Below is an overview of my professional experience. Please contact me for additional questions or if you have a project you think I may be interested in working on.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
13 years experience and still here.
How I made an impact:
The USCoC doesn't need much introduction. It is the world's largest business federation, lobbyist, and advocacy organization. I was, and continue to be, responsible for most aspects of small business membership. This includes customer acquisition, retention, communication, fundraising, operations, and strategy. Most recently, this has included developing a new digital strategy.
In sales, I led efforts that reversed what had been a decade long, downward revenue trajectory of sales in the contact center. My primary focus in the transition was changing the culture. I stopped measuring people on things that are easy to see but don't really matter, like calls per day and number of hours worked. I started measuring people on things that are more difficult to track, but far more impactful. This included total productivity, which included not only sales, but also the contribution to the working environment and the team at large. In short order, as a team, we implemented core values that drove our hiring and firing and we established a working environment that didn't allow top sales performers to be prima donnas. This division continues to outperform on every front.
At the beginning of 2015 I was asked to lead small business membership, a consolidated business unit of more than $9 million in sales that used to be several independently managed divisions. This consolidated business unit includes customer service, field sales, inside sales, direct mail, operations, and Small Business Nation, the USCoC's online small business presence. I've leveraged this realignment to initiate changes to sales and operational practices that will lead to a better customer experience and more profitability to the business.
We are currently incorporating a "skunkworks" approach and utilizing lean startup principles to dramatically change and modernize the customer acquisition business model. More info will be available as MVPs go through more iterations.
Like My Mother Does
2 years experience and still here.
How I made an impact:
Like My Mother Does is a custom baby bedding shop started by my lovely wife, Sam, before we were married. The business makes children's bedding sets entirely by hand and entirely customized to each customer. By the time we started dating, she'd grown her Etsy shop from a part-time hobby a to full fledged business grossing over $20,000 per month. It's no wonder when you see her work: here.
When I started helping her with the business, she was admittedly overwhelmed by the speed of her entrepreneurial success. She was months behind on orders, working (literally) twenty-four hours a day to try and catch up, and enlisting the support of friends and family for shop space and labor.
My contribution was adding standard and startup business processes to support the talent and creativity that was already clearly in place. I used production data to develop forecasting models that were used to accurately tell customers when to expect orders. I developed tools that automated the prioritization of orders based on a proprietary "score" that we collaboratively developed. The tools were then made available to anyone using the integrated devices (Mac minis in the shop, iPhones, iPads, etc.), which also made it possible for employees to work remotely.
After evaluating other aspects of the business, like profitability and target markets, we increased prices by more than 400% (which only increased demand), adjusted staffing, and, at the request of the founder, developed a system that allows her to scale up and scale down quickly and efficiently as she desires.
If you are interested in placing an order, your best bet is checking the shop's Etsy page, which opens only periodically due to insane demand.
After Hours Flowers
3 years experience.
How I made an impact:
After Hours Flowers was purchased as a retail florist in the very small town of Grass Valley, CA. When my mom purchased the business, it was the smallest of three florists in town, massively in debt to the IRS, and cash flow negative. My mom was successful in making enough changes to the brick and mortar business to turn a profit and, without paying herself for a couple years, eliminated the debts to the IRS.
When I started working with my mom on the business, my objective was to expand the business beyond the borders of a small town. As such, I went to work taking the business online. Enlisting the help of the entire team, we had photos taken of every item in stock and the most popular flower arrangements and gift baskets. With the help of a friend that helped me start Imagine Promotions (see below), we built a framework that allowed us to upload photos and describe products, and took After Hours Flower live online. Following less than a year's worth of iterations and testing, more orders were being placed online than through traditional channels. Within two years, we were able to eliminate the need for costly wire services like FTD and Teleflora.
Digital sales growth resulted in relocation of the shop and, eventually, the acquisition by an investor group.
5 years experience.
How I made an impact:
Imagine Promotions was a music artist, label, and festival management company. I founded the company to start throwing raves. Eventually the company grew to become responsible for promoting festivals and events that brought some of the industry's top talent to the midwest, including Bad Boy Bill, Richard "Humpty" Vission, DJ Dan, Keoki, Vicious Vic, Sasha, and many others. Events promoted, invested, and coordinated by Imagine stretched to the cities of St. Louis, Kansas City, Omaha, Lincoln, and Sioux Falls, amongst others, and included partnerships with promoters such as Superstarts of Love, Deep Connections, and D-Licious.
On the heels of event success, Imagine evolved into artist and record label promotion. Imagine exclusively promoted dozens of music artists and was one of the first agencies to introduce self-service, online booking for promoters to book Imagine artists. Record labels promoted by Imagine included Moonshine, Yes Mate, and Journees.