Job Title: Digital Strategist at Calder Bateman Communications, Co-host of The Unknown Studio Podcast and Co-Founder of Edmonton Nerd Nite
Why He’s Top 40: He uses his experience as a social-media strategist to bring some of the city’s most interesting people and projects to the public eye.
What Do You Like Most About Edmonton?: “Everyone is so friendly. You can get off of the plane and people smile at you at the airport. The really friendly ones will look you in the eye.”
When Adam Rozenhart graduated from the University of Alberta in 2005, he had every intention of leaving Edmonton behind.
But the post-graduate created the website Oilers Nation in 2007 and started getting involved with social media in the city. He decided to stick around another year. Then, he found himself a copywriting job at Atco. He also realized something: Edmonton just might be cool.
“I realized that this place was actually interesting,” says Rozenhart. “It wasn’t awesome – few cities are – but there were a lot of people trying to make it awesome, and that’s why I stuck around.”
Flash forward a few years and the once-doubter of the City of Champions is the man showcasing interesting people and ideas. He’s found his footing as the digital strategist for Calder Bateman Communications, working on such award-winning projects as the online “No Homophobes” anti-bullying campaign.
As host of the long-form interview podcast, The Unknown Studio, Rozenhart, along with his co-host Scott C. Bourgeois, has interviewed everyone from local musicians and artists to city councillors and, on two occasions, former mayor Stephen Mandel. “We just want to hear their stories,” says Rozenhart, “because I think everyone has at least one interesting story to tell and, if we start sharing them amongst one another, it enriches what this place is, and can be, for others.”
Rozenhart recognizes how important social media can be, so he started the Yeggies, Edmonton’s first social-media awards ceremony, to recognize those making an impact via the Web. He also co-founded Edmonton’s Nerd Nite, an evening where people gather to hear and give talks on a variety of “nerdy” subjects ranging from the speakers’ hobbies to their scientific research. With that sort of fan-boy enthusiasm for the city, it’s no surprise that he also serves in an advisory-role on the steering committee of Make Something Edmonton.
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He now has no plans to leave town. “With all that I’m exposed to in Edmonton, I think I have, more than the average citizen, a holistic view of what’s going on here,” says Rozenhart. “All the interesting stuff that people are doing is driven by people who are ambitious, thoughtful, smart and caring. Ultimately knowing and being involved with those people is what keeps me here.”