May 22, 2012 Jacob Geiger
Tell us the basics: Who are you, what’s your company’s name and how long have you been at this company?
My name is Glenn Harper. I’m owner of Sports Image Inc. I started the company in August 2011.
My company connects businesses looking to market their products and services with high school athletic teams and organizations looking for financial support.
What drew you to this company and this concept?
As a high school coach and also a sports booster president, I saw the amount of funds for athletics dropping steadily and kids not getting the resources they needed to succeed in athletics, especially in high schools.
Lots of schools have seen funding cuts in recent years. How are you all adapting to serve them in that environment?
There are so many businesses that want to get involved in schools to help make a difference. And along the way they will hopefully build a relationship with the school family and gain their trust and, hopefully, gain a new customer.
What’s a business you admire, and why?
Being a native of Richmond, how could anyone not mention the Ukrops? I strive to treat my clients fairly and with the respect and attention they deserve. Treat them right and they will come back.
Can you recall a great customer service experience? What made it memorable?
I still remember the days at the old Ukrop’s on Walmsley Boulevard. The managers and cashiers would treat you like you were their best friend. To have your groceries carried out by polite and courteous folks was such a great experience.
What’s a lesson you’ve learned during the recession?
I have found that having to start a new career at mid-life has its stresses, and I have had to work many odd jobs to keep income coming in. Despite the stress, I made it work with the help of a very supportive wife and family. I do not believe it is the role of government to get in our way, and we need to take responsibility and live with the decisions we make.
Is there a secret to your personal success? Perhaps a piece of advice you’ve always remembered?
I have always felt nothing replaces hard work, and you must have integrity. You must be able to stand by the decisions you make and believe that you did the right thing no matter what happens. I know my family gets tired of my John Wooden quotes, but my favorite has always been: “You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”
What’s the part of your job you dread the most?
I really need businesses who want to spend money to advertise with not only schools but the other organizations that I partner with. In these tough times I know many companies are struggling and asking for their hard-earned dollar is tough. Hearing “no” still hits you in the gut sometimes, but you’ve got to get back up and keep on trying.
What’s the part of your job that excites you the most, the thing that makes you want to hurry to work?
I really think that being a part of a sports team can teach you so many important life lessons that you cannot get elsewhere. The relationships you build with teammates can last you a lifetime.
I would love to be able to help schools in the City of Richmond and Henrico County and find ways to get these kids what they need to be the very best they can be.
I look forward to that challenge and seeing the local business community step up and help make a difference and just get it done. I know there are companies that really want to make a difference and my job is to find them and get them involved.