A 2014 Update

Greetings all!

I hope you all are well.

Things are steadily rolling along here. The second semester has been stop-and-go due to the wacky cold weather. As I write, CrownTown is projected to get close to 12″ of snow.

Crazy.

Other than that, below are a few things going on.

The Countdown

Yes, it is 60 days until I get married. That’s pretty exciting. We avoided some major pitfalls too, and everything (that we control) has been taken care of. For now.

Next Venture(s)

From spending nearly five years in the startup/entrepreneur space to jumping into the education world, I can not help but keep both doors open. I enjoy being busy. Plus, it keeps me out of trouble. I have several things on my plate I hope to steadily chomp off.

Writing a book– I know…I fell into the marketing strategist pitfall- creating something of my own. For the record, it is not entirely my fault. My future wife thought it would be a great idea, and when I’m given the opportunity for a new challenge, I can’t help it. Details about that soon.

Launching AdLand Heroes– One of the two big ideas I have. The Charlotte Agency will stick around, for the time being. But I picture AdLand Heroes as being an advertising publishing (own my book, probably), consultancy to help freelancers and small (3-10) advertising folks get noticed. I want AdLand Heroes to provide training for those populations that may not be able to receive it, and fill other gaps as needed.

Launching GoMatthewsMintHill– The second of two big ideas I have. These two areas, which are growing- and fast- has no real centralized digital presence so people know what’s going on. With help (programmer, sales people, office manager) I can get it off the ground.

Updating TCA– TheCharlotteAgency.com needs a serious facelift. So yea, that needs to happen too.

Needless to say, I am happy to see that though I am thoroughly enjoying teaching, that my entrepreneurial spirit has not yet withered.

 

Coming Up-

DECA States- Instead of being a judge, I will be an advisor during the North Carolina DECA Conference. Wild.
Social Media Day Charlotte (June 30th)- If you know people who’d like to be involved, give me a shout (Twitter: @SMdayCLT)

That’s it for now, folks. I hope to come back with updates on progress.

As always, thank you for reading.

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2013 is Poppin’

It’s just a little over a month into 2013, and we have been making some serious waves in the ocean.

It’s been exciting.

First, I am happy to say that JDW: The Charlotte Agency picked up two new accounts. The first is the Carolina Knights, a professional summer football team in Charlotte. They will be playing in the Professional Developmental Football League (PDFL) in the National Developmental Conference. I’m serving as the VP of sales, marketing and sponsorships. Good deal.

The second account is We Are Fit to Fight, a fitness/self-defense group based in Charlotte. They are awesome. The agency is devising multiple marketing, public relations and advertising activities for them. We’re really excited about what we will be doing with them.

With that being said, we are looking for 2-3 more sizable accounts and actually begin hiring. Woo! After 4 years of hanging in there, we’re excited that we are near our goal. We are actively searching for interns, and we hope to have 2 (or so) join the team soon.

We are still with the Charlotte Batdogs, and now that spring is upon us, the pitchers and catchers are reporting in less than a week, we can become a little more relevant about baseball in Charlotte, and helping the Charlotte Baseball Clubhouse gain some momentum.

The Charlotte Agency is also in the process of adding more “digital inventory” on the web. Two things: we are re-designing our website, which is super exciting. Also, we’re creating a spec-site for our non-work, musings, and intern projects. We hope to use that space to not only explore our own creative outpours, but to also have it stem into meetups/events, workshops, and the like.

The site only has a splash page. All I can tell you right now is that its super hero oriented. Yes I know, its going to be sweet.

All of this in a little over a month. I love it.

Talent Zoo still isn’t tired of my ramblings, so my advertising “knowledge” is still roaming the interwebs.

Hope you enjoyed the update. Cheers.

 

Respect Your Roots

“Remember where you come from.”

That phrase carries a lot to it. As we go on in our lives, it is easy to be lost in the present, and in the future. We see that all around us. People are worried about where they are going to be 5 years down the road in their career, where they will live, when a good time to buy a house, all the way to the trivial, if their sports team is going to win, to catching episodes from their favorite show, to being on time to a recreational game.

And that’s okay.

How fortunate are we that we don’t have to worry about shelter. About being thirsty. About getting from Point A to Point B.

About being free.

The title of the this post “respect your roots”, has many meanings to me. It helps me appreciate history. It helps me examine how I got to where I am today. I wish I could say that I got here all by myself, but history would tell a different story.

Example: I have been catching up on Charlotte history, and in the early 1800’s, over 30% of Charlotte’s (sometimes known as Charlotte Town back then) population were slaves.

Or “bonded people,” as the historical account recounts.

Now, Charlotte has one of the biggest African-American populations in the U.S. (top 10). And here I am, free, in my fourth year co-owning a small business (with a white guy) and getting married (to a white girl).

Respect my roots, I will.

I enjoy history because it gives a flavor to the present and future. It helps us see what’s been done, and what we can do to either repeat it, or correct it. We can look at our families, the organizations we are a part of, and see how all of them have grown out from their roots.

