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Women’s House by Julie Barnard

In February I had the opportunity to spend a week in Lima, to learn more about the ministry work of the Columban Fathers. This organization works across the globe within some of the poorest communities to support the local people and give additional help outside of the workplace and school. The Columban Fathers often partner with local governments and organizations like UNICEF to ensure that funding and aid is directed to key projects. My godfather, Ed O’Connell (Padre Lalo) has been living and working in Lima for 47 years and, as we drove through the dusty streets and half built homes, he remembers most of the land as barren. Lima has a growing population of 10M and everyday more migrants arrive from Venezuela, so finding work to feed the family is a daily endeavor not a weekly pay check. Padre Lalo has raised funds through the Columban Fathers to help build 12 churches, as well as local community funding. They also offer continued support for a special needs school, Manuel Duato, and the inception of Warmi Huasi projects (Women’s House).

Like many living in poverty around the world, the children of Peru are at risk from poor health, disruptive family life (father leaves to find work), educational support, and sometimes, physical, psychological and sexual abuse. Warmi Huasi was set up as an NGO (non-Governmental organization) to create safe places for women and children to come together to read, to do homework, to learn to socialize, to sing, to dance and to play. These centers can be found in Lima, in San Benito and in Ayacucho . I spoke with one of the leaders during my visit and she explained their plans for 2020. “We encourage our children to follow the United Nations Charter, to defend the rights of children and to have the basics of life. We want to continue to support the voluntary women who help with reading and homework clubs, we want the adults to support the children’s committees and encourage the participation of all children, within a safe environment.”

Padre Lalo adds further, “The Warmi Huasi teams also work directly with the Municipality of Carabayllo and the Provincial Municipality of Paucar de Sara Sara helping them set up their COMUNDENAs (Municipal Committee for the Defense of Children and Adolescents) by training the municipal officials along with staff from the Ministries of Health, Education and Justice and the Police on how to run a COMUDENA. Warmi Huasi monitors the progress of the Committees and offers on-going support. In Carabayllo this Committee responds to the needs of over 110,000 children and adolescents and in the Province of Puacar de Sara Sara nearly 4,000 children and adolescents.”

It was a privilege to spend time with the people of Peru, a warm and happy nation, to see their country through their eyes. The work being done here has made a difference to thousands of children, long may it continue.

Like many of us, I spend my life planning, be it my work, my time or even my conversations. It was very healthy for me to step away and live someone else’s life. I had no expectations, no agenda, my mind was empty, ready to embrace this experience. I am very grateful to Padre Lalo for giving me a chance to step away. As we now witness the spread of the coronavirus, live the devastation of climate change and protect our own mental health, perhaps we all need to refocus on what is important and find our safe place.

If you want to help please go to www.columban.org and reference Warmi Huasi in the comments section.

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Introducing

Kyle Murphy
Kyle MurphyTechnology Support Analyst
I graduated from Central Michigan with a Bachelor’s in Information Technology. Originally, I started taking graphic design classes in high school, but my Dad convinced me to switch to IT. I ended up loving it and met some of my best friends in that class. Outside of IT, I enjoy watching movies, listening to music, and (when possible) visiting different State/National Parks.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I was helping move some furniture around at work and one of my back pants pockets got caught on something. I didn’t think anything of it until I got home and realized there was a big rip along the pocket.

Sporting achievements?
Nothing but participation trophies.

Favorite Group/band/church?
The Oh Sees.

Name a singer that you can’t stand the sound of?
Taylor Swift.

If you could get free airfare – name a country you would visit and why?
New Zealand. It looks beautiful. I’m also a big Lord of the Rings fan so it would be cool to see the different film locations.

Ever met anybody famous before?
A former NFL player named Ron Cox. He used to go fishing with his son in my grandparents’ front yard.

What’s your favorite things to do on a Saturday night?
Hanging out with friends, listening to music, and just talking about whatever.

Have you been told, you look like someone famous?
Not anybody with a name that I can remember.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
The internet. I basically Google things for a living so life would be difficult without it.

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
Data, I can always use more hard drive space.

If you were given $1,000, where would you spend it?
Microcenter.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
A road trip across the US, camping out at the different parks.

Introducing

Joël van Gorkom
Joël van GorkomBusiness Development
I am a hard working and fun loving person who loves to go out for dinner and discover new places and countries. Culture is very interesting for me. I myself am part Dutch and part Surinam. I am very excited to start at Centigrade and use my experience in sales and marketing to stimulate growth with the entire team.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
When I was about 10 years old my mom yelled at me to get out of a tree I’ve climbed in. When doing so I slipped, fell and hung on a branch by the cap of my jacket for all to see!

