You may not have met Employee of the Quarter Kayla Gronseth Boyer yet, but she’s probably helped you out at least once if you work at UCCS.
As the eComm Program Manager, much of Kayla’s work is not immediately obvious. She provides assistance and guidance on eComm practices, helps get new users provisioned in Marketing Cloud and Cvent, runs trainings on various eComm topics and much more.
“I don’t think people realize how integrated this program is with things and initiatives happening on campus. I’m kind of behind the scenes of a lot of stuff that people probably don’t even realize eComm is helping with,” explains Kayla.
Originally working at UCCS as an intern in Media Relations, then a student employee in Alumni Relations, all while pursuing her Bachelor’s and then joining the accelerated Master’s program, Kayla started taking on some of the eComm responsibilities in her student employee position. This led to her becoming a professional temp at the university before taking on her current role.
Kayla not only manages the current eComm program, but is constantly looking for ways to expand and improve it. She shares a monthly eComm newsletter and has recently started hosting monthly “Lunch ‘n’ Learns” where she goes over email marketing and digital communications topics during the lunch hour. The first session covered event strategies in eComm and the second discussed how users can use eComm data to show impact to leadership. The third, taking place on Nov. 29, will go over A/B testing. Additionally, she’s created an eComm channel for users to reference for resources and FAQs, and hopes to continue building from there.
“My goal is always to enable people to feel confident enough to experiment and be innovative in their communications and event strategies. As the program expands, I would love to provide more training and more resources,” says Kayla.
That positive attitude and constant readiness to help others is part of what makes Kayla a great choice for Employee of the Quarter. She is happy to help in any way she can and is more than willing to collaborate with her fellow UCCS staff, as Eric Nissen, Associate Director of Marketing and eCommunications, can attest to.
“Kayla has been a consistent high-achiever for our team, and everyone who has worked with her has benefited from her infectious enthusiasm, solution-oriented attitude, her desire for excellence, and her innovation and creativity. She has been instrumental in bringing our eComm program to an exemplary level, taking our Advancement efforts and outreach across campus to new heights. I am grateful for her many contributions and am excited to watch her expertise continue to grow and impact the campus and community,” says Nissen.
When asked what she loves most about UCCS, Kayla notes the community and camaraderie.
“I like the community feel of collaboration at UCCS. In my role specifically, it’s a really good way to see everything that’s going on on campus and in the community in relation to the university, and it really helps me to get to know all the different areas of campus by supporting the users in those areas.”
That’s only the work side of Kayla’s life. It’s even more impressive considering how busy she stays outside of it, between running a publishing company, exploring Colorado through frequent hiking and camping, tending to her garden and two dachshunds – affectionately dubbed “the weenie squad” – and shattering her own weightlifting records, most recently with a 224-pound deadlift! She’s been breaking these records at Pinnacle Weightlifting Club, a local gym owned by Jackie Black, who’s also a UCCS alum.
Yellow Beak Press, the publishing company she founded with her husband Scott, was started in 2009 as a passion project for the two of them. The company focuses on “preserving and promoting tattoo history.” Both Kayla and Scott are tattoo enthusiasts and have traveled out of state to add to their collections and learn more about the practice, going as far as Washington, California, Texas and Utah, just to name a few.
Yellow Beak Press was formed when they were looking into the life and work of Milton Zeis, a tattoo legend, and as they dug deeper and learned more, they began to compile what they learned into a book to share with the tattoo community. The success of the first book led into another, and from there the company grew.
“Now we’re on our eighth book, and we also expanded into home goods and prints and posters. It formed into something we never thought it would, and it all just started with an interesting historical thing we wanted to know more about,” Kayla says.
When asked about a fact that might surprise people about her, Kayla says she’s an open book but mentioned she’s done some vocal performances in the past, including playing Annie in a school play while attending a performing arts school.
“I went to a performing arts elementary school in Florida and would perform in the mall and for other schools. As an introvert, that was terrorizing. But I did it,” Kayla laughs.
Now, she mostly sticks to karaoke, with “Heaven is a Place on Earth” as her go-to song. Or the “Weird Science” theme song, depending on how she’s feeling.
As for receiving the Employee of the Quarter recognition, Kayla was surprised but appreciative.
“I feel very grateful and appreciate the acknowledgement from my team members. It reiterates why I like working here. It’s a community and people care about you and each other.”
About the Employee of the Quarter Award
The Employee of the Quarter program is designed to promote and reward outstanding performance by staff at the university. In recognition of her efforts for UCCS, Kayla will receive one day of administrative leave, a $100 stipend, three months of a free and reserved parking space and a $40 voucher to the UCCS Bookstore.
Do you have a colleague whose extraordinary efforts at UCCS deserve to be recognized? Nominate them for the Employee of the Quarter award.