Joey specializes in creating unique, attention-grabbing customer experiences.

When organizations like Hyatt Hotels, NASA, Deloitte, the World Bank, and Zappos need to boost their customers’ experience, they call Joey.

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Joey often talks about the importance of making personal and emotional connections with your customers. Leading by example, here are some personal and emotional aspects of his life story.


The Speaker, Teacher, and Advisor

For over a decade, Joey has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans via his entertaining and actionable keynotes, workshops, and consulting projects. He has a long history of energizing and motivating audiences to enhance their customers’ experiences. He is an award-winning speaker (yes – they do have speaking contests) at both national and international conferences – competing against NY Times Bestselling authors, business leaders, and internet sensations/celebrities.

Joey specializes in creating unique, attention-grabbing customer experiences. With a background in designing outreach materials, packages, events, promotions, and brand identities, Joey works with businesses and individuals seeking to provide their clients with memorable experiences. Joey’s greatest talents include formulating creative strategies that build buzz and loyalty around products and services.

As a speaker, Joey travels the world sharing his First 100 Days methodology. His goal is to improve the experiences that consumers and businesses are having as they interact with brands and organizations in their day-to-day lives. He is equally comfortable speaking with small (less than ten) and large (10,000+) audiences. Selected past appearances include presentations for the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO – in everything from forum to multi-chapter meetings), the Art of Sales conference, Deloitte, YPO, Stanford University, Zappos, the George Washington University Masters in Business Administration Program, and YouTube – not to mention dozens of local, regional, national, and international audiences.

Joey offers counsel and advice to organizations ranging from small start-ups (both self and VC-funded), to large Fortune 500s, with hundreds of mid-size businesses in between. He also works with dedicated non-profits and governmental entities/NGOs. He occasionally takes an equity stake in a start-up in exchange for helping them to develop their customer retention strategy and has partnerships in the renewable energy and technology arenas.

The Chief Experience Composer

Joey is the founder and Chief Experience Composer of Design Symphony – a customer experience branding firm that assists corporations, non-profits, small businesses, and associations in creating breath-taking interactions for their customers and constituents. In short, the team works to get all of the pieces of your business on the same sheet of music, playing in harmony – hence the name Design Symphony. Joey and his Experience Experts specialize in helping you to better understand your audience, determine what will get their attention, and develop strategies to wow them again and again – especially in the crucial, First 100 Days of the customer lifecycle. They target the customer experience and find new ways to engage prospects and existing clients with your products and services.

The Lawyer, the Salesman, the Teacher, and the Spy

Before founding Design Symphony, Joey developed his narrative skills as a trial attorney representing clients throughout the country from his law firm based in Iowa. He practiced law with his father (also named Joe – which made for some funny moments in the courtroom) and predominantly handled criminal defense cases – usually for the wrongfully accused… but that’s a story for another day.

Joey’s communications and messaging skills were further honed when he served in the “Pending Issues” section of The White House Office of Counsel to the President during the Clinton Administration. Yep – let’s just say he was a lawyer and there were plenty of “legal issues” to keep things busy and interesting!

Prior to practicing law, Joey served as Associate Director of Member Services at The Corporate Executive Board (NASDAQ: EXBD) working with senior vice-presidents of sales and chief information officers at companies like Phillips Electronics N.A., Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Florida,Tampa Electric Co. (TECO), and Michelin N.A. In this capacity, he spent a lot of time on the road with his craziest month seeing him sleep in his apartment in Washington, DC only 6 nights.

Throughout his career, Joey has enjoyed teaching courses at both the college and graduate school level, including: creativity in business, speaking skills, business writing, and legal research and writing (yep – they actually have classes on that).

Joey also formerly held positions with both the United States Secret Service and the Central Intelligence Agency. No, he wouldn’t have to kill you if he told you about it – but it’s still illegal for him to tell you about it (sorry – security clearance).


The Country Boy – But Not a Pure Farm Kid

Joey was born in Iowa and grew up in a small farming community called Fort Dodge in the northwestern part of the state. To be clear (as many non-Iowans confuse this point), Joey grew up in the woods/country – but not actually on a farm. Although he did ride in grain wagons, drive tractors, and walk beans during his youth. He did not, however, walk to school uphill both ways. That was his father’s story. 😉

The Coleman Family Circus

Joey is one of seven children (can you say Irish Catholic?) and growing up, life was mostly a circus with kids running here, there, and everywhere. With five boys and two girls, the adventures were legendary and once the statute-of-limitations have fully run, he’ll be happy to share them publicly. Suffice it to say that some of the funnier moments included jumping off the roof wearing wings (trying to fly like Icarus), trying to weld the doors shut on his parents’ car to make it like the General Lee from Dukes of Hazard, and dragging his youngest brother behind a four-wheeler while attached to a paraglider to see if he would fly. Ironically enough (or maybe sadly?) that last one happened within the last five years!

