Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism

William Francis Oechsler, M.A.

Grand Rapids, MI


IMC 615 - Creative Strategy & Execution
William Oechsler

Bill Oechsler is president of EthnoGraphic Media (EGM), an educational nonprofit that produces and distributes films exploring the critical issues of our times like the AIDS pandemic and Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Films include Little Town of Bethlehem, Miss HIV, The Grandfathers, End of the Spear, and Beyond the Gates of Splendor. Bill is also president of XLER | Marketing & Brand Consultancy and an adjunct instructor in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) Masterʼs Degree Program at the Perley Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University.

He was previously executive vice president of marketing at Zondervan, an international leader in Christian communications. West Michigan-based Zondervan is a HarperCollins company owned by NewsCorp. While at Zondervan, Bill oversaw all marketing efforts spanning the companyʼs Bible, book, academic, children’s, and new media groups. He was also responsible for all branding, corporate communications, Internet marketing, market research, creative services, and events.

Before joining Zondervan, Bill served as president and chief strategic officer of Hanon McKendry/The Brand Consultants. In that role, he led many of the strategic initiatives for corporate clients like Owens Corning, Hush Puppies, Furniture Row, National Heritage Academies, and Rubbermaid as well as nonprofits including World Vision, Promise Keepers, Alliance Defense Fund, Focus on the Family, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan, Bethany Christian Services, and Knights of Columbus.

Bill began his marketing career at Leo Burnett USA, one of nationʼs foremost advertising agencies. While there he managed research and planning efforts for McDonald’s, Sony, Philip Morris (Marlboro), Reebok, P&G, and Walt Disney World. National recognition for his marketing communications efforts includes two Effies, an Obie, Gabriel, Silver Anvil, New York Festival World Medal, two Pollies, two Print Magazine Awards, a Web Award, Webby Worthy Award, Marketing Sherpa Silver Mouse, four Audies (including Audiobook of the Year), and more than a dozen Telly Awards.

Bill has served on multiple corporate and nonprofit boards including Life International, Catholic Human Development Outreach, Grotenhuis, Global Publishers Alliance, Orphan Justice Mission, Ferris State Universityʼs Advertising/Business Program, and AimWest. He is a published author and invited speaker before academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, trade and professional associations.

Bill graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in speech (organizational communications sequence) and an MA in journalism (public relations major and statistics minor with an emphasis on health communications/social marketing). While with the University of Texas, he served as project director at the Office of Survey Research where he led research teams on telephone, face-to-face, and mail surveys for clients including the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and the Texas Department of Health. Bill was also a research consultant for the South Texas Health Research Center at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. There he managed qualitative and quantitative social science research studies among Hispanics living along Texasʼ border with Mexico.

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