Connections key to Straka's, clients' success

Filed under: One on One |

A knack for knowing top-level executives leads to bottom-line results for Chris Straka’s clients.

He runs Straka Marketing and Sales from his home and says he draws on his deep Colorado Springs roots to bring business marketing ideas to fruition.

Having spent his entire marketing career at the foot of Pikes Peak has meant making connections at the most influential of places and Straka uses his one-man services to fill a marketing market niche.

Freed from the constraints of the office, Straka’s on the job wherever he can power up his cell phone and laptop.

He recently took time in between stops to tell CSBJ about himself and his job.

n Organization: Straka Marketing & Sales

* Position: Owner

* Hometown: Yardley, Pa.

* How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: 25 years

* Education: Bachelor’s degree in biophysics, Pennsylvania State University; MBA, Phillips University

* A few words about your company: Straka Marketing & Sales provides marketing, advertising and sales services for companies which may not be able to afford a full-time marketing person. We not only provide a strategic perspective on marketing challenges, we “get in the trenches” with our clients and know what it takes to make sales happen.

* Recent accomplishments: 2004 Pikes Peak Advertising Federation Silver Award Winner; 2004 marketing chairman of Celebrate Technology celebration.

* Biggest career break: First job as an account executive with the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper. The paper wasn’t even taking job applications, but I wanted to work in marketing and advertising so much that I managed to talk my way into the job.

* The toughest part of your job: Collections! I’ve seen many good companies get killed by deadbeat clients. Some people actually think that stretching out payment to vendors is an acceptable business practice.

* Someone you admire: My grandparents. They came to this country with so little, worked their way through the Great Depression and managed to buy a house and get my father into college. Their faith and hard work made a huge impact on me.

* About your family: Still married to my girlfriend after 27 years. Two children, a sophomore son at Cheyenne Mountain High School and a sophomore daughter at The University of Colorado at Boulder.

* Something else you’d like to accomplish: Put my children through college, save enough money to retire comfortably and continue to contribute to the success of small businesses and organizations in Colorado Springs.

* How your business will change in the next decade: Marketing is going to get very personal. Businesses will have to manage their customer relationships on an increasingly individual basis. They just won’t be able to afford to do otherwise.

* What book are you currently reading? “The Da Vinci Code.” Everyone else in my family was finally done with it.

* What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? Create a more civil environment for political discussion. Too many of us get so righteous and strident in our opinions that discussions degenerate too quickly into ideological shouting matches. There has to be more than a win-lose outcome. Otherwise, the bullies always win.