Meet Johnny Boy’s Newest Client

There’s some humor to be found in the newest client on the Johnny Boy Marketing roster.

Envision Benefits Group is an employee benefits, payroll and HR consulting company based in Buffalo, NY. Started just before the pandemic, it has not only survived by is thriving under owner and president Kristin Devereaux.

Now to the humor: To say that me and human resources have a bumpy history is to say the Titanic took on some water. As someone who marches to the beat of his own drum creatively and who values efficiency over process and politics, my introduction to human resources wasn’t that great. Sadly, it happened as the newspaper industry started and proceeded through its death spiral.

Though I’ve met a few good HR people in the wake of my initial experiences, I don’t have too many kind things to say about most of the ones who I’ve encountered in my career. Ms. Devereaux is an exception.

When I told my wife and business partner I’d be writing monthly blogs for Envision, she actually laughed. “You? Writing HR blogs? You can’t be serious.”

And yet I am. Truth is, I’ve been writing HR blogs for a few years now, just not for any particular company. Frustrated by what I experienced with those fine folks and growing rather tired of the American work culture in general, I started a blog a few years ago called Ya Pay Peanuts, Ya Get Monkeys.

There, I’ve written on such topics as:

All of these were written with no formal training in human resources and are not endorsed by my new client — or anyone, for that matter. They are merely my thoughts and observations from what’s suddenly seeming like a lengthy and interesting career.


So yes, there’s certainly some humor in me — hater of all things human resources — writing columns about human resources. But that’s not where it ends.

Kristin Devereaux might be Kristin Devereaux to her clients, but to me she’ll always be Kristi Buxton, the girl I dated in ninth grade. Now married and raising children, Kristi, err, Kristin was once the girl with whom I went to a movie with a group of friends.

As ninth-grade relationships are wont to do, it didn’t last long. I’m thinking it was about two weeks after that movie that she broke up with me. By the time high school ended, we were just another face in the crowd to each other.

Then, social media. Over the course the past 15 years or so, we’ve rarely “spoken” directly to each other but have kept up on each others’ lives through posts and photos. When she saw a Johnny Boy Marketing post on LinkedIn, she reached out to me looking for a storyteller to help her make her blogs more engaging, informative and entertaining.

A few Zoom calls later, she now becomes the latest client to sign up with Team Johnny Boy. I’m happy to not only be writing human resource columns but to be writing human resource columns that hopefully will help Kristin Devereaux grow her business.

Funny how life works out, huh?

John Agliata is a marketing professional with more than 30 years of communications experience. Reach him at johnagliata@gmail.com or (352) 226-5852.


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