Meet The Boss

Guten Tag!

Thanks for taking the time to explore my company. In today's world of e-everything, it is nice to know that you are dealing with real people. I am the driving force behind SRM Consulting, so let me tell you a little about myself.

I was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1964 from American parents. By the time we moved to the United States when I was two, I'd had my first taste of German beer, but still could not speak any language. Interest in discovering my roots is the reason I eventually returned to Germany.

In California, I grew up learning to be self-sufficient. Running my own "garage" companies eventually paid for my electrical engineering education at UC Berkeley (EECS '85). Before submerging myself into Silicon Valley, I skipped off for a three month tour of Europe to see if I really did have any roots there.

After five years of working in the defense industry as a Satellite Ground Station Systems Engineer, I decided to pull up anchor and try my hand working in a foreign company. After many customer visits and interviews in German, I landed a job with Rhode & Schwartz in Munich. With the language and cultural differences, it was a great, but sometimes frustrating, experience. One of my projects was building test transmitters for the new digital mobile phone networks (GSM) being installed around the world.

After moving to Germany, my athletic career as a part time professional triathlete was put on hold; partially because of the work load in a foreign country, and partially because of the freezing cold weather. Through my athletic endeavors, I discovered that Germans did not have healthy snacks that could be eaten before or during training. As a PowerBar sponsored athlete, I was used to eating their bars whenever I felt a lull in my energy. I searched everywhere for a comparable product on the market with no success. The data I gathered was culled into a market survey and presented to the president of PowerBar®, Brian Maxwell. That was the beginning of the PowerBar distribution in Germany.

I turned my back on engineering in 1992 and devoted all my time and energy to building the German PowerBar empire. In 1996, Powerbar Inc. bought my distribution company and created their own European headquarters. I continued being employed by PowerBar Europe through the transition phase for another two years.

When I left the company, PowerBar Europe was selling 10% of their turnover in promotional merchandise with a healthy profit margin.

The experience that I have gained in creating a cost effective marketing program, consisting of print, promotions, sponsoring and merchandising, can be transferred to your company too. Don't be afraid to generate excitement and go out on the edge!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Stephen Maris,
General Manager and Owner

In action during 2003, testing the products I make.

Please take the time to visit my personal home page. I have some great vacation photos!