A Chat with Eduard Bjorncrantz, Vice President, Direct Marketing at Day-Timers, Inc.
CS: Have you had any mentors in the business?
EB: You don’t work at Sears for 20 years without getting a number of them. I’d say Robert E. Wood II and Gene Harmon. Bob Wood was in administration, marketing, and merchandising, and Gene Harmon was in human resources. I worked for both of them. Their integrity, thought processes, brilliance, and guidance made them exceptional. They were just incredible guys. Within the direct marketing industry, I’d list Bob DeLay, former president of The DMA and Jonah Gitlitz, former president of the DMA. Actually, I served on The DMA board of directors under both of them.
I’ve been involved in The DMA in many aspects. Been on the board twice, a couple of task forces; recycled paper, new media, hall of fame committee, government affairs committee. I think if you’ve involved in the industry, you’ve got to give back to it. Serving on some of those committees certainly gives you a way to do that. I’ve always tried to be innovative, creative, and come up with new ways of solving problems. I guess that’s why I like the business.
CS: Do you have any advice how people can give back to the industry?
EB: They should get involved in some of The DMA councils, some of their local groups, such as the Chicago Association of Direct Marketing, Philadelphia’s got one, New England’s got one. I would say start there. But also, if the company is a member of the DMA, get on one of the councils. That’s where they do the grunt work, that’s where you meet a lot of people, do a lot of networking. You’re not going to start out on the board. But regardless of the level you’re at, I think you learn more, you trade ideas. I think it’s important that the people who work for me get involved with the DMA or other direct marketing organizations. That’s my life story.