Jim Gray 8 October 2009
Creative Strategist, Commenting Ninja, Blogger, Youth Pastor
Jim Gray was inspired in Jr. High when he was given an award for creative writing. He was a multi-sport athlete in high school and also was active in the drama dept. He received a drama scholarship to a Junior college where he learned to manage the stage. He decided that wasn’t for him and ran Cross-Country his 2nd yr.
It was during this time that he became interested in youth ministry work. He served as an intern at a church before moving to Los Angeles to study at a liberal arts college. After college he worked for Enterprise Rent-A-Car for a decade. He then went into Outside Sales and Marketing for several firms before moving to the northwest in 2006. During this time he worked a 2nd career in marketing/PR/Online Strategy for a non-profit. Last year he was part of a large lay-off due to the economy.
In January, he formed Beaconhill NW Consulting offer creative strategies, viral marketing, online community management/PR for a wide range of clients. Jim hopes to never go back to the cubicle farm.
What are you up to?
I’m working for several companies and non-profits in Marketing/PR/Strategy Development/Social Media Management. I’ve been shooting videos, building blogs, writing, recruiting, managing social media profiles, viral marketing campaigns, fund-raising. Event/Conference Development/Coordination.
What are you into?
I recently became Online Community Manager for Young Life of Lower Columbia. It’s a great non-profit that works with jr.high-college students. They had huge impact on me as a kid and it’s great to give back.
Another project that I’m excited about is Deadly Viper where I function as the Online Community Manager as well as overseeing viral campaigns, social media strategy and integration advocate.
I’m also the tech-lead/community manager for The Idea Camp which will be in Portland November 20,21 …The Idea Camp is a collaborative movement of idea-makers who facilitate free hybrid conferences and develop resources for people who desire to move ideas toward implementation. Facilitated by a growing collective of innovative thinkers and practitioners from numerous disciplines, participants gather around topics of interest to encourage and inspire one another, share practical wisdom from the field, and develop intentional networks for idea-making.
What do you like most about Portland?
I really love the natural development of community in Portland. People are serious about networking and building relationships. I’ve had more collaboration here than anywhere else. I’ve love the opportunity to meet people through WordPress Group, WebVisions and Beer and Blogs.
How do you explain to a layperson what you do?
I am the person who connects your content with your community. I put it this way ” I find fuel for digital fires” To illustrate this I developed a brand called “Commenting Ninja” The idea is that I go to your blog and observe, speak, and share. I look to find ways to nurture and develop community strategies that help you reach your users.
Tell us about yourself?
I am happily married to my wife of 16 years. We have 3 kids who are are homeschoolers, soccer players, musicians and comedians. I also serve as Youth Pastor at our church in Kelso, WA.