James
Gillen

Chief Development & Marketing Officer

Tampa, FL

Most rewarding thing about working here?

As a veteran myself as well as the son of a Vietnam veteran I know the importance having a sense of purpose in life as we contribute our skills and talents in building up our community, as well as our fellow veterans. Being able to put the skills that I have developed throughout my career in to action to help further that mission is a distinct honor.

Job prior to The Mission Continues

Prior to joining The Mission Continues, I served as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for United Way Suncoast. As the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, I was responsible for creating the strategic vision for United Way Suncoast’s overall marketing and communications function, as well as steward the organization’s brand reputation in the communities served by United Way Suncoast and their strategic community partners.

What is a hidden gem in your hometown?

I grew up in the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee where there are so many hidden gems that were easy to take for granted as a child. The people are probably what I would consider as a hidden gem. They are incredibly welcoming, patriotic and community minded. They would truly give a stranger the shirt of their backs or their last bite of food. Beautiful country and even more beautiful people.

If you dined with anyone, who would it be?

It would be my great grandfather, Isaac Raymond Bogart. I was fortunate to have him around until I was 16, but as a teenager I wasn’t yet wise enough to just sit down and get to know him personally. I would love the opportunity to do that.

Which is your favorite movie(s)?

There are so many, but I definitely like the Godfather series.

Which is a song(s) that describes you?

“Electric Avenue” by Eddie Grant. It just reminds me of when I got my first car and was cruising through town. It was always on and brings back those memories.

Which book is on your nightstand?

Currently re-reading a book called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi

What was your first concert?

I didn’t get to go to any concerts when I was a teenager, so my first concert was when I took my younger teenage brother to his first concert to see “Sound Garden”.

What is your hometown?

Johnson City, Tennessee

What is your favorite winter activity?

Since I live in Florida, it would be hanging out at the beach with my family in the middle of December, enjoying the beautiful warm weather and then sharing the pics with my family that lives up north.

What is your favorite food(s) or meal?

Sushi