Hello, my name is Jake. Welcome to my website, thanks for visiting!
Who am I?
On a personal level, I am married and have two sons. I was born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Johnstown to be specific. But I’ve moved to several other areas of the mid-west and mid-Atlantic since graduating college in 2001.
If you know anyone from western PA you’ll have already guessed this, but I’m proud of where I grew up, and tend to work it into conversations where is probably doesn’t belong. I don’t know if it’s the blue-collar background, or the boot-strap mentality, but there is something about being from that part of the world that makes you want to let everyone know. It’s very much part of who I am.
Another personal tidbit about me is that I grew up working in a cemetery. My father was the caretaker at St. Stephens Cemetery located on hill in Johnstown, PA, which meant I was an employee at the Cemetery. I spent a lot of time here in my more formative years cutting grass, putting in footers, and digging graves with pick and shovel.
I’ve been a high school football referee since 2003, love Pittsburgh sports, am still deeply passionate about art (and continue to draw), enjoy getting lost in the world of a video game, and love nothing more than spending time with my wife and experiencing an event with my children.
What do I do?
Professionally I’m an energetic leader with more than 15 years’ experience advancing high-profile and complex business initiatives in the media industry. The aspect of media I enjoy most, and have a real passion for, is audience development. Not that this has always been my passion.
There is a quote that I’ve heard credited to Mark Cuban that goes something like, “don’t following your passion, become passionate about what you are doing.” The lesson, not the quote, is something I learned early in my career.
I started my career, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Media Arts (graphic design) from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, as a graphic designer. I got my degree, and pursued a career, in something art-related because that was my passion. However, I quickly realized that I did not enjoy my passion as my career and started looking at other options.
I got an online MBA and moved into management. Specifically into circulation management and quickly found my niche in the audience development of the job, not necessarily the distribution side of things.
The Great Recession, followed by a sudden resignation by an overzealous web developer, opened the door for me to pivot my focus from traditional media to the digital world. Now I straddle these two worlds. Working hard to pivot local media organizations into the digital world while they still have a runway in print.