Mitch Berk is a successful business owner/operator whose entrepreneurial style combines creative vision with superb sales and management skills. Mitch is a charismatic and highly motivated individual whose passion and energy are contagious. He is a team builder who maximizes the potential of employees and managers at every level. Financially, Mitch is a bottom line executive who instinctively knows how to find efficiencies, leverage value opportunities, and deliver budgeted margins and profit goals. Mitch believes that success is a result of properly identifying the strategic opportunity, creating a plan to support the initiative, and managing its flawless execution.
Since graduating from the University of Missouri, School of Journalism. In 1978, Mitch has been operating through three leading platforms, the Jovan Fragrance Company, Entertainment Marketing, Inc. (EMI), the Company he founded in 1985, and Selective Search LLC. Through those platforms, Mitch has been a leader in reaching consumers via innovative means in a number of different and varied product/service categories including: beer, liquor, financial services, telecommunications, fashion, retail, sports, entertainment, QSR, and currently Executive Matchmaking Services.
How did you get into the Matchmaking industry?
Selective Search is my third career. I spent ten years in the cosmetic and fragrance industry creating the first music sponsorship between the Rolling Stones and Jovan. We ultimately sold that company to Beecham UK. Then I spent over 24 years in the marketing and entertainment industry developing intellectual property and licensing for major music groups such as The Rolling Stones, Earth Wind and Fire, Celine Dion, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Tina Turner and others. I sold that company after 24 years. In the interim, I “flunked” retirement and started looking for a new venture. A friend introduce me to Barbie Adler and we had an incredible meeting where she asked to hire me as her CEO. I told her I wasn’t for looking for a job, but I wanted to buy her business. She said it wasn’t for sale. So we ended up creating a partnership and forming Selective Search, LLC. My Reason? I love business, I love Barbie and I love helping people live better more fulfilling lives.
Tell us about Selective Search. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?
Selective Search was founded by Barbie Adler 15 years ago. As a little girl, Barbie watched her mother, a therapist, consult on relationships. Barbie took her years of professional experience in the executive search industry and applied that process and model to finding love. It is our Meet Your Future© process that provides a measurable and quantifiable approach to bringing love into people’s lives.
My reasoning for partnering on Selective Search was that I saw tremendous growth occurring simultaneously in the matchmaking industry as a whole and potentially within Selective Search as a Company.
My vision is to continue to build our Company into a world class organization, as well as develop and implement other service verticals beyond our base industry, and enter the lifestyle category.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Selective Search’s success?
We run this Company with the discipline of a Fortune 500 company, but with the spirit of an entrepreneual venture. We’ve implemented an interactive, responsive website. We’ve established new branding and expanded our marketing outreach. Of course, our most important relationships are with our Clients, whose word of mouth provide the best marketing credibility.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
The matchmaking category is becoming a mainstream property. One trend I’ve noticed, based on the growth and success of the Dot Com industry, is the opportunity to really develop and carve out the niche market of matchmaking from the executive search platform. Selective Search has found that burgeoning niche, and has continued to lead the nation for the past 15 years in this unique sector. We are continually building and improving our sector of the market.
Be optimistic, strive for contentment, and maximize your potential.
Selective Search's Motto?
Finders of Keepers.
Your greatest success as Founder/CEO of Selective Search? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
Greatest success: Strategizing and creating a five year business plan that will revolutionize the way people find love.
Greatest challenge faced: Balancing rapid growth while maintaining the organic culture of the company. We overcame this challenge through complete transparency and sharing information. We host frequent team meetings to ensure that all departments of the Company come together and share new developments, advancements, and work together to solve new challenges.
Your advice to an aspiring entrepreneur?
Work hard, maintain your passion and have a long-term vision.
Describe the ideal experience using Selective Search.
At Selective Search we don’t define success in a single term. Not all of our members are marriage minded, but they are looking for love in committed relationships. Ideally, we want to put our Clients in a position that sets them up for success be it marriage, an engagement, cohabitation, or a really great first date. We strive to successfully match people, and help them become the best version of themselves in life and in a relationship. We want our Clients and Affiliates to know the personal investment we take in each and every search.
How do you motivate your employees?
We make everyone feel like a partner. Everyone is treated with respect and given the opportunity to provide input. We compensate at the top of the market.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
Tacos and Tequila (preferably Anejo)
What literature is on your bed stand?
Devil in the White City – Erik Larson
Lords of Finance - Liaquat Ahamed
Role model - business and personal?
I have four personal role models:
Teresa Urban: who owned a resort I was a guest at and worked at from ages 16-20. She taught me elegance, social skills and how to ballroom dance.
Mickey Hoffman: he was my coach and counselor in high school. To this day he is still one of my best friends. He taught me the importance of teamwork and making others around you better. He also taught me selflessness.
Dick Meyer: My first boss and mentor at Jovan. He taught me the importance of being visionary, innovation in business, and the power of creativity.
My Mom: The strongest woman I know. She taught me resilience, the importance of family, personal strength and personal resolve. And she taught me love.
All four of my role models share one major characteristic; they each possess extraordinary positive mental attitude. All are strong of mind. All are confident in themselves and their abilities.
My business influence is Ken Kragen, a music manager in Hollywood. He discovered the Smothers Brothers, managed Lionel Richie and Kenny Rogers, and organized Hands Across America as well as We Are the World (Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson). Ken taught me the honesty in business, and to always be additive. He taught me the power of three. And from him I learned that there is no substitute for hard work.
Some people like to travel, some people like food… I like everything. I am truly passionate about everything.
Favorite travel destination?
Italy. The people are genuine, the food is natural, the history is rich and the wine is fantastic.
What's next for Selective Search?
To build the Company in a way that we can create and foster a second generation of leadership. So we can serve people in a better way and from multiple platforms.