The Uncommonwealth Podcast – Jason Loehr – Tracer, SVP of Strategy

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Here is the transcript from The Uncommonwealth of Kentucky Podcast with Jason Loehr.

 

Chad Webb:

Hey, everyone. On today’s episode of The Uncommon Wealth, we speak with Jason Loehr. Jason is a friend of ours from our time at Camping World and Affinity Group. Jason is currently the Senior VP of Strategy for Tracer, which is a VaynerX company.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. I’ve known Jason since college. Great dude, really giving of his time. He’s one of the more well-networked guys we know, and just the breadth of his network itself and his work experience really speaks volumes about who he is and we can all learn a little bit from him. So, let’s take a lesson from Jason Loehr.

 

Chad Webb:

All right. Well, today, guys, we have a friend of ours from way back in the day, Jason Loehr. We all worked with Jason at one time or another at Affinity Group and Camping World where all four of us cut our teeth originally. So, thanks for jumping in here with us today, Loehr.

 

Jason Loehr:

My pleasure. I’ve enjoyed listening to the podcast to have friends like Mike Siemens in the mix and Sean Perry. SPs was great. I listened to that the other day. Honored to be here.

 

Jason Heflin:

Now you get to join the Hall of Fame.

 

Jason Loehr:

Now the Hall of Fame. This is it, baby. I got a shout out to this.

 

Chad Webb:

Jason, would you mind or I’ll just call you Loehr since we have Heflin here as well, Loehr, would you mind just tell me more about yourself and who you are, things like that?

 

Jason Loehr:

Yes. So, just a little bit on me, I was born and raised in Newburgh, Indiana, which is about 100 miles west here. I live in Louisville right now. So, I’ve stayed in this area for a while, did a couple of stints down south, and Florida, and Auburn, Alabama. So, this has always been my stomping grounds, and been a little over 15 years. A couple of different groups that I’ve worked with here. Actually, the Camping World was where it all started. I mean, going to Western, spending time at WKU, being a sophomore in college when I was doing the internship at Camping World and walked into that production room one day and old Dave Seifers is sitting there in the corner and was working on a website.

 

Jason Loehr:

I was like, “Oh, I’ve built one of those.”

 

Jason Loehr:

He was like, “What?”

 

Jason Heflin:

“You’re hired.”

 

Jason Loehr:

“What? You did what?”

 

Jason Loehr:

I was like, “Yeah.” I was like, “I don’t want just local advertising stuff anymore. I want to do that.”

 

Jason Loehr:

We launched the Camping World online catalog in November of 1994. That is vintage. Chuck, you were right there, too, baby.

 

Chuck Gregory:

I am. Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Do the math. Audience, do the math on that, ’94.

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. We had two servers, literally, on tables that were card tables in the overflow room of the call center at Camping World. The worst was this was during the timeframe that Camping World was going through, obviously, a big push because it was getting ready because it was the holiday season. So, I would sit there and my chair would always butt up against the person behind me who was actually taking calls as we were doing updates and running Netscape LiveWire and updating photos and doing all that fun stuff.

 

Jason Loehr:

Then we would get an order and we would print it out and walk it over to the call center and put it into the little queue that they had and their order would be fulfilled.

 

Jason Heflin:

Wow.

 

Jason Loehr:

Our first product we ever sold was an air conditioner, which is the best.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s a high dollar ticket. Yeah.

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s a high dollar thing and the merchandising team went, “What? You sold a what? On the what?” Magic. That’s what it all started. I was like, “Yeah. This is instant gratification,” this interwebs thing because at Western I was the ad manager for the school newspaper and that was great. When you build something and you put this together and you get the ads, you send it off to get printed and you waited a week or two and it would come back and then we were the first newspaper to go online in the state, and it’s like getting television handed to you and say, “I figured it out.” All you.

 

Chad Webb:

You were the herald of the first newspaper in the state?

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

Not the first university newspaper like the first-

 

Jason Loehr:

First newspaper. We were just ahead of that Career Journal.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s crazy.

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

So, when you were doing the Camping World website, were you an intern for Seifers or-

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. I was an intern in … Actually, I can’t remember who I reported to but I was basically doing local advertising. So, the ads that would appear in the Good Sam Club Parks around and any other things, we would do these little local advertising deals that would promote Camping World, especially when they were in the radius of a location and then send folks catalogs or try to drive them in store if there was a store nearby. It’s crazy. It was a long time ago.

 

Chuck Gregory:

That program you’re talking about is how we funded the first website. You remember that?

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s right, yeah, because it was so interesting at the time on the catalog side doing square inch analysis on the effectiveness of what was performing and what wasn’t from a product standpoint and then trying to apply that same thing to the website when we were doing website designs.

 

Jason Loehr:

The crazy thing is we built several of the partners that we work with the supply product, we built their websites as a part of the vendor program. It was so funny that campingworld.com/tildy. I think ADDCO was one.

 

Jason Loehr:

It was like, “The little tildy, never forget the tildy.”

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. Ever since then it’s been sex, drugs and rock and roll is the way that I’d describe my career because I left there, left Camping World and did fredericksofhollywood.com because I was working for a consultancy down in Tampa, and that was one of our clients that we got. I know more about women’s lingerie than any man should.

 

Jason Loehr:

I then went to Humana and built digital for them. I was the third or fourth person hired in the digital team and when I left they had a staff of 50 plus between direct and indirect partners, but we did the launch of Medicare prescription drug plans online. We enrolled 300,000 Medicare eligible seniors online. That was just gangbusters for the company.

 

Jason Loehr:

Then Brown–Forman and Jack Daniel’s. So, it’s the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Although I was recently a Chief Marketing Officer for a cannabis company, so I can properly call the drugs out.

 

Jason Heflin:

Which one’s the rock and roll?

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s Jack Daniel’s, baby.

 

Chad Webb:

Oh, okay. Yeah, yeah. All right.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, yeah. We did a lot of stuff there for that brand.

 

Jason Heflin:

I’m sure.

 

Jason Loehr:

Especially in countries where we’re considered dark markets, where you couldn’t do any advertising traditionally or above the line. So, we’d have to get real creative, so we sponsored concert series and all the branding, all of the displays and everything around it would be in the Jack font and filigree and the black and white but it never said Jack Daniel’s anywhere, but it just looked like something straight out of it. So, the concert series were big ones.

 

Jason Loehr:

Actually, we sponsored Zac Brown’s tour for a couple of years and then did our own series called Live at the Landmark, where for a little less than what it costs to sponsor Zac Brown we could control the entire thing from soup to nuts from where we were doing the concerts, who was performing, and we owned all the content around it, which was the big step for us.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, when we did Metric, who is this band I still really like, I think they performed at the Alamo because we did Live at the Landmark, so we did landmark location. We had capital cities perform at the base, the Statue of Liberty, and in New York and all these great connections.

 

Jason Loehr:

Then the big thing from a social standpoint was that we owned everything. So, from the content behind the behind the scenes, backstage to the show’s themselves, it was a totally different experience than just slapping our name up on the Zach tours.

 

Jason Heflin:

What’s an example of one of those countries where you couldn’t do that?

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, man, it varies. Like Russia has some pretty stringent laws on how they market. Turkey was really interesting because Turkey had a three strikes and you’re out rule. So, they had a series of marketing guidelines. If you actually violated three of them, you got kicked, you basically got delisted for I think it’s a five-year period. So, your brand and something like that on the alcohol beverage side, he would be out of the market.

 

Jason Loehr:

One campaign, like when I came in helping to lead some of this work, one campaign that had been done prior to me joining violated two of those rules in one campaign. So, we suspended all advertising and then about eight months later, they went dark. So, they just said no advertising above the line, but, yeah.

 

Jason Loehr:

My role at Brown-Forman, I led this group called Global Marketing Services, which was the shared services operations for media, digital e-commerce, consumer research, insights, innovation, compliance, all these different things that everybody needed, whether your a market. We did this across. I’d staff in eight countries and worked with about 23 different markets.

