Letter from the Editor: Meet Courtney Jerome

To the Mt. Pleasant and surrounding communities,

I’ve been hearing an unusual sentence lately: “Your name just came up in a meeting I was in!”

Does it catch me off guard? Every time. 

Am I curious as to why? Well, of course! Wouldn’t you be, too?

So, I end up replying with an ask of “why did my name come up” for two reasons: 1.) Because I spend most days asking questions for a living, and for me it’s a natural response; 2.) I wear so many hats, in so many roles, that their answer could be one of many.

You see, I’ve been part of this community both as a transplant and as a boomerang. Never visiting Mt. Pleasant before the age of 21, I moved here for a full-time job just after undergrad at WCMU Public Media (CMU Public Broadcasting back then). I had the honor of meeting many of the area’s professionals in a variety of industries while I produced the live TV show “Ask The Specialists,” and honed my storytelling skills being part of the team that began the EMMY award-winning television magazine show “Destination Michigan.” During those years, I was part of the CMU community as an employee and as a graduate student. I met my husband — who was born here in Mt. Pleasant and attended Shepherd schools and Northwood University. We built a foundation together here. Then, we moved to Traverse City and I commuted back here for about a year until we started growing our family and that commute was no longer conducive for the lifestyle we wanted to live. 

During my time away from Mt. Pleasant, I was fortunate to spend more time with my family in Traverse City, and continue to grow as a mom and as a professional. I was the Senior Web Editor at MyNorth Media, home to Traverse Magazine, writing stories for MyNorth.com, producing digital-first editorial videos, and managing their social media accounts; became the Station Manager at UpNorthTV (now Traverse Area Community Media) working with area nonprofits to cablecast their stories to a ten-county northern Michigan coverage area; and started to raise our family. After a few years, in order to have more flexibility at home and continue to follow my passionate path of storytelling, I started my own business. And we boomeranged back to live in Mt. Pleasant (learn more about why we chose to live in our community here) and call it home.

With my business, Courtney Jerome Media LLC (CJM), over the past five years I’ve done work again with WCMU, MyNorth Media, and UpNorthTV, as well as for 60+ other media outlets, non-profit organizations, and small businesses — all telling stories in one way or another. 

Promotional videos. Brand photography. Social media marketing. Press releases. Blogs. TV commercials. Magazine articles. Printed marketing materials. The list continues.

While the work my team does may be vast, it all has one element in common: we tell the stories of hard-working community members. These are people who have discovered a problem and created a solution for it by becoming an entrepreneur — creating their businesses to establish a better life for themselves and their communities.

And that’s why bringing Epicenter into our client mix makes absolute sense. We are ecstatic about being able to tell the stories of this strong Mt. Pleasant community — from the small businesses, to nonprofits, to leaders and community members who strive to shout from the rooftops how great of a town this is — and tell the stories of people who are constantly solving the problems we face to make it even greater. 

Telling these stories of arts and culture, diversity, entrepreneurship, health, sustainability, technology and innovation, community and economic development, equity, talent, and education is Solutions Journalism at its finest, and a mission of Issue Media Group. And a personal passion of mine.

I’m proud to call Mt Pleasant home. I’m proud that I’ll continue being able to tell our community’s stories here alongside my marketing agency and an already-established team of freelance writers and photojournalists as Epicenter’s new Managing Editor.

If you have an idea you’d like to shout from the rooftops, too, please send it my way. Or, if you’re a writer or photojournalist and would like to join us, I welcome you to reach out! (Mail to: editor@epicentermtpleasant.com)

Here’s to continuing the Mt. Pleasant journey! Gosh, I’m fired up about it!

Courtney Jerome
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With 15 years of professional media experience, Courtney Jerome has found a passion for storytelling and showcasing our region in a positive light. She's written stories for television broadcasts, numerous magazines, and digital publications. In addition, she owns a boutique creative marketing agency that focuses on social media, photo, and video storytelling for small businesses across Michigan and the country — courtneyjeromemedia.com. Contact Courtney, the managing editor of Epicenter, at editor@epicentermtpleasant.com.