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Volume 24 No. 115
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Minding My Business With AAC Assistant Commissioner of Digital Media Mark Hodgkin

Name: Mark Hodgkin

Title: American Athletic Conference Assistant Commissioner of Digital Media

Age: 30

Where I’m from: Providence, R.I.

Where I call home: Providence

Focusing on right now: Increasing brand awareness

Hodgkin is a strong believer in the power of Twitter, and keeps it open most of the day
Best advice: At the end of the day, besides your wife and your family, you have two people that you have to keep happy. One is yourself and one is your boss. You’re always working for somebody no matter how high you rise, or how low you start. You need to represent what they want and how they want things. But you also have to do it in a way that you can sleep at night and you can be proud of.

Exec I admire most: I attribute almost everything I have to a great group of mentors that I’ve had: Louisville Arena Authority Chair JIM HOST, Ropes & Gray Partner DENNIS COLEMAN, Boston College Associate AD/External Operations JAMIE DILORETO and Bryant Univ. Associate AD/External Relations JASON SULLIVAN. They've all opened doors for me, and they've all given me a piece of what I try to be professionally.

A must for a new hire: Enthusiasm and tireless work ethic. I'm big on the old expression, “You hire character but you train skills." Especially talking about digital, things change so much it’s hard to have a traditional expert. When we talk about social media, I don’t believe there is such a thing as an expert.

Best book I've read this year: I’ve been really on a time management kick lately. We all have 24 hours in a day, how do really successful people manage that? "Manage Your Day To Day," by JOCELYN K. GLEI is a collection of articles I finished recently that was very good.

First thing in the morning: I really enjoy Twitter. It’s part of my job and a lot of people probably think that’s what we do: just play on Twitter all day. I check that pretty early in the morning and keep it in an open browser the entire day. It gets run down sometimes about the negative aspects, but I’ve met some people I count as friends originally on Twitter and colleagues that do my job in other conferences and outlets. I’ve found it to be a really rewarding and valuable thing, and I’m never too far away from it.

Talking tech: I got a Surface Pro 2 tablet a couple months ago, and that’s been unbelievably cool for me. I can basically do anything I did on my computer or laptop on that, and it’s the size of a small book and it’s light. When I traveled to our softball championship that’s all I brought, when I went to the Final Four that’s all I brought. It pops open, it's up and running quickly, and I can do Photoshop, Dreamweaver, e-mail and web browsing.

Must have music: I’m really into what you call Americana music: JASON ISBELL, JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE, JAMES MCMURTRY, DRIVE BY TRUCKERS, guys like that who are a little more off the pop scene.

Food for thought: In college, I came very close to dropping out of school and going to culinary school. I’d really been interested in cooking and doing culinary stuff and being adventurous that way. Now it’s mostly a lot of grilling. I have a smoker at home and a couple different grills. I really enjoy any kind of live-fire cooking. I do most of the cooking in my family.

How I unwind: Exercise is a big part of my day-to-day. I lost about 50 pounds a couple years ago and it’s been something that’s stayed with me. Luckily I’ve kept the weight off, and it’s part of my routine. It’s helped me even professionally -- just being more confident and better conditioned.

Day in the life
: American Commissioner MIKE ARESCO positioned us as a challenger brand, and I think we want to embody that. There’s a lot of discussion about the so-called "Equity Five" and those kind of roles, and we want to be kind of right there, so we need to approach it with an aggressive attitude. When you’re going through the changes we did, and dealing with things outside of your control -- stay positive and keep it going because the schools that are here really want to rally around something.