Meet Our Talents: Tom Radde

Meet Our Talents Tom | MCI United States | EN

November, 12 2021

Front End Developer, MCI Creative, Chicago Office

What do you do for MCI?

I’m sort of a jack of all trades, so while I have some regular work tasks, I’m more utilized as a problem solver. My title is front end developer, so I generally deal with various coding problems, digital issues, our many websites, or figuring out any legacy technologies that come with our clients. While I do a lot of website work, I’m also called upon for motion graphics, video editing, and the occasional graphic design project.

How did you get into front end development and what keeps you interested in it?

I was a nerd growing up and used to program old Unix computers with my best friend and was also pretty artistic in high school. I completely shrugged off both of those things when I went to college and actually have my degree in hospitality and tourism with an emphasis on hotel management.

Through a series of strange events, I ended up working for a small Association Management Company in Chicago as a front desk person because they already had two meeting planners on staff. I worked my way up to membership, but found myself doing more and more of the marketing for our clients and eventually transitioned fully into that position because my art and nerdiness really suited the work. I’m less in the marketing weeds now than I was back in those days, but I stay interested because I like solving problems and having a number of different systems that our clients utilize, there is always an issue to work through and figure out.

I hear that you are a talented photographer. Have you been on any photography excursions lately?

I just completed a trip to the Upper Peninsula (UP) in Michigan to take photos at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It’s an amazing place with gorgeous reddish sandstone cliffs colored from natural mineral deposits that cascade into the teal and azure waters of Lake Superior below. This was actually more of a scouting trip, as I’m going back in autumn to photograph all of the fall colors.

I went a bit rogue during quarantine and built a sleeping platform in the back of my car because the last time I was in the UP I got into a camp site pretty late at night and had a moderately close encounter with a black bear and spent the night in my car that night anyway, so I figured I might as well just make it a thing.

Do you have any other hobbies that put you at less risk of bear attacks?

I work out quite a bit. I was a personal trainer in a past life and those habits are hard to break. I currently live in a small town in southwest Michigan that is right next to Lake Michigan, so I really like to do things outdoors – paddleboarding, kayaking, swimming and running – which I suppose could still put me at risk of a bear attack, but there aren’t quite as many bears down this way.

When travel opens fully again, where else do you want to go?

I was an avid international traveler before COVID, so there is a lot on my list. I’ve been to quite a few countries in Europe, but haven’t made it to Italy yet, so I’d very much like to make that happen when the world gets a bit back to normalcy. One of the last trips I took was to the Alsace Region in France, which is in the northeastern part of the country and known for its wine and terrain, but I’d love to visit the south of France when I can.


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