502-432-5250 derekvaal1@gmail.com

Here’s a little bit about me

How I became a digital marketer


An introduction to my life, passions, and how I became a digital marketer.

The Early Years

I grew up in a small town across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. During my younger years you could fine me “catching air” on my bike, building a fort in the woods, gaming on my Xbox, playing soccer, or trying to invent a new generator with cheap magnets. Pretty diverse, I know.

Ever since I was a kid, I had a fascination with business and technology. I was always involved in my “next big idea” and had a grandiose vision. I’ve been an aspiring entrepreneur ever since I could remember.

I remember my first attempt at a “business” was making a YouTube channel and uploading Call of Duty clips of my “quickscopes” hoping I would make it big. It didn’t exactly pan out I as I expected.

After that, my buddy and I tried to start an Airsoft business. Keep in mind, we were about 12 at the time. Still, we built forts in his backyard, bought some spare BBs to sell, bought guns to rent out, and even “hired” his little sister to sell lemonade. The American dream was very much alive.

The Teen Years

During my teen years soccer, video games, and girls became my main concern. Traveling around the midwest for competitive soccer was a total blast. Our group of guys didn’t start out the best but as we got older we started to improve dramatically. It was quite the underdog story, honestly.

Eventually, I was accepted to Indiana University and my academic career began. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do but who really does at that age? I started in Business but eventually switched to Graphic Design. I loved it didn’t know if I wanted to pursue it professionally.

I then switched to Computer Science, respected it but it didn’t respect me. I ended up back in Business. I guess true love finds a way, huh? Once I found Marketing, especially digital marketing, it was game over. I loved the idea of being at the forefront of business growth.

Present Day

After college, I moved to Indianapolis and worked for a startup for a while. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had different plans. After I lost my job at Viral Launch I decided to create my own digital marketing agency while looking for the right full-time position. I’ve learned a lot and it’s helped me become a  better marketer. 

Eventually, I decided to move to Los Angeles. I recommend moving at least once in your life. The change of scenery, new restaurants, and personal growth that comes with it is good for everybody.

I’m currently spending a lot of time on my businesses and personal development. I’m more in shape than I’ve ever been and just started getting into cooking and learning Spanish. The story has just begun!