 

Jason Loehr:

Jack Daniel’s is obviously a dominant brand here in the states, and sin the UK, and many European countries, but in other states and actually in other countries, it might be an emerging brand. So, being able to do the shared services and do it at scale was big. So, compliance was a big thing. In some countries, just like in Russia, you could have advertising that had animals in it. There was an alcohol brand in Mexico. You could show the person and the bottle, but you couldn’t show their lips actually touching the bottle, all these really weird nuances that.

 

Jason Loehr:

That part of my team, they had to deal with so much because of the digital world as it was evolving at that time. There’s a group called DSCUS, which is the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States that sets the rules and regulations for how alcohol brands can market and those that participate in DSCUS. So, Beam, and Brown-Forman, and Viaggio, and all the big guys are part of this DSCUS group.

 

Jason Loehr:

We were helping to write the actual rules and regulations for what this would be, and my team, we championed the whole thing. It took years to go through that work to try to explain to the lawyers for each of these different alcohol companies, and the Federal Trade Commission, and other areas of the DOJ just explaining because there were government entities involved as well, and explaining to them programmatic advertising. It’s like explaining complex brain surgery to my nine-year-old. It was not easy.

 

Jason Loehr:

Luckily, at the time, we were the first promoted trend and promoted tweet on Twitter for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey as it was launching. So, we wrote the code that actually allowed for an age verification touch to happen because for brands back then, DSCUS says says you have to be able to advertise to legal drinking age or above, and verify that that was the case, and there was no real way to do that on Twitter.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, you would follow Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, you get an email that was sent to your inbox, you had to click on that, do an age verification on a webpage that we created, it would send you back, and then you would be allowed to follow the brand. As you might imagine, that was pretty cumbersome, so it was hard to do so, but we’re with Buddy Media, which is Michael Lazerow’s company that he founded, and then we actually handed that code over to Twitter, and it became their first generation of how they did age verification.

 

Jason Loehr:

Since then, they’ve gotten a lot more advanced, thank God. The whole system has become more advanced, which has made life a little easier. So, when you go and follow Proper 12 or anything, you don’t have to go through all these steps.

 

Jason Heflin:

What’s your favorite social media platform?

 

Jason Loehr:

Wow.

 

Jason Heflin:

Personally, for personal use.

 

Jason Loehr:

I’m a very visual person. So, Instagram has been one that I’ve always been following. It’s a great platform. Our puppy is a Lagotto Romagnolo, which is an Italian truffle dog partly because my daughter has a lot of allergies, and we had to kind of really research what would work for her, and this was one of the dogs that fit that. There’s a lot of great Lagotto channels out there and hashtags that people follow. So, it’s great to have that and then see what’s happening from a brand perspective. It’s a great platform, and especially just in the industries that I’ve been, and it certainly has a lot of different applications to it.

 

Jason Loehr:

The other thing, too, is that I failed to mention this earlier, but I teach a class at the University of Louisville, their master’s program called Digital Disruption in Modern Media. So, I get to spend five nights every so often with MBA candidates, and talk about this whole interwebs and all the things that are happening. Instagram is one that we talk about a lot, especially considering they’re part of Facebook, and the ramifications of what that looks like. It’s one of the fun things that I do besides work.

 

Jason Loehr:

I mean, that’s what I do for a living. In today’s world, as of right now, fast forward to August of 2020, I work for a company called Tracer, which is part of the VaynerX family. So, for those that know Gary Vaynerchuk, who’s a pretty well-known marketing guy in today’s era, Gary has a series of companies as a part of VaynerX, the Sasha Group, Gallery Media Group, VaynerMedia, a couple others, we actually power both VaynerMedia and then other clients, basically aggregating their data, being able to help them understand what’s happening with their data, add a contextual layer to that so that they can build some context on what data should they worry about and why. Then we present that back to them in a visual format.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, I mean, we have partners that we onboard 270 points of data on, which is one client that’s the largest bank in the US. Then we were standing up dashboards every week from everything on COVID reporting to CPM analysis cross time because they look at their business units and platforms that they work on, what’s working and what’s not. So, it’s the nerd side of my life, but the best part about it is is that it actually represents capabilities that I was trying to build at Brown-Forman.

 

Jason Loehr:

Then also not that long ago at Inspire Brands, which is another house of brands operation, that being able to basically bring the lives of things that I was trying to do there and to do so at scale, which is a lot of fun.

 

Jason Heflin:

How many companies are under the umbrella that you’re under?

 

Jason Loehr:

Under VaynerX, I think that there’s about six or seven in the family, if you will. Gary receive our investors, so they are our investors in our operation, but we have autonomy because we have three, soon to be four other agencies that we work with besides VaynerMedia. So, having that flexibility is great. I love it because of the challenges that we see, and data is something that people struggle with at scale, whether you’re a small company like GoodLife that’s making clothing out in LA, all the way up to some of the largest pharmaceutical, banking brands out there.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, we work with agencies. We work with technology partners. So, we have $100 million DSP that we build these insane dashboards for that are very powerful and providing amazing impact on their business. We work with publishers, groups like Digital Trends that have very, very, both paid and organic media focus, which is fun, and then brands.

 

Jason Loehr:

The funny thing is, is that media is typically the first step, but it’s the least of the things that we onboard because we do coupon data from clearing houses. We’ll do revenue data. We do basically any form of data that’s important to the business we can onboard and then build what we call data equation on helping to answer questions because that’s the most simplified thing around data is that you just got to have really good questions that you’re trying to lead with. If you do, it makes finding the data source a lot easier.

 

Jason Loehr:

There’s a guy at GE Healthcare, Mitch Higashi. I don’t know if he’s still there, but he was their chief economist. When I was at Mad*Pow, which is a user experience agency I worked with for a while, he was my client. They had access to more data than they knew what to do with. I’ll never forget him talking about how you have got to lead with great questions because if you start with the data first, you’re always going to fall on your face because there’s too much and the scale of it is too overwhelming. We did some awesome stuff. Really loved working with those guys. Really, really cool things.

 

Chad Webb:

Does tracer have any sort of tie in or is it similar at all to what you did at … What was it? El Toro?

 

Jason Loehr:

El Toro? No, it’s a little different. So, El Toro as a media, they’re more focused I would say on the media side, but really leaning towards the role of location data. That was just an awesome experience. Dan, he’s one of the founders. I talked to Dan every week, and I still advise him and the team wherever I can because location data is so important right now, whether it’s at Inspire, where I had … Inspire, I led media for basically built a media capabilities for Inspire Brands as it was created.

 

Jason Loehr:

For brands like Buffalo Wild Wings, Arby’s Sonic, Rusty taco, Jimmy John’s, location is important because it helps you to get a gauge on footfall. So, that is a data point, and we onboard data from location partners into our systems at Tracer, but El Toro is very focused, and they’re actually, kudos to that team because the role of location data is a place of a variety of things. Media is one use, but you can get great insights from it. You can use it for planning. Those that really embrace location as a strategy, there’s a lot of things you can unlock.

 

Jason Loehr:

They are actually working now on helping out and building some applications for tracking COVID. So, being able to, as folks report and being able to see what the footprints are, where they’ve been and what the potential points of contact are, that contact tracing is a real opportunity, and they’re being able to help do that at scale. So, that’s something that I know they’re in the process of rolling out right now.

 

Jason Heflin:

Do you feel like some of the stigmas around location tracking have fallen away over the last few years or do you feel like people are … How do you feel the end user reception of all that, that data collection?

 

Jason Loehr:

The way that I always talk about location data is with great power comes great responsibility. For those that are doing it right, I think that it’s a really important resource in their overall strategies for marketing, communications, and business in general, but those that aren’t have left a pretty challenging space for the rest of the groups that are doing it right.

