Ferris State University’s Division of University Advancement and Marketing recently underwent a reorganization which will combine the Alumni Relations and Marketing and Communications units under the umbrella of External Relations, with several staff members assuming new responsibilities as of Jan. 1.
Jeremy Mishler, a 16-year veteran in UA&M, has been named associate vice president for External Relations, with responsibility for leading the alumni relations and marketing and communications functions that support the overall alumni relations, advancement and marketing goals of the university. He also will continue to serve as executive director of the Ferris Alumni Association.
Mishler joined UA&M in 1998 after earning his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Ferris and quickly advanced to the position of director of Alumni Relations and executive director of the alumni association in 2000. In 2004, he assumed additional responsibility for Annual Giving and Advancement Services.
“We are very fortunate in UA&M to have a group of very talented and experienced people who are willing to accept a challenge. Jeremy is one of those individuals. He has a proven track record of innovative leadership, relationship building and collaborative team management. His depth of experience in alumni and community relations and communications have prepared him well for the challenges of this new position," said Shelly Armstrong, vice president for University Advancement and Marketing. Armstrong previously served as the associate vice president for Marketing and Communications before assuming the vice presidency.
“There are significant synergies that can be achieved by combining the Alumni Relations and Marketing and Communications units. There is an overlap in the audiences served by these units, so it is natural to have them working more collaboratively to present a more consistent message across all audiences and enhance engagement with our constituents,” Armstrong added.
Mishler said, “I am honored by this opportunity and look forward to helping Ferris expand and enhance its marketing, communications, brand identity and relationship building, resulting in increased awareness, engagement and overall university pride among all students, faculty and staff, alumni, donors, community members and other Ferris stakeholders."
Among Mishler’s accomplishments are leading strategy and content development for alumni and advancement communications, including Ferris Magazine, Bulldog Bytes monthly e-newsletter, direct mail and e-mail campaigns, brochures and website materials, and event scripting.
Most recently, he collaborated with Admissions to develop a tool kit for alumni interested in recruiting new students to enroll at Ferris; led the development of an alumni success story video series; partnered with Ferris' Television and Digital Media Program to create a studio television program featuring interviews with prominent Ferris alumni; developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to increase engagement with alumni via social media; and expanded alumni outreach and student-alumni programming nationwide.
With Mishler moving into the AVP role, Brandi Behrenwald, assistant director of Alumni Relations, will assume the duties of director of Alumni Relations responsible for leading all alumni outreach activities, affinity services and student alumni programming to increase overall participation and alumni giving. She also will serve as associate executive director of the Ferris Alumni Association.
Anne Hogenson, director of Marketing, will assume added responsibility for leading the development and implementation of the institution’s statewide marketing campaign, and serving as trademark licensing coordinator and editor of Ferris Magazine.
The reorganization also affects Advancement, with Jennifer Yontz adding Advancement Services to her area of responsibility as the director of Annual Giving and Advancement Services.
“I am pleased that we have been able to accomplish this reorganization with minimal changes in staff numbers and with us well-positioned to continue to provide the highest quality of service to the university community in the most cost effective manner. The realignment of some personnel and reporting will streamline operations, more clearly define staff roles and improve efficiency,” Armstrong said.