During the month of July, the C3 team celebrated Tim VanderMel’s 10th year anniversary and decided to ask him a few questions about his tenure. Before we hear from Tim himself, let’s start by sharing his origin story with C3 Technology Advisors from our CEO & Founder, Matthew Toth.
“I met Tim through a friend about 12 years ago. When I learned that he was in hospital administration and analytics, I thought to myself, "Tim has WAY too much personality for that!"
When I first started thinking about expanding C3 beyond myself, he was the first person I thought of. I knew that he didn't have selling experience and knew nothing about technology, but he had the personality and aptitude to become an excellent consultant and ambassador for C3.
Together, we convinced his then pregnant wife that he should shove aside his safe job for a chance on C3. To this day, I have no idea how we convinced her to do this but I’m glad it went the way it did”
Now, without further ado, an interview with Tim VanderMel.
Q: What made you choose to join C3?
Tim: A few reasons, including knowing Matthew on a personal level, knowing that he was doing well, and knowing that he was doing it the right way really built the confidence to join C3 for me.
When we sat for lunch in early 2012, he told me more about what he was doing and what his plans were for C3 (back then it was Collaborative Communications Consulting). He talked with so much enthusiasm and passion and I’ll admit, it was motivating and intoxicating even though I didn’t understand the technical stuff he was talking about.
When I thought about my long-term goals/vision, part of it came down to this...I could stay at the healthcare system I was working at and be comfortable for the next 10-20 years barring anything crazy happening OR I could take a risk on myself, and possibly exceed those expectations by creating new and exciting opportunities for myself and my future family that was literally growing before my eyes.
My wife (Stephanie) helped seal it for us. I went home after that lunch and told her about this exciting opportunity. She knew Matthew so she shared some of the pre-conceived confidence that we already had in him.
I’ll remember this forever...without much debate, she looked at me and said “I trust you. If you think you can be really good at this, then go do it.” If she wasn’t as open minded as she was or gave me any kind of feeling that she was against the idea, I’m not sure where things would sit today for both sides.
“Tim is a vital player in C3’s growth over the past 10 years. Without Tim, C3 would not be the company it is today with the vision of where we are going tomorrow.” – Taylor V., Director of Operation
Q: Do you remember your first day?
Tim: I sure do, I went to Matthew’s house after I got out of work at my other job, scruffy barked at me for a good few mins, and there was an older desk (with a glass top) waiting for me right next to his. He didn’t have another office chair, so I sat on a fold up chair until my office chair from Amazon came in. On the desk was a Telecom Dictionary. I wasn’t required to read it, but for a few years I would reference that book from time to time. It still sits on my bookshelf to this day.
I remember being in business attire, and he was in basketball shorts and a tee shirt (which doesn’t happen anymore 😊). Day one, was “Intro to Telecommunications” ...that was the 1st page in this awesome C3 book that continues to build in my mind.
Q: How has your job changed over the years?
Tim: It continues to evolve in all kinds of ways. In the beginning, it was all about telecom so we would talk about PRIs, MPLS, and get excited when there was a possibility of a 100M DIA circuit discussion. Now, we get excited when we dive deep into Cyber Security, CX, Cloud, etc. I’m curious to see what this answer to this same question is in another 10 years.
The types of people we have conversations with have also changed drastically. Back then, for me, getting a meeting with a CIO felt like hitting the lotto (without the $) ...now, it's common to be talking with executive leaders in IT.
One of the biggest changes has been going from being a ‘rookie’ with little game time experience to being one of the seasoned veterans that helps provide insights and thought leadership to the rest of my teammates.
Q: What has been your biggest achievement/success?
Tim: There have been some really cool projects that I’ve had the pleasure to be a part of throughout the years. I’ve built some great relationships with some of the most recognized logos in the world but being here for 10 years is up there in achievements for me especially when you look around and see people moving around from company to company every few years. I feel like it's now rare to see someone (in a role like mine) at one place for 10+ yrs.
The other item that ranks up there is hitting the sales goal that every C3 consultant needs to hit during their tenure. I happened to hit it before the 10-year mark, and I hope my teammates beat my record.
Outside of these things, there have been so many cool things that I’ve seen or have had the opportunity to be a part of, but I will say that being here at C3 has allowed my family to experience things and create opportunities that I don’t believe we would’ve had otherwise. For that, I’m forever grateful for the opportunity Matthew provided me and my family.
Q: What is your favorite part of the job?
Tim: Again, there are a lot of things that I love about my individual piece of the puzzle here at C3. I REALLY enjoy the challenge. I also enjoy helping the team when and where I can. This comes from Matthew at the top, but everyone has a voice here at C3 and I feel like I use mine a little more from time to time to make sure people are taken care of, help them with their individual missions, etc.
Q: What is your favorite C3 memory?
Tim: Hard to pick one, but I will always remember the first time that Matthew took me to Channel Partners. After day 2 of the talk tracks and meeting with different people, we decided to grab a drink after dinner, just the two of us to talk about the day and discuss any takeaways we had at that point.
It was at the Chandelier bar at the Cosmopolitan and I can’t remember who said it first, but the consensus was that we were going to be one of the top technology advisory firms in the world. Since then, it’s been extremely rewarding to see what we’ve accomplished whether it’s awards that we’ve won or the people that we’ve brought on board who help continue to push us in the right direction.
Q: What is your cure for a tough day?
Tim: My family, 100%...playing with my kids or taking them to do something fun usually does the trick. My wife has this innate ability to provide great feedback when I need it most so talking things through with her usually helps. She’s also not afraid to tell me that I’m overthinking, which also tends to be the case most times.
Over these past 10 years, Tim and C3 Technology Advisors have grown tremendously and we look forward to what the next 10 years and beyond hold.
“It has been an honor to see Tim become the person and professional that he's become. If given a million lifetimes, I'd never even experiment with another person being C3's first hire.” said Matthew Toth, Founder/CEO, “He embodies all the traits we look for in a C3er - selflessness, determination, caring, drive, entrepreneurial spirit, and passion. I will forever be thankful to him, God, and his wife that he decided to make C3 his home.”