Title: co-founder, president and CEO of TK Promotions Inc., a Henrico County-based promotional products supplier. The company ranked No. 4206 on this year’s Inc. 5000 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing, privately held businesses in the United States measured by revenue growth.
Born: February 1981 in Richmond
Education: bachelor of science in supply chain management, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2003
Career: C. Forbes Inc., 2003-08, sales representative; TK Promotions Inc., 2008 to present, co-founder, president and CEO
Where in the metro area do you live: Short Pump
Best business decision: “I place an incredibly high value on relationships — those that we create with our clients, but almost more important are the ones we build within this organization. We’ve built a family here, where we’re fulfilled by what we accomplish as a unit together. I can’t point to a singular business decision that brought TK to where we are today. I attribute our success to hiring great people who I get to work alongside every day.”
Worst business decision: “What we’re able to accomplish as a unit is far greater than what any one person can achieve alone. I got into this business because sales is my lifeblood. But in my role as president, I’m responsible for more than generating revenue — I’m responsible for creating a culture that drives sales for the entire team. And while I sometimes default to choosing to focus on my own sales, TK fires on all cylinders when I’m focused on helping my team find fulfillment in their positions.”
Mistake you learned the most from: “We can’t be everything to all people. In the early days of TK, we found ourselves taking on projects of all sizes — anything from branded koozies for a wedding to personalized brand-name gifts for an enterprise client. As we’ve crystallized who we are — we’re in the reputation business — we’ve learned that clients and organizations that value brand and take the necessary time and effort to maintain it are who we can help most. They’re willing to take a bigger risk on higher impact items, and that’s where we’re able to deliver the most value.”
What is the biggest challenge/opportunity in the next two to five years: “Maintaining sustained growth, especially in the areas where we want to grow, will be our greatest challenge.”
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently: “It’s been a process for me to learn how to trust my team more and lean on them. I wish I had figured that out earlier.
Book that inspired you the most, and why?: “Building a Story Brand,” by Donald Miller. “It speaks to how organizations can clarify their message so that their customers will listen.”
Favorite/least favorite subject in school: “Not surprisingly, my favorite was marketing — sales is definitely my plan; my least favorite was chemistry.”