My EDPA “University Affiliations Program” Experience by Mark Crane, CEO, Acer Exhibits

 Mark Crane

Mark Crane

We had the opportunity to work with Bemidji State University to bring Ashley Kiecker, a very talented young intern designer, to help us get a better understanding of where the industry is going within academia and to provide real, practical application of these new ideas and concepts. Our interaction with Ashley enhanced an already dynamic and exciting environment for the rest of our team and in the end we provided a tremendous opportunity for her to experience the trials, tribulations, and pace of a real trade show exhibit company.  We were thrilled to learn that Ashley was recognized as one of the top designers at Bemidji State! 

  Bonnie Higgins, Randy Acker, Ashley Kiecker and Sachel Josefson, giving Ashley an award)

Bonnie Higgins, Randy Acker, Ashley Kiecker and Sachel Josefson, giving Ashley an award)

We truly felt the time spent at Acer provided invaluable experience and training that ultimately led to her award and recognition.  Supporting this effort is absolutely consistent with our goal of recognizing the need for talented people to be joining our industry in many facets. Realizing the benefits of this interaction with Bemidji helped me understand that we can do more to reach out to local community colleges to present our needs and opportunities and to foster interest in our skill sets that are needed such as cabinet makers, project managers, estimators, administrative and CAD engineers.  We have all discussed the aging of our industry and the need to provide opportunities for young people going forward.  Our experience with Bemidji was extremely positive and constructive.  We look forward to working with other Bemidji students in the future.