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Hello, AUSL!

My name is Jake and I'm a passionate communications strategist, experienced project manager, and fierce advocate for equity and systems change. I believe in telling stories with purpose and amplifying the voices of traditionally marginalized identities in the process. These are the stories I choose to tell in my own filmmaking and the causes I champion in the places I work.

I have always been passionate about education and even amassed hundreds of classroom hours as a secondary education major for almost the entirety of my undergraduate career. However, during my time student teaching I never quite felt the sense of belonging that my peers described and I knew that without that feeling I would not be the teacher my students deserved. Instead, I felt called to work in education in other ways and I have been fortunate enough to keep education at the center of my work ever since, working in non-profit communications and higher education student development. Serving as AUSL’s Director of Marketing and Communications would be my ideal marriage of communications and education, allowing me to work passionately for our community.

I currently lead marketing and communication strategy for a culture-focused diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy. This experience has given me the opportunity to help inspire change within companies themselves, but I'm looking to return to the educational nonprofit world to realign my work with my values and to utilize my experience as a writer, designer, project manager, and storyteller in a new role that achieves measurable impact.

30/60/90 Day Plan

This page outlines my recommendations for a 30-60-90 day plan as AUSL's Director of Marketing and Communications. This plan will allow me to work strategically toward high-priority goals and set realistic expectations.


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30/60/90 Day Presentation

Scroll through the full plan using the arrows below.

  • An adaptable and highly motivated self-starter with a curious mind and passion for Define American’s mission
    I was the first Marketing and Communications professional hired by my current organization, a diversity, equity, inclusion, and culture consultancy. I created their first ever integrated marketing and sales plans, developed systems for structured a approach, and have expanded our team to include a Communications Associate, while being the organization's only MarComm leader. I work for organizations that align with my passions. Transforming the way people view culture, identity, and race and interrupting bias and discrimination is what fuels me. Being able to use storytelling to advance that mission would be a dream come true.
  • Experience facilitating paperwork and contract negotiation
    I lead (or have led) large-scale projects for my organization that often require outside vendors, partners, and facilitators. I’ve identified and negotiated contracts with: Third-party subject matter experts for webinar events Web developers Gala keynote speakers Branding consultants Podcast guests
  • Experience in branded content production, particularly talent recruitment
    I have created branded content across various mediums including: video, social graphics, infographics, and print collateral, both independently and working with a graphic designer. Additionally, I just finished project managing new brand identity standards for my current organization, featuring a new logo and color palette. While I have not applied this skill to talent recruitment, I would use the skills utilized above to analyze the audience, set KPI’s to define success, and ensure that the content being produced is equitable and accessible across identities and abilities.
  • Experience collaborating with digital media content creators
    I produce my current organization’s podcast and webinar series; this means identifying, contacting, and securing guests for these series. Our podcast guests are typically subject matter experts with social media followings of 10k or larger on the channels that are most important to our organization’s goals. Our webinar guests are internal or external subject matter experts that present on specific topics relevant to heritage months or trending skills. Topics and guests for podcasts and webinars are research driven; we use social listening and keyword trends to drive our content strategy.
  • Proven expertise in social media and online marketing experience
    I have directly managed social media channels for non-profit and purpose driven organizations, with an emphasis on KPI reporting and cross-channel cohesion in our storytelling. Similarly, I have led multi-channel marketing campaigns for, among others: My current consultancy (LCW) that spanned email marketing, paid social, & paid search My former non-profit organization (OHU) and their early learning centers that included direct mail, print advertising placements, email marketing, retargeting, and paid social A former educational non-profit organization’s (The Chicago Public Education Fund) Chicago-wide principal appreciation campaign that included newspaper advertising placements, transit print advertising placements, organic social media partnerships, and an in-person event
  • Goal orientation, with comfort working with some ambiguity in a growth environment
    Being the first marketing and communications professional for my organization, I partnered with Business Development to create our very first strategic goals and our Integrated Sales and Marketing plan. This meant operating in complete ambiguity, however, the result was 40% YOY sales growth. Our current marketing plan breaks down our organizational goals, department strategies, individual tactics for execution, and the KPIs that will demonstrate success.
  • On-set cinematography or producer experience is a plus
    I am a documentary filmmaker that is passionate about amplifying untold stories, especially of traditionally marginalized communities. This has meant producing: We Are Tuvalu (Executive Producer, Camera, Editor) A feature length documentary that took me to the Pacific island country Tuvalu to partner with youth there This film was distributed on PBS and in 51 countries via ABC International Disappeared: Chicago’s Lost Lesbian Bars (Sole filmmaker) This short film explores why Lesbian spaces are disappearing across the country and what is lost with their extinction This film has been featured at 5 screenings and won 2 awards The Chicago 51 (Sole filmmaker/producer) This multimedia film project features 6 shorts that showcase the glaring inequity in solving murders of Black women on Chicago’s West and South sides. This project won a BEA award
  • A self-starter who has the proven ability to work both as a part of a team and independently and the ability to work remotely
    I’ve had the opportunity to work as a team of one and grow out a team I manage in my current position. This has meant being independent and extremely aware of priorities and detail. In the past, I’ve also had the pleasure of working on small teams and in large departments inside organizations spanning 15 to 800 employees; I am adaptable to what style my team needs and independent and collaborative regardless of our team's size. Since the pandemic began, remote work is all I have known. I’ve found that with a high level of communication and a passion for our mission, often I’m able to be even more efficient than working in-person.
  • Organizational skills and proficiency in Powerpoint, Excel, project management tools (Asana), and all Google applications are a plus
    I take pride in my organization, attention to detail, and management style. When leading a project, I set others up for success by providing clear deliverable dates, consistent communication, and an updated shared tracker to set my team up for success. But I also know from experience that it is necessary to be agile; when deadlines/needs change, I try to reprioritize and reconcile so we can still meet the projects deadlines and goals but communicate changes in real-time with all stake-holders involved. I’ve managed a wide-range of projects including: Film production (from pre-production to shooting on-location, to post-production and distribution) Podcast production (from securing guests through production and distribution) Virtual webinars and events Website creation Organizational rebranding Digital fundraising gala (requiring an outside production vendor and pre-recording) Creation of an email lead sourcing and automation tool (requiring work with a developer) City-wide awareness campaigns (working with aldermen, CPS leadership, and the mayor's office) Multichannel marketing campaigns (for small businesses, consultancies, and non-profit organizations) I do not currently use Asana, but I’d be happy to get a certificate so I am set up for success.

