The Power of Persistence and Innovation: Transforming the Michigan Business and Professional Association

Jennifer Kluge is a woman who wears many hats. She is a President and CEO of the Michigan Business and Professional Association (MBPA) and also oversees the Michigan Food and Beverage Association, a 3,500-member sister organization. Under Kluge’s leadership, the MBPA has experienced tremendous growth, with membership increasing from 12,000 to 18,000 and revenue doubling from $1.5 million to $3 million. Let’s delve deeper into her story and see how she accomplished this impressive feat.

Jennifer Kluge started her career at a young age, working at the MBPA founded by her father, Edward Deeb, when she was just 16 years old. However, it was not until later in life that she realized that she wanted to pursue a career in helping people. Kluge left the MBPA to work in human-resources management at advertising agency BBDO Chicago. However, she found herself dissatisfied, feeling that she was not helping people as much as she wanted to.

In 1999, Jennifer Kluge returned to the MBPA, where she took on the role of President and CEO. From the outset, Kluge focused on expanding the association’s reach and building recognition in the business community. To achieve this goal, she launched a statewide advertising and awareness program, which included building relationships with state lawmakers.

Kluge recognized that the MBPA’s primary product was service, and the association was not doing a good job of communicating its value to its members. To address this, she implemented more than a dozen new programs to help members save money in areas such as office supplies, travel, and credit-card processing. She also negotiated a reduced rate with a debt-collection company to assist members in collecting unpaid invoices and bounced checks.

Jennifer Kluge understands the importance of education and networking for professional growth. To this end, she started seminars and conferences for women, minorities, and business owners. These events focused on various topics such as health care, strategic planning, legislation, and human resources. By creating a platform for professional development and education, Kluge ensured that the MBPA was not just another business association, but a resource for the community.

Kluge recognized that expanding the MBPA’s reach was crucial to its success. She purchased the rights to Metro Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For, a local business-awards program, and expanded it statewide. This acquisition helped to further build the MBPA’s reputation and recognition in the business community.

As the CEO of the Michigan Business and Professional Association, Jennifer Kluge also has oversight of the Michigan Food and Beverage Association. This 3,500-member sister organization, also headed by her father, has a combined budget of $3 million and 18 employees. Kluge has applied the same principles and strategies used at the MBPA to drive growth and success at the Michigan Food and Beverage Association.

Jennifer Kluge’s story is a testament to the power of persistence, hard work, and dedication. Through her leadership, the Michigan Business and Professional Association has grown tremendously, providing resources and value to its members. Kluge’s emphasis on improving services, expanding the association’s reach, and promoting education and networking has helped to distinguish the MBPA from other business associations. As she continues to oversee the Michigan Food and Beverage Association and the MBPA, Jennifer Kluge is a force to be reckoned with in the Michigan business community.

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