I’ve only met Brian once – via Zoom, for that matter – but the hour I spent with him provided a great window into the way he operates. At first I wrote that he just happens to experience all these anything-but-ordinary moments in life. Upon further reflection, it seems he’s not only the orchestrator of all these moments but has a knack for weeding through the dull ones and seeking out what “could be.” Throughout his story, whether by means of hard work or sheer coincidence, he manages to reap some amazing memories and hasn’t been afraid to take chances to squeeze more out of life. This, in a nutshell, makes him a perfect fit for the N2 Area Director role.
Brian’s previous career was in event marketing, managing interactive campaigns for big-name companies such as Pepsi, Procter and Gamble, Wrigleys and Nestle to name a few. He even managed a figure skating tour for three years. He grew up and lived in Toronto, Canada, and his work there required a lot of travel – something he didn’t mind at first. But the once novel drives between major Canadian cities became all too familiar. In fact, he stayed in more than 100 towns across the country during work trips! Looking for something a bit different (with a little more variety in travel), Brian decided to make a big leap and move to the States as a dual citizen. And hailing from Canada, the obvious choice for him was to move somewhere warm – Orange County, California.
“It’s funny, you never know where you’re going to end up,” Brian said of the big move.
There, he worked in experiential marketing for companies like Spam™, Street Surfing (those two-wheeled skateboards you wiggle your feet on to glide), and Blackberry. He created unique, memorable consumer experiences marketing these products and was responsible for hiring and teaching hundreds of representatives all across the nation on how to sell Blackberries.
“[In 2009] we all know what happened to Blackberry, so when that ended I was without a job,” remembered Brian.
After some preliminary searching, it was Brian’s wife who discovered N2 on Craigslist.
THE AD ADVERTISEMENT
“It was all about putting people together and that’s how you help,” Brian said of the Craigslist post. “I was not a sales guy – and still am not a sales guy, but it was the idea of bringing people and businesses together that intrigued me.”
But I’d argue his relationships with clients and residents are what make him a truly great “sales guy.
He went to training in 2009 alongside some other N2 veterans: Mary Beth Jones and Scott Wade. When he returned home to California, he ramped up one magazine, then a second, and then he got a chance to launch his biggest undertaking – Coto de Caza magazine. Brian spent nine years in Orange County running his publication businesses – five of which as the only Area Director in Southern California.
In true (and exciting) Brian fashion, he and his wife began considering another big relocation. They hoped to find a new area that was less expensive to live; a place where he could still run a publication and where their daughter could excel in her sport of acrobatic gymnastics. A fellow AD was ultimately the one who coaxed Brian to consider San Antonio, Texas. Brian traveled once to work with him and then a couple of months later came out with his family, and San Antonio checked all the boxes. Alicia Scrimger and Scott Dormaier each took over his California pubs and they are still running today. So the Kalchmans moved to San Antonio and Brian launched a new publication, Alamo Heights in April 2019.
San Antonio is quite a different market from Orange County, but Brian stuck to his foundation of providing beneficial connections to residents and business owners. After all, San Antonio is all about community – supporting the community, being seen in the community, and proving you’re there for the long haul.
WORK THAT’S WORTH IT
“The memories I have, the experiences I’ve had – it’s just been phenomenal.”
“I would never want to do anything else besides this,” Brian said. “My daughter is 14 years old and if you think about it, I've been doing this for 12 years. All she has known is me working from home. I've always been at every one of her events. I've never missed anything.”
Being “there” for his daughter’s “acro” events, milestones, and the everyday moments is something Brian will always have. He acknowledges people forget what immense value that holds. Yes, income as an AD is uncapped, but most important to Brian is the flexibility to spend time with family. “How do you put a value on that, right?”
Not surprisingly, Brian’s never been one to have a normal nine-to-five job.
“As an Area Director, you have a new deadline every month and you produce something different each month. And the people you meet... Seriously, what job could you do where you meet a former pilot of Air Force One or one of the greatest hockey players of all time, Teemu Selanne, in the same week? Or attend a fundraiser in a resident’s backyard with Billy Idol performing.”
I’m starting to think Brian should write a book about his life. There are just so many memories I learned about from our hour-long chat, and I couldn’t possibly cover them all in a simple blog post. He’s now a performance coach for other Area Directors, multiplying his wisdom of connection. If you’re curious about how he met a media tycoon from Mexico who he later discovered was a long-lost relative, or his philosophy on bad days (which we all have), or if you are looking for exciting stories to share with you clients, connect with Brian. I’m sure he’d love to talk to you!
To Brian, that Area Director ad on Craigslist sums things up perfectly: He’s just putting people together, every day. It’s that simple.