All posts in Event preview

  • InterCom 2017-18 Kickoff Event at Boatyard Brewing Co.

    To kick-off of a new season with InterCom please join us at as we celebrate and toast you with an evening gathering at Boatyard Brewing Co. on Thursday, August 24 at 5:30 PM.

    This will be our first event of the season for members and guests to reconnect with colleagues and meet new friends and peers as we celebrate the end of summer and a great year ahead. Make sure you join us to learn about the terrific Speaker Series luncheons we have planned.

    This event also marks the official beginning of our membership year and the first year of launching our new and improved membership platform. If you have not renewed your membership, please do so through our website,


  • InterCom Buy Local Event

    InterCom & Buy Local Joint Mixer @ Feed the World Cafe

    InterCom Kalamazoo is hosting the Buy Local After 5 at Feed the World Cafe on Tuesday, May 16 from 5-7 PM.

    We’re so excited to be bringing these amazing organizations together for a great night of networking, food, drinks and fun. Festivities will be held on the patio, so come and enjoy spring at a local eatery we know you’ll love!

    Buy Local After 5 hosted by InterCom Kalamazoo
    Tuesday, May 16
    5:00 – 7:00 PM

    at Feed the World Cafe
    7000 Stadium Dr #201
    Kalamazoo, MI 49009

    Appetizers supplied by Feed the World Cafe along with a cash bar.

    This event is free to members and non-members. RSVP through Eventbrite (on the link or the form below.) This event is in lieu of InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speaker’s Series.

    Buy Local Greater Kalamazoo aims to be the voice for independent businesses in the greater Kalamazoo area and to educate consumers to buy locally. It grew out of an interest on the part of local business owners and consumers to distinguish businesses that support the local economy. Since 2008, their unique community of local & independent businesses and non-profits enhance the character and integrity of the greater Kalamazoo area.

    Not a member of Buy Local? We would love for you to be our guest to network and learn about Buy Local and InterCom organizations. We can’t wait to meet you!

    Feed the World Cafe is a social impact restaurant offering fresh unique food using locally sourced ingredients. For every meal purchased at the restaurant and through catering one or more meals are provided in our community.”

  • Local Nonprofit Communications Trends

    What marketing and communication issues are keeping local nonprofit leaders up at night? What are their top marketing goals? How do these organizations compare to nonprofits nationally?

    These are a few of the questions InterCom and ONEplace sought to answer with a Kalamazoo Area Nonprofit Marketing/Communications Survey completed in February. The results of that survey and possible implications for both the nonprofit and communication industry sectors will be discussed at InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series on April 14. This special event is FREE and open to the public.

    “Kalamazoo is widely recognized as a generous, philanthropically minded county,” says Gretchen Johnson, InterCom president. “Private giving drives our quality of life, meeting crucial human service needs, providing financial and educational support for students of all ages, and even making the arts possible — from theatre to dance, music and so much more. The success of the nonprofit organizations that carry out this important work depends on effective marketing and communication. We believe it is imperative for our members to understand as much as possible about these organizations. We also believe we have experience, insight and expertise to share.”

    Nonprofits are also an important economic driver for the region. According to a 2016 survey by the Michigan Nonprofit Association, this industry sector includes more than 1,200 nonprofits in Kalamazoo County. Nearly 22,500 people work in nonprofits here, and these organizations generate a combined annual revenue of $2.7 million (as of 2014).

    “A community’s success is reflected in the capacity of its nonprofit sectors,” says Thom Andrews, director of ONEplace, a capacity building organization offering resources and services to nonprofits in Kalamazoo County. Andrews said the survey results are already playing an important role in helping his team develop programming for the many area nonprofits that have come to rely on ONEplace as the education arm of the funding community.

    At the April 14 event, InterCom members will lead participants through small-group dialogue. Communication professionals will have the opportunity to hear from nonprofit leaders about vital needs for their organizations — while nonprofit professionals learn marketing tips and best practices from area communications experts. The event is free and open to the public.

    Event Details

    The brown-bag lunchtime event starts at noon (following 30 minutes of networking) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. This session only is open as a free event to the public. Guests, however, are asked to register online at Eventbrite. Learn more at Events.

  • KVCC Bronson Healthy Living Campus

    Growing a Healthy Living Campus

    On March 10, get a behind-the-scenes look at the promotional strategy for Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s new Healthy Living Campus from Linda Depta, director of College Relations. After the talk, enjoy a tour of the Culinary/Allied Health Building!

    In this best-practice presentation, Linda will discuss marketing, branding and fundraising efforts for this one-of-a-kind, new, “healthy campus” in the heart of town, complete with a student-run restaurant and indoor farming.

