Working together through the Chamber of Commerce, Mrs. Kelli Heavilin job shadowed our Director of Marketing and Social Media, Kendra Higgins through the Educators Working for Relevancy Program in 2012. As a business education teacher at Spring Lake High School, she joined the program to gain current marketing experience that could be brought into the classroom. While a variety of techniques and strategies were covered it was the community outreach through various events that intrigued Kelli most. Even though the program has concluded, Kendra and Kelli continue to work together each year on further development and facilitation of the classes social responsibility project.

Kendra and our Banquet and Event Coordinator present the Glowing for Grand Haven event and marketing campaign to Kelli’s marketing classes. The presentation includes their backgrounds, current job responsibilities and event details including strategic plans and budgeting. They then talk individually with groups as students work to create their own charity events as part of their social responsibility project. After the students have time to refine details and rehearse their presentations, Kendra returns to watch their presentation and help grade and provide feedback.Spring Lake Students wearing Glowing for Grand Haven T-Shirts

It’s a rewarding experience that has a positive influence on the upcoming generation and as representatives of Holiday Inn in the Spring Lake Community they have been apart of for years. Kelli also notes, “I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with Kendra. She has been an amazing source of information and has truly helped me bring relevancy into my classroom.” To encourage the students to think of social responsibility not only in the classroom but throughout their various endeavors, the best concepts (determined by Kendra and Kelli) were given Glowing for Grand Haven T-shirts this year!  The winning student groups Kiara & Taylor and Rachel & Tanner we’re awarded the signature glow in the dark shirts for not only their stellar concepts, but professional presentations.

Kendra weighed in on the experience, “It’s truly amazing what some of these kids come up with. It’s easy to identify the kids who are involved in extracurriculars, as they seem to be the most aware of what their community is doing! Not to mention it’s this very generation that is already forming a very strong opinion of you and your brand. Some of the top businesses/charities we see each year are, MacKite, Grand Haven Beach, Pronto Pups, Jumpin Java, Village Baker, Helen Devos Children’s Hospital, Humane Societies, Feeding America and even Heifer International! These students are not only identifying those in need throughout our community, but how our small town can impact world-wide organizations. I suggest you start reaching out to these kids for ideas in marketing, they’re developing some amazing real-world experience through Kelli’s guidance. ” In an effort to give back to the community we thrive in, and continue to expose students to social responsibility, we look forward to the continued partnership with Kelli’s Spring Lake High School marketing classes!