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ABOUT US

HISTORY

Jackson is not your typical marketing agency. That's what most marketing agencies say, of course, but here, it's true. We were lucky enough to begin our story with one of the largest brands in the world: Ford Motor Company.

Larry Jackson helped manage Ford's product launches, dealer meetings and PR events in the 1970s. In 1980, he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and started Jackson-Dawson in Detroit, Michigan, where our growing team specialized in dealer training and product launches for the auto industry.

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In 1987, Larry moved back to his Southeast roots and opened what is now Jackson, expanding into integrated marketing communications and beyond the auto industry. Michelin North America became our first Greenville office client, and remains a partner today. A decade later, in 1997, Michelin approached us about joining forces to sell tires and support their motorsports teams. We said yes, of course, and opened our Motorsports and Events division.

Today, we are more than 100 people strong. You can find us working hard throughout America on any given day. Maybe we're launching a new product in Dallas. Or facilitating a ride-and-drive in New Orleans. Or mapping an off-road race in Baja, Mexico. Or maybe we're huddled in a conference room, surrounded by hundreds of ideas on a dry erase board, trying with all of our might to find that one nugget that will help a client kick their competitors' teeth in. Ideas that move.

Jackson Marketing
Jackson Motorsports and Events

PHILOSOPHY

SOLVE.

Jackson exists to help our clients solve marketing challenges. It might be to reposition a brand, launch a new product, generate quality leads, activate a motorsports sponsorship or get media attention by throwing toilet paper during a press conference. Some challenges are large; some are small. All are important. So, steeped in our DNA are intuitive abilities that help us solve client challenges.

SERVE.

We are committed to service excellence regardless of scope and scale. Having a servant's heart—which is born of a true concern for our clients, our coworkers, our partners and our vendors—is critical to our success. You can't fake caring or serving. And it must show in the way we work with our clients and with each other.

GROW.

Over the course of the past 25 years, we've learned a very simple secret: do the right thing to help your clients grow, and the rest will take care of itself. By helping our clients solve their problems and servicing them the way they want to do business, we have seen their brands grow, our relationships last for decades and our business thrive.

LEADERSHIP


Chances are, no matter what industry you're in, Jackson has touched it in some fashion. Our associates have worked on some of the largest brands in the world. Some on the brand side, understanding the world from a client's perspective, while others cut their teeth at agencies in New York, Chicago and Detroit.

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Alissa Ricci
Media Supervisor

Alissa comes to Jackson from an ad agency life as a media buyer, and also has experience in research and account planning for advertising sales. She is a Furman University graduate (go Paladins!) with a bachelor's degree in communication studies and Spanish. She has retained the skills of one of those degrees. Her interests outside of work include running, hiking, reading and hot power yoga, which sounds frightening. Alissa loves pizza, Dave Matthews Band and the New England Patriots. Her personal motto is "work hard and be nice to people." In Spanish, Alissa translates that to "una limonada por favor."

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Blake Anthony Ross
Lead Front-end Developer

Prior to joining Jackson in 2013, Blake worked as a traditional artist, helped plant a Bible-based church and ran a one-stop web shop as both an interactive designer and full-stack developer, working for clients such GM, BMW, Noxzema, Avaya and Soul Train. Yes, that Soul Train. Eventually his work in Adobe Flash (may it rest in peace) became so in demand that for three years he worked almost exclusively as a Flash developer, designing and developing a wide variety of richly animated user interfaces. All this experience eventually brought him to Jackson as our lead front-end developer and UX strategist. Outside of work, he delights in his wife, Amaris, and continues to lead his church as an overseer and teacher.

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Chad Rucker
Creative Director

Chad is creative director and a copywriter by trade. Luckily, he is a much better writer than whitewater kayaker. (Ask him about the stitches.) Before joining Jackson—for the second time in his career—Chad worked as senior writer on accounts such as Uniroyal Tires, Dunkin Donuts, Wachovia Sports Marketing, Greenville Drive baseball and BMW Performance Center. He hasn't hit the whitewater in quite some time, however, as he's busy chasing his two rambunctious boys around the house.

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Daniel Lyles
Account Executive

Introducing the Rookie Bid Calling Champion of 2015. Seriously, Daniel is a professional auctioneer. A darn good one, too. Before he began his current role at Jackson, Daniel worked as an account executive on the Verizon Wireless Shopper Marketing account and spent seven years on cruise ships handling pretty much every role except captain. A graduate of North Greenville University, Daniel is an art buff and, not surprisingly, a cruise aficionado. So the next time you buy a Picasso or sail to the Caribbean, give him a call. Until then, you can use him for his wealth of sales and marketing experience.

