Who are you?
I’m Josh Martin and I am the Chief Marketing Officer at Decision Lens and in 2021 I was elected to serve as the Vice President of Marketing for the DC Chapter of the Space Force Association.
Tell us a little about yourself.
When I was growing up, space truly was the final frontier. Even though the space race had ended by the time I was born there were still so many mind bogglingly unbelievable accomplishments in space. The launch of the Mir Space Station in 1986 (people can LIVE IN SPACE?!), the premier of the greatest of all the Trek shows - Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1987 and the launch of the Hubble Telescope in 1990. I was so into space as a kid that I even attended Space Camp in Cape Canaveral Florida when I was about 13. It was amazing. While my love of space never ended, my future career in it did when on my first day of high school physics I realized I wasn’t smart enough to be a rocket (or any kind of) scientist.
As I’ve gotten older, I admit I lost the wonder of my youth. Yes, I’ve taken my kids to the DC planetarium, we make regular trips to the Air and Space Museum, and we even went stargazing in Wyoming late last year but none of it really connected me with what was once so important. So, when I heard about Space Force and the burgeoning space community, I was hopeful I could find some small way to contribute.
What is Space Force Association?
The mission of the Space Force Association is to achieve superior national space power by shaping a Space Force that provides credible deterrence in competition, dominant capability in combat, and professional services for all partners. The organization envisions being recognized as the professional association for informed government, business, and private members to lend their diverse ideas, voices, and energy to defining national space power and building a Space Force capable of achieving it. This is achieved through research, informing, and advocacy. You can read more about the organization here.
Why did you decide to join Space Force Association?
At Decision Lens, we often find ourselves partnering with lean-forward change agents across federal, state and local government. Often, these individuals are attempting to modernize processes which have been in place for decades. We love working with these people and helping them transform their agencies. But Space Force is new and is the first digital-first agency. This has allowed us to work with many leaders to highlight how consumer-off-the-shelf software like Decision Lens can allow for truly integrated planning for an agency ready to lead.
Through these discussions we learned about the good work of the Space Force Association and the more I learned the more I wanted to not only have Decision Lens involved, but to personally contribute to their goals.
How did you become the VP of Marketing for Space Force Association DC?
I wish I had some amazing story about this, but like many things in my life, I found myself at the right place at the right time. The DC chapter was just getting started and there wasn’t an executive board in place yet. I reached out to Tim Adam, the leader of the DC group and offered to help in any way that I could. We had several good meetings; Tim became the President of the Chapter, and I was elected as the first VP of Marketing.
I’ve learned during my career that if you raise your hand, are willing to put in the time and be honest about what you can do, people will respond positively. I like to think that when Tim was looking for leaders, he saw those traits in me and that since we began working together that I’ve paid off his confidence and the faith the organization has put into me to help build the DC chapter.
What have you accomplished so far?
We have had a really exciting few months since I was elected!
First, I took care of the digital basics: I stood up a LinkedIn page, set-up a Twitter account, and set-up a chapter page and forum on the SFA website. I then learned how to use Wild Apricot which is the platform powering the SFA website to allow for regular and ongoing communication with our chapter – which has required us to begin building an email list of people associated with the DC chapter. This has required a lot of coordination with National. They have been great in teaching me the basics.
Thanks to Tim’s effort we were able to join a gala with Foundation for the Future in October, attend an event at the Capitol Hill Club in November, and in December Decision Lens sponsored a well-attended 2nd birthday Happy Hour at Mattie and Eddie’s in Arlington. In late January we had our 2022 kickoff meeting where we elected the rest of the executive board.
All I’ve really done so far is to set the foundation for the coming year. There is so much more to do this year. We need to decide how often we want to and what we want to communicate, build the membership through focused recruiting efforts, and develop sponsorships to start creating a revenue stream for the local chapter.
If this sounds fun to you, I’m looking for volunteers!
What are the goals for the Space Force Association DC Chapter?
We have some short-term goals – that as a new chapter - we are working towards; choosing a chapter name, selecting our key mission within the community, and finding ways to connect the DC space community. Longer term I know there is a focus on advocacy for space – especially with our DC location.
But ultimately, if we can make people aware of the organization, engage the local community, and foster ongoing discussion we’ll have a great first year.
Anything else you would like to share?
I never thought I would describe myself as a private-sector civilian. I have loved stepping outside my comfort zone and getting to know people who have had such different life experiences and perspective from me. The B2B software industry in DC is surprisingly small and we all share lots of common experiences. Working with SFA has expanded my professional experiences like hearing a Congressman speak, marketing in a new way, and forging interesting personal relationships with people I would never have met otherwise.
Selfishly, I am excited to learn from everyone.
How does your family feel about your role?
Well, my kids are 8 and 10 so they’re typically unimpressed with anything that I do. However, my ten-year-old son has told me my work with SFA is the only thing I do that he finds interesting. I think it’s because he wants me to get the inside scoop on Area 51. I keep telling him that I’m looking into it to keep him interested!