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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Tanja Kern

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Giving back is Tanja Kern’s way of saying thank you to the community.

After moving to Springfield in 2008, Kern joined the Junior League of Springfield, which has a mission focused on the prevention of child abuse and neglect in southwest Missouri. She quickly assumed the role of chairwoman for the public relations and marketing committee, which promotes the league’s mission, services and activities. This year, she encouraged the organization to work on outreach.

“We are creating a new branding campaign and a series of videos that aim to recruit younger league members and inform the public that we are a volunteer organization of women who come from a variety of backgrounds, life and work experiences,” Kern says. “It’s no longer an invitation-only organization, and more women should take advantage of the networking and community service opportunities.”

For the league’s 2012-13 year, Kern has been nominated to serve as vice president of communication for the group.

She also serves on the planning committee for the Child Advocacy Center’s annual Benefit Dinner, which bestows the Dr. John P. Ferguson Award for Child Advocacy on behalf of abused children.

Kern’s other community work is tied to her position as vice president of marketing at CU Community Credit Union.

“My big project this year is directing a complete company rebranding, including all new marketing collateral, signage, Web site, new business and advertising agency,” Kern says.
“I am responsible for coordinating all of our community outreach projects and public relations.”

Kern helps plan the annual Credit Union for Kids Golf Tournament to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. The event raised more than $40,000 for CMN in 2011.

Kern began her career in publishing, an industry that gave Kern her most thrilling professional accomplishment – when she saw her name on the masthead of Better Homes & Gardens’ Kitchen & Bath Ideas magazine.

“As a teen, I would flip through the pages of the BH&G magazines, dreaming of the day I could write for a shelter publication,” says Kern, who has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.

 “After working in publishing for several years, I turned that experience into a profitable [freelance] business. Today, in addition to my day job at the credit union, multimillion-dollar businesses hire me for copy editing, trade-show marketing and public relations,” she says.

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.

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