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Take A Walk Down Memory Lane With ASI’s Ron Ball

Filed under: Fun, General

RonBall

On January 3, Ron Ball — senior VP of Supplier Sales — celebrated his 36th anniversary with ASI. We sat down with Ron to find out how things have changed since 1978. Take a walk down Memory Lane with Ron and find out what few people know about him (Hint: Think Boy Band) and how he never thought he’d be a salesman.

Q: What is your title and job description?
RB: Senior vice president of Supplier Sales. I work with suppliers. I sell them advertising, the ASI publications and digital.

Q: What was your position when you first started in 1978?
RB: I was hired into the marketing department by Marvin Spike. After working in marketing for some time, Marvin — who was my mentor at the time — said I belong in the sales department. I didn’t want to be in the sales department because I thought all salespeople were shysters, like car salesmen. After almost two years of Marvin constantly saying I should join sales, I finally decided I would take him up on it, and I became a sales associate. It was all uphill from there.

Q: What do you like about your position?
RB: I like everything about the job. My favorite thing is talking to clients, they’re just wonderful. I also like the challenge of selling. When I came in with the marketing department, I thought selling was a slippery kind of thing, but it wasn’t. Selling is an interesting path to take because you are constantly thinking of what you can do to help people, and helping people is the thing that I like.

Q: How has your position changed over the years?
RB: Originally I worked with Don, who was my boss, and we would put on these Saturday afternoon sales meetings, which people just loved (laughs). We would actually videotape the meetings, which was new for that time, so we had a whole library of sales videotapes. The meetings were crazy because everyone was pissed they had to be here on a Saturday. We worked very late those days.

Q: How has ASI changed over the years?
RB: When I first started, Norman’s father Maurice just bought the company … he was such a gentleman. Norman was an easygoing kind of a guy, and still is to this day. The company was young and small – about 30 people — but growing quickly. We were in an old skating rink in Trevose, PA. The atmosphere was just about the same as it is today. It was very family oriented and everybody felt as if they were family, and they were. It’s been a lovely ride here. Everybody has been wonderful to work with. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way and I’m just happy that everything worked out.

Q: How have you changed as a person?
RB: I’ve gotten a lot older, I’ll tell you that much (laughs). I think I’m more tolerant of people now. I’m more tolerant of the way people work with each other, too. I can attribute that to getting older.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you?
RB: I think a lot of people don’t know that I sang with a group called The Dovells when I was a teenager. There were four of us and we sang rock ‘n’ roll. It was basically a local group, but we got quite a bit of coverage throughout the United States. The group was still singing when I was applying to college, so I made the decision to go to college and dropped out of the group.

Q: What is your best memory?
RB: There used to be about 30 or 40 of us who would go to shows and we would fly all over. I remember being interviewed by Norman for end-of-year interviews and I said, “Norman, I would like to get my pilot’s license and become the pilot for the company.” He thought I was crazy and said, “No, I think we will stick with what we’re doing right now.” I thought I was nuts, but I said it anyway. It was very funny.

Q: If your story here were to be made into a movie, who would you want to play you?
B: Jonah hill. He’s a funny guy and I pride myself on being a funny person.

– Interview by Lauren Medina


5 Comments

  1. Kathy Huston Says:

    Time to get the Dovells back together! They can headline the next ASI Show gala.

    Monday February 3, 2014
  2. Josh Goodelman Says:

    I would trust Ron to fly me around on the ASI Private Jet. I will even serve drinks and snacks. Great story Ron. You should be very proud of yourself.

    Monday February 3, 2014
  3. Take a Walk Down Memory Lane with Ron Ball - Octagon Merchandise Blog | Octagon Merchandise Blog Says:

    [...] Take a Walk Down Memory Lane with Ron Ball [...]

    Tuesday February 4, 2014
  4. Mary Sells Says:

    Who knew, 29 years ago when I first got into the industry, and Ron and Marvin Spike’s names were the only two given to me to figure out the supplier aspect of the market, that we would be working together in the same company! Ron was my compass, my Bible and my treasure … lucky me!

    Thursday February 13, 2014
  5. Shelli Lipschitz Says:

    Hi, Ron!

    You probably don’t remember me. We met back in the 70’s at an industry trade show being held at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago. At the time, I was working for Ready Reference Publishing. We did specialzed planners. The company was owned by the Friedman family.

    I’m so happy for your success…although not one bit surprised. No one deserves it more than you do. I’d love to hear from you and catch up on each other’s lives…if you have the time and the inclination.

    Fondly,

    Shelli

    Thursday February 20, 2014

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