More than half of the freelance writers, project managers, and account managers at Portland SEO Growth are military spouses — and none of them even live or work in Portland, Oregon.
Their service members come from almost every branch – Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and Air National Guard. They write from Georgia, Hawaii, Texas, Alaska, and several places in between. The women on the Portland SEO Growth marketing team have never even met one another. And what’s more, they’ve never met the man who hired them.
Joey Randazzo, 25, founded Portland SEO Growth in 2019. As a content marketing company, Portland SEO Growth specializes in local SEO (search engine optimization), content creation, and strategy.
As the business began to grow, he realized he couldn’t handle the increased workload on his own and needed to find talented writers.
Air Force veteran and Air Force spouse Brittany Allen, his first hire, came on board in November of that year.
As an Air Force intelligence officer who holds two master’s degrees, Allen was medically retired in 2011. She then moved to Valdosta, Georgia with her husband, an Air Force A-10 pilot. But job prospects there were few and far between.
“I went from being an officer in the Air Force serving in Korea to working a minimum wage job at a Georgia staffing agency. It was humbling but challenging to know I was highly trained and still didn’t have opportunities.”
The next decade brought several moves and jobs along the way. During a tour in Hawaii, she finally found the opportunity with Portland SEO Group.
Allen started as a freelance writer and currently serves as the company’s project manager, a position she recently took with her from Hawaii back to Georgia.
“During the past decade, I’ve had six or seven different careers, and this is the first job I’ve been able to take with me and move with. Not only that, I was able to continue my role through a move, a deployment, and a pandemic,” Allen said.
That’s in part because the role is entirely remote.
“The remote ability to work is incredible. It’s a big plus for a lot of our team,” said Allen.
Air National Guard spouse Courtney Kirk, who joined the team in January 2020, agrees.
“This is my first experience with remote work, and the flexibility is perfect for our lifestyle. It means I can work at 5 a.m. before the rest of the house is up, or I can work late depending on what works for the family, my husband’s flight schedule, and whatever else is going on that day. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I get to be home with our little one, and I’m home when our older child gets home from school.”
Like Allen, Kirk spent years moving around the country and changing jobs with each move, when possible.
“Sometimes we were only in a location for a few months, and finding employment, let alone meaningful employment, was a pipedream.”
So discovering a fulfilling career in her field of study was a dream come true.
“I was an English major, so I had done a lot of writing, but no experience with SEO.”
The sense of community that the team at Portland SEO Growth has, has provided the best of both worlds.
“I feel like, even though we’re remote, I know a lot of the team members better than I did when I went into an office every day.”
The team communicates daily via Slack, an online business communication platform.
“Most of us are moms, and most of us wanted the same thing — we wanted to be home with our kids, but we also wanted to work. We understand each other, we understand the challenges of deployments and frequent moves and can support one another from hundreds of miles away.”
Randazzo says he couldn’t be happier with his decision to invest in military spouses.
“From a business perspective of trying to grow the business, increase revenue, and provide amazing services, the military spouses I work with have been instrumental in making that happen. They’re very competent, extremely talented, and they’re producing quality work resulting in great results for our clients.”
And he knows where he’ll turn to find more talented team members in the future.
“The military spouse community is a community I want to continue to support.”
“I love that that’s a priority for him,” Allen said. “We’re such an untapped resource. So many of us are so educated, so skilled.”Read comments