I was born and raised in the suburbs of Philly (Media: “Everyone’s Hometown”). I grew up playing all kinds of sports, with tennis, soccer, & hockey as my specific passions. In the classroom I never really gravitated to anything specific until I took the graphic arts elective my junior year, and then went on to earn the departmental award upon graduation.
With a tennis scholarship to a local university in my pocket, for good measure I also applied to Penn St (you basically had to where I lived), and Clemson University through the influence of a childhood friend whose mother is from that area. That, and the fact that Clemson has a top-rated graphic communications program, where I felt my background could provide me an edge for acceptance. My hunch was correct, and I was officially accepted in the graphics program – with the acceptance letter arriving on my birthday as a special bonus. Once I visited the campus, there was no decision to make. I was to become a Clemson Tiger the following fall, and the rest is history…
I took to campus a sprite young lad with aspirations of “walking on” to the tennis team. Aspirations that were quickly dashed by spectating one practice and realizing that those guys ARE FRICKIN’ GOOD and I quickly knew I was out of my league. Eager to stay active, I attended the club sports fair. Soon after entering the gym full of team representatives I was promptly horse-collared by a large, neckless dude, dragged to the crew team table, and curtly instructed: “You’re joining crew” (cause see, I’m 6’3”, which rowers like). The look in his eye suggested I comply.
Fast-forward four years, several dozen medals, a couple of executive board positions, a pair of “Coach’s” & “Most Dedicated” awards later, and I’d say it was a good decision. (And oh yeah- I managed to get a college degree too. Which is nice.)
From there my career began as a press scheduler for a label printing company. I learned a lot from that job, crediting it with establishing my borderline obsessive organizational habits & knack for Excel. The job was ok, but it was limiting my ability to follow my one true passion at the time: coaching. That and I found the printing world just wasn’t for me after all. So a change was in order.
Low and behold, wouldn’t you know it that Nielsen-Kellerman (NK), the worldwide leader in performance monitoring devices for rowing, was based a few miles from my – er, “Everyone’s” – home town of Media? I applied for the position of Sales & Marketing Manager and during the meeting where I was offered the job, the president of the company looked me in the eye and said: “So, as part of this job, we’d prefer that you actively row or coach.”
My reaction? (Psst- press play >)…
‘Annie’ © 1982 Columbia Pictures
Very well, I accept! That next spring I found myself as the freshman coach of the Radnor Girls Crew Club which kicked off some of the best moments of my life. The next season I took over as the head coach and over the course of the following six years, with the help of some amazing assistant coaches, student-athletes, and a whole gang of supportive parents, we built the program up to be one of the top scholastic girls rowing programs in the country. Some of my most rewarding and proudest moments came from that chapter of my life, and I grew into who I am today as a result. Thanks RGCC!
Eventually I found myself moving on from rowing electronics, but not quite moving on from rowing. I began working for a marketing agency that handled, in part, the management and development of large-scale rowing events, including the Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill (HOSR) in Philly.
Working on behalf of this event was a great learning experience and a lot of fun. And despite the fact that 2 out of 2 runnings of the HOSR I was involved with were canceled due to inclement weather (see right –> not exactly what you’d call safe or smart to row on), the experience and relationships I developed serve me to this day.
From tennis to rowing to… bicycles. My next stint was as the marketing manager at Advanced Sports International (ASI). ASI is the parent company of several bike brands including Fuji, Kestrel, SE, & Breezer. When hired, our department consisted of our director of marketing, a graphic designer, and me, and the company was doing about $50M in sales world-wide. Four years later, the department grew to twelve strong, and we were doing $100M+ in world-wide sales. Not too shabby.
I take pride in the fact that I pioneered many of the roles that ultimately led to new positions in our group. I had the unique opportunity to work with some great people while at ASI: from pillars and pioneers of the bicycle industry, to world-class professional cyclists and triathletes.
I also got to do some extensive traveling to places like Taipei and all through Europe, and experience some monumental events including the Tour de France & Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawai’i. Here’s a cool clip I shot from the team car looping the Champs-Élysées in Paris during the 2010 Le Tour. Pretty amazing…
Not all fun and games, we did a lot of great work over there at ASI too.
One of my pet projects that I’m most proud of was a triathlon market targeted campaign dubbed “Tri Wars.” We (playfully) pitted athletes sponsored by our one brand (Fuji), against those sponsored by sister brand (Kestrel). We activated the campaign thru print, online & social media outlets, as well as at race expos and dealer-hosted consumer “meet & greets.” (More on this campaign in the portfolio section of this site.) The athletes were super accommodating with this slightly off-the-wall promo, and that made the whole thing possible and that much more successful.
After my time at ASI I embarked on the adventure of fatherhood while pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavor providing freelance marketing support for brands, largely in the rowing and cycling spaces, including: WinTech Racing, CEEPO Bikes USA, RowAmerica, & Race Across America.
And that pretty much brings us to now. My wife and I now have two little guys in our life from whom I draw inspiration and energy. I try to stay as active as I can continuing to partake in my “3Rs” (Ridin’, Runnin’, & Rowin’) while splashing in some tennis, hockey, and skiing when I can.
Thanks for reading!