Tommy Le, modern-day Li Shang and web designer extraordinaire
Tommy’s been at Boostability since September of 2016, but he’s a recent addition to the marketing team, where he acts as project manager. A whiz with Asana and with a stare guaranteed to get you back on task, the marketing team feels real lucky he joined their ranks. We’re also really glad he doesn’t follow the first (or second) rules of Fight Club, because he can definitely talk about Boost’s very own no-so-underground MMA ring.
We’ll get out of the ring now and let Tommy take it away.
Quick! An elevator pitch! Tell us about yourself in 50 words or less.
I’m a first-generation Vietnamese-American from Kansas. My parents came to the US in the 70s to escape the oppressive communist government during the Vietnam war. They’ve worked very hard to provide for me and my three brothers and I’m proud to be the person I am today because of the sacrifices that they made. Because of them, I was blessed with awesome childhood memories filled with love and adventure.
I studied Finance and Administration at the University of Kansas and moved to Utah to start a business and to continue my fighting career. Today, I am a proud husband and father of an unbelievably adorable 7-month old baby boy (Lenix). I’m quite ordinary outside of all that. I love working on my car, cooking extravagant dinners, having a beer with friends, and going on scenic adventures with my wife, Brinn.
How do you explain what you do to friends and family, especially when they’re not familiar with tech or SEO?
My super-Asian mother thinks I play on the computer all day (which is sort of true). She just knows it has something to do with making websites which is far less impressive compared to my other brother’s professions. My oldest brother is a trauma surgeon/Air Force fighter pilot and my other brothers are mechanical engineers.
Outside of my family, I have a lot of friends that are also professionals in digital marketing. Many work with me at Boostability or at Webaholics, a company that I helped create.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I work on an incredible team with empowering leadership that gives me the freedom to dream-up big ideas along with amazing colleagues to help make it all come to life. I’m blessed to be able to come to work with such a dynamic group of people that fills my days with joy and laughter. [Krystin Pipkin, Boost’s social media specialist, chiming in here—we love you, Tommy!] Our team is structured like an agency, where everyone has their specific area of expertise and we have to work together to execute our VP’s initiatives in order to help our companies grow. We have the unique responsibility of being the marketing team for two companies and to make sure that both our brands effectively communicate our values to our customers and partners. Though we like to joke around, we understand that we’ve been tasked with managing the reputation and face of the company and we work hard to make sure that we do it well.
What do you like about Boost’s company culture?
I love that I’m able to be myself at work and to be as expressive as I want because there’s always someone louder and more animated than me, [Krystin here again—definitely true!] which is pretty much like everyone else on the Marketing team. I love that everyone has their own personal interests with diverse backgrounds that allow us to celebrate each person for their unique personalities. Sure, we take our work seriously, but we also understand that the core of our work is built around relationships we have with our colleagues, partners, and customers.
Describe an on-the-job experience where you grew your skills or learned something new.
Though I have lots of experience working in an agency, working under Amanda has given me the opportunity to learn from one of the best professionals in the industry. She’s taught us that much of what we do is about managing perceptions. Not only do we have to consider how our customers and partners perceive us, but we also have to make sure that our successes are constantly communicated internally. The progress that we’ve made, the milestones that we’ve hit, and our aspirations for the future are all products of the combined work of the people in our company and we have the responsibility to let everyone know that their incredible work has contributed to who we are today.
How has Boostability prepared you for your future or furthered your career goals?
I learned very quickly that working in an agency is starkly different from working in a corporate environment. Boostability has taught me that continued growth requires standardized processes and structure to ensure sustainability and profitability. Gone are the days where I’m able to fly by the seat of my pants taking on projects from a wide array of clients that require drastically different skill sets. I’ve learned that it’s important to recognize your strengths as company early-on and hone the processes to consistently deliver that product for every customer. At Boostability, we do digital marketing and we happen to be the worldwide leader in SEO and it’s all built on a decade’s worth of data, processes, and hard work. Wherever I end up in the future, I’ll be sure to bring this same mindset.
What’s your take on the digital marketing industry, especially from someone working in your particular role?
Today’s world of digital marketing is almost unrecognizable compared to what it was just a few years ago. Brands are now being defined by their customers, the value of content now supersedes volume, and making personal connections with your audience has become more effective than the traditional mass marketing. It’s become an ever-changing frontier that can only be conquered by those who are willing to embrace innovation and act boldly on their convictions. The world of marketing today has no place for the overly cautious or traditional mindsets. The future of digital marketing belongs to the fearless.
What do you like to do when you aren’t at work?
Having a family of my own is still a new thing for me and I’m still absolutely enamored with my beautiful wife and son. I’m proud that most of my free time is spent with them. Outside of my family, I like training Muay-Thai, Brazilian Jujitsu, and helping my friends prepare for their upcoming fights. At home, I’m always in my office or garage tinkering with something that will probably break and have to be put back together.
What’s something unique about you that people couldn’t tell just by looking at you?
Before having our son, I was the number 3 ranked Featherweight in Utah MMA. I’m told that I’m pretty scary on paper but in real life, I’m just. . . this guy.
If you could make a guest appearance on a TV show, what show would you choose?
Easy—General Li Shang from Mulan.
Anything else you want to share about yourself?
I teach MMA in our Orem office every Friday at noon-ish. If anyone is interested in attending, let me know. We’re also moving to a new office in Lehi that has tons of space available, so maybe I’ll start one for the Lehi office—who knows?