July 23, 2012 | last updated July 23, 2012 7:23 am

Keith Knowles

AGE: 39

TITLE: Interactive Marketing Manager

COMPANY NAME: University of Saint Joseph


RESIDENCE: West Hartford

What do you do? I am an interactive marketing strategist. My job is to not only learn the latest and greatest trends in technology but also to understand how these trends should be introduced into the interactive marketing mix.

What do you want to be doing in 10 years? Personal experiences have altered my outlook on life in a deep and profound way. I may be going against standard procedure, but I don't have a concrete five- or ten-year career plan. Ten years from now I want to look back and feel good about the decisions I've made. I want to make sure I was the best possible father, husband, son and friend. I want to make sure I had a positive impact on my children's lives. And I want to make sure that I have made worthwhile contributions to my community. If I can wake up each day with gratitude and joy then I will feel that I have achieved my goals.

What is your biggest strength? I think my biggest strength is my ability to effectively collaborate and communicate with all of the various stakeholders in an interactive project – from the client, to the designers and programmers, all the way down to the end user.

Where do you go for new ideas? On a weekly basis I read numerous blogs & white papers, and I attend several webinars. All of this information keeps me up to date on the latest trends in the industry. I think that the success of an interactive marketing initiative relies heavily on usability and I have found that keeping things simple provides the best results.

What is the best advice you received? My high school basketball coach was one of those unique individuals who led an extraordinary life. It wasn't because of the wealth he accumulated or the awards he won. He was extraordinary because he made a lasting impression on many of the young men who were fortunate enough to call him “Coach.” He was a master of the Xs and Os and is a legend in the state of Connecticut for his accomplishments on the court. However, it's the life lessons that he taught his players that I will remember him for the most. One of his favorite sayings came from the marines: “Improvise, Modify, Adapt, Overcome.” He used this motto consistently in teaching us how to become better players. For me, and I'm sure many others, it became a motto for life. We are constantly faced with challenges, both big and small and just as soon as you think you have everything figured out; along comes change and shakes up your routine. The death of my daughter, my brain tumor diagnosis, my surgery, recovery and the stress of seven years of obstacles have taken its toll on me. I am not the same person physically, emotionally or mentally. Life has been full of exceptional challenges for me and I'm certainly not in the same place as I was. However, if I hadn't improvised, modified and adapted to these challenges, I would not have been able to overcome them. These challenges may have slowed me down but they'll never keep me from moving forward.

What service or charitable cause has your attention? In 2005, I lost my five-year old daughter, Taylor, to a brain tumor. Since then, I have been very passionate about helping other children who are battling cancer. In 2006, I was introduced to AngelRide, a 135-mile bike ride through Connecticut that raises money for Paul Newman's Hole-in-the-Wall-Gang Camp in Ashford. This camp allows children who are battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses to experience and enjoy summer camp. Since 2006, I have helped AngelRide build a brand new website and there are plans for a complete overhaul in 2012. I am their webmaster, part of their marketing committee, brand advocate, ambassador, and have participated in every AngelRide since 2006.

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