834 Design & Marketing is named in honor of the first home its founder, Kim Bode, ever owned. Through dogged determination and unparalleled energy, she’s spent the last five years building a full service yet nimble firm with a stellar line-up of professionals. Along the way, 834 has also demonstrated a commitment to the next generation of public relations and marketing professionals with a robust intern program. Today, the agency has over 30 years of combined expertise delivering exceptional marketing communications.
Located in the historic Grand Rapids Furniture Building nestled on the city’s Westside, the 834 offices are decorated to reflect our beginnings with casual, comfortable, home-like surroundings and the occasional dog greeting guests at the door.
Kim Bode – Boss Lady, Sassy Entrepreneur, Parade Marshall of 834 & Caffeine Pusher
Kim Bode is the Principal of 834 Design, an award-winning Communication Strategy, Event Planning, Social Media, Media Relations and Design firm located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was borne from Kim’s passion for communications and over a decade of experience in strategic planning, marketing communications, public relations, event planning, and community outreach.
A graduate of Grand Valley State University, Bode received her degree in communications and then began working as the Director of Marketing for the GVSU-affiliated start-up, the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative.
Bode is a two-time Grand Rapids Business Journal “Forty under 40” nominee and was profiled as one of Grand Rapids Magazine’s Influential Women. In addition, she is a graduate of the Center of Community Leadership’s “Inside Grand Rapids” program, a 2009 and 2013 Athena Award nominee and most recently graduated from the Grand Rapids Chamber and Huntington Bank’s Rising Women Leaders program.
An in-demand speaker, Bode has presented on social media strategy, engagement, measurement and policy for organizations including the Michigan Association of CPAs, Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs, Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Kalamazoo Chamber and more.
Somehow Kim finds time in her schedule to co-host the monthly radio show “Your Biz, Your Town” with WGVU’s Shelley Irwin on 88.5 FM the fourth Friday of every month, as well as serve on the Kent County Parks Foundation board and co-chair the Humane Society’s annual event, Paws, Claws & Corks.
Kim currently resides in the Grand Rapids community with her husband Josh and her four rescue dogs, Bentley, Murphy, Apollo and Jimmy.
Kim’s extracurricular activities include:
- Co-chair, Inforum West Michigan Small Business & Entrepreneurship Affinity Group
- Leadership Council, SBAM
Adrienne Wallace – Director, Chief Do-Gooder, Intern Wrangler & 834 “Mom”
Adrienne Wallace is an enthusiastic communicator with extensive experience in both the public and private sectors ranging in scope from nonprofit, health and education to government, politics and finance. She currently serves as 834 Design & Marketing’s Digital Director, Program Director and head geekette.
Adrienne earned a bachelors in health communications and public relations, a masters in communications and a second masters in public administration, all from Grand Valley State University (GVSU). She is currently a public policy PhD student at Western Michigan University (WMU) with a particular fondness for public affairs studies.
Adrienne is also a visiting professor at GVSU in the School of Communications where she teaches Public Relations, Argumentative Analysis, Social Media and Emerging Communication Technologies and serves at the will of the GVSU PRSSA chapter and the university’s student run PR firm, GrandPR. She is a published author, amateur chef and photographer, and friend to animals. She maintains a vegan-ish food blog (fun!) and a blog on public policy (serious).
As a lifelong learner, Adrienne seeks to monitor trends and analyze unique intersections of technology with relationships of all kinds. She is particularly fascinated in social movements partnered with technology as they champion noble causes. Adrienne is a social-change leader, Grand Rapids Westsider, wife to tech/PR geek Derek DeVries and mother to rescue pups Walter, Porter and Bosley.
