Human Resources, Marketing, PR & Advertising, and Small Business & Startups

Communications firm hires managing director

July 5, 2017
Text Size:
Sarah Abel large
Sarah Abel. Courtesy 8THIRTYFOUR Integrated Communications

A local integrated communications firm has named a strategist as its new managing director.

Grand Rapids-based 834 Design & Marketing said last week it hired Sarah Abel to assist the firm with business development, team management, account support and operations.

As managing director, she will drive the firm's strategy, positioning and client retention, while also providing account support to clients.

“Sarah is the perfect addition to our team,” said Kim Bode, principal, 834. “Her experience in strategic communications and leadership will allow us to leverage the skills of our team and support our continued growth in a sustainable way.”

Abel said she’s “thrilled” about her new role.

“I’ve worked with Kim and members of her team throughout my career on different projects, and they are incredibly innovative and smart,” Abel said. “The energy, creativity and talent in the firm is really unique, and I am looking forward to being a part it.”

Abel’s background

Most recently, Abel served as the development communications manager at Rockford Construction. While there, she launched and managed Blue35, a co-working space, before leading development branding, marketing and communications as Rockford expanded its portfolio.

Previously, Abel held positions at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Community Leadership and the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

While at the chamber, she oversaw communications support for the launch of Hello West Michigan, an employer-driven regional talent attraction and retention initiative, in addition to her role as the marketing and programming coordinator for the chamber’s leadership and community orientation programs.

Abel is a graduate of Huntington Bank’s Rising Woman Leaders Program, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Healing Racism and Saint Mary’s Up Next program.

She is the co-chair of Gilda’s Club West Side Walk and volunteers for the West Side CID Marketing Committee and the West Side Clean Up.

She earned a B.S. in public relations from Northern Michigan University.


Founded in 2007, 834 offers various services: web, digital, design, public relations, branding and crisis communications.

The firm serves clients in a variety of industries: manufacturing, wellness, health care, retail, construction, e-commerce, environmental and real estate.

In the past three months, in addition to Abel, 834 said it has hired Kayden Grinwis as web director, Mari Behovitz as digital associate, Emma Thibault as public relations associate and Ali Gilman as design associate, bringing its number of employees to nine.

Recent Articles by Rachel Watson

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus