Looking back, I can’t believe 2002 was 20 years ago! Remember the band Nickelback? (Look at this photograaaaph.) Yep, that’s who was toppin’ the charts back then. While 2002 was a huge year for Nickelback, it was a pretty big year for me, too.
That year I got married to my wife Kari (20 years together this year!), built and moved into our new home together and started my career at The Karcher Group. Back then we were a team of around 8 in the glass tower in Belden Village. Today, we have an amazing location at 5590 Lauby Road and are rapidly approaching 50 people on our team!
When looking back, it’s an honor of sorts to think of all the great people that have been and are even still a part of TKG. People, both on our team and as clients, are woven through our values and come first above all else. I truly think it’s one of the things that sets us apart, even after 25 years!
Two of our core values; family and partnership are incredibly important to all of us at TKG. When it comes to family, we believe that taking care of business and family is one and the same. We also believe that the key to a strong partnership is having a collaborative process. We work alongside you because it’s important for everyone’s success.
Over 20 years, I have seen these core values come to life more than I can count. They’re not just something that’s listed on our website or on the wall of our conference room. TKG is a family-first organization. So many of our team members have gotten married, had kids and lost loved ones while working here. We are a family who are here to help each other during times of need and celebrate during times of joy.
Heck, just me being at TKG is an example of family. Geoff Karcher and I have been friends since we were 14 years old. (Lots of stories there for another time!) Back in the fall of 2002, I had recently been promoted to unemployed by my previous employer. TKG needed someone new and I was looking for somewhere that felt like home, was a family and provided growth.
The days of people picking a company and spending the bulk of their career there are pretty much gone. Despite this, TKG still treats our team like lifers. Sometimes this makes it a little harder not to take it personally when someone leaves because it really does feel like they’re leaving the family. But that’s normal nowadays and we acknowledge that it’s okay for people to move on and so do we. Just look at how much we’ve grown in both size and services in 25 years!
It's pretty cliché for a business nowadays to claim they are a true partner and not a vendor. TKG was living out that practice long before it was cool. We’re not here to do whatever our clients want. We are here to do what is best for our clients, whether they know it or not. Our purpose is to function as an extension of our clients’ businesses and team. Over the years, TKG’s team is often the constant “employee” a company has while their actual employees leave and switch jobs. In some cases, we learn their businesses better than some of their own employees know them.
Being a partner with our team and clients is probably one of my favorite things about our approach. We work alongside people on our team to overcome challenges and help them grow both personally and professionally. With clients, it’s the same approach. To this day, I still love getting to meet new clients and learning how they do business, what their goals are and how TKG can help them achieve and exceed those goals. There’s nothing better than seeing our team’s efforts pay off by creating something cool for one of our clients that revolutionizes their business.
Congratulations TKG on 25 years of always doing things the right way and in the best interest of all our employees and clients that have been a part of the ride. I’m looking forward to even more growth and success in the future. Thank you for the honor and opportunity for being able to take part in 20 of TKG’s 25 years. I hope I’ve contributed to our growth in some way and look forward to improving myself and TKG, so we can one day celebrate 50 years together!
- Patrick Willoughby, COO of TKG
Learn more about TKG and our company values that make us stand out.