If you are into the glimmer and glamour of awards, Adrienne has a few laying around:
- Michigan Political Leadership Program (MSU) Fellow
- 2015 GVSU Career Services Internship Supervisor of the Year
- Leadership Holland alumnae
- Named to the Lakeshore Forty Under 40
- Honored as a “Woman of Influence” by I Magazine
- Honored as a finalist for the West Michigan Woman Magazine inaugural cover girl
- Received Michigan Recreation and Parks Association “Best New Professional” and “Media Advocate” awards
- 2012 and 2013 Young Athena Award finalist
- Named West Michigan’s Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
- 2012 Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Advocate Award finalist
- 2013 WMPRSA Newcomer Award winner
- Rising Women Leaders Alumnae through the Grand Rapids Center for Community Leadership
She sits on the GVSU Social Media Advocacy Council and GVSU Alumni Board of Directors, serves as faculty adviser for GVSU PRSSA and GrandPR, is a member of the Michigan Nonprofit Administration, board member for West Michigan Public Relations Society of America, member of Public Relations Society of America, founding member of GVSU Alumni Steering Committee for the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration, Michigan State Board of Foster Care, Blandford Nature Center Marketing Committee, and proudly serves at the will of Alex Beaton on the Board of Advisers for The Awesome Mitten
Rebecca Dutcher – Director, Web Division, Self-proclaimed Marketing Nerd, Gym Rat & Google Stalker Certified
Rebecca is a self-proclaimed #MarketingNerd. She embraces the hashtag proudly. She has extensive experience in digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) or getting to the top of Google as most people say and website development. Technical enough to be dangerous, she can take what the client wants their website to do and make it happen. From requirements gathering, technical specifications and using the Web to improve your business Rebecca will make it happen.
Rebecca has a B.A. in marketing and a minor in international business from Davenport University. Her career includes marketing and branding from the client side of business, as well as the ad agency side. She’s spent years in the digital world including director of business development for Mindscape at Hanon McKendry and most recently Senior Account Executive for BluFish Consulting in Marshall MI. Rebecca is the current Board President for the American Marketing Association of West Michigan and a board member for Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW).
Don’t let all this techy, marketing stuff fool you. Rebecca is also a gym rat who gets up insanely early to do things like boxing, P90x, TRX and circuit training. Yep, she’s crazy enough to fit right in here.
When not participating in marketing nerdery or pushing herself to the limits, you might find her hanging with her guys – her husband, Steve and son, Brett. And, we wouldn’t be 834 if we didn’t mention she has 2 fur kids, her dogs Rhino and Leena.
Chantell ‘Telly’ LaForest – Project Manager, Unicorn in Chief, Disney Afficionado & Drum Major
Chantell ‘Telly’ LaForest is an Upper Peninsula native who moved to Grand Rapids in June 2013 after earning a bachelors degree in public relations from Central Michigan University. As a student, she served as the 2011-2012 president for the University’s To Write Love on Her Arms chapter and completed internships with CMU Career Services and His House Christian Fellowship, where she sang on the worship team for two years. She is also a certified wedding planner.
Telly joined the 834 team in September 2013 as a project coordinator and became our first ‘official employee’ at the start of 2014. As our project manager, she serves as the in-house writer, event coordinator and “whatever-else-needs-to-be-done’er.” She served on the American Marketing Association of West Michigan’s communications committee for the past year and will assume the role of VP of Communications for the 2015-2016 season. She also makes a mean pot of coffee for never drinking a drop.
Telly is mother to three plush, snuggly Pillow Pets and big sister to Olivia Mae. She has a fountain Coco-Cola permanently glued to her hand, sings more than she speaks and maintains sarcasm is her second language. Telly also enjoys binging Netflix in oversized sweatshirts, the cracking of a new book’s spine, attending local theatre productions, exceptional punctuation and grammar, and a Saturday morning trip to the farmers market.
Marie Brown, Creative Director & Image Capturer
Marie joined the 834 team as our Creative Director in May 2014 after spending a semester internship with us as a design associate. What can we say… we get all the best associates. Marie hails from the east side of the state, in Shelby Township, Michigan but moved to the west side to attend Grand Valley State University and is here to stay. She graduated from GVSU with Bachelors Degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design and minors in Public Relations/ Advertising and Business. She is a gifted photographer often snapping up pictures of our office space, people and places she visits. Marie is now the Education Director of AIGA West Michigan, the professional organization of designers.
You can always hear Marie playing music in the office, singing (about one key off), humming or whistling. We like to blame it on her creative nature; something always has to be happening in the background for her concentration.
Marie enjoys rock climbing, though sadly she has never climbed in the great outdoors. She will gladly act out any of her favorite routes currently at the gym if you ask. Trust us – we’ve seen it many times. She loves being outdoors and enjoys backpacking and camping trips on the regular. Seriously – her senior thesis project was a survival guide booklet.
