Gerod Rody is the Director of Marketing at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), a sustainable business graduate school located in the Seattle area. Gerod is also a graduate of BGI, earning his MBA in Sustainable Business in 2009 with a double emphasis in Green Building and Community Economic Development.
Prior to joining BGI, Gerod worked in various marketing and community engagement positions in the built environment sector including gProjects, Meyer Wells and Jackson Nyberg. Gerod also developed Organic Comfort Food Cafe in Puyallup, the first organic restaurant in Pierce County, WA.
Gerod’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Washington in Seattle, where he majored in European Studies, focusing on Sweden and the intersection of housing models, immigration and national identity. In addition to study abroad terms in Stockholm and Reykjavik, Gerod was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, where he served as Social Chair and representative to the Inter-fraternity Council. In 2000, he completed a program on religious cultural understanding in England and Turkey as a gap year after graduating high school in Puyallup, WA.
In addition to his role at BGI, Gerod is the Founder and Board President of OUT for Sustainability, a nonprofit that engages and mobilizes the LGBTQ community to advance social and environmental sustainability. Gerod has been featured in the Seattle Times, among others, and was recognized as one of the 40 People Redefining Green by Grist.org.
- Born in Portland, OR after a 27 hour labor
- Obsessed with dogs, settled for a turtle (Racer)
- Big on puzzles, exploring the creek and reading
- Knew I was gay since I can remember
- Named after, and take after, both my grandfathers (Donald and Gerald)
- Voted most organized in 8th grade
- The biggest trouble I’ve ever been in was for rocking my feet during prayer in 7th grade Bible class
- Played piano for 8 years and performed in 2 high school musicals (Barbershop Bass in the Music Man, Slim in Oklahoma)
- Sang baritone in choirs from 8th grade to college freshman at UW
- Traveled solo through Iberia for a month after H.S. before a 6 month cultural/missionary/bible school in England and Turkey
- Studied how housing impacts culture, focused on Sweden, at UW with additional focus on business, architecture and small-state global politics/policy
- Member of Pi Kappa Phi, Alpha Delta Chapter at UW
- Finally came out as gay while studying in Stockholm, Sweden
- Developed the first organic cafe in Pierce County
- Designed/planned over 40 major events, including 12 weddings
- Studied sustainable business at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute to learn more on creating community through systems design
I add value to cutting-edge organizations by connecting vision to action. As a creative problem solver I develop intuitive systems to manage innovative projects. Above all, I build relationships that make a positive impact in the organization and the world.
Director of Marketing
Direct all aspects of marketing and communications with key influence on strategy and business development. Launched Pinchot as “a university for the common good” connecting several merged entities. Managed all aspects of the process including rollout messaging and implementation, community engagement, name change with key agencies, digital and print colleratl vision, design and production. Formalized professional development into a branded program, reformed the annual business plan competition, and reformed communications strategy. Manage a collaborative team of five within marketing and support all other departments including advancement and academics.
Director of Marketing (Acting)
September 2013-January 2014
Directed all aspects of marketing and communications, while continuing work on branding a merger with a new name and visual identity. Served as chief liaison with the creative firm, closely managing naming and messaging, logo and brand facets and rollout to internal and external audiences. Restructured the budget to focus on high ROI investments including digital media, additional staff time for communications, social media, public relations and writing in lieu of low return print and radio advertising. Enhanced relationships with key stakeholders including the institution board, alumni board and current student groups resulting in more effective brand ambassadors.
Marketing Project Manager
April 2012-September 2013
Initiated and managed an organization-wide brand update including visual identity, messaging, website, and collateral. Developed and managed event strategy, advertising and creative development, tracked the departmental budget, managed vendors, managed website and social media, and managed work study interns as well as maintaining the department function during management transitions.
