Monday, December 11, 2017
Business

Tampa Bay Top Workplaces: PostcardMania focuses on individual, respect for all

CLEARWATER

For a company involved in mass mailings, PostcardMania tends to fixate on the individual.

Instead of across-the-board raises, CEO Joy Gendusa examines each employee's role in helping the company grow in deciding bonuses or raises. If someone is unhappy, a discussion ensues on how to retool their job to help both company and employee. If a new mother wants to bring her baby with her to work for the first four months, so be it.

"It's all on a case-by-case basis," Gendusa says.

The strategy appears to be working for the 15-year-old direct mail marketing firm, which debuts on this year's roster of Tampa Bay's Top Workplaces.

PostcardMania — which prints and ships postcard advertisements on behalf of more than 53,000 customers in more than 350 industries — weathered a tough 2009 during the recession.

It was the only year in its history that sales dropped, falling about $2 million. But Gendusa didn't lay anyone off; among other cutbacks, she didn't take a salary that year.

Employees appreciated that, along with other signs that the company cares. Among the amenities are an on-site cafeteria including a barista and chef; workout classes with yoga and full-body fitness routines; and ample get-togethers. The company throws an annual Christmas party, a casino night, a summer picnic and a catered party for managers at Gendusa's home.

Sarah Kicinski, chief marketing officer, said she appreciates getting a chance to prove herself and try new things. "If I could prove to my manager it was a good idea, I could run with it."

PostcardMania asks just a few things of its employees in return: work hard and treat others with respect. A lot of respect.

"We have a zero office politics policy," Gendusa said. "You're not allowed to talk badly about another person who works here on premises or off. … No backbiting. That's contagious and can spread."

New employees sign an agreement acknowledging they can be fired without warning if they violate the civility policy.

The policy feeds a climate of trust and mutual praise, so workers can share in the triumphs of each other as well as their customers.

Employees "can go home at night and feel they are helping small businesses and helping people succeed," said company president Jennifer Custer.

Post-recession, PostcardMania has continued to grow, adding 100 new customers a week with up to 12,000 active clients at any one time.

The company draws from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's business management practices. But business ties within Scientology's Clearwater headquarters and beyond account for just a tiny fraction of PostcardMania revenue.

The company's single biggest revenue source is the dental industry, accounting for $2 million, or roughly 10 percent of its business. Lawn care and landscaping generated the highest number of orders last year.

The company recently posted its biggest week ever: $640,000 in business. Plus the firm's new promotion to track postcard recipients when they click onto client websites had a promising launch.

"It's exciting," Gendusa said, predicting revenues could top $24 million this year, up from $20 million in 2012. "I would be thrilled if we make that. … I'm praying for $26 million!"

Jeff Harrington can be reached at (727) 893-8242 or [email protected]

Comments
HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC says U.S. will dismiss criminal charges against it

HSBC said Monday that U.S. authorities were preparing to dismiss criminal charges against the bank, five years after it reached an agreement to avoid prosecution related to lapses in its money-laundering controls.In 2012, the bank, one of the world’s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

Major auto manufacturer offers longer hours, incentives to fix airbags

TAMPA — With nearly 200,000 people around Tampa Bay still driving around with defective airbags that could kill them, a major automaker is trying to dramatically cut that number down this week.Fiat Chrystler Automobiles U.S. has launched Airbag Recal...
Updated: 1 hour ago
This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

This 6-year-old kid made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube

When most people think back on the child celebrities of their time, they likely think of child movie actors, the well-trained stars of showbiz. For some, these were stars like Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, or Macaulay Carson Culkin from "Home Alone." F...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Ticket-fighting firm hires former Florida Bar president to sue the Bar

Times Staff WriterWell, this is awkward. A company that is suing the Florida Bar has hired a former Bar president to represent it. Ramon Abadin has joined the legal team of TIKD, a company that expedites the process of fighting traffic tickets in Pin...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

Tampa: Hundreds protest Trump’s decision on Jerusalem

TAMPA — Hundreds rallied near the University of South Florida on Friday night to protest President Donald Trump’s recent declaration that the United States will recognize the divided city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.The protest was organize...
Published: 12/08/17
Updated: 12/09/17

Duke outage leaves 7,700 without power near Pinellas Park

PINELLAS PARK — Up to 7,700 customers across Pinellas Park, Lealman and Kenneth City lost power in a Thursday night outage, according to Duke Energy.The outage impacted a cloverleaf-shaped area of customers, with pedals extending in the cardinal dire...
Published: 12/08/17
Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

Express lanes set to open on Veterans. They’re free -- for now.

TAMPA — Drivers on the Veterans Expressway will gain an extra lane from Gunn Highway to Hillsborough Avenue starting Saturday.But there’s a catch: Once drivers enter the lane, they won’t be able to leave it — not until a designated exit about six mil...
Published: 12/08/17
St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

St. Petersburg chamber of commerce charts ‘Grow Smarter’ economic development strategy

Times Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — What started more than five years ago as an exploratory conversation among a handful of business leaders blossomed Friday into a full-blown community discussion of how to nurture business while working to make sure ...
Published: 12/08/17
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater makes Orlando tourists a top target

In a decision driven by some major data crunching, Visit St. Pete/Clearwater next year will focus its tourism advertising on three target markets: Orlando, New York City and its Tampa Bay home."Research is going to dictate our behaviors and direction...
Published: 12/08/17
Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

Having JW Marriott run Water Street Tampa’s new 519-room hotel expected to help Tampa pursue more upscale conventions

TAMPA — JW Marriott, a luxury hotel brand new to Tampa, will run the new 519-room hotel that the Water Street Tampa project is building next to the Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina, developers announced Friday.Construction on the 26-story hotel is ...
Published: 12/08/17