Master tabletop director/shooter David Deahl may travel the world on assignment, but when it comes to representation, “We wanted someone local,” says executive producer Rosemary Deahl. “Clients like to have that up close and personal connection with the company they give the job to.”
Their choice was Nathan Skillicorn, 32, of Heart, Brains & Nerve – so named for the qualities he feels are necessary in order to thrive in today’s game-changing market.
Most of David Deahl’s high profile assignments (Subway, Sizzler, Disani Water, Pizza Hut in Dubai) comes from global companies primarily on the East and West Coasts. And he has had many Japanese beer clients for 20 years. “But not much comes from the Midwest,” notes Deahl.
While the tabletop company will continue to retain its longtime East and West Coast sales reps, it will have local presence for the first time in several years.
The Deahls met Skillicorn shortly after he’d formed his company in 2010 and Deahl says when he left, she knew he wanted to hire him. “He was right for the job. He comes from good stock, learned from the best, his father, a man of great integrity. We’ve bid on a couple of jobs so far and I’m sure that within six months we will see the fruits of his labor.”
Formed his company after a real estate career
While Skillicorn grew up in the spot business, he was unsure of what he wanted to do after graduating from DePaul with a marketing degree in 2003. His father, Roy Skillicorn, who figuratively wrote the book on creative sales representation and also owned a production company for 21 years, suggested he might like to try the film business.
As an introduction and graduation gift, Roy took Nathan to the Cannes Lions film festival where Nathan met hundreds of people. “Everyone knew me as Roy’s son and I decided I wanted to set myself up on my own,” he recalls.
“I went into the real estate business as an agent for about eight or nine years and did very well until the housing market slowed down two years ago and then it got boring for me.”
At that point, he felt advertising might be the way to go. He started his rep company and signed with Patricia Claire’s Manhattan-based Free Agents. “Patricia gave me a wonderful opportunity as their man on the ground here in the Midwest, and taught me a lot.”
What he absorbed from Roy over the dinner table growing up was not insignificant. “I learned from him how to develop a rapport and build trust and be the best possible resource for the client,” he says.
And that is essentially what the Deahls’ approach has been since they started their business in 1976. “Nathan will bring back that personal contact that social media has interrupted. We all share the same passion for being in front of people,” Deahl says.
Skillicorn’s phone is 312/401-8039.