It’s All In The Cards: Getting To Know Jim Roosa
Jim Roosa is the Vice President and Managing Director of Stoner Bunting Gift Cards. He began working with the company over two decades ago and has proven himself to be a real maverick in the gift card world.
We interviewed him for a company profile to learn more about his work at Stoner Bunting, what keeps him here, and how he became such a snappy dresser. We didn’t shy away from the hard hitting questions.
WILD CARD QUESTIONS:
1. Are you a cat or a dog person?
Dog. I’m totally tolerant of cats, but we just don’t have many in the family. I’m completely tolerant of all animals and I love them. I personally have a bichon dog.
2. When you’re not selling gift cards, what do you like to do?
I like to eat and cook. I almost never go out to lunch because I cook so much.
3. How would you describe your personal style, and did it come as a result from working in the marketing world?
It definitely came from the casualness of the marketing world. Compared to a lot of the clients I’ve worked with across various industries, like tech companies and banks that were a lot more uptight and regulated industries, (reflected in the way they dressed) the marketing world was more relaxed.
4. What was your very first job?
The first job that I remember is one I had when I was thirteen. During school breaks, I would go to my dad’s office, who was a scientist, and I would help them respond to requests for scientific reprints. So, all of the scientists would conduct their studies and then the research would be published in journals. They would receive requests from people wanting reprints of the research and it would pile up, so I would come in to organize that and send out the reprints.
5. What did you want to be when you grew up (other than the Vice President and Managing Director of Stoner Bunting Gift Cards)?
A professional baseball player or something ridiculously unattainable for somebody that was not that coordinated.
6. When did you begin working at Stoner Bunting and what was your original role?
I started in June of 1992, which was 23 years ago. I started working on new business, so I’ve always done new business. I was working in the advertising agency, and I helped bring on some of our clients like Wood-Mode, Pfaltzgraff, DeLonghi, Trex and others.
7. How were you first introduced to the concept of bulk gift card selling and gift card companies?
We were doing partnership promotions for Linens N Things in the advertising agency, and they were impressed with how many home product companies we had as clients at the time – like Wood-Mode, Stainmaster, and Armstrong – and they wanted to do some promotions. They found that 45% of their shoppers were doing some type of home remodeling. And all the changes they were making to their houses precipitated an accessory purchase at Linens N Things.
So, they were impressed with that and we came up with a few promotional concepts for how to do partnership marketing for them. We started to do cross promotions with other retailers like mattress retailers and furniture dealers. One of them was a furniture dealer who said that they wanted to use gift cards and not just give away coupons, and the same thing happened with other people as well. So, we started doing cross promotions and they realized that gift cards were more profitable than coupons. So, we started putting them in credit card rewards and other industries.
9. You have a background working in advertising at the famed New York City agency, Wells Rich Greene, responsible for the infamous “I
My wife and I having kids when we were probably too young – and we were living in NYC. It’s a lot easier to raise a family in Pennsylvania. And I had a long commute, and that eats up a lot of your day.
10. Do you ever gift your employees gift cards as gifts (or employee incentives), or is that strictly off limits in the world of Stoner Bunting Gift Cards?
We have done that, and we’ve done it for Group Hug (our annual, company-wide meeting) where they were used as special awards. We have occasionally done it.
11. Explain to me why it’s important for companies to outsource their bulk gift card sales to a company like Stoner Bunting Gift Cards.
I think it’s too technical of a job for a consumer products type of company, or a retailer. Business to business (B2B) is the general marketing discipline that we do. And most of our clients are in a B2C role in their company, whether they’re doing CRM or credit marketing, or some other part of the financial department.