If you’ve been in Boulder for any period of time, chances are high you’ve been shopping at the 29th Street Mall. Much more than just a mall, 29th Street is a community destination for some awesome events like the Bolder Boulder, live music concerts in the summer and Miracle on 29th Street featuring the Christmas tree lighting with Santa.
As Senior Marketing Manager for the 29th Street, Kate Honea is one of the people who makes the mall more than just a shopping center. From overseeing the advertising of 29th Street as a whole, organizing PR and community relations, to scheduling events throughout the year, Honea constantly juggles her responsibilities, helping to make 29th Street a solid participant in Boulder’s community lifestyle.
Born and raised in Niwot, Honea graduated CU-Boulder with a degree in Fine Arts, with an emphasis in Drawing. Not convinced that she was going to continue as an artist in her career path, Honea pursued other career options after graduating college.
“I was looking for a marketing position or possibly something in advertising. I felt that would be a solid career path but one that you could still use your creative side to some extent.”
After finishing school, Honea was hired on as an Assistant Marketing Manager with Macerich, a company that manages retail properties across the West and for two properties in Santa Barbara, CA. Honea spent six years in California before moving back to Boulder in summer 2011 to take on the role of Senior Marketing Manager for the 29th Street and Flatirons Malls.
As Senior Marketing Manager for a very active retail community, Honea’s job both challenges and rewards her given the constantly shifting nature and the many aspects and responsibilities demanded of her in the role.
“At the beginning of the day, I have my list of things to do, but at the end of the day, it’s gone in so many different directions that only half the list has gotten done, but you’re still accomplishing things. Being responsible for so many avenues, every day is different. It’s one of the things that I’ve loved about this job.”
Despite the constantly changing nature of her job and the challenges that go along with managing such a large property, Honea says she is most rewarded by the knowledge that the malls become part of each town’s culture.
“The shopping centers I’ve been able to work with, they’re not just a place for people to go and shop and buy things, they really add value to that community whether it’s through outreach and sponsorships or events like having Santa light the big tree at Christmas, or the fundraising we do to benefit the area.
29th Street has many events hosted throughout the course of the year including the Boulder Home and Garden Show, Summer Concert Series, Fight Fire with Beer festival, Paris Street Markets, and in the winter, Miracle on 29th Street with Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting.
Honea’s favorite event? The 29th Street’s Summer Concert Series, this year featuring That 80’s Band, Chase N’ The Dream, Quemando Salsa and others.
“The concerts are fun,” Honea says. “Boulder is a community that really appreciates live music. Last year we had participation from local breweries, and this year we’re getting food trucks to join us. It has a very Boulder feel to it.”
Each month during the Concert Series, proceeds from the concerts will benefit a different non-profit.
As for her involvement with 2140, Honea and her husband have been actively involved in the organization ever since coming back to Boulder in 2011, attending happy hours and networking events.
“2140 has been great both personally and professionally. Personally it’s been great because you’re looking to meet other young people who are doing the same kinds of things you’re doing, and professionally it’s all about establishing relationships and building connections with other leaders in the community.”
Looking forward, Honea is very excited for Trader Joe’s to open (hopefully in October!), continuing to grow community relationships with new vendors, 29th Street’s event lineup, and continuing to build relationships personally and professionally through 2140.
What’s it like to network for a living? Margo Pergola, Community Relationship Manager at the American Cancer Society, could certainly tell you all about that. Her job involves meeting people and engaging the community.
With cancer affecting one in three people, and Pergola’s family not unaffected by cancer, she knew it would be easy to be passionate about working for an organization like the American Cancer Society. What appealed to her most about the position was the ability to get out in the community, talk with other people and form relationships with others through her work. It was right up her alley.
With a background in sales and event planning in the wedding industry, and an infectious positive personality, it’s easy to see where Pergola would excel in this position. Her tasks range from organizing event venues, recruiting volunteers, and coordinating sponsorships, and she is constantly on the move.
“My days are very busy. I’m juggling a lot of projects at any one time.”
Two to three days a week, Pergola goes out into the community, hers being the Boulder area and CU-Boulder, in order to spread the word about the many services and programs offered by the American Cancer Society.
“I network in order to find people interested in Relay for Life, our biggest fundraiser for ACS, and in order to find participants and volunteers for our committees. So much of my job is not about what you know, it’s about who you know.”
Pergola has a talent for putting together successful volunteer teams and committees and takes great pride in seeing the work that those volunteers are able to accomplish.
“I work hard to find people, finding those – right – people and seeing them all come together to do their thing. I’m rewarded in knowing that I put them all together, that it’s something I had a hand in. [It’s about] getting the right people together and watching magic happen.”
How has Boulder 2140 helped you?
Pergola joined Boulder 2140 just over four months ago, but she readily admits that it is one of her favorite groups.
