Community Engagement - Get Involved!

Posted by Joe on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 Under: Personal Life
When our twins were born in 2010, my wife, Michelle asked me to reduce the number of activities in which I was involved. It was a very reasonable ask since family was important to us both, so I resigned from a few boards and focused on family and work. Now that the kids are headed to kindergarten and AgencySparks is going well, I have slowly gotten back involved in a number of initiatives which are important to me.

My goal for this post is to spark some interest from YOU in getting more involved in your own community. Please feel free to reach out to me, if you want my help guiding you to any of these wonderful organizations.

Here is a laundry list of how I spend my time:

AgencySparks - Running a company is hard work. Not only do we have the privilege of working with some of the top specialist marketing agencies in the country, but we also focus on mending what we see as a relatively broken relationship between agencies and clients. There are some real rewards to entrepreneurship, but there are also a lot of challenges. AgencySparks is my number one priority, and all other engagements are secondary.

Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia - I am proud to serve on the board of advisors for the Marketing Program at Terry. It is rewarding to make an impact on our future leaders. I am particularly focused on supporting the Digital Marketing area of emphasis run by professor, Jen Osbon.

UGA Annual Digital Marketing Competition - This has been one of the most rewarding endeavors I have involved myself with in the last few years. I serve as a coach for several teams of students, who compete for the opportunity to pitch the selected real world client. This year, my team was fortunate to win the entire competition, and travel to San Francisco to tour the headquarters of Lyft, Twitter, and Airbnb. In addition to helping the students, I get to spend time with my fellow coaches: Brian Rudolph, Teresa Caro, Todd Coplevitz, Adam Naide, and Patricia Camden.

Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association (AIMA) - Teresa Caro recruited me to join the AIMA board of directors in 2004, and I served until I was elected president in 2009. I retired shortly after my service and have renewed my involvement on the board in the last few years.

48in48 - When Jeff Hilimire told me about his idea to build 48 websites for 48 non-profits in 48 hours, I immediately asked how I could get involved. I love this idea, and seized the opportunity for AgencySparks to get involved as a sponsor. We are committed to writing a unique blog post for each non-profit, so I am looking for volunteers to help us.

SuperNova South - In 2014, I programmed a full-day event for 150+ students to help advance their marketing careers. I moderated five panels of friends and colleagues from companies like Floor & Decor, NAPA Auto Parts, SapientNitro, SweetWater Brewing Company, Cartoon Network, Assurant Solutions, Kids II, and The Home Depot. We expect to build on this success and further expand the SuperNova South 2015 program.

ChooseATL - Brian Easter of Nebo Agency approached me a few years ago about the idea of writing a love letter to our city designed to spread the message that Atlanta should be a destination for anyone thinking about building a digital marketing career. Little did we know back then that it would grow into a grassroots effort supported by the mayor of Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

The Gumbo Show with Joe - I have been hosting a music-focused radio show on commercial (and now internet) radio since 1998. It is a great hobby that has lead me to meet some of my musical heroes including Dr. John, Emmylou Harris, Chis Thile, Kermit Ruffins, Lenny Kravitz, Jerry Douglass, Chris Isaak, Adam Duritz, Sam Bush, Jamie Foxx, and The Wood Brothers. My show can currently be heard live on Tuesday evenings at

Everybody Wins! Atlanta - This is one of the easiest and most impactful non-profits in the city. I just completed my sixth year reading to a child every other week during my lunch break. These kids are behind in their reading skills, and most of them come from homes that do not provide them with the proper backgrounds to succeed in school. It is SO EASY to make a big impact.

Mentorship - Since my days in college, coaching a junior high school lacrosse team, I have always loved giving guidance - particularly to young people. Not only do I feel obligated to pay it forward and help guide the next generation --as my generous mentors did for me - but it's downright fun to help. Jeff Hilimire also got me involved in Advice for Good, which is an awesome way to get advice seekers to do good in exchange for advice.

Other community efforts - Over the years I have served on some additional boards of advisors for some organizations committed to bettering our communities, such as Isipho (dedicated to building sustainable food gardens in South Africa), VAYANDO (connecting curious travelers with micro-entrepreneurs in emerging economies around the world) and the Brookwood Civic Association (neighborhood association).

Please let me know if you would like to learn more about any of these fine organizations!


In : Personal Life 

Tags: "community involvement"  "community engagement"  chooseatl  "choose atlanta"  "everybody wins! atlanta"  "the gumbo show with joe"  "supernova south"  48in48  aima  "terry college of business at the university of georgia" 
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