President + CEO
Megan James’ Professional Life
I received my marketing degree from Ohio State (that is all it was called back then…no “THE”) and the College of Business (no Fisher, I think it was just Hagerty Hall!). I actually transferred from Cal State Sacramento, a small school in California, where I was recruited on a gymnastics scholarship my freshman year. After one year I decided that collegiate athletics was not for me and transferred to Ohio State. I basically traded in long hours at the gym to long hours at the Delta Gamma house. And boy was it fun!
I was extremely lucky to land a job out of college with a company called Systemation, in Sales and Marketing. They were later acquired by a multi-billion dollar french software company called Cap Gemini Sogeti, and that is where I stayed for fifteen years, responsible for $10 million in sales and about 80+ people.
I then took time off to raise my kids to elementary school age, and tip toed very slowly into entrepreneurship. MJ2 Marketing was named when I had to think of a company name very quickly in response to my first RFP. There is really no story to the brand name. Oh and we have had three different logos in 12 years! But I am super happy with the company that we have become.
Megan James’ Personal Life
Mike and I have been blessed with amazing careers as entrepreneurs, and have always been dedicated to enjoying a work/life balance as we raised our family. We both enjoy working, but above all else, we love spending time as a family. We have three children – Mackenzie (25) an amazing third grade teacher in the Olentangy School System; Bryson (23) an engineer who just started his first job at Nationwide; and Evan (19) who is a sophomore at Loyola University, Maryland where plays college lacrosse and is studying business.
Probably two life events that have brought me the most joy was my selfie with Bruce Springsteen – I literally smiled for five days post-concert; and watching Evan win the lacrosse state championship in 2019.
Alternatively, my toughest life event was watching my Dad slip away. He passed after a brief struggle with cancer in 2019. He was an amazing businessman, and I learned so much from him over the years as I have grown MJ2. I deeply miss being able to pick up the phone and ask him about something or listen to one of his stories. At 80, he was still working just a few days before he died. I sent him a picture of the MJ2 team just before he passed and he texted me “I am proud of you.” I learned from that and try to pass that along to my team and my own family whenever possible. Sometimes stopping to just say those words to people you care about can be the most important thing you do all day.
What is your favorite thing about working at MJ2?
I would have to say our clients, first and foremost. I love working with people, and I love seeing our services work within their businesses. Our team does awesome work.
What has been your favorite MJ2 project?
I love the uniqueness of the Catholic Diocese’s Office of Vocations project, Face Forward, and the long-term nature of our business partnership. How that program started is a story in and of itself.
My favorite project currently is with Timeless Skin Solutions – I find myself frequently thinking of new and innovative ways to help them expand and market their services. And their digital results are awesome. They are a great team to work with, too!
I also really like watching our web development team bring our websites to life. They amaze me – such superior and hard-working talent!
If you could trade skills for a day with another MJ2 team member, who would it be and why?
Any member of our creative team. Half of my brain thinks creatively, artsy (I guess that is the right side?). The other side is much more analytical and methodical. I would love to know how to efficiently use InDesign and all those amazing design tools.
How do you stay current in your areas of expertise?
Well, I probably don’t. I try to make sure my team is equipped with everything they need in this extremely fast-moving space of digital media. Personally, I think I am one of those people that knows a little about a lot. I truly rely on my team to be the subject matter experts.
As for business knowledge, I receive a lot of support from financial advisors, business coaches, HR consultants and many others! I also tap into other agency owners on a frequent basis. This year will be big for our brand as we are transferring and positioning our systems for growth.
What are your top 3 favorite Columbus based companies?
Crumbl – the best cookie experience EVER.
Homage – they were true pioneers with social.
Donato’s – another great business story and I admire Jane Grote Abell.
Blue Jackets, Crew, Clippers, or Wild Dogs?
What is your favorite relaxing activity?
I like to exercise and bike ride with my husband and kids. I love to walk around all the Dublin trails with my friends and my dogs. I love to be outside when it’s above fifty degrees whenever possible. And I just started reading again, which has been a nice connection with my Mom after we lost my Dad. I also find relaxation at my parish and church life. Any time I get to spend with my kids as recent empty nesters is a blessing and one of the top things that brings me joy.
What are you currently reading?
Leaders Eat Last (business)
Winter in Paradise – a trilogy by Elin Hilderbrand
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Don’t mix sales with execution.
What have you done for someone else today?
How do you take your coffee?
Winans Soy Latte. Single.
If you were a baseball player, what song would you walk out to?
Pump up the Jam or something just as cheesy. I hope to never be a baseball player because I have raised lacrosse players. I really don’t like baseball. LOL.