Shutter Pilots Takes Flight

The future of aerial imaging is here. Shutter Pilots, a new business affiliated with Agency MABU, provides low-altitude photography, cinematography and 2D/3D visualization services using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Equipped with the latest technology including high definition (HD) cameras, GPS positioning systems and radio-controlled aircraft, UAVs give a new perspective to videos, photos, and websites.

ShutterPilots - web header
Mike Mabin and Ed Sargeant piloting the DJI Phantom 2.

Shutter Pilots received a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) exemption to operate UAVs for the use of aerial imaging and computer animation in 2015. The company operates a fleet of five aerial imaging quadcopters.

The technology can be utilized in a variety of applications from flyovers and 3D renderings of real estate developments to capturing historic sites and reconstructing what they might have looked like hundreds of years ago.

Visit to learn more and view videos.

Client Spotlight – North Dakota Tourism is Tempting Tastebuds

MABU partnered with the North Dakota Department of Commerce (Tourism Division) to create a new brochure for hungry travelers. The North Dakota Food & Festivals brochure showcases top stops across the state for things like hearty German-Russian comfort foods (knoephle and kuchen for example), to fine dining establishments, and  fun food festivals and events.

The North Dakota Food & Festivals brochure features categories such as “Hot Slices” or “Sweet Spots” to make finding good eats easy for locals and travelers alike.
The North Dakota Food & Festivals brochure features categories such as “Hot Slices” or “Sweet Spots” to make finding good eats easy for locals and travelers alike.

North Dakota is one of the nation’s top producers of many agricultural products. The tourism attractions in this brochure incorporate the state’s broad culinary offerings, while highlighting North Dakota’s rich culture and agricultural heritage.

Client Spotlight – Self-Governance Communication & Education

The responsively designed SGCE website offers quick links and engaging images.
The responsively designed SGCE website offers quick links and engaging images.

In order to better serve their client base, Self-Governance Communication & Education (SGCE), a tribally-based consortium, partnered with MABU to update their website. The website needed to be easier to navigate with a new, inviting look. MABU used responsive web design to ensure enhanced usability for all visitors regardless of viewing device, and also helped the organization implement a new logo.

“Agency MABU modernized our brand and website. Their team was professional, courteous, and responsive throughout the process. We can’t imagine experiencing the process with anyone else.”
– Terra Branson, Director, SGCE

SGCE’s goal is to ensure that the tenets and purpose of tribal self-governance are accurately communicated and clearly understood by the federal government, non-participating self-governance tribes, and all other interested parties. For more information and to view the new site, visit

MABU Teams Up for Annual NIEA Convention

For two years, Agency MABU has worked alongside the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) to support their Annual Convention and Trade Show. NIEA is the premiere organization advocating for educational excellence, opportunity, and equity for Native American students. This event is the only national convention focused solely on improving Native education.

Conference branding designed by MABU

NIEA’s 46th Annual Convention and Trade Show was held in Portland, Oregon from October 14-17. For over eight months, Agency MABU worked closely with NIEA to support the production of this 1,500+ person event, serving as the liaison between NIEA, the Oregon Convention Center, and multiple other vendors, including audiovisual technicians, decorators, caterers, hotels, and printers.  In addition to coordinating the event’s logistics, MABU designed the event’s 80+ page program, event signage, tote bags, and t-shirts.

NIEA 2015 convention
NIEA 2015 convention

MABU team members Alexander Mabin, Megan Full, Chris Amador, Mike Mabin, and Stacey LaCompte provided on-site assistance and support during the week of the convention. This year’s program boasted over 100 workshops, a trade show, a college fair, and a series of cultural performances by local tribes.  NIEA 2016 will be held in Reno, NV and MABU is excited to continue working with NIEA in anticipation of their 50th anniversary in 2019.

The MABU team - (l to r) Megan Full, Alexander Mabin and Chris Amador pause for a photo while supporting the NIEA conference in Portland, OR.
The MABU team – (l to r) Megan Full, Alexander Mabin and Chris Amador pause for a photo while supporting the NIEA conference in Portland, OR.

New on Staff – Stacey LaCompte

StaceyL_2015HSStacey LaCompte recently joined Agency MABU as a project manager for Native American initiatives.

LaCompte brings extensive experience in working with tribal nations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations to promote economic, workforce, and business development within Native American communities.  In her role as project manager, she will coordinate strategic planning, market research, entrepreneurship training, and advocacy efforts.

