“Authenticity is a Big Deal”

Anyone I’ve ever known who cherished and understood life were always in tune with that. It carries across all we do as a person.

Authenticity.. is a BIG DEAL.

In fact, it’s a big deal in a lot of ways. Yet, even though I know it and believe it, over the past decade of professional and personal “exploration”, “growth” and “learning” – in the midst of the chaos of storms I have come to whisper that sentence to myself over and over.. and over.

It’s easy to forget. It’s easy to get caught up staring at the trees instead of looking at the beauty of the forrest that lies in front of us just past our nose. It’s easy to find one’s self pondering on “what’s the best way I can say this” or “what will get me what I think I need now”. We can tell ourself “it’s just a temporary front” or “this is what has to be done to get through this.” I mean, I understand it.. and what makes it harder is that those thoughts feel so “real” – so “necessary” as the “solution” at the time we are confronted with the situations that provoke them. It’s hard to pause and take a step back from whatever you’re working through and realize… there’s no excuse.. or valid reason for doing it. Authenticity.. its a BIG DEAL.

It’s also not easy, but it’s necessary for good living, being kind, patient compassionate and for us to trust and be vulnerable.

I know I’ve failed at times (those of you who know me can attest to that) but God knows I try. I’ve been told before I “share too much” and I “tell it like it is” and at times that has caused trouble. I’ve been harsh, or too upfront at times. My bar seems too high, my transparency too much. There have been times that I know people have wanted me to sugar coat it, or lie – for the better of the moment. Man, I wish I could sometimes but I’m not built that way. I’m at 20 years in this industry now and I’ve heard and seen it all. I’ve watched too many “leaders” who could look you in the face and lie, mislead the people above and below them and a few throw someone under the bus instead of standing up for them. But it’s not alright. It never will be. Authenticity.. its a BIG DEAL.

I was taught to expect more of myself and others. Life does. Don’t you? The whole human race expects you to be authentic.We demand it.

You can feel the power of reflection at the end of each year – “Am I living the life I was meant to live? What can I do better?”. No matter what your answer to your every year question is, be it go for my dream, spend more time with friends and family, get healthy, lose weight, etc., the real answer that brings resolve to our minds and hearts is – be authentic. Its a BIG DEAL to yourself, to your dreams, to what you — and only you — can offer this world.

I think about this stuff way too much, in fact sometimes I think my struggle of idealism vs realism has been slowly killing me for many years. But just when I start to waver, I am reminded – Authenticity.. its a BIG DEAL.

I’d rather be authentic and struggle than be in·au·then·tic (not genuine; lacking full reality or sincerity) and just cruise through life. Nobody remembers people who were silently cruising. I live five minutes from the Atlantic and go to the beach often. I love the all the sounds there but it’s the crashing of the big waves that capture me and create God’s most rhythmic sound. They play in harmony movement of clouds in day, with the night stars or raindrops falling from the heavens anytime. Even the lightning and thunder have brilliant roles (I mean, when I’m in my car).

Well, I’m starting to ramble a bit but it leads me back to this – Authenticity.. its a BIG DEAL. If you’re ever in doubt, look around for those in your life whom you respect the most.. it will become evident quickly. Or.. go try to pay for something with a fake Ben Franklin.

Who I Am

I’m “Daddy” to two precious and amazingly creative daughters.

Along with my family, they keep me in check with who I am and the kind of man I want to be.
Like I said – Authenticity.. its a BIG DEAL.

I have a BS in Product Development (Marketing, Design and Technology) from Missouri State. I’ve been marketing, designing and managing projects in various forms of media for over 25 years.

I’m an artist with a burning passion to be creative with a love for color and texture. I design, sculpt, paint, write, shoot photography and create custom (groovy) furniture. Under my then, company name of Noah’s Art, Inc. I created a line of creatures called New Beginnings. I was commissioned to sculpt a scaled down version of Truman Cottage at Big Cedar Lodge by Jeanie Morris, the wife of Johnny Morris – Bass Pro Shops Founder and owner.

I spent 12 years in the video industry. I’ve ran Sony, Cannon and Marconi studio cameras and Sony and Cannon handhelds. I’ve pulled cable, been a grip, edited with an Avid, written scripts, produced long and short format DR videos, commercials and corporate videos. I’ve designed sets, art directed animation for news opens and commercials. I’ve been a lighting director and led the rebuild of the studio lighting grid where I worked – battens, wiring and all. I crawled trusses to hang lights on some great gigs for Bob Dylan, Alabama, the Regis & Kathy Lee Show and many others. Once I had my butt brushed off by Lori Morgan after talking with her on the stage – she made fun of me because I blushed.

I helped build the interactive side of an infomercial company who did a lot of work with Guthy-Rinker. I was hired to design, develop and manage the development of an interactive kiosk system for the Flowers Pentecostal Heritage Museum. I spent 5 years in the travel industry working with two start-ups; TravelNow.com and TravelToday.com. TravelNow gave me the chance to experience the essence of a “dot com dream”. It sold for 48 million dolla’ and today is part of the Hotels.com group.

The past ten years my work has been primarily consulting work, i.i.e, creative strategies, marketing, design and development in the Health & Wellness industry. During that time I’ve led the development of a custom bariatric patient management system and a community wellness sites including the first of its kind for Mick Cornett, the Mayor of OKC. He went on Ellen to discuss his initiative with the site and tools and got to dance with her.

I have extensive experience in business needs / analysis, gathering business and user requirements, and user experience design as well as management of project teams and departments. My clients have been B2B, B2C, that have needed website development, social media marketing, web based apps with reporting, eCommerce / POS and mobile apps. But I love to work with a team and included in the hands on design of the user interface and user experience.

In 2014, I moved 20 miles from Daytona to Flagler Beach, FL and I love it here.

I find myself humbled by many I’ve known over my career and life. To those who have shown me, taught me and helped me to grow, professionally and personally – to be authentic, real.. I’m forever grateful.
Because its a BIG DEAL.

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