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Krannert Executive Forum - Joe Flores

Joe Flores

Joe Flores

Senior Vice President
Catalyst

Upon graduating from Purdue University in 2002, despite having an offer for a full-time position as a Project Manager for Motorola in hand, Joe Flores was inspired by Krannert Executive Forum guest speaker Kevin Sullivan and decided to turn down the opportunity near his hometown of Chicago to relocate and pursue his lifelong dream of building a career in what he was most passionate about – sports and entertainment. Joe took his life savings and moved from Whiting, Ind. (POP: 4,937), to New York City (where he’d never even visited) just to get his foot in the door – a three-month, unpaid internship at Alan Taylor Communications (ATC). In only seven years, Joe ascended to Vice President at ATC, one of the youngest in the company’s history. His role in overseeing and helping to grow top billing agency accounts Microsoft, MasterCard, Alltel Wireless and DIAGEO was instrumental in fueling the bold transformation of ATC (which now operates as Taylor) from a sports-focused publicity shop to a true brand counselor for some of the world’s leading consumer brands. The dramatic “Transformation at Taylor” was chronicled and recognized nationally as an official case study by Harvard Business School.

In 2011 Flores joined Catalyst, overseeing the agency’s Charlotte office as Senior Vice President, the youngest in the company’s history. Since Flores’ arrival, Catalyst has doubled its staff in Charlotte and experienced overall agency revenue growth of approximately 60%. In that same three-year period, Flores orchestrated a public relations agency of record relationship (AOR) with DICK’S Sporting Goods and grew it to include social media responsibilities, elevating it to one of the largest accounts in the organization. He also pioneered a sports, entertainment and influencer AOR partnership with Microsoft supporting its Devices & Studios portfolio of brands (Xbox, Surface, etc). For its accomplishments, Catalyst was honored as back-to-back “Small Agency of the Year” by PRWeek in 2012 and 2013 and awarded with the 2012 SABRE Award for “Boutique Agency of the Year.” In December 2012, Catalyst was purchased by IMG Worldwide, and recently, IMG was subsequently acquired by William Morris Endeavor (WME).

Joe’s journey has essentially taken him from unpaid intern to senior executive of a top public relations firm that is now part of one of the largest, most influential sports and entertainment companies in the world. He has helped Fortune 500 clients leverage partnerships with the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, FIFA and the Olympic Games. He’s been on the ground at numerous marquee events including multiple Super Bowls and has initiated and maximized countless brand ambassador relationships for his client partners with the likes of Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Adrian Peterson, Shaquille O’Neal, Mariano Rivera, Rihanna, Kanye West, Joel McHale, Will Arnett and Jason Sudeikis among others. Recently, Joe was honored as a member of PRWeek’s prestigious “40 Under 40,” which honors the top 40 PR professionals under 40 years old.

Joe has lived by the words of wisdom: “Only those who attempt the ridiculous can achieve the spectacular.”

Catalyst is a communications agency that specializes in consumer public relations, digital and social media and influencer marketing particularly in the entertainment, sports and lifestyle space. Catalyst partners with leading and emerging brands including SUBWAY® Restaurants, Under Armour, TIMEX, Marriott, Microsoft, and DICK’S Sporting Goods to create communications strategies that engage consumers and influence behavior. The firm is owned by WME / IMG a global leader in entertainment, sports, fashion and media.