Work Hive Member Profile – Jocelyn Kearl on Travel, Coming Home, and Utah Nonprofits

Jocelyn Kearl is a co-owner of Third Sun Productions, a web development firm building and managing websites for nonprofits and small businesses in Utah. Jocelyn, and those on her team, are full time members at Work Hive.

Jocelyn has the travel bug. Among the places she’s visited are Israel/Jerusalem, Egypt, Jordan, Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, France, Belgium, Copenhagen, Krakow, Budapest, Amsterdam, Italy, Spain, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vancouver without counting the places she’s lived. She says her next adventure is Cuba. “I want to get there before there’s thousands of people,” she confesses. There’s something about an untouched culture or piece of the world that gets her excited.

“I’m a Provo native,” explains Jocelyn. “My dad teaches at BYU so I grew up in the heart of all of that…” She’s describing the predominant culture in Provo, the location of Brigham Young University, a private religious school founded by the LDS church. “… and I went to BYU so I got a great education for free, and then I got the hell out because I needed to get out and to see the world a little bit.” Aside from the places she’s visited, she’s lived in Boston, Austin, Los Angeles, Northwest Argentina (as an LDS missionary), London (as a teaching assistant), and Jerusalem (as a study abroad student). “I never really intended to come back to Utah through most of that, but there’s something about [this place].”

We found ourselves on a tangent about LA’s changing downtown scene and I couldn’t help but compare it to the downtown revitalization that’s happened in Salt Lake City over the last several years. “Well, they’ve made a lot of changes…” Jocelyn is describing LA here. “Yeah, I don’t mind visiting it, but living there for me was an energy sapping experience.” Salt Lake: 1. LA: 0.

The quality of life in Salt Lake City is quickly becoming a theme in this series of articles, and Jocelyn’s experience is no exception. “I came back because I wanted a higher quality of life… I got the job at KRCL and that was perfect because every part of the subculture I wanted to be a part of was connected at KRCL. Arts, food, small business. [There was] kind of an indie spirit… I think Salt Lake is a great place to live.”

As she goes on to describe the incredible food scene and amazing people we have in Salt Lake City, she brings up Salt Lake’s ever-increasing pool of amazing talent. “There’s this incredible creative talent in the city for whatever reason. [Third Sun] has benefitted a lot from that.” In the beginning, Third Sun was a two-person company, but has grown to a team of five, also relying on great local sub-contractors for various projects. Third Sun only relies on local talent. “We didn’t want to do it any other way,” she explains.

“We’ve been doing this for 11 years, which is a lifetime in internet years,” she laughs. “Back in the beginning, having a website wasn’t seen as necessary for [nonprofits]… It’s funny to have been told at certain points, ‘yeah we want to look good, but not too good.’” She’s describing the fear that some nonprofits have of being perceived as spending too much money on non-essentials. The same issue happens when it comes to hiring an expensive Executive Director, as this great TED speaker argues. It’s changed though, she tells me. “Now everybody wants to look good. The bar is a lot higher for everybody.”

Jocelyn and the rest of the team at Third Sun have built sites for the Salt Lake City Downtown Farmer’s Market, Salt Lake Film Society, TEDx Salt Lake City, Utah Arts Festival, Wasatch Community Gardens, and Equality Utah among many others.

Some quick facts about Jocelyn:
Daytime beverage: usually mate, but sometimes beer at lunch.
Evening beverage: beer at Beer Bar.
Typical Lunch: protein shake.