Once an aspiring artist, and now the enterprising partner and CEO of BLVR®, PLNU alum Scott Hancock (99) has emerged as a persistent advocate for businesses that are dedicated to making a positive impact in the world.
Each of Hancock’s occupational endeavors has had a thread connecting them all – a conviction about the world that changemakers are fueled by an unwavering belief.
“Everything we have at our fingertips empowers us to go be world changers and to use business as a force for good or to use creativity to communicate, share ideas, be emotional, and do different things like that,” Hancock said.
Hancock spent his formative years growing up in Point Loma, CA, just a stone’s throw away from PLNU, where his mother worked as the art department’s secretary. Throughout middle and high school, he would frequent the campus to visit her and, in the process, became captivated by the creativity and talent of the art students.
“During my visits to the art department, I would often get pulled into fascinating conversations with the students,” Hancock said. “One of my strongest memories is of asking Doug TenNaple, who has since become a renowned illustrator and graphic novelist, to sketch pictures for me. His incredible creative talent left me in awe.”
“I was also utterly captivated by the sight of works in progress — half-formed sculptures and paintings that filled the space, transforming the department into a living canvas. Seeing these students, who were only a few years older than me, bring their ideas to life sparked an inner revelation. Art, in some form, was undeniably my calling.”
“Everything we have at our fingertips empowers us to go be world changers and to use business as a force for good or to use creativity to communicate, share ideas, be emotional, and do different things like that.”
Following his graduation from Point Loma High School in 1993, Hancock enrolled in PLNU to pursue a degree in Fine Arts with the goal of becoming a painter and installation artist. While his mother greatly influenced his academic pursuits, so did Eugene Harris, professor emeritus of art at PLNU.
“Eugene was more than just a teacher – he felt like family, not only to me but to everyone in the art department,” Hancock said. “His art classes were always filled with an infectious passion for art and its history.”
Before graduating from PLNU in 1999, Hancock started applying to graduate schools to continue his education as an artist. But he soon realized the financial challenges of sustaining a career as an artist. Influenced by his father and uncle, he considered a career shift toward firefighting. However, working at his cousin’s book publishing company, Lamp Post Publications, he discovered a new avenue for his creativity – graphic design. This experience ignited a new passion and inspired Hancock to abandon his firefighting ambitions to explore this creative path further.
Teaming up with renowned surf writer and friend, Chris Ahrens, Hancock launched his first entrepreneurial venture: Risen Magazine. Drawing inspiration from the array of magazines he found in coffee shops and record stores, Hancock envisioned a unique and meaningful platform. His ambition was to showcase authentic, in-depth interviews with influential figures in pop culture.
Having raised enough funds to print 10,000 copies of the inaugural issue in 2001, the team jumped into a van and embarked on a California coastal road trip. They made their way north, leaving bundles of the freshly printed magazine at every record store, coffee shop, and surf shop they came across.
As Risen grew, it featured luminaries such as Anthony Kiedis, Kings of Leon, Juliette Lewis, and Ziggy Marley, and gained national distribution after its first issue at major outlets including Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster Video, Tower Records, Virgin Megastores, and Walmart. The magazine was also a finalist in the best overall editorial and design, special interest/consumer category at the 2005 Maggie Awards.
From Creative Endeavor to Conscious Leadership
In 2005, Hancock embarked on a new journey, this time to create The Glue Network, a cause marketing platform that connected consumers with their favorite brands to fund life-changing nonprofit projects worldwide. Cause marketing happens when two companies or organizations collaborate and mutually benefit.
The Glue Network created events complete with live art murals, installations, and music performances. These energetic gatherings aimed to support organizations such as Surfrider Foundation and World Vision. As the network evolved, it transformed into an online platform where brands like TOMS, Hurley, and SYSCO provided marketing dollars directly to consumers. These individuals were then empowered to channel the funds toward nonprofit projects that resonated with them. Over its lifespan, The Glue Network facilitated the donation of over $3M towards various causes.
“At the heart of The Glue Network was a passionate drive to educate people about global poverty and other challenges facing our world,” Hancock said. “The objective was to help individuals realize their potential as changemakers, equipped with the power to make the world a better place.”
At the time, Facebook was still private to students and Instagram had yet to exist, so The Glue Network’s mission was quite avant-garde.
“The Glue Network began as a creative endeavor, driven purely by passion. It eventually evolved into a sizable tech venture, which admittedly, was outside my realm of expertise,” Hancock said. “The journey was tough to navigate. Yet, despite the challenges, the mission and message behind it were profoundly inspiring. Alongside Risen Magazine, it served as my real-world crash course, my Masters Degree in business and entrepreneurship.”
