Consumer marketing expert to present business talk

contact: Alyssa Benson
| WMU News
Photo of Michael Steele.

Steele

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A consumer marketing expert will be the next presenter in Western Michigan University's 2014-15 Distinguished Speaker Series.

Michael Steele, founder, president and CEO of Advantage Communications Inc., will present "A Unique Perspective on Consumer Responsibility" at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, on campus in 2000 Schneider Hall.

The event is free and open to the public and being hosted by the Haworth College of Business. Registration is requested for the talk, which will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Michael Steele

A seasoned veteran of the marketing and communications industry, Steele is a leader at Advantage Communications Inc., a full-service communications, advertising and public relations agency in Little Rock, Arkansas. He has partnered with clients in various industries to increase product distribution in underserved areas and has pioneered branding strategies to help increase revenues.

Steele earned a bachelor's degree in communication from WMU in 1974 and a Master of Business Administration from Bowling Green State University, then began his career at Stroh Brewery Co.

While there, he faced the challenge of positioning the brand to be the premier beverage choice among other national brands. He established a marketing strategy for growth and success, succeeded in the rebranding effort and won numerous advertising awards for his accomplishments in the field.

Later in his career, Steele held brand management positions with the Coca-Cola Co., including director of Olympic marketing for the 1996 Olympic games. In this role, Steele managed participation from more than 100 countries and achieved a first-ever return on investment for Coca-Cola's Olympic sponsors.

Steele's understanding of consumer goods marketing and brand profitability optimization helped him found Advantage Communications Inc. in 2000.

He has successfully grown the company to include a telecommunications subdivision with national-brand clients and has positioned the company as a leader in advocacy for educational challenges in Arkansas and throughout the United States.

For more information or to register, visit wmich.edu/business/rsvp-dss or contact Cyntia Reeves at cyntia.reeves@wmich.edu or (269) 387-5069. Free parking will be available nearby in the Fetzer Center's parking lot.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.