February 2004

John Gartner
Area Booster

by John BINDER

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When making presentations to Canadian manufacturers in Buffalo for the New Exporters to Border States program, John Gartner generally begins by saying: "It's great that you hear from the accountants, lawyers, customs brokers and such, but all of their input will be worth squat if someone doesn't go out and sell something!" He then proceeds to describe several ways for them to penetrate the U.S. marketplace.

John is well qualified to give this advice. He's been doing business as John Gartner & Co., Technical Marketing Consultants (JGCO) for 21 years. He founded the company initially to serve Ecology and Environment, Inc., where he had been director of marketing. E & E continues to be a major marketing and corporate communications client.

JGCO helps technically-oriented firms with marketing research, planning and development, as well as advertising and sales promotion services. John considers himself a Canadaphile: "I am pro-NAFTA. In addition to doing market research for the Canadian Consulate, we've served clients in Ontario and Quebec, while encouraging local clients such as Keystone Corporation and Safespan Platform Systems to export to Canada."

John was born and raised in Manhattan. His parents were immigrants - his dad a ladies' belt manufacturer, his mother a homemaker. After earning an engineering degree at Princeton and an M.B.A. from Columbia, he completed active duty as a U.S. Public Health Service officer in Washington, DC. In 1965, while working for International Paper in New York City, John married Brooklyn-born Toni Ginsberg. Two years later, they moved to Rochester where he joined Xerox as a market researcher.

In 1975, the Gartners moved to East Amherst after John landed a management position with Globe Albany Corporation. He quickly became an area booster and was the first president of The Buffalo Ambassadors. The group promotes WNY as a convention location and recognizes individuals who bring meetings here. He subsequently served three terms on the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors' Bureau board. John headed the WNY Princeton Alumni Association for 12 years and served on the boards of Buffalo/Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives and Temple Shaarey Zedek. He is an active member of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce and serves on the town's Bassett Park Task Force.

John is most enthusiastic about our region's vigorous visual and performing arts communities. He is a trustee of Burchfield-Penney Art Center and has provided pro-bono support to the Kavinoky Theatre. He and Toni have visited virtually every area museum and historic site on both sides of the Niagara River. They are longstanding members of Tuscarora Yacht Club and have enjoyed sailing on Lake Ontario ever since they lived in Rochester.

John finds it interesting that his children have followed so closely in his footsteps: "Both were English majors, but they are deeply involved with technology. Betsy, who graduated from Princeton 30 years after I did, is the marketing director for a software firm in Raleigh, NC. David moved to San Francisco after graduating from Colgate. He's begun a consulting business and does marketing projects for Genentech and the SF Bicycle Coalition. It's something I simply never anticipated."

The exciting Gartner family is enthusiastically making the most of modern technology—keeping them all forever young and active.

John Binder is a freelance writer.


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