Adventurous, outgoing, and happy are three words that easily describe Madi Ballou, Green Apple’s Digital Marketing Specialist. Working closely with Green Apple’s Owner and Chief Strategist, Samantha Pyle, and alongside the entire Green Apple team, Madi provides digital marketing support to clients with a variety of digital marketing initiatives.

Growing up just outside of the Greater Chicago area, Madi attended Northern Illinois University (NIU) in Dekalb, Illinois. Though she started her college journey studying business administration, Madi decided to change her major to hospitality management after she gained some hands-on experience in the hospitality industry through a hotel internship. Still desiring a business educational background, Madi decided to focus her minor studies in marketing, which provided her the opportunity to take some relevant courses in sales and internet marketing.

Upon graduation in May of 2018, Madi was afforded the opportunity to serve in an internship role with the Aurora Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she worked directly with the Director of Sales and the Director of Marketing. This opportunity expanded Madi’s marketing interests, and she decided to begin pursuing marketing opportunities outside of Illinois. As she began to explore other cities, Nashville won the toss-up, as Music City was a familiar place for Madi from occasional road trips to even running in the St. Jude Rock & Roll Marathon. She explains, “I just love the overall vibe of Nashville, its people, and the booming hospitality industry.” In August of 2018, Madi and her college friend decided to join forces and set off on the new adventure to Nashville together. Madi quickly found a temporary sales role at a financial solutions company, where she served for the next four months, gaining some profitable experience in professionalism, sales interactions, and corporate business culture.

When a friend mentioned that she should check out job postings on the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce page, Madi’s eye was immediately drawn to the Marketing Account Coordinator opening at Green Apple. “I read the job description, and it seemed like the perfect fit,” says Madi. “I was quickly drawn to the company’s mission, culture, and that the dogs were listed on the team page,” she adds. Madi reached out about the position, nailed the interview process, and was hired at the beginning of November 2018. “I’m so excited that my position has a lot of growth potential. There’s a lot of things within my list of responsibilities that I haven’t experienced, but I’m ready for to dive in, learn more, and grow in my role,” she affirms. Madi quickly excelled in her work throughout 2018 and into 2019, as she was promoted in August of 2019 to the role of Assistant Client Relations Specialist and then again in June of 2020 to Digital Marketing Specialist.

Beyond the office, Madi loves being outdoors. You can find her on a hike or nearby a lake whenever she gets the chance. Among her most recent outdoor adventures were exploring California’s National Park treasures, Sequoia and Yosemite, as well as backpacking in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Madi is grateful for her family, especially her mom, Lisa, who she proudly calls her best friend. She has two brothers—Dexter, a twin who lives in San Diego, and a little brother, Aidan, who attends Eastern Illinois University. Madi also spends much time with her swimming bulldog, Haisley, and every moment she gets to visit her friends who live in Chicago. Friends are also important to Madi—specifically her college friends who all come to visit her now in Music City.

On Madi’s bucket list is to continue to travel and explore the world, and she hopes to one day visit New Zealand and Greece. As for her new Nashville home, Madi says, “I love the people here. It’s also fun being able to do anything at any time in this city. You never run out of things to do in Nashville, especially with the growing list of trendy restaurants and live music venues and festivals.” Above all, Madi loves that Nashville is a dog-friendly city, which has made her and Haisley feel right at home.