 

Jason Loehr:

You’ve seen several in that space get sued because they were not only tracking location data, but then adding in keystroke tracking for the computer, which is just bad. I certainly think that people, I mean, if the federal government said, “Hey, we want everybody in the US to basically wear something that tracks everything that they do, where they go, gives data back to what things they’re surfing and what they’re doing on the web, and all this,” if the government came out said that, it would be like, “Oh, my God, no,” but we voluntarily do that every day with our devices.

 

Jason Loehr:

Now, granted the government doesn’t play a big role in that, they play a role in that, but hopefully not as big as we as we think, but I feel like people are least understanding of it, and it’s a matter of what people do with it because no only is it with great power comes great responsibility, but just make sure that you’re actually using it to increase the value exchange between “I’m going to give you this data, so I’m going to tell you where I’m going. I’m going to listen on Spotify and I’m going to be cruise around going from point A to point B. I’ve got Waze up, which is constantly sending a ping of potential opportunities to serve me an ad. So, if you know all this, then serve me something that’s useful. Don’t just sell me crap.”

 

Jason Loehr:

One of the big things in my class that I teach about and I’m thinking about writing a book, but I don’t know if I’m going to do it.

 

Jason Heflin:

Do it. Do it.

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s this whole notion of the age of intention, and it’s the fact that we are in a space now that is intended to be what digital is supposed to be about, “Hey, I can send this out. I can learn more from it,” and now this whole bots and all this non-human traffic and all these fake impressions and all that, there’s just these real challenges out there.

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s important because people should have intent around what they’re doing. I should expect a result from doing X and Y and leading to Z. Gary has some very colorful ways of talking about it, Vaynerchuk, and I agree with him. It’s like, “Why would anybody want to do stuff that’s just terrible?”

 

Jason Loehr:

If you have this capability, you have all these opportunities to know a consumer has been in your location, and you have a potential to reach them, make it worthwhile. Just make it something that’s … Try not to suck if it’s all possible.

 

Jason Heflin:

So, let me ask you this with … This is current news. So, by the time this podcast comes out, this may be resolved, but our fearless leader has got it out for TikTok lately, specifically because of their potential data issues. So, this is very topical. Where do you stand on that? Because, I mean, there are some that say, “Whoa, whoa. Hold up. I don’t want this company, this Chinese company taking my data.”

 

Jason Heflin:

The other the other reality is every device sitting on my desk right now was made in China. Every tool I use online has Chinese coders accessing it. So, what’s the difference there? What do you see going on there?

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. I mean, first off, there are, on average, I don’t know, 100, TikToks made about six feet above me between my nine-year-old and my 11-year-old. So, while I’m not a user of the platform, I feel like I have been a huge participant in the platform, both directly and indirectly, but I feel like the Council on Foreign Investments still needs to do some digging because I feel like when Musical.ly went away and TikTok became what it is, I don’t know that there was enough scrutiny put through that process. I don’t know if it was because Huawei and these other companies that were being looked at by that same group. There were some weird things going on, and some possibly nefarious things.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, I have a very good friend who just took a job leading brand partnerships there. I haven’t caught up with him at length, but I’m very curious to see what his perspective is being on the inside looking out because on the outside looking in, there are certainly some things that don’t smell right. They hired the CEO from Disney to lead this operation, but I don’t know if that’s enough because even if, as what’s projected where Microsoft may buy them, if they buy the US operation, what does that do because you have a code base that still basically sits and was built in China.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, I certainly have a lot of question around it. I think people worry about what the data means, but the data means potentially to influence what happens in the algorithm and what you see.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, my kids and what they’re flipping through, I mean, I’ve seen some posts on other areas talking about TikToks that start off as a beauty thing, and then immediately go into a series of content that is not beauty-related, and either positive or negative political change, and just it’s … So, I worry. I worry about it.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. I think that you said, “What does that affect if Microsoft buys the US-based operations?” I think from a government perspective, they’re probably seeing it as, “Well, we’ve got Microsoft where …” because who builds all the software for the US government? Microsoft, but who’s got more potential for Microsoft as a revenue stream, the US government or TikTok? Man, I don’t know at this point.

 

Jason Loehr:

I struggle with the platform itself because of the repetition. When the girls are making a TikTok, that six-second loop or seven-second loop goes 30 times, and by the end of it, I’m going, “Girl, ladies, please. Please, can we move to the next song or the next one?” I see these numbers that they have on this got a billion views. It’s got a billion views and I’m like, “That’s probably 10 people watching it over and over again.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. I feel like it’s got a lifespan. It’s going to end one day unless they reinvent.

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah, because, certainly, others are because you’ve seen other platforms like snaps now going to introduce music at scale for their platform, other … So, when it comes to the ability to take in and see what’s happening and what trend looks like, and how that can be brought into other platforms, that certainly is a … There’s a shelf life that grows and then it’s how does that become then part of the … This is the table stakes and what my app needs to do.

 

Chad Webb:

So, one of the other questions I had on here was around, I know you’re working a lot. Like you said, you’ve had worn a lot of different hats. Is there anything that you do on the side? Is there anything you’re taking up besides family time and stuff like that? Is there anything you do to try to make-

 

Jason Loehr:

Other than fancy Italian dogs?

 

Chad Webb:

Yes.

 

Jason Loehr:

Lexy is the best dog ever. Gosh! She’s awesome. Just great personality. Just the best.

 

Chad Webb:

Just start just start your own podcast with you and Lexy. Let’s just-

 

Jason Loehr:

Honestly, she sits right here next to me a lot during the day. So, I could totally see that happening because I talk … I mean, when we go on walks, I talk to her all the time just like she’s going to respond.

 

Jason Heflin:

What do you think about TikTok, Lexy?

 

Jason Loehr:

Exactly. I’m like, “Lexy, what do you think about this?”

 

Chuck Gregory:

When you said the breed name, I thought you’re talking about a [inaudible 00:27:04]

 

Jason Heflin:

You and Lexy could try different Italian pasta dishes together. That’s the theme of the podcast. Man, that’d be fun.

 

Jason Loehr:

It could be a lot of fun. Oh, I appreciate the insight. Side hustles are awesome. I got all kinds of things on the side. I mean, certainly, the teaching piece is a big hustle because it’s a side hustle because I basically donate what I get from it, which is about as much if I wanted to buy a new set of irons as an adjunct professor. So, it’s not much, but my side hustle is I break it into passion projects and then good looking out for others.

 

Jason Loehr:

For me personally, I love playing golf. I love golf course architecture. I’ve been fortunate and very blessed to play some of the craziest golf courses on the planet and just being able to take that. So, designing courses and all that, just a fun little thing.

 

Jason Loehr:

Actually, the cool part about a lot of the new 2K Sports that’s coming out, the PGA Tour version and they have golf course builders in it. So, that’s a fun little thing to do on the side. I’m big into art, and I do a lot of art with my girls. I try to help them. I went to school. I went to Western Kentucky University day one to be an art teacher. That was it. I was on campus to be an art teacher and I went to my first art studio class, and it was three hours, and there were three of them a week.

 

Jason Loehr:

I was like, “I’m going to be in class for nine hours, and I’m going to get three hours credit for this. Yeah. No,” and walked out of that class and straight up the hill changed my majors, this is day one, to advertising and I never looked back.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, art’s always been a part of my life. Those are fun things. Also, I’m writing a screenplay for a television series that I’m hoping will maybe someday see the light. That’s the fun little thing on the side. Then the good looking outs, I got a-

 

Chad Webb:

Hey, hold on. Who’s playing us? It’s about our lives, right?

 

Jason Heflin:

I’ve always loved Brad Pitt for Chad.

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s basically the office meets Camping World.

 

Chad Webb:

There you go.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yes. Cue the office theme song.

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. Man, who would play each of you guys? I’ll have to come back to you on that one because that’s going to take some time. Although-

 

Jason Heflin:

At the back of your head, we’ll do that at the end.

