"My expectations for Joe were extremely high when he officially joined the COMBAT team... and he has continually met and often exceeded those expectations. I have come to depend on Joe's talent, experience and expertise—and take for granted he wil always do an exceptional job. It is not hyperbole to say Joe can do it all."
Vince Ortega - Jackson County COMBAT Director
Few of the people I’ve meet who work in public relations and marketing can match Joe Loudon’s intelligence, integrity, creativity and versatility. How many people about whom can you accurately say they are a professional writer, professional photographer, professional graphic artist and professional website designer? Just as impressive is Joe’s ability to organize and strategize—and to genuinely connect with people.
Jackson County’s Community Backed Anti-Crime Tax (COMBAT) program involves more than 100 social services and treatment initiatives, myriad non-profit agencies, every local police department, the Prosecutor’s Office, schools, hospitals, elected officials, and concerned citizens. We meet with people from all walks of life. I’ve seen Joe instantly put recovering addicts and gunshot wound survivors at ease, so that they will open up to him and share their stories. He has also become the go-to person for other members of our staff seeking advice and assistance or just needing someone with whom to talk. Joe’s philosophy is simple: no one has to earn his respect, everyone has it automatically.
When we created a communications/marketing position for COMBAT, I knew Joe would be the right person for the job. I was already familiar with his work from his time in the county’s Communications Department. (Under Joe’s leadership the county went from having one of the worst local government websites in the area to one of the best.) He certainly stood out from all of our other applicants. My expectations for Joe were extremely high when he officially joined the COMBAT team in April of 2019, and he has continually met and often exceeded those expectations. I have come to depend on Joe’s talent, experience and expertise—and to take for granted he will always do an exceptional job.
It is not hyperbole to say he can do it all. The quality of Joe’s work rivals any I’ve seen produced by any marketing agency. He has become COMBAT’s one-man PR agency. He simply has a talent for breaking down complex topics and molding messages that create in each target demographic a sense of clarity and being truly invested in an issue’s resolution. The articles he’s written for our website go far above and beyond what you’d expect from a typical PR specialist. His background as an award-winning feature writer shines through. He does more than inform, he engages. In the last few months alone, Joe’s own storytelling skills have helped COMBAT receive some of the most positive media coverage it has in the last decade.
I know Joe and his wife have made the decision to relocate to the Rocky Mountains. Our loss will be someone else’s gain. I honestly don’t believe we would be able to replace Joe with only one person. Joe will never let you down. The quality of his work will lift you up.
Jackson County COMBAT Executive Director
Kansas City Missouri Police Department Deputy Chief (Retired)
"I’ve never had the pleasure of working with another individual as highly skilled or motivated to excel as Joe Loudon. More than the quintessential “Jack of all trades,” he is the master of many.... I would have liked to have had Joe cloned.... Joe was the go-to guy to save the day."
Lisa Carter - NBC News Radio Anchor (Former Jackson County PIO)
I’ve never had the pleasure of working with another individual as highly skilled or motivated to excel as Joe Loudon. More than the quintessential “Jack of all trades,” he is the master of many: a brilliant writer… a gifted photographer... a fantastic graphic artist… an outstanding website designer… a methodical project manager... a savvy media relations specialist… a super smart strategist… all rolled into one. I would have liked to have had Joe cloned, so he could have worked full time in each of these capacities, during the time I served as the Jackson County, Missouri public information officer.
I soon realized in a Jackson County Communications Department of eight people one person stood out. First, I was shocked to learn that on a staff that size—for an organization that complex, with a dozen elected officials, nearly two dozen departments, about 40 commissions and countless other programs—Joe was the lone copywriter. He had to write it all, everything from condolence letters to the State of the County Address. That’s more work than one person could typically handle. Joe made it look easy. He always got the job done on time, and the work he produced was, without exception, exceptional. (As a copy editor, I never had it so easy.)
By the way, Joe had another full-time job. As the county’s web master, he kept six websites up and running in an antiquated management system that required him to be a different kind of writer, writing code. Honestly, I never understood the technical side of the web work he did. I just know he continually kept those websites from crashing.
Joe’s other skills were more obvious to me. During my career in print and broadcast journalism, as well as public relations, I never met a more talented or more versatile writer. Joe’s writing grabs your attention and holds it. He knows how to make the complex understandable, if not simple. He can create feature articles that stir your emotions and ad copy that generates a real buzz. Any national news magazine or prestigious marketing agency would be thrilled to have Joe on its staff.
Joe’s media acumen as a former newspaper reporter made him an invaluable resource for me as the PIO. He wrote most of our news releases. He anticipated the most difficult questions journalists might pose, understood how to “control the message” and stressed “getting out front of the story.”
What may have impressed me most about Joe was that he seemed unflappable. Though highly organized, he was also flexible—able to adjust priorities seamlessly. Deadline pressure never fazed him. He kept his calm when others who were less organized and often prone to panic would frantically turn to him to help complete their projects at the last minute. (Joe was the go-to guy to save the day.)
Finally, Joe’s ability to genuinely connect with everyone at Jackson County, from the highest elected officials to the maintenance staff emptying the trash cans speaks volumes about his character. He treats everyone with respect. He’s intelligent, creative, polite and always willing to lend a hand. I miss him. If you have an opportunity to hire Joe, seize it. It’ll be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Lisa Carter – NBC News Radio National Anchor
"Joe’s skill set is nothing short of remarkable. I think that is his best attribute to a potential employer, the wide range of professional capabilities he brings to the table. It certainly made him stand out here. Joe is not only a talented writer who can create, edit and handle features and news stories, but a professional photographer, graphic designer and Web master. That complete of a skill set is almost impossible to find.... I’ve worked with some of the top reporters in the nation, many talented people.... I can honestly say he is the best co-worker I’ve ever had, bar none."
