Hey Enhobby readers. It’s been a looooooooonnnnng while since my last article. I’ve been busy with a project I can’t quite announce just yet and it’s been taking up literally all my time (including some weekends). Last week, I took a couple days off from my current project to let you all know I’m still here. When I first started this blog, I promised an inside look at the company and those who work behind the scenes. In a series of articles I will be presenting interviews I have done and will do with some of my coworkers, especially those who some of you might have seen or know. I will start this series off with one Bobby Guarisco, or Bobby Gens Ace as some of you might know him.
-Hey Bobby. Thanks for taking the time to sit down to talk with me. Why don’t you introduce yourself and give us a brief idea of what you do for HobbyPartz.
Sure, my name is Bobby Guarisco. I work in the marketing department of HobbyPartz and our affiliated websites, NitroPlanes, XHeli, and NitroRCX. I’m in charge of sponsorship programs, as well as promotional events (PR events so called). A lot of times, I help promote certain causes (raise awareness for breast cancer, education, etc.) through the hobby itself. Currently my job also requires me to focus on product promotion, making sure our products are up to par, and keeping the sponsors happy.
-How did you get into RCs? Was it an interest you had before? Or did working in the industry spur your interest?
My dad worked for toy company Mattel when I was growing up, so I was introduced pretty early to Tyco RC cars. And probably due to his influence too, the toy industry was always an interest to me. I wasn’t initially into the high grade RCs that we work with today, but that toy industry interest definitely sparked something that allowed me to make the smooth transition into “hardcore” RCs and develop a love for it. It’s something on a totally different level, but has always been an interest.
A lot of times, I get embarrassing question like “how do you fly, or what do you fly, or what car do you run”. I’m embarrassed to say I’m not the best helicopter or plane pilot nor the best car driver in the industry. Even without being a top pilot or driver, I’m grateful that this job and my position in the marketing department allow me the opportunity to have fun and meet such awesome people who are great at RCs. Despite not being the best pilot or driver, I do know our products quite well and am able to use that knowledge to help out pros who work with us and fans that come to me with questions about our products.
-What are you looking forward to in the RC world? Any hints you can give us about what’s to come at HPs?
One thing I notice is that technology is changing and improving rapidly, and the industry is constantly shifting because of that. For example you see new designs and technology displayed in shows every successive year. There’s newer and better motors, better electronic systems, transmitters are constantly improving and have newer and better features. You’re definitely going to be seeing a lot of improved and new products, especially in the toy grade range. Our R&D is doing a lot of work in that regard, especially with our battery packs. They’re getting smaller and lighter, while becoming more powerful at the same time. Oh yeah, and you asked me about events?
-Yeah, if you could tell me a bit more about them. You seem to go to a lot of events.
Yeah, the last big event I went to was the IRCHA 2012 event. An event I’m looking forward to is the AMA event coming up on Jan 11th 2013. It’s one of the few events that I will actually be able work with a bigger team. The marketing team will be more involved and it’s not just a 3 man team like some of the farther away (from southern California) events I go to like IRCHA was.
-What was your favorite event? What makes it so memorable?
Definitely, my favorite event was the RCX show from earlier this year down in Long Beach, CA. It’s really interesting to go to events and actually interact with consumers and it’s one of the few events that I was able to talk to some of the people I’ve been in contact with on Facebook, email, and phone for quite a while, but never actually met in person till that day.
More recently, another fun event I remember would definitely be IRCHA 2012. I’ve never seen anything like it. So many golf carts…so many people and so many registered flyers. The amount of skilled pilots from all over the world (Europe, South America, etc.) out there really was unreal. I got to meet a lot of them there and witness their flying first hand. One thing they did was have a bunch of 3d fliers fly their helis at the same time; I never witnessed anything that crazy before and it was a bit overwhelming. And of course, the off time with the fireworks, the parties, and meet and greets was pretty fun, allowing me to get to know everyone not only on a professional, but also a social basis. It made those four days of craziness definitely worth it.
-So as we all know shows and events don’t happen in a day. There’s a lot of planning and communication that has to happen to set these things up. What’s your role in all of that to get HPs, XHeli, NitroPlanes, and NitroRCX to those events and making sure everything runs smoothly?
It’s kind of funny. A lot of people think we’re a bigger company than we really are, so I do a lot of the work from the planning to booking the hotel, getting the rental car, and even making sure some of our sponsored drivers and pilots have their plane tickets. We only have a 3-4 man team at a lot of these events, so I get stuck doing a bit of secretary work both there and at the office. Setting up, packing and unpacking boxes, and coordinating some of our staff there. Once the event, starts, I lead the communication between the staff and sponsored drivers and pilots make sure everyone has what they need to get their job done; on top of that I find time to meet new sponsors, potential pilots and drivers that we’re thinking about sponsoring, and talking a bit with other companies as well.
-So you do pretty much everything.
Haha yeah, pretty much everything except the fun stuff like our pilots and drivers get to do.
-We work in different areas, so I actually don’t see what’s happening in your end of the office. Now that we’ve gone over your activities outside the office, why don’t you give us an idea of your typical work day.
When I’m not busy planning for events? Haha. Well, a typical work day typically starts with me grabbing some coffee. I’m sad that we don’t have a coffee machine at work, but I deal with it. Work for me starts with checking my emails and making sure communication lines get attended to in the morning. With over 100 sponsored people on my list, lots of emails and phone calls come in with issues more complicated than a “yes or no” answer and I make sure all of them are answered. After that, the marketing department has meetings throughout the day to upcoming schedule items and make sure we plan sufficiently for them. Sometimes I also go out with VIPs and our test pilots and drivers checking out new products, and sometimes go out to the local airfields and tracks to talk with some local hobbyists to get an idea of what they’re looking for and what they want to see from the industry. Things change a bit from time to time, but basically, that’s my day at the office.
-Haha, that sounds very fun indeed. Well, thank you for your time Bobby, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers (and your fans)?
Working in this industry also allows for some pretty fun things to happen. It’s really fun to watch something go from concept to production in R&D to finally hitting the market. I have a lot of friends in the office that I really enjoy working with, so despite my 45 minutes to an hour drive that I take every day to get the office, I’m really excited to wake up every day and get to work.
Just keep your eyes open, we have a lot of things planned and look forward to showing you guys in the future. Our product developer has been showing us some cool new concepts that we’re excited to put into production so keep your eyes out for new product announcements. Come follow us on our Facebook page [link them all] so you guys know what we got planned right when we announce it. Oh, and come say hi to us at the AMA show on Jan 11-13 next year if you’re in the area! I’ll be personally attending that. If you want to reach me directly, I’m Bobby Gens Ace on Facebook and you can always reach me there.
Hope all you readers enjoyed that little inside look into the life of Bobby Guarisco. And I also want to include a thank you to Bobby for taking the time out of his busy schedule to sit down with me for this interview. Make sure you guys go add Bobby Gens Ace on Facebook if you want a great guy on your friends list! For my next interview, I’ll be talking to two of our very own, and well known nitro girls, Leanna and Nancy. Please stay tuned and look forward to that! Till next time, happy hobbying!