Tag Archives: High Gear Media

Happy New Year: Reflecting On 2012


Once again I find myself sitting in a plane flying at 30,000 feet reflecting on the past year. It’s crazy to me that it’s already 2013, I mean, what happened to 2012? Let’s take a moment and look back at the year in the life of “J Fed.”

As many of you know, Karen and I moved to Portland, Oregon back in October of 2011. That means 2012 was our first full year living on the West Coast. The best way to describe it would be to say it’s been a year of exploring and learning. We’ve made new friends, tried new restaurants, visited new places, and most of all, made new memories together. We’ve also been called Hotel Feder, as we’ve been fortunate enough to have many friends and family come to visit us in our new home.

The Cottage

I somehow managed to finagle my way to the cabin back in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota quite a few times. My time on Lake Melissa was well spent with a healthy amount of waterskiing, fishing, and relaxing on the boat. Karen and I managed to spend a week there together which was very nice, and yes, Otto came as well. My sister, Karen, and I also surprised my parents at the cabin for their 30th anniversary with an unannounced visit, along with a small gathering of their lake friends. The look on their faces when the three of us walked into that cabin was priceless.

The Car Connection's Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster

Karen and I took our first ever (and if you ask her, last) cross-country road trip this past summer. The vehicle of choice was The Car Connection’s Six-Month Road Test Hyundai Veloster. That’s right, we drove from Portland, Oregon to Minneapolis, Minnesota in an Orange Hyundai Veloster. We also made a stop at Yellowstone National Park, along with Iowa to visit her family, and of course the cabin in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. All in we drove about 3,000 miles during the trip. I thought it was fun, Karen said we made memories, and Otto was just along for the ride.

Joel and Karen in Israel

Karen and I managed to get away this year in the form of a 10 day trip to Israel. We went on Birthright together, and it was truly a trip of a lifetime. We did it all, from riding camels and swimming in the Dead Sea, to hiking Mount Masada and visiting the Western Wall. Memories were made, friendships were formed, and life experiences were had.

This past August marked my second year working at High Gear Media. While my title hasn’t changed from Social Media Manager, I’ve taken on a whole new host of responsibilities. From managing our videos and being our front man with OEMs and marketing agencies, to helping test iOS apps and brainstorming new concepts, there’s never a dull moment. I’m looking forward to even more responsibility and new assignments in 2013.

JD Power Automotive Marketing Round Table 2012

I know you’re patiently waiting for an update on the furriest member of our household, the one and only Otto. We’ve lost count of which Mr. Fox we are on at this point, but it doesn’t seem to matter as Otto always appears to enjoy destroying him. Otto’s continued his travels, and at this point would likely have quite a few doggy air miles, if such a thing existed. Karen reminded me that this year Otto made his first trip to a pumpkin patch. He was a bit intimidated at first, but after a few minutes he decided it was safe to run around all the round things on the ground.

Otto in Pumpkin Patch Karen, Nonnie, and Joel

We had planned to spend Thanksgiving with friends down in California, but unfortunately we ended up making a trip home as my grandmother passed away at the age of 92 years old. She was the matriarch of our family, and the void she’s left can not be filled. She was an amazing woman who taught me so many things. She will never be forgotten.

The silver lining in her passing was that we were able to spend Thanksgiving with our family back in Minneapolis. Everyone really did pull together, and we tried to make the best of it. It was nice to be with family.

I know about this time last year I promised that this blog would receive more attention. If you spend even a few moments on this site, you’ll see that promise was broken. I swear it wasn’t really a lie, but merely something I just couldn’t deliver on in the end. Between work and my personal life, the blog has received less attention. It comes down to a mere lack of time, rather than a lack of motivation. As we go into the new year I won’t be promising that this blog will return to its former glory multiple posts every week, but I can say I’d like to see myself post here more frequently. We’ll see what happens.

While not as many changes in my life as 2011 (moving across the country, getting married, getting a different car, selling a car, etc), I would overall put 2012 in the win pile. It was a great year with some terrific memories.

So once again I find myself wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year.

2011 Los Angeles Auto Show: See You There

Hey-O! It’s auto show season again and it’s time to pack the DSLR, grab the backup batteries for my iPhone, and of course, buy a few cases of Monster Lo-Carb. I’m headed to Los Angeles today so I can see all the newest vehicles in the metal. After all, pictures just don’t do some cars justice these days.

The High Gear Media crew is invading Los Angeles and we”ll have you covered. Want to see the new 650-horsepower 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500? We’ll make sure to snap some pictures. Interested in the new 2013 Cadillac XTS? We’ll make sure you’re covered.

From Twitter to Facebook, I’ll make sure we are posting what we are seeing. If you aren’t all about the social media, you can follow all the action on our Los Angeles Auto Show hub right here.

If social media is your style, below are all the places you can follow the action:


2011 Detroit Auto Show – See You There

The holidays are over and winter is in full swing, that can only mean one thing, it’s time for the Detroit Auto Show! Sunday I’ll be packing my gear and flying out to Detroit to walk under the bright lights and sip on Monster Lo-Carb.

