When you look at any team or business, it’s true that you need the people or players to step up and surprise you now and then, but you also need the ones you can count on – the silent, successful, metronomes if you will.
Sam Jokerst '13 fits the latter category, as his success speaks for itself. At Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School he played the cello for 11 years and played on both the varsity football and varsity baseball teams that were no stranger to postseason.
After graduation as an Alpha-Omega student, it was baseball that beckoned his steady hands forward. He played at East Tennessee State before transferring and finishing his college career as an outfielder at Maryville College. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in business management in 2017.
He made an impact at both places both academically as well as with the ball, bat and glove, as he earned Academic All-Conference awards every year to go with the All-Conference Sportsmanship teams.
After that, the business world welcomed his healthy approach to the world.
“I went to Dalton, working with Shaw Industries where I am today,” Mr. Jokerst said. “They told me when I walked in the door to be prepared to move anywhere in the country.”
They first moved him to Paducah, Ky., a place he planned on staying for a short while.
“I fell in love with the place and stayed for two and a half years,” he recalled with a laugh.
After that, he was off to Nashville where he remains to this day, and where he remains in love with what he does. “I love this company and I will stay here as long as they’ll have me,” he said. “If I retire here, that would be great. Currently, I’m just looking to broaden my horizons here, learn things about perhaps getting into management. This is a place that emphasizes ‘enterprise over self,’ and I enjoy every day getting out and meeting customers.”
Mr. Jokerst took his team sport roles learned at HIES and continues to convert them into business successes. He wrote his thesis in college about how team sports prepare one for the business world.
After he got to Nashville in December 2019, the pandemic would soon hit, but Mr. Jokerst used that in a positive way. “Since I’d just gotten here, I had to learn quick and creative ways how to meet and sell to people. I didn’t know anybody, and it wasn’t face-to-face selling since it was on Zoom," he said. "Still, it was a matter of putting together videos, being creative, funny, anything I could do to figure out how to sell successfully and build good relationships.”
He often reflected on his time at HIES, where he picked up his positive outlook and built relationships. Friendships made at HIES continue to this today. Mr. Jokerst is engaged to marry Aubrey Jones in May. Several of his groomsman are HIES alumni.
“I can’t say enough about my time at Holy Innocents’ – that place will always be home to me,” he said. “Everything from playing the cello, learning writing techniques, learning to play on a team, and preparing me to be an adult. HI taught me in every way and every day how to help me be who I am today. I’m not the only person to say that. I think you’d get similar answers from a lot of people.”
– Dunn Neugebauer