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Kim Mickelsen

Chief Executive Officer

Kim Mickelesen
Chief Executive Officer

GRAND ISLAND, NE

Growing up in a town where we went everywhere unsupervised gave me a great sense of independence. I’d leave in the morning on my bike and come home for dinner.

There were constant tornado warnings and many, many river parties.

I’ve had a love for animals since I was a kid. I’d bring home a lost kitten, a hurt bunny, etc. Later, when my husband and I were first married, a baby squirrel got knocked out of a black walnut tree near our duplex. The vet said he wouldn’t make it, but we bottle-fed him, kept him in a box with a heating pad and raised him until he was five months old. When we finally took him to Elmwood Park, I cried the entire way home.
 

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA – LINCOLN

I was an advertising major with minors in political science, marketing and English. Albert C. Book, a copy professor, taught me to stand up to harsh criticism and defend my ideas.

At this point, I’ve taken enough graduate level courses to have a master or two, but not a focus in one specific area.
 

HORIZON SEED COMPANY – MARKETING DIRECTOR

I was fresh out of school, but everyone looked at me like I was an expert in marketing. I put together test trials, recruited new dealers, wrote and published a newsletter and created ads for papers and magazines.

I learned to be fearless, decisive and to speak with authority despite any doubts.

Keep in mind, I was a city girl. Once, while setting up a test trial event, I made the mistake of wanting to check out a mama pig. She must have seen me as a threat because she charged and head-butted me face-first into the mud. I didn’t think it was nearly as funny as the farmer did, but I eventually laughed it off once the mud was clear from my face. That test trial turned out to be the best one I put together.
 

BOZELL – SENIOR PARTNER

I started as a management supervisor, but within two years of starting, I was made VP. I was the youngest individual ever to be made VP of the then-global Bozell brand and one of only a few females. Two years after that, I was made senior partner.

I helped Bozell win both national and international pitches (one of which was Gateway Computers), was named one of the 50 most important women in energy in the world and had the great fortune to work shoulder-to-shoulder with industry greats like Chuck Peebler and David Bell. I should note, though, when I traveled to Germany to accept my award for being one of the most important women in energy, I came home with a badly sprained ankle. Also, as a young account person, I was sent to Saudi Arabia and then promptly sent back because I refused to wear a veil over my face. It wasn’t all a shiny success.
 

BOZELL – CEO

I was one of four partners that acquired Bozell back from Interpublic group. It was extremely risky, but I’m proud of the role I played in keeping the legacy just as vibrant and relevant as the agency our founders launched over 95 years ago.
 

Words to live by: Never lick a steak knife. –Dave Barry

Kim's story

GRAND ISLAND, NE

Growing up in a town where we went everywhere unsupervised gave me a great sense of independence. I’d leave in the morning on my bike and come home for dinner.

There were constant tornado warnings and many, many river parties.

I’ve had a love for animals since I was a kid. I’d bring home a lost kitten, a hurt bunny, etc. Later, when my husband and I were first married, a baby squirrel got knocked out of a black walnut tree near our duplex. The vet said he wouldn’t make it, but we bottle-fed him, kept him in a box with a heating pad and raised him until he was five months old. When we finally took him to Elmwood Park, I cried the entire way home.
 

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA – LINCOLN

I was an advertising major with minors in political science, marketing and English. Albert C. Book, a copy professor, taught me to stand up to harsh criticism and defend my ideas.

At this point, I’ve taken enough graduate level courses to have a master or two, but not a focus in one specific area.
 

HORIZON SEED COMPANY – MARKETING DIRECTOR

I was fresh out of school, but everyone looked at me like I was an expert in marketing. I put together test trials, recruited new dealers, wrote and published a newsletter and created ads for papers and magazines.

I learned to be fearless, decisive and to speak with authority despite any doubts.

Keep in mind, I was a city girl. Once, while setting up a test trial event, I made the mistake of wanting to check out a mama pig. She must have seen me as a threat because she charged and head-butted me face-first into the mud. I didn’t think it was nearly as funny as the farmer did, but I eventually laughed it off once the mud was clear from my face. That test trial turned out to be the best one I put together.
 

BOZELL – SENIOR PARTNER

I started as a management supervisor, but within two years of starting, I was made VP. I was the youngest individual ever to be made VP of the then-global Bozell brand and one of only a few females. Two years after that, I was made senior partner.

I helped Bozell win both national and international pitches (one of which was Gateway Computers), was named one of the 50 most important women in energy in the world and had the great fortune to work shoulder-to-shoulder with industry greats like Chuck Peebler and David Bell. I should note, though, when I traveled to Germany to accept my award for being one of the most important women in energy, I came home with a badly sprained ankle. Also, as a young account person, I was sent to Saudi Arabia and then promptly sent back because I refused to wear a veil over my face. It wasn’t all a shiny success.
 

BOZELL – CEO

I was one of four partners that acquired Bozell back from Interpublic group. It was extremely risky, but I’m proud of the role I played in keeping the legacy just as vibrant and relevant as the agency our founders launched over 95 years ago.
 

Words to live by: Never lick a steak knife. –Dave Barry

Read More

years in industry

35 years

years at bozell

28 years

client experience

  • Sioux Honey
  • Westlake Ace Hardware
  • NCAA Men’s College World Series

Kim's Hometown

Grand Island, NE

March 25, 2018

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Paying rent for the space we 
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Do one selfless thing every day for someone else. That’s my north star. Whether it’s serving on a Board of Directors for Love’s Jazz or United Way or launching TEDxOmaha or just volunteering at Lydia House, I actively seek out ways to make a difference every single day.

Kim says

I learned to be fearless, decisive and to speak with authority despite any doubts.

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