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“Plan the work and work the plan.”

That’s the advice Crystal Berry’s grandfather used to give her when she was a little girl and it’s served her well. Berry, 25th Hour Communications’ vice president of marketing and communications, still lives by this mantra and this approach has guided her through nearly 20 years as a successful community college marketer and digital media whiz.

Her whole life, Berry said she has believed in working hard, being kind, having integrity and not placing judgement. But there are a few things she has learned on the job, especially in her last five years as vice president of 25th Hour Communications.

“Kindness goes a long way,” Berry said. “But rolling up your sleeves and working alongside your team goes even farther.”

On any given day, Berry could be responding to dozens of emails, participating in back-to-back meetings and leading webinars at national marketing conferences. At home, she and her husband have four children, from 3-years-old up to 16-years-old, yet Berry never seems to run out of energy or enthusiasm.

Maggie Morley, graphic designer with 25th Hour Communications, has worked with Berry for two years. She said she feels like there’s nothing Berry can’t do.

“She always has her hands in something, and just when you think she’s done it all, she finds a way to surprise you. Not only that, but she does it all flawlessly,” Morley said. “She is one of the most honest, supportive, and lively people I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and defines what it means to be a team player.”

Berry said she is truly passionate about her work helping community colleges grow their enrollment and market their programs. Like many of her colleagues, Berry is a community college alum and received her Associate of Applied Science in Accounting from Minnesota Southeast Technical College. Following completion of her degree, she immediately entered the workforce and hasn’t looked back since.

“What makes Crystal truly special is her kind and generous heart and the passion for her family and the work that she does with us at 25th Hour Communications,” said Jennifer Aries, president of 25th Hour. “She truly cares about our team and about our clients. Plus, she is the best digital marketer in the biz. She is unflappable, yet down-to-earth and we wouldn’t be where we are without her. ”

Morley agreed.

“When you work with Crystal, you can rest assured things will get done efficiently, and you’ll more than likely share a few laughs along the way,” she said.

Still, Berry has goals and is not ready to slow down. She hopes to see the continued growth of 25th Hour Communications and to expand the company’s client base beyond community college marketing. She looks to her heroes and mentors for continued inspiration, particularly Dr. Eunice Bellinger, president of BridgeValley Community and Technical College (BVCTC), where Berry serves as the marketing director as part of the college’s contract with 25th Hour Communications. She also draws inspiration from her fellow teammates and is hooked on #christiantiktok sermons.

In spite of her busy schedule, Berry said she is motivated to move to serve as many community colleges as possible.

“I’m driven by my passion for changing the world. I want to be the change,” Berry said. “I want to change people’s lives, and by communicating and creating access and equity within higher education spaces, I can do that.”

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