“My very first luncheon with 2140, I’ve never felt so comfortable. I felt like I was meeting people who just wanted to be my friend. I never once had to talk about my own business to socialize. After that first luncheon, I remember me and four other girls hugging because we had become friends.”
Since then, Pergola has gone to many other 2140 events, networking and engaging with other young professionals in the organization, and even within the community. Pergola is encouraged by those attending 2140 and Chamber events; emphasizing the importance of networking and getting to know others in the community.
“The more people you know, the more successful you’ll be. You can learn a lot from people. That’s why it’s important to be involved with something like 2140. The more contacts you have, the more you know about things on in the community. For these reasons and many more, you should be involved in networking.
What’s ahead for you and the American Cancer Society?
Relay for Life is THE big event for the American Cancer Society and we’re always looking for volunteers and those interested in forming a team. If you are interested in participating in the Boulder area Relay for Life or forming a team, the event will be July 26-27 starting at 6 p.m. at Potts Field. More information can also be found at www.relayforlife.com/boulderco
Despite only being a Boy Scout for one day, Jarret Roberts has had a love for the outdoors since he was little. Roberts was born and raised in Boulder, Colorado and some of his favorite childhood memories consist of hiking in the foothills behind his parent’s house near NCAR, visits to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park, and fishing.
In 2009, Roberts heard from one of his friends in the Student Conservation Assocation about a seasonal position opening up at Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. His previous experience and knowledge from working with the City of Boulder Junior Rangers and SCA gave Roberts an edge and he got the job with WRV.
“WRV is a lot like the Junior Ranger program, but on a much larger scale,” Roberts said. “Change [that] happens in a weekend would take three to four months with the Junior Ranger program.”
Reaching out to over 5,000 people, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers is a non-profit organization that provides an opportunity for people to come together, learn about their natural environment, and take direct action to restore and care for the land.
Today, Roberts is the Community Programs Director for WRV, a position that incorporates training, project planning and marketing. As a relatively small non-profit, WRV trains and positions their volunteers as leaders within the organization.
“We rely on volunteer leadership. Fifty percent of what WRV does is community building, training people and giving them skills so that the community itself can do the restoration. The other fifty percent of the time is spent with on-the-ground projects.”
Running over 75 projects each season, WRV hosts 12-20 volunteer training sessions each spring, helping to train volunteers as crew leaders, those helping to lead the volunteer groups; tool managers who manage the tools and equipment; project leaders, those helping to run the projects who, when trained will run up to eighty to ninety percent of the projects; technical advisors, who are the ones who plan and design the actual projects, and cooks.
Because WRV relies so heavily on volunteer interaction and leadership, Roberts admits that no day is ever the same.
“There is no typical day, which is part of what I love about this job. We all work crazy, crazy hours because we’re working a lot with volunteers. Probably a third to half my weekends I’m doing something and a lot of evenings, which is really cool because it gives me flexibility to take off and go for a hike in the morning.”
Of course, being so passionate about the work that he does, it’s easy for Roberts to find things he enjoys about WRV.
“Working with WRV, most of us love the outdoors or appreciate them, and we get a benefit from the land, but the land doesn’t benefit from us using it. It’s a one-way street. This is one of the few opportunities where it’s beneficial for the land; it’s a symbiotic relationship. I get to see growth in the environment and growth in people. When those two things are put together, that’s an unbelievably powerful thing.”
Looking to the future, Roberts is really excited to further developing the Youth Program within WRV. In the past three years, they’ve come from bare bones to engaging over 500 youth a year, doing 10-15 projects with them. Wildlands Restoration Volunteers is also excited about becoming a bigger presence statewide, expanding their network and connections in Colorado. For more info about getting involved with Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, visit their website.
A Conversation with Ashley Strandburg, Studio Manager at Mighty
For some people, working on new natural foods labels for retail mega-giant Wal-Mart, making edits to a new web app, and then posting a spoof video of Pearl Street clipboard campaigners may seem like a far stretch in your job duties. For Mighty Fudge Studios Manager Ashley Strandburg, it’s all in a day’s work.
Growing up, Georgia native Strandburg was passionate about dance and had performed with the Atlanta Ballet throughout high school. Originally a dance major in college, Strandburg rethought her major to reﬂect her long-term career plans. Inspired by her mother, she changed her path to advertising.
“She thought it would be a really great ﬁt with my creativity, my organizational skills and my attention to detail,” Strandburg explained. After graduating from the University of Georgia with her Advertising bachelors in 2005, Strandburg went on to work with several prominent creative agencies in the Atlanta area before ﬁnally coming to Boulder in 2011.
Soon after she arrived in Colorado in 2010, Strandburg accepted a position with Mighty Fudge Studios, a small creative agency specializing in 2D animation, mobile app development, branding, packaging and illustration.