History isn’t abstract, as some people think. Second to learning first-hand, history is the best way to learn, discern, and think.

Let us all remember to respect our roots. It’s a history lesson worth more than we think.

The DNC Lands in Charlotte

Long time no see, ol’ blog. According to the count I see on my LinkedIn page, it’s been a little longer than 160 days.

Yikes.

It’s been a busy time for me.

I’m still trying to make JDW: The Charlotte Agency work, and it has been full of its ups and downs. We’re working on a sports & entertainment spinoff from the marketing component, so more details on that as it develops. I got certified as a U.S. soccer referee, still doing multiple Charlotte YMCA activities, as well as Sportslink, and all in the meantime continually falling for my girlfriend and raising a puppy.

Also, just came back from seeing a good friend marry his sweetheart (congrats again Jeff!)*

I’m still trying to figure out this whole “adult” thing.

And then, the DNC comes to Charlotte.

As I’m writing this, day one of the Democratic National Convention has just begun. Bill Clinton has yet to take the stage on Day 2, and Obama has not yet accepted the nomination on Day 3.

Rumor has it that he will.

I’ve been in Charlotte since late 2008. In this period of time, I have seen Charlotte attempt to figure out this whole “international city” thing. It has been pretty fun to watch.

It’s brought multiple professional sports teams to the area. It’s bolstering up its downtown/uptown area. The startup community is ripe with young, energetic and bright entrepreneurs. Not to mention Charlotte is luring other FORTUNE 500 companies away from other cities (welcome again, Chiquita) And the city people do not want to be the next Atlanta- they want to be better than Atlanta.

I see you, Charlotte.

Then boom: Charlotte beats out Denver, Cleveland and some other city to win the DNC bid.

And rumors for a potential Olympics bid have already started to float around.

Charlotte is growing up and its maturity, so far, is looking good. The city is making the right decisions, attracting the right people, and desiring the right things.

But is it ready for the international spotlight already? Is it prepared to host the convention where the first (half) black american president announces his re-election? Can Charlotte aptly prepare America to move “Forward?”

Like in business, and in life, only time will tell.

*He gets the shoutout because he tells me he reads the blog. See what happens?

What’s Been Goin’ On the Past Month

I can’t believe it has been a month since my last post. Talk about some serious slacking.

I wish.

As this blog has been a priority of mine for some years now, this summer marked a shift.

First, I accepted a position as Lead Blogger at Talent Zoo’s Beyond Madison Avenue, a blog that talks about marketing and advertising, and the world between. I write once a day there, so the time usually dedicated to this blog has been consumed by my researching and writing for them. It’s also a paid position.

Paid to write? Yep, I’ll take it.

Then, we’ve been quite busy on our accounts, which is a very good thing. Ignite Charlotte and Live Out Loud! are just wrapping up, and we’re currently compiling research for our AV/IT client while stirring the pot for some new business.

Things are looking up.

“Looking” is the key word. Though we have things going on, there is still much work to be done for The Charlotte Agency to prosper. We’re still hunting for that “big deal”. We’re now open to contacting freelancers and expanding our creative capacity.

Are you a design or creative freelancer? Contact us.

We are still centered on working with and succeeding with small businesses in Charlotte. Watch the Charlotte Viewpoint panel I was on where we talked about idea incubators.

Anywho..I hope to get better in balancing all the stuff I’m working on and keeping this updated regularly again. Sorry to the ten people who check this frequently.

Cheers,

DW

An Open Letter to Certain Charlotte Residents

Certain Charlotte Citizens:

I must say, you are an interesting breed. Anonymous comments on Charlotte Observer? Wow. If you’re going to say something stupid, at least identify yourself so the public is aware of exactly who the idiot is among us.

What am I talking about, you ask? Today, it was announced that Hendricks Automotive Group (along with an unidentified gifter) will be sponsoring the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District‘s middle school sports program for 2011-2012. With this gift, CMS can provide 13 sports programs for its school.

That. Is. Awesome.

But you know what bothered me? The comments. The unintelligent, “holier-than-thou” comments.

Let me explain.

The U.S. school system is broken. You and I both know this. People complain about how the federal government should get out of state affairs, or how state BOD’s are completely inept, or how the education system should be given to the hands of free enterprise. These are not new conversations. Private schools are close examples to that.

But then, when actual businesses come into the classroom or the athletic field to fulfill necessary functions (like healthy vending machines or sports), people get up in arms because its ‘commercial’?

People realize that free enterprise breeds commercialism, right?

Quick sidenote:  People may argue that athletics are not necessary in schools. These people either don’t have kids, have kids that get picked on, or was picked on when little. Sports are needed, crybabies are not. Please hush.

I applaud what the Hendricks Automotive Group is doing for CMS. Middle school athletics give children a chance to be on teams, and experiment with different kinds of sports they may want to invest in when they graduate onto high school.

And who cares if it’s “Myers Park Middle School Football, brought to you by Hendricks Automotive Group.” I’m glad these kids get to be out there and not in the street, people are coaching or officiating instead of having nothing to do, and the world continues to turn.