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Back to basics

The founder of Gellman Images looks forward to in-person meetings

Gary Gellman was 20 years old when he learned about the Walk to Washington. He was a student at the College of New Jersey interning at My9TV and the station did a few stories on the event while he was there.

“I remember in college thinking how cool it would be to take this train and hang out with all these leaders,” Gellman said. “Ten years later I joined the Chamber and realized I could participate.”

Gellman is the founder and chief executive officer of Gellman Images, which provides corporate photography services and social media content to businesses in the tri-state area. He’s been going on the Walk to Washington for 15 years, and he’s got the business to show for it.

Gary Gellman, founder and CEO, Gellman Images.

Gellman

“The ability to network with people with a handshake is important. We’re so tied to our computers now that people just rely on that to build business, but we really need to build rapport in many ways. Seeing people face-to-face is a part of that.”

Seeing many of the same people year after year reaffirms connections and leads to projects, he said.

Wells Fargo and the New Jersey Hall of Fame are clients of Gellman, both of which he connected with on the train first. Marketing and lobbying firms he’s met on the train have utilized Gellman Images to cover legislative sessions and events they needed content from.

And with the presence of the Chamber’s cornerstone members—top executives from the state’s most prestigious companies—you never know who you’ll rub elbows with.

The Chamber Train leaves the station Feb. 27, and our coverage begins in the Feb. 24 issue with a preview of the trip. It continues on the train with the NJBIZ Podcast; if you’re riding, stop by car No. 2 to meet members of our staff.

“I remember back about 10 years ago when health care was a big issue during the Obama administration, I happened to be in the car where the board of trustees were and they were talking about it. The guy I was speaking with said he was about to talk about what we were talking about on the podium that night, and it turned out to be the CEO of Horizon,” Gellman said. “I’m standing with the CEO of Horizon talking about health care. When does one get to do that? You get to rub elbows without any gatekeepers, having in depth conversations with key people in New Jersey.”

For folks like Gellman, who started his business 30 years ago, the Walk is an opportunity to go back to basics in a big way.

“I think businesses need to network with each other and work with each other and know it goes beyond just social media. The old fashioned handshake is still valid, at least in my business and where I come from,” Gellman said. “When people come together, it’s a valuable process for everyone involved. It’s important to have the Walk to Washington so we can do that.”

Gabrielle Saulsbery
Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.