Get to KnowSusan (Sue) is the North East District Manager for The Vernon Company having recently celebrated her sixth year with Vernon. Sue has been in the Promotional Products Industry over 20 years and started literally from inside Customer Service Support to the Outside Sales Roles and ultimately several Management Roles within the industry. “There are so many Distributors out there that I feel representing The Vernon Company is a touch of family with a strong focus on good business decisions, especially in these trying times.”
Susan L. Barrowman
Sue originally had planned a career in the arts and has attended The Philadelphia College of Art as well as pursuing a Law Degree at Widener University. Sue is not even sure how she ended up in the Promotional World but it was one of those “one opportunity lead to another” situations
and here she has remained.
Sue’s life is not just the Promotional World although it is always there…
She is based in Princeton, New Jersey and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware with her other half, Tony. This allows her to cover a range of Sales People and Prospects along the East Coast. Sue’s focus is locating and training properly new members to our Sales Force. “So many companies hire and then hand you a book or wish you well after the papers are signed.” Sue has what she calls “The Baby Bird Theory”. She does all that needs to be done to make sure a new Sales Professional is on board and isn’t sitting around wondering what’s next? After the appropriate level of growth is achieved they are gently pushed from the nest and allowed to fly solo. “I’m always there, but know when it’s time to let go and watch the results of our efforts.”
Sue and Tony travel a great deal for business as well as their pleasure and her laptop and cell phone are always at the ready. Sue and Tony are very much involved in Military Support Volunteerism Events as Tony is a retired Colonel with the New Jersey Army National Guard. They are also involved with an organization called People To People that assists with supplying school items that are shipped to Afghanistan. Sue is set to receive The Molly Pitcher Award for outstanding contributions to our Military in February 2010.
Get to Know
Though you might think you know all there is to know about Brian DeBottis, here are a few things you may not know… Brian, the Regional Sales Manager for Starline USA has been in the promotional products industry for 3 years. Prior to this, he worked for a Chemical Company doing sales, marketing and operations.
Brian loves the people, creativity, and being part of something that can make someone’s business succeed, but he is not a real fan of buildings without elevators and the rain – lugging samples in the rain = no fun.
Brian never leaves home without his GPS and wonders how sales people were productive before it. He also likes to make sure he has his flashlights with him – they are bright and shiny and usually get everyone’s attention.
The best advice he can give someone thinking of entering this industry is to be yourself, do what you say, and if you don’t know, just say you don’t know.
Brian was broken into the industry when he forgot all of his dress shirts for his first week “on the road” in Toledo, OH and not realizing it until he was getting dressed in the morning. He was able to find a men’s shop willing to sell him a shirt for $80… he claims it was a nice shirt though… do you think he still has it???
Brian is not currently married, but working on it… He has a son named Jackson who is 2 ½ and is living in Buffalo, NY where he attended The University of Buffalo a few years back. He would love to head to the Caribbean if he could only find the time to relax on the beach.
His favorite book is Angels and Demons by Dan Brown and his favorite movies are Van Wilder and Old School.
Get to Know
Phil Martin, MAS
Phil is the National Sales Manager for Warwick Publishing Company and has worked for them for the past 25 years. Before this, Phil worked as a circulation manager for a local newspaper owned by the owners of Warwick. At the time was Chronicle Publishing.
His entree into the promotional market was when he sold his very first calendar.
Since then, he decided that he loves the creativity, people and the friendships, and the constantly changing-ness of the industry. However, he does not enjoy the people who sell on price, order thieves, or the 24 hour turn-a-round.
Phil is a realistic man, and never likes to venture out on the road without his… Toothpaste…… just kidding, his pocket knife – he is lost without it!
Since entering into the industry, Phil’s favorite product has remained the same – the CALENDAR!
His sound advice to a novice in the industry is to “Sell ideas, not product. Sell what the item is going to do, not what it is.”
The highlight of his career came when Phil was an MC for a Point – Counterpoint program put on during a PPAI Expo several years ago. He was the “ringmaster”.
