The wild-eyed man with huge glasses
I first saw “Rocket” Ray Jutkins at a DMA conference in Chicago over twenty years ago. At the time I thought I had wandered into the lounge act at the host hotel. Here was this wild-eyed man with huge glasses yelling, throwing things into the audience and projecting slides onto a screen that looked like they were printed in crayon. I learned more in that one session than in the numerous workshops I attended in decades of conferences. It was not until almost ten years later that I had my first meeting with him. I was president of a financial services company in Southern California. I invited Ray to come and address my marketing team. Now keep in mind that everyone in our company, men and women, dressed in suites. Everyday. No exceptions. So Ray shows up in jeans, multi-colored southwestern shirt, boots and enough turquoise jewelry to set up a trunk show. Of course we hired him on the spot. A few years after that I founded a direct marketing services company and again looked to Ray for sage advice. He told me two things. The first was, stay true to the axioms of direct marketing. While the world around us may change basic human nature does not. And second, always take time each day to market yourself.
Like all of us I received his email messages from around the world. We shared a few podiums along the way. During the precious one-on-one moments he was always ready with time to listen and never shy about his opinions. He even gave my two small boys a ride on his Harley during a brief stopover at our home before his coast-to-coast ride. To this day they still remember the teddy bear on the back of his bike.
Thank you Ray for your fellowship and most of all, for demonstrating that none of us has to rehearse to be our self.
Do you have a favorite Ray Jutkins story?
If so, please send it along to and I'll make it part of this website.
With fond memories of Ray and with deep respect for his family.