Sporting achievements?
I have won four club tournaments in a row at my Karate club when I was young. I still have the trophees up to this day.

Favorite Group/band/church?
I don’t really have a favourite band because I like almost all kinds of music.

Name a singer that you can’t stand the sound of?
If I have to choose I would say Billy Eilish, she is a bit too dark for me.

If you could get free airfare – name a country you would visit and why?
Since I was young I was always interested in Honduras, I don’t know why but it fascinates me.

Ever met anybody famous before?
A few Dutch athletes and actors, no international figures.

What’s your favorite things to do on a Saturday night?
It depends. Sometimes some good food and wine or beer with friends and sometimes I love to relax at home.

Have you been told, you look like someone famous?
Actually a lot, when I grow my hair and put sunglasses on I often hear Lenny Kravitz or Shaggy.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Good food and good company.

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
There is a Surinam dish called Roti. I would choose Roti.

If you were given $1,000, where would you spend it?
I would probably put it towards a vacation. In this case, Honduras.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Doing the highest Bungee Jump in the world in South Africa.

Internships

The Centigrade Internship Program offers highly motivated and successful individuals an opportunity to gain experience and develop their skills within a diverse International Marketing Communications environment. Interns generally find the experience to be rewarding, interesting and lead to other career opportunities.

To be eligible for the Program, candidates must either be studying for or possess at least an undergraduate degree.

The Program typically seeks candidates that have fluency in English as well as developed communication and computing skills. Prior relevant work experience, as well as knowledge of languages such as Chinese, French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Russian or Arabic are advantageous.

The Centigrade Internship Program is offered during two seasons, and applications are accepted during the following periods:

Summer Internship (June-September)
The application period for the Summer Internship is January 1 – April 30 each year.

Winter Internship (December-March)
The application period for the Winter Internship is July 1 – October 31 each year. All applications MUST be submitted online. Applications submitted after the deadline are not considered.

Recipe for Success

FAQ

Integrated Marketing Communications

An approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.
As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications ” … recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.”

What Is Marketing Communication Strategy?

Marketing communication helps to develop brand awareness, which means that consumers translate product information into perceptions about the product’s attributes and its position within the larger market. Businesses also use marketing communication to retain the product’s current customer base, and to cement relationships with customers and suppliers, notes “Reference for Business.” Marketing communication strategy defines the business’ plan for product information dissemination and brand awareness development.

Can you share your marketing strategies with me?

Unfortunately, we are not at liberty to disclose detailed marketing information for any of our brands. The only marketing information that we publicly disclose can be found in press releases for marketing initiatives and new product launches.

How Do You Improve Brand Proposition?

A good brand proposition is simple and easy to understand. Remember, a brand proposition is a promise that a brand makes and it’s critical that a brand’s promise is easy to understand, engaging, unique, relevant (to the target audience), and consistent. It should not only address the audience’s current needs but also their future aspirations from the brand. A good brand proposition should be able to connect with its audience on an emotional level. A strong emotional connection can create valuable brand equity and fierce brand loyalty.

What is Positioning?

A marketing strategy that aims to make a brand occupy a distinct position, relative to competing brands, in the mind of the customer. Companies apply this strategy either by emphasizing the distinguishing features of their brand (what it is, what it does and how, etc.) or they may try to create a suitable image (inexpensive or premium, utilitarian or luxurious, entry-level or high-end, etc.) through advertising. Once a brand is positioned, it is very difficult to reposition it without destroying its credibility. Also called product positioning.

What is Repositioning?

Changing a brand’s status in comparison to that of the competing brands. Repositioning is effected usually through changing the marketing mix in response to changes in the market place, or due to a failure to reach the brand’s marketing objectives.

What is Rifle approach?

Marketing strategy in which (in contrast to shotgun approach) the aim is to concentrate efforts on a narrowly defined area or subject in order to achieve (hit) a clearly defined objective (target).

What is Shotgun approach?

Marketing strategy whereby (in contrast to rifle approach) the aim is to cover as wide an area or population as possible.

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Introducing

Kim Bijnen
Kim BijnenArt Director
Hi, You all. I’m Kim. Married and mother of two boy’s, Fen(6) and Raf(1).
I recently moved to Eindhoven from Amsterdam. I like it here better, a little less hectic. I work part-time at centigrade, from Tuesday until Thursday. And next to my work at Centigrade me and my husband run a pizzeria which is very close-by the Eindhoven office.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Wow so many embarrassing moments, which to choose. I have a often recurring embarrassing moment; when I greet people I always want to give the ‘Dutch’ three kisses. But most people think two is enough…

Sporting achievements?
None (-: not so sporty.

