Justin Travis Kelsey
Bank of America/Assistant Vice President, Digital Strategy & Innovation
VAXA Digital/Founder and Chief Experience Officer
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Palm Beach, Florida
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN CHARLOTTE AREA?
TELL US A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT YOU?
While I’ve got a very corporate resume on paper since graduating from college, my entrepreneurial roots go back far deeper. In middle school, I launched my very first company – producing chocolate covered gummy bears to sell at school. From there, I was hooked – starting another four companies in high school. Fast forward through the college years and up until today, I’m currently running a 6-figure digital advertising firm, teaching two online courses, hosting a podcast, and somehow still managing to work a very well-respected job at the bank.
DURING YOUR TIME VOLUNTEERING FOR A COMMUNITY ACTIVITY OR PROJECT, WHAT IS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?
During my days volunteering with Junior Achievement, my most memorable moment was seeing the joy in a child’s eyes when they realized they could make money doing what they loved – especially if that meant collecting and selling Jordan shoes, as I specifically remember with one of my most enthusiastic students.
IN YOUR OPINION, HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO THE COMMUNITY? PLEASE BE AS DETAILED AS YOU CAN.
Now in Charlotte, I make it my mission to give back to my city by performing 80+ hours of pro-bono consulting and creative work for local non-profits each year, valued at over $8,000. To date, my favorite organizations supported have been E2C Charlotte, Junior Achievement, and Give Hope Global.
PLEASE LET US KNOW ANY AWARDS OR RECOGNITIONS YOU’VE RECEIVED IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER:
Selected as one of 30 (from more than 3,000 applicants each year) into the highly-selective Florida Blue Key organization, the oldest and most prestigious leadership organization in the State of Florida
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OR INTEREST?
Starting new businesses, filmmaking, travel (and travel vlogging), and racing cars (both on and off the track)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE THAT YOU STAND BY?
‘The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS? 10 YEARS?
5 years from now I see myself having just sold VAXA Digital to an e-commerce private equity firm, or potentially running our own portfolio of brands and keeping the agency side in-house. In 10 years, I’d like to be running a successful venture capital and/or angel fund that focuses on bringing tech and retail innovation to Charlotte.
CAN YOUR SHARE ONE THING THAT IS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Spend 6 months pack backing through the countryside of Vietnam and surrounding countries
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU USED YOUR PASSPORT?
November 2019; visited Amsterdam, Paris, and Brussels for the first time
WHAT IS A FUN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NO ONE KNOWS?
All four of my wisdom teeth have grown in perfectly, though I’ve got a 5th “Siamese” wisdom tooth attached to one of them and hidden inside my gums
WHO IS YOUR HERO?
WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
‘Atomic Habits’ by James Clear
WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU SAW?
My 800th re-watch of ‘Forrest Gump’
WHAT WAS THE LAST CONCERT YOU SAW?