 

Jason Loehr:

We’ll do that, yeah. Then on the good looking out, there’s a great group of folks, these three amazing women that have started this. It’s an alcohol free spirit company. So, it’s basically a non-alcoholic bourbon, and they’ve got some other products in the pipeline. I’ve just been helping them out as they have questions, and wherever I can make some intros for them.

 

Jason Loehr:

There are several other things like that that are just people that have introduced products, and they’re like, “Hey, you know anybody in this space?” So, someone’s got a specific little app in the QSR space. So, I’ve made some introductions there. So, it’s JLo ventures, but I don’t actually get anything out of it money-wise. It’s more of just I’m trying to just use my network because my network is something that is my currency in life is relationships. I’ve been fortunate to make a lot of awesome ones that I truly adore. If I can help folks get tapped into that, awesome.

 

Jason Loehr:

There’s a book called Love is the Killer App that I read years ago, along with How to Win Friends and Influence People, and The Startup of You, which is Reid Hoffman’s book, but there’s a lot of similar themes in there on expanding your network is what life is all about.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, there’s some cool little businesses like that. My wife is actually, she’s the head of North America Sales for Vaimo, which is an e-commerce implementer of Magento. Just being able to help on the side, work with her because it’s just her and a guy that I work with at Brown-Forman, and then one of the founders of Vaimo, who’s over here. So, the three of them are the Three Musketeers of that e-commerce space.

 

Jason Loehr:

Vaimo outside the US is a dominant player, but in the US, really didn’t have any space. So, just trying to help out in any kind of fun, cool stuff people bring forward. I’m like, “Yeah, love to help.”

 

Jason Heflin:

It lets you exercise your creative muscles outside of what you’re currently doing, which is awesome.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Also, I’ve been involved in this group called Endeavor, which also does investing and helping startups get to scale. I’ve introduced a couple companies through that, and help to hopefully make some connections there. That part is awesome because I love that spirit and seeing folks that have a great idea, and if I could help to see that come to life, then awesome because legacies, it’s so funny.

 

Jason Loehr:

Where I’m at right now in my life, in my career, and I got married. I married Kristen, my wife, two years ago in 2018, in December. Yeah, so not that long ago, but I had gone through my life and gone through relationships and never had kids. Then I meet Kristen, and then I am introduced to, at the time, a five-year-old and a seven-year-old, and now a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old, and that has changed a lot of things for me professionally because for the longest time I thought that my legacy was what highest title am I going to get, how big are the teams going to be, achieve, achieve, achieve, achieve, achieve.

 

Jason Loehr:

I haven’t lost my drive, and my hustle, and my ability to lead, but it’s just changing in that view of leadership and recognizing that my role in life is to do everything that I can to see those girls absolutely get every opportunity that they can see for them. Taking self out of the equation for me has been a big change over the last few years in a big way, and it’s awesome because I know people that do similar relationship things where they try to connect companies together and they’re like, “Well, what’s my spiff going to be on this? I’ll make this introduction, but I want these points.”

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s like, “If that’s what driving you, man, you are in the wrong space,” because the more that you got … I have been so fortunate to see that happen for me. That’s the last thing that I’m going to do.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, and we joked about it at the beginning, but you are one of the most, really, genuinely, you’re one of the more connected people that I know. Just some of the companies that you mentioned that you’ve worked with throughout this podcast in these 30 minutes and the people that you’ve worked with, I mean, you’re right. They really make you who you are. They’re a collective representation of you. So, I think you’ve done a great job of building that out. Like you just said, being generous with it and sharing.

 

Jason Loehr:

Well, it’s interesting because somebody asked me about it the other day, and I said, “Well, if I have to break it down, it all comes back to my dad.” So, my dad has built Go Kart engines for … I’m 45, so 50 years. Him and his brothers are all big gearheads and growing up, that was their thing. My dad worked at Alcoa for 45 years, and him and his brothers always get together work on engines and do custom painting of stuff. My dad has built these Go Karts. That’s his thing.

 

Jason Loehr:

From a golf perspective, he’s like the Scotty Cameron of Go Kart engines. He’ll send engines all over the place. People will send them in to get to him, he’ll send it back. I can remember growing up his shop which was at my grandparents house, now their house, at this shop with all this Go Kart stuff and everything in it, the parking leading up to that could be a beat down, rusted out S10 that you don’t even know how that thing got to the driveway, and a Bentley behind that of some businessman who is super interested to racing and all folks in between.

 

Jason Loehr:

My dad, it didn’t matter. He could connect with anybody. That’s something I’ve watched and learned, and I think I’ve applied it. There are just influences between that. Then my first job was working at my uncle’s auction house, Meet and Auction, and seeing the characters there and learning from him about what it means to make a sale. I was a ring man, so I was this guy who would hold up stuff and call out bids, but learning the history of products and then being able to how that can be used in the sale. It’s just crazy connecting back over life how these things come into play. I’m just trying to keep that tradition alive and going.

 

Jason Heflin:

What a great gift from your dad. That’s awesome.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, yeah. It’s awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

So, along that same lines because we’re talking about just your journey there, as you’re looking back and you’re talking about legacy and things like that, I know you still got many years ahead of you, especially, I mean, the way that I think through my time is it’s based on my two daughters. I’m always at a minimum. I have at least until they’re 18, if not 22, that it’s like I’m not not going anywhere. What’s the point of retiring? What’s the point of trying? So, I think they’re like that.

 

Chad Webb:

So, when you’re thinking about these next 10 years and what you’ve learned in the past, what do you wish you had known I guess when you started the journey? What do you wish you had known I guess when you started some changes you would have made early on when you rolled into Camping World and started on that website? What would you change if anything?

 

Jason Loehr:

I think that one of the things that I’ve learned I would guess the hard way is separating yourself from a situation. In many cases, it’s this idea of you can only control what you can control. There’s an article that I read years ago that has stuck with me. There’s this guy, Steve Snapper Jones, who is a big NBA broadcaster, and he gets tapped to call the Olympics for NBC Sports. Huge honor.

 

Jason Loehr:

They’re going through it and they’re like, “So …” He goes, “All right. So, what’s my sport?”

 

Jason Loehr:

They’re like, “Crew.”

 

Jason Loehr:

He’s like, “Rowing? That’s my thing? I’m an NBA announcer. Why am I not calling the dream team?”

 

Jason Loehr:

So, he gets out and he starts meeting these guys, and he starts following them. He kept making this reference to … He would ask the question, “So, what happens if an orb breaks as you’re going?”

 

Jason Loehr:

They’re like, “That’s outside of my boat.”

 

Jason Loehr:

They’re like, “So, what happens if the waves come up and something happens?”

 

Jason Loehr:

They’re like, “That’s outside my boat. I can only control what happens in here.”

 

Jason Loehr:

That is something that for me, professionally, I learned, like I said, a little bit the hard way a couple of times where people that were not me had different agendas for things that I was bringing forward. Right, wrong or indifferent, I may or may not have been a part of those and got, I would say, blindsided a few times in business.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, for me, and I would say it’s less during the Capital World days, but certainly in the times after, but that ability to just control, you can control and keep pushing forward on that, but at the same time, as you gain opportunities from a leadership perspective, I hate politics. Politics is just the worst and office politics are just terrible.

 

Jason Loehr:

I mean, my DNA is about take what you do seriously, not yourself, and politics is completely opposite of that. People that are hoarding information and hoarding power and looking out for themselves so much and being able to recognize that and just at least have an understanding of that going into my career earlier on, I think would have maybe changed some things.

 

Jason Loehr:

For me, I would say that that ability to coach up as much as I can coach the teams because that’s something I’ve been very successful with in the organizations that I’ve been in is that I’ve been able to rally and be a connector inside of companies as big as 40,000-50,000 people or more and be recognized as, “Well, he knows so and so and can connect to so and so,” because I can build that network, and I can always show value, and I wasn’t afraid to roll up my sleeves.

