The Covington Business Council is very proud of the dedication, leadership and support from our board of directors. Throughout the year, we will publish Question & Answer (Q&A) interviews with our board members in a series titled, “Getting to Know…” Let’s meet Bob Berendsen, CBC Board Secretary and Founder and President of iDeaZone Marketing, LLC.
Q. Tell me about your hometown and childhood.
A. I grew up in Dayton Kentucky, went to grade school at St Bernard Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Dayton High School. I enjoyed playing sports, adventuring in the woods and playing music in the local Drum & Bugle Corps, The Buccaneers.
Q. You are a true entrepreneur, currently the Founder and President of iDeaZone Marketing, LLC. Tell me about your career path.
A. I began my career as a graphic designer at a small design firm called Aielli Production Art Studio. Within a couple years, I took a position at Deskey, Inc. which was a New York City based design firm that was just opening a branch in Cincinnati to focus on its biggest customer, P&G. I quickly became the graphics production manager and started managing other designers on accounts such as P&G, Kroger and Hasbro.
Several years into the job at Deskey, I had been approached by many potential customers about doing freelance work, so I started by first business called Bob Berendsen, Artist. I was very successful at finding customers and needed to locate additional personnel to help me do all the assignments that I had secured. I quickly renamed the business Berendsen & Associates and started representing talent like illustrators, designers and photographers. In 1997 I started my first website, www.illustratorsRep.com, which is still operational today.
In the year 2000, I noticed how everyone was giving away free stuff on the Internet and decided to develop a website as a destination to promote businesses with coupons and discounted gift cards and certificates, which became known as www.GetOneFree.com.
After developing illlustratorsRep.com and GetOneFree.com, business customers started requesting us to develop websites for them so we started to focus on website design and branding and renamed the company iDeaZone Marketing, LLC. GetOneFree.com would become a product within the business.
Q. As a Covington Business Council Board of Director, what excites you most about the CBC?
A. Over the years since I have been involved, the growth of the organization excites me. I had originally joined the CBC back in 2001 but didn’t stay engaged so I dropped out. Several years later, I met Pat Frew and joined again and have been engaged ever since. I’m always impressed about how the CBC can continue to grow membership, while other similar organizations struggle to keep members. I look forward to seeing continued growth over the upcoming years and am very proud to see how the CBC has become an important part of Northern Kentucky and the City of Covington.
Q. What books, movies, television shows have you read/watched in the past week?
A. I just finished reading the book, “The upstarts : How Uber, Airbnb, and the killer companies of the new Silicon Valley are changing the world” by Brad Stone.
I also watched the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” about the rock band Queen and am watching the TV series “Justified” about a wild-west style US Marshall based in Harlan Kentucky on Amazon Prime. Even though I’m in advertising, I hate watching commercial TV.
Q. Tell us something about you that few people know.
A. I enjoy bird watching, hiking and primitive camping at Red River Gorge in the Daniel Boone National Forest.
Q. What is next on your “to do list”?
A. I’m currently exploring several new businesses opportunities based on gold, blockchain technology and crypto-currency. I’m also looking forward to some leisure travel excursions throughout the rest of 2019.
“The CBC has provided me the opportunity to network with other local business leaders. Being new to the area this has become a valuable resource.”