When Jake Barron ’15 graduated from Upper Iowa University, he not only left with degrees in business and communications, but also a management training position at Toyota and the beginning of a dream to turn his “consulting club” senior project into a future career.
Barron, then a senior from Torrance, Calif., and his fellow students formed the consulting group to work with Prairie View Management Inc., an organization devoted to serving individuals will mental illness, intellectual disabilities, and co-occurring disorders who require assistance with daily living activities. Prairie View has facilities in Fayette and Chickasaw counties.
Sylvia Mork, Prairie View CEO/administrator, said she contacted UIU regarding development of a new logo for the organization after successful projects with UIU art students and UIU information technology students.
“Jake and his group reexamined our mission, reinitialized a vision for our brand, created a social media presence and developed a style guide for ourselves,” Mork said. “Initially, I was focused primarily on the logo; but they took us through a process of thinking about who we are, what we do and how we communicate across the organization with our clients, potential employees and vendors so that everyone gets it. The UIU group gave us more than I ever expected.”
Mork believes the resulting logo and brand clearly demonstrates Prairie View’s commitment to supporting individuals with disabilities where they live. “It’s a visual cue that will cause people to look again,” she said. “And the new mission gets to our core values, describing us in a more emotive way.”
Barron’s team also worked with UIU alumnus Nick Reierson ’13, a business administration major from Clermont, Iowa, to put the plan into action at Prairie View. Reierson, who has been employed in Prairie View’s business office since July 2014, now has newly designed marketing materials and a new website at his disposal.
Team leader Barron, who picked up the project about halfway through its development, credits his team and faculty advisors for success of the project.
“We spent about six months together, working on the project to ensure the new branding was more than just a picture. The final product must be the organization’s vision or it won’t have the sentimental value that creates buy-in,” Barron said. “Our team did a great job on all the visual work, coaxing a vision from the people at Prairie View and giving them options.”
Members of the team included Charles Alcaide ’15, a graphic arts major from France; Rachel Curtis, a freshman from Manchester, Iowa, majoring in graphic design and management; Sarah Gonner ‘14, a business administration and financial management major from Manchester, Iowa; Yoon Yeep Low ’15, a business administration major from Malaysia, and Kayla Rickerl, a senior from Riceville, Iowa, majoring in health services administration and marketing. Meanwhile, team member Justin Tangen ’14, a business administration and marketing major from Sioux City, Iowa, is working toward a MBA, with an emphasis in human resources management. Lecturer Laura Huinker from the School of Business was the faculty advisor.
Barron has also begun planning for what he hopes is his future business model. “Elevate” would be a higher education consulting firm that would recruit colleges/universities as clients and recruit their business students to do the actual work as a form of internship. To see the consulting club’s work, go to: http://www.prairieviewiowa.org/home.html.