Meet Joel Buhr, Chief Data Disruptor (aka President) at First Direct (

Tell us a little about your business. – First Direct is a marketing systems provider that is on a mission to transform businesses with the right information, insights and solutions to empower today’s business owners’ growth and success. Our approach is different in that we are helping businesses first shore up KEY marketing and system gaps, then using data to better understand opportunities and convert those into more revenue!

How did you get started in the business? – I started back in 1997 at American Business Information diving deep into the data side of marketing, then in 2005 I started First Direct and have had the distinct opportunity to work with several major national brands develop better audience targeting, strategies and solve unique business challenges. I look at this as only just beginning.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – I think challenges of growing a team have been some of the most challenging, we have both staff here in the USA and overseas, creating a community that brings the right people, keeps them aligned and maturing personally, professionally and financially so that they are finding real connection to what they do to help clients and the goals they want to achieve. This process alone, which is always being refined is a challenging process for any professional.

What has been your most important achievement professionally? – When I look at the impact what we are doing for our clients, and how that translates to their employees and communities that is an achievement that both my team and I thrive on. We have seen some remarkable results over the years such as one client seeing over 1500% ROI and being able to open two more locations just because of the impact of what we do.

Tell us a little about your family. – I have an amazing wife, and two beautiful children (a son and a daughter). My wife Audrey, also works at First Direct leading our Client Marketing Support team, my son is a freshman at UNO and works part time at First Direct helping on client and internal copy development.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – I love to go motorcycle riding, flying and sailing. So, depends on if I just have a day off I’ll go flying, if I got more time you’ll find me in the BVI sailing.

What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – Well I hinted at it above, I am a private pilot and also certified for sail boats and catamarans.

What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – “Nothing to it but to do it!” This statement just drives home the point of how important it is to simply take action, the ability for someone to take action is 100% in their control.

If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – Persistent.

What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone, this book was a game changer in the mindset shift that has propelled First Direct to remarkable growth.

If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Warren Buffet –Who can help make this connection?

If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?(402) 403-6232 |