Below you will find a casual overview for each of my main areas of expertise along with samples of my work. This is meant to give you a taste of my experiences, background and incite on how I have tackled projects in the past. My hope is that if you have gotten this far, and are still reading, that one of the categories below will peak your interest and spark a conversation.
I got into web development very early on in my career and it has become an essential part, the backbone for just about everything I do. Even when it comes to marketing & communications, where I typically will take a web-centric approach, meaning I will direct any advertising, signage or any other “call to action” to something on the website. This really helps when analyzing the effectiveness of just about any marketing material or plan.
In a secondary school environment, providing cost-effective solutions is a must, and maintaining a secondary school web infrastructure is no different. Something that I have brought to my current role is the use of well established open source web solutions. The most common being WordPress. I am very well versed in WordPress being able to go well beyond just setting up an install and creating pages. Due to my PHP and CSS skills mentioned above, I have the ability to take WordPress to a whole new level being able to dive into the code side (WordPress is based on PHP and CSS) to make it do what I need it to do. I also use other open source systems for things such as photo storage, project management software, knowledge base / training system and more.
Social Media -- For Business & Advertising
Everybody with a phone or computer think they are a social media expert just because they have a Facebook account. Handling social media for a business or organization is a completely different can of worms. When it comes to business social media you can’t just post a photo of what you are eating for lunch and expect results. I have been handling business social media for the past 10 years, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIN, Pinterest, Snapchat, Flickr, Vimeo, Tik Tok and so many others that no longer exist. It is important to develop social media communication plans determining what social media channels are most appropriate. I helped create Snapchat filters while working at a high school but Snapchat is not a relevant audience during my time at a crane and heavy haul company. Collecting content, creating stories, engaging with customers, collecting customer data, re-targeting, delivering the right message to the right people at the right time, this is how I have succeeded in business social media.
My passion for photography started with an old Nikon D200 and shooting photos of my son playing football and has exploded into me shooting photos that get published in magazines, advertising, social media, brochures, newspapers, yearbooks and more. Today my Canon 90D and I are nearly inseparable. I have had the privilege of shooting photography of so many cool things that I can’t pick a favorite (okay when my son got his first sack and I captured it, that was pretty cool). Check out my Flickr account to see some of the awesome things I have shot and see how it relates to the stories I am trying to share.
See all my photos on Flickr
Videography has just been a natural progression in my career. I started my career programming MANY sales, marketing and training CD-ROMS which many of them included video. I quickly had to learn how to make quick edits which grew into shooting video and at this point in my career I write scripts, shoot video, set the lighting, run the audio, produce, edit and present the videos.
I have experience with Adobe Premiere but once I started using Final Cut Pro I was pretty much hooked (not a big fan of FCP X but love FCP 7). Most of the videos I produce today are “talking head” interview/testimonial pieces but I do get the occasional humor or informational video. Along with everything else mentioned above I also do all of my own graphics (lower thirds, slugs, etc.) as well as minor animation when necessary. I will typically use Adobe Flash to build animations and import them into Final Cut Pro. Please note that due to the confidentiality of many of the videos I work on that I can only share a very small sample size.
Graphic design has been a role I have delveloped over my 20 years of experience. I routinely design websites, broadcast emails, web graphics, brochures, pamphlets, banner ads, social media graphics, signage, training materials, videos graphics and anything else needed to get the project done. I am very strong in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign, and I am also pretty effective in Adobe Illustrator for those projects that require vector graphics.
Even in todays digital driven world printed materials still play a major part of many industries. I have produced many flyers, brochure, pamphlets, multi-page programs, small-scale and large-scale signs, and banners. I am also familiar with sending projects through outside resources such outside printing companies just as much as I am to using internal resources and I have even folded my own brochures and programs by hand if it meant getting the project completed on time.
Project managing has always been one of my greatest strengths. Even as far back as college, I was always willing to grab a project by the horns and tackle it by whatever means necessary and lead it to the finish line. It didn’t matter if it was a college senior capstone project, a 40 foot RV with more computer equipment involved then most small businesses or a last minute video that needed to be put together.
For me, good communication, problem-solving and team work have been key ingredients to my success with managing and leading projects. Whether I have had to write a fully customizable project management CMS system (which I have done twice) to best fit our needs, help nurture team members for not only the short-term project but our long-term needs, find the answer to that “impossible” situation or just to do whatever it takes to meet and exceed the expectations of any project I am involved with. I also like keeping an eye on the big picture, below you will also see a couple forms I have created and implemented to help with juggling multiple projects.
Admissions - Marketing & Comm.
As you may have noticed I have separated the admissions and the fundraising marketing & communication section of my resume and portfolio. My current position has me directly involved on a daily basis with much of the planning and execution. The reason for separating the two is (1) the individual importance of each and (2) the marketing strategies for the two are very different.
In my role as Director of Digital Marketing & Communications, my daily responsibility is to execute the overall marketing plan put in place by the VP for Marketing & Communications. Like many education institutions, most of our plans are put together in one-year cycles and are put together over the summer months. In my role as Director of Digital Marketing & Communications, I also have a very big role in helping develop the overall plan, providing direction and suggestions to help in the ever-changing landscape of admissions and enrollment management.