The High Gear Media crew (myself included) will be invading COBO bright and early (5 AM CST) to bring you the latest coverage. We have a Detroit Auto Show hub that will pull in all the latest news, videos, pictures and more from the show floor. We will also be live tweeting and posting to Facebook through out the day. So make darn sure to bookmark our Detroit Auto Show hub and also become a fan and or follow our sites on Twitter, of course some information will also flow here as well. Now where did I put my pony keg of Monster Lo-Carb…

Full Disclosure- My NAIAS travel and accommodations are being provided by General Motors

Happy New Year – Reflecting On 2010

The last year has been a roller coaster for me. Throughout the year there were ups and downs, but one thing stayed consistent – my passion for anything automotive.

When 2010 began, by day I was working as a Social Media Associate at SMCpros, a small social media agency here in Minneapolis. Working on everything from strategy and implementation to Facebook ads, nothing was left out.

At night I spent hours working right here, on my blog Accelerate Mpls working on car reviews, news, and random fails I saw along the way. Heck, Colin Bird and I were even doing a podcast, referred to by many as “The Birdcast.”

Things have changed a lot since then. Colin has gotten a new job at Cars.com and is no longer on the AutoBird Podcast, though we know he’s there in spirit.

In January GM brought me to the Detroit Auto Show as social media press. It was an eye opening experience. The fast paced environment of press days at the auto shows will make your head spin. Being there as social media press was especially interesting. With automakers now embracing social media and new FTC guidelines in place, it signaled a shift in how things are done. Everything is now instantaneous. Things are now live streamed and live tweeted. Real time is hitting the news, and the automotive industry is embracing the trend.

In July I left SMCpros and soon after accepted a position with High Gear Media as their Social Media Manager. There I work with the team on strategy and implementation, along with manufacturer relations. It is my job to help get High Gear Media’s name out in the marketplace.

September brought a very memorable experience. Chevrolet sponsored High Gear Media in the Fireball Run Adventurally. I was one of three members of High Gear Media’s team. In my second month on the job, they shipped me to Henderson, Nevada and shoved me in a 2010 Chevrolet Camaro SS. I was stuck with Nelson Ireson and Tim Healey for a 9 day, 3,500 mile adventure I’ll never forget. Making life long friends and seeing things I might never see again, it was an adventure to remember.

Upon arriving home from the Fireball Run my (then girlfriend) and I added a new member to the household. His name is Otto and he’s pretty much ridiculously cute. He is a Maltipoo, which is a mix between a Maltese and a Poodle. Otto is now 5 months old and continues to put a smile on our faces.

In November I finally manned up and asked my girlfriend Karen to marry me. She (amazingly enough) said yes! After nearly five years we are now finally engaged. I’m ridiculously lucky to have her in my life.

When I started this blog, it was to be about cars and automotive in general. Though I did mention that some of my non-automotive life would probably spill over into the blog. While I’m not sure how much that has happened, at least I warned you it might.

There is no question that when I began this blog, I was not a terrific writer. Looking back at some of my first posts, I cringe. Over time there is no question that improvement has been made.

There are quite a few people that have helped me with my writing over the past year. Far too many to list here. But I want you to all know, I really appreciate your help.  Even when you wanted to wring my neck, you still helped.

Overall 2010 has been a great year. I had the opportunity to experience some very cool things. While every day wasn’t great, I tried to make the most of each situation.

I look forward to what 2011 brings. From me to you, I wish everyone a healthy and happy new year.

LA Auto Show – See You There

Smell that? That ‘s the smell of the auto show season! It is that wonderful time of year again when the manufactures shine up the paint and bring new promises and dreams to the American consumers. The LA Auto Show will kick off the season and this year promises to be a big one.

The High Gear Media crew (myself included) will invade the Los Angeles convention center starting Wednesday morning, bringing you all the coverage you can handle from all angles. You want your news served on Twitter? We can handle that. Is Facebook more your style? We have that covered as well. Oh and of course our main hub will have everything from the online articles to the tweets from the floor, not to mention photos. Below is a list of places you can follow along, and of course some news will flow on here as well.

Fireball Run Adventurally – See You There

That’s right folks! Chevrolet has teamed up with High Gear Media for the Fireball Run Adventurally. It is coined as the “ultimate motoring adventure.” Nelson Ireson, Tim Healey and myself will make up the team for High Gear Media. Chevrolet is sponsoring us and providing the Camaro SS (our chariot) for the rally.

The rally is 9 days and 3500 miles. We will start in Henderson, Nevada (just outside Las Vegas) and end in Galena, IL. Hey the back to the future car will be there! The event is a race to recover America’s missing children. We will be trying to raise awareness for Jade Flores. She has been missing since July 10, 2008. Handing out posters, tweeting, talking to locals along the way, everything we can do to aid in helping locate her. The event consists of missions each day with a few track events here and there. I’ve heard one of the events is racing school buses around a track (yes you read that correctly!).

You can follow our adventure the whole time! Check here often as this will be our “hub.” The site will pull in our latest tweets, blog posts and even pictures. You can become a fan of The Car Connection on Facebook or follow along on Twitter. Some of the content will end up here as well or on my Twitter, but the main sources will be the previously mentioned places. Be sure to follow along as we will need all the help we can get with the missions! Of course we have schwag for our fans/followers. See you on the interwebz!

Click here to see the full High Gear Media press release