Ty Belford Jr., Founding Partner
4 Corner Creative, LLC was founded by former U.S. Marine Corp combat photographer and graphic artist, Ty Belford Jr. Ty is actually a service connected disabled veteran. After serving in the military, Ty received an Associate’s degree in computer science from Davenport University. Ty went on to obtain his Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Hodges University. He has over 18 years of electronic resources experience while working in both the database technology and internet publishing industries. Ty enjoys riding motorcycles, making people laugh and spending time with his family.
More about Ty Belford Jr. by Hodges University
Ty Belford is a Hodges University Alumni, earning his BA in interdisciplinary studies in 2011. Hodges University will feature Ty Belford in their Hodges University Alumni Spotlight. The title of the segment is “Tipping Point”. Below you can find the full article that gives an up-close and personal look at Ty Belford the business owner and Ty Belford for a personal perspective.
Ty Belford Considers Hodges his “Tipping Point” by Nicole Roe, Hodges University
Founding partner at 4 Corners Creative LLC, Hodges alumnus Ty Belford is constantly envisioning new designs and creative projects. Interested in design during his years in the United States military, it wasn’t until he enrolled at Hodges University that he set off on a path leading to greater opportunities and a chance to be “in control of my own destiny.”
Growing up in the metropolitan area of Detroit, in Southfield, Michigan, Belford’s parents led him to enroll in the school’s vocational school program due to the challenges he faced in the traditional classroom setting. By graduation, he not only earned his high school diploma, but he was a certified dental assistant and licensed cosmetologist.
“My grades were never good enough for an academic scholarship, and the cost of college was outside of my parents reach. However, I knew I didn’t want to work in a hair salon or dental office for the rest of my life. In fact, I never really wanted to do either,” he said.
Looking to prove he was fit for college, Belford enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a combat photographer. He also obtained a military occupational specialty (MOS) as a graphic designer, saying, “It was during my four years in the Marines when I first began to discover the world of design.”
Completing his enlistment in November 1999 after sustaining injuries on duty, he was granted a 30 percent disability rating, which determined the amount of military disability benefits he could receive. Immediately, he enrolled at The Art Institute of Philadelphia for the upcoming semester; however, while waiting for the semester to begin, he realized the difficulties of trying to pay for college as a full-time student and managing his bills. He never attended a class at The Art Institute and found himself taking and dropping courses at six different colleges over the years.
Earning an associate degree in computer science from Davenport University, it wasn’t until a colleague suggested Belford look into Hodges University for a bachelor’s degree. “I was an electronic resources consultant for NewsBank in Naples. It was at NewsBank that I had a colleague, Samantha Hobbs, who suggested that I give Hodges a shot,” he said. “She and I agreed that having a degree would help me break through the glass ceiling hovering over my head.”
Missing his timeframe for GI Bill eligibility, he admits the Veterans Administration’s Vocational Rehabilitation program “carried me to my degree in it.” Taking marketing courses with Dr. Peter Karastamatis, Belford said, “I actually thought I was a pretty good marketer before I met him;” however, he quickly learned the difference between a salesperson and a marketer.
Graduating in 2011, Belford gained valuable marketing and design experience while pursuing his education. In 2014, he created a digital department at Priority Marketing of Southwest Florida, Inc. A full-service marketing, advertising and public relations agency, he spent his first year building websites for companies such as Norman Love, West Wind Inn, Southwest Florida Wine Festival and The Healthy Lee Initiative.
Winning the Best of Business award in 2015 by Gulfshore Business magazine, Belford admits by the end of 2015, “it all came together for me, mentally.” Visiting his retired, but working, father and grandmother, he realized how these two individuals were examples of the essential “textbook American dream.” However, although both educated and retired with pensions, neither felt they had the option to truly retire. Losing his mother to a brain aneurysm in October 2012, and believing stress played a factor in her death, Belford made the decision to start his own business and “end the cycle.”
In February 2016, Belford helped to launch 4 Corners Creative LLC, which provides web design, graphic design, online marketing and multimedia services to companies in Southwest Florida. Located in Fort Myers, Florida, he and his team follow a four-step process to achieve client satisfaction, which includes discovery, planning, production and quality check.
“Almost all my clients are small business owners like myself,” he explained. “Every day, my goals are connected to someone else’s, and we reach them together.”
An established business owner, Belford looks back on his time at Hodges and calls it his “tipping point,” which provided him the ability to earn a degree, move beyond the glass ceiling and actively pursue his dreams. Recognizing that current and prospective Hodges students are seeking similar dreams, he encourages them, saying, “Find your purpose. Remember the pursuit of happiness and know that it is achievable.”