Bode, the marketing director for the West Michigan Science and Technology Initiative, finds it thrilling to be in the middle of all that development.
“It’s exciting for me to be involved in this,” Bode said. “This isn’t just a job to me. It’s a passion.”
Grand Rapids’ reputation as a center of life sciences continues to grow. It’s an industry that could reshape the economy of West Michigan, and WMSTI is one of the leading forces behind that growth by helping turn life science industry innovations into commercial products. It’s Bode’s job to help get the word out about WMSTI’s work. She is responsible for planning special events, including the annual Life Sciences Business Showcase. She oversees publications and other communications and does fundraising for WMSTI.
Bode is a Grand Valley alum, graduating in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. All through college, she worked in Facilities Planning, and she got a job there full-time after graduation. She later moved over to WMSTI after being encouraged to apply for the position.
“Grand Valley saw this vision a long time ago,” Bode said. “The university did an amazing job of placing itself right in the middle of where all the action is in the life science industry.”
Housed in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, WMSTI’s goal is to grow and diversify the community economy by creating an environment that inspires innovation and supports the commercialization of science and technology, while placing students and faculty in the research and commercialization process.
WMSTI’s fast-paced environment keeps Bode busy. “I just absolutely love to work. All of my friends know this, and they either accept it or they don’t see me,” she said. “I think I’m addicted to it.”
In addition to her work at Grand Valley, Bode is active in the community. She serves on the boards of the American Marketing Association, West Michigan Public Relations Society of America, glimaWest, Maverick and the Michigan Street Business Assocation. In recognition for her work, Bode was named one of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in October.
In her spare time — which she acknowledges is rare — Bode cares for her two dogs and enjoys reading.