About me. The long and short of it.
The following are summaries of the work I have done. You must be bored if you are going to read this.
After attending BYU-I(Ricks) and BYU, I worked for a couple of local ad agencies. Newspaper spreads, ads, illustrations. I was one of the first in Provo to break away from using a linotype typesetter and use a Mac Plus for paste-ups. Other firsts, during my Dance DJ days I was one of the first to go all digital. You should have seen the SLC club owners' face when I first walked in with just a laptop.
After a couple of years of local agency work, I joined the newly formed NuSkin International art department - the 3rd hire. NuSkin experienced explosive growth and I was able to work on a little of everything… photoshoots, catalogs, brochures, branding, multilingual versions, swag, etc. They even sent me to Hong Kong for some catalog press checks.
While I was at NuSkin, they hired a fantastic creative director, Steven King. Not the scary dude, but a seasoned designer that allowed creative freedom. He is the kind of director that worked late when his team had to. Years later, when Steve left to work at Franklin Covey… he brought me over as well.
Steve built an in-house agency at Franklin that was self-sustaining… he billed any department job as a paying client. I spent several years with Franklin working on catalogs, package designs, brochures, planner forms, etc. Soon after Steve left, I went to work with Smith Harrison Direct.
At SHD, I learned about direct marketing. Conversions. A well-crafted sales letter, inviting marketing inserts with limited-time offers. Just a phone call away. It was a small office but they had several big clients. Names like American Express, Icon Health & Fitness brands, and Easton Sports just to name a few. A lot of direct mail packets, brochures, web banners - some basic web pages. I started playing with Macromedia Flash. After a few years, SHD merged with a web house and we were known as Studeo Interactive Direct.
I had already done some basic flash and HTML work for SHD, so I was excited to learn more web tech from Studeo. Websites, web banners, ads, brochures. This was before the days of cms sites, or CSS3 & JQuery. Palm Pilot was a thing, responsive websites were not. One of my first personal html sites (v2) created buzz being a site of the day somewhere was featured in a local newspaper, included in a course book about frames, and posted on coolhomepages.com. My Earthlink bill that month was ten times over what it usually was. Bittersweet.
Studeo had awesome creative leadership and I stayed on for several more years. After a while, I decided to help my brother with his martial arts business in upstate Vermont. Yep, I did not know ANY martial arts or even how to teach children. Besides handling marketing, I was to be the enrollment director and intro instructor. Studeo offered me a year of remote work to transition me out. This allowed me to move back and help my brother grow his Taekwon-Do school to eventually one of the largest in Vermont.
The Martial Arts school experience taught me how to be a leader, interact with parents, teach children, and find out what marketing works. Later, we added coaching gymnastics and running our afterschool program to my responsibilities. After a few years of literally getting kicked around at work… I found a woman to marry me, had kids, cozy log home, etc. Eventually, it was time to move closer to my wife’s family in Arizona. I secured a contract job with OrthoRehab in Phoenix refactoring their inter & intranet sites from PHP to DotNet - frontend only.
About a year or so later, Steve offered me remote work for creating various Ken Garff Automotive marketing materials. Ads, brochures, banners, etc. Ken Garff is one of the largest auto dealers in Utah. I also started hosting 3 dedicated servers to house new freelance client work. My freelance business went from ProtoPC.com, to CMSiteHosting.com, then later renamed TopWebWorks.com. These old sites are not maintained anymore.
During the evening, I was a mild-mannered freelance designer. During the day, I started a recreational brick-and-mortar gymnastics business called Funastics. Teaching kids how to flip around. Within the first year, Funastics started to move into the black. Funastics.com was top-ranked on Google over all local franchise competitors. A recreational gymnastics program built on life skills, personal success, and having fun. Things were looking up. So I thought.
However, the 2007 economic downturn decided to change plans for me … especially in Arizona. Many non-essential local small businesses shut their doors during this time. A few months later, I sold that Funastics location without any kids having to miss a class.
I found local contract work – one being with Pearson Education. They hired me for 30 days to fix a broken CMS social site they had been developing for over a year. Seems the previous developers destroyed the CMS core files and left no upgrade path. After fixing their site, Pearson requested I return after the holidays. During my 2 week break, I created a new beta site of what their CMS site could have been.
When I returned to Pearson after the holidays, I presented my beta site proposal. They ended up extending my contract that same day and switched to my new site the following week. Over the next year and a half, I was passed around to a few different departments building niche CMS sites for them.
...more to come.