My Top 11

Professional Accomplishments From My Corporate Job

From 2005-2016, I worked for one company. And to be honest, I loved every minute of it. 

The company is called Booster, and it's mostly known for its elementary school fundraising program called the Boosterthon Fun Run.

After I graduated college, the founders of the company recruited me to help launch their new business in Birmingham, Alabama.

I loved their vision which was to use this new business as a way to impact America's education system while developing their employees into world-class leaders.

I said yes. And I stayed there for over a decade.

It was a whirlwind of an experience. I survived lots of tiring days, multiple moves, an economic crash, and lots of title changes. But I came out the other side as a much better leader and man. 

This is a list of the top things I accomplished while at Booster. Of course, I'd be a jerk to act like I did this all on my own. Thankfully I had the incredible support of my CEO and friend, Chris Carneal, + the support of the many team members who worked for me over the years. Without them, none of this would have been possible, and for that, I'm uber-grateful!

B.T. Harman

P.S. - Be sure to scroll to the end to see how and why I left the company.

 

#11 - We raised $150 million for schools

 
  The core of Booster's mission is helping fund elementary schools. During the time I was there, we helped schools all across America raise a combined $150,000,000. This was a massive collective effort that I'm really proud I got to play a role in!  Aside from the U.S. government, I know of no other entity during that time that supported schools as much. 

The core of Booster's mission is helping fund elementary schools. During the time I was there, we helped schools all across America raise a combined $150,000,000. This was a massive collective effort that I'm really proud I got to play a role in! Aside from the U.S. government, I know of no other entity during that time that supported schools as much. 

 

#10 - Launching a new market

 
  After starting my career in Birmingham, Ala., I moved to Nashville, Tenn. in 2007 to launch our business there. As the general manager, I was responsible for booking new clients and leading our team.  Our team ran nearly 100 Boosterthon Fun Run programs and generated more than $1 million in funds for local schools.     However, over time, I discovered that this wasn't the best role for me (ie, I flopped!). The economy crashed and they eventually shuttered our team in Nashville. However, I'd been leading most of the organization's creative and marketing efforts behind-the-scenes for several years. After Nashville, I was hired on as the head of marketing. And in 2009, I uprooted again and moved to Atlanta to work in the company's home office. 

After starting my career in Birmingham, Ala., I moved to Nashville, Tenn. in 2007 to launch our business there. As the general manager, I was responsible for booking new clients and leading our team. Our team ran nearly 100 Boosterthon Fun Run programs and generated more than $1 million in funds for local schools.

However, over time, I discovered that this wasn't the best role for me (ie, I flopped!). The economy crashed and they eventually shuttered our team in Nashville. However, I'd been leading most of the organization's creative and marketing efforts behind-the-scenes for several years. After Nashville, I was hired on as the head of marketing. And in 2009, I uprooted again and moved to Atlanta to work in the company's home office. 

 

#9 - Pioneering new character development content

 
  The Boosterthon was (and is) about more than just fundraising. We also developed an annual character development campaign for our clients.  I led the creative team that innovated each year's unique theme. We took timeless lessons of honesty, integrity, hard work, etc. and packaged them in a fun theme that kids loved.  Then we worked for months creating assets—posters, workbooks, musical albums, videos and skits—that would inspire our students to live better lives.  I'm extremely proud of the impact we were able to make on millions of kids.      (FYI, here's a behind-the-scenes look [of a baby-faced me] talking about the process of creating one of those annual themes.)

The Boosterthon was (and is) about more than just fundraising. We also developed an annual character development campaign for our clients.

I led the creative team that innovated each year's unique theme. We took timeless lessons of honesty, integrity, hard work, etc. and packaged them in a fun theme that kids loved. Then we worked for months creating assets—posters, workbooks, musical albums, videos and skits—that would inspire our students to live better lives. I'm extremely proud of the impact we were able to make on millions of kids.


(FYI, here's a behind-the-scenes look [of a baby-faced me] talking about the process of creating one of those annual themes.)

