Alumni Spotlight: Janelle Tischer | WMU Alumni Skip to main content

Alumni Spotlight: Janelle Tischer

Janelle TischerAdcraft Detroit inaugurated Janelle C. Tischer (B.B.A’00, Marketing), Vice President, Category Strategy, Walt Disney Company as its 115th President and ninth female to lead the oldest nonprofit advertising association in the country.  

“We make living by what we get, but make a life by what we give” said Tischer quoting a phrase from Winston Churchill. Tischer goes on to say, “Paving the path for the next generation has always been a key tenet for Adcraft and is important to me. Did you know that the Adcraft Scholarship Fund has given out over $750,000 to Michigan college/university students? Pretty incredible, right?”

Tischer has spent the bulk of her career working for advertising agencies in Detroit representing automotive and telecommunications clients. She joined Disney two years ago and builds strategic media partnerships with automotive, travel, and diversified consumer services clients across the country. Tischer resides in Rochester Hills, Michigan with her husband, Chip, and their two children. 

A Haworth College of Business and Lee Honors College graduate, Tischer also serves on the Advertising and Promotion Advisory Board for WMU.


Five Questions with Janelle Tischer:

  1. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career and/or personal life?  I currently sit on 3 non-profit boards and it is by far the most meaningful work that I’ve ever done. It has been invaluable from a networking and personal development perspective. It has allowed me to be involved with something greater than myself for causes that I’m personally motivated to impact. I have brought others along for the ride, including my children and husband. We make a living by what we get, but a life by what we give. Find what matters most to you and get involved as you can make a difference.
  2.  What was a formative moment in your time at WMU that continues to influence you today?  At WMU I took a capstone marketing class whereby our class served as an advertising agency for the local Chevrolet dealership and we developed media and promotional plans.  This class allowed me to fall in love with automotive marketing and specifically media planning and buying.  As a result, it helped me in launching my career at Campbell-Ewald Advertising after graduation working on the Chevrolet business.  It also provided me with leadership opportunities and made me realize that you can’t be a strong leader unless people are willing to follow you. They won’t follow you if they don’t trust you. Leadership is all about trust and that is something that I still carry with me as I lead my team at Disney.  Having a little pixie dust now also helps too!     


  1. Were you involved in any extra-curricular activities as a student?  Delta Gamma Sorority, Bronco Ambassador, WMU Tour Guide for potential students, Lee Honors College.


  1. Did you receive any scholarship support as a student?  I participated in the Medallion program and received a partial scholarship from that program. I was also the recipient of several scholarships through the Bay Area Community Foundation, including the Jodi Peplinski Educational Fund and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #103 Jack Sebald Educational Fund. Being the recipient of these scholarships helped financially support my educational pursuits at WMU.
  2.  What advice would you give to a current student looking to travel down a similar career path?  The advertising industry is one of the fastest paced industries in the entire world.  It’s constantly changing and has evolved more in the past 2 years than its entire lifecycle.  I've been fortunate to work on many creative campaigns and marketing programs throughout my career.  I’ve realized that the greatest opportunity for growth and learning came when I took myself out of the comfort zone and pushed myself into a new area.  Simply put, I took the 3 point shot vs. the layup and while it might have felt uncomfortable at first, I was able to accomplish more in the end.  Anyone looking to get into the advertising field needs to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, push themselves and always be curious because it’s an industry that is constantly evolving.    



Founded in 1905, Adcraft is the oldest nonprofit advertising association in the nation and one of the largest with 2,000+ members in metropolitan Detroit ranging from college students to young professionals to C-suite marketing executives. We provide important benefits to support and strengthen the Detroit advertising community including professional development programs, industry networking events, college scholarships and career services. Their mission:  to connect, educate, inspire and celebrate the Detroit marketing community we serve.

Are you an alum with good news you’d like to share other alumni and friends of WMU? Drop us a line at