Career Path

Nick Choat, Owner of Sports Clips of SW Florida, Shares His Career Trajectory

Nick Choat shares his journey from part-time worker at Goodsprings Grocery to owner CEO and owner of Sports Clips of SW Florida.

By Lori Johnston March 14, 2016 Published in the March 2016 issue of Sarasota Magazine

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Nick Choat.

(1968-1978) Part-time worker, Goodsprings Grocery, near Etowah, Tenn.

“All I had to do to get this job was to be born and to turn 10 years old.”

(1987-1995) Software Development Manager, The Boeing Co., Philadelphia and Seattle

“Boeing defined large scale. During one annual budget cycle my boss advised me to not ask for any project less than $1 million. [It] would be thought of as trivial.”

(1995-2000) Senior Manager, Ernst & Young Consulting, greater Seattle area

“[I learned] executive presence. If you’re going to present to an audience, whether it’s two people or 2,000 people, as you’re walking on stage, take a deep breath.”

(2000-2004) Vice President of Engineering, Getty Images, greater Seattle area

“I transformed a traditional business into an online, digital business.”

(2004-2005) CTO (interim) and Senior Director of Engineering,, greater Seattle area

“The one thing I would have done differently at is not take the job. The new CEO was determined to control costs. You can’t control costs and grow the business at the same time.”

(2005-2008) Vice President, CallVision/Verisign, greater Seattle area

“I spent a lot of time with [founders and brothers] Derek and Dwayne [Edwards] to make sure I wasn’t going to get into the middle of a sibling war. I witnessed the only time you can use the phrase ‘Don’t be a moron’ in a professional setting.”

(2008-2012) Vice President, Big Data Analytics and Digital Advertising Technology, The Walt Disney Co., greater Seattle area

“You quickly get in the middle of corporate politics. A friend of a friend … shared with me the secret cultural sauce: ‘Build relationships first and that will give you credibility.’”

(2012-present) Chief Digital Officer, Pine Lake Advisory Service, Sarasota

“I’m reconnecting with my management consulting background, focusing on the digital needs of small businesses.”

(2014-present) CEO and Owner, Sport Clips of Southwest Florida, Sarasota and Bradenton

“After leaving Disney I wanted to return to my childhood roots, but not back to the grocery business. Instead, my wife and I own a Sport Clips Haircuts franchise.”

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