The studio manager, Strandburg explained, is not a position you’d typically ﬁnd at other advertising agencies. Her role as account manager, project manager and employee manager, consists of duties such as managing the accounts, budgets and timeframes, communicating with clients, working with the Mighty Fudge creative team and making sure that the client’s expectations are met with the ﬁnal product. “It’s all-encompassing of everything I do,” she said.
When asked about her favorite part about working with Mighty Fudge, Strandburg readily admitted that her coworkers and her clients are a major part of what she loves most about her job. “I love the people. I have some really good people that I work with, the staff is great and I really enjoy the clients. It’s such a wide variety of work.”
Interestingly enough, one of Mighty Fudge’s clients is Wal-Mart, which has also presented its own challenges to Strandburg and her coworkers, given the outspoken attitudes Boulder residents have towards the retail mega-store. “We do a lot of work for Wal-Mart and their private label brands, which is awesome. It’s kind of hard to work for Wal-Mart in a town like this, but actually, they’re becoming more focused on fresh ingredients and good-for-you food.” That obviously ﬁts very well within the Boulder scene.
In the two years she’s been at Mighty Fudge, Strandburg said her portfolio has vastly expanded to include mobile app development, branding and packaging. “At the other agencies I worked at, I was really focused on online work, like banner ads, websites and landing pages. It’s been a good change for me to come here and increase my repertoire of what I can do and projects that I can manage.
Having worked at two corporate agencies before her time at Mighty Fudge, Strandburg says the work environment has also contributed to her success here in Boulder. “The agencies that I worked for in Atlanta were very corporate, and it was very much a corporate environment. We want to have fun because that shows in our work. If you’re not having fun, you’re not making good work and you’re not coming up with good ads. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
While Strandburg says that the most challenging part of her job has been negotiating and managing budgets, she also said that she has grown a lot through those challenges; she’s learned how to communicate with people in a variety of situations.
One of the things that drew Strandburg to Mighty Fudge and Boulder was the casual lifestyle and the appreciation for the work-life balance, as opposed to the fast-paced, work-centered office environment at the agencies she had previously worked at in Atlanta. Part of that work-life balance Strandburg has embraced since coming to Boulder has been attending many of Boulder 2140’s events including happy hours and networking events. “It’s a great group of people and it’s a really good way to meet people in the community and see what they’re interested in and what they’re doing. The events are good networking opportunities and you guys always throw really good parties.”
Having fun, sharing creativity and putting in hard work sounds like it has paid off for Ashley Strandburg and for Mighty Fudge Studios. That balance of work and play is what makes Boulder an amazing place to for young professionals to thrive. We here at Boulder 2140 wish Ashley all the best in her career and hope to continue providing that sense of social camaraderie and professional growth that she and other local young professionals seek. If you’d like to meet Ashley and our other inspiring members, join us at an upcoming Boulder 2140 event!
A Conversation with Sarah Schupp, Founder of University Parent Media
CU graduate makes ’30 Coolest Entrepreneurs Under 30’ list with revolutionary business
Written by Amanda Barrell
Parents sending their children off to college can find this a very daunting mission. Whether students are going 20 minutes or 2,000 miles away, parents are often unaware of the resources available to their students at school. While eager high school seniors have a lot to look forward to with the new and exciting experiences of college, parents are left wondering how they can help once their kids aren’t at home anymore. Many parents struggle in toeing the line between being overbearing “helicopter parents,” hovering over the student’s every move, or giving too much distance while their student struggles to adapt to life at college.
Sarah Schupp, a Dallas native, and her family had been coming to Colorado for vacations and ski trips for years before she decided to attend college at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2000. As a student, Schupp specialized in the marketing and entrepreneurship management program through CU’s Leeds School of Business and participated in the President’s Leadership Class.
During her time at CU, Schupp noticed a gap in the information about resources that help parents support their students while at school. With this in mind, Schupp, along with a few of her entrepreneurship program classmates, found the inspiration to make a change. For her senior project, Schupp created a resource for parents called University Parent Media to help inform them about everything from tuition deadline dates and financial aid to restaurants, activities and other things to do in their student’s college town.
Schupp acknowledged that starting UPM had its share of seemingly insurmountable problems. From HR issues to increasing cash flow, Schupp faced no shortage of challenges, but she overcame them through perseverance.
“I just had to keep going and overcoming small obstacles,” Schupp said.
Despite the challenges and setbacks, Schupp had a clear passion and dedication for the goal that she and University Parent Media were working toward, which ultimately led to UPM’s success.
Young professionals in the Boulder area can learn a lot from the example set by Schupp’s dedication to University Parent Media. Given the nature of her company, it is essential for Schupp to reach out and interact with members of the communities which UPM features. Schupp works with university officials to engage with local community resources to provide material for each edition of the guidebook.