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Darrell Jackson
President/CEO

Darrell knew his calling at age eight, when his father brought home a De Tomaso Pantera from the Ford test track. Vroom vroom. His love of all things engines, events and marketing was born, and it intensified every summer as he accompanied Jackson (then called Jackson-Dawson) on Ford and GM product launches across North America.

Since then, Darrell has been actively involved in most every account on the Jackson roster in a variety of positions, including Account Executive, Account Supervisor and Vice President. In 1997, Darrell was instrumental in starting the Jackson Motorsports division and has been actively involved in day-to-day operations since. Engines, events and marketing.

Today, Darrell's responsibilities include overall management of daily operations, long-term planning and directing Jackson's strategic vision and senior level client relationships. His responsibilities outside of Jackson include graciously taking orders from his wife, Alicia, and trying to keep up with his son, Gage, who plays football, lives and breathes sports, and is the official football stats guru of the Jackson family.

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David Jones
Executive Vice President/CMO

Feel free to call him "DJ." We do. DJ is responsible for Jackson's client-facing departments, including the Account Group, PR, Media, Market Research, Consulting & Strategic Planning, Business Development, Motorsports and Product Sales. So yes, he's busy. He's been at Jackson for 10 years. Before Jackson, he was brand director at Michelin and director of marketing for Umbro International (where he worked with agencies including DDB Needham, The Martin Agency and Goodby Silverstein & Partners). DJ is known as our resident "sports nut." Not only was he a sports writer for four years, he named his son after the Baltimore Orioles stadium ("Camden" for all of you sports‑challenged readers).

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David Madson
Executive Vice President/CFO

David oversees the accounting and finance of Jackson. His additional responsibilities include oversight of human resources. Before joining Jackson, David helped Adidas America enter the North American retail market. (He was there from Store 1 to Store 50.) David is a married father of five busy children, which makes him a busy father. He gives time to help organize two charitable golf tournaments when not following his children to basketball and volleyball courts. He is also a financial counselor in his church.

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Frank DeAngelo
Executive Director, Motorsports

Frank DeAngelo is a hall-of-famer. Literally. Frank was inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2013, after 32 years of motorsports marketing and logistics experience. He's worked with Ford Motor Company, Michelin, Ortho Lawn & Garden, Monster Energy Drink, Alcoa, Exxon Mobil and USAR. But he doesn't just market racing, he lives it. He's been to 31 straight Baja 1000 events and has been named SCORE's "Person of the Year" and Dirt Sport Magazine's "Top Ten Most Influential Persons." When he's not racing, he's riding horseback in the mountains. (He logs between 900 and 1200 miles a year.)

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Jim Hahn
Production Supervisor

Jim's career began in the Midwest with a 13-year tenure at Fletcher/Mayo/Associates., a wholly owned subsidiary of DDB Needham Harper Worldwide. He started out as part of the creative studio team, then moved into a production role. He then made a long-distance career move to a sleepy little southern town in South Carolina named Greenville. Twenty-two years with The Bounce Agency should tell you a lot about Jim's long-lasting production tenacity and professionalism. Jim then moved on to Jackson where his continued success of 5+ years is still evident. Jim has countless years of experience in B2B and B2C.

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John Mininger
Video Editor/Producer

John loves telling stories through video and sound. His first love was working in graphics and animations and he started at Jackson more than 10 years ago as a production assistant providing equipment setup for video and television shoots. Now as Senior Producer, he oversees video and other digital content creation for Michelin Truck, Michelin Earthmover, Sage, Hyster and TBC. His favorite films are Lawrence of Arabia, Citizen Kane (of course) and Batman & Robin (kidding).

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Jordan Fretz
Associate Creative Director

As a Jackson associate creative director, Jordan is not only responsible for the  look  of an ad but is also part of a creative team responsible for developing the big idea that drives every look. A graduate of Bob Jones University with a Bachelor of Science degree in graphic design and a minor in business, Jordan has created award-winning work for Jackson clients including Hyster, Michelin Truck, BFGoodrich, The Palmetto Bank and Big League World Series (which won an Obie Award in 2014). Jordan is always trying to stay ahead of the curve, whether it's learning a new programming language or staying up to date on current and progressive design and advertising trends.

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Josh Lyall
Executive Director, Strategic Planning

Josh lives, breathes and sleeps analytics. Brand value measures, marketing ROI, web analytics, media metrics—if you can put a number on it, Josh can analyze it. (His side interests are economics and neuromarketing, so that helps.) But he's much more than just a numbers guy. His true talent is turning numbers into strategic recommendations. He's an Auburn Tiger through and through, and he enjoys reminding coworkers of this ever since the 2010 National Championship game. During his free time, Josh enjoys mountain biking, hiking and playing a variety of sports poorly (golf, tennis and basketball particularly).

