Tommy Gropp joined the Mt Baker Vapor family, and rose very rapidly to the rank of company president. Tommy has a very storied past, and brings his business acumen to the company. I posed Tommy Gropp a couple questions, and he was gracious enough to illuminate us. The full interview is as follows:
Tim: It seems like you’ve had a very diverse professional background. Could you give us a summary of your pre-MBV career?
Tommy Gropp: I started in a grocery store as a night manager in high school, and through my summer vacations in college. After my first stint at college, I moved to Chicago, and became the Assistant Account Receivables Manager for the Chicago Screw Corp. From there, I did six years as the drummer and lead-singer for a lounge band called “U.S.”
We played the hotel/motel and private club circuit throughout the United States. After a year or so in Arizona as a golf course manager, I moved to the Phoenix area and worked for a national market research company as a Group Project Director for seven years. I then opened my own landscaping company called the Flying Circus LLC, which I operated for about eleven years. My last position, for twelve years, was with Paramount Landscape, where I was the Director of HR and a senior account manager. While at Paramount, I also obtained my BS in management, MBA, and PHR certification.
Tim: What first attracted you to the vapor industry?
Tommy Gropp: I was attracted to the vaping industry because, as a smoker, I see vaping as an alternative to tobacco products. It is also a field that, in many ways, is still in its infancy with unlimited growth potential.
Tim: What was your first impression of Mt. Baker Vapor, and what do you like about this industry?
Tommy Gropp: I was attracted to MBV because of the entrepreneurial spirit shown by the owners of the company. MBV has grown from an at-home company to a leader in the vaping industry in a phenomenally short period of time. Coming into the company, at almost 60 years of age, was for me a chance of a lifetime. MBV wanted an experienced individual to join and grow the company. This is at a time where many organizations will come up with any reason (legal or not), not to hire a person in my age bracket.
Tim: Where do you see the vapor industry in five years? In twenty years?
Tommy Gropp: I see the vaping industry growing exponentially in the next five years as more age groups learn about and embrace the industry. As long as vapers band together, voice their opinions, and vote, the industry (in my opinion) can overcome attempted regulations and become a long-term activity.
Tim: Do you have any closing thoughts for the vapers out there?
Tommy Gropp: Altough I have been with MBV for less than three months, my involvement with the company, the employees, and the vaping culture has made me feel 21 again. The enthusiasm of the “younger” group I work with has rekindled the enjoyment in my own career that over the years had diminished.
I’d like to thank President Tommy Gropp for taking the time to answer my queries, and encourage our customers to stay tuned for some of the exciting changes Tommy will bring to Mt Baker Vapor, and the vaping industry as a whole!