Colleen Jolly’s entrepreneurial experience provides insight into every aspect of business from operations to strategy to marketing and sales. She brings extensive experience in logistics, leadership, process development, media engagement, and stakeholder engagement managing multiple budgets, projects, staff, clients, and vendors in high-stress, high-volume, creative environments.
Currently she owns/manages the International Pole Convention or just PoleCon an annual event celebrating the pole dance/pole fitness community, is the founder and Executive Director of the International Pole Industry Association (IPIA) — the first trade association for the pole business community.
Formerly she part-owned/operated 24 Hour Company (2004-2017; employed 1999-2017) and was founder and Managing Director of the UK subsidiary (2008-2015). She also ran a fitness studio in Capitol Hill (2013-2015).
I’ve known Colleen for a number of years and have always been impressed by her professionalism, commitment, and sense of humor. In particular, she has been a solid contributor to the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) as a presenter and overall supporter, as part of which she has consistently exhibited outstanding interpersonal skills and strong desire to help both clients and colleagues. In short, Colleen is the kind of person who adds value to organizations and individuals alike.
Colleen is an inspiration. She is a passionate, dedicated, altruistic leader who has achieved more personal and professional goals to date than many of us will achieve in a lifetime.
- 2020-Present. Executive Director, International Pole Industry Association (IPIA)
- 2011-2015. Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) International Board. (past CEO, CEO, COO and Secretary, member of Executive Committee, Chair of the Marketing/Membership Committee) (industry association board)
- 2010-2012. APMP NCA Chapter Board. (Secretary) (industry association board)
- 2007-2014. Member of the Executive, Fundraising, and Finance Committees, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW) (Secretary 2007-2008, President 2009-2010 and again 2013-2014, served as Past President 2011-2012). (non-profit board – raised > $55,000 during term)
Executive Director, International Pole Industry Association (IPIA) (2020-Present)
First trade association for the pole dance industry.
Manage all aspects of business from finance/contracts to marketing, PR and sales. Develop all marketing materials, write most of resource post content. Organize webinar events. Lead board meetings.
CEO and Owner, International Pole Convention (PoleCon) (2014-Present) Largest global convention for pole dancers with 1,000+ attendees, 30+ exhibitors, 200+ performers
Manage all aspects of business from finance/contracts to marketing, PR and sales. Manage a team of 10 staff and up to 40 volunteers onsite during multi-day event. Pivoted to virtual in 2020 implementing virtual conference.
24 Hour Company (1999–2017), Principal (COO Equiv.) (2004–2017) Graphic design company focused on direct consulting and training in persuasive visuals.
Creative Director/Graphic Design/Marketing Guru: Create and implement branding strategies across print, presentation, online/digital, event management, and social media including all writing, graphics, final production/delivery, coding and review of analytics. Clients range from small/local to large/multi-national corporations in diverse industries from IT to defense/intel to real estate. Managed teams of 10+ on multiple, simultaneous projects.
Management: Organized and managed all billable project workflow and scheduling. Assessed, organized, disseminated and reviewed all client needs and job specifics with staff. Addressed all client concerns pre- and post-project including estimates and contractual negotiations. Focus on efficiency and regular feedback to staff.
Training: Created and instituted training plan and metrics-based testing for desktop publishing now offered publicly live and webinar-based. Managed all on-the-job training for graphic designers/desktop publishers/editors. Conduct first round interviews and portfolio reviews.
24 Hour Company UK LTD, Managing Director (CEO Equiv.) (2008–2015). UK wholly owned subsidiary of 24 Hour Company.
Management: Established legal entity. Managed financials. Managed human resources. Conducted all front line sales and marketing support.
- 2020. The Unstoppable Warrior Woman: Inspirational Stories of Women who Overcame the Odds and Chose to Thrive.
- 2009. BD Institute Proposal Benchmarking Study (visual communication/document design),
- 2008. Do-It-Yourself-Billion Dollar Business Graphics. Mike Parkinson, PepperLip Press, Updated 2nd edition in 2011.
- 2007. Proposal Writing to Win! Joseph R Jablonski, TMC Inc. Updated 2nd edition in 2011.
Publications: Articles and Blogs
- 2020-Present. Resource post writer and editor for International Pole Industry Association.
- 2014-Present. Blogger for International Pole Convention.
- 2014-2018. Monthly blogger for Bad Kitty, Inc.
- 2014. Blog contribution to the International Leadership Blogaton. “Using Pole Dancing to Rekindle One’s Passion for Business.” http://www.toddnielsen.com/international-leadership-blogathon/pole-dancing-helped-rediscover-passion-business/
- 2013. Blog contribution to the International Leadership Blogathon. “What can Zombies Teach us about Leadership.” http://www.toddnielsen.com/international-leadership-blogathon/what-can-zombies-teach-us-about-leadership/
- 2010-Present. Regular contributor to bi-monthly 24 Hour Company ‘ezine’ and weekly blog on information design, document design, general business topics and UK-US business relations (8 articles) http://www.24hrco.com/ezine.html and http://24hrco.blogspot.com/
- 2013-Present. Personal Blog, weekly posts: http://american-broad.blogspot.com
- 2012. Blog contribution to International Leadership Blogathon. “Belief: The Underpants Gnomes Method of Leadership.” http://www.asliceofleadership.com/international-leadership-blogathon/belief-theunderpants-gnomes-method-of-leadership/
- 2012. Blog contribution for Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (3 blogs): http://chawbeyondthewalls.wordpress.com/
- 2011-2012. Regular contributor to APMP Perspective Publication under column “An American Abroad.”(6 articles.)
