Haj Carr

Member Since 2017

Haj Carr

President and CEO

Trueline

Portland, Maine Area

When I was a kid, my dad had two jobs: managing mainframe computers, and cleaning office buildings. Occasionally, he’d ask me to tag along and lend him a hand. It was my job to clean the toilets. If my effort didn’t meet his standards, I’d hear about it. “How hard you work reflects who you are,” he’d say. “How you do one thing is how you do everything." The message stuck. When I left my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii to attend Bowdoin College in Maine, I embraced my new life with passion and conviction. Whatever I was studying—be it religion, art, science or sociology—I wanted to learn as much as I could. It was that enduring curiosity that sparked my interest in business. From the beginning, I knew that any company I started had to reflect certain core values: Authenticity, Creativity, Dynamism, Growth. In 2001, I launched my first business—Apex Marketing—in a converted chicken coop in Litchfield, Maine. It might have been small, but we felt like anything was possible, and we quickly won a Telly Award for one of our 60-second product spots. If Apex showed me what was possible, my next venture—Novaya Mortgage, started in 2005—introduced me to the harsh realities of business. By 2007, we’d grown from a handful of staffers to a team of more than 150 employees. You can probably guess what happened next. The housing market collapsed, credit stalled, and the company had to shut its doors for good. But I didn’t stop creating. In 2008, I founded Bull Run Media. Our niche was custom media—empowering people to tell their stories in a way that strengthens their relationships (and their business). Our first publication, U.S. Developers Journal, quickly took off. We were onto something. Launched in 2010 and now headquartered in Portland, Maine, Trueline represents the evolution of that model: an independent, full-service marketing and consulting business that provides strategy, content and design for clients across industries—both in Maine and around the world. At Trueline, I like to call us “The Eternal Startup”: a place where creativity and innovation never cease; where people are encouraged to be authentic and create their own roles; and where everyone has a stake in the company’s success. Oh, and there’s a sweet ping-pong table in the breakroom. My goal is to bring those values and knowledge to you. It’s a job that I—that We—take seriously. “How you do one thing is how you do everything," I say. And then share it with the world.


SKILLS

  • Digital Marketing
  • Sales Strategy & Management
  • Recruiting

RECENT CONTENT

October 5th, 2021

Closing Some Doors, Opening Others: Why We Closed Our Office For Good

If your company’s values and culture align with its leadership team’s principles and employees’ mindsets, it doesn’t matter where you work.

February 9th, 2021

For Small Companies: The Time For Diversity And Inclusion Is Now

Even if you're skeptical about the long-term financial benefits of diversity and inclusion, these numbers are hard to ignore. D&I is no longer just a moral or cultural imperative — it's a business imperative. And organizations that ignore it do so at their own peril.

January 19th, 2021

Are You A Family Or A Team? It’s Time To Figure It Out

Making the pivot from family to team has changed the way we hire, work and communicate. It’s a lesson I wish we’d learned sooner, but now that we’ve learned it, it’s critical that we follow through — while recognizing that as circumstances change, we can’t be afraid to rewrite the narrative again.

December 3rd, 2020

Why Now Is The Right Time To Reexamine Company Culture

How do we make the new normal better than what we had before?


COMPANY INFO

Trueline

Trueline, headquarted in Portland, Maine for more than a decade, is a company that has helped thousands of businesses and executives grow their reputations online, through custom feature articles in its award-winning suite of international magazines, social media and by word of mouth. We also specialize in everything from website design and professional writing to personal brand management.


INDUSTRY

Marketing & Advertising