Growing up in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, Howard Geltzer was an avid baseball fan. When his dreams of playing for his high school were dashed, Geltzer did the next best thing. He wrote sports stories for the school newspaper. By his sophomore year Geltzer was covering sports for the local newspaper, the Hazleton Standard-Sentinel.
He has been a communications professional ever since.
During Geltzer’s 25-year career in public relations, he helped launch dozens of consumer and business products. Geltzer and his wife Sheila started their public relations agency in New York City in 1974.
At the end of the 1970’s Sony gave the agency responsibility to launch the Walkman. Sony had low expectations for the product and wanted to keep costs low. No advertising; no promotion; only the Geltzer & Co. publicity effort. The contract was three months long. The Walkman exceeded all sales expectations. The three-month assignment lasted 12 years. Sony moved all of its product publicity business to Geltzer & Co. Other clients over the years included Black and Decker Housewares, Motorola, Morton Salt, Samsung and Toshiba.
They also ran the 2000 New York presidential campaign of Dick Gephardt, a fellow Northwestern alumnus.
After 26 years in business, the Geltzers sold their agency to Publicis, the multinational advertising and marketing agency.
While a student at Northwestern, Geltzer was co-chairman of Model UN and covered Wildcat sports for the Daily Northwestern. He currently serves on Medill’s Board of Advisers and helped create the Medill Medal for Courage in Journalism. In 2008, Geltzer received the Alumni Service Award from the Northwestern Alumni Association.
After graduation and a stint in the U.S. Army, he began his career in marketing communications at General Electric. This was followed by assignments at Litton Industries, McGraw-Hill and the launch of the consumer magazine, Family Health. He is a current member of the Advisory Council of Our House Publications, Inc.
Geltzer is a counselor for the SCORE unit of the Small Business Administration, a government agency that supports small business ventures.
He is also an adjunct faculty member of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and a visiting adjunct professor at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, passing on to undergraduates some of the extraordinary values he learned at Medill.
The Geltzers split their time between New York City and Southern California. They are the parents of two sons, Jeremy and Gabriel, and one grandson, Jackson.