Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
I love that what I do is strategic yet also creative. I am delighted and feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I see my clients smile as they realize that the marketing strategy I created for them is just what they need to take their firm to the next level.
Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk (like rustic without the “t”) is the founder and owner of bbr companies llc. After having built a widely recognized and respected marketing firm, bbr marketing, she decided to make a big change in 2017 and scale her business back so she could focus on what she does best and brings her the most joy. And thus her part-time chief marketing officer service was born. Most firms can benefit from the input of a seasoned, experienced strategic marketer, but don’t need or want to invest in that resource full-time. This way partners can focus on what they do best with the knowledge that their marketing (and often their marketing team) is being managed by an expert with their strategic plan always in mind.
Bonnie hails from Lakeland, Florida but has firmly-planted roots in the Atlanta neighborhood of Kirkwood with her husband, Paul, and their two dogs. Bonnie is a strong supporter of Paul’s many-year involvement with Alpha Team K-9 Search & Rescue, which helps find missing or lost persons with specially-trained dogs – one of which was their own dog, Barney. Barney was a good boy who has since passed on, and their love of black lab mixes continues with their current dogs, Bucuti and Tara, who have their own dog bed at the office. With original aspirations of being a journalist after graduating as salutatorian of her high school, Bonnie earned her BA in journalism, public relations and French from Troy (State) University in Alabama graduating summa cum laude. She later followed up with an MBA with a marketing concentration from Georgia State University.
Fast forward a few years, and Bonnie quite literally wrote the book on online marketing for accounting firms, Take Your Marketing Online: Proven Ways to Grow Your Firm in the Digital Age, at the request of the AICPA. She also contributed a chapter to Bridging the Gap: Strengthening the Connection Between Current and Emerging Leaders in the CPA Profession and is a regular contributor and quote source for Social Media Today, Accounting Today, Entrepreneur, US News & World Report, CPA Practice Advisor and other industry-related publications and websites. She has been recognized as one of Accounting Today’s Top 100 Most Influential People (2012, 2013, 2016) and One to Watch (2011), Volunteer of the Year by the Association for Accounting Marketing and one of CPA Practice Advisor’s Most Powerful Women in Accounting (2015, 2016).
Never one to put aside her passion for marketing, small businesses and women’s issues when she closes the door at the end of the day, Bonnie also uses her acumen to help others simply because it matters. She is a founding member of the Atlanta Independent Women’s Network (AIWN), a board member of the Association for Accounting Marketing and a former president of its Atlanta, marketing committee chair for CPA Consultants’ Alliance and former marketing committee chair and board member of Atlanta Chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners.
Bonnie’s ability to make delicious cocktails and tell interesting stories draws a group that often spontaneously gathers on her back deck on Sunday nights; she is easy to talk to and can start up a conversation with just about anyone. Her other pastimes are cooking, reading, binge-watching Netflix and supporting her unnatural addiction to horseradish. She once finished a half-marathon, and while she’s proud of the $5,000 she helped raise for The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the half-marathon experience isn’t one she wishes to repeat.
Bonnie has worn many interesting career hats over the last 25 years, but there’s marketing somewhere in almost all of them because it was always her true path:
- She was a sales and marketing assistant for a Jehovah’s Witness-owned auto parts company, who tried unsuccessfully to convert her.
- She once traveled the country with Zach Braff, recording testimonial videos for SportBrain, for which she was a PR director in Silicon Valley. She even landed the product on the Oprah show (“you get a SportBrain, you get a SportBrain…”).
- She was an international marketing manager for Turner Broadcasting, where she helped launch TNT and Cartoon Network in Asia.
- She worked in multiple creative managerial roles with software and financial services firms, which laid the foundation for her passion and expertise for professional services marketing.
- She once owned a sauce company that made and sold marinara, barbecue, chocolate and salsa. Oh, wait, that’s not a marketing job. But it sure was a tasty one.
As a business owner herself, Bonnie just gets you. She loves helping other business owners reach their goals and watch their companies thrive.