What happens when you take the team captain of a winning college volleyball team and immerse him in the world of marketing? You get a T.J.! We love hearing his stories of how he and his team worked together to rise from being OK into a powerhouse in their division, staying positive, not listening to the naysayers, and embracing the opportunity to thrive in the face of adversity. He’s brought that goal-oriented, team-based approach to his work for clients at Kolbeco and is making a difference each day. Get to know the tallest member of the Kolbeco team, T.J. Vorva!
Q:What attracted you to Kolbeco?
A:Kolbeco is a place where I can be very creative in a world that’s very analytical. I love data, and here, I’m allowed to use data to formulate strategies and to be creative. So far, I’ve been able to do this.
Q:What are your favorite moments at Kolbeco?
A:I really enjoy seeing the successful execution of projects and the results that are generated. I recently worked on a major event where the client was looking for a specific attendance goal. We started from zero people interested in this event, and methodically worked through the plan to get to our goal. It’s so satisfying to see how successful we can make our campaigns and projects. I was passionate about making this event work, and about getting to the goal. This comes from my competitive nature I developed through sports. If there is a goal to be met, I am one to want to reach the goal. I’ve done it my whole life through sports.
Q:What inspires you to work with clients?
A:In many cases, we’re working with a high ranking individual within the client’s organization, or we’re working directly with the owner. These individuals bring an inherent passion for their specific business, or whatever we are marketing for them. I’m driven by this passion. It makes me want to pursue excellence for them and I become passionate about their product or service.
Q:What have you learned from clients?
A:I’ve learned that there are more ways than one to be successful at marketing, and that there are many tactics that can be used to reach people. Sometimes marketers overlook the simple things. We should look for ways to implement things that are straightforward but that are amazing opportunities to gain attention and brand awareness. For example, one of our clients uses a very bold color on their fleet of vehicles. They’re very recognizable, and are very noticeable when they’re driving down the street. Those vehicles are a big part of their brand.
Q:What is one Kolbeco project you’re extremely proud of and would like to showcase?
A:We work for Sams Carpet Cleaning and Repairs, a great company that’s been in business since 1985. We recently implemented changes on their social media posts, and have seen a dramatic increase in engagement. It was really exciting to see. I knew there was potential and I was surprised by how much it actually was. It changed rapidly and quickly. I was excited for them – and for both of us.
Q:Secret skill or talent? Share with the class:
A:I can DJ any party with any age group in any genre of music. My dad inspired me to not just follow one genre of music. My shuffle is anything from Mozart to Luke Bryan and Little Wayne and anywhere in between. I’m immersed in all types of music. I do everything from college parties to work events, and I do it for fun. I don’t have any equipment just my playlists.
Q:The best advice you’ve ever received was:
A:From my parents. They said network with everyone you can. You never know. Be kind and respect every person you meet and good things will happen in the future. The political campaign I worked on was through several connections to the campaign manager. Once I connected with him I was able to have a good interview and get the job.
Q:The secret to YOUR happiness is:
A:Keep friends and family close and treat yourself once in a while. Personally I either enjoy a really good meal, buying the latest tech, or a brand new pair of shoes – Adidas shoes.
Q:What would be your superpower?
A:My answer is always different – the woman in the Incredibles is very stretchy. I believe you can be the best athlete if you can stretch further than everyone else. You could break a lot of records. I think of the Space Jam movie with Michael Jordan stretching his arm to make the play. You’d be unstoppable if you could do this.
Q:What did you want to be growing up?
A:I had two main ideas. First, I wanted to be a weatherman. I went through a phase when I was little fascinated by tornadoes. Or, I wanted to design shoes. I knew the weather thing was out when I realized had a face for radio. I was awkward on camera. In my free time I design shirts and stuff. I designed gear for the volleyball team at Fontbonne when I played there. Graphic design skills applied to what I loved. I really wanted to make apparel, but I didn’t want to go into fashion merchandising.
Q:What song is currently on repeat in your head, car, Spotify, etc.?
A:Black by Pearl Jam. I’m a huge Pearl Jam fan. I have several versions of the song on a playlist. They change it all the time and you never get it the same way twice.
Q:What’s something we don’t know about you?
A:I’m pretty open book. Because I’m young, people don’t automatically think that I’d listen to Mozart but I do.
Q:What’s your guilty pleasure (food, activity, song)?
A:Chicago Pizza. I don’t get to have it a lot anymore.
Q:What do you need for survival?
A:Wi-Fi, with something to connect to it. I’m too reliant on my phone, tablet, X-box and all my stuff to not have it. With Wifi you can get whatever you need, like ordering food for survival.
Q:What was the last TV show you binged?
A:Mad Men. I knew that it was in a way related to what I wanted to do career-wise, and John Hamm as a St. Louis guy.
Q:Describe your dream vacation (and you’re not paying for it?):
A:Somewhere tropical or Caribbean. I’d have a huge yacht with 50 of my friends and have a party on the beach. Like Fyre Festival was supposed to be.
Q:What gets you pumped up?
A:Music pumps me up. When I played volleyball our team would always do the same pump up routine in the locker room. We joke around and do it at parties and stuff. Chanting and hitting the walls and lockers and stuff as we got ready to go out and play.
A:Miley Cyrus, but more specifically Hannah Montana. When I was little I had the biggest crush on Hannah but I never liked Miley. But now, it would be Ariana Grande or Selena Gomez.
Q:First CD you remember purchasing?
A:The Baja Men – Who Let the Dogs Out
A:Work until your signature becomes an autograph. I’m not sure who said it. This speaks to me because I don’t necessarily want to be famous, but I want to be remembered for what I accomplish. I tried to do it as much as I could in sports and now in my career. I want to be remembered for improving things or inventing things.
Q:You’re going on a shopping spree, where can we find you?
A:Addidas or Nike store.
Q:If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?
A:A bird. It would be cool to fly from place to place. It would save a lot of time and money, and Uber fares. I would never had to pay for an Uber!
Q:It’s a Saturday. Where can we find you?
A:Most likely in Soulard driving a golf cart around with my friends.
Q:Proudest accomplishment OUTSIDE of Kolbeco?
A:My high school finishing 4th in State in volleyball. In College finishing 8th in the country.
Q:Embarrassing moment you most definitely NEED to share?
A:When I set the alarm off on my third day here. The police had to come. Luckily I didn’t get arrested.
Q:You’re on a deserted island. What 3 items do you bring with you?
A:A phone, charger and a Wi-Fi router.
Q:Dogs in the office, thoughts?
A:Yes. Love it. Takes the stress and edge at work away when they come running at you.
We hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes look into the world of T.J. and what gets him fired up. He’s got a passion for the win, a knack for inspiring his team to stay positive, and can play you any tune you’re in the mood for. We’re excited to have him on the Kolbeco team!