By Stuart Johnson and Robin Street
Kevin Seddon’s accomplishments have ranged far afield from his Journalism degree.
His business experience has included companies dealing with subjects as diverse as computer programming, termite inspection, acoustics and many other topics he never learned in Journalism classes.
So how did an ’88 journalism graduate get into these fields?
He began as a copywriter with several advertising and marketing firms. Then he was hired at Oxford Publishing, Inc. as vice-president by its founder and owner Dr. Ed Meek, for whom the Meek School of Journalism and New Media is named. While there, Seddon developed his marketing skills and learned business strategy.
Seddon left Oxford Publishing to found Vision Creek Enterprises, a marketing and business development firm. Then he also became part-owner and vice president of operations for Sair Linux & GNU, which became the leading developer of training materials and certification examinations for the Linux computer operating system.
Then, in 2001, after selling his two previous businesses, he returned to Oxford Publishing as CEO. There, he managed what became the largest food and beverage trade show in the United States and its three market-leading publications. The company’s gross revenue increased by millions of dollars under Seddon’s leadership.
In 2003, Seddon launched his own business, HomeSafe Inspection, Inc. The company specializes in home, energy, air quality and termite inspection using infrared and acoustic technologies and procedures that allow building inspectors to “see” and “hear” through the walls, floors and ceilings of a property.
“We developed the HomeSafe Inspection business concept around technology that my business partner, Peng Lee, developed for the USDA while working at the National Center for Physical Acoustics,” Seddon said. “Eventually, we were able to expand into multiple business sectors with our technologies including energy auditing, air quality assessments, home inspection as well as termite inspection.”
HomeSafe has since become a technological leader in the residential inspection business. Seddon is also president and owner of Sanus Medical Acoustics, a company which developed acoustic hemostasis devices for the United States Department of Defense and assisted in development of a home tornado warning alarm.
Recently, Seddon joined Environmental Service Professionals, Inc. (EVSP.PK) as acting director of all their U.S. Divisional Operations but remains president of HomeSafe Inspection, Inc.
Seddon says that the key to his success has always been his ability to communicate effectively, a skill he learned in his Journalism classes.
“Journalism taught me how to better analyze a situation, how to understand the core of any concept, and, finally how to communicate that concept or idea to others,” Seddon says. “In business, you have to communicate at a high level. You have to know which questions to ask and quickly assimilate information and size up an opportunity. We learned the basics of these skills in journalism.”
His former employer Meek agrees. “His skills as a journalist made him successful in his business,” Meek says. “He has to synthesize and then communicate information in making his business successful.“
Seddon’s advice to students, whether they want go into journalism or business, is simple.
“You have to know how to write and communicate a thought that will generate a desired response to be a good journalist, and it works the same for business,” Seddon says. “Learn not just to write, but to write well and don’t settle on perfecting your art in one communication medium. Radio, TV, Print, the Internet – all must be learned if one wants to achieve success.”