    Discussion highlights include:

    • College Branding vs. Campus Branding vs. Program Branding
    • Community Collaboration
    • Fundraising
    • Implementing Campus Launches for Students and the Public
    • Promoting the Restaurant(s), Food Hub and Curriculum

    For those who don’t know Linda, you’ve probably seen her work — at KVCC or during her many years of communication leadership through in the region. Since 2010, Linda has served as Director of College Relations for Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Her tenure there includes oversight of a rebranding effort for the College and its many campuses, marketing throughout the development and launch of its latest Bronson Healthy Living Campus, and marketing and promotion surrounding the College’s 50th anniversary in 2016.

    Prior to joining KVCC, her storied career includes work in a variety of advertising and communication positions throughout the region, including Program Manager roles with WOTV and WWMT, Senior Account Executive roles at Fairfield Broadcasting and LKF Marketing, and Advertising Director of the Kalamazoo Gazette. She is a Trustee for Albion College and President-elect of The Stulberg International String Competition, and boasts a long history of volunteerism for many local boards and service organizations.

    Event Details

    The brown-bag lunchtime event starts at noon (following 30 minutes of networking). Note for this event only, the location is at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Bronson Healthy Living Campus, in the Culinary Theatre of the Culinary/Allied Health Building, 418 East Walnut Street, Kalamazoo, 49007. It is free to InterCom members. Non-member guests are asked to pay $10. Please register and pay online at Eventbrite. Learn more at Events.


  • Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World

    Cereal Wars with George Franklin

    Join us February 10 at 11:30am for a conversation with best-selling author and former Kellogg lobbyist George Franklin, who will talk business, law, lobbying and politics as our 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series guest lecturer. Franklin’s insights will touch on a broad range of relevant and timely topics from lobbyists, to fundraisers, Congress, the White House, China, South Africa, Mexico, and even Ground Zero just days after 9/11.

    George FranklinFranklin’s book, Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars: 30 Years of Lobbying for the Most Famous Tiger in the World, tells his first-hand perspective from inside Kellogg and Washington. He served as Vice President of Worldwide Government Relations for Kellogg Company. POLITICO says his book Cereal Wars “offers an unusually candid — and entertaining — portrayal of the central role lobbyists play in policymaking.”

    Register at

    We’ll gather to network around 11:30 and start at noon with the presentation “Lobbying – what they forgot to mention in business school.” Don’t miss this conversation with George Franklin.

    Event Details

    The brown-bag lunchtime event starts at noon (following 30 minutes of networking) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. It is free to InterCom members. Non-member guests are asked to pay $10. Please register and pay online at Eventbrite. Learn more at

  • Raquel Binder

    TED Talks: “Presenting You” Workshop

    Join InterCom as we kick off 2017 with a workshop in place of its typical speakers’ presentation on Friday, January 13 at 11:30am.  Raquel Binder, Adjunct Professor of Communication at WMU and KVCC, will explore how both interpersonal communication and public speaking have changed as a result of TED Talks. And she’ll walk participants through a series of exercises and discussions to hone their own individual styles and stories.

    “The TED Talk phenomenon has changed the way we communicate in a variety of ways,” Binder says. “But despite enormous advances in technology, the most-watched talks often use little if any visual or audio support. A great presentation — like a great personal encounter — is about authenticity, sincerity and personal connection.”

    Binder will discuss the TED Talks format and also introduce devices such as powerful narratives, and show how they can be applied to a variety of communication settings to increase engagement with any audience.

    The “Presenting You” workshop is for professionals at every level of their career development. It’s designed for both communication professionals and those who aspire to be better communicators, Binder says. InterCom offers a relaxed and open forum where participants can learn with and from one another while having fun.

    About Raquel Binder

    With a passion for entrepreneurship and a huge creative heart, Raquel Binder blends a day job as an adjunct professor with a popular blog as a cooking and lifestyle expert. The “day” includes communication instruction at both Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where she teaches and mentors students in Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking. As The Make Lady, she provides ideas and instruction in cooking, crafts, and home organization.

    Event Details

    The brown-bag lunchtime event starts at noon (following 30 minutes of networking) at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. It is free to InterCom members. Non-member guests are asked to pay $10. Please register and pay online at Eventbrite. Learn more at Events.

    2nd Friday Speakers Series: Our Signature Event

    From September through April (except for a holiday evening event in December), InterCom hosts monthly bring-your-lunch meetings for members and guests. With a focus on case studies and best practices, these sessions offer direct access to industry leaders and local experts who address a range of topics essential to communication success. Each event features networking opportunities as well. Upcoming events include: best-selling author of Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars, George Franklin, Feb. 10; and KVCC director of marketing Linda Depta, Marketing the KVCC Bronson Healthy Living


  • InterCom Holiday Gathering 2016

    InterCom Gathering for Holiday Cheer

    Come bid the year adieu while noshing and toasting with InterCom for our annual Holiday Gathering.