- 2011. “Case Study: An American (a)Broad: The story of one small business expanding internationally” Journal of the APMP. Fall/Winter issue.*Won APMP Insight Award 2012
- 2011. Blogger for Virginia Business Magazine, 14 blog entries for Australia Trade Mission on international business and women in business topics: http://www.virginiabusiness.com/index.php/blogs/Australia_trip/
- 2010-2011. Blogger for APMP NCA website (12 blog entries): http://www.apmpnca.org/resources/blog/
- 2010. “Green is the New Black: How “Greening” Your Proposal Design Can Save a
- Few Trees, Some Cash and the World” Journal of APMP, Spring/Summer issue.
- 2009. “Yoga for Proposal Professionals: A Guide and Case Study,” Journal of APMP, Spring/Summer issue.
- 2008. “The Clothes that Words Wear: A Study of Topography“ with Mitch Boretz. Journal of the APMP, Fall/Winter issue.
- 2008. “Designing a Winning Proposal: 2 Part Series on Style and Production,” Final Draft, Newsletter of the Greater Houston Chapter of APMP.
- 2006. “How to Hire, Train, & Keep Qualified Interns,” Journal of APMP, Fall/Winter issue.
- 2006. “Don’t Stress Out! Simple Tips to Combat the Bumps in the Road of Life,” Yes!Circle Newsletter, February.
- 2005. “Tips to Combating Proposal (and life and work and family and…) Stress,” Journal of APMP, Fall/Winter issue.
- 2004. “Resources for Women Proposal Professionals,” Journal of APMP, Fall/Winter issue. 2004. “Designing a Winning Proposal,” Journal of APMP, Spring/Summer issue.
- March 2021. Interview with Polates Studio
- Sept 2020. Interview with Elegant Jacqueline
- Sept 2020. Interview with Blogger on Pole
- Sept 2020. Podcast with The Aerial Hour
- July 2020. Artomatic Marks 20th Anniversary, Metro Weekly
- March 2020. Podcast with Scribble Talk
- 2019. Interview with Polepedia
- 2019. Interview with PhotoBook Magazine
- 2019. PoleCon 2019 Highlights from Polepedia
- 2019. PoleCon 2019 Community Over Competition, Pony Poison Blog
- 2019. PoleCon 2019. the Denver Channel
- 2018. Interview with Cleo’s Rock N’ Pole Blog
- 2017. Interview with Vertical Activewear
- 2016. Interview with Vertical Wise
- 2016. A Most Unusual Event is Coming to Fort Worth Fort Worth Business
- 2016. FORT WORTH –The International Pole Dancing Convention is coming to Fort Worth in June 2016. The Star-Telegram
- 2016. Pole-dancing convention wraps its legs around Fort Worth The Dallas Morning News
- 2016. There is a Pole Dancing Convention Coming to DFW in June KLUV Station
- 2016. Polecon – a pole dancing convention – coming to Fort Worth Fort Worth Business
- 2015. At New Orleans pole dancing convention, organziers ‘would like the public to see that there are lots and lots of options’ The New Orleans Advocate
- 2015. Pole Dancing Convention Slides into New Orleans ABC 8 WLOX
- 2015. Pole dancing a fitness fad for people of all ‘walks of life, shapes, sizes and fitness levels’ The New Orleans Advocate
- 2015. PoleCon… Epic! United Pole Artists
- 2015. Pole Sports Championship comes to New Orleans The Times-Picayune
- 2014. Featured in Urban Scrawl Blog for Pole Pressure Capitol Hill.
- 2014. Featured in Active Life DC Blog for Pole Pressure Capitol Hill.
- 2014. Published in the Hill Rag for Pole Pressure Capitol Hill.
- 2014. Featured in The Hill is Home blog for Pole Pressure Capitol Hill.
- 2012. Company recognized for Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce (FCCC) International Corporate Philanthropy Day.
- March 2011. Featured in Virginia Business Magazine.
- May 2010. Featured in Northern Virginia Magazine’s “Top 10 (Entrepreneurs) Under 30, Making their Mark.”
- 2010. Interviewed for radio shows: Heart FM in Kent, UK in 2009; Amtower Off Center for Federal News Radio, Washington, DC.
- 2012. Company listed on Inc. 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies. (third time)
- 2012. Insight Award, Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP). Award recognizes the author of the best article published in the APMP Journal. “Case Study: An American (a)Broad: The story of one small business expanding internationally”http://www.apmp.org/news/93221/
- 2011. Company listed on Inc. 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies. (second time)
- 2011. Formally recognized by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia for “her vast achievements, leadership in the community, and character and dedication as a Woman in Business in the Commonwealth of Virginia”
- 2010. Fellows Award, APMP. The APMP Fellows Award recognizes individuals who have made substantial contributions to our profession. Youngest person to receive award
- 2009-2010. Recipient British Airways “Business Opportunity” Grant for International Entrepreneurs
- 2009. Finalist for Stevie American Business Creative Professional of the Year Award.
- 2009. Receipt of Strategic Proposals Partnership Award. http://www.strategicproposals.com/news.html
- 2009. Listed on the Biltmore Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals.
- 2009. Listed on the Cambridge Who’s Who of Executives, Professionals and Entrepreneurs.
- 2008. Shortlisted for (UK) CBS Outdoor, Next Great Underground Writer/London Tube Card Competition, entry displayed at La Galleria Art Gallery Piccadilly Circus, London.
- 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Quote published in Women’s Advantage Calendar.
- 2007. Company listed on Inc. 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies. (first time)
- 2006. “Shithead of the Year 2006” Proposal Industry Peer Award.
- 2006. APMP Partnership Award, APMP.
- 2003. Misty Dailey Award for the Arts (honorable mention), Georgetown University.