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Karter Harmon - MPA - Public Finance & Budgeting

So I’ve got a pretty smart cousin. His name is Karter Harmon. He just graduated with his Masters in Public Affairs (MPA) from the Indiana University School of Public Environmental Affairs (SPEA). Dude got his masters in five years. Five. His GPA in undergrad was 3.87, masters program it was 3.75. Needles to say, he’s a smart young man. Well, he’s wanting to get a job in the real world now so I thought I’d help him out. Karter is actively seeking a position in the private, public, or nonprofit sector. He’s interested in natural resource management, marine policy, statistical modeling, business analysis, and consulting. Data/Numbers guy. That’s essentially an area he’s great at.

Market researcher, analyst, business strategy consulting, management and consulting firms — these are all jobs that I think not only his skill set but his interests would match perfectly. So since I’m pretty well digitally connected to the west coast tech side (California, Washington), I figured I’d help out!

Area’s of expertise:

  • Public Finance & Budgeting
  • Data Analysis
  • Program Evaluation
  • Econometrics
  • Consulting

He’s been published twice, and he has two more publications under review.

Publications:

Under review:

  • Slaper T, Harmon KM, and Rubin B (2016). Measuring industry cluster performance. Proceedings of the 2016 Western Regional Science Conference, Waikoloa HI.
  • Harmon KM and Kite-Powell HL (2015). Oil infrastructure and marine ecosystem health in the Western Arabian Gulf. PLOS ONE.

His skills an certifications are pretty sick so I might as well just list them too:

  • 3+ years of experience with statistical analysis programs (SAS, R, MATLAB, Stata)
  • Mastery of Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
  • 3+ years of experience designing and conducting policy evaluation and econometrics research
  • 2+ years of management experience (small business)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 4+ years of experience communicating statistical and scientific concepts to diverse audiences
  • Conversational Norwegian language skills
  • Intermediate Spanish language skills
  • PADI Rescue Diver
  • Record producer, composer, and performing musician (10+ years)

I know he’d really love to be in Los Angeles or Seattle, but he’s pretty eager to get west and get started. Here are some links to his full resume: resume in word doc and resume in pdf doc.

You can check him out on Linked In too: Karter Harmon

Needless to say I’m pretty proud of him. So if anything I could do to help him get started out west takes shape, I’d be elated. If you want me to connect you, I’d be more than happy to!

Ron Cox & Ryan Cox - Colt's Super Bowl in Miami

Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, is a day of celebration on half of the parties involved that created you. So yea, creation is a big deal. But me being a guy, Father’s Day obviously means just a little more because boys are more attached to their father’s. The whole idea of being like your dad, looking up to your dad, being as successful and then more successful than your dad — all of that applies to Ronald Lee Cox for me. When putting in my phone last month a reminder on Monday of this week to get and mail a Father’s Day card, I got the idea that writing a blog about it might be a cooler and longer-lasting idea, so I scheduled it and boom: Internet-forever Father’s Day ‘card’.

That night as I was lying in my bed thinking about the post, I got to contemplating on how long the list should be of things I loved about him being my dad / greatest memories (so far). There is no science as to why it’s 21, I just like to be different and didn’t want this to be a Top 5, Top 10, Top 20 clickbait list. So here they are in no particular order, I just started thinking are my top 20 great memories of why I love my dad:

