Here’s a little bit about me.
I grew up in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and from the time I was 12 or so was raised by my mom—my hero. I have deep memories of being scared of my father, inspired by mom as she scrapped her way to make ends meet for my sister and I, roaming around various basketball courts to find the next pick-up game, and eventually feeling the weight of being the first in my family to attend college.
And let this be known: I didn’t appreciate the natural beauty of Altoona until I left it.
While in college, and after training in boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for many years, I turned pro as a mixed martial arts fighter. My record was 2-1.
The journey of fight training provided the foundation from which I see the world. Details matter. Data matters. Grit matters. Teamwork matters. Focus matters. And as I look back on it, I realize I’ve been writing and fighting since I can remember.
The trajectory of the writing side is obvious. But the fighting side, well, let’s say that has evolved. I went from fighting for fun in the image above, to feeling like I had to defend myself and my family against my father, to fighting for sport and, today, fighting for the social causes I care about.
While my journey as a fighter wasn’t perfectly linear (I wrote a memoir covering that), there was a natural progression as I developed. Similarly, and although I didn’t see it at the time, the same can be said about my journey as an integrated marketing communications leader.
As I wrote about to some extent at Klipfolio in a piece titled Content Metrics for Content Marketing and Journalism, I’ve covered a lot of ground.
I graduated from Penn State Altoona with degrees in English and Criminal Justice. I then went to the University of Arizona, where I received an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry concentration).
Since then I’ve engaged in all sorts of work. I’ve been an online Shakespeare professor while living in Southeast Asia (I spent three years in Bangkok), an author on a U.S. speaking tour, an MMA instructor at Gold’s Gym, an investigative journalist covering the genocide in Burma, a K-college brick-and-mortar creative writing teacher, a brand content creator, a marketing strategist and, today, a director of marketing communications.
It all came together. Somehow.
And it now even creates one of those nice third-person bios people like:
CAMERON CONAWAY is the author of six books, including Malaria, Poems, an NPR Best Book of 2014. He is a recipient of the 2016 Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative Fellowship, an honor given to one journalist each year, and his work has appeared in publications such as Newsweek, ESPN, The Guardian, Reuters, NPR, Forbes, The Washington Post, Harvard Business Review, Rattle, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. Conaway has received grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the International Reporting Project, nominations for a National Magazine Award and a Pushcart Prize, and writing residencies from Penn State University, the Wellcome Trust, and the University of Arizona. He lives in San Francisco.
Today, I’m a full-time Executive MBA student at the University of San Francisco (see my Now page for what’s new) and I lead marketing communications at Solace, a humble and hungry technology company headquartered in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. You may not know us, but there’s a good chance our technology has touched your life.
If you’re interested in working together or scheduling an interview/reading, get in touch.