Civic-Minded Entrepreneur

In an interview conducted via IM on Yahoo! Messenger, communications director Jaimi Wacksman explains how she effortlessly blends business, work, pleasure and enriches her community. By Rosanne Dunkelberger

Civic-Minded EntrepreneurJaimi Wacksman effortlessly blends business, work, pleasure and enriches her community


By Rosanne Dunkelberger

Just the Facts: Communications director of Tallahassee-based Age 33. Grew up in Naples, Fla. Florida State University, Class of 2001, bachelor’s degree in Communication. Married (three years) to Jim Wacksman, creator and president of Known for her civic work as chairwoman of several large-scale fundraising events. Founding member of Sunset Rotary and chair of five of its annual Winefest fundraising events. Current chair of local American Red Cross chapter and active with Leon County Republicans.

Jaimi Wacksman. Photo by Scott HolsteinThis interview was conducted via IM on Yahoo! Messenger.

850: did you guys invent the concept of web-based clipping or had it been done elsewhere?

JW: traditional clipping services have been around for over 100 years; was the first to do this on the Internet.

850: were you afraid it wouldn’t work out?

JW: never! at first it was a difficult sell but now everyone gets news online

850: how many subscribers are there? can you give me a short description of what sorts of services you offer?

JW: over 1,000 (subscribers) in 30 states. we track over 50,000 articles a day in 30 states. another way to look at this is, it is impossible to read 200 newspapers looking for your name, client, issue … does this for you and delivers this information every day

850: can you give me a sense of what this service might cost?

JW: most subscriptions are less than $200 a month

850: enough of work work. Let’s talk about your “social” work.

JW: i mostly sit on boards now.

850: are you the token young person?

JW: on all my boards I have leadership roles. this is a great time in my life to be doing this

850: do you find that you approach things differently than other board members?

JW: absolutely. sometimes being new gives you a fresh perspective on a situation. as a young person I am closer to social networking plus I bring a new dynamic of people (young professionals) to the organization

850: what part of the day is spent with work and what part is in your outside stuff?

JW: a normal workweek is 80 hours a week and half is spent at work and half is spent with civic commitments.

850: do you do facebook or myspace?

JW: i kind of think facebook encourages less connection rather than more because you’re spending time in front of the computer rather than getting out there BEING with people. it can be a nice way to stay in touch, but not a great way to build relationships. FYI, I am in Naples right now and while we interviewed I was IMing with one of my employees and our CEO in Austin TX!

850: do you do much IMing?

JW: yes, that is how I communicate on a large scale with our staff and board spread all over the country. IM is great – it allows you to multi-task and communicate quick information

850: How do you keep a calendar?

JW: I have an iPhone that I live and die by

850: do you feel like businesses are overlooking the value young employees can bring to the business?

JW: younger employees bring a different set of talents, that is true. I believe that younger employees/volunteers have a different set of expectations too

850: how so?

JW: they want to feel engaged, involved … they have a personal expectation of growth.