CEO at Sutter Local Media
Bernhard’s background and experience in sales and digital transition began as General Manager at Heise Media Service in Hannover leading the entire operational and strategical direction of go-to-market and sales. In 2007 he transitioned to CEO at Sutter Local Media where he transformed the company from a classic publisher to a Digital Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises in Germany. Bernhard has an affinity and a passion for sales works closely with his partners to ensure best practices not just for salespeople but also for customers.
Q. Have you done anything differently or do you have a certain routine that you follow during the lockdown?
The days change because you’re jumping from one conference call to another, it is really hard to do all day long. I tried to keep some routines in my day and one that’s watching the KPIs of my business to understand how things are going and get a smell of the business. It makes it much easier if you have certain facts.
Q. Are there any new hobbies you started or something that you’ve done differently during the pandemic?
I started cooking every evening for the team of my wife.
She is responsible for the intensive care unit in a hospital, and she leads a team. They needed some assistance, and that’s why I started cooking. It helps them because it gives them something fresh and not heated up from the day before.
Q. Is there something else people may not know about you?
Some know and some do not, but my really private hobby is, I’m a private pilot and love to fly. I started it maybe 20 years ago and it’s a great experience because you have a different view on the world.
It’s a nice and relaxed way to travel, you don’t have somebody driving directly in front of you. You don’t have to step on the brakes all the time and you have a nice view. I love flying very much and it’s an easy way to get from here to there. I mean for example to get to the North Sea that’s a long trip by car, and it’s just more or less than an hour by plane.
Q. Did you always want to fly when you were a child?
It started when I was about 25. I had a colleague who was a private pilot and he kind of taught me all the time.
I started being interested and then someday I started it. It was a lot of hard work because you need to learn not only practical, but there was also a lot of theory you have to pass to get your license.
I studied every morning, stood up, and had to learn on it but now it is for me fun.
Q. Do you get to fly much now during the pandemic, or not that much?
In fact, I didn’t and don’t because of restrictions, you have to do a lot the check lists and everything and I didn’t want to be in a plane with a flight instructor, which is required now.
Q. What was one of your first jobs?
In fact, I wanted to become a teacher, and I want to teach physical education and English. I wanted to study in California.
I was a quite good basketball player at that time and then I had a small accident, and I couldn’t play at the same level anymore, and the physician said, well, there’s no way to study physical education anymore, not even in the US because of my injury. But I am really happy where I am now.
Q. So, if you were to pick had another profession, other than what you are today, what would that be?
I’m interested in a lot of professions, but I think I would like to be a farmer.
It’s really great because you see every day what you did. It’s absolutely different to the business we’re doing because you work in yearly cycles, things don’t grow within seconds or even within days and it’s a different way to watch the progress. Also, for example, owning forest or something like that might be quite different, and that could be something I would be interested in.
But I love my job and I don’t want to change.
Q. Do you have a favorite comfort food or cuisine?
I love different soups.
But for cuisine, it changes what I have or make at home. Sometimes, I prefer one food sometimes another, but I do prefer Italian. Italian is good if you don’t have much time. Italian is pretty easy.
Q. And if you had one message that you would like to give to our Siinda members, partners and colleagues, what would that be?
I think the message could be to stay connected and stay in touch.
If you don’t see people and we don’t go to conferences, it’s much harder to stay in touch. That is even true for your own family.
I think we should take care of keeping in touch even with some kind of regular plan.
I’m really thankful for Siinda, who was trying to help us communicate, and trying to keep us in touch. And that’s a great thing, and that’s what we all have to do in our company, when we don’t meet.
We don’t have the opportunity to stand in front of the coffee machine, and then talk about whatever, little things, that is what I miss the most.
If you don’t meet people, and you’re only in video conferences, that’s not the way I want to spend the rest of my life so let’s stay in contact.