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Leader Spotlight: All Eyes on Abbie Rumery

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FIRST & 42 continues to celebrate the stars from the 2020 Class of Leadership Kalamazoo with our Leader Spotlight series in which these leaders share insights on leadership, some personal “firsts” in life, and their vision for our community. Abbie Rumery, partner at Southwest Michigan First, is featured today. Abbie collaborates internally and externally to support the mission of the organization that “the greatest force for change is a job.” Abbie said “the funds our team raises each day go to support the foundation of what our organization aims to do—helping to grow, attract. and retain businesses and talent in our community and the seven counties we serve.” Abbie defines leadership as “creating an environment of trust and cooperation which allows for creativity to thrive and provides opportunities for your team to grow and develop.” In the next five years, Abbie would love to continue to see our region become a vibrant place where people love to live and work. Read on below to learn more about her vision for the community and more:

First Things First

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PET?

My first pet was a cat. Her name was Smokey.

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EVER OFFICIAL LEADERSHIP POSITION?

Public relations manager at the Movember Foundation.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST CONCERT YOU EVER ATTENDED?

Destiny’s Child at the Allegan Fair!

The Deep Dive

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN YOUR CURRENT POSITION? WHAT ARE YOUR DAY-TO-DAY RESPONSIBILITIES?

I have been in my role at Southwest Michigan First a little over a year. Every day is different, which makes each day exciting and presents new opportunities. I manage our relationships with our Council of 100 partners at Southwest Michigan First as well as our member services. My team is three people strong, and while we are small, we are mighty! I’m grateful for the partnership and collaboration of my team. Our success is powered by the creative and positive mindset they bring to work every day. At Southwest Michigan First, we believe “the greatest force for change is a job.” The funds our team raises each day go to support the foundation of what our organization aims to do—helping to grow, attract, and retain businesses and talent in our community and the seven counties we serve.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE LEADERSHIP?

I believe leadership is creating an environment of trust and cooperation which allows for creativity to thrive and provides opportunities for your team to grow and develop. A leader finds ways to encourage personal growth while achieving and surpassing team goals.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ENSURE YOU CONTINUE TO GROW AND DEVELOP AS A LEADER?

Leadership Kalamazoo was a great opportunity to meet other leaders in the community and to continue to grow and develop my own leadership skills through learning and connecting with others on this same journey. I look forward to taking the skills I’ve learned through this program and implementing them in my role at Southwest Michigan First, in the community, and in my daily life.

WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE HISTORICAL LEADER? WHY?

Nelson Mandela. He never wavered in his devotion to democracy, equality, and learning.

WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR OUR COMMUNITY IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

My vision is to continue to see this community grow and become even more dynamic and vibrant, where people are excited to live and work! I look forward to seeing businesses of every industry continue to expand and flourish—with college graduates opting to stay in Kalamazoo post-graduation, Zoomerangs moving back to put down roots and start families, and diversity in all levels of leadership.

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