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Kathy Vass
Public Relations Director

Kathy has more than 25 years of public relations, marketing and events experience and has worked in corporate, agency and government environments. Most recently, she was Manager of Development and Marketing for Greenlink/City of Greenville after owning and managing a marketing and public relations company for 11 years. She is a die-hard Georgia Bulldog fan (don't hold it against her) and thinks that Steely Dan is the greatest band of all time (hold it against her).

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Kevin Johnson
Executive Vice President/COO

Kevin is a true Detroit export. He still roots for the Tigers, Lions, Wings and Pistons—when there's actually something to cheer about. With more than 25 years in the marketing communications business, his passion has not waned a bit. (You can hear him cheering on a project from down the hall.) He has four children, including a set of twins, and he's a closet gourmet chef. (Though the jury is still out on that one.)

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Larry Jackson
Chairman

To find Larry, try looking 10,000 feet above you. He doesn't fly as much as he used to, but he's a registered pilot who learned to fly after his service in the United States Army. In fact, Larry started his 41-year career in the communications industry with the U.S. Army's Public Information Office, where he was awarded the Army's Commendation Medal. From the service, Larry moved on to Ford Motor Company where he worked in public affairs and motorsports and then to a company owned by Bell and Howell where he was responsible for managing Ford's dealer marketing and training.

In 1980, the entrepreneurial bug bit and Larry co-founded Jackson-Dawson in Detroit, a company specializing in dealer training and product launches for the auto industry. (The prime rate was 21%, so it was perfect timing!) In 1987, Larry moved back to his Greenville roots and opened what is now Jackson. He is very active in the Greenville community—both professionally and with Bible–based ministries—and loves spending time with Betty, his wife of 42 years, and his three children and four grandchildren.

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Lowell Eckart
Account Director

With over 24 years of marketing & event experience in the automotive segment, Lowell has experience on both the client and agency side of the business. He has worked with a major tire manufacturer as both a brand manager and a sales and marketing manager in the original equipment business. At Jackson, Lowell has managed and coordinated numerous consumer marketing tours, special events, product launches, trade shows and ride and drive programs, including the BFGoodrich Take Control Night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Lowell's relationships in the automotive market include performance tuners, manufacturers, event promoters and industry influencers.

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Mark Gerdy
Director, Warehouse & Facilities

What you and I might call "constant craziness," Mark Gerdy calls "fun." It helps when you're a man of many talents. Mark has been a major part of Jackson operations for 16 years, from driving a race rig to and from events to managing pit crews to directing all warehouse operations for the company, including event prep and logistics (his current gig). His Jackson adventures have taken him as far as Australia. In his spare time, Mark likes to work in his garden. You know, where there's peace and quiet.

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Monique Bearden
Account Supervisor

Please call her "Mo." (Everyone else does.) Mo has been at Jackson for 13+ years and supervises Michelin Truck, Michelin Earthmover, Michelin Aircraft (Mo loves tires) and Habitat For Humanity accounts. She also leads all Jackson Hands On Greenville initiatives and participates in Big Brother, Big Sister (she's had a little sister for six years). When she's not working, you can find her at the beach on her stand-up paddleboard. Oh yeah, Mo once managed a dude ranch in Colorado, but don't tell her we put this in her bio.

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Richard De Leonardis
Vice President of Creative Solutions

Richard has spent the last 15 years in the automotive industry, helping design and deliver some of the most prestigious automotive products in the world—particularly through new creative approaches to marketing and training events. He came to the automotive space from the kitchen. (But not just any kitchen.) After graduating from the famed Culinary Institute of America, he was a top chef at Cordon Bleu in Paris. Richard then joined the sales and training team at Marriott, then became a certified financial advisor for Merrill Lynch. To say that he knows the spending trends and insights (and eating habits) of high-net-worth clients is an understatement.

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Scott Taylor
Executive Director, Client Financial Management

Scott has held financial executive roles with Coldwell Banker Caine, IMI Resorts and The Cliffs Communities and has been a CPA since 1992. Most likely, you cannot outthink Scott. And you most definitely cannot outrun him. Scott has completed more than 35 triathlons, including four Half Ironman distances. Fun fact (for us, not him): Scott once shattered his collarbone while filming a commercial as the "body double" for professional cyclist George Hincapie.

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Todd Steen
Executive Director, Business Development

Todd is one of our many gear heads who has more than 15 years of experience helping clients trackside. Prior to joining Jackson, Todd managed BFGoodrich Tires Motorsports, after which he led a variety of motorsports programs for his own clients for more than five years. His knowledge of mobile marketing, motorsports and sponsorship activation has helped clients, such as Volkswagen, Scion and Mazda leverage their involvement with both automotive and brand enthusiasts. In addition to having a love for things that go zoom, Todd has a passion for the outdoors and serves on the board of a non-profit men's ministry that does 60-70 hunting and fishing retreats each year.