November 2, 2021

NEAR Foundation Hires Chris Ghent To Lead Global Brand and Communications Efforts

NEAR Foundation is delighted to announce that Chris Ghent has joined NEAR Foundation as Global Head of Brand Strategy & Partnerships. Chris will be spearheading the Foundation’s efforts to build on its strategy of creating a blockchain that is simple to use, incredibly secure, and infinitely scalable.   

He’ll do that by looking to build the NEAR brand to help join the dots between product, the organization, and the community to ensure the NEAR ecosystem is working collectively to bring more people into web3 and deliver on its mission of mass adoption. 

“Chris brings exactly what this ecosystem needs right now — a clear and experienced voice to help surface the stories and ideas that matter so everyone can see what the NEAR ecosystem is capable of and what it’s doing well right now,” says Erik Trautman, NEAR Foundation’s CEO. 

An award-winning marketer and entrepreneur, Chris started his career launching an eCommerce retail start-up in 2005. In the marketing and communications industry, he has specialized in strategy first, digital-led, technology-powered, and data-driven initiatives. Delivering business strategies and marketing approaches that transform how companies go to market is his primary objective.

Chris has worked with leading brands including Breaker (formerly SingularDTV), First Republic Bank, Harman International Industries, Infiniti Motor Company Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, Keds, Nielsen, Novartis, Prestige Brands, and Stanley Black & Decker.

Chris has already spent three years in the crypto industry, previously leading the development of a US-based marketing team in NYC, which focused on global brand coordination and paid marketing initiatives in the Tezos ecosystem. He has been an advocate and early adopter of non-traditional blockchain based advertising solutions, partnering with Brave Browser from alpha to beta to mobile capabilities, and believes that traditional mediums like digitally connected out-of-home media will be key to mass adoption. He looks forward to driving awareness of the NEAR brand and delivering awareness that the NEAR ecosystem is the home to crypto/blockchain innovation. 

“Having worked in the crypto/blockchain space full-time since 2018, I’ve always been attracted to projects that have very clear value propositions yet have a hard time telling their story,” explains Ghent. 

“Teams and communities in crypto are fantastic at focusing on amazing technological advantages, but often overlook the core reasons why new users join the space or project: simplicity, a compelling brand, and a number of key features that can’t be found anywhere else. One of those is seamless UX for onboarding users, which is what attracted me the most to NEAR. It’s worked harder than most to make someone’s first step in crypto, simple.

Crypto Barriers 

Crypto has struggled to identify the needs of developers, engineers, and end-users curious about the industry. Is it easy to use? Can programming languages from Web2 be brought over to Web3? Are there hidden costs to deploying and maintaining code? 

It’s on the protocols, their foundations, and their communities to solve these issues if mass adoption is to come to crypto. It’s something the NEAR Foundation is focused on and looking to build on over the next 12 months.  

NEAR’s developer ecosystem, the community and founders, have consistently put the end-user at the heart of technological development and decision making. We often forget that the category is still relatively new, but NEAR has become an innovation inspiration for so many other projects and teams.

“I can’t wait to learn from what’s working best from the community and Foundation team to harness those insights in order to drive net-new developers into the ecosystem who will build even more of the most end-user friendly NEAR-based experiences.”

We are excited that Chris has joined our team to help us achieve these goals. His work will help NEAR continue to build out its brand and storytelling capability, while simultaneously creating better ways to support NEAR’s thriving ecosystem. 

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