30/60/90 Day Goals

In the first 90 days at AUSL, I will:

Focus Areas

Based on preliminary conversations with AUSL team members, these are the four major buckets that we will discuss within the 30/60/90 day plan:

My experience

The First 30 Days: Learn

Summary: By the end of the first 30 days I will have developed a foundational understanding of the mission, the team, AUSL’s programs, our communications channels, tools available, and events.


Above: goals broken down by focus area for the first 30 days in the position.

30-Day Deliverables:

MarCom Strategy:

  • Complete a SWAT analysis of past/current systems, tools, and strategies

Communications Functions:

  • Communications channel assessment (including competitor analysis)

  • Website audience Google Analytics assessment

Cross-Team Marketing Support:

  • Conduct 1:1’s with team members across the organization

  • Schedule time to walk through the events calendar with the Director, External Relations

Brand Development:

  • Schedule onboarding meetings with Mollie, Martin, and Kate to better understand the individual brands that live under the AUSL umbrella (Jake to bring specific meeting focuses)

Click the button to view a comprehensive digital audience analysis created for The Chicago Public Education Fund.

My experience

The First 60 Days: Build

Summary: By the end of the first 60 days I will have built the strategy needed for short-term operation of Marcom functions (through 2023) and cross-team support, began deeper exploration needed to set a long-term Marcom strategy (3-year outlook), and set the foundation for brand exploration/revision.

Above: goals broken down by focus area for the first 60 days in the position.

60-Day Deliverables:

MarCom Strategy:

  • Create an integrated thematic content calendar (social, email, blog, events) that runs through the remainder of 2023

  • Create a social media calendar that runs through the remainder of 2023

  • Create an events calendar that runs through the remainder of 2023

  • Create supporting marketing plans for donor development, CTR, and Liberated way that run through the remainder of 2023

Communications Functions:

  • Begin posting social media content, email campaigns, and blog content that align with the integrated thematic content calendar (see above)

  • Evaluate mailing lists and create a plan for list development

  • Enact in-house website updates that reflect the immediate changes of the organization

Cross-Team Marketing Support:

  • Create a profile of target audiences for each program and development/advancement audiences

Brand Development:

  • Hold focus groups that collect feedback from team members, leadership, board members, community members, and alumni that helps determine how we perceive our own positioning

  • Meet with team members and leadership to lead development of our cohesive brand (beginning to map out one cohesive AUSL brand for the next 20 years

Click the button to view a sample social media calendar created for One Hope United.

My experience

The First 90 Days: Enact and Expand

Summary: By the end of the first 90 days I will have worked with key stakeholders to set a long-term vision and strategic plan for the MarCom team, set SOPs for how to best support other teams, and worked with the AUSL team and board to identify a plan for revisions to the AUSL positioning and brand structure.


Above: goals broken down by focus area for the first 90 days in the position.

90-Day Deliverables:

MarCom Strategy:

  • Create a MarCom strategic plan that identifies goals, strategies, tactics, and KPI’s for success

  • Working with the Director, External Relations, set a 3-year vision for AUSL’s marketing and communications team

Communications Functions:

  • Enact, evaluate, and readjust the short-term plans created for MarCom channels, cross-team support, and event support

  • Develop a plan for website revision in accordance with the branding and positioning work

Cross-Team Marketing Support:

  • Create SOPs for how MarCom collaborates with each team/function to ensure efficient processes for support

Brand Development:

  • Report on AUSL’s perceived value proposition, differentiators, and positioning

  • Meet with key stakeholders to begin mapping out updated positioning and differentiation

  • Create a final brand plan for telling a cohesive organizational strategy that brings together all sub-brands under the AUSL umbrella

  • Assess what visual identity updates are needed to accompany this change and map out a working plan for these updates (including brand standard updates and website updates as needed)

Click the button to view a sample Integrated Marketing and Communications Plan created for LCW.

Featured Portfolio Items: LCW Brand Work 

After the company was purchased by new ownership, I led LCW's internal and external stakeholders through a process of realigning our 20-year-old identity with the organization's vision for the next 20 years.

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While not exhaustive, the four components outlined below were key steps in the journey to creating "the new LCW":

1. Exploring our brand positioning

By interviewing and strategizing with internal and external stakeholders, we identified and defined our brand's unique value proposition, differentiators, and competitive landscape.

2. Translating our purpose into our visual identity

Using our newly defined positioning, we sought to create an identity that matched the new vision for the organization while respecting the work of the past 20 years. This meant adopting an updated logo, color palette, and font kit.

3. Standardizing our visual identity 

The new visual identity was then standardized and used to build out a new website for the organization that fit the new positioning and aesthetic.

4. Creating a systematized roll out plan

Finally, as an organization that leverages a robust training and learning library, the internal rollout process was complex. Standard operating procedures were created to ensure clients experience a seamless brand transition. At the same time, unified messaging was prepared for brand launch.

Additional Portfolio Items 

Scroll through below to view examples of a few of my projects that are most relevant to this role.

About Me
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