Our LeadingResponse team is the core of who we are as a company, and it is our privilege to share more about our employees with our consumers. We look forward to highlighting our team members regularly with insightful and fun information about who our employees REALLY are.
As LeadingResponse’s SVP of Technology, Tim is ultimately responsible for all technology products that are offered. Tim particularly enjoys bringing various business functions, industries, and people of different backgrounds together to identify common ground for the effective sharing of information. We were ecstatic to get the chance to sit down with Tim and get to know a little more about him.
What motivates you to work hard?
I grew up in a very small rural community where work ethic meant a lot. I was working in my father’s body shop with my own small toolbox by 8 years old. We grew most of our food and even raised our own beef. Our house sat on approximately 2 acres so there was always work to be done. My father built our house with his own hands and there are pictures of me during the construction with a small shovel, so I guess you can say I was raised with that ethic. Couple that with a resonating event when I was 15 that I will never forget. It was August and high school football pre-season. I had competed and won the starting left tackle offensive lineman position. It was very early one morning and honestly, we (all the starters) were tired of practicing and hitting each other so we were taking it easy. Telling each other the play so could look good but not work so hard when suddenly about 30 minutes into an early morning 1’s on 1’s scrimmage the whistle blew and our coach, Jim Ralston, called of all of us to huddle on one knee around him. I cannot repeat everything that was said but for a 7:00 AM speech, he got our attention. The real key to it all was when he looked at us and declared “He was tired of being mediocre and if anyone of us was OK with being mediocre then this was not the place for you”. He went on for a bit in a very loud tone explaining to us we had the chance to be something great but to do that you have to work for it. He closed by telling us all when he broke huddle to run to the locker room and get home and give serious thought if we were OK being mediocre. If we were not up for the challenge stay home and they would clean out our locker. If you are seen doing anything but at home reflecting you were off the team, and finally if you were not gone by the time in which he walked back to the locker room you were off the team. A lot of ways to be off the team and he was clearly not happy! Thankfully our practice field was far enough away we all ran back tore off equipment and got in cars and left. Upperclassmen helped those that could not drive. The next day we had 1 or 2 not show up, and the practice was intense. We went on to be ranked team in the state, the best my school had ever seen to that time and in the second game of the season, we beat the defending state champs on their field. Coach Jim Ralston has long since retired but I did get an opportunity to tell him once the impact those 5-10 minutes which seemed like an eternity had on my life. I have NEVER accepted mediocrity since and that means working for it. Never give up, never quit. Talent is amazing for those that have it but often wasted because work beats talent every time!
Have you or would you ever sing Karaoke?
This is simple – I did it in Tokyo. Guns and Roses “Paradise City” during my time with Michelin I was at one time responsible for Passenger North America new product launches and all pacific rim exports for North America. So I traveled to Japan to work with our Tokyo office with the Auto manufacturer’s allotments. While I work hard, I play just as hard and love Kirin (Japanese rice beer), so there is photographic evidence of me after late one evening out with several people from the office and my interpreter having beers and me singing Axel Rose’s Paradise City with my necktie around my forehead. Yes, that was back when we all wore suits every day. They were great people, and we sang several songs but that was my first pick, and I loved every minute of it!
Who are four people you would like to break bread with?
1. George Washington
He was the ringleader of a motley crew that committed treason against the crown. Just think about what they put at risk. If they lost, they would all likely die and for sure would lose everything, and he had a lot to lose. Secondly, my great grandfather (however many far back that is) General Jonathan Clark and his brother George Rodger Clark of Lewis & Clark both served under him, and I would love to hear his accounting of everything they went through. The risks backed by the bravery they demonstrated to me are just amazing and I would also be curious about his thoughts on their motivations – not just what we have studied.
2. Abraham Lincoln
This one is easy. He made so many amazingly difficult decisions and our country would not be here today whole without his leadership and political savvy. By every appearance, he was an incredibly righteous and moral person that led our country during its most trying times when it really was a question of the future of our country’s soul. It is still a struggle today to right wrongs, but without him, I am not sure how that journey could have started.
3. Neil Armstrong
Well, I was an aerospace engineer and the very first thing I can really remember is watching him take his first steps on the moon on TV. His actions as well as others in the industry are why I wanted to work on rockets. My first ever job in engineering was research on the space shuttle main engines, something I am incredibly proud of. To hear from him in his own word the experience, to know his feelings and see it in his eyes. Simply amazing to me
4. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Basically, this one is for two reasons. First, love the music. I am into almost every kind of music and classical, especially Mozart, was what I listened to when writing code and doing research for NASA. Second, he and I share a birthday which I think is cool and I would love to celebrate our birthday together over dinner hearing about what inspired him and the customs of his time that we are less likely to be aware of.
A couple of quick fun facts!
The Godfather! Read it in one sitting starting on Friday evening around 6:00 PM in college.
When Harry Met Sally, I am a bit of a romantic. Second place is several John Wayne movies; go figure.
The most daring thing you’ve ever done?
- Nascar trainer on the Michigan International raceway, reaching speeds of nearly 200 MPH.
- Stunt plane doing loops, hammerheads, and barrel rolls.
- Running high-class white water rafting routes in North America, not once, but three times in my life (15-20 foot waterfalls).
It was a pleasure getting to know a little bit more about you, Tim. We sure enjoy your presence at LeadingResponse and look forward to the direction you are taking us!