Dennis Cunningham, art faculty, was unanimously selected as the recipient of the 2015 Ray Trayle Print Prize, given annually to a "remarkable Northwest printmaker."
Elayna Alexandra, founder and owner of the independent consulting and business process outsourcing company Bluebird Experience, is excited to be putting her Marylhurst MBA to good use. She is combining her skills as businesswoman, artist and creative thinker to build better businesses, and she is doing this with fellow Marylhurst MBA alum Rebecca Krail.
Together both women are building a company that prides itself on delivering creative strategy development and streamlined execution services that focus on bringing soloprenuers, startups and nonprofits to their highest level of success.
But the path to happiness and an enjoyable work life was not always so clear.
In 2011 Alexandra found herself relocating to Denver. Looking for meaningful employment opportunities, she realized finding a job that would allow her to use her master's degree, provide the challenges she sought in a career, and deliver the financial return she was looking for was going to be harder than she had anticipated. She began as an independent contractor, working for local companies and helping them find new ways to market and sell their products and manage their client base.
Krail also relocated in 2011, from the Bay Area to Chicago, and was having the same difficulties in finding challenging, meaningful work. Following a series of conversations and negotiations, the two decided to strike out together and build a business from the bottom up. And Bluebird Experience was born.
Through Alexandra's work as a contractor, she had discovered the need for a business model that offered both strategy consulting and effective streamlined execution. With this idea, Bluebird Experience became a unique combination of high level consulting with business process outsourcing — providing the opportunity to serve clients in multiple capacities, from strategy development, business planning and market research to more operational areas such as bookkeeping, social media management, customer relations and communication services.
Their goal is to build a large network of clients ranging from young professionals and emerging artists, as well as seasoned leaders. "We want to not only build better businesses — that is, businesses with higher profits, happier employees, more market share, and that operate smarter — we also want to make jobs in the future, provide recent grads the opportunity to excel, emerging artists the chance to work on really cool projects," Alexandra said. "We want to give others the chance, when we didn't feel like we got it."
While they both have clients in their home bases of Denver and Chicago, they also serve individuals and businesses anywhere in the United States.