Get to know our president, Joey! Joey joined the team full-time in 2014, carrying on his Mom Jodi’s legacy, who started the company in 2001. Jodi lost her battle to cancer in 2013, but her unwavering positive spirit and commitment to make a difference still lives on through Joey and the entire Utopia team.
Here’s Joey’s story:
Ten years ago I was a few years removed from college and had found myself an unfulfilling career. After my most successful year, I decided to book a vacation for myself and my now wife, who was my girlfriend at the time. I shared the news with my boss, whose comment to me was “You shouldn’t be taking a vacation. You should be thinking about where your next paycheck is coming from.”
During this time, my Mom was battling stage-4 nonsmokers lung cancer, and shortly thereafter lost her battle at the young age of 50. Sickened with the grief of my Mom’s loss, and simultaneously coming to terms with the reality that life and time is fleeting, I put my two weeks in and never looked back.
I knew in that moment I didn’t want to live for someone else’s definition of success. I decided to take over my Mom’s company, which at the time was operating from a garage and a kitchen table.
We now have 20 employees and are helping corporations, nonprofits and families create transformational events and beautiful stories, nationwide.
Scaling this company has taught me a great deal about personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Fulfillment doesn’t come from showing the world you’re successful. Fulfillment comes from the internal journey of choosing gratitude as an internal state, and creating opportunities for others. To me, success isn’t something that can’t be gained through an incessant craving for material things. Rather, success is something that comes with freedom, experiences, and falling in love with the process of learning, and contributing to the world in a meaningful way. When you look at life that way, we’re all children playing on life’s playground.
I left behind a life of security and safety to take a massive risk. But, I believe each challenge we encounter is simply an opportunity, and the more challenge we accept in life, the more opportunity awaits us on the other side of that challenge. The only thing that’s guaranteed in life is uncertainty, so we continue to evolve, and we do our best work with those that see the need to change and evolve as a blessing.That mindset has helped us make the best of the past, appreciate today, and is helping us navigate into the future. We’d love to welcome you into our Utopia family.
Let’s get to know Joey a little more:
- The #1 item on my bucket list is to go skydiving in New Zealand
- I was born on the 4th of July
- My favorite foods are fruit, broccoli, and sushi
- My favorite travel destination is Cancun
- I believe the journey is the destination!