My name is Kaleem Clarkson and I am a husband, father, front-end web developer, designer, Drupal evangelist and entrepreneur from Bangor, Maine who currently calls Atlanta home.
I received my bachelors of science degree from Worcester State College. While participating in Division III collegiate football for the Lancers I set and still currently hold a New England Football Conference record for longest fumble recovery of 97 yards. Who would have thunk it?
I have a son, Demitrius who is a brainiac and a pretty good football player, a daughter Cameron with a high level of cuteness and I am married to my best friend Jennifer Cameron Clarkson.
Web Development Career
I got started in 1998 when my band needed a website to promote our local shows. It started with Photoshop and Dreamweaver until I became obsessed with learning basic graphic design, HTML and CSS. For the next 10 years I continued developing static websites for small businesses, friends and family.
In 2008, I was introduced to Drupal 6 after a request to build a website that was password protected. To help expedite the learning curve I read books, watched online tutorials and attended the monthly Atlanta Drupal User Group meetings. I have also attended some popular Drupal conferences such as: Drupalcamp Atlanta (4), Drupalcamp Charlotte, Drupalcamp Florida, Design4Drupal, BADCamp and Drupalcon Denver.
Drupalcamp Atlanta Project Lead
Since it's inception in 2009, Drupalcamp Atlanta (DCATL) has been the staple Drupal event in the southeast attracting high-profile speakers, business leaders, sponsors and Drupal enthusiasts from all skill levels with attendance reaching over 450. With over a decade of event/conference planning experience, in June 2014, I volunteered to help produce Drupalcamp Atlanta and was elected the project lead.
CETL at Kennesaw State University
Currently, I serve as the Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives and the lead Drupal Developer at the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Kennesaw State University. I am primarily responsible for budget management, conference/event promotion and production, creative director for all marketing materials and the lead Drupal developer. CETL's site cetl.kennesaw.edu has been recognized in a research study of example CETL sites and is currently Google’s top two links for Teaching Conferences and Teaching Journals.
As the cliche entrepreneur story goes, my first taste of entrepreneurship came when I was 8 years old and set up my first lemonade stand and then of course moved on to the car wash. My most memorable youngster endeavor was in my freshman year of high school. After watching the movie "White Men Can't Jump," I got the idea of hosting a two-on-two basketball tournament.
With the help of my friends we decided on rules and coined it the "Gardner Tournament." We named it after the neighborhood's second mother Carolyn Gardner who let all of us kids swim at her pool and play basketball in her driveway. We charged $10 per team and the winner took all. The event grew to over 30 teams and continued by some other teens after we all graduated.
Conceptualized in 1999, after my local band played a charity concert, I had the idea of creating nonprofit that put on concerts and donated the money to other charities. In December of 2002 we were recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 non-profit organization and have generated over $100,000 in revenue. Our group worked with some notable artists such as Dave Mathews, Chk Chk Chk, Blind Melon, Slick Rick, the Hold Steady, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Akrobatik, Bela Fleck, Shadows Falls, Downset and Godsmack. One of our biggest accomplishments was the completion the documentary titled "A Call to Action," which was screened at the HBO theater in Manhattan.
Blend me, Inc
In the beginning of 2013, my wife and were blessed with the news that we were expecting a baby girl. During her pregnancy we discussed how important it was to us to have careers with flexible schedules. With my experience in marketing / event production and her masters degree in organizational development, we decided on combining our talents to form blend me, Inc., a consulting company that utilizes marketing and engagement strategies to help small to mid-sized organizations implement policy, internal and external branding, employee engagement, marketing and more.