 

#8 - Becoming the brand spokesman

 
  I love telling stories, and one of my favorite stories I've ever gotten to tell is the story of the Boosterthon Fun Run.    Early on, I established the architecture of the Boosterthon brand—brandmarks, language, digital assets, social voice, and website—in a very crowded fundraising market.    After that, I worked for a decade polishing and improving our brand positioning. This unique positioning (combined with a killer sales team) led to exponential growth for our organization ($500k to $40mil in revenue).    (And occasionally, I got to make fun 'lil TV appearances like the one above.  🕺🏻 )

I love telling stories, and one of my favorite stories I've ever gotten to tell is the story of the Boosterthon Fun Run. 

Early on, I established the architecture of the Boosterthon brand—brandmarks, language, digital assets, social voice, and website—in a very crowded fundraising market.

After that, I worked for a decade polishing and improving our brand positioning. This unique positioning (combined with a killer sales team) led to exponential growth for our organization ($500k to $40mil in revenue).

(And occasionally, I got to make fun 'lil TV appearances like the one above. 🕺🏻)

 

 

#7 - Being promoted to Executive Vice President

 
 
  One of the best days of my career was when Chris, the founder of the company, entrusted me with the title of Executive Vice President.    This promotion also placed me on the executive team which guided the strategic growth of the organization. This was a dream come true.    I started as the EVP of Media & Marketing, and in 2013 that role expanded to  EVP of Client Experience where I led a department of three teams responsible for all the client-facing functions of the organization .

One of the best days of my career was when Chris, the founder of the company, entrusted me with the title of Executive Vice President.

This promotion also placed me on the executive team which guided the strategic growth of the organization. This was a dream come true.

I started as the EVP of Media & Marketing, and in 2013 that role expanded to EVP of Client Experience where I led a department of three teams responsible for all the client-facing functions of the organization.

 

#6 - Leading global philanthropy projects

 
  I love Booster's heart.     It's an organization obsessed with making a positive difference both in America and abroad. During my time there, I coordinated the company's philanthropic projects overseas.  We helped orphans in Haiti (above),  built playgrounds in Guatemala , interviewed kid-athletes in Australia, and dug freshwater wells in Kenya. 

I love Booster's heart. 

It's an organization obsessed with making a positive difference both in America and abroad. During my time there, I coordinated the company's philanthropic projects overseas. We helped orphans in Haiti (above), built playgrounds in Guatemala, interviewed kid-athletes in Australia, and dug freshwater wells in Kenya. 

 

 

#5 - Overhauling Booster's quality control system

 
 
  If you've ever worked with a startup, you know the excitement (and chaos) that can come from rapid early growth. That growth also brings growing pains and a need for new systems + standards of excellence.      In 2012, the company re-organized, and all the quality-control operations were moved under my leadership.  We called it "Program Excellence," and there was lots of work to do. The goal was to ensure our service was excellent in each of the 1,800+ schools we partnered with annually.     I attacked this challenge in three ways...     1. We overhauled our Field Manual which outlined our nationwide standards of excellence for our field staff.    2. We initiated Run Day Audits which were similar to a retailer's use of "secret shoppers." These audits provided amazing insights into the quality of our events all over the nation.     3. We installed a Customer Value Score system (similar to NPS) which empowered the client to voice their pleasure (or displeasure) with our staff's performance at the conclusion of an event.    Once all these systems were in place, we began to see our client retention rate rise. Woo-hoo! 🎉

If you've ever worked with a startup, you know the excitement (and chaos) that can come from rapid early growth. That growth also brings growing pains and a need for new systems + standards of excellence. 

In 2012, the company re-organized, and all the quality-control operations were moved under my leadership. We called it "Program Excellence," and there was lots of work to do. The goal was to ensure our service was excellent in each of the 1,800+ schools we partnered with annually.

I attacked this challenge in three ways...

1. We overhauled our Field Manual which outlined our nationwide standards of excellence for our field staff.

2. We initiated Run Day Audits which were similar to a retailer's use of "secret shoppers." These audits provided amazing insights into the quality of our events all over the nation. 

