Marissa Michalkiewicz feels her insides burn as she walks down a littered street. She grimaces as she notices recyclables in a trash can when a recycling receptacle is just steps away. She’s always had a passion for leaving a place better than she found it.
The high-energy UW-Green Bay alumna (2016, Business Administration) has moved quickly from recycling at UW-Green Bay’s Homecoming event—Krash the Kress—to Recycling and Solid Waste Program Coordinator for Outagamie County and Founder of Giveadaam Ventures—an LLC dedicated to energy-efficient and affordable housing.
“I really started caring about the environment when I was a Sophomore at Appleton East High School, so around the age of 16. I decided to take our high school’s only Environmental Science class during that year and the teacher that oversaw the class, Mr. Ryan Marx, was truly the reason I continued pursuing the subject.”
Since the beginning of high school at Appleton East, she was motivated to be involved any way she could, with the purpose of adding to her resume and creating potential change in waste management. At UW-Green Bay, her travel as a member of the Phoenix softball team and attendance at many athletic events as one of the founders of the “Green Bandana Brigade,” a student pep group, never distracted her from fulfilling her mission at Eco U.
As for her Recycling & Solid Waste goals, the Business Administration alumna hopes to find new sparks of inspiration to increase awareness on waste diversion.
Now, her many responsibilities at Outagamie County’s Recycling and Solid Waste, including overseeing the marketing—recording, and editing of educational material and provide public education and outreach to residents and businesses within the County ensuring recycling participation meets departmental objectives.
Her side non-profit, Giveadaam Ventures, took on three new interns, including current UW-Green Bay Business Administration student Maria Arunkumar. She expects them to hit the ground running…
“Our 3 Hype DAAmbassadors joined our venture knowing the goal of their internship was to organically expand the brand awareness of Giveadaam Ventures, LLC. In their 4 month internship period, the challenge presented to them was to double the following on Giveadaam’s digital and social media platforms,” said Michalkiewicz. “Their responsibilities are to develop the social media strategy for the organization by creating social media posts, monitoring analytics, documenting the progress of the company, and highlighting the businesses and organizations participating in Giveadaam’s Community Marketing Partnerships.”
Along with her many roles, Michalkiewicz says volunteering is important to create a community you are proud of. She volunteers countless hours of her time to St. John’s Homeless Shelter, On Broadway, Inc., and UW-Green Bay’s Alumni Association and Homecoming events because she says those organizations work to offer amazing services for the community members.
“Volunteering is a great way to create the type of culture and community you wish to see because it provides organizations with your free resources that allow them to continue spreading their messages and efforts,” said Michalkiewicz.
In her side venture, “Giveadaam Ventures,” Michalkiewicz is envisioning a house with nearly zero energy consumption. Her idea for it stemmed back to college days when she had affordable housing at UW-Green Bay, but she saw her college friends in other communities challenged to find quality housing with affordable rent.
She was recently featured in the Green Bay Press-Gazette on her plans and purchase of local property.
“The business plan for Giveadaam stems from an environmental business plan Michalkiewicz developed as a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay student studying business and environmental policy. Much of the business, started by Michalkiewicz after she graduated in 2016, is housed in the garage of The Manor and is powered by young professionals who help out in their spare time,” according to the story.
Michalkiewicz visualizes this type of housing for college students and young professionals. This process is very new for Green Bay and Wisconsin. Local officials are lauding her efforts.
Her efforts are of little surprise to those on campus that recognized this rising Phoenix years ago.
Story by Marketing and University Communication student assistant Charlotte Berg. Photos submitted.