Phil is happily engaged and has two children, Brittany who is 22 and Tyler who is 19. He also is enjoying his granddaughter, Evelyn, who is three months old.
Phil currently resides in St. Charles, IL where he is a paid-on-call firefighter.
Phil would love to go to Italy because he loves Italian food or Australia because he likes the way they talk – but is not thrilled about the long plane ride.
Phil’s favorite book is A Pirate Looks at 50 – Buffett and his favorite movie is A Few Good Men.
Get to Know
Some of you may not know Jane Munro, but here is your chance. Jane is the President of As You Wish Promotions where she has worked for 17 years. Before that, she was a sales rep for a vinyl company in Philadelphia. The first products she sold in this industry were rulers to Harleysville Insurance Company. She has found that every day she learns something new or meets someone new, she loves being her own boss, and enjoys finding creative items to fit the needs of customers and events. She does not enjoy the unrealistic expectations of customers, other distributors that do business at no profit, and tracking receivables.
Jane will never be caught on the road without her cell phone or her “old stand-by” product, the mouse pad.
The best advice she can give someone thinking of entering this industry is to talk to your SBA, have a business plan, and get all of your financing in order before you start out.
The highlight of Jane’s career was when she got to meet Ed Rendell at a contract signing for the City of Philadelphia.
Jane is married with a daughter who is 21 and two sons both age 18. Jane also has a Boxer, Duke and is living in Jenkintown, PA – not too far from where she attended college – LaSalle University. Jane would love to take the time to head back to Hawaii.
Her favorite book is Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult and her favorite movie is Love Actually.
Get to Know
Joe O’Fria, MAS
Joe O’Fria, the President of Pennsylvania Promotions, Inc, has worked for this company for the past 25 years. Prior to Pennsylvania Promotions, Joe owned his very own deli. His foray into the promotional products industry began when he sold 1000 frizbees. What has kept Joe in this industry for so long? He loves meeting with people and he enjoys the creativity and flexibility that come with this industry. He is not too thrilled about people giving away the store, keeping up with contacts changing, and too many people who do not know what they are doing and cannot sell.
Joe spends a lot of time on the road and he always makes sure he has his business cards and cell phone, in addition to his “old stand-by” product - the Tee Shirt and the Coffee Mug.
Thinking of entering into this industry? Joe has some advice for you… Be patient and consistent. One of the most unforgettable moments in Joe’s career happened when he almost blew off a referral for a night meeting – he did not and he ended up with a client for 3 years that spent $60,000.00 per year.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty about Joe… Joe is married with two children ages 24 and 19. He also has a Burmese mountain dog named Zoey. Joe currently resides in Upper Uwchlan, Chester County.
Save the Date
Tuesday January 26th
SACDV/NERA Winter Showcase
Springfield Country Club
Thursday September 23rd
SACDV Fall Expo
Valley Forge, PA
Congratulations to Mary Ellen (formerly Pahalka) and Nick Nichols on their recent marriage. We wish them the best in love and life!
Congratulations to Laura and Justin Schlegel on their upcoming baby due May 4, 2010. We wish them the absolute best!
Introducing New SACDV Members
Kidz IDZ – Jeff Broder
Moderne Glass Co. – Kristina Fredericks
Northeast Marketing – Wayne Burden
Kaeser & Blair – Mearl Gordon
A giant Thank You goes out to Chocolate Inn for donating $2000 worth of chocolate to SACDV for use in our holiday mailing.
Another giant Thank You goes out to Bic Graphic USA for donating pens to use during our Fall Expo.
Last Riddle Answer:
Last Issues Riddle Winners
Steve Mitchell – Mitchell Marketing
Dan Nelis – Promotional Products Etc
This Issues Riddle:
The Butcher Shop – There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and wears a size 13 sneakers. He has a wife and 2 kids. What does he weigh?
Did you know that you can do so much more with Vodka than make Martini’s? You can remove bandages painlessly, clean bathtubs and showers, prolong the life of your razor blades, use it as an astringent, treat dandruff, make mouthwash and so much more…. To find out more uses for Vodka click here.