As an adolescent growing up in Novi, Michigan, Ann Marie Taepke (Nelson) had first learned of the advantages of a Northwood University education from family members who had attended its Michigan campus, and soon was drawn to the university’s advertising and marketing program, and the fact that she could start classes in her major right away.
And now looking back, she says her Northwood experience played a role in preparing her for a future she never saw coming.
“I was very fortunate to be selected as the Promotions Chair of the Northwood University Michigan International Auto Show in 2006. That position provided me with so much creative license that it really opened my eyes to the power of marketing and what it takes to build a campaign from the ground up. I was hooked,” grinned Taepke, who’d played a major role in increasing turnout. “I’d proposed reallocating our budget to include a more expanded radio blitz, and that year we had record-breaking attendance. At one point, we ran out of parking. While everyone was scrambling, I was giddy,” she laughed.
UPtv crew members film as Taepke (right) works with Penn and Kim Holderness (left) on a client pitch.
And Taepke’s post-graduate endeavors hold promise as well.
After graduating in 2007 and gaining experience at a software company, she soon delved into digital communications channels which led her to join Ignite Social Media. While working with some of the world’s biggest brands such as Jeep, The Body Shop, Microsoft and others, she was the only representative available to comment when a local news team needed social media insight relating to the 2012 Super Bowl. There, on the Raleigh/Durham set of WNCN NBC-17 she soon became a regular, and met former anchor Penn Holderness, who later made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.
“What was supposed to be a casual conversation over coffee turned into a job offer to lead social media and digital marketing for a quickly growing company on a flexible schedule. It was a big leap. One that I don’t believe I would have been able to take without learning to value entrepreneurship and the importance of taking calculated risks at Northwood,” reflected Taepke.
Now the Director of Digital Strategy for Greenroom Communications, a video production and digital marketing company owned by Holderness, his wife Kim, and managing partner Sharon Delaney McCloud, Taepke looks forward to participating in a reality television show pilot which will reveal the behind-the-scenes creative process that goes into a successful campaign, whether it be for a client or the Holderness family brand. To be filmed in Raleigh where Taepke now lives with her husband and daughter, the show will premiere on UPtv Thursday, March 26th, 2015 at 10 PM ET.
When asked what advice she has for current students, Taepke reflected, “You have to be true to the person you are and what you love to do. That’s where you’ll find success in life.”
Projected in approximately 70 million homes, UP is the television brand that promises to always uplift the audience. It presents original movies, dramatic and reality series, comedies and specials filled with inspirational stories and characters with character. The UP network can be found on most U.S. cable systems as well as DIRECTV channel 338, DISH channel 188 and Verizon FIOS channel 224. It also offers instant access gMovies, the first faith-friendly streaming entertainment service.