With all that Sally Hurley Koepke G.O. ’77 has on her plate, it’s a miracle she has time left for anything. She oversees two thriving businesses and is helping to drive the fundraising efforts for the Glen Oak Scholarship in honor of the school’s 50th anniversary.
Koepke works as principal and partner at McHale and Koepke, a business-to-business marketing and communications firm helping companies market and sell to other companies.
“There are so many avenues today for companies to expose their brand,” Koepke says. “It’s very daunting, and not everybody has the budget. We’ve learned a lot, we know what works. We’ve built our business on expertise, relationships and results.”
When she’s not marketing, Koepke is spicing things up with her spice business, Mom’s Gourmet (check it out at momsgourmet.net). The business started as a holiday gift exchange, a way for Koepke and her mom to showcase their culinary chops through homemade spice blends for friends and family.
“Everybody said, ‘You’ve got to sell these,’” Koepke recalls. “I said, ‘Yeah, right. Just because you’re a good cook doesn’t mean you should open a restaurant.’”
The wife of a Gilmour alum encouraged Koepke to find a co-packer and pursue it. Now Mom’s Gourmet has 13 spice blends. You can find Mom’s Gourmet in more than 2,000 stores nationwide, including Whole Foods, Heinen’s, Giant Eagle, Kroger and more.
All the spice and herb blends use clean and organic ingredients (no sugar, MSG, fillers, dyes or salt).
“Glen Oak really put the entrepreneurial soul in me,” Koepke says. “Glen Oak’s motto of ‘person, service and love’ implies that you have to be true to yourself. Love is giving of yourself. Those fundamentals hit home with me. Mom’s Gourmet does a lot of charitable work with animal rescues, domestic violence centers and the American Cancer Society as a result.”
With the 50th anniversary celebration of Glen Oak’s opening on September 20-21, Koepke joined other alumnae in fundraising efforts for the Glen Oak Scholarship. The committee's goal is to fund the scholarship endowment for years to come.
“With the cost of education, a lot of students need help,” Koepke says. “After meeting some of these ladies at Gilmour, we’re in awe of their maturity, intelligence and charitable work. These young people have such a strong foundation at Gilmour, and clearly Glen Oak has influenced it.”