Derek Farley is so full of energy and enthusiasm that it's catching. He loves his job and embraces life.
Born in Williamstown, W.Va., Farley graduated from WVU in 1988 with a degree in journalism.
"I knew I wanted to be a journalist when I was in the ninth grade," he said. "My first job at age 12 was delivering papers, and my interest in the news just grew." Following graduation, Farley drove south and landed in Charlotte.
"There's little commerce in West Virginia," he said. "I wanted a bigger city with all the amenities, like pro sports."
Farley found a job with PR Newswire, where he stayed for 16 years. During that time, he lived in Seattle and Dallas. He left the company in 2006 and returned to Charlotte because he liked the city and still had good friends here. "I thought I'd take a year off from work, but I did a project for TGI Fridays and liked it," Farley said.
He got to thinking and decided to start his own company, Derek Farley Public Relations. Starting with small accounts, he soon built up a working roster of clients.
"I changed my business model after a while to focus on one customer and give it my full attention," he said. TGI Fridays is now his sole client.
Farley also enjoys working out and is a concert buff. He is a Carolina Panthers PSL holder and also follows his Philadelphia teams. Farley and his white lab, Major, live in south Charlotte.