NAME: Matt Kuzins
POSITION: President, Matt Kuzins & Kumpany, direct-mail fund raising
Capitol Weekly: When did you start your own direct-mailing company?
Matt Kuzins: In 1983. What happened was I ran this ballot initiative for the
bottle bill in 1982 and we raised most of the money for the campaign through
mailings. After the campaign, a number of environmental groups here in the
Capitol contacted me and said, “How did you raise $700,000 through the mail
for a bottle bill?” They’re lobbying groups and are very small operations.
They spend most of their time lobbying and very little time building an
organization and membership. One thing led to another and I didn’t really
know what I wanted to do, so I became a consultant. In 1983, that meant that
I bought an IBM Selectric typewriter and an answering machine and put them
on an old desk in my apartment. I was 24 and I thought “what the hell, if
this doesn’t work, I’ll try something else; I’ll get a real job.”
CW: How has the move from the old Cal West building on 926 J Street
affected your business?
MK: We miss running into the clients we had. We had a lot of not just
clients, but friends. We had been in that building for 21 years. I don’t
miss the building itself but I miss the people.
CW: How were you involved with the creation of Political Pulse?
MK: I was one of the two co-founders of Political Pulse. Bud Lembke and I
founded the Pulse in 1985. Bud had been a reporter with Times for about 20
years, a political reporter. I was doing the marketing, the promotion and
the mailing. I only did that for two years, although I continued to help
when Larry Lynch bought it in the ’90s. I continued to do the direct-mail
promotions for them. In fact, when Anthony and his dad, Arnold [York], came
in I helped those guys out for the first year or so until the point of time
when they came out with the weekly.
CW: What do you do when you’re not running your business?
MK: I have a wife and a 16-year-old daughter. I like to spend time with my
family. I also play music