Russ Cornelius, CBS

What got you into this business in the first place?

“My degree is in psychology. Right after getting that, I was drafted into the military. Once out, I felt the need to reawaken my brain. Took some marketing courses which made me realize that I wanted to be in the ad business.”

Who was a big influence in your career?

“Pat Doering has to be considered a big influencer because her “one person” agency hired me. That is when I got to work in media, traffic, creative and account management. The other key influencer was Doug Ogilvie. He became my mentor as he and I worked together on regional and national accounts.”

What was “your finest moment,” the thing you’re most proud of?

“Marrying Veola closely followed by adopting my adult daughter Jacquie Francisco are my finest moments in life. Career wise, my most proud moment renews itself every day. I have a wonderful client, Riverside Medical Clinic, with whom I have worked and played with since November 1999. It is a marvelous relationship with a high level of mutual respect and trust.”

What was your most embarrassing moment in this business?

“Most embarrassing moment. Standing on the dais getting ready to present to a client’s CEO and his marketing team. With my back to them, I bent over to pick something up. My pants ripped.”

What makes a great brand?

“A great brand occurs when the organization realizes and commits to the realization that their employees are the ones delivering upon the brand promise and the employees grasp they are the brand.”

What driving career goals do you still have?

“Getting The Brand Establishment firmly planted in the top echelon as brand strategists.”

What talent do you wish you had?

“I admire individuals who excel within a brain storming scenario. I tend to be more methodical when generating ideas.”

If you had to live on a desert island, what would you miss most?

“I’m assuming that Veola will be with me. Therefore, nothing. You see, I’m an extroverted introvert.”

What’s your favorite sports team?

“Huskers. Go Big Red!”

What frustrates you the most?

“I get frustrated when someone wants to only talk about themselves or only their ideas. When they take whatever is being said by someone else and turn it to be about them. Grrrrrrrr.”

What’s your point of view about politics?

“I’m just right of the center.”

Tell us about your pets?

“Do you mean Cuba? My little Cuba Bear? Veola is his Alpha. Love that little guy. He loves people. People love him. Everyone at the club knows Cuba.”

What was growing up like for you?

“I had a great childhood. Middle class family. Interesting that we moved to a different home about every three years – in the same city. I liked the social aspect of school much more than I liked the academic side. My mom was very supportive as I got involved in organizations and usually became the leader of each group: State President of CAR (Children of the American Revolution), Master Counsellor of DeMolay, High School Band Manager.”

“I loved working. Delivering the weekly newspaper The Dundee Sun to the house that Warren Buffet now lives in was my first job. As soon as I could (age), I got a job busing tables. Worked at a full service gas station, became a fry cook at Walgreens (Jay Trumble fired me three times; I quit four times), then on to Zales Jewelers, and after that I managed Bostonian Shoes while going to college. I enjoyed every job.”

What’s your favorite TV program?

“There just isn’t a TV program that is a “must watch” for me. Never really has been.”

What do you for a good time when you’re not working?

“When not working, best times for me are international travelling with Veola. Second best is sitting on the back of our boat or cruising San Diego Bay.”

What was college like for you?

“Whereas high school was very social for me, I treated college like a job. I worked full time, got married and carried as heavy of a load at possible at school so I could get it over with.”

What are your favorite internet sites?

“Brandsavants.com and Brandestablishment.com”

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