Jerry Miller, Chairman, The Miller Organization
Jerry Miller is the founder and chairman of The Miller Organization LLC, a holding company for six vertically integrated yet financially independent subsidiaries, including VMV Brands, a full-service advertising, digital media, e-commerce and events agency located on the historic Charlottesville, Virginia Downtown Mall.
The Miller Organization is also the parent company of I Love CVille Real Estate LLC, which owns more than 11,000+ square feet of commercial and residential real estate across Charlottesville and Albemarle County, including nearly 5,000 square feet in The Maclin Building, a prestigious Downtown Charlottesville landmark located on Market Street.
In total, The Miller Organization owns six limited liability companies and one trademark (I Heart CVille) protected by the United States Patent & Trademark Office.
During the spring of 2008, in the midst of a successful career as a syndicated radio, TV and media personality, Jerry founded and launched Virginia Media Ventures LLC, Charlottesville’s first digitally-focused advertising agency. Out of a 97-square-foot home office, in his bachelor-infested second-floor condominium, Jerry was a one-man shop with Lucy (a feisty German Shepherd mix) as the go-to business closer. Through drive, determination and 18-hour days, Virginia Media Ventures LLC earned immediate traction in Charlottesville, especially within the restaurant sector as the farm-to-table, #ShopLocal movement was gaining momentum across the country.
In September of 2012, following four-and-a-half years of securing some of the top businesses in Charlottesville as clients, partners and friends, Virginia Media Ventures LLC opened its first downtown office on historic South Street above Charlottesville’s first-ever brewery: South Street Brewery. (Jerry remembers closing six different deals over cold beers at the copper-covered bar at South Street Brewery, including one negotiation that spanned seven Satans Poneys, two full-racks of Baby Back Ribs and the worst hangover of all-time the next morning.)
Within six months of moving to South Street, Virginia Media Ventures LLC had outgrown its headquarters (Jerry really sucked at picking the first HQ!) after posting its best six-month spurt in agency history.
During the time above South Street Brewery, somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2012, Jerry made a bold decision (some called the decision, “Fucking crazy!“) to rebrand Virginia Media Ventures LLC as VMV Brands. At the time of the rebranding, Virginia Media Ventures LLC was at its absolute best from a revenue, production and reputation standpoint, so the move posed significant risks for the team. However, after much deliberation, Jerry trusted his instinct, sensing the VMV Brands moniker would better depict the agency’s emerging digital presence and its strategic push for vertical integration. Virginia Media Ventures LLC was now VMV Brands.
Almost immediately, Jerry’s gamble paid off.
Directly following the rebranding, VMV Brands posted its best quarter in agency history and launched its first-ever big-time event: Charlottesville Restaurant Week. At the conclusion of the event, Charlottesville Restaurant Week had raised more than $9,000 for the Virginia Institute of Autism and generated more than half a million dollars ($500,000) in gross revenues across the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and Madison County. Jerry and VMV Brands generated incremental revenue for all 28 restaurants involved in Charlottesville Restaurant Week while raising a tremendous amount of money for a respected non-profit. Just like that, a “conscious capitalism” fire was stoked within Jerry. (He would later launch “Charlottesville Shopping Month!,” “The Charlottesville Home Makeover Project!,” “Get Healthy, Charlottesville!,” each a successfull conscious capitalism execution.)
In February of 2013, Jerry and the VMV Brands team moved its headquarters to The Professional Center, a Class A three-story building located on The Charlottesville Downtown Mall. The owner of The Professional Center – Bill Nitchmann, a Charlottesville-based commercial developer and entrepreneur – was Jerry’s direct neighbor in the building (they shared a wall and ran into each other often). Over the next 18 months, Jerry and Bill, a 70-year-old businessman with savvy, vision and street smarts, struck an immediate friendship, bonding over the trials and tribulations of business ownership and entrepreneurial endeavors. Bill served as more than a sounding-board for Jerry; he was a friend, mentor and confidant who often offered his guidance and perspective as Jerry and VMV Brands were cementing themselves as the top digital agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Bill would often encourage Jerry to take “calculated risks,” or as he described it, “bet on yourself to beat the other guy.” With Bill prodding him, Jerry made three significant real estate purchases: one in Albemarle County (December, 2013) and two in the City of Charlottesville (July, 2014), including the purchase of two commercial units within The Maclin Building, a prestigious downtown landmark. In early August of 2014, Jerry and VMV Brands moved their headquarters to The Maclin Building, where they enjoy floor-to-ceiling windows, two balconies, room to expand and a sexy view of Market Street, a premiere downtown artery.
