We had the good fortune of connecting with Jodi Orgill Brown, MS, CFRE and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jodi Orgill, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
In a world of 7 billion people speaking 6,500 different languages, how can any person make an impact? When you speak the language of doing good, no translation is required and no megaphone is needed. Even with a blindfold, we can make the world better when we elevate and give attention to our interactions with others. When we come to truly know someone, their motivations, fears, and goals, we learn to respect and help each other,
The entire purpose of my business is to help individuals amplify their interpersonal interactions to increase their influence for good. As a speaker, author, and nonprofit consultant, I strive help the community and world by improving simple interactions — between employees and customers, parents and children, business execs and housekeepers, doctors and patients, and even between strangers who pass on the street.
Through my experiences of fighting for my life with a brain tumor, I learned that every interaction is an opportunity to change a life. Even simple, seemingly ordinary experiences, cleaning a room, showering a patient, greeting a customer at a pharmacy — those little moments can a powerful impact, for good or ill, and sometimes they can even save a life.
By teaching and inspiring individuals to improve their interactions, local communities are strengthened, neighbors join hands to lift each other, and people come together to do good.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
No person wears just one hat or can be described with just one title. My hats and titles are many and varied, and I may not be easy to describe in one sentence, but that is because I am not tied down to DOING just one thing. What I am dedicated to is using my gifts and experiences to contribute to the world, solve problems, help others, improve myself and those around me, do good, and serve my fellow life sojourners.
Am I professional? A creative? An executive? An employee? Yes, a little of each.
For the last 22+ years, I have done that through a variety of ways, primarily through writing, speaking, nonprofit management, and consulting.
I was born in LA, and grew up in rural Northern Virginia, just 30 miles from my favorite city, Washington D.C. My town was small and relaxed, but the hustle and bustle of the nearby nation’s capital showed me that every person can make a difference in some way. When I moved west, the conquer-the-world, getter-done girl in me stuck with the hustle and bustle as a way of life.
I earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Utah and a BA in Public Relations from BYU. But my studies abroad, as a student the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies really changed my life and cemented my desire to help others.
Of course, upon graduating with my undergrad, all I wanted to do was get a “real” job. But, after 18 months at a high-tech company, I experienced a “THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO” epiphany and switched jobs and industries, dedicating myself to helping others, through philanthropy and nonprofit management.
The second part of my career, as an author and speaker, evolved out of the most difficult life experience of my life. When I was 33 years old, married with 4 children, and working in my dream job running a nonprofit, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Everything changed in an instant and as my world became doctors’ offices, appointments, tests, surgeries, and survival.
I cannot explain 3 craniotomies, 10 reconstructive surgeries, facial paralysis, hearing loss, 35 days in and out of neuro critical. care, and 12 years of pain, into one lesson, but what I can say is this: I did not save myself. Nothing I did or could have done alone would have been enough to preserve my life. WE NEED EACH OTHER. And EVERY interaction is an opportunity to change – or save – a life.
In the almost 12 years since my tumor journey began, I’ve taken my nonprofit, “help others” profession, and turned going good into my life’s purpose. I’ve written four books, including my memoir, The Sun Still Shines, a multiple award-winning book, Amazon bestseller, and Prime Reading Pick. Through books, speaking and videos, I share my personal stories, and both the heart-wrenching experiences that dashed my hopes, and the tender moments that gave me strength to keep fighting. I share these so others will know the POWER they have when they interact with intention and care.
My books, videos, consulting, and presentations are all under the umbrella of improving little moments to create big human changes.
What do I want the world to know about my brand and story? My brand and story are simply me, doing my best with the second chance God has given me to make a little ripple in a big world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I was born in LA, raised outside of Washington D.C., and currently live outside of Salt Lake City, always grown and grounded in nature.
When in CA, I’d take my friend to beaches and mountains, botanical gardens, and restaurants with a view. We’d hike the hills of Laguna, and drive through the old forested neighborhoods of northern LA.
We’d ride bikes along the beach and stop at Santa Monica pier and walk to the Cheesecake Factory for a treat. We would visit the Aquarium of the Pacific and go see the space shuttle. We’d drive through Beverly Hills to look at the classic homes, then go to Irvine to see the perfectly manicured new homes going up by the thousands.
We’d have a BBQ on a “backlot” home of our friends in Culver City, and go to a private magic show by the amazing John Kippen, my friend, mentalist, confidant, and fellow brain tumor and facial paralysis warrior.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My story is the shared success of hundreds of people whose lives intersected with mine at critical times to guide my choices and lead my actions. My parents, Von and Sherri Orgill, are my first and greatest life and faith teachers.
John Kippen, my new friend, but lifelong fellow brain tumor and facial paralysis warrior.
In my early career, my boss and mentor, Joseph (Joey) Hansen, was the first to take a chance on me and give me endless opportunities to learn, grow, and prove myself. Since starting my own business, the most influential change agents in my life are Diana Nellis, VP of America First Credit Union, and Greg Marshall, marketer and motivator extraordinaire.
Diana Nellis teaches me daily through her example of leadership, but she also guides me and provides the push I need to do the right things for me and my career. She is a loyal and dedicated lifelong friend, and she selflessly shares her influence to give me opportunities to succeed. She quietly fights for what she believes in and encourages people to give their best, be their best, and become better everyday.
Greg Marshall should have titles as my coach, mentor, and business consultant, as well as my dear friend and marketing partner. His constant positivity and push to move forward is motivating and inspiring. He believes in me when I am too tired to believe in myself, and he grabs my arm and steps with me to help me do what I know I need to do, in life and business. His Energizer personality infuses me with power, confidence, ideas, and desire.
Some friends are silver, but Diana and Greg are gold.
My husband and eternal companion, Tolan Brown, gets less praise, more grief, and less credit than most others in my life, yet, he is my rock. God brought us together and pre-paired us for each other, knowing I’d need the strength and stability Tolan would give. We are both stubborn, and we may drive each other crazy, but anywhere we go, we’ll go together.
Other: Short “viral” Video: (4 min) https://youtu.be/P5cqB_rJw0E Short TED-style talk (8 min): https://www.facebook.com/WriterJodiBrown/videos/573321436749734 Short “viral” Video: (12 min) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pSAUz2zRMM
Porter Wade, Men.Saw.Hey.Shirtco