    Thursday, December 15, from 5 – 7 p.m.
    at The Union Cabaret and Grille
    125 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007

    Current members, past members and anyone interested in learning about the group are invited to enjoy: networking, free hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, door prizes, and a preview of InterCom’s spring lineup for its 2nd Friday Speaker’s Series kicking off January 13, 2017.

    Upcoming events include: a workshop with WMU and KVCC adjunct professor Raquel Binder, TED: Presenting You, Jan. 13, 2017; best-selling author of Raisin Bran and Other Cereal Wars, George Franklin, Feb. 10; and KVCC director of marketing Linda Depta, Marketing the KVCC Bronson Healthy Living Campus, March 10.

  • Take-Aways from the 2016 Election

    Take-Aways from the 2016 Election, Nov. 11

    By nearly every measure, the 2016 presidential election is one for the record books.

    Just three days after voting takes place, InterCom will host a discussion of the results with John A. Clark, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Western Michigan University for their 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series on Nov. 11 at 11:30 a.m. at KVCC’s Anna Whitten Hall. Read more

  • Design as a Change Agent, Oct. 14

    Communicating simply and effectively has never been more important or harder to achieve as the amount of human knowledge doubles every 13 months. As a result, the role of visual communication has never been more vital.
    “Designers are being asked to do more than amplify an organization’s message,” says Mark DeYoung, a graphic arts instructor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Center for New Media. “They’re tasked with solving problems. Designers today must be more accurate, and their solutions are typically much more involved than in the past.”

    DeYoung will explore the changing world of design — and design as a driver of change —at InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series on Oct.. 14 at 11:30 a.m. He’ll introduce the concept of service design and discuss the service-learning course he has developed for KVCC, called Design Crew. Read more

  • Bell’s Brewery Vice President Laura Bell Talks Innovation and Beer

    InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speakers Series on Sept. 9 —

    Kalamazoo, Mich. “ When Bell’s Brewery launched in 1985, Michigan’s craft brewing industry was virtually nonexistent. Three decades later, the industry has an economic impact of $1.85 billion (2014) and accounts for more than 200 breweries, according to the Michigan Brewers Guild. And Bell’s ” the company that started it all ” continues to be a leader in innovation. The company recently announced energy efficient upgrades that help power its plant with renewable energy.

    Laura Bell, Bell’s Vice President, will share insights about Bell’s passion for inspired innovation at InterCom’s 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series on Sept. 9 at 11:30 a.m.

    We’re really proud to be seen as an innovator in our industry, Bell says. With that comes a responsibility to continue to push for new ways to create a quality product while preserving our natural resources.

    According to its website, the 1985 Bell’s company launch marked the first time in 70 years that beer had been brewed in Kalamazoo. Today, more than two dozen breweries and restaurants produce craft beer. Discover Kalamazoo launched the Give a Craftâ„¢ beer trail in 2014 to support the industry and encourage tourism. The Michigan Brewers Guild estimates that more than 750 jobs in Michigan are directly related to craft beer, and more than 7,000 jobs support it.

    Bell’s is Michigan’s largest brewery by sales. Earlier this year, the company announced it would take its entire portfolio to Texas, which marks the eighth state Bell’s has added to its distribution. Others include Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Nebraska and West Virginia.

    Event Details

    The brown-bag lunchtime event begins at noon at Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Anna Whitten Hall, 202 N Rose St, Kalamazoo, 49007. It is free to InterCom members. Guests are asked to pay $10 at the door. Register at Eventbrite. Learn more at, “events.”

    About Laura Bell and Bell’s Brewery

    Now the seventh largest craft brewery in the United States, Bell’s began producing craft beer for the commercial market using a 15-gallon soup kettle in 1985. Today, Bell’s continues to innovate and expand under the leadership of Vice President Laura Bell, the daughter of founder Larry Bell. The company continues to grow and evolve, dedicated to its mission; to be fiercely independent, 100% family owned, deeply rooted to our community, committed to the environment and brewers of inspired beer. The company’s passion for inspired beer and its unique personality are expressed through its breweries and Eccentric Café. Connect with Bells at; @bellsbrewery;;;;

    Laura Bell is Vice President of Bell’s Brewery, Inc. A second-generation co-owner (Laura was just two months old when Larry Bell founded the brewery), she spent time working various odd jobs when she was younger like gluing labels to bottles and in the Eccentric Café’s kitchen while in high school. Laura officially started working at the brewery full-time in 2007 after graduating from Michigan State University. Since then, she has spent time in sales, all areas of beer production and built the marketing department from the ground up. She now oversees Business Insights, Government Compliance, Marketing, Sales and Specialty Brewing departments.