Coffee & Coffee Beans

The Power of InterCom: A Member’s Testimonial

This is a testimonial shared by InterCom Member, Mari Wielopolski, President and Owner at Crowne Marketing, LLC and Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics and Business at Kalamazoo College. 

My personal story of the power (and importance) of InterCom starts with a significant change in June 2014. After 35+ years in the professional work world, my marketing leadership position was eliminated. Once /I worked through my devastation, I realized I had not made any professional contacts within the city where I lived – Kalamazoo. I had been working I Grand Rapids for the past 10 years and Detroit for 17 years before that! I better get crackin’!

Through LinkedIn, I made contact with professional women in the greater Kalamazoo area, ultimately leading to coffee with Gretchen Johnson (InterCom President) late that summer. During our coffee conversation, Gretchen invited me to InterCom. My first few “2nd Fridays” were spent introducing myself to a very accepting, inspiring group of like-minded marketers. The guest speakers expanded my thinking and broadened my understanding of several topics while wakening me to all that Kalamazoo has to offer.

Then, one Friday, Jeff  Palmer, an InterCom member introduced his Kalamazoo College associate as our speaker, there to familiarize us with K College’s Arcus Center. I knew very little about K College and nothing about the Arcus Center but learned a lot that day.

As a Hope College grad, I was intrigued by K’s mission so asked Jeff if he’d be open to a cup of coffee. During that exchange, Jeff offered to introduce me to the Econ/Bus Department Chair. He and I then grabbed coffee (by now, I knew a lot about the unique coffee shops all around Kzoo).  The Department Chair introduced me to the Professor teaching the majority of the Marketing courses. In the spring of 2015, she invited me to guest lecture and then assist in judging students for their term long project.

That fall, the Marketing Professor asked if I’d fill in while she was on sabbatical sprig 2016. Of course, I jumped on it! The Department Chair asked if I’d please create an entirely new course so that if it was successful, I could teach it again after the Marketing Professor returned. Oh boy…what had I signed up to do!?!

Well, create a class I did. And, teaching that course was one of my top 3 professional experiences. Bright, engaging students, challenging yet fun material. I loved it! And, in the fall of 2016, the Department Chair reached out and asked me to teach that course again this spring!

ALL OF THIS IS DUE TO INTERCOM!!

That IS the POWER and IMPORTANCE of InterCom.

InterCom encourages members to submit short articles about trends, testimonials, or things that are happening in their communication field of business. Submissions may be sent to Gretchen Johnson at kzoogretchen@gmail.com. We encourage our members to consider leveraging our By The Way section as a way to gain both recognition for the subject and professional recognition for the member. Submissions are subject to review and approval by the InterCom Board.