HI! I'M JONNY
I was born and raised in the midwest along side my 2 brothers. We grew up playing hockey, it was my passion, my calling. I was destined to one day "make it"... but fate threw me a curveball I did not expect. On a cold December evening back in 1997 my parents asked if I would attend an Acappella Christmas performance with my grandparents... ugh! Sounds awful! I don't want to go... but of course, my parents gave me the guilt trip about spending quality time with grandma and grandpa before they are gone. So, I begrudgingly went. Little did I know the trajectory of my entire life would change THAT night!
When the curtain opened, there they were... The Ambassadors of Harmony Chorus. 130 man Acappella ensemble that nearly made me crap my pants when they started singing. I was transported out of this world. The chords and harmony they sang literally lifted me out of my seat. I knew I HAD to do this. You can only imagine the flack I received at the fragile age of 15 when telling my elite, traveling hockey team that I would be stepping down to sing Acappella music. But looking back... it was the right choice. My entire life has been shaped and influenced by that decision.
Family First - Always...
I am blessed to have 2 amazing parents who are still happily married to this day. Not a day goes by that my father does not kiss my mother when he leaves the house and/or returns. I've always looked up to my parents and do my best to live up to the standard they've set. Family First.... ALWAYS! Which leads me to the next part of this journey....
As mentioned above, I gave up everything and committed my life to promoting and sharing Acappella music with the world. I quickly found myself in what one would classify as a barbershop quartet. We found success quickly by winning the 2006 Barbershop Harmony Society International Contest. From there, we've spent the last 15 years literally traveling the world. We've been to all 50 states and travelled to over 20+ countries. But, it was in Dallas, TX that my life would once again change b/ of this very strange musical art form.
Our quartet was contracted to sing on a women's Acappella show down in Dallas. We arrived at the venue for a pre-show mic-check and that was it... there she was, standing on the front row singing her heart out. My future wife to be!! We met and hit it off instantly. We used MySpace to stay in contact... yes, you read that correctly, MySpace! We dated long distance for 2 years and I eventually got up the nerve to "pop the question" while on the beaches of Hawaii. She said YES and we married in April of 2010 and are beyond blessed with our 4 beautiful babies.
Whitley - 10
Kason - 8
Brea - 5
Reese - 3
Our home is now filled with harmony. All 4 kids love to sing and it brings me such joy! There are not enough words to express the love and care I have for this family. My life choices revolve around them, much like my upbringing b/ Family First .... ALWAYS!
As I continue to share and unpack how joining an Accappella group radically changed my life... here is yet another example. I am now roughly 21 years old, graduated college, and started my first job of selling insurance to churches. I'm still actively singing in the large 130-man Acappella group (The Ambassadors of Harmony). On a random Thursday evening rehearsal, the most unlikely of characters walks through the door. He steps on the risers and joins us in song. He has this booming bass voice that reverberates throughout the room. Little did I know that I was standing directly in front of the Executive Vice President of AT&T's marketing division, Gale Wickham. Gale is one of the most successful and humble men I've ever met. He has been a mentor of mine for many years. After a year or two of getting to know each other during Thursday evening rehearsals, Gale asked...."Hey, you want a job selling Yellow Pages???". And I was like, "sure!".
Then something amazing happened...
Around the year 2008 AT&T was slowly transitioning from a print yellow page book into the digital era and in doing so they hired a young, tech-savvy, internet guru named Jason Hylan, to help coach and guide them through this transition. This turned out to be a pivotal relationship in my life.
Jason came from years of digital marketing experience, building his first website in 1995... before Google was "Google".
After several months of banging his head against the wall, Jason quickly realized that this behemoth company (AT&T) was never going to deliver long-term value for their nearly 10,000+ customer base. They were too big and too slow to operate successfully in the digital space, thus, Jason, with a 2 year old and another baby on the way left AT&T and started something that would significantly changed my life forever... Clix.
3 years after meeting Jason at AT&T, I finally got burnt out of corporate America and did a short stint at a private PEO company. Thanks to a simple update on my LinkedIn profile, Jason decided to reach out to see what I was up to. We linked up, had a beer, and the rest is history. When he told me about Clix, I knew it was everything RIGHT about digital marketing. A true partner! I was sold!!!
I've spent the last 8 years at Clix fulfilling my dream of providing customized digital marketing solutions for businesses around the globe. I am fortunate to be on a team that provides a tremendous amount of value to our clients by leveraging technology to help drive brand awareness, traffic, and leads.
It's real results, that generate real money - that goes to support real families. That's why I LOVE what I do!
As you are now aware, I started singing Acappella music at the age of 15. Several years later I found myself in quartet with 3 other guys. We found success quickly by winning several high-profile contests. From that point on we've been contracted to travel the world and sing. I've spent the last 20+ years traveling the globe and performing in front of millions of people. When I am not traveling with the quartet, I am now co-director of The Ambassadors of Harmony, an award winning internationally recognized men’s a cappella ensemble of over 130 singers. B/ of this, I am often asked to travel throughout the United States and to other countries to coach musical ensembles and share the knowledge and skills I’ve learned over these last two decades.
I share all of this not to brag, but to simply provide context into my life journey. I created this podcast with the hope and goal to allow entrepreneurs and business professionals to share their journey and what's made them successful and the challenges they've faced along the way. The motivation needed to succeed in both business and life!