Interview number thirteen with Jordan Zimmerman.

Justin Higgins: “Hi Jordan, what life advice do you have for young adults?”

Jordan Zimmerman: “Hi Justin. My life advice for young adults is as follows:

First, find your passion in life and make a fulfilling career out of it. Find that passion like you find your passion for sports or for education and then apply your educational platform around that passion to become more focused on the end result, which is having a career you look forward to pursuing every day. Work should not feel like work. Work should feel like a sport or just plain old fun.

Second, don’t chase the paychecks. Chase the passion! One day, the money will come.”

Jordan Zimmerman is Founder, Chairman and architect of the Zimmerman Advertising empire, now the 14th largest advertising agency in the world with published billings in excess of $3 billion.

Jordan Zimmerman founded his company in 1984 working tirelessly, personifying an insane commitment to be the best. Jordan trademarked his own term, “Brandtailing®”- a maverick combination of long-term brand building and short-term sales boosting that delivers measurable results. This methodology became well known throughout the advertising industry and is the hallmark of Jordan Zimmerman’s success.

Jordan Zimmerman is known as “Advertising’s Bad Boy” and his list of winning clients is a “who’s who” of the retail world. His is the firm that is behind such great brands as ADT, Atlantis, AutoNation, Ashley Furniture, Boston Market, Carfax, CBS, Chico’s, Chuck E. Cheese, Consolidated Credit, Dish Network, Dunkin’ Donuts, Extended Stay America, Firehouse Subs, five Below, The Florida Panthers, The Fresh Market, hhgregg, Jamba Juice, Kanes, Lane Bryant, La-Z-Boy, Lennar, Logan’s Roadhouse, Lucky Brand, Michaels, Office Depot, Papa John’s, Party City, Pep Boys, Nissan, Saks Fifth Avenue, Soma, Tire Kingdom, Toys”R”Us, White Castle, White House Black Market, Modell’s, Advance America and many more. The list is long and impressive, and ever growing.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

Jordan is highly respected within the advertising world and often asked to address industry groups and participate in panel discussions across the country. In May 2013, Jordan delivered the Mirren New Business Conference keynote speech, opening the two-day marketing and advertising industry meeting in New York City. February of 2015 saw Jordan as a keynote speaker for the Cleveland Clinic Florida Leading in Healthcare conference. He, along with Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of GE, shared their styles on company growth and leadership in today’s fast paced, social and digital environment.

April of 2015 brought perhaps the most prestigious honor that any American could ever dream of being awarded. Jordan Zimmerman was one of twelve individuals inducted into the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. The tremendous honor is bestowed upon individuals who triumphed over adversity in their lives and achieved success despite obstacles that they overcame.

Jordan has been featured numerous times in South Florida CEO Magazine, where he continues to make the list of the “One Hundred Most Powerful People in South Florida.” The first man to grace the cover of Simply the Best magazine in June 2016, Jordan shares his perspective from the top. Two years prior, he was featured as the October 2014 cover story for South Florida Business and Wealth magazine. He received the 2013 FAU Business Leader of the Year Award and had the distinguished honor of being named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®, receiving the 2012 Award for the Corporate Innovator Category. That same year, Jordan received the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council Economic Development Leadership Award.

In April of 2016, Jordan was selected as a Laureate for Junior Achievement of South Florida, recognizing his remarkable philanthropy in the South Florida community.

His alma mater, the University of South Florida, named him USF Entrepreneur of the Year in 1991. In 2007, he was again honored with the University of South Florida Distinguished Alumnus Award. Further, in 2013, Jordan was named one of USF’s Fast 56, the 56 fastest growing “Bull owned” or “Bull run” businesses in Florida.

Through The Jordan Zimmerman Family Foundation, he generously supports the University of South Florida and its unrivaled Zimmerman Advertising Program (ZAP), a specialized program that he founded and continues to support. The curriculum is wide ranging and advertising focused as ZAP is housed in The Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications and the Muma College of Business at USF. Students live together and study together in the ZAP Living Learning Community. The building and the program are Jordan’s legacy, as together they evidence his passion for his alma mater, his industry and education.

Jordan has the distinguished honor of having been appointed by former Governor Charlie Crist to serve on the USF Board of Trustees and was recently reappointed by Governor Rick Scott to serve another 5-year term as a USF Trustee. In his local community Jordan is serving his second 6-year term as a Trustee for Pine Crest School where he built the Zimmerman Family Athletic Complex. His recent gift to the School’s endowment built and continues to fund The Zimmerman Family Innovation and Technology Institute and the Zimmerman Family Innovation and Technology Program at Pine Crest School. The specialized program, housed in the Zimmerman iLabs, harnesses student-driven creative collaboration in a genuine and committed culture of innovation. Pine Crest School is one of only two independent schools in the country with dedicated iLabs supporting an evolving modern curriculum designed around STEM core.

In 2004, Jordan was one of ten people selected to receive the South Florida Business Journal’s Diamond Award. In 2006, he received the Florence Fuller Child Development Center’s “Biggest Heart” Award. Other honors include the prestigious 2008 Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Award from the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, and the 2008 University of South Florida’s Kappa Tau Alpha Hall of Fame Award recognizing outstanding leadership in the field of mass communication and journalism in the State of Florida.

Jordan believes strongly in philanthropy and giving back to the greater community. He is a Golden Circle Member of the National MS Society. Other organizations he supports include Cleveland Clinic Florida, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Jack & Jill Children’s Center, Take Stock in Children, Junior Achievement of South Florida, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Boca Raton Regional Hospital, Kids In Distress, Pine Crest School, Congregation B’nai Israel, The Florida Council of 100, Museum of Discovery & Science, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance CEO Council, City of Fort Lauderdale, Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the Florida Council on Economic Education, Nova Southeastern University, Florida Atlantic University, St. Baldrick’s Foundation and the United Way of Palm Beach County.

Originally published at