Kent Lewis 7 February 2008
Search engine marketing guru, recovering entrepreneur and family guy
As President of Anvil Media, Inc., Kent Lewis is responsible for managing operations, marketing and business development to achieve the company’s mission: to build Anvil into the one of the most respected search engine marketing agencies in the world. Current Anvil clients include ExpressJet, InfoWorld, Nautilus, Lucy.com, Oregon State University, PC World, Planar, Ronald McDonald House Charities, SmartWool and Yesmail. He is currently President and co-founder of SEMpdx, a professional trade organization based in Portland, Oregon that provides educational opportunities for local businesses and individuals interested in a career in search engine marketing. With a background in integrated marketing, Lewis left a public relations agency in 1996 to start his Internet marketing career at a Web development firm, where he also created a free monthly lifestyle e-zine. Shortly thereafter, he built and managed his first search engine marketing team at local full-service marketing agency before co-founding Wave Rock Communications and later, eROI. Lewis was also Director of Marketing and Business Development at goodguys.com, an online electronics retailer. In 2001, Lewis created pdxMindShare to build businesses and careers through networking and weekly emails featuring jobs and industry events. He is also an adjunct professor at Portland State University, where he teaches eMarketing and SEM workshops. In 2003, he founded a charity fundraiser event, Anvil’s Annual Get SMART Gala, to raise awareness for SMART (Start Making a Reader Today). Due, in part, to his dedication to childhood literacy and SMART, the non-profit charitable organization invited him to join the board of directors. Lewis is a member of EO, a global organization for entrepreneurs, and is a recipient of Portland Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. When he’s not working or hanging out with his family, he likes to write about his travels and life experiences on his blog, The Kent Lewis Experience.
What are you up to?
When I’m not wearing my search engine marketing hat at Anvil or SEMpdx, I’m usually speaking or writing about the interactive industry or networking at local events like pdxMindShare. I’m a SMART volunteer reader and board member and try not to let my passion for work interfere too much with my passion for family and friends.
What are you into?
I’m clearly into search engine marketing and running my own business. I’m also very interested in continually growing personally and professionally and as such have joined Entrepreneur’s Organization (EO) and read many books that I feel will improve my skills as a business owner, husband and father. For fun, I enjoy biking, snowboarding and catching a movie once or twice a year when we get a sitter.
What do you like most about Portland?
I love just about everything about Portland. The central location that puts you 90 minutes from the ocean, mountain, rivers and desert is a bonus. The mild climate and beautiful summers are fantastic and the snow in the mountains make up for the rainy winters. The people are smart, friendly and seem to care and I think it’s a great place to raise a family.
Why did you start your own business?
I decided to start my own business after getting fired from two different agencies in a 2 year period and realized I don’t work well for others that lacked the intelligence, confidence or vision to bring in smart people and support their growth and success. I figured the worse thing that could happen is that I’d fire myself.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I love what I do and the people I work with. As such, it doesn’t feel like work to me. That said, the demands on a small business owner are significant, so I’ve integrated my personal and professional lives. For example, my wife and son attend monthly MindShare gatherings, so we get some time together instead of none if they stay at home.