2018 ART’s Award Lifetime Achievement Award Winner – Randy Eller

Meeting Randy Eller in my first career as an interior designer and retail store owner has been life-changing in so many ways. From weddings to awards and a lot in between, Randy Eller matters, has mattered and will continue to matter. But why? And how has Randy affected you?

How Randy Eller surfaced in my life

Thanks to our customer’s infatuation with “THE CBK rooster lamp”, I first became acquainted with Mr. Eller’s voice when ringing CBK to order more lamps, home decor, and gifts for my store Ambiance Interiors & Gifts. One of the Ambiance favorites was buying CBK closeouts…and lots of them. We would repackage them in our pink boxes and polka dot wrapping paper. Then, we’d stack them high and watch them fly. I believe that may be what first caught Randy’s attention because we were only one tiny little boutique interior design + gift firm buying sometimes hundreds or thousands of the same thing. If you were a purchaser of an Ambiance picture frame, rooster lamp, tooth & curl box, or really any kind of decorative accessory, you too are probably divinely connected to Randy Eller.

Educating retailers + the influence of pink marketing

In the mid-2000’s, CBK sponsored my mom and me to speak on marketing, branding, + buying at one of the first seminars. I believe that was the year of the pink “market bag” that was CBK branded on all four sides. Then, there was a pink diamond brooch pin for the “diamond customers”. Because our store was in a pink house and we LOVE pink, we love CBK’s marketing as much as we loved the really nice closeouts which normally consisted of their more expensive products significantly reduced.

Aside from the pretty brooches and pink bags, the best part of CBK was that everyone was nice, the product shipped from their warehouse to our store in a matter of days and on time with very little damage. And if there were damages, reporting them or obtaining credits were not a hassle as they were with some vendors. Again, everything started from the top with Mr. Randy Eller.

Savior to the gift + home industry

In May 2002, Randy facilitated the sale of CBK, Ltd to candlemaker Blythe. In 2011, during a recession, he saved the entire gift and home tradeshow industry by helping craft International Market Centers (IMC) which bought over $1 billion in assets between four predecessor companies located between Las Vegas, Nevada and High Point, North Carolina. The real estate investment that was sold to Bain & Oaktree Capital Group included: World Market Center Las Vegas, International Home Furnishing Center, Showplace, and Market Square- all in High Point, North Carolina, which North Carolinian’s refer to as “The Furniture Captial of The World”.

Three cheers for Jack + Randy!

When I met Boyd in 2010, we immediately had a favorite mutual connection – Randy Eller. We both first admired his business acumen and mentorship, sense of humor, fun-loving nature, and of course his choice of Jack Daniels whiskey and fine wines. Randy has been there through both of our ups and downs and has always been a phone call away. He is family to husband Boyd, Macy (my awesome daughter), and me. I don’t think Macy will ever forget her chats with Randy over the enormous bowl of Simon’s at the Palms cotton candy.

Minister, preacher, + saint

When Boyd proposed to me on a hilltop of the Dominican Republic, as sick as it may sound, we thought of Randy. We wanted someone that we knew to “marry us”. Yeah, Randy wasn’t exactly a preacher or a licensed minister, but we didn’t care. A quick trip to the Little White Chapel and $65 for a marriage license in our hometown of Las Vegas before our Dominican wedding took care of the legalities. And it kept Randy out of seminary. I’m not sure he would have gone that far for any of us.

Gratefully, Randy accepted the proposal to marry us on the beach of the Dominican Republic. I love to hear him telling people that when I became nervous and started perspiring, shaking, and lips trembling, that he just whispered, “remember honey, you could have had me.” which of course made me laugh.

Randy Eller + Christi Tasker at Christi and Boyd Tasker's Wedding in the Dominican Republic

Randy Eller honored with the ARTs Lifetime Achievement Award

When we first read Randy’s name as the ARTs Lifetime Academy Achievement Award announcement, we were thrilled. Not too much later, Randy and his wife Vicki, the woman who’s assisted him through his business successes from CBK and even still today, invited us to be a guest and sit at his table as he received the award.

On Friday night, Boyd and I had the pleasure of attending one of the best moments of our life with Randy, Vicki, and the Eller family & friends as he received the ARTs Lifetime Achievement Award. For those of you who are reading this that may not realize, this award is like receiving an Academy Award in the design and home industry. It’s like receiving an Academy Award or a Golden Globe. I cannot think of a more deserving person who has achieved even a fraction of what Randy has personally and even more importantly, what he has done for others.

Thank you, Randy!

Randy, thank you for all that you have done for each and every person in the gift and home industry, for the numerous companies that you have helped, saved or sold.

Thank you for the business owners and manufacturers that you have mentored and consulted with.

Thank you for the numerous speeches that you have delivered that educating so many in such as short time.

Without you, I cannot imagine where a lot of us would be or what we might have done or said that we shouldn’t have.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for just being you and being real and telling us the truth, no matter how difficult it may be to hear or do. Your encouragement, knowledge, and endless energy is unmatched.

Thank you for being you and being there for us and for your shared love of PINK, bags, pretty things, and design loving people. Even those that totally go above and beyond to share your passion for good fun + lots of humor…..

In honor of Randy Eller and his awesome marketing skills

Before we go any further, follow these very important steps and get your laughter on.

  1. Go to your bar.
  2. Pour yourself a whiskey over the largest cube of ice possible.
  3. Now sip on this hilarious video of Global Views owners, Frederick Rayner and David Gebhart taking cheap shots at Randy Eller’s creative marketing as they present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award…complete with pink CBK LTD. gift bags…

Hippppp—hip-hooray! For he’s a very jolly and awesome fella!

Cheers to you, Randy Eller! We love you!

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Christi Tasker
Christi Tasker For more than 10 years, Christi Tasker was a nationally acclaimed award-winning retailer and interior designer. While she treasured and nurtured her gift boutique and interior design company, she ultimately discovered her true passion – MARKETING and BRANDING! With an eye for detail that only comes from a skilled and experienced designer, Christi learned the secrets to creating a clear, concise brand – one both unmistakable and unforgettable − that would stand out from the crowd. The interest in marketing and branding for businesses actually had its beginning in her family. As did many devoted moms, Christi shadowed her then eleven-year-old daughter, Macy, whenever she ventured online. On one particular day, Christi had an epiphany as she watched Macy scour MySpace for any news in the virtual world of “Webkinz.” Christi placed an order for those lovable furry friends, with their special codes for use with online games, and when they arrived, she shared the news on MySpace, not knowing at the time that she had crafted her first social media campaign. When the college gates went down on Facebook, Christi immediately became one of the first non-college friends of Facebook. And more than just a casual user, she quickly discovered a side of Facebook that only programmers knew about – The Facebook Developer − full of options and tools to help companies better use the web. Christi quickly recognized that marketers either needed to be formally educated about social media or needed a partner to manage their sites. She launched a social media marketing company, which today provides social media branding, strategy, monitoring and training worldwide. Before long, she realized her ability to keep up with her many social media accounts was hampered by the lack of a suitable tool to keep everything in one place. Christi decided the best way to do a job properly was to “do it yourself” and developed PuTTin’ OuT (Socially Accepted) a set of tools to moderate, manage, create, schedule, and publish content, and automatically engage people, all in a single package. In early 2009, Christi began traveling nationally as a social media expert speaker for various brands and businesses, and today is a sought-after social media keynote speaker at the foremost conferences worldwide. she also appears on NBC as a social media advisor/expert.
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