Kim Luke joined TeamTam as a Writer/Producer one year ago this month. Kim’s marketing and communications experience combined with her creative skills are key ingredients to her contributions here; her involvement with the Santa Cruz community and sense of humor are icing on the cake. While we celebrate our 40th anniversary through TeamTam40 interviews with former staff, we’re interested in hearing the team experience from a fresh perspective as well. Thank you, Kim, for sharing your thoughts, and happy One Year Anniversary!
What were you doing before joining TeamTam?
I was working for Arts Council Santa Cruz County as Communications Coordinator, and prior to that I was Director of Communications and Marketing for the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz for many years. I’ve also had the honor of working with the Santa Cruz Warriors, the Santa Cruz Derby Girls, FashionART Santa Cruz and other local organizations as MC and host for myriad local events. In other words – I’ve had some of the most fun and engaging jobs in Santa Cruz!
What drew you to join Tam?
I’ve known the Tam crew for over ten years now, and it all started with roller derby. Regan (aka Shamrock ‘n Roller) and I (Mildred Fierce) were with the league since its inception, and while she dominated on skates, she and I worked closely together on the business and PR side. Tam Communications was a long-time sponsor of the Santa Cruz Derby Girls and filmed all of the bouts. Since I was announcing these games, I would work with them during on-camera interviews of the skaters and other special guests.
I also have a background in performing, and Tam hired me to do some work in front of the camera here and there, as well as some voice over work. I even got to make a music video with them – Hands Clean, for Satellite Healthcare.
When they asked me to join TeamTam as a Writer/Producer, I couldn’t say no. I was familiar with some of their work – most notably for the Boardwalk and for Satellite Healthcare – and when I dove deeper and saw the wide variety of clients they have and types of projects they create, I wanted in. I’ve been lucky over the years – my creative side has always come in handy wherever I worked. With Tam, it could be front and center.
What did you bring to the table?
That’s a loaded question because my work history is pretty varied. In addition to communications, I’ve worked in entertainment law, copyright and licensing, publishing, live event production, tour management, I’m a playwright and freelance writer, and I’ve also raised three kids. In a perfect world, I am bringing bits of all of that to the table, depending on what is needed. Of course, the most valuable thing is just that – knowing what is needed.
How has your first year with us been?
I can’t believe how fast this year flew by. It’s been wonderful, eye-opening, challenging, rewarding, frustrating, and thought provoking. All the things you’d hope an intense experience would be. I like working with everyone on TeamTam, from the close-knit crew in the office to the partners and talent on shoots. So far so good!
What has been the biggest surprise?
Well, sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until you need to know it. I’m learning so much about the technical side of video and digital marketing, and the journey of a project from start to finish. I’m learning from the best – it’s second nature to them.
What has been your favorite part?
I really enjoy writing scripts – finding the story and then telling that story in a way that fits the client’s needs and accomplishes their goals. It’s always a challenge, and when it falls into place it feels so good. I also am finding my sea legs doing off-camera interviews. I like talking to people, making them feel comfortable while sharing their thoughts – Susan is the expert at this, hands down. So, I watch her closely and learn more every day.
My first project as Writer/Producer was for the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz highlighting their Downtown Ambassador Program. I loved working on that because of my long-time relationship with the heart of our city, which really goes back to my childhood strolling along Pacific, people watching, and listening to music outside the old Cooper House.
How do you like working for a family business?
I grew up in a family business so it’s very familiar. My mom and dad started a real estate company called docter & DOCTER. My aunt worked there, my grandmother and grandfather, and my sister as well. I sometimes answered the phones or did filing, but I’m the only one who took a different path in the long run. It’s a different vibe working in a family office, and I appreciate it very much. I’ve threatened to change my last name to O’Connor Fraser so I fit in.
What are you working on right now?
One of the things I’ve been working on is Tam Communications’ 40th anniversary and the year-long TeamTam40 campaign. It’s been a great way for me to learn about the company, about the industry, and some pretty wild stories from the Tam archives. I think I’ve looked at thousands of photos. I feel more comfortable representing Tam in the wild, being so much more familiar with their history.
I’d love to bring in clients and projects of my own to add to the Tam roster. Working on videos and projects from start to finish, telling stories and solving problems, brainstorming creative ideas – I hope to be doing more of that in addition to the support I’m providing for existing clients.