  1. His Q95 zubaz pants. My dad was stylish I tell ya. But the best part was that he was such a bawse that he’d wear them to my Indy Force home soccer games. You have to have an extreme level of confidence to pull those off, so if you ever wondered where I got my exceeded level of confidence from, now you know.
  2. The first day I, legitimately, beat him in basketball. I remember it like it was yesterday. I think I was 12. Our old home-court at Autumn Ridge Lane. It was hot, and it was summer — and when the game was actually over Ronald got pretty hot too. My dad didn’t get angry much, but that day at that moment he was a little steamed. (I think I was like 6/7 from 3-point land that day.)
  3. That time he helped me and a girl I was dating the evening before Thanksgiving. I’m not going to go into details of what, but suffice to say it was a time he showed me that in certain moments parents make decisions because they think their kid deserves a huge one-time ‘save’.
  4. Helping me learn how to use a riding lawnmower. Obviously I know now that they aren’t too difficult to manage, but when he first LET me do the yard by myself, it felt like your dad letting you DRIVE the car. And my dad had a pretty tight-lined and well manicured yard, so me having the obsessions I do with perfection, I was soooooo nervous and wanted sooooo very bad to do a good job.
  5. Coaching me in YMCA basketball, specifically what he’d had me do my last year in YMCA. Because I was one of our best players and our PG, my dad would have me guard the best player (because in the YMCA back then that meant they guarded you) and for the first and second quarter he’d have me drive at them and either get them in foul trouble or foul out of the game. We went undefeated that year….so I’d say it worked.
  6. Going to Super Bowl XLI in Miami and seeing the Colts beat the Bears! It was kind of fitting since growing up the Bears were kind of our favorite team (dad was a huge Chicago fan in general, and the Colts kinda sucked), and being able to take my girlfriend Emily with me made it all the more cool.
  7. My first concert: Alanis Morsett at Deer Creek. My dad loved him some Alanis back in the 90’s…so in turn so did I. He took my sister and I with him, and it’s one of my favorite memories still to this day.
  8. The time my best friend Joel, myself and two babes were drinking in his garage and the music got a little too loud…Ronald just opened the door to the house and told us to keep it down. What he was wearing, well, LEGENDARY.
  9. His love of convertibles. As a kid, nothing was cooling than having a dad with a drop-top.
  10. Hearing him sing for the first time. I don’t remember how old I was, I don’t remember the song — but he sang a duet with Kathy Reed at our church (Cumberland United Methodist Church) and it was one of the first times I could hear just his voice, instead of mixed into the choirs. My dad has a beautiful voice.
  11. His last concert of the Praising Him’s. It was a group of 5 guys at my dad’s last church before moving to Florida. They even made a Christmas cd. He joined an already made group so he didn’t get too many solo’s, but he still got a few and it was pretty cool to see a packed church gymnasium for the last concert of a group. It was my dad’s Beatles moment…and I was there.
  12. His graduation party at DFAS. 34 years of service, and my dad didn’t know I was going to come. He doesn’t like to make a big deal of well, anything, so he didn’t even invite me. I don’t know if that was because he didn’t think I’d come, or didn’t think I’d care — but I came because I did care. Seeing that steady stream of people for a couple hours, and high-ranking people, praising my dad for everything he did — that was pretty cool.
  13. My first ever real sit-down and drink with my dad. It was last summer when I came out with the boys. My childhood friend Jeremiah Flores drove across Florida to hang for a day and we bought a bottle of the good stuff (The Woodford Reserve Special Edition), sat up late at night and had a couple of glasses and just talked about life. It was pretty cool.
  14. Going to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. I’ve been to an Olympics, that’s pretty cool. A memory that sticks out (or I’ve been lucky to keep since my accident) is my dad’s overall disgust with how much soda was in the pop machines that they had at the ‘misting’ stations every 50 feet or so in the line’s you’d wait to get into events. $12 for a bottle of coke.
  15. Watching IU basketball with him. I grew up considering Bobby Knight a second dad, and IU basketball the team of all teams. Nothing was better than watching IU basketball with my dad in the living room. “For Christ Sake’s Calbert!!!”
  16. Going to the 2002 NCAA Basketball Championship game in Atlanta: Indiana vs. Maryland. It didn’t end well for the Hoosiers, but it was still a hell of an experience. I hope to take him one day soon and we get to see the Hoosiers win another title.
  17. The Roger Clemens (almost) win’s 300th game at Wrigley Field in 2003. I got tickets for my dad and I to go and see the Cubs vs. Yankees in Chicago. The Yankee’s were my dad’s second favorite team (the Don Mattingly era Yanks) so it was going to be a blast. We sat in the right field bleachers and Clemens had a chance at 300. He didn’t get it, but it was still a great memory.
  18. Making noodles from scratch. My dad would make noodles from scratch for all of the big holidays when I was growing up, and I thought they were something out of Emeril’s best-kept secret. It didn’t ruin it for me almost 20 years later to know how easy they are to make, but seeing him roll them the night before and be laid out on our table was always a “OH MAN AWESOME!” feeling.
  19. The first time he gave me his car. My dad has passed a lot of cars down to me — but getting his convertible (see #8) in high school…I thought I was the coolest kid at Warren Central.
  20. My left-handed scholarship dinner. It was one of the scholarships my dad filled out the application for me because I was “too cool” and “too disinterested” in applying for scholarships. (#facepalm) But yes, I got a scholarship for being left-handed.
  21. Playing second base. I wanted to play second base because that’s where my dad played, and that’s where Ryne Sandberg played. Well my dad coached me for almost all of my Warren Little League baseball career (6-time All Star), and because he did I could be a left-handed second baseman. Well, I was a damn good 2-bagger, and I owe a lot of that to my pops. Genes + opportunity.

