All posts in Event preview

  • 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.


  • Aug. 25, 6-8:30 pm: Breaking the News Part 2 explores challenges & solutions for local news coverage

    Kalamazoo County is not alone. Communities across the state and the nation are challenged with the same dilemma: How do we get reliable news and information about what’s happening in our community? In May, we dug into this issue from a state perspective. On Aug. 25, we’re bringing community-level media folks and communication professionals together to discuss challenges specific to our region. We’ll meet at the Fetzer Center from 6-8:30 p.m. for a fast-paced workshop event. Please join us!

    This is an opportunity to continue the conversation at ground level. Who is covering what in Greater Kalamazoo? Are there gaps? How do we make sure citizens are fully informed about local events and issues? Using a World Café-style approach, everyone will get a chance to tackle these tough questions and blue-sky new solutions.

    Because this is the first event of its kind in Kalamazoo, we’re getting inquiries about what the experience might be like. So here we’ve answered the top 10 questions about it:

    1. How is this different from the Breaking the News event I attended in May?

    Our first event gave us a big-picture understanding of why the news landscape is changing. At our Aug. 25 discussion, we want to identify specific local challenges and opportunities for positive changes.

    1. What is a World Café`-style event?

    Wikipedia refers to the World Café approach as an intimate discussion by a large group. We’ll gather at small tables to share ideas around big questions. Then we’ll roll out those conversations to the larger room.

    1. Will I get a chance to connect with people before and after the event?

    We’ve built networking into the pre-event schedule. You can enjoy free appetizers, sweets and a cash bar, too.

    1. Will I have to speak?

    Only if you want to. You can come and listen. But we bet you won’t. The intimate discussion style of the World Café approach is designed to draw impassioned input from the most introverted souls.

    1. I belong to a local nonprofit. Why would I attend?

    It’s more challenging than ever to get your story out into the community you serve. You’ll learn which local media outlets target their news to your stakeholders and how to pitch your information successfully for coverage.

    1. I work for the media. What’s in this event for me?

    It’s a rare chance for publishers and broadcasters to meet collectively with their stakeholders in Greater Kalamazoo. This is your opportunity to talk about:

    • Your outlet’s unique role in local news
    • How changes in the media industry have affected your organization
    • How communications professionals can work with you to keep the community informed and our media organizations thriving.
    1. I’m a communications professional ” photographer, writer, social media specialist ” should I come?

    Yes! You’ll be better informed about the news media operating in our community (some you probably didn’t know about!) ” and better positioned to do great work for your employer or clients.

    1. What good do you think will come from this event?

    No matter what happens to our news landscape, connecting professionals around a shared issue of concern is a constructive step forward. We also plan to develop a Media Landscape Map as a follow-up to this event. With this tool, communicators will know which media to pitch and media folks will know what opportunities exist for expanded reach ” and they can tell advertisers where to find their customers.

    1. Why do I have to pay to attend?

    We’d love to offer the event free of charge, but we have to cover the cost of the venue and the food. We’ve kept our pricing low to do that. InterCom is subsidizing a portion of the event as well.

    1. Do I have to be a member of InterCom?

    No. But you may find that events like this ” and our series of 2nd Friday Speakers ” make membership a highly valuable bargain, at just $45 a year!










  • Help map the future of news coverage in Greater Kalamazoo

    Breaking the News Part Two:

    This August 25, InterCom continues our community conversation about the changing local news landscape. Breaking the News, Part Two is a solutions-focused, Kalamazoo-centered follow-up to our May panel discussion.

    Mapping local coverage

    At Part Two, participants will join Kalamazoo-area editors, publishers and broadcasters in conversations about what topics and trends are being covered, what’s not, and how to address the gaps.

    Critical discussion, real impact

    This will be a fully interactive, facilitated session where all participants will have the opportunity to share what’s working and where there are opportunities for improvement.

    Join us!

    Our event begins at 6 p.m. with hot appetizers a cash bar. Cost is $20 for InterCom members, $25 non-members and $15 for students (ID required). Seats are limited, so register now to save your spot.



  • Top 5 InterCom-only membership benefits for pros in-the-know Join or renew today!

    If you could design a program to facilitate your professional development, what would it look like? In college, there were department chairs and program advisors who gave us guidance or a bit of insider intel. Resident assistants helped with roommate challenges or an awkward social situation. But how do you navigate your career?

    We hope one answer is InterCom. If you’ve been a member, it’s time to renew for 2016-2017. If you’re new to InterCom, it’s time to join the region’s only local association for communication professionals! Here are a few things you’ll find when you do.

    Networking is baked into every event

    We actually prefer the term community-building. We hope our members will develop professional friendships that last throughout their careers. Most of us are on our own at work. Few companies today have the luxury of employing a marketing or communications team. Who do you ask about the unique challenges of a particular software program or a hard-to-handle client? Or if you’re one of those lucky pros with a full-time, on-site job, where do you go to bounce ideas off others in the same boat? InterCom membership offers access to a community of professionals who may have just the answers and advice you need.