 

Jason Loehr:

When there are folks outside of that that don’t have the same values and don’t have the same approach that you do, and they screw you, it’s like, “Oh, you know what? Learn from it. It’s part of my patina and move on.”

 

Jason Loehr:

Holding on to it is something, that’s the worst thing that you can do, and that’s something that where having my girls in the mix and my wife as my champion behind me, that’s all that matters. A job is a job. You can make money doing different things. I could be a barista at Starbucks. It wouldn’t matter. As long as I’m around people and I can help to create value, that’s what I’m trying to do.

 

Jason Loehr:

Then the next engineers are going to be really interesting for me because it is a time where the last couple of years have been a little weird because I spent two years at Inspire building on everything, but also on a plane every week to Atlanta from Louisville, I mean, every week for two years. That wore on me in a big way.

 

Jason Loehr:

The cannabis world for six, seven months was interesting, learned a lot. Tracer is awesome because it’s stuff that I know and I can, I mean, I live and eat and breathe it every day. I look out over the next 10 years, and I mean, the opportunities for Tracer are going to be awesome because we’re in a space that few people are in. There’s a lot of people in the … When you think about the three areas of what we do between aggregation, the contextual layer, and the presentation layer, there’s a lot of people in the aggregation side, not many, if any, on the enrichment and contextual side, and then several players on the other side of visualization.


Jason Loehr:

So, if we can combine all three of those and build the juggernaut that we are, who knows what the future holds for that. In an ideal state 10 years from now when we do our whatever number of podcasts over the next few years, I will be an adjunct professor at the College of Charleston. I’ll have a nice place there, and we’ll be able to play golf, Tequila with my buddies whenever I can, and consulting because I want to not because I have to and, hopefully, one of the girls is in the College of Charleston as well. We’re able to brunt the tuition from somewhere else and be able to be part of something that I’m on faculty at.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. That’s a great plan. I love that. So, here’s what’s interesting. You mentioned you got married a couple years ago, about two years ago. Remember running into me in Orlando?

 

Jason Loehr:

I did.

 

Jason Heflin:

We ran into Jason in the airport in Orlando, and here he comes strolling through the airport and it’s him. You can’t miss him. He’s seven feet tall, no hair, swinging his arms, headphones around his neck. It’s him. We all know him and he’s coming through, but he’s got his wife with him. He’s got this pretty woman and these two girls, older girls, older than my son who’s just was really young.

 

Jason Heflin:

I was like, “That’s Loehr. It can’t be Loehr. Maybe he’s just walking close to the speed.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Then I stopped him. I was like, “Loehr!”

 

Jason Heflin:

He’s like, “What’s up?”

 

Jason Heflin:

We hugged and then I was like, “Is something different?”

 

Jason Heflin:

He’s like, “Oh, yeah, yeah. I’ll catch you up. Yeah, we’ll catch up soon.”

 

Jason Heflin:

I feel like a terrible friend, but, I mean, it seems like that went down really fast and you just found the right thing, and you jumped on it, and now you’re obviously super happy.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, yeah. I just remember I think it’s was Don who was like, “Ah. Oh.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, trying to put it all together. Yeah.

 

Jason Loehr:

I’ll catch you up later. It’s all good. Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s that rent a family program. It’s awesome. They’re amazing.

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s amazing. Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Well, they hooked you up. That’s for sure.

 

Jason Loehr:

They certainly hooked me up. They certainly saved me in a pretty big way. It’s perspective. I mean, there’s nothing like seeing life through the eyes of an 11-year-old who’s going on 22. There’s nothing like seeing life through a nine-year-old who is just her perspective is so different. It’s also people that their ego is different. You understand a lot about this. There’s the adult ego and the child ego. You basically go through your life in a constant tension between the child ego and the adult ego.

 

Jason Loehr:

When you embrace a little bit more of the child side, I feel like you could certainly grow and expand and appreciate more because I would say that’s the thing that I’ve learned of anything is the ability to appreciate things more.

 

Jason Loehr:

The example that I give a lot is that I have been fortunate to be invited on some crazy things, some crazy boondoggles. Anytime that that happens like, “Hey, you want to come out and play Shinnecock and National Golf Links and stay at the National Golf Links, play some ball the next day and then go to Maidstone,” or “Hey, you want to go to Scotland and play golf for five days with so and so on the media side?”

 

Jason Loehr:

Anytime that happens, first off, I am so appreciative and I’m like, “What can I do to help? Can I do a whiskey tasting? I’ll do a whiskey tasting on the first night if you guys want and I’ll come bring some some samples of different fun stuff,” or just being able to because I know other people in the industry in roles that I had that don’t operate like that, that it’s more of an expectation than anything. I just laugh because I’m like, “One day, they’re going to get it, and I just hope that they have time to really react to that because I appreciate it every day.”

 

Jason Loehr:

Every time it happens and between the relationships and the crazy things you get to do, I appreciate it so much. I mean, just even friends. A buddy of mine is a member of a really prestigious Golf Club up in the Northeast. We went up there and played golf not that long ago. We finished up and I did a painting of the 14th hole for watercolor.

 

Jason Loehr:

He’s like, “What the hell is this?”

 

Jason Loehr:

I was like, “Dude, just thanks, man. Thanks for bringing me along.”

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s appreciation of you only have so many days on this planet. So, you have to make the most of them and that effect that you lead, it will hopefully lead for others to do the same thing. I mean, I appreciated so much what Sean was saying about this, the wow moments, and the ability to go above and beyond where somebody is like, “Man, did not expect that.”

 

Jason Loehr:

Anytime you can do something that’s remarkable, that leaves somebody in that position where they want to leave a remark or say something about that or share it with others, that’s a pretty big goal to shoot for, but, man, if you can get it and get it consistently, that’s pretty awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

Would you like to take a screenshot make a watercolor of this? I think that will be cool.

 

Jason Loehr:

This is probably going to be more of a Crayons.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. I was going to say that. Let me know.

 

Jason Loehr:

Heflin’s beard is beautiful.

 

Jason Heflin:

Thanks, man.

 

Jason Loehr:

That might be a starting point.

 

Jason Heflin:

Thank you.

 

Jason Loehr:

We’ll start there and who knows where it goes.

 

Jason Heflin:

I use the tears of employees really condition it as often as possible.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, it’s so good. [inaudible 00:46:48]

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah.

 

Chad Webb:

So, we’ve got a few questions here at the end. One of them was, maybe they can be wrapped up together, “What’s the hardest lesson learned or something that you failed at?” I could see how those might be connected, but choose one of those and think through it.

 

Jason Loehr:

I would say it was certainly one of the hardest lessons I’ve ever gotten. This is a little while back in my career. I was leading a project that had around 37,000 development hours associated with it, scale of 100 plus people involved in the company. There was a multi-billion dollar operation. I mean, just project going sideways, left and right, I’m having to rattle cages on the IT side all the way through to different areas on the product side, and in the business and incredibly just stressful.

 

Jason Loehr:

In my organization, we lead a big leadership meeting with everybody involved. I walk out and she goes, “Hey, do you have five minutes?”

 

Jason Loehr:

I’m like, “Sure.”

 

Jason Loehr:

So, I go in the office. I’m like, “Come on in.”

 

Jason Loehr:

She goes, “I’m leaving my husband today. He is a cocaine addict. I don’t know if I’m going to get this project over the hump, my next milestone. I’m taking my kids tonight, and we’re going to my parents house, and I’m not going to be in the meetings tomorrow.”

 

Jason Loehr:

It was like life just punching you right in the face like, “What?”

