Looking back on the great 2015-2016 InterCom Season

As we edge toward the end of summer and the beginning of InterCom’s 2016-2017 programming, we wanted to take a brief peek back at the past year.

It’s not just what you know

The goal of our 2nd Friday Lunchtime Speakers’ Series is to combine best practices with an introduction to the people and organizations that drive the region. Member feedback suggests last year may have been our very best series of programs ever. Of course, you may want to reserve that opinion until next year!

Who we met and what we learned:

Tom Vance, Marketing Communications Officer at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, shared best practices in rebranding with a case study on the 85-year-old foundation, which has been nationally recognized for its philanthropy.

Daniel Proczko, founder of the young mobile marketing startup MyPocketMarketing, shared insights into mobile outreach using InterCom’s new website as the basis for discussion.

Chris Praedel, Director of Alumni and Donor Experiences, Office of Development and Alumni Relations, Western Michigan University, told us how to delight stakeholders through amazing event experiences ” with ideas for every budget and team size.

Renée Newman, Discover Kalamazoo’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications, detailed their successful Give a Craftâ„¢ Beer Trail passport program. From this, we learned strategies for working across an industry or business cluster to leverage the success of many by working together.

Josh Cook, co-founder of Green Door Distilling, shared the start-up’s story and told us how social media, connecting their company’s brand to local history and being authentic were the secrets to their success.

Sheri Welsh, president of Welsh & Associates‘ executive search and professional recruiting services firm and the founder of KzooConnect.com, told us how she uses storytelling to build her corporate brand and recruit top talent to the community.

LKF Marketing president Heather Isch, who acquired LKF and stepped into its top leadership role in December 2015, sat down with InterCom members at our April meeting for a private roundtable discussion of the changing advertising and marketing industry.

In May, we headed into uncharted territory with Breaking the News Part One, a community forum on Michigan’s shifting media landscape and its effect on local coverage. A highly engaged audience enjoyed insightful dialogue among our panelists: Michael Mac McCullough (Battle Creek Enquirer), Andy Robins (WMUK), David Zeman (Bridge Magazine), Sarah Hulett (Michigan Radio) and Paul Schutt (Issue Media Group). Anna Clark of the Columbia Journalism Review moderated the event. (We’re excited for the Aug. 25th follow-up, Breaking the News Part Two, where roundtable discussions will focus on local news coverage in Greater Kalamazoo. There’s still time to register at Eventbrite!)

New partnerships, special events

We also increased our focus on regional partners to cross promote and drive access to groups who share community-based goals and objectives for their members. To that end, we worked with Buy Local ” InterCom is a proud member ” StartUp Grind and Kalamazoo Social Media Week. In the coming months, we anticipate shared efforts with ONEplace, too. ONEPlace is the region’s center for nonprofit service, support and leadership development.

If you’d like more information on any of these lunchtime events, check out What You Missed on our news feed here.

We have another amazing lineup of speakers, topics and exclusive shared experiences planned for InterCom members in the coming year! Don’t miss a thing! Join or renew your membership today.

Photo: “Couple in front seat of car with a baby in between looking out the back window,” Kentucky, 1972; William Gedney Photographs and Writings; Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library