Molly Altorfer, 30, Cedar Rapids
Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing @ Mount Mercy College
If it’s happening at “the Mount,” rest assured Molly Altorfer knows about it.
As the newly promoted Assistant Vice President for Communications & Marketing at Mount Mercy College, Altorfer’s job is to make sure that students, faculty and staff, alumni and the community as a whole — that’s you — know about all things MMC.
She has oversight on internal and external communications, messaging and branding, the Web site, social media efforts, a campus magazine produced three times year and all advertising.
“It’s never the same day twice. That keeps you on your toes,” Altorfer says.
Plus, her new role allows her to work with the school’s development department to
create strategies for campaigns and other fundraising initiatives.
“I’m excited because it’s going to be a challenge,” Altorfer says. “And it’s so integral right now to where we are going.”
She means “we” as in “Mount Mercy” and Altorfer’s job indeed promises to become more essential and more challenging as the school makes the transition to Mount Mercy University in the next few years.
“There is kind of a feeling, a buzz on campus,” she says. “There’s an excitement that’s palpable and that makes it exciting to go to work every day.”
Altorfer — who is originally from Cedar Rapids and actually served as the newspaper editor at Washington High School — moved back a few years ago from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area after college and a few years working as communications director for a Jewish non-profit organization. She and her husband Derek, along with their black lab/German Sheppard mix, Ike, wanted to be closer to family and make a difference in the community where they grew up.
“I knew I wanted to stay in the non-profit world,” Altorfer recalls of her job search. “I wanted to work for an organization that was doing good. And Mount Mercy does that for students. It prepares them for not only a career but also
to be successful, giving people as they continue their lives.”
Mount Mercy, and it’s “commitment to service” seemed like the perfect fit. She started working for the college in July of 2006 as the Assistant Director of College Relations. Less than a year later she was named the Director of Communications and Marketing. And just last week, on Jan. 4, her new title and role became official.
Of course, Altorfer humbly acknowledges that what she does for a living combined with her age is pretty impressive. And it’s not so ironic that an organization dedicated to producing successful young professionals depends on one to send
just the right messages about Mount Mercy
to the world.
“There is opportunity for young professionals here if you grab it,” Altorfer says. “The generations ahead of us want us to succeed. And that wasn’t really available in Minneapolis. There they would put you in a box and say ‘No, you’re under 30’
or ‘You’re under 40 so you can’t do that.’ Here, if you can think it up or sell the idea people will
take you up on it. It doesn’t matter if you’re 25,
35 or 55.”