Jeff Sikes - USTA Southwest Marketing/Communications Director
To Whom it May Concern:
I was Joe Loudon’s colleague for two years, from 2005-2007, here at the United States Tennis Association/Missouri Valley. My title with the USTA is Senior Communications Coordinator, and I deal with Public Relations/Media/Web site content for a five-state region of nearly 25,000 members.
I wish Joe the best in his professional endeavors and believe he would be an excellent addition to Graceland University’s athletic staff. This letter of recommendation should be received as my endorsement of Joe’s abilities and skills, and my belief that he would be an invaluable addition to any
company he sought employment from.
Joe and I were two members of a three-person Marketing and Communications Department from June 2005 to July 2007. As I told our boss when Joe left, he was probably the best employee we had on staff. I was very dismayed when Joe decided to explore other opportunities because I knew we’d have an enormous challenge in finding his replacement.
Joe’s skill set is nothing short of remarkable. I think that is his best attribute to a potential employer, the wide range of professional capabilities he brings to the table. It certainly made him stand out here. Joe is not only a talented writer who can create, edit and handle features and news stories, but a professional photographer, graphic designer and Web master. That complete of a skill set is almost impossible to find.
He was the editor of our 12-page quarterly publication CrossCourt, compiled and created an 84-page annual yearbook by himself. In addition, he served as our primary Web master. Each one of the things that Joe worked on garnered us acclaim across the nation’s tennis community because of their quality. From the time Joe came to work with us, the look, feel and quality of everything we did Communications wise increased exponentially. His projects were always on time and under budget.
I’d been a sports reporter for eight years prior to coming to this job, and I’ve worked with some of the top reporters in the nation, many talented people. I worked with Joe for a little over two years and I can honestly say he is the best co-worker I’ve ever had, bar none. He was also a mentor and a teacher to me even though that wasn’t his role. More than anything, Joe is a stand-up guy and a quality person who would be a welcome addition to any employer.
USTA Southwest Marketing/Communications Director
"I was most impressed by his work ethic. Joe did whatever it took to get the job done, and to manage a slate of constantly shifting priorities. Joe was always tuned into the big picture and frequently identified opportunities to try something new, or capitalize off of a nationwide trend in transit.... I can't tell you how much I miss his initiative, willingness to roll his sleeves up and dig in, his professionalism, loyalty and certainly his communication skills. He was someone I could count on in any situation."
Cynthia Baker - KCATA Director of Marketing
To Whom It May Concern:
It is my pleasure to offer this letter of recommendation for Joe Loudon, who I hired as a Media/Publications Coordinator several years ago. During Joe's time at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, he reinvigorated our communications efforts by his work on internal and external communications. When I first hired Joe, I was impressed with his strong copywriting skills, but soon discovered his eye for graphics and photography. A look through his portfolio reveals his talent in photography, and his creativity.
In addition to the strong skills set that Joe brought to the KCATA, I have to say I was most impressed by his work ethic. Joe did whatever it took to get the job done, and to manage a slate of constantly shifting priorities. Joe was always tuned into the big picture and frequently identified opportunities to try something new, or capitalize off of a nationwide trend in transit.
Joe's broad communications background makes him an asset in any communications setting. He was a reporter, so he knows how to think like a reporter. He knows how to pitch stories that will appeal to the media, positioning his organization in the most positive light.
When Joe left the KCATA, the position was not filled due to budget reasons. I can't tell you how much I miss his initiative, willingness to roll his sleeves up and dig in, his professionalism, loyalty and certainly his communication skills. He was someone I could count on in any situation. In answer to the old reference question "would you hire again," the answer would be a resounding "yes, with pleasure."
Director of Marketing
Kansas City Area Transportation Authority
"Joe has a passion for his work.... I know, upon his leaving, none of his previous employers have been able to maintain the outstanding quality he gave them. If you are fortunate enough to get Joe to join your staff, that will be the day when your organ-ization’s communications efforts will reach a higher level."
Steve Tinnen - Tinnen Publishing Publisher
To Whom It May Concern:
First, the good employees are the ones that have the qualifications and use them on a daily basis. The great employees are the ones that possess these attributes, but they also have a passion for their job. Joe has a passion for his work and has demonstrated his abilities at a high level, a level where even his peers have recognized his work. For example, during his employment at the Cameron Citizen-Observer, their sports coverage received extensive statewide and even some national recognition, and Joe was responsible for that coverage, the layout and photos. All were judged as either the best or near the top when evaluated by his peers.
His boss, the now deceased publisher of the Citizen-Observer Craig Watkins, valued Joe’s passion for doing the job and doing it well. Thus, he promoted Joe several times and considered him an employee he did not want to lose.
Though Joe left the newspaper industry several years ago, I have remained in touch with him through the years, using him repeatedly for freelance projects while trying to coax him to join my staff. He has had a highly successful marketing/public relations career and has a rare talent for writing, graphic design and photography, all at a professional level. I know, upon his leaving, none of his previous employers have been able to maintain the outstanding quality he gave them.
If you are fortunate enough to get Joe to join your staff, that will be the day when your organization’s communications efforts will reach a higher level.