Katie Griess

Who are you?
Katie Griess, Advertising & Media Specialist at Cooperative Producers, Inc. (CPI), headquarter in Hastings, NE 

How long have you worked with cooperatives?
I just celebrated five years with CPI.

Describe your role.
As the Advertising & Media Specialist my day-to-day duties include all things communications. From managing and content creation for our various social media accounts, to donation requests, sponsorship opportunities and graphic design. I also assist our Advertising Manager with internal and external communications, event planning, and our cooperative’s digital presence and marketing campaign.

What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
I love the idea that the people making the decisions about our cooperative are members of the communities in which we are located.

When did you join CCA? Why?
I joined CCA in 2022 after hearing about it from our cooperative’s Corporate Coach. He suggested it as a great resource of like-minded individuals.

Did anything surprise you about CCA upon joining?
Growing up in rural Nebraska, when you think “cooperative” you automatically think about agriculture cooperatives. Since joining CCA, my eyes have been opened up to the various types of cooperatives and even though we all represent different industries, we all have the same challenges and wins.

How has CCA supported you in your career?
Since joining CCA I’ve had the opportunity to attend Institutes in Santa Fe, NM and Portland, ME. Between the information we’ve learned at those events as well as our connector group meetings, our two-person marketing team has been able to make some big improvements to our work-flow and how we communicate with other employees as well as our member-owners. It’s also been great to know that some of the same challenges we face with our cooperative, others are facing as well. I love being able to jump on the app and talk it out with others who may have been in similar situations.

What are your hobbies and interests?
As the wife of a farmer and mom of two young kids, life can get pretty hectic and free-time becomes null and void. However, I love dabbling in photography. Rural Nebraska sunsets have given me some pretty amazing shots. Before kids, I also had more opportunities to do bow hunting. I’ve been a member of our golf course’s women’s league for 13 years now. Am I a great golfer? No. Is it an excuse to get out of the house once a week away from the husband and kids and have some fun? Yes.

Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
The ancestry on my mom’s side can be traced back hundreds of years in Ireland and Scotland. I’d love to visit those countries and the areas my ancestors lived.

Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
My world was rocked almost 3 years ago when my son was diagnosed with Joubert Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Since getting the news, my views of the world and how we treat people have drastically changed and I’ve made it my mission to get Knox out and about in the public as much as possible to educate and advocate. Our small town has been an amazing support system for our family and Knox probably has more friends and “protectors” than most. He’s one of the coolest kids I know and has taught me more about life in his three years on this earth than in all my years before him. Being a mom of a medically complex kid was never in my plan, but our family wouldn’t be complete without him.

What advice would you give to professional communicators just starting their careers?
Don’t take things personally. If someone doesn’t like your work, it’s not personal. It’s business. Take their suggestions and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Email Katie here

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