Growing up in Keokuk, Iowa, Thomas Cardella saw his father start his own company, and it became very successful. Seeing this created an entrepreneurial spirit in Cardella, as he has built and led small, medium and multimillion-dollar call center companies throughout his more than 20 years of experience. Rather than viewing call centers as a commodity, his career goal has been to change perceptions about the industry by delivering the highest quality and client-centered services possible while focusing on long-term value and customer satisfaction.
After starting his career at APAC Customer Services in 1992, he played a key role in the company growing from four to 18 call centers, but he felt he could deliver better service, so he founded his first company in 1995 — Access Direct. The company grew to 2,000 employees and was ranked No. 8 on the Fortune 500 list in 2000. He sold the company that same year and debated retirement but was asked to run Precision Response Corp. in Florida. The company employed 12,000 and was struggling financially, but he turned it around and retired in 2005. But retirement wasn’t peaceful, as people kept calling on him and his experience, so he started Thomas R. Cardella & Associates in 2007. The company focuses on the direct marketing needs of Fortune 500 clients across a range of industries. In just under four years, the company has grown from one office in Iowa to four locations in Iowa and one in Texas with a total of 900 employees. His impact isn’t just customer service in call centers but also playing a major role in developing quality jobs in the state of Iowa. It’s estimated that between his two companies, he’s had an economic impact well into the billions of dollars on the state.
How to reach: Thomas R. Cardella & Associates, (319) 730-4000 or www.tlcassociates.com