Rod Holmes

Founder & Managing Partner
Pilot Digital Marketing

I’m an old’ish geek and business person with a long and diverse business background. My first career was at a bicycle manufacturing company where I was a purchasing manager and ultimately the director of accounting. I learned to love manufacturing and constant improvement (kaizen). I then spent 2 years riding bicycles around the world with my wife. When we ran out of money, we moved to Tokyo where we started and ran two successful companies: 1) a corporate training firm and, 2) in a partnership with The Hitachi Corporation, we developed one of the world’s first e-learning management systems. After 10 years in Tokyo, we sold both businesses, and my family of four (our two kids were born in Tokyo) and I returned to the US and settled in Chicago.

Upon landing in Chicago I started a very early online real estate brokerage that was so successful an IL state law was passed to make us illegal.

I then started Pilot Digital Marketing (formerly known as Chicago Style SEO) with a partner and have been helping clients, and businesses we own, grow using the full gamut of digital marketing. We work with companies and nonprofits all over the country.

What I can bring to a board

A long and diverse business background with a proven entrepreneurial and growth record. Specifically, I will bring a deep and broad understanding of how to make Google work for your organization.

What can I get from a board?

I hope to help an organization make a difference in people’s lives. Pilot has made huge differences for a couple of national non-profit organizations, and I’d like—on a more personal level—to contribute to a team to help make a difference here in Chicago.

My skills

    • Business Management (HR, Finances/Budgeting, Operations, Negotiation, Visioning and Strategic Planning)
    • Digital Marketing (Strategy, SEO, PPC, Analytics, Strategic content development, Email marketing, CRM and marketing automation, Budgeting, and more)
    • Optimized Website Development — how to make a website that will win over both people and Google.
    • Experience growing businesses using limited funds.