2008 Graduate Comes Into His Own as Partner at Global Payments Consultancy TSG
By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager
Mike Strawhecker, a 2008 graduate of Bellevue University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing Management, recently took on a new challenge with The Strawhecker Group, an Omaha-based global payments consultancy that bears his family name.
As the newest Partner at The Strawhecker Group (TSG) and a member of the firm that his father, Kurt Strawhecker, and Jamie Savant founded in 2006, Mike still feels the pull of his entrepreneurial roots. “Both my parents and siblings have played huge roles for me in terms of career support,” he said. “We are a family of entrepreneurs, so we are constantly using each other as sounding boards for ideas or discussing issues we are facing in either TSG or our other businesses.”
Mike Strawhecker came into TSG shortly after they first opened their doors and has seen the company grow exponentially over the last 12 years. “I joined the team about two weeks later at the bottom of the totem pole,” he said. “I think a key component of our growth and success stems from the fact that we specialize in a niche of a niche that most people don’t even think about existing. It is easier to market to your core constituencies and gain share when you pick one thing or market and get really good at it – especially in a globalized economy.”
TSG’s Acquiring Industry Metrics (AIM) product, which measures the financial performance of payments companies, is one of the pillars of TSG’s success. It’s a product Mike himself spearheaded the launch of in 2010, and today AIM is used by some of the biggest and most influential payments and financial technology companies in the world.
Shortly after he joined his father at TSG, Mike made the decision to take college credits he had earned and complete his degree at Bellevue University. “I learned about Bellevue from a friend who had a great experience there and recommended it to me,” Mike said. “Bellevue’s accelerated program was very attractive to me, especially since I already had a lot of credits. They were willing to work with me on making sure that these credits counted. It ended up being an excellent program and experience that I took a lot from.”
The Marketing Management program Mike selected is offered in a cohort format where students move from class to class as a group. Mike said the bonds formed with his classmates helped enhance the educational experience. “We got to know each other in the classroom as well as personally, and became friends in the process,” he said. “I think getting to know this one group really helped me excel in my time at Bellevue.”
Mike praised Professor Kristi Lynch as well. “She was the leader of my cohort and was (and I am sure still is) an excellent teacher and advisor,” he said. “She knows more about marketing than anyone I have ever come across and she was also very supportive of me during my time at Bellevue.”
Strawhecker said that though he knew the day was coming where he would take on a larger leadership role within TSG, he still enjoys and expects to continue to work alongside TSG team members to solve difficult challenges for TSG clients, and to continue having fun. Last year, the TSG leadership team, including Mike and his father, purchased a Golden Tee golf arcade game as a Christmas gift for everyone in their office.
But whether he’s competing in a fierce game of online golf or working to address a tough business challenge, Mike understands what really matters. “One thing I have learned,” he said, “is that it doesn’t matter what type of business you own, the key ingredient to sustained success comes from the people you have on your team.”