Alum Leads Chamber's We Don't Coast Crusade
Alum Leads Chamber’s We Don’t Coast Crusade
By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager
Omaha does not coast and neither does Bellevue University alum Kim Sellmeyer. Sellmeyer, Creative Director for the Greater Omaha Chamber, is one of the driving forces behind the Chamber’s branding effort, We Don’t Coast. The tagline is popping up on sidewalks and billboards throughout the metro area and officially rolled out August 6, 2014.
Sellmeyer thought a little differently when it came time to tackle the branding assignment. Rather than bringing in an agency from outside the area or awarding the job to a single local company, Sellmeyer formed a creative task force with 16 creative individuals from 15 local agencies.
“We wanted wide acceptance, so we picked kind of a unique process to build this,” Sellmeyer explained. “We had a big group, but they were all there for the right reasons. They care about the community and wanted to help take us to that next level.”
The We Don’t Coast theme emerged early in a two-day design charrette and was then vetted by area marketing professionals and stakeholders.
“We built this to unite the community together in one voice,” Sellmeyer said. “If we can all use the same words and the same tone it’s going to be louder.”
Her Bellevue University degree helped launch her toward her leadership position with the Greater Omaha Chamber. After earning an associate’s degree at the Colorado Institute of Art, Sellmeyer realized she would need to continue her education to get where she wanted to go.
“I researched colleges in Omaha and found that Bellevue was able to easily transfer my previously earned credits and had the flexible schedule I needed,” she explained. “I was working two jobs at the time, so I could pay as I took classes. I didn’t want to take out loans.”
Sellmeyer, married to former Marine and fellow Bellevue University alum Kerry Sellmeyer, earned her Bachelor of Science in Commercial Art from the University in late 2000.
“I had a great Bellevue experience,” she said. “I had one professor who forced us to use a Wacom Tablet (a computer input device frequently used by artists) in design class. It was torture. He said, ‘You’ll thank me someday when you don’t have carpal tunnel.’ I can’t work without a tablet today and, so far, no hand issues either. “Having a degree has opened up doors for me that I don’t believe would have been otherwise.”
If anyone had reason to coast it might be Sellmeyer. The branding project comes on the heels of her successful Omaha! Omaha! social media campaign capitalizing on the line-of-scrimmage calls of Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Sellmeyer described the on-the-fly campaign as “three weeks of no sleep.”
The experience with both We Don’t Coast and Omaha! Omaha! has been a highlight for Sellmeyer.
“It’s been very rewarding” she said. “We’ve built something that is going to get attention.”