3. We installed a Customer Value Score system (similar to NPS) which empowered the client to voice their pleasure (or displeasure) with our staff's performance at the conclusion of an event.

Once all these systems were in place, we began to see our client retention rate rise. Woo-hoo! 🎉

 

#4 - Leading a team of 20+ people

   I absolutely love the people in this picture, because it was THEIR incredible character, talent, and hard work that helped me be successful.  It was a pleasure to push (and be pushed by) them in a fun, positive team environment. Our department eventually   grew to about 20 people.     Leading this team was my greatest joy in Booster, and, to be honest, I miss it like crazy!

I absolutely love the people in this picture, because it was THEIR incredible character, talent, and hard work that helped me be successful. It was a pleasure to push (and be pushed by) them in a fun, positive team environment. Our department eventually grew to about 20 people. 

Leading this team was my greatest joy in Booster, and, to be honest, I miss it like crazy!


#3 - Training client care at corporate events

 

Every year, in July, we hosted a huge corporate training event called Booster University. We'd fly the whole company to Atlanta for a week of training and inspiration. One of the highlights of my year was speaking at these events.

We didn't have "customer service" at Booster. We had Client Care. And one of my jobs each year was to train our 500+ team members on how to make our clients feel very well-cared for.

There's nothing I love more than taking a stage and transforming boring, stale principles of business into unforgettable moments of wonder, humor, and inspiration.

 

#2 - Celebrating a decade at one company

 
  Everybody drags us millennials for not staying at a single job for very long. (I'd respond by saying that most companies aren't worth staying at for very long...but we'll save that for another day.)    In 2015, I celebrated my tenth anniversary at Booster.  My boss and his wife made a big deal out of it, and he posted the Instagram above.  Chris is the best encourager I know.

Everybody drags us millennials for not staying at a single job for very long. (I'd respond by saying that most companies aren't worth staying at for very long...but we'll save that for another day.)

In 2015, I celebrated my tenth anniversary at Booster. My boss and his wife made a big deal out of it, and he posted the Instagram above. Chris is the best encourager I know.

 

#1 - Leaving the company well

 
  I love this picture so much. This was from August 22, 2016. It was my 4,207th day of working at Booster. It was also my last day there.     Leaving Booster was one of the hardest decisions of my life. It was an organization that had given me so much. The people felt like family, not co-workers. I can't even describe the level of positivity, enthusiasm, and affirmation that flows through that office. To top it off, I had a boss who believed in me and gave me the freedom to lead and grow.     I left not because I was upset or unhappy. I left, simply, to pursue a different calling—working for myself and putting out content that will do some good in the world.      I worked really hard to leave the company well—full of gratitude, with my chin-up, my integrity intact, and with the lingering respect of Chris, the man who gave an opportunity to a naive 23-year old many years before. I'm very proud of this.      To this day, I'm incredibly grateful for Booster and the people who are still there.      O    n the day I left, I wrote a departing message on my Insta.     P.S. — If your local elementary school is in need of an incredible fundraiser,  hit them up ! They're still killing it and making a tremendous impact in the world. 

I love this picture so much. This was from August 22, 2016. It was my 4,207th day of working at Booster. It was also my last day there. 

Leaving Booster was one of the hardest decisions of my life. It was an organization that had given me so much. The people felt like family, not co-workers. I can't even describe the level of positivity, enthusiasm, and affirmation that flows through that office. To top it off, I had a boss who believed in me and gave me the freedom to lead and grow. 

I left not because I was upset or unhappy. I left, simply, to pursue a different calling—working for myself and putting out content that will do some good in the world. 

I worked really hard to leave the company well—full of gratitude, with my chin-up, my integrity intact, and with the lingering respect of Chris, the man who gave an opportunity to a naive 23-year old many years before. I'm very proud of this. 

To this day, I'm incredibly grateful for Booster and the people who are still there. 

On the day I left, I wrote a departing message on my Insta.

P.S. — If your local elementary school is in need of an incredible fundraiser, hit them up! They're still killing it and making a tremendous impact in the world. 

 
 

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