John Pratt

Digital Strategy. Innovation. Technologist.

About Me


John Pratt

Digital Director and Interactive Strategist

Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.
Yo-Yo Ma

I truly believe that passion is something that transcends work. It’s the bar that separates those that do their work, and those that do outstanding work every time.

Technology has consumed my life as long as I can remember. When I was in grade school my grandmother let me tear apart clocks and radios to see how they worked. My grandfather taught me soldering and basic electronics. My father taught me basic programming on the first green screen computers ever sold by radio shack (with a tape drive). I taught myself to build computers when they cost more than a car, and I learned web programming when the web was still called the “information superhighway”.

I am an extremely passionate digital strategist and technologist, but what truly sets me apart is my background and experience. As a digital director, I have a strong technical background and a clear focus on building products centered around customer needs. I have 20 years of management and development experience within enterprise IT, agency, B2C and B2B industries. My strengths include client empathy, team mentoring, and discovery and implementation of new technology. This is the textbook professional answer for what I do.

Now, let me give you some personal insights that you wouldn’t necessarily glean from a resume. Humor me for just a few more minutes, because these are the reasons that I believe you will want to interview me to learn more.

Download Printable Resume


  • Management and Supervision 100%
  • As a Director, I currently supervise a department of about a dozen people. These are the people that I rely on to deliver the digital projects that I am ultimately responsible for. Websites, apps, mobile sites, microsites, dashboards, analytics, and more. I foster an atmosphere of learning, process improvement, collaboration, and teamwork. I subscribe to the Dan Pink philosophy that the keys to motivation are giving someone autonomy, mastery, and sense of purpose in their work. Ask me why.

  • Design and Development 80%
  • Many managers and directors supervise people without knowing exactly how they do their jobs. I consider myself to be a hands-on manager (when applicable), and I take pride in having actual experience and interest in web design and development. While I would not say I’m an expert Photoshop or SQL – I know enough to be dangerous at both. My introduction to the world of web development was in HTML 1.0 using notepad to write code and Photoshop 2.0 to create images. At Ford I wrote my first web publishing tools in Perl with a flat file database on a Sun Solaris system using the vi editor in terminal. I have since progressed to HTML5 and modern CSS, in conjunction with a variety of CMS systems. I really also enjoy my Ubuntu virtual machines on a Windows desktop.

  • Operations and Cross-Functional Relations 95%
  • Fifteen years ago I created eLearning, training, and publishing solutions for hundreds of business unit publishers in the Enterprise at Ford. This set the stage for years of working with inter-departmental cross-functional teams. I am comfortable working with, leading, and speaking for small and large groups of people at any level, from the plant floor to C-level.

    For the same period of time I have been writing technical documentation, project plans, and statements of work. I have written thousands of estimates and timelines, and managed (and balanced) millions of dollars in budgets. I began my IT career managing the operations of an Internet Service Provider in Ann Arbor almost 20 years ago. Since, I have managed operations of Enterprise applications and tools, as well as entire departments of on and offsite staff.

  • eCommerce, Conversion, and Personas 90%
  • When I started working online, there were no textbooks (let alone rules). You did what you thought was best, and refined it over time. In 1995, when I managed the corporate web presence for CyberZone we allowed users to signup and pay for service online at a time when people nobody knew what “eCommerce” was. Since that time I have worked on many eCommerce websites, in the Enterprise, as a startup, and in retail.

    My beginnings in eCommerce and websites started when buzzwords like “conversion” and “persona” weren’t yet used. The terms KPI hadn’t been coined yet, and A/B testing wasn’t a concept. Over the course of time I learned as the industry matured, every single website has a transaction (whether or not money is involved). The end goal is to define the transaction being performed, and refine the user experience for the best conversion rate. I have been writing user persona profiles for many years to get at the crux of this issue for projects I manage and work on.

  • Analytics, SEO, Social, and More 90%
  • I have been obsessed with web statistics for at least 18 of my 20 years in IT. It started back when all you could get was the “hit count”. Years later, I have set up hundreds of profiles, dashboards, and implemented tracking initiatives in Omniture, Google Analytics, WebTrends, Core Metrics, and other systems.

    Search engine optimization is also a deep passion of mine, both paid and organic. I have worked with SEO from the very beginnings of long tail content, to every Penguin and Panda penalty out there. I have managed PPC campaigns and accounts from $500/mo to $5,000/wk.

    Social media management and integration dovetails nicely into the SEO and analytics arenas for me, mostly because you can’t talk about one without the others. Both SEO and social are external drivers of traffic, both require appropriate landing spots (or bounce rates skyrocket), and both have distinct analytics to track success rates and ROI.

  • Vendor Management 85%
  • Vendor management is a skill I have been working at my entire career. I started years ago in the Enterprise negotiating software purchase and licensing. This progressed into managing service level agreements (SLA’s) for business units and technical support. Over the course of time I have researched and sourced technology and service vendors for web hosting, managed servers, SaaS solutions, API’s, uptime monitoring, backup solutions, hardware, and networking.

  • Strategy, Solutions, and New Technology 100%
  • Having been a champion of technology for nearly two decades, I am used to being the “go-to-guy” for solutions. My mantra has always been, if I don’t know the answer – I know where to find it. Researching new technology tools and trends is something I do every spare moment I get. Some see strategy as a series of MBA courses. I see the simplicity of the face value meaning – a plan of action to achieve a goal.

