Editor’s Notes: Remembering Barry
A little black cloud of sadness is hanging around the Target Marketing Group offices these days. Recently, we learned that Barry Futtersak, one of the team’s top sales executives who retired in 2005, has passed away.
It is not a stretch to say the Target Marketing Group would not enjoy the success it has today if it were not for Barry. He was part of the turnaround team in 1993 that began the arduous climb of rebuilding a brand. I was just out of college when I met him, and had little understanding of what it meant to sell a business product. Barry, on the other hand, had been a successful salesman for about 22 years and was precisely what Target Marketing needed—a salesman’s salesman, who never took “no” for an answer.
A ferocious advocate for his clients, he was unafraid to elbow his way to the front for them when it came to a page position in the magazine or getting an editor to give them a call for a story. While we sparred pretty often regarding the line between advertising and editorial, Barry always made sure I understood he was fighting for his clients, not against me. And I respected that—even as I would remind him for what must have been the hundredth time that Target Marketing didn’t profile direct marketing services companies!
As is the case for most people with strong personalities—and he was quite a character—Barry could be a polarizing presence. But if you didn’t see past the salesman, you missed out on many wonderful experiences. For sure, the San Franciso Giants and jazz musicians everywhere have lost a huge fan. Some of the best meals I’ve ever had in New York City were due to his restaurant recommendations. He was well-read, and I enjoyed our talks about Charles Bukowski (his favorite author). And after a long day working a trade show, when I’m sure his feet and back were aching more than mine, he always gave up his seat to me.