We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Thad Armbruster, President & COO, at TKXS. 15:00 was the time allotted, and also a reference to our Raleigh street address — 1500 Perimeter Park Drive.
Describe your role here at TKXS.
I’m in charge of execution, helping our company deliver. While everyone on our management team has different areas of focus – client, product, growth, staff – my job is to take that inspiration and get the ball over the proverbial goal line. Secondarily, I oversee our financial operations – strategically and tactically. Finally – I’m a big cultural influencer for our team.
What drew you to this business?
It’s somewhat laughable – I thought going to work for a dot com would make me rich. And in a way – an unanticipated way -- it did. I was enriched by the people and clients I got to work with. That’s why I’ve stayed – because of the “human side” of the business.
More recently, what drew me in to the TKXS merger were the strategic advantages, but more than that – because I am people-focused, because I am a collaborator -- I liked the team.
What would you want clients and prospects to know about TKXS?
I want you to see the breadth of our offering. Initially, clients may want to think of us the way they always have, but I’m hoping they will re-orient their brains, so they can see that we now have twice the capabilities. Whether you are in sales or marketing or data or technology – we have lots to bring to bear to make you more successful.
What would you want teammates to understand about TKXS?
I am passionate about our company culture, not as a flowery word or a statement on the wall, but as the core of who we are. It takes a lot to make a culture successful, and I’ll be one of the people relentlessly committed to making that happen.
What about the merger has surprised you most?
First – but far from most important – I find it staggering that it took so long to navigate the process! I’m gratified that we’re done!
Really, though, I think the one thing I did not expect was how naturally the relationship evolved. In the beginning, I was somewhat hesitant. It seemed like it was too good to be true. I kept waiting to figure out the “but” – but the longer I waited, the more obvious it was that this is a really good thing. What we do for our clients, how we do it, our industry reputations, our community commitment – these are all ways our two offices – though unique – are markedly similar.
If you could go back and start your career all over again, what advice would you give yourself?
Take more risks. I come from an accounting background. My dad was a CPA. Early in my career, I followed “steps.” It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t fun. Now, what I do is much more challenging – and far more rewarding. For me, it’s fun.
Where do you see TKXS five years from now?
Some of that is a mystery that we have to allow to unfold, but I have no doubt but that we will be a dominant force in the ag industry. However, there is no reason we need to limit ourselves or confine ourselves by the borders of this continent. I’ve always been drawn to taking our talents to other industries and am enthusiastic about leveraging our talents elsewhere.
If we had a billboard outside our offices, what would it say?
A message for both our internal clients (our staff) and our external clients: Helping make you successful.