If there’s one thing we’re more proud of than our clients and their projects, it’s our employees. The list of individuals who started or expanded their careers at Tactive is a long one, so we thought we’d catch up with a few of our “alumni”. Today, we check-in with Tom Qualls, who will always be our favorite, and likely only, employee to also hold the title of Pokemon Professor.
When did you work for Tactive?
I started in the summer of 2012 and left around the end of 2016.
What was/were your role(s) at Tactive?
My role changed a lot over four years, actually! When I first started I worked in the bindery. My job was to cut paper. Before Tactive, I had a pretty high-pressure job handling parts and maintenance. So cutting paper got kind of… boring? I started doing some other things to fill the time, like tinkering with the machines and creating preventative maintenance guides.
Since I was getting so much done in the mornings, Kurt & Tim asked me to start running deliveries in the afternoon and helping Justin in the warehouse. Then they trained me to be a backup press operator. And then they decided to bring me up front to do customer service and pre-flight work.
So, my responsibilities really grew from day one!
That’s something I really appreciated about working with Tactive, actually. Tim and Kurt were really good about meeting me where I was. Most other jobs I’d had either completely overworked me or let me get bored, which got me into trouble most of the time. Tim and Kurt said, “Tom can do more. Let’s let him do more!”
What are you doing now?
I am the Family Pastor and Director of Outreach at Villa Baptist Church. My biggest responsibility is to work with the youth ministry. I’ve been working with kids for almost 10 years now in a volunteer capacity, so it’s great that I got to turn that into a profession.
My other role is to work with families within and outside of our church as well as reach out to our local neighborhood, known as Bean Creek. We work with the local neighborhood association to have a finger on the pulse of what is happening so we can better serve the families here. Businesses like to know demographics and needs so they can do a better job of selling. Our job is not selling but serving. So my job is to know what families here need, and determine how we can help.
Is there anything you learned at Tactive that you are using in your current job?
I am the only staff member who has experience with marketing, promotions, websites, etc. And that is 1000% because of Tactive. I’m a big believer that God does things for a reason, even if you don’t understand it at the time.
You wouldn’t think packing boxes for 10 years would prepare you to be a pastor, but the next thing I know I’m packing boxes. I learned how to build our own website, design marketing materials, promote our church and more by watching Tactive do it.
In fact, right before this interview, I was working on designing a book cover for a book that our lead Pastor’s Mother-In-Law is writing. I learned how to design at Tactive.
Do you have any memorable moments from your time at Tactive?
There are a ton of stories, but my strongest memory is more of a feeling. Tactive felt like family. I felt like a friend there. I know that sounds cheesy – like it should go on a pamphlet. But, I felt like Tim & Kurt respected me as an employee and rewarded me for doing a good job. I loved everyone there. Everyone was good to me, and even if people weren’t as upbeat and optimistic as I was, I was still able to talk to them and cultivate a friendship. Even when things were stressful, it wasn’t ever bad.
Kurt & Tim are notorious for sharing words of wisdom with their employees. Are there any that stick out for you?
Kurt was always really good about giving me information about printing. He’d say, “Oh, that’s a *insert printing term* here.” He taught me how to speak the printing lingo.
Tim always gave me great life advice. One time, he said, “Tom, you’re young enough right now, you gotta make sure you have life insurance.” And he was right. I had just purchased life insurance. I think that feeds into the whole family/friend feeling I had there, as well.
Anything else you’d like to share about Tactive?
I’ll always be thankful for Tactive, Tim, and Kurt for everything they did to help me and for giving me the opportunity to succeed. I felt like a success there, even if no one else did. *chuckles* I felt like I did a good job there, and I learned a ton of skills that I’m able to apply to my current role.
I look forward to seeing where they are in another five years when they are gigantic and spread across half of Indy. It will be a cool thing to say I was an on the ground floor of that growth.
Thank you, Tom!
And as a bonus, please check out our favorite Tom Qualls video: a 2015 review of Hardee’s “Most American Burger”.