Humans of TMA is a content series that showcases the diverse, interesting, and creative people that make up The Marketing Arm.
Let’s Get to Know Jay…
Can you describe what your role is at TMA and what that entails? As SVP, Account Management, I partner closely with my creative and strategic counterparts (Becky Beals and Ginger Smithwick, respectively) to provide leadership over our group of clients and collaborative teams. Whether it be scope negotiation, new business support, mentorship, concept development, or work elevation, I strive for both myself and my team to consistently deliver work that not only moves the needle for our clients, but is always best in class. I like to define best in class work as output that is strategically sound, delivers on our guiding principle of creativity that matters and is, of course, executed flawlessly.
What led you to this career/industry? Growing up, my mom was a copywriter in this crazy industry, and I was immediately drawn into this world that’s such a great blend of creativity with business. I started college as a theater major and advertising minor, but I swapped those two halfway through college as I grew to love the ad industry more and more.
What’s the coolest or your favorite thing you’ve worked on? You can’t ask me to pick a favorite child! Throwing this back, but one of the coolest projects I’ve ever worked on was my very first client at TMA making the SunChips brand an official partner of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The impact that program had and the lives it touched was so powerful, and to this day it still brings a smile to my face.
Where do you find inspiration? No doubt my family and my friends. Not a day goes by that I’m not intrigued and motivated by the amazing things people in my circle are doing on a day-to-day basis…whether it’s a career in finance or healthcare or job as a full-time mom or dad…OR those amazing individuals who do all of the above! I’m also inspired by those who have a deep appreciation for the arts, whether those be culinary, visual, performing…those who support and create beautiful things in a world that can oftentimes feels not-so-beautiful, inspire me.
How do you bring your full self into your work? What unique perspectives do you bring? We work in an industry where details matter, and it’s so easy to get into the minutiae of day-to-day work and lose sight of the big picture. Having had such an amazing breadth of experiences at TMA: executing cause and environmental marketing initiatives, bringing sports and entertainment platforms to consumers and shoppers, executing best-in-class shopper marketing programs, marketing across all socials, and putting incredible spots on the air…all of these (and then some) have given me the ability to know what I can and can’t control and that I’m surrounded by a support system of rockstars who have in-depth expertise in areas I don’t. I know what it takes to get the job done right and I have gained peace of mind knowing that I am surrounded by the smartest team of ninjas bringing everything to the world. This has been the most freeing thing and has afforded me the ability to focus on the things I can and should control.
What three words would your closest friends use to describe you? Loyal, Gregarious, Sensitive.
What is your guilty pleasure? “Bravo Bravo, #@%*-ing Bravo”#IYKYK. And Tex Mex food. A night of Bravo AND Tex Mex food? There’s nothing better!
What causes are you supportive of and why? I’m of course passionate for all LGBTQ+ causes, but also any marginalized group who just want to be treated with respect and dignity. I’m also a huge sucker for fur babies (shoutout to my dogs Jackson and Tucker!) and love supporting causes that support animals.
What’s your hobby or passion project outside of TMA? The Pandemic and beyond has made this passion of mine harder to experience, but I truly hope to get back into seeing more live theater. I love theater of all forms, from Broadway to local, community theater – and I am hereby vowing to make an effort to see more of it in 2022!
What is one thing you wish more people knew about you? I have severe hanger issues…consider yourselves warned!
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? I’m a huge people pleaser, and boundaries (whether with work or friends) have always been hard for me to establish. Balancing obligation with rest and quality time is a struggle for me. My mom always quotes: “Jay, you don’t have to do anything but die and pay taxes,” and I frequently have to remind myself of just that. You’re one person and you can only do so much. Give yourself, and others, a little grace.
What has been your favorite cultural moment of the last few years? As a proud gay man getting married later this year, I don’t know how I couldn’t acknowledge the groundbreaking Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling in 2015. To think that 6+ years ago I couldn’t even legally get married is astounding to me. Not a day goes by, especially as of late, that I don’t remind myself of the decades of fighting by men and women who made this possible and continue to fight for equality and representation for all marginalized groups today.
What would be the name of your TED Talk? “The Freedom of Balance” – about the daily struggle to find balance in everything we have on our plates, and the freedom that comes on those rare occasions when we do find it. **PS: I don’t have this answer, but I’m on a daily search for it!**
What are you watching? Any Netflix documentary, any and all things Bravo – Ozark, Inventing Anna, Bridgerton, Righteous Gemstones…lots of highbrow shows 😉
What are you reading? My bedside table is a huge stack of books in varying stages of completion. These range from Agatha Christie and James Patterson mysteries to The Velvet Rage to behind the scenes stories of The Real Housewives.
What are you listening to? It’s always a safe bet that in our house one of us has recently asked Alexa to “Play Taylor Swift.” Either that or random assortments of songs that I’ve added to my playlist while suffering through a Peloton ride.
Who are you following? I follow a bunch of realtors and home builders, interior designers, chefs, restaurants, fitness instructors, meme accounts, etc. I try to keep my IG pretty light, fun, and inspirational as a good break from my day or from the news.
What are you ignoring? Unsolicited advice. Wedding planning is overwhelming enough without a chorus of inputs everywhere you turn! Focusing on what we want the day to be and that’s all that matters.
Photography: Michael Lark
Jay Evans | SVP, Account Management | Dallas Office
Jay was born and raised in the heart of Magnolia State, Jackson, Mississippi. He moved to Dallas to attend SMU and quickly fell in love with all things Texas – and he’s been here ever since! Jay has been in the advertising industry for nearly 20 years and has spent 16 of those at TMA. In his current role, Jay oversees an amazing account team, developing and executing breakthrough consumer, shopper, and social programs across clients like PepsiCo and Palo Alto Networks.