Today we’re welcoming Juli Reed as the newest member of Speak Your Silence’s board! She’s an awesome addition. I sat down with Juli for a Q&A so you can get to know her!
Matt: Juli! You’re on Speak Your Silence’s board now!! Yessssss!
Juli: WOOHOO!!!! I am so excited to be a part of this organization I believe in so deeply!
Matt: You and I met a couple years back. You were Director of Partnerships at a rad Los Angeles-based organization called I Am That Girl (IATG) and collaborated with SYS. Share a bit about the awesome work you did at IATG and why you did it.
Juli: I found I AM THAT GIRL at a time in my life where I left my then career in fashion in pursuit of finding a job that allowed me to pursue my passion of empowering women and girls. I wanted to give to the world more than I was taking, and ensure that the work I was doing was my best effort to affect the world in a positive way. At IATG, I was able to work with large brands to develop robust partnerships that allowed us to fund the organization’s initiatives while continue to bring awareness to our work and grow our community. We also got to work with some pretty cool non-profits, such as yourself!
Matt: We have a crazy story! The first time we ever spoke, you said, “You should reach out to Marcus Lemonis from CNBC’s The Profit. He’s supported your cause in the past.” I asked, “Do you know him?” And you said, “No.” And I thought, “Dang.” Fast forward to January 2017, Ash (my wife) and I are watching an episode of Marcus’ show, The Profit, on CNBC – the only show we would ever DVR – and we see a promotion for an upcoming spinoff miniseries called The Partner, in which Marcus is going to pick one person out of 10 competitors to be his partner. And I notice a blond girl who looks familiar… I pause it and say, “I know this isn’t possible… but I swear that’s my friend Juli!” I emailed you, and sure enough! It was you! Tell us about your experience on The Partner! (*Spoiler Alert: Juli won!!)
Juli: OMG, so crazy right?! And at the time I mentioned him to you I really was just a fan and admired his ability to be a strong, yet compassionate businessman, which I think people often think isn’t synonymous. My husband got us into watching The Profit. When I saw that he was doing a spin off show that would be a search for him to find his business partner, I immediately sent it to my husband and said ‘you should TOTALLY do this!’. He immediately responded with, ‘No, you should’. It took me aback, as I couldn’t imagine someone who worked at a non-profit, wasn’t too strong at math, and had a fashion background would be too strong of a candidate. I ended up getting over my own insecurity though and throwing my hat in, which was the BEST and HARDEST thing I’ve done to date. The entire process took about 10 months, from start to finish. The competition itself was intense and hard, but in the best, growiest (is that a word) possible. I told myself my only goal was to go there, put everything I had into it, be true to myself, grow as much as I could from the experience, and whatever the outcome was I would be proud of myself. Definitely didn’t hurt that I came out victorious! I was definitely the underdog, but I think that allowed me to be super authentic and honest about both my strengths and weaknesses. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, still is, and I feel like I need to pinch myself every day. The only reason I would have left working in the non-profit world was for another opportunity where I felt like I was doing my part to make the world a better place, and this most certainly still gives me that ability.
Matt: Soon after seeing you on the tele, we had coffee in Santa Monica. Then, a few months later, I’m back in downtown Los Angeles for a meeting… I walk into a showroom… and there’s Juli! How does this keep happening?!
Juli: I’m stalking you. No, seriously…I am. Actually I am fortunate enough to get to work with some pretty awesome people in my office, which were who you were coming to meet with!
Matt: OH! AND, you were sorority sisters with my cousin Ashley* (*different Ashley – I didn’t marry my cousin!). Ashley says hi, by the way. Well, both Ashleys say hi. 🙂
Juli: Hi to both Ashleys! Great, strong women you surround yourself with! I mean, I think the universe was just ensuring our paths would eventually cross. Thanks universe!
Matt: Okay, back to business. So, you’re now VP of Development at the Marcus Lemonis Creative Group. What does Juli’s day-to-day now look like? And what kind of projects do you get to work on?
Juli: Hmmm, a typical day is usually not very typical. But I love that! In my office we focus on all things digital – marketing, websites, social media, brand building/creating, etc. I have an incredible team! We mostly service the other brands within the portfolio and the new brands coming down The Profit pipeline. I also get to work directly with some of the new brands while they are in their Profit process. I’ve also been able to work in our food group and learn a ton of new stuff about bring food products to market, which I have loved.
Matt: You’ve mentioned that you love your work at ML and that you also still have a yearning to actively engage in the cause space. Why were you so eager to further SYS’ mission by serving on our board?
Juli: I have loved SYS’ mission and the way the organization was structured and run from day one. I honestly think it’s simplicity is so effective. Coming from the non-profit world I know how challenging this space can be, good and bad. I want to do my part in helping SYS grow the potential I think we all see for it.
Matt: Alright, enough business. Your husband, Noel, is a stud (tell him hi!). And, according to Instagram, your pup is pretty sweet. 🙂 What fills your tank and brings joy to your life?
Juli: Pups, plural. We had two and then recently failed fostering, meaning we ended up adopting the sweet pup we intended to only foster for a short time. So yeah, we are those people with three dogs, who you might mistake as dog walkers, but we love it! And yes, my sweet love Noel is a stud in every way possible! He is my biggest support and pushes me to be a better, stronger person every day. I feel pretty lucky with that one. They bring me a lot of joy. So do my friendships. I feel like I spent a lot of time cultivating really wonderful, fulfilling friendships! I also LOVE to cook. It is my love language.
Matt: Rumor has it that you’re visiting Idaho this summer. You realize you have a fan club here, right? Chef Geoff at Shore Lodge is dying to meet you! Are you ready for that kind of fandom?
Juli: I mean, I definitely got recognized in an airport once and it was pretty exhilarating! LOL! I can’t wait to meet Chef Geoff too!
Matt: Juli, I’m thrilled and honored to work with you to increase the reach and impact of SYS’ mission. Thank you for being part of this!
Juli: I honestly feel so grateful that you would even consider me to be on the board! I can’t wait to continue to learn and grow this community!
Matt: PS – Can you hint as to if/when our readers can see you on an upcoming episode of The Profit?
Juli: The new season of The Profit starts mid June, and I have a feeling I will have a couple of cameos. Regardless, it is a fantastic and informative show.