Mandy Hunecke

Who are you?
Mandy Hunecke, Communications Director at Crystal Valley 

How long have you worked with cooperatives?
Six+ years

Describe your role.
I’m a one woman show! I handle internal/external communication, manage our company brand, company clothing, oversee company involvement and donation program, advertising, social media, website management and whatever else needs to be handled in a communications capacity.

What do you enjoy about working with cooperatives?
Working with cooperatives is very rewarding for me, largely due to the people aspect. Having grown up on a farm in Iowa and spending15 years in nonprofits after college, transitioning to a cooperative felt natural. I value being part of a community that supports local farmers and the agricultural sector. The cooperative model allows me to remain connected to my roots while contributing to a cause I deeply believe in.

When did you join CCA? Why?
I’m pretty sure it was 2018 or early 2019.

Did anything surprise you about CCA upon joining?
Everyone is very welcoming and while we all have big roles, we’re all very supportive of one another.

How has CCA supported you in your career?
I’ve learned so much from the annual CCA Institute, webinars, and the people involved in CCA. If I have a question about something, I know there is a plethora of people I can lean on for help. The connections I’ve made with people are unbeatable!

What are your hobbies and interests?
Travel – going anywhere and everywhere! Supporting my 3 boys in their interests, I’m always in the stands. We’re a huge sports family, and they all play baseball and football, and 2/3 play basketball. I love to follow the Iowa Hawkeyes Football and Basketball (Caitlin Clark, anyone?) and the Green Bay Packers. I also enjoy visiting craft breweries and spending time with friends and family.

Do you have a “bucket list”? What are some of the things on that list?
I do, and it’s a mile long! I want to visit all 50 states and get closer every year. I have seen 43/50 so far! I am always up for new experiences, and I am typically planning my next trip before I leave the trip I am currently on. Other random things: hot air balloon ride, visit a lavender field, and go to a Super Bowl.

Give us something about yourself that is surprising or that most people don’t know.
I’m stumped on this one… I’m sure I’ll think of 100 after I send this but…. How about this. My husband and I were born the same day – and went to the same school, K-12, but we didn’t start dating until the very end of our senior year.

What advice would you give to professional communicators just starting their careers?
Think first and then react. Sometimes we jump at things because we think we have to and while a quick reaction can be warranted, prepare for the worst ahead of time so you can take the minute needed to think it through.

Email Mandy here

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