Hancock ended up meeting with Todd McWethy (97), who had started a digital agency with his brother, Adam, in 2002. The brothers’ familiarity with digital communications and website design was of interest to Hancock, so when the opportunity to assist them with a brand strategy for a client came up, he joined their team as a contractor.
As the trio continued their collaborative work, they deepened their shared vision of empowering brands to maximize their impact while using business as a force for good — leveraging their time, talent, and resources to support humanitarian efforts.
When Hancock officially joined the McWethys’ company as a partner and CEO in 2012, they shifted their focus. Instead of simply building websites, they committed to helping courageous brands transform their core belief into an unparalleled competitive edge. Today, BLVR® is more than just another branding agency — it’s a belief company.
“We understand that true change-makers are driven by unwavering belief,” Hancock said. “Our mission is to assist leaders in discovering that intrinsic belief and positioning it at the heart of their business model.”
In 2020, the partners took a big step to underscore this commitment by becoming a Certified B Corporation.
“This means that BLVR® isn’t just about talk; it’s about action,” Hancock said. “The certification shows we meet strict standards for being good for the world around us — to our employees, our community, and our environment. Becoming a B Corp is our way of promising to continue to put people and our planet alongside our profits. It’s not just business; to us, it’s personal.”
Continuing on this path of purposeful business, Hancock went a step further after earning the B Corp certification. In 2022, he co-founded B Local San Diego, a collective of local B Corps in the San Diego area, including businesses such as Dr. Bronner’s, Pura Vida, and Classy.
The group gathers regularly with the aim to share best practices, collaborate on community projects, and champion the value of purpose-driven business in the region. Through this community, Hancock and other local leaders are not just promoting their businesses, but fostering a whole ecosystem that believes in business as a force for good.
One of these endeavors includes a partnership with Love Does in 2020, started by adjunct professor emeritus Bob Goff. Love Does is an organization dedicated to fighting for human rights and providing education to children in conflict zones. Through their partnership with the Love Does Launch program, BLVR was able to provide full-ride college scholarships to 12 students in Northern Uganda.
Embracing mistakes for growth
Hancock’s entrepreneurial journey has been a rich tapestry of varied experiences, not without its fair share of challenges. When he first launched Risen, his strong determination, coupled with his limited business knowledge and experience, led him down a path of trial and error.
“I deeply appreciate the succession of wisdom and knowledge, how it’s passed down, and how it inspires people to carve their own path. We can gain such amazing tools and ideas from those we admire and those who have gone before us.”
Navigating through these complexities was tough, but in retrospect, it was these very challenges and missteps that fueled his growth and knowledge.
“Being a creative visionary, I’ve discovered the immense value of aligning with individuals skilled in areas I’m not,” Hancock said. “This is the powerful partnership I’ve found with Adam, despite our differences. Sure, we face challenges, but it’s tremendously rewarding to focus on my strengths while having a counterpart who excellently handles other aspects. My advice to anyone starting out is to identify your ‘opposite’ and keep them close.”
Reflecting on the different ventures that he’s been a part of, Hancock said that the two most rewarding things they’ve provided are the relationships he’s made and the ability to learn from mistakes. For this reason, Hancock said that he’s a big proponent of mentorship for all facets of life.
“I deeply appreciate the succession of wisdom and knowledge, how it’s passed down, and how it inspires people to carve their own path,” Hancock said. “We can gain such amazing tools and ideas from those we admire and those who have gone before us.”
Fostering creativity and community
While Hancock’s career is centered around aiding others in aligning their creative and communal missions, he is dedicated to doing the same outside of the BLVR® office, especially with his family.
As a creative outlet, he loves to cook for his wife, Jessie (01), a graduate of PLNU’s M.A. in School Education program, and their two teenage daughters, London and Zoe.
“They mean everything [to me],” Hancock said. “I’d say that they’re also one of my greatest successes.”
While contributing to B Local San Diego, Hancock extends his leadership to other causes. He serves as a board member for Love Light + Melody, a non-profit committed to giving voice and hope to vulnerable children worldwide through education. Concurrently, he’s involved with The Agrarian Institute, a non-profit focused on empowering communities via locally grown organic food, ecological restoration, and education, all intended to shape a sustainable and healthier local food future.
“You know, at the end of the day, it’s all about taking a moment to really dig deep and figure out what you believe in and what you’re going to do about it,” Hancock said. “And visualize the kind of world you hope to create. Sure, the world’s a big, tough place. But remember, we’re all here for a reason. We’re not meant to just contribute to the noise, we’re here to be changemakers.”