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The Softer Side of Sales: Gary Eisenberger



Project Cuddle national spokesperson and actor John Stamos presents Gary with the Board Member of the Year Award on the set of ER on a Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, Calif., in March

Being PAETECs vice president of channel sales for the west region doesnt leave Gary Eisenberger with much time on his hands, but some of what he does have left he donates to charity. His efforts have not gone unnoticed. Gary was recently named Project Cuddle Board Member of the Year, an award presented to him by the organizations national spokesperson, John Stamos, in March.

Project Cuddle is a nonprofit charity dedicated to preventing infants from being abandoned. Founder Debbe Magnusen and her husband, Dave, have fostered more than 30 drug-exposed babies, and the organization has saved nearly 600 children since 1996.

Gary has been on the board of Project Cuddle for a little more than two years. We save abandoned babies, Gary explains. We reach out to women not to throw their babies away These mothers may be on drugs or their families might disown them if they find out they are pregnant. So, these are very troubled women and were trying to protect the babies and find good homes for them.

Gary became involved with Project Cuddle through another charitable organization, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). Garys involvement in helping CFF raise money was prompted by his 13-year-old son, Louis, who has Cystic Fibrosis. For 10 years, Gary has zealously supported CFF as an active and dedicated board member.



Gary hangs out at the Karma Tequila Distilleries in Jalisco, Mexico.

While at a CFF luncheon, Gary heard Project Cuddles Magnusen speak about the organization she had started. I was very moved by her speech and I asked how I could help, Gary says. Since his philanthropic plate was already close to full, Gary admits he was thinking along the lines of orchestrating an event, such as a golf tournament. However, Project Cuddle persuaded him to become a full-time board member, and now he actually spends just as much time with Project Cuddle as he does with the other charities hes passionate about. Aside from CFF, he is involved in Kids Courage Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering hope for critically ill children and their families through financial support.

As vice president of channel sales, Gary manages the entire base of agents and their customers in PAETECs west region, but he is quick to point out that his employer is a strong supporter of his philanthropic activities. PAETEC incents its upper management to get involved in charitable causes, and in fact, all of upper management has a little more than $1.5 million earmarked for charities. Arunas Chesonis, PAETEC CEO, has two one-on-one telephone calls every year, with each vice president, director and sales manager, to discuss which board, charity or other community activity each employee is involved with. And on each weekly conference call with all 2,350 PAETEC employees, someone is recognized with a Community Service Award. PAETEC is very focused on community involvement, Gary says. Being active in the community and with charities is driven from the top down.

Garys first job: At age 10, Gary was a steel fabricator for his family business in New Jersey.
Garys home away from home:
Mexico to taste the thousands of tequilas that are not available in the United States. Gary is a self-proclaimed tequila aficionado. His favorite is tequila is Karma tequila, which he says is smoother than Patron.
Garys worst fear: Having three of his girlfriends in the same room because he can only handle two. Or, of course, a fate worse than death finding himself back together with his ex-wife.
Words to live by: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Thoughts on telecom: I still feel theres just as much opportunity in the TDM marketplace as there is in the VoIP arena. Everyones so focused on VoIP that I think were forgetting that TDM is still a legacy product that has a lot of use and benefit for the consumer. Im not so quick to jump on the VoIP bandwagon. Its a great technology it just isnt working the way it should and is very difficult and time-consuming to implement.

Links
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation www.cff.org
Kids Courage Foundation www.kidscourage.org
PAETEC www.paetec.com
Project Cuddle www.projectcuddle.org


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