We had the good fortune of connecting with Rick DeBruhl and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rick, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I’ve been fortunate to have several great careers. The one thing that I’ve enjoyed about my working life is that it’s always had a lot of variety. When I decided to launch my communication consulting company, it was to give me the opportunity to work with different kinds of people in new areas. Each business or organization has its unique challenges, but ultimately some of their problems are the same. The ability to look at their problems from a fresh perspective is what brings value. It also gives me the chance to grow and learn. I walk in the door with specific expertise, but I have to decide how my experience will work in a new environment. So, while making money is an important part of my business, enjoying the variety and new challenges is what keeps me going.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an Emmy award winning network broadcaster with a master’s degree in media management. I spent more than three decades in the world of TV news as an anchor and reporter. Every day I got the chance to go out and explore both the successes and failures in our community. It was a tremendous education in what works, and what doesn’t. In addition to my TV news work, I’ve also covered auto racing for TV networks like ABC, ESPN, NBC and others. I was part of the Indy 500 broadcast team facing millions of viewers each year. I’m currently the voice of the Barrett Jackson auctions on the A&E networks (History and FYI). Beyond my TV world, I was also the Chief Communication Officer for an organization. My team was responsible for managing public relations, marketing, advertising, publishing a magazine, website content and government relations. It was a great experience to lead such a diverse agenda. These days, I’m out on my own working as a communication consultant. That includes presentation coaching, media training, crisis communication and overall messaging. As I often point out, you can’t innovate unless you communicate!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Living in Arizona the best time ever would have to start with the outdoors. We could start with a quick day trip up to the Red Rocks of Sedona. We’d go hiking on Schnebly Hill and then find a great lunch spot along Oak Creek. We might spend the afternoon browsing the wonderful shops at Tlaquepaque before driving back to Phoenix on the backroads with a stop in the quirky town of Jerome. Back in Phoenix we could spend days at the wonderful museums. The Heard Museum is devoted to native American art and culture. The Phoenix Art Museum always has wonderful traveling exhibits. The Musical Instrument Museum is a chance to experience music from around the globe. If my friend wanted something completely different, we’d visit the Hall of Flame firefighting museum (home to the largest collection of fire engines in the world!). And since I’m a racing geek, I’d have to make sure that they spend time at the Penske Racing Museum in Scottsdale. Tucked in between the Penske car dealerships, it’s an amazing collection of Indy 500 and NASCAR winning race cars. Best of all, it’s free! Hopefully, we’d still have time for a two day trip to southern Arizona where we could see the Kartchner Caverns, San Xavier del Bac Mission and the Pima Air Museum. And while I’m not much of a night life kind of guy, we could still enjoy the great restaurants and clubs in Scottsdale. Trust me, they’d be exhausted by the time they left!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Arizona chapter of the National Speakers Association has been a great support network as I started my consulting world. Between great workshops and supportive members, it’s been a great resource. Each member has a different perspective and I get to learn from all of them. Their monthly programs always provides a great tool, or just wonderful motivation. To be honest, I’m not traditionally a “joiner”, but the NSA has been a solid resource.
Tim Heit, Kate Shoup, Robin Hadder