August 28, 2013
Mike Lefler, a marketing, media relations and communications professional with more than 13 years of experience, is the newest member of Doane’s administrative team, filling the role of Senior Director of Strategic Communications for the college.
Lefler's experience includes media relations and marketing roles at three universities, as well as non-profit and, most recently, marketing at Nebraska Heart Institute and Heart Hospital in Lincoln. At Doane, Lefler will lead communication initiatives to increase the visibility of the college and maximize enrollment and advancement.
Lefler comes to Doane from the Nebraska Heart Institute & Heart Hospital and The Physician Network, where he oversaw internal and external communications for the two health care organizations. During his service with the hospital, he increased the visibility of the organization by building a successful television ad campaign, helping design a new Web site and constructing a new strategic marketing and communication plan.
A Fairmont, Neb., native, Lefler is well acquainted with Lincoln and southeast Nebraska. Before joining the Nebraska Heart Institute & Heart Hospital staff, he served five years as the regional director of communications for the American Cancer Society (ACS) in Lincoln. He was responsible for generating all communications, media relations, advertising and marketing efforts for the ACS in Nebraska. He also served as its spokesperson through the media and public forums. Lefler excelled in that role, doubling ACS’ news stories placed in regional communications and earning the 2011 ACS Excellence in Communications Award, given to one communications director in a six-state division.
Lefler earned a bachelor of science degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he majored in sports management with a minor in psychology. He also completed graduate-level coursework in business management from Southwest Minnesota State University.
After earning his undergraduate degree, he began his career in media relations and communications roles at three universities. Between 2000 and 2007, Lefler was an athletic communications graduate assistant at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn.; media relations director at Northern State University in Aberdeen S.D.; and assistant director of media relations at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo. His years at the three institutions introduced him to many aspects of higher education, particularly athletics. At Colorado State University, he was the media relations contact for five intercollegiate sports, including nationally recognized men's basketball and football teams.
"I'm thrilled to be coming back into a career in higher education. There's something uniquely special about Doane College and I am thrilled to be joining an outstanding strategic communications team that gets to tell the world about the great things we have to offer," commented Lefler. "From unparalleled academic programs to outstanding athletic achievements to the ability to become involved in any number of activities, the moment a student steps foot on campus, Doane's ability to provide an all-around college experience is second to none. I look forward to helping move Doane from a well-kept secret to an opportunity for more students to begin their careers with a liberal arts experience that will prepare them to thrive in their professional endeavors."