When JSA was still a fledgling company, in 2007, Founder and CEO Jaymie Scotto Cutaia put a resume on her desk. She had clicked instantly with a potential employee, but her company was still too young to hire someone new.
So on her desk that resume stayed for almost two years. It served as a reminder of where she wanted the company to go. Finally, at the end of 2008, she called the owner of that resume – Karissa Campbell – and offered her a job.
“I remember almost dropping the phone when she called me at the end of 2008 and asked if I was ready to come work with her,” Karissa says. “The rest is history. I started the job in January 2009.”
And since 2009, Karissa has been an indispensable member of the JSA family. Her creativity and passion is infectious and she adeptly serves as one of JSA’s key leaders, who people come to for advice and help on everything from work-related projects to life-related questions.
Karissa also recently was named Marketing Director at JSA and her ability to wear many hats – from account director to marketer of all things JSA – allows her to show off her numerous talents. And the talents and passion don’t stop there. Read on to learn more about the gifted Mrs. Karissa Campbell.
What’s your favorite thing about working at JSA?
Oh it’s hard to name just one, but of course it’d be our team…my second family. My friendships here go much beyond the workplace. Everyone is very close here, and we are always sure to help and inspire one another. I think everyone who works here has a great sense of humor, which is important too – because some of the best laughs I have all day are from conversations with fellow JSAers. The dedication to our work, our clients, and each other is very inspiring and keeps me going strong each day.
What has been one of the most rewarding projects you have worked on?
I love rebranding projects! Naturally, it was a thrill to spearhead and implement JSA’s recent rebrand (celebrating 10 years!), and I couldn’t be more proud of our company. Other pretty cool company rebrand projects I worked on were Neutral Tandem and Tinet to Inteliquent; and Tech Valley Communications to FirstLight Fiber.
What do you like most about the fields of PR and Marketing?
I love the variety working in this field gives – especially here at JSA with our diverse clients. I love working with our clients to ‘tell their stories.’ I love that there’s something new to learn every day, and to see our hard work in action – whether it’s through great press coverage or a newly launched website, or cool campaigns
Who are some of your role models?
I am lucky to have many role models; I know and love many people in my life who inspire me to be the best I can be. It’s honestly hard for me to pick just one, but if I had to, it’d be my mother – the biggest part of me. I lost her when I was just five, but carry a world of memories in my heart – her love truly shaped me from day one. I have so many of her writings that she kept: journals, letters, and her baby book she kept for me – she was so genuine, loving and selfless. She was creative, funny and an amazing singer. I feel her in so many ways; and aspire to love as intensely as she did – (and still does.)
Who are some of your favorite writers?
Classic lit: Emily Dickinson and Ernest Hemingway. Contemporary lit: Wally Lamb (he’s from the town I was born in), Elizabeth Berg, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah. Oh, and hands down, my fave as a kid (and whose books I can still read today – with my own daughter): Judy Blume.
What are some of your favorite books?
I have so many. How about some off the top of my head? The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway); She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb); The Glass Castle; Open House; Misery; IT; Circle of Friends; Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret.
What’s your favorite word?
You are also a singer – what got you into that?
I’ve always had a natural born love of singing – this comes from both my mom and dad. I was lucky enough to grow up with some great music always being played, and as a family we sang together all the time. I absolutely love to sing; not a day goes by where I don’t sing – my kids call me out on that all the time. They’re amazed by all of the different songs I know. I love singing for my family and friends, and really just doing it for fun. It was really cool to audition in a regional competition last year and get selected as one of the top 10. I had so much fun, and it was a new experience to be able to sing for so many people at once and perform on the stage like that. I take opportunities to sing as they come. (Karaoke nights with friends, included!)
What are some of your favorite songs to sing?
River (Joni Mitchell), My Immortal, The House That Built Me, Strawberry Wine, You Oughta Know (fun one!), I’ll Stand By You, Before He Cheats (competition song J), Son of a Preacher Man, Gunpowder and Lead. I also love the Annie and Grease soundtracks.
Who are your favorite singers?
So many! I’ll name a few: Joni Mitchell, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, Elton John, Miranda Lambert, Aaron Lewis, Amy Lee, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Chris Martin…
If you could sing in one venue, what would it be?
Road trip or plane?
If I had to pick…plane – get there faster. But I do love a good road trip every now and then!
If you could visit one place on the planet – where would it be?
Who would you take with you?
My husband, kids, and parents.
Way too many to name so I’ll give you my top three that I’ll never ever get sick of watching: Dirty Dancing, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Terms of Endearment
What causes are you passionate about?
The organic (real) food movement, the environment, animal rights, civil liberties – to name a few
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
That puts me at age 45 – ahh!! The first thing I think of is where my kids will be – at this time they will be 19 and 16 – so one in college, one in high school. I think at that time I’ll be traveling more with my husband and friends, and taking more time for my favorite hobbies like writing, reading, gardening (hoping one day I can master it)…And of course, I see myself still here at JSA. Love this company and if I can, I will retire here.