We have all heard the saying by Confucius, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”  Well, I feel like I won the golden ticket to just that when I started Forum Communications. More than 12 years ago, I saw a need in our community here in Northeast Georgia for a marketing agency dedicated to helping clients find their voice in a crowded marketplace – and have not worked a day since (well, mostly…).

The Journey Begins

Back when I started Forum I was serving on numerous boards and helping many organizations in a volunteer capacity. All of them seemed thirsty for marketing knowledge. And when I say marketing knowledge, it was mostly as it relates to strategy. They wanted to know how to build a business in a strategic way through thoughtful marketing efforts that provide real, tangible ROI, and not just spend to spend without understanding its impact. So, just after my second son Davis was born, I quit a job I loved and set off on what would become an adventure of a lifetime.

Now that you know why I started Forum, you will probably understand why we have a laser focus on pinpointing the right message, at the right time, for the right audience for our clients. In fact, most all new ongoing engagements begin with what we lovingly refer to as a Forumula (a play between our name “Forum” and a formula for success – a strategic marketing plan). Through this strategic and targeted approach, we have been able to share in many successes together with our clients.

The business has grown beyond my wildest expectations, from one person in 2012 to the 16 industry experts we have today (including account managers, digital marketing experts, SEO experts, PPC experts, a web team, design team, and storytelling team). Through our growth we have remained resolute in our commitment to what is important in life. Our core values drive us and are at the center of why and how we do what we do each and every day.

Forum's core valuesForum’s Values

  • Mutual respect – this includes mutual respect for our teammates, and in the relationship between Forum and our clients.
  • Results driven – our clients don’t pay us because we’re nice people (though we are!); they pay us to help them grow and achieve their dreams.
  • Producing incredible work – we are talented professionals who work hard to win for our clients, in a way that we can help them feel and see the fruits of our labor.
  • Work / life balance – work should not become a four-letter word in life. We believe in a manageable workload, having bandwidth to sufficiently complete projects, taking vacation, and sharing in the joy that is life at Forum.
  • Finding joy and love in what we do – we do our jobs 40-plus hours in a week. We should love what we are doing when we are away from our families.

Forum Today

We consider our work an honor – one we do not take lightly. We talk about the fact that all our clients have entrusted us with their business and their livelihood. We view ourselves as an extension of their team and often find ourselves as emotionally involved and invested in their success as we are in our own. We realize that when they succeed, we succeed – it is a beautiful symbiotic relationship. We watch with pride as they grow and achieve their dreams and thus achieve ours.

We have been recognized three times as a Bulldog 100 Company by the University of Georgia, which honors the fastest growing businesses owned or operated by a Georgia graduate, we were the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce 2017 Small Business of the Year, and we have received more than 20 awards and recognitions for projects and our work.

We have been honored to work with more than 375 clients in 40 industries including education, non-profit, professional and service businesses, technology, B2B companies, start-ups, healthcare and more.  We work with clients of all shapes and sizes, from one-man shops to multi-billion-dollar corporations. While 70% of our clients are located within an hour drive of Gainesville, Ga., we have worked with clients in 12 different states. I am especially proud that 90%+ of our clients have either never stopped working with us or have come back to us for another project or second engagement.

Credit Where Credit is Due

At the end of the day, we are doing great work, for great people and having the time of our lives while doing it.

The Forum team is the core of our success. They are Forum. They are who we are, and who we will be. I believe in hiring people smarter than myself, and that is what we have done at Forum. There are no egos and no competition. We are all in it together to win for clients every day. When I reflect about my time thus far at Forum, what makes me smile the most is the team. I thank God every day he has blessed me with each and every one of them. He has placed each of them in Forum’s path at the right time, and built a group of people beyond anything I could have ever done on my own.

I give Him thanks for this company, their families and the clients we work with every day. And honestly, because I have seen His hand in Forum in such a profound way, I don’t worry. Sure, some doors haven’t opened the ways I thought they would and others have even closed when I didn’t want them to. We have not been perfect along this journey, but we have acted with integrity at every turn. We have asked for grace and given grace. We have worked hard to be where we are today. But I realize that not only has it been a business journey, but it also has been a journey in faith, growth, love and joy.

Now as I look at my almost 12-year-old son (who was only a few months old when I started Forum) and my 14 year old son, whose growth and lives literally measure the life of Forum, I see that Confucius was right. I quit working almost 12 years ago, and it is my hope and prayer that as long as I am at Forum, I will never have to work another day in my life.