A Conversation With Bob Herzog, CEO of Corporate Imaging Concepts
Yesterday, Corporate Imaging Concepts, Northbrook, Ill., announced the addition of Bob Herzog as its new CEO. Promo Marketing spoke with Herzog to talk about how he found his way to the company and what he plans to do in the future.
Promo Marketing: So tell me the backstory of how this came to be on your end:
Bob Herzog: I was with Polyconcept for 10 years, and I think back in November, I decided to leave to pursue my dream, which was to become the CEO of a mid-market company. And I started the process of talking to private equity firms, meeting people, and I got a LinkedIn request from Brian Abrams, [former CEO] accepted the LinkedIn request, and immediately got an email from him that said "Can you talk right now?" Which is pretty interesting, because no one ever does anything like that—LinkedIn request and we talked on the phone.
But we talked, and he explained the opportunity at CIC, which I found really intriguing, and then we started what I would call a long courtship process, which involved a lot of meetings with Brian, a couple trips to Chicago—all the while knowing that Brian was looking at a lot of other candidates, but I really liked what he had built here. I liked the company's culture, I liked the capabilities, and I liked the long runway to growth that I saw here. So, I decided to join the team, and started this monday!
PM: Wow, so you really jumped right in.
BH: Yeah, so it was kind of funny. The first thing I did as CEO was went to the presentation for the USO organization in Washington, D.C. So this is actually my first day in the offices here in Northbrook.
PM: What would you say you're looking forward to the most at the company?
BH: Great question. I've done a lot of meeting and greeting employees. I always look forward to doing that. So I plan on breaking that down a little further and really getting to know the employees—what they do, how long they've been here, what's interesting—and then get from them what they think we could do better, what do we do well. Let's build on their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. I'd say that's pretty intriguing.
I think getting more involved with the sales process—we have an amazing offering here, and working with the sales team to be able to enhance the pipeline of new customers, and when you get a new customer in the pipeline, how do you actualize the customer to go from concept to signing an RFP, to actually shipping product through us? The other thing is just looking to see where I can add value. I've got some experience scaling businesses. We plan on growing here, so just looking at putting us in the best position to scale the business, which usually means you have to, you know, standardize a few things that probably haven't been standardized, to put processes in place that are a little bit easier for new employees to learn and adapt to.
PM: Do you anticipate any big changes at the company in the near future?
BH: Hey, you know, I would tell you this, Brendan: There were other opportunities that I looked at, and the reason I came here is because I think CIC has the opportunity to make a big difference in the industry. I would say yes. It's maybe a little early to get into details. We expect to significantly grow this company over the next 3 to 5 years.
PM: Well, congratulations on this new step. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
BH: My head's spinning a little bit, Brendan. I'm trying to remember the names of 50 employees who already know my name! [Laughs] Just get comfortable in the new digs, and I learn as much as I can. There's the old saying that when you go into a new position it's like drinking water from a fire house. I'm drinking out of the fire hose today, Brendan. But it's fun.
For more information on Corporate Imaging Concepts, visit www.corp-imaging.com.