International Association of Business Communicators Hosts Career Panel

L-R Tim Krueger, Faith Gray, Tom Richmond

October 31, 2013

By Kelly O'Brien ‘15

Tim Krueger ’82 advised students to combine their passions with talents in the workplace during “Real Talk at Work,” a career panel hosted by the student chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators.  The student organization under the leadership of Dr. Elena Gabor also featured discussions from outstanding Department of Communication alumni and community leaders. The other panelists were Faith Gray ’10, Change Management, Caterpillar, Inc., Thomas Richmond, ’88 Executive Director of Admissions, Marketing, and Communication at Bradley and Mark DeSantis, President WEEK TV. 

Krueger discussed the ways he pursued his passion for pulling people together and building businesses that change the world by founding Impact HUB Peoria this year.  A place for entrepreneurs, professionals and investors to connect, collaborate and create social change, Impact HUB is a new type of corporation Krueger modeled after his former employer, Maui Jim.  After 16 years as CFO of the sunglass maker, he left the company, hoping to recreate its emphasis on both its products and people.

“Maui Jim was a great experience because it was all about culture and communication,” Krueger said.  “I wanted to take what I learned at Maui Jim and build more companies like it that have a culture with a heavy focus on their people and the customers and then take it a couple steps further to really make a social impact.”

Venturing onto a new career path was not easy at first for Krueger, but the change proved to be positive.

“It’s tough because when you’re at Maui Jim…you start to get comfortable,” he said.  “To put yourself back into a situation where its not comfortable and you say ‘I’ve got to learn, I’m going to fail at things,’ it’s tough some days.  But you got to do it because that’s when you grow, and that’s when you change things for the better.” 

Krueger has bettered the Peoria community through Impact HUB, which promotes that finding happiness in a job will lead to achievement.

“Impact HUB tries to help people figure out what they love to do and what they’re good at,” he said.  “When you cross people’s passion with talent, just get out of the way because they’re going to do fabulous.“ 

The key to efficiency at Impact HUB is good organizational communication, according to Kreuger. 

“Communication is the base of everything,” he said.   “As CFO of a company, I didn’t really love finances.  I love people, and that was one of the things that actually took me far in my career—communicating with people and caring about them and their success.”

Krueger also stressed the importance of student involvement in developing companies that consider their impact on employees, vendors, shareholders and the community.  He called the younger generation of business communicators to action in implementing such social change.

“We all want to see things change and improve,” he said.  “It’s just that a lot of times we don’t know what to do.  But if you believe in yourself, you can do anything.”