Gary Van Zandt

Gary Van Zandt

Work History

Work History

Account Executive


I began my advertising career at Marsteller as a Secretary, earning regular promotions until I became an Account Executive.

I worked on the following accounts: Mission Foods, Flying Tigers, The Port of LA, The Farr Company, Dannon Yogurt, Beatrice Foods, Keep America Beautiful (the crying Indian), Clarion Car Audio and Alfa Romeo.

I also worked closely with Chuck Reynolds, the Agency's VP/General Manager, on creating, producing and facilitating all new business pitches.

Regional Account Executive


I managed the annual advertising plans for the Toyota Dealers Midwest Dealer Association (Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North and South Dakota and Wyoming)

Freelance Marketing Associate


My second stint with the Disney Corporation -- this time as a Freelance Marketing Associate for the Disneyland Hotel. My responsibilities included creating and executing Special Events to generate incremental visitors and income for Disney's Anaheim hotel and resort properties. I expanded the resort's awareness within the Hispanic community by creating Cinco de Mayo and Quinceanera celebrations.

Nov 2010 - May 2011

Sales Manager


SMMS is a Southern-California-based team providing mobile media marketing solutions.  I provide inclusive strategic marketing/planning evaluations and recommendations & ongoing one-on-one customer support.

Jun 1999 - Mar 2010



The Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Southern California was a not-for-profit California Corporation purposed with advertising, promoting, marketing and merchandising new Mercedes-Benz vehicles in greater Southern California (including the San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, Palm Springs, San Diego and Los Angeles DMAs).

I was responsible for the healthy functionality, smooth operations and financial stability of the dealer group and it's ~$40 million/year, luxury goods off- and on-line advertising, promotional, marketing and merchandising efforts with 100% accountability and transparency. I ensured that the individual dealers were advised, kept up to speed and that their voices heard within the context of the larger group and that all dealers were treated as equals. All of this in an environment where M-B Corporate regularly presented operational obstacles. I was intimately involved in every step of each year's annual marketing plans, from research and development to planning, execution and analysis of results.

Jan 1996 - May 1999

Account Supervisor


Doig, Elliott, Schur was a small (20 people), independent New York agency run by three partners. They were selected by the dealer association in 1995 to be its "local" advertising agency. They retained the business until dissolving in May, 1999. I was hired with the clear responsibility of "running a west coast business on an east coast schedule." My direct supervisor was a former South African Green Beret who demanded and received military precision and results. I was responsible for the healthy functionality and the smooth operations of the Mercedes-Benz Dealers of Southern California and its ~$10 million/year, luxury goods Off-Line and On-Line advertising, promotional, marketing and merchandising efforts. I provided cohesive leadership and guidance to a splintered group of dealers in an aggressive environment from M-B corporate.  

Apr 1995 - Apr 1996

Account Manager


PCG (now PCG Campbell) is a small multi-media agency in Torrance, CA. I handled the motor sports public relations for their Yokohama Tires account, attending SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car and Grand Touring events around the western US, ensuring that the Clients products were prominently mentioned in all press releases. I also worked on PCG's Casio/Phone Mate and Ford accounts.

Jan 1994 - Sep 1994

Marketing Manager


Conroy's was the leading floral retailer and provider of thoughtful gifts for all occasions. I was responsible for corporate and dealer group marketing.

Jan 1993 - Dec 1993

Freelance Account Executive


Krupp-Taylor was one of the largest independent direct response agencies in the nation, with annual revenues of $40M. I was a Freelance Account Executive on their Household Finance (HFC) account, and helped create HFC's first-ever TV campaign (unique considering K/T was a direct marketing agency).

Jan 1987 - Dec 1992

Regional Account Director


Wells Rich Greene, based in New York, was the world's eighth-largest advertising agency. Founded in the 1960s by Mary Wells and two partners, the agency made its worldwide reputation with innovative, ground-breaking creative work. I was responsible for the planning, implementation and management of annual, multi-media advertising plans for Midas in 11 western US states (AZ, NV, UT, WY, MT, ID, WA, OR, CA, HI and AK) with a total combined annual budget of ~$25 million. I provided cohesive leadership and guidance to an extremely splintered group of dealers over a hugely-varied geographical area who wanted nothing to do with the corporation or its agencies (including WRG).

Jun 1986 - Dec 1986

Freelance Account Executive


Freelance Account Executive charged with executing the advertising and marketing plans for Mattel's Boy's (Hot Wheels) and Girls (Barbie) international accounts.

Sep 1977 - Sep 1983

Attractions Host


In my first stint with the Disney Corporation, I "drove" the Jungle Cruise boat (The Leaky Tiki) while taking my guests on a 12 minute guided tour of the" jungles of the world" complete with restless savages, troublesome monkeys and an attacking hippo. And yes -- I gave the stupid spiel!!


Sep 1979 - May 1981


Sep 1977 - May 1979


Cal State Fullerton


A Consumer Communications Specialist with 20+ years experience in local, multi-point, retail-oriented franchise advertising and marketing in the automotive, automotive aftermarket, fast food and consumer products industries.

Proven expertise in creating and developing highly successful consumer promotions and sales events and designing effective consumer sales tools. Demonstrated abilities in utilizing market data to create local, customized, multi-media campaigns for industry leaders such as Mercedes-Benz, Midas Auto Centersand Wienerschnitzel.

Known for consistently creating added-value through strategic planning and problem-solving while building income potential and reducing extraneous costs. Successfully directed budgets ranging in size from $2M to $44M and for managing up to 50 people. BA, Public Relations and Sports Information, USC.


  • Golf
  • Home Improvement
  • Certified high school official:  basketball, football, lacrosse, softball and volleyball
  • Movies
  • Sporting events:  USC football, LA Lakers basketball, LA Kings hockey
  • Reading
  • Current events