Five in Five* with Bruce Ziegler, Director of Client Services
No member of the Interrupt team goes uninitiated by the Five in Five, and our newest colleague is no exception. Bruce Ziegler came on as our director of client services in November 2021, and immediately, we had lots of questions. (For starters, what’s it like being so tall, Bruce?!)
The Cleveland native started his career fresh out of college as a sales manager trainee at Sherwin Williams, where over the next 17 years he climbed his way to senior product manager. After that, he continued to build his career as a leader in the building materials and home improvement channels, holding key positions at Berkshire Hathaway, Tarkett Flooring, and Kichler Lighting and Associated Materials.
Now he’s looking forward to helping Interrupt’s clients solve customer pain points and push toward brand differentiation and the resulting revenue.
How did you find your new role?
Bill [Rossiter, Interrupt principal] and I kind of found each other on the internet. We had been connected in the past on LinkedIn. We have a lot in common: he spent a lot of time at Owens Corning, I spent a lot of time at Sherwin Williams. I’d always been on the client side, and at Interrupt, I saw an opportunity to touch multiple companies. The mix of the culture at Interrupt, the type of work, and the industry expertise I could bring from my past 25 years, putting it all together it was almost too good to be true.
You’re towering over all of us—how tall are you exactly?
I’m about 6’7”. My coordination didn’t catch up to me until ninth grade. I had a wonderful basketball coach who took me under his wing, Bob Ludwig. It was very invigorating and I really enjoyed the team work that was involved. Coincidentally, as a student at Cleveland State playing rec basketball, I played against the late Manute Bol quite a few times—at 7’7” he was a foot taller than me and eventually became one of the NBA’s tallest players ever. That was my little brush with greatnes
We’ve heard you’re also musically talented. A Renaissance man!
I played the trumpet from fourth grade until I was a senior in high school. It opened up the world of music for me, and I also had three older sisters who turned me on to the Beatles, and to late 1960s, 1970s artists. It grew from there and now I truly love it all. I would have loved to be a composer of movie soundtracks. I really admire Hans Zimmer, and his ability to take music and set it to a mood or a tone or a memory.
You spent 25 years working on the client side. What do you hope to bring from that experience to your work at Interrupt?
My ethos is “walk a mile in your client’s shoes.” I remember one agency I worked with in the past, they actually went out to a hardware store and worked in the paint department for a weekend. That went a long way with me. I would like to see our team continue to be that authority, get in the client’s world, know their pain points and speak their language. I hope to give the viewpoint of not just the consumer but the contractor, the architect, the designer.
You’re new to Toledo, having moved from Cleveland. What are you most looking forward to exploring?
I’m looking to discover all the different hiking trails—I’ve heard there is an amazing park system here. I’d like to go to a Mud Hens game. I’m a Jamie Farr fan, so going to hit Tony Packo’s for sure.
*Five in Five is where we catch up with an Interrupter to ask five questions in five minutes. It may have taken us (way) longer than five minutes to have this conversation. But it shouldn’t take you longer than five minutes to read them. So we’re counting it.