Favorite Group/band/church?
I do not really have a favorite, now I really like Todd Terje. Swedish happy techno.

Name a singer that you can’t stand the sound of?
Sorry for al the fan’s out there I know there are many. Not to big a fan of Queen.

If you could get free airfare – name a country you would visit and why?
If its free I would really like to go Japan. I would love to see the country and eat sushi…mmmm.

Ever met anybody famous before?
Yes.. I worked with semi-famous people in my previous job. BN’ers ‘’Well known-Dutch’’ people as we call them. Non-Dutch people will not recognize them.

What’s your favorite things to do on a Saturday night?
friends, wine, sitting outside, and talk for hours.

Have you been told, you look like someone famous?
Nope.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Cheese!

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
Energy. I hate it when I feel tired.

If you were given $1,000, where would you spend it?
On my garden, we are busy with a big garden renovation.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Renovate and convert a French farmhouse/ barn into holiday home.

Introducing

Rachel Whittaker
Rachel WhittakerOffice Manager
Rachel was born on the East side of Detroit, Michigan. She loves spending time at home in Royal Oak with her husband and two rambunctious dogs. If she does go on any adventures, it’s to Northern Michigan to enjoy the lake life.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I’ve had so many moments of walking through screen doors at parties, spending the day with tags on my clothes, and saying the wrong things that it’s hard to pick just one.

Sporting achievements?
Never played organized sports, chose to shoot archery and dance instead.

Favorite Group/band/church?
My favorite music is tied directly to happy memories, The Beatles because of my parents and Hozier because of my husband.

Name a singer that you can’t stand the sound of?
There really honestly isn’t one singer that I hate.

If you could get free airfare – name a country you would visit and why?
I would take my Mother to Sicily, it’s a trip we’ve been talking about for years.

Ever met anybody famous before?
Not really, a few local celebrities.

What’s your favorite things to do on a Saturday night?
Sitting in our backyard in the summer with a bonfire and our best friends.

Have you been told, you look like someone famous?
I’ve heard Cristin Milioti or Alyson Hannigan many times depending on my hair color, and I’m beyond flattered every time.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Probably cliché, but my family. They’re everything.

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
Books! We’re talking a Beauty and the Beast level library.

If you were given $1,000, where would you spend it?
It would go somewhere practical, I’m not good at blowing money on fun things unless it’s food.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I have always wanted to learn to shoot archery from horseback because I enjoy archery, horseback riding, and who wouldn’t want to feel like a character from Lord of the Rings!?

Introducing

Camille Yuhn
Camille YuhnProject Coordinator
Camille is a somewhat recent graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Advertising and minors in Public Relations and Retail Management. She is always eager to learn something new and genuinely wants to make the lives of those around her easier.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Fainting during my first public speaking engagement in high school.

Sporting achievements?
I won the 50 butterfly three years in a row from ages 11-13.

Favorite Group/band/church?
Petit Biscuit.

Name a singer that you can’t stand the sound of
Everyone loves her right now but…. Billie Eilish 😀

If you could get free airfare – name a country you would visit and why?
I’ve never traveled outside of North America, so I’d be grateful for any ticket!

Ever met anybody famous before?
Apparently no one that was memorable.

What’s your favorite things to do on a Saturday night?
Dinner with my closest friends.

Have you been told, you look like someone famous?
Dakota Fanning.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
Learning. If I had more time, I’d love to learn how to bartend, be an esthetician, go to nutrition school, the list goes on. Not only to master the skill, but you would meet so many interesting people along the way.

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
Socks. You can never have too many pairs of socks because they always go missing.

If you were given $1,000, where would you spend it?
A self-care package from Margot’s European Day Spa that would last me the next year.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
Going to a live talk show like the Today Show, Jimmy Fallon or Ellen.

Introducing

Rachel Crawford
Rachel CrawfordProject Coordinator
I am a Central Michigan alumni with a degree in Merchandising and a minor in Professional Sales. I am passionate about meeting new people, expanding my knowledge in the marketing business and love spending time with family.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
I was giving a speech in college for one of my sales classes and forgot the next line and said “Oh Sh*t”. The speech was videotaped and in front of 40 people. I was able to redeem myself a couple minutes later and remembered every line with no swear words.

Sporting achievements?
I played basketball from elementary school all throughout high school. I was the captain of the varsity team my senior year. That same year I received the Offensive MVP award.

