The Table (January) — TAI Member Spotlight
Jim Burns, Collabrance
In an effort to help Iowa’s technology community get to know each other a little better, we’ll excited to announce a new monthly series. Each month in The Table we’ll be spotlighting someone from one of our member companies with a questionnaire that ranges from silly to serious. Hopefully we’ll give you some insight into not only what makes the company tick but also who our member spotlight is as an individual.
This month we’re excited to get to know Jim Burns of Cedar Rapids-based TAI member Collabrance.
What would your entrance song be if you were a wrestler?
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC
What’s your role at Collabrance?
I provide leadership and vision to the overall direction of the business and team, as well as evaluate various opportunities to help advance strategic initiatives.
What does your company do?
Collabrance helps our business technology partners provide exceptional managed IT services and keep their customers for life by providing superior support through our network operations center and help desk. Located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, we are a subsidiary company of GreatAmerica Financial Services, the largest independent small ticket leasing company in the U.S.
What three things can’t you live without?
My wife and kids, a Diet Mountain Dew in the morning, and a DIY or home improvement project.
What would be your record choice for TAI’s Vinyl Fridays?
Bay City Rollers and The Grass Roots.
What do you do and what makes you so passionate about it?
As a technology company, our biggest asset and passion is truly around our people. We have a rigorous hiring process that factors in our culture as a key component. It’s not about filling the seat, but about getting the right person in the seat. We hire about 2 percent of the candidates that apply and look for “attitude first, aptitude second.”
What’s the best way to get through an Iowa winter?
Embrace it! Oh, and a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Hawkeyes or Cyclones?
Generally the Hawkeyes. But ya gotta love Cyclone men’s basketball!
What’s the last book you read?
“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek
What’s been most rewarding about working for an Iowa technology company?
I enjoy working with our team and their Midwest work ethic that includes hard work, integrity and excellence. On average, our customer satisfaction score is a 4.6 out of 5.0. As the Vice President and General Manager, I am proud to work for everyone else on the team. We have partners all across the U.S. and being centrally located has been a benefit to both parties.
What’s your favorite local restaurant? Why?
Casa Las Glorias on Blairs Ferry Road. Great owners and the wait staff is very personable. Many of our friends go there, so it has that “neighborhood bar” feel.
What New Year’s resolution have you already broken?
What’s the most gratifying part of your workday?
At Collabrance, we work hard and play hard. In fact, one of our core principles is, “We make time for fun!” Taking time to celebrate our successes as a team is important and helps everyone feel good and motivated. As a newer company, we’ve been fortunate to achieve so many early successes and look forward to many more to come.
What was your dream job as a kid?
Pro basketball player
What’s one of your professional goals for 2015?
Grow our pool of candidates for future employment.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?