5 mins with… Mike Tucker

Mike Tucker is CEO of IOPFDA and NOPA.

What’s your life philosophy?  

I try to live by this golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated.

What special skill do you possess? 

Not sure that I have one. Jack of all trades, master of none!

What makes you happy?  

Other people’s happiness, especially that of my wife, children, grandchildren and the people I work with.

What do you do in your spare time?  

I like to exercise, play golf and spend time with my family (five children, ten grandchildren and two more on the way). 

What is the hardest thing you have ever had to do?  

The eulogy at my mother’s funeral. I’m the oldest of five children and she was relatively young when she died.

Best way to spend the weekend?  

Being at the ocean with family and friends. Golf, swimming, boating and extended happy hours.

Your favourite gadget?  

My zero-turn lawn tractor. It’s fun to drive and gets the yard done in a hurry.

If you were President, what would be the first law you would pass?  

Term limits: many country leaders have been in office too long for the wrong reasons.

What words do you use the most?  

Best regards: So many emails. 

What would be a good theme song for you and your life?  

Amazing Grace!

Where would you like to travel in the US?  

I would like to visit the national parks, particularly in Utah. I love nature and being outdoors and hope to hike, bike or use an all-terrain vehicle through parts of this beautiful country while I’m still physically able.

Childhood ambitions?  

I’m totally addicted to sports and always wanted to play professional baseball.

What would you cook for a dinner party?  

I’m not a great cook, but I am pretty good on the grill. Appetiser would be shrimp and avocado with a Caesar salad. Main course New York strip with sautéed mushrooms, Lyonnaise potatoes and brussels sprouts for sides. Followed by French apple pie with ice cream for dessert, and finish up with a good cigar and a glass of bourbon.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why? 

Michael Jordan. I would like to experience being able to jump from the foul line and dunk a basketball.

Career Q&A

Describe your current job.  

President/CEO of the Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association and the National Office Products Alliance (known as IOPFDA and NOPA respectively). These associations represent dealers, wholesalers and manufacturers, providing them with the information and tools they need to help them succeed in today’s changing business environment.

Worst ever job?

Cutting tobacco on farms in southern Maryland in the US. Hard, dirty work done in the hottest part of the summer for $2 an hour.

Best moment in your career so far?

Buying George W Allen in 1996 and being awarded an exclusive contract to sell Sanford products to the federal government.

Your best piece of advice to someone who has just joined the OP industry? 

You need a strategy to differentiate yourself. OP is a declining category and the internet generates a lot of noise that confuses customers and makes it difficult for companies to distinguish themselves in the marketplace. Assess your strengths and value proposition and then aim to implement a realistic plan to obtain success.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?  

Make the large national chains disappear. Their tactics have taken a lot of integrity out of the industry.

What personal item do you have on your desk?

A brass letter opener my mother brought me back from Greece in the 1970s.  

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