MVP Monday is back with a vengeance! We hope that everyone is enjoying a safe and healthy winter while watching some of the Winter Olympics! Every Monday we highlight an employee who has been killing it at their job here at Dave and Adam’s. With all of our divisions continuing to thrive, none impress more than our Hit Parade division. Our MVP this week has been working his tail off to ensure top notch quality for these products. Meet Tom Hughes, our Director of Product Design for Hit Parade! As always, we sit down to talk and learn more about our MVP!
– Do you have a favorite Winter Olympic sport?
Growing up in a hockey town like Buffalo, hockey has to be my favorite Winter Olympic sport. Whether it be TJ Oshie and his shootout performance, Zach Parise tying the gold medal game with 24 seconds left, or Dominik Hasek standing on his head leading the Czech to gold, it is always the sport I try to watch the most.
I’d say most of Buffalo would agree with you, Tom!
– What are your interests outside of work?
One of the reasons I wanted to work for Hit Parade is because I love sports. I play and watch sports all the time. I also really enjoy movies; I try to go to the movies a couple times a month. Whether it be Star Wars, Marvel/DC, Harry Potter, or just something I think is going to be really good, chances are I’ll be there opening weekend.
That’s commitment! We might have to move you to our entertainment division! 😉
– Do you have any hobbies?
I have always played a lot of sports; I’ve played in football, baseball/softball, hockey, basketball and volleyball leagues. Though I don’t play as much as I used to, I still try to play as much as I can. I also like going to the movies and to concerts.
Much like Tom, a lot of our employees are former/current athletes. That being said, it shouldn’t come as a shocker that a lot of our employees have a very competitive drive!
– Do you have any pets?
I have a dog named Faber and a cat named Cosmo.
What a handsome duo!
– What are your favorite sports teams and why?
I am a huge Bills fan; Through all the heartache I will always ride or die with the Bills. I also am a big Duke Basketball fan. My grandparents had a dog named Duke when I was young, so when I saw Duke playing on TV they instantly became my favorite team. I also like the Buffalo Sabres, Baltimore Orioles, and Houston Astros. My NBA team changes as I am more a fan of players than a specific team.
Well Tom, the most important thing is that you said you’re a Bills and Sabres fan. That’s all that really matters around this office.
– Are you a former/current athlete? What sports did you play? What was your favorite?
I played sports all growing up and continue to play them as much as I can as an adult. I don’t know if I have one favorite, I just really enjoy the competition. Few feelings are better than scoring the winning goal/shot/touchdown or making a play to help your team win with the game on the line.
Whether it’s cornhole or basketball, you better believe that Tom is bringing the competitive fire!
– What’s your favorite product that we sell?
My favorite Hit Parade product that we sell is the Rookies Graded 1st Bowman Product. I like prospecting and following players in the minors. It’s great to follow a young kid work his way up through the minors and see them make the bigs.
The hard work and dedication it requires to make it to the MLB is always inspiring, so we understand why this product is one of your favorites! Check out this Hit Parade product here!
– Do you have any collections of your own?
When I’m buying at shows, I get asked a lot what cards I collect and surprisingly I do not collect any cards. I have made a conscious decision not to collect cards because of my job. I do collect some autographed movies and sports memorabilia. One thing I hope to one day buy is a Harrison Ford autographed Han Solo Funko.
It’s always interesting to see someone whose life revolves around cards to not have a collection of their own! However, we’d love to see you score that Han Solo Funko someday!
– What’s an interesting fact about you?
I played for Team USA in the Ball Hockey National Championships in 2009 in the Pilsen Czech Republic and 2013 in St. John’s Newfoundland.
Ehhh, no big deal. Just represented a whole country in ball hockey, keep on movin’.
-Tell me about your background with DA/HP? What attracted you to work for us?
Being a big sports fan, DA was definitely an attractive place to work. My journey from Warehouse Manager to Director of Product Design for Hit Parade Card has been a great experience.
And we appreciate all of your hard work! Hit Parade continues to impress as you guys consistently have great new product drops!
-What was your career before DA/HP?
Before I worked with Hit Parade I had a number of jobs. Though many of the jobs were very good, none of them felt like a career until I came here.
We’re thrilled to hear your passion for DA/HP! Dave and Adam’s is consistently voted one of Buffalo’s best places to work, and it’s our employee’s commitment and passion that makes this possible!
-Is there a particular moment or time that sticks out about your experience here?
I would have to say my first National has to stand out the most in my experiences with Hit Parade. It was my first show, and I was not prepared for the magnitude of the show floor. Getting handed my first $10,000 to buy cards on the show floor was the beginning of this great chapter of Hit Parade Card.
Tom and the Hit Parade crew consistently travel to card shows around the country to find hidden gems. This is a great/fun opportunity for our employees, and they never disappoint!
-Is there an achievement or contribution that you are most proud of?
I am very proud of the growth that Hit Parade Card has seen since I started. The team that we have built and continue to add to is also something I take pride in; they are a huge reason for our success. Lastly, winning Re-Pack Brand of the Year the last two years has been validation of all the hard work that everyone has put in and something that I am very proud of.
And you should be! Being back to back champs for Re-Pack Brand of the Year is something this company is incredibly proud of! Keep up the great work, Tom!
-What inspires you to be the best at your job?
I really just take ownership of my job and want to do the best I can for our customers. It’s really cool that people spend their hard earned money to buy our products, so I want to do everything I can to make their experience a good one. One of the most satisfying aspects of our job is meeting people at shows and they tell us how much they love our product.
Tom’s attitude is the exact reason Dave and Adam’s continues to succeed/impress. Every employee here puts their best foot forward and wants to ensure that the customer is always satisfied. Whether it’s customer service, card breaking, Hit Parade, or any of our other positions, our employees always strive for perfection.
-What has been your biggest challenge here, and what did you do to solve it on your own?
There really isn’t one big challenge that has stood out with my time with Hit Parade. As Hit Parade Card has continued to grow, there have been new challenges that we have had to deal with on a weekly basis. My day to day responsibilities continue to change and though it may be difficult at times, it also has allowed me to grow with the division and be a better leader.
We love that you take any challenge in stride and do everything in your power to accomplish the task at hand. Thanks for all your hard work, Tom, we wouldn’t be the same without you!