How I can help you

I am a 30-year veteran of the marketing and communications community.

My contribution to SCORE lies in my experiences in marketing and social and digital media strategy across small business, nonprofit, and educational clients. I regularly present workshops on social media management and organize our capstone event, Entrepreneurship Day for SCORE SW Michigan.

My career has centered around marketing and communication activities for nonprofits, education, and small business. I started my career as the Communications Specialist for Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, MI, then was recruited by Kalamazoo advertising agency Lawler Ballard to work with the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Education, as well as the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council. Our agency was involved in the launch of Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo.

I taught university communication and graphic design classes for Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College for 15 years while also operating my agency. My courses included interpersonal communication, public speaking, business publication writing and design, crisis communication, nonverbal communication, public relations, small group conflict resolution, and public relations in organizations. In addition to teaching, I also served as the director of marketing and communications for the WMU College of Arts and Sciences for six years.

Awards and recognitions:

  • Named WMU School of Communication Distinguished Communication Graduate, and innagural member of the School of Communication Alumni Advisory Board
  • Received Michigan School Public Relations Association Commendable Award, for graphic design campaigns
  • Served as Michigan School Public Relations Association annual conference speaker and Crisis Response Team
  • Managed staff of seven interns, workers, and contractors in fulfilling graphic and web design, social media, writing and editing, and video production needs for the College and its departments
  • Established 14,000-member student and alumni social networks to identify mentors and donor prospects from each department in the College
  • Led the conversion of 26 College department websites over a three-year period
  • Planned, organized, and operated college events for up to 5,000 guests
  • Named influential educator, mentor, internship adviser, and instructor by undergraduate students and interns, WMU
  • Recognized with President John M. Dunn letter of commendation for WMU annual report
  • Michigan Humanities Council Award for historical booklet series on Fort St. Joseph Archeology Project


Areas of Expertise
  • Business Strategy & Planning
  • Non-Profit
  • Human Resources & Internal Communications
  • Sales, Marketing & Public Relations

Industry Experience
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation
  • Professional & Business Services
  • Nonprofit, Public and Professional Organizations


Certified SCORE Mentor

M.A. Communication, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

B.A. Public Relations and Marketing, Nazareth College, Nazareth, MI

A.A. Business Administration and Social Work, Kellogg Community College, Battle Creek, MI

Certified e-learning instructor

Adobe InDesign instructor

Baccalaureate writing instructor

Certified SCORE Mentor


I am regularly counsel clients on the use of:

Facebook, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn, , Twitter, YouTube, Constant Contact, Google Analytics, and more, and can provide one-on-one or group training in:

Marketing and Business Plans

Marketing Strategy

Social Media Management

Social Media Advertising

Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign and Photoshop)

Constant Contact

Eventbrite or Facebook Events

Others on demand.


Personal areas of continuing educational interest include social media strategy, monteizing social media, email marketing, training and development, Apple products, graphic design, nonverbal and gender communication

Cheri Bales, certified SCORE mentor in Kalamazoo, Michigan

Communication Methods

  • In Person