My ever so formal and oh so dry CV

You don’t want to read this post.  Really. 

This is the most boring post I intend to ever place on this blog.  If you want to just skip over it, I understand.

Unless you are considering asking me to sit on your corporate board.   In that case this CV should show I can clean up pretty good….

While I was departing from my last job a couple of colleagues suggested I consider serving on a corporate board or three.  They seemed to think I’d have something to offer.

Since I greatly enjoyed my stint as a consultant back in the ’90s it sounded good to me.  But, like everything, it has required unexpected work.

Namely, since I’m already in some conversations, I needed an updated curriculum vitae.  Latin for “course of life.”  Impressed yet?

Anyway, I thought I’d share it with you.  You’ll find it below and also here:

It is very formal. 

That is to say, very dry.  

Maybe not much fun to read.  Don’t feel you have to.  But I’m thinking fun isn’t the point here.  Want the fun version?  Here you go:

BTW, the boards I’d be interested in are those for small entrepreneurial companies.   Shoot me an email if we should talk.


Formal CV

 James Collins

 Mr. Collins is a senior executive with extensive P&L experience and a proven track record of growing revenue and profitability, integrating acquisitions, launching new products, developing and implementing business plans, creating powerful marketing strategies, building strong customer relationships and building effective teams.  He is experienced in a broad range of markets including technology, automotive, investments, design engineering, electronics manufacturing, construction, horticulture and energy.

 Most recently he served as Senior Manager, Business Development with Penton Media working on Contracting Business, HVACR Distribution Business, The Comfortech Show and their related websites.  Under his management revenues grew 82%, setting an all time record.

 He has served as a Group Publisher for the Advanced Technology Division (ATD) of PennWell Corporation.  There he integrated two newly acquired publishing businesses, Connector Specifier (CS) and SMT (Surface Mount Technology), into the ATD’s operations and culture in what the board of directors called a “textbook example” of successful acquisition integration. Later he guided the integration of the subsequently acquired SMT Germany.

 He rebuilt the post-acquisition staff, combining acquired personnel, newly assigned PennWell employees and new hires into highly effective, motivated teams able to execute aggressive quality, cost-saving and revenue goals.

 Under his management both businesses set all-time revenue and profit records.  CS gained 29% in revenue and 256% in profit and SMT increased 21% and 63% respectively.  SMT’s market share grew to nearly 50%, positioning it as the industry’s #1 publication. 

 He also launched the ATD’s first show daily venture, The APEX Show Dailies, (posting profit margins of 50%) and SMT Mexitronica.   

 Prior to PennWell, Mr. Collins served as Publisher of Counterman for Babcox Publications.  There he substantially increased profitability (54% in year one and an additional 41% in year two) and launched Counterman DIY.  He successfully increased revenue, ad sales and market share during a contracting market, positioning Counterman as the automotive aftermarket’s second-largest publication, up from fourth. 

 In 1988 Mr. Collins was recruited to join Roulston & Company, Inc., an international investment research firm.  There he served as an Investment Officer marketing investment research and analysis to institutional investors.  He also produced analytical reports on a diverse group of publicly traded companies.

 Mr. Collins also spent eleven years with Penton Publishing, Inc. holding several positions of increasing responsibility.  As Publisher, he successfully orchestrated the turnaround of Materials Engineering, generating its first consecutive years of profitability in well over two decades.  He also launched Composite Materials and served as Market Development Manager for Machine Design.

 In addition to his work as a publisher, Mr. Collins is an accomplished consultant, author and speaker. He has provided reorganization strategies, sales and marketing strategies, sales training, business plans and operational reviews for clients such as The Aberdeen Group, East Ohio Gas, National City Bank and Thompson, Hine and Flory.  He led the senior management team of Operation Bass in developing a business plan to expand into publications and television, and he wrote the business plan for and helped launch the Journal of Energy Management.

 He is the author of the sales-training seminar, Effective Selling, as well as several workshops, speeches, columns and articles on professional sales and peak performance including The Ten Sales Commandments, Enhancing Customer Relationships, The Myth of Motivation, The Most Dangerous Words Your Customer Can Say, Handling Mistakes and There Is No Old Business.  He also produced, wrote and presented a weekly radio feature, Your Sales Guru, for WHK Radio,Cleveland.

 Mr. Collins launched his career selling advertising space in Chicago.

 He is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and holds a BA in English Literature with minors in Speech and Sociology.

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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.

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