Q&A With Rick Schanz, VP and Managing Dir., Detroit Office

Rick Schanz

Title: Vice President, Managing Director – Detroit Office

Years at The Elevation Group: Approaching 10th anniversary in February 2014.

Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio

Hobbies & Interests: Travel, cars (classic and sports), racing (anything with wheels and a motor), music (percussion), and hunting and fishing.

Childhood Ambition: To be an ABC “Wide World of Sports” photographer.

Best advice you’ve ever received: Don’t try to cram all night for your college exams. If you don’t know the material by 11 p.m., go to bed. You’re better off being rested.

Favorite quote: Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

First job: My first job was a newspaper route that was ideal for prospecting and securing other moneymaking odd jobs - lawn mowing, snow shoveling, painting, etc. - from my paper customers.

Pet peeves: Being late.

Favorite book/movie: Any books by Michael Crichton, but I particularly like “Travels” - a nonfiction book that details Crichton's astonishing personal global travel adventures. My favorite movie is “Donnie Brasco.”

Favorite restaurant: Visiting any of the restaurants featured on Guy Fieri’s, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” I have an iPhone app that helps me find the featured restaurants. I try to visit at least one on every business trip.


What do you enjoy most about your work? That’s a tough one. I like being able to take marketing programs from concept to execution in market. I want to see how consumers react to programs I help design. The results are important to me. I also enjoy the many people we interact with - our clients, guests and Elevation staff. We do some cool events and I’m lucky to be able to be part of that.

First significant memory at Elevation: The Hollywood launch party for Pioneer Electronics’ “It Knows” navigation systems tour at the famed Montmartre Lounge. We had catering by Wolfgang Puck and a bevy of celebrities. It was a great start to an intense yearlong, nationwide life-style marketing tour. 

What would people never guess you do in your role? I still get goose bumps during the opening ceremonies of NASCAR races.

What led you to the marketing industry? My love of motorsports led me to a career in marketing. Doing something you are passionate about makes hard work easier.

Advice for aspiring marketing professionals: Get involved with an internship or get on the road with a touring experiential marketing company. This will enable you to test the waters in different areas of interest, build a foundation for networking and understand what it takes to make things happen on the frontline.