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"He has this special presence that draws you in and makes you feel like you are in good hands."

Blast from the Past
Josh Weiss, Class 18

Josh was born and raised in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  And yes, he has heard all the Cleveland jokes like “the mistake by the lake”.  But in reality, he had a great childhood and we could tell he was a fun, precocious kid growing up.  As proof of that, he told us that while he was in the sixth grade he had his first exposure to pitching media as he organized his fellow students to rally against his local School Board because his favorite teacher was about to be laid off due to budget cuts.  It did not work in the end, but it sowed the seeds of his future life in PR.  You may know that Cleveland is the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Josh channeled that love of music into his first business, which was a mobile disc jockey company.  We all had a laugh when he described his time as a 14-year-old DJ rocking the Bar and Bat Mitzvah party circuit teaching line dances in his area.   Josh told us he did the DJ gig through college, averaging more than 45 events a year, helping him to pay some of his college expenses at Kent State University, from where he graduated. 


Josh planned a career in radio and was always interested in politics.  One of his early jobs after graduating from college was working as the Radio Coordinator for the Speaker’s Office of Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield where he created radio news stories for House Representatives and offered them to their local radio stations across the State.  It was in Springfield that he met and married his wife Elizabeth, who Josh, and her friends call Libby.  As a couple, they decided that they did not want to live the rest of their lives in Springfield, so after the 2000 election they figured it was a good time to leave. 


As they considered where to relocate, Josh wanted a place large enough to support major league sports teams, and Libby, who was an excellent golfer wanted somewhere warm and inviting for her passion for golf.  It came down to Charlotte, North Carolina, and our area here in Arizona.  Luckily for us, they fell in love with Scottsdale and have been here ever since.


Josh kind of knocked around for several years doing PR work for a few companies in our area.  The most influential job during that time was his position as Public Information Officer (PIO) for Southwest Ambulance, a subsidiary of Rural/Metro Corp. It was there that he learned how important reputation management and being a good spokesperson is for a company.  From there, he had another formative gig at American Traffic Solutions (ATS), which operated red light and speed cameras in more than 300 cities across the U.S. He jokingly mentioned his popularity in working that job for a company not universally loved.  He then returned to Rural/Metro, ultimately serving as national Director of PR for the company. These jobs gave Josh his expertise in corporate crisis management and a strong belief in the importance of building up a company’s goodwill within the community before it came under attack.


In 2012, he started his own company, 10 to 1 Public Relations, based on his philosophy that it takes 10 positive stories to overcome 1 bad situation. Hence, the importance of building up a goodwill bank before a negative story occurs. 


Over the years, the company has grown by staying focused.  Unlike many agencies that offer various PR and marketing services, his business is focused on traditional PR.  This means he and his team focus on getting their clients positive news coverage (earned stories, not bought), as well as focusing on thought leadership positioning like award nominations and speaker submissions.  As specialists, they don’t offer paid services like advertising or paid digital or social. The company also offers crisis communications services.  Josh and his PR company certainly defied the odds, and he believes its narrow focus is what has led several national and global clients to choose his company, including Intel, ASM, Plexus, Vietnam Airlines, Lumifi Cybersecurity, and others.    As a testament to his team’s talent, the company has won numerous awards nationally and locally, including the Sterling Award from the Scottsdale Chamber and the BBB Torch Award for Ethics.  For the company’s 10th anniversary, Mayor David Ortega declared October 1, 2022 (10/1) as 10 to 1 PR Day in the City of Scottsdale.  


In 2003, while Josh was working for Southwest Ambulance, he was introduced to Scottsdale Leadership by the company.  He was accepted into the program and graduated with his fellow members of the “barely legal” Class 18.  Josh loved the program and learned a lot about the City of Scottsdale and how to get involved.  Josh even served on the Scottsdale Leadership board for a time.  Josh credits Scottsdale Leadership with leading him to serve on various community boards and commissions including the Paiute Neighborhood Center, and in serving six years on the Scottsdale Transportation Commission (two years as Chair).  Currently, he’s on the board of the Scottsdale Railroad Mechanical Society, which benefits the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park which is currently in the midst of a major upgrade. 


He and his wife Libby, who is a Director of Private Wealth Management at Baird, live in the Grayhawk area of Scottsdale.  They have two kids, Ilana and Noah who are both very good students and terrific athletes.  Their daughter, Ilana, is a student at the University of Rochester in New York, and their son Noah will be a Junior at Pinnacle High School. 


At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that people like Josh are what makes Scottsdale Leadership so special.  It comes down to people who give so much to their family, their jobs, and their city that you just have to admire them.  Josh fits that bill.  We agreed that finding more people like him to be a part of Scottsdale Leadership is one of the keys that will make Scottsdale an even better place to live in the future. 

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