For our series of posts celebrating Tam’s 40th anniversary, we talked with former (and current) staff, partners, and clients about their work with Tam Communications. Here’s a chat we had with Julie Easley, one of the first members of TeamTam. She’s also Susan’s sister, which set the stage for our family-oriented story. Thank you, Julie, for a delightful TeamTam40 conversation.
When did you start with Tam, and how long were you on the team?
I was part-time for a while, then started full-time in 1987. I was with Tam for 27 years.
What was your role, or roles?
I really did everything except production and creative. I started as operations manager, then became HR manager, and then VP of HR and finance. Depending on the time and what was needed, my title would change. I also did sales for a few years. I enjoyed every position, but my favorite was finance, although I enjoyed HR quite a bit as well. I’m a numbers person. I self-trained and started a bookkeeping company prior to working with Tam because I wanted to work at home and be with my kids. Then I started with Susan and Tam, little bits here and there, and as the company grew, I handled various roles. I liked the flexibility.
I worked from the Tam offices and then, as technology grew, it allowed me to work at home the last few years. I worked at six or seven different Tam offices – Santa Clara, their home and then their office in Milpitas. At the office on the 7th floor in downtown San Jose. We just kept adding square footage and grew to over fifty staff members. Then the dot com bust happened. I remember we moved to Scotts Valley the weekend of 9/11. Between that and the economic hit to Silicon Valley, we went from fifty plus people to the 3 of us over the course of a few years. What came out of that was the outsourcing of a lot of work. We grew slowly back to having more employees after that, which was common among businesses after the bust.
All good! Working with the wonderful people they hired. It was special – I made lifelong friends. Just the other night I had dinner with Connie Segreto who became their Director of Entertainment Development). I loved watching the company grow and being part of it.
What was your favorite project you worked on?
I liked working on projects with the Coast Guard – I did the financial part of it. They’re responsible for protecting our coastlines among other things. Doing paperwork with a government agency and with an outside distributor, making sure you’re following right steps. It was so different than the tech sector we worked with.
How did you like working with your sister?
We kept it very professional. I always respected Susan’s abilities as a creative and talented person with Tam, so left it to her to do the business side. Susan was always a very brilliant person, had strong left brain and right brain. She’s a hard-working woman. My youngest son worked for them, and my nephew as well, briefly.
I was there when Tim (O’Connor Fraser) graduated from college and he was made president. He was great to work with. Then he left to start his own business (Dewdrop Media – a Tam partner). Looking for different challenges.
Regan (Eymann, nee O’Connor Fraser) came in after she graduated college as well. From everything I can see Regan has grown to be a lot like Susan – taking the ball and running with it.
We were a traditional family growing up, four girls, stay-at-home mom. Susan was a go-getter into competitive roller skating. She was California state champion in skating and went to national championships when she was 12. She met Tam in high school, and they took risks – Tam was definitely the leader in that.
Where did you go professionally after Tam?
I retired – I was ready! I’ve lived in a senior community for almost 25 years. I like being part of the community, and I love the friendships and relationships.
My favorite thing – playing bridge with my bridge group. I was treasurer of the social club, editor of monthly newsletter, and I might do it again. I like the social events.
What did you take away from the Tam experience?
I liked the unique perspective of being behind the scenes and making sure things ran smoothly, especially during transitions.
Any TeamTam40 shout outs?
I wish Susan and Tam them all the best – continue to grow!