Favorite Group/band/church?
I don’t have a favorite band but one of my top choices would be Maroon 5. I have listened to them ever since I was in elementary school.

Name a singer that you can’t stand the sound of?
I can’t stand the sound of Nicki Minaj. I feel like all of her songs sound similar.

If you could get free airfare – name a country you would visit and why?
If I had a free airfare I would visit Greece because I heard it has breathtaking beaches and views. I love relaxing on the beach and participating in beach activities. Mykonos and Santorini would be my top two destination choices in Greece.

Ever met anybody famous before?
When I was in high school I went on a family trip and saw a Beach Boys concert. I was pulled up on stage and met Mike Love. I sang Barbara Ann with him.

What’s your favorite things to do on a Saturday night?
On a Saturday night I love to relax with family and enjoy the outdoors. We love to barbeque and play backyard games. Some of the games include: Ladder Golf, Wiffle Ball, etc.

Have you been told, you look like someone famous?
No one has ever told me I looked like someone famous.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
My family and dog. I adopted my dog my last year of college and we have been buds ever since. He turned five this past May.

If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be?
I would have an unlimited storage of Chapstick. I carry one everywhere I go and feel lost without it.

If you were given $1,000, where would you spend it?
I would give half to a cancer research program and use the other half towards a trip.

What is one of the things you would put on your “bucket” list?
I have always wanted to go skydiving. I think I would be afraid to jump out of the plane at first but the views would be totally worth it.

Working at Centigrade

What’s it like to work around here? Dynamic, energetic and lively. That’s the short story. The slightly longer story is that the people who work at Centigrade come from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures. And that’s a good thing.

As a company that crafts communications for a living, we believe in an atmosphere that encourages interaction, creativity and forward thinking. After all, when you’re a marketing and advertising agency, one of the rules you follow is to break the rules and get noticed. That doesn’t mean we’re not professional about what we do, but that it’s ok to see the big picture a little differently.

The ideal candidate will be customer-oriented with a drive to achieve goals and maintain a great customer experience. You will be able to work closely with clients to understand their needs and suggest forward-thinking ideas to promote our business. This individual will have excellent communication abilities and negotiation skills with a keen commercial focus.

Responsibilities:

  • Work with the account and creative team to provide product solutions, develop new business, and to ensure client satisfaction
  • Serve as primary day-to-day liaison with assigned clients and maintain positive ongoing relationships
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously while interfacing with different internal and external contact
  • Manage day-to-day account handling tasks and administration to ensure a smooth working process
  • Budget Management of designated accounts
  • Account planning to ensure opportunities and threats within the client base are understood and actioned
  • Support wider team with new business initiatives

Skills required:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • 5+ years’ of proven success in client management
  • Familiarity with sales performance metrics
  • Strong negotiation, presentation and communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and inspire the team
  • Strong relationship building skills
  • Strategic and creative skills to take concepts to reality
  • Ability to prioritise and manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously
  • Excellent coaching capacity (of Account Manager and rest of team)
  • Persuasive sales and negotiation skills
  • Excellent level of English (both written and spoken) – Competency in German is also desirable

If you are interested please use the form or send your CV and a covering letter to action@centigrade.com

Working at Centigrade

What’s it like to work around here? Dynamic, energetic and lively. That’s the short story. The slightly longer story is that the people who work at Centigrade come from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures. And that’s a good thing.

As a company that crafts communications for a living, we believe in an atmosphere that encourages interaction, creativity and forward thinking. After all, when you’re a marketing and advertising agency, one of the rules you follow is to break the rules and get noticed. That doesn’t mean we’re not professional about what we do, but that it’s ok to see the big picture a little differently.

We are looking for an Account Executive to help manage our European client accounts. You will be working within a team of client service and creative professionals to deliver high-quality communications campaigns and tools to your assigned clients.

Responsibilities:

  • Liaising with clients to understand their requirements.
  • Defining project scope, estimates, time plans and budgets together with the account and creative team
  • Writing contact reports throughout the duration projects to keep clients and team updated
  • Quality control of all work that is submitted to clients
  • Monitoring all stages of projects to ensure that they run smoothly
  • Ensuring that the project stays within the allocated budget
  • Administration to keep projects well-managed and organised
  • Bringing creative ideas to the team to help delight clients and develop business

Skills required:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Good organisational skills
  • A pro-active approach to projects and clients
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • An eye for detail
  • An understanding of budget management
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • An understanding of creative processes and techniques – including digital platforms is helpful
  • Willing to learn about new technologies and trends in business and communications
  • Competency in other languages would be beneficial, especially, Dutch, German and French

Must be based in The Netherlands with either Dutch nationality or Dutch residents permit.
You will be office-based in Eindhoven but will also travel to meet clients so a valid driver’s licence would be beneficial.

