Jamie began his professional career as multimedia designer with what is now Meredith Corporation (formerly Southern Progress Corporation/Time, Inc.). His department launched the company’s first web site, ProgressiveFarmer.com, in 1995, and he designed version 1.0 of both SouthernLiving.com and CoastalLiving.com. Contrary to most multi-platform journalists in the late 1990s, Jamie moved from digital media to print media to become Senior Editor of The Progressive Farmer magazine, where he worked on all facets of the magazine’s repositioning from an agribusiness trade magazine to a rural lifestyle consumer publication. He was named Managing Editor of the magazine in 2008, and guided the magazine’s print and digital efforts, including the popular “Best Places To Live In Rural America” program.
In 2009, Jamie left the magazine to join Advanced Content/Red Barn Media Group as its Creative Director.
In the past 12 years, Red Barn’s projects have won numerous awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association (AAEA) and the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA). AAEA named Jamie its Designer of the Year in 2012, its Writer of the Year in both 2010 and 2013 (runner-up in 2016), its Photographer of the Year in 2016 and Communicator of the Year in 2021—the only person in the organization’s history to win all four of its major journalism and marketing communication awards. Under his leadership, Red Barn has been awarded First Place from AAEA in three of the last five years for results of our content marketing programs in social media, and is five of five in overall websites and website design.
Jamie has also been awarded by Folio, the American Society of Business Press Editors, and the National Agri-Marketing Association, along with writing and reporting honors from Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press and Southeastern Journalism Conference.
Jamie graduated from Jacksonville State University in Alabama with a BS degree in Communication and a minor in English. He was the John C. Turner Outstanding Graduate in Communication, and served as president of the Jacksonville chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and as Editor in Chief of JSU’s award-winning student newspaper, The Chanticleer. He also taught interactive journalism courses at JSU.
He received his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama, and also received the department’s Outstanding Graduate Student award. He taught in the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and is a member of the school’s Institute for Communication and Information Research Advisory Board. He received the Department of Journalism’s Outstanding Research award in 2013. Recent research includes the first American academic work focused on credibility in brand journalism (published in the Spring 2014 issue of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly). He also received the Robert Lance Memorial Award from the American Journalism Historians Association for outstanding research in 2012. As an experienced content marketer and media effects researcher, Jamie was asked by SAGE Publications to write articles defining the terms “Content Marketing” and “Native Advertising” for the upcoming SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society (2019).
Jamie lives in Alabaster, Alabama, south of Birmingham, with his wife Charissa and son Sullivan Thomas. In 2020, he was elected to the Alabaster City Council. In his spare time, he serves on the boards of the Alabaster Arts Council, the Alabaster City Schools Foundation, the Alabama Governor’s School, and the American Agricultural Editors’ Association. He also plays piano anywhere someone will let him.