Bruce gained his first sales experience at twelve, working the quintessential job for a Midwest American youth – newspaper delivery boy. Six years later, he gave up his paper route to attend the University of Michigan. Disappointed that sales was not a major, he studied political science. To keep his sales skills sharp, he held a number of part-time sales jobs during his university years.
In 1991, degree in hand, Bruce moved to Vienna, only to discover that job offerings for American political science graduates were meager. Drawing on his IT skills, Bruce’s first job was on the customer support hotline of a leading Viennese hardware and software integrator. Working the phones was an excellent crash course in German, and the owner was impressed by his ability to turn technical problems into sales opportunities.
In 1993 Bruce caught the eye of Silicon Graphics and took a job in channel sales. In 1995, he moved to Colorbus as Managing Director CEE. Here he gained his first management and leadership experience. In 1997 Bruce returned to the United States with Colorbus in a senior management role driving revenue to improve the company’s public offering strike price. Colorbus did not achieve their IPO goal, so Bruce moved to T/R Systems. At T/R he was proud to be a member of the most experienced sales team he ever worked with. In early 2000 the company listed on the NASDAQ.
In January 2001, Bruce returned to Austria and started in a KAM position at Xerox Austria. He was consistently a top performer and successfully introduced the iGen3, the company flagship, to the Austrian market.
In January 2006, he made the leap into self-employment as a sales trainer and consultant. Since 2008, Bruce and Astrid Schilcher have combined their talents as Schilcher & Straight Consulting. They are also privately a couple.
When he isn’t working with clients, Bruce is a marathon runner. Running in large circles helps him generate new ideas. Training for races is also a valuable exercise in consequently working towards a goal.