Karen Cuskey is a human dynamo, constantly connecting people and products to provoke and manage the kind of creative, impactful promotions that demand attention and generate sales – and all without removing the phone from her ear. Born in Florida, Cuskey was raised in Texas by parents who were educators. Her mother taught for 35 years, and her father – the superintendant of her school – had a heart for children that he passed on to Cuskey. Her grandfather worked for book bindery Russell-Rutter. A lot of the books they bound were limited editions. “As a result, I have a good library,” notes Cuskey, including an edition of Peter Rabbit.
Cuskey spent most of her career in media sales but quickly learned that she could sell more media if she could tie it all together with a promotion. She plied her trade at NBC-TV, Moroch & Associates, Outdoor Services, ABC Radio and finally Infinity Promotions Group, where she mastered the art of promotions and set out with her partner to start TBS Promotions in 2003.
Today TBS Promotions is a full service promotions agency with a national footprint. Clients include GMC, Chevrolet, MetroPCS, Firestone, Gexa Energy, Massage Envy and more. She has a tremendous Rolodex and uses her promotions talent to connect the dots with gusto. She is extremely focused and truly cares about her team and the success of her partners.
Cuskey has been the catalyst for swaying her large corporate clients to include a charitable component in the promotions she dreams up and has successfully developed a formula for selling product for the corporation while simultaneously raising money for selected charities.
“At the beginning of the year, I wrote that I wanted to find my purpose, but how do you do that? When Chris told me about Emma and the Tacky Box and showed me the books, I knew that was it. To leave the world a better place than I found it starts with a child – the innocence and goodness of a child.”
Chris Kent Phelps says, “Karen and I became fast friends in 2003 when she purchased advertising from me. Since then I’ve consistently bounced ideas off her, because she is a marketing genius. She cried when I told her this story [about Phelps’ daughter Emma] and immediately rolled up her sleeves to help get Tacky Box to market. Without her energy and enthusiasm, the company would never have gotten off the ground.”
Cuskey lives in Dallas with her three dogs – Roxy, Sadie and Berta.