Co-Founder, Media Cause
We use digital strategies to build, engage and leverage communities to help nonprofits.
Cody is simply put, a champion for good. He is a social impact entrepreneur, strategic communications advisor and the co-founder of the digital agency, Media Cause. Cody has been in leadership positions during the growth and exit phase of five startups, including two acquisitions, one merger, and two total crash and burns. Now his work combines entrepreneurship, nonprofit leadership and strategy to focus on creating scalable impact in the social good sector.
Creating a sustainable, scalable business model, he knows that big problems deserve big, out of the box ideas and no client can be left behind as social impact organizations become increasingly important.
He’s an INC 5000 Entrepreneur, and is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and holds a Masters in Global Communications, Public Sphere Theory from the American University of Paris. Cody holds various board and advisory roles in his hometown of Boston and is especially interested in high-impact organizations with a global scope.
I’d like Media Cause to be the default name in creating scalable impact for organizations doing good around the world. Yes, we are a digital communications agency so that seems ambitious, but I don’t believe any organization can be successful anymore without a great digital strategy AND execution.
Personally, I’m looking forward to when my wife and I get switch and I get to more of a stay-at-home Dad. She was far more successful than I was professionally before we had kids and she took that same drive into parenthood. I’m not getting a minivan though. No. Thank you.
I’ve don’t think I have arrived at it yet. This might be more of the common mindset of entrepreneurs, but I look at everything as a building block. Who knows when I am done building.
When I moved to France for Grad school. I was broke, it was the start of the financial downturn, and I thought it would be a good idea to drop $60k and move to a country that I didn’t know one person or the language. I remember saying goodbye to my then wife and getting on the plane and feeling absolute dred.
Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. – Maya Angelou
Never brag how real you keep it, that’s the best secret – Nasir Jones
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
The energy. It has been amazing to see Boston retain talent that used to leave to Silicon Valley. It’s a chicken and egg scenario that I am not sure the answer. Did Boston entrepreneurial vibe take root because good ideas and people are sticking around after college or did the Boston community take hold of the startup energy organically first? Not sure. But I know that the energy is palpable everywhere you go now.]
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I’m going to say this and immediately regret it, because then everyone will know. Kane’s but NOT the donuts. They make a killer sausage/egg/cheese on an English.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Sleeping. I have a 2 year old and 7 year old that thankfully don’t get up until 7am.
10:00 AM – Varies everyday. One of the great aspects of our work at Media Cause is that we work with a wide variety of change makers. There are meetings with academic researchers that are looking to better understand the effects of social media on teen mental health, brainstorms around fundraising and advocacy clients, or collaborations with tech partners on how new product. 10:00am could also mean I could be anywhere. We have 4 offices around the country and a pretty flexible work environment. I’d have to say I’m most happy when it is 10:00am and I am not behind my desk.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Food trucks. Any food trucks. When I really feel like indulcing its Roxy’s Grilled Cheese with bacon and fries.
7:00 PM – Hopefully, not commuting still. But if I am then I’m probably listening to the Armchair Expert podcast and catching up reading the paper I didn’t get through on the train ride in. If I’m already home then I am definitely getting worn down by the kids (and loving it).
11:00 PM – Sleep. It’s funny how your body makes an almost immediate shift from night owl to morning person when you have kids. When my head hits the pillow it’s light out. The only thing that gets in the way of this is my son’s Nintendo Switch (I’ve got a Lego City Undercover habit) and a season drop on Netflix.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Coffee strong with just cream. 40oz throughout the day and it has to be hot. I will nuke the same cup 3-4 times if I have to.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account? 3x a day I cycle through the same apps and then put my phone down: Stash (cool investment app designed around learning), Insta, Bleacher Report, and Nike’s Sneaker App (another addiction).
Fav insta account my friend Greg Nolley (@gregnolley). He’s in product at Nike and I consider him my culture go-to. He curates a great Stories feed.
What should everyone try at least once?
Being an entrepreneur. The mix of terror/triumph, being on your own/and having a community is something that I think makes everyone more attuned to what they are capable of and what they like and don’t like.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Paris. I went to grad school there and it was a favorite pastime to walk everywhere (this was before I had a smart phone with Google Maps) and only have a rough idea of how to get somewhere. I don’t speak French so rolling into a new neighborhood and finding an amazing bakery or bar was also a fun challenge.
My Native AdVice:
How did you get into the industry?
I got into communications in high school. I was an intern covering sports for my local ABC channel. Thankfully YouTube didn’t exist, because I am sure there is some b-roll of my attempts at interviewing Alan Thicke somewhere. He was very gracious.
Career advice to those in your industry?
The thing that I am most proud of is the team we have built at Media Cause. We have put culture first and put a value on work/life balance. We cap our billables at 30-hours a week. So my advice is to first find your priorities and then find your balance. If you are working somewhere that the balance doesn’t align, don’t stay.
Any emerging industry trends?
I’m deeply passionate about the roles brands play in society. The past few months I have been getting very excited about the ones that are stepping into the advocacy space and aligning their financial interests with making an impact. I hope this continues, but also that it goes deeper.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
Our “secret sauce” is our people. We are very fortunate to have a lot of long-term clients, some of them have been with us since the very beginning 8 years ago. This is a testament to our people building great relationships that are built on trust and results.
How do you motivate others?
I don’t think there is a one-size fits all approach to management and motivation. One of the things I am still learning now is how different people react to me and my personality. But it does start with clear communication and setting clear expectations.