Using a creative lens to help build a business’ brand and vision takes a special kind of skill, and Robin Pedersen is just the person for the job. As Kankakee Valley REMC’s (KVREMC) new marketing and communications coordinator, Pedersen is ready to work alongside a community-focused company more than 81 years in the making.
Pedersen’s role balances the best components of her skill set. She graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in fine art and graphic design, and the bulk of her work experience is in print design with a focus in print advertising, corporate branding, social media, and marketing.
“I started my career in newspaper advertising and throughout the years I have worked for companies such as The Times newspaper, Blue Chip Casino, Yats, and RE/MAX Lifestyles,” Pedersen said. “A friend contacted me and said she found the perfect career move for me, so I jumped at it!”
Pedersen is thrilled she took the plunge. As the marketing and communications coordinator, she works directly with Amanda Steeb, KVREMC’s director of marketing. She assists in updating the company website and social media outlets, and collaborates to develop and produce content for the cooperative’s magazine and website.
“I am still quite new to the company, but I thrive on diversity and multitasking multiple projects so my first week did not disappoint,” Pedersen said. “Everyone is so helpful and friendly, I feel like I’m actually contributing and making a difference to the company.”
She’s also tasked with helping to coordinate and manage KVREMC’s celebrated youth programs and safety and efficiency programs, and managing the Power Moves program, an effort by Wabash Valley Power and their 23 member cooperatives to offer broad energy efficiency programs to communities and cooperative members across Northern Indiana, Central Illinois and Southern Missouri.
“Being a part of the marketing team is anything but average,” Pedersen said. “Every day brings upon a new idea and or challenge, so no two days are alike. One day I might be creating a new T-shirt design, and the next I’m hopping in a truck with our line superintendent and getting photos of our linemen working tireless in the field.”
Beyond the energizing and varying tasks of her daily responsibilities, Pedersen is happy to hang her hat on a community cornerstone every day, one that goes beyond the expectations of the service it provides.
“For over 81 years, they [KVREMC] have set the precedence of a solid company and value the importance of servicing the community, and treating their members and employees like family,” Pedersen said. “They also truly care about our community and make it a high priority to give back and contribute to the local economy. I have always known Kankakee Valley REMC has a great reputation in the community and felt they would be a company I would be proud to work for.”
Even when joining the team during the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pedersen quickly became certain her assumption had proved correct.
“Transitioning to a new job during this global pandemic was slightly challenging and a wee bit stressful. I first met with KVREMC just before businesses started shutting down and enforcing working from home and social distancing. Unable to meet in person, we arranged an impromptu conference call and I accepted the position with an unknown start date,” Pedersen said.
“With many of my friends losing their jobs or being furloughed, many days I wondered if I was just dreaming that I had just accepted a new position in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. “To ease my mind, I emailed Amanda just to make sure everything was still on course and she assured me it was and was able to give me a tentative start date. They were great with communicating with me throughout the process.”
Now, Pedersen is picking up speed as she goes along in her new role, even as businesses everywhere continue to navigate uncharted waters and new regulations. It’s a thrill, but then, Pedersen is something of a thrill-seeker by nature.
“I have a bit of an adventurous streak,” she admitted. “I usually don’t turn down an opportunity to try something new.”
Case in point: a literal adventure on a milestone birthday journey.
“My best friend and I took a trip to Mexico and went on an all-day excursion to an adventure park in the Riviera Maya. I completed a 2.4-mile zip-lining circuit high above the jungle, went cave swimming and paddled along the underground stalactite river, and finally grabbed the wheel of an amphibious vehicle and made my way around the dense jungle. It was the trip of a lifetime!”
With that spirit, Pedersen is ready for just about anything.
To learn more about Kankakee Valley REMC and the individuals who make it special, visit https://www.kvremc.com/.