Adventure is out there…

Christopher Arena
Aug 3, 2016 · 4 min read

Adventure is out there… just not in the way we expect. My adventure at ISL began in early July of 2015 and on September 1st, a new adventure will begin.

As of today, I’m amicably parting ways with ISL on the best of terms with my former team. When September 1st rolls around, I’ll be pursuing new opportunities to share my digital experience and expertise, honed and polished over the past 6 years, with a careful focus on social media marketing.

ISL helped guide me through one of the scariest adventures that can happen to a human being — illness. I went from working 60 hour weeks as a Community Manager, to bedridden, to back and on my feet ready and hungry for more. Unfortunately, things move and change very quickly in the agency world and as I recovered, a role that fit my experience and skills did not materialize. This is something that the Executive Team at ISL, and myself quickly realized.

Over the past year+ that I’ve spent at ISL, I’ve worked on multiple Fortune 500 accounts, with many of DC’s most talented developers and designers, and crafted digital and social experiences for a host of wonderful clients. I’ve even found a new passion for competitive intelligence and analytics that my high school, math despising, self would be shocked by. I was a very small part of a very big, very hard-working team.

I’ve had the privilege of working on the social voice for some of the world’s most fantastic brands in my role as Community Manager at ISL. I was able to fully develop and implement monitoring guides, brand voice guides, reporting processes, and revamped social media channels in coordination with my fellow Community Managers from the ground up. I helped craft and manage massive social media enterprise accounts for clients like Kroger and William Grant & Sons. In my time at ISL, I learned from experts how to master some of the most incredible tools in digital (Spredfast, Sprinklr, Asana, Jira, Slack, Basecamp, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, and many more), and ultimately spent each and every day inspired by the gravity of the kind of work that ISL produces and the excellence of the people I was blessed to spend my day with.

I’m proudest of my work in the DC community in my time at ISL, both on our internal Community Engagement Committee, and through my role at DC Tech Meetup. I helped coordinate company wide days of service, social good programs, and clothing and food drives year round. I will also continue on in my role as one of the Producers and Organizers of DC Tech Meetup and look forward to hosting in September!

On September 1st, I hope to have a new home and a new team here in DC. What that looks like, I’m not sure — but I would love to hear what you think. Consulting and freelancing with small businesses and startups to impart my knowledge of digital, social, and the online/offline of experiential marketing? Join a DC Tech company looking to grow their marketing capabilities? Do some good in the world in the nonprofit sector? I’m all ears.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through the past 6 years in digital organizing, it’s that community is everything. So, if you’d like to get coffee, facetime, or just sit and listen to the Hamilton Soundtrack, I’m yours. I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you all. My personal g-mail account is cjbreene@gmail.com.

Cheers, always.

Chris

Since saying goodbye is tough, here are some of my favorite memories at ISL:

Traveling for clients, Fancy Fridays, and amazing Scotch — perks you just don’t find on the website.
Our retreats, work with Art All Night, and community events brought us all closer together.
ISLers clean up well, and our puppies are the best in the business.
We loved without expectation and we happy hour’d with the best of them.
Ice Cream Anyone? When most of our family is far away, ISL was family around the holidays.
Christopher Arena

Written by

Founder, GFTB Digital @GFTBDigital www.gftbdigital.com

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