If you are interested, please use the form or send your CV and a covering letter to action@centigrade.com

Working at Centigrade

What’s it like to work around here? Dynamic, energetic and lively. That’s the short story. The slightly longer story is that the people who work at Centigrade come from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures. And that’s a good thing.

As a company that crafts communications for a living, we believe in an atmosphere that encourages interaction, creativity and forward thinking. After all, when you’re a marketing and advertising agency, one of the rules you follow is to break the rules and get noticed. That doesn’t mean we’re not professional about what we do, but that it’s ok to see the big picture a little differently.

We are looking for a New business manager, based in our Eindhoven office, to help expand the scope, growth, and clientele of Centigrade.

Role includes:

  • Identifying potential clients and assessing their viability
  • Creating and developing new business relationships with potential clients
  • Developing and driving new business approaches
  • Working with sales and marketing colleagues
  • Assist in preparing and presenting new business proposals and pitches
  • Working with local client service staff to prepare introduction meetings
  • Actively tracking the sales funnel and following up actions
  • Identifying and driving sales process improvements
  • Prepare financial reports, and forecasts
  • Acquire more business acumen through research, and analysis of industry trends and developments

Skills required:

  • Have superior negotiating skills
  • Have excellent time, planning and project management skills
  • Be able to clearly present and communicate in both written and verbal forms
  • Be able to successfully work both on own initiative and with senior team members
  • Be able to handle demands, targets, guidelines, and high stress situations
  • Have excellent networking and business acquisition skills
  • Be consistent, dependable and efficient
  • Have advanced leadership and organizational skills

Experience

  • Business English is a requirement, additional languages would be beneficial
  • Experience in consultative sales
  • Interest and understanding of international marketing and communications, channel marketing

Must be based in The Netherlands with either Dutch nationality or Dutch residents permit.
You will be office-based in Eindhoven but will also travel to meet clients so a valid driver’s licence would be beneficial.

If you are interested, please use the form or send your CV and a covering letter to action@centigrade.com

Working at Centigrade

What’s it like to work around here? Dynamic, energetic and lively. That’s the short story. The slightly longer story is that the people who work at Centigrade come from all kinds of different backgrounds and cultures. And that’s a good thing.

As a company that crafts communications for a living, we believe in an atmosphere that encourages interaction, creativity and forward thinking. After all, when you’re a marketing and advertising agency, one of the rules you follow is to break the rules and get noticed. That doesn’t mean we’re not professional about what we do, but that it’s ok to see the big picture a little differently.

Dept: Enterprise Technology
Location: Sterling Heights, MI, USA
Term: Full Time
Reporting: Enterprise Technology Manager

Duties to include but not limited to:

  • Logging of support requests from users into the Helpdesk System
  • Responding in a timely manner to service issues and requests
  • Troubleshoot and resolve reported issues with both hardware and software
  • Installation and configuration of new hardware, software and networking equipment
  • Repair and/or replace equipment as necessary
  • Providing technical support across the company in person or via the phone
  • Creation of new user accounts and on-boarding of staff
  • Monitor and ensure regular backups are successfully completing
  • Assist Facilities Manager in support of building infrastructure
  • Maintain procedures and reports that provide technical support to the entire organization
  • Participate in meetings to provide insight into technical requirements
  • Assist the Enterprise Technology Manager in ensuring all systems are operating effectively

Requirements:

  • Willingness to solve problems and see projects through to completion
  • Ability to work on your own and in a team
  • Analytical skills to study problems and records and identify solutions
  • Certification preferred, but not required
  • Strong interpersonal communication and relationship building skills
  • Ability to manage time and effectively prioritize numerous projects at one time
  • Must have experience and/or working knowledge of:
    • Microsoft Office applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
    • Skype for Business and SharePoint
    • Ability to support Apple Mac systems
    • Microsoft 365

Technologies in Centigrade:

  • Microsoft Office (365)
  • Exchange Server 2016
  • SharePoint Server
  • MS SQL Server and SSRS Reporting
  • Skype for Business (on prem)
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Cisco networking
  • Ubiquiti Wifi equipment
  • Microsoft Dynamics GP
  • 4G/ LTE mobile networking
  • Cloud Webhosting (Linux)
  • WordPress websites
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • SAN/NAS Storage

If you are interested, please use the form or send your CV and a covering letter to Ian Whilden.

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