Innovation in the Midwest

OUTdrive Episode 75 with Jason Robertson

OUTdrive Episode 75 with Jason Robertson

It used to be that you had to move to New York or Los Angeles to pursue a career in a forward-thinking industry. In 2021, that’s no longer the case, as innovation is happening all across the Midwest. In this episode of OUTdrive, I visit with long-time acquaintance Jason Robertson, who has spent nearly 25 years in business development and currently works in the design and construction industry. His success in sales and marketing was founded right here, in the rural America we know and love.

Jason is the Vice President of Food and Beverage at CRB, an engineering, architecture, construction and consulting firm. CRB specializes in building solutions for innovative products and facilities in the life science industry and has been integral in project development for vaccines and plant-based foods. Jason possesses 23 years of accomplished experience in executive sales and marketing leadership roles. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwestern College in Iowa and currently lives in Kansas City.

Tune in to hear Jason’s insight on how the life science and biotech industry has been transformed through the pandemic, and in turn, how that affects consumers. Jason also shares his advice on advertising formats, trade shows, and creating engaging content.


  • 3:15 – Jason and Cliff discuss the communications skills young professionals should be working on in jobs that require building relationships.
  • 7:15 – Jason describes growing up in a North Central Iowa farming community and his perspective on rural America.
  • 12:00 – Insight into the innovation happening at CRB from their hand in developing the COVID vaccine to producing food with alternative proteins.
  • 14:00 – The market research and strategic processes Jason uses in his day to day role.
  • 16:15 – The future of industry trade shows and conventions.
  • 21:30 – Sales and marketing strategies that are generating a solid ROI
  • 23:00 – Jason and Cliff dive into content marketing and the power of podcasts.
  • 24:45 – Marketing insights and trends Jason sees in the marketplace, specifically when it comes to running ads.
  • 30:15 – Jason’s closing thoughts on having pride in where you’re from.