 

Jason Loehr:

It, truly, from a leadership perspective, was for me one of the hardest things because, and it also taught me one of the things that I have come to appreciate about leaders that I work with and things, and how I operate, but the ability to think on your feet is the difference, in my opinion, in a big way on who’s successful and who’s not because when you’re thrown a bunch of stuff at you, how you can take that, synthesize it, and bring it back out, and from a leadership perspective, if you have a vision that gets rocked, how do you change that vision, and then adapt, and then get everybody on the same page and move forward.

 

Jason Loehr:

Now, in this case, it’s one person, but, obviously, there were very large implications of that. So, my response and sitting there, I’m like, “Don’t let your jaw hit the floor. Just take it all in.” It was like, “All right. How are we going to attack this?” I’m like, “All right. First off, you don’t need to worry about the project. It’ll be taken care of. You worry about you. There’s an employee assistance program that I know can sound cheesy, but it’s actually a really good resource, and here’s the number for that. I’m going to call HR as soon as we finish up, give them the heads up. This is the number to a friend of mine who is Coach Patino’s security. I call him and check in with him because I’m going to call him and have him check in on you if anything gets weird, and we’re going to check in tomorrow if it’s good on your time, and we’ll just set up time. Whenever you’re ready, call me and we’ll go from there.”

 

Jason Loehr:

So, that was in the first five minutes, and then out of that, you make the right calls. You call HR. You do the right things. You bring the team in, and you have to play it cool. It’s like, “Where did she go? What what’s happening?”

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s like, “It’s all good. We’re taken care of. All things are happening.”

 

Jason Loehr:

Being able to rally the team, keep things moving forward on the professional side for the project, which was at that stage meaningless in my eyes, and then focusing on what’s her next steps, and how does she move forward. That was one of those where it’s like the idea of … That’s what leadership is.

 

Jason Loehr:

Leadership is, yes, there’s professional sides of it, but we are experiencing times now where the work-life balance there is no. It’s life balance. It is just how you balance life. When your office is the house and your house is the office, and the school ward and all that fun stuff, the ability to juggle that and to be able to … Empathy is a big deal, and being able to see things through other’s eyes is incredibly important from a leadership perspective to know those that want to be recognized, those that don’t, those that need help and aren’t going to ask for it, and those that are and then what you do for them.

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s something that I learned and it was very eye opening for me, but it’s then brought me to the opportunity to be able to not only read what people are thinking about in the professional side of things, but truly care and appreciate what’s happening on the personal side.


Jason Heflin:

Yeah, that’s crazy man, and you were able to channel your inner Don Draper and jump in there and say, “Okay, we’re moving forward. Let’s walk in here and let’s get this done.”

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s the idea that, “Hey, we’re going to figure this out.” There’s no playbook for this. I’m going back like, “All right. What shelf is … Where is this in the playbook? I don’t see it. It’s not in here. Okay. So, we’re going to make this up as we go.” Right, wrong or indifferent, we’re going to figure it out.

 

Jason Loehr:

I use the word momentum a lot with my teams over the years, and that’s so important to just keep momentum going. When things get stuck or you run into issues like, “How do we get around that?”

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Chuck’s our momentum guy. We’ve got a big project going on right now where he’s just moving it forward. Eat an elephant one bite at a time. We got it. Just keep it moving. Keep it moving.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yeah. You’re absolutely right about the team members. It’s like you’ve got a bunch of people who speak different languages, and you have to learn to speak each of their languages to get the performance and get what you need out of them and for each other.

 

Jason Loehr:

Especially as I’ve led creative organizations, I’ve led technical IT-based organizations, I’ve led … The differences on how to lead an IT team versus a creative team are so different, but there are some really fun connections that at the end of the day, everybody is just looking for. They want the word recognition, but it’s how they want that recognition.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, the whats maybe consistent, but it’s the hows that mean everything. That recognition could just be you pulling them aside and saying, “Dude, you killed it on that project. Nice work.” Others want it in a team meeting, and it’s like, “Hey, shout out to so and so,” and that ability to … and that’s some of the things that I’ve been so fortunate in my career to have both sides of that because I refer to myself as a recovering programmer, even though I have an advertising degree and a design background and design passion, and I have my MBA and all that stuff, but I love the data side of it.

 

Jason Loehr:

Our class, we talk a lot about the art and science and what that means for building a brand today, and how you have to leverage both of those and embrace those and that ability to have that roundedness and that flexibility, I don’t see it a lot, but the technical side and we see the numbers where the marketing organization is becoming the number one client of IT inside of organizations.

 

Jason Loehr:

I think it’s both good and can be challenging because there’s a lot of technical terms, and there’s a lot of Jedi mind tricks that can happen that can play out. So, you have to be able to really know both sides of that house at scale.

 

Chad Webb:

The opposite of that, what would you say is your biggest success so far?

 

Jason Heflin:

Other than this podcast.

 

Jason Loehr:

I mean, other than this podcast, every day. It’s so cheesy, but every day is just it’s like something new happens that it’s like celebrating today and then looking forward to what happens tomorrow. I mean, I’ve really been fortunate to have some awesome roles in crazy organizations. I mean, it inspires me. Leading a $500 million media budget across these brands and expecting to drive significant growth out of that was awesome. Some of the work there I was very proud of.

 

Jason Loehr:

I would say at Brown-Forman, building out what became the digital bootcamp, which was, basically, the class that I teach right now, certainly the foundations of that were in that work to build that bootcamp and bring that to life, but to do that across over 500 people in all different countries across all different roles because the thing that I’m most proud about over my career is where I’ve been able to add value from a cultural perspective because, yes, growing EBITDA, making numbers, increasing transactions, doing all that stuff, that’s great, but the culture side of being able to contribute to culture at scale, to me, is awesome, and that’s something I’m very proud of.

 

Jason Loehr:

That work on that digital bootcamp was awesome because I loved it because we had the marketers, the teams behind the brands a part of it, but I made it a point to include accounting folks, and finance folks, and folks from production, folks that were probably working on the line doing, working with packaging because that to me …

 

Jason Loehr:

One of the biggest things when you think about modern media and digital disruption health, it’s culture change, and culture change in a positive way to think more on your feet, to be more agile, to move faster, to have a sense of urgency because your competitors can move ahead of you so fast in internet time, and being able to shed that light on those topics for folks because while finance may not have gotten some of the details of it, it’s an appreciation that they can understand what we’re up against because today, building out a marketing plan, if you will, is so different than what it was 10 years ago, let alone five years ago. That ability to embrace that and embrace change at scale is a big deal. The only way that that works is when it’s culture change.

 

Chad Webb:

I think one of the, when you talk about that, I think one of the questions that just popped in my mind was because I get some insight on this is, what would you say to a 22, 23, 24-year-old just getting ready to start their career, what piece of advice would you give them? I mean, I think from … I’ll tell you what I would say, but I want to hear what you’re going to say. I mean, I think one of the things you noted was empathy. I feel like and I think that’s probably something that you don’t get. I don’t know.

 

Chad Webb:

I’m sure it’s built in a lot of people, but it feels like early on, that’s hard. That’s something that’s hard to grasp, but I think as you get into your old age, and maybe it’s with kids or with a marriage relationship or something like that, it’s suddenly learning, and it’s probably when you start realizing that you’re not going to be around forever. I think that that’s what maybe 23, 24-year-olds don’t see that, but it’s like being able to see things from other people’s perspective and not taking a hard line on it like you’re 100% wrong. I mean, I’m sure I was like that back in the day like, “I don’t care what this person saying. How am I going to get to that next management position? How am I going to get to this?” or it’s more like …

 

Chad Webb:

Empathy I think in business a lot of times is trying to learn, realizing that you’re not the top dog necessarily, but trying to learn, learn how to empathize with people and understand their position so that you can then take that forward in your own life. So, that’s what I would say, but I am not very much interested on what you’d say.

 

Jason Loehr:

The biggest thing that I would say, and this is actually the part of the … I’ve got my last class is on this coming up here shortly, the last session, and in that last session, we talk about bringing it all together. The one thing that I tell them is to put themselves out there. It’s doing side hustles for friends and family and people you come into contact with. You may not know a subject, but putting yourself out there, that’s the best way to learn by doing.