LaCompte is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and has worked with tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska, as well as congressional, state, and local government agencies.  LaCompte joins MABU in serving notable clients including the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

And if Stacey could choose to be any animal? She says she was born to be a tiger!  In fact, she really is a Tiger, which is her maiden name.

Welcome to the team, Stacey!

New on Staff – Alex Duppong

AlexDuppongHS_smAlex Duppong has returned to the MABU ranks! He first served as an intern with us following his education at Bismarck State College. After working as a web developer for several years, he’s back with the MABU web team as a developer.

Alex grew up as a farm kid in Haymarsh, 11 miles north of Glen Ullin, ND and is a man of many hobbies and interests. You can find him writing, drawing, singing and dancing – and that’s just in the office! Outside of work hours, he enjoys swimming, biking, working out, snowboarding, paintball, movies and gaming.

He’s met Stan Lee and the Karate Kid.

In fact, Alex’s gaming is more than a hobby. He is the co-founder of the Gamer Gauntlet which works to organize high-quality video game events in the community and brings gamers together in face-to-face competition for all skill levels.

Alex appreciates the quirky and the off-kilter things in life. And if he was a piece of furniture? He’d be your grandpa’s old recliner that has that “oh so special” trick to opening up and eating all the remotes.

Welcome back Alex!

3D Visualization & Animation

MABU-ENewsletter-Story3_EdMany people think motion graphics and animation belong only in Hollywood. However, animated content is everywhere these days and has useful applications for nearly any business or organization.

With so much information vying for our attention, animation is a great way to catch your viewer’s eye. This technology can be used in commercials, print and video graphics to bring artwork to life and breathe interest into the messaging. Web technologies are rapidly expanding as well.

MABU-ENewsletter-Story3_earthlodgeBoth 2D and 3D visualization are frequently part of website upgrades, helping to engage the user with digital content. For example, animation can be used in employee training videos, recreating historical sites, medical simulations, future construction projects, educational games for children and even as a way to research and do virtual testing of products prior to release. Plus, the tools and procedures for this type of work are becoming increasingly cost effective.

Motion graphics and animation allow our clients to bring content to life that may otherwise be overlooked.

MABU-ENewsletter-Story3_lightbulbCheck out the interactive version of the 3-D MABU light bulb at to see how it works.

ND Agriculture Department – client spotlight

ND Agriculture Department is Digging “THE DIRT” with New Intranet.

MABU-ENewsletter-Story4_websiteThe ND Department of Agriculture needed a way to communicate with all team members, even with those in the field. With the Department’s new Drupal-based intranet launched earlier this year by MABU, all team members can easily access the intranet using their credentials and get the latest information on their mobile devices.

The design is highly-thematic and shows the fun personality of the Department of Ag without getting in the way of site functionality. “The Dirt” (yes, pun intended) has an uncluttered, clean design. The site serves as a central hub for internal communication with daily tasks just a click away thanks to intuitive navigation.

Watford City: The New Frontier – client spotlight

MABU-ENewsletter-Story1_imageMcKenzie County has always offered up Western culture and an impressive roster of famous visitors (remember Theodore Roosevelt, Sakakawea, Sitting Bull, and Lewis & Clark from your history books?).

When county leaders approached MABU, their end goal was to send a clear message to visitors; McKenzie County, particularly Watford City, is open and ready for visitors.

The MABU team conducted extensive research to help McKenzie County determine their marketing strategy. The new campaign conveys the message that even after a day of rugged exploration and activity, guests will now find unexpected luxuries like great dining experiences, cocktail bars, and finely-appointed hotels.

U.S. Army Civilian Corps – featured client

Research, Target and refine for results

MABU-ENewsletter-Side2For the past six years, MABU has coordinated a comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign to recruit civilian medical professionals to join the U.S. Army Medical Command’s 70+ hospitals and clinics all across the world.  The effort encompasses job fairs, advertisements, news releases, videos, print materials and social media channels to attract qualified applicants and encourage them to visit the Army Medical Command’s recruitment website.

So when it came to updating this already successful website, our research indicated a need to make the site mobile-friendly and searchable for various types of career opportunities. Our team took on the challenge and responded by creating a responsive site with an updated look optimized for speed and ease of use. The new site appeals to users with an updated look, along with a fast, easy way to find jobs based on location and field of expertise. A new online application feature was also developed to help expedite the hiring process.  Since the launch, the mobile bounce rate has improved by 25%, and average page views have increase from 2.4 to 4.5 pages.