Serving with Joy and LoveNov 19, 2021
A serial entrepreneur, podcaster, marketing maven, international speaker, event organizer, and relentless cheerleader, Betsy Wiersma has dedicated her life to staging and helping people host memorable experiences. By connecting her passion with purpose, Betsy has achieved remarkable results throughout her entrepreneurial journey. Her passion for travel and learning the stories of women everywhere has led her to create CampExperience™ Network, a diverse network of women that aims at connecting women, giving back, and helping them grow as individuals and in their professional endeavors.
In an interview with Insights Success, Betsy sheds light on her entrepreneurial journey and how her motto “Dream BIG Live BIG” has helped her reach where she is today.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Give us a brief overview of your position at the company and your journey since its inception.
I hosted my first “special event production” in Junior High. It was the Junior Float, and I had a big idea. I convinced the local Dairy Queen to give us money as a float “sponsor,” and in turn, I gave the students Dairy Queen coupons. Dairy Queen sold a load of treats, and I was on the road to my event productions and sponsorship activation career.
After seven college internships at Purdue University, a year working for the Governor of Indiana, and a position as a festival marketplace promotions manager, I started my
business with $1000 and a dream. I would create memories, influence commerce, and make the world a better place with strategic special events and promotions. In 1985 I started Wiersma Experience Marketing, and we launched with my foundation that everything is ROI: Return on Ideas! In our 37 years, Wiersma Experience Marketing has served clients worldwide and has created BIG IDEAS that produce measurable results. I am blessed to have been an inspirational speaker and workshop leader in 20 countries.
The biggest of these ideas is the CampExperience™ Network. For 16 years, our “Sisterhood By Choice” of motivated and inspired successful women has raised over $1 million for charities in Colorado and around the globe.
What were the challenges you came across overall in your personal and professional career?
I love ideas. What started as a one-time annual CampExperience™ Fall Retreat became 60+ live networking and social events a year. And then, I added three podcasts that took me to three continents to capture the stories of amazing women. And there is ongoing Charity drives and Social Media platforms. And in 2021, I added the first online course of my lifetime of work called MOVE Ideas Into Action.
You can get it. My heart for service and my constant ideas are organized and produced by a small staff of contractors. The ideas are plentiful, and we are only limited by our time! We dream really big…and we always need sponsors and partners who share the same energy and can help us serve bigger.
As a CEO, what is your opinion on the impact of the current pandemic on the industries and market?
In a strange way, the pandemic was a blessing to our organization. We really saw the online participation grow, and the geographic footprint was unlimited. In the spring of 2020, we added events and services for our group and created “safe places” for people to share the journey. On Mondays, we played “BLINGO” which is BINGO for Touchstone jewelry. On Saturdays, we gathered on Zoom to be together and do creative things. Some knitted and some painted. I did so much art that I was inspired to create The STEW: Smart Talk Exceptional Women. This is a 200+ page color Art & Insights book that 62 of my “Camp Sisters” wrote in 2020 to uplift and inspire other women. We created a new podcast just for the pandemic called “Sisters Strong” and it was tactical and helped us all survive the “new normal.” We call ourselves a “Sisterhood By Choice,” and in 2020, we all needed all of the family support that we could get!
What is your thought on the necessity of a positive work culture? In what ways do you implement it at your organization?
The CampExperience™ Network has a motto: Do Good & Have Fun. We offer opportunities to gather and give our time, talent, and treasures to local, national, and international charities. The process of helping others is magical. In 2021 our focus is gifting experiences to Foster Youth. I can tell you that a day with the kids bonds our whole group and sharing the joy of service cements lifelong friendships. These friends become clients and then business advocates. And this synergy helps our Network continue to grow and thrive. We cannot help to be positive when we are sharing unconditional love and heartfelt joy in service. We also have our Charity Partners tell their stories at our annual Fall Retreat. We hear women from Kenya and
Uganda pour out the truth of women in crisis. And we have local women educate and inspire us about life on the streets of Denver, Colorado. This diverse and inclusive crowd moves the hearts of our participants. They choose to be positive and helpful.
What is it like being a CEO appearing to be fearless and helping millions of people?
I know I am here to serve, and I don’t “score” those numbers. I have two great illustrations of this point. Just the other day, I had a random email from a 74-year-old lady in Johannesburg, South Africa. Just when I was having a down day and sitting in overwhelm for not being enough, this email changed my view. She had listened to my story on a podcast and wrote to tell me that she was uplifted and inspired. And she wrote that my words had helped her to shift her perspective and feel supported in her challenging times.
My next example is also tied to a global radio interview I did on New Dimensions radio with Justine Toms. This lady in Hawaii heard the show during January 2021. She reached out, and we connected by Zoom. Long story, this “radio show listener” connected me to her dear friend on Maui,
and I was blessed to interview the amazing Eve Hogan on my Boost Power Podcast. When I arrived, Eve had just survived breast cancer, and I was blessed with the most raw and wonderful interview about her life-affirming insights. I recruited my new “Sister” Eve to speak at the CampExperience™ Network Fall Retreat in September 2021 in Denver.
Moral of the story………you never know who you are meant to serve. Just serve with joy and love.
What is your vision with the company for the next five years?
I know I will always Do Good & Have Fun. I love telling the stories of women, and podcasting is a blast! I am crazy into my Art on Purpose which was featured in Where Women Create magazine in August 2021. And my art is like my life, committed to uplifting and positive messages that inspire and create joy. My dream is to take the lead in global Art & Insight Retreats and building other online courses to join my first course MOVE Ideas Into Action. And I believe my talented Denver team will grow the home base and continue to innovate and serve.