Michelle Wicmandy Bio
Michelle Wicmandy describes herself as a life-long learner. Her eclectic background in the corporate world, nonprofits and academia built the perfect foundation for her current job as Chief Marketing Officer of Collective Changes.
She promotes the nonprofit by connecting with women worldwide and telling their stories to match them with successful business people in the United States who volunteer as mentors.
Learning Starts Early
As an 8-year-old, she watched her parents hunched over the kitchen table typing job estimates and crunching numbers for their construction business. Listening to the typewriter’s “click-click-click-DING, click-click-click-DING” at 3 a.m. taught her that dedicating time and energy into work leads to success. In high school, her cross-country coach made the team run up and down ski hills and train in blizzards, even though the team already had a collection of first-place trophies. Later in college, her chemistry professor touted the benefits of studying just one more hour. And she did.
Learning at Work
At age 29, she worked as business manager for Vitas, a hospice. “It was a life-changing experience that taught me the value of life, integrity and teamwork.” The job groomed her to become marketing director for Health South, a rehabilitation hospital with five facilities. She sold services, managed an occupational medicine group, and helped the hospital exceed its financial goals by a half million dollars.
In 2001, she worked as a business consultant and training coordinator at the Small Business Development Center in The Woodlands. During her tenure, she helped over 200 entrepreneurs and led marketing workshops at the chambers of commerce and rotary clubs.
Later, she became marketing director for Southeast Media, an award-winning marketing communications agency. She became adept with Google Analytics and single-handedly built the digital marketing department.
Learning by Writing
While working at the Small Business Development Center, she wrote An Investment in Your Future, an article that appeared in a local business magazine. This progressed to a freelance position with the Houston Business Journal where she interviewed local entrepreneurs. Her strong background in technology eventually led to freelance articles on email marketing, mobile marketing and digital etiquette for Website Magazine. Her work is also featured in Reading for Thinking, a textbook for college communications classes.
Learning by Teaching
Her love of the entrepreneurial spirit led her to a job as a full-time lecturer in the marketing department at the University of Houston – Downtown. Under her guidance, students won awards for projects they entered in contests sponsored by Halliburton and America’s Natural Gas Alliance. In her spare time, she volunteered as an advisor for the American Marketing Association collegiate chapter and led four marketing conferences that broke attendance records.
Learning by Volunteering
During the last 15 years, while holding full-time jobs, Michelle has volunteered for business and professional groups in Houston. These include the American Marketing Association – Houston, Houston Interactive Marketing Association and the Corporate Social Responsibility Council.
And Learning Continues
Today, she’s working toward a doctorate of business administration degree through the online program at the University of Liverpool, U.K., and expects to graduate in 2016.
“Everyone in the United States has a chance to pursue their dreams,” she says. “So should women in countries where they must get permission from their husbands to work outside the home, and then find the money and mentors to make that happen.”
Michelle lives in Houston with her loving and supportive husband, two children and their cats, Clyde and Chloe.