Name a community development corporation or a change-making nonprofit in Pittsburgh and chances are John Mahood and his Imagebox team designed, built and powered their websites. As founding CEO, John uses web development, design and marketing to help nonprofits grow their reach through storytelling. In 2006—before it was “cool” to be in Garfield—John worked with Bloomfield-Garfield Corporation to purchase a 2,500-square-foot row home, and since then, Imagebox has opened its headquarters to host the community’s Unblurred gallery crawl every First Friday.

Monday, September 12

Three years ago, my wife Tracy and I became more “routined” humans in the morning. We get up at 4:30 a.m. on weekdays to meditate, exercise and write (yes, in that order). This morning, it’s Orangetheory Fitness. We’re a work hard, play hard team so the calories we burn will be made up with a week of great food and drinks. I’ve never been more energetic and productive, and I credit this routine.

My dog Scout is our office mascot and we’ll head there at 8:30 am. On Monday mornings our team gets together to talk about active projects and ensure that we stay on task.

Imagebox team: John Mahood, Thad Bloom, Caitlin Ewing, Jake Boylan, James Shults, Ashley Fennell, Nick Pascuzzi.

I’ll eat a packed lunch quietly in my office to gear up for back-to-back meetings with nonprofit leaders. I’ll meet with a Strip District neighbor, Megan Marucco from Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti, to talk about their efforts driving donations for a self-sustaining Haiti.

Tracy and I will cook dinner, grilling up some fresh fish from Wholey’s, and pairing it with a nice Sauvignon blanc. I recommend their salmon seasoning!

Tuesday, September 13

This morning I’ll meditate using the Calm iPhone app (highly recommended, especially if you’re new to meditating) and then we’ll walk Scout to Jitters, our favorite coffee spot. Our Shadyside barista, Harry, will have our cortados ready before we order.

I’ll spend time writing for our blog, something I try to do more of in order to keep our clients continually engaged with how to best manage their brands. They have a lot of inspiring stories of positive impact that we help them publish on their websites and spread the word through social media.

This afternoon, I’ll be interviewed by Jonathan Kersting with TechVibe Radio. We’ll talk about the importance of understanding the digital landscape and Imagebox’s innovative approach in marketing Pittsburgh’s nonprofits. There’s constant change in this industry and we’re focused on staying ahead of the curve.

Lunch is with Marc Mann from MPWR Growth. I’m thinking we’ll head to Franktuary so that I can get my usual: The Oahu Frank!

Afternoon includes another meeting, with Bridgeway Capital. This amazing organization is on track to deploy nearly $20 million in loans this year to empower local startups and nonprofits. We will help them use their media channels to raise awareness of an event, happening October 19, at the August Wilson Center.

Wednesday, September 14

ImageBox’s loft office on Penn Avenue in Garfield.
ImageBox’s loft office on Penn Avenue in Garfield.

Our staff morning will focus on our content marketing management system—a long, critical phase when it comes to making sure nonprofits tell their stories. We’ve created customized training for nonprofits, teaching them how to update and manage web content so that it’s fresh, visual and powerful. We’re constantly tracking digital changes and right now, nonprofits who tell their stories with video get more search engine optimization tracking and increased social media awareness.

Lunch will be sushi at Ginza in Bloomfield with the Imagebox management team.

After our morning meeting, I’ll meet with an inspirational client, Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh’s Elizabeth Visnic, to talk about planning and marketing for their upcoming initiatives. This worthy effort connects our region’s myriad nonprofits with stakeholders and constituents who stir up big ideas to meet our communities’ greatest needs.

This evening Tracy and I will dine out at Dinette. We love the casual atmosphere and the over-the-top food. Their stone pizza oven whips up the best pies with fresh ingredients that are grown from the rooftop.

Thursday, September 15

Today we’re planning our first group content marketing workshop. We’ll invite nonprofit clients such as the Dignity & Respect Campaign, Sustainable Pittsburgh and Nonprofit Talent to discuss ways in which they can build manageable strategies that get their stories told.

I’ll be anxious to get home in time for our 6:30 p.m. dinner date with friends at Muddy Waters Oyster Bar. I’ve never had a crispier fried green tomato in my life!

Friday, September 16

Tonight we have tickets for the Best Friends Ball at the Heinz History Center, sponsored by the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society. It’s not your usual dinner date, but what could be better than cocktails, a silent auction, wine pull, dinner and dancing for a good cause. They throw in a few hugs from adoptable pups if you want. You can even borrow one for portraits in the photo booth!

John with his wife, Tracy.

Saturday, September 17
This is my day to run errands, so it typically begins with a stop at Jitters to pump a little caffeine into my system. Today’s the 6th annual Point Breeze Yard Sale, so I want to get there early enough to browse the used books at St. Bede Church before sifting through other people’s stuff. Bonus attraction: the Franktuary food truck will be there!

In the afternoon, we plan to head over to Kelly Strayhorn Theater for a unique dance recital, Tradisyon, by Philippine-American Performing Arts of Greater Pittsburgh. It’s a cool program, portraying harvest, religious and marriage traditions. I’m always in awe of talented dancers.

Sunday, September 18

This is my day to relax by taking a long walk in Frick Park with Scout and then spending a lazy afternoon. Last week, East Liberty Presbyterian Church resumed its traditional worship schedule, and since Imagebox counts the church as one of its favorite clients, we have many friends there. We’ll head to The Vandal for brunch first and try to make it to the 11 a.m. Sanctuary Service. Pastor Randy should be preaching the second of his three-part sermon on TED Talks.

Later in the day, we’ll cook up some “comfort food” for dinner and pile onto the sofa to watch our favorite TV shows.

Jennifer Baron

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator...