Meet Marla

Meet Marla

Hello! I’m Marla, a veteran journalist delving into the world of content marketing and a new member of the Leverage team. I am excited to learn more about digital marketing and strategy, stretch outside of my comfort zone, and lend my writing talents to Leverage’s diverse clients and campaigns.


5 Things about Marla


1.  I  have two degrees, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a second one. 

I earned my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Ball State University way back in 1998, and enjoyed a rewarding career as a community newspaper reporter and features writer for more than a decade. I also have a master’s degree in public administration and nonprofit leadership from Grand Valley State University. While it was interesting to study, I have yet to put the degree to use!


2.  I’m a journalist at heart.

I love meeting and interviewing people and telling good stories, especially those that make an impact in the community. I always loved being a reporter because I’m constantly learning new things. As a content writer, I’m equally excited to learn more about how digital marketing, strategy, and good content can help grow a company’s brand and increase its bottom line. Good storytelling matters. Getting it right matters. Having ethics and integrity matters.


3. I’m a Hoosier who hasn’t lost her accent and moved to Muskegon for the beach.

Okay, not really. I actually moved to Muskegon for a cool gig as an arts and entertainment reporter and features writer at the Muskegon Chronicle. But when I saw Lake Michigan, it sealed the deal. I live for the summer and enjoy going to the beach, boating, camping, hiking, and relaxing in my backyard watching birds and having fires. I stay sane during the winter by snowmobiling, sitting by a blue light, and drinking lots of coffee!


4. I dream of being a barefoot writer.

Call me a drifter and a dreamer, but I don’t care about keeping up with the Joneses. My dream job would be to jet set around the world as a travel writer. I’d even be happy to pack up a camper or buy a tiny home and travel the country. My significant other keeps me grounded in reality and prefers stability (and a steady paycheck), so I get my travel fix by visiting different places in Michigan and taking a vacation once a year. I was fortunate to study abroad in London while earning my master’s degree and never felt so alive.    


5. I’m honest to a fault. And authentic. And grateful I can pursue my passion.

Even when the going gets tough, I truly believe I was meant to be a writer. It’s something I have always been good at and feels natural. I still have my young author’s entries from grade school and feel fortunate I have been able to make my way as a reporter and now a freelance writer. I also teach a College Success Class and encourage students to trust their intuition, pursue their passions, and don’t settle for a career that is going to make them miserable.    



Photo by Kendra Stanley-Mills