    As a leader, I consider it my job to find technical solutions for my clients and projects. The types of strategy and solutions I have provided are greatly varied, and have included everything from a complete digital brand strategy overhaul, to website redesign or rebuild. I have created strategies for microsites, paid and organic campaigns, social media, apps, kiosks, dashboards, and more. The clients have varied as well, in markets and verticals that include retail, home, engineering, manufacturing, higher education, municipalities, state agencies, and healthcare.


My Resume

work experience

Jan 2003

PTG Lead, Content Management, Ford

Nov 2006

Ford Motor Company, contracted by Compuware

Global IT Process Technology Group lead for content management research and converance. Responsibilities included technical audit of IT and business systems used worldwide for web content management, document management, and digital asset management.

+ Research team lead for open source content management research (WordPress, Mediawiki, Drupal, TypePress)
+ Collaborated with Marketing & Sales for digital asset management purchase order negotiation
+ Worked with and producers to audit existing systems and publishing processes

May 1999

Divisional Webmaster Director, Ford

June 2003

Ford Motor Company, contracted by National Tech Team

Director of Intranet websites and applications for Material Planning and Logistics (MP&L) division of Ford Motor Company. This included Intranet website, as well 10 ancillary domain and microsites, 75 business unit sub-sites, and 50 applications on Windows and Unix environments.

Responsibilities included production support for these websites and applications, and 300+ business unit content authors and developers around the globe. Support included training, migration support, architecture review, and creation and implementation of tools and technology for business unit content authoring.

+ Created global web standards and guidelines for business unit publishing
+ Implemented some of the first publishing and release tools for business units within Ford (development, staging, and production environments with deployment tools)
+ Implemented reusable technology for web components and tools
+ Instituted GPIRS help desk application with knowledgebase and chat functionality supporting 12,000 users, $1M first year cost savings
+ Created the Ford (WSO) Web Site Owner group for collaboration and communication worldwide among divisional and business unit webmasters (500 members)

Nov 2006

Senior Programmer, Team Lead, Ford

Feb 2009

Ford Motor Company, contracted by Compuware

Team lead for suite of four Enterprise supplier applications used to make real time manufacturing decisions quantity, quality and availability of product. Responsibilities include project planning, agile development, quality control, and supervision of 3 direct report programmers. + Responsible for software development lifecycle + Created best practices for software release to development, staging, and live servers + Enforced stress and regression testing guidelines in all environments

Jan 2009

Development Director and Principal, JTPratt Media

Aug 2012

Boutique Agency, Adrian, MI

Principal and Development Director for media agency serving SMB and Enterprise clients. Responsibilities include digital strategy, media planning, and project management. Staff of 10 direct reports including designers, developers, QA, analytics, social media, and SEO.

+ SEO / PPC maintenance contract for Trilithic, 3+ years
+ Website development and maintenance contract, Avtec, Inc, 3+ years
+ Website maintenance and SEO / social management, Spanish International, 3 years
+ Digital strategy and web development, SPI, 2 years
+ Public speaker at WordCamp Detroit, WordCamp Columbus, and Washtenaw Community College on open source, SEO, and freelance management topics

May 2011

Director Digital, AFM Digital

August 2012

Web Startup, Detroit, MI

Digital Director for digital marketplace startup. Responsible for global product and technology strategy, content marketing and social plan, and operations management. Recruited and directed both development and social media teams. Directed the company through two rounds of funding, and managed aggressive launch schedule.

+ Go-to market strategy launched website on time and within budget

Sept 2012

Director of Interactive, Hart Associates

Present Day

Advertising Agency, Maumee, Ohio

Director of the Interactive department for the agency. Direct reports include front end UI/UX, backend developers, QA, Analytics, SEO, and Project Management. We build a wide range of digital products including responsive mobile-first websites, web apps (standalone HTML5 and SaaS), digital media ad campaigns, e-commerce websites, mobile and tablet apps, and informational websites. Solutions include both LAMP and dot net products, both custom and CMS driven (WordPress, Umbraco, Kentico, Sitemaker, Drupal, and proprietary healthcare systems).

Responsibilities include digital strategy for client projects, product management, goal and KPI analysis, operations management, vendor management, creation of statements of work and estimates, internal and external staffing, process improvement and implementation, channel planning, and new product creation.

+ Digital strategy for clients in retail, e-commerce, healthcare, manufacturing, municipal, and educational sectors
+ Implemented best practices and standards for coding and environments
+ Created new service lines and packages for SEO, competitive analysis, security, dashboard analytics, and website maintenance
+ Instituted security and hardening standards for CMS driven websites
+ Process implementation for digital work flow from concept to deployment
+ Leading a department of twelve direct reports

Education experience



Google Certified Adwords Expert


Owens College

Management certificates

Being a Great Facilitator
Defining the Role of the Supervisor


Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) Classes, Ford Motor Company


Fairlane Training Development Center, Dearborn, MI

Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW) Classes

CIW Web Foundations Associate

  • Internet Business Associate certification
  • Development Associate certification
  • Network Technology Associate certification
CIW Design Professional
  • Web Design Specialist certification
  • E-Commerce Specialist certification
CIW Web Development Professional
  • JavaScript Specialist certification
  • Database Design Specialist certification
  • Perl Specialist certification
CIW Web Security Professional
  • Web Security Specialist certification


Siena Heights College

Bachelor of Science

Dean's list achiever



"Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless."

- Jack Welch