Marketing and Communications Associate
October 2009-April 2012
Increased brand effectiveness by developing new tools including social media and blogging, redesigning and producing collateral, increasing internal and external communications for greater brand advocacy, maintained strong marketing performance through management transitions, launched a new and differently formatted MBA, and kept recruitment strong despite a significant decrease in the market.
Founder, Board President
Founded and developed the first gay sustainability nonprofit into a network of thousands with international attention. Manage the all volunteer board, educational and volunteer events, and programs making deep local impact like Earth Gay and global reach, such as Greener Pride.
Improved back office procedure managing business accounts, restructuring payroll systems, changing employee medical insurance providers, and preparing 15 months of amended tax returns and B&O tax audits. Also ghost wrote for publications, prepared presentations, and developed social media.
To increase brand awareness and customer retention, developed and implemented a marketing plan consisting of a newsletter, blog, business development and events.
Developed the business model to serve diverse audiences, and went on to manage site selection, brand identity, build-out plan, interior design, contractor management, and marketing plan. Performed an operations analysis to assess business opportunities after the café’s first year.
MBA in Sustainable Business
Reinforced by a curriculum that fully integrated sustainability into each course, my focus was on how organizations innovate to consider social and environmental impact in strategic and tactical decisions.
BA in European Studies
With a focus on business, architecture, and international studies, and studies in Stockholm and Reykjavik, my thesis focused on identity and immigration in the context of housing models in Sweden.
Green City Growers
Capstone MBA Project 2009
Chief Marketing Officer for business case expanding a backyard garden company in New England from start-up to 20 Million in revenue in five years.
Feasibility Study 2008-2009
Modeled the case for redeveloping Boeing Plant 2 in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle, WA from a Superfund site into a green education center and green job incubator.
Spark! by CCDC
Student Consultant 2007-2008
Collaborated to launch an energy efficiency program, including comparable program research, brand identity and website for the Charlottesville Community Design Center in Virginia.
Feasibility Study 2005-2006
Modeled the case for redeveloping an assemblage of 12 blocks of the Warehouse District of Tacoma, WA into a mixed use retail, entertainment and residential neighborhood.
With several re-brands and a few brand origination’s under my belt, I’ve realized that good branding tells a story at a glance and the more that visual is unpacked, the richer it gets. Favorite rebrand: OUT for Sustainability
Mixing best practices with intuition, I’ve successfully managed a range of challenging projects including the new branding and website finished on time and under budget at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
Framing the benefits of an organization or company authentically is largely about developing the touch points that demonstrate values and need alignment with your target audience, like at Meyer Wells.
Real Estate development is a giant puzzle without all the pieces predetermined. From the business case to the material sourcing, each detail depends on each other, like at Organic Comfort Food Cafe.
Getting dirty in the financial details, clarifying them to paint a picture of the present and future is so fun. I’ve managed various sets of numbers, including my capstone MBA business plan for Green City Growers.
Strategy connects vision to action, something I’ve loved since I was a child developing 25 year plans to achieve my dreams. Now I get to help realize others dreams, like at Seattle LGBTQ Community Development.
The Rise of Equality in Business
Trim Tab by Cascadia Green Building Council
OUT for Sustainability
GSBA Perspectives Magazine
EcoBuilding Times by Northwest EcoBuilding Guild (ghost writer)
Community Through Throughtful Design and Construction
Arcade Magazine (ghost writer)
Reused Materials Give New Projects a Story to Tell
Bloom 7 in Seattle, WA
Coming Out for Sustainability
Reaching Out MBA Conference in Boston, MA
Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility – Panel
EPA Region 9 in San Fransisco, CA
Annual Luncheon – Keynote
EPA Region 10 in Seattle, WA
Lecture Series – Presentation
GreenFest 2011 in Seattle, WA
Sustainability and Sexuality – Panel
GreenFest 2010 in Seattle, WA
Youth Engagement – Panel
Diversity in the Environment – Panel
Great City at GGLO in Seattle, WA
Brownbag Series – Presentation