Chicagoland's premier Apple Specialist

Retail Sales Associate > Account Manager > Director of Sales > Director of Sales and Marketing > Partner (33% shareholder)

Developing the MacSpeicalist brand after purchasing my long-time place of employment.

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MacSpecialist: As an Employee

I began working at Glen Ellyn Computers d/b/a MacSpecialist in 2002 as a retail sales associate. I was later promoted to Corporate Account Manager, then to Director of Sales, then to Director of Sales and Marketing and eventually purchased the company.

For more information regarding my experience as an employee, click here. If you’re interested in reading more about my purchasing experience, click here

This page focuses on my position at TKC Innovative Solutions d/b/a MacSpecialist as it’s the most relevant to potential clients or employers.

MacSpecialist: As an Employer

After entering into the then-newly formed TKC partnership and completing the asset purchase of MacSpecialist, I set out to develop the brand to into something more than what many of our earlier customers viewed as somewhat of an Apple Store alternative. 

I wanted MacSpecialist to be the first name to enter the minds of creative professionals whenever the topic of IT emerged. I wanted our clients to tell their colleagues that MacSpecialist, not Apple, was their company’s premiere IT partner. 

It’s difficult to sum up a year of 12-16 hours days on a single page but I think we largely achieved that goal. 

MacSpecialist: Brand Development

During our first year of ownership, we made drastic changes. We started with brand identity and carried it from the storefront to everything from the marketing materials- to paint on the walls- to the lighting- to our employee dress code. Next, our management teams worked on core values and key messaging and infused it into sales training. (Thanks Friedman Group) After that, we applied it to the recruiting process and into our public events. 

Our technical knowledge always exceeded that of any Apple store – so much so that our trainers taught Mac OS X classes to Apple’s systems engineers – but the changes sparked a sense of pride and confidence that no amount of technical training could. We changed the look, the atmosphere and the level of commitment from everyone in the building. Our sales reps were proud to give potential clients tours, tell our story and invite them to our events. 

We changed the culture, began building a community of ideal clients around the brand, and produced results. In the fist year, we exceeded profit and revenue projections in every draft of our business plan.  After year two, we experienced a 64% revenue increase. In year three, we expanded into the River North location.

To me this was the true definition of brand development.

Core Responsibilities

My core responsibilities, key projects and accomplishments at MacSpecialist River North:

  • Brand Identity
  • Core Values
  • Core Messaging
  • Seminars and Special Events
  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Affiliate Program
  • Community & Charity Events
  • Crossed $1M in individual sales mark as an employee
  • Promoted from retail to account manger to director as employee
  • Exceeded profit projections in year owner
  • Grew revenue by 64% in year two as owner
  • Event marketing and sponsorship acquisition
  • Traditional and digital marketing
  • Friedman Group: Store Management implementation
  • Successful negotiation of asset purchase of GEC d/b/a MacSpecialist
  • Secured credit lines with major distributors
  • Migration from paper to software accounting package and implementation of accounting procedures
  • Migration from FileMaker Pro to Lightspeed POS & inventory management system
  • Implemented full-time purchasing & receiving operation
  • Sold my shares in 2011

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