Jon D. Brown, Chief Advocate, Founder
With a background in Civil and Software Engineering, Jon began his more than 25-year journey in technology and communications with training at the Kennedy Space Center in central Florida and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Those experiences led to the co-founding of Midnight Online in 1996, a college-born technology startup that transitioned in 1999 into The Midnight Group, an award-winning, full-service integrated marketing and creative solutions firm working with a client roster that included NASA, HBO, the Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, Rainforest Films, and Roy Jones, Jr. In addition to Midnight, he and his team launched HEAVY., a multicultural marketing communications unit that focused on creative and technical solutions for underrepresented and emerging markets. Jon is also a founder of the North Florida Multicultural Marketing Symposium and the Multicultural Marketing Student Forum, a previously held annual event that presented national speakers and facilitators with expertise in and real-world successful solutions of the African American, Hispanic, and Asian American markets.
Jon has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Fourth District of the American Advertising Federation (AAF), where he was twice appointed by the Fourth District Governor as the District Diversity Chair, responsible for 24 local clubs throughout the state of Florida and the Caribbean. He also served the State of Florida Digital Divide Council as a Subject Matter Expert on the Technology Resource Partnerships and Community Outreach subcommittee.
He served Leon County Government as the Director of Community and Media Relations for 7 years, and Gadsden County Government prior to that as their first Public Information and Intergovernmental Relations Director for 2.5 years. An honors graduate of Florida A&M University, Jon is a strong proponent of creative marketing, economic independence, entrepreneurship and empowerment, and he has led many seminars and workshops for youth development to assist in the perpetuation of such ideas. Most importantly, he is a blessed husband and proud father of three boys; 14, 12, and 6 (into everything; yikes!). In his spare time, which is limited, Jon runs, swims, and is in constant motion of figuring out how to better shoot rockets off the roof.
In October 2015, Jon and his wife, Letitia, launched Browns Consult, LLC, a communications and marketing consultancy. He, also, joined The Zimmerman Agency and BRIGHT RED\TBWA as a consultant in November 2015 and, then, started January 2016 off with a bang by serving in a full-time capacity as their Director of Digital Production through a successful website launch of a international Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brand in July 2016.
And, in 2016, Jon, Letitia, and a small, but powerful planning team, which includes two-time Grammy winner, jazz trumpeter, and current director of The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra Scotty Barnhart, hosted a successful inaugural Florida Jazz & Blues Festival at the Capital City Amphitheater in Cascades Park of Tallahassee, Florida in September 2016, followed by the 2nd annual event in October 2017. By leveraging creative marketing, targeted outreach, global contacts, and local legendary historical context, they began a journey, as Barnhart noted, to “make this one of the premiere festivals in the world.” What started as a vision of Celebrating and Elevating a Culture of Live Music, resulted in twenty acts over three days in 2016 and ten acts over two days in 2017; both years featuring world-class artists. Jon served as a Community Servant and Event Director for the festival, spearheading the efforts of communications, marketing, logistics, contracting, lodging, event production, and networking. He, also, led the fundraising charge of this community campaign, which delve into creative financing through community partners in local government, the corporate/private sector, and individual patrons for the approximately quarter of a million dollar event in its inaugural year.
In addition to consulting, Jon is the Founder and Chief Advocate for Black Men’s Health; an initiative, laser-focused on creating more balance through health in men of color, that he has been cultivating since 1999. A seed planted, more than twenty years in the making; now actively working on bringing this vision fully to fruition and deploying this platform and associated resources on a global scale.
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