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Capitol Communicator is running a series featuring an in-depth look at communicators in the mid-Atlantic.  In this “Up Close and Personal” profile, we feature Charlie Jones of the Futures Industry Association. Photography for the series is by Cade Martin; wardrobe styling by Pascale Lemaire for THE Artist Agency; and hair and makeup was by Patti D Nelson and Janice Kinigopoulos for THE Artist Agency.

Charlie, tell us a bit about yourself.

I am vice president of Global Brand Management for the Futures Industry Association (FIA), which is the leading trade organization for the futures, options and cleared swaps markets worldwide – our advocacy efforts support open, transparent and competitive markets, protect and enhance the integrity of the financial system and promote high standards of professional conduct.  At FIA, I’m responsible for the marketing, conferences and member services departments.  Throughout my career, I’ve held various roles in marketing and communications working in both corporate and non-profit sectors.  The bulk of my corporate experience comes from 10 years at AT&T in various management roles in sales, marketing, product development and corporate relations here in the U.S. and overseas in Hong Kong.  For the past 12 years, my career passion has been in association management helping to build organizational models that enable a sophisticated state-of-the-art approach to marketing, branding and member engagement.

Are you involved in other organizations?

I support causes and initiatives that help drive and educate the public on diversity and human rights.  Professionally, since I moved into association management, I’ve been an active volunteer and conference speaker for the association that represents association professionals, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), and currently serve on the ASAE International Council.

What are the things you are most proud of?

My friends! I’ve been very fortunate to meet some amazing people; many of become life-long friends.  They say you can tell a great deal about a person by the company they keep…I’m especially proud of the circle of friends I’m lucky enough to have in my life who’ve been inspiring, supportive and a joy to share my life with. I’m also proud of the fact that I can still play a pretty competitive game of tennis, sometimes beating guys 20 years younger than me!

Who were your personal role models?

I spent most of my childhood without a father, so it was my mother who had the greatest influence on the development of my character, she taught me what it takes to be tenacious and to always try and be grateful.  Uncle Charlie, who showed me how to be a gentleman.  My mother’s best friend, Lee Reed, she ignited my curiosity for seeing and experiencing the world.

Did your role models offer professional advice?

Early in my career, I had a mentor who showed me the value of knowing the details of both sides of an argument when negotiating and the immense power of imagination in business.

What professional advice do you have for others?

Whatever role you have in an organization, approach it as an opportunity to build and take on responsibilities beyond your “job description” and you will be successful. Also, remember that none of us get anywhere on our own, so build and cultivate your network and do what you can to return the favor when others are in need.

What advice do you have on what’s appropriate attire for your organization?

Attire matters in that it conveys what you think of yourself, as well as your organization.  At FIA, we have a casual dress policy but that doesn’t mean we should forget about what we wear to the office.  I’m most comfortable in jeans, sport coat and loafers.  I’ve always believed that we define our own style, not that the current style defines us, so I try and stay true to what I’m most comfortable wearing.

Where do you buy most of the clothes you wear in the office?

I like to shop for clothes when I’m traveling, whether I’m in NYC (West Village), Los Angeles (Melrose Avenue) or Hong Kong (custom tailoring in Wan Chai).  Locally, my go-to places are, most often, Saks, Hugo Boss or Bloomingdales.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

I love travel and art! Traveling to over 40 countries and working throughout Asia Pacific really had an impact on me in that I’m constantly seeking out diversity of thought and perspective.   My travels continue to be a creative force for me professionally and as an artist/painter.  In 2001, I started painting on a whim and now, as an established artist, my paintings are sold around the country; as well as donated for charity auctions including American Cancer Society, Human Rights Campaign, College Bound and, this month, Academy of Friends Annual Gala in San Francisco.

(Check out other Capitol Communicator profiles at www.capitolcommunicator.com)

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