You’ll notice a lot of monumental sporting events on the list. Sports is something that’s always been special to my dad and I. My dad taught me at a very young age two very important lessons: If you work hard and are smart with your money, you can experience some pretty cool things. That is a lesson I wish it didn’t take me until I was 32 to really realize, but hey, better late than never. And the other, and most important lesson, is that putting more good into the world is not only the way to be, but it’s the way to lead. You do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. I love you dad. Happy Father’s Day.

J.C. Hart, Indianapolis ApartmentsI’ve privately told a few people already, but I’m ready to make it official (like a referee with a whistle or gangster with a pistol)! Last week I accepted a job with J.C. Hart as its Digital Marketing Specialist. I start on Thursday, and I couldn’t be more amped! A journey that started in January of this year has come to an end, and I couldn’t be happier with where my feet landed! So many emotions go into an announcement like this, especially because it signals a huge step for me as a marketing professional. For the last six-plus years I’ve been a “hired gun”. As a consultant, I’ve had a lot of great wins with a lot of great companies like Deep Ripples, BLASTmedia, V3im, SiliconANGLE, ExactTarget, and New Haircut just to name a few. But I’m hanging up my full-time consulting hat, and dawning a new full-time on-brand marketer hat.

The job search isn’t fun. When you’re being courted for a new job from a position of power (reads: already have a great job) that’s fun. But when you don’t have that good job to lean on, it can be devastating to hear the phrase, “We’ve gone with someone else.” I had a lot of interviews over the past seven months with some awesome companies…and interviews I thought I nailed! Unfortunately, I heard my fair-share of no’s over the past seven months. If I had one key takeaway from my experience it would be this: Don’t let the word no stop you. If I had given up my search for a great opportunity after my first no, or second, or third…I wouldn’t be in the spot I am today announcing this awesome next-step in my marketing career.

January through June of this year I did a lot of backchannel looking for jobs and pushing the ball down the field on a couple of potentially great opportunities. But there were some huge life changes that were coming my way in August, so I decided to finally flex my network muscle. Building relationships is something that I’ve taken very seriously for a very long time. So on July 24th I sent out an email to 48 people in my trust-circle, activating them as someone to potentially help me in my quest.

I took the email very seriously too, so much so that I had my friend Kara Findley optimize it for me. Kara is a friend from both of our former ExactTarget days, and when I asked her to help me with the email, I thought it was already perfect. Two minutes later and what felt like 40 changes I immediately said to myself, “Crap this is way better.” LOL (Kara is really good at what she does) So I had a few more friends look at it, and then I hit send. I obviously personalized it to each person, but here is a copy of one I sent:

Hey Heather!