The Artist and Patron of the Arts

Joey loved taking art classes in elementary school, high school, college, and beyond. He remains eternally indebted to his mother who insisted he be allowed to take independent study art his senior year of high school – against the wishes of his father, who thought calculus would be a better choice (Mom was right!). Joey is an experienced graphic artist and watercolor painter, with some collaging, sculpting, and oil painting thrown in for good measure. His design and artwork have been displayed in museums, featured in juried shows, and graced publications in the U.S. and abroad. He has also been a long-term collector of art and loves finding pieces that capture the spirit of his various travels and life experiences. In addition to visual arts, Joey sang first tenor throughout school including gigs with his high school show choir, the high school musical (culminating in the Scarecrow in The Wiz his senior year), the University of Notre Dame Glee Club, and the GRAMMY-nominated Washington Men’s Camerata.

The Board Member

Joey has enjoyed serving on the Board of Directors for many organizations including the privately-held Affinity Lab (serving as Board Chairman from 2009-2014), the Board of Directors for the non-profit Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (serving as President from 2010-2012), the Alumni Board of Directors for the George Washington University Law School (founding and leading the Alumni Mentor Program for four years), the National Advisory Council for the Creative America Project (Chicago, IL), and the Washington Men’s Camerata (serving as President for two years). He currently serves on the Membership Board of Maverick 1000 – an invitation only, global network of industry transforming entrepreneurs.

Books are Good For Learning

Always a fan of growth, learning, and education, Joey received a Bachelor of Arts in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame (GO IRISH!) where he found himself earning Dean’s List Honors. Immediately after receiving his undergraduate degree, Joey headed to Washington where he earned a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School. During that time he was thrilled to be a member of the international law moot court team, the alternative dispute resolution board, and the trial court board. He also served as a Dean’s Fellow teaching first-year law students. When not in class, Joey traveled the country as a Circuit Governor for the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association.

Don’t Let Your Books Get in the Way of Your Learning

Joey’s learning and sense of adventure is augmented by travels to 45 countries on six continents. He has jumped out of a perfectly functioning airplane, raced along the Great Wall of China, juggled in front of the Taj Mahal, sang love songs on the Ponte Vecchio, goose-stepped to mock the soldiers in Red Square, dined in a tent next to the Great Pyramid of Giza, jumped into a rushing river in Fiji, and ridden a mountain bike down a volcano – although it remains a debate as to whether he rode the bike or the volcano rode him!

Life in the Mountains

Famed personal finance coach Dave Ramsey once shared with Joey, “Never trust a man who didn’t marry up.” In that case, Joey is incredibly trustworthy. Joey has been married to an incredible entrepreneur and super-mom for over five years and enjoys watching magnificent sunsets with her from their mountain-top home in Colorado. He is doing his very best to be a great dad to two incredible young sons.


You may be familiar with the series of questions that James Lipton asks every guest at the end of his “Inside the Actor’s Studio” show (for proper citation, these 10 questions originally came from a French series, “Bouillon de Culture,” hosted by Bernard Pivot).

You may not be familiar with how Joey would answer these questions – until now:

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

Experiencing art. Visual art, music, dance, singing… all of these things inspire, excite, and intrigue me.

What turns you off?

Apathy. We only get one chance to live and sadly, many are skipping out on that chance.

What is your favorite curse word?

Since minors may be reading this, let’s just say it sounds a lot like “clusterfrak.”

What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of waves crashing on a secluded beach under the light of a full moon…

What sound or noise do you hate?

Adults whining. It’s one thing for a child to whine, but once you’re old enough to do something about it, I’d rather see you take action than complain about this situation.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Architect. The idea of designing spaces and places is incredibly intriguing. I’ve had the pleasure of dabbling in this arena to a very, very small degree and hope to do more in the future.

What profession would you not like to do?

Accountant. With apologies to some of my friends that are great accountants (including a roommate from college, one of my best friends from college, and several clients), I just can’t see myself enjoying spreadsheets and ledgers – ever.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

What took so long?! We thought you’d never die!