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About…

…Chuck and Impact Marketing Solutions

“I was standing on the ledge

outside my 12th floor office window…”

Figuratively. It was a cross roads of sorts. Looking back I saw my career up to that point…

It began with sixteen years on the floor of one of the biggest financial exchanges in the world rising through the ranks from clerk to analyst to broker.

I executed billions (in 1980s dollars!) in program trades for one of the largest investment banks in the world… I bought and sold interest rate “strips” across the yield curve for a European central bank… I provided technical and fundamental analysis to individual traders as well as trading desks…

By 1999, exchanges across Europe were shutting their doors and migrating to all-electronic platforms. And the trend was crossing the Atlantic.

So I left the floor in search of a new challenge.  I signed on with a leading international software development firm. One on the cutting edge of the new electronic trend.

I quickly rose to the position of Product Manager in charge of North America. I oversaw technical and functional development of our products as well as being heavily involved in their marketing and sales.

During my tenure we virtually revamped the entire product creating a trading tool adapted specifically to fit the needs of U.S. traders. And nearly tripled the firm’s exchange connectivity.

But it was 6 years of 80 hour work weeks that finally pushed me out on that ledge.

Looking back, I had been through two careers. I had a nice life. Condo, the car, security… all the stuff you want in life. But something was missing

Standing on that ledge, looking forward, I didn’t have a clear vision.

The Big Idea

Dealing with the details of life and work, you sometimes lose sight of the big picture. And it requires a kick in the head to wake you up.

That’s why everyone should have a friend like Dave.  Dave is a BIG idea guy.

One evening, while having a drink, I mentioned my dilemma. I never expected what I heard next…

Chuckie, you need to quit your job, sell your flat and come spend a few months in the English countryside with the wife and me…”

What? Just like that? Drop off the face of the earth?

Well if you can imagine career burn out being like standing on a ledge, I figured why the hell not jump.

I took year off and spent half of it kicking across Europe and the UK. Dave — as usual — was right.

But coming home, I was faced with another dilemma.

What am I gonna do now?”

While assessing my options, I discovered a niche I had never considered before. “Direct Response Marketing.” Was this something new? No. It was a marketing technique that had been around for decades. One that was so powerful and successful it had become the founding principle of many marketing giants including David Ogilvy (of Ogilvy-Mather fame.)

You can’t argue with that kind of success.

I jumped in with both feet devouring everything I could learn about it. The techniques, the strategies. I read everything I could. Tying everything I learned in with all my past experience. I became almost like an addiction.

But self-education doesn’t pay the bills. After a year off, with my own finances getting low, it was time to put up or shut up.

A New Start

I made the decision to launch my own marketing business. It felt like I was following some kind of exciting new passion out onto a high wire without a net.

I applied my combined knowledge and almost immediately started building a clientele from one of the biggest financial publishers in the country. (Honestly, I was amazed at how powerful these marketing techniques I had learned actually were.)

My first client promotion launched a currency newsletter… and mailed for 18 months. My next effort beat the first one.

Within a year, I received an offer to move to Florida and join exclusive marketing team with a financial publisher. I created promotions and campaigns for marketing on line and off.

My job was cutting through the noise to command our market’s attention

A New Economy

But 2008 changed everything. The melt down on Wall Street shook investors everywhere and virtually every aspect of the financial industry as well.

It also sparked a realization in my mind. The industry I had spent my entire career in was going to be impacted dramatically – from the outside.

Changed, not only in the way it would likely operate, but also in the way it would be perceived by its participants.  And not the big banks or hedge funds. But rather individuals with personal financial goals.

It didn’t matter if they were young or old, firmly middle class or among the highly affluent, this change in perception had created a casualty among them all.

Trust.

Understanding this, I realized rebuilding that trust would be essential for everyone connected with the financial industry. I knew the only way to do that would be to cut through the noise and clearly communicate directly to prospects’ needs.

In the financial industry, it would no longer be enough to create a message. Now you’d have to reach out to your market and shape their perceptions. So they not only hear your message, but understand it.

Suddenly the light went on and I saw a mission before me…

Jumping off the ledge one more time…

Realizing this immense need, I made yet another career decision. To leave the marketing team and step back out on my own.  To use my marketing and financial skills to help financial professionals rebuild a level of trust in the financial world.

I re-launched Impact Marketing Solutions…