Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2021
Meet Chris Norris '08! He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Communications. Among other feats in his life, he built his own business, Revox Social, a social media agency in Erie, Pa., from the ground up and enjoys his role as owner and strategist. Read through our most recent conversation to learn about his leap of faith and how Westminster has guided him.
Tell me about your life following Westminster College. After graduating from Westminster, I spent a summer interning with a professional baseball team before moving to Erie, Pa to accept a full-time position as the Director of Entertainment with the Detroit Tigers AA Affiliate, the Erie SeaWolves. I married my best friend and high school sweetheart in July of 2009. I spent three seasons working in minor league baseball before moving into a marketing and social media management role at Mercyhurst University. I worked in higher education for six years before making the move to corporate, working in Media Services at Erie Insurance. It was shortly after that I decided to make the leap into entrepreneurship and starting my own social media business.
Does anything stand out to you during your time at Westminster as significant in shaping who you are today? During my time at Westminster, both my personal and professional life were significantly shaped. I was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes where Brad Tokar and Tom Rapchak were great, faith-based mentors for me. I also played baseball with the Titans, winning a PAC Championship during the 2005 season which was a valuable life experience for me. I still keep in touch with several of my teammates. As a Broadcast Comm. major, I had the best hands-on experience a college student could ever ask for. From freshman year through senior year, professors such as Brad Weaver, Dave Barner and Keith Corso (among others) were instrumental in providing me opportunities and resources to jumpstart my career.
What made you take the leap to start your own business? How long were you preparing for this major shift? In early 2019, I started to get the itch for something different in my professional life. I had been working in corporate for just over three months and I was feeling discouraged, lacking fulfillment and optimism about my future. It was shortly after that I was cast in a reality television show on Discovery called, "Undercover Billionaire." It was during the filming of this show that I met and worked alongside other entrepreneurs who inspired and encouraged me to leave my comfortable corporate job and pursue my passions and dreams. I was also influenced by billionaire entrepreneur, Glenn Stearns.
Where do you see yourself in five years? What will it take to get there? In five years, I see my business successfully employing a small team as well as being a profitable business. Our clients will be some of the top businesses and non-profits in the region and we will be helping them succeed because their values, products and services align with ours. Personally, I'll likely be coaching my son's baseball team as well as being the sponsor. And most importantly, I'll be happy, fulfilled, utilizing my skills and passions while having a healthy work/life balance. In order to get to this point, I will need to continue to do work that I enjoy with people I respect while sustaining a brand that I believe in.
How do you fill your day and keep learning? A day in the life of Chris can be fun, fast-paced and/or unpredictable! As a business owner, father and did I mention part-time pastor at my church? Like any working parent or professional, my schedule can be crazy busy but I wouldn't have it any other way. In fact, I thrive on having a variety of responsibilities while wearing multiple hats. It's my favorite thing about being a business owner. More specifically, you can find me managing my team, hosting occasional lunch and learn sessions, filming or editing videos and taking part in community activities and events.
How are you still invested in Westminster? I’m still invested in Westminster through keeping in touch with my professors and keeping tabs on what my classmates are doing both personally and professionally. I also still touch base (pun intended) with a few of my Titan Baseball teammates and coaches. And, just over a year ago I had lunch with Tom Rapchak from FCA. Specifically, I’m still in contact with Brad Weaver and have taken part in a few of his classes and projects since graduating in 2008. He has always been a big supporter and encouragement to me over the years. A few weeks ago, with the tragic loss of his daughter, I hope to provide encouragement to his family by spreading the word about a GoFundMe spearheaded by the class of 2008 in Emma's name to raise funding for Austin's Place.
What's your summer look like when you're not working? This summer, I’m sponsoring my first tee ball team, the Revox Social Rays and my son happens to be my favorite player. I also still play baseball in an adult wooden bat league and regularly attend Erie SeaWolves and Cleveland Indians games. The best thing about owning my own business is that I can take half days and do fun stuff with my family like go to Waldameer Water Park or Presque Isle State Park. Erie is a great place to be in the summer!
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