Allison Alderink, Project Coordinator, Ray of Sunshine & Little Dutch Girl
Ally enjoys the local-Grand Rapids food and beer scene, going for the occasional jog around Reed’s lake and trotting across the globe. She has an addiction to Instagram, fresh-cut flowers and, unfortunately for her checking account, everything Kate Spade.
Lauren Krzesicki, Project Coordinator, Fashionista & Newly Minted Westsider
Lauren is a Grand Valley State University graduate with degree in Advertising and Public Relations and an accompanying minor in Hospitality. She first joined the 834 team at the beginning of 2015 with a semester-long internship. Lauren comes from the east side of the state just outside of Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) but has embraced the role of westsider and is here to stay. In school Lauren was a member of PRRSSA and was an account associate for Grand Valley’s student-run PR firm, GrandPR.
Lauren brings to 834 a quiet leadership and excellent associate to client relations. She cranks out writing assignments like they are all on “rush” deadlines, enjoys copywriting and is a superb researcher for social content.
Lauren takes a special interest in fashion and spends a good amount of her free time reading fashion blogs, flipping through the pages of Vogue and pinning the latest fashions on Pinterest. Lauren also enjoys perusing the shelves of Barnes & Noble, enjoying the summer sun and spending time in the gym. She has a strong love for the color pink, Starbucks coffee, a good book, elephants and all things girly.
Jimmy Lab, Office Dog, Chief Happiness Officer
Jimmy is #Team834’s black lab and head of security. No one gets farther than the front door before Jimmy’s quick sniff and/or lick of approval. He offers free snuggles to those who ask and extra kisses if you share your lunch. Jimmy’s favorite tasks include devouring treats, carrying around “The KONG” and spreading joy and a little bit of smell wherever he goes.
Ali will be a senior at Grand Valley State University in Fall 2015. She is working towards her BFA with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Ali is originally from Shelby Township, which is located on the east side of the state. As of now she resides in the beautiful city of Grand Haven and enjoys taking long walks down the beach and pier. Her hobbies consist of snowboarding in the winter and photography year around.
Ashley is presently a senior at Grand Valley State University pursuing a major in Advertising & Public Relations. At Grand Valley, Ashley is the Vice President of Membership for the Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and an Account Associate at Grand PR. Although she was born and raised in Spring Lake, Ashley took three years to travel the country competing her horse at an international level. Returning to Michigan has not quelled Ashley’s competitive spirit, as she still rides and competes full time despite a busy schedule. When not at work or the barn, Ashley loves to read, work out, and enjoy the outdoors. After Graduation, Ashley hopes to remain in West Michigan to pursue a career in PR.
Emily is currently a senior at Central Michigan University pursuing a degree in Public Relations and Event Management. She will be a graduate of Central after completing her internship here at 834. When back at Central, Emily was the PR Manager of Central Michigan Life, a member of PRSSA’s Professional Development Committee and a Social Barista for the student-run social media firm on campus. She spends most of her free time with her friends or family. It makes her nervous to not be busy so she fills her down time with off-key singing, dancing around the house or office, shopping, rollerblading and trips Up North. Emily is originally from the small town of Perry, but just made the move to GR for the summer and hopes to stay in west Michigan to continue her career in the PR industry.
Erin is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan actively seeking work in the PR field. She loves (and has way too many) leather boots, and believes wholeheartedly in strong coffee and returning grocery carts to carrels. She currently resides in Holland with her parents and 100lb dog named Colby.
Tyler is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University studying advertising, PR and Arabic. He serves as the current president of GVSU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and works as the creative director within its student-run PR firm, GrandPR. There, he creates written and graphic design content for clients, blogs, and delegates any creative content within the firm.
Lisa is a recent graduate from Miami University, Oxford Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Strategic Communications and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Lisa was the social media co-coordinator for Her Campus for two years at her university where she developed a strong interest in public relations and event planning. In the future, Lisa hopes to travel to new cities and someday open up her own PR company. In her free time, Lisa enjoys running and baking sweet treats while sipping on Dunkin Donuts iced coffees.