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  • Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

    February 9, join business coach and start-up expert Melissa Angel, owner of BizCoach, for a workshop on the finer points of thinking and acting like an entrepreneur.

    Whether you’re building your career as a top employee, or you’ve ventured out on your own to build a business, an entrepreneurial mindset is essential for success in today’s market. This workshop will help participants understand the principles of entrepreneurship — innovation, continuous improvement, collaborating for success and doing work you love. They’ll consider their own career goals and objectives, identify opportunities for growth, and learn to eliminate obstacles that may be keeping them from achieving their full potential.

    Over the course of nearly two decades as a top business advisor, Melissa Angel has helped hundreds of individuals and small businesses start or expand successful companies. She’ll walk participants through the same process she uses with her clients to make changes quickly and create a strategy for growth and success.

  • Career Planning Strategy Workshop–January 12

    Our January 2nd-Friday event — January 12 —is a special career planning strategy workshop. Sign up here! We’ll explore “Top Trends Driving Change in Communication” that you need to know about as you plot your professional path. Whether you’re building a consulting business or climbing the corporate ladder, we’ll discuss what changes are occurring, what skills and abilities those changes demand, and what you’ll need to think about to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Do you know where that is?

    Accord to Stephen Covey, the first habit of successful people is the habit of choice. In other words, set your intention and plan your path. Virginia Tech emeritus professor Dave Kohl says it is not enough to know where you are going, you must write it down. According to Kohl’s research, people who write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don’t. That’s a pretty significant difference.

    If you’re not sure how to start Right Management — in its career transitions workshop — suggests seven steps for successful career planning:

    1. Take a personal inventory that includes identifying past successes, current strengths, work style and what you like/don’t like about various work opportunities (like working in a group or alone.) In other words, where are you, where do you want to be, what current skills to you have and what skills will you need to acquire?
    2. Refine your career objectives with focused goals. Want to be the next Jeff Bezos? Exactly how are you going to do that? Bezos knew Amazon would initially lose money. And he had a clear and realistic plan for how long that might take and what he would do next.
    3. Package yourself. That means a resume for career climbing and a branded business plan for start-ups. And don’t forget to tailor brand “you” to fit your success goals. The way you look, talk and generally present yourself matters.
    4. Create a marketing strategy for getting from here to there. Who are the audiences you need to influence? How will you promote yourself?
    5. Build a business network. InterCom is one clear choice. There are others, too.
    6. Polish your interviewing or pitching skills.
    7. Be thorough and persistent. (And we would add determined and disciplined.)

    If you’re serious about changing your career destiny in 2018, these seven steps are a great starting point. We’d like to suggest that you at least consider them before joining us for our Top Trends workshop.  Once you know where you’re going, InterCom would love to join you on your journey. We strive to tailor our speaker and workshop content to meet members’ professional development needs. And we can also connect you with the best local resources as you manage your career or grow your business. Our goal is to be a part of your professional development and success. We’re excited at the prospect and we hope you are too!

  • InterCom Gathering for Holiday Cheer

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

    Thursday, December 14, from 5:30 – 7:00 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, and a preview of InterCom’s spring lineup for its 2nd Friday Speaker’s Series kicking off January 12, 2018.

     

  • InterCom 2nd Friday Event: The Customer’s Journey

    Join us for our November 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series with Eric Hultgren from MLive Media Group

    The Customer’s Journey – Using the tools and tactics of the modern marketing arsenal to find where your customers actually are and turning them from customers to advocates by making the marketing about them.

    About Eric

    A driven market leader focusing on how human beings can connect pragmatically using technologies available right now. In addition to being the director of social media and content marketing for the MLive Media Group and Advance Midwest, he is an adjunct professor of mass media, CEO of a charity that helps at-risk kids experience the performing arts called Now Playing and nationally recognized podcast host. For Eric, “everything is marketing” is not just a catchphrase, but a lens through which he views the world around him.

    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.

     

     

    Thank you to our November event sponsors: 

     

  • How to Have a Hard Conversation

    InterCom 2nd Friday Event: How to Have a Hard Conversation

    Join us on October 13 for our 2nd Friday Speakers’ Series with Larry Pfaff.

    Midwest nice isn’t a compliment. It suggests the inability to speak directly with grace and tact when difficult topics come up. Firing someone. Asking for a raise. Asking for the sale. Failing to address tough issues can hold you back professionally and may be affecting your team or organization’s ability to reach its full potential. Dr. Larry Pfaff will lead us in a workshop discussion on “How to have a hard conversation.”
     About Larry Pfaff
    Larry Pfaff, Executive, Career and Lifestyle Coach, Executive Consulting, Professor
    Larry is a licensed professional counselor, a professor, and author with master and doctorate degrees in counseling. Since 1980, he’s worked extensively in the area of career development, employee development and selection. He is a pioneer in the implementation of 360-degree feedback systems and has authored several books on the topic. He also created the SELECTPro® system, a method of conducting behavior-based interviewing of job candidates. His materials have been used at more than two hundred organizations worldwide.

    We’ll gather to network around 11:30 and start at noon with the presentation.

    Register at https://how-to-have-hard-conversations.eventbrite.com.

    We’ll gather to network around 11:30 and start at noon.

    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.

    Thank you to our October Sponsors:
  • kalamazoo-downtown-studio1

    2nd Friday Speakers’ Series: WOTV in Kalamazoo

    Join us on September 15 for our first 2nd Friday (though technically it’s the 3rd Friday) Speakers’ Series with Kevin from WOTV!

    WOTV began broadcasting from its downtown Kalamazoo studio in the Comerica Building, overlooking Bronson Park, in April. We’ll learn about the station’s plans for local coverage, why WOTV felt it was important to have an office here, and how we can best work with reporters and sales staff. – Kevin Ferrara, WOTV Director of Operations

    Kevin Ferrara is the director of operations for Wood TV8, an affiliate of Nexstar Media Group since January. The station also operates the ABC affiliate WOTV 4, branded as WOTV 4 women, and a MyNetwork affiliate of WXSP TV. The company’s Kalamazoo broadcast location was one of several changes made this year. The network also added a studio inside the Grand Rapids Art Museum, in downtown Grand Rapids.

    Register at https://intercom-with-wotv.eventbrite.com.

    We’ll gather to network around 11:30 and start at noon with the presentation “WOTV in Kalamazoo.” Don’t miss this conversation with Kevin Ferrara.

    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 www.InterComKalamazoo.com/events

  • 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 InterComKalamazoo.com: 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 www.InterComKalamazoo.com: 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 https://cerealwars.eventbrite.com.

    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 www.InterComKalamazoo.com/events