Obituary of Nicholas S. Johnson
Nicholas Scattergood Johnson, a longtime Madison resident, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at his home. He was 55.
He is survived by his wonderful family, his wife Kirsten of 30 years, his three children Campbell, Cole and Caroline Johnson, his father Richard and his younger brother David. He was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Marsha Johnson.
Nick was born in Manhattan, NY and spent the earliest part of his childhood in Brooklyn before moving to Asia with his family. Over the course of his childhood and teenage years, they moved to Manila, Philippines to Bangkok, Thailand and then back and forth from Tokyo to Hong Kong. It was during these formative years that Nick developed a love for travel and the unique cultures throughout Asia.
Nick then attended the Peddie School, a boarding school in Hightstown, NJ. It was a long trip home, but he always enjoyed returning to Hong Kong or Tokyo and spending time with his local friends and reassimilating into the unique cultures of the locales.
Nick attended Gettysburg College and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree. He was an active member of his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. He also was a disc jockey on the college radio station, WZBT. Most importantly, it was during this time that he met and fell in love with his future wife, Kirsten.
Once out of college, Nick began his career in advertising in New York City. His first two jobs at Levine, Huntley, Schmidt and Beaver and McCann Erickson were in the network buying department. Nick proposed to Kirsten and then the two upended their lives and moved to Tokyo where he became an account executive at Grey Daiko. Importantly, during his time abroad, Netscape launched and was a catalyst for a career move into digital ad sales.
From Tokyo, Nick moved to West Palm Beach to work as a marketing manager for Slim Fast and then back to New York with Grey Advertising. From there, Nick began a 25-year career in media sales, focusing exclusively on internet-based advertising. During this time, Nick rose from an account executive at Turner working on the CNN properties to stints in sales leadership at Lycos, Reuters, NBCU, and McClatchy. He also had the great pleasure of working at two early stage startups as chief revenue officer at Revenue Science and, most recently, Spotter. Nick was thrilled to find his dream job at Spotter as its first CRO. In that role Nick truly shined as he built his team of first class professionals and a culture of belief in the value of the emerging creator-monetization world.
In the latter part of his career, Nick enjoyed lending his expertise in advisory roles at a number of companies including Jumpstart, xAd, OpenSlate, Blockthrough, Pushly and others. He also began dedicating his time to nonprofits, serving on the boards of The TD Foundation, Junior Achievement of New York and the American Platform Tennis Association, as well as the Media Advisory of Sandy Hook Promises. He was also a very active alumnus of Gettysburg serving as a member of their Communications & Marketing Advisory Council. Also with CMAC, Nick co-founded the Entrepreneurial Fellowship which granted $10,000 awards for students to start a business over the summer.
Nick felt strongly about paying it forward. He was a mentor to many and loved connecting people, whether it was interns to their first job or connecting friends to people they wanted to meet. He always found time to meet with students and friends and felt very passionate about listening to people and offering any career advice he could. Advising or helping someone find a job truly brought Nick the greatest of pleasures.
Nick lived life to the fullest with his endless energy and infectious enthusiasm. He enjoyed travel, books, music, wine and racket sports - most notably paddle tennis - and spending time with his precious family. Family trips over the years to places like Peru, China, South Africa, Zambia and (most recently) Greece were amongst his fondest memories. While he wished he had more time with his family, he felt blessed to share his life with his best friend and wife Kirsten and their three children. He was immensely proud of Campbell, Cole and Caroline - witnessing their transition into successful adults and, more importantly, best friends. Nick's countless friends will remember him for his generous spirit, gift for words and perfectly timed jokes. He was well known for his mastery of all leisure sports whether it was ping pong, foosball or cornhole. Most importantly, Nick created strong relationships with all he loved.
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