People of PressPage: Mike King
The Operations Director with a talent for numbers and adventures
Our Operations Director is a guy that seems to be able to do it all. He tends to many tasks within the company, has traveled to amazing places and has a wonderful family to call his own. His talent for numbers and getting into adventures is quite interesting to say the least, meet our own Mike!
Could you describe briefly what your role is within PressPage?
My actual role is Operational Director North America, which includes accounting, HR, health insurance, and everything concerning employees and the office. Currently, I also work closely with our clients, but now that we have a new Customer Success Manager, I can focus on my actual role. We are such a small office in Chicago. When someone is sick or on holiday, you will need a backup. So I do whatever Customer Success needs me to do. And I don’t mind though – the ladies in Amsterdam, Heather, and Niru make it quite easy to love the job.
I graduated from Indiana University and got my Accounting degree; I’m a Certified Public Accountant. Actually, I’m a recovering CPA since I tried to get out of accounting ever since I got my degree. I have always been involved in working with numbers and accounting in general. My job now consists of 40 to 50% of numbers, it’s my comfort zone. I didn’t have many jobs before this one, even though I’m the oldest person at PressPage. I worked at Ragan Communications for 18 years, and then I ran into Bart and made the mistake of chatting with him. I was never able to shake him off!
Concerning the Operations Director role, I have got enough previous experience, I just need to find the time to do it. Being part of CSM has been a bigger challenge – I just jumped in to help out. This meant learning a lot of new systems and that has been the biggest challenge. Being the old man in the company, I’m not used to having five different programs running on my computer. Before I started at PressPage, I worked from home. I was looking forward to having coworkers around me, and not just my dog to talk to. I couldn’t have imagined a better crew of people to work with, it has been phenomenal.
Three things you didn’t know about Mike
When I was in university, I studied in Ljubljana, Slovenia for a while. I was doing an internship at IBM in North Carolina when a tornado came through and wiped out our neighborhood. I told my roommate “I always told myself I was going to study abroad, and since we almost died last night, now is the time to do it”. I went to the university and the only opening they had was in Economics in Ljubljana, in the former Yugoslavia. I didn’t know where it was, but I took it and a month later I was on a plane. It was right before their civil war, in 1989, so it was quite a hectic time over there. It was the best thing I could have ever done, except for having children.
Another thing is that I jumped out of an airplane once – I went skydiving. We were having a party at our apartment and my roommate told me to get my checkbook and write a check for $140 for something we would do together the next week. By the time I found out we were going parachuting, it was too late to say no anymore. The guy who was strapped onto me during the jump had a huge hangover, he reeked of alcohol and gave zero training. It was terrifying, I’m glad I went but I won't have to do it ever again.
In my previous job, I was on the road for about half of the year, so I traveled around the country quite a lot. I was lucky enough to travel with a small crew of three to four people, so we got very close. We would usually have a three to four days time span in a certain place, so it was cheaper to rent out a condo or house. One of the best moments was when we went to a Microsoft conference and we rented out a multi-million dollar home in Seattle, Washington. We were living like kings, but it would still be cheaper than a hotel.
The secret dream of Mike
My biggest goal right now is to get my kids through college on my dime. Two of them are in college and one is about to go. Everything else will be easier after that. From the day we started our family, that has been the end goal. Maybe I’ll be able to relax a little bit after that. Having big kids is easier though, it was harder when they were babies. I had to change diapers for a solid five years. The best day was when the last diaper got thrown away.
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