Bill also encouraged Jerry to create a real estate company. In July of 2014, Jerry launched I Love CVille Real Estate LLC (a division of VMV Brands) and positioned his real estate holdings – The Maclin Building, The Villas at Southern Ridge, Redfields Neighborhood – within this company.
In January of 2017, Jerry closed a deal with Dr. John Pfaltz (Emeritus Professor of Computer Science at the University of Virginia) to purchase three offices on the second floor of The Maclin Building. The company also finalized a transaction with Dr. Trice Taylor, DDS to purchase his dental office, which is located on the first floor of The Maclin Building.
Today, I Love CVille Real Estate LLC owns eight properties (11,000+ square feet of residential and commercial real estate) across Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
In March of 2014, Jerry and VMV Brands launched Scoutology.com after a successful 14-month “beta trial run” as I Love CVille and The CVille Store (launched in January, 2013). I Love CVille found immediate success as a hyper-local digital platform that positively spotlighted food, drink, music, shopping and business in Charlottesville, Va. The CVille Store served as the e-commerce platform for I Love CVille, selling t-shirts, hats, cornhole boards and stickers that featured the “I Heart CVille” logo, a USPTO protected trademark.
By September of 2015, Scoutology.com, a USPTO protected trademark, had established itself as the flagship digital property within the VMV Brands media division, reaching more than 5.7 million readers across 138 cities. (NOTE: This digital media division also includes Virginia Wine Life and I Love CVille).
Jerry has founded and sold three companies over the last 13 years. In October, 2010, after helping start and build the business for more than 15 months, Jerry sold his 50% ownership stake of Strike One Media LLC and its flagship property, YouthSportsNow.com. In April of 2013, Miller sold Charlottesville Restaurant Week to C-Ville Holdings LLC (the parent company of The C-Ville Weekly) in a five-figure deal.
Jerry was elected President of The Maclin Building board of directors in January 2016 and 2017 after serving a one-year term as Vice President in 2015.
An award-winning writer, Jerry was named a two-time Virginia Press Award winner and five-time Media General MegaNet Award winner.
Jerry was named one of the youngest editors in the history of The Charlottesville Daily Progress when he was promoted at 23 years old. In this capacity, Jerry managed a staff of 13 writers (some as experienced as 60 years old) and was responsible for story creation, employee scheduling, employee management, financial budgeting, human resources, front-page design and front-page package creation for much of his department. (At the time, Jerry had no idea this demanding and mentally-challenging promotion would offer the foundation for his future as a business owner at VMV Brands.)
Before his 28th birthday, Jerry was a syndicated radio and television personality with a loyal following of more than 1.3 million listeners and viewers across Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Washington, DC. Jerry hosted, produced and monetized three syndicated radio shows across 13 ESPN affiliates: “The Jerry Miller Show,” “Shuman Says with John Shuman and Jerry Miller” and “In The Paint With Fletcher Arrit and Jerry Miller.”
Miller also served as host, executive producer and development director of two popular NBC-affiliated TV shows: “The Jerry Miller Show” and “Varsity Lights with Jerry Miller.” Each TV show enjoyed more than four years of lifespan, including a strong 5-year run for “Varsity Lights with Jerry Miller.”
(1). Advertising Agency
(2). Digital Media Network
(3). Retail/E-Commerce/Intellectual Property (I Love CVille)
(4). Real Estate
(5). Live Events
VMV Brands subsidiaries include:
(1). Scoutology, a digital media network with more than 5.7 million users across 138 cities. www.Scoutology.com
(2). The CVille Store, an e-commerce website that sells Charlottesville-inspired merchandise. www.TheCVilleStore.com
(3). I Love CVille, an official USPTO registered trademark. www.LoveCVille.com
(4). CVille Photo & Video, a full-service photography & videography company. www.CVillePhotoVideo.com
(5). I Love CVille Real Estate LLC, the real estate division within VMV Brands that owns four properties (7,000+ square feet of residential and commercial real estate) across Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
(6). “The Charlottesville Home Makeover Project!,” a twice-a-year philanthropic home makeover project. “Charlottesville Home Makeover Project!”
(7). “Charlottesville Shopping Month!,” a celebration of the best locally-owned and operated shops & boutiques in and around Charlottesville, Va.
(8). “Get Healthy, Charlottesville!,” a celebration of the best gyms, doctors, spas, boutiques, aerobic facilities and health-conscious merchants.