Del Mar resident Steven Osinski was once at the helm of his own advertising agency, though he’s now left corporate America for academia.
Osinski was founder and CEO of the Smart Group, which specialized in the direct marketing for the nation’s largest wireless carriers, including what are now known as Verizon Wireless and Nextel. In the late 1990s, Smart Group was acquired by Monster.com, at which point Osinski served as a vice president of marketing, overseeing a half billion in revenues for two years.
Today he is teaching those real world marketing and sales skills to local college students at the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University. Osinski, who also serves on the board of directors for the School of Business, was also recently awarded the “2011 Outstanding Faculty Award” from SDSU for his impact in the marketing department.
In addition to spearheading advertising for several major corporations, such as Bell Atlantic and BellSouth, Osinski has served on numerous boards and in multiple nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego, including Chairmen’s Roundtable, CONNECT, Junior Achievement and the San Diego Social Venture Partners. Osinski attended the University of Miami where he earned his undergraduate degree in communications and an MBA in marketing. He is married and has two daughters. One daughter attends the University of Michigan and the other attends Torrey Pines High School.
- What brought you to this neighborhood?
My wife and I are both beach lovers who cherish being near the water. When we were living in Atlanta, it took approximately six hours to drive to the nearest ocean. We always fantasized living in a small beachfront community. Upon our first glance of Del Mar, we knew that we had found the right place. We have not regretted it for a moment ever since.
- What makes this town special to you?
It is truly magical. It is quiet, peaceful, for the most part, and its residents are very friendly. It [also] has a very cute downtown village and is [not] pretentious.
- If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract, or improve in the area?
A little less May gray and June gloom, a temperature that is roughly five degrees warmer overall and less construction.
- Who or what inspires you?
My wife, Ellen, inspires me. We have been married for over 25 years and our love and friendship continues to grow and develop. I have no doubt that I would never have achieved the things that I have, had it not been for her.
- If you hosted a dinner party for 8, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
First, I would invite my wife, Ellen. Then my other guests would be a diverse group of creatives, entertainers, politicians and entrepreneurs, so I could learn “what motivates them and makes them tick.” I would invite David Ogilvy, probably the most brilliant advertising mind of all time; George Romero, the creator and director of the “Night of the Living Dead” series of horror movies (I have always enjoyed cheesy, escapist movies,); former Beatle, John Lennon; Reggae-great Bob Marley; Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs. I would ask Marley to provide the pre-dinner appetizers.
- Tell us about what you are currently reading.
Three new books on my Kindle: “The Wizard of Lies” about the Bernie Madoff scandal; “The Big Shift, Navigating The New Stage Beyond Midlife”; and the “Zombie Autopsies.”
- Name a few of your favorite movies.
“Casablanca,” “Woodstock” and “Night of the Living Dead”
- What haven’t you achieved in your life that you would still like to?
Maybe I failed to “set my bar high enough” but, in candor, I have already exceeded most of my goals and expectations. My second career path of being an educator feels wonderful and I am enthusiastic about continuing down this road.
- What is your favorite vacation spot?
Although my family travels extensively and we like visiting new places, my truly favorite vacation spot for its consistency, beautiful weather and overall relaxing vibe is Cabo.
- What is your motto or philosophy of life?
One motto and one driving philosophy… My motto is the 5 P’s: “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” My philosophy is that “you had better make the most of every day because life is short and precious and you just never know … ”