Have we met?
If you have reached this page, it's likely because you scanned the QR code on my business card. Thanks for checking it out!
If you received my card during a face-to-face meeting, great! Nice talking to you.
Here's a little bit about me. It gets more relevant to this web site little further down the page!
- I grew up in Annapolis, MD, home of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, oysters, and the US Naval Academy where my dad was a Professor of Physics. I did a lot of sailing, swimming, and ice skating. Played guitar and lacrosse in high school.
- Majored in Biology at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia - southwest corner of the state, and a beautiful area. During the summers, I worked construction: dug ditches, framed houses, and eventually did a bit of finish carpentry as well. After graduation, I worked as a carpenter for a year or so [to the chagrin of my parents], but eventually landed a job working in a state Dept. of Health lab measuring air pollution.
- By learning a lot about chemical instrumentation in the lab, I landed a job as a field service engineer with Finnigan Instrument Corporation - the start of a career in the scientific instruments business that took my to Finnigan's Silicon Valley headquarters in San Jose, California where I worked in Marketing and Product Development. During this time I had my first real exposure to computers and programming as well as getting a taste of the challenge of explaining complex things in plain English. I travelled a decent amount around the USA, installing tandem mass spectrometers that cost between $500K and a million bucks, and training users at places like Dow Chemical, US Dept. of Agriculture, Purdue University, and Shell. When we sold our first big system in China, I spent several weeks there installing, testing, and training. On the way, I stopped in Japan to visit an old family friend who was attached to the US Embassy in Tokyo, selling battleships to the Japanese Navy. His introducing me to Japan started a love affair with that country that has had a big impact on my life.
- I left Finnigan and moved to Madison, Wisconsin where I ran Nicolet's Mass Spectrometry business unit. I took up sailing again, racing in Thistles and C-scows on Lake Monona. When Nicolet decided to try and sell their mass spectrometry business, they asked me to stay on and take another assignment. During a discussion at a company dinner with the CEO who had spent the 1960's living in Tokyo as part of the Caterpillar/Mitsubishi joint venture in construction equipment, I mentioned my affection for Japan. Soon after, he asked me to move there to act as a liaison between Nicolet's Japanese subsidiary and the home office. I ended up staying in Japan for three years and serving as Director of the Japanese operation, but when Nicolet's CEO - my boss - died of cancer, I left the company and returned to Maryland. I started training for my private pilot's license.
- Not feeling like I wanted to live anywhere east of the Mississippi River, and yearning for the wide open spaces of the West, I moved to Tucson, Arizona, where I did free-lance Web site development. In the evening, I played electric guitar in a rock/country band. I completed my flight training and received my pilot's license. I also went to the Reno Air Races and took lots of photos and put them on my personal Web site. The Reno Air Racing Association noticed, and asked if I would be interested in building their first Web site, beginning a fifteen-year relationship for me as their Webmaster and official photographer.
- After seven years in Tucson, I was called back to Japan to work as operations manager for a small multimedia company in Tokyo. I flew back to Reno twice a year in June and September to help out at the races, shoot photos, and update the Web site. I built an interactive MySQL database of historical air race results and built the first on-line ticket sales platform for the Air Races.
- At the same time I was getting a little restless at the multimedia company in Tokyo, an old friend asked if I would be interested in working with a footwear company called Crocs, doing their lifestyle/fashion photography in Asia. I soon joined full-time and managed their brand identity throughout Asia, working in various roles in both Tokyo and Hong Kong and doing photoshoots in Melbourne, Shanghai, and in various locations in Taiwan and Japan. A lot of my work was about using exciting brand and product imagery to get across the idea that Crocs was more than just a clog company - a message that was well received throughout the region.
- After four years with Crocs in Asia, I was asked to come back to the home office in Colorado, where I supported the global marketing team by developing tools, platforms, and processes to get our marketing messages out to the world. I left Crocs in mid-2011 - having had enough of life in a big corporation, I was happy to take a severance package and do my own thing again.
Where does this lead?
Well, it leads back to "Portal Four", which is how I refer to the digital media space [with the first three "portals" being (1) retail, (2) traditional broadcast and print media, and (3) event marketing]. I wanted to help creative artists, crafts people, and local businesses use "portal four" effectively by:
- Having a great Web site that beautifully represents what they do and who they are.
- Building and nurturing a community around their art, their products, or their services through social media, email, and other digital channels.
- Using processes that help the business take care of itself so that passionate people can spend more time on what excites and interests them.
- Having appropriate platforms and tools to get the job done efficiently and with high quality.
- Pulling all of these pieces together so that their "brand personality" - its values, mission, and goals - are expressed coherently and consistently through everything they do.