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s something that being able to not be afraid of jumping in and rolling your sleeves up and figuring something out, that is what that is what success looks like of being able to learn, grow, adapt, learn, grow, adapt. Just continue to feed yourself and learn because it’s something that … I learned HTML on my own. I learned Photoshop on my own, just figuring it out and understanding the nuances of it, reading some stuff online about it.

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s how you get to this whole notion of self-promotion in the digital age. People will put themselves out there in ways that you may or may not appreciate, but if you can do it in a genuine way, typically, it’s because you’re familiar with it, and you’re not afraid to put yourself out there to take on a task and to … Whether you’re in an organization or you’re just doing something on your own on the side, not being afraid to put yourself out there and raise your hand and say, “Hey, yeah. Let me try it out and figure it out.”

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s where I’ve been very fortunate throughout my career to have stuck my neck out and said, “I’ll try it.” I mean, I had never conducted usability tests in my entire life. I got into Humana and it was going to cost us so much more to have someone build this questionnaire to go through and built the facilitator’s guide and to do all this. I went online and I reached out to a couple of folks. Before I knew it, I was on my eighth usability test, and I had never conducted one in my life, and was doing the interviews, was leading it all, and I just figured it out.

 

Jason Loehr:

There’s all kinds of examples throughout my career where it’s just by putting myself out there, things happened. If you don’t, then things may no. So, not be afraid to do so and continue to learn it, especially in times like now. I feel really for those that are going through right now as a senior in college or a senior in high school. I’m on WKU’s alumni board of directors on the national side. We talked about what graduation was going to be like this year.

 

Jason Loehr:

I’m putting myself out there to all of my network. If you have graduating seniors, whether they’re high school or junior or college, I’m happy to talk to them. I don’t know if I have a job for them or if I have a connection to a job, but by God just I’m putting myself out there and that’s a big thing. For those that are just now getting into their careers, do not be afraid to put yourself out there.

 

Jason Loehr:

Frankly, don’t be afraid to ask for help on the flip side of that because you’ll find that those that you ask help from, there’s actually a connection that’s made there that’s different, that is, in many cases, much more powerful thinking about the longterm.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s like Dave Grohl said, “It’s times like these you learn to live again.”

 

Jason Loehr:

I mean, the poet laureate, Mr. Grohl.

 

Jason Heflin:

Our poet laureate of [defense writers 01:01:56] Fighting foo for all of you.

 

Chuck Gregory:

You guys.

 

Jason Heflin:

Gosh! We’re so funny. Loehr, I’m just so disappointed that we’re not going to be able to get to the story of when we’re at Buckhead, Atlanta and that brawl broke out.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, my gosh!

 

Jason Heflin:

It was like a roadhouse.

 

Speaker 5:

Never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. Three, be nice.

 

Jason Heflin:

We are lovers, not fighters.

 

Jason Loehr:

We are lovers, not fighters. It happened so fast and I’m like … I have a fishbowl. What is happening right now?

 

Jason Heflin:

My drink is spilling. What’s going on? A chair just flew past me.

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, my God! Yeah.

 

Jason Heflin:

Anyway, next podcast.

 

Jason Loehr:

Next podcast.

 

Chad Webb:

So, the last question, Loehr, is-

 

Jason Heflin:

That was a good one.

 

Chad Webb:

Yeah. So, last question is, and we don’t have to get into this, and you don’t have to name this, but I think if I look at Jason’s phone or Chuck’s phone or my phone, I think the three of us are the famous people we have in our phones. So, what are your three most famous people you have in your phone?

 

Jason Heflin:

I can say I have one famous person.

 

Chad Webb:

Can they be on our podcast?

 

Jason Heflin:

Only Jason Loehr.

 

Jason Loehr:

I mean, famous people. I mean, if we’re going by sheer number of followers, then probably Gary V. is probably the … I mean, he’s got nine million followers or something crazy. I mean, I could text him.

 

Jason Heflin:

Let’s do this. Let’s do this. Who would my mom know?

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, gosh! Well, let me put it this way.

 

Jason Heflin:

Somebody who’s got a good base knowledge of history and people, just a good broad stroke knowledge of everybody in the world. Who would they be? Like, “Ooh, yeah. That’s …”

 

Chad Webb:

Celine Dion. Say Celine Dion.

 

Jason Loehr:

When you think about, I mean, sports-wise, I mean, you’ve got sports folks like Bret Saberhagen is a buddy who played baseball for the Royals, and the Mets, and the Red Sox. Oh, man! I mean, there’s just so many random people in here.

 

Jason Heflin:

He’s looking at his phone. He’s got to go over to the famous section.

 

Chuck Gregory:

Too many.

 

Jason Loehr:

I don’t have a famous star on there. I mean, I would say, I mean, David Seifers. He’s got to be way up there.

 

Chuck Gregory:

You’re putting on that single like Cher or Madonna.

 

Jason Loehr:

A single name? Yeah. There are some single names in here, but they go by a different name than you could imagine. I mean, I would say probably like between Sabes or Mark Rypien who played football for the … I mean, those are people, if I use famous sports-wise, those are probably a couple in here. I mean, there’s all kinds of folks that are just business-wise that have been very successful, but I don’t know. I mean, that’s-

 

Jason Heflin:

You’ve probably played golf with some pretty famous people, right?

 

Jason Loehr:

Oh, man! That I have been very lucky. I’ve played golf with some awesome … One of my favorite people I’ve played golf with is Jerome Bettis. Jerome, I’ve played with a few times, and just an awesome guy, just very down-to-earth. I’ve always appreciated folks that really know themselves. Back to my mantra, take what you do seriously not yourself. Jerome is so successful, but he’s just such a down-to-earth guy that I really enjoyed playing with him.

 

Jason Loehr:

One that’s on a tour right now who is just one of the coolest guys I’ve been around is Justin Rose. Justin was in my Brown-Forman days. We sponsored the American Century Celebrity Championship, which is out of Tahoe, and then we also did an event down in Florida called the ADT Skills Challenge. Justin was down there. He literally just came up at lunch and was like, “Hey, how’s it going?”

 

Jason Loehr:

I was like, “Hey. What’s up?”

 

Jason Loehr:

We talked for an hour about how he could read [inaudible 01:06:20] and how he was doing some certain drills and just an awesome guy, just so down-to-earth. I just have always appreciated the guys, some of the “celebrities” or famous sports people that have been like that. Sabes is probably at the top of the list because he is such a genuine guy. I’ve just seen him when we’ve been out with some other friends out dinner and folks will come up and he’s so genuine and so just puts himself out there. He’s just an awesome guy and very successful. He’s a fantastic example.

 

Chad Webb:

That’s awesome. Good ones. Yeah. Those are much better than what Chuck has in phone.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah, Chuck. Chuck, who’s your most famous friend or person you’ve met [inaudible 01:07:10]

 

Chuck Gregory:

Jason Loehr. Jason Loehr.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s all our answer here.

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s over the top. That’s just too much. That’s just too much.

 

Chad Webb:

I’m just kidding. He won’t have his phone number for some reason.

 

Jason Heflin:

See, I would fumble those relationships, I feel like. I met Colin Hay ones who’s Men at Work, the band. He’s the guy behind Men at Work. We hung out. First thing I did was I was like, “Let me buy you a drink.”

 

Jason Heflin:

He’s like, “I’m a recovering alcoholic.”

 

Jason Heflin:

I’m like, “Okay. Strike one. Strike one.”

 

Jason Loehr:

That’s a great way to start things off, and from there, you’re off and running as they say.

 

Jason Heflin:

My second question was I said, “Hey, I’ve got a Volkswagen bus and you mentioned it in one of your songs,” Traveling in a fried-out Kombi. I said, “How do you know if your Kombi is fried?” because Kombi is a term for a Volkswagen bus. He’s Australian or Scottish, whatever.