    Signature lunchtime events typify best practices in communication

    From launching a product to planning an event and talking like TED, our signature lunchtime speakers offer best practices and case studies in communication. Each 2nd Friday from September to November and January to April, local leaders share a behind-the-scenes perspective on the how-tos of effective communication. Always free to members, this layered approach also puts you in front of the people behind the events and organizations driving our region.

    NEW! Members-only private intel on local resources

    Starting this year, we’ve planned two behind-the-scenes tours for members. We’ll learn how to access and use local resources specific to communicators. Doing research? Want access to little-known databases or printing equipment? Join us for our members-only Private Access events.

    Talent directory and job postings

    Post your profile in the region’s only online directory of communication professionals. Learn about the latest job openings and gain access to available work through our network.

    Professional development

    InterCom membership offers a host of professional development opportunities. The sky’s the limit. If you’d like to build your leadership skills, our board of directors is a great way to get hands on experience. Don’t have too much time to spare? Consider helping with an event or program planning. And if you’re really limited on time but want to stay connected to your local colleagues, our social media and informal gatherings let you do just that.

    Only membership will make you a part of the InterCom community. Join or renew today!

    time to restart


  • Encore Lunchtime Event: World’s Best Commercials from Cannes

    As we wrap up our 2015-2016 season, we’ve got one more treat in store. Don’t miss our bonus June lunchtime event featuring the world’s best commercials from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, hosted by Azon and its director of marketing, InterCom member Nancy Peterson.

    Sit back, relax and enjoy funny and dramatic commercials from the world’s top creative talent. You’ll be inspired by these award-winning campaigns that always spark lively discussion and sometimes friendly debate. Our host is providing lunch. We’ll bring the popcorn!

    This event is FREE to InterCom members ($10/non-members).  Register today at our Eventbrite page.

    When & Where: 11:30 to 1 p.m. on Friday, June 10 at Azon’s iconic mid-century international style headquarters, 643 W. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.


    Current members: It’s time to renewNew to InterCom? Join for our 2016-2017 season and attend this event free.  Here’s a chance to start enjoying the benefits of membership and learn about next season’s programming. Check-out our line-up for 2016-2017 here.


  • InterCom presents BREAKING the NEWS, Part 1: Local story missing! Community seeks answers

    As the media industry continues to transition through technology, is Michigan at risk of losing local news coverage? While publishers change their focus to survive financially, how can we best support efficient access to current, accurate community news in Michigan? Can a community thrive without a robust source of local news? What does the future hold as we “break” the historical news model in our state? And when local publications downsize, how are communities handling the effects, from the loss of good jobs to the absence of a local watchdog and decreased coverage of public affairs — especially in a state ranked last in government transparency?

    InterCom is proud to present BREAKING the News, Part 1, a panel discussion and community conversation exploring these questions, on Thursday, May 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at WMU’s Fetzer Center. Register here.

    BREAKING the NEWS, Part 1, offers a forum to talk about local journalism statewide in a swiftly changing industry. Our hope is not to focus on the past, but to identity opportunities and solutions as we move forward together. We’ll continue the discussion in Part 2, set for Aug. 25, when we’ll take a more focused look at the Kalamazoo area, and how new and old media outlets are working to keep our local story alive. (Stay tuned for more information on Part 2.)

    Our moderator on May 19 is Anna Clark, Columbia Journalism Review correspondent for Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania and a 2011 Fulbright fellow.

    Panelists confirmed to date include:

    • Phil Power, Founder & Chairman, Center for Michigan/Bridge Magazine: The Center is a Ížthink-and-doÍŸ tank formed to encourage greater citizen understanding and involvement in Michigan policy issues.
    • Sarah Hulett, Assistant News Director, Michigan Radio: NPR news station serving 500,000 listeners across the Lower Peninsula.
    • Issue Media Group, Detroit: Publisher of online magazines in 21 regions across the U.S. and Canada, including Kalamazoo-based Second Wave Southwest Michigan.
    • Michael McCullough, General Manager & Executive Editor, Battle Creek Enquirer: A Gannett publication serving Calhoun County.

    DETAILS: Free parking at Fetzer Center. Appetizers served; cash bar available. Admission: $20 InterCom members; $25 non-members; $15 students. Sponsorships are available for $100, which includes one free admission, your logo prominently displayed on all materials and the opportunity to showcase your signage and handouts at the event. For more information, contact Curtis Cunningham.

    Register for BREAKING the News at

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?  Everyone who values an informed community; anyone with an interest in Michigan media; those with messages that need to be heard locally: educators, non-profits, artists, event managers, small businesses, associations, public service providers, local government, etc. “ as well as media and communications professionals exploring new models for getting local news out.