When it comes to admissions, it is about telling the story. Through videos, photos, social media, printed materials or whatever the next new trendy method that pops up, the goal is to tell your story so well that someone wants to join you and become PART of the story.
Fundraising - Marketing & Comm.
Just as I mentioned in the Admissions – Marketing & Communications section above, as you may have noticed I have separated the admissions and the fundraising marketing & communication section of my resume and portfolio. My current position has me directly involved on a daily basis with much of the planning and execution. The reason for separating the two is (1) the individual importance of each and (2) the marketing strategies for the two are very different.
In my role as Director of Digital Marketing & Communications, my daily responsibility is to execute the overall marketing plan put in place by the VP for Marketing & Communications. Unlike admissions, fundraising is very much a moving target that requires the plans to be more flexible. Like admissions, I also have a big role in helping develop the overall plan.
When it comes to fundraising, it is about finding that one thing that someone can latch onto so strongly that they are willing to give back in some way to make a difference. It may be a video rehashing a past event, something they saw at one of your events, something they saw on social media, a printed piece they received in the mail or a simple email with a photo that moves them to give.
Large Scale Facilities Branding
This is one of my areas of experience that I believe sets me apart from that rest. It is one thing to put some signs up around campus or a business but it is another to transform an entire room or area into something that screams at the top of your lungs who you are and why you are great. Two of my favorite projects have included completely wrapping two separate rooms with graphics converting a cafeteria and a student commons area from beige painted walls into something we have all become proud of. In my role as a project manager, I am involved from concept to unveiling doing everything except actually hanging the graphics themselves. Check out the transformations below.
Mass Email Campaign
Mass emailing is an essential part of most businesses marketing & communication plans. Whether it is a grass root “sign up for my newsletter” workflow where you start with zero people on your mailing list or targeted campaigns that appeal to subgroups of a larger established list they are all important. I have worked with many of the largest mainstream email marketing packages out there including Constant Contact, MyEmma, Exact Target, Mail Chimp and many other smaller proprietary pieces of software. I have created custom templates, developed delivery schedules to get the best open rates, developed the email content, created the targeted lists and have even developed individual plans for people/departments to get the best results and trained them to execute the email campaigns independently.
During my time working in a high school I held a role on the crisis communication team. This is a role that I am very proud to have been part of. Unfortunately, in today’s world crisis communication and crisis training is a must when it comes to marketing & communication or any business. My role on the crisis communication team includes being a first responder, part of regular meetings to develop plans for various scenarios, and during a crisis situation, I help develop and execute the communication plan best suited for each scenario. This is one area where having experience is not always good and unfortunately, I have experienced several situations. These situations have mainly dealt with public relations (PR) issues or required strong communication with our families and/or community thankfully.
Live Streaming Events
Before Periscope or Facebook Livestream it was a much bigger task to live stream an event. I have used many pieces of software or online services to accomplish this, whether it was a single camera hooked through a computer, a multi-camera setup through a switchboard / streaming system or just an iPad or iPhone on a tripod I have probably seen it. In my current role, this was an area that I spearheaded very early on. As great as it might be to have a multi-camera setup for anything we do, the reality is to make live streaming a viable option for sporting events, parent meetings, etc. at the high school level I had to find a cost-effective method as well as a method that could be taught to others to execute. I am proud to say we current live stream about 30 sporting events per year along with several parent meetings and most recently live streamed graduation with great success.
One of my favorite proverbs is “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. Staff training is a big part of my current role. I have developed and led numerous training sessions on a vast number of topics. I have developed entire training programs to help coaches post scores, articles, rosters & schedules, account setup and training pamphlets on various social media channels, setup, develop & lead various CMS website training sessions and even handle one-on-one individual needs when they arise. One of the most rewarding things about training someone is when they walk away empowered to do something they didn’t know how to do before they sat down with you.
Some of the coolest projects I have ever worked on include kiosk projects. I had the honor of working with the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame and creating several touchscreen stations so visitors could watch the game footage for all the high school championship games dating back to 1967, audio stations describing memorabilia and my personal favorite, a game where you get to be an umpire and call balls and strikes. Another one of my favorites and probably one of the most difficult projects I have ever worked on was an entire network of computers wired into forty-foot RV with nine touchscreen stations. Kids Count on the Money Bus was a rolling classroom where kids used debit cards at each station playing games, building virtual ice cream sundaes, riding virtual roller coasters and more. Each station kept track of each child and in the end, statements were printed and were used in a larger curriculum teaching children financial responsibility. My role in both of these projects began in the concept phase all the way through completion.
Much of my IT support experience is just from the fact that I have been around (longer than I like to admit) and have seen quite a bit of IT issues in my time. I do have experience with helping to maintain the IT infrastructure of a small business but much of my experience in my current role involves supporting the technology staff, when needed, with the day-to-day issues an individual might have such as a printing or key fob issue, iPad or computer issue or just providing general guidance to individuals looking for advice with technical or IT questions. Whenever possible I will also develop training materials as well as personally train individuals to help them with the website, technical or other IT needs.