Q&A: Kim Bode
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
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.
Not necessarily a possession, but my four dogs: Bentley, Apollo, Jimmy and Murphy.
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?
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.
Trace the steps of WWII troops from the landing in Normandy to beyond.
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.