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:
- Board, Kent County Parks Foundation
- Co-chair, SLD Read Bringing Literacy to Life Grand Rapids
- Co-chair, Humane Society of West Michigan Paws, Claws and Corks
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
- 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
Chantell LaForest (AKA Telly) – 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 (Fire Up Chips!). As a student, she served as the 2011-2012 president for the University’s To Write Love on Her Arms chapter, completed a social media internship with CMU career services and a public relations internship with 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 also makes a mean pot of coffee for never drinking a drop.
Telly is mother to a plush, snuggly purple hippo Pillow Pet named Hilda, honorary aunt to her roommate’s Australian Shepherd, Draco, and big sister to high school junior, Olivia. She enjoys a classic fountain Coco-Cola, sings more than she speaks and firmly believes leggings are pants. Telly also enjoys oversized sweatshirts, John Green novels, Food Network’s “Chopped”, exceptional punctuation and grammar, and all things wedding.
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. She also had minors in Public Relations/ Advertising and Business. In school Marie was a graphic designer for 2 years in the Office of Student Life’s promotions office and video team. She is a gifted photographer often snapping up pictures of our office space, people and places she visits. She was also a the Education Director of AIGAWM.
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.
Lauren Krzesicki, Project Coordinator, Fashionista & Newly Minted Westsider
Lauren is a recent graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Hospitality. Lauren first joined #Team834 as an intern for the 2015 Winter semester. During college, Lauren was a member of Grand Valley’s PRSSA Chapter and served as an Account Associate for their student run PR firm, GrandPR.
Lauren comes from the other side of state just outside Ann Arbor (Go Blue!) but has embraced the role of westsider and is here to stay. Gymnastics runs through her veins and you can find her doing handstands and pointing her toes on a daily basis. Lauren is an addict of coffee, Pinterest, shopping, good books, and all things girly. 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 and is a superb researcher for social content.