Lone hero shares the glory with family


February 10, 1994|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Sun Staff Writer

Alan I. Elkin, who for years has cultivated the image of a lone hero who would scale any mountain or sail any ocean to fix a copy machine, will share the glory with family members in a new television and radio advertising campaign.

For nearly a decade, the president of Advance Business Systems & Supply Co., the largest locally owned office equipment company, has been rushing to the rescue of customers by dinghy or by helicopter in television commercials. "They need me," was the tag line.

But in the new ads, which premier Feb. 21, the phrase is "We live and breathe this stuff."

And while Mr. Elkin is prominent in two of the three commercials, they also include a grandchild (actually an actress) who is entranced by tales of photocopying bunnies. Mr. Elkin's wife, Lois, is heard in two radio ads.

Another TV ad features a golden retriever, a "company mascot," who uses a fax machine and shredder.

"One of the goals is to show the depth and conviction in this company," said Jeffrey R. Elkin, communications manager and Alan Elkin's son.

The new ads are directed by Richard Smith of Smith and Associates in Stevenson, which took over the Advance account late last year.

New program features minority businesses

If you happen to be channel surfing at 5:30 a.m. some Saturday, you might come across the newest entry in Baltimore's business news program -- "Minority Business News."

The brainchild of Clara Wilkerson, 33, the weekly program on WJZ-TV features a round-table discussion of minority business issues. Starting in November with no advertising support, the show has since picked up an advertising contract with NationsBank Corp.

The Detroit native, a former TV news anchor in West Palm Beach, Fla., launched her effort last summer with $10,000 in personal savings. She says she would like to have the show syndicated and aired in 10 major markets by the end of the year. And while she is grateful to WJZ for giving her a shot, she'd like a later time slot.

"We've got to be on a time that is more feasible to people getting up," Ms. Wilkerson said.

Black role models profiled in magazine

Hoping to let young people know about black role models, two businesswomen have launched an annual magazine detailing the achievements of business and political leaders in Annapolis and Baltimore.

Neva Stansbury and Laura Adams recently finished their first edition of African-American Business and Community Profile. The magazine, which is available at six Annapolis businesses and three Baltimore-area businesses, profiles such officials as Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, Annapolis Alderman Carl Snowden and state Sen. Clarence W. Blount of Baltimore.

"We wanted to pass on to our kids what African-Americans are doing in a positive light," said Ms. Stansbury, who is financial manager for Phelps Protection Systems Inc., a security firm in Annapolis. Ms. Adams is a consultant who advises firms on grant applications and personnel policies.

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