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Volume 23 No. 17
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Forty Under 40: Jimmy Bruns

courtesy of jimmy bruns
If history is any indication, your first interaction with GMR’s Jimmy Bruns won’t be your last. His supervisor, Cameron Wagner, learned this more than a decade ago. She was at IMG in the mid-2000s when she first took notice of Bruns, who was then working in partnerships for International Speedway Corp.

“I felt at the time that everything was pretty transactional from the property side, and that just wasn’t the way he approached it at all. He actually took the time to understand what our client was looking for, what they wanted to accomplish, what was going to provide the most value to them,” said Wagner, GMR’s executive vice president of client services. “If there wasn’t a salesperson assigned from ISC, we always went back to Jimmy first.”

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#surprisinglystillunder40
Bruns made such an impression on Wagner that she brought him to IMG and, a few years later, hired him again at GMR. There, Jimmy’s knack for commanding loyalty has paid dividends.

“If we have a client who has been underneath Jimmy in the past, they tend to come to us no matter where they go, which is fantastic. The first thing they do when they get to their new place is call Jimmy and say, ‘Hey, I want to talk about an opportunity for GMR.’”

In his client services role at GMR, Bruns manages $17 million in annual fees, including accounts for Humana and Lowe’s. He leads a team of 75 people and motivates by his unique balance of hard work and levity. Having grown up on a ranch in Texas, Bruns’ fervent work ethic serves as an example, but he also fosters a fun environment in which creativity and individuality are encouraged.

“What we do is fun. Anybody who knows me probably can see how silly and light that we try to keep it around here,” Bruns said. “When you’re on-site and you’re working 18 hours a day, tensions can be high, so I always try to keep it light, keep it fun, try to keep perspective on what we do and how lucky we are to be able to do it.”

— Alex Silverman



Jimmy Bruns

gmr marketing | vice president, client services
Age: 38
Where born: Kerrville, Texas
Education: Southwestern University (B.A., business)
Family: Children, Taylor (9) and Kendall (7)

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at age 20: There are going to be some amazing highs and some perceived major lows … but work hard and you are going to be fine!
Profession other than your own you’d most like to attempt: Anything where I could be working outside — but preferably a golf course starter.

Charity supported: Habitat for Humanity.
Guilty pleasure: A good bourbon … and occasional mindless TV.
I’m one of the best I know at … : Remembering faces. I won’t remember your name, but I will absolutely know if we’ve met before.
2017 will be a good year if … : I survive it, our GMR team thrives and Tim Duncan comes out of retirement to guide the Spurs to another NBA championship.
The sports industry needs to do a better job of … : Telling the amazing positive stories that we within the industry see on a daily basis.