they are doing it with and who they are doing it for,” Trozzolo said in an email.

Sarah Feldner, dean of the College of Communication said it’s expected that this agency will be a substantial recruitment tool for the college.

“This is a big win for the students of today and tomorrow, as they can gain real-world experience they can’t get anywhere else, while adding real value to the clients of the Carl Collective,” Feldner said in a statement.

Trozzolo said the Carl Collective was established at Marquette after having conversations with himself, Feldner and Provost Kimo Ah Yun. Trozzolo is also a 1997 Marquette alum, and one of his children currently attends the university.

“After hearing Dean Felder and Provost Ah Yun express a desire to launch a student-involved agency but to do it differently than other colleges and universities, the idea of Trozzolo opening a Milwaukee office in partnership with Marquette was born,” Trozzolo said in an email.

Founded in 1989 in Kansas City, Missouri, Trozzolo said the Carl Collective is in its second generation of family leadership.

Trozzolo also said the Trozzolo Communications Group is acknowledged as one of the top independent communications firms within the Midwest.

The Carl Collective is being directed by Trozzolo and fellow 1997 Marquette alum Erik Brooks, owner of Brooks Communications— which will be bequeathed by the Trozzolo Communications Group. Dave Wilcox, professional-in-residence for strategic communication, will serve as the staff advisor for Marquette students.

“I’m excited to reunite with Angelo and return to my alma mater to help today’s students prepare for a career in communications,” Brooks said in a statement. “With the power of Trozzolo and Marquette behind us, there is a big opportunity to grow the Carl Collective into a powerhouse local agency. We start on that journey today.”

Trozzolo said the Carl Collective is named after Carl Schrank, professor and student advisor at Marquette who passed in 2019. Schrank received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marquette.

“He was my advisor and mentor at Marquette, and was famous for keeping in touch with his former students, offering career advice and guidance, and ensuring they were up to speed on all the latest at their alma mater,” Trozzolo said in an email. “Naming the agency after Carl ensures his important legacy lives on at the university and in Milwaukee.”

This story was written by Julia Abuzzahab. She can be reached at julianna.abuzzahab@marquette.edu