My name is Jim Bumgardner, life long learner and storyteller. It is in that truth that I open myself up to you in this “brave new world” not for self aggrandizing but instead to allow you to get to know the person on the other side of your screen who is working diligently and with intent to share with you the skills and talents that I have acquired during my journey that I have no doubt can and will add value to both your and my life.
As of this writing, I am 49 years old and have lived in Harrison, Arkansas since 2008. I have been married to Alicia for 15 years and am the father of Kaitlynn, who is now 13. I am originally from Little Rock, Arkansas where I began my professional career in radio broadcasting in 1990 while I was still in high school. Prior to radio I had served for a time as a correspondence writer for both the Arkansas Democrat and Arkansas Gazette as part of the schools journalism program where I also served as features editor for the school paper for all three years of my time there. During that time I was also in a band with some friends playing a weird mix of covers and original songs that had a 90’s acoustic rock vibe.
Following graduation in 1992, I began taking my radio career seriously and went on to work in the industry through 1997 at radio stations in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. I served as an on air talent as well as program director during those years. I stepped away from the business in 1997 and went to work for a major movie theater chain as a General Manager through 2001. It was at that time, the broadcasting bug returned but more importantly the movie making bug had also settled in.
As it would go, the desires of making moving pictures overtook the limitations of what a changing radio broadcasting industry had become. I then set my sights on producing films and television programs up until 2006 when I felt I needed a break from it all and settled down for two years in Branson, Missouri. It was in this time that I retreated back to the “safety and security” of a regular retail job lifestyle that wasn’t really “regular’. During that period I was working two full time positions and 2 part time. The two full time were diametrically different niche’s. One being selling dishes and other table top dining accessories and the other being toys at one of the major retail toy companies. The two part time jobs involved casual clothing and shoe sales and the other , professional and formal wear for men.
The reasons for all of the work was less about the money as it was about helping out some friends I had made a long the way. There simply wasn’t enough people to fill the slots and my personality made me a great salesman and my organization skills made me very handy in the warehouse and on the floor. To note, I was also single at the time and had no desire to settle down. The work ethic that evolved during my “previous careers” made me a very reliable, go to guy. The reason for this, that those around me never could put their fingers on was that more than anything, I appreciated time and efficiency more than most. There is no industry like broadcasting (as it was back in those days especially) to really shore up one’s appreciation for every second on the clock. It was that ingrained training that kept me punctual and respectful of the commitments I would make to my fellow workers. Those principles remain my driving force and barometer to this day and surely on through to my last day.
It was in 2008 that all of that came to a halt as the time for change had been forced on me as the primary job was shuttered and the others were cutting back. Plus, an opportunity in radio threw itself at me and I was highly compelled to take the job. It was far from something I was actively pursuing but that soft voice that commands attention whispered in my ear and told me that was the direction I needed to go. I am so very grateful and thankful that I did. It was in this new chapter that Alicia and I met, married, had Kaitlynn and have shared quite a lot of awesome adventures together and as a trio.
It was in this whirlwind that I transitioned from radio to television to freelance video productions and then online content creation. Summarizing that very broad term, I began blogging, live streaming, creating targeted campaigns specifically for the online and social platforms and so on. It was a fantastic run through 2018 but then it was time to again step away, take a breath and a break and do something a little different. It wasn’t really all that different as I retreated once again to full time retail management all the while offering limited video production services to select clients. Then along came 2020.
It was during the period of 2020 thru 2023 that I stepped away from everything. Not in retreat as much as in reflection. I explored and participated in the “gig economy” for a couple of years, made a lot of observations along the way and then decided to reenter the “safety zone” that is full time retail management employment. As my cycle goes however, the need to throw caution to the wind and embrace my better nature as a content creator and service provider / consult and coach, I am now happily returning into that space with a fresh and clear understanding of where my skills, talents and abilities better suit those that I am fortunate enough to cross paths with on this journey of life. I’ll explain:
The principles, lessons, purposes and responsibilities of broadcasting will never leave me. Specifically speaking to my internal need to inform and entertain, to serve and to share. It is with that framework in mind that I make this promise to you: Rather you are a customer or highly respected audience member, I pledge the best form of myself as a creator, entertainer, and most importantly teacher. That last label is the one in which I truly strive to excel at because it is in that effort, I can add value to your and my life and in that there is no higher calling.
Now, Go Play!
P.S. Happy Easter!
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