A huge life change is happening for me on August 1 – namely becoming the single parent of my two nephews. My work has gotten some good press lately, which seems like a great time to take the next step in my career. If you know of any opportunities that might be a good fit, would you please help introduce me?

What I’m looking for: Mid-level marketing manager position with room to grow. Salary and benefits suitable for a family man.
Link to my resume: Here
More details: My next move marketing job blog post here

I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer during this transition in my life!

What is new in your life? I hope you’ve been doing great, and thank you for your continued friendship and support!

PS: I thought this was a great post: http://prtini.com/4-reasons-your-pr-program-will-fail/. I think you could do an entire post on #2, mobile gap because so many clients/websites are expectations-dumb here.
PSS: #skypecoffee soon? I’d love to get on your calendar.

Best,
Ryan

Busy mom, parent and professional, working mom, busy parentI share this with you because an opinion I’m very strong of, is the opinion that you have to ask for what you want. The people around you in your trust-circle, sphere of influence, whatever-you-choose-to-call-it are folks that want to help. But the first step is letting them know that you need help. Remember, they have busy lives too — you can’t expect them to be keeping a keen tab on your life. The next step is to give them a very clear outcome of your ask and specifics to how they can help. I identified the position I was looking for, compensation, linked them to my resume and lastly linked them to a blog post depicting everything in much greater detail.

Well did it work Ryan?


Heather Whaling is the friend I sent the email to above. She is the Owner & President of Geben Communication. Heather is someone I connected with two years ago through my normal routine of finding awesome people to dig deeper with. Heather is someone who was consistently popping up in my digital life. Whether it was a guest post somewhere, tweeting at someone I knew, or otherwise doing something that other people noticed — I noticed. So I started a conversation with her and asked her to grab #skypecoffee and connect on a deeper level.

Two years later, she’s someone I considered to be one of my top business friends + minds, and is someone I felt comfortable with leaning on for an ask as big as job recommendations.

Timing is everything. Heather had just heard of an opportunity in Indianapolis, and she made an introduction that quickly became a very serious opportunity. Think about that. Heather, in Ohio, made a recommendation in Indianapolis for me (and I lived in Indianapolis). Use the Internet to your advantage, seriously people.

A month later I had accepted that opportunity, and am set to begin the next step in my marketing career.

J.C. Hart is a phenomenal company. For more than 30 years, the J.C. Hart Company has been developing, building, and managing distinctive apartment communities. Bluntly put, they’re the best of the best. As their Digital Marketing Specialist I’ll take the lead on all of our digital marketing efforts, and really perfecting our processes of data collection and optimizing the customer journey. The first time I sat down with my boss Mark Juleen, I knew it was going to be a great fit. I’m going to be given a tone of responsibilities (which as self-motivated guy I needed) but also given the opportunity to learn from someone who is damn good at what they do.

We’re looking to position J.C. Hart as the industry leader in apartment marketing. From social to inbound, what about the apartment on-boarding process can be improved? What do you expect but aren’t getting out of your apartment community? How do you create value-add to a one time purchase, but year-long experience? There is so much to think about, it gets my juices flowing just writing about it. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Taking an existing brand and moving it to the next level of success is like a kid in a candy store to an growth marketer like myself.

J.C. Hart downtown Mass Ave. projectThere is a tone of on-brand experience I’m going to gain in this opportunity. But there is one aspect about the J.C. Hart offer that is best described as the 100 pounds of icing on the cake. J.C. Hart has been approved for a $43 million residential/retail development along the 500 block of Massachusetts Avenue. Part of the development is the first digital media board in downtown Indianapolis. Think Time Square, without the 24-7 ads. Being a part of the marketing team that is bringing this next step of digital innovation to Indianapolis was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Now granted, there are a lot of hurdles to get over, but the digital media wall is something that any marketer would covet…immensely. I’m super stoked at the possibilities!

So there it is and that’s the news! I’ve accepted an offer from J.C. Hart to become their Digital Marketing Specialist. I start Thursday! To all of those who have been supporting me from day one, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, it means the world to me. You rock.

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