posted on Friday, August 8, 2014 by grichard
DVL’s new Meet Our Partner series will include a Q&A session with each of the agency’s partners. First on our list is Jimmy Chaffin, who has worked at DVL for 28 years.
Here is his Q&A with one our summer interns, Gillian Richard, covering Jimmy’s professional background, career advice and his love for his family and baseball.
What did you do before you came to DVL? What’s your educational/professional background?
I attended Lipscomb University and majored in Communications and Marketing. The first two years of school I was an Accounting major, which I thought was interesting until I found out I couldn’t make up my own categories. However, it turned out to be a great foundation because at DVL, it was very important for me to understand how business works. After I took a class in promotional strategy, I knew that was the field I wanted to pursue.
This is a difficult business to break in to, but I was given an opportunity at DVL. I was a house mouse for a while, and I did anything and everything. I was lucky to get that opportunity, because I’ve been at DVL for my entire 28-year career.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
It’s all about family. My daughter is a cheerleader at Lipscomb University and I make every effort to attend every event where she’s cheering. My sons play travel baseball and I’ve coached their teams since they were young. There’s nothing greater to me than the sport of baseball. I have great memories of travelling all summer long all over the country to coach and watch them play. My youngest daughter is involved in softball and gymnastics, and she’s very artistic. Also, I enjoy just sitting at home watching a movie with them.
I love travel, music, food, experiencing life and being spontaneous. My kids keep me young and relevant, which makes me better in my job.
If you ran into someone who knew nothing about our industry and they asked what you do for a living, what would you say?
I do the same thing every day, and it’s never the same thing. We work really hard, and it’s more difficult than most people think it is. My job is to take the client’s vision and figure out how to bring it to life. How do we best communicate our clients’ messages to their target audiences.
Up to this point, what are you the most proud of in your career?
I’m proud that the agency is going strong, and that I’ve been able to play a small role in that. I want to honor the founding partners for creating something that really is more than just a place to go to work.
There’s no award that has ever meant as much to me as the Ethics award that we won a few years ago, because there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. There is nothing better than knowing that our employees and our company will do what’s right no matter what, especially in a business that’s not always known for its ethics. I’m just a part of earning that award, but I’m proud to work in a place that has such high ethical standards.
What advice would you give to someone just starting in the business?
You have to show that you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and work hard. This is not easy, and it’s not a 9-5 business. You have to have a work ethic that shows that you have a passion for what you’re doing. So if you have it in you, you’re already ahead.
On a scale of one to 10, you need to be an 11 to get ahead. You have to be willing to do little things, like pick up trash. Those little things get you to a 10, but you need that little extra to stand out. You can always give more, and sometimes “more” is in the little things. You never know when someone is watching you and the opportunities that can come from that.
I want to hire people with strong work ethic and a desire and a passion to do things right. I can tell by where you’ve worked that you can do the job, but I want to know if you have the drive to work in this business.