Additionally, Schupp and her team work with various local businesses in order to build solid relationships and facilitate advertising sales for the guidebooks. Her largest advertisers are local hotels and Dell Inc.
Eight years after its founding, University Parent Media now reaches over 200 campuses and millions of parents every year, with new schools being added every month. UPM has published guidebooks, an email newsletter, and a new website with helpful information for parents.
“It’s so exciting,” said Schupp. “90% of the time our work is changing, but I’m rewarded in hearing the impact UPM has had on parents, schools, and the local community.”
In 2011, ColoradoBiz Magazine chose the company as one of the Top 100 Women-Owned Colorado Businesses. In 2012, Inc. Magazine featured UPM on their “30 Under 30” list of America’s coolest young entrepreneurs.
Schupp credits her staff with the company’s success: “I’m really proud of our team. We rely on everyone’s contribution to make us successful.”
Learning about the university system has been one of the biggest accomplishments since starting the business. “I’ve gotten to learn about how higher education works,” said Schupp. From the admissions process and financial aid to extracurricular activities and weekend events around town, Schupp has gained unique knowledge about all facets of university life.
“I recently attended a conference put on by AHEPPP (the Association of Higher Education Parent/Family Program Professionals), and it was really interesting to get an inside view of the challenges facing schools,” said Schupp.
Looking to the future, Schupp and University Parent Media continually strive for ways to achieve their goals and increase their presence at schools across the country. In December they will launch a brand new mobile website, in addition to bringing on new schools every month. Schupp’s other goals for University Parent Media include providing information for 1,000 schools across the country, increasing their email list to one million recipients and making it onto Inc. Magazine’s “5,000 Top Fastest Growing Companies” list.
In just over four weeks, Boulder’s network of inspiring young professionals is hosting Spark! It’s Boulder 2140′s exclusive event of the year where participants will get exposed to the likes of the city’s most visionary leaders in effective marketing. In this month’s piece, however, we’re featuring none of these persuasive minds. We want to bring across the significance of Spark! and highlight the network of professionals who are participating, so we invited a major event producer to help make this event an admirable exchange of ideas. This October we’re shining the spotlight on Ron Bostwick, a freelance event and music project producer, who accepted the invite to host Spark! He will also be our guest blogger to introduce the event’s power influencers.
Bostwick has respectable experiences in media and precious talent to connect with his audiences. It forms the foundation for the successful rise of radio hosts which helped bring about his involvement with the local station KBCO-FM and the Boulder International Film Festival including talks with Hollywood stars such as James Franco, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, and Chevy Chase. Throughout my own conversation with Bostwick I wanted to study his alluring quality of voice and manner of captivating his audience. In fact, our 60 minutes became a timeless account of Bostwick’s fascinating journey and I was convinced — this is the guy to host Boulder 2140′s Spark!Read More»
Boulder 2140 doubled-up on its Day in the Life interview for September! This month we met with Jack Jostes and Chris Woodley who own Ramblin Jackson together, a local multimedia and branding agency. Together they offer specialized services in wordsmithing, video wrangling, and webmastery. With more than 4 billion hours of video watched online every month, it’s essential to develop a competent marketing strategy. Rest assured, Jostes & Woodley will make your next campaign a fun success.Read More»
Recently on a Sunday morning, I was enchanted by a local chocolate boutique, Piece, Love & Chocolate. There’s a rich chocolate aroma that welcomes you into this place with plenty of character. Chocolate aromas can be overpowering, but the experience in this boutique has been carefully balanced, explained Sarah Amorese, better known as Madame Chocolat. Lively and elegant tunes pick you right up and take you to the retail side of the chocolaterie, where you get an entertaining look at how diverse chocolate can be. Everything in the store has to do with chocolate, love, or both. You’ll find chocolate pasta, popcorn, tortilla chips, coffee, and unique items such as Chocolate-opoly, the alternate version of the popular board game Monopoly!Read More»
This month, Boulder 2140 is excited to give Ross Nicholls of BBVA Compass a warm welcome to the community. Upon the offer of a job promotion, Nicholls – moved from Flagstaff, Arizona to Colorful Colorado and has just counted his sixth month living at the foot of the Flatirons. We extended an invitation to discuss chapters of his fascinating life.Read More»
There’s no doubt about it , Boulder is home to tech’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. And, though the same may be said about Silicon Valley, what sets Boulder techies apart are their passion for great food and their delicate palates. It appears Boulderites have gusto for great-tasting cuisine and cocktails, which is surely the reason why delicious local restaurants are abound. This combination of visionary minds and culinary arts stretches far outside our cities boundaries as well. So, I set foot on a quest into downtown Denver and discovered an innovative kitchen which opens its doors this month!Read More»