Issue: November/December 2010
One to Watch: Tyler Clark
By Interview by Christina Bernecker
Chief Imagination Officer, Youngstown Business Incubator
Owner, Tyler Clark Consulting
Tyler Clark grew up surrounded by music. Both of his parents were singers. His mom played the piano, and his father was a choral conductor. So it’s no wonder he sings, plays the piano and the timpani, and can conduct a whole symphony if need be. “I love words,” he says. “I like figuring out the most concise way to say things. But music is the opposite. It gives you glimpses and images. It just immerses you in mood.” Sound Ideas
As chief imagination officer, Clark brings marketing and tech savvy to the incubator’s clients, translating their elevator pitches to the Web. “A musician has to take notes on a page and translate them to music. The same thing happens with code,” he says. “That translation happens in both, turning abstract into something concrete.” Renaissance Man
Clark started a blog titled “Youngstown Renaissance” that covers politics, technology and more. But it’s been neglected recently because his business has been so good. “Instead of going to the blog and spending 30 minutes on a post, Facebook and Twitter allow for a quicker, more immediate connection.”
IB Besides music, do you have any other talents?
I also perform on the stage. I’ve done quite a few plays and musicals. A couple years ago I got to perform in The Music Man, one of my favorite musicals since I was a kid. … I sang the bass role in the barbershop quartet.
IB What music is on your iPod right now?
Arcade Fire. Love their new album, The Suburbs, and I can’t stop listening.
IB What is the biggest misperception about Youngstown?
Over the last two years since I started my business, I have been floored by the opportunities here. People write off Youngstown as a place where businesses go to die, and that’s not true. After participating in Leadership Mahoning Valley, I saw a lot of opportunities for business growth in the Youngstown area.
IB What are the benefits of social networking?
like the immediacy of Twitter, the extended community of Facebook, and the Q-and-A form of LinkedIn. Personally, it’s great for reconnecting from all phases of your life from elementary school to college to the professional sphere.
IB Who is your biggest inspiration?
If I had to isolate somebody I really admire, it would be Brian Corbin, executive director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Youngstown. He graduated from MIT and is incredibly smart. He came to Youngstown two decades ago and ended up staying here. He works every day to help people in need, which unfortunately we have quite a few of here. I’m proud to call him a friend.
IB What is your favorite restaurant in Northeast Ohio?
The Lemon Grove in downtown Youngstown. It’s open 7 a.m. to 4 a.m., which works for anytime I need good coffee. Coffee, The New York Times and my family get me through my day.
IB Would you say you have an active imagination?
I love trying to solve problems. I’m always looking for opportunities to connect businesses and organizations that can partner together. I’m always imagining ways to grow the community, to connect the dots with what we have instead of waiting for some new business to come in.
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