WVPTA Logo Final1The West Virginia Physical Therapy Association represents and promotes the physical therapy profession in West Virginia. It provides continuing education and legislative advocacy for its members, and is a chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association.

In May of 2014, Jeff Stevens assumed the position of Executive Director of the WVPTA. Jamie Summers-Brown, who had built the organization’s website and managed it for years, proved to be a tremendous help as Stevens transitioned to his new role. “He aided me in day-to-day projects that you just wouldn’t normally expect from your web developer. Rather than constantly having to refer back to old notes or manuals or contact the previous staff, Jamie had so much experience and had worked so closely with our association that I could often rely on him to almost help me perform my role until I more fully understood my executive director position.”

As Stevens got to know Jamie, he was also amazed at Jamie’s response time. “He’s probably the most responsive developer I’ve ever met in my entire life. I can send him any kind of update I need and it’s up, sometimes literally in 60 seconds. . .(I) just don’t know anyone else that works that way.” 

Website Improvement

Just prior to Stevens arrival at the WVPTA, Summers-Brown had completed a major overhaul to the group’s website, which included enhancing site navigation, increasing visibility of  WVPTA’s partners, and including a members-only area. Stevens, an experienced lobbyist, appreciated the functionality of the members-only area. “I would put Jamie near the very top in terms of website development and member outreach. Any time we need to call our membership to action, whether to show up at the capitol, contact their legislature, or provide their personal opinions, Jamie helps us get that on the website immediately. He also provides a forum for us to receive their feedback so that I know how to proceed. He’s as good as it gets.”

Newsletter Knowledge

Brandon Beacom, the WVPTA’s Public Relations and Publication Committee chair, worked with Jamie on the site updates. Jamie also helped Beacom with the group’s newsletter, offering suggestions to make it more optimal for advertising. Formerly sent via email, the newsletter had several links within, limiting opportunities for advertising. On Jamie’s advice, Beacom now sends an email blast with just one link--to the newsletter housed on the association’s website, which allows for more advertising. “He simplified it for me and made my job easier.”

Poster Submissions

Jamie had assisted the WVPTA with another major undertaking in the years just prior to Stevens coming. The WVPTA wanted to add a new element to its 2012 Annual Conference: a peer-reviewed Physical Therapy Poster Presentation session. Former Research Committee chair Mary Rhodes, who worked with Jamie on the development, explained, “These are research projects that are put into a poster format. All the information is presented in a poster layout for people to view. That’s something that is done consistently on the national level.” The association wanted participants to have the ability to submit abstract ideas online, and using the national application process as a guide, the WVPTA informed Jamie of all the elements it needed included in the submission process. Bricks Without Straw developed the entire application process, from the ground up, and did it quickly. “The whole process was maybe a month from where we started until we got everything up and running. Jamie had the system ready for us to trial in 2 weeks or less.” 

According to Rhodes, the WVPTA received 19 submissions that first year, about twice as many as it had anticipated. “That’s pretty significant for the physical therapy community here in the state. Jamie did a fabulous job!”  

Internal Elections

More recently, Jamie worked with the WVPTA on yet another enterprise; building an online system for internal elections. Gretchen Pfost, former chair of the Nominating Committee, explains, “If you attended the (spring) conference, you could vote, but if you were a member and didn’t attend the conference then your vote was never counted, because we had to get past the cost of mailing ballots out. So that was the push for the electronic election. That first year, we did Survey Monkey, but we really wanted to get people to our website and see what we had to offer.”

Overcoming Obstacles

When Pfost approached Jamie with the need, his response was immediate: “Of course we can do this!” Patterned off the national association’s system, Pfost said Jamie was quick to implement a system which includes candidate bios, election information, a ballot, and an electronic receipt. “We sent some emails; I told him what we needed. . .and he built it on the website and allowed me access to look at it. We just emailed back and forth in order to work out the kinks and it was a pretty seamless process.”

“It seems like there isn’t really an obstacle that he can’t get around. He’s creative, he’s very timely, and he just gets it done.”  

Stevens shared similar sentiments about Jamie. “I’ve never met anyone that is more responsive to my emails, phone calls, and gets it done any faster than he does in terms of updating the website.  .  I can’t say enough good things about him. And his prices are great, too.”

Bricks Without Straw is a digital agency and design agency based in South Charleston, WV United States and Ota, Tokyo, Japan.

We offer a range of web design services including: web development, e-commerce services and email marketing. We also offer a range of graphic design services including logo design and exhibition stands.

We love working with clients of all sizes in a range of industry sectors, creating and implementing inspiring and hard working concepts and campaigns for business-business and business-consumer clients.

Valicia Leary

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Carol Fulks

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Patti Hamliton

Bricks Without Straw is bringing our association into the 21st Century! He brings us ideas and innovation for our web site and other tools of technology that help us enhance our image and our message.

Rebecca McPhail

Bricks Without Straw has continued to exceed our expectations with their design work, support and attention to detail. We would highly recommend their services. They have a wonderful team and we enjoy our working relationship with them.

Bill Raney

Jamie is one of the most committed and energetic professionals we have ever worked with over the years. He seems to work all the time with full 24-7 accessibility and immediate response. Bricks Without Straw has raised our collective confidence for maximizing opportunities in today’s world. We simply could not have done it without them.

Jan Vineyard

The demands and responsibilities to our members mandate that the online presence of our associations and our internet capabilities are reliable and seamless. Add creativity to that mix and one gets the complete package with Jamie Summers-Brown and his staff at Bricks without Straw.