jeff meade bio
Jeff Meade is a fractional CMO-for-hire who thrives at the intersection of business strategy, social research, and grassroots innovation. He has worked for a wide range of notable brands from Toyota to Converse to 20th Century Fox to Activision; he has also co-founded two marketing agencies, facilitated an international MBA exchange program, taught marketing courses at UCLA, and has had his agency referred to as a “purple cow” by Seth Godin. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Babson College and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Jeff has a long history of working with Millennials, and his uncanny knack for translating corporate jargon to the city streets and vice versa has made him a valuable asset for major brands looking to tap the seemingly unknowable depths of youth culture. By age 24, Jeff co-founded MJINI Urban Youth Experts, a marketing firm that targeted urban youth communities who are typically distrustful of mainstream marketing. His on-the-ground, grassroots research lead to clients such as Converse, Levi Strauss & Co., Timberland, Turner Broadcasting, and the Justice Department.
While pursuing his MBA at Washington University in St. Louis as a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management fellow, Jeff also studied at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). After facilitating an MBA exchange program between the two schools, he was awarded an honorary MBA from HKUST. He also continued working with urban youth during his tenure in grad school, including the time he teamed up with Grammy Award-winning artist Nelly and his nonprofit 4Sho4Kids, an organization dedicated to leukemia awareness. There, Jeff built out a campaign around co-branded Nike sneakers, the “Air Derrty,” and the resulting limited-edition sneaker sold out in mere hours.
Post-MBA, Jeff took a senior leadership role with The Rebel Organization, which was at the time a three-employee company with a strong focus on the youth market. Jeff worked on business development (Rebel became one of the largest youth agencies in the country by billings), built out the client services team (which ballooned from three to thirty people), and established the agency as a thought leader (which culminated in Seth Godin referring to them as a “purple cow”). Clients included ESPN The Magazine, 20th Century Fox, Reebok, and Cricket—but perhaps most famously, Jeff and Rebel launched the millennial-focused Scion car for Toyota, helping the brand reach their goal of securing the lowest average driver age in the industry.
Next, Jeff returned to his entrepreneurial roots by co-founding The Reason LLC, an experiential marketing agency. There, he was instrumental in bringing in high-profile clients like ESPN, Activision, Honda, and McDonalds. From there he worked as the marketing director for Villa (formerly Sneaker Villa), which was named Retailer of the Year by Complex during his tenure. At Villa, he remained actively engaged with his youth culture roots and even led a cross-functional team to launch Rookie by Villa, a retail brand extension designed to grow reach within the children’s segment. The kids approved.
Today, Jeff lives in Dallas with his wife and three children. When he’s not helping brands deconstruct their old, familiar, thinking in order to reimagine their marketing strategy, you can find him outside running, playing basketball, or snowboarding down the nearest snowy mountain (not that easy now that he lives in Dallas).