The POZCAST: Career & Life Journeys with Adam Posner

BEST OF #thePOZCAST E51: Vincent Bragg & Joe Michael Nickson: From Prison to the Ad Agency Boardroom

Episode Summary

BEST OF #thePOZcast: Vincent Bragg & Joe Michael Nickson My guests on E51, Vincent Bragg and Joe Nickson have a truly incredible story, and we will get to that in a min. But first, quick backstory how I met Vincent. It was at SXSW 2 years ago at an event and I believe he asked the panel a question about “hiring prev incarcerated people.” At the time I started volunteering w/ Defy and said I gotta talk to this guy and content him w/ my guy Marcus Glover. Little did I know he was a Defy graduate. I introduced myself, we connected and the rest is history. Here is Vincent’s story: After being sentenced to several years in prison for running a Drug empire Vincent Bragg quickly learned that some of the most outside of the box thinking happens inside the box. During his incarceration he watched as his fellow convicts were able to make something from nothing – books, music, entire meals – all created between four barren concrete walls. It was here Vincent realized the cells meant to imprison them for 23 hours a day were actually breeding grounds for creativity. Throughout the rest of his sentence Vincent naturally assumed a leadership role among his fellow inmates – a set of skills he previously obtained from his extremely successful run as Marketing VP of X.Radio.Biz. Using his years of experience from the marketing and entertainment industries, Vincent organized think tanks, book clubs, led a cancer walk and developed an animated series – all behind bars. Years later, still inspired by the sheer amount of talent he saw in prison, he founded ConCreates: a creative agency that crowdsources ideas from incarcerated and formerly incarcerated men and women. Today, he serves as the agency’s CEO, developing radical ideas for brands with his team of radical thinkers: the ConCreators. Joe, Pure strategist, charismatic, and creative genius isn’t something you normally would think when you talkabout a bank robber. But in the case of Joe Michael Nickson, a South Central L.A. native, his ability to turn media nightmares into marketing miracles allowed him to turn his life around. Growing up in the home of a logistics expert and a caregiver, Joe developed skills that took him places he could never imagine and at the age of 25 he ended up in Federal Prison. On June 6, 2005 he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for having robbed 27 banks. While in prison he met Vincent who helped him to see the potential of his skills in the agency space and there they formed ConCreates. After 17.5 years, Joe has transitioned from navigating relationships inside to finessing marketing tactics on the outside. Now the same skills that put his creative teams behind bars are helping them find careers, and become contributing, creative members of society. In July 2019 he partnered with 72 and Sunny...HUGE...we will dig into that and a whole lot more… For more, please visit

Episode Notes

3:50: Out of the Box Ideas/ Creativity behind Bars
6:03: Think Tank/ Working with Defy Venture
8:30: First day home after Release
11:10: Ex Cons make the best employees?
11:56: All about Concrete
14:33: Story about Incarceration/ Rock Nation
21:36: Future of Concreate
22:52:The Creative Process
26:18:  the word 'Legacy'