 

Jason Heflin:

Anyway, I said, “How do you know-“

 

Jason Loehr:

Australian or Scottish, they’re the same.

 

Jason Heflin:

Maybe that’s my problem.

 

Chad Webb:

I think because he’s sound was down under. Maybe he was Australian, I’m guessing.

 

Jason Heflin:

I said, “How do you know if your Kombi is fried out?”

 

Jason Heflin:

He said, “Does it go?”

 

Jason Heflin:

I said, “Yeah, it goes.”

 

Jason Heflin:

He’s like, “Then it’s not fried out.”

 

Jason Heflin:

I was like, “Man, I’m such a jerk. I got to get out of here.”

 

Jason Heflin:

Then he started, “Well, where are you guys from?” He’s like, “Let me do this. Let me do the talking here, buddy. Back off, drunkie.”

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. Have it on the cocktail. Yeah. He’s good.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. I’ll go have a water, filtered water.

 

Chad Webb:

Do you think he’s at home on a podcast telling people about the weird Kentuckian he met?

 

Jason Heflin:

Probably. He’s like, “Dude, this guy could just kept sticking his foot in his mouth.”

 

Jason Loehr:

I will say, so when you talk about celebrity interactions, the top of my list way back in the day, I was living in Auburn, and I was-

 

Chuck Gregory:

Near Roseville?

 

Jason Loehr:

Auburn, Alabama. [inaudible 01:09:08] My fiance at the time, I don’t think we got married yet, she worked for the flight department. It was Charles Barkley Day at Auburn. They were retiring Charles’ jersey at Beard-Eaves Coliseum. It was on a Saturday morning. We were all over at one of her colleague’s house waiting and just celebrating because there was going to be a basketball game and then they were going to retire the jersey.

 

Jason Loehr:

We were waiting for the FedEx package to come, which was his actual jersey that was going to hang in the rafters. So, I’m sitting there and it’s getting to be … By 9:00 the next morning, it was supposed to be there. So, it’s 9:15. The FedEx thing is just up the road and just across the border in Georgia. It’s odd that it hasn’t come yet.

 

Jason Loehr:

I opened the door and there’s a hang tag from FedEx on the door. Oh, my God! I go running inside. I’m like, “This is bad.” So, we all jumped in cars and we all take routes. So, I head out towards the highway. Another group heads out more towards Montgomery and we all just dispersed.

 

Jason Loehr:

I had a mobile phone at the time, but it was not anything like what you know now. There’s a group at the house that’s calling FedEx trying to get it all sorted. I am doing 70 miles an hour on 35-mile per hour streets weaving in and out, heading out towards the highway. I see about six lights ahead of me, the FedEx truck.

 

Jason Loehr:

I don’t know if it’s the FedEx truck. I see a FedEx truck. I go cruising up and I go around it into an intersection, and I pulled right in front of it. I was in a white Camry. I go run and I go, “Do you have a huge box in there that’s about …”

 

Jason Loehr:

He goes, “Yeah. I got it right in here.”

 

Jason Loehr:

So, I had this white Camry. We take this box. It takes both of us. It sits through both windows in the backseat by about two feet on each side. I mean, this is a big bear that’s going on the rafters. I go screaming towards Beard-Eaves Coliseum calling and saying, “I have it. I have it. I have it.” Pulled straight into the coliseum. They pull it out. They hang it. It goes up into the rafters. They put the sheet down in front of it and they opened the gates to the game, I mean, right there.

 

Jason Loehr:

So, that night, I’m hanging with Chuck and Charles I’ve been fortunate to meet several times, and he’s an awesome guy and telling the story. He’s like, “Man, that’s a lot of work.”

 

Jason Loehr:

“You think? It’s the day that they’re retiring your jersey and your jersey almost returned to Atlanta.”

 

Jason Heflin:

I like how the FedEx just gave you Charles Barkley’s jersey without really knowing who you were.

 

Jason Loehr:

No. I just said, “Do you have a box that’s literally the length of your …”

 

Jason Loehr:

He’s like, “Yeah.”

 

Jason Loehr:

I go, “I want it.”

 

Chad Webb:

It was a simpler time.

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. It was a simpler time. It was a more trusting time. So, yeah, I was able to save Charles Barkley’s jersey that day. That was a fun time. I’ve been fortunate to see Chuck several times since then. It’s sadly fear point, Hef. It’s my go-to. It’s like, “God, I feel like he’s heard this multiple times.”

 

Jason Loehr:

It’s funny that whoever’s around him and they want to hear the story, and that’s the part that’s always fun. Yeah. Good times.

 

Jason Heflin:

It’s awesome.

 

Chad Webb:

One time I thought about retiring one of Chuck Gregory’s shirts, but that doesn’t really count, does it?

 

Chuck Gregory:

I sure had retired many of them over the years.

 

Jason Loehr:

I was going to say you could hang it in the rafters of CrowdSouth in the building at the top.

 

Chuck Gregory:

I guess he had spaghetti that day.

 

Jason Heflin:

Chad sat behind Quest Love on a plane ones. You did talk to him, right?

 

Chad Webb:

Oh, yeah. No, I didn’t. I was scared. I was like, “Oh, all these famous persons.” I want to leave him alone.

 

Jason Loehr:

In my trips back and forth to Atlanta over a year, and it was a long time, I was on a plane once and just sitting there doing my thing. This guy comes in and I’m just, “Oh, yeah.” I moved and he sits next to me. Going along and I see him doing his selfies. I’m watching. I’m sure it was something awesome on Netflix that I was watching. Oh, actually I think it was Peaky Blinders.

 

Jason Loehr:

Then after the third of these selfies he’s doing, I turned and it’s Kevin Smith. My headphones on and I just said, “Hey, man.”

 

Jason Loehr:

He goes, “Hey.”

 

Jason Loehr:

I was like, “I really love your work. Thanks.”

 

Jason Loehr:

He goes, “Thanks, man. Appreciate that,” and that was it, and then I was back at Peaky Blinders.

 

Jason Heflin:

That’s awesome. That’s the way they want to interact with us, a common folk, by the way.

 

Jason Loehr:

Yeah. Exactly. I mean, it is what it is. What else can I … Anything else I can provide perspective on or anything I could help with?

 

Jason Heflin:

We could do this for three hours, you know.

 

Jason Loehr:

Man, I could. You know who I talked to today? It was Barry Davis. Love that man to death.

 

Jason Heflin:

We played phone tag this weekend about four times, and we never get upset about it, but that’s kind of our relationship. We’ll talk once every couple of months, and in between, we’ll have about eight missed phone calls.

 

Chad Webb:

Why don’t we go ahead and stop this before we get on to the phone tag.

 

Chuck Gregory:

[crosstalk 01:14:36] stuff for the next one.

 

Chad Webb:

Well, no, no, no. It’s not that. It’s just because people are like-

 

Jason Loehr:

We haven’t even talked about FMCA conventions. I mean-

 

Chuck Gregory:

Yes. What happens at FMCA stays at FMCA.

 

Chad Webb:

Okay. Okay. Okay. Hey, guys. Thanks a lot for Jason Loehr being on our podcast, and we appreciate him.

 

Jason Loehr:

Thank you.

 

Chad Webb:

He is the man.

 

Jason Loehr:

I sincerely appreciate the time. Love you, guys. If I can help in anyway, holler.

 

Jason Heflin:

Yeah. Appreciate you, man. Thank you.

 

Chad Webb:

Thanks, Jason. Appreciate it. Thanks, buddy.

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By Chad Webb

Chad Webb (who is 40) is one of CrowdSouth’s Partners and brings years (not quite 40) of experience managing multi-million dollar website projects to your business. He loves hoodies, puffy vests, jeans and flip flops.

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About CrowdSouth

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