Wichita author balances faith and
marketing; shares devotion to Mary
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Charlie Traffas is president, co-owner and operator of Chart Marketing, Inc., an advertising agency, marketing firm and publishing company that he co-owns with his wife, Brenda. Both are members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita.
It wasn’t until after he and his wife lost their youngest son, Dusty, in a freak and tragic accident on Nov. 4, 2001, that he thought about writing a book. Dusty was killed as he veered to miss a motor cyclist who had lost control of his bike, riding in front of him, in a Toys for Tots’ parade – an effort for which he had volunteered. He was thrown from his bike, hitting his head on a bridge abutment and was killed instantly.
“In the two years following Dusty’s death, I read and re-read St. Alphonsus de Liguori’s ‘Preparation for Death,’ and Thomas à Kempis’ ‘Imitation of Christ.’ I think I read each of them nine times,” Traffas said. “I didn’t read much of anything else. These two books, my Catholic faith, my wife Brenda, our sons Mike and Danny, our daughter Genae, extended family and friends kept us all going.”
Over a period of years, Traffas had developed a sales and marketing seminar, one he has given more than 2,200 times across the country. Self admittedly, much of what he teaches in his seminars are the “gems” from those who taught him, integrated with own sales and marketing tips, tools, strategies and concepts. He had been asked for his book several times at these seminars. He didn’t have one.
“It wasn’t until early 2004 that it came to me as to how I could present what I had been teaching for so many years. I would use the same style I had used in putting together my marketing seminars, that of taking the best things from others and combining them with some of my own,” said Traffas.
“I took passages from these two books, the Bible, along with several other sources, to show how one only can realize the rewards of this life when he or she first seeks the rewards of the next life. I titled it ‘Salvation and Sales – A Handbook for Life.’ I don’t believe anyone had ever put the two topics together before. It is a most interesting segue,” Traffas said.
It took him nearly three years to write his book, then get his Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, which he received on Dec. 17, 2007. The Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions, or statements expressed.
While he was writing Salvation and Sales, he began to read The Glories of Mary, another book written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori.
“I can’t tell you exactly when I started including in my daily prayers the petition to form a closer relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I know I have been doing it for more than 10 years. After reading ‘The Glories of Mary,’ that desire strengthened, so much to the point that I could not get enough information about her. Until then, I don’t think I ever fully realized what a tremendous resource our Blessed Mother is for our salvation. She is the Mother of God. How much better of an Intercessor with our Lord could we have been given?
“After reading ‘The Glories of Mary,’ I sought out so many other books on her, including one of the most enlightening and life changing books I have ever read, ‘The Revelations of St. Bridget,’” Traffas said. “After reading it, I knew I had to write a book in honor of ‘The Blessed Virgin Mary,’ and would attempt to make it my life’s greatest achievement.
“Now, more than two years later, it is finished. I titled it, ‘Our Way to the Way.’ While there have been many pamphlets and books written on our Blessed Mother, I wanted this to be the most inclusive book ever written since ‘The Glories of Mary’ was written more than 250 years ago, on her and our Catholic faith. This book will either radically change, or firmly support, how you perceive her, and how you use her, to aid in your salvation for the remainder of your life,” said Traffas.