Just a Minute with Chris Kokalis, President/CEO of CKME Group Inc.

Company address: 8626 W. Greenfield Ave., Suite B100 West Allis, WI 53214

Company Web site: www.ckmegroup.com

Industry: Sales & marketing

Number of employees: 12

Education: Mesa Community College in Mesa, Ariz.

Family: “I have a 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Duke (my preparation for parenthood).”

What’s new at your company?

“Besides offering traditional marketing services, we provide appointment-setting services for our clients to help get them in the door to meet with prospects. Many people out there have a fear of the phone, and we’re showing them that we make appointment setting seem sexy. For those clients who don’t want us to set appointments for them, we now offer seminars to teach this vital businesses building skill.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“There are some exciting things we have in mind for the upcoming year, including hoping to expand throughout the country and continue to brand the CKME name around the state.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“I think because we offer such a unique service in appointment setting, educating our clients and potential clients on what exactly we do is one of our toughest challenges. On the flip side, sometimes people forget we provide other services such as graphic design, event planning, web design, and public relations like many of our competitors.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“The hottest trend in the marketing industry continues to be the online world and implementing all of the options out there into a company’s marketing plan. Besides e-mail marketing, you now have blogging, online communities such as Linked In, and so many other choices out there to choose from. It’s now the mainstream marketing medium.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Marketing shouldn’t be complicated. Keep it simple.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“I look up to many different people, including guys like Bill Gates, Robert Kyosaki and Donald Trump. I also look up to all the entrepreneurs out there who fight the good fight every day.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“Persistence is the key to success in business.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?

“I got threatened by one of my interns for insulting Harry Potter. I guess its true that people really love that guy.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“When you’re a small business owner trying to build your business, you have no free time. But seriously, I do enjoy reading books on various business topics, networking with others and watching the Brewers and Packers.”

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