Extraordinary sales reps excel after hours

November 1, 1997

Pharmaceutical Representative

TIM HANKE Berlex Laboratories Chairperson of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society CLEARWATER, FL - When Berlex Laboratories began developing neurology products about five years ago, sales rep Tim Hanke began calling on doctors who treated patients with multiple sclerosis.

TIM HANKE Berlex Laboratories Chairperson of the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society CLEARWATER, FL - When Berlex Laboratories began developing neurology products about five years ago, sales rep Tim Hanke began calling on doctors who treated patients with multiple sclerosis.

Thinking he might gain some understanding of the disease, he also visited the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The small but energetic group took an instant liking to Hanke and asked him to join their board of directors. Believing he could and should contribute to his local and regional community, Hanke agreed.

Less than a year later, he was promoted to secretary. One year after that, he was nominated as the group's chairperson. He held that position for two years until last month, when he gratefully surrendered his title.

"Knowing them as I do now, I think they schemed me into my position," Hanke said jokingly of his fellow volunteers. "[The chapter] covers 11 counties and it takes up a lot of time in the early morning, evenings and weekends."

As chairperson, Hanke made sure the group met its budget and operated an active board. He and his wife Patti Jo also spent several weekends setting up campgrounds for cyclists of the MS 150, a 150-mile bike ride that raised funds for multiple sclerosis.

"It's been a treat working with these people trying to better themselves," Hanke said. "When you're fine and able and running marathons, you need to be giving back to people."

Hanke has, in fact, run 10 marathons, including one across the Grand Canyon. Known as the 'Rim to Rim,' the race led Hanke and 20 other runners 26.1 miles from one rim of the canyon to the other. Temperatures ranged from 46 degrees at the peak of one rim to 107 degrees on the canyon floor. All in all, the race took Hanke 10 hours.

But it's neither running marathons nor meeting the needs of the multiple sclerosis population in Florida that gives Hanke the most satisfaction. Service at his local Presbyterian church accomplishes that. As well as acting as a deacon, Hanke serves on the church nursery school's board of trustees (his daughter Melissa Lauren is a pupil at the school), practices youth ministry and plays the drums during services.

How does he do it all? Hanke prefers to ask how he could do otherwise.

"I've been fortunate in my life," he explained. "I have a great wife and daughter, I had a positive experience with my parents. I thought it would be pretty selfish if I didn't give back."

DICK STEMPLEZeneca PharmaceuticalsFiesta Bowl Committee Chairperson

PHOENIX, AZ - Dick Stemple likes to joke that he kisses his wife good-bye on Dec. 27 and then doesn't come home until Jan. 2.

Stemple is the chairperson of the volunteer committee that annually recruits and invites approximately 20 high school bands to perform at the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix. The former band director (and current Zeneca Pharmaceuticals senior territory sales representative) volunteered for the committee 20 years ago. He has been involved ever since.

"It's my way of keeping my finger on my first love: music," Stemple said. "I get to meet 26-plus bands every year and…six to eight band directors who come to be judges."

Throughout the year, Stemple keeps tabs on high school bands and reviews videotapes that groups mail in for consideration. He fields calls from interested bands and plans itineraries for the students and band directors. At any given moment, he can cite the top three marching bands in the country.

But it's not until late December, when the top echelon of performers arrive in Phoenix, that Stemple's real work begins. "From six in the morning to midnight, it's a labor of love," said Stemple. "Some people get depressed after the holidays, but I gear up. It's a one-week 'high.'"

Planning the day-to-day activities of more than 3,000 teenagers and ensuring that accompanying band directors enjoy themselves as well is not always easy. With 20 years experience behind him, though, Stemple relies on a few standbys.

"We see that they go to the Grand Canyon and have parties to go to, and we have taken some kids river rafting," he said. "We have a huge cookout, take them to an indoor wave pool…they're very busy for their four or five days here. Many go home and say this is the best time they have ever had."

The marching band competition at the Fiesta Bowl has grown in stature during Stemple's tenure. Many bands try to return every three or four years because of the extra attention they receive while they're in Phoenix. Stemple modestly takes some credit for the success, and says he gradually built the reputation of the program in the same way he achieved success in his sales territory.

"It's much like sales," he said. "You build good groundwork. You don't get all the sales on the first visit to the doctor's office but you build rapport and they build confidence in you." PR