In each installment of The 4-1-1, we interview a different member of the House Party Team, asking the big questions that are on everyone's minds. In this one, we're chatting with Joe Epner, one of our Senior Directors of Sales. Joe joined House Party almost two years ago but we can't imagine life without him! He's not only always looking for next "big" sale, but you can always hear him helping out his other team members. Jane, one of our Campaign Strategy Directors, has worked with Joe on several campaigns so she's heard some of his stories, but she - and us right along with her - wanted to know more.
Joe, you seem like a natural-born sales person, have you always been in sales and how do you like it?
No, I've had a particularly varied background. Prior to joining House party I was on the Client side in brand management working on products like Colgate, Irish Spring, Airwick, Cutty Sark and Beefeater. But there's more! I've done advertising, market research, promotions, and managed P & Ls (profit and loss). I enjoy sales more than being on the client side because it's much more entrepreneurial and allows me to use my creativity.
I know you live in the city and have a house in the Berkshires. What do you like best about this lifestyle?
It's absolutely the best of both worlds: We can partake of the city during the week, and chill out on the weekend up at the house with skiing, fall foliage, apple picking, tennis and basketball. It also works out [given] how convenient the office is. My wife and kids come up on the train on Fridays and we leave for the house from here. Want to know how many places I've lived in the city? (starts counting). We currently live on the Upper West Side, which we love, have lived in Kips Bay which is the 20s on the east side, and four locations on the East side. Prior to being married, I lived on the Upper West Side and one of the places was above Sarabeth's kitchen so I could always break the line to get into Sunday brunch.
I'm always hearing you talk about sports in the office. What are some of your favorite sports you like to do?
I'm a runner and have run in two NYC marathons and multiple half marathons. And I'm still running and have even raised $2500 with Team in Training. I also bike ride and am an avid skier. I earned a silver medal in NASTAR Racing. I ski black diamond trials at Jiminy Peak and have skied all over the world (CA, ID, Utah, WY, Austria, France and Italy). I still use the same straight skis I've used the past 20 years. People gawk at my straight skis!
You're always cracking jokes and I've seen you use humor to break the tension with clients. How do you come up with your witty lines?
I think it's genetic. My grandfather had a sense of humor and so did my father. Now I see it in my son. I've always liked to entertain myself with my humor. Laughter produces a chemical in body that prolongs life and makes me a happy guy.
We always know when you and Mike Hermus are in the office. Who do you think has the loudest voice?
Depends on who you ask. We can't laugh at the same time or windows will shatter! In the corporate world, people can close their door if we're too loud, but here at House Party there are no doors.
Tell me something I don't know about you.
We have three Maltese dogs named Snowy, Pinky, and Rocky who travel with us everywhere. What's great is they're house trained so they never have to be walked. Two of the dogs always sleep with me and my wife. Our kids are crazy about our dogs!
Got a question for Joe? Post it here and we'll tear him off the phone with a client to answer it.