Getting to Know … Don Christensen

A Midwesterner at heart, a New Jersey Advertising Hall of Famer, and a unicycle rider … who knew! Learn more about Rizco Account Director Don Christensen. And while Don may be a self-proclaimed Rizco “rookie,” he’s no newbie to the advertising and public relations industry. Read on.

How long have you been at Rizco? What is your role?

I’ll be here 10 months at the end of July…. still a Rizco rookie. My primary role is to recruit new business in the financial area but to also help support the new accounts that come onboard.

What was your “big break” and how did you get it?

Bringing in the Two River Community Bank was a major break. I had been in touch with the marketing and operations people at the Bank for almost a year before we got the chance to pitch the business. Then, we had to compete with other finalists to create a speculative campaign to win the business, which was successful.

As Rizco’s Account Director, what drives you to generate results?

The thrill of the hunt is always appealing to me, but my primary motivator is to attract viable clients who can truly succeed by using our services.

Where did you go to college? What was your major?

At the time I graduated from high school in the Midwest, Michigan State University boasted the biggest and best school of advertising in the country, and I was privileged to be accepted there as an advertising major. I never switched majors at all!

What did you want to be when you grew up (when you were 10)?

On a local TV show for kids, I told viewers I wanted to be a “frogman” (slang for a professional Scuba Diver). I was heavily influenced by Mike Nelson (played by Lloyd Bridges) from the TV show “Sea Hunt.”

What is your proudest career moment?

My 2015 induction into the New Jersey Advertising Hall of Fame was a career high, but co-owning a Top 25 New Jersey Agency was the most satisfying accomplishment.

As a seasoned PR expert, what advice do you have for anyone entering into the field of advertising and public relations?

Always honor the concept of “Truth in Advertising.” If the product or service you are promoting has a Unique Selling Proposition (USP), you can successfully sell it by dramatizing its USP in a memorable, compelling manner.

Best advice someone has given you?

My close friend and mentor, John, always reminded me to invest the time to examine all sides of every issue – even the dark, non-illuminated side.

People would be surprised if they knew …

I can ride a unicycle.

Don spends most of his free time restoring this 1950s, charming beach bungalow in Belmar.Don spends most of his free time restoring this 1950s, charming beach bungalow in Belmar.

What do you love to do in your free time?

I am restoring an old 1950s beach bungalow: That’s my most satisfying pastime and my greatest tranquilizer!

What kind of music do you love to listen to?

I love the classics within every genre of music (like Clair de Lune, Chatahoochie, and I Want to be There to Pick up the Pieces), but my two favorite songs are by Van Morrison and K.D. Lang.

What is your favorite food?

I rarely tasted a food I didn’t like, since every nationality has figured out a way to prepare at least one dish to perfection. However, I have never turned down an offer to enjoy a good curry accompanied by fresh naan bread.

Which sports team(s) do you root for?

I’ve made major switches in loyalties three times due to relocations, having rooted for teams from Detroit, then Los Angeles, and finally New York, always supporting the “home team.” In the New York area, it’s more divided than anywhere else, but I’ve settled in on the Yankees, the Giants, and the Nets.

The Christensen FamilyThe Christensen Family (l-r) Daughter, Captain Emma A. Schiller (U.S. Army); Son, Ethan; Wife, Kelli; Don; and Son, Alden.

If you could be any animal, what would you be?

Probably a hawk … since I love heights, enjoy the broader view, and would love to stay afloat a long time using the updraft!