The Speaker, Teacher, and Advisor

For almost twenty years, Joey has helped organizations retain their best customers and employees - turning 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 and employees' experiences. He is an award-winning speaker (yes – they do have speaking contests) at both national and international conferences – competing against New York Times bestselling authors, business leaders, and internet sensations/celebrities. He is the author of the #2 Wall Street Journal bestseller, Never Lose a Customer Again and the recently released Never Lose an Employee Again.

  • Apr 16, 2019

    The Country Boy (vs. Farm Kid)

    Joey was born in Iowa and grew up in the small farming community of Fort Dodge located in the northwestern part of the state. To be clear (as many non-Iowans confuse this point), Joey grew up in the country/woods – 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.

  • Mar 6, 2020

    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 the popular TV show the "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 ten years!

  • Apr 16, 2019

    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 - as usual!).

    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 is also a life-long collector of art. Joey 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 with his role as the Scarecrow in The Wiz his senior year), the University of Notre Dame Glee Club, and the GRAMMY-nominated Washington Men’s Camerata. Singing a solo at the famed Kennedy Center in Washington, DC was but one highlight of his singing career.

  • Mar 6, 2020

    The Board Member

    Joey has enjoyed serving on the Board of Directors for many organizations including:

    • Affinity Lab (serving as Board Chairman for five years) - privately held company that operated the first and longest-running co-working space in the world.
    • Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (serving as President for two years) - a non-profit in Washington, DC offering arts education and enrichment.
    • The George Washington University Law School (Alumni Board of Directors; founded and lead the Alumni Mentor Program for four years)
    • The National Advisory Council for the Creative America Project (Chicago, IL)
    • The Washington Men’s Camerata (serving as President for two years) - a GRAMMY-nominated men's chorus in Washington, DC.
    • Maverick 1000 (founding Advisory Board member) – an invitation only, global network of industry transforming entrepreneurs.
  • Apr 16, 2019

    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.

    While in college, most of Joey's time was spent singing and touring as a first tenor with the Glee Club and enjoying home football games under the gaze of "Touchdown Jesus." 

    Immediately after receiving his undergraduate degree, Joey headed to Washington, DC where he earned a Juris Doctor from The George Washington University Law School.

    During his time in law school, Joey was thrilled to be a member of the international law moot court team (finishing in the top twenty teams at the international finals), 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.

  • Mar 6, 2020

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

    Joey’s learning and sense of adventure is augmented by travels to 52 countries on all seven 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, played with penguins in Antarctica, 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!

  • Mar 6, 2020

    The Best Partner Ever

    Famed personal finance coach Dave Ramsey once shared with Joey, “Never trust a man who didn’t marry up.” By that metric, Joey is incredibly trustworthy.

    Joey has been married to an incredible entrepreneur, editor/writer, and super-mom for 12+ years and enjoys watching magnificent sunsets with her on beaches around the world.

    He is doing his very best to be a great dad to two incredible young sons - which involves a lot of LEGO building, playing board games (Splendor is a family favorite), and reading bedtime stories (currently working through the entire Harry Potter series).

  • Apr 16, 2019

    The Chief Experience Composer

    Joey is the founder and Chief Experience Composer of Design Symphony – a customer and employee experience branding firm that assists corporations, non-profits, small businesses, and associations in creating breathtaking interactions for the people they serve - both internally and externally. In short, we work 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 relationships lifecycle (whether that's the customer relationship or the employee relationship).

    Joey will work with you to design remarkable experiences and find new ways to engage prospects and existing relationships alike with your products, services, and ongoing operations.

  • Apr 16, 2019

    Lawyer - Salesman - Teacher - Spy

    Before founding Design Symphony, Joey developed his narrative skills as a trial attorney representing clients throughout the United States 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 and all that).

  • Apr 16, 2019

    Speaker - Teacher - Advisor

    Joey specializes in creating unique, attention-grabbing experiences - for his audiences and for your customers/employees.

    With a background in designing outreach materials, packages, events, promotions, and brand identities, Joey works with businesses and individuals seeking to provide the people they serve with memorable experiences.

    One of Joey’s greatest talents is formulating creative strategies that build buzz and loyalty around products, services, and organizations.

    As a speaker, Joey travels the world sharing his First 100 Days®️ methodology. His goal is to improve the experiences that people have as they interact with brands and organizations in their day-to-day lives.

    Whether you are a customer of a brand, or an employee of an organization, you likely want the same thing - personal and emotional connection. He is equally comfortable speaking with small (less than ten) and large (10,000+) 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. Joey occasionally takes an equity stake in a start-up in exchange for helping them to develop their customer/employee retention strategy and has long-term partnerships stemming from those engagements - specifically in the renewable energy and technology arenas.

It was the best keynote presentation I have ever attended! Joey was high energy and gave us real life actionable steps to care for our customers.

- Sondi Johnson, Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo