The Kordell Norton Story
The fifth child in a string of seven, Kordell early on learned the importance of getting attention to get ahead. His first sales job was selling tickets in a carnaval at 8 years of age. Later he sold box lunches to tourist at the age of twelve. This was about the same time he won his first speech contest and did some acting in some musicals and stage plays. At age 19 he found himself in Australia “selling” door to door.
After returning to the US he worked at various jobs. During this time he played with a brother and his mother, who was a professional pianist, as the vocalist and bass guitarist. They entertained at conventions, banquets, and night clubs until Kordell said, “If I sing Tie a Yellow Ribbon Around the Old Oak Tree. . . one more time, I am going to . . . . .”
The end of the 1970’s the economy was struggling when Kordell meet Al Williams. Al was about to introduce No Name Generic products to the grocery world. The partnership was the right fit at the right time. Their introduction of “Generics” in the retail grocery market caused them to exploded onto the national scene. Not only did they impact Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, General Foods and others, they also allowed Kordell to learn that you can market without a budget, no sales forces and less than stellar products.
At one point Kordell became a principle in a Leadership and Sales Training organization and worked with Disney Training, Performax International, The Pacific Insititue, DDI and others. This started his interest in facilitating and speaking as a profession.
But he got side tracked by the arrival of a new device called the personal computer. Kordell started at the ground level and for 25 years (and several multibillion dollar companies) he managed sales, marketing, HR, call centers, and was the corporate shrimp boil chef (you will have to ask him about that one). On his resume are things like:
· Managed 250,000 inbound phone calls a month
· HR for 5,600 employees
· Manage a $31 million dollar marketing budget
· Train every employee on creating Customer Service for a company who was on Fortune Magazine’s 100 fastest growing organizations.
Kordell’s greatest strength was in his creativity and communication skills in marketing. He has been on advisory councils, or done marketing and sales for organizations like IBM, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Apple.
In 2001 he started a company that provided training materials to corporate and education. At the request of one of his customers, knowing about his background in setting strategy and direction, asked if he conducted a Strategic Planning session. Two weeks later he got a call from another customer who had heard about his lively presentation skills and ability to get everyone involved and participating. Two weeks later he got two more calls. The rest is history.
To supplement his background he became a certified Graphic Facilitator. This allows him to move away from PowerPoint and to get his audiences involved and contributing. Very visual style.
His energy and presence on the platform, coupled with his humorous insights have him presenting to organizations across the country as a speaker and author. In addition his real world business experience is used to develop strategic plans, marketing plans, to do sales and customer service training and to facilitate teams and better leadership.
Today Kordell is used by education, corporate, government and associations who want to focus on their customer experience and improving the brand.
“Kordell never met a stranger” (his sister)