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Networlding Works, Communications Expert Says.

Welcome Kerry LaCoste, a great partner we have worked with over the last decade. He is also a big supporter of Networlding and the process of building values-based relationships. We received this story from him about the great alliance he created with the Chicagoland Chamber and wanted to share it with you to help you create similar Networlds.

The Chicagoland Chamber’s website published this story that Kerry wrote that highlights the work he did over a 6-month period last year. Enjoy!


In the business of graphic design, rarely does an opportunity come along to work with a new client that restores and renews
one’s faith it what they do for a living. But that’s exactly what happened recently when I joined the Chicagoland Chamber of
Commerce. As a new member in May of 2011, I was introduced to CCC staff Nerina Human, Workplace Health and Wellness
Manager by Eva Paredes, Director of Marketplace Development. An immediate connection of shared purpose lead to an innate understanding and synergy between the three of us. This was how the creation and development of the Chamber’s Take Action Calendar for 2012 began.

Communication, understanding and trust are such essential parts of the creative process. I’ve often told people that the best
design work I’ve ever done is a direct reflection of working with great people. Great design work never happens by accident.
To clients, a seasoned designer’s ability to discover interesting ideas and concepts may seem mysterious and magical on the
surface — but it actually only happens after the collection of good information, understanding clearly defined project goals and the willingness and desire to look beyond the obvious. I always try to fully understand the client, company and competitive environment before ever suggesting appropriate solutions. My thinking always starts with clean slate. No preconceived ideas or assumptions. No standard cookie-cutter approach to the problem. Just a hunger to learn all I can from the people I have the pleasure to work for and with.

As a case in point, let’s look at the initial development phase of the CCC’s calendar project started. Nerina gathered a group of
health and wellness professionals and experts for a round table discussions and information gathering. These meetings helped our team focus the calendar months on important but overlooked and under-promoted health and wellness topics. Topics that related to an employee’s impact on workplace productivity and insurance costs. It was not enough for the calendar to just promote wellness in and of itself. The Chamber’s position and mandate was that innovative integration between business and public health is essential for our nation’s continuing competitive edge, as well as the financial and individual health of the residents in Chicago and the state of Illinois. One of the main themes that I kept hearing from Nerina and Eva was that of individual accountability for one’s own health and wellness. Getting employers and employees to take action was the main message for the calendar. These discussions provided the framework and input I needed to start thinking through creative solutions that would be impactful, but at the same time, easy to understand for the audience.

The creative development phase of the project was a joy to work on. Since I was equipped with such solid content, it was just a matter of bringing that content to life visually. We chose highly graphic icon styled illustrations for each month that were intertwined with the headline copy. The reaction by Nerina and Eva at the first design presentation blew me away! They were more excited about the work than I was! What a thrill! Eva elaborated, “I look forward to his (Kerry’s) presentations as I am always surprised by his innovative and creative ideas on how to get our message across to regional businesses.” The fine tuning of the graphics and text spanned many months and with Nerina and Eva’s extremely busy schedules, good project management wasessential. I also brought in recommendations for several great printing companies that eventually lead to Classic Color printing the calendar and becoming a CCC member. Said Nerina, “Kerry is one of the best in the Chicagoland designer market. Not only is he highly creative, but a brilliant project manager that made my job so much easier during the creation of the Take Action Health and Wellness Calendar.”

The 2012 Take Action Calendar was unveiled in early January through a mailing to the CCC member base and will be distributed throughout the year at various events. Visit for website updates as well as PDF downloads of the calendar and additional posters that were created for each month.

Kerry LaCoste is the principal of LaCoste Design, Inc., a Chicago-based graphic design firm. As a visual strategist and corporate communications expert, he helps facilitate growth in the relationships between companies and their brands, investors, products, services, customers and consumers.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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