Updated at 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, 2018 to correct the name of Gary Vaynerchuk and VaynerMedia.
Adam Vazquez came to Chattanooga five years ago as a digital strategist for Area 203 — just 10 days before the marketing company curtailed operations when the company's owner Carey Brown was charged with violating criminal usury laws at his payday lending business.
Vazquez, a Philadelphia native and graduate of Bob Jones University, decided to stay in Chattanooga after his unexpected job loss. He worked at a couple of other digital marketing firms in Chattanooga before landing what he calls his dream job at VaynerMedia, a New York-based agency on the cutting edge of social media headed by a celebrity CEO, Gary Vaynerchuk. Vaynerchuk even had an office in Chattanooga to allow Vasquez to stay in his new hometown.
Career: A native of Philadelphia and graduate of Bob Jones University, Vazquez worked in social media promotions at Engenius Web Development, Area 203, Flypaper, Wipro Digital and VaynerMedia before joining Stratfire Media as a co-owner in July 2017
Personal: Vazquez and his wife live in Chattanooga and are members of Calvary Chapel
But last July, Vazquez decided to leave Vaynerchuk and join a fellow Bob Jones University graduate and long-time friend, Derek Rogers, as a partner and co-owner of Stratfire Media.
"I left my dream job to chase my dream," Vazquez says.
The entrepreneurial zeal he says he learned from his grandfather, who owned a pair of cheese steak delis in Philadelphia, pushed Vazquez to pursue his own web design and social media marketing venture.
"We're a micro agency working with brands and companies who want to grow aggressively," Vazquez says. "Our typical engagement could include brand strategy, video, website development, email campaigns, and more."
To promote the business — and tell the tales of similar entrepreneurs like himself — Vazquez hosts and produces podcasts with industry leaders.
The Startup podcast offers "EXTREMELY practical advice for growing businesses," Vazquez says, and has included such high-profile guests as Gary Vaynerchuk, Access America Founder Ted Alling, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and others. The show tells the stories, habits and successful keys for top-performing entrepreneurs.
The audio podcasts allow for longer, more thoughtful discussions than most shorter video messages and the weekly podasts are gaining a growing audience among interested persons listening to the show in their car or while they are working out or going for a walk. Vazquez is such a believer in the value of podcasts — and as many of his listeners — that Stratfire regularly produces podcasts for its clients. You can check listen to the Startup Show podcasts at www.thestartupshow.us.