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Q&A: Kim Bode

June 2, 2015
TAGS 834 / Kim Bode
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Kim Bode
Kim Bode. Courtesy 834 Design & Marketing

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Kim Bode is the principal of 834, an award-winning integrated communications firm.

The Grand Rapids-based firm is focused on communication strategy, PR, event planning, social media, digital, web and design.

834 is driven by Bode’s passion for affordable and measurable communications and more than a decade of experience in strategic planning, marketing communications, PR, event planning and community outreach.

Biggest career break?

West Michigan Science & Technology Initiative

Proudest moment?

I would say most memorable was Lights in the Night for ArtPrize 2012, managing that event, media, logistics and more with two staff members and an army of interns.

Growing from a one-person firm to a seven-person firm, with new space, increased revenue and hell of a team makes me incredibly proud.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

Always hire individuals smarter than yourself and learn from them.

Second best piece of advice: Don’t be afraid to fail. Take chances and learn from your failures.

How did you make your first dollar?

I was 15 and got a job picking blueberries in the fields. Going rate was 50 cents a bucket.

Most-treasured possession?

Not necessarily a possession, but my four dogs: Bentley, Apollo, Jimmy and Murphy.

Dream job?

Cheesy as it sounds, I have it.

If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?

Pass an equal pay bill

Last book you’ve read?

“Bunker Hill”

Last thing you Googled?

Band of Brothers

Your worst habit?

Worrying. I obsess over everything: emails, projects, deadlines, employees, my dogs. . . . I need to just breathe and let go. Also, my wine consumption.

To unwind, I like to . . . ?

Camp. Take the dogs and husband and head Up North to the Manistee National Forest and set up our 1968 Port-A-Cabin pop-up by the river and enjoy nature and no technology.

Dream vacation?

Trace the steps of WWII troops from the landing in Normandy to beyond.

Favorite food?

Chex Mix or pizza rolls. Yes, I have the palette of a 12-year-old boy.

Person you most admire?

I can’t pinpoint just one person. I am surrounded by amazingly strong, independent and successful women, and they drive me to succeed. They know who they are. 

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